Ian Blyth – It's Just a Thought

My thoughts and opinions

Archive for June, 2007

Greed and Envy

Posted by Ian Blyth on 25 June 2007

It never ceases to amaze me how Labour and the left in general bay for the rich to be taxed to the hilt. The reason being that they can then give this money to the poor for “equality”.

If you are living on a modest wage the thought of taxing the rich is appealing. They can afford it. They have lots of money. They don’t deserve it. And so on.

The thing is that the more you earn the more tax you pay anyway. If the tax is a flat 20% and someone earns £20k then they pay £4k. If they earn £200k then they pay £40K. So even with flat rate tax people who earn more automatically pay more anyway.

And there seems to be a misconception that people who have more money just horde it. Perhaps they think people with more money stick it under their bed. Like most people they spend it. Perhaps on more luxurious things but they do spend it and that in itself keeps companies in business and allows them to pay people’s wages so that they in turn can spend it.

This concept of “milking the rich” is an emotional tug that politicians use. After all there are more poor people than rich people. But with 10 years of Labour in power has the poor got better due to their policies. I can not see it. But politicians use it get their votes.

All the factual economic studies backed up with case studies from governments that have done it shows that reducing the tax burden helps the economy and paradoxically brings in more tax. It brings in business and entrepreneurs are more likely to spring up which creates jobs and prosperity. When tax was an eye watering 98% for the rich with a pervious government all that happened was the rich moved to other countries so the government did not get any of their money.

The thing is how can these people who want the rich to be taxed be educated to realise that entrepreneurial people are good for the economy and therefor better for their self interest and get over this emotion feeling of greed and envy.

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Smartphone v Nokia

Posted by Ian Blyth on 25 June 2007

I have been using a Windows based Smartphone for a while. The original one was not that great with a need to recharge every night but the C500 was superb. I like the ability to plug into the USB port and get all my mail, contacts and files automatically synched. If you have Exchange server with SP2 you also get the ability to get push e-mail without the expense of a Blackberry server and monthly charge.

I recently got a new phone with my contract as my PDA/phone was too heavy to carry around socially although great for work. The new phone is a Nokia E65 which can also synch with Outlook but with it’s own software. The one thing that I remembered from my original Nokia that I had years ago was the ability to set an alarm and switch the phone off. This is such a great boon. I am in Seattle at the moment and I am 8 hours behind UK time. If I left my Smartphone on for an alarm there was always a risk that someone would call me as early afternoon in the UK is the middle of the night.

If the Smartphone could do that it would be great. I am not sure why it can not.

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A Politicians Life

Posted by Ian Blyth on 22 June 2007

It is a cushy life for a politician. The only thing that they need to do well is get enough votes to win an election which only happens every 4 to 5 years. They don’t have to be a good politician, they don’t have to be good at solving problems, they don’t have to be good at being an MP and doing good for the country. They just have to ensure that for those few weeks running up to the election that they ensure that they get enough votes. And if they are in a safe seat then they don’t have to do that much anyway.

No wonder people question democracy and governments. Where are the good people that can actual making a difference to the well being of the people that they purport to represent?

On the other hand how do I get put forward as an MP to a safe seat? I could do with a bit of cushiness. And I certainly can not do much worse than the current bunch of politicians.

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Managerialism

Posted by Ian Blyth on 21 June 2007

I was interested to read Stumbling and Mumbling’s post about this. In particular the quote from Managing Britannia.

The notion that [19th century managers] had in common a single talent which can be identified as “managerial skill”, capable of ready transference between their different callings, is pure fantasy. That Dr Barnardo could equally well have run a chain of newsagents, or that Thomas Cook could just as readily have run a chocolate factory, is manifestly absurd.

I have to disagree with that as a person who has been a manager and changed industries a few times. I think the skills of management are very similar. Technical skills and vertical knowledge can be learned. What makes the difference is that Dr Barnardo had a passion for helping children and Thomas Cook had a passion for holidays which is why they went into those areas. In fact you may be able to make a case that it was their passion that helped them succeed rather than their management skills. But the fact is that they did demonstrate those skills and if their passion ran in another direction I have no doubt that they would have been good at that as well.

Over the years I have worked for both good and bad managers. And what makes a person a good manager and what makes them a bad manager are pretty consistent. The trouble is that bad managers survive because their managers are not good enough to spot the difference.

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Government Spending Our Money

Posted by Ian Blyth on 19 June 2007

Milton Friedman say

“There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.

Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.

Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch!

Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.”

That seems intuitively obvious once it has been said. Also the mark of a great mind that once they have discovered something it seems obvious and simple to everyone else afterwards. But it also means we should not let the government spend our money. The only thing a politician has to be good at is getting elected. That’s all. What makes us think that they are good are governing based on that?

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Tiswas Reunited

Posted by Ian Blyth on 17 June 2007

ITV ran a program celebrating that most famous of Saturday morning’s children shows – Tiswas. The original cast was there and there were lots of clips from the show. It was great. I have not laughed so much for ages. And it brought back great memories.

The show was great in its day. Totally chaotic and funny and was watched as much by adults as children. It is still funny after all these years. It was great to see Spit the Dog, the Phantom Flan Flinger and Sally James again amongst others.

An interesting comment that Sally made was that they could not do half of what they did back then today. That was the sad part. It just shows how far our politically correct nanny state has encroached on our lives.

If any politician says it is now for the better then they should get flanned! In fact it should be compulsory for politicians to get flanned on a regular basis. And bring back Tiswas!

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The Power of A Word

Posted by Ian Blyth on 8 June 2007

Emily was removed from the Big Brother house by saying the n word. It has been speculated that the shock value came from her being white and Charley being black. And it did not help that Charley went on about it and talked to others even though she kept on saying it did not matter. Obviously it did!

The show afterwards with George Galloway where they talked about the matter with an audience was interesting to see the different views.

They use the f word a lot on the show and that would have been equally shocking years ago but it is now common place. Yet it was only in 1961 that Lenny Bruce was arrested for obscenity.

So it seems that a single word still has power today. Power to shock and power to upset people. I suppose until everyone can live a life free from prejudice we are going to have to temper the right of free speech with the reasonability to use it in a sensitive manner.

The phrase used throughout the Spiderman movies was “With great power comes great responsibility”. I suppose free speech is the great power.

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No Election

Posted by Ian Blyth on 6 June 2007

Well not long now until Gordon Brown takes over as PM from Tony Blair. Although I do feel cheated that I have a PM that I had no hand in voting for.

It just does not feel like a democracy.

I am concerned as he is already making noises about being tough on terrorism. Isn’t that a given. What western leader would be soft on terrorism. Unfortunately I think that he means he is going to be tough with our civil liberties. This is not a good start and he is not even in office yet.

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Queues

Posted by Ian Blyth on 4 June 2007

Why is it that when I am in a queue at the supermarket the woman if front spends 5 minutes rearranging her bag/purse just so that she can fit in a small slip of paper? Men don’t do that. Perhaps we need men only queues!

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