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Source: (consider it) Thread: Two speeches
PaulTH*
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I have a dilemma. I think our present government led by Theresa May[well sort of) is one of the most bungling incompetent governments of my lifetime. I wouldn't trust them to boil an egg, let alone run a country. The last time I felt that way about a government was in the mid 90's when John Major was Prime Minister. But then I looked at how Neil Kinnock and John Smith had transformed the Labour Party from the Marxist rabble it was in the early 80's, into a credible opposition, and I joined many others in giving Mr Major his marching orders in 1997. I was euphoric for weeks with the slogan "things can only get better." Today's Labour Party is a very different animal. While there's nothing illogical about having real socialists at the helm of the socialist party, it's a form of socialism I could never embrace.

During his conference speech on Wednesday of this week, Jeremy Corbyn made pledges estimated to be worth £312 billion in extra spending commitments, while sticking to his mantra that the rich may have to pay "a little bit more" in tax. Such a huge burden added to the £2 trillion of debt the country already has, would require massive hikes in taxation all round and a huge extra borrowing commitment. He also hinted that in his massive nationalisation plan, private assets and properties may be seized, a plan worthy of Robert Mugabe. No wonder shadow chancellor John McDonnell is planning for a massive flight of capital and run on sterling. The global economy which controls so much, would run a million miles from such statist excess.

The next day, Theresa May made a speech at the Bank of England, in which she said that billions of people have been lifted out of the darkness of poverty through capitalism and that managed capitalism is the only sustainable way of ensuring long term raising of living standards. While Mrs May has thoroughly proved her incompetence at achieving this, I agree with the basic principles of what she said much more than I agree with Mr Corbyn's massive, bloated state. He's extremely popular especially among young voters who can't remember the 1970's. Britain with banana republic inflation. Chancellor Dennis Healy's urgent appeal to the International Monetary Fund for a £4 billion bail out because the pound was sinking like a stone. They don't remember bully boy trade unionism where the government and industry was paralysed by outdated working practices. How it was an achievement to travel into London by train for a full week without there being a strike by either drivers, guards, signalmen or carriage cleaners. And how in the end rubbish piled up on the streets and bodies didn't get buried. We were the laughing stock of the world.

President Trump said on Monday of this week, in reference to Venezuela, "where socialism grows, misery follows." There is ample evidence over the last hundred years from all around the world of the truth of this. Misery would follow such levels of state intervention here. So what to do when caught between a government with no ability to govern and an alternative political movement whose principles I despise?

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Paul

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Arethosemyfeet
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We don't need to remember the 70s having been lectured extensively on them every time successive wanted to justify the latest extremity of workplace exploitation, wage cuts for workers and tax cuts for the wealthy.

The oil crisis of the 70s was the problem, and the right did their usual trick of exploiting a crisis to impose their ideology and have been dining out on it ever since. What those who can remember the 70s often don't remember is that prior to that the post-war consensus delivered massive economic growth, rising living standards and the smallest levels of inequality ever seen in this country. You don't have to long for the days of Comintern to see that the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction.

Maybe if you approach Corbyn's policies with an open mind, rather than accepting the dogma that borrowing automatically results in higher tax rates (it doesn't if spent well, e.g. on nationalising profitable utilities or stimulating job creation, or indeed putting money in the pockets of the least well off), and that a state far smaller than it was in 1990 would be "bloated".

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Arethosemyfeet
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to add:

State intervention takes place in many ways, in many places that aren't Venezuela, Cuba, or the USSR. State-owned water is doing very well in Socialist Scotland, and many nations in Europe manage to maintain efficient and cheap nationalised rail networks. Publicly owned power companies seem to work well in most places in the developed world. This market fetishisation is not based on "what works" but on ideology. The only country suffering worse from this is the USA. Corbyn is proposing nationalising natural monopolies, and assets constructed under PFI that should never have been in the private sector in the first place. That's not even radical, that's just common sense and utterly mainstream throughout Europe, Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand. If you want to look at socialism in South America, look at Bolivia doing quietly and for real what Venezuela did loudly and half-arsed.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Corbyn is proposing nationalising natural monopolies, and assets constructed under PFI that should never have been in the private sector in the first place. That's not even radical, that's just common sense and utterly mainstream

There is something of a difference between having these monopolies in public ownership, and forcibly acquiring them from their owners at below market price, which is what Corbyn and McDonnell are suggesting.
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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
There is something of a difference between having these monopolies in public ownership, and forcibly acquiring them from their owners at below market price, which is what Corbyn and McDonnell are suggesting.

That's what the press have read into it. What they actually said was that parliament would decide the price. You obviously can't promise to pay the "market price" because that will influence the price before it is fixed. Likewise parliament can't set an unreasonably low price without a very good reason. That parliament would need to set the price (as with any other compulsory purchase) is blindingly obvious. Interpreting that as a plot to pay way below the value is a deliberately mendacious interpretation on behalf of the press. Exactly how the price will be determined is open to discussion, but one obvious way would be to pay the average of the closing prices in the year up to the passage of the legislation or the purchase price of the shares, whichever is the lower.

[ 29. September 2017, 20:48: Message edited by: Arethosemyfeet ]

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Rocinante
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There were economic problems all over the world in the mid 1970's, caused by the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 which quadrupled the price of oil.

The "winter of discontent" was not caused by excessive government spending (a bizarre idea which seems to have become part of our national mythology), but was a reaction against the government's attempt to control inflation by imposing a limit on pay rises in the public (and private) sectors. This was torpedoed by the public sector unions, and by private employers, who ignored it.

The Thatcher government tried an entirely different approach to controlling wage inflation: drastic constriction of the money supply causing a severe recession with consequent mass unemployment. Worked a treat.

The IMF crisis was triggered by a set of excessively pessimistic treasury figures which lead Callaghan and Healey to seek a bailout which subsequently proved to be unnecessary. This contributed to Blair and Brown's decision to make the Bank of England independent, and try to de-politicise monetary policy.

I'm no starry-eyed Corbyn fan, but if the 1970's and Venezuela are the best his opponents can do, he's a shoo-in at the next election. The British economy is desperately in need of investment, and Brexit is only going to make things worse.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
Corbyn is proposing nationalising natural monopolies, and assets constructed under PFI that should never have been in the private sector in the first place. That's not even radical, that's just common sense and utterly mainstream

There is something of a difference between having these monopolies in public ownership, and forcibly acquiring them from their owners at below market price, which is what Corbyn and McDonnell are suggesting.
On the other hand, apparently it's perfectly acceptable to sell public assets below market price. If it's acceptable to defraud the owners of public utilities by flogging off our possessions on the cheap, why is it so wrong to do the same to those who benefitted from getting our property on the cheap in the first place?

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
That's what the press have read into it. What they actually said was that parliament would decide the price.

I listened to McDonnell say it. Did you? Listen to his tone of voice, look at his mannerisms. That's not a man promising to take monopolies back into public ownership for an honest price - that's a man crowing that the "rich" are going to be made to pay.

It may well be that McDonnell would end up treating the owners of the companies he wants to nationalize fairly, but he feels under no obligation to do so.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
On the other hand, apparently it's perfectly acceptable to sell public assets below market price. If it's acceptable to defraud the owners of public utilities by flogging off our possessions on the cheap, why is it so wrong to do the same to those who benefitted from getting our property on the cheap in the first place?

1. The current owners are not the people who bought the utilities on the cheap.

2. The government "owns" the public assets in trust for the public. As the owner of a piece of property, it can sell it for whatever price it can get. It does not currently own the property in question - the situations aren't even slightly symmetric.

3. Similarly, Gordon Brown was perfectly entitled to sell gold at the point that the market hit absolute rock bottom. It may well have been stupid, but he was free to do so. It would be equally wrong to levy a windfall tax on the people who bought our cheap gold.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I listened to McDonnell say it. Did you? Listen to his tone of voice, look at his mannerisms. That's not a man promising to take monopolies back into public ownership for an honest price - that's a man crowing that the "rich" are going to be made to pay.

It may well be that McDonnell would end up treating the owners of the companies he wants to nationalize fairly, but he feels under no obligation to do so.

Yes, I listened. I just don't share your paranoid interpretation. I trust Corbyn and McDonnell rather more than I trust the big utility companies. "Fair" is very much open to interpretation in any case. RBS shareholders thought they were hard done by after nationalisation too.

[ 29. September 2017, 21:07: Message edited by: Arethosemyfeet ]

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PaulTH*
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I fully expect a Corbyn led government to be in power within two years, and the present administration only have themselves to blame for it. And it may well turn into a damp squib like President Hollande's socialism in France. But I think that young voters will support Corbyn because they don't have the advantages we had when we were young. I bought a modest property at the age of 24, in 1978. I had the advantage even then of bank of mum and dad to help with the deposit, but I wasn't a big wage earner, it was quite normal for those on a steady wage to get onto the property ladder that young. I didn't go to university, but my friends who did all went free.

But if we're going to blame the atrocious economic conditions of the 1970's on the massive hike in oil price, we can realistically blame the problems of today on the financial crash. Incidently while I supported the privatisations of British Airways and British Telecom, I opposed it for the railways and the utilities. I just doubt our ability as a nation to afford re-nationalisation without adding to the debt burden we bequeath to future generations.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Paul

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Arethosemyfeet
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Well rail nationalisation needn't cost anything if it is done by taking the franchises back into public ownership as they are due for renewal. Increased debt is only a problem if it doesn't lead to increased growth and increased revenues over the long term. Electricity companies would still make money after being nationalised, as would Royal Mail (as it did before privatisation).
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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:

President Trump said on Monday of this week, in reference to Venezuela, "where socialism grows, misery follows." There is ample evidence over the last hundred years from all around the world of the truth of this.

The problem with this sort of argument is that you can put the cut off points wherever you like to prove a point.

ISTM that ordinary people were a lot better off in 1970 compared to 1870, and in 1870 compared to 1770, and this has much to do with the increase of state intervention, the welfare state, workers' rights, and an abandonment of the idea that the market will provide. Ergo, where socialism grows, happiness triumphs.

[ 29. September 2017, 21:36: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ricardus
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There was a rather interesting article in the Guardian recently, arguing that Tory radicalism in the shape of Brexit has given Labour a licence to be radical as well.
quote:
It is an extraordinary feature of British politics that two years ago there was no revolutionary party in the mainstream, and today revolution is the only item on the menu. Tory Brexiters and Corbynites face in opposite directions but are held together by mutually reinforcing dynamics. Fear of a Labour government keeps moderate Conservatives from breaking ranks and disrupting May’s plans, lest they end up triggering an election. And Labour has all the permission it needs to be radically unbound, because Brexiters have incinerated the rulebook on economic prudence and moderation. May has deployed the full capacity of government to make revolution respectable, which gives Corbyn and McDonnell their chance to make revolution permanent.
To put it another way: the Tories used to argue that Old Labour had lost the economic argument, and people generally accepted this. But if the new mantra is that people have had enough of experts, then it follows that any perceived expert consensus that Old Labour doesn't work has also lost its power.

(Yes, I know that consensus probably never existed in the first place among genuine economic experts. But people thought it did.)

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
1. The current owners are not the people who bought the utilities on the cheap.

Not relevant. If you buy stolen goods that hasn't changed the fact that they're stolen, and if the true owners locate them then they have rights over that property. Not that public assets that have been stolen in the normal sense of the word.

quote:
2. The government "owns" the public assets in trust for the public. As the owner of a piece of property, it can sell it for whatever price it can get.
The government is steward of public assets, the owner is the public. I'm sure there's a technical term to describe the actions of a tenant who sells property belonging to his landlord, regardless of how fair the price.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Doc Tor
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If we're looking at things to tax, I'd settle on two, relatively simple issues.

1. Income through wealth is taxed at a vastly lower rate than income through labour. If we're going to argue that work should pay, then equalising the tax rates should be a priority.

2. Introduce a land tax. Freeholders of land enjoy benefits of infrastructure, utility and geography they have neither worked for nor paid for. Consequently, the value of land needs to be taxed fairly so that the country benefits as a whole.

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Forward the New Republic

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
But if we're going to blame the atrocious economic conditions of the 1970's on the massive hike in oil price, we can realistically blame the problems of today on the financial crash.

Most of us on the left do blame the problems of today on the financial crash. It's just that the cause of the financial crash had nothing to do with Gordon Brown's spending plans, which were perfectly sound. They were largely due to the deregulation of the banking sector by Clinton's government, not helped by Brown following in Clinton's wake.
As overspending is the wrong diagnosis, so austerity is the wrong solution and far from solving the problem has been making the problem worse. It's as if once you've suffered food poisoning from dodgy chicken you've accepted the chicken manufacturer's diagnosis that the problem is caused by too much health and safety.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
I just doubt our ability as a nation to afford re-nationalisation without adding to the debt burden we bequeath to future generations.

There are different sorts of debts. We have already bequeathed a burden of insufficient council housing, a fragmented and expensive rail network etc. Renationalisation could be a redistribution of that debt, could even be a reduction in debt assuming we're willing to assess debt in more than just the bottom line of the balance book.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Callan
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I have, with the greatest reluctance, come to the conclusion that as, what the young people call a centrist dad, that my obligation at the next election is to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

I'm not a fan but he's now viable in my constituency, which was previously such a safe Tory seat that the incumbent survived the 1997 Tsunami and I prefer, on balance, a socialist administration held in check by the likes of Ben Bradshaw and Liz Kendall to a Powellite Tribute Act held in check by, er, um, we'll get back to you on that one.

The objection to the hard left, historically, was that they would wreck the economy and undermine the western alliance. I think that argument's salience has been undermined somewhat, of late.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Not that public assets that have been stolen in the normal sense of the word.

Quite. The government of the day is entitled to dispose of public assets. Just like they are allowed to take more tax from you than you would like to pay without being thieves.

quote:
The government is steward of public assets, the owner is the public. I'm sure there's a technical term to describe the actions of a tenant who sells property belonging to his landlord, regardless of how fair the price.
I don't know why you're talking about tenants here (that'd either be theft, fraudulent conversion, or both...). The government of the day is not the tenant of the public. As you say, it is the steward of the public assets. The trustee. The body given responsibility for them, and empowered to make decisions about them.

If you employ a steward to take care of your property and he does a bad job, you fire him. Selling off your property at an unwisely low price may well be stupid, but probably isn't fraudulent.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Introduce a land tax. Freeholders of land enjoy benefits of infrastructure, utility and geography they have neither worked for nor paid for. Consequently, the value of land needs to be taxed fairly so that the country benefits as a whole.

The thing is that we would like to encourage holders of land not to exploit their land to pay tax on it.
A tax on wealth on the other hand is probably a good idea. As I understand it, it's bad for an economy to have too much money floating around. It clogs up the works. (Neoclassical economics assumes that there's no such thing as uninvested money, which is false, since investments are not liquid.)

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
If we're looking at things to tax, I'd settle on two, relatively simple issues.

1. Income through wealth is taxed at a vastly lower rate than income through labour. If we're going to argue that work should pay, then equalising the tax rates should be a priority.

2. Introduce a land tax. Freeholders of land enjoy benefits of infrastructure, utility and geography they have neither worked for nor paid for. Consequently, the value of land needs to be taxed fairly so that the country benefits as a whole.

I'd agree with both of these. The philosophical case for a land value tax is a complete no-brainer. As long as it really is a "land value" tax, and not a political boondoggle riddled with exceptions and loopholes to benefit the government's friends, or those who have bought them off (ie. what usually happens to tax legislation.)

It also needs to be a "land value" tax and not a "house value" tax. If we own identical plots of land, and one of us builds a cheap house on it, and the other builds an expensive house on it, we should be paying the same tax on the value of our land.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
If you employ a steward to take care of your property and he does a bad job, you fire him. Selling off your property at an unwisely low price may well be stupid, but probably isn't fraudulent.

A man once planted a vineyard, and let it out to tenants. When it was time for harvest, he sent his servants to collect his share of the harvest. The tenants threw out and murdered the servants. When the man returns, will he not throw out the evil tenants, and install new tenants who will pay what is due to him?

If the government is doing a bad job of taking care of the country then they get thrown out, and a new government is put in their place. Fortunately in a democracy we can do that without a revolution. We can even install a new government that will do it's best to correct the mistakes of the past.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Ricardus
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I think the point is that the governments who embarked on privatisation sprees were elected on platforms that made it clear that that was the sort of thing they were likely to do, so insofar as the public voted for them on those terms, the stewards were in fact acting on the instructions of the landlord.

They may have done a poor job but that is not actually a crime.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Alan Cresswell

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True. Though the usual problem of whether in an election the voters vote for everything in a manifesto still applies. But, we do elect representatives and trust them to act in our best interests (foolish mugs that we are).

And, there are times when governments engage in policies that they were not elected to enact.

--------------------
Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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rufiki

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:


2. Introduce a land tax. Freeholders of land enjoy benefits of infrastructure, utility and geography they have neither worked for nor paid for. Consequently, the value of land needs to be taxed fairly so that the country benefits as a whole.

I'd agree with both of these. The philosophical case for a land value tax is a complete no-brainer. As long as it really is a "land value" tax, and not a political boondoggle riddled with exceptions and loopholes to benefit the government's friends, or those who have bought them off (ie. what usually happens to tax legislation.)
I'm not convinced it's a no-brainer. There are a lot of farmers out there who are struggling to make ends meet because the supermarkets have pushed prices down so much. Their land is very valuable, but they can only realise that value if they sell up and stop producing food for all our stomachs.
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by rufiki:
I'm not convinced it's a no-brainer. There are a lot of farmers out there who are struggling to make ends meet because the supermarkets have pushed prices down so much. Their land is very valuable,

Their land is only valuable if it has an alternate use - in the best case it's right next to a town and can easily be built on (there is already existing infrastructure and the local council is minded to grant planning permission), very little farmland will fall into this category.

The issue with making ends meet is that extreme levels of automation have increased the amount of land you need to make a farm viable as a going concern.

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Ricardus
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Fwiw i'm a big fan of land tax but the effect on farming is the part I've never been sure of.

Presumably the problem is to an extent self-correcting? AIUI land would be taxed purely on the market value, and the market value would be determined by free market economics rather than Government fiat. No-one is going to pay for land that isn't profitable, and therefore no-one is going to pay a price for land that is so high that the tax on the land makes it unprofitable. Therefore, the price of land should always fall to a level whereby the tax incurred is low enough that the profitability of the land is sustainable.

The difficulty would be in implementation of course ...

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Doc Tor
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Land zoned for agricultural use can only be used for agricultural use. Its value will therefore be low. If it's rezoned as residential land, its value suddenly increases. This will attract (a) capital gains tax and (b) a higher rate of land tax.

Those builders intent on artificially inflating house prices by land banking are either going to have to develop the land faster (or sell it to someone who will) or develop very deep pockets.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Land zoned for agricultural use can only be used for agricultural use. Its value will therefore be low. If it's rezoned as residential land, its value suddenly increases. This will attract (a) capital gains tax and (b) a higher rate of land tax.

I can certainly see the merits of a land tax that only applies to residential or commercial land. But the status of land as residential or commercial would then be at the discretion of the local council which might look arbitrary.

The problems as I see it with a general land tax is that: public access land not in commercial use (woodlands, nature reserves, etc) would want to be exempt. You'd also want to lower the tax on land that is being used for less intensive farming, especially where there are public rights of way.

[ 30. September 2017, 14:00: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
If we're looking at things to tax, I'd settle on two, relatively simple issues.

1. Income through wealth is taxed at a vastly lower rate than income through labour. If we're going to argue that work should pay, then equalising the tax rates should be a priority.

2. Introduce a land tax. Freeholders of land enjoy benefits of infrastructure, utility and geography they have neither worked for nor paid for. Consequently, the value of land needs to be taxed fairly so that the country benefits as a whole.

I'm ASTOUNDED at 1. Basic rate labour income subsidizes basic rate capital dividend income by 12.5% from HMCE's figures.

Tax equality NOW! Why don't we hear Jeremy saying this?

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
The problems as I see it with a general land tax is that: public access land not in commercial use (woodlands, nature reserves, etc) would want to be exempt. You'd also want to lower the tax on land that is being used for less intensive farming, especially where there are public rights of way.

Yes and no.

The idea that woodland and nature reserves are 'not in commercial use' is often not true. Most woodland is managed and owned by large estates or the Forestry Commission and is expected to turn a decent profit. They are not public amenities, even if we treat them as such.

Nature reserves are often run by charitable or state organisations, and will consequently either be exempt or attract a large rebate. Such exemptions will be have to be shown to benefit the public and/or conservation work.

And we would, of course, have to take the Land Registry back in house.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
If we're looking at things to tax, I'd settle on two, relatively simple issues.

1. Income through wealth is taxed at a vastly lower rate than income through labour. If we're going to argue that work should pay, then equalising the tax rates should be a priority.

2. Introduce a land tax. Freeholders of land enjoy benefits of infrastructure, utility and geography they have neither worked for nor paid for. Consequently, the value of land needs to be taxed fairly so that the country benefits as a whole.

I'm ASTOUNDED at 1. Basic rate labour income subsidizes basic rate capital dividend income by 12.5% from HMCE's figures.

Tax equality NOW! Why don't we hear Jeremy saying this?

In fact a basic rate worker pays nearly THREE TIMES as much tax as a basic rate shareholder.

I'm bound to be missing something here, I mean that has to be WRONG surely?

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Doc Tor
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You have to remember that those who get their income through investments, are the sort of people who have enormous lobbying power, and are very influential in government (and certainly, in the unreformed House of Lords, the majority). Most of the current front bench are millionaires, whose government pay is merely ancillary to their investment income. Those who work - the vast majority of us - have less influence altogether than those few.

There are arguments for maintaining the differential, as there are for softening rules on Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax. But all of those arguments favour already-rich people far more than they help the always poor. To the extent that those benefit (or will benefit) me, I'd trade them in a heartbeat for a fairer, more equal system.

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Martin60
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So I'm right?! WHAT?! I don't understand. I can't be. Why hasn't there been a bloody revolution? Why doesn't John McDonnell demand tax equality? How can there be any arguments? How come I've NEVER HEARD THEM. Can you direct me to any? I've NEVER HEARD of this particular massive subsidy of capital by labour before. Why not? It can't be true, I must be pitifully misunderstanding.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
So I'm right?! WHAT?! I don't understand. I can't be. Why hasn't there been a bloody revolution? Why doesn't John McDonnell demand tax equality? How can there be any arguments? How come I've NEVER HEARD THEM.

Because any argument to the contrary gets put down to the 'politics of envy' by a commentariat who believe that the average worker earns at least 60K.
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Martin60
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No chris! It CAN'T be true?! It CAN'T be that simple!!!

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

The idea that woodland and nature reserves are 'not in commercial use' is often not true. Most woodland is managed and owned by large estates or the Forestry Commission and is expected to turn a decent profit. They are not public amenities, even if we treat them as such.

Most woods are managed. But where the Forestry Commission is all out dedicated to turning a profit you get monocultures of some conifer.

quote:
And we would, of course, have to take the Land Registry back in house.
There's quite a lot we need to take back in house.

[ 30. September 2017, 18:40: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
And we would, of course, have to take the Land Registry back in house.
There's quite a lot we need to take back in house.
It hasn't been privatised (if I've understood the use of 'in house' here correctly.)
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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
And we would, of course, have to take the Land Registry back in house.
There's quite a lot we need to take back in house.
It hasn't been privatised (if I've understood the use of 'in house' here correctly.)
The plans to privatise it were shelved so quietly back in 2016, I had just assumed they'd gone ahead and privatised it.

I am corrected, and gladly so.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The plans to privatise it were shelved so quietly back in 2016, I had just assumed they'd gone ahead and privatised it.

I assume it was because it was easier to guarantee that land ownership data would continue to be opaque if it was kept under direct control.
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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The plans to privatise it were shelved so quietly back in 2016, I had just assumed they'd gone ahead and privatised it.

I assume it was because it was easier to guarantee that land ownership data would continue to be opaque if it was kept under direct control.
Land ownership data is presumably quite clear, provided the land is registered? (I don't know how much is these days, but I'm guessing that the vast majority must be by now.) Were HM Land Registry to be privatised, it would mean that information about land (including its value) would be handled by a private company, which could raise one or two issues.
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

Nature reserves are often run by charitable or state organisations, and will consequently either be exempt or attract a large rebate. Such exemptions will be have to be shown to benefit the public and/or conservation work.

Don't do it that way - you open up an enormous loophole for boondoggle "public interest" projects favoured by politicians.

Write a binding covenant into the land registry documents preventing building on the land, and the land automatically has low economic value, and so will attract low taxes. One system, no loopholes.

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Ricardus
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[Reply to Anglican't]

Private Eye had a feature on this a few years ago. A lot of British land is owned by some complex web of trusts registered in such beacons of transparency as the British Virgin Isles. Over 10% of the City of London, for example.

Full report here for the curious.

[ 30. September 2017, 21:19: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The plans to privatise it were shelved so quietly back in 2016, I had just assumed they'd gone ahead and privatised it.

I assume it was because it was easier to guarantee that land ownership data would continue to be opaque if it was kept under direct control.
Not enough opportunity for the chums of senior Tories to make lots of money, nor enough detriment to the rest of us.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
Land ownership data is presumably quite clear, provided the land is registered? (I don't know how much is these days, but I'm guessing that the vast majority must be by now.)

You presume wrong. In addition to the issues raised by Ricardus, there are numerous ways in which the current records are incomplete - for a start about 15% is still completely unregistered.
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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
(I don't know how much [land is registered] these days, but I'm guessing that the vast majority must be by now.)

You presume wrong...for a start about 15% is still completely unregistered.
So the vast majority is...? I'll read the Private Eye thing with interest, though, when I have a moment.
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Capitalism in its current form provides wonderful and cheap consumer goods while wrecking the planet. Capitalism is responsible for destruction of the world's forests and oceans, and is the forcs behind the mass extinction of species. Unless we force companies and governments to factor in the environment to their costs of doing business, we're dooming future generation and guaranteeing wars.

The idea that private ownership of basic public services when they are natural monopolies is better than public is simply false. I live in Saskatchewan where we still have most public services owned by the government. Which results in cheaper cost and better service. We see the comparison every year. Public ownership includes: auto and home insurance, water, electric, natural gas, landline telephones, cellular telephones, home security alarm systems, internet, cable TV, liquor distribution. We had a rural bus service until 6 months ago when the rightwing gov't turfed it. They are trying to do it with liquor just now, but were forced back on some others including phones, internet and cable TV. The private corps are in the province but they cherry-pick urban markets and abandon rural. Why would we want to buy anything from companies which overprice and take the money out of the community? And don't invest profit in service upgrades. Well regulated public ownership is the best way. If it wasn't why have highways from taxes or an NHS?

At the same time we have all this, small business is the largest employer.

My point is that when turkeys like May and trumpy talk about the evils of socialism, they are putting up strawman and really talking about totalitarian communists, which isn't valid. They are making things up, trying to convince people to support things against their own interests.

Not sure about this Corbyn fellow, is he a limosine socialist? rich himself? trumpy certainly is arich thug, and he looks more bananas, bozo and Berlusconi every day. The news here seems to just report what he says without comment any more.

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Rocinante
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Corbyn owns a house in Islington, has his salary as leader of the opposition and is drawing his parliamentary pension, so I think we can assume he isn't looking for coins down the back of the sofa at the end of the month.

However his personal lifestyle has always been modest, going on frugal, and he has never waivered from his commitment to old-school socialism all through the Thatcher & Blair years. It's hard to make a hypocrisy charge stick (one reason why the gutter press hate him so much), and he is no populist opportunist.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
So the vast majority is...? I'll read the Private Eye thing with interest, though, when I have a moment.

15% is percentage of completely unregistered land - about 20-30% on top of that either has incomplete, old, inaccurate or misleading information. That's before you get to the ones where the registration is meaningless for all practical purposes - for the reasons Private Eye cites.

Also note that the properties they cover in their report would be a subset of the properties sold in a period of 9-15 years.

Land registration in this country is a mess - so you can't really pronounce on the 'vast majority'.

[ 01. October 2017, 07:50: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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