Standard and Poor have dropped the US credit rating a point. Most stock markets are down a lot. We might get the idea that the world economy is a busted flush. This is not true – we can organise growing, building and manufacturing better than ever before. The problems lie in what is essentially criminal activity in which the rich have rigged markets so that they can take a disproportionate share. We are suffering from financial terrorism and rackets that have devalued real work and ordinary investment. There are no super skills in trading and banking, just dirty deals, money laundering, tax evasion and insider trading.
Those claiming we need to make government small, reduce public spending and the rest do so from positions of extreme privilege. They have broken the social contract in much more serious ways than chief constables who have ‘influenced’ job application processes. I personally despised the kind of big government dictatorships of the Sino-Soviet or National Socialist kind. At least we could see them and organise against them. The current oligarchs are almost invisible, yet form ‘big government’ in the worst possible sense that we can’t vote them out. It is these interests that are telling us we can’t afford to spend on health, education and most of what we actually want.
There is false accounting all over the world, from Chinese local government through performance management techniques like police statistics and on to corporate scams where they always know how to pay out bonuses but always can’t work out responsibilities when things go belly up. Losses are hidden through devices as disparate as the Chinese ghost cities, the Irish ghost towns, losses claimed as assets across local government in southern Europe and piles of derivative trades that were always insurance scams with no intent to pay should an accident happen. This latter lot is being paid for through quantitative easing and the bank bail outs.
There’s an interesting policing point in all this (admittedly philosophical) – and it’s almost the same as that before the troops in the French Revolution – should they keep defending the old order or join the people? I’m not encouraging sedition, but am saying it is time for some serious consideration of whether police or armed services are really working for the Crown or something sinister (I don’t mean intentionally). In some parts of the world, ‘police’ are backing actions not unlike the Scottish Enclosures and the money involved can be tracked back to prestigious alumni funds.
Productivity has changed by factors of ten since I was dragged up in times of full employment, reasonably strong unions and we could expect pensions to be paid. We should be in a position of strength and peace now, not waiting for depression. The rich have stolen this chance from us. Those claiming now that we must take austerity are no different from Mao and his cronies stealing wheat from their own people, starving, beating and bullying 45 million to their deaths. When we can do everything quicker and better, how can we be in dire straights unless the system is fundamentally flawed and corrupt?
Black Monday may pass as a damp squib – but we are already long past the time where political action should have been able to avert the pain that is about to hit us. £3 trillion has been wiped off share prices across the markets in the last week. Banks aren’t lending money, even though they have been given huge amounts. They need to borrow money to lend and trust has evaporated. We might think of shutting them down and returning to sensible expectations of company performance and growth – instead we are told we need to work for less, take high levels of unemployment, slash benefits, health care …
We’re being had.