Britain shows the fraud of socialism
They are purely destructive. They do no good even by their own criteria. They have been running Britain since 1997
The gap between rich and poor grew to record levels last year, official figures have disclosed. The number of children living in poverty rose by 100,000, the data showed, confirming Labour's failure to meet a promise to cut child poverty. The Department of Work and Pensions yesterday released income data for 2007/08, the last full financial year before the UK economy went into recession.
The data showed that while incomes for the better-off grew only slowly, they still increased more quickly than those of the poorest. Inflation also hit the incomes of the poorest disproportionately, eroding the value of their welfare payments. People are commonly defined as being in poverty when their income is only 60 per cent of the median salary in Britain. By that measure, the number of children, working-age adults and pensioners in poverty rose by 300,000 to 11.0 million in 2007/08 before housing costs are considered. After housing costs, the number in poverty rose by 200,000 to 13.5 million.
According to economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the figures mean that the Gini Coefficient, a measure of income inequality, is now at its highest level since they began compiling figures in 1961. Alastair Muriel, an IFS economist said: "Since the election, average incomes across the population have grown slowly, whilst they have fallen for the poorest." He added that the recession may see poorer households regain some ground if benefits grow more rapidly than the pay of the better off. Many companies are imposing pay freezes and even cuts on staff to cope with the downturn.
The data also dealt a heavy blow to Labour's claims on child poverty. Before housing costs are considered, the number of children in poverty remained unchanged at 2.9 million in 2007/08. After housing costs, the total increased by 100,000 to 4.0 million. In 2004/05, the figure hit a low of 3.6 million.
According to the DWP, the median weekly income in 2007/08 for a couple with two children was £601 before housing costs and £533 after housing costs. Such a couple would be considered poor if their monthly income pre-housing was £361, or £322 after housing.
The child poverty figures represent a political embarrasment for the Government and the Prime Minister. Labour in 1999 made a political pledge to eradicate child poverty, and reduce the "before housing costs" total to 1.7 billion by 2010. In 2001 Gordon Brown said to child poverty is a "scar on Britain's soul."
Ministers have already admitted that the 2010 target will be missed by around 1 million. Beverley Hughes, the Children's Minister, again admitted the target will be missed and hinted that child poverty could worsen. She said: "It is very difficult to model the impact of the recession on child poverty."
Last year's Queen's Speech promised a new legal obligation on ministers to end child poverty by 2020. Ms Hughes insisted that the government remains "absolutely committed" to that goal.
Colette Marshall, UK Director of Save the Children, said: "The Government has clearly broken its promise to lift up to three million children out of poverty in the UK. It is outrageous that so many children continue to miss out on the basic necessities most children take for granted."
Theresa May, the Conservative shadow work and pensions secretary, said: "Gordon Brown's pledge to halve child poverty by 2010 is just one of countless Labour promises that lies in tatters."
MORE ON CHRYSLER'S BANKRUPTCY
By Neal Boortz
Yesterday I gave you a Boortz economic lesson in an attempt to explain what the Barack Obama administration is trying to pull in this Chrysler bankruptcy. The latest on this story ... Thomas Lauria, a lawyer for top creditors, has officially filed a motion to stop the Chrysler bankruptcy. Lauria claims that the Obama administration has violated the Constitution by trying to devalue the senior creditors' holdings on behalf of junior creditors. What does Lauria base this on? Something called the 5th Amendment. Maybe you have heard of it. Just in case, here is a little reminder:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
But wait ... as they say ... there's more! Lauria, who represents the group referred to as the non-TARP lenders, is going to ask that the bankruptcy court keep the names of his client confidential. Why would that be? Because they have been receiving threats. You can bet that some of the threats are coming from union members. These union goons like the idea of their pension debts being given priority to Chrysler's secured lenders, and I think we all know what union goons do when something happens they don't like. There was a time not too long ago when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms noted that the number one illegal use of explosives in the United States came at the hands of union members engaged in work actions.
But there's another group threatening the secured non-TARP creditors. That would be the White House. Lauria and others have claimed that people within the Obama administration have made it clear that if any of these secured lenders get in the way of Obama's gift to the unions the White House will work to destroy their reputation. Now the White House denies this. What would you expect? But listen to the language ... Obama has attacked these people in public as being "vultures" and has painted them as evil capitalists who don't want to stand by the families of Chrysler workers. If he'll do this in public, what do you think his attack dogs will do in private?
Even if you think Obama hung the moon; even if you're now calling him the best president this country ever had; you just have to recognize the danger in the precedent that's been set here. The United Auto Workers are getting priority for their unsecured Chrysler debt simply because they are political powerful. Now just how is that going to work out for us in the future? Do you want to live in a financial world where lenders base lending decision in part on the political prominence of the borrower?
Giving unsecured creditors priority over secured lenders in bankruptcy proceedings .. now that's change you can believe in.
Obama budget cuts target military funding: "President Obama has targeted the Department of Defense to absorb more than 80 percent of the cuts he has proposed in next year's budget for discretionary programs. In its "Terminations, Reductions and Savings" booklet, which the administration released Thursday, the White House highlighted the results of the president's line-by-line scrubbing of the federal budget. The administration identified $11.5 billion in discretionary program terminations and reductions for next year. The Defense Department will take a $9.4 billion hit, constituting 82 percent of the cuts. Defense accounts for 49 percent of spending on discretionary programs, which Congress must fund each year... The $17 billion in total cuts represents less than one-half of 1 percent of the $3.6 trillion 2010 budget the president proposed in February, and it is less than 1 percent of this year's budget deficit."
Britain still printing money: "The Bank of England yesterday stepped up its aggressive campaign to end Britain’s economic slump by ordering a surprise £50 billion expansion of its radical scheme to jump-start growth by “printing money”. Much of the City was wrong-footed as the Bank announced that it would immediately increase the size of its drive to pump extra cash through the economy by buying government and corporate bonds. The unexpected move will add to the Bank’s purchases so far of £46 billion of government bonds, or gilts, and corporate debt using newly created money under the £75 billion first phase of its radical “quantitative easing” scheme. It said that it would now raise the total to be spent under the plan to £125 billion. The Bank added that the measures would run for a further three months, beyond the first phase that was due to end at the end of this month, extending the unprecedented action until the end of August."
GM draws closer to bankruptcy in first quarter: “General Motors drew closer to bankruptcy Thursday, acknowledging that its revenue fell by nearly half as car buyers worldwide steered away from showrooms for fear that the auto giant would not be around to honor its warranties. The company lost $6 billion in the first three months of the year.”
The usual Illinois corruption: “Illinois State Police troopers seized a high-performance muscle car and set it aside for the personal use of an influential police official. The Associated Press reported that a suspected drunk driver in a 2006 Dodge Charger was pulled over in January 2007. The troopers used a state seizure law to confiscate the vehicle. Once the paperwork was complete, the 425-horsepower vehicle — which had an as-new base price of $38,000 — was handed over for the personal use of Ron Cooley, 56, the Executive Director of the Illinois State Police Merit Board. Taxpayers also pick up the fuel tab for gas-guzzling 6.1 liter V-8 as he drives to and from work each day and on various business trips.”
Moving toward drug legalization: “I think we’ve got a real shot at knocking out the drug war in the near future. Ten years ago, the average person would never even consider the idea, despite the fact that such notable figures as Milton Friedman (Nobel Prize winner), Bill Buckley (noted conservative), Kurt Schmoke (mayor of Baltimore), and others were calling for an end to the drug war. Today, even though there are a still plenty of people who won’t let go of the drug war, despite its manifest failure and destructiveness, everyone would concede that drug legalization is now a credible position, one that is being debated all across the country.”
Insolvent banks should feel market discipline: “Joseph Schumpeter famously argued that the essence of capitalism was creative destruction, by which new economic structures are born from the rubble of older ones. The government stress tests on the 19 largest US banks … could have facilitated this process. The opportunity looks likely to be missed. The tests, which measure how viable banks are under adverse economic conditions, have no ‘failed’ category, even if as many as 10 are reported to need additional capital. … Once again, the question will be how the near-insolvent banks can be kept afloat, to avoid systemic risk. But the question we really should be asking is: why keep insolvent banks afloat?”
Socking stocks: “Just as the economy begins showing glimmers of a turnaround, here comes President Obama with a ‘tax-reform’ effort that’s sure to sock the stock prices and after-tax profits of many of the biggest US employers. Obama’s $190 billion business-tax hike will hit Americans whose jobs and pensions depend on these companies doing well, and will increase pressure on already struggling colleges and hospitals. Why? Because millions of individual investors hold the companies’ stocks in their portfolios, mutual funds and pension funds, as do many colleges, hospitals, museums and other institutions in their endowments.”
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)