Chinese Paradise?

We often hear on the BBC (Bimbo Broadcasting Corp) that China is doing really well and has enough cash to bail out the rest of the world.  In fact, there is a lot of debt in China and a public debt to GDP ratio of about 60% once you add up the figures on the same standard as ours.

Here are some of the ‘work required’ to buy property in their capital that have been doing the rounds on the Net.

To purchase a 1,076-square-foot (100-square-metre) apartment in central Beijing costing 3 million Renminbi ($450,000), a peasant farmer would have had to work since the Tang dynasty that ended in A.D. 907. A Chinese blue-collar worker on the average monthly salary of 1,500 Renminbi ($225) would have had to work since the Opium Wars of the mid-nineteenth century. Prostitutes would have to entertain 10,000 customers; a thief would need 2,500 robberies.
Snail House, a popular Chinese TV soap opera, combined house prices, sex, corruption and political intrigue. A woman becomes the mistress of a party official to obtain his help to buy a flat, while a young couple struggles unsuccessfully to raise the deposit for an apartment.

Another email described the fate of ordinary Chinese with sardonic humour: “Can’t afford to be born because a Caesarean costs 50,000 Renminbi [$7,500]; can’t afford to study because schools cost at least 30,000 Renminbi [$4,500]; can’t afford to live anywhere because each square meter is at least 20,000 Renminbi [$3,000]; … can’t afford to die because cremation costs at least 30,000 Renminbi [$4,500].”

Anyone else recognise this as what the future of our kids is?

 

Corruption Report

Corruption is seen to be a major problem across the EU, both in terms of the EU’s institutions themselves and in the member countries.  A major report can be found at – http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/17/corruption-considered-a-major-problem-the-uk/ – with the full EU report here – http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_374_en.pdf

In the depths of the report you will find that interviews with around 1300 people across the UK revealed that a third of UK citizens think that bribery or abuse of power is widespread among the police. By comparison the Finnish seem relatively confident in their police force, with just 7% considering abuse of power as an issue for police in Finland.  Generally speaking, across the report, those having the hardest economic times (struggling to pay bills) tend to believe there is more corruption than those better off.

58% of the those asked in the UK see bribery or abuse of power is widespread among politicians, while an astonishing 98% of those asked in Greece saw corruption as a major problem.  The costs incurred by corruption in the EU are around £100 billion per year. Worrying then that the majority of Europeans (70%) think that corruption is unavoidable and that it has always existed.

The report is based on typical social science opinion polling and doesn’t break much new ground.  Work like this can be found buried under our glossy ‘news production’ for years.  Big business runs on tax evasion it makes into avoidance by bribing politicians.  Britain is the hub of massive offshore tax havens.  Academics even attempt to justify it all through Laffer curves and the like – based on the notion pretty much anything is better than letting government get its hands on the money.  Hedge fund favourite Apple sits on a huge offshore haul, and, of course, crude worker exploitation in China.

Opinion, of course, may be just what people make up in their tiny little minds after a conversation with Fairies.  The big message may be that human behaviour tends to corruption when the system doesn’t keep us honest – but this is facile as one only has to watch sports to know this.  We may be approaching a time in which we need to sweep our organisational systems clean, with all the dangers this brings in changing power relations.  We need something as severe as revolution, but we’ve seen plenty and they have done little about the problem.  Behaviour doesn’t change, just possession of the whip and how can do the ripping off.  All the anti-corruption design of the New York PD left it needing Bill Braxton and communism has been little more than a notable failure (weirdly many of our performance management schemes are broadly ‘Soviet’).

Hard evidence on police corruption comes from areas like wire-taps and long-term observation.  If we turned this kind of investigation on our politicians and big business (which is done at micro-level in Panorama and Dispatches), god knows what we’d find.  Obama is preventing any such investigation into bank mortgage fraud and the rest – so the Establishment must know the likely outcome.

If this EU survey had caught me in its questioning, I’d have said I think our police are corrupt.  But it would not have gone on to ask why or whether I think I’d get a better deal from them in comparison with other places I’ve lived (generally a big yes).  The corruption issue for me is that our cops are not loosed on corruption in our wider societies.

Fairness?

Some of our bwanksters have been subject to not getting bonuses based on selling fraudulent loan protection.  The BBC broadcast that this was new.  In fact ‘claw-back’ is a common feature and dread for salespeople in financial services and especially insurance.

Zerohedge – http://www.zerohedge.com/news/its-official-greece-unveils-negative-salary – shows just how tough things can get for ordinary, non-bwankster folk.  Teachers face not just cuts but working for nothing or negative salary for a while in Greece, then at much reduced rates.

The real economic truth is that a bunch of rich, idle, peculiarly libidinal bastards have had it away with our hard-earned and politicians have aided and abetted them whilst collapsing our vital work economies.  I have often alluded to sending manufacturing to China as ‘selling whiskey and guns to the Indians’ – in fact we sold them the manufacturing facilities and distilleries.  The analogy is purely to film – the conquest involved was vile and genocidal via scorched earth (buffalo eradication) and disease.  ‘We’ were the bastards.

Marx called for worker of the world to unite – in fact the world’s rich have.  Double standards are everywhere.  We are still debating whether bwanksters are worth their pay and bonuses whilst ordinary workers’ conditions are summarily reduced to “negative pay”.  More than 50% of US citizens receive some form of welfare and we still harp on about the triumph of western capitalism.  Millibore the Ineffectual can pass himself off as a Labour leader in this amoral climate.  We claim to be democratic as, at every turn, we weaken worker pay, conditions and rights in order to be able to bully them down to the status of Chinese worker-serfs!  Human resource management, once about making conditions in your firm so good no one would be arsed with union crap, is no a vile set of evil rhetoric.

We need a New Deal (and not some Nulabour piss) across the globe.  The key is in the idiot propaganda film ‘300’ when the hero uses the great line ‘You are fighting free men, not slaves’.  Shite as the film was as a distortion of history (the Persians were probably a lot less brutal than the Greeks and the film should have shown arse-banditry amongst the Spartans) – this line is the point, if suitably de-sexisted.

We currently talk of hard work and self-reliance when the job market has collapsed – largely because technology and organising systems have improved productivity – and more are due.  All the politicians available to vote for prattle on about “growth” and fiddle with what is a simple neo-classical (i.e. failed) economic spreadsheet.  What we need is structural change.  This has to start in completely new thinking on work and reward.

Banking should not attract salaries higher than anywhere else.  All the excuses given are rot and based on two wrongs making a right.  If Rooney is worth his money, so is Fred the Shred.  Bolloxs!  All sports could be run with a salary cap and this could be based on what we think the job is worth.  In the old Rugby League dressing rooms we all got the same match fee.  Tell me the 1978 cup final wasn’t as good as last years.  Look what just happened to Spurs on a wet and bobbly Stevenage dung-heap last week.  Tell me who was worth more than the game lad playing right back for the minnows.

In real consideration on pay we should consider what letting people get rich really does. The most obvious is that they get control of all sorts of stuff they have no right to and they always seek to maintain their advantage, giving their kids unfair advantages through education and networking.

Whatever the secret of success is, I’ve never seen any non-dross explication of it in more than 20 years as an academic.  As a manager it was very noticeable how many other managers were some fucker’s brother-in-law.  In studies I’ve read, researchers were unable to find anyone ‘unconnected’ in the fancy business school I was once a visiting lecturer at.

Even when we talk of rewarding success, we don’t really get anywhere, because ‘success’ can be produced by false accounting.  Why are the bwanksters not repaying all the money they lost (in fraud) by lifetime indenture on negative salary – that is, what we are doing to Greek teachers?

Only an unwise man would have tried to part me from my winning pay – but one can see direct links there.  In detailed analysis, one can make direct links between CEO pay and the collapse in worker wages.  Why do we let these creeps choose their own targets – how are we suckered into letting the consideration of performance stop at bottom lines so easy to fiddle to the purpose of one small set of interests?  These are not good people – just a bunch of scheming fucks no better than animals.  It’s common in animal herds for a “king” to live in luxury whilst keeping others downtrodden.

Arguments from the bottom line might hold if bottom lines weren’t so easy to fiddle and if the myth of competitive innovation, working smarter and others were true.  Britain and the UK would now have vast numbers of ‘smart workers’ in ‘smart jobs’ – the truth is the opposite with much skill now embodied in machines – amazingly not much of the banking and education that could be.  It makes sense in this nonsense to strip workers of pay, decent conditions and pensions AND pay CEOs massive amounts.  In 1980, the bottom half has 14% of liquid assets – this is down to 1% – and this process hardly produces a wealthy population to spend money on growth.

We should raise living standards across the globe by identifying the work needed, being prepared to police it to prevent local thugs and money-lenders getting in the way.  Global government should be presenting ideas on what the responsibilities of citizens in such a society are.  Population control, aims towards sustainable energy and renewal, agriculture – and what politicians and leaders should do.  To get to any of this I think we need to start thinking of “leadership” as the main block to progress.  Just look at some of the absolute bastards history has thrown up.  Hitler (a rather nice chap to those around him), Stalin, any number of Romans, religious weirdos and utterly peculiar arses like Churchill, Blair, Bush and DSK!  Even Gandhi ended up in bed with kids laying claim to be saving the world through his abstinence.  The GOP can’t even put forward a non-loony and Obama is clearly bought and paid for despite his Internet campaign funding stuff.

Anyone who has tried herding cats in unstructured groups, or to get recruits still raw from basic training to one side of a street to another under fire (etc.) knows people don’t generally cooperate well without direction, training, drills and the rest.  None of this means we should give up to “great leaders” and their arrays of bullshit and bullying.

How pathetic is it that we can standardise the rules and playing conditions of sports across the globe and yet not have a quality of work-life set of rules for international economic competition and cooperation?  We had the idea long ago – just no practice.  All our managers and politicians have shown over the years is they have no moral fibre and cheat on what should be rights for all at the drop of the ‘it’s a global competition out there’ hat.  In fact it is in no way a global competition in the way FIFA soccer is with level playing fields and strict refereeing.  This was managed, admittedly imperfectly, even though Blatter an his cronies run it!

We probably know enough about bureaucracy now to avoid the pitfalls of gonadotrophic thinking like dictatorships of the proletariat and politburo.  A decent world isn’t with us because we have been conned into thinking we can’t organise one.  I’m no leftie and believe in an international service solution linked with enterprise.  I do believe the rich have done so much damage they should spend the rest of their unworthy lives in negative income atonement.

Can we stop profligate waste by the rich?

This is a picture of a Chinese pharmaceutical’s HQ.  The Chinese government’s balance sheet shows almost negligible debt.  We tend to think of China as a growth economy doing so much better than we are.  Most of its people still live in poverty.  There is massive debt we might call quasi-governmental – some estimate this at 200% of GDP which is as bad as most of Europe.  Some investors are short on China – meaning they bet on it coming down.

There are now more than rumours of a massive gas field under Lancashire – the once great county of industrial revolution that stretched from Derbyshire to Barrow.  Instead of sensible debate on what to do with this we are getting scare stories on earthquakes and blazing water taps.  Could we do something to keep these riches out of the hands of people who build ‘marble cathedrals’ and get into a genuine wealth creation for all?  My own recommendation would be for us to join the Scots in a new EU country broadly  north of the M62.

We Don’t Understand The Big Lies

The video points out something I’ve known about politics and economics for many years.  They are not what they claim to be. A number of claims are made here that are true, including that if China grows to become more or less as ‘wealthy’ as the US – the two countries will then be consuming 125% of the world.

We are going to war – make no mistake on this. Each of us is taking 20 times our share of the world.  We are buying land out from under people who need it to feed themselves.  The complex answers needed are beyond the goons who run the show and most of us can’t even see the problem.  War will become the preferred solution because we are idiots.  They are grooming us for it now.  Yet we could go another way.  We just won’t.  We could have another economics, but then, you didn’t get the last lot, did you?

The Democratic Republic of Congo sits on about $27 trillion of assets.  It’s currently kept in perpetual war.  Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of Africa, as Ukraine was in Europe.  They are all being bought up by foreign interests.  This is just stage one, which has also involved the curtailment of any independent war reporting from Falklands to Afghanistan.  I seem to remember George Orwell wrote the book.

Global Grumpy?

James Howard Kunstler is a good example of some very sceptical American thinking – http://kunstler.com/blog/2011/01/forecast-2011—gird-your-loins-for-lower-living-standards.html#more

The basics are that most of what we call banking is a scam, any recovery is just a re-elaboration of the scam, most of what we call ‘the economy’ is about pointless crap and we’d be better off having lives rather than globalism.  Scary reading, a bit like Banksidebabble or the better ‘evil poor – police farce’ stories on Gadget writ large in the idiot global economy.  Britain is cast as a European and Middle Eastern banking centre with little other economic activity.  China is probably being screwed by an even more corrupt banking system than ours – one without even minimal scrutiny, building empty cities that may put Ireland’s ‘Ghost Towns’ in minimalist perspective.

Kunstler is worth a bit of a read.  The question is what might make us wake up to reality.  We have a legitimation crisis, something done to death in academe as ‘postmodernism’ for 30 years.  He suggests the moment may come through an Indian war against Pakistan.