Monday, October 25, 2010

Tea Time?

How about these Brits? I can't pretend to have deep knowledge about the UK budget or politics, but I find it refreshing to see a nation tightening their belts for the good of future generations. Across the Channel, though, more than a million people went on strike in protest of Sarkozy's bid to raise retirement age from 60 to 62.

What do you all make of this? We face the same problems here, but do we have the nerve to tackle them? If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how the UK handles its spending cuts in the next 5 years.


Ryan said...

Nice post, Rolls. Very timely.

John Hanrahan said...

Rollo Nice Post.
Nice the see some talk on the old loop and the lou.

I really think the retirement age needs to be raised but the only way I think you can do that is to raise it over several years. An Example would be

2020 Raise it to 62 Years Old
2030 Raise it to 65 Years Old
2040 Raise it to 67 Years Old
2050 Raise it to 70 Years Old

I also think it might be helpful to have exceptions for jobs that are manual labor. That being said I think that singling an industry or industries out could lead to lots of problems and issues with getting things done.

Hopefully raising the age or retirement will lead to more savings by individuals.

Please note I have no data on how much those increases would save. I would suggest knowing that information before making specific yearly recommendations.

G. Smith said...

I don't think the U.S. will have any such nerve. I think our political doesn't even have the ability to make drastic change like Cameron's proposing. Obama's economic policies of the last two years ignored the deficit in the short term in favor of immediate relief, and thought about the deficit in the long term, like the HC bill. The popular interpretation of the election results indicates that voters didn't like that approach. But, if the new government results in drastic cuts here and people start loosing benefits and public jobs, I'd bet in two years we'll have another shift in party, and ideology.

There are likely ways to save money in government by increasing efficiency in public programs etc, but I feel like that's what everyone agrees on, but never seems to happen, or be enough.

I think it's also telling that many of the new Rs and tea partiers who just came in on a message of fiscal responsibility are proposing ideas that will increase the deficit (according to this nyt editorial:

All American politicians run on a platform of change - but American's don't seem to have the patience to actually see that change actually happen.

It will indeed be interesting to see how Cameron does in the next couple years in England. They love their public programs over there, and they also love throwing people out of office...

It's also interesting that I agreed with everything that Pat Buchanan said in that Chronicles article...

Ryan said...

Yo, G! Thought you had dropped off the edge of the earth, which I seem to remember is just west of Puget Sound.

I'm skeptical of any positive effects the Tea Partiers ( all labeled as Republicans? Yech.) could possibly have. Tangibly, I doubt they will accomplish much that a conservative could be proud of, like rolling back ObamaCare.

Could they change the face of the "debate" going on? Again, not with John Boehner at the top. That guy is such a buffoon. Are any of them questioning the $1 Trillion we spend on keeping us safe via military/intelligence, automated bombings, etc? Nawwwwww.

Instead you have a silly debate and posturing about "deep cuts", which as typically reactionary as we could expect from R's or D's. Why deep cuts, why not just cuts? There's so much low hanging fruit, why not just at least accomplish that?

It's not about the recession or loss of/creating jobs or deficits, it's about managing taxpayer money responsibly under all economic conditions, and we have never and will never see that happen.

If you're interested, I'll mail you a big poster of Buchanan since you are now such a fan!

Roller said...

Great to hear you all - and I liked the Buchanan article, too.

Johnny, it's unfortunate that a staggered increase to the retirement age is the only realistic hope there. But you're right, that's the approach they'd have to take. Unless they can set a maximum voting age of 45.

G, I agree that this nation doesn't have the nerve for drastic changes like those going on in the UK. We had the opportunity to take our medicine in the past couple years, and passed it up in order to perpetuate the great machine known as the American Consumer.

I'm glad to see that some balance has been restored, but I cannot take the Republican party seriously as long as Sarah Palin is one of its faces. I sadly expect that the 2012 election will be a blame war for the past 2-4 years, as nothing will have been accomplished.

Well, at least Conan O'Brien is back on the air.

G. Smith said...

It's fun to be back on TLATL, and it seems we've reached newfound agreement here - Pat Buchanan isn't necessarily an ass, Sarah Palin is, and our government is unlikely to accomplish much with the new Congress? So it sounds like we're all agreed then - the D's should stay in control so that our government can actually function? (haha)

While I'm mostly joking, it is the case that legislatively this has been the most productive Congress in many many years. That should have been the case having control over the WH and Congress. Obviously not everyone agreed with the impact of the productivity - but they did manage to pass some major legislation. I think they just did a horrible job of talking about it. I know a lot of other folks think that some of legislation itself was horrible - but since this is an agreeable post, lets keep talking about the English.

52,000 people marched against the Tory's economic plans this week.

That's a ton of people over something that is just being proposed - not actual cuts yet. If this is the shape of things to come in England, I worry about Cameron's ability to make any change there either.