Re: @codejunky @ Preston Munchensonton - "The argument will be that...
NOTE: I'm not criticizing here but corroborating.
"Hmm: Number of workers on minimum wage has DOUBLED to 1 in 20 and that doesn't include all those on benefits, nor all those who are self-employed who are on low incomes, but aren't included in these figures."
How about one more metric just to be sure. What's the distribution of job wages vs. the total population? This way factors such as absolute population shifts can be accounted for and show that the proportion of low- to high-wage jobs is shifting more towards the former even on a per capita scale.
""Confiscated"? Oh dear! Yes, they can afford more workers but they will probably only be paid the minimum wage. And what's the betting the R&D will be devoted to "how can I make more money with fewer people and less expenditure so I can make more profit"."
I've noticed an increasing amount of R&D going into two things: robotics and expert systems. Technologies that can render human workers expendable. And worse yet, this creep of automation is starting to hit areas where we thought humans were safe like the arts. And to top that off, there doesn't seem to be much of an outlet for the displaced masses unlike in previous technology shifts. Most of what's left will be highly-technical and/or specialized positions that pretty much call for a life decision just to pursue, let alone secure a position. They'll also be of a nature that not many of them will be needed to handle the population. I'm reminded of that Robots Are... poster you see in Portal 2...
"But there's a *limit* to the amount that people will spend as I've already pointed out, so more of that money will not be passing into general circulation, but squirreled away into investments which will then be used by banks and other institutions to make *themselves* more money in the financial markets..."
And not all of these investments need to result in greater economic activity. Investing in real estate without developing it or stockpiling in precious commodities (which have value by merely existing) results in stagnant value: no real money flow. Also, the flow can be restricted: money circulated mostly within the elite doesn't become accessible to the hoi poloi.
"Oh ye gods, codejunky, you don't get it do you? The argument is for a more *compentent* government, not one with idiots like Osborne at the helm who has borrowed *more* money than anyone else before and *still* failed to clear the deficit *despite* taking lots of money off the little people who can least afford to lose it!"
Only problem is that we're running into the "power corrupts" problem. Even if just for one term, the natural tendency for people in power (like politicians) is to leverage that power as much as possible so as to have a comfortable endgame. Selflessness and ambition appear to be conflicting traits in your average human, and the end result is that politics appears to naturally attract the kinds of people we least want in power. And I bet none of the safeguards we could conceive would be enough to reduce this tendency to any significant degree.