New Deal Money

There is a crisis in capitalism.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that slogan from some Marxist posturing with no clue why.  We can be pretty sure we know what the problem is now.  It’s about debt rising about 4% faster than GDP since the 1960’s and a service burden of debt in our economies of above 12% – this is all worse than in previous depressions.  This has been happening whatever shade of government we’ve had, across all OECD nations.  France may be an exception, but I’m looking into that.

What we have been resisting is letting crooked banks and speculators take the hits and forming a democratic alternative to casino capitalism.  Strangely, the very system we once thought could save us from the road to serfdom is trying to force us down it now.  The rich have accumulated nearly all the money and now want to buy up our public sectors on the cheap in fire-sales as economies crash. In trying to do this, they have replaced the Politburo as public enemy number one, though we are too dumb to see this yet.

What we should do is let the banks fail and start over with a new system of economics and a new world currency replacing the USD.  This would be a big change and bring about the end of American military supremacy, so it would require some thinking through.  The most obvious thing we need is to promote a more innovative economy and stop believing that is all about vast riches and super-brains.  It’s really much more ordinary.

My own belief is the crisis is ideological in the sense we can cure it if we change our thinking.  We can grow food, find new energy sources, find ways to stop bandits and mad, religious people doing terrorism, build decent housing and get on with fairly idle lives and stop ourselves breeding too much.  Only ignorance prevents us now.  So how can we get round to believing this?  You don’t need much brainpower to work it out.

What many of us have not worked out has little to do with advanced economics theories.  It’s to do with how little work has to be done to provide the things many of us struggled to “achieve” – a roof over our head, food, clean water and a family.  I’m guessing, but I’m pretty convinced 10 -20% of the work we do between 20 and 50 is needed to provide that for all in the absence of corruption. It’s amazing we don’t know this, assuming it is true.

My contention is first that we don’t know.  I’ve asked a lot of people and no one can tell me just how much work would provide a good basic standard for all. On reflection most people can tell me that much of the time they have spent at work has not been very productive.  We do not develop facts on these matters, let alone teach them.  Agriculture, which is basically what we live on is 4% of world GDP.  What we soak up is ideology.

We are told hard work leads to rewards and somewhere down the line this turns to justification of sports star wages and bankster bonuses as an inevitable part of meritocracy.  It’s more likely they are part of the widespread prevention of democracies that can turn capital on where it is needed.

We have been lied to wholesale.  Much of the rhetoric continues – the need to get highly skilled as a worker in the new knowledge economy sounds convincing, but we have poured money into education only for students not to do science and maths and “qualify” in equine management.  The education industry burgeoned yet employers sound the same now as they did 30 years ago when moaning about the skills kids leaving schools and universities don’t have.

I would still recruit for management on the basis of fairly simple maths and English tests rather than on ‘graduate status’ and the size of that pool has not increased because intelligence hasn’t.  Many people need to be in work to learn, not classrooms – and in education we gave up on non-bookish teaching because it was too expensive in our business model and many teachers and lecturers couldn’t hack other methods.  People we teach after work experience are way ahead of most leaving school – because work and growing up has taught them.  They may well find people teaching them from books that make no sense after work experience, full of drivel written 60 years ago on personal development, excellence, kwality and human resource management that all failed in practice.  They have all been written in new colours, but smell exactly the same.  These lecturers completely discount mature students’ experience and often don’t know the ‘excellence’ they teach was discounted 30 years ago, within 6 months of the publication of ‘In Search of Excellence’.

Courses are now organised to provide as little class contact as possible and assessments are entirely dubious.  An HNC from 20 years back is probably worth more than a degree now.  We have a serious problem because so many of our organisations are now run by hierarchies that learned to lie about what was going on.  The model is widespread and based on false-accounting that gives CEOs fat salaries and bonuses throughout the system.  Often the false-accounting provides well-paid work for armies of bureaucrats from the ratings agencies grading junk at AAA+, through the performance management teams creating beacon councils, drops in crime, increases in schooling excellence, favourable audits of Enrons and banks hiding massive losses and the rest.

All this is the ‘reason’ we have no money to create the jobs that people need to grow as far as they can as workers.  It’s so endemic I doubt we can get to a cure unless there is public disorder.  The people who need to listen to the real arguments are the ones with the interests in not admitting what has been going on.  These are the ‘Screwtape bureaucrats’ in an England gone to the Devil.

The answer is political and therefore impossible in England.  It’s to go ‘New Deal’ on money by cancelling debt, returning to primitive banking and bringing in modern National-International Service across the EU funded by a transaction tax and new taxes across society with an understanding we are building a new social contract.

This won’t happen, so my guess is this is a good time to re-brand yourself if you are a cop or invest in protective gear if your force won’t and prepare for overtime and more riots.  The good news is that European peasantry has more often been quiescent than revolutionary, but the bad is that it is more aware on the Continent of what has been happening to it than here – this news may start to spread.

We grew up not wanting to be consumed by the Sino-Soviet experiments and it’s weird that capitalism is what has sold us down a river not far from that.  The Chinese have been very astute in the deals that took our money into its enterprise zones, gave it manufacturing capacity and techniques, and leaves us with austerity and an underclass.  The debt is not of money we took and pissed up the wall, but of a speculative system that allowed big time looting.  That we have not set our criminal justice system into punishing these looters may seep through to our ‘lower orders’ and make them restless again.  Would that they march on Parliament instead of JD Sports!

Leftbanker’s alternative to the current economic clowning is:

A collective agreement by global governments on a debt default programme that minimises the damage done to the financial and economic system; Rather than own the banks but not control them and give them vast amounts of money to cover losses and lend to speculators (quantitative easing), take control of them and make direct investment through them to finance huge social projects that would benefit the public and private sectors creating jobs;Taxing the world’s wealthy who have seen a huge transfer of wealth to them over the last 30 years from the bottom 50% of society; and Collectively as society provide for people’s retirement instated of letting public pension funds and individuals bear the risk and cost of failing stock markets. This is the rationale alternative to the boom, bust, crash and burn that currently lies in store for all of us.

I think we have to do more on the behavioural side too and find ways to be more transparent in our organisational dealings.  Our Screwtapes are as bad as the nomenclatura in the Warsaw Pact countries and we need to do something to undo the damage they have caused and will continue to inflict.  We somehow need to leave them behind.  It’s not for nothing that Bratton insisted on getting rid of the whole NYPD hierarchy when he took over.

We hear much on Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal – but in terms of overall debt Japan and the UK are first and second at more than 460% of GDP.  Russia is very low in comparison at 71%.  Sleep tight!

Police Pay in the Light of Rioting

There is no special attack on police pay.  Wages have been shafted for everyone else other than an elite for more than 30 years.  This is clear in GDP figures.  The rich and well-paid have been getting vastly better off as the rest of us have had our wages cut in real terms.  Police and public sector pay and conditions fared better than the private sector.  The police and public sector did not stand up and be counted when this started and, indeed, police enforced much of the deterioration in the Miner’s Strike and other attempts to prevent the collapse of manufacturing.  We should note that the anti-union propaganda and similar are never aimed at those groups in our society using ‘guild’ techniques to maintain their earnings like lawyers (including judges), accountants, bankers and the rich.  The idea that we have a “meritocracy” is farcical – tossers like Blair used to go around quoting books with the term in the title that were highly critical of the notion as though they were arguments for it.

Cops are not generally well qualified, trained or skilled and the work could be done by any reasonably fit people.  In the past police wages were severely cut in times like this and the blue line still did what it was told.  There is no special case now and to make one is only likely to further inflame those who are really suffering poverty thanks to the rich and their toady-politicians.  None of this is to say .I don’t think cops should be paid less than lawyers, judges and bankers – I value police more than these parasites.

The reason there is no money is that the rich have had it – through investing abroad to take advantage of near slave conditions of employment and tax evasion (it is evasion because they use threats to leave with all their money to prevent fair rates).  The only investment in anything real (almost) has been through the public sector or highly subsidised by our taxes – the rich have formed a vast Ponzi scheme to get unrealistic rates of return and have stolen vast sums we needed to invest in meaningful jobs.

Most have not understood the extent and nature of the criminality of the rich – which is as bad as any of the evil poor’s doings – worse when land grabs involve forced evictions and killings.  If the reality sinks in, our police are going to be a thin line between a vengeful poor and their masters.  This is likely to be done by decimated ranks that will be protecting the bankster-terrorists and their smug political lackeys.  They are likely to find themselves between ‘white racists’, ‘disaffected immigrants’ and other factions – and with no political solutions offered because we have no real politics.

We are so dumb as a populace we haven’t spotted that the rich have been keeping more and more of the world’s wealth as debt and deficits rise – this is almost like your neighbour always having potatoes just after your crop has been raided and not making the connection.

There’s some chance this government may re-think on police numbers and pay.  As Gadget points out the amounts involved are nothing in comparison with banking thefts.  No doubt this would be a red rag to the rest of the public sector bull – but the Tories might risk it under some crime and disorder propaganda.  Policing as we’ve known it in the UK would disappear, and cops turn to a semi-military militia.

I won’t be here, having decided to up sticks long ago.  The IPCC make a statement later tonight.  I expect bullshit – hard to imagine what they could say now they couldn’t have managed yesterday when whatever they didn’t do played some role in making people angry and setting off the angry.

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.

In Support of Strike Action?

We are probably seeing only the start of public sector protests today.  Strikes are generally not much use, and the back of supposed union power has been broken everywhere other than the public sector.  The arguments we hear in the media will all be nonsense and biased and factional.

The key underlying factor is that wages are no longer fair anywhere and massive inflation is in the system.  Housing is unaffordable and about to become even more so as interest rates go up.  Food is going through the roof, as are energy prices and something none of us seem to understand lurking in the system – this is the ‘debt problem’ and the ‘demographic time bomb’.

The ‘debt issue’ is not being presented properly.  This has arisen through collusion between governments and banks to create a false economy in which money was supposed to make money.  In fact this is no more than the creation of a parasite financial services sector and a wider form of professional leeching and organised criminality.  The underlying story is one of the Emperor’s New Clothes and a massive Ponzi scheme – so much of a ‘Baldrick cunning plan’ that many didn’t spot that Sooty’s Magic Wand has replaced real accounting.  The story of the pig in a poke is involved with losses hidden in the same sacks as profit.

The essential problem is we have no way of addressing any of this in available forms of public dialogue other than blogging – and this remains largely disempowered.  Talk on the economy is constrained by metaphors that link to our experience of household budgeting.  The idea in most prominence is that we can somehow recover by tightening belts and waiting for the private sector cavalry.  This is so dumb.

Soon, I guess, our cops are going to be pitted against rioters.  If we took the cost cutting seriously, then our officers would also be exposed to global matters as surely as manufacturing workers and unskilled labour.  Cops would be imported as surely as plumbers, waiters and so on and paid these ‘immigrant rates’.  This is clear nonsense, yet is also clear in the government line in general on cuts and the snide way public sector workers are being vilified as a ‘burden’ on the rest of us.

While the farce plays itself either out or to Greek crescendo, the rich get richer.  One suggestion made today is to cut the EU – (calm down Dickiebo!) – and the argument is very attractive.  Thanks to the ludicrous Human Rights Act we can’t evict lousy, tribal criminals and see our soldiers unable to claim compensation for being sent into dud wars with inadequate equipment.  Who would miss the droves of highly paid lawyers and others giving us this pseudo-legislation.  Why not just cut this crap out for 3, 5 or 10 years?  Personally, I’d like to see these duckeggs get gaol time, but it isn’t the answer.

Remember the ‘three-day week’?  We lost only about 4% of production.  The problem is we use jobs to spread resources around and they are associated with power and influence.  Most jobs are not connected with real production of anything.  In the Middle East and Greece, public sector jobs are doled out in a ‘wasta’ system – and who can say the same does not happen here when you look at QUANGOs and characters like Louise Casey?  Japan was once heralded here as the kind of super-efficient model to follow.  I was sent to discover their secrets – and found a dire, hidebound system of bureaucracy, notably in banks and big companies.

I teach many methods of productivity improvement, but all of these rely on a massive fiction – that we can achieve the gains other than in the company restructuring.  You can see this when you consider agriculture – it’s 4% of world GDP.  In fact agriculture and manufacturing have a burden of three times their GDP in “services” and “government”.  It is only by not having this burden on their balance sheets that allows anyone to trade real things.  If the better ways of doing such real work translated into more people being available for more real work we would have a different world – but there is no evidence this is what happens.

Half the UK population own less than 5% of the stuff we can put monetary value on – this is standard material in Human Geography (e.g. Danny Dorling).  Get any notion of this from BBC coverage?  This hardly suggests a fair return for the hard day’s work.  And this situation has been getting worse.  Massive increases in productivity have only led to falling wages and the rich taking more of the cake.

Our wages in the public sector are paid in relation to the job market.  A cop’s or teacher’s wage is linked to what they could otherwise get washing-up or fobbing some punter off in a customer service function or digging turf, minding a lathe and so on.  There are currently no real jobs to change to and we are all leveling down to whatever a transported Chinese peasant can ‘command’.  If we applied real efficiency in the public sector, we could reduce it by over 50%.

The real issue concerns how we should be investing resources and how we make money do the investment we want.  This is almost totally out of control and the ‘banks’ have failed as surely as the Soviet Politburo.  For banks we could substitute ‘rich’. The subsidies are not to public sector pensions.

The strikes are really about the abuse of power and lack of any sensible public dialogue that always hides the ‘rich problem’ – just look at the highly paid media tossers putting questions to people aid much less than them as though they are the ‘drain’ with no consideration of their own situation.

The answer is not some dire Communist Paradise but a new view on competition.  The model (creaky though it is) to follow is competition that encourages competition along the lines of rugby league.  It needs to be global and needs salary caps and transparency.  I don’t propose this as a solution but as a simple question on why we are allowing such a massively unfair situation to continue.

Greeks are already trashing their own town centres and it’s likely our current strikes will descend to brutal disorder as the poor find it difficult to get food, stay warm and so on.  The answer to our problems is work, but we seem to have no resources to build homes people can afford to live in, tap energy sources under our feet and around our coast, grow our own, produce our own entertainment – this is clearly rubbish as the real resources needed concern our commitment and work.

The strikes evade the real questions, but show that we do not have means to negotiate properly.  What are our teachers doing teaching if they are so ‘stupid’? Our cops don’t like the cuts and like everyone else see themselves as somehow ‘deserving’.  The good news for them is the Government is going to need them and will make them a special case.  The morality of this is dire, but what’s new in this.

My own view is that the crash and the killing fields are coming.  I don’t think this on the basis of inevitable economics, but on the general levels of ignorance on what is really going on.  The strikes are on because there is no fair public dialogue – but this itself hides the real issues.

Government is involved in all kinds of blunder.  We are importing crime, failing to impose the same law and conditions in migrant communities of all kinds, can’t treat our soldiers properly, waste vast amounts of money and all kinds of stuff the ‘right’ hate – but we aren’t looking at the ultimate problem of political relationships with the rich and banks and seeing this as the actual governance that is letting us down (I suspect fearing the only alternative is even bigger government).  Democracy has died and we haven’t spotted it.

Strikes are obviously irrational – not least because strikers never get their money back.  I prefer this irrationality to belief that the rich are necessary and good for us.  As for the teachers, they must know this is a token strike and that if they are to be effective they will have to really hurt parents after the summer break to change any of this idiot government of the rich, for the rich.  They will realise they are fighting our battle long before that and give in.  Poetic justice in some senses – they have failed to teach what matters for over 30 years!  The last hope is that it has sunk into our collective unconscious.

If we have seen massive productivity rises (and they are huge), shouldn’t we expect to be able to work proportionately less – this equation should mean earlier retirements even given longer lifespans.  Agricultural and manufacturing has achieved massive productivity increase – we have clearly wasted this on “services” and counter-productive accumulations in few hands.  We should be taking on the ‘power’ responsible for this – but we clearly have no democratic means.  It’s an old story and previous versions end in war.

There’s a parallel between the lies of official police statistics – with ‘crime’ allegedly contained and on the way down – the truth being massive increases in anti-social behaviour and crime in areas not recorded – and ‘the economy’ – both using similar accounting techniques similar to those in banks – hiding losses behind a dam about to break.

Twice as many cops with much better equipment and vastly more civilian support seem to be doing less well than those in the much smaller force in which people like me, Hogday and Dickiebo served along with an array of decent people and blundering buffoons,  It could be that we were drawn from a better pool and worked in a cleaner ocean.  Yet the average cop is now better ejukated than our peers and when I meet them seem not much other than chips off the same block and mostly decent souls.

What I suspect is that not much has changed and this is the problem.  We lied about crime rates, detection rates and exposed officers to hopeless situations without the right laws and equipment then and it continues now.  Many of the problem people we dealt with are the same now – what’s changed is there is no economy to suck them away from crime – and particularly no factories or easy places to find work lifting things or digging holes at a rate of pay well above benefit levels.

IQ has perhaps budged up a fraction, but the intelligence pool has not, despite all the qualifications people think they have ‘earned’.  A degree is worth about 2 ‘O’ levels in old currency – tell me what the ‘efficiency gain’ is here!  Ejukation has replaced the old training grounds in big and small companies, the merchant marine and the armed services.  It does none of the old job for people who don’t ‘get’ school.  GCSEs look remarkably similar to CSEs, the old qualification for kids who couldn’t hack school.  Many of the eastern Europeans who nipped over to ‘take our jobs’ were educated in the old Soviet system.

The pit and factory were almost certainly better alternatives than yet more pointless school for those not suited to school ejukation than further incarceration as bricks in the wall and we should have done much more to ensure well paid jobs at the bottom.  Instead, we have failed totally to protect this group of people and pretended they could be educated.  In my view this is an example of the intense cruelty forced on this group who have also been the biggest victims of immigration.

There were no strikes in the USSR (there were really), and though we had adverts from Japan about imagining factories that had never had strikes they didn’t tell us these had been brutally suppressed by US Armed Forces.  The Germans do much better than we do, but we pay no attention to what is different in their system.  It’s better, more democratic and more successful – not bad for a bunch of failed nazis.

I support the strikes on the basis they show just how backward, undemocratic and stuck in the same mud we are.  I suspect we haven’t realised we lost two wars to the USA and are mimicking what we see as their success instead or working out how well we were doing before their ‘help’.  HRM coming from the States these days is fascist.  We should throw in with the Germans and start selling them comedy!