You can get a basic roundup of the UK economy here –http://www.debtbombshell.com/ – and a nifty gadget that lets you see the debt piling up – a bit like watching paint dry with stress.
It’s a mistake to think of national economies in household analogy – like wot Thatcher used to do. We can tighten our belts without cutting our incomes – whereas austerity actually increases national debt as a proportion of GDP which is more or less national income in the relevant calculation. Interest payments on Britain’s government debt are about the size of the education budget, If we didn’t owe so much we couple double our educational programmes – and believe me, we are one dumb nation. I wouldn’t put the money anywhere near schools and universities as I believe they fail 75% of people in them, including staff. We owe nearly £35K for everyone in employment. This is before we get to any private debt.
Whilst the amounts seem huge, there is a bit of a roundabout involved. Much of the debt is owned by pension and insurance funds and other financial institutions – which is an investment as well as debt – but around 35% is now investment from abroad with the interest presumably leaving the country. The UK Debt Management Organisation produces many figures on all this, in standard government ‘people unfriendly speak’. There is little to provide comfort. It’s another Ponzi scheme with HMG allowing money issue to buy the stock it creates in order to borrow to spend on public services.
My position is that all this financial ‘circularity’ is irrelevant – almost any system would do. What’s important are the rules on who can play, the rules of the game and enforcing them, and how the spoils are divided up. The more I see and hear of the complexity, the more I’m sure it’s mystification. I know any innumerate arse can claim this, but I’m not innumerate. The dodges going on are basic and the ‘clever maths’ never explains anything a spreadsheet and a few equations can’t. The hideous truth is that we don’t have a fair competition.
Many chemical reactions have a spread of outcomes and one can alter factors to gain particular products.- cracking crude oil would be a good example. Our economic one is skewed to produce a massive run off for the rich and more or less sod all for the vast majority.. The most indebted nation in 1933 was Germany and now it’s the USA -the cost of wars being a factor.
Yet the obvious factor in debt is that ‘a monied class’ holds it and makes money from it. We need a democratic grip that allows us to break the neurotic hold of the current system and find one that allows us to do what we want and be rewarded in doing our fair share, I suspect we are more likely to find a viable model in primary schools than amongst politicians and bankers. Kids get on pretty well with each other in primary schools and relations become nasty in the bigger,later schools. I suspect economics is the same.