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Thread: Brexit

  1. #81
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    So when we talk about immigration in the US we are talking about 70,000 children from Central America sent over the border without parents - with some in very bad situations now.

    When you in the UK talk about immigration it's about some close neighbor country and their workers
    In the UK we're looking at both economic migrants (I hate that description) and refugees. Economic migrants come from both inside the EU (which EU rules prohibit us from limiting in any way) and outside the EU (which we are allowed to limit). Some of the immigration is legal, some is illegal and under the radar. To my knowledge there are no refugees from inside the EU (mostly us Europeans stopped trying to kill each other about half a century ago, roughly when we formed the EU) and the major influx is currently coming from the Middle East, particularly Syria. Lots of them are lone children, all of them are desparate. So basically the picture is that we've got all sorts.

    That's one of the worrying things about this. You're seeing, for example, British Muslims being told to "Go Home" because we've just voted out of the EU... there should be no connection there. What's happened, I think, is that a decades worth of unchallenged rhetoric from the right has allowed all of these groups to become conflated in people minds and the whole lot to be portrayed as leeches and ne'er do wells. I'm willing to bet that a large portion of the leave vote was actually an anti muslim/foreigner vote. It was certainly an anti immigration vote despite the fact that the amount of immigration actually coming from EU economic migrants is actually very small.

    I'm on shaky ground here because I really don't want to portray the whole leave camp as ignorant or bigoted. As I said previously, there were some good and rational reasons for voting leave and I'm sure many voted from an informed and considered position. But there was a significant minority who clearly are bigots and a much larger minority (possibly even a majority) who weren't voting for what they thought they were voting for. Leaving the EU was never going to have the impact on immigration that they thought it would because it could only limit one subset of the immigrants we're looking at - and that's before you consider that we probably won't be able to limit those either if we want continued access to Europe's Markets.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Jun 29th, 2016 at 05:49 AM.
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  2. #82
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    Bush was the prior administration so I can pick on how he looked at his jobs report every month. Here in Ohio we are still fighting the effects of his administration. Saying it doesn't matter is ludicrous when people are discussing going right back to that republican mindset.
    I'm not sure I understand all the details of the rust belt - was it Republican trade deals killing caterpillar or something like that?

    What has Obama done to make OH grow?

    What is Trump suggesting that would hurt OH further?
    Last edited by szlamany; Jun 29th, 2016 at 05:54 AM.

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  3. #83
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by szlamany View Post
    I'm not sure I understand all the details of the rust belt - was it Republican trade deals killing caterpillar or something like that?

    What has Obama done to make OH grow?

    What is Trump suggesting that would hurt OH further?
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  4. #84
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Really? wow...

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  5. #85
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    In the UK we're looking at both economic migrants (I hate that description) and refugees. Economic migrants come from both inside the EU (which EU rules prohibit us from limiting in any way) and outside the EU (which we are allowed to limit). Some of the immigration is legal, some is illegal and under the radar. To my knowledge there are no refugees from inside the EU (mostly us Europeans stopped trying to kill each other about half a century ago, roughly when we formed the EU) and the major influx is currently coming from the Middle East, particularly Syria. Lots of them are lone children, all of them are desparate. So basically the picture is that we've got all sorts.

    That's one of the worrying things about this. You're seeing, for example, British Muslims being told to "Go Home" because we've just voted out of the EU... there should be no connection there. What's happened, I think, is that a decades worth of unchallenged rhetoric from the right has allowed all of these groups to become conflated in people minds and the whole lot to be portrayed as leeches and ne'er do wells. I'm willing to bet that a large portion of the leave vote was actually an anti muslim/foreigner vote. It was certainly an anti immigration vote despite the fact that the amount of immigration actually coming from EU economic migrants is actually very small.

    I'm on shaky ground here because I really don't want to portray the whole leave camp as ignorant or bigoted. As I said previously, there were some good and rational reasons for voting leave and I'm sure many voted from an informed and considered position. But there was a significant minority who clearly are bigots and a much larger minority (possibly even a majority) who weren't voting for what they thought they were voting for. Leaving the EU was never going to have the impact on immigration that they thought it would because it could only limit one subset of the immigrants we're looking at - and that's before you consider that we probably won't be able to limit those either if we want continued access to Europe's Markets.
    So it sure seems that from an immigration standpoint this change of status with the EU isn't going to change economic immigration.

    So leaving had more to do with Syrian refugees in some people's minds. What percentage of leave folk felt that way would you say?

    We have young Hillary supporters that I cannot imagine what carrot she dangled to get a hold of.

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  6. #86
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    So it sure seems that from an immigration standpoint this change of status with the EU isn't going to change economic immigration
    It's hard to be certain but I'd say no. It won't change immigration from outside the EU but it will theoretically give us some control over immigration from inside the EU. But if we want free access to the European markets we'll probably have to accept free movement of people as a condition. It's possible that the EU might cut us some slack on that but I'd say it's highly unlikely. They've never done it for anyone else and they won't want to appear weak towards us for fear of encouraging others to leave.

    Refugees it won't (and, morally, shouldn't) affect at all.

    So leaving had more to do with Syrian refugees in some people's minds.
    I don't think that's quite right, or at least, it's not that simple. Most people are sympathetic to those refugees when you describe them in those terms. There was debate about whether we should be allowing them to come here or help them in camps closer to home but there's pretty much universal agreement that we should be helping somehow. The problem is more a fear/hatred of "others" and people have stopped bothering to think about how "others" was made up. So it's refugees, Muslims, Eastern Europeans, blacks, second and third generation immigrants... all getting lumped in together and all taking the flack.

    Ask someone "Should we help this Syrian refugee?" and they'll probably say yes. Ask someone, "Should we help Ahmed?" and they won't bother finding out about Ahmed's status before telling you he should go back where he came from. Which is often pretty weird because, as often as not, Ahmed was born in Putney.
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  7. #87
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    Re: Brexit

    Imho a lot of towns in the North voted to stuff the elites. They have seen there communities change dramatically from working class places were a high percentage of people were in work, to economic wastelands. They see Globalization as much of the cause of this and they believe rightly or wrongly that Immigrants are come over and are going to the front of the queue for housing and that they are over stretching Schools and health services and taking up jobs.

    They just couldn't and many of them still cant see what they get out of Europe, they see that London benefits but they don't see how they benefit. Also they have been made to believe that Europe is to blame for all the immigration into our country when in actual fact even outside of Europe we would still have substantial immigration.

    Its is notable that the northern cities that are doing well i.e - Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds all voted to stay in, but almost all the towns around us voted out.

    What is very sad is that many of them are misinformed as to the causes of the problems in there towns, and they have also been lied to that a vote to leave will reduce immigration and therefore will fix there issues.
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  8. #88

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    Re: Brexit

    I'd say the same is true here, as well. Idaho has lost loads of blue collar jobs in various industries. This is blamed on a variety of factors, but what is generally left out is automation. Much of the mill work and lumber industry has seen huge changes. Sure, felling trees isn't automated and probably never will be, but a single worker can do the work of dozens from a century ago. To keep those dozens employed would require mowing the forests down entirely, which is a short-term solution that would over saturate the market and drive most of the companies out of business anyways. So, there are FAR fewer jobs in that industry, and it could easily drop further without reducing production levels.

    On the economic front, our unemployment is down around the base level (around 3.5%, which is roughly where full employment is thought to be with only those transitioning being unemployed). Those people could probably be forgiven for wondering where the recovery is, though, since we probably have some pretty good wage stagnation (personally, I can't complain, but there are other factors for that).

    What we have in excess, though, is leadership telling people to blame the government for all problems. That's probably pretty common in other parts of the country, as well.
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  9. #89
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    So it's refugees, Muslims, Eastern Europeans, blacks, second and third generation immigrants...
    This seems like such a different style of racism and bigotry compared to the typical white supremacist stuff in the US.

    So broadly all of eastern Europe?

    Does that include something like the Czech republic?

    Are they using religion as a factor in this first?

    Does that also include the Italian guy who owns the pizza shop on the corner? Or only if he's a newcomer trying to make a splash in the pizza world in the UK?

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  10. #90
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    I'd say the same is true here, as well. Idaho has lost loads of blue collar jobs in various industries. This is blamed on a variety of factors, but what is generally left out is automation. Much of the mill work and lumber industry has seen huge changes. Sure, felling trees isn't automated and probably never will be, but a single worker can do the work of dozens from a century ago. To keep those dozens employed would require mowing the forests down entirely, which is a short-term solution that would over saturate the market and drive most of the companies out of business anyways. So, there are FAR fewer jobs in that industry, and it could easily drop further without reducing production levels.

    On the economic front, our unemployment is down around the base level (around 3.5%, which is roughly where full employment is thought to be with only those transitioning being unemployed). Those people could probably be forgiven for wondering where the recovery is, though, since we probably have some pretty good wage stagnation (personally, I can't complain, but there are other factors for that).

    What we have in excess, though, is leadership telling people to blame the government for all problems. That's probably pretty common in other parts of the country, as well.
    Idaho has actually led the nation in job growth over the past year or so.

    Granted it's only 1.6 million people of which 90% are white.

    I've never been to Idaho. Can you go to your closest big city and have a rockin' time or do you need to go a state or two over? Is skiing great?

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  11. #91
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    Re: Brexit

    I think it is reasonable to say that a significant number of the Leave campaign were either racist or deliberately using racist language in order to serve their cause. The main "game changer" was the fact that Turkey may (one day) join the EU which would move them from the "controlled migration" column to the "uncontrolled migration" column and people from Turkey look somewhat different to the current population of Surrey.

    The irony is that this has utterly blown up in their faces. Their covert racism has begat overt racism which means no mainstream politician is going to be allowed to get away with covert (dog whistle) statements for a good while now.

  12. #92
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    This seems like such a different style of racism and bigotry compared to the typical white supremacist stuff in the US
    Oh, very definitely. We're not talking about White Supremacists here and most of them would be horrified if you referred to them as such. Mostly we're talking about people who's world has changed around them faster than they could comfortably cope with it. It makes them feel uncomfortable and out of control. "Immigrants" is a really easy (and vague) target to blame that discomfort on and certain politicians have fed that for political gain.

    So broadly all of eastern Europe?
    Pretty much. Eastern Europe is kind of our Mexico (a few big waves of immigration caused by economic disparity) except the immigration has been legal due to our membership of the EU. They're not sneaking across the border because the EU dictates that the border must be open.

    Where we may differ from you guys (or may not, I don't really know enough about the situation in the US to comment) is that, for us, immigration is almost universally beneficial to our economy. There really isn't much of a downside. We have a minimum wage so nobody's job is being undercut and immigrants tend to be young so they put a lot more into our economy than they take out. Contrary to the rhetoric, they place a disproportionately low burden on the NHS, schooling or our benefits system. Our problems stem from bad management but it can be hard to appreciate that if you see a polish family getting a house ahead of you.

    Are they using religion as a factor in this first?
    Not where the Eastern Europeans are concerned but I certainly wouldn't want to be Muslim right now and, as I say, when you start discussing this stuff you tend to find a whole bunch of stuff starts getting merged into one. Like I said, when you hear someone tell a British Muslim they've got to go home now that we've left the EU you know there's a flaw somewhere in their understanding.

    Imho a lot of towns in the North voted to stuff the elites
    Ironically down here there were a whole bunch of elites voting to leave too. Mostly because half of them have never spoken to an immigrant in their life.
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  13. #93

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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by szlamany View Post
    I've never been to Idaho. Can you go to your closest big city and have a rockin' time or do you need to go a state or two over? Is skiing great?
    Well, I'm in Boise at the moment, and live in a suburb of same. Boise is the most remote city in the lower 48 as the nearest closest city is Salt Lake...and no, you probably aren't going THERE for a rockin' good time. Boise is a pretty nice city. It would likely be highly favored for businesses except that our higher education system is mediocre (except for the football team).

    There is skiing, but I wouldn't say it's great. Some hills are really good, but it's a bit too warm in Boise. The hill above the city is getting a bit too warm and the season is shrinking. The amount of wilderness is second to none south of Alaska.
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  14. #94

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    Re: Brexit

    I don't think we have the white supremacist stuff so much, either, anymore. I have a source who sends me all the right wing emails that come her way. There's a solid trend to them, of late, which is virulently anti-Muslim with little regard for any other issue aside from the occasional jawing about immigration.

    I'm not quite sure where that comes from, since this is the US. We have a STRONG tradition of religious persecution, which is why the Constitution explicitly addressed that. We used to kill Catholics in some places and protestants of one sort or another in other places. So, is the anti-Muslim just plain bigotry, or is this the strong evangelical undercurrent in this country trying to launch a crusade? The evangelical movement has always been solidly behind Israel, though not necessarily for any reason that could be considered benevolent. Are they also behind the anti-Muslim because of the contest over the Holy Land?

    By the way, our meerkats appear to have settled down.
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    Re: Brexit

    Seems like we can all expect more of this kind of approach in the future, because it works gosh darn well at attracting voters. This article crossed my feed today.

    Apparently from the mouths of one of the larger 'Leave' donators:
    “It was taking an American-style media approach,” said Banks. “What they said early on was ‘facts don’t work’ and that’s it. The remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.”

    One video on the Leave.EU Facebook page, viewed 1.6m times, begins: “Are you concerned about the amount of crime committed in the UK by foreign criminals?” before ending with the message: “Isn’t it time to take back control.”
    Facts don't work. People want to hear you're going to build a magic force field that will reject all people without pure blood. They don't seem to much care if that technology exists.

    I'd say the light at the end of the tunnel is I can't see how too many iterations of that can leave a functioning country but... we sort of have to live in said countries.

  16. #96
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by Sitten Spynne View Post
    Seems like we can all expect more of this kind of approach in the future, because it works gosh darn well at attracting voters. This article crossed my feed today.

    Apparently from the mouths of one of the larger 'Leave' donators:

    Facts don't work. People want to hear you're going to build a magic force field that will reject all people without pure blood. They don't seem to much care if that technology exists.
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  17. #97
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    Homer Simpson - Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
    Fact: 62% of all statistics are made up ... I saw it on the internet, so it must be true.

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  18. #98
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    Re: Brexit

    "I think the British people have had enough of experts"
    Actually, I think Britain is suffering from a shocking deficit of expertise and the press have colluded with the political classes (all parties) to keep this state of affairs.
    I'm very far from an expert at anything but let me show you some of the things I have discovered with a quick look at the office for national statistics published stats:

    1) Britain isn't getting swamped.
    The population in 1971 (which is the whole of my life ago) was 46,411,700. The population at the last census was 54,786,300. That is an increase of just 8,374,600.
    That growth of 15% in over four decades is amongst the lowest in the whole world.

    2) Britain isn't poor (or event getting poorer).
    Recent gratuitous and idiotic economic self harm aside, the UK gross domestic product is 464,212,000,000 - up from 171,908,000,000 or a growth of 292,304,000,000 over that same period. Even allowing for inflation the gross domestic product per person is massively greater than it was in 1971.

    3) There aren't too few jobs to go around.
    In 1971 unemployment was 4% and now it is 5% although it was as high as 11% in 1984 - but in that time the workforce participation (largely but not totally due to more women entering the workplace) has grown massively. Unemployment keeps wages down but the UK average weekly wage has gone up from 311 in 2000 to 503 in 2016 which is significantly higher than inflation and indicates that employers are having to pay a wage premium due to tightening supply side constraints in terms of employees.

    So why have the national press had an unending monologue of "Everything is sh*t and other people are to blame" for all this time? I guess their peddling what we are buying. My suggested antidote is to read the ingredients and find out what percentage of bulls*t they contain - and basically stop buying it.

  19. #99
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    Re: Brexit

    I absolutely agree with your overall point but some of those statistics are a little unfair. The early 70s represent a particular low point for Great Britain so it's not really a fair place to start drawing economic graphs from.

    None the less, I think you are basically spot on. The pressure on our infrastructure isn't primarily being cause by growth in demand, it's being caused by lack of investment. Economically we're outperforming pretty much the whole of Europe (except possibly Germany), let alone the rest of the world. Actually, I think that second bit may be part of the problem - we've actually done very well and we don't like the idea of sharing.

    I guess their peddling what we are buying
    +1 to that.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Jul 1st, 2016 at 04:53 AM.
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  20. #100
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    1) Britain isn't getting swamped.
    I Agree, but the perception is that it is, and who are you to argue with Jo public who has seen these immigrants taking our jobs and houses an knows that they are to blame !!

    2) Britain isn't poor (or event getting poorer).
    Slightly more complicated, your right but that money is not trickling down to the bottom. To much of it sticks in the grubby hands at the top and many workers at the bottom are not doing so well.

    3) There aren't too few jobs to go around.
    True, but your other comment about the weekly wage having gone up, i would argue that the cost of housing in particular has gone up so much that wages have not gone up enough to compensate. But you could also argue we just haven't built enough houses.

    The bottom line is lots of people are feeling the pinch one way or another, and we gave them an opportunity to lay blame and they took it, regardless of whether they hit the right target or whether in fact they have just shot themselves in the foot.
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  21. #101
    MS SQL Powerposter szlamany's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    these immigrants taking our ... houses ...
    Not the first time I saw housing mentioned in re: to Brexit.

    Is there some kind of system of subsidized housing in the UK that you are referring to with this?

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  22. #102
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    We have a housing crisis. Not enough stock -> people can't afford to buy -> pressure on the rental sector -> rising rents. And we've been selling off our social stock for the last 30 years under a right-to-buy scheme. The Right to Buy scheme would have been a pretty good idea, IMO, if we'd used the money to replenish that stock - but we didn't. Our social stock is completely inadequate to our needs right now.

    This means a very large proportion of our population (particularly anyone under about 40) has absolutely no chance of buying - many will never get to buy in their lifetimes. A smaller, but still significant, number can't afford to rent in the private sector. When they turn to the Social sector it's way over stretched so they're faced with waiting lists that run into years. Because we have a points system someone coming onto the system with more points (e.g. a homeless single disabled mother) can "jump" the queue (quite rightly, their need is greater).

    It's actually a myth that immigrants or asylum seekers get prioritised for housing but it's been an easy myth to sell. If you're on the list and you see a migrant ahead of you in the queue, confirmation bias kicks in and you assume they were prioritised over you because they were an immigrant or asylum seeker. Actually, they got the house because they joined the queue before you or something else about their circumstances meant they were deemed to be more desperate.
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  23. #103
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    We have a housing crisis. Not enough stock -> people can't afford to buy -> pressure on the rental sector -> rising rents. And we've been selling off our social stock for the last 30 years under a right-to-buy scheme. The Right to Buy scheme would have been a pretty good idea, IMO, if we'd used the money to replenish that stock - but we didn't. Our social stock is completely inadequate to our needs right now.

    This means a very large proportion of our population (particularly anyone under about 40) has absolutely no chance of buying - many will never get to buy in their lifetimes. A smaller, but still significant, number can't afford to rent in the private sector. When they turn to the Social sector it's way over stretched so they're faced with waiting lists that run into years. Because we have a points system someone coming onto the system with more points (e.g. a homeless single disabled mother) can "jump" the queue (quite rightly, their need is greater).

    It's actually a myth that immigrants or asylum seekers get prioritised for housing but it's been an easy myth to sell. If you're on the list and you see a migrant ahead of you in the queue, confirmation bias kicks in and you assume they were prioritised over you because they were an immigrant or asylum seeker. Actually, they got the house because they joined the queue before you or something else about their circumstances meant they were deemed to be more desperate.
    Must be tough living on an island
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    Re: Brexit

    I'm not convinced it's because we're an island. Mostly I think it's been lack of investment under the current Tory government and the previous Labour one.

    We do have space issues but I'm not convinced they're as acute as some of our press would like to believe. We have a green-belt system that basically protects from building outside of existing conurbations but there's still lots of back filling we can do in the cities and we have a lot of empty and abandoned housing stock that's not being leveraged. It's not easy to do those things but it's far from impossible if the political will is there. Nowhere on our island even comes close to the density of e.g. Manhattan.
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    Re: Brexit

    Cutting through the crap:

    Elites Ignore Real Cause Of Brexit & Trump: Economic Anger Of Working Class

    Hopefuly that YouTube video doesn't have a regional block on it.

  26. #106
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    Re: Brexit

    Can't really watch YouTube vids at work but I'll have a look when I get home. I'm guessing it basically identifies the wealth gap we've currently got - in which case it sounds about right.
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    The early 70s represent a particular low point for Great Britain.
    I chose that as it was the year of my birth - so in that sense your comment is doubly valid (and it is really difficult to do any comparisons when you go back to pre-decimalisation times).

    The root cause of a lot of this is the way that money has been moved out of the productive economy and hoarded in unproductive assets (housing and land banks) [cf. Pickety] and so concentrated with the upper echelons (of which every political leader in the UK is a member imo). The "immigrants" message is a misdirection by those asset hoarders to make someone else take the blame for their greed and stupidity and very sadly it has worked.

    It should be borne in mind that the inclusion of Eastern European countries in the EU - which has become the locus of this anti immigration feeling - was a British idea in the first place largely put forward by Tony Blair.

  28. #108
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    Is there some kind of system of subsidized housing in the UK that you are referring to with this?
    Yes we have social housing owned by local government which less well of people can apply to live in at reduced rents. We used to have quite a bit of it, but over the years governments have allowed those living in these houses the right to buy them at very reduced rates (this as you can imagine was great for there election chances as a lot of poorer people got to own homes through it) but what they didn't do is build new ones to replace the ones they sold. Now we don't have enough of these types of houses for the demand. This has also meant that there are more and more people that need to rent privately and private rents have gone up and up.

    This in turn has led to landlords buying more and more housing as it has become a very profitable way of making money and that along with the fact that we aren't building enough has also pushed up house prices in general.

    We have a housing crisis. Not enough stock -> people can't afford to buy -> pressure on the rental sector -> rising rents. And we've been selling off our social stock for the last 30 years under a right-to-buy scheme. The Right to Buy scheme would have been a pretty good idea, IMO, if we'd used the money to replenish that stock - but we didn't. Our social stock is completely inadequate to our needs right now.
    The Right to buy Scheme was flawed from the start for two very good reasons one of which you have mentioned. There never was a proper plan in place to replace the houses sold off, probably bigger than that though is politicians keep continuing this myth that they somehow have control over the number of houses that are built.

    We as a nation have not built houses from the public purse for a very long time, we rely on private business to build houses and they only build what is the most profitably for them which you can't exactly blame them for.

    If you want house building to dramatically increase you only have two ways of doing it. 1 have a new wave of publically built houses, 2 pay private businesses to build them for us, but we are not and have not been doing that for probably over 40 years.

    What you cant do is just expect private builder to build houses that they don't have any interest in building.
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  29. #109
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    Re: Brexit

    I just watched this today and for anyone who might want to know why i and many other are extremely worried about what happens next you should take a look -

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7095486.html

    Don't watch the auto play snippet video at the top, scroll down and listen to the full video a bit further down, its by a professor of EU law and economics from Liverpool university and it is very illuminating.
    Last edited by NeedSomeAnswers; Jul 1st, 2016 at 08:45 AM.
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  30. #110
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    Re: Brexit

    2 pay private businesses to build them for us, but we are not and have not been doing that for probably over 40 years
    We sort of do that already via Housing Associations. I don't think that Government commissioning of private sector companies to provide public services ever really works well though. It creates mini-monopolies which can effectively hold the public purse hostage. About the only sector I can think of that anyone says has been successful is in academy schools and, let's face it, that's a dubious claim at best.
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  31. #111
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    Re: Brexit

    Why doesn't the private sector want to build affordable housing?

    We have laws that force cities and towns to allow affordable housing to be built and we have construction companies that do all they can to force towns to abide by these laws and build these units.

    That increases employment, builds the real estate tax base of a town and serves the population growth nicely.

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  32. #112
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    Re: Brexit

    We sort of do that already via Housing Associations.
    While i am all for Housing Associations they do not build nearly enough homes for the demand, and i know the current government where going to force them to sell there houses too under right to buy!

    I don't think that Government commissioning of private sector companies to provide public services ever really works well though. It creates mini-monopolies which can effectively hold the public purse hostage. About the only sector I can think of that anyone says has been successful is in academy schools and, let's face it, that's a dubious claim at best.
    I wasn't advocating it really we have already outsourced too many government services already, imho local government (maybe in hand with housing associations) should be given specific ring-fenced budgets to build affordable housing based upon the local need.

    Why doesn't the private sector want to build affordable housing?
    The short answer is that land that has planning permission in the UK is expensive and they make much more profit building homes at the middle and top end of the scale rather than the bottom. Thats is not to say they build none, they just don't build anywhere enough affordable housing as there isn't enough of an incentive for them to do so.
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  33. #113
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    Re: Brexit

    local government (maybe in hand with housing associations) should be given specific ring-fenced budgets to build affordable housing based upon the local need.
    Agree with that.

    At the moment the focus seems to be on transferring property from the rental to the sector by increasing stamp duty and eliminating tax relief on mortgage payments etc. That sounds OK on the surface but the truth is that it will simply put more pressure on folks at the very bottom. It will drive a few landlords out of the market so a few properties will become available to those at the top of the "can't buy" bracket. But everyone else will still need to rent and they're going to be facing higher rents as a result or the reduced stock. Demand on the whole system isn't being reduced and supply is not being increased, so this just shifts the pressure point instead of removing it.

    The only solution is to build more stock.
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    Re: Brexit

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    I just watched this today and for anyone who might want to know why i and many other are extremely worried about what happens next you should take a look -

    ...

    Don't watch the auto play snippet video at the top, scroll down and listen to the full video a bit further down, its by a professor of EU law and economics from Liverpool university and it is very illuminating.
    Here's a direct link, avoiding all of the cruft the prior link had it embedded in:

    Professor Michael Dougan on the EU Referendum

    My takeaway is that this guy is an academic EU lawyer and member of the class that gained the most over past decades from EU membership. He could also win a "Great Non-Communicator Award" for his poor speaking style and general lack of ability to express himself. His speech goes around in circles and the entire thing puts one in mind of Charlie Brown's Teacher Talking. This is what is generally known as a "spin doctor."

    If there is a theme to this somnambulistic screed it seems to be "leaving the EU means 'dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria' in terms of UK law." Much alarmist heat, almost zero light.

    If you can stay awake until his last 5 minutes he does get down to the real point about trade agreements and labor movement. All you get there is about 30 seconds of telling people what they already know.
    Last edited by dilettante; Jul 1st, 2016 at 01:41 PM.

  35. #115
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    Re: Brexit

    It's really hard for me to not go into page-long rants on that topic, housing is really sensitive to me.

    We are maximizing short-term gains so much that we do not consider long-term goals. They're simply not part of the value proposition. This is a shareholder capitalism, an era where the only worth of an idea is ROI in the near term. And if you won't comply with the will of the shareholders, they'll replace you with someone who will comply.

    This has eroded a ton of benefits of "being an American worker" that were part of the 50s post-war boom that we idolize. That was a time when the government regulated industry, and we believed putting dollars in the hands of the worker made for the strongest economy. Now we don't value labor at all, and barely value skilled labor. The only man we seem to value highly is one who can make YOY exponential growth. It doesn't matter if it's unsustainable, and if it tanks in 2 years. The shareholders are going to cash out and bail when that happens, anyway. Then they'll move on to the next business, to suck all the labor out of the workers and replace it with nothing.

    A few days ago, I mentioned the elderly. I think I've been duped into blaming them for a lot of things that they were duped into blaming on me.

    They got sold a deal that sounded great but was more complex than they could understand. The people really responsible are the kinds of people that are always bad for society, selfish jerks that want to maximize personal profit at all costs. They're the enemy, and they're all over the age spectrum. And they very much want me to be angry at older people, so that older people are angry at me, so that in our bickering with each other we don't realize who's really causing our problems. The less we focus on the real problem, the easier it is to get us to work against our own interests.

    They're the people behind Brexit: so hyper-focused on winning a political campaign they were willing to wager their country's economy in the process. It's not hard to see the US GOP making similar moves, such as the 'budget crisis' they fabricated. We need some kind of miracle.

    In case it's not clear, I'm very worried and don't have a lot of hope. I've been focusing on simpler things, lately. It reminds me a lot of stories my great-grandparents told me about the depression. Except I have a degree and a decent salary, and they had nothing. It... hurts my spirit.

  36. #116

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    Re: Brexit

    Yeah, I'm kind of agreeing with Sitten...except that there weren't lots of specifics. I can think of a few companies, such as IBM, that really focused on the workers for a long time, but not they focus on shareholder value. Considering that the big shareholders probably aren't people, but institutions, we end up with a circular firing squad. The company isn't even benefiting the jerks, they're benefiting people like me who park a bunch of cash in a fund that is, itself, focused on the returns and won't be holding the shares for long...perhaps (well, not exactly me, cause I think I'm almost entirely in funds that don't have that short term focus, but "me" in the general sense of a person who has a bunch of cash invested rather than sitting in the bank).

    But, I don't see a clear solution to that, either, so I'll talk about housing. I live in an area that had a lot of farms. These were all irrigated fields mostly producing kind of strange crops, such as sugar beets and a whole lot of mint, for some reason. The mint farms are awesome during harvest time, by the way. There are a whole lot less of them now, though, as field after field is being covered with new houses. That stopped dead in the crash, but has picked up again after a couple years of inactivity. What just amazes me, though, is the housing that is being built. I'm rambling around in my 1800 sq ft house of which I rarely use half the upstairs and a quarter of the downstairs. I could easily do with half the house that I have, yet none of the new houses being built are even close to as small as mine. Everything seems to be 2,500 sq ft and up. We may have the lowest unemployment of any state in the country, but who the heck is buying all these houses? It's not like industry seems to be growing that fast, and there sure seem to be more lower wage jobs than high paying jobs, yet we are building houses about as fast as we can, and none of them are small or cheap. I'm just baffled by it.
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  37. #117
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    Re: Brexit

    Yeah, the Austin housing market has a few players.

    There's a lot of people who, in the 90s, bought homes for reasonable prices. Median value was $90k back then. Now it's $225k-$335k depending on what you count as "the city". Some of them couldn't afford the property taxes and cashed out. But obviously the ones with those homes want the value to keep going up.

    For some reason, that led them to band together with realtors and create zoning ordinances that dramatically restrict how dense apartments can be (it costs ridiculous extra permits to go > 3 stories) or how large homes can be (it's practically a losing proposition to build less than 2,500 sq. ft. on most lots). I'm 25 miles from the city core, and new neighborhoods are springing up around me. Houses tend to start at 2,700 sq. ft. and are advertised at $290k and up.

    (It's not much better renting. My apartment's a steal, and I'm not revealing my price. But 700 sq. ft. 1/1s tend to go for $1100/month. 25 miles from the city core.)

    That's a problem for the service industry. Parking and gas can take a lot out of a server's wage, especially thanks to America's stupid tip culture. So a lot of people are pushing for affordable housing. This leads to nasty gripes and fights, with such stellar statements as, "They just don't deserve to live downtown." intermixed with, "I can't believe <popular club> has such bad service, why are the waiters so terrible lately?" Interesting, that.

    There's some promising proposals, mainly around something we call "PUDs" that's just the old "shops on the first floor, apartments upstairs" idea at a large scale. The thought is if people can live where they work, and walk to stores/entertainment, they won't need cars and can afford a lot more (with bonus less congestion.) These are violently opposed by current homeowners and realtors, because it's perceived that they're a threat to property values/commissions.

    So every few months, a proposal appears, and it's shot down, and nothing changes. Everyone agrees we have a problem, and it's clear what we have to do to fix it, but everyone would really rather someone else risk their property value so it never gets done.

    This is a bit of Russian Roulette, as if it ever reaches the point where there's a service industry collapse, there's a very real possibility it will cause ripples that cause a lot of wealth to head for greener pastures, sending home prices tumbling and leaving the city with a large infrastructure cost and no property tax income to cover it. Sort of like Detroit. Everyone involved seems to be sure it's either not going to happen, or at least won't happen until they've sold off their investments and won't care anymore.

    This makes it very frustrating to be single-income, middle-class, and contemplating a home. The right time to buy is always 'last year', and the right time to sell is always 'today'. I know people who had the recommended 25% deposit, but six times in a row they were outbid by buyers offering $100k more cash. It's nuts. The common reddit joke goes:
    "Ha, I bought my home for $90k and sold it for $200k to some sucker."
    "Ha, I bought a home for $200k, spent $50k on renovations, and sold it for $300k to some sucker."
    "Ha, I bought a home for $300k, repainted it over the weekend, and sold it for $575k to some sucker."
    ...
    This, again, was a place where I oversimplify but I think the easy interpretation is an overall attitude of "got mine, screw you". A more complex interpretation could be, "Everyone is so terrified because there's no social safety net, they feel they have to block what could be good social progress to protect what little wealth they have managed to carve out. The real estate industry is capitalizing on this by maintaining high values to keep the illusion running."
    Last edited by Sitten Spynne; Jul 1st, 2016 at 03:19 PM.

  38. #118

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    Re: Brexit

    Yeah, that's why I was going to reply to FD by saying that we, too, have space issues...unfortunately, it's too MUCH space and it's located between the ears.

    My mortgage is less than some of my friends pay for rent in smaller places. However, our rents are considerably cheaper than what you quoted (cost of living isn't all that high here). The size and price of new housing sounds the same, though. On the other hand, I don't know that there is any opposition to building what you call "PUDs". In fact, one was just built beside my office. It's pretty nice, though, so I suspect that it makes the problem worse rather than solving it. We have a tower, here, where you can get a very nice condo. It had better be nice, cause the prices start above $350K, and I'm not sure what you get for that cash in terms of views and convenience.

    I consider moving, at times, because I'll finish paying off my house in September and I've always aspired to being a slum lord, so I could almost certainly buy a new house, rent my current house, and come out ahead, but this house is so darn conveniently located for everything other than work...and I can telecommute a bunch, so it's not so bad for work, either. Besides, I never really did aspire to being a slum lord.
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    Re: Brexit

    Yeah, I'm leaving towers and the hill country out of the Austin housing discussion. Those are fancypants places for rich people and I don't think any reasonable housing policy will be selling "view of the river and nestled in the hills" or "45th floor with convenient access to Whole Foods" for something we consider 'affordable'. I resent excess, but acknowledge we can't have a functioning economy if there aren't some ridiculously wealthy people.

    I guess the battle, here, is often portrayed as "good sense vs. NIMBYs" but it's really so much more complex. It's high-stakes gambling among realtors, using homeowners as the pawns. Much like the mortgage situation, each realtor's hoping they're not holding all the homes when/if the bubble bursts.

    But it's so representative of so many problems. The argument the homeowners have been led to believe is lipstick on a pig. It's sold as "If you allow this to be built, you'll lose the value of your home!" but reality is more like, "This development could cost you 10% of the 300% return right now, with high probability long-term your value will continue to rise. Blocking the development protects your value today, but there's an increasing risk over time you will lose 80% or more of the return later."

    Everyone always brushes it off as "it's the Texas miracle, it'll never end".

    It feels like, somehow, metaphorically, this applies to Brexit.

  40. #120
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Brexit

    My takeaway is that this guy is an academic EU lawyer and member of the class that gained the most over past decades from EU membership. He could also win a "Great Non-Communicator Award" for his poor speaking style and general lack of ability to express himself. His speech goes around in circles and the entire thing puts one in mind of Charlie Brown's Teacher Talking. This is what is generally known as a "spin doctor."
    Well i have to completely disagree, firstly this guy is as far from a spin doctor as you can get, he is a University professor and has nothing to do with politics.

    Also as he said in the speech, because of his specialist knowledge, Brexit is actually in his own personal interest he will be in very well paid work now for probably the next decade trying to help untangle the legal mess of leaving the EU.

    If there is a theme to this somnambulistic screed it seems to be "leaving the EU means 'dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria' in terms of UK law." Much alarmist heat, almost zero light.

    If you can stay awake until his last 5 minutes he does get down to the real point about trade agreements and labor movement. All you get there is about 30 seconds of telling people what they already know.
    If you has seen the debate over here during the referendum you would realise that actually he said a number of things that most people did not know at all.

    You may not personally care for his presenting style but that is your personal opinion, while i didn't mind it whilst realising that he is not the most charismatic speaker.
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