Inflation is with us to some tune. I’ve noticed food is up a lot and that many stores I used to pick stuff up in expecting them to be reasonably priced across the board now can’t be trusted not to be overcharging. I abandoned my trolley in B & Q today after realising they were about £25 over-priced on the small items for some jobs I was doing.
The key is the rise in commodity prices, which we used to track against inflation pretty reliably as economists. This makes common sense as it seems logical that an increase in the costs of basic stuff must feed through to the price we pay and we have all been “printing money” (quantitative easing) as though running Zimbabwe or pre-WW2 Germany.
Economics, of course, makers no sense and is not supposed to. We are merely idiots in its processes, expected to bleat out ‘you can’t spend money you don’t have’ and similar dross when a BBC newsgatherer catches us as the man or woman in the street, just to prove we remain dumb enough to be confused by it all. Economics, of course, is nearly all about being able to spend money you don’t have – the very basis of trading in trust that effort will be reasonably fairly rewarded. Subsistence farmers show remarkable knowledge in not producing any excess over their needs when they know this will only be stolen.
It’s long been the case that actually doing the needed work is poorly rewarded. One has to image manage on ‘worth’, usually through one system of target lies or another. Economists are the biggest liars of all. Marxists always hoped this lying system would collapse and we would somehow live differently (the “crisis in capitalism” bleat). Marxism, of course, was as hard to understand as economics generally.
What we need is an economics we can understand. The first move towards this entails a mass admission we lie to ourselves about it. We vote on economics (‘it’s the economy, stupid’ etc.), which is so dumb as to be unbelievable.
The current UK situation is one in which we are cutting all kinds of services we need, or at least throwing people onto the benefits scrap-heap rather than paying them to do not much in Town Halls and so on. The knight in shining armour on a white horse is supposed to be our ever-thrusting private sector dashing in to create jobs. This is so dumb against the evidence of history, it could only be perpetrated on a dumb public. It hasn’t even happened in Japan, a country that hit this shit 20 years ago. If they could go back, they would keep spending on the public sector so as not to make the recession worse.
Keynes once said something like ‘it’s better to dig holes and pay people to fill them in than retain mass unemployment‘. He was right, though we could actually design work programmes better than this.
If we get rid of 40,000 cops will we notice a difference? Why not save more money by slashing wages in half and keeping them all on? Sack the lot and bring in cheaper Chinese? Why not let the 8 million or so not working into these and similar jobs at £10.00 an hour, collapsing all other ‘wages’ to the same – after all, we have no idea whether the ‘special skills’ claimed by any profession are real, made up or easy to learn in the jobs?
The real question is why we are prepared to keep up all kinds of myths about “work” and our “wonderful abilities”. If war is coming, we would lose more than 40,000 cops and somehow make do. What we need to do is re-structure our thinking and re-structure our society without war. Currently, our politics is little better, and probably much worse, than a crap neighbour dispute.
I suspect it’s this bad – those of us who work or otherwise try to lead decent lives are being screwed by thieves and thieving behaviour. The thieving is “hidden” in salaries, perks, expenses and all kinds of rhetoric that excuses taking more than your fair share (this, Shijuro, is “police pay as theft” – not the hard-earned kind, the bonuses, and later the way any of us start looking down on those really just unlucky compared with us as though we are superior, when the truth is we are shit-scared to lose our jobs or tell the truth because to do so makes us one of the people who can’t afford a mortgage). Soccer stars, other stars, bwankers and the rest are not “worth” mega-pay – this comes about because of gross skewing in scarcity economics – and we are all responsible because we can’t be arsed to learn better.
Deep set in this are questions about whether we would work better and have a better society if we openly made our system fair. The dumb-donkey beliefs we have that society is fair need to be taken on and changed. We need to change a deeply internalised “govern-mentality” – one that includes most people pretending they are ‘clever’ (even if this is ‘street-wise’) when we are, in fact, kept clueless.
The answers to many of our problems are remarkably simple – this has happened in science (with exceptions) as the right core thinking programme has been established. We have an “evil rich” as much as any “evil poor”.