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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Britain's Getting a Bit Bleak

    I've been reading the newspaper over the last couple of days and it just seems endless with the amount of bleak prospects we have as a nation.

    The conservatives plans are not working, and even worse they seem to have slipped there mask. They said they would be all for poor people and taking down child poverty. There latest budget has just worsened the poorest 30% even more and put in 100,000 more children into poverty.

    The conservatives are cutting everyone's wages and cutting the governments spending but paradoxically this is making them even more in debt. Why, because no one is paying them taxes really since no one has a job. Or the people who do have a job aren't spending in the economy.

    This is the worst decade since records began apparently, even worse then the 1970s concerning wage earnings. 4.9% less.

    Job prospects for the young are laughable, job prospects for anyone is laughable.

    Oh and the Euro has 10 days to sort everything out or the single money currency will collapse. Meaning lots and lots of blowback for every country..

    This is the world I'm going to be joining after I finish Uni.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    It's their, not there.

    Pedantic comment aside, yes, this country is a complete mess right now. I'm struggling to find work, and actually the longest employment period I had was due to a Jobcentre scheme that's now been cut. It's absolutely amazing how intelligent our government are.


  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    Doesn't help that the opposition is somehow even less competent. Cameron straight up accused Miliband of being on the union payrolls during PMQs yesterday, which is both hilarious (NewsCorp and Ashcroft say hi) and terrifying (unions represent people, MPs represent people, it's a currrent event, there is obvious valid overlap), especially as Miliband couldn't even get a return shot in. I'm pretty sure there are highschools capable of better debates.

    The only people in that room doing their jobs were running the cameras. Maybe Bercow too, as he did actually try to move things along a little.

    There'd be less civil unrest if taxes were implemented properly (c.f. Vodafone 3bn income, 1k tax payment although I don't know the specifics of that case) instead of cutting jobs, pay and longstanding agreements (i.e. pension schemes).

    On jobs, I've been looking for about a year now. I have found nothing and only managed to get three interviews despite an average of five applications a week since signing on. There's very little to be had for graduates, especially ones over 26 who aren't going to be part of the false-economy scheme. I've noticed that new graduate pay has nosedived over the past year; the national average for engineering was 28k for a job without special requirements beyond the degree, I'm now seeing a 2:1 with a fluent foreign language and willingness to travel at 18k PA.
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  4. #4
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    A bit more cheer: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/da...next-election/

    The sooner Scotland severs itself from the gangrenous south the better.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Interesting thread because if you change the names, this thread is basically about almost every nations of the developed world, and some more advanced developing countries like mine. If you argue, "hey, Euro problem is unqiue to the EU", you may want to notice that RMB is also being printed in an uncontrollable scale.

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    Some real "we have to destroy the country in order to save it" tone coming out of that article.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    The sooner Scotland severs itself from the gangrenous south the better.
    That's no help for those of us stuck down here!
    Last edited by Harlander; 01-12-2011 at 11:56 AM.

  7. #7
    A lot of people find it comforting to blame the current Government for all our economic woes, but it's really a long term problem: much of our growth since the 1990s was based on cheap debt (Government, company, personal) and was essentially illusory. When that came to an end GDP slumped by about 10% and ultimately that means living standards also have to fall by about 10%. The Government(s) have done what it can to disguise the effects of that - by stopping the banking system collapsing by nationalising the debts, by increasing spending during the initial crunch, and by only slowly moving to reduce the deficit and by allowing living standards to fall due to higher inflation rather than enormous tax increases, but it is going to happen over the 2008-2018 period.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    I'm really terrified that in 7 months time, I won't be in uni to postpone real life any longer. I'd love to do some post-grad stuff, but that costs a lot. Most of a seminar on doing them was covering costs.

    The advantage I have is that my parents'/home address is in North London. Getting a job there would still mean substantial travel costs, but at least maintenance would be kept moderately low. Not that that is the ideal situation anyhow. And then you read things like this and realise things still suck.

    As for a lack of action on the opposition; why bother, at the moment? It's really more a formality since they'll disagree with anything the government proposes anyhow. The only time they really need to capture the population's attention is in the run up to an election/referendum...sad but true.
    Powered by Steam. And biscuits. I'm also a twit and dabble in creative writing.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanilla bear View Post
    A lot of people find it comforting to blame the current Government for all our economic woes, but it's really a long term problem: much of our growth since the 1990s was based on cheap debt (Government, company, personal) and was essentially illusory. When that came to an end GDP slumped by about 10% and ultimately that means living standards also have to fall by about 10%. The Government(s) have done what it can to disguise the effects of that - by stopping the banking system collapsing by nationalising the debts, by increasing spending during the initial crunch, and by only slowly moving to reduce the deficit and by allowing living standards to fall due to higher inflation rather than enormous tax increases, but it is going to happen over the 2008-2018 period.
    I don't think anyone would argue with you that the recessions are a product of unsustainable growth; a significant proportion of the money in the world doesn't actually exist after all. There are also problems with overpopulation, resource scarcity and the environment.

    It's painfully obvious we can't go on giving every single child three iphones and a car each year... but at the same time, there are people who weren't able to do that in the first place, and they're being asked to give up just as much - if not proportionally more.

    The problem people have is that the governments (not just the conservatives, though Labour managed to avoid the worst of the flak by simply quietly using up all the reserves and praying things would work out or the tories would get in) are not dealing with it in anything even remotely resembling a sensible manner. There's no solidarity, no reassurance and no sign whatsoever of fairness. For every cut or freeze the public sector receives, there has not been an equal restriction placed on the private sector. CEO pay? Bankers taxes? Taxes in general for Topshop, Vodafone and the likes? The hundreds of thousands of pounds rich landowners get for not using their land? What about these new jobs that the private sector is supposed to be creating? The ones that cost the taxpayers about four times as much as the people employed will be earning? And whilst these cuts are going on you get news like "Mr Prime Minister underpaid for his 10 euro coffee whilst on vacation in the alps and had to go back later to apologise".

    I think what it comes down to is that even if the money of the rich needs to be treated like it doesn't exist because we can't back it up with equal amounts of labour and material, there's no sign of anything resembling action that is best for the whole of society. Which is what the government SHOULD be doing instead of watching out for their own interests.

    Disclaimer: I am not an economist. Many of the examples I'm giving are not researched and are usually third-hand at best.

    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    I'm really terrified that in 7 months time, I won't be in uni to postpone real life any longer. I'd love to do some post-grad stuff, but that costs a lot. Most of a seminar on doing them was covering costs.

    The advantage I have is that my parents'/home address is in North London. Getting a job there would still mean substantial travel costs, but at least maintenance would be kept moderately low. Not that that is the ideal situation anyhow. And then you read things like this and realise things still suck.

    As for a lack of action on the opposition; why bother, at the moment? It's really more a formality since they'll disagree with anything the government proposes anyhow. The only time they really need to capture the population's attention is in the run up to an election/referendum...sad but true.
    If you're good enough you might be able to find a funded postgrad placement on prospects.ac.uk; I was earning the equivalent of 20-21k whilst doing my PhD, but my sponsor company was hit hard by the recession and weren't able to hire me as planned.

    The opposition are still elected MPs, still have a say and should still be doing their job to help steer the country. The fact that they are completely ineffectual and must disagree with the party in power saying that the sun will rise in the east is why some people oppose party politics and were so distraught over the failure of election reform.
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  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node ntw's Avatar
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    A Dictatorship is the only way to get anything done.
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  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntw View Post
    A Dictatorship is the only way to get anything done.
    Too bad the things dictatorships tend to get done are the mass-murder of unpopular groups and the suppression of personal liberties.

    To put it another way: They make the trains run on time - to the gas chambers.

  12. #12
    Obscure Node kirrus's Avatar
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    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    At least with democracy, our leaders have a shelf-life.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirrus View Post
    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    At least with democracy, our leaders have a shelf-life.
    The problem si that all their policies are for within that shelf life... There is no need for long term thinking, as it does ot win you any votes and if it does it gets destroyed by another party.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Fundamentally they way things were before the recession was highly unsustainable (the grossly inflated housing market being the biggest issue) and unfortunately we're paying for the excesses of the early 2000s now (and likely to for the next few years) until we hit a point of equilibrium (though it's debatable whether that will ever happen the further we sink into the mire). The big problem the UK as a country faces is that it doesn't really have a large scale industrial/manufacturing base any more, and due to the high cost of living in the UK Vs countries like India and China is unlikely to attract companies to consider setting up factories. Not a good thing when you've a population topping out around 62 million.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    The problem is that all their policies are for within that shelf life... There is no need for long term thinking, as it does not win you any votes and if it does it gets destroyed by another party.
    Agreed. I'd rather we went over to a full PR system (though I'd of gladly accepted the alternative vote being adopted) and actually had true coalition politics in effect, where in parties work through policy (and genuine negotiation), rather than being subjected to 5 years of being ass rammed party philosophy. It seems to me (though I could be wrong) that all the countries where the shit has generally hit the fan, the first past the post principal of political election is the rule (often putting a minority in charge given few countries bar the US have just 2 political parties to choose from).
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
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  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Fundamentally they way things were before the recession was highly unsustainable (the grossly inflated housing market being the biggest issue) and unfortunately we're paying for the excesses of the early 2000s now (and likely to for the next few years) until we hit a point of equilibrium (though it's debatable whether that will ever happen the further we sink into the mire). The big problem the UK as a country faces is that it doesn't really have a large scale industrial/manufacturing base any more, and due to the high cost of living in the UK Vs countries like India and China is unlikely to attract companies to consider setting up factories. Not a good thing when you've a population topping out around 62 million.
    Interestingly, whilst it's true that heavy industry is on the decline in terms of employment and proportion of GDP, the sector has not shrunk in terms of output:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Although the manufacturing sector's share of both employment and the UK's GDP has steadily fallen since the 1960s, data from the OECD shows that manufacturing output in terms of both production and value has steadily increased since 1945.

    -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufac...United_Kingdom
    It might be more appropriate to say that the sector has not kept pace with demand for goods we now take for granted and we're now more reliant upon international trade.
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  17. #17
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    NTW is correct, a (benevolent) dictatorship is the best system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_dictatorship

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    And pixie dust is a better fuel than petrol.

    Doesn't get a lot of use, for some reason.

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node ntw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlander View Post
    And pixie dust is a better fuel than petrol.

    Doesn't get a lot of use, for some reason.
    Because it's not practical or reasonable - but that doesn't stop it being the best solution. Obviously I'm discounting a properly functioning democracy here, because, well, that's just make-believe.
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  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntw View Post
    Because it's not practical or reasonable - but that doesn't stop it being the best solution. Obviously I'm discounting a properly functioning democracy here, because, well, that's just make-believe.
    That actually amused me, but I'm feeling argumentative, so: you're discounting one implausible mechanism and suggesting another implausible mechanism in its place?

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