In Greece in 2012 there were 3.8 million people working while there were 4.1 million unemployed. Greece is a prime example of Margaret Thatcher’s oft quoted statement: “The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money”
The British have an enormously expensive program of subsidised housing that is called “Council Housing.” The system has operated as a cheap form of housing for people for decades and once someone manages to get a council house, they are generally entitled to stay in it for life, without any consideration to their income levels and at rents that bear no relationship to their income.
A fairer way would be for the monthly rent to be based on a percentage of the – tax return recorded – monthly income of the person or couple renting the home, in which case, rents would vary with the incomes of the occupants until such time as a person’s or couples with higher incomes would find it cheaper to buy there own home and vacate the council house for someone else to rent. This system would offer a progressive method of moving people on to home ownership. As it stands, many people with high incomes are still living in low rent council homes.
In Brazil, M and I went for a stroll along the new board walk in Fortaleza that leads from Iracema Beach to the construction site of what is to be South America’s largest aquarium when we accidentally made a wrong turn and entered into one of the remaining low income areas of the city which are sometimes called “favelas.” This favela had a certain charm to it, as the main street has an old remnant of days gone by in the form of tram lines running down the centre. On one corner there was a fishmonger and on another a general store; the favela appeared to be a self supporting community and the people in it appeared to be proud, religious and full of dignity.
Upon returning to our apartment, I gave some thought to what in the United Kingdom has been a hot topic for some three weeks now, a television program called “Benefits Street” has been exposing the total depravity of the under class in that part of the World: a place where the government gives people so much money that they have absolutely no incentive to become productive members of society; where the majority of the street’s residents exist on an endless diet of legal drugs in the form of television, alcohol, and tobacco and of course the other illegal drugs which are freely availably from the dealers on the street.
I will let you decide where you – should you be on the bottom rung of society – would rather live.
For me, I would rather be working in a favela in the hope that one day I will have enough money to progress up the ladder to something better.
M and I went to a restaurant in Fortaleza last night and were enjoying an excellent dish called Escabeche de Camarao in a fabulous restaurant called Coco Bambu. After a while, a couple with three children came in and sat down at the table next to us. For the next hour, with short breaks taken to eat, the mother and oldest son spent all of their time ignoring the father and the two youngest boys whilst they played with their smart phones, no doubt admiring all their selfies, tweets and emails and generally being totally mesmerized by this new age form of hypnosis. Is this another form of addiction? And is their any treatment?
The problem with drugs and prostitution is that – just like during the days of prohibition in the USA – they are easily available to anyone who wants them in any country in the World.
From models and “it” girls to celebrity cooks, the ease of obtaining drugs is historic, as also is the ease of obtaining hookers to entertain Presidents and peons alike.
The joke part of this situation is that taxpayers around the World are busy paying police and security personnel massive amounts of money, dare I say billions in any currency, to pretend to control these major activities and that is the joke.
When you add up the potential tax revenue that is being lost by not legalizing them and add it to the cost of the – clearly failed – security and police efforts to control them, then there is only one clear solution, and that is legalization of both activities.
Governments should get the hookers and drug dealers off the streets and into legal, taxable, healthy, controlled environments, and in the process, make street activities in both fields illegal.
In New Zealand and Germany, as in many other countries of the World, brothels are legal and controlled; the “industry” generates taxation and the people working in the business, work in a safe environment.
In Uruguay and Colorado State, U. S. A., the production and sale of Cannabis has been made legal, and is now generating substantial taxes that can be used for the treatment of addicts, just as alcohol taxes can also be used to treat ; further more, there should be a saving on policing costs.
Branded heroin in the U.S of A – the war on drugs is a joke
10/02/14 Was Clegg reading my blog?
Another whorehouse in London – tax free employment , but dangerous without protection:
Travelling the World, one cannot ignore the massive amount of graffiti that is slowly enveloping the rock walls, buildings and bridges, etc., of the majority of places visited.
The graffiti “pox” only seriously started with the advent of paint in spray cans, ergo the question arises: should the manufacturers of spray paint have a substantial levy imposed on the
them in proportion to the amount sold in order to pay for the removal of the paint from public and private surfaces.
In some cities in the World the taxpayers absorb the cost of removing the paint.
In other cities, the buildings with graffiti on them are served notice that the “decoration” has been made without a permit and the owners are then served with an order to have the unauthorized “decoration” removed within 30 days or the city authorities will remove it and charge the property owners for the service; failure to pay within 30 days will trigger an automatic
fine and heavy interest while after a further 30 days the amount outstanding plus fines, legal fees and interest will be attached to the property as a lien, with interest accumulating at a punitive rate.
In a time when so many people are unemployed, the graffiti removal business, just like the security business, could become a growth industry that would supply much needed jobs.
Knowing how Singapore dealt with the “pox” of chewing gum, where they banned it’s importation and sale, I would be very surprised if they haven’t also banned the manufacture and importation of paint in spray cans! Or maybe they just shoot anyone found doing graffiti!
Maybe each country should impose a fee on the manufacture and importation of cans of spray paint and distribute the money to all cities, towns and villages based on population records, with the proceeds to be used specifically for the removal of graffiti within that country
Chewing gum for some time now, has been a growing problem for city sidewalks, open malls and other public areas around the World where mindless people spit the used gum onto any surface they can find, where after some time it takes on the image of a black pox.
The problem starts with the manufacture of the product and therefore the solution to the problem of the “black spot pox” must lie with those companies who profit from it’s manufacture.
Solution #1 is to ban the importation or manufacture of the stuff, like Singapore.
Solution #2 is for countries to heavily tax the gum and distribute the money, once again, to the all of the country’s cities, towns and villages based on population records, to be used specifically for the removal of chewing gum from public places.
Note: Removing gum from public places can easily be achieved by applying a squirt of compressed air to quick freeze it, followed by a blast of water from a pressure washer to wash it away to a drain.