low low land

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casapinos
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low low land

Postby casapinos » January 11th, 2017, 7:28 pm

Topical reference - who says us geriatrics are out of touch?
But seriously though folks i want to address the seeming widely held pessimism which affects our press, our public discourse, our self- perception.
I am sick of reading the prophets of doom who say our young people are stressed, impoverished and put upon , I am sick of hearing that "Brexit " will lead us to ruin , to poverty, to mass unemployment , to all of us sleeping in doorways and struggling to the nearest food bank.
The health service is a disaster, our education system is failing, our roads are potholed , our government is confused(OK that may be true )
GET A GRIP we (ie those of you who bother to read this post, your friends and family, nearly every one you know and all those living in the UK you don't know, are among the luckiest people ever to have lived ).
We live in a successful, stable , prosperous country with a set of public services that are beyond the comprehension of almost every other citizen of this planet , go anywhere in Africa , South America, Asia, Eastern Europe and even large tracts of the USA and compare(and I have).Consider any time in the known history of the world and compare.We are so very fortunate, life expectancy is long and lengthening, including a longer span of physical competence than our forebears could have dreamt of, conditions which impair life are being overcome ,our capacity to acquire the resources for a fulfilled life are greater than ever before, Cars, TV's computers, holidays, warm comfortable homes are within the reach of (almost all), crime is falling, illness is being conquered,work is less physically arduous, hours are shorter SO, can we all recognise that despite a consistently miserable and negative press , all the stories of gloom, the focus on the negative ,this world now , here ,is a wonderful place to be .How about we all tell those near and dear to us ,and the occasional stranger, to thank their lucky stars - it could have been and is, for some, so much worse.

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Re: low low land

Postby mswjr » January 11th, 2017, 7:41 pm

casapinos wrote:Topical reference - who says us geriatrics are out of touch?
But seriously though folks i want to address the seeming widely held pessimism which affects our press, our public discourse, our self- perception.
I am sick of reading the prophets of doom who say our young people are stressed, impoverished and put upon , I am sick of hearing that "Brexit " will lead us to ruin , to poverty, to mass unemployment , to all of us sleeping in doorways and struggling to the nearest food bank.
The health service is a disaster, our education system is failing, our roads are potholed , our government is confused(OK that may be true )
GET A GRIP we (ie those of you who bother to read this post, your friends and family, nearly every one you know and all those living in the UK you don't know, are among the luckiest people ever to have lived ).
We live in a successful, stable , prosperous country with a set of public services that are beyond the comprehension of almost every other citizen of this planet , go anywhere in Africa , South America, Asia, Eastern Europe and even large tracts of the USA and compare(and I have).Consider any time in the known history of the world and compare.We are so very fortunate, life expectancy is long and lengthening, including a longer span of physical competence than our forebears could have dreamt of, conditions which impair life are being overcome ,our capacity to acquire the resources for a fulfilled life are greater than ever before, Cars, TV's computers, holidays, warm comfortable homes are within the reach of (almost all), crime is falling, illness is being conquered,work is less physically arduous, hours are shorter SO, can we all recognise that despite a consistently miserable and negative press , all the stories of gloom, the focus on the negative ,this world now , here ,is a wonderful place to be .How about we all tell those near and dear to us ,and the occasional stranger, to thank their lucky stars - it could have been and is, for some, so much worse.


HURRAH!

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Re: low low land

Postby Richasdotcom » January 11th, 2017, 8:13 pm

I very much agree with the sentiment, I have long argued that today/tomorrow is the best time to have lived, the UK one of the best places to live and that elsewhere living standards for the global poor have vastly improved not just in terms of income but education and healthcare. More to do but the best ever.

For me though the negativity message comes from different suspects, those on the right with concerns about immigration, cultural change like equal marriage, cultural diversification, the old Mail mantra of the country going to the dogs.

It is true that the left can get very excitable about cuts to social security and the NHS, those cuts do after all have a real impact, but it is not the same total negativism, it is even when badly put or put excessively or excitedly essentially a call to do even better. The right wing critics of today tend IMHO to be backward looking to some earlier era often of their youth that for me is indisputably worse than today.

As for the generational clash - back in 1997 pensioners were the most likely age group to live in relative poverty, now they are the least likely to live in relative/absolute poverty. That is a change but I am not sure it is for the worse.

TopOnePercent
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Re: low low land

Postby TopOnePercent » January 11th, 2017, 8:45 pm

Richasdotcom wrote:I very much agree with the sentiment, I have long argued that today/tomorrow is the best time to have lived, the UK one of the best places to live and that elsewhere living standards for the global poor have vastly improved not just in terms of income but education and healthcare. More to do but the best ever.


I'm not so sure. I love technology - the internet, fast computers, 1000+ BHP cars etc etc. And I love the healthcare advances in treatments etc, and the ease of travelling. Educational opportunities unimaginable in times gone by. In fact, there is much to be said for your view that now & tomorrow are the best times to live.

However, along the way we have lost a few things too. Simplicity - TVs used to have 3 channels and you pushed the button for the one you wanted (my granny could work it). The simpler, slower pace of life, with a more cohesive family unit (I had to get on my boke and find work, so I'm 250 miles from my folks). Transport systems that worked. Good music (before Simon Cowell killed it off). I wasn't alive then, but I figure the 60's must have been a great time to be alive (and young). I know the 80s was.

I've not spent a lot of time weighing it up, but I'm not sure I'd find it as clear cut as you do.

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Re: low low land

Postby 1nv35t » January 11th, 2017, 8:51 pm

https://irememberthepoor.org/3-2/

· Got $2200? In this world, you’re rich. Assets (not cash) of $2200 per adult place a person in the top 50% of the world’s wealthiest.*

· If you made $1500 last year, you’re in the top 20% of the world’s income earners.**

· If you have sufficient food, decent clothes, live in a house or apartment, and have a reasonably reliable means of transportation, you are among the top 15% of the world’s wealthy. **

· Have $61,000 in assets? You’re among the richest 10% of the adults in the world.*

· If you earn $25,000 or more annually, you are in the top 10% of the world’s income-earners.***

· If you have any money saved, a hobby that requires some equipment or supplies, a variety of clothes in your closet, two cars (in any condition), and live in your own home, you are in the top 5% of the world’s wealthy. **

· If you earn more than $50,000 annually, you are in the top 1% of the world’s income earners.***

· If you have more than $500,000 in assets, you’re part of the richest 1% of the world.*

In the UK the top 1% of earners contribute 30% of all the government's takings from income tax, without them the rest would have to fill that hole.

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Re: low low land

Postby Richasdotcom » January 11th, 2017, 11:03 pm

TopOnePercent wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:I very much agree with the sentiment, I have long argued that today/tomorrow is the best time to have lived, the UK one of the best places to live and that elsewhere living standards for the global poor have vastly improved not just in terms of income but education and healthcare. More to do but the best ever.


I'm not so sure. I love technology - the internet, fast computers, 1000+ BHP cars etc etc. And I love the healthcare advances in treatments etc, and the ease of travelling. Educational opportunities unimaginable in times gone by. In fact, there is much to be said for your view that now & tomorrow are the best times to live.

However, along the way we have lost a few things too. Simplicity - TVs used to have 3 channels and you pushed the button for the one you wanted (my granny could work it). The simpler, slower pace of life, with a more cohesive family unit (I had to get on my boke and find work, so I'm 250 miles from my folks). Transport systems that worked. Good music (before Simon Cowell killed it off). I wasn't alive then, but I figure the 60's must have been a great time to be alive (and young). I know the 80s was.

I've not spent a lot of time weighing it up, but I'm not sure I'd find it as clear cut as you do.


We seem to be of a similar age but remember we still have all the earlier music. OK now we see the dross but if you really remember the 80s you'll remember we had dross too, then like now it is the few gems that will be recalled. You are right that families are more geographically spread but we have skype, cheap flights, relatively affordable travel and remember claustrophobic families were not always ideal.

The reason I am so sure is the simple exercise of trying to pick a date better than today/tomorrow. Put up any candidate then look at it fairly, pros and cons not just for you (I certainly prefer youth) or for your circumstance (rich vs poor, happy/sad, in love/heartbroken) but overall, for our society and for the majority of people in the world in abject poverty or oppression.

Pick your date, then apply the Pepsi challenge.

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Re: low low land

Postby TopOnePercent » January 12th, 2017, 12:16 am

Richasdotcom wrote:
TopOnePercent wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:I very much agree with the sentiment, I have long argued that today/tomorrow is the best time to have lived, the UK one of the best places to live and that elsewhere living standards for the global poor have vastly improved not just in terms of income but education and healthcare. More to do but the best ever.


I'm not so sure. I love technology - the internet, fast computers, 1000+ BHP cars etc etc. And I love the healthcare advances in treatments etc, and the ease of travelling. Educational opportunities unimaginable in times gone by. In fact, there is much to be said for your view that now & tomorrow are the best times to live.

However, along the way we have lost a few things too. Simplicity - TVs used to have 3 channels and you pushed the button for the one you wanted (my granny could work it). The simpler, slower pace of life, with a more cohesive family unit (I had to get on my boke and find work, so I'm 250 miles from my folks). Transport systems that worked. Good music (before Simon Cowell killed it off). I wasn't alive then, but I figure the 60's must have been a great time to be alive (and young). I know the 80s was.

I've not spent a lot of time weighing it up, but I'm not sure I'd find it as clear cut as you do.


We seem to be of a similar age but remember we still have all the earlier music. OK now we see the dross but if you really remember the 80s you'll remember we had dross too, then like now it is the few gems that will be recalled. You are right that families are more geographically spread but we have skype, cheap flights, relatively affordable travel and remember claustrophobic families were not always ideal.

The reason I am so sure is the simple exercise of trying to pick a date better than today/tomorrow. Put up any candidate then look at it fairly, pros and cons not just for you (I certainly prefer youth) or for your circumstance (rich vs poor, happy/sad, in love/heartbroken) but overall, for our society and for the majority of people in the world in abject poverty or oppression.

Pick your date, then apply the Pepsi challenge.


1986. For the music, the cars, the clothes, the mix of family/employment opportunity/education etc. but with a reasonable amount of technology arriving. If you can beat '86, I figure you'll beat pretty well any year I can remember.

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Re: low low land

Postby Richasdotcom » January 12th, 2017, 9:41 am

TopOnePercent wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:
TopOnePercent wrote:
I'm not so sure. I love technology - the internet, fast computers, 1000+ BHP cars etc etc. And I love the healthcare advances in treatments etc, and the ease of travelling. Educational opportunities unimaginable in times gone by. In fact, there is much to be said for your view that now & tomorrow are the best times to live.

However, along the way we have lost a few things too. Simplicity - TVs used to have 3 channels and you pushed the button for the one you wanted (my granny could work it). The simpler, slower pace of life, with a more cohesive family unit (I had to get on my boke and find work, so I'm 250 miles from my folks). Transport systems that worked. Good music (before Simon Cowell killed it off). I wasn't alive then, but I figure the 60's must have been a great time to be alive (and young). I know the 80s was.

I've not spent a lot of time weighing it up, but I'm not sure I'd find it as clear cut as you do.


We seem to be of a similar age but remember we still have all the earlier music. OK now we see the dross but if you really remember the 80s you'll remember we had dross too, then like now it is the few gems that will be recalled. You are right that families are more geographically spread but we have skype, cheap flights, relatively affordable travel and remember claustrophobic families were not always ideal.

The reason I am so sure is the simple exercise of trying to pick a date better than today/tomorrow. Put up any candidate then look at it fairly, pros and cons not just for you (I certainly prefer youth) or for your circumstance (rich vs poor, happy/sad, in love/heartbroken) but overall, for our society and for the majority of people in the world in abject poverty or oppression.

Pick your date, then apply the Pepsi challenge.


1986. For the music, the cars, the clothes, the mix of family/employment opportunity/education etc. but with a reasonable amount of technology arriving. If you can beat '86, I figure you'll beat pretty well any year I can remember.


This is the same 1986 when the Soviet Block remained a genuine threat of complete nuclear annihilation, Apartheid was up and running with Mandella in prison, it is just before the infamous Clause 28 banning promotion of homosexuality (OK that was 88 for the Act but it was the attitude in 86 too along with an AIDS panic whipping up anti gay sentiment and that act had the usual long gestation/consultation). The troubles in Ireland rattle on with rioting and terrorism. English football clubs are banned from Europe for second year, hooliganim still all too common. Unemployment was 3.28m or so. We got the first cases of BSE diagnosed in cattle.

The Soviets are still occupying Afganistan and we are arming and training the Mujahadeen including Osama Bin Laden.

We also had the hugely bitter and violent Wapping dispute. We had Derek Hatton being expelled by Labour and sacking council staff by taxi.

On the plus side we did get the Single European Act but that may not be a plus for most here. Maybe on the plus side we had the big bang but with hindsight maybe that was not so great.

Globally many more lived in abject poverty, far fewer democracies exist so a far higher proportion live under dictatorships. Life expectancy is lower than today both in the UK and globally.

Now I am sure 86 was a great year in many ways, I had a cracking time, most of it wasted having fun at Uni but globally and for society as a whole it is hard to claim it is better than today/tomorrow, as I typed up my essays on a manual typewriter and did genuine cut and paste then photocopying to edit them.

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Re: low low land

Postby UncleEbenezer » January 12th, 2017, 10:04 am

Richasdotcom wrote:As for the generational clash - back in 1997 pensioners were the most likely age group to live in relative poverty, now they are the least likely to live in relative/absolute poverty. That is a change but I am not sure it is for the worse.

Where do you get that from?

1997 may have been kind-of a golden age in that houses were historically cheap, no doubt meaning an accelerated progression from young to rich for some. But even so, people like my parents (on basic state pension) were much better-off than they had been whilst working (and supporting family+mortgage), or than my peers paying rent.

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Re: low low land

Postby Richasdotcom » January 12th, 2017, 10:06 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:As for the generational clash - back in 1997 pensioners were the most likely age group to live in relative poverty, now they are the least likely to live in relative/absolute poverty. That is a change but I am not sure it is for the worse.

Where do you get that from?

1997 may have been kind-of a golden age in that houses were historically cheap, no doubt meaning an accelerated progression from young to rich for some. But even so, people like my parents (on basic state pension) were much better-off than they had been whilst working (and supporting family+mortgage), or than my peers paying rent.


The IFS got it from the ONS figures.

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Re: low low land

Postby UncleEbenezer » January 12th, 2017, 10:14 am

TopOnePercent wrote:1986. For the music, the cars, the clothes, the mix of family/employment opportunity/education etc. but with a reasonable amount of technology arriving. If you can beat '86, I figure you'll beat pretty well any year I can remember.

I'd take 20 years later. 1986 was still blighted by smokers, to the extent that far too many places were simply off-limit. You weren't safe anywhere - even the office - and at the more extreme end I found myself unable to go to the cinema at all, ever. Indeed, any social or cultural activity, from rehearsing music or theatre to playing games - was blighted.

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Re: low low land

Postby UncleEbenezer » January 12th, 2017, 10:20 am

Richasdotcom wrote:The IFS got it from the ONS figures.

That'll be based on very silly figures. Though not surprising in an organisation with an Agenda.

As I concluded when I graduated into an income that was notionally pretty decent, but which fell to within £1/week of the dole after (PAYE) tax and rent, and well below the dole after work costs such as maintaining a bike to commute (tube being out-of-the-question) and getting a sandwich for lunch in W1 five days a week.

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Re: low low land

Postby Richasdotcom » January 12th, 2017, 10:30 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:The IFS got it from the ONS figures.

That'll be based on very silly figures. Though not surprising in an organisation with an Agenda.

As I concluded when I graduated into an income that was notionally pretty decent, but which fell to within £1/week of the dole after (PAYE) tax and rent, and well below the dole after work costs such as maintaining a bike to commute (tube being out-of-the-question) and getting a sandwich for lunch in W1 five days a week.


No it won't - it will be based on real figures by a realy respected authority on incomes and inequality. It may help you understand this a bit better knowing that the appropriate household equivalised measure is the post housing costs one.

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Re: low low land

Postby UncleEbenezer » January 12th, 2017, 10:53 am

Richasdotcom wrote:No it won't - it will be based on real figures by a realy respected authority on incomes and inequality. It may help you understand this a bit better knowing that the appropriate household equivalised measure is the post housing costs one.

When did these groups ever use real-world housing costs in their figures? Oh, and the housing cost I referred to was for what I could get: a room in a slum HMO in Peckham, without luxuries like working hot water. That is, until I fled London for my first professional[1] job abroad (taking advantage of freedom of movement in the EU).

Much more recently (2008), when the Joseph Rowntree foundation reported that a single person needed £13400 to live, I ran that against some cost-of-living figures[2]:
Let’s see. In round numbers, you’d pay 31% tax on £8000 of that, leaving just under £11000, or £900 per month. In a reasonably cheap area, that would leave £300 after rent, and £150 after council tax, water/gas/electricity, telephone and ADSL. Indeed, not a lavish lifestyle, but not too bad: well over twice what I had in the lean years (before 2004).

Except, the report itself put rent at £52.80/week, leaving £157.84/week spending money! What world do they live in?

[1] As distinct from unskilled summer work in my sixth form and student years.
[2] https://bahumbug.wordpress.com/2008/07/ ... 00-a-year/

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Re: low low land

Postby casapinos » January 12th, 2017, 2:37 pm

Panto season is over - oh yes it is - oh no it isn't, nothing changes here!
It is amazing how a different perspective can lead us to different data and/or differing interpretations of that data BUT another good thing is that all of us can espouse our own point of view without too many worries that the thought police will lock us away in a dark room for ever, if they don't like what we say.
Incidentally No intent to insult - I love the (generally well- informed ) and not surprisingly partisan,exchanges that this site and its forerunner provide.

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Re: low low land

Postby TopOnePercent » January 12th, 2017, 8:55 pm

Richasdotcom wrote:This is the same 1986 when the Soviet Block remained a genuine threat of complete nuclear annihilation, Apartheid was up and running with Mandella in prison, it is just before the infamous Clause 28 banning promotion of homosexuality (OK that was 88 for the Act but it was the attitude in 86 too along with an AIDS panic whipping up anti gay sentiment and that act had the usual long gestation/consultation). The troubles in Ireland rattle on with rioting and terrorism. English football clubs are banned from Europe for second year, hooliganim still all too common. Unemployment was 3.28m or so. We got the first cases of BSE diagnosed in cattle.

The Soviets are still occupying Afganistan and we are arming and training the Mujahadeen including Osama Bin Laden.

We also had the hugely bitter and violent Wapping dispute. We had Derek Hatton being expelled by Labour and sacking council staff by taxi.

On the plus side we did get the Single European Act but that may not be a plus for most here. Maybe on the plus side we had the big bang but with hindsight maybe that was not so great.

Globally many more lived in abject poverty, far fewer democracies exist so a far higher proportion live under dictatorships. Life expectancy is lower than today both in the UK and globally.

Now I am sure 86 was a great year in many ways, I had a cracking time, most of it wasted having fun at Uni but globally and for society as a whole it is hard to claim it is better than today/tomorrow, as I typed up my essays on a manual typewriter and did genuine cut and paste then photocopying to edit them.


The soviet block is just as much a threat as it always was, its just that we've learned not to worry.

Mandella should have remained in prison as he was a terrorist. An actual terrorist, rather than simply an enemy of the state. His greatest accomplishment is to make large tracts of South Africa horrifically dangerous for everyone, white & black alike. Neither a good man nor a good leader.

Don't die of ignorance (die of AIDS) - I still remember the posters now. The current softly softly approach has led to the situation today where you're significantly more likely to contract HIV than to die in a car accident. The campaigns of the 80s were hard hitting for a reason, and they worked.

Wapping was one of the final nails in the coffin of the illusion of unionised meddling in the running of the country. It was a very good thing.

The Troubles span rather longer than the 80s, and the IRA are still killing and maiming people now - its just that we allow terrorist organisations political wings to power share. Not a success.

Unemployment was falling. Those in work had real jobs though, not make work in the public sector or zero hours contracts.

Having spent time on a geriatric ward and in a care home, I can assure you that the prolonging of life we have now is not a good thing.

The poverty one I'll give you.

In 86 I wrote my first program on my home computer. The music, movies, etc gave us things like Highlander, Appetite for Destruction (I'm doing this from memory rather than google so forgive any errors). Maggie was in office and the unions were rightly being brought to heel. The City had the big bang. The Quattro was launched (I think). We had final salary pension schemes. Property was affordable. The GLC was disbanded to rid us of red ken. Hatton and MT were hoofed out of labour. The Bluebird began to be made in Sunderland. The Hand Of God (great world cup). I'm pretty sure that was the year the metrocentre opened too. Fergie joined the red army. and inflation was at something like 20 years lows - the economy was recovering strongly by this point.

No, I think 86 still has it, but only just.

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Re: low low land

Postby Richasdotcom » January 12th, 2017, 9:30 pm

sorry no, you are putting yourself above society, those who were gay and hundreds of millions more in poverty and under dictatorships. You are of course entitled to the view but pointing to progress being made in 86 - ie Sunderland car plants or unions so weakened that zero hours/fake self employment becomes the norm does not make 86 better, the Quashqai or however you spell it is a bigger hit than the bluebird for good reason and the electric expertise much better than taking a Jap design.

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Re: low low land

Postby TopOnePercent » January 13th, 2017, 12:52 am

Richasdotcom wrote:sorry no, you are putting yourself above society...


Oh Rich..... There's no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.

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Re: low low land

Postby mswjr » January 13th, 2017, 11:36 am

Richasdotcom wrote:sorry no, you are putting yourself above society, those who were gay and hundreds of millions more in poverty and under dictatorships. You are of course entitled to the view but pointing to progress being made in 86 - ie Sunderland car plants or unions so weakened that zero hours/fake self employment becomes the norm does not make 86 better, the Quashqai or however you spell it is a bigger hit than the bluebird for good reason and the electric expertise much better than taking a Jap design.


You're right of course. How I yearn for the seventies and early eighties again when the unions had whole nationalised industries to wreck.


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