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Old Nov 18th 2017, 5:04 am   #46
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Default Re: The country we left behind

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It is difficult because people are by their nature selfish. What Thatcher was doing was to encourage a culture of state sponsored self with the inevitable results that we see today where the pay for some has reached absurd levels whilst those who support society by performing the more essential functions are paid less than some would say they are worth.

'Ah', I hear you say, 'It was ever thus and the UK isn't alone in this', and so it isn't but a more socially minded UK had seen some of these excesses held in check. Perhaps a sensible alternative would have been to have not encouraged personal greed at a state level while providing the means to fulfill it, human nature will do that all by itself.
Was it greed or self reliance? Ironically, it's not the state behind all this it's 'society'.
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 3:03 pm   #47
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Default Re: The country we left behind

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It is difficult because people are by their nature selfish. What Thatcher was doing was to encourage a culture of state sponsored self with the inevitable results that we see today where the pay for some has reached absurd levels whilst those who support society by performing the more essential functions are paid less than some would say they are worth.

'Ah', I hear you say, 'It was ever thus and the UK isn't alone in this', and so it isn't but a more socially minded UK had seen some of these excesses held in check. Perhaps a sensible alternative would have been to have not encouraged personal greed at a state level while providing the means to fulfill it, human nature will do that all by itself.
Well, if you read the entire article, you will realise that what you have stated there is nonsense and the part you have quoted doesn't state that at all. I would argue that it says that people should look to themselves, rather than others and that, once they have done so, they should look to help others. I don't see anything wrong with that.

The alternative is that everyone looks to the state to do everything for them.
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 6:06 pm   #48
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Default Re: The country we left behind

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Well, if you read the entire article, you will realise that what you have stated there is nonsense and the part you have quoted doesn't state that at all. I would argue that it says that people should look to themselves, rather than others and that, once they have done so, they should look to help others. I don't see anything wrong with that.

The alternative is that everyone looks to the state to do everything for them.
Yep, I've read the Woman's Own interview and agree that nonsense could be a valid description and 'no change there' I hear you say. But I think I might have included an odd grain of truth somewhere.

As I see it Thatcher argues that she sees the state being held responsible for all ills and that some people have a relaxed attitude to taking responsibility for their actions and that this is a bad thing. She argues that, as you say, they should help themselves then help others. A corollary of this is that the state should roll back support and encourage personal responsibility.

She sees one area where the state can do this is by making people owners of wealth. She argues that this will give people a greater sense of personal responsibility and also the means by which they can support others, hence the sale of state assets and property to as many people as possible.

Laudable for it's simplicity but it fails to recognise that there isn't enough wealth around to fulfill the promise. It fails to address human nature, although it implicitly recognises that individuals will generally look out for themselves. Inevitably some will become benefit while others who haven't been fortunate enough to benefit from this largesse will suffer because the state will have removed support. The fortunate may choose to look after others or they may not and this freedom of will exposes the major difficulty with the argument.

I take your point that at one extreme the state does everything, but this model has failed and will always fail because human nature won't allow it to succeed. At the other extreme we have a model where the state does nothing. Although this model is more robust, it too will fail and lead to unrest and despotism.
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 6:37 pm   #49
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Default Re: The country we left behind

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I would argue that it says that people should look to themselves, rather than others and that, once they have done so, they should look to help others. I don't see anything wrong with that.
It could also be argued - very easily - that a "me first" attitude was encouraged and that sometimes me first means me only.
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The alternative is that everyone looks to the state to do everything for them.
Actually there's plenty of room in between. I've never understood this view that people are happy for the state to do it all when it leaves them so little. Why would you settle for £70 a week (if you're lucky and even less if you're young) minus whatever you have to pay for your rent because your housing benefit doesn't cover the full amount and there's nowhere else to move to, be unable to afford to heat your damp, drafty bedsit etc
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 10:28 pm   #50
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Default Re: The country we left behind

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It could also be argued - very easily - that a "me first" attitude was encouraged and that sometimes me first means me only.
OK, but that is not what the interview in the article argued for at all.

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Actually there's plenty of room in between. I've never understood this view that people are happy for the state to do it all when it leaves them so little. Why would you settle for £70 a week (if you're lucky and even less if you're young) minus whatever you have to pay for your rent because your housing benefit doesn't cover the full amount and there's nowhere else to move to, be unable to afford to heat your damp, drafty bedsit etc
You would have to ask those that accept that. I have always provided for myself as I wasn't prepared to accept that others should fund my lifestyle but I accept that others may be prepared to do so.
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 10:40 pm   #51
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Default Re: The country we left behind

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You would have to ask those that accept that.
My quibble isn't with those that live that lifestyle - whoever is "to blame" - it's with others.

When I said "I've never understood this view that people are happy for the state to do it all when it leaves them so little...." I meant I don't understand the people that hold that view, not the people themselves who suffer on so little.

I can only conclude that they believe benefit recipients to be much better off than they actually are, maybe because they've heard one or two anecdotal examples where someone has done okay out of it and think it's the norm.
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 10:30 pm   #52
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Default Re: The country we left behind

Tory MP cries at universal credit impact speech from Frank Field
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MP Heidi Allen wiped away tears as Labour’s Frank Field, the chair of the work and pensions select committee, described persuading a man not to kill himself, as well as another father telling him about his “lucky week” going to funeral “so they could finish off the food”.
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