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Wages and wealth distribution

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Wages and wealth distribution

Post by sickchip on Thu May 19, 2016 2:12 pm

A topic that I feel cuts to the core of the reasons for our economic woes.

The following article from the Guardian led me to start this thread. Here is the link:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/17/super-rich-leave-uk-london-media-housing-market#comments

...and a selection of my posts therein that outline my views:


In reply to the oft quoted defence of the rich - The top 1% pay 30% of all income taxes:

The top 1% own, and are worth, as much as the other 99%. So why are they ONLY PAYING 30% of all income taxes?????? They are NOT paying a fair share. They should be paying a far greater percentage of all income taxes.


.....my other points:

Margaret Thatcher, who favoured indirect taxation, reduced personal income tax rates during the 1980s. In the first budget after her election victory in 1979, the top rate was reduced from 83% to 60% and the basic rate from 33% to 30%.The basic rate was also cut for three successive budgets - to 29% in the 1986 budget, 27% in 1987 and to 25% in 1988.The top rate of income tax was cut to 40% in the 1988 budget. The investment income surcharge was abolished in 1985.

These tax cuts instantly increased the potential for the gross inequality we now have. The old 'across the board' percentage pay rises were a bad enough con perpetrated on gullible workforces; but these 'tax cuts', and what has happened since are a disgrace.

The top rate is now 45%.

Wealth redistribution in the UK has seen money taken from the majority and placed in the hands of the rich. The rich are thieves. We have thieves running the show and legalising their theft. One man's law is another man's crime.

For 30yrs Blair's New labour party and the Tory party have been akin to a wrestling tag team. They have both fought from the same corner no matter which of them has took their turn in the ring.

The goal, I think, is to drive down the wages, living standards, and expectations of British workers in order to compete in a global economy.

1949 - 1979: the share of income going to the top 0.1% of earners decreased from 3.5% to 1.3%. By 2000 their share had increased to 4.6%. Under Labour '97 - 2010 inequality continued to grow at pace. Analysis reveals that between '97 - 2008 (prior to recession) the bottom 50% of persons saw income growth of 7.2%, while the top 10% saw income growth of 13.1%, the top 1% income grew by 34%, and the very top 0.1% saw income grow by 64%.

And we are still witnessing a trickle up, rather than any trickle down, to this day.

If we have massive inequalities in pay, and wage differentials, you have to have massive inequalities in tax. If people are earning 100%, 200%, 1000% more than others they ought to be taxed at least double that of the lower paid.

Nobody 'earns' multi million £ figures, and when other workers need to claim state benefits whilst working in order to survive it would seem clear the pie isn't being sliced fairly.

I can 'conceive' that people get paid (they don't earn) mega bucks; but I believe it is wrong for many reasons, and will prove very damaging to the economy and society in time.

However, I also believe in capitalism, because rewards and incentives for hard work and skill are absolutely right; but the difference from top to bottom is disgustingly imbalanced and controls need to be brought to restore some balance. The current 'unfettered' brand of capitalism is unhealthy, damaging, and irresponsible.

We need controls because the acquiring, and hoarding, of wealth, power, and resources by a minority of the population has reached a point where it is screwing with nature and the human life cycle.

How many people in their 20's can seriously afford a home and start a family? This used to be catered for, for some, with affordable council housing; and others could afford to get on the housing ladder as property was affordable. These routes to a home are no longer viable. They have little chance now. How old will people be now before they can afford to be a family with kids? People are being pushed into leading dysfunctional lifestyles because of our skewed system of reward. The guy making £millions couldn't do it without those beneath him who enable it. People don't work £1miilion per week harder than a cleaner, electrician, etc. It is sheer unadulterated greed that is being allowed, and if it carries on catastrophic consequences are inevitable.

Everything is connected.
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by oftenwrong on Thu May 19, 2016 5:45 pm

"Everything is connected"

Including the clear contempt in which Banks hold their retail customers:

http://money.aol.co.uk/2016/05/19/exclusive-hsbc-phone-lines-in-chaos/

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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by sickchip on Thu May 19, 2016 6:29 pm

Good point, and link, oftenwrong.

It kind of typifies how priorities have become skewed: You can pay $10bn to shareholders and £7m to [HSBC chief executive] Mr Gulliver, try paying for a few new phone lines and people to answer them.

Look after the few, screw the rest!
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Jobs in the Boardroom

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:52 pm

Upon taking office, Theresa May proposed to review the composition of Britain's company boards so as to include representatives of shopfloor workers and consumers. She especially criticised the "old boy network" selection of non-executive directors.

The Institute of Directors, unsurprisingly, would rather have something a little less shall we say "revolutionary", so now propose the designation of an existing board-member as having "responsibility" for the interests of staff and customers.

That should do it, shouldn't it?
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:01 pm

The system is rigged to channel the profits earned by workers upwards into the pockets of the wealthy.  This was largely overlooked during the period of post-war recovery since everyone's circumstances improved somewhat as things returned to normal.  Now the gap between "have-nots" and "have yachts" continues to expand.

The "Free Market" which we are led to believe is a natural force of nature, far from it is an artificial construct of those at the top of the feeding-chain, and for so long as low-waged ordinary British voters continue to swallow ideas like (for example) that Inheritance Tax is just not fair, they will continue to enjoy the silent gratitude of the rather more fortunate.
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:21 pm

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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:25 pm

Pensions are sometimes referred to as "delayed wages" so it is good news that Sir Philip Green has finally agreed to fill the hole he left in the BHS pension scheme.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/news/philip-green-agrees-to-pay-%c2%a3363m-into-bhs-pension-fund/ar-AAnDV62?li=BBoPOOl&ocid=iehp

Possibly the next pension-fund defaulter will be THE POST OFFICE (recently privatised).
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:22 pm

In order for Capitalism to succeed, there must be willing consumers, but the majority of whom may not have the capital to pay for their desires. Enter the "time payment" by which you can have what you want right now, but pay for it out of the wages you expect to earn over the next three, four or five years.

Once everyone agrees on that as a concept, there is nothing to stop ALL of our needs to be met from the promise to pay out of future income. But now the question becomes, do you really need to OWN things when all you need is the use of them? Houses have always been out of the reach of anyone but the wealthy, so Capitalists made them available for rent. But why stop at housing? Car ownership has never been an investment, the damn thing loses half its value in the first three years. Add to that the cost of Insurance, running costs and maintenance, plus the amount of time it's just parked somewhere while you're working or sleeping, and the attractions of an Huber taxi beckon. Yours when you want it - and theirs when you don't!

Pay-as-you-go doesn't stop there of course. Watch films on TV, rent programs for your computer, pay for communication and entertainment to a phone company. Pretty soon you've mortgaged the rest of your working life for pleasures of the moment.

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow ....

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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by boatlady on Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:35 pm

we're all doooomed!
headbang
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by Ivan on Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:58 pm

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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:19 am

Since 2010, the Tories have substituted insecure underpaid employment for unemployment. Progress.
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by boatlady on Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:39 pm

trouble is - it's progress in the wrong direction
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by oftenwrong on Sat May 13, 2017 10:34 am

Although Great Britain PLC is among the wealthier nations of the world, politicians keep telling us there's no money for things like Health and Welfare.

Today's newspapers might provide clues as to why this should be so - Intermediaries. Under the Tories there has been a proliferation of private companies "assisting the State" to carry out public duties. At an estimated global cost of £140bn.

According to The Guardian, 232,000 security guards employed by "service companies" outnumber the 151,000 full-time Police.

Addenbrookes Hospital may face a £1M compensation fee for closing-down a hamburger franchise in its main building. That franchise from Burger King was negotiated through a separate property company which handles the Cambridge NHS real-estate. No wonder there's no more money for staffing when there are so many outsiders sucking on the public teat.
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by Chas Peeps on Tue May 16, 2017 2:01 pm

sickchip wrote:
The goal, I think, is to drive down the wages, living standards, and expectations of British workers in order to compete in a global economy.

Blair's 'New' Labour Party is the one I left to (eventually) rejoin the Green Party so I fully agree with your comments on that inglorious 13 year period in office with some good things done but so much that was and is wrong left unchallenged.

I agree with your quote to this extent - wages, living standards and expectations of British workers are all continuing to fall, of that there is no doubt. I think that the goal is more to do with the ruling elites across the globe collaborating to engineer an international crony capitalist system that ENSURES that they and their fellow 'wealth extractors' (phrase courtesy of Corbyn) can continue and accelerate a vast transfer of wealth and power from nation states to global corporate and private interests. For this to happen, they have to 'manage' the apparent long term decline of developed industrial countries. Traditional economic indicators confirm that far from these economies getting poorer, they continue to get richer in monetary terms- the mirage of decline is to hide upward redistribution of wealth.

For Greens, there is a much wider crisis developing than rising inequality and states being robbed of the tax revenue they need to improve life for their citizens. The outer resource limits of the planet are being reached and in some cases already exceeded. Kate Raworth has written a very good summary of Green Economics using a ring doughnut as an analogy. A Green economy seeks to fill in the middle of the ring (where people are falling through or being failed by the economy) while ensuring that the outside of the ring stops trying to get forever greater in diameter (symbolising traditional economic growth) to prevent the degradation of the planet and climate.

Most modern crony capitalists are not free marketeers or patriots but rather locusts who strip countries on a globalised basis, moving from state to state. When it suits their need to manipulate local populations, they will wrap themselves in any flag they need to to serve their wider monetary ends.
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Anyone for a G&T ?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu May 25, 2017 12:35 pm

"One of the founders of premium mixer maker Fever-Tree has cashed in on the firm’s success to sell £73m of shares.

Co-founder Charles Rolls took advantage of the company’s 924% share price increase since its flotation in November 2014 to sell a 3.9% stake. The shares were sold at £16.25p each to financial institutions. "


That's the "T" part of a Gin and Tonic, in case you were wondering.



http://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/news/fever-tree-co-founder-makes-%c2%a373m-from-selling-shares/ar-BBBvutz?li=AA54rU&ocid=iehp
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by Ivan on Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:13 pm

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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:23 am




In any discussions I've had with employers as a trade union rep. we always referred to a pension as "deferred wages".  That description hasn't lost its meaning but successive governments have whittled away the value of a pension in so many ways. Tory chancellor Nigel Lawson threatened to impose a 90% tax on company pension-fund surpluses and his 1988 Budget severely undermined the value of property as an alternative investment for old age.  There followed the collapse of some pension-provider insurance companies, and latterly abandonment by most insurers of the Annuity system.

What affects most retirees of course is the reduced spending-power of a fixed income due to inflation.  Anyone now under 30 years of age will require a pension pot of well over a million pounds in order to retire in relative comfort.  A lot simply won't bother.
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Lies, Damned lies - and Statistics

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:51 pm

A lot of people were pleasantly surprised when the Tory government were able to announce s strong fall in the number of "Unemployed". A lot of other people suspected creative accounting.

"Unemployment in the UK is now so low it's in danger of exposing the lie used to create the numbers." (Business Insider)

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/news/unemployment-in-the-uk-is-now-so-low-its-in-danger-of-exposing-the-lie-used-to-create-the-numbers/ar-AAoEy2f?li=AA54rU&ocid=iehp

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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by Ivan on Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:27 pm

oftenwrong. That's a very good article, thanks for bringing it to our attention. I think this is its salient point:-

Why does Britain have no wage inflation, if the labour market is so tight?

The answer is unemployment is not really that low. In reality, about 21.5% of British workers are either officially unemployed, inactive, or employed part-time even though they really want full-time work. Some of those people — parents with newborns, university students — may not want jobs right now, but they will want jobs soon.
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Re: Wages and wealth distribution

Post by astradt1 on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:49 pm

In most surveys about working hours is any hours between 30 and 40 are classed as full time employment.......So my three days a week are classed as full time but I see myself as working part time on 33 hours a week........
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