Can You Count?

We don’t understand either economics or debt.  Most of us would get the old GCE ‘O’ level maths and less than half get the real GSCE one now.  We don’t do numbers well, and let;s face it we must be mugged by simplistic advertising or they’d stop paying for it. Typical government works a bit like this US example. In 2010, the US federal government collected $2.2 trillion in tax revenue and spent north of $2.5 trillion just on those three programs– already $300 billion in the hole. Everything else– the post office, Homeland Security, the FAA, the FDIC, even the light bill at the White House– is funded by debt.  That includes the most peculiar debt-funded item– interest on the debt. The US government has to borrow money just to pay interest on the money it has already borrowed. This is unsustainable, it’s simple arithmetic.

Of course, governments are not like the rest of us.  They have money printing presses – except Greece and others suckered into the German Euro.  And they ‘print’ money (via getting favoured banks to buy government bonds).  It’s a bit like running a front business at a loss and topping up from drug money (more so than we may know).  The ability to conjure up money is a feature of government and criminals.  The snag with governments printing money is inflation – the money in our pockets goes less far.  This isn’t the end of the matter in this dirty, complicated world.  On the drugs issue, we should remember the British government organised the opium trade and that a trillion or so of organised crime money ‘goes missing’.

What you need to ask yourself is why we aren’t paying our way and just raising enough in taxes to pay for public services – especially as we could reasonably spend twice as much as we do on them and have the ‘resources’ to do so if we organise them (most of the cost is wages and we keep a reserve army of unemployed people needing them).  You can find the pot of money to pay for this – the rich have it.  Other questions should follow.

Some will tell the sky would fall in if we didn’t allow the rich to amass all their money and the power that comes with it.  It’s an old story, and though the BBC and Fox News believe it, it’s not the basis of economics.  Your ignorance and fear and the way they play it is.  The stories sound like the stuff of criminals elaborating on their bang-to-rights crimes.  There’s no victim because the insurance will pay (bank bailouts needed because of the thieving bonus culture).  No one was hurt (it was actually an armed robbery) – yet people die in poverty and wars over ‘money’ and to cause the disruption in which it can be made.  And everyone is criminal really and it’s a good job there are offshore places to hide money from the tax man because we need to keep it under control of the clever business people because governments are stupid and corrupt.  There would be no insurance industry if it was for criminals, drunk drivers  … and no money made to pay taxes on if we had to pay it directly on profit instead of when we see fit after hiding it in tax havens.

The bag of swag these’rich prisoners’ have dwarfs what we need to spend on public services and a new economy.  Even ‘you’ could count this sum.  And we need primitive counting bankers paid wages back to do our counting and produce records ‘you’ can understand.  With all my training I couldn’t see what was wrong in the published RBS and HBOS accounts in 2007 – though I knew something was wrong and that some economists were predicting the collapse.  I can’t make that much sense of what’s being published now and suspect both banks are broke.

Think back to PFI and such jazz.  Could it ever have made sense to think that private money could be ‘better’ than government borrowing done at much cheaper rates? It was just off-balance sheet accounting like bank thieving hidden in difficult to find subsidiaries.

Try and find a decent job whether you need one or not.  See what happens.  Compare with your neighbour.  Get practical, stoop believing BBC propaganda from people with the same interests as the rich.  Learn to count.

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