Cost of Crime (2)

It’s hard to explain how we might go about establishing facts in order to create a more rational and ‘better’ society.  There is room to doubt that even schools and universities have failed us in this respect.  These days most of us could home school through the Internet.  There is some cracking stuff about in the mire of 99% porn and crap.

Google is now our first route into knowledge – I use duckduckgo too.  I refinement on Google is Google Scholar.  This puts you into the academic world of books and papers – porn is rare but the 99% crap rule applies.  Without organisational/university access you have to pay to read many journals.  Paying $20 – 50 a pop for goat-poo doesn’t feel good.  Some academics post their work free on their own or university sites.

You can build quite a library through the Internet – but how do you sort the wheat from the chaff?  In Cost of Crime (1) I tried to give the reader a glimpse into how hard this can be.  Slack use of words by academics reporting a cost of crime project from Cambridge had be thinking each of us in the UK pays 12 quid a year to support just one miserable male criminal prolific offender.  Actually, its 12 quid from each of us on average to support all 780 thousand in this category.  Pity – as I pointed out – as culling just 4 of them would pay our country’s EU fees if my first reading had been true – whereas the fact is culling all of them would only pay a quarter of this.  I think killing people is wrong – but this is incidental to the thought experiment.

One reason I was tempted into false belief on the cost of an individual recidivist scrote is personal impact when they have crossed my path.  Our former next-door neighbours were so damaging on our lives that I should have killed them at the start and done the time – I’m a bit ashamed I couldn’t have lived with the guilt.  In more recent times, our grandson and many others have been terrorised over two years by a 15 year old piece of vermin.  Action and attitudes amongst the relevant authorities has improved, but the ease with which such scrote can ruin victims lives remains as was.  How does one cost such stuff as finding a grandchild on suicide sites?

The devastating impact of these shits on people forced to put up with them is so massive I can imagine 4 or 5 of them costing us more than EU membership.  The truth is that we are very reluctant to spend the money needed to prevent crime fucking the lives of victims.  12 quid each a year is peanuts, even in dealing with the part of crime committed by the male, high-rate offenders.  Yet the peanuts add up to us not having a university of the air – or whatever.

The 15 year old I mention first came to light in our street waddling about in his nappies.  A decent neighbour used to take him in.  He caused so much trouble at his junior school he was transferred to the one our grandson attended.  He needed a firm hand, but I quite liked him at this time.  He lasted almost no time at all at secondary school as was sent to one for behaviourally disturbed kids – only to be such a problem there parents started to withdraw their kids – he will be excluded.  A six week custodial had no effect and his crimes include burglary and blackmail.  The story is long and he has probably done years of damage to other kids.  One ‘answer’ could have been to evict the family, but not only would this have punished the rest (decent enough) of the family, they were able to evade this by putting in to buy the house.

Loads is written on all this - https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/208804.pdf - is an American example.  My own feelings on discovering my grandson’s terror concerned killing the source of the problem – I’m almost non-violent.  When I did warn the scumbag off he caused £500 of damage to our car.  I accept that we give up personal retribution, prevention and vendetta for good reasons..  Even Hobbes knew that.

We can ask what it would cost to do the best we can for the 15 year old lout.  He could go to a semi-secure boarding school – cost vast.  This would, of course, remove the cost burden from our grandson and 50 or so others.  A major feature of our CJS is that it defrays costs onto victims.  Decisions are made in cash not pain – and in devolved budgets.  And we should consider that paying out for facilities to perpetrators feels lousy.

It costs a fortune to sneeze these days.  The amount we probably need to spend on the people who commit most of what we consider crime is probably so massive we can’t afford it.  Instead we have  CJS that tries to keep the lid on and a lottery attitude to being a victim. You’re lucky if you win the money lottery and it’s just tough luck if you ‘win’ the victims’ one.

The financial cost of dealing with problem families is so vast one has to wonder whether giving them the £500K with plane tickets to Bulgaria would be better.  Looking ahead of being able to marshal facts, I’d say most already written is likely to be cloud-cuckoo-land posturing.  I’m sick and tired of ‘project solutions’ set up with no clue how to put intensive care operations into the financial mainstream.  I currently believe we are ignoring paid work as an answer.

We need some imagination – so imagine this.  We do some charity stuff to buy some tractors and such (plus the means to fuel and maintain them etc.) and take them to rural India to boost agricultural production.  Before getting carried away, you need to think that this excellent idea might end up killing peasant farmers and their families made redundant by the technology.  This warning applies well to crime thinking.

Cost of Crime (1)

In most of my life, economics has been the main reason for not being able to do what I wanted to – from lounging on Caribbean beaches during an England Test tour to getting a European project to help some local kids off the ground.  In the smaller sense of business costing, costs have generally stopped me in my tracks.   Given money is really just plucked from thin air this seems odd.  When it finally dawned on me mos of this plucked cash goes into a bookmaking scam I gave up on economics.

It is estimated that a male high-rate chronic offender on average would impose an annual cost of £18 ($29) per U.K. citizen or a lifetime cost of £742 ($1,185) per U.K. citizen.  This from:

http://jrc.sagepub.com/content/50/1/53

Money expressed like this makes no sense.  It costs each UK citizen £74/year to be in the EU – so four bastard chronic offenders cost each of us as much as EU membership.  Nigel Farrage probably thinks the EU does us more damage, but much as I want the smoking ban lifted, I don’t.  If we could cull only 100 of these shits we could pay our way in 24 varieties of EU – not everyone’s choice in using the money!  I bet it might be enough to get a university of the air off the ground.  I could write the business plan that killed this lot off in return for bounty equivalent to their known cost and build this modern university.  Fees would be about £2K a year for non-science graduate programmes offered to all on an international basis.  I like enterprise solutions to crime, and not much is more criminal than than sticking kids with $100K debts for the opportunity to regurgitate some limited textbook material into a degree certificate.  I’d offer local businesses the chance to host social, sports, art, theatre and discussion events for our students – based on student social networking and organisation.  Electronic library and resource board – all that’s missing is the overhead (60% of charges for a bit of toss-art in the vice chancellor’s lodging).  The International University of Killakrook?

I hope, in rough approximation, this gives you a real idea of the costs of crime.  No one in their right mind would want 24 EU memberships, but would anyone in their right mind really want 100,000 recidivist scrote preventing 1000 innovative start-up businesses every year?  For this is the status quo of our madness.

I see crime and its costs as much wider than this.  Just now I need to find someone with a subscription to the journal with the £18/year per person in the UK figure.  There are 65 million of us.  65,000,000 times £18 is more beer than I could drink in a lifetime.  The research is from Cambridge – maybe they can’t count?    I rarely see social research that can be taken at face value.  £1300 million a year to keep a scrote criminal?  I suspect it’s nearer £1 million – but in principle my figures above work – we just need to kill the crooks 130 times faster.

From the actual paper:

This crime cost is calculated using the following formula with the high-rate
chronic offender group as an example: [2.5 percent (prevalence of male highrate
chronic offenders)  31,118,895 (2011 U.K. male population) ¼
777,972 (total population of male high-rate chronic offenders)  £59,760 (average
cost of a male high-rate chronic offender) ¼ £46,491,606,720/62,698,362
(2011 U.K. total population) ¼ £742 per U.K. citizen]. The annual crime cost
is calculated by dividing the lifetime crime cost by the number of years of
offending data available in the study (41 years).

Sorry abut the loss in electronic translation.  You should be able to tell how easily I’m lead up the garden path reading academic stuff.  It rarely makes itself clear.  I thought these people (before I got the full paper) were saying each of us Brits were coughing up 18 quid for each of these high rate chronic scrotes a year.  In fact each of us is paying 18 quid for all three-quarters of a million of them.  So we pay 4 times more to be in the EU.

This is still a huge amount of money – roughly £1300 million.  Remember this is nowhere near the annual cost of crime in the UK.  The paper is quite interesting and has a lot of further references.

online 16 December 2011
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 2013 50: 53 originally published
Alex R. Piquero, Wesley G. Jennings and David Farrington
“The Monetary Costs of Crime to Middle Adulthood : Findings from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development”.

Aggregate total costs of crime (in the United States) have been estimated to be between $1 and $2 trillion (O’Brien 2010), which is likely an underestimate of the total costs because this includes only known crimes and excludes many whitecollar/corporate crimes whose costs are in the mid-billions to low trillions.

The language that had me confused was this:

It is estimated that a male high-rate chronic offender on average would impose an annual cost of £18 ($29) per U.K. citizen or a lifetime cost of £742 ($1,185) per U.K. citizen.

However, pushing on, it seems there are nearly 778 thousand (2.5% of the male population) of these high-rate chronic offenders amongst us at any time.  On self-reported crime they claim nearly 40 offences for one recorded.  I could not establish how many of them are in jail at any given time – but the proportion must be low when we only have 87,000 banged up from our total population.

Back of a fag packet style let’s say just short of 40,000 of them are banged up – that’s about a 20th of them or 5%.  If we really are cutting crime in this group and all the others, it seems we lack information on why.

 

 

 

Wealth Perception and Reality

Video

This is a good video on the state of wealth in the USA, comparing people’s perceptions with reality and what they think would be ideal.
I would expect the situation in Britain and Europe to be a bit different, but the broad result to apply. We would like a more equal situation to pertain and not realise how chronically elitist the situation really is.

My own view has long been that we should sequester the rich and use this ‘money’ to pay down household debt and abolish most of financial services beyond ‘boring banking’.
Instead of sensible discussion of wealth, incentive and using the planet’s resources reasonably, the big new option available to us in the UK is UKIP – a little Englander party that plays on immigration and our myopic hatred of the European Union. UKIP are less revolting than any of our standard politicians, but the EU costs each of us about £74 a year – buttons compared with the rich and probable liabilities of the financial sector. A question of ‘its the economy stupid’ – with the proviso we’re too dumb to understand any economics!
I don’t care whether we are in the EU or not – though we should want to be in the trading block. What we’ve needed since I can remember is a decent industrial policy, near full-employment, decent policing and much great equality (though there is no point in expecting a few slogans in this area to lead to anything worthwhile – and the dangers of Soviet Paradise lurk).
The telling point of this video is that argument is pretty hopeless because most of us live in cloud cuckoo land. I’m off down the pub for a drink with Farage. He got my vote as the least of all evils on display.

Time For The New Untouchables? Cyprus Bank Losses

I always liked the Untouchables.  The acting was wooden and it was easy for my young mind to spot the good guys.  Elliot Ness was the good guy, fighting illegal booze and the likes of Frank Nitty’s numbers rackets (now our government run lotteries) and the awful Al Capone.  Of course, the real Elliot Ness was an accountant and wrote his own legend.  As a cop, I spent plenty of time in speakeasies under our own licensing laws. and was part of such mega Untouchable raids as the one on illegal bingo playing in my local Labour club – strangely the raid, planned by a future ACPO and involving 40 hairy-arsed coppers, took place on a night with no bingo and with only a few grandmothers having the odd legal milk stout.  The hideous offence thought to be committed was selling 10 bingo cards for the price of 9.  All was not lost as said future ACPO fell off the stage on which the not-in-use bingo wheel was situated and I was able to practice my first-aid skills to such effect he was off sick for months.  Life was briefly sweet.  The two grandmothers he instructed me to arrest for the offence of laughing at his indignity received my personal caution.  This involved them being bought several drinks at a local pub by grateful officers.

Imagine yourself running a bank in Cyprus.  A Russian ‘oligarch’ (Lev Caponisz) comes in with several bin bags of cash – say a billion.  You take the money and wire it into the UK-hubbed offshore system.  Lev is not the kind of bloke whose money you would want to lose.  You soon have about £30 billion of money ‘belonging’ to such people.  Which man or woman amongst you wants to tell the various Levs you have lost the lot?  I doubt many of us would even be comfortable living in another sun-drenched paradise far away looking over our shoulder, let alone having to meet Lev and tell him we invested it in Greek Cuckoo-spit bonds now worth exactly a  weight of rocking horse droppings.  Few of us want to die in severe pain sometime after the rest of our family has been slaughtered in front of us.

The two biggest banks in Cyprus are now worth $30 billion less than a bag of rocking horse droppings.  Much of this is rumoured to be Russian mafia money.  Several Levs are thought to be unhappy about this.  That this much money has been lost is probably true, though whether this is really Russian suitcase money I’m not so sure.  If I’m not happy at the thought of having to explain this plight to Lev and the big guy with the thumb-screw, I can’t imagine those who actually run banks with their PhDs in knee-trembling likely to want to either.

The money has had it away on its toes for sure.  In light of the above, where is it likely to have gone?  If it was really Russian mafia money where are the mangled corpses of dead Cypriot bankers?  Don’t think they just haven’t been found yet – they would be left in the open as warnings.  Th banksters can fob me and you off with excuses like buying into Greek junk bonds, but not Lev and his mates.  It’s much more likely that the smart criminal money is already in US and Mayfair real estate or sloshing around the Caribbean offshore and Middle Eastern private equity investment.

The question for us in the Untouchable Squad (formerly the Fast Action Response Team) is how the offshore investment was obtained from genuine depositor money once and no longer in the Cyprus banks.  If the government in Nicosia had to stump up after the main banks.were allowed to go tits-up, it would be paying £30 billion it hasn’t got to fund the deposit insurance (hence the crazy EU bail-in by taxing existing deposits to reduce the ECB contribution – I doubt any of Lev’s money is at risk – this is just a blind or sop for public consumption).

If you take my point of none of us wanting to be holding the empty bag that once contained Lev’s cash, is it not reasonable to think this money is already secure elsewhere and Lev comfortable with the 5% laundering fee we have extracted?  The mug punters losing their 6.75% and 9.99% and the balance to be stumped up (tax payers) don’t carry knuckle-dusters and scrotum smashers.

Now, if Lev’s money is off somewhere safe, why has the rest of the cash been lost?  We will no doubt be told that the bankers just lost it in ill-advised purchases of non-English Law Greek doughnut holes (whatever).  These brilliant investments can be loosely described as $100 in to get a debt of $110 back (the $10 is how banksters pay themselves bonuses).  All perfectly legit.

Bankers are either super-intelligent (as they claim) or crooks.  It’s hard to believe the super-intelligent would keep investing in doughnut holes and rocking horse shit futures – but it seems they do.  So it makes more sense to think they are crooks who lie to us about being super-intelligent.  Even mugs like us could transfer Lev’s black bags of cash to sensible investments – knowing just what would be at stake if we lost it.  We also know the correct financial terminology to use when someone asks us to buy Greek rocking horse shit futures.  It’s fuck off squared.  This is never the offer.

What gets offered is this:

1. I have several sacks of rocking horse shit valued at $30 billion in a mark-to-market scheme of impenetrable complexity.  The contents are as promised and the loss, once a bureaucrat with an abacus sets to belated work on them, matches the contents once the magic Gaussian copula is waved over them, turning a big fat, invisible zero to a big negative number.

2. Why should I buy $30 billion of rocking horse droppings from you?

3. Firstly to keep your gonads where God intended them.

4. Secondly, because you will benefit more than to the tune of the status quo ante concerning your gonads.

5. We can sell you the rocking horse dropping futures, suitably leveraged and insured so you can make a personal profit and leave other mugs holding the bag when the music stops.  All the real money comes into our pot and goes off with Lev’s money offshore.  That money becomes ours and we guarantee you a huge slice so you can run off with your mistress beyond jurisdiction to live the good life.

6.  No way.  I’ll be left here carrying the can.

7. Don’t be stupid.  Tax payers and small depositors will carry the can.  No one gives a monkey’s toss about them and the law protects you and your fortune from them.  The law states no bankers inside.

8.  My fortune?

9. The $5 million we are about to lodge in Allcoppedout (Cayman Offshore) for you should you and your extremities take the rational course of action we are putting to you.  Our offers you can’t refuse come with delicious dessert.  Much more sensible than allowing parts precious to you to be served as sweetmeats on the table of our Arab confederates.

10.  Why would you sell me $30 billion in bags of rocking horse droppings for only $30 billion?

11.  You take the fees on the $30 billion sale.  Looks like a good deal and you can pay bonuses with the fee money.  We package the rocking horse and doughnut hole droppings in securitized CDO and multiple hypothecated collateral substitute repos that will take three years to untangle.  By the time the authorities realise the package is only worth what we would have paid for it had we any intention of actually taking up our future options on the shit, we are away with $25 billion of real money with no links to the celebration I am inviting you to on Turks and Caicos before Miss Zaplova takes you round the world.

By this time the banker realises he is talking to Lev.  I have not seen any news reporting even suggest we should go looking for where the real money went and start getting it back.  If bankers are so stupid they really invest in Greek and other peripheral bonds losing billions we should close the banks.  Does anyone sane believe the money has really disappeared – say being used to light fires to keep bankers’ families warm?  Its been nicked.  A squad made up of bobbies made redundant by this government, given global carte blanche to follow the money, could sort it all out.  There are only 92,000 filthy rich suspects in the world.  They have it.  We need to stop the bailouts and form a New Untouchables.

Our secret services must know where the money is going and who is getting it.  One can tell from economics – it all slides to the already super-rich.  Snatching bank deposits from ordinary people is just a continuation of what has been happening through global wage arbitrage (forcing wages to Chinese serf levels – except for the rich who get more), asset-stripping and internal CEO looting and the involvement of organised crime in nearly all businesses and government.  Has anyone told you where any of the money lost by banks has gone?  It can’t really be ‘lost’ as our governments keep ‘printing’ more and more of it.  It’s being redistributed and somewhere, it is being hoarded in Ali Baba’s cave.  The explanations we do get are as likely as that Mervin King is running his central heating system with paper money from the Mint.

That the banksters are organised crime is evidenced by clown claims like those of Stephen Hester that he has to pay big bonuses despite losses to keep the best staff.  Would be really fall for crap like that unless we were in fear of shouting out the truth?  In terms of agriculture, tourism and natural resources Cyprus is a ‘goldmine’ – so why is it riddled with debt?  We have to shape up to the facts and among these is criminality at the top.  I really do think we are now living in fear of organised crime.

 

We Have To Stop Lying

Over the years I’ve been urged to teach British managers techniques from overseas.  The first muck was Management By Objectives (MBO), an American interpretation of Soviet production targets.  Then fashions turned Japanese, with quality circles, just-in-time, continuous improvement and various kwality initiatives (TQM, TPM, TPM) and even poga oke (fool proofing).  German stuff rarely got much mention as it involved such “socialist” dangers as works councils and rigorous training.  There was plenty of British stuff about, from Action Learning, the Industrial Society, MRP1 and MRP2 (manufacturing recommended practice) and ISO 9001 (as amended).  Most of this stuff was found to fail as often as succeed and it was all considered seriously as management fashion.  Utter piss like excellence was popular.  Much was just a rehash of organisational management 101 – like business process re-engineering.

There are decent management techniques and ideas – but they are lost in social effect because the system is based on idiot notions of profit and income distribution.  The underlying spirit of this muck is fascism, with leaders ‘creating reality’ for the rest of us mugs.  Thatcher is often associated with this ‘modernisation’ that has led us down the road to serfdom.  The crass promise, remade by Bliar and Camerooney (merely Bliar 2), is that getting us all super-efficient will allow us to dominate world competition, earn our way in the world and so on.  The truth, of course, is that it set us on the route to Chinese wages and conditions of employment – and probably set a Chinese Empire in motion – giving them manufacturing expertise was the equivalent in geo-politics of selling guns and whiskey to the Indians in the old westerns.  It was traitorous.

I have no doubt we should be efficient  where we can be – the real reason being to make work easier and for there to be less of it and for us to be able to do other things with our lives in a secure environment, not to get swollen ankles and suicidal feelings working for a Chinese gang-master or Indian load shark – or be ripped off by the rich and the offshore empire based around the City of London, Wall Street, Hong Kong and Singapore – or to see the efficiency gobbled up by lawyers and accountants.

I teach double entry book-keeping and various techniques based around profit and loss, balance sheets and cash flow.  The stuff makes sense when you get the hang of it – even derivatives in basic form as insurance (though we could use other instruments).  Most  people can get enough of a hand on the basics for it to be worth teaching the complexities that underlie business information.  Business runs in cycles and there is a need to build up cash and reserves to survive hard times and innovate.  There are ways to cut costs through financial moves (e.g. repos being a cheaper way to ensure cash flow than bank borrowing).

If I can’t get much of an understanding with most students, I can get them to learn to use the systems – the spreadsheets are much like driving and maintaining a car as opposed to knowing how to build one.  The real problem is dishonesty.  Rather than variations on primitive double entry book-keeping, we have systems that look more like the two sets of books Al Capone’s accountant might keep.

Here’s an example of German government debt.  This is as close to the real situation as I can find (it’s from zerohedge somewhere).  All you need to do is track down what should count and do the sum.  Simples!    It doesn’t suit Frau Merkel to have the situation like this, but if she was CEO of a large company, trying to pass off her figures (which exclude a lot of contingent liability) would get her arrested.  She likes it listed at less than 100%.

German Gross Domestic Product (GDP):                                   $3.2 trillion

Official German Sovereign Debt:                                               $2.618 trillion

Percentage of Liabilities at the European Union:                          27%

Percentage of Liabilities at the ECB                                           18.94%

Germany’s Percentage of the ECB Debt ($4 trillion)                    $757.6 billion

German annual cost for the EU budget                                      $46.36 billion

German Guarantees for the Stabilization Funds                          $280.6 billion

German Guarantees for the Macro Financial Assistance Fund      $211.14 billion

German Target-2 Liabilities                                                     $656 billion

German Guarantee for the EIB Debt                                        $157.29 billion

Sovereign Guarantee for KFW                                                 $588 billion

Total German Sovereign Debt & Guarantees                             $5.315 trillion

Official debt to GDP Ratio                                                             81.8%

Actual German Debt to GDP Ratio                                            139.8%

Of course, I teach all my students that there are no prizes for being technically proficient in commercial or public sector statistics and plenty of cash for signing off on dud ones.  This is the immediately transferable skill!  We are now a pathologically lying society and it needs to be stopped.  It’s much worse than the example above as we are not allowed to do any stock-taking and accounts offshore cannot be accessed.  The problem has been known at least since Gresham and concerns the fact that once immoral practices are allowed they expand to become the norm.  My gaming on the sports field always increased against opposition who did it.

Our problem is umpiring (and let’s face it we can’t trust them without all the technology and public scrutiny).  We are currently wasting our productivity gains on highly inefficient finance and managerial non-jobs.  We can’t even argue properly because all the figures are fudged and we are more ideological than even the Soviets managed.

Corruption Report

Corruption is seen to be a major problem across the EU, both in terms of the EU’s institutions themselves and in the member countries.  A major report can be found at - http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/17/corruption-considered-a-major-problem-the-uk/ - with the full EU report here - http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_374_en.pdf

In the depths of the report you will find that interviews with around 1300 people across the UK revealed that a third of UK citizens think that bribery or abuse of power is widespread among the police. By comparison the Finnish seem relatively confident in their police force, with just 7% considering abuse of power as an issue for police in Finland.  Generally speaking, across the report, those having the hardest economic times (struggling to pay bills) tend to believe there is more corruption than those better off.

58% of the those asked in the UK see bribery or abuse of power is widespread among politicians, while an astonishing 98% of those asked in Greece saw corruption as a major problem.  The costs incurred by corruption in the EU are around £100 billion per year. Worrying then that the majority of Europeans (70%) think that corruption is unavoidable and that it has always existed.

The report is based on typical social science opinion polling and doesn’t break much new ground.  Work like this can be found buried under our glossy ‘news production’ for years.  Big business runs on tax evasion it makes into avoidance by bribing politicians.  Britain is the hub of massive offshore tax havens.  Academics even attempt to justify it all through Laffer curves and the like – based on the notion pretty much anything is better than letting government get its hands on the money.  Hedge fund favourite Apple sits on a huge offshore haul, and, of course, crude worker exploitation in China.

Opinion, of course, may be just what people make up in their tiny little minds after a conversation with Fairies.  The big message may be that human behaviour tends to corruption when the system doesn’t keep us honest – but this is facile as one only has to watch sports to know this.  We may be approaching a time in which we need to sweep our organisational systems clean, with all the dangers this brings in changing power relations.  We need something as severe as revolution, but we’ve seen plenty and they have done little about the problem.  Behaviour doesn’t change, just possession of the whip and how can do the ripping off.  All the anti-corruption design of the New York PD left it needing Bill Braxton and communism has been little more than a notable failure (weirdly many of our performance management schemes are broadly ‘Soviet’).

Hard evidence on police corruption comes from areas like wire-taps and long-term observation.  If we turned this kind of investigation on our politicians and big business (which is done at micro-level in Panorama and Dispatches), god knows what we’d find.  Obama is preventing any such investigation into bank mortgage fraud and the rest – so the Establishment must know the likely outcome.

If this EU survey had caught me in its questioning, I’d have said I think our police are corrupt.  But it would not have gone on to ask why or whether I think I’d get a better deal from them in comparison with other places I’ve lived (generally a big yes).  The corruption issue for me is that our cops are not loosed on corruption in our wider societies.

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.

 

Can we stop profligate waste by the rich?

This is a picture of a Chinese pharmaceutical’s HQ.  The Chinese government’s balance sheet shows almost negligible debt.  We tend to think of China as a growth economy doing so much better than we are.  Most of its people still live in poverty.  There is massive debt we might call quasi-governmental – some estimate this at 200% of GDP which is as bad as most of Europe.  Some investors are short on China – meaning they bet on it coming down.

There are now more than rumours of a massive gas field under Lancashire – the once great county of industrial revolution that stretched from Derbyshire to Barrow.  Instead of sensible debate on what to do with this we are getting scare stories on earthquakes and blazing water taps.  Could we do something to keep these riches out of the hands of people who build ‘marble cathedrals’ and get into a genuine wealth creation for all?  My own recommendation would be for us to join the Scots in a new EU country broadly  north of the M62.

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.

 

 

Portugal Reduced to Junk

The economic crisis is far from over and I guess most of us haven’t a clue what it is about.  Moody has just slashed Portugal’s credit rating to junk.  Greece is screwed, Ireland screwed and Spain and Italy look very vulnerable.  Germany is riding high, doing export-led manufacturing (which is where Britain should be an is not) – and this is partly due to the low Euro – something of a German currency manipulation.

Economics is at its best when you can be safely ignorant of it – and nearly everyone is ignorant of economics.  The standard now on undergraduate courses is that of a little knowledge being dangerous.

What people need to understand now is that freedom is at stake.  Money is no longer linked, other than negatively, with genuine effort.  Productivity has been rising sharply since WW2, but over the last 30 years wages have been falling.  You need to earn 20% more in the UK this year to maintain last year’s position and inflation is stocked up to rampage soon.  This situation is much worse if you are poor to average.  No political party is responsible for this – politics in this sense hardly matter, though public sector cuts are not the answer.

We have been borrowing to maintain ‘GDP increases’ (this applies to China too, where 12 ghost cities remain with no one in them and massive local government borrowing is being written-off).  This borrowing is odd because we could have prevented private borrowing through higher wages linked to productivity, and governments are using our ‘money’ (futures almost) to prop up idiot and greedy banks.  Essentially, like likes of Fred Goodwin have had it off with our ‘money’ and Lord knows what else.

The nightmare story lurking beneath any notions we are encouraged to have about profligate Greeks, Portuguese and so on, is that ‘our banks’ are the real culprits having made reckless loans and had it away on their toes with bonuses and so on.  I have little doubt this is true on the figures.

The real question is why ‘you’ don’t know.  I’m no ‘commie’ and always detested the Soviet Paradise.  What I’ve seen is the collapse of what was worth believing in – reasonable freedom gained by work reasonably easy to get and reasonably paid in reasonably dignified conditions.  This is almost swept away now.  The classic example may well be Gadget and his claims that to tell the truth would mean he would have no mortgage-paying abilities.  This jobsworthness is now writ large almost as our organisations.  With the ‘Zil Chill’ factor this was the hallmark of the Soviet Block.

The ‘world’s debt’ has not been spent on anything we have as public capital.  You’ll find none of this in Portugal or Greece or Italy or Ireland – it’s gone on speculative gambling and a pernicious form or organised crime.

The plan is to re-adjust money through inflation (you’ll be noticing the price of your food and energy) - quantitative easing and other jargon – but also to buy up public assets to rent them back to us.  This is incredibly similar to Hitler’s plan – Nazi Germany’s expansion was all done on credit they could not repay other than through war-looting.  So who is going to be the target of looting now?  The USA is in Germany’s old position, brimming with debt and military.

We need a new politics to stop what’s coming and there is no sign of any.