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Onan the Clumsy
17th May 2005, 20:22
I've been wondering lately if inheritance is a good thing - or perhaps more appropriately if it really fits within the parameters of our western 'capitalist' way of doing things.

I can see how comunism/socialism whatever you want to call it had the inbuilt shortcoming that if you get the same as everyone else, you'll eventually work the same as them and standards will generally get lower. There is little point in trying harder if there is no potential reward. Here in the US at least you have the opportunity to improve your lot by the application of hard work.

That's ok, but what it really means is not that you will be a success, but that you have the opportunity for success. Furthermore, one man's definition of success might be another's everyday occurence. Plenty of people have been the first in their family to go to college, or have eventually managed to buy their own house and considered themselves to have done very well.

What I think we have here is not equality like in Soviet Russia, but equality of opportunity. Everyone has the opportunity to improve themselves.

Having said that, what does inheritance do to this weave of our social fabric? Sure you want to pass on knowledge and you want to pass on genes too, but what good does it do us if there are two people with similar talents and one gets a head start because he is left his parents' business, or given a house or a fancy job?

Would it not serve us better to make both these people work for their positions and then be happy for them that they got it through the application of effort?


Finally, is it inheritance or inheritence?

Grainger
17th May 2005, 20:28
So what do you suggest, O ? - some bugger work hard all their life to give their kids a head start and you want to hand it all over to Gordon Brown ???

Once the money's been earned and taxed once, why shouldn't someone do whatever they want with it ? Booze, women, gambling, fast cars - and squander the rest !

But if they want to save it all up and pass it on to the next generation, why not ?

Oh, and definitely 'a'

scrubed
17th May 2005, 20:39
Everyone should be buried with whatever cash they have left, minus the cost of the burying.

My theory is you will probably need that cash in the afterlife.

This will also reduce the need for afternoons spent wasting time with rich elders you don't really like that much.



PS you're sounding like a commie. Have you mentioned this to your US mates?

The Invisible Man
17th May 2005, 20:54
The TIM family have/had a problem with inheritance. My brother still lives in the family home. He has contributed towards the purchase and upkeep of my parents home. I posted a question on the A. Aunt thread and received loads of advice from TT5thA and others. I had not realised that inheritance had the ability to cause so many problems within a family. My Mum and Dad want to split things equally, but we, the other children have said no, we have not contributed towards the house and therefore should not receive equal shares. I've told them to spend my share.

( Where is TT5thA I wonder) :confused:

Tarnished
17th May 2005, 21:06
Onan,

Are you suggesting that all things with the potential to give one of two equals an "head start" should be abolished?

Gambling
Lottery
Premium Bonds
Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes

It is obscene that the treasury double tax you after you are dead. Clever planning is required to try and hold on to whatever you can.

Life's not fair, them's the breaks and $hit happens.

Sounds like a bit of sour grapes.

Tarnished

Onan the Clumsy
17th May 2005, 21:11
TIM "I had not realised that inheritance had the ability to cause so many problems within a family" I guess it's been a while since you read the history of the Kings of England :p Yeah, I've seen it do bad things. :(

Grainger I'm afraid I don't have a better answer. I was just trying to raise the discussion level on JetBlast a little higher than Blogs and urinal cakes :rolleyes: I would imagine that if I had stacks of dough I'd like to leave it to a relative, but I have no sprogs to begin with (probably a pre-requisite for having said stacks of dough). Plus I made an agreement with my parents that I'm not expecting anything and hopefully they won't need anything.

It just seems that inheritance works against the equality of opportunity that is one of the foundations of this society. Or to put it another way, what if you entered a drawing when you turned twentyone and evey fifth person got a lump sum from the government?

Tarnished No not sour grapes - just musing. Essentially, gambling etc could be considered a form of work as you do it yourself and reap the rewards (or losses) as a consequence. Getting an inheritance is not quite the same thing.

Scrubed Sorry I can't read what you wrote as I have as many of your IDs as I can identify on my ignore list :}

Jerricho
17th May 2005, 21:37
Gonna stipulate in my will that any money from my estate shall only be used to subsidise a huge p*ss up........either as a commiseration or a celebration.

Onan the Clumsy
17th May 2005, 21:44
Or both...

...a comiseration for your Wife, a celebration for your MIL :}

FLCH
17th May 2005, 21:45
I'd like all my remaining money to go to my mates to visit a bordello that way my friends can remember me as a real f****r !!

tony draper
17th May 2005, 22:08
The Celts burried their great and good with all their gold and worldly goods ,this ritual skint them in the end.
We should be given a more definate date of death so we can realise all our assets and spend the buggah before we pops our clogs.

speedbirdzerozeroone
17th May 2005, 22:28
OtC >

***
Everyone has the opportunity to improve themselves.
***

…what % of the world’s population are you including you in that statement?

001

Onan the Clumsy
17th May 2005, 22:35
Well I was refering mostly to America and the Western world. We're told we can be whatever we want to be, which I think is unrealistic at best, though I do think there is the opportunity to improve yourself and more so in the US than in the UK. My point was to compare this with a collective society where you role is assigned and your future is laid out.

So yes there are a lot of people in the world who fit that description too.

Jerricho
17th May 2005, 23:23
True OtC, and

where you role is assigned and your future is laid out

Take those scrotes out there that are born with a silver spoon embedded firmly in their ass thanks to their parents hard work and success. They believe that they can do pretty much what they want (Paris Hilton etc...). Substance abuse is often the top of the list of their choices, and then have the audacity to turn around and cry "Boo-hoo, I'm a drug addict because I have all this money and my life sucks" and expect sympathy.

Great bolshy yarbles to them.

Hoping
17th May 2005, 23:49
Judging by the way you phrase your question you know very well that inheritance is in total disagreement with equal opportunity for all. This is not a matter of opinion, anyone with an ounce of sense can see this.

The question, in a capitalist society, is how to deal with this. People seem to think that the only alternative is to give the money or proceeds to Gordon Brown. This is not the only thing that could be done. An alternative would be for all the assets of the people who die in the financial year to be bundled together and divided equally among the people of the country in question.

But if you examine things carefully you will find that the large number of powerful influential people who would stand to loose massively (or inherit less) from such an arrangement would not allow such an arrangement to come into existence. They would do this by appealing to the normal people (us) and scaring us into beleiving that our live's work was being dished out to lazy people, immigrants etc...

Modern day Capitalism is clearly not based on equal opportunity by any means whatsoever. Equal access to education, health care etc being obvious further examples of things which are being diminished by modern day Capitalism.

Onan the Clumsy
17th May 2005, 23:55
dging by the way you phrase your question you know very well that inheritance is in total disagreement with equal opportunity for all. This is not a matter of opinion, anyone with an ounce of sense can see this. I'll take that as a compliment then ;)

Ozzy
17th May 2005, 23:57
I am going to spend my money so that I leave my kin with what I had when I started out.

Ozzy

Hoping
18th May 2005, 00:01
Just checked your profile. Is that really your homepage?

Jordan D
18th May 2005, 00:55
I'm a student, and an only child. Some would consider that makes me spoilt. It doesn't. But I do think that inheritance should be allowed - after all it is my families wealth built up through my parents etc. doing their hard work.

Jordan

Jerricho
18th May 2005, 00:58
Modern day Capitalism is clearly not based on equal opportunity by any means whatsoever

I think I saw that in a movie once.

"All animals are equal, but some are more equal then others"

PorcoRosso
18th May 2005, 07:43
Animal Farm, George Orwell .... (Dunno if there is a movie , BTW )

Well, here in France, you have to give 60% of inheritance to government ....

Consider that stupid situation :
Mrs Porco and I , are not married, but we decided to buy an house . If one of us die, the half of the house will go for brother & sisters, not for one of us ... So we agree with our family thet they won't ask for anything . But then the government will ask for its share .... 60% of the estimated value of the half ! So basically, if one of us die, he will have to pay again , which means : new mortgage ... and it won't be accepted by bank since we are already at maximum capability of endebtment (33%)
So basically, if one of us die, the other will have to sell the house to pay its share to the taxman

Stupid sytem

tony draper
18th May 2005, 07:57
Indeed there was a full length animated version of Animal Farm made.
I wudda been one of the pigs.
If we have to have feet on necks, make sure you are a footee not a neckee.
:rolleyes:

Wingswinger
18th May 2005, 08:10
Good god! why on earth does anyone own a house in France?

Inheritance? Yes, of course it's right. If I work all my life, become moderately successful, pay my taxes when due and manage to have a pile of assets and capital at the end of my days, however large or small, it is my right to decide how it shall be dispersed after my death. It is the wish of the overwhelming majority of people to leave something for their offspring to build on. Those fortunate people who have created a vast store of wealth, whether it be in their homes, art collections or their business interests, do not represent most of us. We should not base our laws on a desire to dismember the estates of a few people. It is by accepting the principle of inherited wealth that one's descendants may have the opportunity to use it wisely and to build solidly for their own independence. Politicians, for sure, will only waste it.

I started with nothing, have (so far) inherited nothing and my expectations are modest. I wish to leave my daughter enough to ensure or at least assist her future independence.

Abolish inheritance tax!

Blacksheep
18th May 2005, 09:42
Perhaps the Muslims have it right. Inheritance is allowed but the deceased has no say in the division. Under the law, every member of the extended family has a specified share in the estate and the khadis (judges) should oversee the division. At least, that's the idea. Despite the good intentions of the law, I've seen one or two widows left destitute by pillaging relatives over here and in Malaysia. I suppose there are no limits to human greed. :(

scrubed
18th May 2005, 09:48
They got NOTHING right.....

Indeed there was a full-length version of Animal Farm made, and without animation, but with real humans, animals and the assistance of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Pete Postlethwaite, Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammer, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. Julia Ormond, etc, etc... as the Animals.

cavortingcheetah
18th May 2005, 10:05
:( Is the iniquity of inheritance taxation not based upon the fact that whatever is to be taxed at death has already been taxed either by income, capital gains or even previous inheritance tax?
It is, therefore, a double tax whammy the abolition of which would allow some of us to continue to employ the working classes in their chosen vocations as servants, thereby allowing wealth to trickle down not only through the generations but through the class structure itself?

I must now sasshay!:p

Jerricho
18th May 2005, 13:54
Animal Farm, George Orwell .... (Dunno if there is a movie , BTW )

You mean there was a book? This Orwell character sounds interesting........did he write anything else :E :E

Sorry

er82
18th May 2005, 15:19
Definitely keep inheritance.... and abolish inheritance tax........
My folks have worked very hard all their lives, and quite rightly, want to pass it all on to me and my bro. Of course, we'd rather have our folks around till we pop our clogs, but in the event that they pass on before us, we've agreed that I'll get all the diamonds and gold, and he'll get the fast cars!!

Onan the Clumsy
18th May 2005, 15:56
You mean there was a book? This Orwell character sounds interesting........did he write anything else Down and Out in London and Paris

That was an interesting one

Darth Nigel
18th May 2005, 16:18
So me Mum lives in England, in an 'ouse what is all paid for and everything. When she shuffles off this mortal coil, she will be leaving all the stuff from her and my dear departed Dad to me (unless I p!ss her off, at which point she has promised me a postcard of thanks from the local cats home).

Given she's middle-class and has 80 years of accumulated stuff, then I will undoubtedly be assessed death duties/inheritance tax on her stuff (even though either she or me Dad paid for it when they bought it). OK, we've been down this road before in this thread.

But now it gets interesting because I'm living among the heathen Yankees, trying at times to make airplanes smarter than the average Air National Guard pilot. I've acquired the usual assortment of impediments along the way, wife, house, child, car, expensive hobbies... which make it difficult to pack up and go home.

So now the US government grab some %age of the dosh because they can (some sort of capital gains tax or something). I'm sure it's all going to a good cause; after all, these congressional hearings, junkets to Iraq, massive bureaucracies like the DEA, DoHS, TSA, and charities like the Pentagon can't all be paid for by lobbyists and their friends.

It's feckin' ridiculous that this money will be taxed n times before I see it for no reason other than every buggah has his hand out.

airship
18th May 2005, 16:21
In theory at least, almost everyone here is right?! ... :ok:

Blacksheep: Perhaps the Muslims have it right. Inheritance is allowed but the deceased has no say in the division...every member of the extended family has a specified share... That actually sounds very much like a modern French practice - not being allowed to disown an offspring when it comes to the distribution?! The wider problem of distributing everything equally is the way that plots of farming land in the 3rd World have become so small because of successive divisions that they can no longer support even a single family... :sad:


Wingswinger: Good god! why on earth does anyone own a house in France? Especially as for most people who are not yet homeowners here, it is much cheaper to keep renting than to buy, even if you could still afford to buy. Sounds familiar doesn't it?! Property prices have practically doubled here over the past 4 years. And that's basically what we're talking about for most inheritances isn't it? Leaving a house...? Imagine leaving your children a house, then getting clobbered on inheritance taxes only to find house prices crashing after a couple of years?! :E


PorcoRosso: ...Mrs Porco and I , are not married, but we decided to buy an house . If one of us die, the half of the house will go for brother & sisters, not for one of us ... If I remember correctly, the law has been or will shortly be amended in order to protect the rights of the surviving spouse, whether or not there are children or other successors involved. I'm not sure if this applies to couples who merely live together though. In this enlightened age of frequent divorces etc., the old law to which you are referring caused no end of grief to remaining spouses. It would often be the children of the 1st marriage who would in effect force the remaining spouse to quit the property in order to benefit from the inheritance... :yuk:


Hoping: The question, in a capitalist society, is how to deal with this. People seem to think that the only alternative is to give the money or proceeds to Gordon Brown. This is not the only thing that could be done. An alternative would be for all the assets of the people who die in the financial year to be bundled together and divided equally among the people of the country in question. I found the whole of your post and the issues raised, interesting! Taxes on inheritances can only really exist in a capitalist society - in a wholly communist one, the state already owns 100%?! I see nothing wrong with passing on a heritage, but living in a capitalistic society in 2005, I think it is only normal that the debate be widened in order to consider another factor. Which is that before you die and leave a heritage, you've hopefully enjoyed a few years of retirement before doing so. During which time, you would have benefitted from a whole range of services in addition to the basic pension (but especially health care) which are "free of charge" in effect. I realise that everyone's trying to move from a "pay as you go" system to a "capitalised" one but the truth is that it's those in work who continue to finance the bulk of these pensions and services. In a "capitalistic society", it would only be fair then, that some form of accounting be made of your "costs to the state" during the period that "you stopped contributing" and before distribution of your assets to any inheritors...?! So if the state currently taxes an estate at 40% over a certain threshold, then maybe that is fair. Or perhaps it's too much or not enough?! Discuss :8


Onan, there's nothing wrong in principle with a "collective" society. After all, we're quite happy to be "examined" through schooling and college by our peers at which stage there are no tangible financial benefits, just "promises"?! Maybe most high-achievers would be happy enough to say, simply be respected by the majority, live in housing a bit better than the norm, have just that little bit more cash in their pockets to eat out with, not have to queue and most importantly, still have access to "the special shops which stock all those western luxury products"?! ;) Why should high achievers automatically have to earn 100 or 1,000 times the average salary in order to make them produce effectively? Why not just 1.5 or 2 times the average salary?! :confused: I mean if there was genuine respect out there and not plain avarice... :O

TIM, please allow me to help out with the Invisibles? You don't want your share and maybe they're not the spending kind?! Why risk a fallout? Send me the seed money I need to start airship ltd. and 49% of the company will be held by the Invisibles Trust...?! :D

BTW...are all heli-pilots really just underground communists?! :E

scrubed
18th May 2005, 16:21
This Orwell character sounds interesting........did he write anything else Yes. He was a fool. Just look at what he wrote about 1984. Sex Crimes were no worse in that year than any other, were they??

Onan the Clumsy
18th May 2005, 19:14
I mean if there was genuine respect out there and not plain avarice Yes it is interesting that there is such a hugh difference between high and low salaries. Sometimes it seems appropriate that say a road sweeper should make less than a pharmacist for instance, but why should a CEO make tens of millions? Does he bring that much value? Is he worth it? Is it really a question of all his mates on the board helping him out because they know the positions will be reversed at a different company in a couple of years?

And why do we value the strangest, most worthless of occupations over the neccesary and useful ones? Singer, film actor, football player...what do they contribute? Policeman, teacher, air traffic controller...those should be our heroes.

Jerricho
18th May 2005, 19:25
Sex Crimes were no worse in that year than any other, were they??

Dunno. Wasn't that the year Michael Jackson did his last tour with his family (and his hair caught on fire)? Could have been the catalyst to it all :E

Hoping
18th May 2005, 20:15
Listen Airship and Onan, I can't play this polite game of saying things like "it is interesting that there is such a huge difference between high and low salaries". It is not interesting, it is abominable. Perhaps your way is better, but I feel the need to come directly to the point about these things. You on the other hand want to plant the seed of thought in the minds of our fellow ppruners and hope that it will grow into something more.

I don't think that this approach works. The people of the west have been tamed. Many people in the west are fully brainwashed into the belief that anybody can achieve anything they desire through hard work and determination. The celebrity culture is further cementing this illusion by taking one in 500’000 poor to average people (in all senses of the word) and making them a celebrity. Mrs Victoria Beckham springs to mind. Further taming has been achieved by Western leaders (business and/or political) who have managed to raise the standard of living for a sufficiently large number of people in the west so as to avoid a majority group forming with serious complaints about quality of life. This has been done by shifting a lot of necessarily (to fund massive wages and bonuses for bosses) low paid jobs to poorer countries by means of globalisation.

A person could argue that this is all ok, since the majority of us have a decent standard of living. But who is "us"? Ok, so the majority of the UK has a decent standard of living (not starving, a few social activities etc) but what about the rest of the world's population? Millions of us (people) are starving to death. And what about the fact that it is just absolutely wrong in the most obvious and human way for two men to work in the same building in the UK every day for one year with the first man earning £10'000 and the second man earning £10'000'000 or £1'000'000 or £100'000?

Let us not try to suggest to ourselves that the values of western capitalist society are decent. Look throughout Europe, socialism is fast going out of fashion, we are heading back down the road from which we came.

reynoldsno1
19th May 2005, 01:22
I have already told r1jr that I'm turning all my assets into traveller's cheques and taking it with me......

Blacksheep
19th May 2005, 01:30
This has been done by shifting a lot of necessarily (to fund massive wages and bonuses for bosses) low paid jobs to poorer countries by means of globalisation.
Thatcherism or Reaganomics, its all the same. Maggie exported my job overseas, so I had to follow it. "Get on your bikes" the Tories said, so now I don't work on Maggie's farm no more.

Did me a big favour the Tories did.
Let us not try to suggest to ourselves that the values of western capitalist society are decent. Look throughout Europe, socialism is fast going out of fashion, we are heading back down the road from which we came.
New Labour? Led by a wealthy barrister and an Economics PhD?

Yes indeed, socialism with a conscience.

A guilty conscience.

Give me Old Labour any day...

arcniz
19th May 2005, 03:09
The grounding principle of prosperous government is sure and easy taxation.

Government both defines the rules of commerce, including the process of inheritance, and receives the tax proceeds from whatever economic system may exist.

The structural advantage of capitailist rules (with many variations) in govenrnment comes from transferring the accountability for investment, development, maintenance, etc to private 'owners', who can be readily identified and regularly taxed. This relieves those governing from most of the hard work while also simplifying the collection of taxes from businesses and householding 'proprietors' that willingly pay up to avoid seizure of their assets.

SO.. property is good for stable government, and inheritance is good for property.

Without the asset transfer feature of inheritance, individual people would invest less in their visible fixed assets and would gradually run down such assets they had in anticipation of death, unless their offspring were available to assume the burden and assist in the elders' support. This is a recipe for large families and everything financial done 'off-the- books'.

How much nicer it is to have titles to valuable things neatly recorded in 'official' places and appropriately taxed in the process.

Inheritance is a mechanism for preserving property 'values' and ensuring that the taxable assets are transferred to other parties in an accountable (and taxable) way. Capitalist society actually captures more wealth through this recycling method than it would by attempting to take all the geld on a single occasion... and it also puts well-kept roofs over quite a few heads in the process.

Taildragger55
19th May 2005, 08:54
A difficult one: I would like to leave some of my slender assets to my sprogs, but I resent like anything rich bastards who have been living like kings for generations on inherited wealth that was probably nicked in the first place.

Best bet is probably a low inheritance tax. In fact separating Income, Capital Gains and Inheritance is a w ank, since it is all money. Tax everything at something low, say 12%, with no deductions, and people will have less incentive to cheat.

Only consolation about inherited wealth is that sooner or later every multi millionaire family throws up an idiot or two to piss it all away and back into the real economy.

tony draper
19th May 2005, 09:10
There used to be a law in France that was interesting, the French King automatically inherited all goods properties moneys chatels bricka brack ect, of any foreigner living in France on the occasion of their death, well it was his country he could do what he liked one supposes, but its hardly supprising folks was alus invading them, they prolly just wanted their grandfathers watch back.
:rolleyes:
One suspects it was not done for reason of some fluffy socialist theory.
:uhoh:

Wingswinger
19th May 2005, 09:34
Tax everything at something low, say 12%, with no deductions....

Now, that is an idea. However, I would have a threshold of income and capital below which no-one paid any direct tax.

Flat-rate tax is an idea whose time has surely come. I resent politicians fiddling tax and benefit rates to favour one group of the population against another, making bribes and promises withother peoples' money. Besides, think of all those useless civil servants, shuffling other peoples' money around in the name of "fairness", who could be made redundant. More savings. glory be!

RaraAvis
19th May 2005, 09:44
Inheritance - should it be allowed ?

Yes is should , we likesshhhhh it :p

PilotsPal
19th May 2005, 09:54
The late Bob Hope once observed in an interview by Michael Parkinson that his good friend Bing Crosby had worked out a way to take it all with him. He'd acquired an asbestos suitcase.

MikeJeff
19th May 2005, 15:06
Can't beat a captialist/socialist argument. All the lefties saying why is a CEO worth all this money and a street cleaner worth nowt. Well it's because the world is full of thick people. Us clever people need thickos to serve our chips and sell our train tickets. If these people are serving us why the f*ck should they earn the same as us????

As for inheritance. My parents have retired. They've paid 40% tax for however long, now they're getting their pension they invested in and guess what.. they pay 40% again! so when they pop their clogs - they pay again.. personally I hope they have a great time and p1ss the lot up the wall and die happy! If people want to leave their kids/cats stuff why on earth shouldn't they!

Animal Farm.. I saw that movie, it had pigs and humans in it.. and a chicken that died half way through!!

Hoping
19th May 2005, 16:24
Why should they earn the same as us?

Try and look at it from the individual's perspective. If you spend a year in a job you have literally "spent" a year of your life. Nobody lives forever. This time cannot be regained. None of us have an unlimited number of years to live, we all live for about 70 or 80 years, if we are lucky. Because of this none of us can afford to sell our lives cheap. Therefore my time, my life, my days, my hours are as valuable to me as yours are to you. No more valuable and no less valuable.

To work in exchange for money is, quite literally, to exchange a portion of your life for money.

I will assume that you are not a fascist. Therefore you will agree with me when I say that one man's life is worth the same as another man's life. You cannot say Bob's life is worth more than John's life because Bob is clever whereas John is thick. To do so would be to join in the ranks of fascists.

So once we agree that all lives are equal and we can see (because nobody has a never ending life) that each of us only has a certain amount of life to offer up in exchange for money before we die, it follows logically that we should all be paid equally for our time.

To say that one man should be paid more than another is to say that one man’s life is worth more than the other man’s life. Can’t you see that this premise is wrong in the most fundamental way?

Now you claim to be a clever person, let's see if you can rise to the occasion and follow the argument in an intelligent and constructive way. I don’t want to hear about your dad and his specific example etc etc etc. This is an argument about fundamental social values, not a rant about personal circumstance or current UK law.

Omaha
19th May 2005, 17:31
Well in pre-innocent days I might have responded to this differently. Most people I imagine never mind inheriting anything, I had three minor inheritances before my last major one and everything went fine & dandy, well that's not true cause what I choose to do with my first inheritance brought me a fair degree of misery, money can, & the others did infringe on my unusual circumstances at the time not all for the better & caused me alot of stress eventually (long story that one).

It wasn't until my last inheritance that I realised how dangerous the whole thing can be & everything went completely belly up resulting in a 6-7 years nightmare which I'm not totally out of yet.

Inheritances can cause resentments, broken relationships & familiies & health problems from the stress. I've experienced & witnessed them all. Saying that re: some peoples ideas of the unfairness of it I was not in a position for a long time where I could compete in the dog eat dog world of capitalism & fend for myself (I paid a huge very unfair price in another way that no amount of money could compensate me for) & that I was unwantedly in this dependent position was the main reason the person made the will the way they did besides the fact I & my sibling had looked after him & brought him places while the rest who are well set up didn't bother their barnies. Haven't been able to get rid of them since. :rolleyes:

If I had the time again there is no way I could have changed things that I would have been in different circumstances at the time of this persons death, I'm very lucky to have overcome my situation that I can now work, travel the world, hold down a degree & socialise. But to be honest if I'd had the choice I would have loved to have been able to be self sufficient at a young age & not so dependent on this persons good will, even worse inheritances can often come with strings & clauses attached & other people involved that do not allow you the freedom to do with your inherited assets that you would with assets bought from the sweat of your own brow. Inheriting may be fine & dandy if one isn't reliant on it, when one is, it is very frightening should the vulchers come snapping at your heels. :\

Saying that who said lifes fair, it ain't, & if people want to leave their assets to someone that's their right & it's no-one elses right to assert that another person should have divided their estate differently, they can do whatever the hell they want with their own assets when they pop their clogs. Do I feel guilty over my stance against these vulchers, not on your barny, I'd do it all again in the morning & I aim to totally win. :ok: but the stress hasn't been worth it. :ugh:

GROUNDHOG
19th May 2005, 17:48
One vote for Mike Jeff

HOPING .... Sorry must disagree with you.... Responsibility ... ie The Directors of a Company are legally and financially responsible for their employees future. It isn't easy knowing 250 people depend on your decisions to pay their mortgages. ( Yes I know Directors depend on their staff too - but they can walk away if they don't like the job with little effect on anyone else)

Contribution... If I go out and earn hundreds of thousands even millions of pounds worth of overseas earnings, invent something incredible or build something with a fantastic export potential for this Country doesn't that have a value?

And who creates the jobs in the first place, the guys that go out and put their own money and arses on the line, who are prepared to take all the risks, are you telling me that doesn't have enhanced value in terms of increment?

Onan the Clumsy
19th May 2005, 18:37
And who creates the jobs in the first place, the guys that go out and put their own money and arses on the line, perhaps, but these are rarely the highly paid CEOs though. They're just the ones who get the company started and once it's up and running, all the golf playing bottom feeders come and latch on to the company, sucking the lifeblood out of it.

Caslance
19th May 2005, 18:56
Indeed there was a full-length version of Animal Farm made, and without animation, but with real humans, animals and the assistance of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.Ah......but here on Planet Earth there was an animated version made in 1954 by Halas and Batchelor.

GROUNDHOG
19th May 2005, 20:57
You're not wrong Onan, World is full of people jumping on the bandwagon once its rolling!

Onan the Clumsy
19th May 2005, 21:25
Bandwagon Jumper: That'd make a good Prune ID

RaraAvis
19th May 2005, 22:46
Hoping

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So once we agree that all lives are equal and we can see (because nobody has a never ending life) that each of us only has a certain amount of life to offer up in exchange for money before we die, it follows logically that we should all be paid equally for our time.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I agree with the first premise of all people being equal and all but I can not see how it follows, logically or not, that we all should be paid equally for our time ???!!!:confused:

A tiny factor such as what we DO with that time , how well and how productively we USE that time surely must be considered !:rolleyes:

tart1
19th May 2005, 22:51
Onan ...........What about 'Man-eater 1'?? I considered that as a user name but I decided upon my present name in the end!!

I don't think that when you've paid taxes on the value of your estate, you should have to pay for it again. It is so very unfair.

I've got a lot to say about inheritance and the taxes imposed thereon, but it's all pretty boring so I'll just get back in my box, otherwise I might get over-excited!!

:uhoh: :uhoh:

arcniz
19th May 2005, 23:07
Hoping says: So once we agree that all lives are equal and we can see (because nobody has a never ending life) that each of us only has a certain amount of life to offer up in exchange for money before we die, it follows logically that we should all be paid equally for our time.


The 'portion of a life' premise completely misses the underlying concept of how a competitive-market workplace functions: Although time is often accounted for, as a measure of participation, workers are not really paid for their time, but for their PERFORMANCE. A worker with a shovel can move x-much manure in an hour. One with a bulldozer will be able to move quite a few more m-loads in the same period. We can expect that the dozer driver will earn more - partly because he has greater skills, but primarily because he moves the merde faster. When the dozer breaks and the driver is paid his normal rate for hand shovel work... THAT is unfair and unreasonable, because he is being paid more yet not producing more value. He may well see the writing on the wall if this situation continues indefinitely.

Note the role of capital in all this... people with workplace access to production-enhancing tools earn more.
Capital accumulation is required to pay for the tools. The concentration of capital to purchase a dozer does not help all the shovelers, but each dozer will lift the productivity and income of a few workers.

If you wish to meander on-theme, feel free to substitute 'airplane' above, wherever appropriate..

SyllogismCheck
19th May 2005, 23:32
Do I understand then that some think it wrong that I am able to earn up to three times as much as my peers at work due to the fact that I work harder at it, am arguably better at what I do and use those efforts and abilities in a more profitable manner?

Should I be paid less to match their income then, or should they be paid more to match mine? And where's the 'fairness' in that? Either they'd be being paid for work they're not doing or I'd not be being paid for work that I am doing. Far from fair I'd say.
We may all be equals in a moral sense, but we are not in terms physical or intellectual aptitude or in our desire and ambition to succeed. Some are just plain lazy, why should those of us that aren't carry those that are?

To come back on topic then, why when having worked harder to earn more than they have, and as a result possibly having an estate of some value to leave when I gasp my last, should my children not benefit from my having done so if I chose them to?

You get out of life a return proportional to that which you put in, and you should be at liberty to do as you wish with that return.... that said, personally, I'm planning on spending the lot! :ok:

arcniz
20th May 2005, 00:07
Groundhog says: Contribution... If I go out and earn hundreds of thousands even millions of pounds worth of overseas earnings, invent something incredible or build something with a fantastic export potential for this Country doesn't that have a value?

Well, yes, this should be true.

Perhaps is best to refer to the Rule Book, Chapter 1, item 1, line 1, part a, which clearly says:"Life isn't fair."

Normally I do not mention the following bit of history to anyone - but candor is lubricated by anonymity, however thin.

In my 20's I invented something complicated and useful that 'just wanted inventing' at the time. Today the same invention is absolutely essential to the design and manufacture of a major portion of the modern technology we depend on. The annual production value worldwide for products incorporating and depending on it is many hundreds of billions of dollars. You will likely have some examples in your home, your automobile, and your office.

I never earned a penny from it, other than a right good salary for a while. My employer at the time, a large corporation that paid the considerable overhead, probably did not earn more than break-even from it either. It was a small cog in a larger process until time passed, new applications emerged, and the expiration of the patents made it free for all to use. Que sera.

Although a more direct benefit from that historical accident of creativity might have been nice, I am quite content to think of the whole transaction as a (tax-free) installment on my subscription to the commonweal. That works quite nicely from a karmic pov.

MikeJeff
20th May 2005, 09:03
Hoping,

I agree one man's life is worth the same as any other, not in financial terms though. A heart surgeon is financially worth a whole lot more than a Marketing Consultant, who is in turn worth more financially than a burger flipper.

I'm happy to pay my taxes etc etc. I pay for my own healthcare, my kids will have a private education. I'm still happy for my taxes to go on the NHS, schools etc.

I object to two things - the filth that scavenges my taxes because they can't be arsed to live in the real world and I object to a government that taxes the same lot of earnings three times over my life time, when I earn it, when I draw a pension on it and when I snuff it.

The whole star trek philosophy is great - everyone works, has a role and everyone has everything they could ever want!

I'm no fascist. I'm a pretty staunch capitalist though!

Hoping
20th May 2005, 13:53
the capitalist system doesn't work. We can talk about the theories developed to support it and its alternatives all we like, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, look at the countries where capitalism rules most. USA and Britain. Compare them with countries which have a slightly more socialist attitude. Germany, Sweden, Norway. Which countries have more social problems? Which countries have the highest proportions of their populations held in prison? and so on...

I was trying to encourage some basic moral reasoning but it didn't work. People are simply stating the obvous, such as "A heart surgeon is financially worth a whole lot more than a Marketing Consultant, who is in turn worth more financially than a burger flipper". We all know this is how our system works. The question is, on a moral basis, should they be paid more? Sure, give them all the respect and honour in the world, but why more money? Do they need more money than the burger flipper?

Forget the philosophical debate if you can't do it. Just re-read paragraph one above. There are far fewer social problems in countries which have a more socialist attitude. Full stop. If you don't agree, do some travelling, meet some people from those countries, ask them if there is such a distinct class system in their countries, ask them if you have to be afraid of youths on the streets...

MikeJeff
20th May 2005, 14:15
But if none of us had the money to send our kids to private hospitals and pay for our own healthcare, then the NHS and our education system would be even more overstressed and f*cked up than they are now!?

Capitalism means that Tsunami hit countries are getting aid, because in a free market we can choose to give money to charities.

Capitalism does work. I have a nice car, nice house, fat belly and I'm going to Hong Kong for my holidays this year.. what would I have in your world Hoping? Champagne anyone!?

Onan the Clumsy
20th May 2005, 14:21
You get out of life a return proportional to that which you put in If you'll excuse me the liberty of quoting this one phrase out of context, I'd like to point out that it nicely sums up the original question that started this thread. Specifically that life's rewards being linked to life's efforts is one thing, but life's rewards being the sum of life's efforts, plus a handy (and unearned) leg up to begin with is an entirely different matter.

Hoping
20th May 2005, 15:57
What would you have in my world? Perhaps a little less money and a better physique. But you would be able to be proud of your country, its people and so on. You might even have some friends, in the real sense of the word.

Capitalism works? Why? Because you have a nice car, nice house, fat belly and you're going to Hong Kong for my holidays this year?

Listen, I think/hope you are just trying to have a laugh here. If not, please do go to Hong Kong, meet some REAL people there, talk to them, learn. It's never too late!

You said

HOPING .... Sorry must disagree with you.... Responsibility ... ie The Directors of a Company are legally and financially responsible for their employees future. It isn\'t easy knowing 250 people depend on your decisions to pay their mortgages. ( Yes I know Directors depend on their staff too - but they can walk away if they don\'t like the job with little effect on anyone else)

Come on! Look at Rover. So now all the workers are out of work, loosing their houses etc. By your argument the directors (Pheonix Four) are now legally and financially responsible to pay those mortgages. Do you seriously think this is going to happen?!

Company directors work for Ltd companies. Ltd meaning LIMITED. Limited responsibility.

Onan the Clumsy
20th May 2005, 16:12
and you're going to Hong Kong for my holidays this year Well that would be more a form of socialism really...the peoples' collective holiday. I am not taking it, merely looking after it for you.

:p

MikeJeff
20th May 2005, 16:17
The thing is - I am proud of my country. Although Socialism, communism, capitalism, we're still gonna lose the Ashes again this year. I also have good "real" friends! Although I have to say none of them are f*cking socialists! ;)

So I wouldn't benefit would I?

Hoping
20th May 2005, 16:27
hehehe, yes I wish I was going on my holidays rather than this guy... :)

What are the "Ashes"?

Listen buster, I don't know what more to say to you. You see the value of a system in the benefit it gives to you personally rather than all the people in the system. This is nonsense. If you can't see that how can we discuss?

Omaha
20th May 2005, 16:38
Alot of people in this part of the world want to cushion life for their offspring etc partly so they don't have to experience the hardship many of them envisaged they suffered, it's human nature.

But then again in other parts of the world not so far removed I believe it's not. From what I hear the American ethos is very different where many love the self made man & inherited wealth is frowned on. Some very rich parents leave alot if not all their worldly goods to charity & think their doing little Johnny a big favour making him make his own way in the world.

As I've tried to say before the answer to whether inherited wealth is good or bad isn't black & white & but depends on circumstances if its taken from an ethical point of view. From a rights point of view I believe people should be allowed to leave their assets to whoever or whatever they want even if it's the 'Society for Sick Politicians'. (I nearly came out with that quack the other day infront of a top Irish politician, stopped myself on time. Phew" ). :\ Come to think of it in Dublin now if you don't inherit property or get a leg up from Mammy & Daddy many will have a heck of a time getting on the property ladder in the future. :ugh:

candoo
20th May 2005, 16:59
Striking some chords this one!

Back to the thread title -yes.

Me and Mrs Candoo live in London, we struggled like mad to buy a house and it was only due to a small inheritance that we finally managed it.

We're for sure going to help out the little Candoo's after we leave this world. Probably more relevant to the grandchildren but you cannot get a place of your own in this neck of the woods by yourself unless you are one of the stinking capatalistic bandwagon jumpers already mentioned.

Long live ineritance and make it more beneficial for future generations rather than lining Brown's pockets, after all they may be the next generation of council house dwellers in need of the extra help and benefits without it.

SyllogismCheck
20th May 2005, 18:36
Onan, Of course you may quote me out of context, but you used it to reinforce your original point by saying, Specifically that life's rewards being linked to life's efforts is one thing, but life's rewards being the sum of life's efforts, plus a handy (and unearned) leg up to begin with is an entirely different matter. Surely raising children is the single most important thing we ever do. If we put in a little extra effort during our lives in order to enhance our return then passing any remainder of that return on to our children, those who above all others we should wish to help most in life, when we die seems entirely natural to me.
What else would we do with it? Surely to wish to use it, or arrange for it to be available to be used in the event of our unexpected death, for the benefit our offspring is only natural. They are afterall in a way an extension of ourselves, to me to provide well for the part of me that is left after I'm gone is a continuation of providing well for myself, something which you raise no objection against in itself.
I fail to see a distinction between the two which could make one right and the other wrong.
If I understand you correctly, you feel there is one. What do you feel it is and why do you think it to be a bad thing?

arcniz
20th May 2005, 20:53
Hoping says:... look at the countries where capitalism rules most. USA and Britain. Compare them with countries which have a slightly more socialist attitude. Germany, Sweden, Norway. Which countries have more social problems? Which countries have the highest proportions of their populations held in prison?

While sociology and economics do interact, neither art is fully able to define or control the other. It is traditional for a Marxian, but still wrong, to overly confuse the two.

Confusion about cause-and-effect also tends to set in when one makes less-than-careful comparison of vastly different nations.

Sweden and Norway are relatively small and ethnically homogeneous nations lacking much of the social stress that comes from intermixing cultures on a grand scale in more cosmopolitan nations like GB and US. I seem to recall there HAVE been a number of recent spectacular instances of crime and social problems in both Sweden & Norway attributable to resident 'aliens', with more undoubtedly to come as cultures and populations intermix. This has little or nothing to do with greater or lesser amounts of socialism stirred into the economic deal.

Germany is a slightly different case.. a nation that has unified and normalized itself through centuries, if not millennia, of internal warfare and mixing with the 'outer' non-germanic world primarily by invading it in a military and/or commercial manner, which has maintained some fair degree of ethnic homogeneity by occasionally rounding up and exterminating its residents and neighbors of dissimilar ethnicity.

Germany is arguably the least socialist and the most complex economically of the three you mention, but it and the rest of the EU are facing considerable redefinition of the social contract as border-hopping foreigners redefine the inherently socialist village-society style of life that has worked in the past in favor of the much more tumultuous heterogenicity of cultures which characterize 'newer' parts of the world.

"Apres moi, le deluge" might well characterize the effect when the French make their coin toss vote at end of month. The deeper issue is whether village society, insulated from the world by onion-like layers of government, can survive the disruption of the citizen populations connecting with global social and commercial realities on a 1-to-1 basis. Even the not-so (or is it nutso) socialist anglo nations are grappling with this one.

RaraAvis
20th May 2005, 22:49
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was trying to encourage some basic moral reasoning but it didn't work. People are simply stating the obvous, such as "A heart surgeon is financially worth a whole lot more than a Marketing Consultant, who is in turn worth more financially than a burger flipper". We all know this is how our system works. The question is, on a moral basis, should they be paid more? Sure, give them all the respect and honour in the world, but why more money? Do they need more money than the burger flipper?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hence follows that the 'burger flipper' should not get nearly as much honour and respect as the 'heart surgeon'? Highly moral attitude??? In your world the above professionals get paid equally, differentiating factor being 'honour and respect'.
:confused:

It would be OK to worship the surgeon and dismiss the burger guy? We are dishing out 'honor and respect' and some just get less then others, but haaa, who cares, coz' the moolah is the same, right?:hmm:

Hoping
21st May 2005, 12:01
Are you trying to say that in our society the heart surgeon and burger flipper get an equal amount of respect?! They ALREADY receive very different amounts of respect. See MikeJeff's post where he refers to burger flippers as "thickos" while putting himself in the category of brian surgeon which he refers to as "clever people". This is wrong, but hey, we can't fix everything. Most people work for money, not respect, so let us sort the money out first. Equalise the pay and leave the respect as it is for now.

Unless of cause you are suggesting we give even less respect to the burger flipper and more to the surgeon. I can't see how this is possible. Perhaps you advocate setting fire to the burger flipper and giving the surgeon free oral sex to set them apart now that they are earning equally?! :)

Wingswinger
21st May 2005, 12:11
This is pointless.

Unique skill = riches
High skill in short supply = ample money
Low skill in abundant supply = little money or irregular work
No skill = benefits

It's a market. If it's morality you want, enter a monastery.

Anyway, I thought the subject was inheritance. Most people seem to be in favour of it.

Hoping
21st May 2005, 12:12
Are you seriously arguing with the simple premise that a less socialist state results in less social cohesion?

Do you seriously doubt that packing poor, uneducated people into tightly populated, isolated areas such as council estates is going to result in social problems?

Do you seriously doubt that having a system where it is equally financially rewarding to stay in bed all day and claim the dole as it is to go out and work in a minimum wage job is going to result in classes of people refusing to work - and all the social problems that result?

Of course, we have racial tensions etc etc etc... But things could still be a lot better. Give the poor people a reason to work (not a negative reason, such as the prospect of starvation) and things will get better. I'm not proposing communism, just a sgnificant increase in the national wage. We don't even have to pay everybody equally. But people have to feel they have something to aim for and to work for which is reasonably possible. Not winning the lottery of becoming the next Robbie Williams or Victoria Beckham.

Wingswinger:
We know how the capitalist market is supposed to work thanks. It is similar to how the animal kingdom works. Since we think we are so much better than animals I would have thought we could do a little better than them. Some of us are discussing this point. You can join in if you like. Otherwise, don\'t bother telling us it is pointless.

You are right, the debate on inheritance has pretty much stopped.

RaraAvis
21st May 2005, 12:20
Right. Money - the same. Respect and honour - the same. Burger flipper = brain surgeon. End of the story. Did I get it right?:confused:

Now, how long does it take for one to become a brain surgeon? How many years of study? How much does it cost? Does it take an exceptional amount of drive and dedication? Can anybody become a brain surgeon? How important is this profession in terms of benefits for the society? Can brain surgeon save lives? ..................... ( Feel free to continue.)

How long does it take to become burger flipper? How many years of study? How much does it cost? ..........
:confused: :confused: :confused:

Hoping
21st May 2005, 12:22
No, you got it wrong!

Money - the same
Respect and Honour - DIFFERENT (just as it is now)

RaraAvis
21st May 2005, 12:23
:confused: :{ :{ :{

Hoping
21st May 2005, 12:25
By the way, I've worked as a burger flipper and let me assure you that one eight hour shift flipping burgers takes a lot more perseverance than an eight hour day in University lectures.

Come on, don't cry, all I said was that the level of respect is NOT the same....

Wingswinger
21st May 2005, 12:51
Actually the capitalist economy is not quite like the animal kingdom; people do have an opt-out, animals don't.

Greater brains than ours have been trying for a century or two to improve on raw capitalism as a means of creating and distributing wealth. So far they have failed. They have failed because they usually try to tamper with human nature instead of accepting it for what it is and working within its limitations. Adam Smith observed (roughly) that "it is not altruism which drives the butcher, the baker or the candle-stick maker to provide his wares, it is self-interest". To which I have nothing to add.

Hoping
21st May 2005, 14:43
What opt out do people have in a purely capitalist economy? Are you talking about the dole? The dole is a socialist invention, an improvement on raw capitalism, something you say does not exist!

Wingswinger
21st May 2005, 21:24
I said "on raw capitalism as a means of creating and distributing wealth ". I don't think the "dole" contributes much in this direction. Any mitigation of capitalism hinders its brute force; any interference in a market by outside agencies renders that market less effective in its pure function which is to facilitate the exchange of goods, services, land, labour and capital. Most markets these days groan under a heavy burden of regulation which may bring some desirable social benefit - depending on one's point of view - but which almost certainly restricts their ability to create and distribute wealth. What socialists don't like about markets is that the distribution of wealth they produce is quite random and depends to a very large degree on luck. it cannot be controlled. Try to control it and you kill it - as the communists have proved.

Opt-outs: Work in the public sector and be free of market forces; sickness; hippiedom; subsistence farming (some does go on, even in the UK); "travelling" and then there's always the monastery.

Argus
22nd May 2005, 11:41
Wingswinger

Well said.

As to opt outs, public sector employment would have to rank ahead of all other options. No risk taking, no initiative, team based work groups that regress to mediocrity, tenured employment, “not my job chief” attitude and generous superannuation and work conditions, just to name but a few of the benefits that flow from wanton attachment to the public sector mammae.

Best not to encourage more opt outs. To do so creates a further drain on the public purse; which will have to be met by increased revenue raising, including the prospect of the continued imposition of Inheritance Tax!

Hoping
22nd May 2005, 12:48
With regard to opt outs, I agree that they are annoying. Loads of lazy apathetic workers in our public services and government are sure to hold us back. But these people are just another symptom of the "me first" capitalistic attitude we are told is so honourable these days. These people get into public sector jobs and don't care about the country, its future etc, just their wage and getting it by doing the minimum amount of work possible. If they had a pride in their country, consideration for their fellow man and a beleif that they could and should make a positive difference the public sector would work better. For ANY system to work the participants of that system have to be 100% behind the ethos of the system. That requires pulling together and not all this individualism and selfishness.

Let us consider possible implementations of capitalist markets.

1. Completely unregulated. No tax. No unemployment benefit and so on. In this situation there would be nothing to prevent the rich getting richer and richer, the poor getting poorer and poorer and starvation, revolution etc occuring. Fairly obvious. A bad system.

2. Regulated to some extent. As in the UK. Far from ideal. Market not working "efficiently" as above :) Lots of complaints and so on.

So which would you choose? I would choose, if we accept capitalism, to have some regulation. I think most others would too.

However, the argument that you are about to use against 1. above is that wealth etc would actually "trickle" down to the poor from the rich. The very idea that a "trickle" of wealth would be enough is laughable. Let me give you an example (there are MANY others) of capitalism working AGAINST innovation, progress and so on. Dyson, the guy who invented the vacuum cleaner, invented his advanced vacuum cleaner and approached manufacturers in the UK. Nobody was interested. Not because his vacuum cleaner was not massively more advanced than all others. The reason? Because his vacuum cleaner didn't need a bag and the companies in question made millions every year selling bags for their crappy old vacuum cleaners. They saw promotion of the superior product as a risk to their profits and so none of them were interested. In the end, only because he had the resources to do this, he managed to get a Japanese firm interested in manufacturing with him. But capitalist Britain didn't offer the chance.

Other examples: We still rely on oil to power our cars instead of other means, we still rely on out dated forms of electricity production, and so on. We have potentially world changing technologies which are being deliberately held back or at least not encouraged by the rich and powerful (capitalists heroes) so that they can be sure to remain rich and in control. Why do they not support the ethos of the system they claim to support? Because theoretical capitalism, just like communism does NOT take into account human nature. People don’t care about progress so much as their personal wealth, their religion, their proud national heritage and so on. The rich are powerful, they are not just players in the system, they have a fair degree of control over it.

arcniz
22nd May 2005, 19:40
Ho Ping - you seem to be the only one here interested in 'theoretical capitalism' . First you make up your own version of concepts about it and then you attack them.

Perhaps if you actually try to solve some of these problems in practice, you may appreciate that the difficulty of providing social justice and broader economic prosperity lies not in abstract economic theory but in the complexity of arranging the affairs of so many very complex individual actors in human society. Command, demand, and remand will not do it - maybe you can discover the answer and be famous.

Before complaining too much about the misery of the masses in Britain, spend some time in a truly impoverished corner of the world - Africa, has many examples - from which the shabbiest life in GB looks soft.

SyllogismCheck
22nd May 2005, 22:01
Onan, No comment? And I was on topic. :(
I'm curious as to the thinking behind your point. Care to tell?

Hoping
22nd May 2005, 23:44
Arc Niz:
Ho Ping? What is that supposed to mean?

I'm getting some feedback from some people. If you don't want to talk about about it, get lost. But don't spoil the party.

I'm not going to try to solve any of the problems in practice. I'm just talking. Are you Tony Blair? Are you one of the leaders of our country? What do you know about solving national social problems in practice?

Yes, I know there is a lot more misery in Africa than here in GB. Do you suggest we go and solve their problems then? We, along with other colonial forces caused most of them after all. No, I didn't think so, so why don't we deal with our own national problems first? That requires discussion. Again, if you don't want to you don't have to. But why butt in?

Notice WINGSLINGER doesn't have any response to my last post Anybody else care to comment on the stuff I said about capitalism holding innovation and technological develop back? How about the fact that capitalism, just like communism, also completely disregards important aspects of HUMAN NATURE?!

16 blades
23rd May 2005, 00:36
Human Nature is the ESSENCE and FOUNDATION of capitalism. We all have a desire to accumulate material wealth - this is what drives us, and capitalism. It is not about what we 'need' - rather about what we WANT.

Are you seriously suggesting, Hoping, that anybody would be arsed studying and qualifying to become a brain surgeon if they could earn the same as a burger flipper? If you are, then you fundamentally misunderstand human nature.

Yes, capitalist considerations will sometimes hold back innovation - especially where that innovation cost others money, and threatens the ordinary man's livelyhood. Curious how you use a capitalist success story to argue against capitalism. Were it not for capitalism, Dyson would not have found ANYBODY willing to invest in his idea - who is going to put money into something unless they are getting something in return? Your brand of altruism simply does not exist anywhere in human nature.

Do you seriously doubt that having a system where it is equally financially rewarding to stay in bed all day and claim the dole as it is to go out and work in a minimum wage job is going to result in classes of people refusing to work - and all the social problems that result?

No, I do NOT doubt that this is a bad thing. But you are making a fundamental error linking poverty directly with social problems - but my thoughts on this are in another thread already.

Of course, we have racial tensions etc etc etc... But things could still be a lot better. Give the poor people a reason to work (not a negative reason, such as the prospect of starvation) and things will get better. I'm not proposing communism, just a sgnificant increase in the national wage.

I guess, by this comment of yours, that you haven't spent much time on poor council estates. I grew up on one, so I can speak with some authority. It does not matter HOW much you offer as a minimum waqe - most of the 'class' you describe WILL NOT WORK when they can get a living for free. The only solution is to cut or even abolish benefits. I would be interested to know just how you would fund a 'huge increase in the national minimum wage' without putting companies out of business or punative taxation - both would cause serious damage to the economy, reducing overall tax receipts and REDUCE a state's ability to bring prosperity to it's poorer classes.

The reason capitalism has survived and flourished is simply because it is the best system of economics to have, when the fundamentals of our nature, and all the other variables in the mix, are taken into account. If a better system comes along, it will eventually take over - that is the natural way of things. Notions of equality, large scale wealth redistribution, enforcement of so-called 'social justice' by state-sponsored mapping of peoples lives and destinies, have all been tried before - and all have resulted in abject failure.

I see lots of criticism from you of the current system, but you have not yet put forward any (viable and workable) alternatives.

Back to the original thread title, why the hell SHOULDN'T I be able to give my kids an inheritance when I depart this mortal coil? It is not 'free' money, after all - I had to work my bollocks off for it. And at the sort of age where offspring typically receive an inheritance, they are generally old and wise enough to realise that it is only the result of a lifetime of hard work and prudent financial decisions - a good lesson to take on board, after all.

16B

Argus
23rd May 2005, 08:21
16 blades

I respectfully agree.

I also grew up in a working class area of the UK. Fortunately, I’m old enough to have benefited from a grammar school education – an option which I understand is not available today; and, in the case of the School I attended, was removed by a Labour Council, consumed with the misguided politics of class envy, and replaced by an amorphous non entity of a "comprehensive".

Hoping
23rd May 2005, 14:50
Human Nature is the ESSENCE and FOUNDATION of capitalism. We all have a desire to accumulate material wealth - this is what drives us, and capitalism. It is not about what we 'need' - rather about what we WANT.

No. Just one ASPECT of human nature, the desire to accumulate material wealth, is the essence and foundation of capitalism. Do you really beleive that human nature consists of nothing more than a desire to accumulate material wealth? And even this aspect of human nature by itself often works in the opposite way and prevents capitalism functioning properly. There are plenty of examples where new technology or progress is held back by powerful companies who stand to lose their monopoly by the introduction of that new superior technology. The capitalist theory is good if all players have equal or near equal power, but when we have billionaires with all the power and influence that comes with being a billionaire controlling the market how can it possibly work effectively? Look at bush for instance. His financial gains have resulting in him being able to run an election campaign and he is now running the USA. Now he decides what to do with his country, and hey presto him and his mates get richer, exporting oil from iraq.


Are you seriously suggesting, Hoping, that anybody would be arsed studying and qualifying to become a brain surgeon if they could earn the same as a burger flipper? If you are, then you fundamentally misunderstand human nature.

Yes, this is exactly what I am suggesting. Currently, most medical students will admit (in confidence, after a few beers) that they go into medicine for the money and status primarily. Some of these people, unfortunately, would still go into medicine purely for the status, all else (wages) being equal. Those that are too base to do this would quite possibly go for a profession for which less studying is required, quite rightly. Do we really want people going into medicine just for the money? The sort of society which would result from my proposals would have people going into medicine for the right reasons, not the wrong reasons, as is the currently the case.

Back to Dyson, and similar examples, the British vacuum companies who weren't interested in helping him manufacture his machine were not looking after the ordinary man, they were looking after their millions and trying to close the market to superior products - a direct result of one aspect of human nature, which is the desire to accumulate and preserve, at minimum risk, material wealth. Finally the Japanese had the balls to take on the idea and run with it. Capitalism requires forward thinking, outside the box, in addition to a desire to accumulate wealth. Unfortunately, in Britain, only the latter appears to exist today.


No, I do NOT doubt that this is a bad thing. But you are making a fundamental error linking poverty directly with social problems - but my thoughts on this are in another thread already.

So do you seriously suggest that there is no link between poverty and social problems? At least accept that there IS a link. Then we can talk about the strength of that link.

I guess, by this comment of yours, that you haven't spent much time on poor council estates. I grew up on one, so I can speak with some authority. It does not matter HOW much you offer as a minimum waqe - most of the 'class' you describe WILL NOT WORK when they can get a living for free. The only solution is to cut or even abolish benefits. I would be interested to know just how you would fund a 'huge increase in the national minimum wage' without putting companies out of business or punative taxation - both would cause serious damage to the economy, reducing overall tax receipts and REDUCE a state's ability to bring prosperity to it's poorer classes.

I lived on a council estate from the age of 5 to 20 years. My parents still live there, as do many members of my family. I have made my way through the education system as a result of good parenting and I am qualified to MSc level. I was pretty much the best performer at school and at University but I can still vividly remember my school mates on the estate who were naturally much better than me at school but didn't succeed because of bad parenting. Many of the brightest ended up claiming social security because they didn't do well at school. They see it as choice between £5 per hour on benefits or £5 per hour at work in a dead end job. Many choose the benefits and get into a cycle of depression and unemployment. Others, with better upbringing (parents who managed to scrape their way out of £5 per hour jobs and so were motivated to work) are working. I'm still in touch with people who are living on benefits and they say that if the minimum wage was considerably increased it would give them a reason to work and make life better. Can't you see how this would result in a better state of mind for these people, better parenting and better people in general? How to fund such an increase? The national average wage was about £25k last time I checked. In theory everybody could be paid £25k, from cleaners to brain surgeons. I don't suggest that, but the minimum wage could be increased to say £8 per hour by reducing the wages of people earning considerably more than £25k. No punitive taxation and so on. Just pass a law stating that the minimum wage is £8 per hour and the rest will fall into place with higher paid workers being forced to accept a slight wage decrease.

The only solution IS NOT to cut or abolish benefits. You want our people to starve to death? If that is your style you shouldn't be living in a country like this. Go to Iraq, Iran, Syria or any other authoritarian dictatorship which I am sure you (without a little irony) support the invasion of.

I see lots of criticism from you of the current system, but you have not yet put forward any (viable and workable) alternatives.

So you didn't notice when I said that there should be a considerable increase in the minimum wage? I beleive in capitalism in principle. But the so called capitalism we have today is controlled by the richest players in the system. A competitive system cannot hope to work effectively if it is largely controlled by its most powerful players. Surely this is obvious.

Back to the original thread title, why the hell SHOULDN'T I be able to give my kids an inheritance when I depart this mortal coil? It is not 'free' money, after all - I had to work my bollocks off for it. And at the sort of age where offspring typically receive an inheritance, they are generally old and wise enough to realise that it is only the result of a lifetime of hard work and prudent financial decisions - a good lesson to take on board, after all.

It's not "free" money? So your kids worked for the money you are going to leave them? No, it is free, to THEM. Inheritance is just another example of a mechanism by which wealth is accumulated in corners of society, resulting in UNequal opportunity. Of course, you're just a poor guy and your little inheritance isn't going to make a big difference in the scheme of things. It is the people who control the society who are inheriting millions that are the real problem. You subscribe to the bullshit theories the rich and powerful (politicians, media and so on) feed you by exploiting ONE aspect of your human nature, your selfishness. You are MORE than that. We are all more than that.

MikeJeff
23rd May 2005, 15:12
What a knobhead!

candoo
23rd May 2005, 16:00
Who needs it?

cash machines (http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050523/356/fjkw9.html)

Hoping
23rd May 2005, 16:12
You're a silly guy mate, haven't you got anything better to do than log in and submit a post purely designed to insult?

pi$$ off

airship
23rd May 2005, 16:26
I must have had 2 granddads and grandmums at some stage. Never knew them though. Can't blame them if they never left me nuthin' I reckon.

Actually, I'm entirely in favour of inheritances from whatever source. But especially from those who know what it's like never to have had a cuddle or serious talk with their grandparents...uncles, aunties... :sad:

OK, so I'm feeling sorry for myself. If you were in my shoes, you'd be sorry too.

arcniz
23rd May 2005, 16:52
Hoping - some of the drivel you post goes so far beyond reasoned discussion as to insult both history and thought. Overall, your universe lacks connection to the default state of things people refer to as 'reality'.

Perhaps you did well with this dialectic in school, but now you might should take a few years to gather some sence of common realities - seen from various points of view - outside the boundaries of your evidently swollen head. The laxitive effect of more thoroughly connecting cause and effect could possibly be of help in getting beyond this.

While you claim to solicit commentary, any response seems just a foil for further spouting of your basic cant.
Most remarkable, demeanor wise, are the occasional abrupt switches from wide-eyed juvenile populist nit to snarling street fighter.

From the alternating silliness and solemnity of recent posts here, your line of thinking seems to present a parody of a person, part Dickens, part Ozzie Osborne.

Points for novelty, but altogether a put- on, I'm thinking.

Hoping
23rd May 2005, 18:50
arcniz, I can't help thinking that you aren't up to the argument and that you are choosing this line of response rather than none at all.

Unlike you, I will address the points you make:

some of the drivel you post goes so far beyond reasoned discussion as to insult both history and thought. Overall, your universe lacks connection to the default state of things people refer to as 'reality'.

Not much to say in response to that really. Just an insult dressed up in polite words.

Perhaps you did well with this dialectic in school, but now you might should take a few years to gather some sence of common realities - seen from various points of view - outside the boundaries of your evidently swollen head. The laxitive effect of more thoroughly connecting cause and effect could possibly be of help in getting beyond this.

I didn't do well with this dialectic at school, I just worked hard. This dialectic is something I have developed as a result of direct experience dealing with real people since I started working in the market, initially for £1 per hour, 14 years ago, as a 14 year old boy. I worked for 3 years in this capacity and during this time I was promoted to designer and builder of small wooden structures such as sheds, wendy houses and so on. I ran the shop at weekends. I did very well, for a fourteen year old boy, in the real world. "Market forces" dictated that I would change employment to tesco who paid £4 per hour at the time, for an mind numbing boring job stacking shelves. This tesco episode was at the same time as studying for A levels. After that I went to the USA to work. I stayed there for 6 months working, meeting people VERY different to those here in UK, supporting a very different kind of capitalism. Over the course of my undergraduate degree I lived and worked in the USA three more times for 4 months at a time. During term time, I set up a business employing my fellow students to teach A level and GCSE students subjects to help them pass their exams. I made enough money from this, and other part time jobs such as cleaner, glass collector etc to avoid getting into any debt as a result of my studies despite the fact that the student grant, although at the maximum level due to my family's finances, didn't even cover my rent of £40 per week to live in a nasty, mouldy little flat. I finally got a 2(i) as a result of not being able to devote myself fully to my studies, because of work, but that wasn't so bad considering things in total. I was offered sponsorship for a Master's degree after this and I took it up and travelled to the opposite end of the country to complete this. I met people from about 10 different countries during this MSc and blew my student loans (wisely invested rather than spent during my undergraduate degree) to visit these people in their various countries at various times. After that I worked partly in the UK and partly in Greece for two years, using connections I made with people. For the past two years I have been running my own manufacturing business very successfully. I employ people. I treat them well. I pay £8 per hour for workers who would otherwise work for £5 an hour. They are happy with this. Things work out well.

Now, I know I'm not that old yet, but for my age (28) I would say I have done a GREAT deal more than most and that I have a lot more life experience than most. Tell us, when you were 28 how many countries had you lived and worked in arcniz? How many businesses had you run? How many people had you employed?

While you claim to solicit commentary, any response seems just a foil for further spouting of your basic cant.

You got it. I want commentary, debate and so on. "Responses" such as "what a knobhead!" are not really what I am looking for...
Comments on my personality are also a bit of a waste of time and symptomatic and having not much to say.

Most remarkable, demeanor wise, are the occasional abrupt switches from wide-eyed juvenile populist nit to snarling street fighter.

I think we've dealt with the "juvenile" issue by now. I don't recall acting like a snarling street fighter at any point. I think "pi$$ off" is a fair response to "what a knobhead!". If you are intimidated by this language I apologise.

From the alternating silliness and solemnity of recent posts here, your line of thinking seems to present a parody of a person, part Dickens, part Ozzie Osborne.

Why do you try to demean me just because you have no response to the arguments I put forward? Yes, your comments are funny, but come on, how about a bit of debate?

Now then, are you interested in talking or would you prefer to construct another post making fun?!

poorwanderingwun
23rd May 2005, 20:03
WOW...Have just entered this debate for the first time....how did the original Q descend to this level ?

Getting back to that original Q my answer would be:

YES

( and I'm available for adoption....especially to an especially attractive single lady in her 60's )

BenThere
23rd May 2005, 22:01
Hoping,

I disagree with much of what you have written. It reflects to me some susceptability to conspiracy theory and urban legend, and paranoia against the wealthy.

However, I appreciate the view you have given me to your thinking, and do agree on some points. I respect your hard work, travel and success.

Keep writing and ignore the personal remarks, and don't make them yourself. If I disagree with you, I'll argue with respect.
===========

As to inheritance, what you earn is yours to dispose of as you wish in a just world. It does not belong to the state or "the people". Many tycoons have elected to limit the estate passing to their heirs with an eye to the tendency for dissipation caused by unearned wealth. That is their choice.

The wealth of the Kennedy's effect was to make possible for all of the brothers to devote their lives to public service. The money gave them that option and the access to achieve.

Maple 01
23rd May 2005, 23:32
In English, Joe Kennedy spent his boys' inheritance buying them into congress and the Whitehouse - what more could a loving father do?;)

Hoping
24th May 2005, 00:31
Nice to get a response from somebody like you, even though you don't agree with me J

I know that the things I say and believe make me look a bit like the crazys full of conspiracy theories, but if you really consider what I am saying, such as the stuff about Dyson, you will see that it is verifiably true.

As regards paranoia against the wealthy/powerful (the terms can be used interchangeably): well human nature most often does lead the powerful to corruption and so forth. You can see this in previous communist systems as well as current capitalist systems. Back to our own system though, the fact is, in our societies of developed capitalism, there are now very wealthy people in positions of extreme power. As a result these people both have an inordinate amount of control of the system at the same time as being single players in that system. For the system to evolve competitively, one player must have as much chance as another, this is not the case in our system at present.

I will put it another way. A system based on many competing entities will cease to work in the proper way as soon as any of those entities gain enough power to control the system. Without controls, such a system is inherently unstable because as soon as one entity gets more power than is equal to all others, that entity's ability to gain money and power is increased which leads to more power which leads to more ability to gain money and power and so on... Of course, too much control, complete and enforced equalisation of the players would lead to apathy. Perhaps the solution would be to make it possible for players to get ahead of other players but not so far ahead that a player could have say, more than twice the wealth of any other player. In plain terms, perhaps if the average wage is £25’000 then the minimum wage should be set in such a way as to be exactly half the maximum wage, thereby ensuring a decent living for those at the bottom at the same time as sufficient motivation for work in the form of earning twice the basic minimum salary.

16 blades
24th May 2005, 01:07
Hoping,

If you can't see the inherent flaw in your last argument I'm afraid your business will not go very far. Your sense of economics leaves alot to be desired.

As an aside, if your quest is one for 'social justice', surely you would be better off spending your payroll on employing MORE people, at the going rate of £5 you alluded to, rather than paying a more select bunch an inflated wage (the very concept you have argued against!) If you employ, say, 100 people at £8/hr, you can afford to employ 160 people at £5/hr. You will, for the same outlay, boost your productivity by 60%, allowing you to re-invest in your business, grow, and employ EVEN MORE people, thus expanding the opportunity you claim to provide. You will also be alleviating the burden on the state by freeing these extra 60% of people from state dependence.

Or do you only wish to provide it to a select few, at an inflated wage? Why give opportunity and inflated wealth to just 100 people, when you could provide the same opportunity and moderate wealth to 60% more? Just a thought.....

16B

Vortex what...ouch!
24th May 2005, 04:36
Are you seriously suggesting, Hoping, that anybody would be arsed studying and qualifying to become a brain surgeon if they could earn the same as a burger flipper? If you are, then you fundamentally misunderstand human nature.

Yes, this is exactly what I am suggesting. Currently, most medical students will admit (in confidence, after a few beers) that they go into medicine for the money and status primarily.

I'm curious about your basis for this assertion? Published research? I say this as I happen to have been with a group of doctors last night (admittedly not brain surgeons) but medical professionals none-the-less. I put your point to them and there replies didn't support your arguments? :rolleyes:

Edited for spelling.

Loose rivets
24th May 2005, 06:20
If you employ, say, 100 people at £8/hr, you can afford to employ 160 people at £5/hr. You will, for the same outlay, boost your productivity by 60%, allowing you to re-invest in your business, grow, and employ EVEN MORE people, thus expanding the opportunity you claim to provide. You will also be alleviating the burden on the state by freeing these extra 60% of people from state dependence.


100 happy employees, v 160 on min wagers. It just doesn't work like that. The added costs of employing the larger number of (poorly motivated) people would be a non starter.

Back to the main issue. If someone owns something, especially their life's savings, it should be their choice as to how it is disposed of at the end of their lives. A fundamental part of the functioning of our society is based on an absolute right to own money and property. This is the logical and fair datum from which to start--in a truly free society. Then along comes the tax man.

Okay, there have to be taxes, but any alteration of the afore mentioned state, should only be made if there is an absolute need. His interpretation of absolute need in this case, is somewhat tailored to immediate pressures from a befuddled chancellor, and has little to do with a true right to tax.

The inheritance tax produced a relatively small revenue until recently, now it is sucking away at the very fabric of the buildings that the children may wish to sell, or even continue living in.

There should be no forces applied to level the playing field. The randomness is what happens in a free country: part of the excitement of building something that will endure beyond one's own lifetime.

Argus
24th May 2005, 07:56
Loose rivets

100 happy employees, v 160 on min wagers. It just doesn't work like that

No it doesn't. There's no guarantee that if you employ 100 people at above award wage rates that they will each happily give of their best and work at maximum productivity; any more so than if you employ 160 at award wages that they will not give of their best.

Take for example, the bureaucracy where there are countless employed on above award wages and conditions, yet it can't deliver services efficiently and effectively.

Or employees who believe their "rights" outweigh any responsibility to the employer to turn up for work and attend to the employer's business during business hours; preferring instead to attend to their own.

In this discussion, I've yet to see any acknowledgement of the commercial risks faced by employers. Many, if not most small businesses have overdrafts secured by personal guarantee of the directors, usually over a family home. In my experience, banks are not normally known for their public spirited generosity when calling in bad debts. Business, especially small business is not a social laboratory. Better methinks to ensure compliance with the Law rather than to inflict inefficient work practices on employers in the guise of workplace "reforms".

MikeJeff
24th May 2005, 09:05
The problem is Hoping I can't argue with the points eloquantly, becasue I can't be bothered to read them!

People are always entitled to their own opinion, which is as valid as my opinions and philosophy. However, it's no MORE valid than mine. It's people like you that think they have a right to force their opinion on the rest us and to try and clamber on the moral high ground when we disagree.

Ultimatly, I have the way of life I want in the UK. I feel I'm taxed unfairly (although I agree with levels of Income Tax) however as one of the smarter examples of the population I can work around that. You clearly don't have what you want from the UK.. Easy solution though. You like it so much in Germany....**** off to Germany -easy!

Hoping
24th May 2005, 12:09
Let's see, 16B, the reason I don't employ more people at £5 per hour rather than employ the people I need at £8 an hour is simple. I employ as many guys as I NEED, full stop. Employing more would be innefficient. I pay them £8 per hour, full stop. Because I pay them nearly twice the going rate they appreciate the job, work hard and are willing to work very flexibly when the demand arises. There is mutual respect, I value their ideas and they value mine. We get the job done and so on.

On the subject of hiring more workers for less money you say

You will, for the same outlay, boost your productivity by 60%, allowing you to re-invest in your business, grow, and employ EVEN MORE people, thus expanding the opportunity you claim to provide.

I'm afraid this isn't how it works. The work has to be there in the first place, to justify extra workers. Extra workers do not result in extra demand for those workers, in any business. You criticise, not unusually, my grasp of economics and business sense when you say

I'm afraid your business will not go very far. Your sense of economics leaves alot to be desired. ,

but if you think simply hiring 80 men to do a job that requires say 50 will lead directly to higher productivity, you are wrong. As I said before, I hire as many people as I need to get the work done, no more, no less.


Hi Vortex. The source for my observation that many (not all) students go into medicine primarily for the money and status are the very words of those students. Why didn't you get the same response as I did? Look at the circumstances. You were with a group of doctors last night, presumably not 18 year old students but older and wiser, acheived doctors who have learned a great deal since they were 18. Also, there were several of them present - it was hardly as though you were having an intimate conversation with one of your good friends. I would say that if any of those present went into medicine at the beginning with money and status primarily in mind that last night they had either grown out of that state of mind as a result of their experiences, or were very aware that to make such an admission in front of several of their peers would be highly diminishing for them. In contrast, the people I have spoken to about this were plucky 18 year old students, full of confidence having just scored triple As in their A levels, slightly tipsy and well out of ear shot of anybody else. I didn't suggest that ALL doctors went into medicine purely for money and status. I said that many do.

Loose rivets, thanks for the support on the £5 per hour versus £8 per hour issue. After that you said

There should be no forces applied to level the playing field. The randomness is what happens in a free country: part of the excitement of building something that will endure beyond one's own lifetime.

But the happenings in capitalistic Britain are no longer random. Before Rover collapsed would you have predicted

1. The Pheonix four will remain multimillionaires and many of the workers will loose their houses (in the event that Rover collapses)
or
2. The Pheonix four will loose all their money because they are the owners of Rover, whereas the workers will simply move on to other jobs without having their lives affected much at all?

We would have all predicted 1 with a great degree of certainty. This is because the market is no longer random. The powerful are pretty much in control of the situation.

Argus

No it doesn't. There's no guarantee that if you employ 100 people at above award wage rates that they will each happily give of their best and work at maximum productivity; any more so than if you employ 160 at award wages that they will not give of their best.

No, but in my directly relevent experience, paying £8 an hour rather than £5 an hours a very long way towards getting the commitment I require. Those that still don't want to work (generally having some form of clinical depression or on drugs in my experience) quit soon after starting because they can't keep up with the pace of the work. Now that isn't just theory, that is direct experience as an employer talking.

Last but, of course, not least. MikeJeff. Your point? That you can't be bothered to read my arguments or to argue your points. You state the obvious, again, that people are entitled to their own opinions. You accuse me of trying to force my opinions on others. And you suggest I **** off to Germany. Well done, another worthwhile post :)

MikeJeff
24th May 2005, 12:12
No point.. although I'm curious to how anyone can be happy on £8 an hour???

Hoping
24th May 2005, 12:26
No point? I didn't think so.

But you want me to explain why people are happier to work for £8 per hour than £5?! The answer to this is obvious.

If you are being paid £8 per hour to do work that you would normally only get £5 per hour for AND you can't find any other kind of work you are in a better position than you would otherwise be.

£8 per hour versus £5 per hour results in £725 versus £1074 per month after tax and national insurance contributions. A difference of £349 per month. Staying on the dole and receiving housing benefit provides a little less than £725 per month from which rent, council tax and other expenses must be paid. The motivation to go to work for £5 per hour is therefore negligible. However, £8 an hour gives a worker an additional £349 per month as a reason to go to work. £349 that can be spent on a mortgage, holidays, nice car and so on... These are the sort of things that make you happy MikeJeff, why wouldn't they make another person happy?

BenThere
24th May 2005, 12:48
Giving 8 vs. 5 (by the way is there an ASCII code for the pound symbol on an American keyboard?) also should generate a greater number of applicants from which to choose a higher quality of worker.

If your government hasn't taken away management tools, such as firing, those better workers will retain their appreciation for the job they have. Even better, if there's an opportunity for higher pay with experience, they will compete for the favor of management to do a better job. That theory's proven.

When they get paid no matter if or how they do their job, and they can't be fired, or the dole pays just as well - then we have a problem.

Disposable income is indeed how dreams are made and the tough keep going. It also keeps the economy growing as workers buy those refrigerators and color TVs.

I've always liked the idea of ownership opportunities in the stock of your employer. Anything you can do to give the employee a stake in the success of the operation is a plus for the employee as well as management.

Hoping
24th May 2005, 14:08
Sorry BenThere, I don't know of any ascii code for the £ sign. You are right, offering £8 per hour does generate more interest in the job. However, as long as I don't take on an obviously problematic person, the £8 per hour really does do the trick with regard to motivation. We are talking about very basic work here, one guy is as good as another as long as he is willing and enthusiastic. Of course, the guys know that if they start slacking and so on I will find new guys to do the work and they will be out of a job. I agree that "jobs for life" are a bad thing (a complete nonsense in fact) in a competititive system.

The issue of the dole paying much the same as minimum wage jobs is a real issue in Britain today. We can't reasonably reduce the level of the dole, it is means tested and really does represent the minimum a person can live on without going without food, shelter, clothing and so on. The only alternative therefore is to increase the minimum wage not just by a few pence but by a few pounds. Uneducated young men and women with few skills and abilities can only get £5 per hour work. If they claim benefits instead they get more or less the same. The result is that they don't work. Sometimes the wage is £5.50 per hour and they realise that by working 40 hours per week they can be £20 per week better off. Such a situation feels very much like working for £20 per week and so many people don't take this option. My uncle, a typical example of such a person had a job driving a small lorry/van. He earned very nearly exactly the same doing that as he was able to get in unemployment benefit. However, after paying for travel to the depot and back every day he found he was £15 per week WORSE off. So for him to work he would have had to forfeit £15 worth of food or clothing for his family. Naturally this was not something he could justify.

Bottom line - the natinal minimum wage needs to be increased considerably. This will result in lower unemployment and the social problems associated with long term, generation after generation, family unemployment.

Onan the Clumsy
24th May 2005, 14:15
Try pressing and holding the ALT key whilst entering 0163 on the numeric keypad. This will give you a pound sign


£


£




Here's a link (http://coloryourprofyle.com/phade/alt.html) (sorry about the popup) you can always google "ALT CODES" for more info.


:8

redsnail
24th May 2005, 14:30
If you have Win XP, to get the codes use "Start" then "All programs" then "Accessories" then "System Tools" and finally "Character Map".

They're all there. You'll see the keypad short cuts on the character too.

BenThere
24th May 2005, 14:39
Thanks, ONAN. I would hardly call you "clumsy":= ££

The problem with raising minimum wages is it generally increases unemployment, thereby hurting the intended beneficiaries. The real solution is managing the macroeconomy to increase demand for workers, raising their value as a commodity with some scarcity attached.

In the US the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 1994 resulted in the notorious 'Contract with America'. The House foisted a veto-proof welfare reform bill on President Clinton which essentially said you can have welfare, but only for a maximum of five years. Magically, millions of welfare careerists found work. The threat from the left that we would have millions starving in the street at the hands of the cold-hearted Republicans never materialized, and the federal budget went quickly from chronic deficit to abundant surplus. Had that change not occurred, our fiscal situation today would be dire, rather than challenging.

If workers at the lower end of the pay scale can earn no more than the dole, at least they are not expending the finite months of welfare which they may truly need at some point. And the self-respect obtained by earning a living generates other beneficial intangibles for society. Even though welfare may be free to the beneficiaries, it has a deadening effect on moribund lives, which has great cost both to individual beneficiaries and society as a whole.

Another result was a reduction in birth rates among the poor as baby-making became a less viable career choice among young, poor women. That effect may or may not be desirable in a UK context given your much lower birthrate. If you decide you want more poor births, then enhancing welfare is an excellent way to do it.

Paterbrat
24th May 2005, 17:31
Seems that it is maily those with little or nothing to leave are all for the banning of inheritance or at the very least are not interested in the concept.

Those who work hard, save and generaly are keen on the furtherence of their young, appear to be the bulk of those interested in inheritace and leaving something behind for their descendents.

Why should it be disallowed?

Hoping
24th May 2005, 17:44
because it gives unfair, undeserved, free advantage. Because with inheritance, two equally hard working people can end up with vastly different standards of life as a result of an arbitrary happenchance such as being born to a wealthy person rather than a poor person.

Ozzy
24th May 2005, 17:48
However, after paying for travel to the depot and back every day he found he was £15 per week WORSE off. So for him to work he would have had to forfeit £15 worth of food or clothing for his family. Naturally this was not something he could justify. The dole should be reduced by GBP 15 in that case then.

Ozzy

Hoping
24th May 2005, 17:50
and at what point does food, shelter and clothing come into the equation determining the level of dole in your opinion?

Ozzy
24th May 2005, 19:14
and at what point does food, shelter and clothing come into the equation determining the level of dole in your opinion? Hoping, was that question directed at me? I apologise for answering it if it was meant for someone else.

Able bodied people who are capable of putting in a days work should not be able to live on benefits for the rest of their lives. The dole should be well below the minimum wage to provide an incentive for those people to go out and get a job. Actually, why people who have never worked in their life are entitled to unemployment benefit is beyond me. They have never been employed, why should they get unemployment benefit? The dole should also expire after a prescribed term. Pick a number 1, 2, 3 years, but not 40, that's just a joke.

How is the minimum wage calculated? Take that formula and deduct 20% and that's what the benefits should be. So, I do not know where food, shelter, and clothing come into the equation. But then how much food, shelter, and clothing do you think people should be "entitled" to. Because they sure feel they are entitled to a lot right now....

Ozzy

Onan the Clumsy
24th May 2005, 19:33
SC, I still owe you a response :8

16 blades
24th May 2005, 20:06
and at what point does food, shelter and clothing come into the equation determining the level of dole in your opinion?

They should recieve no more than is necessary to prevent starvation. The welfare state exists to prevent people falling into abject poverty, NOT to fund a free lifestyle.

Since you are so concerned with people starving to death, why not the following: Provide shelter, by all means, in the form of free accomodation. But no money - replace this with food and clothing vouchers.

I GUARANTEE you this will get the lazy workshy idle [email protected] off their arses and into work. I repeat what I said earlier in the thread - A very large proportion of these slackers WILL NOT WORK, no matter how much you pay them, whilst the dole gives them so much for free.

16B

Hoping
24th May 2005, 22:04
but even it is wasn't, your opinion would have been welcome :)

Able bodied people who are capable of putting in a days work should not be able to live on benefits for the rest of their lives.

Agreed, but on the condition that work is available. Agreed?

The dole should be well below the minimum wage to provide an incentive for those people to go out and get a job.

Again, I agree with you. But of course, the dole should be at a level which allows for the bare essentials such as basic food, clothing and housing. The level required for this is something which needs to be investigated carefully. Once we decide on the level of dole I think we should set the minimum wage at the level of the dole plus at least 50%. Working has to be financially worthwhile or some people won't do it. My experience is that the minimum monthly amount required for a single man to pay for basic food, clothing and housing ranges between about £450 and £850 per month depending on national location (average £650 per month). This is in line with what one can expect to get from the state currently. The state benefits are means tested and very basic. People living on the dole do not go on holidays and so on! This means that the minimum wage should work out at about £7.20 per hour assuming an average location where a person needs £650 per month on the dole.

Actually, why people who have never worked in their life are entitled to unemployment benefit is beyond me. They have never been employed, why should they get unemployment benefit?

To keep them alive. I assume you accept that this is reasonable.

How is the minimum wage calculated? Take that formula and deduct 20% and that's what the benefits should be.

Well we disagree on the percentages but we have the same idea. I'm not sure 20% is going to be sufficient motivation for some people. But at least we agree that the minimum wage should be HIGHER than it currently is.

16 Blades

Since you are so concerned with people starving to death, why not the following: Provide shelter, by all means, in the form of free accomodation. But no money - replace this with food and clothing vouchers.

Good idea, this would at least stop bad parents buying beer and fags instead of food and clothes for their children. Perhaps the state could negotiate better rates on food and clothing with retailers and save some money that way. But still, we have to consider the minimum wage, my main concern, and make sure it provides a considerably higher standard of living along with some disposable income than the dole. Currently, this is not the case. The minimum wage should be increased. As soon as we do this a great many people will by choice stop depending on state benefits of any kind.

SyllogismCheck
25th May 2005, 00:27
No problem Onan, I've been busy and not checking up for your reply anyway!
Besides, I don't think there's any fear of the thread falling off the front page for a while yet! :p

As I said I was just curious as to what made you make your original comments when viewed in relation to my previous point.
That being that surely since inheritance covers so many aspects aside from just financial ones, including ones as fundamental as biologial ones, then surely to pass down the trappings that those biological traits (to some degree at least, as we're not all equal other than in 'moral' terms) have enabled (or not) a person to obtain isn't so strange at all.

As an aside and not directed specifically at you Onan, but still relevant to your point, this comment because it gives unfair, undeserved, free advantage. Because with inheritance, two equally hard working people can end up with vastly different standards of life as a result of an arbitrary happenchance such as being born to a wealthy person rather than a poor person. whilst factually true in some ways simply doesn't carry any weight as far as I can see.
The advantage may be 'free', it may be 'undeserved' in the sense of being unearned by that specific person but there is absolutely nothing unfair or happenchance about it.
First, someone worked harder, smarter or both than someone else somewhere along the line in order to accumulate the wealth that formed that inheritance. There's nothing unfair about that. Second, people aren't born into families by 'happenchance'. They are a product of the family, the continuation of that family. That's biology, not happenchance.
That's two more than reasonably certian premises. Look at my user name and tell me the conclusion. :confused: :rolleyes:

Hoping
25th May 2005, 13:28
so you think it is ok for two equally hard working people to end up with vastly different qualities of life then? Purely because of who they were born to?

The good, bad wise, foolish, profitable, unprofitable, legal, illegal deeds of one man cannot be rightly be credited to that man's offspring as your argument of biological inheritance would lead us to believe.

If you were correct then we would rightly see men with massive debts leaving those debts to their children. Men with unserved prison sentences dying and their children being sent to jail to complete the sentence and so on.

If you agree that there is a limit to the extent to which negative acheivements can be inherited (debts for instance) then why don't you agree on there being a limit to the extent to which positive acheivements can be inherited?

There is a VERY clear line of responsibility between father and son. The son cannot be held responsible or allowed to assume responsibility for the father's actions. To break this obvious rule leads in the long term to a society where some people are born with debts and others with riches. Currently our system seems to agree that children being born with debts is a bad thing. Why then does it not follow logically that children being born with riches is a bad thing?

Ozzy
25th May 2005, 15:22
Why then does it not follow logically that children being born with riches is a bad thing? Now I know the question was not for me but I'm going to pitch in here too:)

Well, because rich is good and debt is bad.

Do you think it is fair that the sons/daughters of the deceased be lumbered with the cost of a funeral then Hoping?

Ozzy

Hoping
25th May 2005, 15:51
fine, but if you are going to answer the question, please answer it in the context in which it was put, in the context of biological inheritance as put forward in syllogism's post

Ozzy
25th May 2005, 16:03
It is totally in context. You brought up debt vs riches. A funeral cost is an example of debt.

Ozzy

Hoping
25th May 2005, 16:16
re-read Syllogism post. I was asking the question in the context HE put forward. He was saying that since we inherit our characteristics (strengths AND WEAKNESSES) from our parents, we should accordingly also inherit their wealth. He wasn't talking about it from a moralistic point of view but from a biological point of view.

He didn't consider that we also inherit WEAKNESSES biologically and so using biological inheritance as a justification for financial inheritance leads to the inheritance of financial and material weaknesses such as debts as well as strengths such as savings.

I assumed that he was not in favour of the inheritance of debts and so was contradicting one of the outcomes of his line of argument, proving that his line of argument is not consistent.

Ozzy
25th May 2005, 16:18
And I was answering the question you asked.:ok:

Ozzy

Hoping
25th May 2005, 16:20
You answered the question OUT OF CONTEXT. The context was not good/bad, the context was as put forward in syllogism's post.

SyllogismCheck
25th May 2005, 18:01
Hoping, reasonable enough points in some ways I suppose.

However, an unserved prison sentence isn't comparable. It's a punishment passed on an individual for their responsibility for a crime.
Individual responsibility isn't transferable to others. It is exactly what it is, individual.

As for debts, well, some are passed on. Take the individual who may inherit an estate with attached debts not covered by any insurance the deceased had in place. That individual may become responsible for those debts as part of the inheritance of the estate. (Indeed the reason large chunk of some estates are sold off, in order to clear those debts).
Any unsecured debts are just that, unsecured. The lender accepts the risk that no one but the borrower has responsibility for them. Should the borrower die with the debt outstanding that responsibility dies with them.
Life insurance takes care of the the rest.

So I agree, some debts should be inherited, and they are.
Others should not and are not because the agreements made at the time of the loan being taken out prevent that from happening.
The remainder are paid by insurance on death of the debtor.

If any debts attached to an estate form part and parcel of the inheritance of it, as they do, the same goes for wealth.
Financial weakness or strengths both inherited on equal terms I'd say, just as any biological ones may be.

Where is the flaw in my logic?

There is no 'unfairness', no 'happenchance'. A healthy inheritance is simply the passing on of strengths, be they physical or fiscal, from one generation to another. Quite natural.

Hoping
25th May 2005, 18:20
Actually the prison sentence argument does follow from your initial argument quite nicely, but leave that for now and I'll focus on the debt inheritance issue.

You misrepresent the facts in your explanation of debt being inherited, and practically speaking you are absolutely wrong.

If a man dies with an estate worth 100'000 and debts of 40'000 then the inheritance is reduced by the amount of debt to 60'000. This is not inheritance of debt by any means. 60'000 is inherited, the debt is not.

If a man dies with an estate worth 100'000 and debts of 110'000 then most of the debt is paid off from the estate leaving a shortfall of 10'000 debt. This 10'000 debt is NOT inherited by the person to whom the estate was left.

Debt is not inherited. For good reason. But your initial argument (which was based on the premise that biological inheritance exists and that financial inheritance follows naturally from this) also has the natural conclusion that both positive AND negative equity should be able to be inherited, just as positive AND negative biological traits can be inherited.

True debt is not inherited, as you can see from the very simple examples above. The closest thing that can happen is for an inheritance to be reduced to pay the debts of the deceased. I am sure you agree that debt should not truly be inherited. If so, your argument based on biological inheritance leading to financial inheritance is inconsistent.

SyllogismCheck
25th May 2005, 18:33
So that would be X10'000 unsecured at the lenders risk, as per my previous post.

Hoping
25th May 2005, 18:48
OK, you're not willing to grapple with the argument (and anybody really reading this can see the validity of the point I made in my last post).

Give me an example then of some poor soul who inherited debt from a parent dying. Give me an example of a fellow who's father or mother died and as a direct result of that found themselves financially WORSE off as a result of inheritance.

Your example of inheriting an estate with attached debts is NOT inheritance of debt. The accountants deal with the debt before you get your hands on the estate and then you inherit what is left over, if anything, but you do NOT inherit the debt.

Do you think, does anybody think, in the TRUE and effective sense of the concept, that debt should or is inherited? I assume not, but until you answer I cannot be sure. If not, your argument based on biological inheritance leading naturally to financial inheritance is flawed.

SyllogismCheck
25th May 2005, 20:21
It's not that I'm not willing to grapple with the argument. I quite simply don't believe there is one.

The point you made in your last post had no validity. I'd already covered the situation of unsecured debts in my post prior to that and have highlighted it again subsequently.
Unsecured means just that, unsecured. That was the type of debt you described.

The reason people don't inherit debt, and the reason I can't give you common examples of them doing so, is because it's is almost impossible to do so when the source of the borrowing is reputable.
Either the debt is insured OR unsecured.
In the first case the lender has protected himself. In the second he took a calculated risk and lost out.
Those are the basis on which they lend.
The lender assumes the risk or demands insurance against it. You seem unwilling to acknowledge this simple fact. A fact that means that in most cases debt cannot be inherited.

I said earlier, 'There is no 'unfairness', no 'happenchance'. A healthy inheritance is simply the passing on of strengths, be they physical or fiscal, from one generation to another. Quite natural.'
On what basis do you disagree with that comment?

16 blades
26th May 2005, 01:34
The premise here is Inheritance is 'bad' because:
it gives unfair, undeserved, free advantage.

So what?

Whoever said that life is fair?

16B

Hoping
26th May 2005, 12:05
and by that statement, 16 blades, I assume you have given up.

Syllogism,

So at least now we agree that debt is not inherited. Small steps.

But you are now cleverly trying to suggest that the reason for this is not the law and that we think the inheritance of debt is a bad thing but that lenders CHOOSE to insure or simply accept losses rather than pursue payments via inheritance of debt.

If lenders had the legal opportunity they would most definitely use inheritance of debt to pursue payment for debts. It is because inheritance of debt is illegal that inheritance of debt does not occur, not because of lenders simply accepting a loss or insuring against death of debtors out of the kindness of their hearts.

Now, accept this and we are getting somewhere. Inheritance of debt does not happen, it is illegal and this is because it is considered a fundamentally wrong concept. However, it follows completely naturally from your initial argument that inheritance of debt should in fact occur. Your argument was that we inherit biological traits from our parents and oftentimes those traits led our parents to gaining riches and wealth and so it follows very naturally that we should therefore inherit those riches and wealth too. But EQUALLY, and this is my point all along, we inherit biological weaknesses from our parents and so by your argument it follows that we should inherit not only financial strengths but also financial weaknesses. But since we have seen that this does not happen, because it is considered WRONG, even by yourself I imagine, your initial premise of using biological inheritance to imply the justification of financial inheritance is flawed.

Ozzy
26th May 2005, 14:06
You answered the question OUT OF CONTEXT WELL DON'T ASK QUESTIONS out of context:E

Ozzy

Onan the Clumsy
26th May 2005, 14:22
Whoever said that life is fair? I hear that question time and again and my answer is "most people", or at least they say it should be.

I understand what you mea by it, that a sudden illnes might kill you etc, but actually, our whole society is built on a sense of fairness. Read this forum and you'll see people expect a reasonable amount of fairness.

For instance, you work hard at school to get a better job, that would be a fair recompense and that's what you expect to happen.

Our entire legal system is based on fairness, if you commit a crime you should be punished and the punishment should fit the crime (no executions for speeding).

The thread about doing 159 mph on the motorway. Many of the responses mentioned the unfairnes of the lack of punishment, especially in contrast to the posters' experience.

Or the thread about those three girls with babies how they got a bigger (and free) house. Somebody said they worked hard to scrape together the money to buy their own house as well as, appently, a portion of those girls' house.

So yes, I suppose life isn't fair, but we are continually urged to expect it to be so.

Hoping
26th May 2005, 14:56
The question wasn't out of context Ozzy. The context was laid out by syllogism in his post. All this nonsense from people opposing me but still we are progressing, albeit slowly, to the truth.

Now, I'm still waiting for your response Syllogism. There is only a certain number of times you can fudge the issue before all the fudge has been used up. At that point you can either stop posting to deprive us of admission of incorrectness, post a nonsense statement or, perhaps, admit that your argument is wrong.

Your argument was that because we inherit biological traits from our parents we should also inherit financial gains resulting (perhaps) from those traits. The contradiction in your argument being that if this link were a reasonable one to make then people should also inherit debts (incurred as a result of biological/genetic weaknesses), which we do not - and therein lies the contradiction which results from your initial premise.

MikeJeff
26th May 2005, 15:29
I can't speak for anyone else. To me inheritance is about the person who expires doing what they please with the wealth they've accumulated. Be it give it to their children or give it to the cat's home. How can anyone else claim to have any rights over it? That'd be theft. If I save money or invest it then why should anyone benefit from it that I don't want to. Likewise in your world hoping, would the person who earnt their money be allowed to spend it? or do we just give it to the state?

Going away from inheritance and back to your points about everyone working for the same amount of money. How do you think that would impact on the Black Market. If people need more money then they'll resort to dealing in illegal goods to achieve their financial aspirations. Likewise if everyone has the same income then an enormous number of people will not be able to afford many of the goods and services on offer. For example nicer cars, more expensive holidays. The result would be a huge rise in unemployment as the people providing this would be laid off. A free market is the only way to go!

Hoping
26th May 2005, 15:51
To me inheritance is about the person who expires doing what they please with the wealth they've accumulated

How can a dead person do anything with anything? Once you are dead you are dead. I see no moral reason for honouring the wishes of the dead, we can't hurt or help them anymore. To suggest anything else is sentiment.

In "my world" as you refer to it, of course people would be allowed to spend their money. I only advocated that the minimum wage should be increased to about £8 per hour. Give every working man, no matter the level of his job, the chance to build for the future.

How do you think that would impact on the Black Market. If people need more money then they'll resort to dealing in illegal goods to achieve their financial aspirations

What? And they don't already?! The people that do this are currently those that can't earn a decent wage. Increase the minimum wage and you will see the OPPOSITE of what you describe.

I admit, increasing the minimum wage will obviously have an effect on the wages of other people earning considerably more than the average. This effect would be small and perhaps we wouldn't see quite so many BMWs or Porsches etc. But no, mass redundancy would not result from increasing the minimum wage, this is just scaremongering by CEO types trying to make sure they continue to get their multi million pound bonuses regardless of their performance!

A free market is the only way to go? What you advocate is in complete contradiction with the ideals of a free market. A free market should also be an equal market. You support inheritance and massive disparities between wages. The result of these things is that we have billionaires controlling your so called "free" market.

Ozzy
26th May 2005, 16:01
Your argument was that because we inherit biological traits from our parents we should also inherit financial gains resulting (perhaps) from those traits. I said no such thing, stop putting words into my posts! And I was not responding to Syllogism, I was responding to your question. You then said my response to your question was out of context. Fine, ignore it then. But given you asked the question, how the **** could an answer be out of context. But never mind, I'll let that one go.

You are flogging a dead horse Hoping. You say we are getting closer to "the truth". Whose "truth"? You mean your hypothesis? Here's my position on inheritance. If you earned it legally then bequeath it to whomever you want. That is your right. End of story.:ok:

Ozzy

Hoping
26th May 2005, 16:08
re-read!

I wasn't talking to YOU when I said that! I was talking to syllogism. You must have read the first and last line of my post but nothing in between...

With regard to you answering MY questions directed at another person, if you insist upon that AT LEAST read the post from the previous person to get a full picture of the context in which the question was asked.

This isn't just me and you. There are several people here talking to each other. If you want to join the debate, do so, but just jumping in without knowing the background of the conversation and answering questions out of context is a waste of everybody's time, including your own.

Ozzy
26th May 2005, 16:12
Hoping, who turned you into a moderator?

Ozzy

Hoping
26th May 2005, 16:17
nothing useful to say then?

MikeJeff
26th May 2005, 16:20
You seem to have moved arguments Hoping. I was working on the idea of everyone earning the same wage. If your main concern is simply raising the minimum wage then I agree.

BenThere
26th May 2005, 16:43
I reserve the right to butt into any dialogue on any thread in JB, and answer any question directed at anyone else.

Ozzy
26th May 2005, 16:50
You say we are getting closer to "the truth". Whose "truth"? You mean your hypothesis? Come on Hoping, you still have not provided an answer. Come now, there's a good chap.

Ozzy

Hoping
26th May 2005, 16:53
BenThere, do you also reserve the right to answer questions worded as "Given A, do you believe B OR C to be the case" and COMPLETELY ignore proposition A?! I didn't think so, but that is what Ozzy did. I'm not trying to play moderator, just responding to nonsense answers to questions I ask.

Ozzy, what I said was

The question wasn't out of context Ozzy. The context was laid out by syllogism in his post. All this nonsense from people opposing me but still we are progressing, albeit slowly, to the truth.

By the way, you still haven't bothered to answer the question in the context it was framed, so don't accuse me of not answering questions.

In answer to YOUR recent question OZZY, The "truth" I am referring to is the conclusion (unknown as yet) we could come to at the end of this debate, assuming we are able to wade through the nonsense of people deliberately ignoring the context in which questions are raised and trying to sidetrack the thread by asking silly questions such as this one which I am, perhaps foolishly, gracing with an answer.

419
26th May 2005, 17:20
"Inheritance - Should it be allowed?"

I work approx 70 hours a week, and pay about 45% of my wages to the Government.

With the remaining money, I drive a car, buy food, and have the occasional drink, all of which give plenty more to the Government.

Some of the remainder, I invest for my future, and the Government gets about 25% of the interest earned, on this already taxed money.

When I die, they will get another chunk of it in the form of inheritance tax

Should inheritance be allowed, Too fcuking right it should.
If not, where is the incentive to try and save for you future, knowing when you die the Government will grab everything.

Hoping
26th May 2005, 17:47
419

I work approx 70 hours a week, and pay about 45% of my wages to the Government

What country do you live in? The UK? There is no way you pay 45% of your wages to the government. Top rate tax is 40% and that is only charged on earnings over £31'400.

Using the current rates of national insuance and income tax,

if you earned £100'000 then after tax and national insurance you are left with £63'119, a payment of 36% of your wages to the government and

If you earned £1'000'000 per year then after tax and national insurance you are left with £594'119.90, representing a payment of just over 40% of your wages to the government.

The claim that you pay 45% of your wages to the government cannot be true unless you earn several million pounds per year. In fact, even on ten million per year you still only pay just over 40% in total on tax and national insurance.

Some of the remainder, I invest for my future, and the Government gets about 25% of the interest earned, on this already taxed money.

So you pay about 25% interest on earnings over an above your already very high level of earnings. What is wrong with that? Do you think you should be able to invest in stocks and shares, make a handsome profit, and not pay tax on it? We pay tax on earnings we work for, why not on earnings we don't work for? We all pay tax on our earnings. The fact that you have managed to keep it down to 25% rather than 40% on these extra earnings is something you should be very pleased about.

Should inheritance be allowed, Too fcuking right it should. If not, where is the incentive to try and save for you future, knowing when you die the Government will grab everything.

I don't see how the abolition of inheritance would lead to people not saving for their future/retirement. When you die you loose your money, because you are dead. Saving for your future, presumably meaning your old age, is not the same as saving to give somebody an inheritance.

Having said all of that, I presume you work in the city. I'm thinking of winding my business up before much longer to go an work as a Quantitative Analyst for an investment bank or hedge fund. Do you think I would fit in?! :)

419
26th May 2005, 18:58
I did not say I pay 45% tax. I said that approx 45% of my wages goes to the government.
I pay Tax, national insurance, my company car is taxed, I fly overseas approx 18 times a year, on which I pay airport tax. My house and car insurance premiums and travel insurance premiums are taxed.
If I was to include VAT, the the 45% estimate would probably be too low.

My point was that after paying this amount of money to the Government, surely it's not too much to expect to have the right to decide what happens to the remainder of it when I die.

By the way, I don't work in the city. I'm a consultant engineer.

Hoping
26th May 2005, 21:05
Ok, so you pay tax and national insurance without choice.

Your company car is taxed too. This is because without your company car you would have to buy one of your own with taxed wages. The company car is looked upon, quite rightly, as a perk/wages and is taxed.

Who pays for you to fly overseas? You or your company? If it is your company then how do you claim that this airport tax is from your wages? If you are self employed then the airport tax is a cost to the business which can be deducted from the takings which reduces your profit and therefore the amount of tax you pay. If you are flying overseas 18 times per year for personal reaons then I suggest don't, if you are particularly unhappy about paying airport tax.

I know that instinctively it feels right that we should be able to pass on savings etc to our children, especially if we have some savings to pass on or have received savings. But many of our instincts are not positive. Our instinct for voilence, excessive eating (in many of our cases!) and so on are things which need to be moderated. The instinct to hoard money away and pass it on to our children who will in turn do the same thing is symptomatic of an underlying instinct of selfishness which leads the world to be in the mess it is in today. All along I have been arguing this point from within the framework of the celebrated capitalist system involving a free market and so on. Even looking at inheritance from this limited perspective leads to the obvious conclusion that it is inconsistent (with the free market and so on.)

Having said all that if I ever receive any inheritance I will be very glad of it and I will try to leave my children something also. The question we are all debating is not what we want personally, but what we believe is right, overall, in a FAIR system.

henry crun
26th May 2005, 22:02
Hoping: If I have understood your posts, you think inheritance is unfair but you will be pleased to receive it and give it.

Hoping
26th May 2005, 22:41
Yes, exactly. And no, you haven’t uncovered an inconsistency in my argument, we are talking here, not acting. It is not hypocritical for a man to disagree with the way the system works and still operate within that system. The alternative would be to try and find a desert island somewhere.

One man refusing his inheritance is NOT going to change the system. Only discussion and exchange of ideas has a chance.

Davaar
27th May 2005, 00:12
Hoping, do you plan to stop gifts inter vivos as well?

SyllogismCheck
27th May 2005, 00:26
I haven't really got the time or inclination to wade through this now and pick out the relevant points and answer them individually.

I'm inclined just to accept that the differences of opinion here are not going to be resolved.
I'm steadfast in my opinion, and to give credit where it's due Hoping, you seem to have the same mindset in spite of the general consensus of opinion.

In response to your arguments of unfairness I said, that to me, the sensibility of inheritance is summarised thus,
"There is no 'unfairness', no 'happenchance'. A healthy inheritance is simply the passing on of strengths, be they physical or fiscal, from one generation to another. Quite natural."

That's my take on it and I won't be convinced otherwise, least of all by reasoning that I quite simply cannot grasp and which ignores some very basic facts. All of which makes the continuation of the discussion pointless.

I for one shall be rather disappointed should I leave a large estate. It will mean I've been far too frugal and missed many opportunities for gross self indulgence.
Not a mistake I wish to make.
If I do however, I'm quite sure of whom it will go to and equally certain that, thanks to thier biological inheritance from me, it will be gladly accepted with no soul searching.

Hoping
27th May 2005, 01:30
fair enough.

I on the other hand might be convinced that my opinion is wrong, but it would be the result of logical reasoning and argument. Unfortunately, syllogism, you are the only one who has come even close to providing this and now even you are throwing the towel in....

Davaar,

Can you re-phrase your question please? I don't understand.

16 blades
27th May 2005, 03:01
Hoping,

Logical reasoning and argument are completely alien to you. When someone points out inconsistencies, falsehoods or ridiculous assumptions (which your arguments are full of), you simply contradict or raise anither argument entirely. That is NOT logic. You deal in ideals, and not reality. You ignore the basest drives of human nature, in particular greed, which we all have to some degree, when you say that your system would work.

You are obviously a young man with little experience - as such you have demonstrated little or no understanding of human nature, particularly the fact that not everybody will think the way you do (even though you seem to think they ought to), and that different people will take different actions despite being in the same 'system' or environment. Your proposed system would require EVERYBODY to think, act and react in the same way, which is why it is preposterous. It would only take a small number of individuals to stray beyond your 'guidlines' to upset the whole apple cart. In time you will realise the ridiculousness of some of your assumptions, such as:
(Referring to empowering the black market)-
The people that do this are currently those that can't earn a decent wage. Increase the minimum wage and you will see the OPPOSITE of what you describe.
But no, mass redundancy would not result from increasing the minimum wage
the capitalist system doesn't work.
There are far fewer social problems in countries which have a more socialist attitude. Full stop.
Give the poor people a reason to work (not a negative reason, such as the prospect of starvation) and things will get better
The sort of society which would result from my proposals would have people going into medicine for the right reasons, not the wrong reasons, as is the currently the case
Uneducated young men and women with few skills and abilities can only get £5 per hour work
Bottom line - the natinal minimum wage needs to be increased considerably. This will result in lower unemployment and the social problems associated with long term, generation after generation, family unemployment.
People living on the dole do not go on holidays and so on!
The minimum wage should be increased. As soon as we do this a great many people will by choice stop depending on state benefits of any kind.
and by that statement, 16 blades, I assume you have given up.

...and therein lies your problem - assumption is the mother of all fcuk-ups, and I fear that if you indeed ARE the boss of your own company, you are headed for a big one.

And what about the fact that it is just absolutely wrong in the most obvious and human way for two men to work in the same building in the UK every day for one year with the first man earning £10'000 and the second man earning £10'000'000 or £1'000'000 or £100'000?
I presume, by this statement, that you do not pay yourself any more than your staff, then?

A free market should also be an equal market
A complete and utter contradiction in just 9 words. How can an 'equal' market possibly be 'free'?

How can a dead person do anything with anything? Once you are dead you are dead. I see no moral reason for honouring the wishes of the dead, we can't hurt or help them anymore. To suggest anything else is sentiment.
If this is your opinion then I truly, truly feel sorry for any family you might have.

I don't understand.
The first accurate statement you have made.

16B

Davaar
27th May 2005, 08:30
Hoping, gifts inter vivos are those from one living person to another living person; as for example when I give my daughter a birthday gift. Do you want to ban these too?

Hoping
27th May 2005, 20:05
No davaar I'm not against the kind of gifts you are talking about, unless they are being used as an alternative to inheritance.

16, so far you have posted to state your opinion that inheritance should be allowed. No argument was given. You also stated that you think my arguments are wrong. Again no counter-arguments put forward. You then started theorising about my personal background and experiences. You made incorrect assumptions and used them to suggest that my opinions are ill-founded.

I responded by giving you a full and detailed account of my background, a complete contradiction to your assumptions.

Rather than withdraw your assumptions and the dependent assertion that I don’t know what I am talking about, your second post was an attempt to suggest that my business will fail because of my political opinions and sense of economics. You said “If you can't see the inherent flaw in your last argument I'm afraid your business will not go very far. Your sense of economics leaves alot to be desired”. Not without a degree of irony, you then proceeded to offer some very silly business “advice” that I should pay more workers less money to do the same amount of work. I and several others pointed out how silly your ideas were, you went understandably quiet, and we thankfully moved on.

Your third post was a rant where you again stated your opinions without any form of argument or justification

“A very large proportion of these slackers WILL NOT WORK, no matter how much you pay them”

Your fourth post consisted of “So what? Whoever said that life is fair?”. An implicit admission that inheritance is unfair?

Your fifth post is above for all to see. Congratulations. You have contributed the LONGEST post on this thread! Unfortunately, you have achieved this only by repeating things I have already said, out of context, in a vain and transparent attempt to ridicule my arguments. You rather remind me of a politician.

You haven’t put forward any arguments. You simply state your opinions. If you want to be convincing, ARGUE your points rather than simply stating them. Furthermore, the irrelevant personal comments you have made in place of reasoned argument go a long way to revealing that there really is no proper thinking behind your opinions.

Apparently, from what you say, you are considerably my senior, in terms of age. Therefore it was not without great surprise that I read your description of how you feel about my FAMILY...

I truly, truly feel sorry for any family you might have.

How low, in the absence of reasoned argument, will you go to convince other readers that you are right and I am wrong?[

Davaar
27th May 2005, 21:25
But Hoping:
______________________________
"....unless they are being used as an alternative to inheritance.
______________________________

How do you plan to stop such a vile abuse? Will you police the gift of a fountain pen? Or will you start at a cheap watch? Or at an Omega? Or, let us say, a small Ford? Or do you start at - suppose I ever get one again - the Benz? Or $10,000 in small bills? Or $100,000 in small bills? Or a cottage? How big a Gestapo do you have in mind? How intrusive will they be? Or will they be KGB? How will you do it?

My mind goes back to the glory days of Communism, my visit to Warsaw as guest of the government. Never have I shared in such luxury, such feasting, as in the Poniatowksi Palace with the big boys, while the lumpenproletariat lined up outside for the common people access. I know how they did it, and how successful it was in the long run.

Hoping
27th May 2005, 21:30
Oh Davaar darling, I would "do it" just the same way our current government "does it".

No need for kgb, gestapo and so on... You are a scaremonger!

Davaar
27th May 2005, 21:46
I do not know how your government "does it", but since you are proposing something new, I gather that inheritance is not forbidden in the UK. Is it?

You call me scaremongering. I take it you never lived under Communism. When I visited Chopin's birthplace just outside Warsaw it was late afternoon on a rainy day. An old man sat at the gates with a small box of sad-looking apples, hoping to sell them. I had no Polish money, and of course US or Canadian currency was a treasure beyond imagining. I thought I'd buy one of his apples just to help him along, and I tendered US $1.00. He looked at it suspiciously in the gathering gloom, and held it up to the fading light. He looked at me. "Dollah?", he asked. By now I was becoming a little testy, so I said "Yes, It's a dollar".

He gave me the box. I all but wept. "No", I said, "Just an apple".

When my wife visited East Berlin frequently in the course of her studies, the young women students there begged her to smuggle in contraband for them. Drugs? Tobacco? No. They wanted little packets of sewing needles.

Why do you sneer at me? Do you think I am lying?

Hoping
27th May 2005, 22:11
No, inheritance is not forbidden in the UK. But giving gifts in place of inheritance to avoid inheritance tax is something the government has methods of recognising and dealing with.

Yes, I do call it scaremongering when you suggest that the KGB and Gestapo etc would be required to administer laws we already have in the UK.

Do not equate banning inheritance with introducing Communism. To do so is scaremongering. Communism is another kettle of fish entirely. Irrelevent to the thread and my suggestion. Your admittedly sad stories belong in another thread, about communism. Why don't you start one?

Davaar
27th May 2005, 22:23
_______________________________
But giving gifts in place of inheritance to avoid inheritance tax is something the government has methods of recognising and dealing with.
_______________________________

Are you telling me that tax avoidance is illegal in the UK? And that the government has methods of dealing with it? If so, things have indeed changed. I have seen some of the UK taxation methods at work. Maybe they do still use their informant networks. The Stasi did the same.

Please get back to my list of questions. How do you plan to stop the giving of gifts inter vivos? How will you know? Small gifts? Large gifts? Five years before death? Ten years before death? Fifteen years? Cash? How many police? What police powers? Do you plan to reintroduce Foreign Exchange Control? Will you stop Brits from taking money abroad? Will you stop them from buying houses in Spain? What are your "methods"? How successful are they at enforcing the mere Income Tax laws even as it is?

You are going to be a very busy fellow.

And after you have introduced your police state, what benefit has been gained?

tony draper
27th May 2005, 22:47
Slightly off topic here, watched a documentry a few days ago about the great Stately Homes and Estates of the Aristocracy of the last century, twas Death Duties that scuppered the Landed Gentry, no more weekend shooting parties ect, boo hoo.
Death duties? a good or bad thing?

:cool:

Hoping
28th May 2005, 13:07
Are you telling me that tax avoidance is illegal in the UK? And that the government has methods of dealing with it? If so, things have indeed changed. I have seen some of the UK taxation methods at work. Maybe they do still use their informant networks. The Stasi did the same.

I'm telling you, quite simply, that in the UK it is a well known fact that people try to avoid paying inheritance tax by giving "gifts" such as houses and vast amounts of money shortly before their death and that the government has methods of recognising such activities. It may be through accounting and so on, I'm not an expert on the methods used.

Please get back to my list of questions.

In light of the fact there is ALREADY legislation in place in the UK to deal with giving gifts to avoid inheritance tax your list of questions on how I would deal with the problem is irrelevant. I would not deal with the problem, because it has already been dealt with.

So I repeat. No need for the KGB, the Gestapo or a Police State (any more than we currently have). To continue to suggest that the KGB or the Gestapo would be required to enforce laws that we ALREADY have, that are ALREADY being enforced, IS scaremongering in the extreme.

Davaar
28th May 2005, 15:05
And I say Phoooeeey!

As I recall the UK system, the law of succession duties, once penal as Dr draper suggests, was much modified to allow of the divestiture of the estate directly or in trust in the few years before expected death. I have not lived in the UK for over forty years (you can have Harold Wilson: I'm gone), but the figure of five years is in my mind.

If the property owner, known engagingly to the Inland Revenue as the "taxpayer", divested himself of the property more than five years before his death, then such property as transferred on death, or as I like to call it mortis causa, was free of death duties.

The taxable estate of the late Lord Reith (of BBC fame), for example, was in the order of GBP 5-00-00. Certainly it was minimal. The rest had all been transferred, before the five years ran out, in trust for his nearest and dearest and, as the Revenue again would put it, "escaped" death duties. He enjoyed the life interest, of course, as a beneficiary of the trust.

That is not what you want to allow. As I understand you, you are against inheritance, full stop, end of story. Am I wrong in that understanding? That is why I asked if you are equally against gifts inter vivos, because they have their own beauty and implications.

You tell me you are not .... well, not really .... well, Gosh, you do not really know.

It does appear that your dirigiste mentality knows better what to do with my pathetic money than I do. I disagree. I shall spend it as I choose, such residuum as the thieves at the taxing authority leave to me, and you will not stop me.

I am not in the least alarmist, because I know that you have no clue on how to implement your ideas. Even if you did, they would not work, and where they are tried they do not work.

If you could prevent inheritance, I should keep either nothing or an absolute minimum in any bank. Cash would be the order of the day. It may come as news to you, but I could readily move money or money value across the world in seconds, with no recourse to any banking institution, and you will never know I am doing it. It happens even as I write.

How would I do it? Let me count the ways, as the poet puts it. Even in the days of UK Foreign Exchange Control one could readily make the transfer in the New Hebrides, a condominium of the UK and France. One day the Brits ran it, the next day the French, perhaps still do. There in moments I could convert Sterling into NF, free of Control. Voila! Fait accompli! How helpful the French language is.

Then again I can go to a casino, buy chips, spend a few minutes at the tables, cash in the chips, and who is to know what I arrived with and what I left with? Not you.

There are other more imaginative ways. Trust me. There are, but I am not inclined to help you in these matters of high finance.

Simpler than that is the straight underground economy. In Ontario we have federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and provincial Provincial Sales Tax (PST), a total of 15% on most transactions. If one chooses, the plumber will fix the blockage tax free for cash, or tax paid for a cheque.

The incidence of the underground economy varies directly with the penal nature of taxation.

Many who see a reasonable correlation between the national needs and the incidence of taxation are inclined to pay the taxes. If not, they do not.

That is why in Poland, to return to that example, the "street" conversion rate for the US$ was seven times the official rate. Again I am going by memory. I use "street" literally. There was a fair swarm of illicit money changers hanging around the door to the hotel. My wife was a bolder spirit than I and said I was crazy to convert at the official rate. With the dollar you could buy anything, with zloties nothing. There was a tax free economy, for sure, because the official economy was impossible to live with.

When I was there our "guide" or minder was a multi-lingual intelligent man. I did not wish to offend him with a tip when I left, so I asked if there was any little gift I could send from Canada. After hesitation on his part and persuasion on mine, he allowed there was a thing he greatly coveted: a tube of Crest toothpaste.

It is the same in crime. If the authorities will not or cannot protect the population from criminals, the population will take their own protection into their own hands. That is what they will do, That is what I would do. You can throw up your hands and weep salt tears at "vigilantism", and it matters not a whit to me. I shall not interfere with you until you interfere with me.

The task of the authorities is to reach the point at which they have the marginal benefit of taxation and policing. Below that, enough people will pay; beyond it, the system breaks down.

I have no intention of wasting time on the arguments for and against the principle of inheritance. I know this, that if you and your chums tell me I cannot leave an inheritance to my family, and I have an inheritance to leave, I shall leave it. You can fuddle off.

Fortunately, in your case, I do not have to get into the arguments of principle, because you have no idea of the implications of your ideas or how to implement them even if you did.

Ozzy
28th May 2005, 16:32
Hoping said: but what we believe is right, overall, in a FAIR system In a FAIR system, every person should be allowed to accumulate as much as they can and give or leave it to whomever they choose, free of encumberances. There, Hoping, you have your truth.:ok:

Ozzy

BenThere
28th May 2005, 16:35
Davaar points out the conundrum of the tax authorities. If taxes are unreasonable or too high, most people figure out ways to avoid them. My favorite is to buy tax-free cigarettes from American Indians at $1/pack and avoid the $4/pack tax here on normally distributed cigarettes.

If the authorities get smart enough to catch the miscreants, and the stakes are high enough, the wealthiest people will leave the country, robbing it of its most productive segment. That happened to Britain on a massive scale in the 60s and 70s.

What is the fair tax level? It's a moving target, and some societies are more tolerant than others, but I suggest somewhere above overall 25% tax on the middle class starts large proportions of workers moving to the cash economy and looking for ways, legal or not, to stiff the taxman.

tony draper
28th May 2005, 16:43
If you do not wish to pay tax, get a good accountant, tiz amazing what those chaps can do.
:E

Tax Inspector.
"Your fulla shit"

Drapes
" I agree, yerl find toilet paper on the next page under sundries"

:rolleyes:

Paterbrat
28th May 2005, 16:53
My my. Hoping is certainly full of the certainty of his/her own logic. Some good points, duck and dodges some however rather full of him/herself and would agree that he/she smacks of youth with some life to yet experience. Brooking no argument and conviction of being right is one symptom Hoping

Idealism has been demonstrated by many throughout history. They were not all 'right' although at the time followed by the masses.

Happy is happy to admit he/she would happily accept that which is being argued against. While at least honest this is again smacking of the hypocrisy amply demonstrated by those whose ideas were not neccessarily followed by their authors, although anxious for all the rest of the 'followers' to swallow the sometimes bitter medicine.

The inheritance laws in this country IMHO are manifestations of government happy to tax yet again that which was taxed before. To tax those whose luck, accident of birth, or simply life times hard work accumulated them wealth and by dying cannot voice any opposition to the seizure of that wealth and their wish to pass on those possesions to their offspring. I will happily agree to the concept of taxation and the need for it. I disagree with some of the concepts of who is taxed and how.

The concept that it is 'unfair' to pass on such wealth however accumulated is dog in the manger behaviour prevelent in many who prefer to recieve their livelehood rather than work for it, as many of the benefit generation do nowadays.
Life isn't 'fair' never has been and never will be. It isn't unfair to be born crippled spastic or to a poor family any more than it is fair to be born to a wealthy family gifted or unusualy goodlooking.

Still since Hoping probably is probably simply flexing their logic and argumentative skills it becomes more a passing of the time than sensible debate.

Onan the Clumsy
28th May 2005, 17:19
What is the fair tax level? Maybe a more important question would be "What do you get for them?".

Hoping
28th May 2005, 17:49
I have no intention of wasting time on the arguments for and against the principle of inheritance. I know this, that if you and your chums tell me I cannot leave an inheritance to my family, and I have an inheritance to leave, I shall leave it. You can fuddle off.

Fair enough, I answered your question and you don't want to talk anymore. Fuddle off then.

Ah Ozzy, I see you have joined in the sport of making quotes out of context too! But even your quote contains the word you are deliberately ignoring. "but what we believe is right, overall, in a fair system". "right, overall". Think about the word "overall".

Peterbrat, thanks for the input, except the bits where you get personal and start speculating on my age. If you had read this thread carefully you would already know my age, and my sex. I think we can all admit that my age and gender are both irrelevent in discussion. Now, which points have I ducked and dodged? None as far as I know.

Idealism has been demonstrated by many throughout history. They were not all 'right' although at the time followed by the masses.

I agree. I am not being idealistic when I say that inheritance should not be allowed. This situation would be far from ideal for certain people.

Happy is happy to admit he/she would happily accept that which is being argued against. While at least honest this is again smacking of the hypocrisy amply demonstrated by those whose ideas were not neccessarily followed by their authors, although anxious for all the rest of the 'followers' to swallow the sometimes bitter medicine.

Now we went through this before. We are TALKING here, not acting. We all live in a system and we all have to play by the rules in that system. For me to pretend I live in a society where inheritance is not allowed, turn down an inheritance on principle and then see people all around me receiving inheritance would be extremely stupid. Ideas such as banning inheritance can only hope to work, if at all, when the rule is applied to EVERYBODY, including me, and not just one person in several million.

Moreover, you cannot accuse me of hyprocrisy because I am not being hypocritical. I am not being critical of others who receive inheritance while receiving it myself. That would be hypocritical. I am accusing out SYSTEM of being unfair. I am not accusing the people in that system. Look up the meaning of "hypocrisy" and you will see what I mean.

I disagree with some of the concepts of who is taxed and how.

Me too. I disagree that earnings over £31400 are taxed at 40% with no increase in the rate of tax beyond £100'000 or £1'000'000 or £1'000'000'000 per year! This is ridiculous.

The concept that it is 'unfair' to pass on such wealth however accumulated is dog in the manger behaviour prevelent in many who prefer to recieve their livelehood rather than work for it, as many of the benefit generation do nowadays.

Now can't you see the funny thing you are saying here? Are the "many who prefer to receive their livelehood rather than work for it" the people inheriting tens, hundreds, thousands of thousands of pounds or the ones getting the dole and housing benefit? OR BOTH?!!!!!

Life isn't 'fair' never has been and never will be. It isn't unfair to be born crippled spastic or to a poor family any more than it is fair to be born to a wealthy family gifted or unusualy goodlooking.

Agreed, life isn't fair. You seem to propose we accept that life is unfair and get on without trying to reverse this. And I suppose you think that it wouldn't be fair for a dead man not to have his say in the affairs of the world he left behind when he dies. Well, let us assume you are correct and it isn't fair for us to ignore the wishes of the dead. In "your world" unfairness doesn't matter does it? So why all the fuss and resistance to banning inheritance?

You do think that banning inheritance would be unfair. For this reason you strongly oppose such a ban. You only pull out the "life isn't fair, get used to it" argument when it suits you.

Davaar
28th May 2005, 17:51
No, you did not answer my question. You did not avoid it. You evaded it.

Hoping
28th May 2005, 18:05
Sorry Davaar, strictly speaking you are correct. I didn't answer your question of how I would personally tackle the problem of people giving gifts as an alternative to inheritance. Instead, I pointed out that the UK government already has a method (I don't know the ins and outs of this) for dealing with this problem. I noted that as far as I know this method does not involve the gestapo or kgb or the tactics of the latter.

Since your main aim was not to elicit my opinion but rather to suggest that some kind of a communist state would be required
to effectively to enforce inter-vivo gift rules, I would have thought that the clear contradiction to your scaremongering (in the form of the UK government's methods of dealing with the problem, without resorting the gestapo and kgb tactics) would be sufficient to lay the issue to rest.

If, out of pettiness, you insist on me providing a full stategic plan for dealing with the problem of gifts being given in place of inheritance I will have to disappoint you. I am not an accountant or a lawyer. I am not able to provide such a plan. I can only suggest you investigate, if you really are that interested, the UK government's methods.

SyllogismCheck
28th May 2005, 18:19
I don't really want to get back into this discussion as it seems to have become rather circular. A couple of observations however.

The thing that you seem unable to acknowledge Hoping is that in your opinion inheritance is 'unfair' because it gives someone a head start in life. I'm not disputing that it gives those who recieve a large inheritance that head start, that much is clear, but I see nothing unfair about it.
To my mind it's simply circumstance. Something which can be fortunate, unfortunate or neither.

As for playing the 'unfair' card, it seems to me that doing so is in fact your own tactic. It forms the basis of your argument no less.
Yet would it not be even more unfair to prevent people from having done with as they wish with their own wealth? To do so would be an infringement of their liberty to some degree and as such grossly and patently unfair in the true sense of the word.
Without offence, I have to say that by comparison the 'unfairness' you believe is caused by inheritance being allowed appears to be of the 'school yard envy' variety.

Hoping
28th May 2005, 18:36
don't really want to get back into this discussion as it seems to have become rather circular. A couple of observations however.

So you just want to be able to make statements/observations and recieve no response or get into discussion? Well, I have to dissapoint you, I am going to respond!

You say
it gives those who recieve a large inheritance that head start, that much is clear, but I see nothing unfair about it

but you DO see something unfair in a dead man's wishes not being granted? (no disrespect for the dead intended, but they are dead after all; the goings-on in this world can no longer cause them happiness or unhappiness as far as we know).

From my point of view, a measure of the fairness of a societal concept has to involve a comparison of the effect of that concept on people, living people. Inheritance puts certain people ahead of others. It's like starting a game of monopoly with one player holding all the best property ahead of time, or a football game starting with a score of 2-0. Obviously unfair.

I didn't accuse anybody of playing the "unfair" card. I accused Davaar of playing the "life isn't fair, get used to it" card when it suited him.

Yes, I do think that inheritance is unfair. I am consistent in this opinion. Davaar and the like respond with the "life isn't fair, get used to it" card when they have nothing else to say. But in the next breath they argue for fairness when they complain that it would be unfair to not give a dead man the right to dispose of his estate as he wished.

I think we ALL agree with the concept that life should be fair. Whether fairness is furthered by banning or allowing inheritance is something we should discuss, but statements such as "life isn't fair, get used to it" just distract from the argument.

Last but not least, Syllogism,

Without offence, I have to say that by comparison the 'unfairness' you believe is caused by inheritance being allowed appears to be of the 'school yard envy' variety.

you couldn't resist a little dig could you?! The insertion of the two words "without offence" before an offensive statement or implication do not reduce the level of offence of that statement or implication, rather those two little words shout out loudly and clearly "I know I'm being offensive but I can't resist it!"

Davaar
28th May 2005, 19:10
________________________________
" ... the UK government already has a method (I don't know the ins and outs of this) for dealing with this problem...."
________________________________

The "method" I think you have in mind is a taxation device to MITIGATE the burden of estate duties. As you say, you do not know the ins and outs. You got that right. If a taxpayer alienates estate before a prescribed period before death, which as I recall used to be five years and possibly still is, then the estate duty is not exacted on that estate. The effect is to ABOLISH the estate duty on the alienated estate. If he retains title to other estate, then that other estate is potentially subject to duty. I explained that above. You seem to think that the device IMPOSES the duty. It is entirely the reverse. The device is an instrument of government policy to shield the taxpayer from death duties. Inheritance is not forbidden in the UK, and for all manner of good reasons.

I could go into the arguments pro and con, and why the UK government at one time did impose in effect penal or at least draconian rates of estate duty and Income Tax. Not so long ago, the top rate of Income Tax and Surtax and again as I recall Supertax, but memory is fading, was 95%. To keep GBP 6,000 a taxpayer had to earn GBP !00,000. The country was in dire straits at the time. Many prominent Brits went abroad, Noel Coward was one, and the UK lost the benefit of their talents.

I asked you about gifts inter vivos because unless you stop those, and incidentally abolish the private ownership of property, your objective of stopping inheritance is doomed and there is no point to discussing it further. As they used to put it in Dundee, "Ye canny fart against thunder". To abolish property, you will need a police state, a KGB, an NKVD, an MVD, or a Cheka. This is not scaremongering. It has been tried. It is what happens. That is what they had in the Ukraine when Stalin murdered the tens of millions by starvation. Khruschev was the man in charge.

What a fickle fellow you are. So very recently you knew me as “Davaar darling”, but now you are quite brusque.

SyllogismCheck
28th May 2005, 19:33
You're being a touch over sensitive.

It wasn't a dig at all. I was highlighting the difference I can clearly see between unfairness in the sense of removing someones freedom of choice and perceived unfairness of the 'Johnny has a new bike, why shouldn't I?' ilk.
I felt that suggesting your thinking to be along the lines of the latter was likely to be construed as offensive so I opened by saying 'without offence' to make very clear that it wasn't a petty snipe but a genuine observation that needed to be made in order to make my point.
It seems however that you have chosen not to take what I said at face value in spite of that assurance.

Finally, yes I do believe it is unfair to deny someone feedom of choice, I also believe it right to respect any known choices a person has made upon their death. To deny that choice, be the actual execution of it either pre or post death, is the removal of liberty from an individual.
Inheritance imposes no such restrictions, no such unfairness, no such control on any individual. Whilst positive for the recipient it doesn't deny anyone else anything, prevent them from doing as they choose or affect them adversely in any way whatsoever. What you propose does.
It's just chance, one which is likely to prove advantageous, but then so may a million and one other circumstances.
Do you propose that we seek to prevent them all?

Davaar
28th May 2005, 20:34
Just seen Hoping's squib at Syllogism. He states:
_____________________________
[Davaar argues] for fairness
_____________________________

What if anything passes through that man's mind? I have never mentioned fairness in these exchanges. I did not inherit a penny.

tony draper
28th May 2005, 20:53
I recon if you realised every cent in this country(or any other for that matter)property,private wealth,property, land investments ect ect, divided it up and gave ever citizen in the land a equal amount,start off every body equal weathwise, start the clock,return in say one hundred and fifty years, you would find about 3% of the population will have accumulated 98% of what was handed out originaly, much like now.
It will ever be thus.
The secret I suppose is to be one of the 3%.
:E

heretic
28th May 2005, 22:45
I presume Louis XVI and Nicholas II were members of the 3% club.

Hoping
29th May 2005, 13:24
Davaar sweety (sorry I was brusque, I didn't realise you enjoyed me calling you darling!)

I asked you about gifts inter vivos because unless you stop those, and incidentally abolish the private ownership of property

I don't see the connection between stopping people giving gifts as an alternative to inheritance and abolishing private ownership of property. Like I said, we already have methods of dealing with the problem in the UK but we also have private ownership of property.


Syllogism
so I opened by saying 'without offence' to make very clear that it wasn't a petty snipe but a genuine observation that needed to be made in order to make my point.

and your point was?

I have to say that by comparison the 'unfairness' you believe is caused by inheritance being allowed appears to be of the 'school yard envy' variety.

Very good point, which most definitely needed to be made. Without the suggestion that I am acting like a schoolboy you couldn't possibly have furthered your argument. I realise that now. Sorry.

Back to "unfairness", you say

yes I do believe it is unfair to deny someone feedom of choice

This is not a UNIVERSAL truth as you are trying to suggest. Some people would "choose" to rape women in the street every day if it was not against the law. Some people would do a great many "evil" deeds if they had the freedom of choice to do these things. It is quite clearly not UNIVERSALLY true to say that it is "unfair to deny someone freedom of choice". Therefore, you cannot use this as a universal truth to justify inheritance. You have to argue in a more detailed way than that.

Back to Davaar, sweety,

What if anything passes through that man's mind? I have never mentioned fairness in these exchanges.

Ok, so maybe you didn't use the word "fairness", but I got the distinct impression that you think banning inheritance would be "unfair" and that the KGB and Gestapo you insist would be necesary to police this would also be an "unfair" imposition on society. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Draper
You are right. Unless we try to improve upon society.

I-FORD

So we'd better stop this discussion at once

That was your first post on this thread. What a great start you have made. Perhaps you should either mind your own business or join the discussion?

Davaar
29th May 2005, 17:22
_________________________
‘I have a dream that one day

"every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope.’
______________________________

This by the late Dr Martin Luther King on 28 August, 1963. The prophet Isaiah had the same dream reported in the same words over two thousand years earlier.

We need wait no longer for its realisation. Hoping can reveal the glory, and he just knows, dammit, he just knows.

He gets his knickers in the occasional knot, of course. He
“accused Davaar of playing the "life isn't fair, get used to it" card when it suited him.” Not true that I played that or any card, but Hoping “got the distinct impression”. Ah well then, that’s Okay. It was revealed to him.

I’d never throw oil on the fire,
By hint that Hoping is a liar.
Not I: He’s not!
But........? Yes! He ought
To stay with what Truth does require.

Hoping does not:

“.......see the connection between stopping people giving gifts as an alternative to inheritance and abolishing private ownership of property. Like I said, we already have methods of dealing with the problem in the UK but we also have private ownership of property.”

I believe Hoping on this. He does not see, although that is not what I recall the UK law to be. Hoping has difficulty in grasping concepts, but surely he cannot be quite as dim as he claims.

Perhaps his blindness is not so much stupid as perverse, and we must look to Dean Swift: “There’s none so blind as they that won’t see”. The explanation must lie there.

Hoping does not see, despite explanation. I’ll try one final time: UK law does not prohibit inheritance. It does, so I understand, like many another jurisdiction, impose a tax or duty on inheritance (a burden as old as the Feudal Casualties of a distant age, and pre-Reformation Church impositions), but the UK by law and policy mitigates the incidence of that tax or duty if the tax-payer exercises some foresight. I did earlier try MITIGATE for Hoping in capital letters, but unsuccessfully. I'll try now with the syllables MIT-I-GATE. Do you know the word, Hoping? Sometimes confused with "militate". In any case, taxation is not expropriation.

Finally, Hoping offers: “Davaar sweety (sorry I was brusque, I didn't realise you enjoyed me calling you darling!”. Gosh that is witty. It is quite engaging to see an attempt at sarcasm from a mind that lacks the equipment.

I’ll leave this field to you, Hoping. Tell you one thing, though. Your scheme will not work.

Hoping
29th May 2005, 17:30
With waste-of-time posts such as that I daresay I agree with you, my scheme to have some reasonable, inoffensive debate has failed pretty miserably.

If anybody else is still reading this thread, have a look at how Davaar has gone to great lengths and untruths to win this argument by:

1. Inserting some ideological poetic crap originally spoken about 2000 years ago.

-----------------------------------
I have a dream that one day

"every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope.’
______________________________

2. Taking the piss by suggesting that I subscribe to this crap and that I see myself as a saviour of some kind:

”We need wait no longer for its realisation. Hoping can reveal the glory, and he just knows, dammit, he just knows.”

3. Telling lies, accusing me of something I didn’t do:

He gets his knickers in the occasional knot, of course. He
“accused Davaar of playing the "life isn't fair, get used to it" card when it suited him.” Not true that I played that or any card, but Hoping “got the distinct impression”. Ah well then, that’s Okay. It was revealed to him.

I didn’t accuse you, Davaar, of playing the life isn’t fair, get used to it” card. Read and see that that accusation was levelled at somebody else.

4. Writing some poetry of his own for good measure:

I’d never throw oil on the fire,
By hint that Hoping is a liar.
Not I: He’s not!
But........? Yes! He ought
To stay with what Truth does require.

(what a man!)

5. Again throwing in some offence

“Hoping has difficulty in grasping concepts, but surely he cannot be quite as dim as he claims.”

6. and so on……..

The bottom line is this:

This thread asked the question “SHOULD INHERITANCE BE ALLOWED?”.

Rather than debate this question you insist upon hijacking the thread and insisting that I personally answer another question “HOW WOULD YOU LEGISLATE AND ENFORCE A BAN OF INHERITANCE?”.

Why don’t you start a new thread to debate that question? I suggest that if you want to stay on THIS thread it would be better to talk about the answer to the question “SHOULD inheritance be allowed?”, a question you have singularly avoided giving any argument to so far.

Davaar
29th May 2005, 18:23
Oh dear. Here's Hoping:

Quotation # 1, 28 May 2005: “I accused Davaar of playing the "life isn't fair, get used to it" card when it suited him.”

Quotation # 2, 29 May 2005: “I didn’t accuse you, Davaar, of playing the life isn’t fair, get used to it” card.”

And here's Hoping he improves.

You say I have "singularly avoided" the topic of why, as opposed to how. Well, here again on 28 May 2005 I wrote: "I could go into the arguments pro and con, and why the UK government at one time did impose in effect penal or at least draconian rates of estate duty and Income Tax" and that in fact it brought them to a close. I gave some examples, but did not go into it deeply. It is a sterile endeavour.

There are many pointless questions that could torture the mind. Many of us have agonised over that cow. Hey diddle diddle, you may recall, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. Did it? Can a cow jump over the moon? Can some cows jump over the moon, but not others? If so, is that fair? My daughter having moved on from Mother Goose Tales, I cast aside my cares on the point, and now I live free of it. In the too few years that may be left to me, I have more practical tasks to do. I can tell you, if you try to abolish inheritance, you will have to abolish the private ownership of property too, and it is not going to work. I'll leave it to you. Tell me where you end up on the cow question, which is of greater practicality.

Hoping
29th May 2005, 18:34
ok davaar, I see what you mean.

In truth, my original accusation was levelled at peterbrat:

Peterbrat …….. You only pull out the "life isn't fair, get used to it" argument when it suits you.

I later (as in your quote 28th May above) incorrectly stated that I had accused YOU of the same. I exchanged the word "peterbrat" with "davaar" by mistake.

And yes, you have avoided answering the question asked by the thread “SHOULD INHERITANCE BE ALLOWED?”. I am glad to see you admit as much in your previous post. I also agree with you, discussion of the methods of imposing “penal or at least draconian rates of estate duty and Income Tax” or even those of imposing a ban of inheritance would be a very “sterile endeavour”.

Therefore, for the second (?) time, I suggest that you try discussing the answer to the question posed by the THREAD:

“SHOULD INHERITANCE BE ALLOWED?”

Davaar
29th May 2005, 18:45
Thank you for that. As to the rest, please see my previous post as edited.

Hoping
29th May 2005, 18:52
we can't go on editing our posts indefinitely. Let us stick with what we have said and move on with new posts

Now, are you going to address the question posed by the thread or do you think you are too busy for that? But not too busy to discuss another question entirely created by yourself?

Davaar
29th May 2005, 19:33
Yes, I am too busy. That is the word for it. I have work to do. I am too busy trying to help those with broken bodies, broken spirits, broken lives, who appear before me as their last resort. As one said through her tears: “I am broken and I need help”; she is and she does. Life has not been fair to her (Goodness me, there is that F--- word), but I am talking reality, not your baloney. I suppose, in a way, I am a slave to that “ideological poetic crap originally spoken about 2000 years ago” that you find so distasteful: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest; which failing, a fair (that word again) shake at monetary compensation”. It is not the Supreme Court, that’s true, but it is so very much more real than your self-important vapourings. Work them out for yourself.

Hoping
29th May 2005, 19:49
Interesting.

So I assume you put those people with "broken bodies, broken spirits, broken lives, who appear before (you) as their last resort" to one side for the past three days in order to spend your time hijacking a thread about whether or not inheritance should be allowed by belligerently insisting that one contributor answer another question about how he would run aspects of a communist government.

In light of the fact that you refuse to discuss the topic of the thread AND people are suffering that you could be saving (or is that just Monday to Thursday?) I strongly suggest you get back to work ASAP!

I on the other hand am going to the cinema. Maybe one day I can dream of being such a force of good in the world as you...

(by the way, you're not a lawyer by any chance? That would explain a number of things...)

Davaar
29th May 2005, 20:19
Quote: Hoping:

"(by the way, you're not a lawyer by any chance? That would explain a number of things...)"

Yes, I am. This offering does sum you up very well.

Jerricho
29th May 2005, 20:22
I on the other hand am going to the cinema

Why? I'm sure Aminal Farm and 1984 are both out in your local video store.

Hoping
30th May 2005, 02:07
Davaar, I do hope there are no hard feelings as a result of our arguments. I can take a bit of banter and while I think your insults were far from "in the spirit of debate" I'm certainly not upset or offended particularly. I've enjoyed arguing with you. And when I said you being a lawyer would explain a few things I was referring to your arguing capabilities, a compliment in fact! :)

Jerricho,
sometimes, even when there are such juicy offerings as animal farm and 1984 on offer at the local video store, the promise of a certain other kind of entertainment lures one out of the house for a date at the local cinema, even if it does involve two hours watching/enduring one of the latest Hollywood offerings, "House of Wax"!!!!!

Ah, I'm in a very good mood, please tell me there are no hard feelings Davaar. And now that I know I'm talking to a lawyer I'm even more keen to debate the original question of whether inheritance should be allowed, purely from an abstract standpoint, without getting involved in the details of enforcement at this stage. You never know, one of us might convince the other on the issue of inheritance if we engage properly in debate rather than prematurely jumping to the issue of enforcement.

I'll understand if you don't have time though, I don't either really but pprune is rather addictive!

Davaar
30th May 2005, 03:04
Well, I did ask about the gifts inter vivos because much of the answer does lie there, and I do think "no inheritance" will not work, and that apart I do think it is bad policy. That said, there are always differing views on anything.

Right now, I truly am very busy. I got home late on Thursday from the work I described, and it is very wearing. No doubt it comes over as corny, and I should not be so frank. It is all true, though.

Early tomorrow I am off for several days in the far North.

We'll see how things are when I get back.

Ozzy
30th May 2005, 03:38
Think about the word "overall". Why?

Ozzy

16 blades
30th May 2005, 04:27
Your fifth post is above for all to see. Congratulations. You have contributed the LONGEST post on this thread! Unfortunately, you have achieved this only by repeating things I have already said, out of context, in a vain and transparent attempt to ridicule my arguments. You rather remind me of a politician.

You are correct - I have contributed the longest post on this thread - it was, after all, a post pointing out some (not even all!) of your wild assumptions, which you have used to support your arguments. The length of the post, you may notice, is directly proportional to the number of assumptions you made. You say that all I have done is to repeat what you said - THAT WAS THE POINT - or did you not wish to be reminded of what you posted??

You have yet to offer any evidence whatsoever that directly supports ANY of the assumptions I pointed out. Just because something is taken out of one of your posts does not mean it is 'out of context', an argument you use alot on this thread and one commonly used by politicians who wish to avoid analysis and scrutiny.

And you still have not addressed my other comment in that post, namely:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And what about the fact that it is just absolutely wrong in the most obvious and human way for two men to work in the same building in the UK every day for one year with the first man earning £10'000 and the second man earning £10'000'000 or £1'000'000 or £100'000?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I presume, by this statement, that you do not pay yourself any more than your staff, then?
Well then, do you or don't you? And please try to answer this time and not just spin....

16B

SyllogismCheck
30th May 2005, 13:17
Hoping,Very good point, which most definitely needed to be made. Without the suggestion that I am acting like a schoolboy you couldn't possibly have furthered your argument. I realise that now. Sorry.You're unable to see the relevance, so I shall explain. I said without offence precisely because I was not suggesting you are acting like a schoolboy but because, to me, one particular aspect of your thinking does have an element of 'schoolboy' about it. That aspect being the root of your argument, the one of 'unfairness'. Allow me to tell you why.
If someone inherits vast wealth whilst I do not, I don't believe that to be 'unfair'. Yes, they have more than I do, but preventing them from having that wealth makes no difference to me. Whether they have it or not my lot remains the same so where is the 'unfairness' I am supposedly suffering? I see none. If I see what they have and desire the same, I have every opportunity to take action to accumulate similar wealth of my own.
I do not, and will not, waste my time and energy grumbling 'Unfair!'. It's not in my nature to do so.
To do so, in my opinion, is nothing more than resentment of that persons good fortune. Sour grapes, schoolboy envy, call it what you will, that is what I see it as. So, be offended by my saying so if you choose, but I don't subscribe to the way of thinking that leads you to crying 'Unfair! They got given money, why shouldn't I?'.
How could I further my argument without pointing out such a basic difference in our thinking and my objection to your own?

As for you saying this.... This is not a UNIVERSAL truth as you are trying to suggest. Some people would "choose" to rape women in the street every day if it was not against the law. Some people would do a great many "evil" deeds if they had the freedom of choice to do these things. It is quite clearly not UNIVERSALLY true to say that it is "unfair to deny someone freedom of choice". Therefore, you cannot use this as a universal truth to justify inheritance. You have to argue in a more detailed way than that....to my defence of freedom of choice, I'm actually rather disappointed. As I wrote about freedom of choice and defended it, I suspected for a moment that I should qualify those choices and the freedom to make them as 'within reason' or similar. Then I thought it unnecessary. I assumed that some common sense would be applied. That comparisons to the 'choice to commit rape' were of course out of the question. That some assumption of self regulation could be applied to the 'choser'. I believed that to be a reasonable expectation.
Of course I wasn't advocating that people should be free to choose to do evil deeds. That much was obvious I had hoped. It appears not however and as a result you request that I argue in more detail. Yet it's the demand, the unnecessary demand, to argue in such fine detail that you impose by your total lack of application of reasonable, assumptive boundaries to the argument that makes it wearisome to follow can't you see?

Wingswinger
30th May 2005, 13:22
Good heavens! One goes away for a few days' holiday and look what happens. It's taken me a while to wade through what has been posted since page 6.

Hoping,

I would think that, by now, it is clear that the majority of people posting here believe that inheritance should be allowed. Let me state my position: Should inheritance be allowed? Yes. I'll go further: Inheritance tax should be abolished.

Let us start from the premise that the purpose of tax is to raise revenue for the government provision of services and activities that private individuals or companies cannot or perhaps, should not, provide for themselves. From that postion I move to the contention that taxes should only be imposed to fund those things which are common to us all, regardless of race, creed, age or orientation. That being accepted, taxes (or tax credits) should not be used to fund or subsidise one group of people and not another. That is, no tax support for "alternative life-styles", the raising of children or agriculture to mention only three human activites currently deemed worthy of public subsidy.

Next, taxes should be efficient. That is they should be compulsory, easy to collect and yield a high revenue in relation to the cost of collecting them. This is so because taxes are an imposition upon people; democratic governments therefore have a duty to make this imposition as light as possible.

Taxes should also be low. The lower a tax is, the less worthwhile is its avoidance or evasion. It is now well proven that lowering or removing altogether the higher rates of tax actually raises the total revenue from that tax. Therefore, there is no financial reason why there should be higher rates of income tax (and inheritance tax) other than as an expression of socialist spite and envy.

Inheritance tax fails because it is avoidable and yields little revenue compared to the cost of its collection. It fails because it is high (40%). It also fails because the people who are being most penalised are those who just creep into the inheritance tax band, largely because they little dreampt that it would ever apply to them. Often a family much-loved family home has to be sold to meet the bill because the deceased did not have the foresight (or the spare income) to provide an insurance policy to mitigate its effect. This is a double hit because the tax is based on a notional property value which may prove to be highly optimistic. Last, it fails because it adversely affects the passing on down the generations of earned wealth which is the great engine of any successful economy. It is only the possession of capital which permits human beings to expand, explore, take risks and be entrepreneurial. If people cannot do that, we have stagnation or worse, regression. You may not have seen the wreckage that was Eastern Europe in 1990. I did.

My final contention is that politicians do not, indeed cannot, do anything to improve the lot of people. Only people can do that for themselves. Governments must provide: A framework of civil and criminal law; defence and security; sound money. Beyond that they should stay out of the way and, yes, that includes health and education. There is nothing in the field of human endeavour that has not been made worse or hindered by the intereference of politicians. They have created nothing. They only steal what others create.

On that basis I say: Abolish inheritance tax.

You have revealed to us that you are a businessman who employs others at a rate above what could be regarded as above the the market rate for the work being done. That is socially commendable but, I fear, not sustainable. Your business can be likened, on a micro-scale, to France and Germany.

From one who is an employee himself and who would much rather be a proprietor: Good luck; You must hope that no-one else does what you do as well as you do while paying workers 5.50 per hour. If I were you I would be using the money you currently spend on higher wages to build capital in order to diversify against the inevitable arrival in your market of a serious competitor.

Hoping
30th May 2005, 14:54
Ozzy, you quoted me again, but ignored certain words in the sentence you quoted, such as "overall". I refered to "overall fairness".

16,
Your quotes were not of my assumptions, they were of my opinions which are based on certain other assumptions, such as fairness in society is worth striving for and so on. Take one of my points - that more people would go to work and work harder at their jobs if the minimum wage was increased to £8 per hour. This is not an assumption, this is a widely canvassed opinion from people whose choice it is to live on the dole rather than earn £5 per hour. This point also results DIRECTLY from the popular capitalist rhetoric that people are only motivated by money and self interest.

Your other question, "I presume, by this statement, that you do not pay yourself any more than your staff, then?"

which you asked in response to my statement,

And what about the fact that it is just absolutely wrong in the most obvious and human way for two men to work in the same building in the UK every day for one year with the first man earning £10'000 and the second man earning £10'000'000 or £1'000'000 or £100'000?

is a silly question indeed. I compared wages of £10'000 per year with wages of £10'000'000 per year. I don't pay my workers as little as £10'000 per year and I certainly don't pay MYSELF £10'000'000 per year, or even £100'000 per year! I have been arguing all along for a significant increase in the minimum wage as a starting point, not equal pay. Equal pay is something that I believe could work if people could be persuaded not to start a civil war but for now let us start by simply reducing the gap between top and bottom. So to answer your question, yes, I do generally pay myself more than my staff, when we are turning a handsome profit. On the other hand, when we are not turning a handsome profit I have been known to get LESS than my staff! To avoid the usual accusation of hypocrisy, note that I am not being critical of people doing the same thing as me. I am being critical of our system which allows people to be paid as little as £5 per hour in contrast with £10'000'000 per year and so on.

Syllogism, no matter how many words you wrap it up in you accused me of acting like a schoolboy. This is not constructive. Please, let us move on now. You do make a "schoolboy howler" (sorry, couldn't help it!!!) of your own though when you say (in a comparison of people with inheritance as opposed to yourself)

but preventing them from having that wealth makes no difference to me

Think about this in terms of your favourite sport. We do live in a competitive system so our system IS comparable in the basic terms to sport. How would you feel if your team started the game with 0 goals whereas the opposing team started with 2 goals? Would you consider that fair? The only way you can dismiss this argument is by saying that our system is not based on competition. I don't think you are going to try and say that are you?

Defending universal freedom of choice, you go on to say

That some assumption of self regulation could be applied to the 'choser'. I believed that to be a reasonable expectation
- look around the world. This assumption will quickly reveal itself to be invalid.

Wingswinger, I don't know if you want a response to your talk about inheritance tax and I've said quite a lot already. One thing that springs to mind is that

My final contention is that politicians do not, indeed cannot, do anything to improve the lot of people. Only people can do that for themselves.

is a correct thing to say. PEOPLE have to be in support of each other rather than purely themselves for a just system to result.

Regarding my business actitivites you say

You have revealed to us that you are a businessman who employs others at a rate above what could be regarded as above the the market rate for the work being done. That is socially commendable but, I fear, not sustainable. Your business can be likened, on a micro-scale, to France and Germany.

Why? I do this by paying myself a little less. I don't have any overpaid managers and so on. I still earn a very decent living, much more than I could make in a job. Our products are being offered at at least 20% less than our more established competitors.

From one who is an employee himself and who would much rather be a proprietor: Good luck; You must hope that no-one else does what you do as well as you do while paying workers 5.50 per hour. If I were you I would be using the money you currently spend on higher wages to build capital in order to diversify against the inevitable arrival in your market of a serious competitor.

Many people agree with you. However, if I did this, next time I had a last minute type situation the workers might not agree to working all the hours that god sends them, they might say they want to work 9-5 and to hell with the deadline. Next time I found them making a mess of a job and picked them up on it they might take the attitude "f&ck him, paying himself a fortune while we have to watch every penny, I don't care about the standard of my work" and the result would be that our products would be lower quality and so on and on. You might advocate sacking them, but when all the workers start having this opinion you can't very well sack them all! Margaret Thatcher has the credit of brainwashing this nation into having a "me first" attitude. The fact is, that with a bit of deceny a business CAN work very well while paying its lowest paid workers enough to live on AND save for their future/have a good time. A worker who is happy outside work, because of that work, will also be happy (relatively!) at work.

So if and when a "serious" (and by that I assume you mean one paying its workers £5 per hour) competitor comes along, I'm not massively worried as I have a great many advantages over them in terms of quality and commitment from the workers. If the competition manages to put me out of business (one of must go out of business if there isn't space in the market) then we will be able to see first hand how the minimum wage of £5 per hour has directly resulted in one company full of happy workers saving for their future being replaced by another company full of workers stuggling to make a living on £5 per hour! Surely a convincing argument for increasing the national minimum wage...

Paterbrat
30th May 2005, 18:41
Hoping, you write fluently and argue as if you like it, however you did rather cherrypick Windswingers previous post. Since he from the beginning of the post answered clearly and concisely the question Inheritance- should it be allowed as well as the issue of inheritance tax which is where the main drift of the thread had swung to, I felt is slightly unkind if not a tad duck'n dodge to airily dismiss that major portion with ' ...don't know if you want a response to your talk about inheritance tax... ' and simply respond to the last two paras which were almost asides.


Reminded me of the tortuous speech given by the unfortunate with a terrible stutter which was simply met with with "... Hmmm easy for you to say!"

It also seems to me that you are no slouch to the fairness card either as and when it suits. The concept of fairness is indeed one we all live with and it appears that your concept of, everybody out of the gate equal is patantly impossible. To therefore impose your particular whim or fancy of abolishing inheritance is unfair to those whose wish it was to pass it on, dead or not, unfair also to those who would have recieved it.

Since the concept has been around since Ug picked up his father's club and spare spear after he was squashed by the wooly mammoth that had just fallen on him, it also seems to fly in the face of what has seemed a long held tradition.

Hoping
30th May 2005, 21:04
I wondered if I was acting kindly to Wingswinger. The truth is that inheritance tax isn't the subject of the thread or something I'm particularly interested in debating. Furthermore, I allowed myself to get drawn into a sideline debate with Davaar on the subject of legislating and policing a ban of inheritance when the real subject was whether or not inheritance should be allowed in a competitive capitalistic system. Look where that got me - several pages of wrangling, totally missing the real question.

So, wingswinger, many apologies if you wanted me to take you up on the things you said about inheritance tax. I didn't notice any question marks, so I assumed you didn't. Can I ask you, why do you think, in our competition based system, that inheritance should be allowed?

Peterbrat, the "card" I referred to wasn't the "fairness card" but the "life is not fair, get used to it" card. People have been using the "life is not fair, get used to it" card in an admission that inheritance is not fair but that we should get used to it and then earlier or later in their arguments saying that it wouldn't be fair to impose a ban on inheritance.

I think we all agree deep down that we should try to create a "fair" society, whatever that means to us individually. Therefore, when we get stuck for an argument, we really should not play the "life is not fair, get used to it" card. To do so is to contradict oneself.

Your comment
Since the concept has been around since Ug picked up his father's club and spare spear after he was squashed by the wooly mammoth that had just fallen on him, it also seems to fly in the face of what has seemed a long held tradition.

is interesting but not really very comparable to modern times. For instance, in those days of Ug where living was for everybody a subsistance affair, billionaires, limited public companies and governments didn't exist. A great deal has changed since the life of Ug. A great many "traditions" have been dropped too, such as ritualistic killing of virgins, burning of witches and so on. To fly in the face of "tradition" is sometimes a very good thing, especially when that tradition acts as a negative force in modern society.

The question asked by the thread, the question we really need to answer, is "should inheritance be allowed?". The answer should not involve the practicalities of imposing new law, the fondness we feel for inheritance as a tradition or the personal gain we each have or hope to get/give as a result of inheritance. The answer should be in the context in which the question was originally put by Onan

if it really fits within the parameters of our western 'capitalist' way of doing things

16 blades
31st May 2005, 02:27
Hoping,

Earlier in this thread you said the following in response to a comment of mine:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Are you seriously suggesting, Hoping, that anybody would be arsed studying and qualifying to become a brain surgeon if they could earn the same as a burger flipper? If you are, then you fundamentally misunderstand human nature.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, this is exactly what I am suggesting. Currently, most medical students will admit (in confidence, after a few beers) that they go into medicine for the money and status primarily. Some of these people, unfortunately, would still go into medicine purely for the status, all else (wages) being equal. Those that are too base to do this would quite possibly go for a profession for which less studying is required, quite rightly. Do we really want people going into medicine just for the money? The sort of society which would result from my proposals would have people going into medicine for the right reasons, not the wrong reasons, as is the currently the case.
I quote the question and response in full, lest you yet again make accusations of quoting 'out of context'.

You have since extolled the virtues of paying people MORE than their market value (as you do with your staff) in order to motivate them. You admit that the reason you seem to get more out of your staff, that their morale is higher, and that it seems that they will go to the ends of the earth for you and your company, is ENTIRELY down to the fact that you overpay them.

Do you not see how this completely defeats your arguments about others earning a great deal of money? Why would you not advocate high earners being paid in a similar fashion? Let's take Pilots, for example (since this is an aviation website - incidentally, I've yet to see your connection to aviation). Let's say, for argument's sake, that the market value of a First Officer is £50K. Would you object to them being paid £80K, to keep them well motivated and provide them with a better lifestyle? After all, these are the arguments you have put forward for paying your staff as you do. Or does your proposed system of universal 'fairness' only apply to poor people? A 'fair' society, as you propose, should surely be fair to everybody, should it not?

What this boils down to is the following - Do you think that it is FAIR to restrict what one person can earn, simply because others are not capable of earning that amount? - I, for one, do not. What a wealthy person earns is no skin off the nose of a poor person - in the same way that I am in no way affected by whether the man next to me inherits a fortune or not. You say a rich man's wealth breeds the poor man's resentment. Surely the poor man is the one at fault here - his resentment is entirely of his own making, and indicative of a character flaw.

You seem to think that the socio-economic microcosm of your little factory can be successfully translated to wider society - that is blinkered naivety on a gross scale, and your blinkered stance will not allow you to see the merits of anybody else's arguments, or the flaws in your own. You claim you pay your staff well, but not yourself, because:
they might take the attitude "f&ck him, paying himself a fortune while we have to watch every penny, I don't care about the standard of my work"
Well, god forbid you might upset them! Can you not see that this would be your worker's doing, not yours? Or is your argument that a man, whilst he is poor, is not responsible for his own actions and attitudes? It is THIS VERY ARGUMENT that holds back the working classes, NOT the percieved excesses of those 'above' them, the notion that nothing they do or say is their own fault. A famous anarchist recently said this:
"The working classes will forever remain downtrodden whilst they continually, positively and absolutely refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and attitudes"

- John Lydon, aka 'Johnny Rotten', formerly of the sex pistols and one of the UK's most prolific anarchists.
(Paraphrased a little as I can't find the original quote)

I find your last paragraph rather curious - you seem to think that you have somehow taken 'ownership' of this thread, and that you have some kind of right to dictate what is discussed here. Curious, and not just a little arrogant, considering you were not even the thread starter. It was, after all, YOU who took this thread off on a tangent in the first place, but never mind - I will address the question.

I see nothing in a Capitalist philosophy that forbids the acquisition of wealth, advantage or power through means other than your own direct efforts - a case of 'not what you know, but who you know'. After all, you yourself say you gained employment in Greece by using 'connections' - does this not amount to the same thing?

Besides which, when (hopefully) I leave an inheritance for my children, it most certainly will not have come 'free' to them. They will already have paid for it several times over by the amount of time they have not been able to spend with me, because I have been away from them earning a wage that will put me in a position to offer an inheritance at the end of it all. And this applies universally, not just to those who work away from home - almost all high earning jobs require long working hours and time away from one's children. In these terms, it is not 'free' at all.

16B

Hoping
31st May 2005, 12:45
So you STILL refuse to "argue" the question raised by Onan. You simply state that you see nothing wrong with inheritance. Instead of arguing your point you try to trip me up and yet again recycle previous statements. This is getting very boring now but I will respond.

Do you not see how this completely defeats your arguments about others earning a great deal of money? Why would you not advocate high earners being paid in a similar fashion? Let's take Pilots, for example (since this is an aviation website - incidentally, I've yet to see your connection to aviation). Let's say, for argument's sake, that the market value of a First Officer is £50K. Would you object to them being paid £80K, to keep them well motivated and provide them with a better lifestyle?

No. You missed the point completely. My point is that we should increase the MINIMUM wage. Why? The minimum wage is about £5 per hour. This is more or less what a person can "make" on benefits. Therefore many people simply choose not to work for £5 per hour. Furthermore, those that do choose to work on £5 per hour cannot save for their future, buy nice cars or least of all, leave an inheritance for their children. £5 per hour is pretty much subsistance living. Subsistance living leads to a feeling of not getting anywhere in life - unhappiness. Increasing the wage to £8 per hour gives disposable income which results in a greater satisfaction of life and clear motivation to work.

This cannot be compared with increasing a wage of £50k to £80k in the same way. £50k ALREADY provides more than enough money for basic food and clothing and housing. You cannot expect to get £50k on benefits.

I repeat, my suggestion is that the level of benefits should remain as they are providing just enough to live on, the minimum wage should be considerably more than this to provide motivation to work and other wages will be dictated by market supply and demand as they are now. The fact is we have a problem in this country where the minimum wage is so low that you can make the same living on the dole. And of course, in this circular thread we seem to have developed somebody is AGAIN going to suggest that we dramatically reduce the level of benefits, at the risk of starvation...:ugh:

We have a minimum wage for a reason. Do you even agree that there should BE a minimum wage at all?

You suggest, wrongly, that all this boils down to
Do you think that it is FAIR to restrict what one person can earn, simply because others are not capable of earning that amount?

I guess what you are saying here is that if we increase the minimum wage to £8 per hour then everybody else's wage will have to be decreased slightly to cater for that. Yes, I do think that is fair. EVERYBODY, even those on the minimum wage need to have a reason to work (other than starvation) for our capitalist system to work.

You say a rich man's wealth breeds the poor man's resentment

No I didn't.

You seem to think that the socio-economic microcosm of your little factory can be successfully translated to wider society - that is blinkered naivety on a gross scale, and your blinkered stance will not allow you to see the merits of anybody else's arguments, or the flaws in your own.

No. We already have a minimum wage which is pretty much adhered to nationwide. Why do you suggest that thinking to increase that minimum wage is "blinkered naivety on a gross scale"?

By the way, just because a fellow from a pop band agrees with your way of thinking, I do not see how this makes you any more correct...

"The working classes will forever remain downtrodden whilst they continually, positively and absolutely refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and attitudes
- John Lydon, aka 'Johnny Rotten', formerly of the sex pistols and one of the UK's most prolific anarchists."

I find your last paragraph rather curious - you seem to think that you have somehow taken 'ownership' of this thread, and that you have some kind of right to dictate what is discussed here. Curious, and not just a little arrogant, considering you were not even the thread starter.

And I find it curious that you still evade the real question posed by this thread, preferring the opportunity to argue with me about how much I pay my workers. Unless of course, you meant the following as an attempt at justification for inheritance.

Besides which, when (hopefully) I leave an inheritance for my children, it most certainly will not have come 'free' to them. They will already have paid for it several times over by the amount of time they have not been able to spend with me, because I have been away from them earning a wage that will put me in a position to offer an inheritance at the end of it all. And this applies universally, not just to those who work away from home - almost all high earning jobs require long working hours and time away from one's children. In these terms, it is not 'free' at all.

Now don't get me wrong, I do feel sorry for your children if they never see their father. I think this is a very unfortunate situation. But I do not agree that your children will have earned their inheritance by not being able to see their father. At best you could being saying that their inheritance will be a "compensation", as in the sort of compensation people sometimes get when they are injured through neglect of duty in an accident. Do you suggest that you being an absent father is somehow going to make your children less able to earn a decent living? If so how? If not, how is the inheritance justified on the basis of you being absent?

16 blades
31st May 2005, 14:03
My penultimate paragraph argued the question raised by Onan. Try reading it again.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You say a rich man's wealth breeds the poor man's resentment
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No I didn't.


Yes, you did. You have said something similar several times, particularly your line regarding your staff. Are you arguing that because you didn't say THESE EXACT WORDS, that my statement was untrue? If you are, you are simply a troll looking for an argument, and avoiding justification of your views.

Furthermore, those that do choose to work on £5 per hour cannot save for their future, buy nice cars or least of all, leave an inheritance for their children.
Horsesh!t. £5ph gives you £800 per month for a 40hr week - are you seriously suggesting that you cannot live on less than that? I have, as have many others. Perhaps not in London, or most big city centres, but in most of the rest of the country you can. Perhaps your thinking does not extend outside the M25.

The fact is we have a problem in this country where the minimum wage is so low that you can make the same living on the dole. And of course, in this circular thread we seem to have developed somebody is AGAIN going to suggest that we dramatically reduce the level of benefits, at the risk of starvation...

No, I'll say it once again, SLOWLY this time as it is obviously not getting through your swollen head - the problem is that benefits are too generous. To prevent starvation requires only around £30 per week for a family of 4. I know this FOR A FACT because that is approximately what I spend on food, so your starvation argument holds no water. But you cannot see this since your head is so far up your own arse and you are too convinced of your moral superiority to realise that you might be wrong. An awful lot of people live quite comfortably on benefits. The only way you are going to get them off benefits is if their standard of living delivers a degree of hardship. If you somehow think that benefits keep people only just above the 'starvation' line, you obviously do not know anybody who lives on benefits, and are commenting on things you have no knowledge of.

Now don't get me wrong, I do feel sorry for your children if they never see their father. I think this is a very unfortunate situation. But I do not agree that your children will have earned their inheritance by not being able to see their father. At best you could being saying that their inheritance will be a "compensation", as in the sort of compensation people sometimes get when they are injured through neglect of duty in an accident. Do you suggest that you being an absent father is somehow going to make your children less able to earn a decent living? If so how? If not, how is the inheritance justified on the basis of you being absent?
You obviously do not have children if you can make a statement like this. If you do not understand how your absence affects your children, then I cannot explain it to you - you will just have to experience it when you're all grown up. Which you are clearly not at the moment.

16B

Hoping
31st May 2005, 14:52
Your penultimate para argued the question raised by Onan?

I see nothing in a Capitalist philosophy that forbids the acquisition of wealth, advantage or power through means other than your own direct efforts - a case of 'not what you know, but who you know'. After all, you yourself say you gained employment in Greece by using 'connections' - does this not amount to the same thing?

So am I to take that this is an argument along the lines of "Inheritance should be allowed because.....". No, your argument is that there is nothing in "capitalist philosophy" which forbids inheritance. Well did you really think there would be? Which version of the "capitalist philosopher" handbook do you own?! Maybe YOUR capitalist philosophy is one which does not see the system as a competitive system. Maybe your version of capitalism matches pretty well with what we see in Britain today, where innovation and new ideas are held back by the wealthy people who want a captive market. But in the true sense of capitalism, in the sense in which Onan originally phrased his question

What I think we have here is not equality like in Soviet Russia, but equality of opportunity. Everyone has the opportunity to improve themselves.
Having said that, what does inheritance do to this weave of our social fabric? Sure you want to pass on knowledge and you want to pass on genes too, but what good does it do us if there are two people with similar talents and one gets a head start because he is left his parents' business, or given a house or a fancy job?
Would it not serve us better to make both these people work for their positions and then be happy for them that they got it through the application of effort?


inheritance does not further the cause.

And again, no I didn't say that a rich man's wealth breeds a poor man's resentment. What I did say was that if my workers were on £5 per hour it might occur to them that they could reduce their commitment and quality of work and even if they were fired, resort to benefits and live on the same amount of money. £5 per hour does not motivate the most unqualified people to work because they can get the same, more or less, on the dole.

However, it is true in some cases that a rich man's wealth will breed a "not so rich man's" resentment. The FO on £30k per year may be very resentful of another FO on £50k per year. But as you said this is an issue of personal character. MY POINT is that the minimum wage needs to be increased so that the people at the bottom of the pile have a reason to work.

But you disagree,

Horsesh!t. £5ph gives you £800 per month for a 40hr week - are you seriously suggesting that you cannot live on less than that? I have, as have many others. Perhaps not in London, or most big city centres, but in most of the rest of the country you can. Perhaps your thinking does not extend outside the M25.

£5 per hour gives £10000 per year for a 40r week, assuming 2 weeks unpaid holidays, which is £161.25 per week after tax and insurance. Yes, I am suggesting that a person cannot live on less than that in many places in the UK. In fact, I'll go further than that and say that in some areas of our country people have to commute 50 miles every day to work because they simply cannot AFFORD to live closer to their place of work. And my thinking does extend outside the M25. I have never lived within the M25. I have lived in both Scotland and England. How far does YOUR thinking extend? Think about it, do these people have any choice where they live? Have you ever heard of somebody "relocating" from Birmingham to York for a cleaning job for instance?! Most of the people who can only get £5 per hour work live in and around the big cities because this is exactly where that work can be found. To imply that they should live in cheaper parts of the country is nonsense. Who would clean the hospitals inside the M25? Who would do the labouring inside the M25? Who would flip the burgers inside the M25? Who would man the tills at tesco within the M25? Who would do all of the £5 per hour jobs in our big cities if all these people didn't live there?

You go on to say
To prevent starvation requires only around £30 per week for a family of 4

How about preventing malnutrition? How about rent? How about clothes? How about some limited form of transport, such as the bus?

I know this FOR A FACT because that is approximately what I spend on food, so your starvation argument holds no water.

Honestly? Your family of 4 relies on £30 per week for food? You are tight aren't you? I am starting to realise the truth in your argument that your children are entitled to any inheritance they receive as a form of compensation!!!! :) Seriously, I don't believe you. Do they ever eat meat or just lidl value muslei lubricated with water?

And my little snipe above was more than justified by your accusation

But you cannot see this since your head is so far up your own arse and you are too convinced of your moral superiority to realise that you might be wrong.

You obviously do not have children if you can make a statement like this. If you do not understand how your absence affects your children, then I cannot explain it to you - you will just have to experience it when you're all grown up. Which you are clearly not at the moment.

Mate, if you force your whole family (including food for yourself, and any money you pay to their school for lunches) to survive on only £30 worth of food per week then I think it is you who isn't fully understanding the needs of children!

Wingswinger
31st May 2005, 15:19
Hoping,

There weren't any question marks because I didn't ask any questions. I made a statement of opinion with a few simple arguments to support it.

Why do I think that inheritance should be allowed in our "competition-based system"?

First of all, I don't see a contradiction between economic competition and the principle of inheritance.

Second, Inheritance is something which extends beyond mere wealth. We inherit our genes. What are we to do about those people who have a genetic advantage over others? Those who are taller; those who are better-looking; those who are more intelligent; those who are gifted in some way. It is an unalterable fact that, however much left-wing politicians try to persuade us otherwise, people are not equal. There have been plenty of studies published which show that the tall and the beautiful enjoy higher living standards and greater success than those who are less well-endowed. It does not just apply to "celebrities". That relative success is based on something which is undeniably inherited. Should we therefore cut their legs off and give them acne?

Third, it often takes more than one generation to build a business into something that is worth preserving. Don't look at the Bill Gates or Richard Bransons of this world - they are very rare. The majority of people who run businesses do so on a much, much smaller scale and grow them very slowly. What is to happen to these businesses on the owner's death (assuming the business hasn't been sold)? What would happen to the people they employ? I think inheritance is the best way of ensuring the trans-generational continuation of something positive which is the fruit of some-one's ingenuity and hard work.

The same argument can be used to support the inheritance of property, cash and investments. They are a store of capital which would allow some-one to start an independant business if so inclined. From little acorns, great oaks grow. And they create employment.

If we do not allow inheritance we remove a huge incentive to be responsible with our money and assets. If we do not allow inheritance, who is to take our estates? The answer to that is obvious - the state. But, why when time and again politicians and bureaucrats prove their incompetence and corruptibility?

PPRuNe Radar
31st May 2005, 15:28
As it is me that has worked to gain whatever I have left to pass on, as it is me who has paid the taxes on it throughout my life, then it is no concern to anyone else how I decide to dispose of that wealth.

If it is to be left to my kids, then that is my decision. I don't need a Government or any other nanny state organisations to decide what is to be done with it.

Otherwise I'd emigrate to China :E or vote Labour:yuk:

Hoping
31st May 2005, 16:04
Ok wingswinger, thanks. Let us examine your arguments in favour of inheritance.

First of all, I don't see a contradiction between economic competition and the principle of inheritance

Well, I've pointed it out already. Onan also pointed it out earlier. Competition is an event in which persons compete. The idea is that the people will emerge at the end of that competition in rank order according to their abilities. If some of the people in the competition start the competition several "goals" up then it is not inconceivable that they will come out in high rank not so much because of their skills and abilities but because of their starting position. The whole idea of the competition has been defeated. Argue against that, if you can, not just by saying "I don't see" but by tackling the substance of the matter.

Second, Inheritance is something which extends beyond mere wealth. We inherit our genes. What are we to do about those people who have a genetic advantage over others? Those who are taller; those who are better-looking; those who are more intelligent; those who are gifted in some way. It is an unalterable fact that, however much left-wing politicians try to persuade us otherwise, people are not equal. There have been plenty of studies published which show that the tall and the beautiful enjoy higher living standards and greater success than those who are less well-endowed. It does not just apply to "celebrities". That relative success is based on something which is undeniably inherited. Should we therefore cut their legs off and give them acne?

What are we to do about those with a genetic advantage over others? Nothing can be done, as you very well know. But this does not mean that we should not do something about things we DO have control over, such as inheritance.

If you are trying to use the old argument "Genetic strengths can result in financial strengths, genetic inheritance is natural, therefore financial inheritance is also natural" then you are falling into the same trap as somebody else did (arcniz I think) earlier in the thread. You see, the premise of this argument is that genetic traits are naturally inherited and these traits result in financial traits which in turn should also be inherited. But these genetic traits can also be weaknesses as well as strengths. Just as genetic strengths can result in a man making a lot of money, genetic weaknesses can result in another man making a lot of debt. To use the inheritance of genetic traits to justify the inheritance of financial strengths also has the consequence that we should inherit financial weaknesses such as debts. Which I am sure you do not agree with. Your next response will be that in some cases we DO inherit debts. Your example will be along the lines of an estate worth £100k being inherited and part of it having to be sold of to pay debts of say £40k. But this is not inheritance of debt. This is inheritance of £60k. The debt was paid for by the estate before the remainder of the estate was inherited. For instance, if my father leaves me an estate of £100k but has debts of £120k then those debts will be paid off using the estate and I will inherit nothing. I will certainly not inherit the remaining debt of £20k. This is because such a thing would be against the law, for good reason. You cannot use the concept of genetic inheritance to justify financial inheritance unless you are willing to accept the inheritance of debt, as in an heir literally becoming worse off as a result of inheriting a parents debt.

Third, it often takes more than one generation to build a business into something that is worth preserving. Don't look at the Bill Gates or Richard Bransons of this world - they are very rare. The majority of people who run businesses do so on a much, much smaller scale and grow them very slowly. What is to happen to these businesses on the owner's death (assuming the business hasn't been sold)? What would happen to the people they employ? I think inheritance is the best way of ensuring the trans-generational continuation of something positive which is the fruit of some-one's ingenuity and hard work.

Now that is an interesting point. Thinking about it, some heirs would inherit such a business and go on to take it along a positive path, employing people and so on. However, many other heirs would not do this. Many children, upon inheriting their father's business, feel trapped and unhappy about the "responsibility and obligation" of continuing the business. You hear about it all the time. These businesses then go on to become unpleasant places to work and often fail. So, while the inheritance of a business sometimes allows a positive thing to continue, it also sometimes results in the destruction of that positive thing. Wouldn't it be better therefore, for the business to be sold to somebody who really does want to run it and take it somewhere? The inheritance would then be a cash inheritance, just like so many others. This would ensure that those businesses inherited by an unwilling heir would continue to function and grow as well as those that would have been inherited by a willing heir. A better situation for business. Slightly disappointing for Willing Timmy admittedly, but OVERALL better for business and capitalism and our system.

If we do not allow inheritance we remove a huge incentive to be responsible with our money and assets.

Not true. Think of the heir. If a person does NOT receive inheritance they have to be even more careful, responsible, hard working and talented to build up money and assets of their own.

If we do not allow inheritance, who is to take our estates? The answer to that is obvious - the state. But, why when time and again politicians and bureaucrats prove their incompetence and corruptibility?

No, the answer is not obvious. I suggested earlier that the problem could be solved in the following way. In each financial year the assets of those passing away in that financial year could be sold, the cash collected together and the total amount divided into equal portions and given directly to the people of the country as a kind of a windfall. The current level of inheritance tax would MORE THAN pay for the administration of such a system and so the government wouldn't get any more money from us than they already do.

But we are getting away from the point. We are starting to discuss the practicalities of enforcing a ban on inheritance where we should really be talking about the rights and wrongs of the proposition.

Onan the Clumsy
31st May 2005, 16:07
Some interesting responses here (and a lot of :zzz: too)

Radar I understand your point (and the several posts that were similar) but that wasn't the thrust of my original question. I think I'd feel the same way as you too...except I'm spending all mine before I go.

What I was really asking was how inheritence fits in with the theory of equality of opportunity - or more precisely, how it might contradict it. Wingswinger raised this point when he said a business takes several generation to build. So after several generations, there could well be a youngish person with a very affluent background, whose work output is comparable or maybe less than his neighbour who is struggling to get his business off the ground.

This contradicts our notion that our rewards are in someway related to our efforts. I don't see this anomolly in many other places. If a person comits a crime but dies before his prison sentence is finished, we don't look for one of his offspring to complete it.

16 blades
31st May 2005, 21:16
Hoping,

You have now made it obvious that you are simply a troll, since you seek to do nothing other than contradict and inflame others.

Argue against that, if you can
..is the basic theme behind all of your responses so far.

But we are getting away from the point. We are starting to discuss the practicalities of enforcing a ban on inheritance where we should really be talking about the rights and wrongs of the proposition.
WRONG. I, and others on this thread, will discuss any concept or facet of this argument we see fit to. So wind your neck in.

So am I to take that this is an argument along the lines of "Inheritance should be allowed because.....". No, your argument is that there is nothing in "capitalist philosophy" which forbids inheritance.
In other words...(in bold just in case you miss it)...Inheritance should be allowed (in a capitalist system) because there is nothing in 'capitalist philosophy' that forbids it.
You have just contradicted yourself in two sentences, and answered your own question. But I'm sure you'll find some nuance to claim that you haven't, as usual - of course, you are right and we are all wrong.

For my part, I will do whatever I like with my money, and there is fcuk all that you can do about it. Argue against that, if you can.
16B

Hoping
31st May 2005, 22:09
Yes of course, I am a big hairy troll, I live under a bridge and eat passers by. I frequently contradict them when they suggest that it would be unfair for me to eat them. I don't even allow them to argue about being eaten sometimes... Bad me!

WRONG. I, and others on this thread, will discuss any concept or facet of this argument we see fit to. So wind your neck in.

And who are you going to discuss it with 16? You've only been talking to ME on this thread for the past few days...

Inheritance should be allowed (in a capitalist system) because there is nothing in 'capitalist philosophy' that forbids it

But there IS something in capitalist philosophy that CONTRADICTS with inheritance. If you haven't noticed that yet then you really haven't been reading ANY of the posts! Didn't you notice when Onan said "This contradicts our notion that our rewards are in someway related to our efforts."???

Don't you feel like taking this point up and discussing it? Rather than simply stating that there is nothing in capitalist philosophy which forbids inheritance - not very illuminating or convincing.

This is meant to be a discussion, but you are simply re-stating your opinions over and over and over and over and over again, relentlessly, as if saying something repeatedly makes it more true....

Additionally, I notice you don't answer ANY of the various questions I put to you in my previous post.

SyllogismCheck
31st May 2005, 23:05
Hoping, You repeatedly defend your notion that inheritance gives an unfair advantage to those in receipt of it over those not.

I agree that it gives an advantage. I disagree that it is unfair.

You have repeatedly compared the situation to that of, let's say, a football game in which the opening score is 2-0 in favour of one team.
That comparison is obviously vastly over simplified and flawed yet you seem unable either to acknowlede that fact, or perhaps see it at all.
It's quite simply and clearly not the case for one simple reason.

The two teams are in direct competition against one another. The recipient and non-recipient are not.
They are merely two individuals in a whole sea of potential competitors, a sea in which no one is ever on an exactly equal footing, a sea which is continually and dynamically changing in such a way that there is, and never will be, a 0-0 baseline starting point.
One having more than another at the outset does not disadvantage the X'000'000's of people that make up the sum of those 'others' in any way.
Competition between individuals in a society is not a one on one competition in the way your comparison is.

The effect of any individuals advantage over anothers in a society as a whole is so dilute as to be irrelevant.
Surely that's so apparent that even you can see, and must agree with, the fundamental flaw in your own defence of the point?

As an aside, and to take your logic a step further, I presume you advocate then that should the score in a football match be 2-0 at half time and the leading team (one of our theoretical family units?) substitute two players when play is resumed that they should forfeit 2/11ths of their score as a direct result of the fact that two of the players of the eleven now involved in the competition have not earned that advantage, perhaps that the score be reset to 0-0 at the resumption of play, it being, afterall, a game of two halves and an advantage at the start of the second period (generation of family?) be unfair, maybe that after each session of games the whole score table be zeroed as one team would have an advantage for the remainder of the season, that doing so would prevent those at the bottom of the table from falling off it and being excluded from participation in that championship in the next season which you may consider unfair.... and so on...

The logic that an initial advantage is unfair which you promote, as you can clearly see, does not work in it's entirety even in direct competition, which as I have already made clear is far from the situation we are discussing, the one in which it is even less relevant, to such a degree that it is patently irrelevant.

Or perhaps I'm mistaken and you can prove me wrong by specifying an occasion when the recipient of a small, moderate or even a large inheritance has directly hindered you in the advancement of your personal or business life as a direct and manifest result of being in posession of that inheritance?
I suspect that you cannot.

Hoping
31st May 2005, 23:28
Ok, I see your point about a football game being a game of just two players. Take another game instead, with multiple players, such as "monopoly" or "scrabble"... In these games the limiting factor is space in the room, not an intrinsic limit to the number of players.

The majority of the rest of your post builds upon the idea that a two player game is not comparable to a multiplayer competitive system.

You then go on to conjecture that I will not be able to

(specify) an occasion when the recipient of a small, moderate or even a large inheritance has directly hindered (me) in the advancement of (my) personal or business life as a direct and manifest result of being in posession of that inheritance?

As you guessed, I cannot do this. However, I never said ONE man inheriting something is DIRECTLY holding another man back who does not inherit anything. But when you consider ALL of the people inheriting something in comparison with ALL of those who are not inheriting anything, you will quickly see the considerable advantage those inheritors have in the supposedly competitive system. They can succeed more easily. If their businesses are in competition with the business of a non-inheritor they have more spare cash to fight a price war and so on...

This really is all rather straightforward. Inheritance is clearly NOT consistent with the notion that we receive in accordance with our efforts, ability, talent etc. This notion is a capitalist notion. Therefore inheritance is not in accordance with the capitalist system.

To convice anybody otherwise you are going to have to show how inheritance CAN NOT effect a person's ability to succeed in the capitalist, competitive system. You are going to have to be able to show how two men, one with a massive inheritance and one with nothing, have EQUAL chance of success, all else being equal, in our competitive system.

Will you attempt to do this?

SyllogismCheck
31st May 2005, 23:38
But when you consider ALL of the people inheriting something in comparison with ALL of those who are not inheriting anything, you will quickly see the considerable advantage those inheritees have in the supposedly competitive system. That's just it though isn't it, I don't see it. I never have and doubt I ever will. Neither have you, you say so yourself. As I say, dilute to the point of irrelevance. Were that not the case you would quote me example, no doubt.


Ah, an edit. I may attempt it, in due course. For now I've had a rather pleasant dinner during which I consumed the drivers share of the wine, and more besides. An indulgence which denys me the coherence for further constructive discussion right now.
Although I must say, that I think it is far from I who is need of convincing anybody of anything with regards to this particular discussion. ;)

16 blades
31st May 2005, 23:44
How about preventing malnutrition? How about rent? How about clothes? How about some limited form of transport, such as the bus?

Your statement specifically said "starvation", NOT any of the above. Once again you move the goalposts when it suits you.

This is meant to be a discussion, but you are simply re-stating your opinions over and over and over and over and over again, relentlessly, as if saying something repeatedly makes it more true....
...which is exactly what you have been doing. You do not 'discuss' at all - you state your flawed assuptions that if ony we did 'A-B-C' then 'X-Y-Z' would happen. When others on this thread challenge those assumptions, you nitpick their replies and hang an entirely different argument on points of trivia, as it appears you cannot possibly stand being wrong or have others disagree with you. You then DEMAND that people answer questions in certain ways, when they make a good argument that you find difficult to challenge. Finally, when people's patience with you runs out, you make parting comments such as "so you don't want to discuss the issues" or "so you've given up then", as if you cannot stand not having the last word. Do you not feel that this is somewhat childish?

I would love to DISCUSS issues with you, but you seem incapable of accepting any viewpoint other than your own. The only option that leaves is to pick apart your posts to find inconsistencies in your arguments. You do not say "it is possible that..." or "I believe that..."; you seem to deal only in absolutes, which comes across as arrogant.

You may wish to look at this website, www.capitalism.org/faq/inheritance.htm - an extract is below:

Inheritance
Does a man have a right to give his wealth to his children?
The right to dispose of one's income belongs to the producer, and if he wishes to give it to an heir, a charity, or to flush it down the toilet -- that is the producer's right. It is not any of your concern, and it certainly is not the concern of the government.

Doesn't capitalism "centralize" wealth via inheritance?
As wealth is not a static quantity, to be looted and stolen, the wealth that you can earn is not affected by how much wealth someone else has, creates, or inherits. Since wealth is the result of man's mind, as long as someone has a mind, and is left free to use it, wealth is his to create.

As the creation of wealth is not automatic, those who cannot manage their wealth, will soon lose it. As evidence of this fact witness what happens when a rich man passes on his money to a worthless heir -- the heir soon loses it. Such is the meaning behind the popular American saying, "from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations."


Suggested Reading:

See "Common Fallacies About Capitalism" in Ayn Rand's Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Oh, and your comment regarding how I care for my children was unforgivable. Please now take the opportunity to retract that statement and display a touch of maturity and humility by editing your post. I attacked you because I percieve you as arrogant and out of touch. If you must attack me in return, leave my children out of it.

16B

Hoping
31st May 2005, 23:57
You suggested that I could not

(specify) an occasion when the recipient of a small, moderate or even a large inheritance has directly hindered (me) in the advancement of (my) personal or business life as a direct and manifest result of being in posession of that inheritance?

How about this example?

While I was at university I had to work outside my studies to get by. This had the effect that I could not devote all my time to studies. Some of my peers, who were of similar intelligence to me (I was there so I am a better judge of that than you), had inheritances from their grandparents which they used to cover their living expenses and so they were able to devote more time to their studies. The result of this was that they did better in their exams than I did. The result of this was that some of them got a higher class of degree than I did. The result of this was that when I applied for the same jobs as them, they often were invited to interviews whereas I was not. In competition, they did better than me, even though I made just as much effort, if not more, and had at least their level of intelligence and talent. The reason? Their inheritance.

Of course, the trap you have laid for me is as follows. You asked for an example. I gave you one. You are now going to try to tie me in knots by disputing every little point in the story. You wil suggest that my colleagues were more talented than me, that they wrote better essays in their applications than I did and so on. But before you do that, ask yourself the question, if this were true, couldn't it be put down to the fact that they had more time to prepare their applications because they didn't have to work for their food?

Even if I could not have cited an example from my past, I would have been able to come up with typical examples from our system. For example, it is not at all unreasonable to accept that the following situation could come into existence.

Man A and Man B set up competing companies offering services. Man A and Man B are both resourceful, intelligent and so on. The only difference between them is that Man A has £100'000 in spare cash from an inheritance. Their businesses end up in competition. They end up having a price war. Man A wins because even though his profits are cut he can keep the business above water using his £100'000 inheritance whereas Man B quickly has to call in the accountants to liquidate his business. As soon as Man B has stopped trading, Man A increases his prices again.

SyllogismCheck
1st Jun 2005, 00:29
Actually I will attempt it now. I have to wait up to hear of my drivers safe return home anyway.
(A girl of too many sensibilities I fear. :rolleyes: )

The capitalist, competitive system in which we live is one of growth is it not? Of accumulation of wealth, both material and monetary, one and the same thing indeed. Of a forward thinking and progressive society. A society driven to succeed.

As I have stated the man with the inheritance does indeed have an advantage. However this is not at the cost of the man without.
No one is hindered. This is important.

By your reasoning we would have a regressive society. We would strip away further chances of success from those whom already have the tools, however they be acquired, to increase their chances of building on that success.
Doing this would not enhance the chances for others, whom we have already established to your agreement, are not disadvantaged in any way by the advantages of others.
That is wholly in opposition of the principles of a capitalist system is it not?
You promote the idea of a system that seeks to actively hinder some, rather than one in which success is allowed and encouraged.

You seek to play one consideration of the system off against another. Granted, you may say that I also do this in the reverse. My tkae on it would seem to be in accord with the system, yours in opposition.

Further to your last post. You were not disadvantaged. They were advantaged. Can you not see the difference? Would you not like to provide that advantage to your own children?
Is the desire to do so, the opportunity for us all to do so, not in fact the very motivation that drives a capitalist system?

It seems to me that thanks to my earlier over indulgence I am equally as incapable, as I suspected I may be, of making a concise and competent defence of my point at present as you are of seing how your notion of stripping away wealth in the name of equality as opposed to the encouragment of the accumulation of it for the same purpose is in discord with the system you feel that very notion would enhance.

Edit to add: Actually, this post is of little merit. It may well cause another unnecessary tangental complication. Maybe I'll come back to this when clearer thinking prevails.

Hoping
1st Jun 2005, 00:30
Your only argument appears to be that you don't like the way I argue 16B.

I don't know what else to say to you really.

If you are offended by my suggestion that £30 per week for the food of a family of four is not enough I am sorry. But you brought your family and their £30 per week food budget into this, not me.

When I was a student I used to eat the cheapest food I could find. I still spent about £15 to £20 on food per week. I didn't eat out. That was years ago. Do you really expect us to believe that today your family of FOUR survives on £30 worth of food per week?!

I don't believe you. Therefore, my comments

Honestly? Your family of 4 relies on £30 per week for food? You are tight aren't you? I am starting to realise the truth in your argument that your children are entitled to any inheritance they receive as a form of compensation!!!! Seriously, I don't believe you. Do they ever eat meat or just lidl value muslei lubricated with water?
and
Mate, if you force your whole family (including food for yourself, and any money you pay to their school for lunches) to survive on only £30 worth of food per week then I think it is you who isn't fully understanding the needs of children!
were made mostly in jest and partly in an attempt to get you to admit that you really spend a lot MORE than £30 per week on the food for a family of four. Judging by some of the unpleasant things you have said to me, I guessed you were not so sensitive.

Do you think you and I are getting anywhere with our chats 16b? I addressed all of your arguments in your last constructive post. I also asked important and relevant questions. You answered very few of them. Most of your recent posts are simply a rant. Our conversation is circular. This cannot be said of the conversations I am having with other contributors such as Syllogism and Wingswinger, even though they are of the same opinion as you. Furthermore, you've started to get offended.

Syllogism

Actually I will attempt it now. I have to wait up to hear of my drivers safe return home anyway.
(A girl of too many sensibilities I fear. )
How nice! I’m pretty tired too, and so I find your most recent post hard to understand, but I’ll have a go...
The capitalist, competitive system in which we live is one of growth is it not? Of accumulation of wealth, both material and monetary, one and the same thing indeed. Of a forward thinking and progressive society. A society driven to succeed.
A number of inconsistencies there I’m afraid. Yes, the system is meant to be one of growth. But not the growth of individual stores of money. There is a limited amount of money. The growth of one pile of money is the shrinkage of other pile(s) of money. Growth of ideas, technology etc yes. A forward thinking and progressive society, yes, in theory. But in reality, no. Look at Dyson’s struggles to get off the ground in the UK.
As I have stated the man with the inheritance does indeed have an advantage. However this is not at the cost of the man without.
No one is hindered. This is important.
You have to defend this point. Not just state it. I have given examples, Man A and Man B previously, where Man B without the inheritance is disadvantaged in his competition with Man A.
By your reasoning we would have a regressive society. We would strip away further chances of success from those whom already have the tools, however they be acquired, to increase their chances of building on that success.
No. We would strip away financial assets from dead people. Their heirs would have nothing REMOVED from them, they would simply be denied a head start.
Doing this would not enhance the chances for others, whom we have already established to your agreement, are not disadvantaged in any way by the advantages of others.
When did I agree this?
That is wholly in opposition of the principles of a capitalist system is it not?
Well, what you describe would be in opposition to the principles of a capitalist system. But what you describe is not what I am proposing.
You promote the idea of a system that seeks to actively hinder some, rather than one in which success is allowed and encouraged.
No, I promote a system where inheritance from people passing away is divided up among all of us, a system where we all start financially equal and any “getting ahead” is due to talent, ability and work.
You seek to play one consideration of the system off against another. Granted, you may say that I also do this in the reverse. My tkae on it would seem to be in accord with the system, yours in opposition.
No, I don’t I seek to give people equal opportunity, so that intelligence, ability and hard work are the ingredients for success, rather than inheritance and undeserved advantage.
rther to your last post. You were not disadvantaged. They were advantaged. Can you not see the difference?
Is anybody disadvantaged then? By your logic I would say not. Anybody claiming to be disadvantaged is in fact confused. It is their competitors that are advantaged.
Would you not like to provide that advantage to your own children?
Is the desire to do so, the opportunity for us all to do so, not in fact the very motivation that drives a capitalist system?
Yes I would, given that I live in this system where inheritance is allowed. I want to give my children any advantage that others can legally obtain in this system. I do think that the system would be more consistent and work better without this particular facility of inheritance though. And no, inheritance is not in fact the very motivation that drives a capitalist system. It is self interest that is supposed to be the very motivation that drives a capitalist system.

It seems to me that I am as equally incapable, as I suspected I would be just now, of making a concise and competent defence of my point as you are of seing how your notion of stripping away wealth in the name of equality as opposed to the encouragment of the accumulation of it for the same purpose is in discord with the system you feel your notion would enhance.
But I am NOT in favour of stripping away wealth. To refuse to give somebody money for free is not to strip away wealth. To give money to somebody for free is to strip away the value of money. I repeat, I am in favour of distributing all wealth of the dead among the remaining population equally. To say that I am in favour of stripping away wealth by not granting inheritance in the traditional form is equally as invalid as for me to say that you are in favour of stripping away wealth in refusing to give inheritance to an arbitrary person when it was initially left to the child of the deceased. Before the heir inherits the money he/she doesn’t have that money. Therefore, to refuse the heir’s inheritance is not the removal or stripping of wealth.

Anyway, until tomorrow!

16 blades
1st Jun 2005, 02:31
I do not 'force' myself and my family to survive on £30 pw for food. Our diet consists mainly of fresh vegetables & fruit, rice or potatoes and large cuts of meat bought at wholesale prices from farm shops and the like. It is a healthy and wholesome diet, and provides everything we need, both in quantity and nutritional content. It is all home cooked - we do not buy much pre-prepared or processed food. This costs, on average, £30 per week. Granted, it is not luxury eating, but we have simple tastes. Occasionally, we will eat out, but only occasionally. I am not asking you to believe this - I am making a statement of fact - a fact that I know, and you do not.

My point was that NOBODY will starve or be malnourished if benefits are cut to a more reasonable level. I know many people who live on benefits. They drive a car (larger families often have 2 or more). They go on foreign holidays. They smoke like chimneys and get pissed regularly. They have Sattelite TV, widescreen tellys, the latest chav fashions, playstations, iPods, computers, nice furniture and expensive toys. This is hardly the image of 'near starvation' that you portray. I do not believe you when you claim this - on what are you basing this belief?

As far as I can tell, the 'questions' that you asked in the post you refer to were:
Think about it, do these people have any choice where they live? Have you ever heard of somebody "relocating" from Birmingham to York for a cleaning job for instance?! Most of the people who can only get £5 per hour work live in and around the big cities because this is exactly where that work can be found. To imply that they should live in cheaper parts of the country is nonsense. Who would clean the hospitals inside the M25? Who would do the labouring inside the M25? Who would flip the burgers inside the M25? Who would man the tills at tesco within the M25? Who would do all of the £5 per hour jobs in our big cities if all these people didn't live there?

This is a case where market forces will dictate wages. If you cannot get people to do these jobs for minimum wage in certain areas, due to cost of living considerations, the market will dictate a higher wage (as is generally the case in London - even HM's finest are paid a 'London Weighting' allowance) and those employers not willing to pay it will struggle to recruit. This however, does NOT make a case for a universal increase in the NATIONAL minimum wage.

Since you are demanding that only Onan's original question, as he phrased it, be answered, I have scoured the WWW for some definitions of capitalism. The following seems to be universally accepted:
Economic system characterized by the following: private property ownership exists; individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain; and free market forces determine the prices of goods and services. Such a system is based on the premise of separating the state and business activities. Capitalists believe that markets are efficient and should thus function without interference, and the role of the state is to regulate and protect.
(italics mine)source: several 'dictionary' sites duplicate this definition verbatim
Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights.
source: www.capitalism.org
..seems also to be a popular, although somewhat more philosophical, definition.

It follows from the above that individual rights, including the right to dispose of one's wealth as one sees fit, is a founding priciple of capitalism. Capitalism provides that an individuals's rights in this area are sovereign, ie cannot (or SHOULD not) be taken away. Whilst competition is a feature, or more precisely, a result of capitalism, it is not a founding principle - CO-OPERATION, however, IS a founding principle. Workers sell their labour to an employer, who compensates them by paying them a wage. This is done by MUTUAL AGREEMENT - the worker agrees to what work he will do, and when, and the employer agrees to pay the worker a certain rate for their time. If the worker is being truly underpaid (as determined by the open market), another employer will most likely offer a higher wage to attract them and the worker is free to seek employment with them.

A person giving an inheritance is exercising his sovereign, individual right, as defined by capitalism, to dispose of his wealth as he sees fit. Whilst this may be seen, from certain points of view, as UN-competitive, it is NOT, bearing in mind the above definitions, UN-capitalist.

16B

Hoping
1st Jun 2005, 12:48
Hello again 16B, I’m glad you’ve simmered down a bit.
I eat very similarly to you, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables and the like. I find it is more expensive than eating pre-prepared or processed food. The only processed food I do eat is canned tuna. I wanted to eat fresh tuna but found it was twice the price. Anyway, I suspect that in your calculation you have overlooked the money you spend on school lunches and your own food while you are away from home. Add these costs in and I expect you will get a figure higher than £30 per week for a family of four.
My point was that NOBODY will starve or be malnourished if benefits are cut to a more reasonable level. I know many people who live on benefits. They drive a car (larger families often have 2 or more). They go on foreign holidays. They smoke like chimneys and get pissed regularly. They have Sattelite TV, widescreen tellys, the latest chav fashions, playstations, iPods, computers, nice furniture and expensive toys. This is hardly the image of 'near starvation' that you portray. I do not believe you when you claim this - on what are you basing this belief?
What kind of benefits are we talking about here exactly? Is it the simple Dole and housing benefit situation or are the people claiming things like disability allowance and carers allowance etc? For instance, there are families where the wife is disabled and the husband HAS to stay at home to look after her. In these cases, in addition to the dole and housing/council tax benefit they get disability and carers allowance. This means they do have more than enough money than they need just to survive. They can run a car, go on holidays very occasionally.
Another explanation for what you see is that the people concerned are doing work “on the side” to supplement their dole and housing benefit payments. This isn’t too hard to do, even with Gordon brown in charge of tax collection!
I assure you that if a person in in receipt of the dole and housing benefit and nothing more, there is NO WAY they can live in the way you describe. What am I basing this belief upon? MY OWN DIRECT EXPERIENCE. Having paid large amounts of tax and NI to our government, on the few occasions that I been unemployed I have not hesitated to claim the dole AND housing/council tax benefit. This left me with £56 per week to pay the following for a single man:

Food
Water rates
Electricity
Gas
Telephone (required for job searching)
Basic bus transport (required for job searching)
Clothing (required for job searching and other outdoor activities

Let me assure you that to cover all of these expenses, shopping cheaply and never going out for a beer, was a very tight proposition indeed. Therefore, I know from direct experience, that to reduce the level of standard benefits would not merely result in scroungers not being able to go on holiday. Have you lived on the dole and housing benefit? Can you speak from direct personal experience?

This is a case where market forces will dictate wages. If you cannot get people to do these jobs for minimum wage in certain areas, due to cost of living considerations, the market will dictate a higher wage (as is generally the case in London - even HM's finest are paid a 'London Weighting' allowance) and those employers not willing to pay it will struggle to recruit. This however, does NOT make a case for a universal increase in the NATIONAL minimum wage.

Actually, no, you are wrong. I am aware of many jobs paying just £5 per hour in the centre of Edinburgh, a very expensive city. The market is NOT dictating that the wages are increased. Instead, the workers are living 30 miles out of town and packing six people at a time into cars to go to their early morning cleaning jobs in the city centre. To check, I just did a quick job search for “cleaner” in London and found many cleaning positions advertised at £4.85, £5.00, £5.50 per hour. I personally know adults who are sleeping two people (same sex) per small room to live within reasonable commuting distance from their place of work in London.

Since you are demanding that only Onan's original question, as he phrased it, be answered, I have scoured the WWW for some definitions of capitalism.
Yes, how unreasonable! The two “definitions” you came up with were quite a disappointment to you no? Let us consider them.

An economic system characterized by the following: private property ownership exists; individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain; and free market forces determine the prices of goods and services. Such a system is based on the premise of separating the state and business activities. Capitalists believe that markets are efficient and should thus function without interference, and the role of the state is to regulate and protect.

Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights.

There is the key statement that “individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain”. I would say that this is the most important mechanism by which the capitalist system works. Therefore, anything which renders this competition deterministic or non-competitive would be in contradiction with the whole ethos of capitalism. Inheritance does exactly this. Inheritance spoils the competition and gives inheritors a greater chance of success in the competition than non-inheritors of similar ability.

The part about individual rights is hardly specific. One man may claim that it is his "individual right" to do the most outrageous things. Many unreasonable “individual rights” of the past have been revoked. Just because something is currently lawful does not mean it will always be lawful. Therefore, we cannot use the current state of the law to determine individual rights in this kind of philosophical discussion. What can we use then? Since we are talking about “individual rights” in the capitalist system we do have one tool for selection, namely the working of the capitalist system. Any “individual right” which undermines the workings of the capitalist system must be, by definition, “un-capitalist”. Therefore, the supposed “individual right” of inheritance should not be allowed.

But let us look at this more carefully rather than taking the scythe of capitalism to the throat of inheritance so easily. Can we even term inheritance an “individual right” in the first place? An “individual” in the capitalist system has to be defined first. The obvious definition is that an individual is an active player in the system, able to participate in the system of competition, able to buy, sell and act as an player in the system. These individuals have the rights of individuals while they are individuals. But what about when they die? Are they still individuals with those rights? Obviously not, by the definition above. A dead man does not compete, buy or sell anything in the capitalist system. In the capitalist system a dead man represents nothing more than a positive or negative amount of unassigned money, depending on how well or badly he/she has competed in the system. No, dead people are no longer “individuals” in the capitalist system and can no longer be given the rights of individuals. Even if they were, it has yet to be established that an individual right is to leave inheritance because such a right would contradict directly with the very workings of the capitalist system.

And where you get the rest of your information from baffles me. What is all this about soveriegn values? Certain values being above the very workings of capitalism...

Capitalism provides that an individuals's rights in this area are sovereign, ie cannot (or SHOULD not) be taken away. Whilst competition is a feature, or more precisely, a result of capitalism, it is not a founding principle

and even if you do manaege to find and quote a right wing website where somebody explicity "declares" that inheritance or individual rights come before competition in their take on capitalism, does that mean you are right and I am wrong? Who owns capitalism? Who made it? Surely the "right" version of capitalism is the one which works most effectively through competition in producing progress and a decent, although not necessarily equal, standard of living for all the people in the system.

To justify inheritance don't you really need to show how inheritance furthers the cause of capitalism through its main source of motion, namely competition, rather than finding other people to say they think inheritance should be allowed in their take on capitalism? I don't doubt that there are people willing to state their opinions. But surely you need to argue your OWN, or at least quote another person's argument of a similar opinion to your own...

Paterbrat
1st Jun 2005, 15:21
Hoping compare the results of building upon previously accumulated wealth or knowledge, and starting from scratch every time and decide which further civilisation, science medicine engineering poetry art or any other human endevour more.

You might also since you seem to have an altruistic and idealistic bent tell us why it might be that Africa is in need of the assistance it appears to. Could it be the start from scratch each time on a level playing field syndrome or something entirely different? Inheritance as far as I know has been practiced there without let or hindrance could it have spoilt their competitiveness.

"Inheritance does exactly this. Inheritance spoils the competition and gives inheritors a greater chance of success in the competition than non-inheritors of similar ability."

Perhaps those in the rich nations simply left more. They do seem to have built upon it reasonably successfully and created a situation today where there is the wealth to tax and create the means whereby the poorer sections of society have acess to benefits unknown to those in the poorer countries.

Surely 'one which works most effectively through competition in producing progress and a decent, although not necessarily equal, standard of living for all the people in the system' to quote you.

Since some good appears to have arisen from what you appear to think should not be allowed speak on.

Hoping
1st Jun 2005, 18:53
Hello again Peter,
Hoping compare the results of building upon previously accumulated wealth or knowledge, and starting from scratch every time and decide which further civilisation, science medicine engineering poetry art or any other human endevour more.
I never said that previously accumulated knowledge should not be passed down. I DO say that previous accumulated knowledge SHOULD be passed down, but not just to the select few, to everyone, as in “education for all”, once one of our proud British mottos. In exactly the same way I believe the wealth of one generation should be passed down to the next, again not just to the select few, but to everyone. I have explained the mechanism by which this could be done repeatedly in previous posts. If we can do it with knowledge, why can’t we do it with wealth? If we believe it is right to pass knowledge down through the generations not to the select few, but to everybody, why not the same for wealth?
You might also since you seem to have an altruistic and idealistic bent tell us why it might be that Africa is in need of the assistance it appears to. Could it be the start from scratch each time on a level playing field syndrome or something entirely different? Inheritance as far as I know has been practiced there without let or hindrance could it have spoilt their competitiveness.
I find that paragraph a bit difficult to understand. I can’t tell if you are trying to suggest that inheritance is allowed or not allowed in Africa. I also think it is more than obvious that Africa’s problems are more complicated that “inheritance or not”…
"Inheritance does exactly this. Inheritance spoils the competition and gives inheritors a greater chance of success in the competition than non-inheritors of similar ability."

Perhaps those in the rich nations simply left more. They do seem to have built upon it reasonably successfully and created a situation today where there is the wealth to tax and create the means whereby the poorer sections of society have acess to benefits unknown to those in the poorer countries.
Again you’ve lost me…. sorry

Surely 'one which works most effectively through competition in producing progress and a decent, although not necessarily equal, standard of living for all the people in the system' to quote you.

Since some good appears to have arisen from what you appear to think should not be allowed speak on.
I think you are saying that since we in the west have a higher standard of living than the people in the third world then we must be doing something right. However, I do not see how this should be a reason not to discuss how our system can be improved. After all, we DO have some considerable problems of our own, although I admit we are more or less safe to go out into the streets, most of the time.

16 blades
2nd Jun 2005, 04:23
Hoping,
Anyway, I suspect that in your calculation you have overlooked the money you spend on school lunches and your own food while you are away from home.
No, I have not. My children eat only that which we prepare for them, as do I. Again, a statement of fact, that I am aware of and you are not, that you will simply have to accept.

What kind of benefits are we talking about here exactly? Is it the simple Dole and housing benefit situation or are the people claiming things like disability allowance and carers allowance etc?
Have you lived on the dole and housing benefit? Can you speak from direct personal experience?
Yes I can - I have close friends and family members who live on benefits. Those who refuse to work, and have no intention of working, claim all manner of 'disability' benefits in addition to unemployment benefit and housing benefit. There are no checks and balances to prevent them from doing so. The 'demon' of "back pain" is a golden goose to those willing to claim it, and it is virtually impossible to disprove - I know no-one who claims unemployment benefit who doesn't 'put in for backache' because it is regarded as the 'done thing'. Even your almighty £8 per hour cannot combat this one, as a nicely comfortable lifestyle is accessible this way without having to lift a finger. Hence my call to cut benefits (ALL benefits). And before you cry "But you should shop them!", as undoubtedly you will, I would like to point out that I ALREADY HAVE - and NOTHING was done. I therefore repeat my assertion, through my personal experience and knowledge, that THESE PEOPLE WILL NOT WORK UNTILL THE SYSTEM STOPS FUNDING A FREE 'LIFESTYLE', NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY IS ON OFFER.

Let us examine this - how much does one have to earn in order to make a lifestyle better than that which the current system offers? What they get for FREE:

Free housing
Free Council Tax
Free Car (motability)
Approx £500 / month, consisting of Unemployment benefit / income support, tax credits, disability living allowance, carer's allowance.
TOTAL £500 (approx) disposable.

Let's take just those 4 variables and compare that to somebody on average earnings of £25K pa:

Monthly salary (after tax & NI): £1500 approx
Housing: £500-£800 pm, location dependent (your own figures, as used earlier in this thread, and not unreasonable)
Council tax: £100 pm, average (often much more)
Car: £300 pm (based on repayments on the kind of car one gets for 'free', with no upfront payments, from motability schemes)
TOTAL: £300-£600 disposable.

As you can see, it would take A HELL OF A LOT MORE than your measly £8/ph to make it worthwhile coming off benefits, more than even a pinko lefty employer like you could afford to pay an unskilled worker, if he wanted to stay in business that is. Before you dispute this, I will remind you of the following:

1. I do not know A SINGLE PERSON who, whilst capable of working, and choosing not to, whilst claiming unemployment benefit, does not play the system to the full and claim disability benefits as well

2. I have EXTENSIVE knowledge of numerous people who do this - it aggreives me even more because I have a family member who is GENUINELY severely physically disabled - it is from him that I derive my numbers regarding what you can get for free, and the levels of DLA and carers allowance. I also know, through this family member, that the rates of DLA and carers allowance are IDENTICAL whether or not you are genuinely disabled, or just a lazy c**t claiming to suffer from back pain or 'depression'.

So, whilst your assertion that living 'on the dole' is no picnic isn't untrue in itself, you can see that very few, if any, simply live 'on the dole'. Why would you, when you can get so much more by just lying? That, my friend, is how it works in the REAL WORLD.

Actually, no, you are wrong. I am aware of many jobs paying just £5 per hour in the centre of Edinburgh, a very expensive city. The market is NOT dictating that the wages are increased.
It will do, as soon as people stop turning up to take these jobs. I think you'll find that an awful lot of these jobs are being taken up by newly arrived immigrants, who, compared to their home countries, think they've just struck gold, (or students, who don't know any better) Even they, in time, will cotton on (usually as soon as they've been here long enough to qualify for benefits).

There is the key statement that “individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain”. I would say that this is the most important mechanism by which the capitalist system works

You have taken ONE sentence from the definition and hinged your entire argument on it. Argue your point IN THE CONTEXT of the whole statement - as you have urged me and others to do previously.

The part about individual rights is hardly specific.
...and that is THE WHOLE POINT. Capitalism is about FREEDOM - an individual's right to do AS HE PLEASES with his wealth. It is the founding basis of capitalism. As I stated, capitalism CREATES competition, it does not DEPEND upon it to exist in the first place. It DOES depend upon FREEDOM TO DO AS YOU CHOOSE WITH YOUR MONEY - without this, there is no starting block for the system to run from. You are viewing the term 'capitalism' in the narrowest of terms - defining it as the mere interactions between businesses in the market. Capitalism is an IDEA, a POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY - NOT just a system of exchanging beer vouchers for beer (or other goods, should one wish). AT IT'S HEART is the concept that individuals are free to do as they wish with their wealth. Take that simple precept away, and you kill the very idea of capitalism stone dead.

and even if you do manaege to find and quote a right wing website where somebody explicity "declares" that inheritance or individual rights come before competition in their take on capitalism, does that mean you are right and I am wrong?
And now, finally, we see the source of all your dogma. If it's a RIGHT-WING website, it MUST be wrong, of course. You are blinded by LEFT WING ideology, hence you dismiss out of hand ANY argument which comes fromn 'the right'.

An “individual” in the capitalist system has to be defined first. The obvious definition is that an individual is an active player in the system, able to participate in the system of competition, able to buy, sell and act as an player in the system. These individuals have the rights of individuals while they are individuals. But what about when they die? Are they still individuals with those rights? Obviously not, by the definition above. A dead man does not compete, buy or sell anything in the capitalist system. In the capitalist system a dead man represents nothing more than a positive or negative amount of unassigned money, depending on how well or badly he/she has competed in the system. No, dead people are no longer “individuals” in the capitalist system and can no longer be given the rights of individuals.
A silly and pointless argument - Wills, and the giving and division of inheritance, are made whilst people are still living, and still 'players' in the system. They have exercised their rights under the system, and given legally binding instructions on how and when these rights are to be enacted. I've never seen a dead man write a will before - this whole paragraph is, therefore, irrelevant.

And where you get the rest of your information from baffles me.
Are you incapable of following a hyperlink? I posted my sources clearly.

One man may claim that it is his "individual right" to do the most outrageous things. Many unreasonable “individual rights” of the past have been revoked. Just because something is currently lawful does not mean it will always be lawful. Therefore, we cannot use the current state of the law to determine individual rights in this kind of philosophical discussion.
Another pointless statement - we are not discussing the system as it "may be", "will be", or , as some think, "should be" - we are talking about it as it IS, in the here and now. Discussion of how inheritance may fit in with future changes to the system is therefore irrelelvant, if we are to stick with the question in the context in which it was asked, as you have REPEATEDLY demanded.

But surely you need to argue your OWN, or at least quote another person's argument of a similar opinion to your own...
er......that's EXACTLY what I did. Did you not read my post, containing the arguments of other people whose views are similar to my own?

The 'definitions' I posted came from numerous searches - the longer one is, in fact, the dictionary definition of capitalism, which seems to be universally accepted (at least among folks far more intelligent that you or I). Perhaps you can post an alternative definition (a researched one, not one you have just made up) that describes the kind of 'capitalism' we could find on Planet Hoping, since it seems to bear no relation to the one we find on planet earth, and is (like American Express) accepted everywhere.

16B

Wingswinger
2nd Jun 2005, 08:51
Hoping, young man

Please do not tell me what I am thinking. It is more than a touch presumptuous. As well as arrogant.

I'm afraid that if you wish to discuss the rights and wrongs of inheritance you really must also talk about the practicalities of enforcing a ban. As with all such matters the devil is in the detail.

I don't see why I shouldn't say " I don't see a contradiction between inheritance and competition". I don't.

I'm sorry, you are just plain wrong about banning inheritance not removing an incentive to be responsible. If I am not allowed to bequeath my house and my assets to my offspring, if they are to be sold on my death and given to "the people" then either they will be given away long before to whomsoever I desire to give them to or I will make sure that there is not a penny left by the time I shuffle off this mortal coil. Now I know one cannot predict the exact moment of one's demise (unless one commits suicide) so I would anticipate spending a period just before death living in free accommodation on benefits. It's human nature, you know.

Re the forced sale of businesses on the demise of the proprietors: The unwilling inheritors are always free to sell. The "Willing Timmies" would have no incentive to join the business if they were not to inherit. That's the end of long-established family businesses, then. Who would buy them? why, other businesses which have created sufficient value to take a risk on expansion/diversification. Very quickly small businesses would disappear and with them peoples' opportunity to be independent.

Who are "The People" to whom you would give the proceeds of all the forced sales of assets? Many of "The People" are undeserving. In our times "society" has become fractured and there are many groups within it to whom I have no wish to contribute in any way. Who would administer such sales and disperse the monies? Private companies under contract to the state or civil servants?

The trap you have fallen into is the assumption that inheritance can only be seen in the context a capitalist economy. Inheritance existed long before the rise of capitalism as I am sure you know. It is (almost) as old as the hills. It frees people from the need to constantly do business or trade their labour; it allows people to devote greater time and effort to the arts or science or to travel and so expand their minds; it gives people the opportunity to be independent of both the state and an employer. Those benefits in themselves make inheritance a good thing. It is a shame that not everyone can enjoy it. I have inherited nothing so far and my expectations are modest, coming as I do from a modest background. However my offspring will inherit and continue the rise of my line from nothing which was started by my father.

Marry, have children, if you have not already done so. Live and work another 25 years and then see how you feel

I think it could be time to have a vote on this.

All in favour of inheritance remaining a central feature of western liberal democracy say "aye".






AYE

ORAC
2nd Jun 2005, 08:55
I am totally against inheritance.

I mean, why couldn´t I have been tall and good looking instead of short, squat and myopic. :{

Argus
2nd Jun 2005, 09:03
"AYE" ... but I have to say 15 words or more: Aye x 15.

Hoping
2nd Jun 2005, 12:23
Unlike you, 16B, I am going to make some concessions, because you really have tackled some of the issues this time and argued properly.
I agree wholeheartedly that people pretending to be sick and then claiming a whole raft of disability and carers allowance type benefits are scum. I know some people who tried to do exactly that. I remember the girl in question laughing about it later and saying how she pretended to cry from pain when the doctor came for a visit to check her condition. This girl has never had a job and claimed this benefit at the age of 18 or 19. Her husband who also hasn’t done a lot of work in his life, didn’t claim disability allowance (hers was enough to keep them better than just the dole and housing benefit) but did claim the dole and didn’t work. The result? The fellow now has a REAL case of agoraphobia! Now he really would find it hard to go out to work on a daily basis. How ridiculous, he brought it all on himself. So I agree with you 16B that this happens and it is totally out of order. I don’t agree that EVERYBODY is doing this, I’ve been on the dole before and I didn’t do it. I know other people who have been on the dole, and they didn’t do it. It is just some people who do it, and they tend to be the kind who NEVER work, even at the age of 16 when they have just left school. So perhaps it would be better to change the system and make it so that you can’t get the dole until you have contributed a certain amount in national insurance. I DO NOT agree that a sudden and complete blanket ending of all benefits and dole would be a good thing.
2. I have EXTENSIVE knowledge of numerous people who do this - it aggreives me even more because I have a family member who is GENUINELY severely physically disabled - it is from him that I derive my numbers regarding what you can get for free, and the levels of DLA and carers allowance. I also know, through this family member, that the rates of DLA and carers allowance are IDENTICAL whether or not you are genuinely disabled, or just a lazy c**t claiming to suffer from back pain or 'depression'.
I also have a family member who is severely physically disabled (MS) and my mother has a heart and lung problem. Therefore, I believe that to implement your fascist plan of suddenly and completely stopping all benefits of any kind would lead to serious serious problems for some genuinely sick people. We need to improve the system so that people don’t claim when they have no need to. An increase in the minimum wage would give at least SOME reason to go out to work rather than stay on benefits. After all, most people start on the standard dole and housing benefit (less than £8 per hour) and then “graduate” to other benefits a few years later when they think up or start imagining other ailments as a result of sitting around all day doing nothing.
It will do, as soon as people stop turning up to take these jobs. I think you'll find that an awful lot of these jobs are being taken up by newly arrived immigrants, who, compared to their home countries, think they've just struck gold, (or students, who don't know any better) Even they, in time, will cotton on (usually as soon as they've been here long enough to qualify for benefits).
Now while I agree that it is often immigrants doing the low paid jobs I do not agree that they mostly “cotton on” and start living on benefits instead. These kind of people are of a very different kind to the British. They have a totally different concept of life. They come here from torture and oppression dreaming of making their way in the world and working hard. I’ve met so many of them and I admire their strength and courage. It is offensive to compare them to the idle British scum at the very pit of our society.
You have taken ONE sentence from the definition and hinged your entire argument on it. Argue your point IN THE CONTEXT of the whole statement - as you have urged me and others to do previously.
Now I put forward some well thought out argument to you about how inheritance fits in with capitalism. You haven’t bothered countering that argument. You have tried some cheap tricks and simply repeated your assertions. I think the argument between you and I regarding inheritance is pretty much over to be honest.
Others are at least getting into the discussion.

Wingswinger
Hoping, young man
What an opening line…

I'm afraid that if you wish to discuss the rights and wrongs of inheritance you really must also talk about the practicalities of enforcing a ban. As with all such matters the devil is in the detail.
I disagree. We don’t HAVE to discuss the detail. This is demonstrably true. I am discussing without getting into the detail with several others.
I don't see why I shouldn't say " I don't see a contradiction between inheritance and competition". I don't.
More repetition.
I'm sorry, you are just plain wrong about banning inheritance not removing an incentive to be responsible. If I am not allowed to bequeath my house and my assets to my offspring, if they are to be sold on my death and given to "the people" then either they will be given away long before to whomsoever I desire to give them to or I will make sure that there is not a penny left by the time I shuffle off this mortal coil. Now I know one cannot predict the exact moment of one's demise (unless one commits suicide) so I would anticipate spending a period just before death living in free accommodation on benefits. It's human nature, you know.
No, it’s not, its YOUR nature! And after a life living very well I doubt you would be willing to die in a mouldy council flat somewhere very much indeed.

Re the forced sale of businesses on the demise of the proprietors: The unwilling inheritors are always free to sell.
No, they often feel an immense amount of pressure to take the business. Besides, why don’t we STOP talking about the practicalities and get on with the debate? Is it because you don’t have much to say about the real debate?
I think it could be time to have a vote on this.
I hardly equate a vote with debate.

ORAC
2nd Jun 2005, 12:26
After the last election campaign I must agree...........

16 blades
2nd Jun 2005, 19:04
Unlike you, 16B, I am going to make some concessions, because you really have tackled some of the issues this time and argued properly.
Well, that's MIGHTY generous of you, youngster. Sometimes your arrogance beggars belief.

I DO NOT agree that a sudden and complete blanket ending of all benefits and dole would be a good thing.
I did not argue for them to be abolished, I argued for them to be CUT.

Now I put forward some well thought out argument to you about how inheritance fits in with capitalism. You haven’t bothered countering that argument. You have tried some cheap tricks and simply repeated your assertions.

I did exactly as you did, and dismissed your argument because it was being made out of context. I guess you do not like the way your own medicine tastes, then?

I think the argument between you and I regarding inheritance is pretty much over to be honest.
I take it, from this, that YOU have given up then? Thank fcuk for that!

Wingswinger -

Add my vote to the AYE camp.

16B

Hoping
2nd Jun 2005, 20:29
Yes 16B, given up arguing, with you. I will explain why.

I sought only to show that the concept of inheritance is not in accordance with the primary workings (competition) of a competitive system (capitalism in this case). I have argued this point clearly, from different angles and with several examples of varying complexity.

However, rather than take me up on THIS argument you have dismissed it entirely and have recently attempted to find some other "founding principle" of capitalism which explicitly supports inheritance and therefore dismisses my point without any need for a counter argument of your own.

You have been very nearly totally unsuccessful, even in this endeavour.
You have found a definition of capitalism which states that "individual rights" are one of the principles. (My Oxford Reference Dictionary does not refer to individual rights in its definition of the word "capitalism").
Regardless, you have asserted that one "individual right" is to leave inheritance. (As usual, you have failed to argue the assertion)
You then stated that if the definition of capitalism you found is correct and if your assertion that inheritance is an individual right is to be accepted, then, inheritance is in accordance with capitalism.

Look at the highlighted words above, the verbs, the words which describe what you have actually done. They are found, asserted and state. Notice that you have not argued a single thing.

I examined your statements and findings in my previous post. I explained how you expect the reader to make three leaps of faith in complete absence of supporting argument from you. You first expect us to accept the definition of capitalist that YOU have found. Second you expect us to accept that inheritance is an “individual right”. Third, you expect us to accept that such an individual right can be allowed to interfere with the very workings of our system. I argued against your simple statements as follows.

We all agree that competition is the driving force of capitalism, the gear wheels which turn and drive the economy forward. If those gear wheels come to a halt or are hindered, the system will cease to work properly. It is so obvious that competition is a means by which capitalist societies move forward that this point is surely beyond argument… On the other hand, some definitions of capitalism, including the one you have found, but not the one I have found, state that individual rights are involved too – perhaps a more socialist version of capitalism? Rather than regurgitate the entire argument,

The part about individual rights is hardly specific. One man may claim that it is his "individual right" to do the most outrageous things. Many unreasonable “individual rights” of the past have been revoked. Just because something is currently lawful does not mean it will always be lawful. Therefore, we cannot use the current state of the law to determine individual rights in this kind of philosophical discussion. What can we use then? Since we are talking about “individual rights” in the capitalist system we do have one tool for selection, namely the working of the capitalist system. Any “individual right” which undermines the workings of the capitalist system must be, by definition, “un-capitalist”. Therefore, the supposed “individual right” of inheritance should not be allowed.

And your response to the argument -virtually nil,
Another pointless statement - we are not discussing the system as it "may be", "will be", or , as some think, "should be"

and in COMPLETE contradiction with the reality, which is that we ARE in fact talking about how the system "should be"
Inheritance – SHOULD it be allowed? (Onan’s original question).

At this point I should have realised that you are absolutely unwilling to argue your own points, let alone mine, and be done with you once and for all.

However, I pushed you again to respond. But your last post shows clearly that in the face of real argument over the difficult subject of inheritance, without the subject of benefit fraud to fall back on, you choose the politicians route. You imitated Wingswinger, referring to me as “youngster”, partly setting the stage for the statement that you “dismissed (my) argument”, proceeding to falsely and flippantly accuse me of making my argument “out of context”, finally and incorrectly implying that I too falsely accused people of writing out of context earlier.

I can see it now. Either you won’t or can’t argue the point and choose instead to fill in the rather large gaps with, let us say, "other material". Take a leaf out of somebody else’s book. Look at Syllogism’s posts. Syllogism tackles the question at hand. Syllogism's post are not simply statements of opinion, other people’s definitions and so on.

Like I say, I give up trying to persuade you to have a reasonable discussion on the question "inheritance - should it be allowed?". It reminds me too much of the same with a modern politician, whose general aim is usually not to convince or prove wrong an opponent, by rather to discredit that opponent or at best find some loophole to justify the unjustified and thereby avoid difficult argument.

Notice that I pose no question, difficult or otherwise, for you this time 16B. This post is purely in answer to your question "I take it you give up then?". No need for a response.

Wingswinger
2nd Jun 2005, 21:25
Hoping Junge,

No, it's not, it's YOUR nature

Mine and many million others.

because you don't have much to say about the real debate

Probably because I'm very happy with the status quo - apart from the taxation situation and I'm not into re-iterating what others have said.

I hardly equate a vote with a debate

Funny, I always thought that debates usually ended with a vote

Looks like the AYES have it so far.

Hoping
2nd Jun 2005, 21:41
Another non-argument wingswinger.

The fact is that few people here have actually engaged in the debate of the original question. Very few have done more than simply state their opinion.

Notice though that it is exactly those people who cannot be bothered to debate the issues who are now jumping on the petty chance to "vote" in this all important schoolboy referendum you are having.

Looks like the ayes have it so far? I can imagine your round, little red face with gleaming piggy eyes gloating over it... If you feel the need to vote on an issue where 9 out of 10 people have already made their opinions clear...

Add my vote to the AYE camp too wingyswingywinger! Yay! Democracy!

16 blades
2nd Jun 2005, 23:57
I fail to see where I have not 'argued' a point, Hoping. As you said, I have stated my opinions, and some of others that I have discovered, and have given evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, to support my opinions, and evidence (of opinion) that contradicts some of yours. Is that not an argument? Or are you now going to argue about the definition of an argument?

Consider a total monopoly situation, where competition is limited or non-existent - BSkyB would be a reasonable example, being the only sattelite TV provider in the UK, and having little or no competition. Murdoch hawks his 'product' to the populus, and makes billions. How could you possibly describe this as UN-CAPITALIST?

I contend that where somebody amasses personal wealth, through whatever means, and is free to spend or otherwise dispose of it as he sees fit, this IS capitalism - competition does not necessarily enter into it. Others, seeing the opportunities available, may choose, if free to do so, to enter into the same field of the market and COMPETE for wealth. But this is not NECESSARY for the system to be described as 'Capitalist'.

Your contention is that anything that diminishes competition is uncapitalist. If anything, it is MORE capitalist - with less competition comes more freedom in the sector of the market you inhabit, and more opportunity for yourself. If you think this is wrong, please supply a valid definition of capitalism where competition is ESSENTIAL, or moreover the banning of arbitrary advantage is essential.

Let's take your suggestion of what to do with estates of the deceased - divide it up between the general populus. The effect of this would be to help keep everybody on a level playing field, enforcing a kind of equality, against the wishes of the deceased who amassed the wealth in the first place. This is NOT capitalist - this is vey, very SOCIALIST. It is redistribution of wealth from individuals to the masses, one of the cornerstones of socialism. In this respect at least, one can argue that inheritance CANNOT be disallowed under a capitalist system.

16B

SyllogismCheck
3rd Jun 2005, 00:11
So what have we established in the last 16 pages? Not a great deal I fear, other than perhaps to establish that people hold some firm opinions on the matter.

I'm not going to go back and answer specific points Hoping, but I will do my best to answer the general gist of your objections to my previous posts.

The crux of your argument against inheritance is that it creates a divide between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. A divide you feel to be unfair.
Whilst I agree that it may create a divide, or rather give an advantage to the 'haves' I dispute that this advantage is unfair. My reasoning being that an 'advantage for some situation' is favourable within society to a 'no effect for all situation', which would be the virtual result of your suggested pooling of inheritance, something which to implement would demand a 'removal of advantage from some situation', a requisite of your proposal of 'pooling'.
So I see the reality as the current situation being a positive for some and your concept as being of little or no consquence to all whilst disadvantaging some. A no brainer to my mind.
I've said this many times already, but it seems to be the main area of our disagreement so once again it is where I focus.
I suspect perhaps that we have a fundamental difference in our way of thinking over the matter of equality that you question. I suspect also that it's a difference we shall not resolve. All the same I shall go on.

To be frank I don't much care for 'principles', be they capitalist or otherwise. I prefer my own ways of thinking. As a result I'm reluctant to argue the rights and wrongs of inheritance in relation to its function within capitalism. In fact, due to my lack of interest in such sets of principles, I'm ill equipped to do so.
This, to some degree, negates our argument further since it is the apparent conflict between some principlies within capitalism that you object to. Specifically, that the unfairness you believe is created by inheritance which is allowed under the 'freedom of choice' principles is in opposition with the 'equality' principles of the self same system.
I see your point about 'equality' and its supposed presence in a capitalist system, but I think we differ in opinion on the meaning of the word in the context it is used.

You subscribe to, and are defending, the concept of financial equality, that it may lead to increased opportunity for all, perhaps ultimately resulting in a deeper sense of moral equality for all.
I believe reasonably strongly in moral equality. As a result I will not and do not look down my nose at those financially, physically or in any other manner less fortunate than myself. However, for all those beliefs I do not agree with the concept of finacial equality. They are two entirely different things and one does not require the other.

Clearly, financial equality is something that does not exist in a free market economy. With the best intentions you may have in suggestions that redistribution of the 'wealth pool' would be beneficial to all and a step toward financial equality, how far would the results carry realistically?
To begin with, those from wealthier backgrounds would likely already have first class educations by the time they stood to receive the first penny of any inheritance they may be heir to.
They would also possibly find themselves in socially stronger positions that would advantage them throughout life.
They may already have had significant financial help with the purchase of a property of their own which would leave them more of thier own, self generated, wealth to gain the same advantages of increased investment in any business venture they may undertake, again before any inheritance comes into play.
They may have these or any other number of advantages assist them on their way and you may argue that as a result they are least in need of a big windfall to further boost their position. In spite of that I quite simply cannot see that removing that cash booster and spreading it so thinly around the rest of the pouluation as to make it a pittance will redress the balance in any perceptible way.
As such, not only do I stand in my defence of inheritance, I suggest also that it's redistribution to the masses would be ineffectual.

As I said my defence of inheritance has little, if anything, to do with my beliefs in the merits or principles of capitalism. Whilst I am no doubt a capitalist, materialist or any other term anyone may wish to apply to someone who appreciates lifes indulgences, sometimes perhaps even a little excess, I condsider myself to be a moral person. I would not however be prepared to give away the results of my lifes labour to put a couple of quid in each pocket in the land rather than to assist my own offspring in their own lives in a substantial manner. My reluctance is not in disagreement with my beliefs in equality since each and every person has the same opportunity to do the same for their offspring. If they choose not to or are unable to do so then I'm not prepared to subsidise their weaknesses in the name of purely financial equality. As I said some time ago, my children will be an extension of myself, the continuation of my genes. I believe it's a part of human instinct that I'll select a partner, and vise versa, with genetic charecteristics that will hopefully mean those children are an improvement on both of us. The desire to pass on any other benefits, such as financial security, to my mind go hand in hand with that. Even if it's only enough to ensure they can buy a flash set of wheels to help catch the eye of a particularly healthy and attractive potential mate so that once again the family gene pool is strengthened it can only be a good thing to my mind, although of course with their genetic inheritance from me it'll all come easily to them anyway... so I may as well spend it all myself. ;)

I think, old chap, that's about all I have to say on it.
It's my desire, my wish to provide well for any children I may have. If I'm honest, although in the course of this conversation I have tried very hard to do so in order to attempt to see your reasoning, I actually can't consider it on a level related to the rights and wrongs of greater financial equality for all.
It's an objective instinctually programmed too deeply into me for any such considerations to be seriously open to question in my mind.

Wingswinger
3rd Jun 2005, 05:29
Hoping ( You no longer merit bold face ),

Bit puerile wasn't it. There is no debate. There is only you trying to convince others. You have failed.

I reckon you're a new Labour apparatchik, here to test the water for Mr Prudence.

Hoping
3rd Jun 2005, 13:01
NOW you’re talking 16B! Notice that you ARE arguing now instead of just making quotations and statements?

Let’s have a look at what you say.

Consider a total monopoly situation, where competition is limited or non-existent - BSkyB would be a reasonable example, being the only sattelite TV provider in the UK, and having little or no competition. Murdoch hawks his 'product' to the populus, and makes billions. How could you possibly describe this as UN-CAPITALIST?

Well, we really need a universal definition of capitalism here don’t we? I would say that your example above is a prime example of capitalism gone wrong. Capitalism is supposed to be a positive force which drives us forward and helps us make progress. What is more “communist”? One supplier of TV or many competing suppliers of TV? I would say that your example above reminds me more of a communist situation than capitalism.

I contend that where somebody amasses personal wealth, through whatever means, and is free to spend or otherwise dispose of it as he sees fit, this IS capitalism - competition does not necessarily enter into it. Others, seeing the opportunities available, may choose, if free to do so, to enter into the same field of the market and COMPETE for wealth. But this is not NECESSARY for the system to be described as 'Capitalist'.

Again, we need a universal, modern definition, which we agree on. I suggest that your implicit definition “a situation where individual can amass personal wealth, through whatever means and is free to do with that wealth whatever he/she wants” is a very limited definition considering it is supposed to the system driving our society forward. After all, this definition says that a person is free to amass wealth through “whatever” means – this could include a King taxing the population at 90%, with fear of execution for non-compliance. Your definition leaves all kinds of unpleasant possibilities open. Your definition does not by any means exclude the sort of situation that existed in the times of Robin Hood, where the Kings and Lords had all the money and everybody else lived in huts in the forest, no elections, tax charged arbitrarily, no public services and so on… We want something better than this don’t we?

Your contention is that anything that diminishes competition is uncapitalist
Yes, exactly.

If anything, it is MORE capitalist - with less competition comes more freedom in the sector of the market you inhabit,

but less freedom for the majority, such as the customers in your example of bskyb. Surely the freedom of the majority should come before the freedom of the minority?

and more opportunity for yourself. If you think this is wrong, please supply a valid definition of capitalism where competition is ESSENTIAL, or moreover the banning of arbitrary advantage is essential.

I think ALL definitions of capitalism essentially require something MORE than your simple definition above if they are to avoid us descending into a society of Kings and peasants, arbitrary taxes, no public services, no education for peasants and so on. In the UK we DO HAVE “something more” to avoid this happening. But this something more is a government which imposes re-distribution of wealth, inheritance tax, competition laws and all kinds of bureaucratic red tape which you despise so much. If our basic definition of capitalism was more detailed then perhaps we wouldn’t need such an intrusive government to prevent a Kings and peasants society developing.

Let's take your suggestion of what to do with estates of the deceased - divide it up between the general populous. The effect of this would be to help keep everybody on a level playing field,
So do you assert that the ONLY thing allowing some of us to get ahead is inheritance? I disagree. I think inheritance helps, but I think that talent, intelligence and hard work also make a big difference. Inheritance just interferes with this. In cases where the inheritor isn’t actually the hardest working, most talented or intelligent they can do considerably better in the system than their superiors.

enforcing a kind of equality, against the wishes of the deceased who amassed the wealth in the first place. This is NOT capitalist - this is vey, very SOCIALIST. It is redistribution of wealth from individuals to the masses, one of the cornerstones of socialism.

We are not talking about talking money away from people here. The people whose money would be re-distributed would be dead. This is a bit different. And the purpose of this is to prevent situations like bskyb from occurring, which are arguably communist in nature (one supplier of TV, and no competitors at all)

Now, I’m off to search for a modern day definition of capitalism which states that competition is necessary. Looking at our society (bskyb for instance) I’m not sure I will find one…

Syllogism
'm not going to go back and answer specific points Hoping, but I will do my best to answer the general gist of your objections to my previous posts.
You’ll forgive me if I don’t make a full exploration of your points either then.

The crux of your argument against inheritance is that it creates a divide between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'.
No. The crux of my argument against inheritance is that it interferes with the capitalist mechanism that drives our system forward, namely competition.
To be frank I don't much care for 'principles', be they capitalist or otherwise. I prefer my own ways of thinking. As a result I'm reluctant to argue the rights and wrongs of inheritance in relation to its function within capitalism.
In that case, is there anything else left to say? Apparently yes…
I see your point about 'equality' and its supposed presence in a capitalist system, but I think we differ in opinion on the meaning of the word in the context it is used.
Well, I mean equality of opportunity, notwithstanding differing levels of intelligence, talent and hard work. This equality is interfered with by inheritance and results in the competitive system not working properly. But you don’t want to talk about that.
You subscribe to, and are defending, the concept of financial equality
No, I don’t and am not. A group of people who a born financially equal will end financially very unequal, because of their different talents, tastes, intelligence, opinions and willingness to work. This is something I support. This prospect of getting ahead will drive the best in the group to innovate and push society forward. Conversely, if the least able in the group were to receive a large inheritance the other people might fail behind in their competition with him, he could develop a monopoly and once in that position of power he might rest of his laurels knowing the others are dependent upon him and cannot bring him down. From that point onwards the system will cease to progress. I DO support financial in-equality as a goal for initially financially equal people.
I believe reasonably strongly in moral equality. As a result I will not and do not look down my nose at those financially, physically or in any other manner less fortunate than myself.
Do you think that somebody poorer than yourself really cares whether you look down your nose at them? Do you think that your opinion is that important to them? Do you think the beggar in the street thinks for one second whether or not this high flying lawyer has respect for them? And even if you do, what good is “respect” unless that respect is acted upon? Not by dropping a few pennies into his grubby hand, or contributing regularly to charity… And no, I don’t do anything wonderful either, so I’m just as guilty as anybody else. But I see it at least.
Clearly, financial equality is something that does not exist in a free market economy. With the best intentions you may have in suggestions that redistribution of the 'wealth pool' would be beneficial to all and a step toward financial equality, how far would the results carry realistically?
I didn’t argue for financial equality, as I pointed out above…
As I said my defence of inheritance has little, if anything, to do with my beliefs in the merits or principles of capitalism.
I condsider myself to be a moral person.
So, is it morality that you based your argument on then?
Even if it's only enough to ensure they can buy a flash set of wheels to help catch the eye of a particularly healthy and attractive potential mate so that once again the family gene pool is strengthened it can only be a good thing to my mind
And what about values? Personally I deliberately avoid driving a flash car in order to filter out all of those that might be impressed by such an item. Its hard enough work separating the fools from the people as it is, without a flashy car to attract even more fools like fly’s to shit…
It's an objective instinctually programmed too deeply into me for any such considerations to be seriously open to question in my mind.
Well at least you can see your own limitations. That is a good thing.

Very well, I can see we are about done now. Thanks for trying Syllogism. I’m a little disappointed that you seem to have completely missed my point, but to your credit you did seriously try to discuss for a while there.

Wingswinger
You are almost correct. There has been very little debate. I am starting to understand more fully the nature of JB.

You two (Wingswinger and 16B) have both enjoyed calling me (28 years of age) "youngster" and "young man" and so I conclude that you may be semi-retired with little or nothing to do with your time. But I'm not old yet and I need to get back to work to stand a chance of accumulating my thus far unborn children's inheritance!

You had your petty vote, you won. Shall we leave it here?

Wingswinger
3rd Jun 2005, 20:18
What? when the fun could be just beginning?

You may be semi-retired with little or nothing to do with your time

Actually, no.

Extraordinary comment given how much time you seem to have put into this thread!

You wanted a debate but I'm afraid your style irritated.

BenThere
3rd Jun 2005, 21:17
Hoping,

I can only admire your diligence in making your case. If only I had your energy...

But in a nutshell your position amounts to a taking of what rightfully belongs to an individual and his designated heirs. It doesn't wash on either a moral or optimization basis.

Those who want to improve their lot must take it upon themselves to prepare to offer what the market or an employer values. A natural hope inherant in all of us is to leave a better world and make life easier for our offspring and surviving spouse. We, I know that I, endeavor to save and accumulate largely to that end. You propose that at life's end, all such aspirations flat-line, and in that you are wrong.

Your desire to pay a living wage is commendable, and it is very possibly wiser than paying bottom market wages in that you secure some loyalty, reduce turnover, and attract a higher quality employee. Good for you. You have made a business decision. But to mandate such decisions for all businesses will only achieve the opposite of what you desire.

scrubed
3rd Jun 2005, 21:26
I am starting to understand more fully the nature of JB. Ahhh..... maybe it's time we had a little talk then.

Have you considered a change of style??

You cannot imagine the pow-wah of the dark side.... :cool:

Onan the Clumsy
3rd Jun 2005, 21:27
A natural hope inherant in all of us is to leave a better world and make life easier for our ... surviving spouse.

:} :} :} :} :}

Hoping
3rd Jun 2005, 21:42
With respect, I don't think it was my style that irritated. I think it was that I tried to insist on rational argument, rather than quotations and simple statements of opinion.

After all, consider some of the things that were said to me. "what a knobhead!", "you've got your head stuck so far up your arse" being two such comments. If people can get away with that then surely I should be able to get away with being persistent?

Anyway, it was a bit of fun nonetheless...

Unless Onan wants to take the lead?!

scrubed
3rd Jun 2005, 21:47
If people can get away with that I'm the only one who doesn't get away with "personal abuse". Even if it isn't.

Just ask Plafs..... :rolleyes:

Hoping
3rd Jun 2005, 22:51
I've noticed that plafs sometimes gets into a flapp with people...

Why do you call her plafs?

She is lovely though of course!