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Dr J
11 Jan 10 12:54
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Date Joined: 18 Oct 01
| Topic/replies: 2,508 | Blogger: Dr J's blog
One forum poster boasts about being a 'wealth creator' despite claiming an EU CAP subsidy paid for by people whose income is, on average, substantially lower than his.

Another forum poster boasts that he and his fellow bankers are 'wealth creators' despite arguing that the financial sector was 'clever' to line its own pockets while bankrupting the country.

Any suggestion that the 'wealth creators' should contribute more to society through tax, of course, is met with panicked cries: "Oh, but what if they leave the country Dr J? Who will create our wealth for us then, Dr J? Boo-hoo."

Meanwhile, in what's affectionately dubbed the 'Non-Wealth Creating Sector', everyone salivates at the prospect of teachers, nurses and council workers being made redundant. They didn't cause the mess, of course, but political parties fight amongst themselves to see who can punish them hardest.

Have we really become so brainwashed? Do we really swallow the great 'wealth creator' myth, even though years of evidence now firmly show that the only wealth they really create is their own? Must we really seek to please anyone who - however self-servingly, however dishonestly - labels themselves a 'wealth creator'? Moreover, must we continue to skew political and economic policy towards a bunch of people who, in general, care nothing for society and everything for themselves?

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Replies: 381
By:
MRGRUMPY1
When: 11 Jan 10 12:56
Do you not think you are being rather selective with the examples given.
By:
madsimon
When: 11 Jan 10 13:00
I am no fan of the EU CAP either . in practical terms the only way to end it is to leave the EU or do what Maggie did and get a massive rebate for it. (given up by Blair/brown btw)

however food production is vital and more vital than most in not all public sector services so some subsidy is probably needed to gurantee it and keep prices stable and affordable. i think farmers get to generousa deal though as theri subsidies tneed to be more targeted.

thats my view of the public sector .of course some things need to be guaranteed but the allocation of resouces need to be more targeted. I wuld prefer 10 extra nurses to 10 extra diversity officers or equality monitors for instance. I would prefer 10 more soldiers to 10 more MOd procurement officials for instance.

everyone who works creates some 'wealth'. what government needs to ensure is that resources are alocated to those who are able to produce the most 'wealth' be it medical care ,food production or export earnings.
By:
salmon spray
When: 11 Jan 10 13:14
I agree with Dr J`s basic argument, but tbf numbers of people in the private sector have been badly affected. The bank staff whom you and I see, not well-paid to start off with, are losing jobs because of the incompetence of their management. Of course a few of the latter have gone as well but I doubt Fred the Shred is claiming Income Support and Housing Benefit.
On second thoughts......
By:
Mister E
When: 11 Jan 10 13:35
he and his fellow bankers are 'wealth creators' despite arguing that the financial sector was 'clever' to line its own pockets while bankrupting the country.

Bizarre that losing the banks hundreds of millions is deemed as "wealth creation".
Even more bizarre that the government dishes out knighthoods for the same.

The chief executive who throws shareholders money with largesse is apparently much admired by our leaders, while the self employed businessman who has financed and grown his own small workforce is despised as "Middle Class". The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
By:
Dr J
When: 11 Jan 10 13:42
MRGRUMPY1 11 Jan 13:56

Do you not think you are being rather selective with the examples given.


Indeed I am, but my aim is to comment on the discourse itself; the fact that anyone labelling themselves as a 'wealth creator' seems to make themselves immune to criticism these days.

Surely this is the result of a persistent capitalistic/consumeristic ideology? People can't think for themselves any more.

madsimon 11 Jan 14:00

I wuld prefer 10 extra nurses to 10 extra diversity officers or equality monitors for instance.


Do you really think anyone would argue with that though, simon?

I agree with all your other points.

salmon spray 11 Jan 14:14

I agree with Dr J`s basic argument, but tbf numbers of people in the private sector have been badly affected.


Yes, but it's the top-enders who hide behind the 'wealth creator' myth and they continue to flourish.

Mister E 11 Jan 14:35

Bizarre that losing the banks hundreds of millions is deemed as "wealth creation".


Not if you've made yourself wealthy beyond your dreams while doing it. Not in current political thinking anyway.
By:
madsimon
When: 11 Jan 10 13:49
there is of course one big area of public spending that creates no wealth at all and that is beneifits.

thats the area that will need to be cut to deal effectively with the huge national debt and huge current trade imbalance
By:
gus
When: 11 Jan 10 13:59
perhaps 'wealth creators' should be honored on the Politics Forum by appending an appropriate suffix to their usernames, e.g.:

Göring WC
blackburn WC

have a ring to them imo :)
By:
blackburn1
When: 11 Jan 10 14:06
I presume that by employing staff I am considered a wealth creator. Its a shame that gus and others seem very willing to denigrate those who keep the place running, without people getting off their backsides there would be no wealth at all.

I'm not sure of the precise definition tbh

Interesting that nobody has a pop at those who refused to pay back the money they owed to Northern Rock, thats where the trouble started, people borrowing more than they could afford.
By:
flatliner
When: 11 Jan 10 14:15
I laughed when someone grandly decribed themselves as an "educator" ;)
By:
blackburn1
When: 11 Jan 10 14:25
I wonder who that was?

;)
By:
V4 Vendetta
When: 11 Jan 10 14:30
Dr J 11 Jan 13:54

Another forum poster boasts that he and his fellow bankers are 'wealth creators' despite arguing that the financial sector was 'clever' to line its own pockets while bankrupting the country.


Blimey, which idiot did this, because we all know Brown bankrupted the country.

Any suggestion that the 'wealth creators' should contribute more to society through tax, of course, is met with panicked cries: "Oh, but what if they leave the country Dr J? Who will create our wealth for us then, Dr J? Boo-hoo."

See the 70s brain drain when you were repeating year 9. But it's clearly the people who aren't creating wealth but receiving and spending it who need to contribute more. However, if everyone paid their own bills there'd be no need for the coercion to attempt to find 'fair'.

Meanwhile, in what's affectionately dubbed the 'Non-Wealth Creating Sector', everyone salivates at the prospect of teachers, nurses and council workers being made redundant. They didn't cause the mess, of course, but political parties fight amongst themselves to see who can punish them hardest.

Typical drivvel. Many teachers, nurses, and council workers will have a) voted Labour - increasing borrowing to bankruptcy and b) bought a house with a loan from a bank encouraged by the state to do so which restricted housing supply causing a bubble.

Have we really become so brainwashed?

Apparently.

Do we really swallow the great 'wealth creator' myth, even though years of evidence now firmly show that the only wealth they really create is their own?

Decades of tax receipts and one year of give back amounting to four years of takings. What evidence?

Must we really seek to please anyone who - however self-servingly, however dishonestly - labels themselves a 'wealth creator'?

If you remove the coercion, you can please who you want. Coercion created the need for more.

Moreover, must we continue to skew political and economic policy towards a bunch of people who, in general, care nothing for society and everything for themselves?

See Adam Smith (again).
By:
Mister E
When: 11 Jan 10 15:11
blackburn,
thats where the trouble started, people borrowing more than they could afford.


Plus banks lending money they didn't have to people who couldn't afford to repay it to buy over priced assets.
When you are playing with other people's money it's easy to impress the gullible into believing you are a genius.
By:
madsimon
When: 11 Jan 10 15:14
the banking sector have to shoulder blame but the government was overspending before that and had already built up a huge national debt before the credit crunch
By:
Dr J
When: 11 Jan 10 15:26
Blimey, which idiot did this, because we all know Brown bankrupted the country.

Dear Goring (WC),

You've stated repeatedly that the individual bankers who gambled and lost were 'clever' because they knew the government would write off their debt anyway and they'd still collect their big salaries and fat bonuses. They were gambling with taxpayers' money.

Fair enough, that's ultimately the government's fault. But here's my question:

In what respect are these 'clever' bankers wealth creators?

Sure they created wealth for themselves; but thier net contribution to society was massively negative - UK PLC would have been better off taxing them abroad.

(Incidentally, if the best answer you can come up with here involves the old 'trickle down effect', don't bother...)

;)

Yours,

Dr J (NWC)
By:
sfc1976
When: 11 Jan 10 15:52
Surely this is the result of a persistent capitalistic/consumeristic ideology?

God, haven't heard that kind of thing since my student days! By the way, what are your answers to all the problems you pose? I would suggest that the only theory more discredited than the trickle-down effect is the one you are seemingly proposing.
By:
The beauty of Buzzer
When: 11 Jan 10 17:36
Did you know that Adam Smith lived with his mother until she died at 90. Imagine if he'd been on this forum and admitted that, no one would take him seriously. His theories may have worked when the market was limited to the local market place but in the global village they are naive, as proved by the collapse of the banks.
By:
salmon spray
When: 11 Jan 10 18:31
Poor old Adam Smith gets a lot of stick, because his views are misrepresented. In theory he did think that the market was perfect. In practice he knew about human fallibility/greed and was in favour of a certain amount of regulation.
By:
gus
When: 11 Jan 10 19:41
Adam Smith, *An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations", 1776

Book V: Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth


Of the Expenses of the Sovereign or Commonwealth:

"The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state. The expense of government to the individuals of a great nation is like the expense of management to the joint tenants of a great estate, who are all obliged to contribute in proportion to their respective interests in the estate. In the observation or neglect of this maxim consists what is called the equality or inequality of taxation."
By:
The beauty of Buzzer
When: 11 Jan 10 19:45
He did actually spend a lot of time travelling and left home to go to university. He was a devoted and dutiful son.
By:
Dr J
When: 11 Jan 10 19:58
See Adam Smith (again).

And, Goring (WC), it looks like you're the one who needs to do a little more reading on Smith...
By:
alfie255
When: 11 Jan 10 22:30
And all of this is predicated on the belief that creating wealth is the be and end all, the key to human happiness. Which of course is complete b*llocks.
By:
blackburn1
When: 12 Jan 10 07:35
Thats absolutely right alf I agree. But somebody still has to do it.
By:
noddys ryde
When: 12 Jan 10 07:57
I guess this is aimed at me.
I claim to be a wealth creator because I am in the private sector and generate a lot of corporate and personal tax.
The amount I get back from the "system" in terms of the CAP is small in comparison.
Incidentally my agricultural land is in a development zone and I have had offers from a developer-once the market improves and I structure things to minimise CGT I will take it to the bank.
You will then be happy Dr J-I will not claim CAP, some of the extra 9 million people your party wants to bring in can be housed and we can import the food formerly produced on the land.
And I will lie on a foreign beach returning for Cheltenham, Ascot and Goodwood in the happy knowledge that I paid in plenty from the wealth I created during my working life.
By:
V4 Vendetta
When: 12 Jan 10 08:09
Dr J 11 Jan 16:26

You've stated repeatedly that the individual bankers who gambled and lost were 'clever' because they knew the government would write off their debt anyway and they'd still collect their big salaries and fat bonuses. They were gambling with taxpayers' money.


I haven't stated it repeatedly. It's also a different comment to the one you accused someone of above (as it doen't include bankrupting the country). Brown did that.


Fair enough, that's ultimately the government's fault. But here's my question:

Good. At least you've acknowledged this now. As usual, government is the problem.


In what respect are these 'clever' bankers wealth creators?
Sure they created wealth for themselves; but thier net contribution to society was massively
negative - UK PLC would have been better off taxing them abroad.


I don't see the issue. The industry has been 10-25% of GDP for years, the bailout basically took back the last four years. It's clear the industry has bailed out the government for years and in one year the tables turned and there's unjustified squealing. Unjustified because, as you acknowledge above, it's the government wot did it.
By:
V4 Vendetta
When: 12 Jan 10 08:12
Dr J 11 Jan 20:58

And, Goring (WC), it looks like you're the one who needs to do a little more reading on Smith...


Not at all. The theory of Moral Sentiments discusses the invisible hand and self-interest which is a direct reply to your question above. The fact that he made other statements doesn't contradict or negate the reasoning.
By:
Dr J
When: 12 Jan 10 09:21
It's clear the industry has bailed out the government for years and in one year the tables turned and there's unjustified squealing.

This response is weaker than the 'trickle down' one I feared...,

:0

When you talk about the financial sector having 'bailed out' the government for years, you mean nothing more than having paid an appropriate (and competitive) rate of tax, I assume?

However, on this flimsy basis, you leap to the conclusion that any banker who gambled and lost, yet still benefited personally because the government stepped is, remains a 'wealth creator'?

Give up, Goring - you're just embarrassing yourself now.

:(
By:
Dr Crippen
When: 12 Jan 10 09:33
The financial sector lives off the backs of the real wealth creators.
By:
V4 Vendetta
When: 12 Jan 10 11:03
Dr J 12 Jan 10:21

When you talk about the financial sector having 'bailed out' the government for years, you mean nothing more than having paid an appropriate (and competitive) rate of tax, I assume?


your idea of appropriate is different to mine, but I'm referring to the coercion of tax, yes.

However, on this flimsy basis, you leap to the conclusion that any banker who gambled and lost, yet still benefited personally because the government stepped is, remains a 'wealth creator'?

Where exactly have I "leapt" to this conclusion regarding "any banker"?


Give up, Goring - you're just embarrassing yourself now.

We'll see when you provide the evidence.


Dr Crippen 12 Jan 10:33

The financial sector lives off the backs of the real wealth creators.


You and your mates overpricing nuts and bolts in the Midlands? This is just a statement, at least Dr J provides some reasoning albeit fallacious and composed of misquotes.
By:
evski
When: 12 Jan 10 11:03
Göring 11 Jan 15:30


Blimey, which idiot did this, because we all know Brown bankrupted the country.


I'm pretty sure that he didn't put a gun to any banker's head and force them to buy securitised sub-prime assets. Or was this because there was too much regulation? Presumably with fewer regulations the banks would have behaved more sensibly.
By:
Java
When: 12 Jan 10 11:05
Dear god when will people get this:

There are two issues:

1) Credit crisis (largely caused by bankers)
2) Debt crisis (completely caused by Brown)

The debt crisis is far more serious, and the reason why this country is on the brink of meltdown. You can bleat at the bankers all you like (who admittedly haven't covered themselves in glory) but the man who bankrupted the country is Gordon Brown.
By:
blackburn1
When: 12 Jan 10 11:06
With fewer regulations they would have realised there wasn't a safety net, therefore they lent too much money to too many people who couldn't/wouldn't pay it back.
By:
gus
When: 12 Jan 10 11:32
"I'm referring to the coercion of tax"

So, in this respect you disagree with Mr Smith's maxim?

"The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state."
By:
Dr J
When: 12 Jan 10 11:51
Seems like poor Goring actually disagrees with most of Adam Smith's views. He's just not read enough to know it.

:(

As for:

Where exactly have I "leapt" to this conclusion regarding "any banker"?

He now seems to be moving towards the position that not all bankers are wealth creators (and, by inference, that some are parasites). Wel, better late than never.
By:
Dr Crippen
When: 12 Jan 10 12:02
Since when was churning other peoples money for the commission it yields called creating wealth?
Or lending money to others who can create something other than more of it, regarded in the same way?

Like the public sector, you could replay the lot of them and not notice any difference.
By:
gus
When: 12 Jan 10 12:16
Seems like poor Goring actually disagrees with most of Adam Smith's views. He's just not read enough to know it.

One can only hope that similar defiiencies are not to be found amongst the august membership of the Adam Smith Institute :)
By:
Java
When: 12 Jan 10 12:20
Dr Crippen - by your definition, nothing "creates wealth", as ultimately money just goes round in circles while the earths resources are used to create items that people value.

From my perspective, banks churning money creates wealth. Why? Because the people working there get paid from an private source and pay tax on this money, thus adding to the Treasury's coffers (which Brown and Balls then splurge up the wall).

The Public Sector create no wealth. While some of their roles are vital, and it is accepted that we need to pay tax to provide for their employment for the greater good, some are parasitic. The parasites add no perceivable value, and are paid by the government who then tax a portion of this back. Thus they either simply drain money away from areas which need it, or bankrupt us eventually.

It would be better to have a mass cull of these parasites - their benefits will be a fraction of the overinflated government salaries they get currently.
By:
Dr J
When: 12 Jan 10 12:56
I don't think any public sector 'parasites' have cost the Treasury as much as the Socialist Bankers did, Java.
By:
blackburn1
When: 12 Jan 10 13:04
But did they Dr J, my understanding is that Branson was willing to buy NR, Brown made a choice
By:
treetop
When: 12 Jan 10 13:46
When the sums are finally done and what can be sold on is sold on I suspect that the banks may not cost anywhere near as much as the benefits community. The government may have underpinned the banking sector but I am sure there will be a payback time in the next few years. Brown is probably gambling on selling off something from NR before the election to get a few headlines this way. They (NR) have repaid almost half I understand.
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