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The UK Government has made an ad about the deepening cost of living crisis and it’s surprisingly honest and informative:

Take action:
🔹 Don’tPayUK: [dontpay.uk]
🔹 Enough is Enough: [wesayenough.co.uk]
🔹 How to join a union: [tuc.org.uk]

FrayedBear 9 Aug 24
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You prove you are a surface thinking Socialist.

Reduce energy prices? Increase pay scales? Why just because some losers don't make the money they think they should?

Alienbeing Level 7 Aug 24, 2022

Socialist is only used an an insult when it's what selfish people call caring societies.

The domestic energy prices in the UK are governed by a regulator that has a formula for a price cap that is based upon wholesale energy prices. The price cap is re calculated every 6 months.

The projections are that when this is next recalculated based upon the wildly fluctuating wholesale energy market this will result in ruinous energy bills for consumers and stratospheric profits for the energy companies.

Some might say that's unfair especially as it would certainly lead to deaths among the most poor and vulnerable.

Of course the private energy companies deserve to make a profit and pay dividends to foreign and domestic shareholders but it is up to the government via the regulator to decide quite how many of its poorer citizens' lives to sacrifice for the benefit of richer people's pension funds.

It should not be controversial to recognise that without regulation, financial gravity means wealth will accumulate towards people, institutions and geographies that are already wealthy. It is what naturally happens, but to suggest that this is therefore the right way of doing things is the naturalistic fallacy.

You can't get an ought from an is.

What naturally happens when the pendulum swings too far in that direction is that society collapses, the poor cannot continue in that fashion so rise up kill the rich and rebuild society from the ashes. They often make a terrible mess of things leading to even worse tyrannies.

What democratic socialism hopes to do is to find a better solution to redress that balance without the civil unrest. It is a common American trait to consider the difference between socialists and militant revolutionaries to be a subtle nuance and a slippery slope. The rest of the world sees a world of difference.

I'm lucky, I'll be able to afford the price increases with a little belt tightening in short term at least. I won't fare so well if people start dying or rioting.

We already have an institution to moderate energy prices. That you cannot imagine a situation where it might be appropriate to nudge the dial in the direction of the working class over shareholders, reeks of the lack of imagination that you'd expect from, well the worst stereotype of American libertarians.

In other words, this is a UK group, come here to learn about us not to lecture us.

Socialism is of course good. We in the enlightened world see that. In Europe and Australasia our far right political groups are generally to the left of America's left wing.
This gives us greater freedom and benefits than Americans enjoy.
Liberal Socialism is a fairer system as it allows private industry and national input to work together for the benefit of society and not just the few.
In the UK we have suffered from a government since 2010 that has attempted to copy the American system which has failed us.
Still, we have a National Health Service providing superb service free at the point of need for all.

@MattHardy Well said Matt. The alien is very fond of telling non Americans that they have no right & certainly won't be listened to when they criticise US practices even those affecting non US situations as is the case because of fuel prices increased because of American illegal interference & creation of unstable situations around the world. IMO the increased costs caused by American interference should be charged to them & enforced by sanctions against America. Let's see how they fare if sent to Coventry & everyone cut them off. The monies saved from not supporting US military would go a fair way to, if not exceed, any monetary largesse given by the USA to purportedly benefit other countries. The EEC, that the English right wing nutters have removed the UK from, has shown that they can improve the lot of poorer members, particularly if they don't subsidise & enjoin American piratical aspirations.

@MattHardy "Selfish" has nothing to do with it. Socialist people merely want something they have not earned. End of story.

@Sofabeast There was nothing "Enlightened" in your post. Saying you want what not you, but what others earned is the opposite of enlightened.

@MattHardy, @Sofabeast, @FrayedBear I am not surprised that Socialists have the same line. What is common in that line is everyone has their hand out.

@Alienbeing Our hands out to help others....

@Alienbeing you're only looking at one side of the transaction;. You could easily say capitalist investors merely want more return on money they haven't worked for or that socialists people merely want to look after people less advantaged than themselves.

@MattHardy Your reply is somewhat hollow. How did the Capitalist get the momey if he/she did not work for it? If you are only referring to Capital Gains or interest, I am sure both Capitalists and Socialists want their money to work for them as best it can.

The last sentence of your reply assumes Capitalists never , or rarely help those less advantaged. You must know that is not true.

@Sofabeast Yea sure. Socialists hands are out to collect, not give.

@Alienbeing A few investors will be investing money that they earned from their labour. Most investment however comes from banks lending around eight times as much money as they have deposited. For you to ask "How did the Capitalist get the momey if he/she did not work for it?" betrays a grasp of economics as dire as your typing.
I shouldn't mock, my typing is awful.
I also never said or implied that "Capitalists never , or rarely help those less advantaged." You should understand that I'm not of the belief that Capitalism and socialism cannot coexist or are in any way mutually exclusive. The idea of the richer and more powerful looking out for the poorer and less advantaged does not assume that the rich and powerful acquired their wealth predominantly through either one means or another. In fact given that the most wealthy have many multiples the amount of wealth a single person can generate from their own labour, then it's pretty much a given that it's mostly capitalists who are giving the most to assist the less advantaged. Though to be fair some do so more grudgingly than others.
Just about anything you can say about capital or labour you can say about the other. It's a two way street. Every single disparaging sneering argument you've made about workers is just as valid if your swap workers for investors.
If it wasn't for the entrepreneurs then the employees wouldn't have jobs
If it wasn't for the employees the entrepreneur wouldn't have a business
See, both are true.
Why should the employees get more money just because they want it?
Why should the business owners get more money just because the want it?
See, both are idiotically stupid arguments.

@MattHardy You spout Socialist garbage. Capitalists originally get thier money from work. I know I did. When I asked where did the money come from, I was referring to individual wealth, not institutional investment.

My real point is why do you (or anyone) think you have a call on my wealth, actually, anyone's wealth?

P.S. I never took a typing lesson and I freely admit my typing stinks, and that is fruther magnified by the fact that i am a poor proof reader, as I read what I thought I typed.

@Alienbeing So are you suggesting that the less able and fortunate in society are left to starve?
What price is a human life or part of it?
Society has to pay for the structures of society. Government employees for example. These include educators, military, policing, refuse collection and disposal, law, public safety, taxation, infrastructure and so on.
When a soldier looses their legs defending your lifestyle, who looks after them? How much will that cost for the next sixty years?
As for a call on your wealth - you need to give your wealth for the common good or someone will come and take it away from you.

@Sofabeast Do you always go to extreams when you try to make a point? NO, I don't suggest we let anyone starve to death.

I'm aware of the programs government offers, and by the way, depending on where one lives those programs don't include some of the things you listed. Conversely, many programs you did not list are included. For example, do you think government should provide cell phones to those that otherwise would not be able to afford one?

For those able to work, should housing be subsidized or given away?

I think any military person disabled should receive medical care and other benefits for as long as they are disabled, even if that means for life.

Is your last sentence threat, or a prognostication? Of course I must pay taxes, what composes those taxes may or may not go on forever. If one wants to try to steal my wealth, well they can try.

In closing since you don't even live here I doubt you have a clue about our Federal, State or Local tax structure, so how about learning about the subject prior to pontificating on it!

@Alienbeing You think you're a capitalist? Well I suppose in a limited and specific sense, we both are. Lets look at the dictionary definition.

[dictionary.com]

  • a person who has capital, especially extensive capital, invested in business enterprises.
  • an advocate of capitalism.
  • a very wealthy person.

You say that you worked for the money that you invested. That's about the limit of what I know about you but I'm going to hypothesise that you and I aren't so different.

We have captial invested in business enterprises, we are advocates for capitalism in that we believe private enterprise plays a valuable role in society which must be protected. We are more wealthy than the median but far from the top percentile.

I don't know if you are or were a business owner whose business employs other people. I'm self employed and so a business owner but my only employee is my wife who I pay to do the admin.

One difference that does seem apparent is that when the interests of business owners come into conflict with the interests of the common man, you will advocate for the business owners whilst I will advocate for the common man. For this you call me a socialist which you seem to consider a slur as you use employ it alongside all manner of other slurs in place of actual reasoned argument.

Now you have every right to advocate for the business owner, but for me to listen to what you have to say I demand that you demonstrate a little understanding rather than your bare assertion that all the money already belongs to them as if by some divine decree.

Let’s get specific and put this into the context of the video we're discussing where the interests of business owners are in conflict with the common man.

Firstly we have criticism of a government who bypassed establish purchasing controls in order to grant lucrative government contracts to people their own friends small businesses who had coincidentally made large campaign contributions to their party. Allegations of corruption aside the products delivered under these contracts often failed to meet standards such as PPE that ended up in incinerators rather than in hospitals. I advocate for the common man whose taxpayer funds were diverted in this manner and didn't get value for their money.

Your question "why do you (or anyone) think you have a call on my wealth, actually, anyone's wealth?" Is that relevant here?

I would hope not, I would hope that socialist and capitalist interests would align here to ensure that public money was directed towards suppliers with a proven track record. Whilst I might object to this practice because the common man was cheated, an advocate for business owners could take the side of the business owner who could have delivered better for less but was cheated out of the contract. However if you want to discuss it with me further, prove you have an understanding of the issue by letting finding out what the High Court ruled about the Government “VIP Lane” for PPE suppliers in January this year.

The second is where we have criticism of a minister who boasted to an affluent suburb that he changed government funding formulas to divert money from deprived inner cities towards affluent suburbs? Personally, I have no knowledge of what that funding formulas were before or after, or the rationale behind either. I’m assuming you don’t either. I can imagine a situation where the funding was skewed too far away from the affluent areas just as I can vice versa. Let’s face it, it’s the sort of change you might expect from a more right wing government to make to funding arrangements put in place by a previous more left wing administration. I don’t think your questions is relevant here either but feel free to use it as a specific example if you can back up your argument with knowledge of the change.

Next, we have a cost of living crisis, wages going down, prices going up, an increase in the number of children growing up in poverty and an exponential rise in charitable food banks stepping in to fill the gap left by a pared back reduced welfare state.

We also mention the dismantling of public health services and selling them into private hands whilst failing to train and attract medical staff due to poor pay and conditions and a xenophobic immigration policy driving away the medical staff from abroad that used to shore up our health service.

We have a common thread here, that in the UK at least, these are taxpayer funded public services. In 2008 the global economy shrank. Your question earlier “How did the Capitalist get the money if he/she did not work for it?” betrays your lack of understanding about where Capitalists get their money. A complex web a debt and credit serves to increase the amount of fiat currency in play to many multiples of the actual physical wealth that exists. And when you assert “, I was referring to individual wealth, not institutional investment.” You merely emphasise that what you’re talking about had no bearing on the practice of Capitalism I was discussing. In 2008 there was less money in the world not because the people who had worked for money to invest withdrew their investments. There was less money because institutional debts were defaulted leaving creditors in the lurch.

So, with less money in the economy, tax revenues reduced leaving public bodies with a hole in the balance book. A Keynesian would suggest tackling this through by borrowing to kick start their economy. From this ignorant outsider’s point of view, that seems to be what the US government chose to do. The UK government simply printed money and cut public services. Sadly the majority of the cuts being born by services and benefits for the poorest and most vulnerable with the disabled and working poor most severely hit. In your earlier reply to @Sofabeast you reply “NO, I don't suggest we let anyone starve to death.” I’m glad you side with us against letting people starve to death. However you’re wrong about @Sofabeast jumping to extremes. They’re not refereeing to hypothetical deaths, they refer to the actual result of UK government austerity policies as observed and measured by research in the British Medical Journal. [bmjopen.bmj.com]

If you want to discuss the UK government's policy of austerity then please let us know the name of the private contractor the UK government employed to run disability assessments and the terms of the performance related bonus they were paid for each person they deemed to be fit for work and took off of benefits.

In the US, of course health services are structured differently. If you’d like to discuss the relative merits of our health services the price of admission to that conversation is that you tell me how many people in the USA declare bankruptcy each year due to medical debt and what proportion of them were fully insured at the time of first diagnosis.

Then we move on to the suggestion that as household energy bills skyrocket, the government might take action to redistribute some of the exceptional profits being made by energy producers towards ensuring that the most vulnerable can afford to heat their houses in winter. The irony of an American lecturing a European against subsidising energy costs may well be lost on you so if you want to join into a conversation with me about that the price of admission will be the ratio between petrol prices in the UK vs USA and the reason for the difference.

The video then talks about the possibility Trades Unions using collective bargaining to improve pay and conditions for the workers. Is this where where you feel that the socialists are putting their hand out “just because some losers don't make the money they think they should?”

The fact is that when a business makes money there are three groups that have claim on that money, the tax man takes the first slice and what’s left is split between the business owners and the employees. How that split is negotiated should be the same as in any other market. Employees are selling labour; the business is buying it. If the business doesn’t think the employees time is worth less than the employee is prepared to sell it for then both can look elsewhere, just like when McDonalds put up the price of a Big Mac. That’s the cost of a Big Mac just because McDonalds think that's it should be. I can either buy it at that price look elsewhere. This is how free market capitalism works. What’s the alternative you’re suggesting? A command economy where the state decides the correct rate of pay for an electrician? A more interesting question is whether workers should be allowed to collectively agree the cost of labour when if a business did the same thing they’d be accused of running a cartel?

I’m willing to take up this conversation with you. Price of admission on this one is that you provide the ratio between the median employee’s yearly salary and the median company head’s salary for both today and thirty years ago.

So like I say, if you want to carry on calling my arguments garbage and nonsense then go ahead, I won’t mind and everyone will understand what it means that you have no facts or evidence to bring to bear to support your case. However if you do wish to continue the conversation by all means submit the relevant fact I’ve asked for in that area and any more facts that you feel will underline your point.

Best of luck to you.

@MattHardy Good luck in advocating for "the common man".

You make it sound as if discussing economics with you would be a pleasure. It would not be a pleasure and I'm glad yo don't want to do it. Socialists care more about emotion than fact. End of story.

@Alienbeing I thought as much. kthnxbi

@MattHardy No, the real problem is you don't think.

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