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Big Society

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Big Society

#21 Post by Dave B » April 26th, 2011, 6:53 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

It is to make it easier to volunteer, to increase the wellbeing of society by enhancing the small things in life, which are very often not funded now.
Well, Nick, I obviously don't know what the situation is in your neck of the woods but here in Glorious Gloster there have been a lot of organisation screaming for volunteers for a long time. And this includes the big, well funded, ones like Oxfam, BHF etc. etc.

Maybe we are still suffering from Thatcherism, "There is no such things as society"; look after your own, and beggar (changed from something else!) your neighbour, or whatever. Even if that is not what Maggie meant an awful lot of people seem to have interpreted it that way. Why should people suddenly want to spend hours every week supporting total starngers when their own families are suffering financially?

Most of the volunteers I know are retired people, needing to use their spare time (if they cannot afford to go off on cruises, skiing holidays etc.) and, especially if they have no great family ties (like me) gaining a sense of being of use - like I was at work. Others range from those with educational difficulties to chronically out of work. At the moment I know of none who are "filling in" between jobs or volunteering in addition to working. Except a few on the village magazine committee maybe, but I am no longer active on that.

From which sector of the population are all these new people coming from?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan C.
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Re: Big Society

#22 Post by Alan C. » April 26th, 2011, 8:17 pm

Unboggle your mind, Alan. It's purely comparative advantage. As China grows, the jobs will return.
I don't understand fhis Nick.
It can't in any way make sense to send shellfish all the way to China to be prosessed then send it all the way back to the UK to be sold :shrug:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan H
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Re: Big Society

#23 Post by Alan H » April 26th, 2011, 9:31 pm

Alan C. wrote:
Unboggle your mind, Alan. It's purely comparative advantage. As China grows, the jobs will return.
I don't understand fhis Nick.
It can't in any way make sense to send shellfish all the way to China to be prosessed then send it all the way back to the UK to be sold :shrug:
Wrong. It does make sense to some. In three words: the bottom line.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Big Society

#24 Post by Dave B » April 26th, 2011, 9:42 pm

Alan H wrote:
Alan C. wrote:
Unboggle your mind, Alan. It's purely comparative advantage. As China grows, the jobs will return.
I don't understand fhis Nick.
It can't in any way make sense to send shellfish all the way to China to be prosessed then send it all the way back to the UK to be sold :shrug:
Wrong. It does make sense to some. In three words: the bottom line.
Yeah, but I would love to see the cost analysis between processing in this country and processing in China with the cost of transport included.

As I said before, the Chinese workers are angling for better pay and conditions - maybe when their own markets open more and they are paid better they may not be willing to be the world's cheapo workforce! Taiwan went through the same pattern after the break with China proper; Singapore and S. Korea after the war(s) ditto.

Then we will be right in the shit if we continue to allow the work to be exported - lost industry infrastructure, no jobs and ever ramping costs for imports.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Big Society

#25 Post by Alan H » April 26th, 2011, 9:50 pm

Dave B wrote:Yeah, but I would love to see the cost analysis between processing in this country and processing in China with the cost of transport included.
I reckon a fairly safe assumption would be that the company (Youngs?) have done the calculations and come to the decision they did on purely financial grounds.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Big Society

#26 Post by Dave B » April 27th, 2011, 10:26 am

Alan H wrote:
Dave B wrote:Yeah, but I would love to see the cost analysis between processing in this country and processing in China with the cost of transport included.
I reckon a fairly safe assumption would be that the company (Youngs?) have done the calculations and come to the decision they did on purely financial grounds.
I was not aguimg against that, Alan, I would just like to see the figures - why processing in this country costs so much.

At work our catering was farmed out to a management company, though we paid the salaries for all staff barring the manager. My former boss (before I got transferred to Dr Useless), good with numbers and with a brilliant track record for analysis in all fields, took a look at this situation. After talking to the manager (a really lovely woman in every respect) he worked out that taking the function back in-house could save about 25% of the total canteen cost (ignoring power costs). Added to that the manager would be free to source food from wherever - not from specified vendors who paid an over-all discount to the management firm's HQ and not to the site. Estimated savings there 30% IIRC.

But the company policy was . . . But then, they threw money away in other areas as well mainly because of "established company practices"! Yet we were constantly badgered to find ways of saving pennies on the designs and manufacturing processes.

Excuse the :offtopic: OT rant please, nice to vent one's spleen now and again!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Big Society

#27 Post by Alan H » April 27th, 2011, 12:32 pm

Dave B wrote:
Alan H wrote:
Dave B wrote:Yeah, but I would love to see the cost analysis between processing in this country and processing in China with the cost of transport included.
I reckon a fairly safe assumption would be that the company (Youngs?) have done the calculations and come to the decision they did on purely financial grounds.
I was not aguimg against that, Alan, I would just like to see the figures - why processing in this country costs so much.
I agree - it would be interesting.

A company I used to work for decided to move its manufacturing off shore. It was only later did we find out that no one had really done the sums. It seemed to be simply an ideological decision: off shore is cheaper, therefore we must do it. They never did take the full costs into account. Then they moved manufacturing to China...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Big Society

#28 Post by Dave B » April 27th, 2011, 12:57 pm

It seemed to be simply an ideological decision:
IMHO inflexible ideology (along with politics (including political personal opinion) and greed) is one of the greatest causes of ill in this world.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Nick
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Big Society

#29 Post by Nick » April 27th, 2011, 2:05 pm

Alan H wrote:
Alan C. wrote:
Unboggle your mind, Alan. It's purely comparative advantage. As China grows, the jobs will return.
I don't understand fhis Nick.
It can't in any way make sense to send shellfish all the way to China to be prosessed then send it all the way back to the UK to be sold :shrug:
Wrong. It does make sense to some. In three words: the bottom line.
Come, come, Alan H! There's more to it than that!

Off the top of my head, there are a number of factors which could account for this apparent conundrum. First of all, it is highly likely that the costs of processing are cheaper, notwithstanding the transport costs. It may also be that the supply of fish processors may be in decline in Annan. (Would you want to be a fish processor?)

It may also be that the price of processed seafood becomes cheaper, thus benefitting consumers (including those in Annan), which will also lead to the creation of other jobs. It is strange that some people want to help the developing world, but object when those jobs actually arrive. Without international trade, the whole world would be poorer.

And if profits are higher, it will encourage further investment and expansion, which is precisely what is wanted.

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Alan C.
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Re: Big Society

#30 Post by Alan C. » April 27th, 2011, 7:04 pm

Nick
It may also be that the supply of fish processors may be in decline in Annan. (Would you want to be a fish processor?)
Both myself and Mary have been fish processors in three different factories :yahbooh:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Nick
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Re: Big Society

#31 Post by Nick » April 27th, 2011, 7:07 pm

Would you recommend it? :)

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Alan C.
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Re: Big Society

#32 Post by Alan C. » April 27th, 2011, 8:53 pm

Nick wrote:Would you recommend it? :)
Certainly, it beats cleaning toilets at the school. :smile:

Incidentally; 10 years ago the [mainly Thai] women filiters on peace work, were some of the highest earners in Lerwick.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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animist
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Re: Big Society

#33 Post by animist » April 27th, 2011, 9:35 pm

Alan C. wrote: Incidentally; 10 years ago the [mainly Thai] women filiters on peace work, were some of the highest earners in Lerwick.
I will probably offend everyone now, but your comment reminds me of a TV programme on immigrants a few months ago which seemed to show that, in a study comparing output, local labour simply could not match the performance of (East European) immigrant farm workers; the landed employer was unsurprisingly keen on immigration...

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Dave B
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Re: Big Society

#34 Post by Dave B » April 27th, 2011, 9:45 pm

animist wrote:
Alan C. wrote: Incidentally; 10 years ago the [mainly Thai] women filiters on peace work, were some of the highest earners in Lerwick.
I will probably offend everyone now, but your comment reminds me of a TV programme on immigrants a few months ago which seemed to show that, in a study comparing output, local labour simply could not match the performance of (East European) immigrant farm workers; the landed employer was unsurprisingly keen on immigration...
I remember similar things. IIRC one said that their normal seasonal labour, students and women, simply were not interested in the work any more. E. European students often come over for the summer to polish their English (unintentional association of words there! :D ) and do not really worry about what kind of work they do.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Nick
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Re: Big Society

#35 Post by Nick » April 27th, 2011, 9:55 pm

Lots to say, but, as I've just been to a jolly BBQ, I'll be brief. In my youth I did just the same thing,and went to Canada to prime (that's "pick" to you) tobacco. Character forming. Do I regret it? Not a second of it. But would it be suitable employment for a middle aged Canadian? Not likely!!

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Alan H
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Re: Big Society

#36 Post by Alan H » April 28th, 2011, 12:24 am

Nick wrote:Come, come, Alan H! There's more to it than that!

Off the top of my head, there are a number of factors which could account for this apparent conundrum. First of all, it is highly likely that the costs of processing are cheaper, notwithstanding the transport costs. It may also be that the supply of fish processors may be in decline in Annan. (Would you want to be a fish processor?)

It may also be that the price of processed seafood becomes cheaper, thus benefitting consumers (including those in Annan), which will also lead to the creation of other jobs. It is strange that some people want to help the developing world, but object when those jobs actually arrive. Without international trade, the whole world would be poorer.

And if profits are higher, it will encourage further investment and expansion, which is precisely what is wanted.
We're discussed this before, haven't we? IIRC, the company admitted it was cheaper to ship it round the world and as a result, workers in the UK were being made redundant. But I don't buy all the speculation you're doing. If it is cheaper for them to make them elsewhere, they reduce their production costs and their profit will increase. They could reduce their prices and pass some of their lower costs onto the customer. The could, but assuming the market for prawns if fairly flat, their sales volume will be the same, they have little need to give some of their new-found profit to the consumer (unless out of the goodness of their heart). Regardless of whether they reduce their prices or not, there are still those that no longer have jobs can't afford to buy prawns [---][/---] whatever the price [---][/---] so they don't 'benefit' from prawns being cheaper.

Now what you are saying is that these increased profits somehow encourage further investment and expansion (rather than bowing to the pressure to increase dividends to shareholders) and maybe, just maybe, those that lost their jobs might get jobs again?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Big Society

#37 Post by Dave B » April 28th, 2011, 9:30 am

\so the bottom line is not profit - it's greed?

I have to admit to a degree of ambivalence here because my company pensions almost certainly rely on companies screwing their customers (include myself) for every penny they can within limits.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Nick
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Big Society

#38 Post by Nick » April 28th, 2011, 11:05 am

Alan H wrote:IIRC, the company admitted it was cheaper to ship it round the world and as a result, workers in the UK were being made redundant.
Agreed
But I don't buy all the speculation you're doing. If it is cheaper for them to make them elsewhere, they reduce their production costs and their profit will increase. They could reduce their prices and pass some of their lower costs onto the customer. The could, but assuming the market for prawns if fairly flat, their sales volume will be the same, they have little need to give some of their new-found profit to the consumer (unless out of the goodness of their heart).
But of course, that isn't so. Can you imagine all those "capitalist bastards" at Tesco's letting Youngs make such large profits? There are other prawn producers, and I don't accept your assumption that the market for prawn is "flat". I assume you mean "price inelastic", but why should that apply to prawns? It doesn't. If Tesco's are screwing their suppliers to the wall on price, as we are frequently told, then price competition between Tesco's and (say) Asda's (who are equally hot on price) will reduce the cost to the buying public. By so doing, it raises the standard of living of everyone who buys prawns. The money saved can then be spent on other things, which provides jobs for other people, or even a job for an ex prawn-worker.
Regardless of whether they reduce their prices or not, there are still those that no longer have jobs can't afford to buy prawns [---][/---] whatever the price [---][/---] so they don't 'benefit' from prawns being cheaper.
In the short term, yes, but are you suggesting a) that they can't do anything else, b) that other people should be unemployed because more money is being diverted to prawn-workers, c)that other people, eg pensioners, should pay more for prawns than the market price, and d) that foreign workers should lose the jobs instead?
Now what you are saying is that these increased profits somehow encourage further investment and expansion (rather than bowing to the pressure to increase dividends to shareholders) and maybe, just maybe, those that lost their jobs might get jobs again?
In a competitive market, it is by no means certain that profits would increase, but if the action were not taken, the compay would go bust as it lost market share to its competitors. So the prawn-workers would still be made redundant. Profits provide capital to invest to create future jobs, they pay taxes and they pay pensions. Which of those would you recommend cutting?

Nick
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Re: Big Society

#39 Post by Nick » April 28th, 2011, 11:10 am

Alan C. wrote:
Nick wrote:Would you recommend it? :)
Certainly, it beats cleaning toilets at the school. :smile:
I have to agree with you there. I did that job too, while I was at university. 4 mornings a week 6-9.
Incidentally; 10 years ago the [mainly Thai] women filiters on peace work, were some of the highest earners in Lerwick.
So it wasn't Lerwick lasses doing the work, then? It rather supports my point, don't you think? In many ways, I think it is better for work to be spread around, rather than people having to uproot to find work.

Nick
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Re: Big Society

#40 Post by Nick » April 28th, 2011, 11:13 am

animist wrote:
Alan C. wrote: Incidentally; 10 years ago the [mainly Thai] women filiters on peace work, were some of the highest earners in Lerwick.
I will probably offend everyone now, but your comment reminds me of a TV programme on immigrants a few months ago which seemed to show that, in a study comparing output, local labour simply could not match the performance of (East European) immigrant farm workers; the landed employer was unsurprisingly keen on immigration...
I saw that too. IIRC, it also applied to restaurant work and a factory, as well as farm labour. I think we have got our education policies badly wrong.

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Alan H
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Re: Big Society

#41 Post by Alan H » April 28th, 2011, 11:48 am

Nick wrote:I saw that too. IIRC, it also applied to restaurant work and a factory, as well as farm labour. I think we have got our education policies badly wrong.
Eh? Are you saying it's the fault of our education system that UK workers don't work as hard as their East European counterparts?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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