When given a budget as a chief constable or a department head across all services we know that is pretty much what we have to manage – sure we may be able to press for our own corner over exigencies or make cases that other departments should cough up if they can be shown to be using ‘our’ resources. We might even float a body across a river to leave those on the other side with the expenses of the enquiry, We sometimes end up in dumb situations like keeping old people in hospital to ‘save’ the care budget.
We understand in doing the above that we are controlling costs and we know the system isn’t perfect. We generally know that the money left in the month before year end needs spending or we’ll lose it – or else some central authority will steal it twice – the money itself and by reduction of next year’s allocation. We know the dodges.
Economics is really not much more than the stuff we do routinely in work places, yet it’s largely a disaster, What we’re being told is that our policing, hospitals and education systems all rely on very clever people with amazing skills making the money that allow us to enjoy such expenses, I no longer believe a word of this. We have the priorities wrong. All we need is to be free (something structured under law and as much to do with decent police and army people as anything else) to organise work and make sure it gets done. We are good, if imperfect, at this, it ain’t rocket science and can be done with reasonably equitable rewards, The rest is pathological fiction and white collar crime.
What’s gone wrong is broadly moral in form. The moralities we’ve learned are ancient in form and don’t suit a modern world. This is obvious when we look at religious stuff that allows discrimination against women and non/other believers – indeed encourages the rot. What we need is some basic dialogue on what our own morality should now be and how we can get that embedded in our economic practices. With modern levels of technology and productivity, the first place to look is our attitudes towards work.
In short, I would not want to be the sort of prat motivated so much by money that I spent my time developing a career portfolio or spinning the invisible cloth of financial mega-riches for me. And I don’t want to live in a world dominated by such sick people. I’m sure we can do without their ‘creativity’ and make a better fist of things with our own.
What we have to realise is not a ‘general relativity of economics’ but the value of the work we all do in a new way, Our pensions aren’t disappearing because we didn’t put the work in or because there is a need to do so much more work. The ‘cake’ is vastly bigger than it was and there is a planet of plenty – what’s wrong is our organisation of it. This is a moral issue, held back by economics and a lack of faith in our abilities to live decently and police this.