Another example of blowing the whistle leading nowhere useful

You can’t catch some interesting Australian News on the banking system by following the links in this David Malone post – http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2011/11/whistleblowerirl-revealed/ – the story is pretty much routine in terms of what happens to whistle-blowers and describes how farcical ‘honesty is the best policy’ has become.  I no longer believe rational argument is possible on the economy and banking until we understand the current system is about thieving by an elite group.

I haven’t actually believed in rational argument for about 20 years.  What we have of it is a sham – which of course leaves me with problems on how I know this and how I can communicate it as I can’t appeal to rational argument itself.  Habermas followed Weber in appeal to an ‘ideal type’ – in his case the special case of ideal speech situations.  Of course, Plato beat him to this with his Guardians and their intense training and communist free table – which can look like elaborate reasons for dirty old men to get to look at gymnastics in the nude!  So farcical is The Republik that the Guardians are presumed so dumb they won’t know even their reproductive activities are being organised behind their backs.  Our “advanced civilisation”, of course, relies on such mad stuff as ‘greed is good’.Economics is often perceived by adherents as ‘Dr.Strangelove’s Game’ (Paul Ormerod) and we have generally forgotten (I polite term for ‘never known because we are too idle to learn’) its roots are not in Adam Smith, Richardo and Marx, but gambling and war financing (really, I’m not making this up – you just don;t read enough).

My interest in policing and criminal justice has little to do with my time as a cop.  The CJS is an example of society trying to contain pathology and I’m looking to formulate a model that might be the basis of an economics that works for more than a tiny number who then also control politics.  There has to be a way that doesn’t create “Guardians” or knowing people who want to control others for their own ‘reasons’, however good they are at hiding them in “cool objectivity” (which we know is never as claimed).

I’m inclined to the blunt – if there was nothing wrong and a sensible system was in place, we wouldn’t shit on whistle-blowers.  That we do this in high-ratio is obvious.  The BBC’s most gawping loon, Peston, wheeled on to ‘explain the figures’ tells us people just sense something is going wrong.  No they don’t you turd – they are unemployed, under-employed or see their kids with no jobs, no prospects and worry about paying the rent.  The figures you don’t give us concern massive debt brought on by neo-classical economics as sound as anything preached in religious sects, a theory that was always about enriching a few by stealing from the many, looting by bankers and a lot of other stuff you could track down if you were a reported and not a stooge,  Channel Four finally produced a woman with an MA selling teas and coffees from a van.  ‘Politicians’, she says, ‘don’t know what they’re talkin’ aboot’.  My written Geordie is poor!  I believe they do and are lying to us.

Towards The Ending Of The Economic Undead (part one)

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/09/david-graeber-on-the-invention-of-money-%E2%80%93-notes-on-sex-adventure-monomaniacal-sociopathy-and-the-true-function-of-economics.html

I know you guys don’t do economics.  I found it miserable at school, taught by a bastard called ‘Happy’ who spent his time preening pretty girls, before running off with one.  What put me off was it was so evidently a crock with numbers.  I switched to another real science subject.  Finding myself remaindered to teaching and researching management baloney , I got interested in why it was all so dire.  The link above is to a fairly short piece of ‘economic deconstruction’ by the admirable Yves Smith (who could run away with me at 17 anytime).

Economics is actually religious rather than scientific.  It’s run by priests who describe their work in ‘Latin’ to the god only they can communicate with, and its scriptures start with Adam Smith,  Yves Smith is just one of many commentators challenging some of the principle tenets of the subject.  The particular one around at the moment is the emergence of money from barter systems.  There is no evidence of this, rather the contrary.  Given economics is religious, it’s heresy to believe the evidence.

I don’t know how ‘non-economic’ any particular person is.  I don’t do the religion myself,other than as a vampire hunter might learn about vampires.  That a rich-political-economic class exists and sucks our blood, seems to follow from the evidence. Most people I meet can’t do economic argument, including most I’ve played some role in graduating.  Intercourse the elasticity of supply and demand does justice to this particular penguin.  Real masters of the subject, like Growling-balls Brown and Sniffer Osbourne sell gold just as the price is about to go exponential or cut public spending just when we need it most.

Trying to get a realistic public dialogue on economics is impossible,  It’s like trying to develop chemistry from alchemy.  It doesn’t even merit its sobriquet as ‘the dismal science’.  It works by boring you to death and exploiting your ignorance.

Imagine you play cards for money and find the same bunch of people always win.  I’d recommend you stop playing cards as a first rule (if I didn’t whip out a pack and rip you off myself).  But let’s say you don’t feel you’ve been playing the people better at cards than you and this is true.  We do an investigation and find marked cards and spot some of the players secretly swapping cards.  We all know what this is.

Economics needs a similar police-detective style unmasking.  I’d prefer to make the enquiry scientific, but I’m sure not enough people understand science and how it treats evidence.  More than this, science can’t kick down the necessary doors to get at the fraud. What’s going on is organised crime, as those posing as ‘cops’ in the system are bent.

The first evidence in front of us is the rich, the people supposedly playing the same game as the rest of us who end up with nearly all the winnings.  Just like card-sharps, they claim just to be better players than us or blessed with luck.  I play bridge for money, I don’t cheat and rarely lose -some of us do play better than others.  When I play in rubbers with only expert players i barely hold my own.  Some are much better than me – though these players still screw up playing with novice partners, assuming competence that isn’t there.

The presence of these regular winners in our society needs investigation.  A big block to such investigation is the ideology of meritocracy, though this has to be understood in our general state of ignorance.  If we think of the world’s wealth as ‘jewels’ that arise from human toil, we’d find hoards of these jewels amongst the rich.  If we’d been receiving, as cops, complaints about jewel thieving, we’d suspect the rich because they have the hoards of jewels.  This is the actual economic situation.  You can check this out at ONS, Wikkipedia or any source.

The rich may claim to have their own secret ‘jewel making machines’ or to have come across their wealth by fair means – just as the looter will tell you the plasma televisions stacked in a spare bedroom ‘fell off the back of a lorry’.  I’m not trying to get you to think of all the rich as thieves – just to apply ‘police suspicion’.  If you are family, friend or neighbour of a murder victim, you are a suspect on statistical grounds  I did this to many people.  It’s fraught with dangers, not least in skewing evidence to fit your suspicion.  One reason we should treat miscarriages of justice much more openly is that they could teach us a great deal about our general incompetence and lack of understanding of evidence in all circles.

To follow my argument you need to know more about the rich and their wealth to understand the ‘jewel’ metaphor, but also what you take for granted about life so that this doesn’t cloud your thinking.  This latter is very difficult.  More on the ‘jewel thieving’ in part two – the dog is pining for a walk.

I should point out David Graeber has just commented that Yves Smith didn’t write the post at the link (her blog), so we can presume he did.  I managed to miss David when I was a university academic swamped with teaching.  His books are well worth a read and you can get a good glimpse at Amazon.  The latest, ‘Debt: the first 5000 years’, is not only superb on its topic, but gets at the issues of thinking ‘history in the present’.

A note on cuts

mckinsey-graphic-for-web

Britain is the most indebted country in the world if we relate total public and private debt to per capita GDP.  We are the orange line at the top in the above graph from McKinseys.  The news is good or bad, depending on economic view.  The arguments don’t interest me.  You can see that the ‘policy’ was about long before Bliar and NuLabour and that they merely continued it.  The standard answer to this condition is called deleveraging.  The easy way is inflation, which is what Melvin King is doing at pace with various QEesings.

Inflation generally suits the rich as they have bought assets which generally go up.  Growth is the other main way, but we have a problem with that because we killed ourselves as a manufacturer years ago (Blunder Woman if you like, but I suspect this was much earlier and involves the bankrupting of the UK by American interests and spies through two world wars) and ‘invisible earnings’ are about to turn out just that.  Most of the figures Osbourne has relied on have gone down the  pan and there is a structural problem with the private sector cavalry.  It sold off its horses to pay directors’ bonuses.

So we cut the cops, try to sell Shropshire to the Chinese (who are also broke), and hope our debt burden will shrink, but it can’t because Britain has been down the drain so long it’s long been the case that only coppers and nurses buying imports  at Tesco pushes up GDP.  About 70% of what a public sector worker earns stays in her borough.

Mass unemployment is probably already with us if we really look at the figures.  You have the unemployed, the sick and disabled, all those on tax credits – quite probably 15% of the working population..  We are also a net exporter of benefit cash to the east.

These are not cuts that might help with productivity or in forming what Adam Smith thought capital was in producing energy supplies, increasing skills and changing the way we can live.  The private sector basically offers tat and expects us to buy more and more of it.  Just at the point we should be able to invest sensibly in the future, we find the banks and associated spivs have lost all the cash.  There is a ‘reserve’ – money held by rich people and their assets – we should be able to tap that by forcing bond holders at the banks to take pain and by inflating through wages and full employment (globally).

When we think about crime, we should be able to understand something of that tipping point in which crime turns to freedom fighting.  The reason is that we are probably not far from breakdowns across our societies.  Police begin to take some of the pain now, but we are probably only a few ‘credit meetings’ for banks away from a fatal nexus of more bailouts, high unemployment and the dawning of what has been going on, as people start to feel poor.

I wonder when we stopped being able to afford a public sector?  We always have people unemployed or under-employed and now have highly productive agriculture and manufacturing.  If I was still a detective I might think someone had had it away with the productivity gains – and of course, the rich have, through quite ludicrous frauds.  The revolution may have started in Ireland this weekend.  I hope it passes without much street violence, but I fear there will be riots if people realise  how we have been sold down the river.

The pound is already so low that Euros are buying up our property.  Young cops may grow families paying rent to German and French landlords, unable to afford to buy.  ACPOs will have retired abroad by then (a few years on).  It’s time for a revolution, but we need something more thorough than whatever pole throwers have in ‘mind’.  Our values have already been trashed.  I don’t know where I’d stand, other than against violence.