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Mr Grue
97546.  Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:29 pm Reply with quote

Of course the 99p coin would never work, because how would the shops get rid of them?

 
cabs
97547.  Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:36 pm Reply with quote

snophlake wrote:
As a new law I would like to see either values of products set at either the pound or 50 p or the introduction of a 99 p coin because I personally think we can do without coppers.


Senor Grue has a point. A 99p coin would require coppers, not get rid of them. Best simply to abolish them and price in 5ps.

 
Jenny
97554.  Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:17 pm Reply with quote

Neotenic - you're absolutely right of course, but the problem is that when people are young they're either convinced they're immortal and will be healthy and strong for ever, or alternatively convinced they're not going to live to be old, so why make provision?

 
dr.bob
97611.  Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:19 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
On paper, what you say makes perfect sense. The trouble is, and the Turner report commented on this if I recall, that many people simply don't put that extra money they may have into a pension. Instead, they spend it all on pre-grated cheese and 3.50 cups of squash from Starbucks. I may have paraphrased slightly.


I'm not convinced, however, that we need large banking companies charging us extortionate rates for their services in order to increase their profits and pay out dividends to their share holders just so that another large company can charge us to invest our money in those shares so we get a pension at the end of it.

I agree that people tend not to make enough provision for their pensions, but using the pension investment as an excuse for companies to make huge profits and big payments to their investors doesn't really wash with me. It seems to me that companies like making huge profits and paying out to their investors because the people at the top of these companies tend to own a hefty chunk of shares themselves.

Neotenic wrote:
I started there at about the age of 20/21 and I've been paying into a pension ever since.

But still people don't do it - barely any of my circle of friends have anything if their employers don't provide it, and we're all starting to hit thirty now. They say they can't afford it, but they can afford to buy CDs, DVDs and spend at least one night a week in a nightclub.

It's not much fun paying into a pension, but then again neither is trying to live for a week on three cans of corned beef when nearing your 70th birthday.


I wholeheartedly agree with this view. I was quite lucky in that my first three jobs came with company pension schemes. As soon as I moved into a job without a pension scheme, I took out my own personal pension and have been paying into it ever since.

I took out my personal pension around 2001 when there was an awful lot of stories in the news about the recent fall in the stock market causing many pension schemes to under perform for the people who were about to retire then. What I found most annoying was the younger people (early 20s) I was working with saying "I'm not going to bother with a pension scheme because you keep hearing in the news about how crap the stock market is".

I tried to explain to them that the important point for them is what the stock market is going to do in the next 40 years or so, and that investing when the stock market is low is really good because it means your investments will go up quickly, but they were too busy going to nightclubs and buying Play Stations (god, I sound old!)

 
simonp
97653.  Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:58 am Reply with quote

The Car Tax system we have now is not ideal. I owned a 1973 MG BGT and had to pay 180 per year to tax it. If it had been a year older it would have cost me nothing because its a 'classic' (why a 33 year old british sports car isn't a classic but a 34 year old one is I don't know). As it wasn't tax exempt it was worth less than a tax exempt one so when it broke (expensively) it wasn't economical to repair so its off the road now, not earning revenue for HM govt. If it was old i'd still be using it, wearing out roads and not contributing to the 'Road Fund'.
The tax disc does require a visit to the post office, whether the car is tax exempt or not. In some small way this does help reduce the number of un MOT'd or uninsured cars on the road as you need both of those to get a disc, which you wouldn't get with just a fuel tax.

 
Neotenic
97655.  Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:59 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
I tried to explain to them that the important point for them is what the stock market is going to do in the next 40 years or so, and that investing when the stock market is low is really good because it means your investments will go up quickly, but they were too busy going to nightclubs and buying Play Stations (god, I sound old!)


Some great stuff in that post Dr B - I realise that some of my thoughts on redistribution of wealth are somewhat inelegant in their current form - I see a drawing board and some brow-furrowing cogitation in the future of those particular theories.

Picking up on what you said about 2001 and the state of the stock markets, by that point I had moved into more general investment work, and saw first hand the effect on the stock market of certain events in that September (I forget which) and the far larger, longer declines in markets started mostly by the collapse of Enron and Worldcom that the US could only really halt by going and blowing the stuffing out of defenseless folk in Iraq. Oooh, controversial.

The point I was going to make, before getting all political again (how unlike me) was that a crap market is quite possibly the best time to invest. For example, had you invested in a FTSE-linked unit trust on the day the markets re-opened after 9th November (with thanks to Stewart Lee), the rebound in the market would have almost doubled your money within four weeks. It's a shame that the average guy on the street doesn't see this, and we had people cashing in their investments at the very bottom of the curve, when if they'd held on four six weeks they wouldn't have lost anything at all - and if they'd chucked some more cash into their pot at that very moment, they would now be significantly better off.

 
Flash
97732.  Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:00 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
Schools, hospitals, police, ambulance, fire brigade, refuse disposal, welfare payments, state pensions, defence, international aid, etc, etc. Pick which public service we can live without, and you can start lowering taxes.

If by 'defence' you mean the policy of invading and occupying third-world countries, that would be a budget item that could be trimmed a bit in my view. And the DTI spends 12 bn a year on regulation of business. Admittedly some of that regulation is not actively harmful, but much of it is - and very little of it is actively helpful. So we could save a few bob there, too.

The trouble is that the costs and benefits of public spending are so heavily skewed: almost everyone feels that they will potentially benefit personally from increased health spending, but many fewer people have to worry about paying for the increases - 50% of the income tax collected is paid by 10% of the taxpayers. So there's a built-in tendency for public sector spending to increase, irrespective of whether it provides good value for money or is an efficient use of resources.

Check out the Taxpayers' Alliance (http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/) for arguments for lower taxes.

Quote:
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it". (Ronald Reagan)

 
Neotenic
97746.  Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:27 am Reply with quote

[quote="Flash"]
Neotenic wrote:

If by 'defence' you mean the policy of invading and occupying third-world countries, that would be a budget item that could be trimmed a bit in my view. And the DTI spends 12 bn a year on regulation of business. Admittedly some of that regulation is not actively harmful, but much of it is - and very little of it is actively helpful. So we could save a few bob there, too.

The trouble is that the costs and benefits of public spending are so heavily skewed: almost everyone feels that they will potentially benefit personally from increased health spending, but many fewer people have to worry about paying for the increases - 50% of the income tax collected is paid by 10% of the taxpayers. So there's a built-in tendency for public sector spending to increase, irrespective of whether it provides good value for money or is an efficient use of resources.

Check out the Taxpayers' Alliance (http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/) for arguments for lower taxes.

Quote:
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it". (Ronald Reagan)


I'm not going to be drawn on the cost of regulation because that's what I do! But could you give an example of harmful regulation?

I agree that not charging into foreign companies would save us a couple of fivers or so, but unfortunately we do need to maintain some form of military force, however much I would like everyone just to hug and make friends.

Good point about the lack of balance in public spending - I think that at least some of the blame can be laid at the doors of special interest groups. My feeling on these types of things is do something for the benefit of everyone. However, I would say that discussions about health and education usually have me reaching for the 'off' switch. there are only so many things you can really keep on top of, and I've chosen to let these areas slide a little in my mind.

Love the Reagan quote too!

 
samivel
97889.  Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:19 pm Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
Picking up on what you said about 2001 and the state of the stock markets, by that point I had moved into more general investment work, and saw first hand the effect on the stock market of certain events in that September (I forget which)



Who would have thought the financial markets would have been so damaged by England beating Germany 5-1?

 
barbados
97912.  Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:17 am Reply with quote

how about a law where if someone smashes the window on your car for no reason at all they are automatically harpooned directly into their testicles then strung up by said harpoons until they die.

Get that one passed you've got my vote.

my bitterness doesn't show at all does it

 
snophlake
97967.  Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:33 am Reply with quote

Am I right in thinking this has happened to you?

 

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