back to article The internet may well be the root cause of today's problems… but not in the way you think

In a predictable but still shocking pronouncement, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has put much of the blame of recent terror attacks in London and Manchester on the internet and internet companies like Google and Facebook. "We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed," she argued in a speech following the …

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The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

If you have a youth without any hope, they are going to do such things, no matter what religion or other ideology they believe in. Austerity simply is wrong, and it will look wrong from many viewpoints.

So create a financial transaction tax, tax capital (at least the one noe invested) and take all of that money to kickstart the economy. Make a "New Deal" or a highly restrained form of capitalism. Invest in schools and universities, scrap tuition fees, perhaps even create a basic income.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

I don't quite agree entirely with what you''ve said in the article, Kieran, but thumbs up from me for a thoughtful analysis of the situation. Now we just need to post a copy to every MP or wannabe MP in the country and ask for their comments.

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WTF?

Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Claptrap, austerity as you call it is a consequence of overspending until you have no money left and borrowing has been seen for the folly it is. My grandchildren will still be paying off Blair's PFI contracts for most of their lifetime. The problem is no one can be bothered to learn from history so endlessly repeat its mistakes. I went abroad to work many years ago because the socialist government of the time were hell bent on wreaking the joint by funding failure while taxing anything still working until it was starved of funds to carry on.

Even in this modern world young can get jobs if they discard the web fed clap trap they were fed. I have coached several to forget the false hoods they were told by antisocial media, they obtained jobs within weeks after months of web folklore inspired failure.

Many things can be a force for good or evil. Some of the internet is good, some OK and some is frankly rubbish. Antisocial networking, is a great way to make money for a few and perhaps they should pay back something the harm they permit by encouraging bullying and other 'dark arts'.

When they filter out a celebrated anti war image from > 40 years ago, yet allow torture videos from terror groups even you should be able to understand that their balance is doubtful.

While YouTube has some helpful, interesting stuff, educational, or entertaining stuff, quite what is the value of something instructing the feeble minded to go and kill <insert your personal object of hate here> or commit suicide? Please explain their value?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Hmmm. Do some dead-end shouldn't-even-exist job for no wages, or violently overthrow the bourgeoisie. Difficult choices ahead for every young person.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

I disagree. Austerity was implemented to use the recession/deficit to justify the right wing ideology of lower taxes for the rich and less public services for the poor. The Blair/Brown government did not overspend, they ran a much lower deficit (and a surplus at times) than subsequent or previous governments.

They were stuffed up by mistakes (to be polite - it could be called criminal fraud) the banks made, not their own.

We are now in a situation where the Tory cuts to services are starting to impact everyone, not just the worst off. And Theresa May keeps standing up and saying nothings been cut when everything clearly has and services have improved when they clearly have not.

Liar liar.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"I disagree. Austerity was implemented to use the recession/deficit to justify the right wing ideology of lower taxes for the rich and less public services for the poor. The Blair/Brown government did not overspend, they ran a much lower deficit (and a surplus at times) than subsequent or previous governments."

If you want some facts to back that up...

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2016/03/13/the-conservatives-have-been-the-biggest-borrowers-over-the-last-70-years/

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

You fail to notice that not all terrorists are poor people. For example, in European terrorists in 1970s-1980s were often from middle or upper class families. Nor all Muslim terrorists are poor people. Look at Bin Laden - and how rich it was. Sure, the expendable one may be got from the lowest people.

Even populist leaders, are often not from poor families, but from upper class ones.

Increasing taxes too much usually cripple the economy, doesn't fuel it. Just look at Italy - high taxes, high state expenditures, high tax evasion, high corruption, high debt, stagnating economy, high unemployment.

People don't invest if they can't see a good outcome. Money will go elsewhere. The more you have the easier is to move them wherever you like - just look at Apple & C. It's those who can't that then must bear the burden of a hungrier and hungrier state.

When if you spend too much, one day you find your pockets are empty, and the comes the austerity - debts need to be repaid as well, or no one will lend you anymore. Yes, you may print money, and end like Venezuela.

Agatha Christie told she could have written two books a year, but the revenues of the second would have been eaten by taxes (then very high), so she didn't bother. Bookstores would have liked more books easy to sell too.

Don't get me wrong, taxes are necessary, but increase them too much and you obtain the opposite of what you're trying to achieve. People don't like to work hard and then being left a fraction of their earnings.

Also don't believe those who will be paid for doing nothing being grateful - there's just the risk of creating a dangerous mob, totally controlled by those who are in control of their "basic income". After all, it's how all authoritarian states control people, and build their supporting militias.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

It was the only thing that Thatcher actually got right, when she decided that breweries should only be allowed to own a certain amount of pubs. This idea should be taken a step further and be implemented with property and cash. We don't need people owning hundred of flats and houses and it does nothing but increase prices for everyone else(I do see how that can be a benefit if you already have property, and yes I do and id rather see the loss). The same for money, it is not an unlimited resource we only have so much in circulation, so why on earth should people be allowed to hoard large percentages of it? I'm not even going to get started on the way it is created and paid for.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"Increasing taxes too much usually cripple the economy, doesn't fuel it. Just look at Italy - high taxes, high state expenditures, high tax evasion, high corruption, high debt, stagnating economy, high unemployment."

I have been regretting using the word poor in my post since I made it, though I think youre post might not be aimed in response to mine. Anyway - I meant ordinary.

Anyway in response to your Italy example I give you Norway/Denmark:

High taxes, high state expenditures, low tax evasion, low corruption, low debt, growing economy, low unemployment, high standard of living and quality of life.

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Christian Berger: Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Christian,

economics 101:

Earn £100/month

Continually spend £100 month and another £20 'borrowed' from someone, at a cost of £25 a month.

You're fucked.

At some point the money going out needs to kind of match that which is coming in, otherwise the kind folk that are funding the disparity will demand such a premium that the house of cards will come crashing down, which in the UK is pronounced 'A Labour Government'.

There are a few choices for any government:

- spend less

- tax more

- do both

FYI companies do not pay taxes, their shareholders, employees and shareholders do, if the government takes an ever increasing amount of other peoples money, there is always a point of diminishing return.

It would appear that the Rt. Hon. Jeremy hasn't quite figured that out yet...

Cheers,

Jay

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Repeat after me "Government finances are not the same as Personal Finances"

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

@ fruitoftheloon

Just a quick question, if companies don't pay tax, what is corporation tax?

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@PapaD: Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

PD,

it's a tax on economic productivity, for money which could otherwise have been passed onto shareholders [increased dividends] staff [higher salary and/or more employees] and customers [reduced prices].

And yes, I have worked for myself for years, and done my own sole-trader/ltd co accounts.

And no, I certainly don't think that it shouldn't exist, but no matter what ideology one believes or which party you do or don't follow, simply hiking CT will not result in a corresponding increase in actual money coming in, but some politicians never learn...

Thanks for your input.

Jay

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Norway has five million inhabitants, a tax rate a just little above the Italian one, and a lot of money from oil/gas. Still it nursed a Breivik.

Denmark is about the same size. Countries so small can aim at a high-end economy, with little unemployment, and generous subsidies to a small minority of the population. It's also easier to deliver services.

Both have an higher suicide rate than Italy.

Nations with 60M+ citizens face very different challenges, especially when they have large parts of the country in bad economic and cultural conditions.

For the matter, in Italy, Lombardy which has about 10M people - the whole Norway/Denmark population combined, and good GDP per capita, would be able to sustain the same kind of economy (even without oil). The problem is the large part of the country which can't, and drain resources.

Be very careful when you compare countries, size and natural resources matter a lot. If you believe you can manage 5M people like you manage 60M+, you'll just create big disasters. UK too can't work like Denmark or Norway - it looks to me it already tried to raise tax at a very high level in the past, and it looks it didn't work at all.

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Re: @PapaD: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

@Jay

Or alternatively it is how companies pay for a secure environment to operate in, how they pay for the physical infrastructure they need to provide goods and services, how they pay for their share of the public services their employees benefit from.

You can argue that personal taxes are also a tax on productivity. You can argue that corporate taxes are a tax on productivity.

But you can't argue that a safe secure environment, with good infrastructure, within which people and companies can be productive comes free of charge!!

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@Mark 110: Re: @PapaD: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Mark,

yup! I agree with you completely.

May I also point out that I didn't state that CT should be canned?!

Thanks,

Jay

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"They were stuffed up by mistakes (to be polite - it could be called criminal fraud) the banks made, not their own."

The banks were operating within the environment created by government policy. Part of that policy was to exclude house prices from the rates of inflation used to determine interest rate policy.* The result was a long period of artificially low interest rates and a house price bubble that drove the rest of it. Surely any responsible economic manager should have looked at the situation and realised it was a threat. But the electoral advantage of cheap goods and cheap loans was too much to resist. When the inevitable happened the banks had to be baled out to fend off an even worse disaster.

*Another part was globalisation leading production to migrate to low wage areas, particularly China which reduced or held down prices of many items which were used to measure inflation.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"The same for money, it is not an unlimited resource we only have so much in circulation"

You're confusing money with the stuff it represents. Take flats and houses. There are indeed only so many at a given time. But money can be printed by governments or, in effect, by banks giving credit and the result is inflation. Apply that to the limited number of houses and you have the house price bubble that got us into this mess.

There's absolutely no way you can solve the legacy of that era by sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "La la la". That's what Brown & co did while the problem was developing.

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"Just a quick question, if companies don't pay tax, what is corporation tax?"

A tax corporations pass on to whoever they can - employees, customers or shareholders.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

It is doubtful is the typical socialist approach just to toss money at each social issue helps in this case.

The real solution is to get society organized. What we do now in most western countries is allow millions to be idling around, making them feel useless. We give them social benefits, put them somewhere in a bad neighborhood, and hope they won't be too much of a nuisance to the rest. All bills to make that happen are footed by the working middle class.

Internet censorship is for sure not the solution to random terrorist attacks. Stopping social benefits, and introduce a national wide work duty will help, this includes introducing permits for taking leave, which have to be carried so they can be checked by police officers on the street. Why not offer every unemployed man or women a job as police officer, soldier or as maintainer of public areas. Society would blossom, integration issues with minorities would evaporate over night.

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Devil

Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

May I commend -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxN1STgQXW8&feature=youtu.be - (c/o my kids)

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"Surely any responsible economic manager should have looked at the situation and realised it was a threat. But the electoral advantage of cheap goods and cheap loans was too much to resist. When the inevitable happened the banks had to be baled out to fend off an even worse disaster."

You forgot to mention various government ministers touting rising house prices as a sign of a healthy economy while neglecting to mention that due to the fact that people need to live somewhere, and that prices for other houses have also risen similarly, people haven't gained much apart from more debt. I know that people can move to cheaper areas, but that may not be an option due to work, family etc.

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

@ BoldMan: Repeat after me "Government finances are not the same as Personal Finances"

Hopefully you will soon realise that the statement is essentially bollocks, perpetuated by those who believe that there is an infinite source of money mysteriously available. It was that attitude that ratcheted up the deficit and the accrued debt that had to be addressed in 2010.

@ PapaD: Just a quick question, if companies don't pay tax, what is corporation tax?

Companies have no money, whatever you call any tax on them. "Company money" is simply income from doing business; it is actually customers' money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Overspending to run a country like England may have much to do with tax cuts to Corporations and the Wealthy and Globalization. Thanks Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

I can't help but think that there is a great of corruption, or what would have been corruption 40 or 50 years ago, but since legalized. That allows/enables huge overspending on Government projects of any type.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

The Blair/Brown government did not overspend,

My, what a selective memory you have. A major part of why the bank failures screwed us so much was that Brown was running a (huge) deficit during the boom part of the economic cycle. He believed his own hype about ending boom and bust and thought the good times would roll forever.

When the banks came cap-in-hand there was already a nice big debt piled up so we had to borrow even more. Brown could have sold some of our gold reserves at this point to help. oh, wait the 'economic genius' had already sold that off at a historic low in gold prices.

Don't get me wrong, as far as I am concerned, letting the banks fail would have concentrated bankers minds towards better govenance. As it is, bailing them out means nothing much has changed in the industry.

One thing doesn't change with British politics: the Labour party buy votes dishing out 'free' money until they kill the economy. Then the Tories are voted back in to fix the economy and they are then labelled the 'bastards' for having to cut the 'free' money flow to balance the books. Once the books are balanced enough, people vote for the 'free' money again and the cycle repeats.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

> Austerity simply is wrong, and it will look wrong from many viewpoints

You could make a much better case to support the view that profligacy is what is wrong.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

At AC: So you are saying the US banks bundling up bad debt and then selling it to UK banks as good debt was Gordon Browns fault? Or that the UK banks not doing due diligence on what they were buying was Gordon Browns fault?

Bailing out the banks was Gordon Browns fault - I would have been (and I'm sure he was) tempted to throw them to the wolves.

As for the huge deficit - there wasn't one. Thats Tory spin. There was a surplus prior to the crash.

7 years of Tory austerity, tax rises on ordinary people, cuts to services, and tax cuts for the rich don't seem to be having much of an effect on the deficit. If I hear Theresa May c laim they are a low tax party one more time . . low taxes for the rich maybe. Every time they win an election the first thing they do is raise taxes on ordinary people.

I'm not a Labour voter by the way. Just Tory lies and deceit need to be called out. They are funded by the very rich. They implement policies that benefit the very rich. And then they lie in the face of every scrap of evidence and say that the policies are benefiting ordinary working people like us.

Its the lies that get to me. If they could just be honest with us . . .

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"Hopefully you will soon realise that the statement is essentially bollocks, perpetuated by those who believe that there is an infinite source of money mysteriously available."

Unsubstantiated opinion and a straw man argument.

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"Government finances are not the same as Personal Finances"

No, governments can print money in order to delay the inevitable and make it worse when it happens.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"Thanks Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan."

Are you the same A/C that touted the same garbage on an earlier thread? You were out by decades then; you're out by decades now.

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FAIL

Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Just stop with the tax and spending arguments right now.

The very wealthy are dodging billions in taxes and the average punter is getting screwed. And that's the long and short of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/apr/08/global-inequality-may-be-much-worse-than-we-think

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Repeat after me "Government finances are not the same as Personal Finances"

and whatever you do, just keep repeating it, don't ever stop to think about it

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Companies have no money, whatever you call any tax on them. "Company money" is simply income from doing business; it is actually customers' money.

Wrong.

Let's assume you're using the British meaning of "company" limited to incorporated companies.

Corporations are legal entities. They do indeed have money - with their own bank accounts, their own debts and loans, and their own checking and savings accounts. Even if they aren't considered to have their own money, then the money must belong to the company's owners - e.g. stockholders for stock companies and members for non-stock companies.

If you're using the American English meaning of "company", then that includes partnerships and sole proprietorships. It the case of the sole proprietorship / partnership, it is not necessarily a separate legal entity, and the money belongs to the owners.

In no case would "company money" belong to customers.

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

One of the main reasons why Government borrowing should not be compared to Personal borrowing is that a Sovereign State lives a lot longer than a person. It is correct that when a person borrows more money than they can pay back then they will be in trouble. But this is because they have to pay it back within the terms of the loan. Of course you can take out another loan to pay off the first loan, etc (as people often do), but it can't go on forever. Eventually you will run out of income (by retiring, or losing your job), and the piper will come a-calling.

However this doesn't happen with a Government. They don't generally lose their job, retire, or run out of money. So National Debt can just get passed on from one Government to the next. As long as the country in question has an excellent credit rating (which the UK currently has) then it can borrow indefinitely, printing more money or issuing more bonds as and when. The current National Debt is probably a couple of hundred years older than me (if not more), and yes it does get bigger with time, but it's been like that for centuries and quite frankly it doesn't matter. So what if the Debt is 10 times what it was a decade ago? Sterling is probably worth half as much, GDP is correspondingly larger, and wages are higher. So long as we don't borrow too much, lose our Credit Rating, or turn into Greece, the UK (and other countries) can continue to do this forever. So no, it's not the same as Personal Finance, and you should not apply the same critical analysis to it.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

@ Mark 110: If I hear Theresa May claim they are a low tax party one more time ...

Even as a conservative voter (cue downvotes!) I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with this mantra. Ignoring "benefits" because they are too emotive a subject there is no escaping the fact that the requirement for public expenditure can only be reduced so far, and if we as a country are to deal with increasing life expectancy, better healthcare, and care for the elderly (along with all the other things we expect like defence, policing and so on) then shouting "low tax" from the rooftops will very soon become a vote loser, that is if it hasn't already.

I am truly astonished that the Conservative Manifesto contained the suggestion about elderly care that it did; it shows all the signs of having been concocted by an inner circle detached from life's more difficult realities and there is every possibility that this blunder could cost the Conservatives the election. Some might say "good" but I won't be one of them.

I feel very sorry for candidates who have to go out and sell the unsellable; that of course applies to both of the major parties at this election, albeit for different reasons.

Just another indication that a major requirement for political ambition is basic ineptitude.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

I've applied for such cleaning jobs. I was turned down due to lack of experience of being a cleaner.

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

All true, but the closer you sail to the wind, the more chance there is of a wreck.

The UK is fairly strong but there are some bad signals and some serious risks ahead, Brexit - a risk we did not need to take - being one of the largest.

Brexit is not an opportunity as much as a risk because all of the flux and change, seriously expensive change, none of which help the economy, which will (literally) tax the nation.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Good cleaners are hard to find, although I think it is not training as much as mind-set really.

For instance, I have too much attention to detail and would take too long without quite a lot of pressure to do otherwise.

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Unhappy

"his idea should be taken a step further and be implemented with property and cash. "

The problem is not large landlords.

It's the obscenely expensive flats bought as investments by foreigners who will never live in them but want a bolthole in case their best mate "El Presidente, " or WTF he's called gets deposed and they want to run to where they've stuffed the money he's helped steal from the state Treasury.

You might think this is irrelevant but the prices they will pay jack the price up for every other would-be home owner in every city where this happens.

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"

Just a quick question, if companies don't pay tax, what is corporation tax?

"

You need to ask yourself where the company gets the money to pay corporation tax, and who would get the benefit if the company were not paying tax. Because that's who is really paying the tax. A company does not make money out of thin air!

If by some magic it would be possible to abolish corporation tax and not recover it from elsewhere, the result would be cheaper goods and/or higher salaries.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"

You're confusing money with the stuff it represents.

"

No, it is you who is confusing money with currency. Currency can be printed. Money cannot.

The total amount of currency in circulated *must* equal the total amount of money a country has. If more currency is printed, or if the country's money is sold off, it therefore follows that the value of each unit of that currency diminishes. Which is essentially what we call "inflation".

It was a huge mistake to abandon the gold standard.

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Unhappy

"Repeat after me "Government finances are not the same as Personal Finances""

Damm right.

For example could you imagine coming to an auction to buy an IOU from me. Unlike normal auctions however the winner is the one nearest to the face value of my IOU. So if yours is the highest bidder for, say £1000 of my debt for say £950 payable (by me) in say September. I get £950 to spend for the next 3 months.

Nobodies like us can't do that but Treasury Bill auctions are SOP for most countries with relatively stable governments.

And then there's there's the selling off of assets that they only might own, like the TSB sale, which was (debateably) a mutual organization and therefor owned by its members.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

@Commswonk - gave you an upvote for a rational post!!

But if I could give you a down vote as well for intending to vote for things you disagree with I would.

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"Companies have no money, whatever you call any tax on them. "Company money" is simply income from doing business; it is actually customers' money."

i get what you are trying to say, all costs trickle down to the customer... ALL COSTS. that doesn't mean companies don't have money. in your scenario, all apple users should have access to that immense cash horde.

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Re: "his idea should be taken a step further and be implemented with property and cash. "

"The problem is not large landlords." if it isn't now... give Airbnb a few years unchecked.

"You might think this is irrelevant but the prices they will pay jack the price up for every other would-be homeowner in every city where this happens." it's not irrelevant, but not a big factor... Airbnb is a much bigger threat to most people. they allow even your regular homeowner to have the same effect on the market by inflating the value of a home... if you can rent a nice home for $2k/mo or list it on airbnb for a potential $4.5k/mo (assuming fully booked @$150/day) or you could have it sit empty for half the month and make the same money... that's smart business, but it creates the scenario you talk about EVERYWHERE.

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Re: Christian Berger: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"A company does not make money out of thin air!"

Banks do. The whole deposit/loan/deposit/loan thing gears the supply up and as a result the banks are responsible for far more "money" in circulation than the treasury.

When treasury was trying to pump liquidity into the economy, banks were sitting on it and reducing their gearing. Conversely, when treasury was frantically trying to do the opposite in stagflation days, interest rates kept climbing because more and more money was circulating.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"Both have an higher suicide rate than Italy."

That's mostly to do with the weather, less with economics/society. Not joking here, one of the branches of the family tree is Norwegian.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

"They were stuffed up by mistakes (to be polite - it could be called criminal fraud) the banks made, ..."

Not as such (I know what you mean, though. I think.):

1. From their (limited) point of view, the banks did not make any mistakes at all.

2. A big part of the problem is that a lot of what the banks did wasn't illegal.

Systemic failure.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

Denmark (where I was born) also has a relatively homogenous population (has been described as a tribe) which tends to give a high level of trust and thereby acceptance of high taxation. Also, power distance is low.

In DK the state is seen as "us" - it is still our money. Here in Portugal it is "their" money - when you pay tax it is lost and not in any way linked to what you get in services (that is how it is seen). Power distance is high, politicians are "not" the ones we elect to take care of our money.

The pattern is fraying in DK, immigration and benefit abuse has put pressure on it.

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Re: The problem isn't ideologies spreading on the Internet

I love all the pub-talk politics and specious crap and propaganda that is spread all over the web and social media.

It is mostly amusing. The only thing wrong with the internet for these purposes is that there are actually a lot of people out there who are thick enough to believe what there confirmation bias likes and they actually take it all seriously.

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