Scottish independence

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Melonseeds
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by Melonseeds » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:17 pm

daydreambeliever wrote:Strongly disagree - I think it would be more factually accurate to say that voting "yes" is voting for a period of political and economic instability, and actually there would be a pretty definite impact on academia which is causing anxiety to people at present. Scotland currently gets 15% of the UK research budget despite accounting for only 8.4% of the UK population, i.e. an independent Scotland would need to double the current population-weighted science budget just to keep research funding at the level where it is now. That is unlikely to happen under the SNP.. Scotland benefits from EU research funding, and some research groups are based entirely on that. An independent Scotland has to apply to be accepted into the EU to gain access to that funding, or change the laws so that it is accepted, which even if successful will take 5-10 years due to the bureaucracy of anything EU related (look at Croatia as an example). Ambitious academics won't simply wait around for that, they'll move, which isn't great for the future of Scottish academia.

On the other hand, voting "no" would allow economic stability, including that of research funding. Seems pretty different to me.

The thing that disturbs me most is that the Scottish conservatives are the only party who have a clear stance against independence and as a liberal lefty it REALLY irks me that I'm being pushed to vote tory for the first time in my life ..
Hi Valentina86 - I just really had to pick up on your point about voting for a period of political and economic instability - what do you think we are in living through now, if not that???? and I would add environmental instability/crisis too.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... scientists

I think psychologists can have a role in helping people engage with the issues that matter most and the most potential to improve their quality of life (and that of their children) so I am really chuffed that we can talk about it here!

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Melonseeds
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by Melonseeds » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:30 pm

Sorry for spamming the thread guys, and I hope I followed your discussion alright, but I'm all fired up about it - interesting debate!

To those, including BenJ and daydreambeliever, I cannot recommend watching this debate ENOUGH! It's really really interesting and helped me come to a much more informed position on the issues. It's pretty impartial and you'll see it's hosted by Glasgow Skeptics and has equal numbers of representatives from both sides of the campaign - plus my favourite politician (yup, small pool to select from) - Patrick Harvie. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UafGNaOEMNU

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HedleyLamarr
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by HedleyLamarr » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:27 pm

daydreambeliever wrote:I have a sense that you're interpreting what I say and then responding to your interpretation of it
Yes, I think we're all doing that.
daydreambeliever wrote:Valentina - you may be right that personality comes into it, as I'm someone who prefers to base big decisions more heavily on available evidence and logic than feelings. I'm also someone who thinks everything through from every possible angle where I have a choice before acting, and I don't do impulsive or avoidable risk taking given a choice. With independence I've had the choice to look into all angles and think about it as it's been a lengthy debate in the media.

I also think though that my character has been shaped to some extent by my clinical training which has taught me to be an evidence based practitioner which has strengthened my preference for utilizing facts and logic where they're available (and in this case they are available and pointing towards staying as part of the UK being the sensible and safe move all round).
Good for you.
Valentina86 wrote:"The list of "12 things that the £1,400 UK dividend could buy", illustrated by a colourful assortment of Lego characters, appears to portray Scots as shoeless, sun-starved, football-obsessed fish supper addicts, with poor grooming habits and such limited imaginations that their favoured activity at the Edinburgh festival is eating hotdogs. They can likewise only conceive of getting on a bus if it returns them to Glasgow".
To be fair, if you take out the shoeless bit and substitute burger for hotdog then they could be describing quite a few people I know...
Melonseeds wrote:To those, including BenJ and daydreambeliever, I cannot recommend watching this debate ENOUGH! It's really really interesting and helped me come to a much more informed position on the issues. It's pretty impartial and you'll see it's hosted by Glasgow Skeptics and has equal numbers of representatives from both sides of the campaign - plus my favourite politician (yup, small pool to select from) - Patrick Harvie. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UafGNaOEMNU
Thanks for this Melonseeds, it looks really interesting. I'll definitely have a watch when I get the chance.
My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention.

Melonseeds
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by Melonseeds » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:07 am

Hi Hedley Lamar,
While I'm in the zone of recommending you spend your time watching long videos, let me recommend another, which in somewhat roundabout ways, is possibly highly relevant - research psychology elegantly linking to core human biases.
https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_r ... _happiness

daydreambeliever
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by daydreambeliever » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:39 pm

Welcome to the thread, Melonseeds. I saw on a different thread that you're starting training this year so congratulations on that - in my humble opinion we need more CPs who take an interest in politics, and I wholeheartedly agree we can use our transferable skills to engage constructively in debate with people on the issues that matter. While our positions on the referendum debate are different, it's really interesting to read well thought out posts coming from a "yes" angle and thanks for the videos - I'll watch when I have some more time.

Melonseeds wrote:
"I just really had to pick up on your point about voting for a period of political and economic instability - what do you think we are in living through now, if not that????"

It's actually pretty stable just now in the big picture - it's been like this for quite some time. The main political parties are pretty much different shades of conventional grey. The big challenges we have at the moment include, for example, the economic recession, which isn't having that dramatic an impact in Scotland at present in my view, I can see more impact to England and particularly their NHS. My worry would be that in an Independent Scotland we'd end up with the SNP in majority, who've said we'd need to make cuts - to avoid that they'd need to crank up tax, and that's already pretty dire. Inequalities (in lots of ways, but particularly financial and health) are a huge issue which I care deeply about. Inequalities have been pretty stable (e.g. look at SIMD) for the past 10 years or so - Possil and Springburn have suffered severe deprivation for a very long time - Bearsden et al have been consistently affluent. School league tables don't fluctuate much either. I think an Independent Scotland would be hard pressed to address inequalities - to give more to the poor, you need to take it from the rich. For example, you could improve the welfare system by asking successful working people to pay more in tax - would they be willing? you could also tax businesses more - but wouldn't they just take their business somewhere that charged them a lower tax rate? You could be less generous with banker's bonuses/ business people's bonuses - but then they might go elsewhere. So I would challenge whether it's realistic to deliver a fairer economy, a sustainable NHS and protect the welfare system (without significant costs somewhere) - which is what I keep hearing the Yes campaign say on the radio - call me a cynic, but if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Melonseeds
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by Melonseeds » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:29 pm

Hi daydreambeliever - thanks for responding and I hope you enjoy the videos and it's nice to see that we agree on some things but are able to discuss disagreements reasonably. I think you are right - I worry that the SNP have been so driven to achieve a "yes" for independence (it's their raison d'etre of course) that they are selling an unrealistically rosey view of the future - hence why I'm not an SNP voter. In the interest of transparency, I would identify as a socialist democrat and I am a member of the Scottish Greens - who currently hold a pro-independence position but are more transparent about the challenges that they perceive coming hand in hand with a "yes" vote. I do think we need a stronger tax system - we currently have a 40% tax system, with an upper 50% rate but I think we don't see the bang for our buck that we should. Denmark have a 50%-60% upper tax band and they seem to squeeze a hell of a lot more out of it! We need to overhaul our financial services systems and structures as they have not been revised since the last bust so we are pretty much guaranteed to complete the cycle again. We need an alternative model to the political shades of neo-liberalist capatilism which is pretty much guaranteed to keep the wealth with the few and continue to ruin our planet in the meantime!...Will finish this post later later - meeting starting in a moment!

Melonseeds
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by Melonseeds » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:21 pm

Melonseeds wrote:The main political parties are pretty much different shades of conventional grey.
I'd encourage you to investigate this idea - there is a trend towards the political right which I find worrying personally, but also in terms of psychology given the biases and behaviours that can be activated in a climate of conservatism and fear. Here's a link to a powerfully written, well researched article framing the political shifts in the UK in psychological and linguistic terms.
http://www.monbiot.com/2014/06/10/the-values-ratchet/
Melonseeds wrote:you could also tax businesses more - but wouldn't they just take their business somewhere that charged them a lower tax rate?
As a psychologist who uses behavioural approaches in working with clients to change behaviour and a person who makes use of the same approach in my own life, I feel it is incumbent on us as voters and citizens to challenge the reinforcement of this idea. That is what we do by submitting to the threat - we reinforce selfish, bad behaviour in the few, to the detriment of the many! Just let me do them a reward chart... :wink:
Melonseeds wrote:Inequalities have been pretty stable (e.g. look at SIMD) for the past 10 years or so - Possil and Springburn have suffered severe deprivation for a very long time - Bearsden et al have been consistently affluent.

I would strongly challenge that inequalities have been stable. You provide examples of trends in specific areas - I'm not an expert in sociology but I'm sure we could learn a lot from that field on this topic. The recent "regeneration" (I might re-label it "gentrification" or even "clearance") of Dalmarnock could provide an illuminating exploration of the impact of trends over generations in cities. From my limited sociological knowledge, ten years is not a long enough stretch of time to deduce much from - we need to think in generations. I think we could agree that the landscape and humanscape of Glasgow has changed radically in the last 20, 30, 50 years - and we are feeling the impacts now and will do for a generation or two at least.
Here's some info about inequalities in the UK and the massive increase in unequal distribution of wealth and resource that we are bearing witness to:
http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/resourc ... quality-uk

I would also debate the concept of stability - I don't think your argument that we are living through a period of stability would hold, especially if we look at the global picture, insofar as we can see it. We are facing crises of multiple essential resources - energy, land, water, food, we are doing a relatively poor job of adapting to the post carbon era, we are facing massive changes in health and medicine with the decline of the antibiotic era, we are living through a fourth massive extinction event, soil and water quality has rapidly deteriorated aaaaaaand food production has peaked as the human population grows, it is predicted to do so for sometime before levelling off at about 10 billion. The latest IPCC report discusses some of these issues. Oh, and a very important ice sheet collapsed recently which ain't good news for low lying population centres - New York for example... Phew, I don't mean to be a misery guts but the evidence does seem to suggest we may be living in an especially dangerous time as several majors threats and changes coalesce to lead to significant and irreversible changes in our ways of life.

The concept of stability is one I find problematic anyway - the one certainty we may expect in life is change (including death), in my reckoning at least, and maybe taxes but it seems loads of people dodge quite a lot of those... The experience of a consistent, stable sense of self is, after all, is an incredible emergent property of the moment to moment functioning of the human brain - a fragile illusion, which we can see in clinical work, can very easily be disrupted (by early trauma and lack of attachment relationships), corrupted (by physical injury and disease) and interrupted (by stress/trauma as we see in some clients accessing MH services). As living creatures though, we are powerfully driven to maintain and preserve the illusion of stability so we will do a lot to achieve that goal - the literature about death anxiety/death saliency theory speaks eloquently about this. Hope I'm not too off topic - I guess I just see my decision very much in terms of critical thinking as well as being driven by my values.

Melonseeds
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by Melonseeds » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:42 pm

daydreambeliever wrote:I saw on a different thread that you're starting training this year so congratulations on that
Sorry daydreambeliever - I got so caught up in my flow, I forgot to thank you for your congratulations! I'll be a Glasgow trainee - perhaps see you at some point?

Also, in terms of the NHS and the changes in England, I feel more confident about the future of the NHS and psychology within it, in an independent Scotland. I'm concerned that we will follow the Westminster lead on education and welfare, because although these powers are currently devolved to Holyrood, we are still dependent on Westminster and the Bank of England for our block grant which funds these services and I (being a little cynical, like you :D ) have little confidence that this would not be manipulated for political gain - possibly to our detriment. Unless we see a massive political shift from the "shades of grey" politics that you mention, then the prevailing ideology will not value national ownership, productivity and rights to free education and healthcare as much as it does the false pursuit of unending "economic growth" and profit.

And so ends the rant of a hippy!

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Re: Scottish independence

Post by daydreambeliever » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:32 pm

For what it’s worth, here’s my analysis of the Glasgow sceptics talk;

Arguing Yes – Tasmina Ahmed Shikh (SNP) - flowery language use, lots of popularist, people pleasing phrases that don’t really mean anything – low on facts and concrete info; didn’t learn anything new – shouts over the top of Jackie Baillie – poor conduct for a debate.

Arguing No – Jackson Carlaw (tory) - points made - support for devolution; Scottish MPs can impact global decision making more as part of UK; criticises evangelistic approach of yes campaign; emphasises risks of independence; uncertainty of what would happen often not acknowledged by yes campaigners; also gets a bit flowery and repetitive about beliefs about being better as part of UK; we get the governments we choose type angle, so Scottish independence won’t lead to radical change (people won’t vote in the radical politicians as a majority, we’ll still end up with SNP, conservatives, labour etc); Margaret Thatcher got more votes than Alec Salmond has ever achieved in SNP (interesting perspective taking point)

Arguing Yes – Patrick Harvie – green – acknowledges importance of evidence based policy; funny - has he considered a career in stand up?; sensible about fossil fuels and environmental impact of not recognising their limits; highlights differences between Westminister and Holyrood in terms of Higher Education funding; acknowledges limits of both to date in addressing inequalities; talks about common Scottish values ; acknowledges risks of independence; I don’t quite buy his link of values to independence or that opportunities of independence for Scotland outweigh risks – he didn’t give me evidence to win me over on those. He says economic growth is not sustainable given limited resources – and GDP is a misleading metric. He points out that the Scottish government will need to skill up quickly in areas they haven’t had control of – they might be tempted to spend money on private consultancy, this is money that could be spent on other things (e.g. public services, welfare system). He argues North sea oil is a problem, not an opportunity – our renewable energy resources are where we can financially support ourselves, not the oil industry.

Arguing No – Jackie Baillie, labour – bases her talk on values of equality, fairness and social justice (close to my own heart). Points out Labour created NHS and welfare system, and minimum wage. Like Jackson Carlaw, suggests SNP likely to form Scottish government in event of independence and logically we then need to scrutinise their policies for what they would be offering carefully. Mentions desire to eradicate child poverty, she states Labour have achieved some success with this. SNP stripped 1billion from anti-poverty budget, reduced public service workers, tax cuts to big companies promised by SNP. We face either a 8% cut in public services or 9% rise in tax if 8billion deficit faced following independence (Institute of Fiscal Studies quoted as source).Like Jackson Carlaw, she’s Pro-devolution. Says Labour lifted 1million kids out of poverty – recognises problems and that tory welfare reforms hit poorest. Sees independence as a distraction from addressing child poverty. States can’t have Scandinavian style welfare system without hefty tax and SNP haven’t acknowledged that. Contends that Independence white paper has no figures on welfare plans – it’s vague.

Arguing Yes – Johnathon Shafi – radical independence campaign –States Westminster v slow to change; he comes across to me in his talk as angry, self-pitying and bitter. Privatisation of NHS in England – claims this started by labour. Misquotes Jackie Baillie – suggests he has limited attention to detail. Rude towards conservative MP – “more pandas than tories” in Scotland – think this is a bit harsh when tory MP sitting across from him. Also missed that currency issue was covered by lib dems in debate (he said he was puzzled it didn’t come up). Anti-trident view mentioned.

Arguing No – Willie Rennie, lib dem. Highlights renewal of interest in politics that’s come from referendum as a positive– also highlights a discrepancy in johnathon’s approach, that he isn’t taking his cause UK wide when problems he is angry about aren’t unique to Scotland. Creating an Independent Scotland will not prevent future wars like Iraq or solve current problems – Scottish parliament voted for Iraq war. Better together case put forward - Aid budget big in UK and NHS has safety net in UK. Successful currency union in UK. Energy union across UK. Open travel across UK. Research Union – recognise as a UK government positive. Pulling Britain out of EU would wreck the economy and jobs – addressed aptly to UKIP rep.

As an aside, I’d be willing to bet that if this event had been hosted by Edinburgh Sceptics instead that wee pie chart at the end would’ve had a different distribution of voters ..I’m still in the “no” camp after watching, partly as I preferred the debating conduct of those arguing “no”, I think respect is hugely important in public debates. For me, debates should be won by fact, logic and clever integration of the two, not by cheap digs at your opponents.

I'll post again later to reply to your more recent posts ..more food for thought, thanks :D

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Re: Scottish independence

Post by daydreambeliever » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:13 pm

.. now back to reply to your other posts.

Values ratchet article – repetition in reference list – what’s that about? Doesn't fill me with confidence as to the quality of the work. I intuitively would challenge the ideas underlining shifting baseline theory – I think people are more reflective and able and inclined to compare where they are at relative to other people than this theory allows. I’ve certainly never subscribed to a belief that either me or my life experiences are “normal”, for example.

I’d also challenge the values ratchet idea – it doesn’t fit my life experience to categorise people that way. Farmers for example may be inclined to vote conservative (my reference point on this would be some of my family members) – but the people I’m thinking of have strong intrinsic values and are completely uninterested in the extrinsic values that the article cites are associated with conservative views like status, financial gain, appearance, image etc.

Melonseeds said: “I do think we need a stronger tax system - we currently have a 40% tax system, with an upper 50% rate but I think we don't see the bang for our buck that we should. Denmark have a 50%-60% upper tax band and they seem to squeeze a hell of a lot more out of it!”

.. ever asked someone who pays 50% tax what they think of the prospect of paying 60%? If not, find one and ask them, consider it a behavioural experiment :wink: As someone who believes in democracy and freedom of thought, I think where these people have worked hard to get to a life position where they are successful enough to pay that much tax, they should be entitled to have a say in whether they’d like to pay more in tax for the benefit of others than they get to keep. I don’t agree that it is “selfish, bad behaviour” for people to want to enjoy the financial rewards of long term hard work, or to take their skills elsewhere if they are not fairly compensated for their efforts.

Melonseeds said “From my limited sociological knowledge, ten years is not a long enough stretch of time to deduce much from - we need to think in generations."

Depends on your perspective. I’d direct you to Harry Burns work on the “Glasgow Effect” http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/10/11-021011/en/ if you want more evidence that multiple deprivation in Glasgow is a severe problem, and one that has a significant history. He dates this back to industry dismantlement in the 1970’s. The article makes reference to four generations in a row experiencing unemployment.

Melonseeds said “I don't think your argument that we are living through a period of stability would hold, especially if we look at the global picture”

Again, depends on your perspective/ angle/ frame of reference/ what’s included and excluded from your paradigm. My comment was around relative economic and social stability – I don’t think we’re in a good economic or social situation, but I don’t think there’s evidence it’s shifting at any significant rate of change. Your angle around environmental stability is a different question, and not one that I know enough about. It’s clearly a strong interest for you though!

Melonseeds said: “stable sense of self is, after all, is an incredible emergent property of the moment to moment functioning of the human brain - a fragile illusion”

interesting point and don’t think there’s a definitive position to defend on that, it’s a question of perspective – as someone with a strong interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, I’d postulate that the observing self is stable across time – I think various philosophical and therapeutic orientations could take different positions, and it may depend a lot on to which aspect/ definition of sense of self you’re referring to.

Melonseeds said “I feel more confident about the future of the NHS and psychology within it, in an independent Scotland. I'm concerned that we will follow the Westminster lead on education and welfare, because although these powers are currently devolved to Holyrood, we are still dependent on Westminster and the Bank of England for our block grant which funds these services and I (being a little cynical, like you ) have little confidence that this would not be manipulated for political gain - possibly to our detriment.

..whereas I’m worried, particularly after watching the Glasgow Sceptics video you linked me to, that Independence start up costs could detract from funding available for the NHS, and I feel that we have some safety from our NHS being devolved – also, we’ve been left to develop our NHS in a more positive direction than NHS England thus far and the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour (gathering you like thinking in behavioural theory :D )

Melonseeds said “I'll be a Glasgow trainee - perhaps see you at some point?”

Maybe, assuming we haven’t met already – Clinical Psychology in Scotland is a small world!

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Re: Scottish independence

Post by Melonseeds » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:04 pm

daydreambeliever wrote:.. ever asked someone who pays 50% tax what they think of the prospect of paying 60%?
Well yes I have, my dad did for a while, as a self employed person, and it is not an attractive prospect for a lot of people. However, in the context of receiving free healthcare, education and a pension, I believe he reconciled himself to the fact and as a lifelong Labour voter, agreed with the principle. He did however, often disagree with and resent the use of tax payers money - bailing out the banks, overseas wars etc. It's a matter of values and principles and that's why we have a democratic system of voting - the majority decide with a vote what kind of national tax system they are comfortable with.
daydreambeliever wrote:He dates this back to industry dismantlement in the 1970’s. The article makes reference to four generations in a row experiencing unemployment.
daydreambeliever wrote:I’d postulate that the observing self is stable across time – I think various philosophical and therapeutic orientations could take different positions, and it may depend a lot on to which aspect/ definition of sense of self you’re referring to.
I too have an interest in ACT but would say that the neurological and developmental evidence suggests that consciousness and therefore the "observing self" are emergent properites of the brain. Someone subject to developmental trauma including early neglect and/or abuse would be likely to have a less stable "observing self" than someone who has had a fairly stable and consistently responsive care giving environment, allowing their brain systems to develop optimally. Either way, the "observing self" concept in ACT would not contradict the theoretical description of a stable self as an emergent and fluid phenomenon. Would your 13 tear old observing self be the same as your 23 year old equivalent, and likewise your 3 year old or 93 year old? I would argue no - not only would most of your physical cells be different but your personality, perspective and perceptions would be different, even your recall of memories would be different as they are constructed and re-constructed with different rememberings. I think our understanding and concepts of consciousness and the stable self, may fundamentally differ; not that either of us is necessarily "right" or "wrong" as this is a contentious and developing area.
daydreambeliever wrote:He dates this back to industry dismantlement in the 1970’s. The article makes reference to four generations in a row experiencing unemployment
I am familiar with Harry Burns' writing. I think you may have misread my response to your earlier comments as I said that Glasgow's social problems do go back generations.
My argument for independence in regard to this argument is that full powers being based in Holyrood would allow for a more focus on the problems being experienced in communities within Scotland. I think that the fact that these problems are relatively long standing yet have been worsening is evidence that the current structures and paradigms have failed, and will continue to do so.

I'd like to address some of your other points, including your perception of the video link, I was amazed and amused by how vastly our perceptions differed! Individual differences are pretty cool! I've run out of time for now though so catch you later! :)

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Re: Scottish independence

Post by BenJMan » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:07 pm

daydreambeliever wrote:
now .. ever asked someone who pays 50% tax what they think of the prospect of paying 60%? If not, find one and ask them, consider it a behavioural experiment :wink: As someone who believes in democracy and freedom of thought, I think where these people have worked hard to get to a life position where they are successful enough to pay that much tax, they should be entitled to have a say in whether they’d like to pay more in tax for the benefit of others than they get to keep. I don’t agree that it is “selfish, bad behaviour” for people to want to enjoy the financial rewards of long term hard work, or to take their skills elsewhere if they are not fairly compensated for their efforts.
Hrmm..this is an entire thread/debate/beyond huge social issue in itself so I can't possibly express everything here. What I will say very succinctly is that I consistently find it distressing when people (not necessarily you..) seem to hold the view that hard work = more money. I'm afraid that just doesn't add up. Feel free to approach one of the millions of health care, social care and education staff (to name but a few) working for peanuts for beyond stupid number of hours per week whether they have failed to 'work hard to get to a life position where they are successful enough to pay that much tax' ;)

I suspect if you asked those people if they would like to be paid the same per hour / per amount of stress as this countries top earners, if they also pay a 60% tax rate, they would be more than happy.

The focal point of that perspective would be one universal tax rate for all. Tax the rich the same as we tax the poor, because if you want more money you just work harder for it...

Lastly the rich (and everyone else) do get a say in whether they pay more tax, they vote for whichever political party suits their interests more. Arguably the rich get a more greater say as their money is what funds campagins for their chosen party and the media coverage to go with it.
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people ~ Maya Angelou.

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Re: Scottish independence

Post by daydreambeliever » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:59 pm

Hi, two points I want to reply to, both of which are probably at a tangent to the main thrust of the thread, but they are important and interesting issues worthy of further discussion so I'll take my opportunity.

Melonseeds - I don't think we're on the same page in relation to what we mean by the observing self in the context of ACT. I've attached a presentation by Russ Harris to help give you some info about my understanding of the observing self, AKA self as context. Importantly, the idea is that the observing self is stable across time and theoretically distinct from the conceptualised self - All the beliefs, thoughts, ideas, facts, images, judgments, memories etc about ‘who I am’. What you are referring to as self sounds more like the conceptualised self to me, which is quite different from what I mean by the observing self.

contextualscience.org/.../Self-as-context%20MadeSimple%202009.ppt

Melonseeds and BenJMan - re the 60% tax issue - Melonseeds I think you're absolutely right that we have a democracy, everyone gets a say and the majority vote dictates what happens. I don't believe we'll see a majority vote in favour of raising the bar to 60% tax, and for this reason I think a lot of the SNP arguments about what they can do to improve the welfare system/ offer free childcare etc are unrealistic at best, fundamentally flawed in logic at worst. I also think that if the majority vote for Independence, we'll get the SNP and therefore how well thought through or otherwise their policies are bears careful scrutiny.

BenJMan - just to be clear that I am not saying that everyone who works hard is paid fairly or well - I just don't believe that to be the case (who would?) What I was arguing was that all the people I know who pay 50% tax have worked incredibly hard to get to that position in their life, and like Melonseeds said in her post, I've heard objections to what their tax gets spent on (like Melonseeds illustrated, on wars, bail outs etc). I'd also say that the people I know who earn in that bracket work longer hours and have done over a longer time than me, so I don't grudge them their wage. Some of these people are medics, who are working for the good of others and paying their tax for the good of others. Personally, I'm not at all money motivated and didn't pick my career path based on likelihood of monetary gain - I could easily live on less than I'm paid for what I do - for people who are money motivated, I would suggest that there are plenty paths open to them where they can achieve more wealth. I'll take my job satisfaction from working towards something aligned to my values and interests any day over a fat pay packet :D

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HedleyLamarr
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by HedleyLamarr » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:50 pm

I just wanted to point out that nobody pays "50% tax" in this country. The richest 10% of households in the UK pay out 35% of their income in tax and the poorest 10% pay out 43% of their income in tax. The top rate of income tax is 45% on earnings over £150,000 - apparently less than 250,000 people pay this in the UK. I don't know anyone who earns anything like that kind of money but if I did, I very much doubt they'd have the cheek to let me hear them complain about their tax rate no matter what it was. And the fact that the Westminster parties are suggesting that tax raising powers will be devolved to Scotland if it votes no is a clear suggestion that higher taxes for the super-rich would be a vote winner.

I'd also say that I doubt we will have an SNP government post-independence. They are a disparate party held together by the single issue of independence and will implode if it happens. And regardless of the outcome of the referendum, I don't think we'll ever see a single party win a majority at Holyrood again - the last result was an aberration.
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Re: Scottish independence

Post by BenJMan » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:05 am

daydreambeliever wrote: What I was arguing was that all the people I know who pay 50% tax have worked incredibly hard to get to that position in their life, and like Melonseeds said in her post, I've heard objections to what their tax gets spent on (like Melonseeds illustrated, on wars, bail outs etc). I'd also say that the people I know who earn in that bracket work longer hours and have done over a longer time than me, so I don't grudge them their wage.
I guess that is the wonderful thing about experience.. mine differs :) I know some friends who work very hard and hit the 50% tax rate.. I know more people who work just as hard or harder and don't and never will.

I also know a fair few people who don't ever have to worry about any tax rates and they are usually the ones who haven't worked very hard but have had the loudest voices about 'unfair' taxes on the rich.

As for the idea that people who are 'money motivated' that there are plenty of career paths.. I'm sorry but it feels naive to me. Both points smack of long standing right wing policies and capitalist ideas (neither of which are inherently bad.. just not my cup of tea). It's the true American dream, if you work hard you will be rewarded in equal amounts to your hard work. I just don't buy it ;)
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people ~ Maya Angelou.

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