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starfish&coffee

Member since Jan 2009 • Last active Oct 2021

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  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Keep the Aspidistra Flying

    Fuck, I hated that. I should be the last person to accuse someone of being a misanthropist, but it's the way he seems to revel in it for the sake of edginess that really put me off.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I’d go into a pay negotiation with “give me more money you bastard “

    That's the spirit!
    And more to the point, join a union. Get involved in collective bargaining, call a strike if you must. Employers are already hurting from the price increases in rent and raw materials. The threat of a restricted labour supply on top of that can be what forces them to the negotiating table. Better for them to agree on a modest increase in wages across the entire unionised work force than the chaos of separate bargaining with thousands of individual fantasists (as someone called them up-thread) and risk even higher inflation as the economy unravels.

    We've been through an unprecedented long period of low inflation. It's not entirely coincidental that this period has seen unions on the back foot, the emergence of the gig economy and the kind of arrogance from employers you guys are describing. No, I am not longing for the days of double digit inflation that helped Thatcher into power, but it's worth pointing out that the decades of significant inflation (roughly 1965 - 1995) was also a time when unions were much more influential than today.

    Your response to inflation >3% should be "Fuck you, pay me!" not posting clown memes. If your prime concern when voting, or posting memes on social media, is to just demand that the inflation goes away whatever it takes, you've basically given the Tories a veto go get even Torier. Someone upthread pointed out that London's high earning professionals will manage to up their fees/salaries to cover the cost increases. I totally agree. And Revenant pointed out that businesses can pass on costs to consumers through increased prices. I think it will hurt them more than you think, but yes, ultimately that's how they'll weather the crisis. I'd argue that investors will feel the pain more than you guys seem to think, but I won't belabour that point right now.
    Basically, there is little the authorities effectively can do to stop businesses increasing the price of cat food, or corporate lawyers padding their fees. What they can do however is to refuse pay rises to nurses and teachers. That's where they can really swing the cut hammer. And they can refuse to increase the minimum wage, even lower it. And there would be cuts to state and council spending of all sorts. While such cuts won't feel nice it has been proven to have a measurable impact in terms of lowering inflation. They can cut VAT. Personally I think that could be an acceptable option if inflation is threatening to go >7%. But keep in mind that this will lower the tax base upon which the public sector depends. And a true Tory (or Republican) would wish for this VAT reduction to become permanent, thereby paving the way for small government and privatisation.
    And you're giving the Tories the permission to do all of that if you keep posting clown memes.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    For arguments sake, at 0% inflation, or even negative inflation (deflation) your employer can fire you and feel fairly confident that they can always hire you back at the same wage – or even at a discount.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    There's a reason why monetarists (those who believe fighting inflation should always be the government's top priority) are found on the right wing and amongst the wealthy.
    Margaret Thatcher was a big monetarist. For them it was never about about keeping your nan's cost of cat food down, it's about creating a stable investment climate for the top 1%.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Careful when you criticise inflation people. Obviously nobody benefits from a runaway double digit inflation, but depending on circumstances a period of price increases between 3 - 7% can become a nice little catalyst for economic redistribution.
    The wealthy see their fortunes erode, whilst the lower rungs of the economic ladder will have a strong case for wage increases. 'Let's lock in an acceptable increase in union wages now, or you risk even worse increases in labour costs next year. '

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Which book by Edward St. Aubyn should be the first one I read?

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I dip into the Booker prize shortlist* from time to time. I reckon Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh was worth the effort. Quite dark, maybe excessively so sometimes, but the twist towards the end feels like a great reward for persevering through all the grimy details.

    *or longlist... whatever

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Dumbbell press is a great and safe alternative.

    Especially for incline bench. There are those who claim a reverse dumbbell incline press is superior to the barbell kind.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    chasing bleach blonde cougars called Tabitha

    And who can blame him.

  • in COVID-19
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    Do any of you have full access to Jstor articles and feel inclined to sort me out with a PDF copy of a book I need from there?

    .
    (cross post from 'any question..')

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