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 Post subject: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:17 pm 
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It is encouraging to see some original thinking about the state of things, and how we should respond, setting our own agenda on the blogosphere rather than relying on the MSM or the politicians to tell us what to think. We need neither when we have our own fora.

Into the fray comes Old Holborn who advocates voluntarily reducing his "money based economic activity". As a consequence, he reduces the amount of tax the state is legally able to extract from him, thereby starving the beast, so reducing the power and reach of the state.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:32 pm 
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I am reluctant to plant my own carrots.
I feel that to do so would be to acquiesce in the primitive agrarian existence to which our masters' energy policy seeks to condemn us.
Whatever next? Barter?

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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Aurelian wrote:
I am reluctant to plant my own carrots.
I feel that to do so would be to acquiesce in the primitive agrarian existence to which our masters' energy policy seeks to condemn us.
Whatever next? Barter?




Think what you would get for 24 carrots! PDT_Armataz_02_11

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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:54 pm
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barter looks like an interesting possibility, how can the state tax a barter transaction?

i still have mixed feelings over referism. the state can always cheat or change the rules. it might just end up being a long waste of time. after all, the italian constitution clearly forbids deficit spending, and look at italian public debt.

not sure how the UK system works. in italy the central state collects taxes, but spending is decentralized. which means there is no practical way of limiting spending, because if any state agency goes to Acme inc. to buy something, Acme will supply even if payment is deferred in time on account of the fact that the state is considered a ultrareliable payer (aha) and because of the usually inflated prices. in italy state pays after 6, 8, 12 months or more. healthcare services have massive debts with suppliers, and i mean MASSIVE. this is a hidden debt and it amounts to a substantial chunk of GDP.

but this indicates that is impossible to limit spending, because nobody can afford the state to become insolvent. there is so much money at stake that all economy would collapse. one day it will, but up to that point, it wont.

even if the ministry of finances would stop transfering money to the spending centres, they would borrow from banks, and increase the debt towards suppliers. remember, the state is considered a safe payer. aha!

i still think that the only way forward is through the collapse of central state. state will collapse but this should be anticipated.
for example, in italy employers are forced to withold the employees tax money and then transfer it to the central collecting agency. based on the fact that this is unpaid work and therefore forbidden by constitution, the employers should just give the full salary to employees, who would undoubtly spend it all.
of course the central state would activate itself in order to collect the money, but if enough companies did this, the central state would go bankrupt long before it would be able to collect the tax money.

of course im daydreaming :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:12 pm
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Think back to Physics and those devilish electromagnetic standing wave factions: in Layman's terms 'what you can't accept you will become'.
Force and change are, thus, the only options.


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:39 pm 
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OK, a really good example of this downsizing model is a writer called Tom Hodgkinson of "The Idler"...

http://idler.co.uk/

He wrote a book a few years back called "How to be Free", I can recommend it highly.

http://idler.co.uk/books/how-to-be-free-2/

It takes a group to fit all the pieces together, I suppose!

Well done Richard.. Well done Old Holborn and all the rest, this stuff might actually have some legs.


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:28 am
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Isn't most food zero-rated for VAT? PDT_Armataz_01_02 It's fun to discover the exemptions.
But home-grown veg does taste better.


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 7:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:42 pm
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Location: Dublin
I went through a phase of growing my own carrots a few years ago when the whole green movement / peak oil thing kicked off. Anyway what a crock of sh*t that turned out to be. So I gave up on the carrots


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:18 pm 
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DrChaos wrote:
I went through a phase of growing my own carrots a few years ago when the whole green movement / peak oil thing kicked off. Anyway what a crock of sh*t that turned out to be. So I gave up on the carrots


I thought that's what you used on the carrots?

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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:58 pm
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Reading the Old Holborn article I think he gets a number of things right - especially about the danger of violence and appalling deprivation in the event that the government is cut back very quickly.

I also think you are correct in that not engaging in a political way at all could also be dangerous. I recall an example but can't find it online at the moment:

The gist was that a chap was living "off the grid" on his own land in one of the southern US states but local officials were suing him and harassing him regarding health violations i.e. not being connected to water and sewage and half a dozen other things. The general consensus of the comments on the article was that the local council (or whatever I don't know how it works in the US) just wanted him to put in the services or move him off in favour of someone who would so they could increase property taxes.

Point being that if you aren't engaged on some level then there's no particular guarantee that someone won't just change the rules on you to force you to conform.

Also, the "starve the beast strategy" risks exactly the kind of collapse that would happen if the state just withdrew suddenly as a result of policy. I think the state will keep spending and running up debts until it can't go on any longer and then severe austerity measures will be imposed by default - not the relatively controlled measures we're seeing trying to be implemented in Greece and Spain now.


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:45 pm 

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Problem in the States is that the FDA has got in on the home-grown food act. Not sure to what extent but it's certainly illegal to sell unless suitably registered. I think they're clamping down on growing for own consumption too. For your own good of course!

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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:54 pm
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controlled recovery is an illusion

these "measures" only result in tax hikes and more debt. greece, like any other occidental democracy, cant cut spending because they dont have the tools to do it.

how can spending decrease if in order to cut spending more bureaucrats are appointed and more agencies are formed, and when spending is not under control of the government, and when spending has no relation whatsoever with whatever money allocation is made?

perhaps you should try to understand how deficit spending works in real life.

central state collects 100, and allocates 10 to ministry A, which then proceeds to spend 15.

budgets are a charade. a silly joke. numbers pulled out of the proverbial orifice. otherwise there would be no deficit spending.

anyone who reads a budget and who can make elementary arithmetics can easily see they are a bunch of fantasies.
FatCaveman wrote:
Reading the Old Holborn article I think he gets a number of things right - especially about the danger of violence and appalling deprivation in the event that the government is cut back very quickly.

I also think you are correct in that not engaging in a political way at all could also be dangerous. I recall an example but can't find it online at the moment:

The gist was that a chap was living "off the grid" on his own land in one of the southern US states but local officials were suing him and harassing him regarding health violations i.e. not being connected to water and sewage and half a dozen other things. The general consensus of the comments on the article was that the local council (or whatever I don't know how it works in the US) just wanted him to put in the services or move him off in favour of someone who would so they could increase property taxes.

Point being that if you aren't engaged on some level then there's no particular guarantee that someone won't just change the rules on you to force you to conform.

Also, the "starve the beast strategy" risks exactly the kind of collapse that would happen if the state just withdrew suddenly as a result of policy. I think the state will keep spending and running up debts until it can't go on any longer and then severe austerity measures will be imposed by default - not the relatively controlled measures we're seeing trying to be implemented in Greece and Spain now.


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:42 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Dublin
RAENORTH wrote:
DrChaos wrote:
I went through a phase of growing my own carrots a few years ago when the whole green movement / peak oil thing kicked off. Anyway what a crock of sh*t that turned out to be. So I gave up on the carrots


I thought that's what you used on the carrots?



Indeed! I should have mulched some of those peak oil books and the green party manifesto in too...


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:41 pm
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Given the price of food at the moment - my food bills are about 50% above what they were only a few months ago - growing my own makes living a lot cheaper during the summer months. Forget carrots (they're not ready yet, but delicious if you can defeat carrot root fly), we have been eating a plateful of asparagus every other night for the last 6 weeks. I haven't checked how much they are sold for but ought to do it to check how much money we've saved. Salad crops are rolling in and I sell them to friends to help fund the local youth to buy seeds for their allotment so that they can learn to grow and then cook the dreaded vegetables.

RAEN is right though, it doesn't help with paying energy costs, tax and council tax. I'd love to have a go at dumping a few bags of lettuce on the council's reception in lieu of my tax, especially as I'm a councillor. As you have to be up-to-date with council tax payments before you can take part in a council meeting it would be highly amusing to try to say I'd paid in lettuce.


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 Post subject: Re: Downsizing
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:44 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:11 am
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You may have a lucrative career ahead of you in the States, John, as a personal trainer.
Your personal brand of decorum, etiquette and self-expression should go down very well in Boise, Idaho say PDT_Armataz_01_28 PDT_Armataz_01_28

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