Not really. Unless everyone moves to the same place. We need to diversify from London. Having everything centred there is madness.
Edit: I am being rate limited so I will respond here instead.
> Except for the lack of affordable housing?
Sort of. Affordable housing is more a problem of uneven distribution of opportunities than costs as such. If you are part of those who do get to take part in those opportunities this is less of a problem since you are effectively in the same situation as living in a richer country. Of course you also miss out on opportunities that would be enabled by affordable housing, and a lower cost of living. But since most more affordable location can't take advantage of that as their own cost of housing is usually relative to their local opportunities it becomes a game of who is the biggest which large companies in large cities win.
Except for the lack of affordable housing?
If you want to participate in that industry, you need to live in one of those cities or have the luxury caveat of remote workability.
Want to work in tech? Good luck buying a house for cheap - anywhere that property values are languishing will not have useable broadband internet providers.
Got a chemistry degree? There's a short list of cities to move to, where you specialize in either medicine or petrochemical plastics. The option to do either rarely exists in a single city.
Will somewhat agree living in London, but I'd also throw Oxford into the mix as somewhere to avoid. I found the relative cost of living noticeably worse in Oxford (salary vs living costs) than compared to London.
Essentially the main point being: really evaluate the cost of living, salary, lifestyle matrix before committing. Lots of other places in the UK offering much better options right now.
For students it works out OK (so long as numbers don't grow too much) because the very wealthy people who paid for Oxford's university to exist built somewhere for students to live right inside the university too, in effect their housing costs are subsidised - until they graduate. Then though, either they need to move far away ASAP or they're going to be spending most of their income on rent.
For those it's true, but also forgetting there's more than one university in Oxford. There are plenty of places on the East and North sides of the city where denser housing could have been placed, but it comes down more to politics around NIMBYism and preservation, more than geography.
If you want to take the naming thing, then consider Kidlington Aerodrome is called "London Oxford Airport"...
I moved to London from a UK regional capital, and personally I've had the opportunity to improve my earnings much further than would be achievable at home for my particular branch of Tech.
All my peers are well aware that the rent is breathtaking - however most of us with home ownership aspirations are not intent on living in London indefinitely, owning or renting in the commuter towns in the south east are far more achievable on a good IT salary.
Over my career (I did contract in London around y2k) I have more in my pocket each month - after expenses - by staying outside the SE. Rent or mortgage, commuting costs, the price of everything else - food, beer, tickets. Sure, I could earn £x extra and have to spend all of it and more on rent and getting to work.
The capital accumulation on the house would have turned it into making economic sense, and only that. Which only becomes real once you move out of the area.
On the other hand your time becomes more expensive. But since most medium income medium expenses locations means less opportunities to do other things with other people that isn't always a good trade-off. Unless those other people are your family, in which case it tends to make sense.
To invent some undoubtedly wrong numbers out of thin air: Earning £35k in Leeds or Manchester leaves a few hundred more to spend on luxuries and nights out than £50k working in a similar role in London. By the time you accounted for the huge extra expense on mortgage, season tickets to get to work, services and even ignore the price of a pint, you have less in absolute terms to spend than your "poor" Northern friend. I simply couldn't get it to add up the few times I tried. Now had the opportunity been to be a quant, I might have taken the opposite view... :)
I could have saved for deposit in the North, taken mortgage the day I moved there, accepted a markedly worse quality of life and lower money left after expenses for twenty years, to move elsewhere at the end with a nice nest egg. That's just a contributory pension with no tax relief.
The question is whether average person trying to do so is going to have better success in Leeds than London. Or if it is going to be mostly the same thing but with less opportunities. Once you know roughly what you want to do, or what position you are in, medium size cities tend to make more sense. But I don't think that is controversial.
I think many young people argue if they are going to have to change jobs every few years, commute some distance, have high rent or whatever else that affects their quality of life they might as well do that somewhere where they at least think it might count for something. Whether in the future or right then.
Yes, rents in Manchester and Birmingham are lower. But you're going to get paid less, you have to live in a second tier city, and in the long run you have fewer career opportunities.
Also the idea that other cities are second-tier is incredibly biased. Sure London has some things that the RUK doesn't but there are also plenty of things you can't get in London (fresh air for one). It's a different lifestyle, not a 'second tier' lifestyle. Also other cities are cities, they might not be mega cities but that's not the definition of the word.
Lastly the career opportunities part depends. Yes there are less opportunities but there are also far less people vying for them. Smaller pond but bigger fish. If you're a careerist looking to become the top 1%, London is probably your best bet in the UK, but it's perfectly possible to work in the top 10% outside of London.
I'm gonna call bollocks on that :)
I agree with the rest to an extent. You're going to be paid higher (well not everybody, but most HN readers would be) and have all the other advantages of London. Fine. But you need to take the downsides with that and stop moaning.
When I was emigrating to the UK I considered everywhere. London was one of the first places I crossed off my list.
This is the whole problem with the UK. Many of the current problems with London are fixable. People need to keep moaning about them in order to get them fixed.
Would a general election be called?
It's a bit farcical that the country will have a PM that was not the leader of the governing party at the last election.
Granted with the Brexit mess they could arguably have some legitimate reasons for not calling it straight away but it seems that they've all ruled out calling it at all, AFAIK.
Ireland has a form of PR (single transferable vote), they've had plenty of instances of the Taoiseach (PM) being replaced and not going to a general election straight away.
What additional saving does is improve the standard of living of current retirees, through increasing asset prices. What old people need is to invest in the productivity of current and future generations, so that society is rich enough to support them how they'd like without squeezing the life out of current workers.
Sadly I don't think they are out of their mind spending so much, a lot of them have passed the FU point (enough assets to live decently whatever time is left for them)
The reason a human's productivity is orders of magnitude higher than that of a stone age person is the work of uncountable legions of dead people. Almost everything we have and know is due to network effects of humans working together in time and space. The current generation's productivity is almost all due to inherited tools and knowledge. You do live off of "other people's work", we all do. The amount that you yourself contribute, and that you are concerned about, is negligible in comparison to the inheritance. We can afford to be much, much more relaxed. You are not living a stone age life where your concern would have had merit, because most of what you achieve was indeed attributable mostly to yourself (although even then tools and techniques inherited from previous generations probably was a major factor).
If somebody is able to "make millions", or even billions, how much is only their own effort? Put a baby in a swamp and see what they can achieve. That billionaire is sitting in the center of a vast network of humans in time and space - most of it consisting of the dead who cannot be paid even if you wanted to. It's certainly good and necessary to have such people in central network locations, I just dislike when people think those guys are "self-made". I let you live alone in a remote forest, and even with all modern knowledge, where is your "self-made" empire? Same for a 50k/year job, who still is vastly more productive than a $100/year stone age guy not at all because of superior skills or effort. Your position in the space-time human network determines most of your impact.
So to what I quoted of your comment, that is exactly what we do, every one of us. Some just like to pretend that their own contribution is much more significant than it really is, because almost all of the productivity and possibilities are from the network and not from a particular person. So - relax! It isn't you who pays, it's the dead >99.9%.
The "human right" concept, however, is entirely different: it is referring to use of the mechanism that has monopoly on violence, the state, to redistribute these resources, by the use of or threat of use of said violence, without any free will involved. This mechanism completely removes individual capability of making a moral decision, and uses morality as a pretext to obtain monopolistic, bureaucratic power.
In my view, this monstrous mechanism, which is capable of despotism thousands as bad as any other, should be only used for things that cannot be achieved without it, such as rule of law. Charity and helping others is a noble thing, but since it can be achieved without it, just through free individuals decisions, it should.
In nature, most of children die in infancy, might makes right, murder rates are sky-high and starvation is a constant threat.
So, if anything, using "in nature" is working against your case, not for it.
> The idea that someone can have as much wealth as they want
Nobody can have as much as they "want" - but everybody should be able as much wealth as they have acquired through any kind of lawful exchange.
> So, if anything, using "in nature" is working against your case, not for it.
Total non-sequitur. The point is that the idea of unlimited wealth is an artificial construction.
> everybody should be able as much wealth as they have acquired through any kind of lawful exchange.
Any state that protects the property of wealthy people through violence can surely also put obligations on those people. In exchange for the state's violence, they must support a social safety net which gives the people who wealthy people are being protected from basic human necessities and dignity.
The state who gives an artificially constructed right to wealthy people (the institution of private property) can also give an artificially constructed right to poor people (basic needs and dignity).
But you're trying to reach some kind of value judgement from this point - as if "artifical construction" means it's bad in some way. It is not. On the opposite, these completely virtual notions of money and finance helped achieve modern-day prosperity that humanity enjoys.
So, yes, it is artificial, which makes it good.
> which gives the people who wealthy people are being protected from basic human necessities and dignity
So, pay off the potential looters and thieves to sooth them? You do understand that this is basically "might makes right" moral imperative and nothing more?
> The state who gives an artificially constructed right to wealthy people (the institution of private property) can also give an artificially constructed right to poor people (basic needs and dignity).
First of all, the artificially constructed right of private property is given to all, equally. And second of all, while both of these rights are artificially constructed, one is moral, while the other is not.
I'm not saying property is bad nor am I making a value judgement about it. I'm saying is that it's a concept created by the state.
> So, pay off the potential looters and thieves to sooth them? You do understand that this is basically "might makes right" moral imperative and nothing more?
You're begging the question. There's no such thing as "looters" prior to the concept of property.
> First of all, the artificially constructed right of private property is given to all, equally.
Sure, just as basic necessities like education, food and housing should be.
> And second of all, while both of these rights are artificially constructed, one is moral, while the other is not.
Again, not at all clear how you're making a moral judgement about this issue prior to the creation of the concept of property. Yes, stealing is wrong, but in order to steal something it has to belong to someone first. If we're trying to figure out what should belong to who, it's silly to come into the discussion by simply insisting that stealing is wrong.
I could just as easily say that the wealth of a society belongs to everyone prior to it's distribution. Why then should rich people be entitled to steal it from poor people? Stealing is wrong, remember.
We live in a society. The rich benefit hugely from that society. It is their duty and responsibility to give back enough to help maintain and improve that society.
To say otherwise is, effectively, to say that it's OK to want everyone beyond the walls of your castle to starve.
You cannot decide what other people's legal duty or responsibility is if they hadn't entered a voluntarily agreement with you. And moral duty should never be imposed by violence - it's always up to individual moral choice.
> To say otherwise is, effectively, to say that it's OK to want everyone beyond the walls of your castle to starve.
No. To say otherwise is to value individual choice and responsibility over the dictate of the masses.
You appear to be one of those who worship at the altar of inviolable individual self-determination.
That concept is antithetical to a functioning society.
I understand its allure—it seems to be a logical and empowering thing. But it's fatally flawed, because humans are not individual creatures, evolved to live out solitary lives creating our own path. We are social creatures. Thus, any philosophy that puts the will of the individual above all else will inevitably fail.
In my experience in practice, people espousing such a philosophy generally either are or believe they will be in a position to impose their will on others, and want a philosophical basis for claiming that as moral and just.
Note, please, that I'm not saying that individual self-determination must always bow to the will of the majority. That's also deeply problematic. Instead, I'm saying that no absolutist philosophy will provide you with the tools you need to create a world that's worth living in for everyone.
Actually, the opposite is true. My ideal place to live is a commune without personal property, and I love being in such temporary environments in places like music festivals (local copies of burning man).
But I draw a very sharp distinction between society and state, and want to minimize the state's reach. All these ideals of sharing and charity should only be implemented through personal free choice, and never - through organization which has monopoly on violence.
For me, it's the basic security principle of separation between minimal operating system kernel and a fat application that manages all of it's features. The smaller the kernel, the less code there is to have vulnerabilities in, the less chance there is of compromise.
The less power the state has, and the more functions it gives away to society, the less chance there is that the state can be corrupted.
The question is who controls it and who benefits from it, not whether or not it exists.
It seems that you're trying to frame my argument as if I wanted to abolish the state completely, but I have said nothing of the sort. Just as you're saying, the question is, in what form should the sate exist. And my answer is, in the most minimal form required to uphold the things that no other institution can.
I'd say the current state (US or UK) isn't far off from what you describe.
Its really no different than a subsidy.
If you think taking money from the population and redistributing it is theft, youre basically arguing against taxes.
It's a trope seen in movies and tv shows that go back several decades, because it mirrors real life. In the early working years, people have never had much money. (Fortunately, this later corrects.)