Sunday, 13 September 2009

TUC loonies gather in fairy land

The eve of this year's congress. You know things are in a parallel universe when the BBC decide the only person worth speaking to is the odious Kevin Maguire.

I was listening to 5 Live earlier and was close to throwing the dinner over the radio at the bile and nonsense as the BBC reported on the gathering of their fellow travellers of the left.

Apparently all week we are to get a torrent of no cuts in public service. That is OK then, let's have them all in the private sector. No say the Unions, no cuts at all are needed, we need strong services. Who pays? Well that is not important, evil Tories or our childrens' children, some such will be found.

However, they have made me laugh. One of the deputies, metaphorically wringing her hands on the radio said now was not time for cuts. In fact cutting public expenditure now would be awful, as it would reduce the tax take even further. Such a worry is the denuded tax base which cannot cope with our structural deficit.

Elementary maths is clearly beyond them, public sector staff are paid by the taxpayer and then hand some of their wages back again as employment taxes, say 35%. Therefore every public sector job cut does in fact reduce the cost of Government by about 65% per job.

You have to laugh at these sort of comments, made by people living in a world of pure ignorance and self-certainty.


denverthen said...

Brilliant post from a blog I wish I had discovered long ago.

"Ignorance" and "self-certainty" are synonymous, btw. This mainly left-wing condition is often accompanied by the tell-tale symptom known as "smug". You usually get a very strong whiff of hypocrisy from sufferers, too. Especially when they open their mouths.

There is no known cure.

JimB said...

What a load of nonsense. You seem to completely skim over the argument being put forward, which is that wage and job cuts will deaden the economic stimulus of consumer spending which is only just picking up. Not to mention the fact that the social fallout of the recession is being dealt with by the public sector which is now under attack. But of course, better to privatise the lot and leave them in the hands of the vacuous profiteers and their cronies who got us into this recession in the first place.

Anonymous said...

JimB, what a fantastic idea! Let's nationalise the entire country and all be paid by the state. That way we can all earn a living stealing each other's washing or something.

I'll be generous and assume you are being disingenuous. And it almost rhymes!

Given that the public sector is essentially non-wealth generating, you either

(a) lose some of it to pay the debt [and let's not forget whose boastful 'end to boom and bust' *just might* have had something to do with the current crisis- after all they were warned by the IMF on multiple occasions, stretching back years]

(b) tax the wealth generating sector of the economy (you might *think* you're taxing the whole economy, but given the non-wealth generating part is paid by the other, you aren't really are you?]

(c) constantly pay huge amounts of interest on the loan you're barely paying back. Do you overpay your mortgage? if the answer is yes, you already know why, and why it needs to be paid down NOW, without screwing around. If no, there's not much point continuing the discussion...

Anonymous said...

On any day, one in eight of the employees (of the local authority where I live) are off sick.

Absence due to "sickness" in the public sector runs at twice the level of the private sector.

If "sickness" the public sector was properly managed, we could therefore lose 6% of the posts overnight and not notice any decline in services.

Marchamont Needham said...

I seriously believe you could lose half the public sector jobs overnight (especially the Police) and nobody would notice the difference.

And let's start by sacking the entire executive of Student Finance who can't even manage to answer the telephones.

lilith said...

Did you see this?

sobers said...

Marchamont Needham said 'I seriously believe you could lose half the public sector jobs overnight (especially the Police) and nobody would notice the difference.'

You definitely would notice the difference, especially if you run your own business.

It would be far better! Less interfering buybodies trying to justify their non-jobs by inventing 'problems' and 'solutions'. We could actually get on with running our busineses, dealing with the needs of our customers, and, heaven forbid, making some profit (which as an aside to the TUC does actually increase the tax revenues).

Budgie said...

JimB said: "... wage and job cuts will deaden the economic stimulus of consumer spending"

The government is known to spend money less efficiently than the public do, and since money = jobs, it follows that every job created by the government destroys at least one non-government job.

CityUnslicker said...

JimB - Thank you for your post, without counter points we have nothing to discuss, so you are most welcome here.

I do however, think that you need to consider the logic. Higher public sector spending now will increase our public debt hugely - which in trun will nescessitate further, deeper cuts in public spending in the future.

Sadly, the situation we are in means we have to curb spending sooner or later. If we do it too soon and by too much, then you are right to say this would endanger the recovery. However, to spend even more now is madness, as it to argue that somehow sakcing public sector workers reduces the tax base.

That is just economic illiteracy.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that many socialist commenters use the style "nameB"? Like JimB, here. Are they genuinely independent private members of the public, and this is just a coincidence, or are they paid/volunteer foot soldiers working for the Liebore propaganda machine?

The Great Simpleton said...

"I do however, think that you need to consider the logic. Higher public sector spending now will increase our public debt hugely - which in trun will nescessitate further, deeper cuts in public spending in the future."

CU, the logic isn't flawed.

If, by some major miracle, Government spends the extra money in a way that creates an environment that allows business to flourish the tax base may increase faster than the interest payment.

This is also known as the triumph of hope over experience and is a bit like that well known UN phrase "fighting for peace is like f****** for virginity".

tory boys never grow up said...

I think you fail to understand where the unions are coming from. Sensible trade unionists are more than aware that there will need to be a period of fiscal restraint, although there is a more than legitimate argument about when it should start, but all they are doing now is positioning themselves to defend their members interests as best they can when this happens. And perhaps they have found out from past experience that the best way to do this is to state their case upfront.

Despite what most Conservatives may think there are legitimate arguments about spending priorities and how the burden is borne between taxes and spending and different parts of the community - and just parodying one side of the argument for trying to stand up for their own interests as loonies etc. is really just being used as a substitute for trying to win the debate by sensible argument. This arrogance that there are no alternatives and hence we can just abuse those who think differently is actually what led to the demise of the last Conservative Government - and it still does not appear to have been cured.

One might also wish to comment on how the pay of FTSE 100 Directors increased their pay last year by 10% despite the value of their companies falling by 33% if you want to apply the loonies/fat cats in fairy land analogy.

And before you ask there are a few loonies in some trade unions (Crow and Serwotka spring to mind) who do think that the whole framework can change - but they are no where near being the dominant forces within the Trade Unions.