UKC

Does £50k a year make you wealthy?

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In the recent thread on rail strikes, a one point it was suggested that because the average pay of train drivers is around £50k, they where wealthy and shouldn't be looking to improve their terms.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/threat_of_rail_strikes-747986?v=1#x9640863

It reminded me of a thread in the distant UKC past (2005) which asked "does £50k a year make you rich?"

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/is_50k_rich-126877?

The general conclusion then seemed to be that it didn't. It is probably worth noting that £50k bought you a fair bit more then. it would be closer to £80k now.

7
 jezb1 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

All relative isn’t it.

A long way off rich in my mind, but a fair way off poor too.

In reply to The New NickB:

Dunno about wealthy but you'd certainly be living a very comfortable life. 

Weather the money is fair is more relevant to the debate, to put it very simply £50k to drive a train is sounds decent money compared to say a guy driving a HGV for 30k and my instinct says HGV requires more skill and higher risk etc. But I am not a train driver so have no idea of the realities of the job. 

4
 wintertree 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

Living in North East England, it could make one very well off so long as one was canny over houses and was prepared to suck up a decade in a £60k mid terrace whilst saving heavily.

The south east?  Only if you live in a tent in a friend’s garden I suspect…

1
 Kalna_kaza 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

£50K doesn't make you wealthy. It makes you comfortable if you are relatively sensible with money. On a low wage I always worried about my car needing an expensive repair or having sleepless nights thinking about how I was going to pay for the ski holiday with my mates, who mostly earned significantly more than I did at the time.

Fortunately I earn more now and it's a case of "oh, that meal was more expensive than I was expecting. Might have to trim back on the {take aways / night outs / nice pair of fell shoes - delete as appropriate}" the following month.

The problems start when you see your next door neighbour, colleague, mate etc buying the new house, having a new car (probably on hire contract) and having that nice exotic holiday. Jealousy is a horrible thing. It makes me wonder how many people are peddling fast to maintain a high level of personal debt. 

1
In reply to The New NickB:

Almost enough to cover the average annual electricity bill, the way that things are going...

2
 seankenny 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

The problem with these threads is that wealth and income are too different things. Perfectly possible to have a high income and no or even negative wealth, and a small income and quite high wealth. 

The comparison with HGV drivers incomes is telling… mostly it tell us HGV drivers pay a price for being non-unionised. 

3
 fred99 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

As it's almost double the National Average - which is itself inflated by the extremely well (over ?) paid - I would suggest that anyone who can't live very (very) comfortably on £50k a year is a spendthrift.

You also have to remember that the median wage is well below the arithmetic mean.

I do remember a former member of my Climbing club - and this was at least 15 years ago now - complaining that he couldn't work out how he would make ends meet now that his wife was pregnant and was giving up work. He was on £70k a year then - which he bragged about so that's how we all knew.

Some people could have a Million Pounds a year, still spend it and be short of cash each month.

8
 peppermill 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

50k probably did make you fairly wealthy outside of the South East until about three months ago haha

1
 peppermill 04 Jun 2022
In reply to fred99:

> I do remember a former member of my Climbing club - and this was at least 15 years ago now - complaining that he couldn't work out how he would make ends meet now that his wife was pregnant and was giving up work. He was on £70k a year then - which he bragged about so that's how we all knew.

Ha. 

A former colleague once shot down a Wage Bragger with:

"Due to a complete lack of interest, I do not care"

Magical.

 neilh 04 Jun 2022
In reply to seankenny:

HGV drivers earn more than that …..just hunt round on Google ….nothing to do with being unionised … some are anyway  

There is a well recognised shortage of them 

 wintertree 04 Jun 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> It makes me wonder how many people are peddling fast to maintain a high level of personal debt. 

Try and buy a new car for cash and see the confusion as they try and find anyone who knows how to sell you one that way instead of by PCP.  The nearest dealer to us (Newcastle area) that could register a cash sale was about 120 miles away.

7
In reply to seankenny:

> The comparison with HGV drivers incomes is telling… mostly it tell us HGV drivers pay a price for being non-unionised. 

It tells us that train drivers gain an unfair advantage compared to HGV drivers and bus drivers for being unionised.

This is not cost free. Everyone else is paying to support the higher salaries in monopoly unionised industries. Putting everyone in a union won't solve it: unions can only do this in monopoly industries, if there's competition in the industry that will put a limit on wages whether or not there is a union.

This isn't Tory vs Labour or rich vs poor it is people who don't have a monopoly negotiating position being ripped off by those that do. You can be against being ripped off by unionised labour and against being ripped off by landowners and bankers.

51
 girlymonkey 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

If I ever start to earn anything even vaguely close to that I will let you know if I am wealthy!

I currently earn less than half of that and I think I live pretty well. 

1
 profitofdoom 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

Serious question, what does "wealthy" (thread title) mean or what is your definition? Thanks 

Post edited at 20:11
In reply to profitofdoom:

According to studies: wealthy is someone who earns twice as much as you and filthy rich should pay punitive tax is someone who earns four times as much as you

2
 ExiledScot 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

It's all relative, you could be a dinky couple on £30k each up north, work from home or cycle in and have surplus income every month, eat out, holidays etc.. or be single or a single parent working in london watching your £60-70k disappear on housing, child care, train season ticket, parking...

 plyometrics 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

In financial terms, wealth makes you wealthy, not salary.

 VictorM 04 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

A few years ago some people did some research into this and I think the conclusion was that up to about 70K Dollars/Euros a year per household, money does buy happiness as it goes towards being financially stable and being able to afford life's basic necessities (in the Western world). Obviously that's a few years ago so it should be adjusted for recent inflation and it's very place-dependent. 

So I'd say 50K Pounds a year is okay I guess, as household income, but I wouldn't call it well-to-do.

1
 mattyP 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

So I'm a teacher at prettyuch top of the pay scale (just over 40k), my wife works .6 as a mechanical engineer so probably about 30k a year. We live in the North East and own our 3 bed semi out right due to a substantial inheritance. 

We dont struggle for money but don't understand how everyone around us has new cars and spends money on new branded clothes, going out and drinking etc.

It's worth noting the wife's brother does something in financial auditing/his wife is a lawyer and they spend 20k plus a year on school fees and they wonder about how people afford horses/champagne etc so I guess a lot of it is relative.

2
In reply to mattyP:

After the basics are covered and mortgage paid off , I think the trick is not letting your lifestyle keep expanding otherwise no amount is enough.

 profitofdoom 04 Jun 2022
In reply to mattyP:

>......... don't understand how everyone around us has new cars and spends money on new branded clothes, going out and drinking etc.

Credit cards, other credit?

I don't know but I wonder 

 Graeme G 04 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

 I’m not sure it adds to the debate. But this never gets old. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/bbcquestiontime/status/1197651546940608514?lang=en

In reply to mattyP:

> So I'm a teacher at prettyuch top of the pay scale (just over 40k)

So, a train driver earns £10K more than a top of the notch teacher.
Somethings not right there...

10
In reply to FactorXXX:

It is always dangerous to talk down salaries as is the trend here. There is an element of snobbery in your comment, which could be interpreted as "blue collar workers should not be paid more than white collar" 

This can also be applied the other way: "Teaching, best part time job in the world. Those that can do..." Etc.

My personal view (ex railwaymen, ex teacher) is that factoring in all the variables, the drivers salary is correct given the risk, personal responsibility and impsct on life adopted in the job.

The base job of teacher/driver is about the same salary demand. The uplift for drivers is a shift supplement to compensate for the antisocial hours, limited leave and health impacts of long term shift working. Shifts are about as good for you as 20 cigs a day.

The intellectual demands of teaching are greater than that of driving but intellect is not the sole driver (pun intended) of salary. There are other factors to take into account. 

Post edited at 05:21
9
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Here we go again, more jealousy driven vandalism. 

I get it, you do not have union representation and so believe no one else should benefit from it.

There are other route you could take rather than your thatcherite slash and burn of Union rights and provision'

Seek representation, join a union and push your employer for recognition. 

Change job or  career to one with representation.

Give your political support to parties which enable rather than disable collective negotiation. I think you do this given your posting history. 

If you feel so strongly that unionisation is bad then return its fruits. No more weekends, holiday, sick leave, retirement, working hours limits etc. 

9
 Forest Dump 05 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

A salary of 50k ish puts you in the top 20% UK wise, and top 1-2% globally. So, objectively, yes it makes you wealthy. Figures taken from statista dot com and giving what we can / how rich am I websites.

To even question whether it does reflects your privilege and wealth

5
 Maggot 05 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

He's a classic case of the embittered Scotsman, so hard done by life because he's failed to make it big because of someone else.

He's certainly monopolising the chip on his shoulder around these parts.

18
 Billhook 05 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

I'm not sure money makes you wealthy.

To me its about enjoying what you have, your family, wife, friends etc.,   Having time for hobbies, and interests.  Its about contentment with what you have rather than what you need or want.

I'd rather die happy than die wealthy with a big bank balance. 

1
 ExiledScot 05 Jun 2022
In reply to Billhook:

As they say you can't buy time, once your making sufficient to know all bills (expected and surprise) are covered there's little point in killing yourself working for what is often ultimately others gain. 

I suspect many are flogging on and whilst making good money aren't making big provisions for retirement, but are wasting it on expensive toys like cars which depreciate by £5+k a year. 

3
In reply to profitofdoom:

That is the question really isn’t it. The 2005 thread uses the term rich, I thought I would use another equally loaded term. They mean what you want them to mean.

I thought it was interesting to compare opinions now with 2005, whilst recognising that £50k now is worth quite a bit less than it was in 2005.

 dunc56 05 Jun 2022

> I suspect many are flogging on and whilst making good money aren't making big provisions for retirement, but are wasting it on expensive toys like cars which depreciate by £5+k a year. 

 

However, the world has gone mad. Heard of someone buying a golf R for 30k running it for 2 years and selling it for the same.

In reply to Forest Dump:

> To even question whether it does reflects your privilege and wealth

I’ve not stated an opinion. So, I will now. I’d say an income of £50k plus (I was thinking on an individual, rather than household, but people are free to interpret however they like) makes you better off than most. Whether it makes you wealthy or rich is down to how you interpret those words. Which is what I am interested in.

 chrisjwoodall 05 Jun 2022
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Except that bus drivers ARE heavily unionised (I am one), and paid typically half ish of the salary of train drivers. Privatisation pushed up train drivers wages, not unions and it’s barriers to entry to the profession that enabled and maintain it.

It takes between a few weeks and two months to train a bus driver, depending how many routes you need then to learn for their roster. For the most part they’ve done a lot of their basic learning in a car long before they enter the training school. Likewise for HGV.

It takes around two years to fully sign off a train driver (and they’ve less previous experience before entering training although many have railway experience), so in the early days of privatisation it was simpler to poach drivers from other train companies by paying more, than to invest in training. This led to a period of high wage inflation that has now settled down.

It’s skills and the accessibility of them/suitability of people to do the job safely that maintains train drivers pay, like it does for many professions such as medicine.

 Forest Dump 05 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

You're right that interpretation as a subjectetive measure is interesting, but the objective figures provide context 

 neilh 05 Jun 2022
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

£70k with Avanti

https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/about-us/careers/train-driver-recruitment

Best  get in your job  application 

 ExiledScot 05 Jun 2022
In reply to dunc56:

> However, the world has gone mad. Heard of someone buying a golf R for 30k running it for 2 years and selling it for the same.

A brief window due to delays, it might end up being 2 or 3 years like this in a person's 50 years of car ownership (or pretend - private lease). 

 Rob Exile Ward 05 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

By any reasonable standard - compared to anyone living just 50 years ago, let alone the huge majority of the world - 99%? - who get by, and even enjoy life on considerably less, then yes it does.

Though I remain constantly astounded at how people are persuaded to spend their 'spare' income, so there isn't any. People who thought spending £50 on a meal was a good night out now look for Michelin restaurants; people who would drive to the Alps for a self catered ski holiday now book fully catered skiing, ski out; people who were happy with a decent 2nd hand car now need a new Tesla. And it's all a world of diminishing returns.

DH Lawrence wrote a poem about it:

When I wish I was rich, then I know I am ill.
Because, to tell the truth, I have enough as I am.
So when I catch myself thinking: Ah, if I was rich!
I say to myself: Hello! I’m not well. My vitality is low.

1
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Though I remain constantly astounded...

The things that get me the most are iPhones £1K+, expensive computers for browsing and every last channel on subscription - perhaps I am just very scrooge like! However although Mr Micawber had a good point – annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery – you do need a certain amount to live on well - no debt / able to insure / money and time for rest. I think £50k would be ok except in London where accommodation prices seem out of this world. 

P.S. Have you tried to buy a car recently!

1
 timjones 05 Jun 2022
In reply to FactorXXX:

> So, a train driver earns £10K more than a top of the notch teacher.

> Somethings not right there...

Are you sure?

Plenty of people could have a go at teaching without doing half as much damage as they could inflict if they were allowed to drive a train.

How do we even begin to place relative values on  very different jobs?

9
 Siward 05 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

So much depends on what one is paying for housing and whether one has dependents. If you're having to pay North of £2k a month on housing and bills then it goes considerably less far than some mortgage /rent/ child free existence. 

 Duncan Bourne 05 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

You have just said very well what I was thinking.

I would argue that it is a fair advantage that everyone should have

In reply to Siward:

This reflects my experience. It's all about what's going out isn't it - 'turnover for show, profit for dough' as my dad used to say. Until recently my wife was unable to work due to mental health problems. I was earning £45k per year (just over £2k per month take home) and I was barely breaking even: rental @ £1000, council tax @ £180, energy @ £90, two kids to feed = £80 per week minimum shopping, then odds and sods like uniform/ shoes/ clothes for kids etc. which all add up. MOT and car stuff was a dreaded nightmare that took months to save for. We don't go out (partly due to wife's agoraphobia- every cloud lol), don't drink, don't do drugs, don't have much of a social life really. Biggest luxury would be the petrol to go climbing once in a while. Fortunately my wife now feels well enough to work and that's been a lifesaver as otherwise my nearly £50k would have been insufficient to stop is having to move back in with my parents! On the other hand, if I was single and living at home I'd be minted. 

 wbo2 05 Jun 2022
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh

> This is not cost free. Everyone else is paying to support the higher salaries in monopoly unionised industries.

I'll give you a tip - that's what comes with living in a high wage country, and you benefit from that.  If I compare your pension/wage to what you have produced , and compare that to a low wage country, it won't look very good, but I'm sure you'll volunteer to reduce yourself to a global standard

 wintertree 05 Jun 2022
In reply to Wyre Forest Illuminati:

Several times I’ve thought through this thread that children are a paradox - they make you simultaneously a lot wealthier and a lot poorer than you’d be without them.  Harder to accumulate tangible wealth with them, but the intangibles win out.

In reply to wbo2:

> I'll give you a tip - that's what comes with living in a high wage country, and you benefit from that.  If I compare your pension/wage to what you have produced , and compare that to a low wage country, it won't look very good, but I'm sure you'll volunteer to reduce yourself to a global standard

If you assume that the employer has a finite amount of money to spend on its wage bill, then the people that are losing out will be those on lower pay as a disproportionate amount is going to the Drivers. 

1
 wbo2 05 Jun 2022
In reply to FactorXXX:  Then they go work somewhere else.  

Seriously, and I lean left on economics, but levelling down is rarely the answer to fixing a problem.

Post edited at 18:24
1
In reply to wbo2:

>   Then they go work somewhere else.  
> Seriously, and I lean left on economics, but levelling down is rarely the answer to fixing a problem.

How about a compromise in the current pay negotiations whereby the Drivers volunteer to forego their pay rise and instead put more money in the pot for those on lower wages?

5
In reply to wintertree:

Absolutely, I've got peers who are materially far more comfortable than me with loads more disposable income and I'm jealous of the freedom they have to do stuff and buy things. However, I wouldn't be without my children for any amount of money. They've taught me so much that's 'intangible' as you say, but also invaluable. 

 mik82 05 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

Income doesn't equal wealth. Someone earning £30k who borrowed a deposit and bought a flat somewhere "up and coming" in London ten years ago will be far wealthier than someone earning £50k who was unable to do the same.

A single £50k household income, in someone who has a student loan, gives you a similar disposable income to the median disposable income in the UK, including benefits. If you're living by yourself, particularly if you have dependents then you're not going to be wealthy.

In reply to FactorXXX:

> How about a compromise in the current pay negotiations whereby the Drivers volunteer to forego their pay rise and instead put more money in the pot for those on lower wages?

Are you doing the same?

1
In reply to mik82:

Certainly a factor, I remember buying my house 15+ years ago, it was a bit of a stretch at the time. Now, despite earning twice as much it would feel like more of a stretch with current values. Although my advancing age means I would be looking at a mortgage over a shorter term.

In reply to The New NickB:

> Are you doing the same?

My wage, like the vast majority in the UK is nowhere near the elevated levels of what Train Drivers get, so how could I do as you suggest?
The thing I'm getting from this thread and its predecessor, is that there is a distinct possibility that a lot of the UKC regular posters are themselves in the upper wage bracket and have absolutely no understanding of what life is like for us mere mortals on the UK average wage or lower.
Actually, looking at some of the posts on here, I am sort of reminded of some comments by Conservative MP's when asked about low wages, etc. i.e. Change job and move being typical examples.
Maybe the typical UKC'r isn't as socialist as they like to think they are and they are in fact closet capitalists... 
 

Post edited at 00:00
11
In reply to The New NickB:

I thought I was doing alright till I read this thread!

In reply to Bobling:

> I thought I was doing alright till I read this thread!

It's like some alternative reality...

 lone 06 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

If your single with no mortgage then £50k a year is great !

In reply to FactorXXX:

I am aware that I released my inner Norman Tebbit in my comments to Tom. In my defence the comments were far to the left of Tom"s race to the bottom reductionist views.

I don't regard it as capitalistic wishing to protect and build on what little trade union provision remains.

Interestingly I made similar comments about closet thatcherites in the original thread. 

Post edited at 03:39
1
In reply to FactorXXX:

> How about a compromise in the current pay negotiations whereby the Drivers volunteer to forego their pay rise and instead put more money in the pot for those on lower wages?

Something similar did happen at my place of work. Members voted against an annual pay increase to protect trainees being moved on to degraded ts&cs on completion  of training. All 3 trade unions supported the move.

This was not a completely altruistic move. It increased the population on the better "old" ts&cs to retain a voting majority for longer and thus delay any reductionist moves.for a few years. 

In reply to FactorXXX:

My employer / unions have been elevating the wages of the lowest paid ahead of better paid staff for years. Those earning over £50k are a small percentage of the workforce, anyone earning 80% of national average or more is generally affected by these measures.

In reply to FactorXXX:

> Maybe the typical UKC'r isn't as socialist as they like to think they are and they are in fact closet capitalists... 

The typical UKCer is white, male, middle class, university educated and works in the public sector.

If you look at issues through that lens, rather than left or right, everything starts to make more sense. The desire to enrich oneself always trumps politics.

13
 ExiledScot 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> The typical UKCer is white, male, middle class, university educated and works in the public sector.

Climbing involves spare time, energy and money, plus access to transport in most instances. It's the same for nearly adventure type sports.

If you've got two zero hour contract jobs, then you're not likely away for BH at the other end of the country. Many of us have had tougher or leaner times in the past and likely hold onto the same core beliefs we developed in our teens and 20s. So whilst being more financially stable now we've had plenty times when there was too much month left at the end of the money. 

2
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I’m more a Pinot Noir Social Democrat personally.

In reply to FactorXXX:

> My wage, like the vast majority in the UK is nowhere near the elevated levels of what Train Drivers get, so how could I do as you suggest?

Maybe join a Union then. The fact you use the term 'elevated' seems to suggest you'd like train drivers to be poorer so you can feel better. What about the Tory cronies pocketing taxpayer's money in a day than train drivers earn in a year? That would be a better target for your ire.

> The thing I'm getting from this thread and its predecessor, is that there is a distinct possibility that a lot of the UKC regular posters are themselves in the upper wage bracket and have absolutely no understanding of what life is like for us mere mortals on the UK average wage or lower.

Do you think most UKC posters left school and walked straight into a £50,000 a year job? I was over 50 before I hit that figure, I was a 'mere mortal' prior to that, as were most people my age. We've been there, and dragging anyone doing slightly better than you down isn't the way to do better for yourself.

> Actually, looking at some of the posts on here, I am sort of reminded of some comments by Conservative MP's when asked about low wages, etc. i.e. Change job and move being typical examples.

Well in TiEs case, it's not our fault he's decided to get a job where he doesn't earn what he thinks he's worth. From all your posts espousing the benefits of 'Britannia Unchained' capitalism I'd have thought your first million was already in a bank in the Caymans. 

Which makes me wonder why you're such a fervent supporter of a system you claim to be doing so badly out of…

Post edited at 08:34
 wercat 06 Jun 2022
In reply to lone:

it is a hell of a lot of money

> If your single with no mortgage then £50k a year is great !

In reply to wintertree:

> Try and buy a new car for cash and see the confusion as they try and find anyone who knows how to sell you one that way instead of by PCP.  The nearest dealer to us (Newcastle area) that could register a cash sale was about 120 miles away.

If you mean folding money then the reluctance is down to the dealers obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act e.g. they can go to jail for accepting a carrier bag full of cash without reporting it to the authorities. I've never had a problem buying a car for "cash" from a dealer using a Faster Payment transfer.

 subtle 06 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

Not a salary thought but a money / lifestyle thought.

I'm involved with social housing, once built the tenants move in, when we go back to have a look afterwards its scary to note that there are (generally) a beamer and / or an audi parked outside, almost always younger than 2-3 years old - better car(s) than me!

I would say these people appear (superfically) to be rich - new house, new car(s) etc -  it may be that they "own" none of these but I still chuckle whilst driving my 10 year old car back to my house with the mortgage almost paid off

Perception is a great thing to portray, lets see what happens if and when the recession strikes, expensive cars on PCP for the next few years is going to be a huge burden to people.

1
 wintertree 06 Jun 2022
In reply to sandrow:

> If you mean folding money then the reluctance is down to the dealers obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act e.g. they can go to jail for accepting a carrier bag full of cash without reporting it to the authorities. I've never had a problem buying a car for "cash" from a dealer using a Faster Payment transfer.

No, I mean bank transfer.  

The nearest Looker’s to us that would register a new car as a cash sale, rather than PCP, was about 120 miles away. I’ve never had a problem buying used by bank transfer but this was my first - and probably last - such purchase new.  The salesperson was most put out and practically resorted to begging - it turns out their commission comes from the credit agency…

They might be further down the transition than some other franchises.

 montyjohn 06 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> If you feel so strongly that unionisation is bad then return its fruits. No more weekends, holiday, sick leave, retirement, working hours limits etc. 

I think this is a bit unfair.

It's perfectly reasonable to believe that unions where once critical to demonstrate to industry leaders that their staff are important and if they don't pay them a "reasonable" wage then you loose them.

It's also perfectly reasonable to believe that current day unions are pushing it too far.

I'm a complete hypocrite on this and I know it. I don't believe industry leaders should be held to ransom such that they have to pay above market value, but if my industry could be unionised such that I'd get a 10% pay rise, I'd sign up in a heart beat. 

5
 montyjohn 06 Jun 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> Several times I’ve thought through this thread that children are a paradox - they make you simultaneously a lot wealthier and a lot poorer than you’d be without them.  Harder to accumulate tangible wealth with them, but the intangibles win out.

I think the real financial cost of children, other than the £10k per year per child childcare fees, is the lost opportunity to re-train.

If you're on a low wage supporting children, you likely can't afford to study to better yourself. If you're on a decent wage, you likely have a large mortgage so again, you can't afford to re-train.

Regarding the intangibles wealth of children, my god that comes and goes. Complete rollercoaster. 

 jkarran 06 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

Wealthy is the wrong question really when considering income (within reason which 50k is). Comfortable would be a better way of thinking about income and that obviously depends how it balances against the outgoings over which one has little real-time control: tax, housing, childcare, utilities, food, work related costs, family support, care costs, loan payments, medications etc. Those can be radically different for people in superficially very similar circumstances. For example when and where one bought a house or didn't, my mortgage is not my biggest monthly outgoing in large part because I was able to buy while houses were more affordable, to buy the same house again now not even 10 years on would at least triple my monthly mortgage bill whereas my pay hasn't grown by anything like that. If I'd bought it 10 years earlier (and stayed put) I'd probably be free of that bill entirely by now. For those renting their costs are soaring and there's no escape!

1x 50K into the 'right' household could be very comfortable, 2x 50k into another where the folk were doing nothing 'wrong' could be barely enough to make ends meet. Britain has a lot of really quite deep inequality beyond the most obvious examples.

jk

 Andrew95 06 Jun 2022

Its a slight side track from the main topic, but a old uni friend of mine lives just outside London, drives a almost new car and is in the process of planning his second holiday abroad this year. 

Its kinda left me thinking what I actually spend my wages on considering he only early about 1k more than me (we do the same job for different companies).  I don't buy things I don't need and still seem to struggle to make ends meet.  Especially when my 15 year old car decided not to be a team player and fail its MOT test.

Having jokingly mentioned it in passing the answer is debt.  He appears to live the life.  But pays for almost everything on a personal loan and uses a credit card to pay the repayments off on that.  His personal wage comes into his account and goes straight out on various repayments (normally just the interest).  He also does not have any assets, his house is rented, his car is on hire, his phone is on lease etc.  But he enjoys it and that's fine, that's all that matters. 

This is me being smug, but I am actually glad I don't have any debt.  I would rather drive around in my sh** box of a car a share a 10 man dorm room in a youth hostel than have to worry about how I will meet the next payment on XYZ. 

But going back to the original posters question. No I don't think 50K makes you wealthy, however I think it means more (or less) to different people.  My partner and I have a joint income of 56k, we are just starting out in life and really struggle to make that last until the end of the month.  However to my parents, that would be a huge income - however they bought there house in 1882 for 6 shillings and monthly repayments of 4 chicken eggs. 

1
 montyjohn 06 Jun 2022
In reply to jkarran:

> Britain has a lot of really quite deep inequality beyond the most obvious examples.

I think most inequality stems from a lack of knowledge of how to make the right decisions to live a wealthy life, especially when you are young.

Despite growing up in one of the poorest counties in the UK on free school means (should give an idea of my family wealth) I've done ok because I was encouraged into further education and persuaded into buying a house before I felt I could afford it and encouraged into putting money into a pension by my parents at a young age when I really needed that money, you know, for beer.

Turned out to be the right call (obviously), not that these things where any concern to me as a 20 year old.

But what about all the other 20 year olds or younger that aren't being encouraged to make sensible choices? I think a catch all here are schools and they should be required to teach kids about mortgages, what the stock market is, reviewing house price trends, and what a decent salary actually is.

I thought if you can earn £20k you've made it. That is not true and it did impact some of my early decisions.

3
 compost 06 Jun 2022
In reply to jkarran:

Two real people, two different scenarios:

Friend 1: Earns >£250k per year in London, kids in private school, £1m+ house with grounds, fancy car, physically and mentally ill because of stress and unsure how he's going to pay for the next ski trip (edit: and the gardener's next quarterly bill)

Friend 2: Earns minimum wage, in a precarious living situation with girlfriend, climbs, cycles, bivvies, doesn't think about future kids, pensions or living arrangements, everyone around him is stressed about his future. He isn't.

Honestly not sure who's wealthier. A sensible middle ground is what I'm aiming for! Need enough time, money and energy to live a good life in both the short- and long-term.

Post edited at 11:41
In reply to mattyP:

> We dont struggle for money but don't understand how everyone around us has new cars and spends money on new branded clothes, going out and drinking etc.

It's because they're not being sensible - they're not paying into pensions, critical illness cover, life insurance, or holiday insurance.  They were lucky to get inheritances early.  Both parents work instead of one etc.  They buy their 'luxuries' secondhand or from TKMaxx. The eat cheap poor quality food. They're self-employed and evading taxes with cash in hand work. The simple fact is we don't know what people's personal situations are like.

Post edited at 11:57
1
 Andrew95 06 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

I have always thought that things like this should be taught, and I don't mean in high school when at 14 or 15 when it dosent actually matter that much.  I feel that after you receive your third or fourth pay slip you (and subsequently wasted the previous ones on beer) then you will be invited to a few night classes of 'how to manage your money and do adult things'. 

We just bought our first house.  No one has ever told me how to buy a house..... my parents bought theirs when Jesus was a wee lad and so as helpful as they were its all very out of date, the estate agents refused to help as there only interest is mugging us off for as much as possible (and in fact actually tried to force us to do something that's illegal in the name of making money, but we will gloss over that), the solicitors were about as trust worthy as the PM.  The only person who would actually offer any advice was our mortgage broker who even he was weary of giving advice as its not his job. 

Life seems to be some sort of secret club where you only find out how to do things after the event.  We are actually thinking about seeing a financial advisor so we better understand some things. 

In reply to The New NickB:

It all depends where you live, and what you have to pay for.  For example, if you were lucky enough to buy your house before prices started going bonkers in '93 you can get by on relatively little here.  If you're renting whilst looking to buy and have a family  £50k a year is nowhere near enough - a 3 bed semi will set you back £2,500 a month unless you're an established tenant.

 montyjohn 06 Jun 2022
In reply to Andrew95:

> We are actually thinking about seeing a financial advisor so we better understand some things. 

So I've never done this. I believe I've read enough to know what I'm doing, but you don't know what you don't know so it's probably worth it just to be certain you're not missing something that everyone else somehow magically figured out.

 Andrew95 06 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

that's pretty much our thought.  We don't 'need' to see one, but more curious about if we are doing something wrong or missing out on something. 

In reply to montyjohn:

> I think most inequality stems from a lack of knowledge of how to make the right decisions to live a wealthy life, especially when you are young.

> But what about all the other 20 year olds or younger that aren't being encouraged to make sensible choices? I think a catch all here are schools and they should be required to teach kids about mortgages, what the stock market is, reviewing house price trends, and what a decent salary actually is.

I completely agree. If they taught this stuff in state schools it would go along way to negating the advantage private school kids have.

Having said that some of the lessons you’d need to teach are pretty harsh truths that I imagine would prove antagonising to some…

- Cryptocurrency- it’s a scam, don’t go near it

- Job interviews - don’t, for the love of god, wear brown shoes and put on a decent tie

- House prices - They go up in the long term. You need a 5-10% deposit, you can borrow 4.5x your combined income ect

- Uni - don’t study social sciences or arts unless you go to one of the top Unis

- School - a collection of Cs and Bs won’t cut it

- Stock market - diversify and it always goes up in the long run

Life’s lessons are pretty brutal - it’s why it’s left up to the parents to impart that wisdom and why “privilege” if you want to call it that, perpetuates itself.

Post edited at 12:29
8
 wintertree 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

To add:

- Don't buy depreciating assets on credit; do without, buy old/used, wait and save, then buy on cash.  Computers, TVs, holidays, you name it, don't do it on credit.  

> - Uni - don’t study social sciences or arts unless you go to one of the top Unis

Or:

- Uni - consider alternatives.  e.g. in to employment aged 18 and aligned part-time degree level study, either self organised or with a large employer that has a specific scheme.  

I know people doing the former and know people whose kids are doing the later, and in both cases they're saving for a house deposit from aged 18, developing their CVs and workplace skills, living happy lives and not building up horrendous ammounts of graduate tax liability disguised as debt.

It's a rant for a different thread, but my view is that the UK university system has gravely lost its way and is failing staff and students alike through the conflicted mess it has become, tied up with inwards investments from the US, revolving door politics at the top levels and hamstrung by the in-house and contracted hotel business side of things.

In reply to wintertree:

Very good points.

The credit card one is especially relevant as I made that exact mistake after I got my first job and got a credit card. Took a few years of beans on toast to correct a few months of stupidity. Young and very dumb.

In reply to montyjohn:

I am sure that back in history there will have been naysayers and critics opposing the 10 hour bill, provision of weekends and the end of child labour claiming it gave the workers too much power. 

 RobAJones 06 Jun 2022
In reply to Andrew95:

> I have always thought that things like this should be taught, and I don't mean in high school when at 14 or 15 when it dosent actually matter that much. 

We always covered budgeting as a student, cooking basic meals in all the sixth forms I worked in. I'd suggest that in those days with no/much lower tuition fees the benefits were less abstract. Now does it really matter if you come out owing 40k or 50k? Of far more importance to their thinking is will parents/grandparents pay off most of that debt and then "lend" them a deposit or a house. 

>I feel that after you receive your third or fourth pay slip you (and subsequently wasted the previous ones on beer) then you will be invited to a few night classes of 'how to manage your money and do adult things'. 

It would be interesting to see the uptake on that scheme, but I agree it is probably better targeted there than in secondary school. Not sure who would teach it, as the vast majority of teachers I've worked with aren't very financially savvy. Maths teachers being particularly poor? 

In reply to The New NickB:

It's a comfortable middle class income, I'd not say it was wealthy.  Though it'll depend where you live - in London you'd have a far less comfortable life on that than you would in Middlesbrough.

I think one aspect of train driving and why this comes up is that it offers that sort of income in parts of the country where that sort of income isn't generally very widely available.

Post edited at 13:03
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I am sure that back in history there will have been naysayers and critics opposing the 10 hour bill, provision of weekends and the end of child labour claiming it gave the workers too much power. 

The naysayers also seem to think that those rights have now been won for eternity. The current government would absolutely love to remove those rights and have people working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, without Health & Safety legislation, to enrich their paymasters (and themselves) in the process.

1
 ExiledScot 06 Jun 2022
In reply to Andrew95:

In the military I received what I'd consider a really good financial planning brief from Hargreaves Lansdown, unfortunately for most it came at the end as part of the resettlement package! I was lucky to have a relative working in the finance sector who steered me away from wasting too much cash on beer and cars. 

 RobAJones 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> - School - a collection of Cs and Bs won’t cut it

But it appears to be more than enough to be a train driver? 

 Phil79 06 Jun 2022
In reply to fred99:

> As it's almost double the National Average - which is itself inflated by the extremely well (over ?) paid - I would suggest that anyone who can't live very (very) comfortably on £50k a year is a spendthrift.

I broadly agree with you. But its all relative and does depend massively upon where you live/age/circumstance.

i.e a £50K wage in London, for a single person looking to buy a house is essentially peanuts, and you'll spend that all on mortgage and living costs without feeling well off.

But for someone who brought a house somewhere cheap 20 years ago, with say a 20k mortgage remaining, 50K would give you loads of 'disposable' income...     

 henwardian 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> The typical UKCer is white, male, middle class, university educated and works in the public sector.

hmm, yes, yes, yes and until recently yes. I've found somewhere I'm average, I've been waiting decades for this! Woohoo!

> If you look at issues through that lens, rather than left or right, everything starts to make more sense. The desire to enrich oneself always trumps politics.

No it doesn't. I've always voted left and liberal (as opposed to authoritarian) however I'd almost certainly be better off in money terms with a lifetime of conservative government.

 RobAJones 06 Jun 2022
In reply to henwardian:

> No it doesn't. I've always voted left and liberal (as opposed to authoritarian) however I'd almost certainly be better off in money terms with a lifetime of conservative government.

Same here. Although in the context of this thread according to LSRH's link we are currenly in the bottom 5% of households? Tax seems an odd one to me, in the days when we should have paid some at 40% we didn't have to, as at the time we were relatively wealthy no mortgage, loans etc so it could all go in an additional pension. Like it seems quite few posters on here I have benefitted from a free university education, buying a house for a fraction of what it is worth now and a generous pension scheme. I do think people like me should contribute more, but a suggestion that household wealth or private pensions should be taxed more often receives a more negative reaction, on here, than I expect. 

 Iamgregp 06 Jun 2022
In reply to Phil79:

Indeed.  Me and my partner both earn a pretty good wage, easily above the National Average and we don't feel well of at all.  We live in London and the mortgage, for the house we could only afford the deposit on with a lot of help and good fortune on both sides of our family, is enormous and everything costs a fortune.  

We are not rich.

Post edited at 15:32
 storm-petrel 06 Jun 2022
In reply to RobAJones:

> But it appears to be more than enough to be a train driver? 

Unfortunately it won't be enough. You'll need to pass the train driver psychometric tests which are rather more important than school results, although they are important too. I've no idea how much it costs the train operators to put people through these tests but you can do them privately for around £800 - £1000 or more. Maybe the private companies running the trains like to just waste their money by putting people through these tests, or perhaps there is maybe a little more to the job than just pushing a button and then sitting back and enjoying the scenery.

As a train driver with more than 30 years experience I think I earn a fair wage for what I do and the responsibilities I take on every day. On the other thread someone said something along the lines of "Top level teacher £40k, train driver £50k - something's not right here". I agree something's not right here, and that something is that we, as a society, greatly undervalue some of our most important people, such as teachers, and a whole load of others.

Train drivers got lucky. Privatisation of our industry created a market for our skills. Plenty of other people haven't had that luck which allows us, as a society, to take the piss out of the many people for whom their job is more than just a job.

Does my £50k a year make me wealthy? As someone who lives alone (by choice - why on earth would I want to bring kids into the world we have created?), yes it does. If I did have kids to look after I might feel differently. Am I worth £50k a year? Yes, I think I am, and based on the feedback I get from my employer, so do they. There are numerous locations on the routes I drive where a few seconds of inattention could result in a catastrophic accident despite the safety backups in place.

Driving a train bears no similarities to driving a road vehicle despite that being a common comparison. The fact that I don't have to steer my train isn't really relevant. It will follow the rails only if myself and everyone else involved in its operation do their jobs correctly. Unlike a road vehicle, for about 90% of the time I am driving I cannot stop in the distance I can see to be clear nor can I take avoiding action. At 100mph at night in dense fog my minimum stopping distance may be ten times or more the distance I can see to be clear.

If you want to know what driving a train actually involves have a look online for the Train Drivers Rulebook. This is a book of generic procedures which apply to train driving nationwide. Then have a look at the Sectional Appendix, a book about local procedures and infrastructure issues which affect drivers. Then have a look at a few traction manuals detailing how particular trains actually work and what you need to know to be able to drive them. Then digest the Professional Driving Policy manuals of a random train operator. Feel free to check the Weekly and Periodical Operating Notices which continually update all of the above. Don't forget to check the multiple daily notice boards for further updates. It's only a few thousand pages of often highly technical stuff so it won't take long. (OK, fair enough, only a couple of the above documents are actually available to view online).

Oh, I forgot the route maps you'll need to memorise as well. Going back to that 100mph at night in dense fog - you do know where you are all the time don't you, where that next signal is, what type of signal it is and what information it might give you, where you need to start braking for the next speed restriction or station stop? What do mean, type of signal? It's just red for stop and green for go, right? Like traffic lights? Er.....no. But then, it's only pushing a button, right? Er.....no.

Could my job be automated as was suggested on the other thread? Yes, in theory. In reality the mainline network still runs on a lot of very ancient infrastructure and the cost of automating that would be astronomical as well as causing massive disruption whilst the work was carried out. I don't doubt that some degree of automation will happen but it's unlikely to be anytime soon. It's one thing to build a new self contained metro system from scratch and automate it. Doing the same to our messy mainlne network would be somewhat harder.

There is also the question of whether full automation would be desirable. It sounds like a nice idea until things go wrong. Well, all you need is someone who can drive the train at walking pace to the next station someone will say. Which is all very well on a self contained suburban metro network. It doesn't work so well if the next station is Dent or Corrour or any one of hundreds of other remote rural stations.

In the meantime I think my £50k a year is an appropriate salary for my job. Given my personal circumstances that's a lot of money but those are my choices. If I had made other choices it might be rather less than a lot of money. Would I go on strike for more? That would depend very much on circumstances. If it were garaunteed that my lower paid colleagues would benefit, I would think long and hard about it. If it were garaunteed that other professions such as teachers, who should be paid similar amounts if not more would benefit, I would think long and hard about it.

So, to answer the question in the thread title, yes, my £50k a year makes me personally financially wealthy beacause of my personal circumstances. I look forward to a time when many other professions are similarly financially wealthy as they well deserve.

(Sorry, this goes on much longer than intended - it's slightly tongue in cheek in places - it also only covers a tiny fraction of what a train driver's job is about).

3
 montyjohn 06 Jun 2022
In reply to henwardian:

> No it doesn't. I've always voted left and liberal (as opposed to authoritarian) however I'd almost certainly be better off in money terms with a lifetime of conservative government.

So many questions:

Why are people voting to be poorer? Socialist economic policies don't make the poor richer and they certainly don't as you mention make the rich richer.

You think the right are authoritarian? How exactly? It's the left that generally want a controlling overarching big government. The left are also more likely to tell you what you can and can't say. Authoritarianism generally comes from the left.

The negatives of the right is the dog eat dog world but there's the way to get a really good compromise. Healthy right wing economics (i.e. capitalism) used to fund world leading social welfare. But you can't afford the welfare without getting the economics right.

I think this is something some of the Nordic countries do pretty well.

3
In reply to storm-petrel:

Thanks for sharing that. As with a lot of jobs, it looks easy to an outsider. It is all too easy to belittle someone else's job. 

In reply to montyjohn:

> So many questions:

> Why are people voting to be poorer? Socialist economic policies don't make the poor richer and they certainly don't as you mention make the rich richer.

They do make poor people less poor and that benefits of having access to healthcare are significant, we have the most socialist British government in history to thank for much of what underpins us as a society. 

> You think the right are authoritarian? How exactly? It's the left that generally want a controlling overarching big government. The left are also more likely to tell you what you can and can't say. Authoritarianism generally comes from the left.

You perhaps need to learn a little more history. I think the person you are responding to made a point of distinguishing right/left from authoritarian and liberal though.

> The negatives of the right is the dog eat dog world but there's the way to get a really good compromise. Healthy right wing economics (i.e. capitalism) used to fund world leading social welfare. But you can't afford the welfare without getting the economics right.

> I think this is something some of the Nordic countries do pretty well.

Generally considered pretty socialist, I’d say social democratic, but a lot further to the left than the U.K. government.

3
 RobAJones 06 Jun 2022
In reply to storm-petrel

>Unfortunately it won't be enough.

I suspected as much, which is why I wrote apparently. It doesn't help kids, parents or teachers when that is the information provided on the government website. I actually thought, as in other areas, who you know would matter as much as what you know. Thanks for the rest of the post, interesting reading. 

In reply to storm-petrel:

Good post.

cb294 06 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

 

> ...I don't believe industry leaders should be held to ransom such that they have to pay above market value,...

The whole point of unions and strike action is to determine that market value, rather than settling for some random value set by the employers.

 Ben Callard 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> - School - a collection of Cs and Bs won’t cut it

They absolutely cut it for me, and for some of my friends. 

How well you do in exams when you are 16 or 18 does not need to define your success in later life. 

In reply to Ben Callard:

My Dad left school with a CSE (below an O level) in Woodwork and nothing else.  He finished up a bank manager for the (then) TSB having gained his qualifications at night school while doing some other form of junior job (I forget what).

If you've got the will, bad school results don't have to define your life.

Post edited at 16:27
 montyjohn 06 Jun 2022
In reply to cb294:

>> ...I don't believe industry leaders should be held to ransom such that they have to pay above market value,...

> The whole point of unions and strike action is to determine that market value, rather than settling for some random value set by the employers

I don't agree with this. If you try and pay people below market value, then you either can't hire anybody, or they leave and find better paid jobs that suite their skillsets.

2
In reply to The New NickB:

> Generally considered pretty socialist, I’d say social democratic, but a lot further to the left than the U.K. government.

I'm not an expert in politics by any stretch but my understanding is that the Nordic countries have very high levels of taxation and public spending, but also among the highest ratings of 'economic freedom' for individuals, making them really quite a long way from being at all socialist.

 Andrew95 06 Jun 2022
In reply to storm-petrel:

I think that is brilliantly written and highlights a lot.  Both for you as a Train Driver and for others who have seemingly 'easy' jobs on the face of it.  Having got the train to Edinburgh from Birmingham last week, and having also driven the same journey in my car I think you are certainly worth 50k. 

What you also didn't mention was (and I assume here) is the long and unsociable hours you often work; the safety burden of several hundred people on board which you must carry and presumably a lot of pressure put on you by management to meet deadlines. 

Although, my train was an hour late on Friday and the sausage roll was stale so I think I might knock you down to £49,900 from now on!!!!

 Andrew95 06 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

I agree with you. Do we not look at all of the current bar staff jobs in the Scottish highlands as an example of this? There are very few people who would be willing to (or able to) accept six months of work for minimum wage in an area where the cost of living would be greater than (or close to) there income. 

In reply to ChrisBrooke:

From Wikipedia:

“The Nordic model comprises the economic and social policies as well as typical cultural practices common to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). This includes a comprehensive welfare state and multi-level collective bargaining based on the economic foundations of social corporatism,[with a high percentage of the workforce unionized and a sizable percentage of the population employed by the public sector (roughly 30% of the work force in areas such as healthcare, education, and government).[5] Although it was developed in the 1930s under the leadership of social democrats.”

I’d call it social democracy, others would call it socialism. It is certainly of the left. U.K. Conservative would consider it fairly radically left wing, US Conservatives would lose their minds. Without understanding what is meant by personal economic freedom, beyond levels of taxation, I am not sure what about the term suggest it is the antithesis of socialism.

 montyjohn 06 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

> I’d call it social democracy, others would call it socialism. It is certainly of the left. U.K. Conservative would consider it fairly radically left wing, US Conservatives would lose their minds.

You need to separate the two types of socialism.

Socialist economy, and

Socialist welfare.

I'm all in favor of socialist welfare, but you can't pay for it with a socialist economy. That has been proven time and time again.

Nordic countries, at least 5 years ago when I read up on this, do/did not have socialist economies.

For example, from a quick google, Denmark has no minimum wage. Yet McDonald employees enjoy $22 per hour.

In Denmark, no general fairness or ‘cause’ requirement applies to individual dismissals. Easy to get sacked.

And the list goes on.

In general, when you remove some regulations, conditions, counter-intuitively improve.

Take the idea of making it easy to sack someone. This also makes it easy to hire someone as you take away the risk for the employer. If you new employee is rubbish, you can get rid of them. The result is more competition between employers and better conditions and pay for workers. It also means more job opportunities. I know my employer is very reserved about hiring people as they don't want to be lumbered with them if there's a downturn in the economy.

5
In reply to montyjohn:

There are hundreds of types of socialism. Let’s not get in to that. The person you responded talked about left and liberal (as opposed to authoritarian).

You stated that the economics of the left doesn’t work and that governments of left were authoritarian, then gave examples of social democratic countries with mixed economies and social corporatism, as successful economies. The Nordic Model isn’t Marx, but it is certainly of the left.

In reply to montyjohn:

Denmark protects workers rather than jobs, it’s a different approach, but essentially of the left.

 RobAJones 06 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> For example, from a quick google, Denmark has no minimum wage. Yet McDonald employees enjoy $22 per hour.

Isn't that because it essentially has a number of minimum wages depending on which sector you work in, negotiated by the Unions and a very high percentage of workers (70%?) are in a Union?

In reply to RobAJones:

Coupled with a welfare state that protects the worker rather than the job making low wages unsustainable for an employer.

 ExiledScot 06 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

How much is a meal in McDonalds in Denmark? 

No minimum wage, doesn't mean there aren't collective agreements. 

 henwardian 06 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> > No it doesn't. I've always voted left and liberal (as opposed to authoritarian) however I'd almost certainly be better off in money terms with a lifetime of conservative government.

> So many questions:

> Why are people voting to be poorer? Socialist economic policies don't make the poor richer and they certainly don't as you mention make the rich richer.

Higher taxes support better transport, education, health care, etc. etc. For me, it isn't about having more cash to spend on hookers and blow, it's about having a country where all the "free" stuff provided by the state contrives to make the life of people on a low income better. I don't think I've ever seen an argument for increasing the wealth gap that convinced me (also, there are a variety of ways the UK government makes the poor richer, e.g. child tax credit, disability benefit, unemployment benefit, etc.).

> You think the right are authoritarian? How exactly? It's the left that generally want a controlling overarching big government. The left are also more likely to tell you what you can and can't say. Authoritarianism generally comes from the left.

No, you have me wrong. Generally in politics there are two major axes, the left/right axis and the authoritarian/liberal axis (see also https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2 ). So both left and right can be authoritarian. I like to try and vote for parties that are both liberal and left.

> The negatives of the right is the dog eat dog world but there's the way to get a really good compromise. Healthy right wing economics (i.e. capitalism) used to fund world leading social welfare. But you can't afford the welfare without getting the economics right.

I think the aging population and incredibly expensive of modern medical marvel equipment is more of a cause of the shortfall in welfare funding rather than the collapse of right-wing capitalism.

The 2008 financial crisis showed very clearly the dangers of letting capitalism run riot without checks and balances. It's a balancing act of course, go full communism and... well, it doesn't work, at all, for many reasons. But capitalism tempered with protections by government to prevent things like exploitation, ponzi schemes, etc. connected with a high rate of taxation to support all the communal things society needs is, in my opinion, the way to go. To me the bottom line of the conservative party has always been to enact policies which make the rich richer but only to an extent they can get away with without alienating too many average people that they need votes from.

> I think this is something some of the Nordic countries do pretty well.

Yes. Norway is always the example people like to use. And they do spectacularly well.

cb294 06 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Union support makes the employees less susceptible to blackmail (no work no pay), so they can afford to say no to unsatisfactorily low offers. Of course, if there is a huge surplus of labour that will not work, and if there is a total lack of personnel it will not be necessary.

In the middle, it will shift the "market rate" of labour costs (which are not only the pay but importantly also include the costs of a prolonged labour dispute) towards the employees. It will be more worthwhile (i.e. the correct market rate) to pay a bit more and get work done than face strikes and loss of revenues due to strike action.

Exactly as intended, I would argue!

Indeed, the main point of strikes is to do them every now and then to remind employers of the thumbscrews available. If the shoe is on the other foot the employers rarely hesitate to point at unemployed competitors who would happily do the job of their workers for less (which is a key point of hiring temp workers, it is not only about "flexibility"...)

 neilh 06 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

You should read up on Denmark and how it integrates migrants. ( a bit ruthless). 
 

it’s not all great there.bit like Holland. Looks great from afar until you peel away underneath. 

2
 Graeme G 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> I completely agree. If they taught this stuff in state schools it would go along way to negating the advantage private school kids have.

Best laugh I’ve had in ages. Thanks.

In reply to neilh:

No, not great. Very much like the U.K. Not really relevant to the  discussion though.

 RobAJones 06 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

> No, not great. Very much like the U.K. Not really relevant to the  discussion though.

I was going to say something similar. How difficult is it to look at systems in other countries and attempt to adapt the more successful ones. Instead we tend to copy the sh×t ones or prend ours is the best. 

1
 plyometrics 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> - Job interviews - don’t, for the love of god, wear brown shoes and put on a decent tie

Unless, of course, they’re Church’s and you’re pairing with a blue suit, in which case it’s perfectly acceptable. 

Post edited at 20:04
 Lord_ash2000 06 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

The problem with the question of does £x salary make you wealthy is a single top-line salary figure it's a very poor indicator of wealth. And that leads to endless futile debate. As on the one hand, you'll get a single £50k earner supporting a family while renting in the south-east arguing they are broke and a double income no kids couple in the north who live a very nice lifestyle despite neither earning £50k.

To judge if someone is wealthy in terms of the lifestyle their income affords them (as appose to net worth which is what I'd deem as your wealth) then you first need to consider the household income not just the individual, then you have to consider the basic cost of running that household, firstly typical housing costs in their area and if they are owners or renters. Then the basic costs of running their household, obviously a couple with no kids is going to be cheaper than a single person or couple with 3 kids etc. After that, you should be able to judge how easily they can cover their costs and how much budget they have for luxuries or accumulation of assets, which should start to give you an idea of "wealth".  

And as you can imagine the combined salary of each household is often not going to correspond to the level of lifestyle each household can lead given all the above variables. So in conclusion it is perfectly possible to live very comfortably indeed on £50k while it's equally possible to feel the pinch a bit if you're forced into living in a household with a high basic upkeep cost.

In reply to plyometrics:

> Unless, of course, they’re Church’s and you’re pairing with a blue suit, in which case it’s perfectly acceptable. 

 

If you’re an Italian stallion named Giovanni, with chiselled abs and slicked backed hair, then yes you might be able to pull off the blue and brown combo. For those not descended from the gods, you probably ought to stick to black oxfords.

But do you get my point? There’s hundreds of unwritten rules in life that you aren’t taught in school and it’s up to your parents.

Why not “level up” in this respect?

7
 RobAJones 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> But do you get my point? There’s hundreds of unwritten rules in life that you aren’t taught in school and it’s up to your parents.

Are you sure? Most of examples you give are IME covered in state school, are you sure you weren't one of those students who didn't pay attention or forgot things quickly. Schools do at least one mock interview day, usually with Y11 students meeting major local employers. Part of that experience is not coming in school uniform and dressing appropriately. There would be feedback about their attire but I remember being very pleased I was a male teacher as there were virtually no issues amongst the boys. 

1
In reply to ExiledScot:

> No minimum wage, doesn't mean there aren't collective agreements. 

IIRC, from my 10 years working in Finland, that's how it works there. There are sectoral agreements, rather than a national minimum wage.

 Forest Dump 06 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

Yup, and rules change. Biggest earners I know are in tech / IT and rock up in jeans, hoody and earphones. 

I imagine their suit game isn't far short of that seen in the local magistrates. The gear might be a bit more expensive but it's just as incongruous

 neilh 06 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:it is when people say that it’s an equal society there  

2
In reply to neilh:

> it is when people say that it’s an equal society there  

Which nobody has on this thread.

 neilh 07 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

Merely pointing out that when people sing the praises of higher tax rates etc creating a more level playing field that there are other aspects to the picture. 

3
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

I think the number of jobs where your shoe colour at interview affects things is very small. General advice to be well-presented is more helpful.

 plyometrics 07 Jun 2022
In reply to MG:

> I think the number of jobs where your shoe colour at interview affects things is very small. General advice to be well-presented is more helpful.

Think the shoe colour was being used merely as an example to demonstrate your more rounded “well-presented” point, to which I’d add “and appropriately dressed”.

1
 fred99 07 Jun 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Indeed.  Me and my partner both earn a pretty good wage, easily above the National Average and we don't feel well of at all.  We live in London and the mortgage, for the house we could only afford the deposit on with a lot of help and good fortune on both sides of our family, is enormous and everything costs a fortune.  

> We are not rich.

If, once you both retire, you decide to move out of London, then your position would change drastically, and you could easily become "rich" (relatively speaking).

Many people are doing so, and when they sell their 2-up 2-down terraced house in London, they can afford a 3 bedroom detached house (with land) in the Shires - and a rather hefty lump of cash left over.

This is one of the reasons that people in said Shires, with "non-London" incomes, are being priced out of homes where they live.

 Flinticus 07 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

£50k?

Wealthy? That's just their clothing bill for the year.

1
 Iamgregp 07 Jun 2022
In reply to fred99:

This is very true, if, in 30 years time we're happy to leave the city we've lived for the last 50 years, worked, called home, raised our children and where all our friends are we I guess we would be a lot more comfortable in material terms.

Not sure our lives would be any the richer for it though!

 montyjohn 07 Jun 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> This is very true, if, in 30 years time we're happy to leave the city we've lived for the last 50 years

Well if you decide to rip out your roots forget Shropshire, move to India and live like a king.

 Andrew Lodge 07 Jun 2022
In reply to MG:

> I think the trick is not letting your lifestyle keep expanding otherwise no amount is enough.

This is the key, many, many years ago when I qualified my salary doubled overnight, a once in a lifetime experience.

For the first month or so it was great but my lifestyle expanded to fit the new salary and after three months I didn't feel any better off but I was having a great time.

 wercat 07 Jun 2022
In reply to plyometrics:

I went to 5 interviews in succession at various BAE sites wearing a nice charcoal grey suit, white shirt, sober tie and highly polished traditional non toecap BROWN Shoes.

I ended up succeeding at every interview and having to turn all sites down except BAe Kingston on Thames

No doubt it was the brown shoes that meant prolonged security vetting!

Post edited at 18:07
 RobAJones 07 Jun 2022
In reply to fred99:

> Many people are doing so, and when they sell their 2-up 2-down terraced house in London, they can afford a 3 bedroom detached house (with land) in the Shires - and a rather hefty lump of cash left over.

True, Mrs J's sister and husband did that. They aren't any better off than we are though, even though their joint income was significantly more than ours. The extra money they spent on paying the mortgage compared to us for 20 odd years, we invested/put in pensions. Plus we didn't have to live in a 2 up 2 down terrace for those years. 

> This is one of the reasons that people in said Shires, with "non-London" incomes, are being priced out of homes where they live.

It is an issue, but IMO less so than second homes/investment properties. 

 Jan Pawlowski 07 Jun 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

To me £50k is like a middle ground. I cannot buy myself an expensive car, but I can live a full life with £50k.

 plyometrics 07 Jun 2022
In reply to wercat:

To be honest, the only real fashion crime at an interview (and life in general) is double denim; unless of course you’re seeking employment at your local ranch. 

 Iamgregp 07 Jun 2022
In reply to plyometrics:

What you should and shouldn’t wear to a job interview varies hugely between sectors, and is probably worthy of another thread (pun very much intended)

 fred99 08 Jun 2022
In reply to RobAJones:

> It is an issue, but IMO less so than second homes/investment properties. 

Definitely with you there.

 Cobra_Head 08 Jun 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> The typical UKCer is white, male, middle class, university educated and works in the public sector.

Will two out of four be enough?

 Pedro50 08 Jun 2022
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> Will two out of four be enough?

No cos you can't count apparently 😀

 Cobra_Head 08 Jun 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

> No cos you can't count apparently 😀

That's cos I didn't get my university education.


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