The collected detritus and flotsam from my internet browsing ends up collated at www.beta57.com. Here’s what I’ve been linking to recently:
- James Meek · Where will we live?: The Housing Disaster
“Right to Buy thus created an astonishing leak of state money – taxpayers’ money, if you like to think of it that way – into the hands of a rentier class. First, the government sold people homes it owned at a huge discount. Then it allowed the original buyers to keep the profit when they sold those homes to a private landlord at market price. Then the government artificially raised market rents by choking off supply – by making it impossible for councils to replace the sold-off houses. Then it paid those artificially high rents to the same private landlords in the form of housing benefit – many times higher than the housing benefit it would have paid had the houses remained in council hands.In other words, since Thatcher, the British government has done the exact opposite of what it has encouraged households to do: to buy their own homes, rather than renting. Thatcher and her successors have done all they can to sell off the nation’s bricks and mortar, only to be forced to rent it back, at inflated prices, f
- The Romanian and Bulgarian invasion – one week on
- Capitalism and poverty: what Toby Young doesn’t tell you
- A short history of privatisation in the UK: 1979-2012
But, as in the 1980s, the aim is not primarily to reduce public-sector borrowing. The Tories know that ongoing economic crisis is not just a fiscal or financial problem. The private sector is utterly stagnant. Globally, there are trillions of pounds being retained by corporations who see no viable avenue for profitable investment. US companies are holding on to $1.7 trillion, eurozone firms sit on 2 trillion euros, and British firms have £750bn doing nothing. Accumulation-by-dispossession is one way to get that money into circulation as capital. And while the Conservatives are not as ideologically confident as in the 1980s, the scale of their proposed privatisations suggests they expect to over-ride any opposition.
- The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation — Everyday Feminism
But even if the line between exchange and appropriation bends, twists, and loop-de-loops in ways it would take decades of academic thought to unpack, it has a definite starting point: Respect.
- Is there anyone who doubts these cops are corrupt? Anyone?
- ‘Duck Dynasty’: November wines, December whines
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