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  1. #41
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I hate the way this is handled as a partisan issue, I'm a socialist and even favour some of the aspects of the welfare state but I don't support a lot of the benefits system as it is now because the reciprocal aspects of the "gift relationships" involved in it has disappeared, I knew that the first time I heard people talking about going to get their "pay" or getting "paid" when they were talking about unemployment benefits.
    My English Mother in Law was recently having a fit on facebook regarding the amount of people in Britain who refuse to work, yet are paid very nicely by the government. My In laws have worked very hard their entire lives, and they've watched people breeze into the UK, not work a single day, and have nicer life than they do! My husband also has a few former school mates that have made a career out of going to university for bogus degrees just so they don't have to work. What are your thoughts on this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Two high school kids showed up on my doorstep asking if they could clear out all the snow from my front and side driveways. If two kids in high school can take the initiative and create their own jobs, what the hell is everyone whining about? Unemployment my ass.
    Agreed. Unless you're severely disabled, there's always something you can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I generally find surviving and succeeding out of spite to be a good enough motivation... obviously kids these days aren't nearly full enough of piss and vinegar

    on another note (and this applies to certain people I know in real life as well)... sometimes you've got to swallow your pride and work a job that you always thought that you'd never have to work in order to get somewhere... work is work, dream job or not... and you'd be surprised how much better you feel being productive and making some money
    Well said.

    I haven't let a privileged life. We were middle class and both of my parents worked. I got my first job at 15 and only stopped working outside of our home when we had our children, and even then I worked on the weekends with a company I started. For me, earning my own money has always given me a feeling of self worth. I earned it. I was once told that my values regarding money were screwed up, but I disagree. I just prefer to not have to worry about money because money issues can eat away at your soul. I've never been so unhappy as when money was an issue, and I never want to go back to that place again.

  2. #42
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    Can't we "encourage" the people to take action? "Accidentally" disclose the personal information of a wealthy capitalist who is refusing to pay taxes/pay themselves an immense amount of money as a bonus and let the proles turn up on his doorstep as an angry mob and have an "insider" (ideally a government agent of some sort) take the bank account details for a transfer of the outstanding funds back into the public domain. Let the peasants share the rest between themselves. They're only protected by the law if the perpetrators do not get away with it. If all goes well the stolen money has been laundered and can now be used on improving the economy. Meanwhile said "wealthy model citizen" can point the finger only at a faceless band of "great unwashed."

    The super-rich are scum IMO. They would no doubt complain about what happened but who is going to turn their sympathy to them?

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerlily View Post
    My English Mother in Law was recently having a fit on facebook regarding the amount of people in Britain who refuse to work, yet are paid very nicely by the government. My In laws have worked very hard their entire lives, and they've watched people breeze into the UK, not work a single day, and have nicer life than they do! My husband also has a few former school mates that have made a career out of going to university for bogus degrees just so they don't have to work. What are your thoughts on this?
    To be honest everyone has a way of reading the work/refuses to work issue, in northern ireland sectarian people suggest that more roman catholics/protestants refuse to work, some people link it to immigration but that's universal across the board almost. I know of some news coverage of families coming from parts of the world in which begging, by the entire family, is the norm and when they begin to do it on the streets of the UK, often targetting congregations of churches or mosques whose literal interpretations of their scriptures mean that they can not be disinclined to give money to begging strangers, there is up roar and demands that the children be taken into care.

    The care system itself can be exploited, I know of two cases in which bone density tests had to be conducted to determine the age of foreign nationals who had got of planes and checked themselves in as minors to the authorities and been housed in childrens homes. Its a murky set up as there are legitimate cases of individuals trafficked to the UK which the authorities have to take seriously and which the authorities are not always best equipped for dealing with.

    There is also a generational divide here too, life IS easier than it was for many people growing up, it is possible to live a sort of life on benefits which it was not previously possible to live and not because benefits are particularly generous, its because life has gotten bettter or at least some mod cons have gotten cheaper.

    Two things I want to say about the welfare, ie benefits, issue before I move on to the one about university. One, I dont think whatever life someone has led, hard or easy, they should be envious of those who're dependent upon benefits, if it is wrong to be envious of those who live very well because of the present distribution of wealth who can be refered to as the "idle rich" then I think the same goes for the "idle poor" or despise them both.

    There are a lot of people who resent welfare recipients who dont recognise that those recipients are also consumers vital to the economy, now I do think that there is a massive case for welfare reform including the reduction of some payments to claimants but I think that not because I have any ill will towards the claimants or believe them to be maligant or anything like that.

    There are entire public and private professions and businesses which thrive of that population, which is itself pretty vulnerable to them, unscrupulous law firms exploiting legal aid, loan sharks, land lords etc. which is before you consider businesses supplying variously legit and illegit "vices" like drugs and alcohol. There needs to be a few market corrections there and it has resulted in price signals which are totally wrong, like properties rented at the tax payers expense which run into the hundreds of thousands in rent fees, those scandals have broke the news once or twice.

    Two, there coverage of all this is grossly eschewed, the focus has been upon the lowest social strata there is, which often does not solicit any sympathy at all when you know them in person and it is very easy to exploit that politically. So politicians have hard working but low paid and low maintence, in terms of welfare services (not just benefits), voting for them to "do something" about the next door neighbours who're "idle poor", and probably despicable in their behaviour with it but the politicians goal is not to "do something" about that, its to serve insanely rich and privileged globally mobile metropolitan elites who want to pay less tax that year and any year. Perhaps the target of the voters grievance gets their benefits cut, the household of working poor will be hit by cuts too, perhaps greater cuts, unnoticed because its public services rather than benefits payments and perhaps its their jobs on the line. In the mean time the same politicians are scandalising the country with their own personal tax funded expenses claims, manipulation of housing markets, nepotism in their employment practices etc.

    Personally I have no problem with the principle of "less eligibility" but I also know it made more sense when there was a cross party consensus that full employment was a political objective and maintained through nationalised industries, subsidies etc. and also made feasible by an economy which could support it and was not a unsustainably weighted towards finance as the UK is today. The jobs have gone for entire communities. That's a fact. The private sector can not be expected to provide a rescue on this front because I believe that its unfair to expect small and medium sized businesses to employ more people than they need, I dont believe, as the conservative consensus does, that the fix for that is to further errode working peoples rights to certain pay and conditions that small and medium sized businesses find unaffordable either.

    The UK is also on a political tract which positively creates unemployment too, I wouldnt have thought it possible but there you go, from the massive closures of the eighties when they sought to destroy and demobilise organised labour finally, once and for all, to the present day destruction of health services, social services and even police services. Its all about throwing people out of work. Then judging them for it. I always consider attacks on benefits as a prelude to attacks on work such was what I am doing because politicians of the right wing, and most of the public who have no contact with social services or care facilities consider it as akin to the poor houses of old, unpicking and reweaving rope.

    Equally in the UK there is a serious problem with the managerial culture across the economy, individuals have maximised their personal returns at the expense of their firms, the shareholders and often the taxpayer, there has been shocking wage escalation in the boardrooms which has resulted in equally shocking decisions taken by local authorities and politicial authorities and public authorities in their decisions about how to reward and pay public service. So while subordinates and service providers jobs are cut and people are asked to tolerate what are reductions in services they are effectively asked to tolerate that it will cost the same or more because of the escalating pay deals of the superiors in those firms overseeing it all being wound up.

    Partnered up to this is the fact that the UK has a very flexible labour market but politicians want to promote even greater "flexibility" in the shape of so called "no blame" firing or dismissals, the only reason that would be needed is that there is blame and its on the part of the employers and they want to avoid the consequences of the same. So failing managers can dismiss their employees and carry on doing so until they find "best fit" with their lousy management practice. I could see that working for a bit, with a labour market in despair people will become compliant for fear of unemployment but as we have already discussed the population of people who are thinking and feeling like that IS shrinking.

    Finally the universities, I dont know how anyone would do that in present day UK, all universities studies are at personal expense and while its possible to get loans from banks to cover it they are not going to do it twice or three times. When the country was a success and people were working there were some individuals who exploited the availability of benefits, housing benefit, even unemployment benefits, plus the paid tuition and maintence grants, to live at university studying perpetually but that was rare and a meagre lifestyle in contrast to most of those working. In England today most of the population has been priced out of university education, its been deliberate, the universities do not see the domestic population, except perhaps for the uber rich or royals, as their public or market, they see the chinese and other international elites as their market to sell education to. And so it goes, education has morphed into an academic theme park.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerlily View Post
    My English Mother in Law was recently having a fit on facebook regarding the amount of people in Britain who refuse to work, yet are paid very nicely by the government. My In laws have worked very hard their entire lives, and they've watched people breeze into the UK, not work a single day, and have nicer life than they do! My husband also has a few former school mates that have made a career out of going to university for bogus degrees just so they don't have to work. What are your thoughts on this?



    Agreed. Unless you're severely disabled, there's always something you can do.

    Well said.

    I haven't let a privileged life. We were middle class and both of my parents worked. I got my first job at 15 and only stopped working outside of our home when we had our children, and even then I worked on the weekends with a company I started. For me, earning my own money has always given me a feeling of self worth. I earned it. I was once told that my values regarding money were screwed up, but I disagree. I just prefer to not have to worry about money because money issues can eat away at your soul. I've never been so unhappy as when money was an issue, and I never want to go back to that place again.
    There's always something you can do but I dont want to return to the sorts of servility and disempowering, low paid poverty which were once the hall marks of every economy simply because the top ranks who've never known the hassel of working or being short on money are discontented that they are making millions instead of billions and want to cut into public spending in order to do so.

  5. #45
    Junior Member jigenbakuda's Avatar
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    I find this thread very interesting. I find Lark's comments particularly interesting, considering he is speaking from an english perspective. I am curious to know what the "lifestyle" of a person "abusing" the care system is comparable to (eg. lower middle class, or working poor, etc...). Also is this phenomenon looked at as shrewdness or laziness. Lastly I would like to know how the "idle rich" or rich people in general are viewed. I am pretty sure they abuse systems and laws to much more proportional gain (plus I think they they have a much bigger hand in crafting what constitutes an illegal or legal action) and I'm sure some people do view their methods as shrewdness / positively using phrases like "thats how you play the game".

    So just basically wondering if the perception of being poor factors into the way we view their actions. Thanks for reading

  6. #46
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    We as a generation were raised in the 90s to believe that we would go to school, go to college, and get a great job in anything we wanted. Then the economy tanked due to the poor financial decisions made by previous generations, and we struggle to get any jobs, much less jobs with prestige or benefits or security, and we are treated with disdain by the financially secure because the jobs we take out of necessity are "beneath" us, even though nearly all of my peers aspire to better positions. No one wants to be part of the working class. And the previous generations sit in their nice houses with their cushy jobs asking why we are so disinterested and depressed.

    We've been fucked over, that's why, and we get made fun of when we try to pull ourselves out of the goddamned mess. Society simultaneously holds the ideas that young people should work hard and that young people should enter "respectable" jobs. You can't do both at once! You either use your family's money to free ride yourself through school and then enter a nice respectable job or you take a shitty job, get crap for it, and work your way up like you're "supposed" to. It's absolute shit because the people who don't do any work are the ones who society treats nicely and respects. And the ones full of disdain are the people who have never scrubbed floors for minimum wage, never had to use public transportation, never understood the stress of living paycheck to paycheck.

    Maybe the working class and unemployed will kill the fucking filthy rich assholes who are so full of their greedy selves that they refuse to contribute positively to society and quit stuffing their already-full coffers, much less will they ever pull their fair weight in the world.

  7. #47
    Junior Member jigenbakuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Maybe the working class and unemployed will kill the fucking filthy rich assholes who are so full of their greedy selves that they refuse to contribute positively to society and quit stuffing their already-full coffers, much less will they ever pull their fair weight in the world.
    Your post obviously comes from a point of bitterness, that I would be lying if I did not say I shared.

    But this brings up an interesting point.

    In a purely theoretical sense how would you feel life would be for you if we lived in the ___________ (you fill in the blank) economic structure instead of capitalism? Seeing as capitalism was created by wealthy people to keep their wealth? If for example we lived in a world without private ownership and used a "library" method of dealing with communal ownership, would you think more people would positively contribute to society?

    If we indeed killed all the filthy rich people took their money and spread it out, within a decade there would be a new group of filthy rich assholes, because of our economy. I am not saying thats a bad thing, because good and bad deals with perception, and if I was one of the new filthy rich assholes, it would be great for me.

    And in our current society my father always told me this, "The harder you work, the less money you make". I know for a fact that applies to every type of profession..
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  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by jigenbakuda View Post
    I find this thread very interesting. I find Lark's comments particularly interesting, considering he is speaking from an english perspective. I am curious to know what the "lifestyle" of a person "abusing" the care system is comparable to (eg. lower middle class, or working poor, etc...). Also is this phenomenon looked at as shrewdness or laziness. Lastly I would like to know how the "idle rich" or rich people in general are viewed. I am pretty sure they abuse systems and laws to much more proportional gain (plus I think they they have a much bigger hand in crafting what constitutes an illegal or legal action) and I'm sure some people do view their methods as shrewdness / positively using phrases like "thats how you play the game".

    So just basically wondering if the perception of being poor factors into the way we view their actions. Thanks for reading
    I dont think the abuses are worse, they are the same species of action and planning, they are looked upon differently I think largely because of the social class of those involved.

    To be honest I've never known anyone to mirror so much the sorts of social evils they attack as the political classes in the UK, while making massive and bankrupting claims upon tax revenue politicians will decry dependency and attack claimants and low paid public servants.

  9. #49
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont think the abuses are worse, they are the same species of action and planning, they are looked upon differently I think largely because of the social class of those involved.

    To be honest I've never known anyone to mirror so much the sorts of social evils they attack as the political classes in the UK, while making massive and bankrupting claims upon tax revenue politicians will decry dependency and attack claimants and low paid public servants.
    In the US, at least, it seems like people read Dickens and mistook it for some kind of utopian model.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by jigenbakuda View Post
    Your post obviously comes from a point of bitterness, that I would be lying if I did not say I shared.

    But this brings up an interesting point.

    In a purely theoretical sense how would you feel life would be for you if we lived in the ___________ (you fill in the blank) economic structure instead of capitalism? Seeing as capitalism was created by wealthy people to keep their wealth? If for example we lived in a world without private ownership and used a "library" method of dealing with communal ownership, would you think more people would positively contribute to society?

    If we indeed killed all the filthy rich people took their money and spread it out, within a decade there would be a new group of filthy rich assholes, because of our economy. I am not saying thats a bad thing, because good and bad deals with perception, and if I was one of the new filthy rich assholes, it would be great for me.

    And in our current society my father always told me this, "The harder you work, the less money you make". I know for a fact that applies to every type of profession..
    I think there's cultural aswell as structural explanations for that, the same things do not occur in societies which are not that structurally different from the UK but which possess very different social and political expectations and norms. Consider Germany or any of the scandinavian nations. Ultimately I think that the contradictions in capitalism will get the better of the system, structurally, but that's absolutely no indication that anything better than capitalism will take its place, in fact I'd be prepared for something worse. The norms capitalism is generating make for it.

    What do you mean by work harder? Do you mean work longer or increase effort? To be honest a lot of the people who are in receipt of the greatest pay and work related fringe benefits in the UK are not "working harder" or even "working longer" for that matter.

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