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Austerity in ruins?

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dr.bob
1240060.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:44 am Reply with quote

Apologies. I didn't mean to be pejorative. That was simply a phrase that amused me and was much shorter to type than the alternative.

In an attempt to further discussion, I'll re-phrase it.

I think we've already established that the supermarkets we're discussing are present in the very expensive areas of London because of all those highly paid executives which are cluttering up the place. Moving council house tenants out of the centre won't remove the need for these supermarkets to a) exist and b) access cheap labour. So where is that labour to come from if all the poor people have been willingly relocated to the leafy suburbs?

Bear in mind that London is so big that said leafy suburbs will be vast distances from the centre, meaning anyone living there will need to spend an awful lot of money and time if they want to commute in to the centre.

 
PDR
1240061.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:07 am Reply with quote

I'm not convinced that it's the highly-paid execs who are "cluttering up the place", but I don't have access to any demographic data.

I will observe that most of the high-paid execs I know who work in London (probably 40-50 people, now I think about it) don't live in London at all - they live in nice places with good rail links to the city so that they can have a good house and grounds and only a 60-80minute commute.

So I still suspect the majority of the supermarket capacity is required by people other than these "execs". But that's by-the-by and I'm coming at it from a more basic angle:

1. "ordinary people" cannot afford to live in these places because the prices (rent or buy) are too high

2. Prices are driven primarily by scarcity - as witnessed by the fact that the same type of home costs much less in other areas.

3. If prices are driven by scarcity then giving people more money to spend on housing won't help in these areas; it will just drive prices higher.

4. Therefore the only way to provide homes people can afford is to increase the supply to remove the scarcity-driver on the price.

5. There is no more land on which to build further homes in the London area.

6. Therefore the only sustainable solution is to move the poeple to areas where there is space to build the required homes because it will NEVER be possible to build sufficient "nice" homes in London.

PDR

 
barbados
1240066.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:33 am Reply with quote

I have a feeling you are misinterpreting the "cheap labour" side of the argument.

The supermarkets do need to be in the area to server the local community, no one wants to drive 20 miles because they have run out of eggs. But what they need to do is pay the wages so that poor people can afford to commute in to town to work in them.

I also think that maybe dr.bob is not really aware of the transport infrastructure down here. I live outside the M25, but can be in central London in around 30 minutes - that isn't that much of a tough commute to work - when I lived in greater London it used to take me longer than that to get to work.
(Although the travel is much better from Kent - we don't want poor people in Surrey do we? ;P )

 
dr.bob
1240071.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:40 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
I'm not convinced that it's the highly-paid execs who are "cluttering up the place", but I don't have access to any demographic data.


My fault for not making myself clear. Instead of "highly-paid execs", I should've used the more accurate term "people who are earning enough that they wouldn't consider stacking shelves in a supermarket as a viable career path." They probably far outweigh the number of "execs".

I also forgot that a lot of people wandering in to the Sainsbury's in Cheapside will be tourists, since it's not far from several popular tourist attractions.

PDR wrote:
1. "ordinary people" cannot afford to live in these places because the prices (rent or buy) are too high

2. Prices are driven primarily by scarcity - as witnessed by the fact that the same type of home costs much less in other areas.

3. If prices are driven by scarcity then giving people more money to spend on housing won't help in these areas; it will just drive prices higher.

4. Therefore the only way to provide homes people can afford is to increase the supply to remove the scarcity-driver on the price.

5. There is no more land on which to build further homes in the London area.


I agree with all of these statements completely.

PDR wrote:
6. Therefore the only sustainable solution is to move the poeple to areas where there is space to build the required homes because it will NEVER be possible to build sufficient "nice" homes in London.


This is also true, but I can't see any practical solution to moving the vast number of people out of central London. Most of them want to live as close as possible to their jobs, so it would make sense to move the companies out of central London. But, as I've mentioned above, the companies seem reluctant to do this despite the significant cost savings they would receive as a result.

 
'yorz
1240072.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:44 am Reply with quote

'LONDON' on your letterhead looks infinitely better than 'SLOUGH'.

 
dr.bob
1240073.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:56 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
I also think that maybe dr.bob is not really aware of the transport infrastructure down here.


I think that's probably true.

barbados wrote:
I live outside the M25, but can be in central London in around 30 minutes - that isn't that much of a tough commute to work - when I lived in greater London it used to take me longer than that to get to work.


I guess 30 minute to 1 hour is probably a "standard" commute in London. In which case, I imagine a big factor would be the cost.

From what I can find on the TfL website, the cost of annual travel on the London under/overground network is 3,092 for zones 1-8 (Cheshunt is beyond the M25 and is in zone 8, so that will probably be far enough, though I admit my ignorance in such matters).

The national minimum wage is currently 7.50 for people over 25. Assuming they work 7.5 hours a day for 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year, that comes in at 14,625. Although, after tax this is reduced to 13,112.20 (according to this website). So annual travel on TfL services would account for more than 23% of their take-home pay.

To me, this seems very high. Certainly the kind of thing that would make me decide to get a different job. It's even tougher for the 21-24 year olds, since their minimum wage is lower meaning they'd be spending nearly a quarter of their take-home pay on travel.

 
barbados
1240076.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:07 am Reply with quote

This is where my logic for a higher wage comes to the fore.

The problem is - as an employer, if someone is happy to do the job for 7.50 why would you offer 10.00?

 
dr.bob
1240079.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:31 am Reply with quote

I think the phrase "prepared to do" rather than "happy to do" might be closer to the mark ;-)

But essentially your point stands.

 
crissdee
1240081.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:49 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
The national minimum wage is currently 7.50 for people over 25. Assuming they work 7.5 hours a day for 5 days a week, 52 weeks per year, that comes in at 14,625. Although, after tax this is reduced to 13,112.20 (according to this website). So annual travel on TfL services would account for more than 23% of their take-home pay.


And rent on a one-bedroom place within walking distance of a tube station will swallow up about 90% of it!

 
Jenny
1240086.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:22 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Re internet access being anything more than a luxury ........
I'll just leave this here https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/library-opening-hours/watford-library.aspx


And that would leave my son with access to the internet - assuming he wanted to actually go home and eat and drink something first after a full day's work on a building site - on Saturdays or maybe for a rushed half hour two days a week. Moreover, there is no free parking around that library (I know this because I used to live a short walk from it - he lives about three miles away). This is not ready access to the internet. If you were street homeless, obviously it would be the only thing available, but it doesn't make sense otherwise.

 
PDR
1240092.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:16 am Reply with quote

Don't know where this "internet" rabbithole came from - I certainly never mentioned it.

In about six weeks my eldest will be exchanging on her first house (ok "maisonette"). She's 19 won't be earning a lot for quite a while, but she wanted to have a place of her own and was looking into renting. We're helping her with the purchase because (a) it costs about the same as renting, but she needs parental support before the morgage companies will lend to her, (b) it makes more sense to pay a mortgage than to simply dissipate it in rent, and (c) it's what parents do, isn't it?

Anyway - long before we jumped in, when she was still looking at renting, she had already worked out that while she was renting she would not be able to afford TV*and* internet, so she chose internet (as it's essential for her job) and will not have a TV license*. She has worked out that she will need to cook her own meals and lunches because she won't be able to afford to eat out. SHe is budgetting for no holidays at all for the first three years, and a "personal entertainment" budget of 10/wk.

Many of her mates feel that having no holidays, fags, 3 nights a week at the pub/movies, a car or the ability to order chinese/pizza on a whim is just sub-human existance. That's what I'm talking about.

PDR

* Actually she will because I'm going to pay for it for a few years to avoid the on-going tedium of convincing the TVLA that you're not watching telly, but she doesn't know that yet.

 
barbados
1240095.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:55 am Reply with quote

Jenny suggested it was an essential - I suggested it was actually a luxury as there are alternatives - it require some effort, but free internet is available

 
suze
1240097.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:04 pm Reply with quote

It's actually available to most of us for no effort.

There hasn't been much serious research on this question, because what I am about to describe is certainly unethical and somewhat grey in legality. But in practice, it's estimated that about three quarters of us could access the Internet by means of someone else's unsecured wifi.

I don't know whether anyone "borrows" ours, but tbh I'm not that bothered if they do as long as they are reasonably well-behaved about it. I do know that I've "borrowed" other people's more often than never in my life.

 
PDR
1240098.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:07 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
more often than never in my life.


That's a phrase that I shall steal!

PDR

 
crissdee
1240103.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:47 pm Reply with quote

I have only once been able to do that. When I was in my flat, I had an old wifi modem thing for my old computer. with it, I could pick up maybe a dozen signals, only one of which ws unsecured. I had a quick peek around on that (nothing icky, just the Orange County Choppers site) and thought I would go back later and have another go. That loophole was quickly closed, and I have never since encountered an unsecured connection. Perhaps people round here are just suspicious buggers.

 

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