Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Meet-ups tomorrow and Saturday

Robin Smith and Steve Stretton will be at our usual haunt tomorrow Friday 1 March from 5.30-ish and I will be at the Priced Out meet-up on Saturday 2 March.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Reader's Letter Of The Day

From The Evening Standard (25 February 2013, page 43):

The downgrade should come as no surprise - the Coalition made it clear at the start that they were going to continue running up large annual deficits for their whole five-year term.

What is noticeable is the extent to which a narrative of "savage Tory cuts" has gained traction, when what's actually happening are exemplary cuts for people the Conservative frontbench don't like (welfare claimants; social housing tenants) while ever larger sums are given to influential businesses and party donors (banks; welfare to work providers).

What is even more surprising is that Labour politicians go along with the charade and call for higher spending - surely they know the Government is spending £100 billion a year more than Labour was before the credit crunch?

Mark Wadsworth, Young People's Party.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

"Commute three hours a day or lose benefits"

They have gone completely mad, but rather sadly, a lot of people in this country go along with this divide and conquer nonsense:

Jobseekers must commute for up to three hours a day to work or risk losing their benefits. Tough new rules this spring will also force them to accept any job that pays the minimum wage. They will be expected to take jobs up to one-and-a-half hours away from home, and job offers will have to be taken up immediately, not deferred.

Do they really imagine that nobody will spot the fatal and quite sadistic logical flaw in all this?

If an employer has to choose between similarly qualified applications, by and large, he prefers the person who lives nearest the place of work. If somebody is ten minutes' walk, drive or bus journey away, then they are far more likely to turn up on time than somebody dozens of miles away who will constantly get stuck in traffic or will by held up by train delays etc. People who live nearby are also probably more willing to work late or to come in at the weekend when necessary; it's worth while commuting for half an hour there and back in order to get paid for two hours overtime; it's not worthwhile commuting for three hours to be paid for two hours overtime.

So to the extent that an employer can't find somebody on the open market (which usually means the the wages they are offering are not high enough), by all means, pass the vacancy on to the Job Centre. If the Job Centre people are acting rationally, the first people they will send for an interview are people who live nearby, if none of those want the job, then cast the net a bit wider and so on.

I suppose that what the government wants Job Centres to do is, if there's a low-paid job vacancy in Manchester, first to offer it to everybody claiming unemployment benefit who lives ninety minutes away (in Bradford or Blackpool, let's say) safe in the knowledge that they will all turn it down, giving the government a foul excuse to stop all benefits being paid to people in Bradford and Blackpool. Then the government offers the job to claimants in Burnley, Blackburn, Preston or Warrington (about sixty minutes away) and they all turn it down and get their benefits stopped as well etc.

Then if a there is a low-paid job vacancy in Bradford, the Job Centre first offers it to people in Manchester or Sheffield (90 minutes away), all of whom turn it down; then to people in Rochdale (75 minutes away) and so on until a couple of million people have had their benefits stopped. It's not like this is going to cause massive social unrest or anything.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Elections 2 May 2013

There are going to be lots of county council elections on 2 May 2013.

If you live or work in an area where there's going to be an election, then please seriously consider standing as a candidate.

There is no deposit to pay at the town hall, and even if you do no campaigning whatsoever, it's always good to get "YPP" on the ballot paper.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Meet-up this evening

Same time, same place.

i.e. this evening (15th Feb) from about 5.30 pm onwards at The Brewmaster pub near Leicester Square Tube station.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Occupy Occupy, Brewmaster & Eastleigh By-election

A couple of us will be dropping in on this tomorrow:

Occupy economics working group
Land Value capture discussion
Friday, 8 February 5pm to 7pm

Friends House
173-177 Euston Road
London NW1 2BJ


Meanwhile, Robin Smith will be holding fort at The Brewmaster from 5.30 onwards:

Near Leicester Square Tube Station
37 Cranbourne Street
London WC2H 7AD


I'll try and drop in later on, around 7.30 or so.

And if there are no other takers, Robin will be standing for us in the Eastleigh by-election.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Occupy Occupy

A couple of us will be dropping in on this:

Occupy economics working group
Land Value capture discussion
Friday, 1 February 5pm to 7pm

Friends House
173-177 Euston Road
London NW1 2BJ

Directions