Why Do Our Kids Leave School So Helpless?

When I was at school kids of my grandson’s age would be leaving about this time next year and going into work of some kind.  He has at least two years to go.  I know the economy has changed under the charge of international banksterism, but when I was young kids like my grandson went into real work.  Now, with far more of them equipped with academic qualifications, vast numbers are unemployed or on schemes of some sort we know are mostly rot.

My lad has some disability and though he isn’t thick, struggles with work around the house – from hoovering to wiring a plug.  We’re getting him a new computer table tomorrow and he will struggle to put the flat-pack together – indeed he will try and avoid the task completely.  He is, in fact, work-shy, though the disability is connected with this.  All this makes him like his mates rather than unlike  them.

If dealing with unemployment was genuinely about giving people the right training we would surely have identified the skills and be producing people with them.  The identification of training needs and training evaluation is one of my skills.  I’d say we have made a complete mess of it.  The essential mistake is assuming that most people can learn work skills other than through doing the work.  Indeed, I believe education barely works at all except as child-minding and this has expanded into the universities.

The answer is to stop all the scheme nonsense and pretending education can or should produce the skills employers want.  We need instead to guarantee and provide jobs.  We are failed in this entirely by the employers and our economic thinking.  We need to fit the jobs to the unemployed not try the silk purses from sows’ ears approach.  And we need to admit all we’ve been doing is importing better workers from abroad.

I’d go for an international service programme for all our kids from 14 – 21 and all unemployed across the EU (as far across the developed world as possible).  This would include time-release to colleges and all concerned would be affiliated to a university from 16 whether they attended as students or not.  I’d like to see this programme be a safety beyond which no one could fall without making that a choice, and welfare would not be a standard alternative.

Our economies can’t recover without doing something about flat-lined and decreasing wages – we have made the bottom half of our societies so illiquid we have begun to destroy our markets in the real economy.  We need to make our employers compete for the workers they want – they always claim to be smart, innovative and the rest afterall.  Currently, the discrimination against our dafter and less skilled is worse than anything we managed on race and colour.

 

White, working-class and excluded in Britain

http://www.iaindale.com/posts/what-about-the-workers

I still think of myself as working-class.  I’ve been more middle-class in terms of salary, housing and work than most of my fellow Britons most of my life – but I know I’m not middle-class because so few people really are.  To be really middle-class you need some element of financial independence and I’m a mortgage-serf.  Most people are deluded into believing they are middle-class.

No political group represents my interests and these really amount (in political terms) to wanting an ample supply of jobs, wages that allow basic living (house, utilities, eating, not being cold, transport, education) without personal debt and being able to borrow reasonable amounts I can repay.  The rest would be about establishing world peace and sustainable ways of living in such.  I believe such matters require democratic military and policing, so these are important to me too, along with freedom under reasonable, non-religious law.  Government, such as I accept it, must be genuinely free of corruption and under the wide control of all people.

I was a grammar school lad, so most of my mates went off to other schools when I was eleven.  They were nearly all in employment when I continued in 6th form, where I was in another minority doing science subjects.  I went to university, the biggest educational disappointment of my life, until doctoral study (which was worse).

Nearly all my peers at primary school were white and English by birth.  They were nearly all working in their late teenage years or in further and higher education.  I’m 60 and have seen the situation decline for 40 years – which is more or less (as economist) the point at which the economy went from ‘real’ to ‘financial-fictitious’.  I’m not particularly concerned that our population has become substantially foreign, other than in the extent this has destroyed full employment for our own, and in the ugly re-appearance of religion.

My grandson is now 14 and his peer group, in much the same part of the country I grew up in is very different.  Unemployment and the likelihood of it is prevalent and the chances of long-term jobs other than in professions like teaching are very poor.  The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have produced a report revealing some of this today.  I haven’t found the report itself yet, but media reporting suggests it takes the form of a polite statement of the bleedin’ obvious that middle-class researchers can’t avoid.

We were able to employ nearly all my childhood peer group – most of those who went off to secondary moderns were able to do quite well jobwise.  This has not been the case for nearly thirty years and is a disgrace.  What’s been on offer to them is more and more useless education – an education not worthy of the name.  Many kids are getting six years more “education” than was generally available in my day – and much of the really productive job-based training has gone.

Not a single political party is interested in any of this and its why I don’t vote.  In the meantime the ‘Bell-curve’ remains much the same yet “educational attainment” forever rises and employers complain ever more strongly that our people lack job skills and basic educational standards.  These are flat contradictions and the underlying truth is that our education system is lying in concert with our politicians – much as police statistics are gamed.

We need radical change and are currently not even able to get this talked about.  Descriptions on Gadget and other blogs need to be taken seriously and without the usual blame game on welfare scroungers and the plentiful availability of jobs they could get,

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Wages Only Rise After Black Death and War

If you scan this blog you may believe I’d think IMF stands for international mother-fuckers, and of course, you’d be right.  Despite being murderers on an industrial scale over many years, these turds don’t vary much in postured economics from me.  Of course, I don’t believe in austerity that kills children like them, but take a look at what they post on income inequality – http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2011/09/index.htm

I grew up under expectations that people were becoming more equal and that fairness was on the increase.  In fact, as the IMF confirm, the rich have been stealing in vast amounts.  The inequality leads to ‘current acount’ deficits and massive indebtedness, at least in economies with developed banking.

Generally, wages don’t rise unless workers are killed off in sufficient numbers to be in short supply.  Pestilence and war are good for wages.  Another way to produce this good situation for workers, without killing them off in droves, is to guarantee something like twice the current minimum wage for jobs in a system structured to employ sufficient people to remove the reserve army of labour and force employers to give better pay and conditions to their people.  That is change the current dominance of the employer.  Why not do this across the EU – to fuck off the standard anti-democratic bastard excuse we can do nothing because of international competition and capital flight?  This solution is just as economic a model as belief the private sector cavalry is coming.

Whilst I believe high wages (as in Scandinavia) are an answer along with full employment and EU protectionism, this is essentially a short to medium perspective.  We should be asking ‘why wages’ in the sense of trying to discover how property ownership and wealth possession give any individual or group rights not to work for what they get as beneficiaries in our society.

Our high earners now ‘earn’ so much they could retire after a couple of years – even the likes of bungling social service directors – and have more to live on than some poor sod dragging the plough for 40 more years.  This kind of disparity must lead to something like the queen bee being structured in our human society, demanding as much of the fruits of labour without the beneficial genetic future such a queen provides (the science is complicated, but a queen passes on more genes that a worker has than the worker on her own could).

The ‘motivation’ in a hive stands up from a bottom-up perspective.  In human affairs all we hear is the drone that the already rich need even vaster riches to be arsed to get out of bed.  Down at the bread-line, crumbs are enough.    In the hive the resource costly queen actually provides a superior lineage of worker offspring (in the sense of more genetically similar offspring than a worker could produce in mating).  In human society, the resource costly rich gain all the advantage over many generations.  I’m now so sick of hearing how much this bunch of wasters are worth to the rest of us, that I think we should have a cull in order to test out the theory.  We could eliminate all financial services people (say 1 in 9 jobs – China has killed this proportion of Tibetans and all countries with imperialist history have managed worse) and see what happens.  Thought experiment only in my case, but don’t kid yourself our rulers care about such considerations – they’ve killed us in droves through history.

A whole shed-load of our soaked-up ideologies, Bacon’s Idols that still enthrall us, can ne looked at in reverse.  I’d put it this simply.  Why the fuck are we still arranging everything through an economics that exploits scarcity when we have the technology and wherewithal to live in plenty?  It isn’t because it works so well, and this means it must be because it’s the way non-democratic interests rule us.  Economics is the bewitchment of human reason through long-cast shadows of trauma.  Every argument in it can be turned on its head.  What makes me laugh is that all the spew about hard work, creativity, innovation and the rest, emerges in a population to idle to even understand basic economics.

Let’s face it, we’re so dumb and scared,we go along with all the crap on how ‘lovely’ hard work is, how great it is to turn in when your boss is a bully and an incompetent who gets ten times your pay.  We love work so much we are gone from it almost on rumour of a lottery win.  What liars we are and how easily we have fallen for the really big ones.  Show me the research on the deserving rich.  It’ll be a slim volume.

 

 

Thoughts on the loss of police numbers

I always wonder what waste is – at least in terms of company and national financing.  My diabetic foot and retinal screening were combined today – mutually good for me and the NHS.  Killing me off would be a greater saving, but we don’t go there,  If we think about making 30,000 or so police officers and staff redundant we may feel there will be a benefit in paying less for policing.  The claim any of this can be done simply by cutting numbers from ‘admin’ is proven false over and again in research – there has to be a ‘re-engineering’ and we seem short of information on what this is to be, so I suspect ‘suck it and see’.

What we also hear nothing about in respect of police numbers is what will happen to those who lose their jobs and those who would have entered the work had the chance been there.  There is plenty we could look at.  What do miners, shipyard, mill machinists and steel workers and those who once would have been do now?  There are at least 7.6 million of working age not working.  Wales, NI, and the North generally still have high rates of unemployment and high rates of public employment.  There was no private sector cavalry.  There is a lot of evidence that investment fled abroad and that a housing bubble kept us afloat on debt spending, public and private.  I believe this was an intentional gerrymandering of our demographic, along with immigration.

Police officers and staff are likely to have transferable skills and the ones I taught in HE were ahead of the pack if not generally outstanding.  I think most will fare well – but this isn’t the end of the matter as they displace others who won’t get jobs.  In research done in the US, 3 million jobs that could have been kept if workers had more power would still be there if it had not become so easy for employers to control costs through sacking workers and exporting work.  My rule of thumb estimate of the same in the UK is proportionately higher at over 1 million.

People in the now high unemployment blackspots were not notoriously lazy before the unemployment came.  I’ve worked all over the world, but seen no opportunities for general employees and its hard to move even in this country for those without skills in demand = employers were once prepared to fund the movement of employees.  Police and public sector workers put out of work are likely to displace others rather than end up on the scrap heap, but I think they will be surprised at what’s (not) on offer in northern and Welsh job centres when they first look.

It makes no sense to lose the resource that the officers and staff represent, but of course economics makes no sense and probably isn’t meant to.  These cruel to be kind austerity tricks are just cruel tricks.  The money to invest in our own people is still there – and probably off to a dirty deal in Chinese ‘high yield’ bonds as I write – a repeat by the banksters of their previous securitized fraud that leaves favoured few with the good stuff and us lumbered with the toxic.  Now there’s something that should gainfully employ 30,000 police officers and staff!  They don’t put it to us in such terms now do they?  The Chinese bonds are a way of selling us out from under, and yet issued on the basis of “capital” no country ever issues.  It’s stuff like this that creates the need to slash our public services.

There are times when our normal industries have to give up labour – war times.  Productivity increases is another – but why have we found so satisfactory way to redeploy ourselves, even if only to leisure?  And it’s much worse if we look to Chinese working conditions.  Work is not a blessing – that’s what earnings are.  We should be on a four day week by now and employing more people to do what needs doing.  And it should be around rules like this that the world competes.  For the last 30 years there have been enough people unemployed to double some public services, including policing.  The question should be why we can’t do this and continue to believe in a system that makes a few so rich they are the de facto government.

I often despair at the workings of our public sector and we might consider private sector additions to it. If management is as creative as it claims when setting its own pay, it should be able to sort things out.  The current situation is immoral and based on feudal notions of labour. Every job I’ve had in this country since 1980 has been subject to down-sizing and the rotten feelings this brings,  Down-sizing became right-sizing and is now all to do with accounting that rivals that of the Enclosures.  Wages would have risen substantially in line with productivity since 1982 if they were linked to it.  The truth is the opposite.  Those police left in post can expect to work harder for less.