Welcome to Cutting Edge. Guests can see and read the contents of most of the boards on this forum but need to become members to read all of them. Currently membership is instant, but new accounts may be deleted if not activated within fourteen days.

If you decide to join the forum, please open your welcome message for further details. New members are requested to introduce themselves on the appropriate thread on our welcome board.

Members may post messages and start threads, but it is essential that they read our posting rules and advice before doing so. If you have any immediate questions or queries, please post them on the suggestions board.

After posting at least ten messages, members are able to contact each other and the staff through our personal messaging system.

This forum is administrated by Ivan and moonbeam and moderated by boatlady and astradt1.

Thank you for visiting Cutting Edge.

Big or small government?

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Sun May 12, 2013 12:26 am

"Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."
 
That‘s what Ronald Reagan said in his inaugural address when he became President of the USA in January 1981. Reagan, Augusto Pinochet and Margaret Thatcher were all disciples of the economist Milton Friedman, who believed that governments did not have a responsibility to intervene in the market to soften its sharp edges. Friedman wrote to Pinochet: “The major error, in my opinion, is to believe that it is possible to do good with other people’s money.” Friedman believed in ‘small government’ and encouraged talk of “getting government off our backs” and “getting government out of the way”.
 
The term ‘big government’ conjures up associations with the George Orwell character ‘Big Brother’ and has invariably been seen as a bad thing by supporters of the policies of Reagan and Thatcher. Words like ‘bureaucratic’, ‘inefficient’, ‘intrusive’, and even ‘corrupt’ have often been associated with the term. Some economists claim that big government interferes with the mechanisms of free enterprise, while libertarians believe it seeks to control private or personal freedoms guaranteed by the ‘natural law’ expounded by John Locke and formalised in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Some right-wing politicians argue that big government lacks checks and balances on its exercise of power, leading it to represent special interests to the detriment of its citizens.
 
The big government that Reagan and his conservative followers railed against was not a recent creation at all. Since the very founding of their nation, Americans have used the power and reach of the federal government to foster any number of important national projects. In the 19th century, it helped create a national communication system which enabled the citizenry to have access to ideas and information. It fostered the development of national transportation systems which have made the movement of goods and people possible. Likewise, the federal government has promoted education at all levels as the way Americans can achieve equality of opportunity. Yet the anti-government sentiment that Reagan crystallised created a strange patriotism, in which to love their country, Americans were supposed to hate the governments they elect. At the same time, Republicans are quite happy to have a huge government involvement in warfare, with 80% of research and development at American universities being supported directly or indirectly by the Pentagon.
 
In his book, ‘The Case For Big Government’, published in 2008, Jeff Madrick argues that in the USA, the big governments of past eras fostered greatness and prosperity, while weak, laissez-faire governments marked periods of corruption and exploitation. He says that the USA benefits when the government actively nourishes economic growth, rejects free market orthodoxy and adopts ambitious government-centred programmes. He doesn’t have much time for Republicans seeking to revive 19th century principles.
 
When right-wingers say they believe in small government, I don’t think they’ve thought it through properly. They might not want a welfare state or national health provision because they’re rich enough not to need either, but do they really want small government when there is a terrorist outrage or a catastrophe like Hurricane Sandy? Who do they think would co-ordinate the response, an altruistic private corporation? Is it small government when many on the political right, such as UKIP in Britain, want to stop equal marriage, or would that be the state interfering in people’s private lives? The USA imprisons people at fourteen times the rate of Japan; is that how small government works?
 
I like big government. When the credit crunch occurred in 2008, it was big government that prevented cash machines from being switched off and cheques being torn up. Any revival in the business and finance sector since the global crunch has only been possible because of the enormous subsidies to it provided by the state. The UK National Health Service is, at least until the Tories complete its destruction, big government. The professionals that people admire most - doctors, nurses, teachers, soldiers, the police – are mostly employees of big government.
 
We’re told that big government crowds out the private sector and stifle free enterprise and innovation. Not according to Mariana Mazzucato, the Sussex University economist and author of ‘The Entrepreneurial State’. Writing in ‘The Guardian’ in April 2012, she said: “Where would Google be today without the state-funded investments in the internet, and without the US National Science Foundation grant that funded the discovery of its own algorithm? Would the iPad be so successful without the state-funded innovations in communication technologies, GPS and touchscreen display?" Furthermore, free market capitalism couldn’t exist without an active government to provide the extensive legal infrastructure that creates and regulates markets and that enables corporations to do business.
 
Those who advocate small government claim that it gives us more liberty. But isn’t it government institutions, like the courts, which provide the main way in which we protect our rights and liberties?  We’re told that churches and private charities could take the place of government in dealing with many social problems, but could they really raise enough money to address problems such as poverty, hunger and lack of health care?
 
Mehdi Hasan wrote this for ‘The New Statesman’: “Those who pine for a leaner, meaner, smaller state cannot answer the simplest question: how would small government have paid for the bailout of RBS, Lloyds and the rest? The Treasury has coughed up roughly £850 billion to prop up the UK’s financial sector, according to the National Audit Office. Can small government tackle the threat of runaway climate change and the rising costs of adaptation and mitigation? It is forecast that the global warming bill will run into trillions of pounds.”
 
I’d rather have big government, over which there is some measure of democratic control, than small government with power in the hands of unaccountable corporations. At least we can vote out a government. We’re told things like: ''The problem that anyone should have with big government is that sooner or later power will be exercised by people who don't have your best interests at heart.'' Even if that were a fact, rather than an opinion, do we think it wouldn't be the case if the country was run by big business?
 
In his 2004 book ‘Growing Public’, the University of California economist Peter Lindert argues that countries with high levels of government spending don’t perform any worse than countries with low levels of government spending. Contrary to the ideology of many right-wing politicians, he insists that social spending has contributed to, rather than inhibited, economic growth.
 
Those calling for smaller government tend to be those who can afford not to rely on state institutions like the NHS and who dislike pesky government involvement in things like the minimum wage or health and safety. Government policies are the source of few of our serious societal problems. Poverty, pollution and lack of health care have their sources in the private sector, not the public sector. There is no advanced economy without a large state sector, and traditional economic theory tells us exactly why: market failures and unintended outcome must be corrected by social intervention, in the absence of which a high level of wealth cannot be sustained. It may be fashionable to some to want to roll back the state, but where would you rather live, in big-government Sweden or small-government Somalia?
 
Sources used:-
 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-conn/central-government-book_b_1777321.html  
 
http://www.moneycrashers.com/big-vs-small-government-ideal/    
 
http://www.governmentisgood.com/feature.php?fid=14
 
http://www.newstatesman.com/environment/2013/04/where-would-you-rather-live-small-government-somalia-or-big-government-sweden
 
Further reference:-
 
http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8730.html (Madrick)
 
http://oro.open.ac.uk/30159/1/Entrepreneurial_State_-_web.pdf (Mazzucato)
 
http://www.langtoninfo.com/web_content/9780521529174_frontmatter.pdf (Lindert)
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Shirina on Sun May 12, 2013 5:31 am

Many Americans, especially right-wingers supporting small government, seem to have an obvious lack of knowledge concerning just how our government actually works and who makes the majority of laws that they hate.

Here's two examples:

A couple of years ago, there was a story out of Texas about a woman who chased away utility workers from her property by brandishing a gun. Apparently this woman believed that the new meter the utility wished to install would be used to monitor everything from power consumption to what she watched on television. Yeah, Big Government was out to spy on her. What's worse is that those posting comments regaled her as a heroine for taking a stance against the so-called infringement of our civil liberties.

Except there was one small problem. A couple of clicks later, I found out that the utility company in question was privately owned and operated. Go figure.

Then there was a story about a lemonade stand run by a couple of kids that was shut down by the police because the kids didn't have a permit. Those who commented on this particular story put the blame on Obama, of course, and the intrusive federal government.

Except there was one small problem. The law requiring a permit for lemonade stands was a local ordinance and had nothing whatsoever to do with the federal government.

Far too many Americans haven't a clue about which laws are passed by whom and which agencies enforce them. The vast, VAST majority of laws that right-wingers hate are enacted and enforced by state and local governments -- which is what they want. States rights. Laws passed at the grassroots level. They are utterly oblivious to the fact that the state and local governments they champion are the same state senators and city councilmen who pass the most intrusive laws. Big Government at the federal level does not concern itself with lemonade stands, and private corporations are not the same thing as public ones.

The political ignorance astounds me.

And yet, just recently, we've seen what happens when corporations are given an open economic road. Take hurricane Sandy, for instance. A community on Long Island was completely wiped out by a fire caused by the regional (and privately owned) power company failing to cut power during the storm. Now, that's bad enough. But what is truly appalling is when the former residents of this community began receiving power bills in the mail for as much as $1800. Yeah, that's right, folks. Over 100 families were being charged for power connected to houses that no longer existed. These are families who had their whole lives taken from them, families that will have to start over and yet here is this greedy corporation trying to collect on power consumption that these families could not possibly have used. The fact that the power company's negligence caused the fire in the first place only adds salt to the wound.

But the power company decided to be magnanimous. They gave these families seven months to pay the bill. WTF?

A lawsuit by these families against the power company is currently pending.

More on the subject of Big Government to come a bit later.
avatar
Shirina
Former Administrator

Posts : 2232
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Right behind you. Boo!

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by ROB on Sun May 12, 2013 6:02 am


I worked for a state social service agency that contracted with a private, presumably for-profit, agency to provide necessary aide to citizens. This for-profit agency operated under the oversight of the governments of both the Sovereign State of Texas and the United States of America.

I believe that this private for-profit agency’s excellent provision of services was in large part due to double-government oversight. If that’s “Big Government”, COOL.
avatar
ROB
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 12, 2013 5:17 pm

"The political ignorance astounds me."

Ignorance goes beyond politics, but there are Laws which even Lawyers are not informed about (though they do know how to look things up where necessary). For example, not many American citizens are aware that the IRS requires disclosure of ALL income anywhere in the world. I became aware of that when I worked abroad and had extensive social contacts with American Nationals due to our shared language.

There are tens of thousands of local by-laws created by local authorities, from car-parking through dog-fouling to library overdue fines or trees overhanging the street, of which people are probably ignorant until they find themselves in breach. In England, there are nearly two-hundred categories of "Official" who are entitled to enter our private home for the purpose of their legitimate business, such as meter-readers, health inspectors, animal welfare officers, emergency services etcetera, etc.

Big Brother is no longer a fictional artifact of George Orwell, as the polling company Ipsos Mori is offering for sale dossiers on our use of mobile telephones and/or the Internet including "gender, age, postcode, websites visited, time and date of texts and the location from which they were sent". It is no secret that Facebook, Google, MSN (Bing) collect data on who our commercial contacts are, our personal preferences, horoscope, and a good guess at our sexual orientation as well as a credit-rating. Advertisements now follow you around the web. You must have noticed.

We may be ignorant of some things, but others are beginning to know more about us than we know ourselves. How else could Google/Facebook/Twitter be capitalised at Billions of dollars?
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Was the USA created to be large or limited?

Post by JP Cusick on Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:35 pm

That question is a hot topic here in the USA.
 
The Republican Party "Conservatives" claim that our founding fathers wanted the US Federal gov to be limited as their popular claims goes of = "Small Government".
 
I myself am of the USA Democratic Party, and I see that Republican claim as both wrong and misleading.
 
Some people see the UK Conservative Party to have a camaraderie with our American conservatives, especially like Reagan and Thatcher.
 
When the USA was first created then the founders wanted the newly formed US Federal gov to be very large, as the idea was that the USA would then be on an equal par with the British Empire and with other great world powers.
 
So the very idea that the USA was intended to have "small government" is not true and is thereby misleading.
 
Any thoughts here?
 
Question
avatar
JP Cusick

Posts : 255
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 61
Location : USA, 20636

http://votejp.webs.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Very recent events have highlighted the "checks and balances" inherent in the US Constitution, which were introduced with the intention of preventing an overwheening administration from ever steam-rollering over the will of a helpless people.

It works. A Dictator is unlikely to emerge from such a base, and as has been demonstrated on more than one occasion, no caucus can readily force its will upon the Nation. The Republicans have tried - (Oh how they have tried!) to frustrate the intentions of the current elected President, but the system prevails. Feel lucky.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Dan Fante on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:15 am

Small government is another way of saying a lack of regulation. Obviously I wouldn't advocate going too far but you need a happy medium because allowing the market to do as it pleases is dangerous. This is pretty much why we're in the mess we're in economically. It's problematic introducing regulation when the economy is doing well, mainly because there's a lack of appetite for it and an "if it ain't broke...." mentality. Now would be the time to impose tighter controls on things like the banking sector. Does anyone think that'll happen though? They already seem to be reimplementing the tactics that caused the crash in the first place.
avatar
Dan Fante

Posts : 928
Join date : 2013-10-11
Location : The Toon

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:00 am

Time for a cliché?
You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Bankers do what they know best, conniving.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:23 pm

Floods Expose Absurdity of Austerity
 
Extracts from an article by Mark Serwotka:-
 
“This has been a horrible time for everyone whose home or business has been flooded. But some on the right are preying on their misery by saying the only way to help is by cutting aid that supports poverty-stricken and war-torn families around the world. This ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ mentality is nothing new, but it exposes the absurdity of those who hanker for a smaller state.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is not waiting for ‘the market’ to step in and pump out his constituents' homes, or drain the fields or rebuild battered walls and fences. No one in these communities is crying out for G4S or Serco to come to the rescue; they're asking for the state to help, in the form of the Environment Agency experts, the police, firefighters, local government officers and the armed forces. For the likes of Rees-Mogg, the consequences of a smaller state are perhaps becoming apparent for the first time.

Cameron insists ‘money was no object’ in dealing with the fallout. But the more revealing part of what he said was ‘we are a wealthy country’. We learned on the same day there was £2.5 billion available for some new fighter planes. The floods have exposed the gossamer thin argument for austerity and the cold, cruel ideology that underlies it. The inescapable truth is that we all rely on properly funded and resourced public services - maybe not directly every minute of every day but, nonetheless, all the time, because the alternative means abandoning people when they most need our help.”

 
For the whole article:-
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mark-serwotka/floods-david-cameron-austerity_b_4774906.html
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by boatlady on Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:35 pm

Absolutely
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3792
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:23 pm

All in agreement say "Aye" - and make sure they vote in the next General Election.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:42 pm

These floods are washing away the founding logic of David Cameron's government
 
Extracts from an article by Jonathan Freedland:-
 
"Money is no object in this relief effort. Whatever money is needed for it will be spent." (Cameron)

The national belt is not tightened universally and for ever but can be loosened when the government wants to loosen it. The last demonstration of that came when Osborne cut the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p. That destroyed at a stroke the claim that we were “all in it together”, and that, despite all the "no alternative" talk, the government had not lost its power of discretion.

Cameron has delivered the last rites on what was the founding logic of the coalition: austerity, forced on the nation because there was supposedly no money left. Now we know there's plenty of money – just so long as the government wants to spend it. From now on, the opposition will be able to ask why, say, the bedroom tax is necessary. If money is no object, why couldn't some more be found for those people in gravest need?

Promising big, well-funded state intervention may jar with Tory thinking, but it clearly fits the public mood. Small-government ideology may fly in the think-tank seminar room, but when water's gushing through your letterbox, few people call for the Downing Street nudge unit. It's the fire brigade or, ideally, the army you want to see at the end of the driveway.

Crises make social democrats of us all. When G4S cocked up security at the Olympics, it was the military who came to the rescue. For all the admirable community spirit on show now, when people feel under threat, it's not the "big society" but big government that they long for.

 
For the whole article:-
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/14/floods-washing-away-founding-logic-david-cameron-government
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:07 pm

How true. For all their hatred of 'public services' which - to the Tory mind- are staffed with lazy tea-drinking wasters, it is always to that group that the slimy Tory hypocrites turn. What is more they expect them to perform the largest of miracles with an ever-depleting resource. For that reason - and many others - this government fully deserve the description of 'scum'.

On the subject of 'revolution' which is rightly the subject of its own thread, I do wonder how effective it might be - should the nation's mood finally lose patience with this horrible Coalition -were the Police decline to staff the protection of politicians whose policies are so opposed to the public good. In that event , if the Army had to substitute it would paint a picture to the nation of a very different society emerging as a result of sheer disgust at the crimes of Cameron et al. Beyond that, what might senior Army commanders be saying to Cameron if they saw the nation descending into a Tory- inflicted chaos. As I said elsewhere, maybe we have to break away - hopefully temporarily -from some of our customary habits, if we are to show the deep-rooted disapproval of the Tory war on the disadvantaged.

So what about it , you guys who can do it? Why not drop a few 'hints' to the poisonous PM that unless things change a little , you may treat him to a trouser-changing moment, by opening the door to a few of his critics who may wish to pass him their compliments?

A radical thought maybe - and a dangerous precedent- but that's how angry I am. Were I in the relevant business, I simply could not allow myself to keep safe the likes of Duncan Smith and would be likely to find myself unaccountably failing to be able to prevent anyone who wanted to put the boot in - just as he has done so cowardly to so many...
avatar
Phil Hornby
Blogger

Posts : 3980
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Drifting on Easy Street

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:57 pm



Police reaction to Oppressive Regime
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:05 pm

Yep- living with the enemy, indeed...!
avatar
Phil Hornby
Blogger

Posts : 3980
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Drifting on Easy Street

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Mon May 12, 2014 11:02 pm

Who really wants to roll back the state? Not the right
 
Extracts from an article by Owen Jones:-
 
When Nick Clegg became Lib Dem leader, he promised to "define a liberal alternative to the discredited politics of big government". Yet since the Clegg-Cameron love-in began, the state has grown because we are subsidising employers who are paying wages workers cannot live on and private landlords charging rents tenants cannot afford.

The long-term unemployed will be compelled to march to a job centre every day: a means for the state to humiliate those without work and treat them as feckless leeches. Gove is centralising education, leaving free schools and academies in the clutches of the secretary of state rather than accountable to local authorities. The immigration bill compels landlords to check the status of their tenants, transforming them into agents of the state.

Thatcherism promised to set the individual free, but authoritarian statism was always part of its creed. For the right, rolling back the state means allowing the wealthy to behave as they wish, while coming down hard on the poor. They hand public assets to profiteers at knockdown prices, robbing the taxpayer and leaving individuals at the mercy of private companies who have no interest in their wellbeing.

It falls to the left, then, to roll back the state. The state dependency of poverty-pay employers and rip-off landlords could be reduced with a living wage and by allowing local authorities to build homes. State powers that intrude on the civil rights of trade unionists, protesters and ethnic minorities could be repealed.

 
For the whole article:-
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/11/state-right-government-individualism-left
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon May 12, 2014 11:36 pm

By and large, the thrust of British parliamentary law has always been protection of the status quo. The law of property is well-defined, as is trespass and public order.

The old democratic processes limited MPs to landowners and householders, an attitude which persists though at least a wife is no longer a chattel, nor her property vested in her husband. Further moves towards a truly equitable system may take just as long as it took to achieve universal suffrage.

Or there may be a Revolution.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue May 20, 2014 12:46 pm

We have recently learned the result of a General Election in "The world's largest democracy", India. It was a vote for change, and for the first time since 1947 there will be a right-wing government which does not need to rely upon coalition partners. Some doomsayers are predicting a strong lurch towards Capitalism, away from any pandering to welfare commitments, and link this with the growth of State Capitalism in China, influenced by the obvious prosperity of authoritarian Singapore.

We live in interesting times.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:23 pm

‘The Fourth Revolution: the Global Race to Reinvent the State’ by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge is described by George Eaton, the political editor of ‘The New Statesman’ as “a paean to the virtues of the small state and the free market”. It would be dishonest of me to post this as a book review, since I haven’t read the work and have no inclination to do so. However, Eaton makes some interesting comments which seem worth sharing:-

The authors cite Sweden as an example of a state that has curbed its ruinous ways by reducing public spending from 67% in 1993 to 49% today. But this belies how the country maintains a level of expenditure and of taxation that, according to their logic, should be incompatible with its social and economic achievements. As data from the IMF and the OECD has repeatedly shown, there is no evidence that countries with high levels of public spending perform any worse than those with lower levels.

The recent surge in spending as a share of GDP in the US and Britain (from 39% to 48% in four years) was the result not of a government binge but of the financial crisis and the associated collapse of the private sector. This small omission serves as evidence of a bigger one: the failure to acknowledge the failings of the market. Were a coma patient who had slept through the past decade to wake up and read ‘The Fourth Revolution’, he or she could be forgiven for believing that the 2008 crisis was caused by bloated governments, rather than bloated banks.

We require not a smaller state, but a smarter one. A smarter state would invest more in pro-growth areas that support lasting prosperity, such as infrastructure, skills, job creation and childcare. It would focus on switching spending from housing benefit to house building and by incentivising the use of the living wage, rather than subsidising poverty wages. It would tax the rich more and the poor less on the grounds that this is both good economics and good ethics
.”

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/08/honey-i-shrunk-government-paean-virtues-small-state
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:21 pm

"Ben Broadbent, of the Bank of England, suggests that wage growth has permanently "shifted downwards"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/bank-of-england/11052974/Bank-of-Englands-deputy-governor-Low-pay-growth-here-to-stay.html
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:24 pm

Just so long as the wealthy are ok, we needn't worry, eh...?
avatar
Phil Hornby
Blogger

Posts : 3980
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Drifting on Easy Street

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:50 pm

"The Wealthy" seem intent upon becoming a separate species of humankind, different to the rest of us.

Come the Revolution, that should make them readily identifiable, as in 1789.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:03 pm

I try to find time each day to be grateful for having enough not to have to trouble myself about the pursuit of wealth.

I recognise how fortunate I am to have enough not to ever have to worry about what bills drop through the door and I can only imagine what it is like for those whose lives are  burdened with daily anxiety about how to survive.

It makes me angry...and sad...
avatar
Phil Hornby
Blogger

Posts : 3980
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Drifting on Easy Street

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by stuart torr on Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:01 pm

It also makes myself mad and angry Phil, as since the tories have been in power my monies have gone down, but I'm afraid my bills have not.
Do the tories love and like the disabled people and the people on benefits, do they hell.
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by boatlady on Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:03 pm

We need BIG government to look after the little people
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3792
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by stuart torr on Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:45 am

We certainly do boatlady, could not agree more.
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:03 pm

The concept of 'small government' might sound lean and efficient (and a means of paying less tax, especially if you are wealthy), but does it really add up? Will Hutton seems to think not:-

"Even in Tory land no man or woman is an island. Human beings associate in societies because of a primeval need and fundamental instincts. As evolving primates, we first learned to speak because it was more effective to hunt in groups that could communicate. In 2014, we are similarly social, acting together to get the best results. The physical expression of this social necessity is our public institutions and the resources they deploy are properly created by a fee everyone pays: taxes. Those who earn more contribute more because proportionality of contribution represents another fundamental human appetite: fairness.

Taxes are socially indispensable. ‘Public services and safety nets’ are not inconvenient social burdens that require immoral taxes. They are created as a collectively owned means of guarding against the hazards and risks that every human might confront – of a crippling illness or disability – and problems associated with ageing. We do not deserve what will or could happen to us, but we pay our taxes to fund systems that protect not just ourselves but each other.

The economy needs public agency. The long commutes that Cameron celebrates are done in publicly provided railways with fat public grants for the private companies that operate them. The innovations that make offices and factory floors competitive come from publicly funded science and public grants that allow companies and entrepreneurs to lay off some of the enormous risk of being technological pioneers. No significant innovation or invention has ever happened anywhere without public initiative at some stage in the process
."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/02/david-cameron-is-immoral-not-our-tax-system
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:23 pm

There's little point in expecting Tories to understand any of that. And even if they did, they would not accept the facts they knew to be true.

This is because the average Tory is driven by a menu of prejudices which makes them blind to reality and impervious to reason. Left unhindered to their own natural devices we would still be in the Middle Ages - to which we shall rapidly return if they have free rein after 2015.

Logic suggests that the Tory crimes are so bad that savage opposition to them should be easily justified and easily targeted. The fact that so few inroads have been made to that end speaks volumes of the inept Parliamentary and public challenge mounted, as Cameron has merrily made his cruel and gleeful strides towards satisfying the Tory passion for punishing the needy.
avatar
Phil Hornby
Blogger

Posts : 3980
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : Drifting on Easy Street

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:40 pm

For almost five years the Tory-led administration have been doing their best to deepen the moat around themselves and their wealthy friends.

Are they likely to lift the drawbridge before the General Election? Prepare the siege-ladders, comrades!
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:47 am

A smaller state? It’s what got us into trouble to begin with

Extracts from an article by Peter Hain:-

The fundamental choice facing Britain today is not actually about the deficit. It is between the right’s insistence on minimalist government and the left’s belief in active government; between the right’s insistence on a free market free-for-all and the left’s belief in harnessing markets for the common good.

Having backed Labour’s spending plans in 2007, and pledged to maintain them, Cameron suddenly switched after the banking crisis to denounce Labour’s spending as the root of all economic evil. In October 2009 he stated baldly: "It is more government that got us into this mess". Not irresponsible bankers, still less of the failure of politicians to control them. The entire global banking crash was apparently nothing to do with Big Finance: it was all the fault of Big Government. The cause was too much public spending – not too little public regulation.

We urgently need (as some economists argue) £30bn a year for two years of extra capital investment in infrastructure, house building, education, skills and low-carbon industries. This would rapidly expand the economy and cut the budget deficit by boosting tax revenues as people earn and spend more, working hours rise, and fewer families need to look to the state for support.

But with Labour trapped between a rock and hard place of political necessity and economic reality, that sum of £30bn is far more than the party is planning. Yet, frankly, it’s the only way to begin creating a fairer, more sustainable economy – and thereby sensibly rebalancing the public finances.


For the whole article:-
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/05/smaller-state-trouble-deficit-labour-spending
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by boatlady on Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:49 pm

Labour’s leaders have been obliged to have their own deficit plan, simply to get a hearing from interviewers and commentators oblivious to Keynes’s excoriating denunciation of similar primitive and failing policies in the 1920s and 1930's.

And herein perhaps lies the secret about the generally low-key Labour performance in opposition - if you can only get a hearing by talking rubbish, maybe best to keep a bit quiet.
Hopefully, once in government, Ed will be able to do some proper socialist redistributive stuff - has to get elected first, though.
avatar
boatlady
Administrator (Global Moderator)

Posts : 3792
Join date : 2012-08-24
Location : Norfolk

Back to top Go down

Keep your powder dry until you can fire a broadside

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:03 pm

boatlady wrote: .... if you can only get a hearing by talking rubbish, maybe best to keep a bit quiet.

When I expressed such an opinion way, way back almost lost in the mists of time (before Christmas anyway), it was not universally acclaimed in every quarter of Cutting Edge.

Though Labour's policy wonks seem to have a similar attitude, possibly based on the certain knowledge that the Tory press will rubbish anything and everything not favourable to the Cameron Cause.[/i]
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by stuart torr on Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:31 pm

They would ban Christmas OW, if it meant them getting back into power.
avatar
stuart torr
Deceased

Posts : 3187
Join date : 2013-10-10
Age : 57
Location : Nottingham. England. UK.

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:41 pm

The American economist Paul Krugman writes:-

"If you don’t want the government to impose controls or fees on polluters, you want to deny that there is any reason to limit emissions. If you don’t want the combination of regulation, mandates and subsidies that is needed to extend coverage to the uninsured, you want to deny that expanding coverage is even possible. And claims about the magical powers of tax cuts are often little more than a mask for the real agenda of crippling government by starving it of revenue.

And why this hatred of government in the public interest? Well, the political scientist Corey Robin argues that most self-proclaimed conservatives are actually reactionaries. That is, they’re defenders of traditional hierarchy — the kind of hierarchy that is threatened by any expansion of government, even (or perhaps especially) when that expansion makes the lives of ordinary citizens better and more secure. I’m partial to that story, partly because it helps explain why climate science and health economics inspire so much rage
."

http://www.alternet.org/economy/paul-krugman-real-reason-reality-doesnt-make-slightest-dent-right-wing-brain
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:13 am

If you are a member of The Establishment, you are likely to be already self-sufficient financially, moving in a social circle of the like-minded. You will have insurance against illness, education fees paid by a trust, homes in tax havens and assets which are not easy to trace.

Why on earth should you want a government that interferes with such an agreeable arrangement? Thankfully the British electorate seem to agree with you. Unbelievable!

avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:54 pm

avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:15 pm

Corporations are already "running things" in deciding where and how much tax they are willing to pay.

You can find a full description in Marx. Das Kapital was published in 1867.
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Use it or lose it

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:44 pm


“If people don’t do politics, others do it for you. And they can steal your rights, your democracy and your wallet.” (Pablo Iglesias)
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:27 pm

Moves to cull MPs from 650 to 600
                                                          Press Association.

I could cull a lot more than that, if invited to do so.

                                                       
avatar
oftenwrong
Sage

Posts : 11916
Join date : 2011-10-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Ivan on Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:34 am

Video: Naomi Klein and Jeremy Corbyn discuss how to get the world we want

Klein: I want to talk about this extraordinary moment in which the project that really began under Thatcher in this country, and Reagan in the U.S. — the whole so-called consensus that never really was a consensus, the war on the collective, on the idea that we can do good things when we get together — is crumbling. But it’s also kind of a dangerous moment, when you have a vacuum of ideology, because dangerous ideas are also surging. So what is the plan to make sure that it is progressive, hopeful ideas that enter into this vacuum that has opened up?

Corbyn: It’s been a very interesting two years. We’ve had two leadership elections in the Labour Party, which mobilised very large numbers of people. It’s not about me. It’s about a cause, it’s about people. And then we’ve just come out of a general election campaign in which we started in a very difficult political position and ended up gaining three million more votes than 2015, and the highest Labour vote in England for many, many decades.


Watch the video here:-
https://theintercept.com/2017/07/13/video-naomi-klein-and-jeremy-corbyn-discuss-how-to-get-the-world-we-want/
avatar
Ivan
Administrator (Correspondence & Recruitment)

Posts : 7175
Join date : 2011-10-07
Location : West Sussex, UK

http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk

Back to top Go down

Re: Big or small government?

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum