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SO THAT’S CLEAR THEN

By Pete Moore On April 25th, 2012

Daily Telegraph: Employers can force retirement of workers at 65 if it’s in the “public interest” or to make way for entry-level jobs.

Daily Telegraph: Millions of workers will be forced to work past the age of 75 because they are in the dark on how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement.

Call me a radical, but we might have a chance of saving some kind of pot, and avoid having to break our backs until we drop, if the State didn’t confiscate and consume the greater part of our earnings all our working lives. By the time we retire we’ll each have had hundreds of thousands of pounds looted from us. The solution’s clear then: the State should stop damn well looting us!

8 Responses to “SO THAT’S CLEAR THEN”

  1. By comparison with most, you are indeed a radical, Pete.
    I mean, most people are truly grateful that we are allowed to earn a whole £8K or so before income tax kicks in, and they think that the State is being wonderfully generous in proposing to increase this allowance to £10K by 2015. Furthermore, I reckon most people think it is fabulously generous that we’re allowed to earn a whopping great £35K or thereabouts before the State demands that more than 50% of our earnings must be handed over. It’s crazy, isn’t it?

  2. The con trick is the continuous devaluation of our currency.

    People of my generation literally earned our first wages in shillings per week, progressing through single digit pounds p.w. – and in our final earning years were lucky to see £25 – 30 thousand p.a.- most working class earned beteen £10 and fifteen thou. p.a. That was in the early 90’s, so not that long ago. Now we spend in tens of pounds per day, just to maintain a modest standard of living, and anything less than £30,000p.a. is too meagre to decently support a small family.

    As for saving for a private pension, they didn’t exist until the late 60’s early 70’s, if your company didn’t have a pension scheme, then tough, you went without.

    When private schemes were intriduced the most you could put in the ‘pot’ was 7% of your gross earnings. At least the interest paid on these savings was tax free, that is until they were converted into an annuity to provide that extra pension that the thrifty ones felt was a prudent thing to have, that is when they collected the tax on your savings, as if it were earned income.

    Given that Bevin suggested that the State pension would be of the order of 80% of the average blue collar wage, you can see why many opted to have further savings towards their ‘golden years’. They were of course proven doubly right to do so as the current pension is substantially less than even thirty percent of the ‘average blue collar wage’.

    Those lucky enough to have savings and some investment suffered equally, and brutally, when interest rates dropped from a reasonable average of a taxable 5% or thereabouts to today’s mickey taking .5% where they have been for some three years or so. No living off of the interest of your savings there. Many pensioners have been reduced to penury by having to finance living expenses out of capital rather than from ‘interest earned’.

    Meanwhile, so-called ‘entrepreneurs’ bemoan not being able to increase their overdrafts and blame the banks rather than their own general lack of financial competence.

    Of course this sob story plays right into government hands and enables them to literally rob pensioners and others and to proclaim that ‘savings are wrong!’ – and thus bad for the economy, by reducing cash flow circulation.

    And all the while the QE continues and the pound in your pocket most certainly is worth less than it was a month ago….

  3. It seems to me that what has happened since the Second World War is that a symbiotic relationship has developed between Government and the Welfare State.
    Government has grown because a bureaucracy is needed to administer all the programmes instituted or taken over by Government.
    It’s like an addiction! Politicians want more power, not less.

    They have made agreements with organisations without consultation with the people.(EU) They have allowed national self determination to leach away, and have tied our economy up in red tape and health and safety. They have actually politicized almost everything, and used them as political footballs, instead of carefully nurturing and protecting them.

    Just as an example:
    They have overseen the politicization and subsequent underperformance of Education, ensuring that ability and talent are sacrificed on the altar of political dogma. This has resulted in the farcical situation where our educators don’t want to “overstretch our kids, because they don’t want anyone to feel a failure, and to make the kids feel good about themselves they give them shedloads of exam passes worth -not much.
    Meanwhile the UK slips down and down the international league tables, our kids can’t read, write and calculate properly; so they’re reliant on bright, eager, well educated people from overseas to do the jobs our own young are incapable of doing!

    So whilst I believe in Government, I believe it has become as addicted to State taxpayer largesse as any “pimply yoof” settling down to a meaningless existence on the dole.

  4. I agree with Ernest, one of the con tricks is the constant devaluation of our currency.
    But that is only made possible because the statement written on the state-issued banknote is a lie, a false promise. “I promise to pay the bearer, on demand, five pounds of gold” is what a five pound banknote says, and that is precisely what it is supposed to mean. Money (paper currency) was never meant to be a commodity in and of itself, but merely an IOU, a promissory note saying “you have traded with me, and I owe you 5lb of gold (or wheat, or whatever), but because gold is heavy (or wheat is cumbersome and perishable), please accept this hand-signed IOU, which I will exchange for the actual asset when you present the IOU to me later”.
    By printing up more and more banknotes, unbacked by the asset to which they refer, and by not allowing us to trade the notes at face value, this is the con-trick.

  5. Of course, the other side of the coin of currency devaluation is that in devaluing the currency they also devalue the individual.

    When it is reported that some pissant ‘celeb’ – in the pay of an organisation such as the BBC or Skytv, – is receiving more for pontificating on a halfhour sports programme than most people will earn in a lifetime, – that is devaluing the individuals who spend their day doing real work and contributing something of value to the community, meanwhile nurses, and many others like them, get little more than a minimum wage! That is also ‘devaluation’, perhaps not quite so obvious, but far more devious and harmful.

    I realise that in these shallow days of ‘celebrity’, that in itself, is seen as ‘work’, and well it maybe, – for them – as many do seem to have difficulty in uttering anything even mildy intelligable, or even remotely intelligent.

    All of which ties in with Agit8ed’s comment on the dumbing down of education. You only have to catch a glimpse of one of the numerous ‘celebrity game shows’, to realise just how little education these people have, and these, unfortunately, are, and have been the role models of the past two generations.

  6. Ernesto,
    As you and I would both accept, life both individual and corporate, is incredibly fluid and complex.
    I think we both are aware of how here on ATW, values which we ourselves accept as more or less absolutes, are constantly being challenged by younger commenters.
    Unfortunately we and they, are all victims of the aging process. We cannot stop it, and today’s young are destined to be the grumpy old men of tomorrow… 🙂

    One of the most inspiring and influential films I have ever watched is “Cromwell” with (ironically) Richard Harris playing the lead.
    What I took from that film and the books I have read about the English Civil War is how within each generation there will be a small group of people who will stand up for what they see as being “right.”
    I suppose Guy Fawkes and his friends are another example.

    I believe the growth of the Welfare State whilst well meaning, has become a “GOLDEN CALF” which we have fallen down and worshipped. It has provided politicians (in the absence of public disapproval) to go on and develop as an actual tool of more and bigger, government.
    In much the same way as ancient Rome found that the only/easiest way to control the “mob” was through cheap bread and gladitorial circuses.
    And the more they went down that route, the more they had to resort to bigger and gorier spectacles; because the mob were governed not by moral values but by basic, animal lusts. They might have been despised by the intelligensia, but they were also feared.
    The same basic process is happening here, but on a more international scale. The “bread” is provided by the State, the circuses by the MSM (Football, “reality tv, voyeurism), and the government tries to hold it all together.
    If true and free democracies are to survive, governments must move away from providing/condoning bread and circuses, and instead lift the people into more thoughtful, informed debate on all these issues.

  7. Agit8ed,

    The core problem with welfarism is that once implemented, even on a small scale, there is no going back, for the reason that once it is in place, people will adjust their lifestyles, and maybe plan their future to incorporate the changes.

    Any politician that attempts a reversal will disrupt the plans thus made and will inevitably cause hardship to many, thus creating a new ‘problem class’.

    That it matters little to any politician is down to their total lack of accountability. An attitude of ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ seeming to prevail.

    I do not share your view ‘grumpy old men’. 🙂

  8. Ha ha!
    Ernest,
    we are both wise/old enough to know that grumpiness does not equate with intelligence.
    There are some values which will never change:
    Men (privately) admitting that life without a woman is unthinkable/unbearable.
    That there are three qualities that give us meaning and pleasure:
    Why? Sex, and food. 😉