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Zero Hour Contracts

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I agree. In which case they should be paid a basic retainer and a higher rate of pay when they do actually work to compensate them for what they are losing.

That's how it works in IT with freelancers.

I don't disagree with this. Some employers I know have actually paid retainers and loyalty bonus to employees who fulfill a % of requested shifts. Any contract can work if guidelines are in place that are mutually agreed between employee and employer.

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Perhaps after they stopped squealing they would pay people off cause they had less money and couldn't afford the wages.

No chance. Any business which can't pay a living wage is unsustainable and shouldn't be in business.

This sort of threat has been made to oppose all sorts of employee rights since time began and we still have excellent levels of employment.

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For every worker (student) who manages multiple zero hours contracts there are many more (mainly non students) who cant afford to take the risk, i.e. they cant take a second zero hour contract as it would affect their ability to work at short notice with the first.

The government takes about cutting red tape for business - its spin for cutting workers rights and safety laws in order to generate more profit for their donors and boys club chums

You'll notice that not a single one of the business people bleating loudest about these sorts of things will be living under the poverty they inflict on their staff.

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You'll notice that not a single one of the business people bleating loudest about these sorts of things will be living under the poverty they inflict on their staff.

No business leader wants to see their business go under most decisions are made in a company's best interest.

Yes they do get the bonus and big wages but they get the pressure and stress that goes with it.

My biggest wind up is FTO's in unions who are on excess of 50k a year basic and endless expenses as well as company cars all funded by their members.

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The NMW has been a disaster for the UK. It's made our manufacturing industries unviable as was clearly shown in the Mary Portas TV programme about knicker production.

She set up a company to manufacture "Kinky Knickers" using only UK sourced materials and constructing them in sewing factories. She sold them in to retailers so that the knickers sold for £10 per pair - apparently roughly equivalent to the price charged for underwear - like the Beckham brand - that is manufactured in China. She quickly discovered that you couldn't sustain a competitive business in the UK when paying national minimum wage and in the end she had to re-approach all the retailers to ask them if they would now be willing to pay more for the product and to retail at £13 instead. Most were willing to do it, however the question has to be asked - how many of those workers on the national minimum wage would be willing to pay 30% more for their clothing to keep themselves in work, and how many would instead purchase the cheaper Chinese manufactured option?

Therein is the problem. Unless we are all prepared to pay more for UK manufactured products our manufacturing industry - particularly in the food and clothing sector - becomes completely unviable which in turn hits the whole country as we start to show a bigger trade deficit

The best thing our government could do is to remove the national minimum wage and allow the market to set employees wages

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The NMW has been a disaster for the UK. It's made our manufacturing industries unviable as was clearly shown in the Mary Portas TV programme about knicker production.

She set up a company to manufacture "Kinky Knickers" using only UK sourced materials and constructing them in sewing factories. She sold them in to retailers so that the knickers sold for £10 per pair - apparently roughly equivalent to the price charged for underwear - like the Beckham brand - that is manufactured in China. She quickly discovered that you couldn't sustain a competitive business in the UK when paying national minimum wage and in the end she had to re-approach all the retailers to ask them if they would now be willing to pay more for the product and to retail at £13 instead. Most were willing to do it, however the question has to be asked - how many of those workers on the national minimum wage would be willing to pay 30% more for their clothing to keep themselves in work, and how many would instead purchase the cheaper Chinese manufactured option?

Therein is the problem. Unless we are all prepared to pay more for UK manufactured products our manufacturing industry - particularly in the food and clothing sector - becomes completely unviable which in turn hits the whole country as we start to show a bigger trade deficit

The best thing our government could do is to remove the national minimum wage and allow the market to set employees wages

Come on Stuart even you can't be this daft.

You want us to compete with Chinese labour force on wages? lol.gif

You like the idea of a race to the bottom do you?

Presumably that's because you think you can avoid it.

China and India have been undercutting us for products for centuries and yet we still retain a substantial manufacturing base.

Why do you think that is?

I'll give you a clue.......we don't manufacture stuff we used to like cars and mobile phones but we certainly manufacture absolutely tons of other stuff which wasn't around 40 years ago.

When you figure out the above, you'll realise that competing with China on price is absolutely hilariously stupid, unsustainable and self-defeating.

Fortunately our business leaders are a bit more switched on than you.

Defeating your arguments isn't as fun as it used to be. There's no challenge anymore.

Edited by oaksoft

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Come on Stuart even you can't be this daft.

You want us to compete with Chinese labour force on wages? lol.gif

You like the idea of a race to the bottom do you?

Presumably that's because you think you can avoid it.

China and India have been undercutting us for products for centuries and yet we still retain a substantial manufacturing base.

Why do you think that is?

I'll give you a clue.......we don't manufacture stuff we used to like cars and mobile phones but we certainly manufacture absolutely tons of other stuff which wasn't around 40 years ago.

When you figure out the above, you'll realise that competing with China on price is absolutely hilariously stupid, unsustainable and self-defeating.

Fortunately our business leaders are a bit more switched on than you.

Defeating your arguments isn't as fun as it used to be. There's no challenge anymore.

Dear oh dear Oaksoft. You really need to sort out your political ideologies so that they resemble something consistent. How can you argue on one hand that the UK manufacturing industry shouldn't try to compete with the Chinese or Indian manufacturing industries in producing goods for the UK consumer, and then on the other argue that we need to reduce carbon emissions, use less fuel and think about the environment.

We need a much wider bases UK manufacturing sector. That was evidenced in the 2008 banking crash. The UK - and Scotland in particular - was far too heavily reliant on the financial services sector. We need our own factories, we need to create our own skilled workforce and we need to get competitively priced, quality UK made products back onto the UK High Street. To do that we need one of two things. We either need the UK consumer to realise the importance of a UK manufacturing sector to the extent that they are willing to pay a premium to buy UK manufactured goods - something that is highly unlikely to ever happen - or we need for the national minimum wage to be scrapped so that UK manufacturers can produce goods that will compete price wise with Chinese and Indian imported products. It's not a race to the bottom, it's a race to economic recovery. The sooner the respective parliaments in the UK recognise this the better.

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Dear oh dear Oaksoft. You really need to sort out your political ideologies so that they resemble something consistent. How can you argue on one hand that the UK manufacturing industry shouldn't try to compete with the Chinese or Indian manufacturing industries in producing goods for the UK consumer, and then on the other argue that we need to reduce carbon emissions, use less fuel and think about the environment.

We need a much wider bases UK manufacturing sector. That was evidenced in the 2008 banking crash. The UK - and Scotland in particular - was far too heavily reliant on the financial services sector. We need our own factories, we need to create our own skilled workforce and we need to get competitively priced, quality UK made products back onto the UK High Street. To do that we need one of two things. We either need the UK consumer to realise the importance of a UK manufacturing sector to the extent that they are willing to pay a premium to buy UK manufactured goods - something that is highly unlikely to ever happen - or we need for the national minimum wage to be scrapped so that UK manufacturers can produce goods that will compete price wise with Chinese and Indian imported products. It's not a race to the bottom, it's a race to economic recovery. The sooner the respective parliaments in the UK recognise this the better.

I didn't say we shouldn't compete with China. I said we shouldn't compete on COST because it's futile, damaging and self defeating.

No idea why you are wittering on about fuel economy BTW. 1eye.gif

You are arguing that we should compete with China on price????? lol.giflol.giflol.giflol.giflol.giflol.gif

You are clearly taking the piss.

Ah the good old days of being paid 40p per hour in 1989. Nostalgia has me in tears here over our glorious past.

Maybe people could be paid in food? Not meat obviously. The Chinese manage to pay their staff in rice and water. Clearly you think we need to match that enviable state of affairs?

Will be interesting to see how many people can afford to buy anything with their £20 take home pay once you've finished with them.

What the UK needs is certainly a diverse economy and it needs to compete with China but obviously not on price. You'd need to be borderline brain dead to think that would be a good strategy. We need to compete on innovative products. In other words create new stuff. It's why scientific and engineering research is worth spending vast sums of money on and it's why governments across the western world continue to do so. Making this stuff will eventually be done in China but you'll have about 5-10 years to develop the next great thing in the meantime. The west is littered with companies who failed to innovate and pursued money as the sole daily business objective and are now defunct. Top tip from Oaky - innovate in 10 year cycles or die.

Edited by oaksoft

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It's simply the economic reality of the world we live in just now.

If there is a labour shortage, you get good working conditions. If there is a labour surplus - as there is now - you get poor working conditions. Especially for low paid unskilled work.

Why is that? Because there's 20 people for every 1 of these jobs. Employers will simply say if you don't like it, leave, we can replace you instantly. It's not in the employers interest to provide favourable conditions to unskilled workers because it costs them money.

Until the economy improves conditions for workers will only get worse.

Is there a Labour surplus? Unemployment is coming down in the middle of a "recession".

PS expect much of the recession AND deficit to be "revised"

The new office of fiscal responsibility set up the tories was always going to "error on the side of caution" with regard to deficits and GDP.

The question is why were they set up?

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Poor old UK business owners - they used to say they couldn't be productive without child labour

They also used to say that giving employees paid holiday would put them out of business.

We should build an "Armageddon" list of bullshit dire warnings and threats of plague and pestilence which fat greedy corrupt lying bastard business owners have issued over the years.

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I didn't say we shouldn't compete with China. I said we shouldn't compete on COST because it's futile, damaging and self defeating.

No idea why you are wittering on about fuel economy BTW. 1eye.gif

You are arguing that we should compete with China on price????? lol.giflol.giflol.giflol.giflol.giflol.gif

You are clearly taking the piss.

Ah the good old days of being paid 40p per hour in 1989. Nostalgia has me in tears here over our glorious past.

Maybe people could be paid in food? Not meat obviously. The Chinese manage to pay their staff in rice and water. Clearly you think we need to match that enviable state of affairs?

Will be interesting to see how many people can afford to buy anything with their £20 take home pay once you've finished with them.

What the UK needs is certainly a diverse economy and it needs to compete with China but obviously not on price. You'd need to be borderline brain dead to think that would be a good strategy. We need to compete on innovative products. In other words create new stuff. It's why scientific and engineering research is worth spending vast sums of money on and it's why governments across the western world continue to do so. Making this stuff will eventually be done in China but you'll have about 5-10 years to develop the next great thing in the meantime. The west is littered with companies who failed to innovate and pursued money as the sole daily business objective and are now defunct. Top tip from Oaky - innovate in 10 year cycles or die.

Oaksoft - I know you argue that you don't watch the TV so perhaps you have an excuse for not knowing that a number of UK businesses that moved production to China years ago are now looking to move production back to the UK because they are finding that Chinese labour is not as cost efficient or as reliable as it used to be and transportation costs have risen substantially. The problem they continue to find though is that we have a dearth of skilled workers these days and the national minimum wage provides no leeway while they get staff up to speed. There is no reason why we couldn't manufacture knickers, t-shirts, shirts, trousers etc and compete on price if the national minimum wage was scrapped. We used to do it in Larkhall where DAKs Simpsons was one of the major employers.

It's nonsense to claim that the UK is now too posh to manufacture everyday essentials. We've got too many unemployed benefit claimants, and far too many unemployed graduates to claim we should stick to only manufacturing technically advanced stuff,

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the zero hour contract has been around for a while although under a different guise, i used to work as a surveyor in the window and door industry and had a contract which stated i would earn a minimum of £100 a month but that i had to be available to work as and when there was demand - i did not have a set start and finish time, i was paid on a percentage of what each contract was worth, the holiday pay was worked out on a percentage of what i earned in the previous month. I did earn a decent wage but the company were covered if there was a lack of orders. The company made huge profits using this method of paying salaries and said they were forced to do so because if they had low productive workers they would be in financial trouble - bollocks, they could have offered a decent rate and operated a bonus system to keep employees keen and just sacked lazy employees, but they would not have made as much profit,and would have had to go thrrough the correct procedures to pay someone off, Employers will use any means thay can to make as much money as they can and pay out as little as they can. And they will continue to employ brown nosing, ignorant gits, as managers to do their dirty work

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I'm on a zero hours contract,

I do get holiday pay, it's paid at an average of the hours I've worked in the past 10 weeks prior.

no sick pay but in fiarness that seemsto be standard everywhere unless you have a good job

sick pay is £86.70 per week, if you are not being paid sick pay you can apply for employment support allowance from the DWP

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sick pay is £86.70 per week, if you are not being paid sick pay you can apply for employment support allowance from the DWP

That is Statutory Sick Pay which I believe to be an entitlement to anyone who is not being paid whilst off work.

I think Gordon may have meant that he doesn't get a wage when off sick... which is the case in many employers nowadays.

If I expand a bit further on my own use of zero hours contracts and how I believe they have their place if not abused (and sadly they are open to abuse)... ...

I manage a daycare centre for people with dementia... continuity and familiar faces are important in this field.

Initially we had a pool of sessional workers all on zero hour contracts. This was because our biggest "customer" was the local Council... when they had cash in their budget they would be referring like crazy... but when the budgets dried up they would refer nobody. Equally, we could have 100 hours of homecare one week and none the following week as people had gone into respite.

Despite the risk, my Management Committee were actually very forward thinking for a voluntary organisation, and put the core team on fixed contracts.

This was a massive risk as we had fixed expenditure and no guaranteed income!

However... ... I have practically NO staff turnover now and have continuity for my Service Users.

I also provide placements to the local college and aside from that, volunteer opportunities.

When a placement has come to a conclusion, if the student has been of a standard I deem good enough and there is an opportunity within my team, I will offer a zero hours contract.

If I have annual leave of sickness and need cover, I can call on someone who is familiar with my centre, the requirements, and most importantly for me, the people they will be caring for.

If they are not available, I ask someone else... no harm done... but if it suits them, they get extra cash and I get continuity of service.

My ground rules are that anybody on a zero hours contract attends staff meetings and is paid for doing so... they get holiday pay automatically based on the hours worked and regardless of whether they have worked 12 consecutive weeks... and they know that they are a valued part of my team. They get offered every training opportunity that other staff do and are paid to attend training, and get supervision too, frequency based on hours worked.

I make every effort to be fair to them, and in return get a lot of loyalty.

I currently have two staff on zero hours contracts... one ex-student, and one person who volunteers but I felt I wanted to be able to offer a wage to if I specifically asked her to come in and work because I needed her.

I know that many employers abuse the use of zero hour contracts... but hopefully this has shown a good example of them being used in a very positive way.

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Oaksoft - I know you argue that you don't watch the TV so perhaps you have an excuse for not knowing that a number of UK businesses that moved production to China years ago are now looking to move production back to the UK because they are finding that Chinese labour is not as cost efficient or as reliable as it used to be and transportation costs have risen substantially. The problem they continue to find though is that we have a dearth of skilled workers these days and the national minimum wage provides no leeway while they get staff up to speed. There is no reason why we couldn't manufacture knickers, t-shirts, shirts, trousers etc and compete on price if the national minimum wage was scrapped. We used to do it in Larkhall where DAKs Simpsons was one of the major employers.

This is getting more confusing.

Now you are claiming we should drop wages at the same time as we are facing a skills shortage???????????

My sides are splitting here.

BTW you may have noticed the news today that manufacturing output is up 2% in just one month.

Doesn't sound like we're struggling to compete.

Edited by oaksoft

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There is no reason why we couldn't manufacture knickers, t-shirts, shirts, trousers etc and compete on price if the national minimum wage was scrapped. We used to do it in Larkhall where DAKs Simpsons was one of the major employers.

There is one big reason. People are no longer prepared to work for 40p per hour wages but good luck to the business who tries it.

We certainly did used to do this but we also used to cram 8 year old kids up chimneys for 12 hours a day.

I'm genuinely curious as to why you seem to want to drive tens of millions of people back into absolute poverty in order to make a few hundred people even more fabulously rich. Why is that?

How does having millions of people earning so little money that they can't afford to buy anything help our economy?

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That is Statutory Sick Pay which I believe to be an entitlement to anyone who is not being paid whilst off work.

I think Gordon may have meant that he doesn't get a wage when off sick... which is the case in many employers nowadays.

If I expand a bit further on my own use of zero hours contracts and how I believe they have their place if not abused (and sadly they are open to abuse)... ...

I manage a daycare centre for people with dementia... continuity and familiar faces are important in this field.

Initially we had a pool of sessional workers all on zero hour contracts. This was because our biggest "customer" was the local Council... when they had cash in their budget they would be referring like crazy... but when the budgets dried up they would refer nobody. Equally, we could have 100 hours of homecare one week and none the following week as people had gone into respite.

Despite the risk, my Management Committee were actually very forward thinking for a voluntary organisation, and put the core team on fixed contracts.

This was a massive risk as we had fixed expenditure and no guaranteed income!

However... ... I have practically NO staff turnover now and have continuity for my Service Users.

I also provide placements to the local college and aside from that, volunteer opportunities.

When a placement has come to a conclusion, if the student has been of a standard I deem good enough and there is an opportunity within my team, I will offer a zero hours contract.

If I have annual leave of sickness and need cover, I can call on someone who is familiar with my centre, the requirements, and most importantly for me, the people they will be caring for.

If they are not available, I ask someone else... no harm done... but if it suits them, they get extra cash and I get continuity of service.

My ground rules are that anybody on a zero hours contract attends staff meetings and is paid for doing so... they get holiday pay automatically based on the hours worked and regardless of whether they have worked 12 consecutive weeks... and they know that they are a valued part of my team. They get offered every training opportunity that other staff do and are paid to attend training, and get supervision too, frequency based on hours worked.

I make every effort to be fair to them, and in return get a lot of loyalty.

I currently have two staff on zero hours contracts... one ex-student, and one person who volunteers but I felt I wanted to be able to offer a wage to if I specifically asked her to come in and work because I needed her.

I know that many employers abuse the use of zero hour contracts... but hopefully this has shown a good example of them being used in a very positive way.

You've made a good case for why this works for the charity.

Presumably if someone wants work in this area they have no choice but to accept deals like this?

What about staff members who want a mortgage?

What if they want to have some stability?

What if one month you can't give someone enough work to keep them in food or rent?

How are they to pay their bills?

It seems there isn't enough thought going into how it must be to be forced onto a contract like this.

Not talking about students here. I'm talking about the others.

Not having a go here just asking some questions because all I'm hearing is about how great this is for a few students and the employers.

Everything I've heard over the past few days as being a benefit for the employee is actually a justification not a benefit.

Edited by oaksoft

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Potential scrapping of the minimum wage is not a simple issue. Some people seem to think that it's as easy as just ripping it off like a plaster and all will be well. How ridiculously ignorant. The national minimum wage is not just some arbitrary number plucked from the sky, it is a reviewable figure that comes from recommendations from the low pay commission, who work week in week out looking at hundreds of factors that affect cost of living in the UK, from rent / mortgage costs to inflation rates, from all of the different cost indices to inflation, and anything else that goes into creating our general economy. The figure is then recommended by the commission to the Government based on the absolute minimum a person needs to earn to be at the lowest take home figure possible to live on without being reliant on any form of benefit.

If you remove the minumim wage then you also bring on the certainty (not possibility - certainty), that many of those on lowest wages will also have to rely on other state benefits in conjunction with their wage. Failure to allow such reliance would then bring about massive increases in those living in real poverty, overburdening of varius other State provided services, and just leading to general misery.

It's quite clear to me that those advocating the removal of the NMW simply don't have a clue about the system any deeper than their surface misunderstanding, and are talking out of a hole in their ar*e.

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You've made a good case for why this works for the charity.

Presumably if someone wants work in this area they have no choice but to accept deals like this?

What about staff members who want a mortgage?

What if they want to have some stability?

What if one month you can't give someone enough work to keep them in food or rent?

How are they to pay their bills?

It seems there isn't enough thought going into how it must be to be forced onto a contract like this.

Not talking about students here. I'm talking about the others.

 

Not having a go here just asking some questions because all I'm hearing is about how great this is for a few students and the employers.

Everything I've heard over the past few days as being a benefit for the employee is actually a justification not a benefit.

As I said previously, my core team are all on fixed contracts of between 14 and 35 hours depending on what suits them.

I don't use zero hour contracts for anyone who relies on this for income as I couldn't guarantee shifts.

As I explained in my last post, we deliberately moved away from having all staff on zero hour contracts a decade ago.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Black & White Army mobile app

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Potential scrapping of the minimum wage is not a simple issue. Some people seem to think that it's as easy as just ripping it off like a plaster and all will be well. How ridiculously ignorant. The national minimum wage is not just some arbitrary number plucked from the sky, it is a reviewable figure that comes from recommendations from the low pay commission, who work week in week out looking at hundreds of factors that affect cost of living in the UK, from rent / mortgage costs to inflation rates, from all of the different cost indices to inflation, and anything else that goes into creating our general economy. The figure is then recommended by the commission to the Government based on the absolute minimum a person needs to earn to be at the lowest take home figure possible to live on without being reliant on any form of benefit.

If you remove the minumim wage then you also bring on the certainty (not possibility - certainty), that many of those on lowest wages will also have to rely on other state benefits in conjunction with their wage. Failure to allow such reliance would then bring about massive increases in those living in real poverty, overburdening of varius other State provided services, and just leading to general misery.

It's quite clear to me that those advocating the removal of the NMW simply don't have a clue about the system any deeper than their surface misunderstanding, and are talking out of a hole in their ar*e.

Only because our benefits system is too generous. I've outlined what I would do many times. I would take the budget for health, education and welfare and I would use it to create a UK Resident, UK Citizen Dividend which would see each qualifying person in the UK receive around £6,000 per annum. Each family would have to fund their childrens education from this money, but apart from that they would be free to use the money as they wish - whether that is to pay for healthcare or to buy a car.

We need to create jobs that everyone can do and get the nation working again. To do that we need to create the environment where UK products can compete in terms of price and in terms of quality.

Edited by Stuart Dickson

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As I said previously, my core team are all on fixed contracts of between 14 and 35 hours depending on what suits them.

I don't use zero hour contracts for anyone who relies on this for income as I couldn't guarantee shifts.

As I explained in my last post, we deliberately moved away from having all staff on zero hour contracts a decade ago.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Black & White Army mobile app

In fairness you did say that and I didn't spot it.

I'm away for a 20 minute spell on the "numpty seat".

Back soon......

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Only because our benefits system is too generous. I've outlined what I would do many times. I would take the budget for health, education and welfare and I would use it to create a UK Resident, UK Citizen Dividend which would see each qualifying person in the UK receive around £6,000 per annum. Each family would have to fund their childrens education from this money, but apart from that they would be free to use the money as they wish - whether that is to pay for healthcare or to buy a car.

We need to create jobs that everyone can do and get the nation working again. To do that we need to create the environment where UK products can compete in terms of price and in terms of quality.

Oh dear god you're off again lol.giflol.giflol.gif

We'll all be living in caves again before the end of the decade if you have your way.

Mind you, the security business will do a roaring trade protecting the handful of rich people from the 62 million starving people roaming the streets looking for food in bins. We can only guess how those 62 million poverty stricken individuals would buy all the stuff needed to support the economy.

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