Economics – the dismal science!

I left school aged 15 (you could in those days!), and I went to a Secondary Modern school (or factory-fodder preparer!). OK, I’ve done a few things since, but I’ve never thought of myself intellectually high-flying, so forgive my ignorance.

Let’s see if I’ve got this right:

  • the banks and the financial institutions – mostly American and Western European ones – made huge, speculative gambles and got it woefully wrong; so much so that governments had to bail them out or else the whole system would have collapsed;
  • this “banking” seems (to me) to have been mostly based upon “guesswork”, “speculation”, will-of-the-wisp types of deals, with very little substance, and no tangible assets (in that nothing was physically made, like – say – manufacturing or something like that). What my Grandfather would have called “Spivs”, chancers and the like;
  • The money used by Western governments, as is ever the case, mostly comes from the majority of taxpayers – the “PAYE” classes, who don’t have the opportunity to avoid or be creative with their financial affairs. The same silly buggers who don’t get paid eight figured “bonuses” . . .
  • Anyway, we bailed them out, so that western capitalism wouldn’t collapse. One or two senior Banking Executives lost their jobs (though, no doubt, kept their pensions, their Porsches and their penthouses), but mostly it was a bit of “musical chairs” and – in a short time – they said, “It is time to stop the blame culture, blah blah blah . . .”

We had a change of Government, and I remind readers (least I hope it is in the plural !) that I belong to no political party, and out went the fellow who bailed out the banks (you remember him, face like a smacked arse) and in came a coalition of people so rich that they probably own banks.

They said that the deficit was so terrible (even though I have seen figures and arguments from other eminent economists who say that in much of Post-War British history, it has been significantly higher!) that everything has to be cut, reduced, restrained, etc., and that “we are all in this together” – share the pain – cut your clothe . . . .   you know, throwaway clichés and soundbites.

However, like the cartoon below, the Equality of Sacrifice is a deceptive thing:

[Yes, I know it says “Vote Labour” – they produced it, but the message is quite clear – and I’m not saying Vote anyone nowadays.]

Anyway, back to my rant; if “we” are all in this together, why is my pay not increasing for the second year running? Why is my tax bill increasing (VAT by 2.5%)? Why is inflation increasing by something like 3.7% or more? and petrol, and gas/ electricity, and . .  well, you know this too, BUT bankers, the people who caused this situation, are awarding themselves BILLIONS in bonuses again?

Why is this coalition government hurting THE most vulnerable in society? The disabled, the mentally ill, the very young and the very old? Why are they making our future, the university students, pay more for their education? and why are they dismantling the NHS and the education system? Why are they not building houses for the homeless, or improving schools for our children?

Some smart Alec is going to tell me that the country doesn’t have the money . . . but our 84% in RBS must be worth a few bob now, if the bankers can all award themselves whacking great bonuses? and we own other substantial shares too.

This is the 3rd or 4th richest nation on the planet. We seem able to find billions for wars in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in Serbia/Bosnia before that; and if the Americans pick a fight with North Korea or Iran, I bet we find the money for that too.

I know it sounds “simplistic”, but – hell – maybe the answer is simple!! Has anyone ever thought that? 🙂

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ivanjelical on January 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Ironic that this story comes out http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12260742 It shows even the Tories can’t control the banks, even the nationalised ones.

    Reply

  2. and – in a short time – they said, “It is time to stop the blame culture, blah blah blah . . .”

    That only applies to the bankers, of course; the blame culture can continue merrily on it’s way when it’s directed at the “benefit scroungers.”

    Reply

  3. Your excellent post from two yeas ago came up in Google because David Miliband referred to the Equality poster in his Welfare Bill speech yesterday.

    Reply

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