Does socialism really cause racism?


1:00 pm - December 30th 2009

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contribution by Left Outside

Last month DK’s quote of the day from Charlotte Gore and her post inspired by Hayek’s Road To Serfdom.

It may be that the socialists are the most vocal anti-racists, but it is they who’ve created the economic conditions in which racism thrives. It’s they who’ve created a country with a growing obsession with stopping “foreigners” taking advantage of our welfare state, and it’s they who’ve spent the last 100 years telling everyone that Free Trade (which includes free movement of people) is a bad and terrible thing, it’s they who’ve told everyone that the job of the state is to pick sides and pick winners…. and they’re acting surprised, shocked and outraged when people who see themselves as losers in the current system want to use the state for their own purposes?

What exactly did they think would happen? I mean, really? The only way to stop National Socialism in the UK is to stop socialism.

For DK and Charlotte this is one of key critiques of even fairly mild state intervention. In my view it is a totally fallacious one. What Charlotte Gore, and DK, suggest is that once states (read: Socialists) have created even a modest welfare state they have set the scene for conflicts because they have been seen to pick sides and the creation of an “other” becomes central to politics.

We will look at 4 countries – US, UK, Australia and Germany – because they are the ones I have information for and because I think they provide a reasonably adequate sample. Of course, I would prefer to do more but I don’t have the resources or the time at the moment.

If DK and Charlotte Gore are correct then you would see a fairly strong correlation between the introduction of a relatively comprehensive welfare state institutions and the introduction, shortly afterwards, of restrictive immigration controls.

In Great Britain we introduced Industrial accident insurance in 1897, relatively comprehensive Healthcare and some unemployment insurance in 1911 and had a state Pension by 1908. In contrast to this the UK passed its first Aliens Act in 1905 three years before the introduction of the state pension. The controls in the act were fairly mild but it did represent a big break with the past where Britain had allowed total free movement of people, to match its free trade rhetoric.

The big restrictive act was the Aliens Act of 1914, which was later augmented in 1919. This act was very restrictive and in effect barred even those claiming asylum entry. But this act was instigated by the greatest war the world had ever seen; the state whipped up hatred but this was hardly something dreamt up by those of the left. In fact, in 1948, the the year the NHS was foundered, Labour passed a law reaffirming the right of all subjects of the British Empire to settle in these isles.

A similar, although different story is evident in Germany. In many ways autocratic Germany lead the way in social insurance, it was the first state to introduce Industrial accident insurance in 1871 with healthcare following in 1883 and a pension in 1889. A relative laggard in comparison to other institutions in place. unemployment insurance was introduced in 1927. The were also early restricters of the right to migrate, passing their first law before our own 1905 Aliens Act.

This part of Germany’s story (very) roughly matches DK’s and Charlotte’s view, but the post-war Federal Republic of Germany confounds it again. In the post was period Germany lacked legislation covering minimum wages and so on but possessed an advanced welfare state. However, up until 1993 German had the most liberal law on asylum in Europe and perhaps the world. Its Basic Law read “Persons persecuted on political grounds shall enjoy the right to asylum.” This no ifs and buts policy led German to become the one of the largest refugee accepting country in Europe up until 1993 when the law was changed.

Even the country most likely to follow DK and Charlotte’s picture of the world, Australia, tells a different story. Race relations in Australia have always been fairly strained, and its mistreatment of its aboriginal peoples well documented as is the unofficial “White Australia” policy that operated until the late 1960s. They introduced Industrial accident insurance in 1902, a pension in 1909 and Healthcare and Unemployment insurance in 1945. Following these reforms they followed a racist immigration policy to safeguard them. But the genesis of this policy was not in response to the above reforms, the framework was instigated by the Immigration Restrictions Act 1901.

The most interesting country to turn to is the United States, because this is one which utterly frustrates their arguments. In 1924 the US introduced an incredibly harsh immigration regime, that limited the number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the United States in 1890. However, it was not until 1930 that Industrial accident insurance was introduced, 1935 that a state pension and unemployment insurance was introduced, and 2010(?) before relatively comprehensive healthcare was introduced (lagging Germany by 127 years).

The idea that racism and religious sectarianism spring from the very people who battle against it is hardest must be appealing to the right. Everyone loves a counterintuitive insight, especially one which is so satisfying and provides a stick with which to beat one’s enemies.

Sadly for the DK and Charlotte their’s is not an argument based in fact. It seems racism is a far more complicated phenomenom than they are willing to accept.

———-
A slightly longer version and a discussion of class is at Left Outside blog

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Reader comments


Except neither DK nor Charlotte Gore suggest a cause and effect relationship. You’re the one postulating that so that you can then knock it down.

The attempt to use of the post-war FDR as a rebuttal speaks to an intellectual dishonesty in your argument – as an inevitable result of its Nazi past, the FDR has ongoing concerns about racism, military action, strong government, etc.

You might also benefit from reading the rest of Charlotte’s piece, since you seemed to have missed the point about socialised services.

Of course it doesn’t. The idea is absurd – so absurd that it almost doesn’t deserve a response (I would invite anyone who thinks otherwise to take a brief look at responses to Irish immigration to Britain in the nineteenth century. To say nothing of what went on in the Empire – it occurs to me that the Raj was not Socialist).

Whatever system was in place there would be those concerns, that is an utterly stupid piece. In a free-market of labour movement (which the Right is hardly excited about anyway) wouldn’t there be the concern of increasing competition lowering wages? Since the wages of our workers are only inflated so high (relatively) because of the exclusion of foreigners, the same way that wages were inflated/deflated because of restrictions on movement between towns in Adam Smiths time.

Socialists would dearly love a free market of labour as a precursor to socialism. Marx certainly did. It would close the gap in wages between the proletariat of different nations- and when class becomes a bigger gulf between people than nation, the class war is on.

Immigration controls are protectionism- they are Toryism in action. Socialism is international or it is nothing.

Fuck, the whole thing is fallacious. A correlation between anti-capitalism and anti-semitism, for example. Is she stupid?

She needs to read “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”, hell, she needs a basic grasp of history. Half the Tory party had fascist sympathies because they thought communism was a jewish conspiracy.

I keep hitting submit after every paragraph, silly me 🙂

It’s quite funny how this has popped up on the same day as this-http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/margaret-thatcher/6906503/Margaret-Thatcher-complained-about-Asian-immigration-to-Britain.html

I think the comparisons are arbitrary, as tough immigration rules could be introduced for a number of other reasons than simple racism (although it would usually be a factor) and there are much worse things than tough immigration rules. I hazard West Germany was quite a err… homogenous nation after the war so no single minority group would be viewed as a threat.

Taken as a whole, the US has become progressively less racist over the last two centuries, moving from colonial slavery to having a black president (not suggesting it is in any finished). It is the only nation to retain a relatively strong internal free market economy for the duration of its existence. In terms of legislation, it was the same people agitating for economic controls who were also advocating controls on blacks and on subsequent immigration (the Populists and subsequently the so-called Progressive movement).

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.

Charlotte Gore is a moron. Quite possible the worst blogger in the country. The depths of her knee-jerk stupidity never cease to amaze me. I bet the Lib Dems are still chuffed to bits she’s left them.

(Though it was super-funny watching her contortions as it finally dawned upon Gore that, erm, the Lib Dems were not the UKLP).

I’m amazed anyone thought this was worth disputing – Charlotte and DK think that socialism causes racism for the same reasons they think socialism causes every other social ill. They probably think socialism* causes piles and erectile dysfunction as well.

Quite why anyone imagines that this stuff can be reasonably argued against is beyond me. God love ’em for their commitment, but it’s like watching a bunch of seven year olds thrash out a political system based upon the repeal of baths and bedtime and the institution of free Haribo for all.

“socialism causes racism”

WTF, Gore?

“libertarianism causes complete f******g insanity and ugliness”

10. FlyingRodent

*That asterisk being there to note that the word “socialism” doesn’t mean what you think it means here, either. It means “any political system that actually has to deliver results”.

It’s they who’ve created a country with a growing obsession with stopping “foreigners” taking advantage of our welfare state,

Actually this is a point any socialist should be concerned about. Just because it is Miss Gore saying it (or Hayek for that matter) doesn’t mean it should be dismissed with contempt.

Does no-one else here feel uncomfortable about the way ministers talk about this subject?

@Jay Law We have socialist ministers in the UK?

Facebook causes cancer.

I am surprised the Chinese take such a hard line. I’d expect them to have followed the libertarian right into supporting heroin legalization along with liberal economics.

Would they have executed Shaikh if he had been white?

Matthew: Except neither DK nor Charlotte Gore suggest a cause and effect relationship.

Oh really?

Charlotte: The only way to stop National Socialism in the UK is to stop socialism.

I really can’t understand why people don’t read articles properly before commenting.

3
MikeSC
I agree with everything you say, can I also just add that the working-class are also subsidized by free access to education and healthcare courtesy of state intervention. The tories may complain about welfare benefits, but even Thatcher dare not roll the state back too far.

Yeah, it’s lunacy. When you look at the Power Five of bad guys in the 20th century, only Germany had anything like a “socialist” system before the villains took over. (Remember that “socialism”, to internet libertarians, means anything beyond a Bismarckian “welfare state”.) Tsarist Russia, Nationalist China, the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Japan all tended more towards feudalism.

Is it not the present government who are preventing economic migrants from coming here to improve their lot and does not any self respecting libertarian believe in the free movement of people across borders?

Where is the moral high ground here?

Would anyone resent the presence in the UK of a hard working immigrant who creates wealth and employment by his effort and ingenuity or is it the immigrant who lives on benefits provided by the state to support his large family that is likely to arouse resentment?

Charlotte was quite correct- racism is not triggered by immigration but is a by-product of socialism and only a deep seated ideological myopia could prevent anyone from comprehending that simple truth.

but is a by-product of socialism and only a deep seated ideological myopia could prevent anyone from comprehending that simple truth.

Completely right. Don’t you know that during the days of the slave trade there was socialism and communism everywhere? Marx never knew that his golden age actually existed before he was born. The fool!

@ 17 “Yeah, it’s lunacy. When you look at the Power Five of bad guys in the 20th century, only Germany had anything like a “socialist” system before the villains took over.”

Indeed. And the circumstances of German political innovation from 1918-1933 are extremely unique and reflect a myriad of now absent factors (losing a world war, impossible peace treaties, the internal and eastern-front threat of marxism, the apparent failure of capitalism for many ordinary people, the legacy of Bismark, the impotency of Parliamentary institutions, the problem of federalism in a nation-state dominated by the physical size and historical legacy of Prussia, etc etc etc etc). To extrapolate from that today requires one to ignore history because one is labouring under the illusion that history and circumstance matters not, for a few basic principle determine everything. Oh, look, that’s what libertarians tend to believe. How convenient.

“only a deep seated ideological myopia could prevent anyone from comprehending that simple truth.”

Oh the irony.

@ Paul

If you think that I am wrong, why not try to answer the questions I posed?

Would anyone resent the presence in the UK of a hard working immigrant who creates wealth and employment by his effort and ingenuity?

Is it the immigrant who lives on benefits provided by the state to support his large family that is likely to arouse resentment?

I think you know the answers but if you don’t you need to get to Specsavers……..

Is it the immigrant who lives on benefits provided by the state to support his large family that is likely to arouse resentment?

Using the benefits system is an easy way to blame people. The US has no welfare system to speak of, neither does India. In both democracies there is plenty of anger, resentment and ignorance of immigrants.

She didn’t say that socialism “causes” racism (racism is at least partly inmnate and can’t be entirely socially created) she said it created the conditions in which it could thrive. Even a cursory analysis of the new labour state (accepted as a proxy for socialism) would indicate that is true.
Certain ethnic and other groups are advatanged through the legal, welfare and tax system, and allocated a disproprtonate amount of public resource. Combine that with very high taxation and a welfare system which creates a clustering of living standards such that the benefits of work are small, even when earning close to median wage, and inter-group histility will thrive. It’s a text-book way to engineer perceived inequalityand the formation of out-groups, with every group perceiving discrimination and even the pettiest grievance being publicly aired and sometimes “tackled” through yet more laws and petit, self-serving regulation of even the most mundane social activity.
I’m not sure it’s so much to do with the left/rightness of government, although leftist governments are by definition more inclined towards social engineering through, more a symptom of an authoritarian state trying to engineer a one size fits all form of highly artificial social harmony.

Certain ethnic and other groups are advatanged through the legal, welfare and tax system, and allocated a disproprtonate amount of public resource.

Can you give any examples?

There is a saying ” Birds of feather flock together”. Immigration mayor may not cause racism. However by calling anyone a racist who says it is important to talk about policies to limit immigration and instigate processes of assimilation for immigrants, especialy in poor areas, is only increasing the potential for conflict along racial religious and linguistic lines. The unwillingness of socialists to discuss certain practices on the grounds of multi-culturalism which are unacceptable in this country such as:- forced marriages, honour killings, dowry killings, female genital mutilation, wives not being taught English, acts of muti,anti-semitism, hatred of homosexuals, women being fored to wear clothes which restrict their movement, supporting those who undertake acts of violence against British interests and plus the issue of immigrants who take welfare payments who have never paid taxes and NI. There is also the issue that a welfare state which is over generous with regard to unemployment and housing payments and is very poor at producing enough hard working skilled craftsmen, operatives and labourers has created problems for itself. A state which which had trained adequate numbers of hard working skilled craftsmen, operatives and labourers would not need immigration.

“Certain ethnic and other groups are advatanged through the legal, welfare and tax system, and allocated a disproprtonate amount of public resource.

Can you give any examples?”

Yup “Hate crime” where the ethnicity of the perpetrator/victim determines the severity of the crime. The divorce laws. Extra benefits for single parents. There are loads of example

Queue howls of outrage “but those exaples are different/justifiable in some way”

What ethnic group benefits disproportionately from the divorce laws? The only possibility I can think of is post-Christian white British.

The idea that racism and religious sectarianism spring from the very people who battle against it is hardest must be appealing to the right. Everyone loves a counterintuitive insight, especially one which is so satisfying and provides a stick with which to beat one’s enemies. Sadly for the DK and Charlotte their’s is not an argument based in fact. It seems racism is a far more complicated phenomenom than they are willing to accept.

Quite so. I should have thought that a pre-requisite for the emergence of racism (as opposed to straightforward xenophobia) as a widespread phenomenon would be either the physical presence of considerable numbers of racial others, or that considerable numbers of putative racists were provided the opportunity to encounter the others in their own natural surroundings.

Within Britain itself there were of course practically no non-Europeans physically present prior to the Second War, and so there was no racism that could be attributable to that source. What racism did exist would have been brought home with them by those formerly on colonial duty in a commercial, administrative or military capacity. Racism in Britain did not really become a pervasive and recognizable social attitude until after the admittance of large numbers of “coloured” immigrants in the 1950s.

What does seem to be beyond dispute is that there is a fundamental dichotomy between the proper functioning of a welfare state which, as David Goodhart maintains rests up there being “… a good chance of predicting the attitudes, even the behaviour, of the people living in your immediate neighbourhood”, and a multi-racial one. This centrifugal tension between solidarity and diversity is at the heart of what Goodhart terms the ‘progressive’s dilemma’.

Not all favoured groups are ethnic; as I said in my original post “Certain ethnic and other groups are advatanged” the Divorce laws clearly favour women.

To use a slightly less emotive example, public transport.

I recently took part in a “consulatation” about an upgrade to the regional bus network. I asked a number of awkward questions and eventually got a reply that boiled down to “We are spending £40M of public money widening various roads, the extra lanes created will be for the exclusive use of buses. This funding, allocated by central government is only avaiable if it is used to improve public transport, not for general upgrade of the road network”.
It’s a prime example. Bus users are a small minority of road users and yet they alone will benefit from this funding, when anyone who lives in the region (which has a worse congestion problem than London) can see that any additional road space should be for the use of all road users, not another favoured group. Why is taxpayers money not being spent for the benefit of all taxpayers ?

“Racism in Britain did not really become a pervasive and recognizable social attitude until after the admittance of large numbers of “coloured” immigrants in the 1950s.”

Bollocks, there are many references to jews in Dickens and Shakespeare that would be considered racist now.

Dan…

“Racism in Britain did not really become a pervasive and recognizable social attitude until after the admittance of large numbers of “coloured” immigrants in the 1950s.”

Supporters of slavery/the Empire – of which, I assume, there were many – must have been pretty darn racist. The difference, I guess, is that there were fewer opportunities to express it.

32. The Socialist

It’s pretty silly to suggest that socialism causes racism. But it is also not right to conflate racism and restrictive immigration policies. There are many non-racist reasons for restrictions on mass immigration.

What your counter examples show, is that the welfare state and immigration restrictions were typically developed in tandem. Then the immigration policies became liberalised, and immigration increased in the sixties and seventies. And from the early eighties on there has been a more or less constant neoliberal onslaught on the welfare state.

The USA is a illustrative case. The major welfare legislation were passed from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, at period that had less immigration than the time both before and after. In 1965 immigration laws were liberalised, and this was also the last time a major welfare state expansion were enacted. Since then it has basically been going downhill. That the USA is the country in the Western world with the least developed welfare state, and also a recipient of unusually high amounts of immigration, is perhaps not a coincidence.

This should not be surprising. Mass immigration leads to lower working class wages, weaker trade unions and rising inequality. That’s why the working class don’t support the laissez-faire immigration policies that the libertarian right wing wants. Socialism does not cause racism. Immigration controls causes socialism.

33. The Socialist

Dan…

“Racism in Britain did not really become a pervasive and recognizable social attitude until after the admittance of large numbers of “coloured” immigrants in the 1950s.”

Have you forgotten the anti-Irish racism in Britain?

Doesn’t the term racism require that a racial difference exists between subject and object? Racism and xenophobia are not the same thing, it makes as little sense to define anti-Irishness as being racism as it does anti-Frenchness or anti-Danishness.

MM @ 29

“It’s a prime example. Bus users are a small minority of road users and yet they alone will benefit from this funding,”

Oh, yeah? Says who? Surely you are willing to concede that if we can have bus lanes, then other road users will benefit because buses will move quicker throughout a city then everyone else will too. If you can encourage more people to use buses and trains then roads will became clearer as well?

That the USA is the country in the Western world with the least developed welfare state, and also a recipient of unusually high amounts of immigration, is perhaps not a coincidence.

As a matter of fact immigration in the US, as a proportion of the population, is not especially large compared to the other countries in the Anglosphere. Legal immigration in recent years has been around 1 million annually, or about 0.3% of population. Canada, for instance, has a national policy goal to add 1% to its population each year through immigration. It hasn’t quite met that target recently but immigration is still running at around twice the US level, as it is also in Australia and the UK.

Some countries in Europe, such as Sweden, are also experiencing historically high migration levels so it is hard to establish a correlation between an underdevloped social welfare system and elevated immigration levels. In fact, the empirical evidence suggests the opposite, even though we are repeatedly told by immigration enthusiasts that the generosity of a country’s social welfare provisions are not a significant pull-factor for economic migrants.

Pagar @ 21

“Would anyone resent the presence in the UK of a hard working immigrant who creates wealth and employment by his effort and ingenuity?”

The daily Mail for a start. They have went on and on about Poles and Lativans comming here.

Have you seriously suggesting that you have forgotten ‘Brithish jobs for British people’ wildcat strikes? Or the cry to cut the number of work visas issued?

The clichéd cry among racists is portrayed as ‘They come over here, stealing our jobs…’

The resentment to immigrants has never been about immigrants taking benefits, the same people who moan about immigrants receiving benefits are usually the same people who complain about indigenous drawing benefits too.

DK and CG beef is not about immigrants receiving benefits; it is about the existence of benefits.

The real resentment in the Country is the perception (real or imagined) that immigrants are deliberately being used to drive down wages, terms and conditions or the workforce. It was ever thus. There has been resentment from the Irish workers coming here and every other immigration wave since.

That can be seen everywhere in ‘popular culture’ from the sixties and seventies and beyond.

It isn’t Socialism that created racism, it is Capitalism’s need for cheap migrant labour.

Matt Munro: Yup “Hate crime” where the ethnicity of the perpetrator/victim determines the severity of the crime. The divorce laws. Extra benefits for single parents. There are loads of example

Queue howls of outrage “but those exaples are different/justifiable in some way”

This is all over the place. Hate crime legislation is about taking that intent into account and adding that into the mix – not about giving extra ‘benefits’. The whole point of sentences is that it takes context, intention etc into account. That’s what hate-crime legislation does. I’m not outraged – you’re just being idiotic and naive. And you know little about how law is implemented clearly.

Extra benefits for single parents.

The welfare system is about offering benefits to people depending on their need (hence means testing). So obviously, single parents who face more hardship will need extra support. How’s that discrimination?

And anyway, if that extra support wasn’t there you’d see more people not being educated enough, getting into crime and creating problems. It’s actually more economically efficient.

I was hoping you’d offer better examples since your entire argument was based on some premise – as DK and CG also insinuate regularly – that minority groups get extra benefits. And you’ve given me two pathetic examples.

I was hoping you’d offer better examples … that minority groups get extra benefits.

Happy to oblige. Here’s one …

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/polygamy-claimants-keep-the-money-1628957.html

and another …

http://www.pathuk.co.uk/

and yet another, this time relating to ““Living in Rochdale in 2011”- A Housing Strategy for Rochdale’s Asian Communities” …

http://www.rochdalebnp.co.uk/home/12?fontstyle=f-larger

And then …

http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/31398/family-homes-replace-sheltered-housing-scheme

“Six, 3-bed, five person homes and three 4-bed, eight person homes have been built to meet current Homes & Communities Agency Standards and constructed in line with Rochdale’s Asian Housing Strategy.”

Plenty more where these came from.

Plenty more where these came from.

Those are not examples of minority communities being offered special benefits over people of other groups.

What you offer are examples where the Mayor might sponsor the Chinese New Years festival or a Jewish festival locally – and you think that’s a form of discrimination when money is never denied to white/christian festivals doing the same.
And please don’t come back with ‘oh but we’re never allowed to celebrate St George’s Day‘ otherwise you’ll look like a moron.

Those are not examples of minority communities being offered special benefits over people of other groups.

I’m not aware of any local authorities that have gone to the trouble of creating an ‘English Housing Strategy’ to cater to the special needs and aspirations of that ethnic group, are you?

As for the others, if I were to travel to Thailand and acquire a “No. 2 wife” to complement the present incumbent, could I claim benefits for her? I thought not.

And isn’t being able to take advantage of job training internships which are closed to members of the indigenous population in itself a special benefit?

I’m not aware of any local authorities that have gone to the trouble of creating an ‘English Housing Strategy’ to cater to the special needs and aspirations of that ethnic group, are you?

These strategies are only created once they realise their main plan basically ignored people who responded differently to their projects. If they created a well-thought out strategy from the start this wouldn’t be an issue.

acquire a “No. 2 wife” to complement the present incumbent, could I claim benefits for her? I thought not.

People can claim benefits for being unemployed – whether white or black or brown. They can’t claim benefits for being a second wife. Geddit?

And isn’t being able to take advantage of job training internships which are closed to members of the indigenous population in itself a special benefit?

See point one. These special schemes only come up when they realise that their departments are 99% white. Implementing a ‘English strategy’ (btw – ‘English’ is not a racial group) then wouldn’t make any difference would it. They might as well have called that from the start.

Honestly, this is like shooting fish.

Generally, free market capitalism rewards performance more, including efficiency. Whereas, sometimes, Socialism reward people because politics gives them power, including using things like affirmative action. People in this latter situation often just hire their friends, and many of our friends are of the same race. So, i would say “yes”. I know, for a fact, that this often happens with civil service type jobs. I cannot disclose city. Big subject.

““Racism in Britain did not really become a pervasive and recognizable social attitude until after the admittance of large numbers of “coloured” immigrants in the 1950s.””

Historically, Jews would feel differently, I think.

Sunny – all you’ve done is as I predicted, given reasons why diffferent groups are justified in getting extra help. It may be true in some cases but after 12 relentless years of it, most people have had enough.

And my point about hate crime was this – why is a (say) black man murdering another black man somehow deserving of a lesser sentence than a white man murdering a black man ? A fundamental principle of justice is (or used to be) that it was blind. so the age, race, gender, class etc of the accused should NOT affect the sentence

@ 35 Jim, it’s not for the Government to “encourage” people to use buses, it’s the governments job to facilitate individual choice (funny how that word is used very selectively by the left). Modern lifestlyes and working patterns are far to diverse to fit around public transport (outside London anyway) and unless I manage to buy a time machine on ebay I cannot do what I need to do in the morning using a bus. I pay taxes on the same basis as bus users but they get the benfit, that is unfair

“What you offer are examples where the Mayor might sponsor the Chinese New Years festival or a Jewish festival locally – and you think that’s a form of discrimination when money is never denied to white/christian festivals doing the same.”

That’s a typical left false analogy. A true analogy would be:
Would the Chinese government give funding to a group of European expats to celebrate a “christian” Christmas in China. The answer is obviously no (and just try holding a new years party in Saudi…..)

MM @ 47

“Would the Chinese government give funding to a group of European expats to celebrate a “christian” Christmas in China.”

What? How can that be the ‘correct’ analogy? We are talking about what happens here, a multi-ethnic & Multi-cultural, Liberal democracy and one of the most dynamic Cities in the World and all the baggage that entails. We do not impose a culture, dress code, religion, language etc.

The Chinese are OUR fellow citizens and we should help them celebrate New Year. What happens in China and how the Chinese choose what to celebrate is no concern of ours.

Would the Chinese government give funding to a group of European expats to celebrate a “christian” Christmas in China. The answer is obviously no …

Therefore we shouldn’t allow Chinese any fun here? Er…

Probably the worst racism known within modern history (nazism) emerged from the most liberal country in the world.

Just a historical note but I think it might be worth noting something about German citizenship in the FDR. Asylum seekers, yes…but to become a citizen was damn near impossible. Citizenship was based on bloodlines, not residence or even country of birth. Thus all those Volga Germans could swan in and gain immediate citizenship and yet the children of the Turkish Gastarbeiter found it almost impossible even if born and raised in Germany.

Thankfully it’s changed now but post war Germany had some really rather racist citizenship laws.

As to this from Sunny: “The US has no welfare system to speak of,”

I guess you’ve never heard of Social Security, Medicare, Medicad, TANF, Section 8, the EITC, HUD….in order roughly equating to old age pension and disability benefits, health care for the old, health care for the poor (together more per capita than the entire NHS budget), cash welfare payments, housing vouchers for the poor, working tax credits (which are in fact a copy of the EITC and grew out of Milton Friedman’s work), council housing….you know, all these things which the US spends more on than the entire UK budget (and for all I know, more than the entire UK economy).

This is “no welfare system to speak of”? So what in buggery have they been spending trillions of dollars on over the years?

51
Germany was only unified in 1871, the Nuremburg address, in 1933, actually sealed the fate of the Jews. The myths of the volkish peoples were really resurrected by the nazis, like the myth of Camelot, it hadn’t previously been taken that seriously.

So hatred aimed at people with a differen’t skin colour is not acceptable but hatred based on a person’s background / education is fine.
The crazy f@cked up world of New Labour.

Please keep it going,afterall it was a very succssful strategy in Crewe & Nantwich,any way what else do they have to talk about?
5 million unemployed,two disastrous wars,£1.4 trillion of debt or maybe no more boom or bust?

54. Left not liberal

It amazes me that anybody would think “libertarians” are worth debating with. Would you engage in a debate with a tea strainer or jar of Bovril? Of course not, yet both these kitchen based inaminate objects have a far better grasp of history, political theory and the social sciences than these belligerent solipsistic cretins ever will.

Roger @ 53

“So hatred aimed at people with a differen’t skin colour is not acceptable but hatred based on a person’s background / education is fine.”

What the fuck are you talking about? No-one has suggested ‘hatred’ of any kind, here or within the ranks of Labour (Old or New).

No-one is talking about the type of tactics employed by the Tories;

No-one is suggesting a scorched Earth policy on non Labour voting areas or the systematic destruction of communities or cavalry charging the middle classes.

People are merely suggesting that focussing all your policies at helping the richest 5-10% of the population is the best way to take us forward that’s all. The Daily Hate have label such comments as ‘class war’ so be it, but there is no war as such, just the middle classes squealing like stuck pigs when the medicine they where quite happy to see dished out to the working classes.

The working classes were expected to stoically endure decades of wage cuts, job losses, long term unemployment as ‘the market’ destroyed their terms and conditions. Now things have swung and the middle classes are suffering the same, the Daily Mail et al are throwing the term ‘class war’. Yes, well forgive me I am unable to shed tears.

“The working classes were expected to stoically endure decades of wage cuts,”

Not sure which country you’re talking about but it certainly ain’t the UK. Nor any of the industrialised countries. There simply haven’t been decades of wage cuts. Wages are far higher than they were “decades ago”.

Tim @ 56

“Wages are far higher than they were “decades ago”.”

Not for everyone, Tim. That type of glib statement pretty much sums up why people have gave up on politics and the political process. No matter what some gross average figure may indicate, you will find people all over the Country, esp, working class areas where factory closures, redundancy, outsourcing, forced tendering etc have forced people to take massive wage cuts to keep in work.

Middle class people may not have noticed this, but I have seen the labour market collaspe round here pretty swiftly.

“Not for everyone, Tim.”

Obviously there will be certain individuals whose wages have fallen. Like those who retire etc.

However, real wages (that is, after inflation) have nearly doubled since 1979.

“No matter what some gross average figure may indicate, you will find people all over the Country, esp, working class areas where factory closures, redundancy, outsourcing, forced tendering etc have forced people to take massive wage cuts to keep in work.”

Given that the general wage level has doubled in recent decades I think it near inconceivable that any group in work has seen a fall in real wages over that time period.

Tim @ 58

Given that the general wage level has doubled in recent decades I think it near inconceivable that any group in work has seen a fall in real wages over that time period.

That tells us more about what you find ‘conceivable’ than the reality for many people. Perhaps you should do a bit more research on the subject before making crass generalisations regarding the plight of millions of low paid workers in the Country. Just because people you know have not seen real wage cuts does not mean no-one else has.

“Perhaps you should do a bit more research on the subject before making crass generalisations regarding the plight of millions of low paid workers in the Country.”

Perhaps you could help me with that research? Perhaps you could provide an example of a group who have seen falling real wages over the past 30 years?

61. Blank Xavier

> What Charlotte Gore, and DK, suggest is that once states (read: Socialists) have
> created even a modest welfare state they have set the scene for conflicts
> because they have been seen to pick sides and the creation of an “other”
> becomes central to politics.

I may be wrong, but the ‘other’ here relates to the grouping of people within a State; those who are selected to receive wealth, those who are selected to provide wealth.

The article talks about ‘others’ in terms of aliens, foreigners; about asylum and the like. As I say, I may be wrong, but I think this has utterly misunderstood the original point.

Tim W @ 60

So you cannot use Google eh? You cannot find any evidence that people had there terms and conditions cut during the Tory years. Try reading this:

http://www.unionhistory.info/equalpay/tempweb/objects/common/webmedia.php?irn=1147

happyish ending in the end, but one day you work for 3.40 an hour the next three quid and lose your terms and conditions! That my son, is class war in the raw!

“You cannot find any evidence that people had there terms and conditions cut during the Tory years.”

That wasn’t the claim that I made. This is the claim I made:

“There simply haven’t been decades of wage cuts. Wages are far higher than they were “decades ago”.”

In this particular instance, what were the wages of Yorkshire dinner ladies in 1979 and what are they in 2009? Yes, you can and should adjust for retail inflation.

My claim is that their wages are higher now, after adjusting for inflation, than they were in 1979.

Care to try again?

Tim @ 63

Well right now the dinner ladies will be on or slightly above the NNW, no sick pay, basic holiday pay and no fringe benefits.

The minimum wage is not exactly a flagship policy of the Tories, who opposed the introduction of the minimum wage at £3.60 which was 60 pence an hour less than they were in the 1990s.

How these wages compared to 1979 I have no idea, but it would be interesting to find out. I suspect that, adjusted for inflation those dinner ladies were worse of than their pre Thatcher counterparts.

£3.40 an hour in 1991 is, upgraded for inflation (retail) is £5.47 now.

Minimum wage is higher than this. And as you say they might be getting more than minimum wage. But even if they’re not they have had a rise in real wages over this time period.

Which was where I came in I think, wasn’t it?

64
As an ex-miner living in Yorkshire, there is very likely an increase in the wage of –
dinner ladies since 1979, but here is what it cost;-
Many dinner ladies, similar to other service workers (male and female), will receive top-up benefits, usually family tax credits.
The family wage created by manufacturing (mining and allied industries) has been replaced by retail and other service industries, call centres etc. According to the Sainsbury Centre, the majority of workers receiving tax credits come from the retail and service industries due to the relatively low pay.
Consequently, to access a family wage (the equivalent of 1979) requires two people working instead of one, plus tax credits to top-up the wage. But in order to access those, requires that the couple have children.
For young people, the jobs available are lowly paid and unless they are part of a wage-earning family, being on unemployment benefit and receiving rent and council tax rebates far outweighs anything they can earn.

Tim

I have found this little website:

http://www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare/result.php

So given that the wage of a dinner lady in 1979 was about 70 quid* a week that same job would need to be worth (after adusting for the retail price index) £256 to have merely kept in line with inflation. Find me a dinner lady whose job has kept in line with that?*

* Of course, she would have sick pay and holiday pay too as well as a pension.

Tim @ 65

Unfortunately you have missed several glaringly obvious points. When these dinner ladies had their contracts smashed, they did not merely lose 40 pence an hour. They lost far more than that. They lost holiday and sick pay, overtime payments, access to a pension; access to a tribunal the right of representation as well as a fixed hours contract and have had their employment casualised. They were now on far less money and could be sacked without any recourse to a grievance procedure and could be sent without pay at any time. Between the years 1991 and comparatively recently, they were considerably worse off than they had been in 1983. They may have regained a modest amount of that in finical terms in the last couple of years, but you would have to be simpleton to suggest these people were part of the winners under Thatcherism.

Honestly, this is like shooting fish.

Oh dear. It seems that officially sanctioned (and publically subsidised) polygamy, racially-focused affirmative action, and the tailored provision of social housing on ethnic lines are not perceived to be special benefits in the Looking-Glass world of the MultiKulti. So let’s review a few other areas to see what we can turn up that might conceivably persuade Sunny and other benefit-deniers that such benefits really exist.

What are we to make, then, of the so-called Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant which is made over to local authorities to promote educational achievement amongst ethnic minorities. EMA grants will amount to £207 million in 2009-10. Even though white boys are said to be amongst the most under-achieving groups, there is no corresponding achievement grants available for them. There are of course myriad other ethnic rent-seeking operations sucking on the public teat, ranging from the Southall Black Sisters to Prevent, but space precludes further discussion here.

Returning to the theme of affirmative action, of which the ‘positive action’ mentioned earlier is a part, we have also to consider the ethnically-biased recruitment practices that now throughout the public sector. Every public authority (some 50 odd thousand at last count) is required by the EHRC to perform ethnic monitoring of its workforce to ensure that ‘under-represented’ groups receive due consideration. The Home Office, for instance, makes great play of wishing to organise its workforce in order to represent the (ethnic composition) of the population it serves. In 1999 ambitious targets were set for minority recruitment levels that had be met by 2009. However according to the Home Secretary’s ‘Ninth Annual Report on Race Equality’ ethnic recruitment proceeded apace even though all targets had been comfortably achieved by 2004. In fact, if the objective were truly to make the Home Office representative of the communities it serves, it should be dismissing or retiring thousands of ethnic staff and recruiting whites to take their places. The Border Agency, for instance, now has four times as many ethnic staff members as required by the 2009 target of 7%, and in the Identity and Passport Service ethnic staffing is already 60% over target. Even the Police Service, much maligned for its supposed foot-dragging in ethnic outreach efforts, had achieved its 2009 target by 2007. Should we now be entitled to expect that the Home Office, along with all other public services in which ethnic staffing targets have been met or exceeded, will abandon ethnically-biased recruiting and focus instead on simply selecting the best possible recruits, no matter what their colour?

To touch on housing once more, the Rochdale episode represents merely the tip of an enormous iceberg of preferential treatment for ethnic minorities in the social housing sector. The EHRC’s fraudulent ‘report’ on the matter notwithstanding, there is an entire industry of BME housing associations which, contrary to the Race Relations Act 2000, continue to provide subsidised housing to their client ethnic communities, more often than not with the aid of public funds as in the Rochdale case. There are literally dozens of such operations, with over 25 in London alone. One example is the Tung Sing housing association which caters to the Chinese community in Manchester and has 650 properties for rental, the Afro-Caribbean-focused Tuntum HA with 1,200 properties in the Nottingham area, Aksa which has 650 properties and caters to the Asian community in East Lancashire, and the LHA-Asra Group which concentrates on serving the Asian community with 12,000 properties in Leicester and London. As of yet Google has failed to turn up any such organisations which focus their efforts on the native British. I do wonder why that is (well I don’t really).

And then last but not least (especially if you are four-legged) there is the immunity against prosecution under the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations afforded to members of ethno-religious groups who insist on their right to persist in ritual slaughter practices deriving from medieval Middle Eastern superstition.

Are these to be considered special benefits, accessible members of various ethnic minorities, or no? Do we need to go on? Much, much more awaits in similar vein.

Jim, same site I use. A very good one indeed.

But where does it say that dinner ladies were getting 70 a week in 1979? That’s about what I was getting gross in 1983 for a 48 hour week working in the back of a restaurant….a reasonably comparable job….and there’d been a burst of inflation between the two dates.

BTW, £250 a week now is £6.25 an hour for 40 hours. So it’s that slightly above minimum wage that you mention earlier.

Tim @ 70

Find me a dinner lady making £250 a week, then. The point being that after these and many more jobs were put out to compeditive tender, lots of people were forced to endure cuts to remain in work. Not just in the top line, but perhaps more importantly, into terms and conditions. This did not happen merely once, but every time the contract was up for tender, wages and hours were slashed.

Of course, huge closures have the same effect because it impacts on the labour market.

Most of this went un-noticed in the middle class press and media. You even admit yourself that you could not concieve of such a thing. I suspect we move in very different circles.

On the other hand, when middle class people suffer the same effects, all hell breaks loose, look at the comments on the Daily Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1237662/Professionals-hit-middle-class-recession.html#comments

Some of those whinging complaints are:
Dole money is means tested.
Dole money is not big enough.
People cannot get wages that they used to.
They are being forced to take jobs below them.
Job centre staff are rude.
They are deemed too old.

Well I have news for them, this has been going on for thirty years, but the daily mail never printed those stories. They never told you about it, the never counted the cost, the stories are not splashed around t’internet. These people where told to get on with it, or fuck off and die, or be thankfull you have got a job.

But middle class people getting the shaft! That is ‘class war’, ‘something must be done’, middle class job centres need to be set up. A higher standard for work visas will be needed and everything else. Anything to stop the middle classes having to suffer the dutch auction of market force driven living standards.

For me, cutting the wages of hospital cleaners by 20% is Class War.

Tim you have admitted you find it unthinkable that people have suffered cuts in wages over a twenty year period. Had you lived where I have live, you would not be suprised.

“Tim you have admitted you find it unthinkable that people have suffered cuts in wages over a twenty year period.”

No, as above, I’m certain that some individuals have had cuts in wages. My own have changed over the years so I’m well aware of that dynamic.

(I’ve also been talking about 30, not 20 years).

But the bit I’m trying to tease out here, trying to get you to recognise is this.

There’s one thing that a capitalist economy does uniquely. One thing that other economic systems we’ve tried simply don’t do. Produce an ongoing rise in the standard of living for the average person.

Another way of saying this is that real wages rise over time. 30 years seems a long enough period to iron out the effects of recessions and booms and look at how real wages have been doing.

My contention is that real wages over the 30 years have risen. Your’s seems to be that they have fallen. The evidence appears to be on my side. Real wages have risen over the past 30 years.

Tim W @ 72

I know what you are trying to say and what you, no doubt genuinely believe, that if the ‘average’ wage doubles that is good news for everyone, because everyone’s wages have significantly improved. My experience is somewhat different.

I doubt stock brokers, hedge fund managers (or equivalent), doctors etc wages have merely doubled, nor did CEOs or chairmen of FTSE list companies double either. Look at football players for example, their wages have not doubled, their wages have risen out of all recognition. Even mediocre players can earn fifty grand a week, which compared to their nineteen seventies counterparts looks like at hundred fold increase or more.

Of course where you have winners you have losers. If there is a small elite of people whose earnings have increased pretty spectacularly in that period there must surely be people whose ‘increase’ has been more modest.

I live in the central belt of Scotland. Its economy was based on heavy industry. The ‘bad boys’ of the economy, well paid, organised manual workers. It was not unusual for those workers to earn enough to keep a family. Those jobs are now gone and were replaced be electronic industries. Not as well paid (in relative terms), but you could earn a reasonable living in those jobs. We now have suffered the mass closure of those jobs too and we are left with low skill, low wage, low protection terms and conditions, agency and temporary work. Few men can now earn enough to keep a family and two waged families were both earn roughly the same is now the norm. For thousands of people here there has been a steady decrease in people’s earnings over a thirty year period. I regularly meet people who earn less now than they did, say ten or twenty years ago. They get scant comfort from the fact that the ‘average wage’ has doubled in the last thirty years.

The two factors that have kept wages ‘artificially’ high are the welfare state and the minimum wage, neither of which could be said to be the product of capitalism. Remove either and the labour market would collapse in the blink of an eye.

Tim @ 72

“My contention is that real wages over the 30 years have risen. Your’s seems to be that they have fallen. The evidence appears to be on my side. Real wages have risen over the past 30 years.”

No, Tim I am not suggesting that real wages have fallen. I have said that real wages FOR SOME people have fallen. No-one disputes that real wages have risen in many cases, in fact that is the crux of the matter. Some people’s wages have risen quite sharply over the last thirty years.

“If there is a small elite of people whose earnings have increased pretty spectacularly in that period there must surely be people whose ‘increase’ has been more modest.”

I agree, of course. But again, that’s not my point.

You are saying that some are gaining more than others. I agree, this is true.

But your initial claim was that some are actually losing. That real wages are declining.

That I think is not true. What I do think is true is that real wages are rising but at different rates for different groups within the society.

Tim W @ 75

That I think is not true. What I do think is true is that real wages are rising but at different rates for different groups within the society.

So, do you think the people I know are lying or simply don’t exist? You think that the people I know who used to work in skilled jobs in the electronics industry at £17500 p.a. are now getting £12000 are miss reading their wage packets? The people who found the companies who took over cleaning contracts at lower wage rates are being dishonest?

Do you make room for the possibility that the reason you are unaware of this type of thing is because you have made no attempt to actually find out what is going on in the real World?

If you seriously believe that you are correct, why not go and speak to people in areas of high unemployment. Switch of the computer/google and go and see.

@ Jim

When these dinner ladies had their contracts smashed, they did not merely lose 40 pence an hour. They lost far more than that. They lost holiday and sick pay, overtime payments, access to a pension; access to a tribunal the right of representation as well as a fixed hours contract and have had their employment casualised.

What happened here was that the Local Authority were paying the dinner ladies a rate of pay that was above the market rate for the job and this anomaly was corrected by the outsourcing of the function.

You can, of course, argue that it is the duty of the state to pay it’s employees above the market rate but, if they do so, it has a rather distorting effect on the labour market as a whole and trouble is stored for the future. For example, I don’t think the issue of how we are going to pay for future public sector pensions has really picked up momentum yet.

Having said that, I don’t believe that the outsourcing of public sector functions to the private sector works well- you tend to get the same levels of inefficiency but with less accountability. Of course education should not be a public sector functionat all but that’s for another thread.

78. Green Greenie

This has to be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard.

“What happened here was that the Local Authority were paying the dinner ladies a rate of pay that was above the market rate for the job and this anomaly was corrected by the outsourcing of the function.”

Hah! I hadn’t thought of it that way.

For of course the fact that the dinner ladies carried on doing the job at the lower pay rate means that they were getting above market rate previously.

“For of course the fact that the dinner ladies carried on doing the job at the lower pay rate means that they were getting above market rate previously.”

And in Tim Rand’s wacky world of ‘race to the bottom’ noting is worse than someone getting more than the market rate, Unless they are rich bankers of course. But then the goal posts are moved
,in RAND’S world and we suddenly start talking about how we have to pay these high rates other wise we won’t attract the best people.

(But as the last year has proved…. “the best people” is open to a wide interpretation.)

The best person who will bankrupt the bank probably does not need the ludicrous salary they have been giving themselves. I would have quite happily bankrupted Leman Brothers for a fraction of what they were paying there so called best people.

” Of course education should not be a public sector functionat all but that’s for another thread.”

Oh a dear, another year over but still the fake libertarian nonsense is put forward as fact.

Tell me Sally, when you throw around “rand”, do you mean Ayn Rand, the Objectivist, or do you mean RAND Corporation?

Rand and RAND mean rather different things you see…

82. Curious Freedom

Dan Dare,

Isn’t odd how such normally verbose people always fall so silent when faced with factual reality?

Still, I suppose silence is better then screaming hysterical abuse or childish underhanded games.

Pagar @ 77

What happened here was that the Local Authority were paying the dinner ladies a rate of pay that was above the market rate for the job and this anomaly was corrected by the outsourcing of the function.

No, what happened was the market rate was deliberately destroyed by the Tory vermin when they were allowed private companies to rip up otherwise legally binding contracts of employment as well as giving these sub human companies the de-facto right to sidestep employment law. A move that the Tories would never allow to used against middle class people. These people had their only negotiating tool removed from them, i.e. the right to organise into unions. Had the Government not deliberately intervened in the labour market removed fundamental rights from these the weakest members of society and gave the power back its ‘rightful’ owners, i.e. the owners of capital, then the ‘ free market’ would never have collapsed.

Tim W @ 79

For of course the fact that the dinner ladies carried on doing the job at the lower pay rate means that they were getting above market rate previously.

And with that, your little fantasy regarding ‘capitalism’ improving their wages melts away and the truth

Once Thatcher’s class war was able to destroy the system, their wages, terms and conditions THEN the market imploded. Not the unseen hands of the ‘market’, you needed direct anti working class laws and regulations to achieve your goals. Clearly, these people’s standard of living was entirely dependent on socialism or at least social democracy to sustain their terms and conditions. Had we seen unfettered capitalism been left to rule here, many people would have had the same T&C as those people who live under those conditions. Try looking at the third World to see true capitalism at work.

You seem not to know what “market rate” means. It means the amount that has to be paid to get people able to do the job to come and do the job. That’s all. It’s not some mystical concept you know.

And as to interventions to keep wages above these levels: well, yes, that’s part of what I’m trying to point out here. “The market rate” goes up over time in capitalist societies. Because capitalism is the system that produces higher productivity and thus higher wages.

Again, there’s nothing very mystical about this. Chinese manufacturing workers definitely aren’t allowed to have an effective union to protect their rights or their working conditions. Yet their wages have been going up at 14% a year (yes, after inflation) for more than the past decade as the country adopts the rudiments of capitalism. Their wages are morte than 4 times what they were in the mid 1990s.

Pretty good system, eh?

Jim @83

the market rate was deliberately destroyed by the Tory vermin when they were allowed private companies to rip up otherwise legally binding contracts of employment as well as giving these sub human companies the de-facto right to sidestep employment law.

But Jim. That is precisely the opposite of what happened.

The market rate had been subverted over time by a public sector union that had negotiated with the publicallly funded employer to pay its members above the market rate. Nothing wrong with that per se except that the employer decided it could no longer sustain the expenditure. So they outsourced the function and something approaching the market rate for the job was restored.

Now I can understand why that was not a good outcome for the union or the staff concerned and, as I said above, I’m not sure outsourcing public sector functions produces a good outcome for the Council tax payer either.

Along with many others, for example, my refuse collection has been outsourced by the Local Authority to a private company. The money to pay for this service has been taken from my bank account in Council tax but when (as they haven’t been) my bins are not emptied for a fortnight, my only recourse is a fruitless phone call to the Technical Services Department to complain. This may be reflected in a future KPI report some functionary will compile before the outsourcing contract is renewed but I am no better off.

If, instead, I paid the contractor directly for the service, I would have the option to withhold payment or to employ a different contractor.

Would that not be a cheaper, more streamlined and effective system?

87. Charlotte is a moron

Matt Munro, love it, the singer of born free eh, Wildean.
So socialism causes the conditions for racism.
So if their was no socialism or welfare state, racism would vanish.
Modern day socialism started from the French revolution and of course before that there was no racism. Also the economic conditions of pre revolutionary Russia, perfect serfdom, religious hatred, poverty and no regulations of the free market was not to blame for pogroms but bloody socialists. Also it wasn’t religious hatred or poverty caused by economic conditions that wiped out the Jews in the medievel pogroms at York it was Cedric the Socialist.
Perhaps if a family had no health care and they were starving because they were unemployed and a “foreigner” had a job that wouln’t cause racism would it.
Racoism is a innate human condition not reliant on any political system. It will be there until we find another species to hate.
PS Nick Cohen and Harrys Place must love Charlotte.

Tim W @ 85

You seem not to know what “market rate” means. It means the amount that has to be paid to get people able to do the job to come and do the job. That’s all. It’s not some mystical concept you know.

I know exactly what the ‘market rate’ means and the market rate was, prior CCT, negotiated between organised labour and capital. Every market is decided between the buyers and sellers in a market. The power struggle between the two decides the market value of everything. However, when you remove the negotiation power of one side then the market ceases to be free and one side of the equation (in this example) labour losses its negotiation ability it becomes powerless.

“The market rate” goes up over time in capitalist societies. Because capitalism is the system that produces higher productivity and thus higher wages.

That is bollox, because capitalism tends to drive the price of unorganised suppliers down over the years.

This was achieved not by some well thought out strategy by capital. This was achieved via a deliberate intervention in the balance between labour and capital. The deliberate introduction of mass, long term unemployment and laws designed exclusively to circumvent the negotiation powers of labour. In effect the Tory Party ignited a class war. A class war that they won hands down. Once you draw up the laws you can win a lot easier. Since then the ‘Right’ have defended capital from labour regaining power by a cynical use of interest rates and therefore unemployment to drive the labour market down.

Who here remembers One of the worst speeches made by a Tory? ‘IF it wasn’t hurting, it wasn’t working’, gloated the smarmy little cunt Lamont as millions of working class people were thrown on the dole.

89. Charlieman

@39 Dan Dare: “Six, 3-bed, five person homes and three 4-bed, eight person homes have been built to meet current Homes & Communities Agency Standards and constructed in line with Rochdale’s Asian Housing Strategy.”

Funnily enough, a housing association bought two adjoining semi-detached houses across the road from me to accommodate a white couple and their fantastically large brood. I’m not knocking them — I grew up in a family of eight in a three bedroom council house, I loved the life, but I would have liked a bit more space.

Nowadays, social housing providers have different standards. Boys and girls are not expected to share bedrooms, for example. My only criticism of “Rochdale’s Asian Housing Strategy” from that short description is its crass (politically opportunistic?) name; it is a strategy for accommodating large families.

Pagar @ 86

The market rate had been subverted over time by a public sector union that had negotiated with the publicallly funded employer to pay its members above the market rate.

No, Pagar you are wrong here. The market rate was not ‘subverted’ by unions. The market rate was negotiated between labour and the employers. The unions at the time had the power to negotiate on behalf of its members.

The subversion started when Government intervened on the side of capital and set up deliberate barriers to stop labour using negotiation tools. That is was caused the ‘market rate’ to fall, partisan laws to shackle the workforce.

91. Left not Liberal

Tim Wankstain wrote:

“Chinese manufacturing workers definitely aren’t allowed to have an effective union to protect their rights or their working conditions… Pretty good system, eh?”

This is what the vile prick describes as a “pretty good system”:

“Over the last two decades of economic reform, millions of workers have been laid off without due compensation, while millions of others continue to be exploited, working long hours in hazardous conditions. Many legitimate workers’ protests seeking redress for these rights violations have been branded as “illegal demonstrations.” And, as a result, many ordinary workers have been arrested, detained and sentenced to long prison terms.”

http://www.china-labour.org.hk/en/node/100014

Oh how very “libertarian”.

Jim – in other words it was not the market rate, it was the supplier’s rate being forced on the purchaser. Once the purchaser had lined up a cheaper supplier, it’s curtains for the higher-cost provider. It is to be hoped that value-for-money came into the thought processes as well though, rather than just the quantity of pound notes to be exhanged.

The market rate was not ’subverted’ by unions. The market rate was negotiated between labour and the employers. The unions at the time had the power to negotiate on behalf of its members.

Err No.

The pay rate was negotiated between the unions and the employer. That is not the market rate. If unions were unable to negotiate pay rates higher than the market rate they would have very little purpose.

Consider, for example, how the print unions were able, over time, to negotiate terms and conditions for their members far above the market rate for the job they were doing? Until Murdoch took them on at Wapping? Or how tube drivers are paid over £40k for a job many would be delighted to do for much less?

That is a tribute to the power of their union.

But £40k is not the market rate any more than the minimum wage is, except coincidentally, the market rate for anyone who earns it.

Pagar @ 94

That is not the market rate. If unions were unable to negotiate pay rates higher than the market rate they would have very little purpose.

Yes and what the unions secured was the ‘market rate’. They are one and the same. You are trying to imply that there is some kind of ‘natural price’ of labour, but clearly that is not the case as lots of factors are in place and at the time organised labour was a major factor in the price of said labour. So, cost of labour was determined by classic labour/capital negotiations.

Just like footballers, actors and lots of other profesionals. Wayne Rooney does not go into Alex Fergusons office and hammer out a deal, the terms and conditions of his contract etc. He hires an agent to thrash out a deal. Most people would accept that Man Utd pay the ‘market rate’ for footballers in whatever position they play. Agents are not ‘distorting’ the market as such, the are simply trying to get the best deals for their clients.

If we were talking about bread for example the ‘market price’ is higher than the cost of producing bread. Tesco, Asda et al all charge more for bread than its pure cost. They negotiate a de-fact price between all parties. The price that they are willing buy from bakers and the price they are willing to sell to the public. They are not distorting the market as such either.

Workers try and force the best price based what the employee wants and what the employee is willing to pay. It is in the interests of those in a union to come together and negotiate a price for their labour collectively. That price was the ‘market price’ in the same way that BMWs are worth what various vested interests are willing sell them at.

“Every market is decided between the buyers and sellers in a market.”

True. Except when you have a monopoly. The union was the monopoly supplier of labour and the capitalists….well, they never were the monopsonistic purchasers of labour. Precisely because there never was one “capitalist” that bought all the labour.

So we have a labour market where the price of labour was above its market rate precisely because there was a monopoly seller but not a monopoly buyer.

““Chinese manufacturing workers definitely aren’t allowed to have an effective union to protect their rights or their working conditions… Pretty good system, eh?””

A very gentle request. Please don’t misquote me that way.

This is what I said:

“Chinese manufacturing workers definitely aren’t allowed to have an effective union to protect their rights or their working conditions. Yet their wages have been going up at 14% a year (yes, after inflation) for more than the past decade as the country adopts the rudiments of capitalism. Their wages are morte than 4 times what they were in the mid 1990s.

Pretty good system, eh?”

So Mr. Left not liberal, what do you have against a system which raises the workers wages?

Diogense @ 92

Jim – in other words it was not the market rate, it was the supplier’s rate being forced on the purchaser. Once the purchaser had lined up a cheaper supplier, it’s curtains for the higher-cost provider.

It WAS the market rate. Organised labour was part of the forces that drove the market at the time. The ‘purchaser’ had not lined up a cheaper supplier, the Tory scum had introduced specific laws to distort the labour market in favour of capital.

97. Left not Liberal

That’s not a misquote you diseased scumbag – you think that harrasing, detaining, jailing and beating up workers who form trade unions is a “pretty good system” do you not? After all that’s what they do in China and of course there would be no other way to prevent workers forming unions to protect pay and working conditions. Now make my New Year and slit your own throat you fucking peice of shit.

TW @ 95

Except when you have a monopoly. The union was the monopoly supplier of labour and the capitalists

There were several unions though, and anyone (including employers) were free to start up a trade agreement of their own.

They didn’t of course they had the law changed to destroy the power that labour had.

where the price of labour was above its market rate

For some reason, you use the term ‘above its market rate’, but that is simply untrue because the ‘market rate’ is influenced by lots of factors and organised labour was a factor in the natural price of labour.

Is it your contention that anything that forces the price of manual labour UP is a distortion of the market, but anything that forces the price of manual labour DOWN merely ‘market forces’ at work? Was Lamont’s policy of mass unemployment rates pushing unemployment up ‘distorting’ the market or merely ‘reflecting’ the true cost of labour?

99. Charlieman

@97 Left not Liberal: “Now make my New Year and slit your own throat you fucking peice of shit.”

I’m offering a deal to you. I’ll buy the beer. If Tim Worstall is in London, we’ll meet up, three of us, and you can repeat those words to his face.

Tim Worstall is an annoying piece of shite. However, he tends to back up, support his ridiculous conclusions with evidence. Whether his evidence is conclusive or not, well the jury is out.

Left not Liberal @ 97 ought to be told to fuck off by whoever has that authority.

Now make my New Year and slit your own throat you fucking peice of shit.

Is not debate. It is just stupid.

101. Sevillista

Does socialism really cause cancer? Crackpot right-wingers expalin why here….

Seriously though- the solution must be to make conditions for
ordinary people as unpleasant as possible to stop anyone wanting
to emigrate to our shores.

Works for libertarian paradise Somalia doesn’t it?

102. Left not Liberal

“I’m offering a deal to you. I’ll buy the beer. If Tim Worstall is in London, we’ll meet up, three of us, and you can repeat those words to his face.”

Oh, sounds scary. What’s he going to do – bore me to death with endless statistics and piss poor (political) economic reductionism? How bout we meet up in China instead and conduct this debate in front of a group of Chinese labour activists? I’d love to see their reaction when Tim explains to them why its in their own best interests to be jailed, intimidated and attacked for having the tenacity to demand basic rights in the work place. I imagine he might be greeted with a reception similar to that given to this steel firm executive:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/27/china-steel-workers-boss-beaten

@89

Rochdale seems to have caught some serious flak for the ‘Asian Housing Strategy’ since it has recently been rebranded as a ‘BME Housing Strategy’. Presumably in the interests of inclusiveness. Aficianados of contemporary doubleplusgood Newspeak will find much to savour in the full stratgey, which may be downloaded in glorious Technicolor here:

http://www.rochdale.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/policies_and_plans/bme_housing_strategy.aspx

But lest anyone feel that Rochdale’s BME strategy is being unfairly spotlighted, it is by far from the only entrant in this increasingly crowded field. Derby for example, not somewhere that I for one had previously imagined to have enjoyed a surfeit of vibrant enrichment, has published its own. While not boasting quite the same elevated production values as Rochdale’s, Derby’s strategy has the merit of being based upon solid ‘market research’ which has identified areas of specific cultural sensitivity.

We’re told, for example, that 58.8% of Pakistani households must have separate living rooms for male and female members of the household, 53% insist on gas cooking facilities while a mere 37% would consider bulk storage facilities for household supplies to be a strict necessity. Around 80% of all BME households indicated a requirement for properties with three or more bedrooms, 25% require 4 or more. No doubt all this merely reflects legitimate aspirations based on standards that such households would have enjoyed had they remained in their ancestral homelands in the subcontinent or Africa.

Certainly many will be comforted and reassured by the Council’s pledge to “Respond to local needs and aspirations by providing housing services that are sensitive to cultural diversity.” I wonder though if they will go as far as Bristol Council which decreed that builders of a new development targeted towards a Muslim clientele must ensure that toilets do not face south-east (ie towards Mecca), and that sleeping arrangements must also be sensitively configured to facilitate that all residents are able to assume the correct orientation once tucked up in bed. The bar has been raised to a new level and it will be interesting to see how new contestants in the BME Housing Strategising field respond.

you think that harrasing, detaining, jailing and beating up workers who form trade unions is a “pretty good system” do you not? After all that’s what they do in China and of course there would be no other way to prevent workers forming unions to protect pay and working conditions.

I’m sure I’m missing something here.

But ever since I can remember, people have told me that the regime in China was err ……………..socialist…………………..communist……………something on the left……….

105. Charlotte is a moron

Charlieman don’t make threats you can’t carry out. As a right wing poster you are bound to be a overweight geek with a BO problem. Also with a very strange need to post on left wing websites. Freud would say you require conflict because of the lack of sexual activity

106. Left not Liberal

“I’m sure I’m missing something here.”

Yes dimwit you are, no change there then. You’re confusing form and substance, reifying contested and dynamic political ideologies and demonstrating that you’re a little hard of reading – not bad for one sentence, even by your standards.

@Pagar, China’s a bit of everything really. More transitional than left or right.

When it comes to Labour there are some socialist elements, like a small number of Township and Village Enterprises that are actually run by the villages (rather than just being a private company wearing a “red cap”), capitalist elements like wage labour, and pre-capitalist elements, like the weak institutions ensuring people get paid on time or at all.

Its a dreadful system and I think Tim’s aware of that. It has produced massive growth but at a dreadful cost. Tim may argue its the least worst option, but that is a very tough call and would require something more book length than comment length.

(I am incredibly pleased the comments here have drifted from one subject I know about (immigration history, 18 months at uni) to China’s economy (my undergrad dissertation). This is some serious comment creep but one that has managed to connect the two subjects I actually have something approaching a semi-demi-expert level of understanding of.)

Power within the government of the People’s Republic of China is divided among three bodies: the Communist Party of China, the state, and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Most, but not all, positions of significant power in the state structure and in the army are occupied by members of the Communist Party of China which is controlled by the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, a group of 4 to 9 people, usually all older men, who make all decisions of national significance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

Its a dreadful system

I agree.

But it’s Left not Liberal.

109. Charlieman

@102 Left not Liberal: “Oh, sounds scary. What’s he going to do – bore me to death with endless statistics and piss poor (political) economic reductionism?”

’twas not intended to be scary. It was a genuine invitation (presumptive that Tim W would wish to attend).

Perhaps I am too ingenuous. Too open minded. Liberal.

@ pagar. Authoritarian and dictatorial certainly. Nominally Leninist definitely. Although Market Leninist is more likely description that Marxist Leninist, i.e. a party cadre in charge of a marketised (or marketising economy) economy.

But the facts on the ground do not show a socialist state in action. If you want to describe the above state apparatus as Left then I can’t really argue with you. I think it muddies the waters of what is largely an economic argument, and economically speaking China is in someways very free market [1].

[1] In my view, the wrong ways. There probably hasn’t been quite enough state action to help business overcome the collective action problems that developing states encounter when trying to upgrade domestic production, so too liberal. But the state has stepped out of the Labour market in such a way that is negative for the Chinese individual. It has not only destroyed institutions which helped run the old state capitalist system, but it has also failed to set up new institutions to replace those. It is also far more likely to enter labour disputes on the side of the owners of capital than the workers.

111. Charlieman

@105 Charlotte is a moron: “Charlieman don’t make threats you can’t carry out. As a right wing poster you are bound to be a overweight geek with a BO problem. Also with a very strange need to post on left wing websites. Freud would say you require conflict because of the lack of sexual activity”

CIAM, you appear to be a new poster here. Before posting insults, perhaps it would be wise to look up the past record of those who you abuse.

If you read my words carefully, I have never made any threats, here or anywhere. I offered a deal to Left not Liberal. For discourse over a pint.

For the record, I weigh about 10.5 stone and have a height of 5’10”. The BO concern is always going to be subjective, but I have never noticed work colleagues avoiding my presence.

Freud talked a lot of shit, didn’t he. That’s part of the reason why we have so many academic psychologists today.

@82. Curious Freedom

Dan Dare,

Isn’t odd how such normally verbose people always fall so silent when faced with factual reality?

I think it’s what the Antifa Brigade refer to as “No Platforming”.

Left not Liberal @ 106,

Yes dimwit you are, no change there then. You’re confusing form and substance, reifying contested and dynamic political ideologies and demonstrating that you’re a little hard of reading – not bad for one sentence, even by your standards.

Well, that would be the same murderous tit at 97 would it?

Now make my New Year and slit your own throat you fucking peice of shit.

You are quite weird, so you are…

The i comes before the e except after c normally…..so that would be piece.

Always priceless when Tory libertarian trolls are forced into telling us how fantastic China is. Murdoch just loves communist China. Which of course proves the point that there is very little difference between an unelected Communist dictator and an unelected Capitalist corporate piece of shit.

You see, China is the Right wing wet dream. No unions, no concern with pollution, huge reserve army of labour. When you think about it, very similar the the UK in the 19 century. Most people have no vote, there is no safety net. (Tim Rand s favourite)

@sally

That’s one of the most accurate thing’s I’ve ever seen you write. Seconded.

“That’s not a misquote you diseased scumbag – you think that harrasing, detaining, jailing and beating up workers who form trade unions is a “pretty good system” do you not?”

No, I don’t. I’m sure you won’t care to but if you do you can search through my blog and other writings. I say a number of times (for it is one of my views which I repeat continually) that freedom of association is as important a civil liberty as free speech. Should be one of those inviolable ones. People should have (but sadly all too often do not have) the right to form trade unions as they wish.

My reference to “pretty good system” is the one which increases the workers’ wages by a factor of four in just over a decade. That’s the capitalist part of the system. And increasing the workers’ wages by a factor of four *is* a pretty good result. It’s part and parcel of the greatest reduction in absolute poverty that the human species has ever seen. India and China going, however half heartedly and however lacking in civil liberties, roughly capitalist and engaging with, becoming part of, the global economy rather than lurking in autarky.

What you seem to be missing is that the beating up of people who try to form independent trade unions (and Sally’s jibe about a reserve army of the unemployed). These aren’t unique to capitalism with Chinese characteristics. They were also important features of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Mao was not notably benevolent towards the workers organising as anything other than part of the Communist Party (very like unions in the Soviet Union in fact).

So, China in the past, authoritatian, in fact totalitarian, no civil liberties and dirt poor. China today, authoritarian, no longer totalitarian few but some civil liberties (there is at least the possibility of winning a court case againt the Communist Party of Government now) and getting richer.

Compared to what was today is a better system, yes.

The switch from state socialism to the what, rather fluid mix of state capitalism, village enterprises, individual capitalism that they have, despite the lack of progress on civil liberties, has made the peasantry (especially the peasantry!) and the workers richer.

Which was rather the original point that I was trying to make. As an economy develops, as productivity rises, then the workers’ wages will rise as well. Unions might be desirable for all sorts of reasons and people should, as I say above, have an absolute right to freely associate as they wish. But it’s thew rising productivity which will raise the workers’ wages all on its very lonesome.

Quite why anyone thinks this is a difficult point to get I don’t know. Marx got it after all. It only won’t happen when there is a) a monopoly buyer of labour in the form of unified capital (or capitalists) and b) where there is that reserve army of labour. The absence of either means that rising productivity will feed through into rises in wages.

As Marx pointed out, where capital (and a unified capital at that) is not the monopsonist purchaser of labour then the capitalists will be competing with each other to gain access to the higher profits which the higher productivity of labour offers them. Thus they will bid up wages.

This has in fact happened everywhere there hasn’t been such a monopsony. Interestingly, the only places where there hsa in fact been a monopsony has been in the Communist countries. The Soviet Union was very explicit about it too: while industrialisation raised productivity they deliberately held down labour wages in order to raise the return to capital so as to finance further industrialisation. The only people who ended up acting as Marx feared capital would, taking an ever larger portion of the surplus value created by labour, were the Marxists who took their inspiration from Marx…..in order to make sure that capital didn’t take an ever larger portion of the surplus value created by labour.

Tim W @117

But that only makes sense if you ignore the millions of people whose wages have decreased within capitalist systems. You cling to meaningless statistics in order to justify your plainly ridiculous assertion that everyone’s wages have doubled, when clearly they haven’t for everyone. I could find dozens of people whose earnings have seen significant wage cuts in the last twenty years or so. It could be that I am lucky enough to have met the only thirty people in the Country who have seen real decline in their earnings, whilst the rest of have seen a doubling (or more) in the same time, but I doubt it. I bet you any money you want I can find a significant number of examples right throughout the de-industrialised World, including China. In fact, I would say that the only thing that has stemmed the flow of that downward spiral in this Country was the introduction of the minimum wage, which is about to abolished next year.

You seem to be fixated with the concept of an ‘average’, but I am sure if you thought about it for a second more than you obviously have, you would understand that ‘averages’ don’t mean very much when you are dealing with a large sample of people and a dynamic system. Surely you accept that just because some people happened to have done rather well, that does not hold true for everyone?

118. Matt Munro

Jim says “What? How can that be the ‘correct’ analogy? We are talking about what happens here, a multi-ethnic & Multi-cultural, Liberal democracy and one of the most dynamic Cities in the World and all the baggage that entails. We do not impose a culture, dress code, religion, language etc.”

A Laugably london-centric argument which just reinforces the sterotype of the average LC contributor. So because China does not claim to be a “liberal democracy” (and if you think this is one you need to get out more) different rules apply ? Are they just not as enlightened as us, are we like, leading the world with our wonferfully dynamic er baggage. I don’t feel any responsibility to give “fellow citizens” from anywhere free money to celebrate their culture.

Matt @ 118

Yes and. China, not very liberal. London, liberal city. Different Countries, different rules. What is wrong with that?

120. Matt Munro

@ 87 “Matt Munro, love it, the singer of born free eh, Wildean.
So socialism causes the conditions for racism.
So if their was no socialism or welfare state, racism would vanish”

No I never said that – in the same way that if smoking vanished tomorrow lung cancer wouldn’t. Racism is partly innate, and under certain social conditions (e.g Germany in the 1930s) it flourishes. New labour have, by unevenly and arbitratily spending public money on certain groups (not all ethnic) created the perception (rightly or wrongly) that those groups are favoured, and by definition people who are not in those groups are unfavoured. That is a classic condition for the formation of an in/out group hostility.
As I said, if you bothered to read the whole post, it is not necessarily a function of left/right but of the overblown authoritarian state which we have been sleepwalking into for the past 10 years.
I was around in the 1970s, when the Naional Front rose under a labour government (It was actually Thatcher that effectively outlawed them) and now again, under another labour governent we have the rise of the BNP, coincidence ??

120
No coincidence about the rise of the BNP within a capitalist system (labour or tory), 1970 or now. Germany or the UK.

122. Curious Freedom

Dan Dare,

Could be; but I rather suspect it is less about ‘principles’ and more about bubble bursting reality encroaching upon the lamentable inability of most posters on this site to actually face and debate what is happening in the real world rather the carefully constructed fantasy land that most here live in, reinforced with the carefully selected and restricted vocabulary in true ‘double speak’ style.

There is no such thing as ‘positive discrimination’ only discrimination; to ‘positively discriminate’ against one, you must negatively discriminate against another. And the case of the UK it is the majority that are being discriminated against which runs counter to the very principle of democracy.

Your housing facts on this are rock solid proof of this, and that why no one dares touch them here.

A little late to comment here….too tired to argue free marketism-done that enough with Charlotte over on Lib Dem voice…

But Tim W, if you have a heart, this is a good film to watch. I did a while back, not just googling.

“Jennifer Baichwal’s cameras follow Edward Burtynsky (1955- ) as he visits what he calls manufactured landscapes: slag heaps, e-waste dumps, huge factories in the Fujian and Zhejiang provinces of China, and a place in Bangladesh where ships are taken apart for recycling. In China, workers gather outside the factory, exhorted by their team leader to produce more and make fewer errors. A woman assembles a circuit breaker, and women and children are seen picking through debris or playing in it. Burtynsky concludes with a visit to Shanghai, the world’s fastest growing city, where wealth and poverty, high-rises and old neighborhoods are side by side.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv23xwe0BoU

I just want to add, that peoples wages may rise all the time from the 1970’s but erm, so do prices in society from housing to food.

So really, is their any difference?

When I earned £3 something a few years back, I could still but a decent meat at the supermarket for a £5…but now….?

So…

As wages rise ‘improve’…so does the quality of life…no?

The market eh?

“I just want to add, that peoples wages may rise all the time from the 1970’s but erm, so do prices in society from housing to food.”

Which is why I’ve been so careful to use the phrase “real wages”. That is, after adjusting for inflation.

Decade by decade, one hour’s labour buys more and more stuff. Real wages are rising.

BTW, I do indeed have a heart. I know very well that early industrialisation ain’t pretty, ain’t nice and we would be and are horrified by the living standards it offers.

The only thing is, it’s prettier, nicer and offers a better living standard than not industrialistion at all. As our own forefathers thought as they flooded from the fields into the Dark Satanic Mills.

Another way of putting it. Sure, life is shite when you’re poor in a poor country. So, the solution is to build an economy which means that you’re not poor in a poor country. That this is tough, unhappy, uncomfortable? Yes, and?

Got any better ideas about how to make being poor in a poor country less shite than stopping there being poor people in poor countries? You know, this create wealth shtick?

122
‘it is the majority that are being discriminated against which runs counter to the principles of democracy’ – why?
Representative democracy is about one candidate being supported by the majority, what representatives then do after being elected may involve favouring a particular group, but this is not counter to democracy.
Positive discrimination is a concept that we are all familiar with, for example, professional golfers are given a handicap when playing amateur or less experienced players. I have never heard of people questioning that practice, or asserting that such practice discriminates against the professional

Yes. I believe that socialism causes racism. I’d suggest that the socialists reading this consider why many libertarians believe that.

I think that socialism requires planning and planning requires the discrimination of need. The discrimination creates perceived injustice and the perceived injustice results in anger and envy on both sides.

In my opinion it is far better to have government that doesn’t pick winners and gets on with the core job of government; upholding the Rule of Law and defending the inalienable rights of the individual, namely, freedom from coercion and fraud.

On a slightly different note…
I’ve noticed that there are many left leaning commentators who’ve recently been citing countries as examples of a libertarian society such as Saipan, Somalia, India and China??? (The last being so ridiculous that I actually laughed for a second as I typed it). A capitalist society does not equate to libertarianism and I’d argue that a society plagued with corporatism (such as Saipan) is almost the polar opposite.

Go take a look at the Nolan Chart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart). Where would you put China 30 years ago and where would you place it now? I wonder how many of those who were getting so impassioned about China in previous comments. on both sides of the debate, would put dots in exactly the same place I would.

Go try it out and lets see if we can all agree on something.

(can I put some white space in here so that nobody cheats)

(nope. go try it)

(done it yet?)

Well I don’t know about you but I put China 30 years ago deep down in the the bottom left corner. Totalitarian. Then over the last 30 years it’s slowly crept along to the bottom right, increasing economic freedoms but still violating many personal liberties. Anybody else get the same answer?

I think India would probably take a similar route. My brother has recently returned from India where his company employs a team of 10 engineers. He’s got some great photos of the Indians that he works with. They all get on well and have rewarding jobs. The company outsources more work to India now that there is less bureaucracy and state intervention and they’re not the only ones. Since the early 1990s, India has cut its poverty rate in half. About 300 million Indians—equivalent to the population of the entire United States—escaped the hunger and deprivation of extreme poverty thanks to pro-market reforms.

A little later in the photo album he has some pictures of them at the beach. My brother pointed to one of the photos and said “That’s the fun police! The sea is dangerous on that beach and if you paddle in the water then the police will come along and beat you with a stick. They didn’t beat me and my English friend though because we’re Westerners.”

If you really want to pick a country as an example of a libertarian state then I’d pick one closer to home, much closer to home – the UK. Bare with me, I know that DK and CG would probably find that label ridiculous but it’s certainly a better example of a libertarian state than Saipan, China or Somalia. I don’t think that many would argue that the UK is, in general, capitalist and the smoking ban, however illiberal, pales into insignificance when you compare it to beach beatings and driving over citizens in tanks. So as a fairly economically and personally free society then I think it’s a fairly good example and much more appropriate than Saipan! (Wow. That made me laugh again. Saipan!?!? What were you thinking??, Flyingrodent)

127. Curious Freedom

jb,

Not at all; democracy is about the will of the majority being carried out by a government elected by the majority to act in the interests of the majority.

I can tell you that not one party has ever put in its manifesto that will be commencing a programme of systematic discrimination against the majority of its people (primarily people of many generations and contributions) to favour a minority (primarily people of only two generations at best and of far fewer contributions) in all areas, including employment, housing, organisations and medical care.

You sporting analogy is facile; ordinary peoples entire lives are not remotely effected by sporting practice whereas the practice of discrimination against the original inhabitants of this country does effect ordinary peoples lives.

Dan Dare has done a job of highlighting the racist housing practices permitted to continue in the UK provided the only people discriminated against are the original inhabitants i.e whites.

The same applies in the employment field and will get even worse after that hideous bitch Harman’s inequality bill.

A prime old example springs to mind of a white English girl told she could not apply for an employment training programme with a British government agency in England because she was English and white!

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23407078-english-girl-barred-from-government-jobbecause-she-is-wrong-kind-of-white.do

@ Tim W

“Got any better ideas about how to make being poor in a poor country less shite than stopping there being poor people in poor countries? You know, this create wealth shtick?”

Oooh, yes. Majorly.

But you’re onbsessed with profit = wealth. I’m obsessed with profit = triple bottom line.

This is what I’m actually trying to figure out, so I’ll just email you on your site and we can go from there.

@Kevin Monk, but you haven’t really engaged with the post.

The Government picking winners and losers, or however you wish to describe Socialism is unrelated with the most visible expression of domestic racism, that of immigration controls.

You may believe “I think that socialism requires planning and planning requires the discrimination of need. The discrimination creates perceived injustice and the perceived injustice results in anger and envy on both sides.”

But you’ve not provided evidence that is the case or engaged with the evidence above which begins to refute that theory. It is convenient, but not necessarily true.

With respect to China and India, the general level of knowledge on those (not yours, but people in the press and blogosphere) is low. This is my starting point and I will be posting more once I can be bothered.

@127 Curious Freedom

“I can tell you that not one party has ever put in its’ manifesto that will be commencing a programme of systematic discrimination against the majority of its people”
No, but most governments do, it’s called the exploitation of the working-class, representative democracy is the election of a dictatorship.
We do not vote for a manefesto or a party (even if most people think that’s what they are doing), we vote for an individual (representative) And most policies discriminate against the majority All governments act in the interests of capitalism within a capitalist society and, more to the point, the powerful ones within capitalism,
@126
Are you really talking about socialism or capitalism with some kind of state intervention to make it appear fairer. It might be a good idea to name a socialist state which has experiencerd racism.. Remember, nazisim emerged from a liberal, capitalist country and continued to be capitalist under Hitler.

131. Sevillista

@curiousfreedom

Great you’re here – you can help answer the question on the thread.

If there were no benefits, no free education, no NHS, no pension and no social housing (i.e. none of this socialist nonsense that apparently is the key cause of hostility towards those with different skin colours who wish to settle in our country) would you still be against immigration?

132. Curious Freedom

steveb,

–“We do not vote for a manefesto or a party (even if most people think that’s what they are doing) we vote for an individual (representative)”—

You are wrong. Most people think that, because that is exactly what they are doing! They take a party, its leader and its manifesto and weigh up the one they agree with the most and vote accordingly.

There is a sound reason parties fail to put such policies as discrimination against the majority and unchecked mass immigration into its manifesto: People wouldn’t vote for it or the party that proposed it.

They just keep it secret when they know it is an integral part of their agenda and enact it as official policy after the election arbitrarily.

In other words they lie and do it by stealth.

Hello Left Outside,

I guess you’re right that my comment doesn’t really deal with your original post. It was more a comment in general support of DK and CG’s concept that socialism causes racism.

It is my belief that socialism, or any -ism that requires big government is necessarily divisive.

Regarding your post, your hypothesis is that “If DK and Charlotte Gore are correct then you would see a fairly strong correlation between the introduction of a relatively comprehensive welfare state institutions and the introduction, shortly afterwards, of restrictive immigration controls.”

I disagree with your hypothesis as it ignores many other factors that could cause restrictive immigration controls such as the increase in mobility due to modern transportation during the 20th century. It may also be the case, that many of these early immigration laws were made in error and that their introduction created the conditions for collectivist policy and thus made it impossible to repeal them. Do you think that Obamacare would be an option if the US had an open border policy? No. Once Obamacare is in place, do you think it will ever be possible to have complete open borders with, for example, Mexico? No. If the US had continued to leave it’s borders open throughout the 20thC and had continued the influx of Chinese, Italian, and Jewish families in to cities like New York, what then? I suspect even greater prosperity and wealth would have ensued. Dismantle the welfare state and then the doors can be opened once more.

“But you’re onbsessed with profit = wealth.”

Ah, but I’m not. I’m obsessed with “utils” but they’re very difficult to measure. GDP per capita is the closest thing we’ve got which is easy to measure (which is why we use that as the measure) for all the faults with GDP per capita as a measure.

For example, one of my favourite economics papers is this one:

http://www.nber.org/papers/w10433

“Schumpeterian profits in the American economy”.

Essentially, he’s trying to quantify the differences between how much entrepreneurs and innovators make out of new comapanies, new technologies, and how much the rest of us make out of them in social value.

His answer is that 3% (on average of course) goes to the innovator while 97% goes to the society at large who get to use the new technology/innovation.

To take an example near at random: mobile phones. Yes, Vodaphone and Nokia have all made pots of money out of them. But we the society at large have gained far more value by being able to use them over the past 25 years (this is obvious, for of course if we weren’t deriving more value from them than they cost then we wouldn’t bother buying them).

We might also look at the impact of mobiles on societies which didn’t have landline systems before. Like Africa. One paper there claims that a rise in 10 per 100 of the population using mobiles leads to a 0.5% rise in GDP growth. That’s a rise that we’d really rather like to see in such poor societies really.

Further, the same and allied research show that countries with competing mobile providers have higher penetration rates than those with a State monopoly of provision.

So, we’ve got the eeevil multi-national competing for profit from the poorest of the poor as opposed to a benevolent State doing things for the benefit of the people. But it’s the competitive market which delivers the goods as they can be used better, leading to that higher general growth rate in the economy.

It’s worth googling “cellphone Karnataka fishermen” for the story (and there is an excellent academic paper if you can find it which the newspaper reports are riffing off) as to how this happens, this increase in growth rates. Fishermen being able to use mobiles to sell their catch while at sea hsa led to lower prices for fish to onsumers, higher incomes for the fishermen and a reduction in wasted catch. That’s a pure increase in efficiency, something that really is wealth creation.

The 3% or so that goes to the capitalists is a pittance against that 97% rise in total value created.

Which leads on to William Baumol’s work. Invention, the creation of new stuff, can happen in many different economic structures. The Soviets certainly invented some spiffy stuff. Laser ablation of eyeballs as a subsititute for glasses was perfected there for example. But it’s, according to Baumol, that combination of markets and capitalism which leads to innovation: the widespread adoption of that new technology across a society. It’s those which have led to Lasix clinics on street corners at $500 an eye. It’s those that mean that competing private secotr companies lead to higher cellphone penetration than State monopolies.

To be honest, I simply couldn’t give a shit about “profits”. Except in one sense. I think the aim of this whole economic structure thing, the economy, is to get people to be as stuffed full of the things that they want, by their lights, so overburdened with choices amongst the glories that are on offer (and of course this include happy smiling children who aren’t likely to die before their 5 th birthday just as much if not more so than a shiny new mobile phone) that they’re about to burst from the happiness of it all. Maximising utility with the scarce resources available to us.

Thus we need markets and capitalism as they are the two things which uniquely make up the system that has, at least so far in our experience as a species, proven to be best at doing this. The desire and hunger for profits is what drives the capitalist part forward, the collection of them an indication that what is being produced does indeed contribute to that maximising of utility. Markets are the price and distribution mechanism….as well as the way in which we (with failures, which we should address) avoid monopolies. Also, that competition in markets being the way that the financial profits are transformed into the social profits.

Another way of putting it. The end aim is to have the population as fat and happy as larry. Profits are simply a waystation along the road to achieving this.

132
You do not understand the democratic process but believe what most people do, if people vote for a party it would be impossible for an MP to cross the floor and join the opposition without creating a by-election, You may argue that there is a moral need but the fact is, each individual constituency votes for an individual who is free, after the election, to join any party.
There has never been an example in the UK where the people have voted for a leader, once again. you may feel that this should be the case but it is not.
The manifesto is a list of promises (usually created by a political party) which is then utilized to campaign by an individual who belongs to said party, in each constitency. If, after the election, none of the promises are delivered, there is no personal liability either to the individual politician or to the party as the only contract made is between the people and an individual to represent that particular consituency, it is not the same as a commercial contract.
My own view is that people quickly get fed-up with politics in this country because of their initial belief in a non-existent system which rarely delivers for the majority, As a capitalist system, importance is given to the economic elite, whatever is done is to further those interests, and this is where I agree with you, but it isn’t by a lie or by stealth, it is done because that is the nature of representative democracy/

134
‘Thus we need markets and capitalism because they are the two things which uniquely made up the system that has, at least so far, in our experience as a species, proven to be the best at doing this’
Humans in their current form are thought to be about 500,000 years old. Industrial capitalism emerged around about 1750 and most historians believe that the U.K. was fully industrialized by 1850 Relatively speaking, Industrial capitalism arrived at about 5 minutes to midnight. Meanwhile other economic systems did quite well in ensuring the longevity of the human race.
I think that your assertions are rather premature.

“Humans in their current form are thought to be about 500,000 years old. Industrial capitalism emerged around about 1750 and most historians believe that the U.K. was fully industrialized by 1850 Relatively speaking, Industrial capitalism arrived at about 5 minutes to midnight. ”

Well, quite, exactly my point. The average GDP per capita in 1750 was $600 ish. The average GDP per capita in 0 AD was also about $600 ish.

For the industrialised capitalist countries now it’s about $20,000 or more.

*Something* sure as hell changed around 1750, didn’t it?

@136 is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen.

Capitalism is awesome. In the sense of being all about awe. Its incredibly what has happened in the last 250 years.

Now I think it can be done better, hell I don’t even think we got to where we are by the same mechanisms as Tim does (more state, more blood, more theft, not much justice), but I’m not going to argue that Capitalism isn’t one of the best systems thus far.

The competition is particularly poor pre-1750 but that doesn’t detract from it.

“Meanwhile other economic systems did quite well in ensuring the longevity of the human race.”

But they didn’t, there are so many more people now then 1000 years ago. Richard Attenborough has seen the world’s population triple in his lifetime, now that is progress.

139. Curious Freedom

steveb,

I understand the political process very well, thanks.

You make a lot of purely speculative claims such as most don’t really know what they are doing when they vote and although, of course, you fully understand the political process, most people don’t (even though you concede that they think they do!)

You also claim ‘there has never been an example in the UK where the people have voted for a leader’ but this is clearly not true. Kinnock, for instance was a massive burden to Labour and shot their chances down in flames especially with his infamous last minute antics prior to the ’92 GE when they were way ahead in the polls, and so I think that is perfect example of a leader costing votes; or put another way, people voting for a leader.

That manifesto promises have to be carried out should, I believe, be enshrined in law; and any major non- manifesto agendas and programmes should be banned by law.

As I said, there is a sound reason parties fail to put such policies as discrimination against the majority and unchecked mass immigration into its manifesto: People wouldn’t vote for it or the party that proposed it.

They just keep it secret when they know it is an integral part of their agenda and enact it as official policy after the election arbitrarily.

In other words they lie and do it by stealth because they know they can get away with it.

140. Charlieman

Curious Freedom and (mostly) Dan Dare earlier demonstrated an obsession with the delivery of large homes by social housing providers. They banged on a bit that many of the strategies were labelled Asian or Ethnic — quite rightly, because social housing is for those in need, irrespective of race — but then made themselves look a bit silly by comparing housing provision in the UK with that overseas. It is not inconceivable that a wealthy family forced to seek asylum in the UK may have had a higher standard of living elsewhere. Nor should we condemn a family to live in a shed here if they come from a humble background. We should just provide housing that fits UK norms. Which, incidentally, means separate bedrooms for girls and boys.

One result of the absence of strategies for large families is illustrated in this article:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6973993.ece

A local authority has apparently paid £279,000 to rent homes for a large family over about 18 months.

But, FFS, even the Taxpayers’ Alliance has something sensible to say: “With sums like this we could solve these people’s housing problems permanently instead of paying them from what is currently a bottomless pit.”

141. Curious Freedom

Charlieman,

I have only made one passing reference to housing actually so your comment is really addressed to Dan Dare.

But out of curiosity, tell me why his reasoned and evidenced post constitutes an “obsession” when your similarly themed and structured post does not?

Tim Rand “*Something* sure as hell changed around 1750, didn’t it?”

Err no….. it did not change much for the vast majority until about 1920. From 1750 to 1920 we saw 170 years of deregulated industrial capitalism, and yet by 1920 about 90% of the wealth was owned by just 10% of the population. Go forward from 1920 to 1970 and 90% of the wealth was now owned by 50% of the population. The so called great middle class did not really take off until the middle of the 20th century.

The wonderful deregulated 19th century system generated huge wealth for a few, but did not redistribute it. Now some regulations were brought in ….Little boys removed from chimneys for example …..or the regulation of child labour in factories (I can just imagine if Tim Rand had been around then, he would have bored us senseless by banging on about how regulations impinged on the rights of the poor chimney sweeps or factory owners to employ who they liked for as long as they liked . )

So what caused this change around ?

Well, a number of things. First off, we had 2 world wars, which in the case of the First world war wiped out a generation of men. This allowed woman to enter the workforce in jobs that were previously unattainable. We also had the setting up of the welfare state and the National health service. I won’t bore you all with all the various social policy because it was numerous, including education and housing. But the idea that we would have ended up with the size of middle class and the more evenly distributed wealth if everything had just been left to the market is idiotic fantasy.

143. Donut Hinge Party

Aww, people were doing so well at ignoring the racists, too. Well, seeing as the fourth wall’s been broken. .

The block of flats in Bristol was built by a HOUSING ASSOCIATION. That’s a private company that produces products that government service users might use. Local government then decides whether to use them. I mean, it’s not like it actually saves or costs any extra money to deliberately point or avoid toilets to the south east – unless you REALLY believe in Feng Shui.

1.7 million for 16 flats – that’s about 100,000 per flat. That’s actually a pretty good deal.

And I know of at least two all white families who had houses specially constructed for their brood – not personally; the wife’s a baby-snatcher.

“We should just provide housing that fits UK norms. Which, incidentally, means separate bedrooms for girls and boys.”

Well, the latest standards actually say separate bedrooms for each child above a certain age rather than the former separate for male and female children.

Perhaps a minor point but it is one of those bits where even though standards have improved, by moving the standard of “inadequate” we can still get the cry of “more must be done”!

“Err no….. it did not change much for the vast majority until about 1920.”

Sally m’dear, you really do need to look up living standards for the working class between 1750 and 1920. Yes, they really did get better off over this period, without redistribution, without government involvement.

You seem to be fixated upon the distribution of wealth without realising that hugely increased wealth really did, without government redistribution, lead to an increase in the living standards of the workers.

Which again is my basic point. Maybe an increase in wleath isn’t *fairly* shared, but it does lead to an increase in the standard of living of the average schmoe.

145. Charlieman

@141 Curious Freedom: “But out of curiosity, tell me why his reasoned and evidenced post constitutes an “obsession” when your similarly themed and structured post does not?”

Err, you mentioned housing “discrimination” on four occasions above.

The reason that I used the word obsession is because your (collective) arguments are founded on a falsehood: that local authorities and housing associations are biased against white people.

@127 Curious Freedom: “The same applies in the employment field and will get even worse after that hideous bitch Harman’s inequality bill.”

Charming. I have no time for Harriet Harman but I could never use those words to describe her.

146. Curious Freedom

Charlieman,

Not being very honest are you? You were using the word obsession in relation to housing:

“Curious Freedom and (mostly) Dan Dare earlier demonstrated an obsession with the delivery of large homes by social housing providers”

Why say you weren’t?

Dan Dare has demonstrated amply above that there are many housing practices that discriminated against whites!

You may not describe Harman that way that is your business; I find her fanatical quest to discriminate against men and whites whilst presenting herself an ordinary British minister as one the most disgusting facets of this government. But in any case, what does this have to do with anything?

138
There was little or no competition before 1750, but why is competition considered to be ‘good’? It’s only within capitalism that competition emerged around about 250 years ago, if you think a system that has sustained humans for around 250years is awsome, what must you think about different systems which sustained humans for nearly 500,000 years – mindblowing?
People may have tripled but it’s quality of life that matters not the quantity, and in any case, aren’t we considering global overpopulation as something of concern?
139
There has been research into why people vote the way they do and most people do not understand representative democracy. Kinnock was certainly not voted for by the people, no leader has. I don’t know how old you are but John Major took over from Thatcher, James Callaghan took over from Harold Wilson, and, of course, Gorden Brown took over from Tony Blair, if what you say is correct, none of this could have happened.
As far as socialism causing racism is concerned, no one on this thread has yet given an example of a socialist state whereby racism has emerged There are plenty of examples where racism has emerged within a capitalist society when economic depression has occured (nazi Germany is one of the most extreme examples)
137 GDP is a concept which emerged from capitalism, previous societies, in particular feudalism, did not have a concept of private property or an economic measure for the country as a whole, what you assert is speculative. But, anyhow, GDP is not an indicator of quality of living for the majority, it is an abstract measure which is quite meaningless in reality, much like the notion of equilibrium within free-market theory.

148. Charlieman

Curious Freedom, when I see a list of housing associations with the words black and Asian in their names, I assume that those associations were founded by black and Asian people. I assume that their motivation is to provide homes for those in need. I do not assume that they discriminate against white people.

When I see a report from a local or national government body with the words black and Asian in the name, my back straightens. Not because I expect to read about discrimination, but because I am wary about defining anything by race. When a council writes a strategy for housing large families (who coincidentally are more likely to be non-white), I’ll criticise them for writing it in terms of race. That still leaves a lot of space for publishing academic and medical research where race may be a legitimate factor.

144
Can you please describe what you mean when you assert that there was an increase in living standards for the working class between 1750 and 1920?
I suggest that you read Engels ‘ Conditions of the Working-Class in England’, perhaps you can explain why the average life expectancy of the working-class fell to around 40 years in this free-market utopia. Or, as Sally has already noted, why the biggest cause of death in children over 5 years old was malnutrition and accidents in factorys?

150. Curious Freedom

Charlieman,

OK. Your assumptions are incredibly naive.

I think you need to return to Dan Dares posts and read them again, and peruse the links he provided and you will see that discrimination against whites does very much exist in all areas of this country including housing and it ranges from direct discrimination, to discriminatory practice to exclusive practice.

Take a look at the link I provided to see it in action too.

steveb…

as a matter of interest what was the life expectancy of a farm worker before 1850? And also, maybe there needs to be some context without Engels’s desire to dramatise for effect. What were the infant mortality rates and female life expectancies? To be honest, I haven’t looked but, presumably, they all point in the same way as Engels’s analysis?

“Sally m’dear, you really do need to look up living standards for the working class between 1750 and 1920. Yes, they really did get better off over this period, without redistribution, without government involvement.”

I repeat, by 1920 90% of the wealth was owned by 10% of the population. 170 years of your great free market system delivered fuck all for the vast majority.

The average age of a man in 1900 was about 50-53 years of age, not that much higher than Tudor England. Yet by 1970 only 50 years after the ending of the first world war 90 % of the wealth was owned by 50% of the population. , I don’t have the stats at hand, and frankly I can’t be arsed to look them up but , I bet the living age of the average man in 1970 was far higher than it was in 1900.

“You seem to be fixated upon the distribution of wealth”

And you are fixated only on the creation of wealth. Which was mostly achieved through child labour.

151
Infant mortality rates were poor, hence the large numbers of births per family, females were more likely to die in childbirth.
Engels did not dramatise the effect of industrialism on the working class, there are many more accounts of the poor conditions, Hardy and Dickens, although in ficitionalized accounts, vividly described the intolerable lifestyles of both the rural and urban poor. But, of course, the reason that state intervention was required, eg. sewers and water systems was in response to this. William Morris is also a good narrator of that period, his ‘News from Nowhere’ expresses the growing concerns of many social observers of the 19th century.
But what has this got to do with capitalism, it took 250 years to get us where we are now, but it only took the Soviet Union 60 years or so to move from a feudal society to a modern industrial society, even overtaking the USA in getting a man into space. Although I am no supporter of the soviet system, we can compare a non-capitalist system with a capitalist system directly. It is not possible to assert that without industrial capitalism that our standard of living would not have improved to the level we are now, in fact, it may have improved even more without it.

All true, but a far better argument against the idea that racism is caused by an interventionist state is just to look at the Victorian period. No welfare state at all – and the level of scaremongering about immigrants, especially the Irish, was enormous. It was a mainstream belief that the Irish and other immigrants were the cause of English people’s poverty, because they would allegedly work for less than the established population (since in Ireland they faced the alternative of starvation and death, at the time, not that the xenophobes of the day acknowledged that). The free market can obviously generate these resentments too.

Immigrants are a convenient target for politicians and ideologues of all stripes to point at when due to either corruption or incompetence their policies result in increased hardship for the bulk of the population, and they need a scapegoat to absorb the resulting popular rage.


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