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I think you know very well my views regarding State ownership of production and services... and the resulting roll of the State as an employer.

I believe you do not subscribe to my views, and if you found my comment above offensive, then I wish to apologise.
No offence meant or taken.

You come across as an educated man which is why your seeming lack of knowledge came as a surprise, I myself am neither what most people consider a capitalist nor a socialist, I despise such labels, although I do find your right wing leanings confusing somewhat but that is (obviously) your choice.
 
But pleaching is nothing to do with picking leaves off or up, it's light pruning and 'weaving' twigs and branches together to tidy up the tree or strengthen a hedge.
I would expect better journalism (and gardening) from the Daily Star gardening column - if they have one...

Are you being deliberately obtuse? The BBC article merely reported what "parliamentary officials" said:
The Palace's gardening staff have been "pleaching" lime trees outside the main entrance to the parliamentary estate.

Officials said it saved time doing this rather than waiting for the leaves to fall and then raking them up.
The journalist went on to demonstrate that the "officials" were either ignorant or joking, by reiterating the true facts that a gardener had told the Daily Telegraph. The BBC also highlighted how gullible or ignorant the Woodland Trust and Taxpayers Alliance were by virtue of their ill-informed comments.

Nobody here is saying that pleaching is anything other than what you describe. Neither does the BBC report. So WHY do you insist on criticising the journalist so vehemently? It certainly wasn't the best piece of journalism ever, but no worse than the majority from all the media.
 
No offence meant or taken.

You come across as an educated man which is why your seeming lack of knowledge came as a surprise, I myself am neither what most people consider a capitalist nor a socialist, I despise such labels, although I do find your right wing leanings confusing somewhat but that is (obviously) your choice.

I don't see my views as right winged... I think about it as empirical.

I prefer proven systems that work well to those based on ideology.

Socialism - as far as it concerns social ownership of production and services - mostly translates as State ownership (with some exceptions). It is a noble idea indeed, but it does not work very well in practical reality.

Looking at pre-2008 economic growth in Europe, member states with small (relative) public sector grew much faster than those with large public sector.

And looking at post-2012 world economy, the first countries to emerge from recession were the US and the UK, while European countries with large public sector are still in decline.

The emprical evidence suggets that Governments should govern, not own and run businesses or employ masses of workers.

This, according to the statistical data we have, is what works... the empirically proven solution. And, when it translates to prosperity, everyone benefits, rich and poor.

This does not mean that there is no room for fairness and compassion, or that we should allow excessive inequality to take hold.

But it does mean - to my mind, anyway - that we should start with a system that works well and then make it fair, rather than start with a system that is fair in the hope that one day we will make it work.
 
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Why can`t they be replaced by plastic trees, so the trees would never need pruning and the leaves will never fall.
 
Looking at pre-2008 economic growth in Europe, member states with small (relative) public sector grew much faster than those with large public sector.

And looking at post-2012 world economy, the first countries to emerge from recession were the US and the UK, while European countries with large public sector are still in decline.

I'm interested in your data - does it include Scandinavian countries and Finland?
 
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Are you being deliberately obtuse? The BBC article merely reported what "parliamentary officials" said:
The journalist went on to demonstrate that the "officials" were either ignorant or joking, by reiterating the true facts that a gardener had told the Daily Telegraph. The BBC also highlighted how gullible or ignorant the Woodland Trust and Taxpayers Alliance were by virtue of their ill-informed comments.
Nobody here is saying that pleaching is anything other than what you describe. Neither does the BBC report. So WHY do you insist on criticising the journalist so vehemently? It certainly wasn't the best piece of journalism ever, but no worse than the majority from all the media.

woteva u is rite m8 th bbbbc is ded gud an I will nor krtciise it no mor cuz u is getin arsi an stuff cuz I is crittsizin ur bes m8 an ur brane herts u wen ppl duz tht It wel rit an meks gud sens aftr orl an it jus mi been tu thik to unerstan ow gud it iz
 
Socialism - as far as it concerns social ownership of production and services - mostly translates as State ownership (with some exceptions). It is a noble idea indeed, but it does not work very well in practical reality.
Scandinavian countries don't seem to struggle with a capitalist-socialist idea:Nordic model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

at pre-2008 economic growth in Europe, member states with small (relative) public sector grew much faster than those with large public sector.
Any links?

From what I remember the German economy was the 'powerhouse' of the EU and as far as I can tell, they're another country that likes to combine the best of socialism with the best of capitalism: Social market economy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

according to the statistical data we have, is what works... the empirically proven solution.

You're trying to confuse your opinion with facts, there is no definitive data that says a fully capitalist society prospers everyone, in fact it is usually the opposite; the top 1% generally get "richer" at the same time as the bottom 20% get "poorer".

This does not mean that there is no room for fairness and compassion, or that we should allow excessive inequality to take hold.

I'm afraid the very essence of the policies you are enthusing over promote exactly that; survival of the fittest and if you're not quick enough - tough! The absolute truth is that without the socialist movement, people like me would still be up a chimney with no workers rights and this is usually completely glossed over by the "I'm all right Jack brigade", seemingly forgetting that unless they were old money they'd too be living in a slum doing a crappy job for very little pay with no job security.

But it does mean - to my mind, anyway - that we should start with a system that works well and then make it fair, rather than start with a system that is fair in the hope that one day we will make it work.
I agree, although I think we come at it from different angles; I'd like to be financially successful in business so that I can pay good wages and give my employees a good working life, it seems as though you're saying that it should be a by-product.
 
It includes all EU member states at time of the study:

http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/res/article/view/13473/9404

Then click on 'Download this PDF file'.

Interesting study...several countries in the study have maintained or increased their levels of public spending whilst still enjoying good levels of growth. The data doesn't actually tell us anything that one can draw conclusions from.

If the study were done side by side with historical data showing the same countries increasing their public spending (as inevitably this would have happened decades ago), you could start to do a comparison.

But it would be foolish to draw any conclusions, as the economy is a fickle beast and multiple factors play part - international trading/global economy being just one of them.

To me, all this study provides is a breakdown of how much of GDP each of the European countries spent, and on what. No references have been made to economic climate during the period - this is surely the main driver for altering state budgets, regardless of political convictions?
 
Any links?
'The average rate of growth in countries with large public sectors ranged between 1.4 and 3%. In countries with medium-sized public sectors the rate of growth ranged from 1.5 to 4.6% while in countries with small public sectors it ranged between 3 to 7%.'

This is from:

Public Expenditure, Public Sector Size and Growth: The European Union Marked Structural Differences | Tsouhlou | Review of European Studies

Scandinavian countries don't seem to struggle with a capitalist-socialist idea:Nordic model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From what I remember the German economy was the 'powerhouse' of the EU and as far as I can tell, they're another country that likes to combine the best of socialism with the best of capitalism: Social market economy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The data I am referring to is statistical, over all EU member states. This does not preclude individual variations for specific member states.

Said that, statistical data is just figures, the conclusions are derived from the way we choose to analyse it.

You could, for example, argue that statistical data can be analysed in different ways, i.e. that we should look at those member states that seems to go against the grain, and try and see if there is a common statistical factor - or in other words what these countries did different, and then try and learn for this.

But my point is that the case for or against any social system should be empirical and derived from research and data.

...You're trying to confuse your opinion with facts, there is no definitive data that says a fully capitalist society prospers everyone, in fact it is usually the opposite; the top 1% generally get "richer" at the same time as the bottom 20% get "poorer".

To my mind, a 'fully capitalist society' would be a social system that has no public services, no social welfare, and no safety net. I do not know of any country in the West that fits this description, the closet I can think of are certain countries in Africa that I used to work with, where the (few) rich hold enormous wealth while the (many) poor have no access to education, medical care, police protection, or any form of state benefits. But in fact, even in those countries, there was some very basic element of social care - if I remember correctly from when I used to frequent Abidjan in The Ivory Coast in the nineties, flour for bread was subsidised, thought the cynics would argue that this was Konan Bédié (unsuccessful) attempt to avoid unrest.

In short, I do not think that such an entity as 'fully capitalist society' exists - even the US, perhaps the most Capitalistic country in the West, has a system of free public services and social security.

I have yet to see a Western economy where during times of prosperity the poor became poorer in absolute terms (as opposed to not improving as much as the rich). The biggest issue with Capitalistic societies is the that they promote inequality, rather than that they cause poverty.

Inequality is a powerful factor leading to very strong feeling of unfairness, which is embedded in us form the early dawn of mankind - one could argue without an inherent sense of fairness humans would still be lone hunters to this day.

Psychologists have demonstrated that when given a choice children chose equality over quantity - they prefer to have less, as long as someone else does not have more then they do.

My view is that this is why societies leaning towards Capitalism tend to generate both wealth and unhappiness and the same time.

..I'm afraid the very essence of the policies you are enthusing over promote exactly that; survival of the fittest and if you're not quick enough - tough! The absolute truth is that without the socialist movement, people like me would still be up a chimney with no workers rights and this is usually completely glossed over by the "I'm all right Jack brigade", seemingly forgetting that unless they were old money they'd too be living in a slum doing a crappy job for very little pay with no job security...

One of my clients is an extremely wealthy individual, his family's empire ranking fairly high-up in the Fortune 500 list. Their business with us accounts for around 10% of our annual turnover. Whenever I am exposed to his vast wealth (I have been to his Kensington house....) my heart says that if this one person did not amass all this fortune then I might have had some of it, my head tells me that the only thing that would have happened if he did not have all this wealth is that I would not have had the income that I do... the result is that I am better of than I would have otherwise been, but I am also frustrated at the same time. This is not statistics, but anecdotal evidence as to what is actually wrong with Capitalism.
 
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...I agree, although I think we come at it from different angles; I'd like to be financially successful in business so that I can pay good wages and give my employees a good working life, it seems as though you're saying that it should be a by-product....

I prefer to think of it as synergy - if the people who work for me are well compensated, well treated, and highly motivated, then they will do their best and the end result will be that my own wealth will increase as well. I consider myself to be a compassionate person and I am happy that I can earn my livelihood while working with people who enjoy what they do and benefit from it both financially and career-wise as they gain experience and accreditations. I have often given my blessing to an employee who developed well beyond our needs and chose to move onwards and upwards - he/she served his purpose for me as I did for them.
 
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"The parliamentary authorities have defended the practice of removing leaves by hand from trees at the Palace of Westminster rather than allowing nature to take its course each autumn.

The Palace's gardening staff have been "pleaching" lime trees outside the main entrance to the parliamentary estate.

Officials said it saved time doing this rather than waiting for the leaves to fall and then raking them up."


BBC News - Parliament defends hand-removal of leaves from its trees

What its probably more indicative of [ in a very small way] is our seeming inability to reform the vast panoply by which we govern ourselves. :fail
 
Interesting study...several countries in the study have maintained or increased their levels of public spending whilst still enjoying good levels of growth. The data doesn't actually tell us anything that one can draw conclusions from.

If the study were done side by side with historical data showing the same countries increasing their public spending (as inevitably this would have happened decades ago), you could start to do a comparison.

But it would be foolish to draw any conclusions, as the economy is a fickle beast and multiple factors play part - international trading/global economy being just one of them.

To me, all this study provides is a breakdown of how much of GDP each of the European countries spent, and on what. No references have been made to economic climate during the period - this is surely the main driver for altering state budgets, regardless of political convictions?


(a) This data suggests a link between public spending and growth, nothing more.

No statistical analysis has been applied to establish Significance, e.g.:

Significance of Regression Coefficient



(b) Even if a significant correlation was found, there are various factors to consider:

1. Can different correlation be achieved by different grouping of data (for example, grouping the Scandinavian states together and the Mediterranean states together - perhaps the correlation works very strongly for one group but not the other)?

2. What is the direction of the correlation - perhaps low economic growth tigers higher public spending, and not the other way around (e.g. when the economy id not doing well, people rely more on free public services and state benefits).

3. Is their a third underlying common factor that influences both - i.e. public spending and economic growth do not directly affect each other (e.g. that unskilled immigrants cause both an increase in public spending a reduction in economic growth, but coroutines that do not have this third factor simply show no correlation between the the two).

My point is that the process above is a move in the right direction - empirical statistical analysis of research data. We did not succeed in building aeroplanes because we thought that lumps of metal might fly one day, and we did not land a probe on 67P tanks to right or left winded political thinkers. Why not apply the same to our everyday life? Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology are actual sciences, they can tell us how individuals and societies interact and what works best. Advances in modern medicine only became possible when we removed non-scientific ideas from the equation. Empirical sciences, not Ideology, is the best way forward.
 
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Serious question, do you actually know what socialism is?

Or do you subscribe to the idiots guide of misquoting Animal Farm?

I don't recall any quotes about socialism in the film Animal Farm.
 
I don't recall any quotes about socialism in the film Animal Farm.

One of the lads at school got a copy of it, I think we were about 15, and a few of us went round to his to watch it and his mam caught us.

I think he's still grounded.
 
One of the lads at school got a copy of it, I think we were about 15, and a few of us went round to his to watch it and his mam caught us.

I think he's still grounded.

I don't think that was the George Orwell version :crazy:
 
I'd like to be financially successful in business so that I can pay good wages and give my employees a good working life, it seems as though you're saying that it should be a by-product.

Sounds impressively altruistic. But I find it very difficult to believe that's your sole aim. Whereas this sounds far more realistic:

I prefer to think of it as synergy - if the people who work for me are well compensated, well treated, and highly motivated, then they will do their best and the end result will be that my own wealth will increase as well.

But either way, employers can't usually afford to pay as much as their employees would like. Why? Because of competition from businesses being less financially generous to their staff, thus keeping costs down, thus keeping product prices down, thus getting a greater share of the customers. A balance has to be struck between reward and viability. The former too high and the latter may cease - so everyone loses. Of course business is far more complicated than that, but it's a major factor.

(Partially as an aside, I've regularly noticed a dichotomy when appraising staff. When I asked them how they thought they were performing, they mostly underestimated their abilities. When I asked them how well they thought they were paid, they mostly felt slightly underpaid! I've yet to meet anyone who thought they received a "fair wage" for what they did.)
 
I have yet to see a Western economy where during times of prosperity the poor became poorer in absolute terms (as opposed to not improving as much as the rich). The biggest issue with Capitalistic societies is the that they promote inequality, rather than that they cause poverty.

At best, that is a very weak argument, at worse it's a massive contradiction to your whole point; during the good times the "poor" don't do too bad yet during a downturn "the poor" get the sh!tty end of the stick.

And for the record, I'm on neither side of "the rich" or "the poor", I'm on the side of people having the opportunity to improve their lives without too many hurdles and your ideology may dangle the carrot but too many people get left behind which is to the detriment of all of us.
 
Question:
So WHY do you insist on criticising the journalist so vehemently?
Answer:
woteva u is rite m8 th bbbbc is ded gud an I will nor krtciise it no mor cuz u is getin arsi an stuff cuz I is crittsizin ur bes m8 an ur brane herts u wen ppl duz tht It wel rit an meks gud sens aftr orl an it jus mi been tu thik to unerstan ow gud it iz
Explains it all. :wallbash: :rolleyes:
(No, I couldn't be bothered trying to read the gibberish!)
 

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