From the Telegraph - Maybe the politically left are right?

  zzzz999 06:31 28 Jul 2011
  Woolwell 15:07 28 Jul 2011


so 7.7% is now most. 7.7% unemployment is too high but it is still a far way from saying most people will be lucky to have jobs shortly.

I never did believe what was said about machines and computers freeing us all.

What is your definition of rich?

  interzone55 16:50 28 Jul 2011

Computers won't take away jobs, well not if more people use SAP.

We're finding that after installing SAP at the start of the year we've had to expand the stock management team by 50% and will probably need to expand further, as more and more problems are found with the way the system is managed.

For instance, we buy products in Euros, as the Euro exchange rate is changed at the start of each month, causing the sterling equivalent price to shift, you'd think that selling prices would also change, but no, all prices for the 20-odd thousand products have to be manually amended.

Our old system written in 1988 used to do the automatic changes.

That's progress for you...

  Woolwell 17:16 28 Jul 2011


I was trying to stop you using generalisations like "most". I did not mention anything about the top 10% nor about inequality.

I didn't believe in computers taking away jobs and freeing people up because I was working in a large organisation which made extensive use of computers and there was no evidence that it freed up time. Instead we were asked for reports that nobody wanted before but now the system could produce it and more and more stats were churned out. I could go on about fancy PowerPoint and PA's reduced to meaningless tasks whilst the management forgot how to manage whilst they produced beautiful letters. Nowadays e-mails dominate. OK thst's rather a sweeping generalisation too!

  Woolwell 17:59 28 Jul 2011

Apologies accepted.

The rich could mean the upper class or it could mean those earning over £100,000 or even lower. According to the ONS in 2010 10% of those in full time employment earned more than £51,000, the remainder earned less. ONS report I was trying to refine what you meant by rich. Nitpicking probably because I suspect that we agree that the very rich are getting richer.

  morddwyd 21:09 28 Jul 2011

"the very rich are getting richer."

Of course.

How else did they get to be very rich in the first place?

  brindly 18:54 29 Jul 2011


Make up your mind, in another story on speakers corner you make the case for NOT believing everything you read Please remember it was under a Labour government that the gap between rich and poor got wider. There are many things I find obcene but getting rich by working hard, taking risks or investing well isn't one of them, buying more cars than you can drive (like footballers) or bottles of wine for £75,000 is.Don't get me started on the Blair's!

  john 52 22:33 29 Jul 2011


** Please remember it was under a Labour government that the gap between rich and poor got wider

The gap may have got wider but at least the poorer members of society also benefited not just the privileged few

There are many things I find obscene but getting rich by working hard, taking risks or investing well isn't one of them,

Many people work very hard doing menial work for poor pay so do not try to suggest there position is because lack of effort, taking risks and investing well is not in the equation to these people.

Make up your mind, in another story on speakers corner you make the case or NOT believing everything you read

Spider9 comments are always very rational even if I do not always agree with them I think any sensible person would take the attitude that not every thing you read in the newspapers are true maybe you do and that is how you arrived at your opinions . Regarding the Blairs they were not my cup of tea but the British public seem to appreciate Tony Blair as a politician as he won three general elections and achieved some good things in office just as Margaret Thatcher did

  zzzz999 10:25 30 Jul 2011

From Senator Bernie Sanders - he could just as easily be talking about the UK

The rich are getting richer. Their effective tax rate, in recent years, has been reduced to the lowest in modern history. Nurses, teachers and firemen actually pay a higher tax rate than some billionaires. It's no wonder the American people are angry.

Many corporations, including General Electric and Exxon-Mobil, have made billions in profits while using loopholes to avoid paying any federal income taxes. We lose $100 billion every year in federal revenue from companies and individuals who stash their wealth in tax havens off-shore like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The sum of all the revenue collected by the Treasury today totals just 14.8% of our gross domestic product, the lowest in about 50 years.

In the midst of this, Republicans in Congress have been fanatically determined to protect the interests of the wealthy and large multinational corporations so that they do not contribute a single penny toward deficit reduction.

If the Republicans have their way, the entire burden of deficit reduction will be placed on the elderly, the sick, children and working families. In the midst of a horrendous recession that is already causing severe pain for average Americans, this approach is morally grotesque. It's also bad economic policy.

President Obama and the Democrats have been extremely weak in opposing these right-wing extremist proposals. Although the United States now has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major industrialized country, Democrats have not succeeded in getting any new revenue from those at the top of the economic ladder to reduce the deficit.

Instead, they've handed the wealthy even more tax breaks. In December, the House and the Senate extended President George W. Bush's tax cuts for the rich and lowered estate tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. In April, to avoid the Republican effort to shut down the government, they allowed $38.5 billion in cuts to vitally important programs for working-class and middle-class Americans.

Now, with the U.S. facing the possibility of the first default in our nation's history, the American people find themselves forced to choose between two congressional deficit-reduction plans. The plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which calls for $2.4 trillion in cuts over a 10-year period, includes $900 billion in cuts in areas such as education, health care, nutrition, affordable housing, child care and many other programs desperately needed by working families and the most vulnerable.

The Senate plan appropriately calls for meaningful cuts in military spending and ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But it does not ask the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations to make any sacrifice.

The Reid plan is bad. The constantly shifting plan by House Speaker John Boehner is much worse. His $1.2 trillion plan calls for no cuts in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it requires a congressional committee to come up with another $1.8 trillion in cuts within six months of passage.

Those cuts would mean drastic reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. What's more, Mr. Boehner's plan would reopen the debate over the debt ceiling, which is now paralyzing Congress, just six months from now.

While all of this is going on in Washington, the American people have consistently stated, in poll after poll, that they want wealthy individuals and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. They also want bedrock social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to be protected. For example, a July 14-17 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 72% of Americans believe that Americans earning more than $250,000 a year should pay more in taxes.

In other words, Congress is now on a path to do exactly what the American people don't want. Americans want shared sacrifice in deficit reduction. Congress is on track to give them the exact opposite: major cuts in the most important programs that the middle class needs and wants, and no sacrifice from the wealthy and the powerful.

Is it any wonder, therefore, that the American people are so angry with what's going on in Washington? I am too.

  WhiteTruckMan 11:52 30 Jul 2011

The problem with this line of reasoning is that it presupposes that if something is wrong then the solution is to go the opposite way. I think the best thing is simply not to go down the same road quite as far.

Or to put it another way, just because a little of something is good doesnt mean that more is better and all is best.

I've always thought that capitalism can be just as damaging as communism. The more extreme the form, the greater the damage.


  gigagiggles 15:00 30 Jul 2011

"I've always thought that capitalism can be just as damaging as communism."

Communism, as an ideal and ideology, is not as damaging as its implementation. The same can be said for liberalism, conservatism, socialism, capitalism, corporatism and free-market-ism. What gets in the way is human nature. Unbending ideology will always fail under adversity and result in damaging those it claims to serve.

That's why I worship (:-)) pragmatism. Like water, I carve a path when I can, divert when I must.

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