UK 2012 And The Rolling Lies Of Debt

Britain is much worse off than statistics claim and our vapid bimbo-media lead   Part of that lazy thinking that inspires journalists to keep speaking of “the government” spending money on this or that, as if “the government” were somehow sitting on an infinitely large pile of “government money” that most of the time it was unreasonably withholding from worthy causes.  This money essentially comes from the people.  Further lazy right-wing thinking then starts to say we must rely on a healthy private sector and treats tax as an evil.  We need deeper thinking than this.

Before getting to the depths, one needs to understand we are being lied to and that a big confidence trick is taking place.  The reason our economy is knackered is not because successive governments have indeed pandered to subjective worthy causes with money that those governments did not possess.  Stuff like hospitals and the rest of the public sector arise because the private sector is crap.  Otherwise Mr. Plod and surgeons would be working for it.  We will be paying bill. It is not government money because the government doesn’t have any. It has liabilities only. It is taxpayers’ money.  Yet we would be spending the money to “private landlords” otherwise.

The only achievement to date of the UK’s coalition government has been a triumph of PR – hardly surprising given that PR appears to comprise the only work experience Cameron has ever had outside politics.  Our ignorant media is complicit with the line that the British government has started to deal with the grotesque debt inherited from the previous government. Yet government spending was actually higher for the fiscal year 2010/11 than under the last year of the hapless and reviled Nulabour.

The UK debt figures are also much worse than conventionally believed because 2011 debt including “interventions” stood at  about £2,270 billion as at September 2011, or 150% of UK GDP. To this we should add public sector pensions (£1,100bn+), PFI (£400bn+) and sundry other off-balance-sheet obligations of the state.  The bleak real summary is that after five years of supposed austerity, UK government spending will be back to 2005 levels… but with twice as much debt.

There has been no real austerity yet in the UK, unless you’ve lost your job or benefits, or seen your pension halved.  There has been no real deleveraging in the global economy at an aggregate level either.  Global credit market debt stands at $220 trillion, having grown by 11% annually since 2002, versus 8% nominal GDP growth (and no one really believes this nominal figure).

I understand people wanting government off their backs, but is the public sector really the great drag or is it really a highly inefficient private sector that is the problem?  Nothing is more private sector than the banks.  We’re in much deeper than we’re being told and part of this is the expectation that the private sector is just waiting for the opportunity to bring about a rally.

If the problem is the public sector we seem doomed the the privatisation of health, education, policing and the rest.  There  is no evidence this is a good thing.  Drivel about private sector efficiency isn’t going to help us.  The actual system is that the government is lying about how bad it is and using the clapped-out private sector cavalry bullshit.  Nothing has been done for 4 years now except extend and pretend in the hope of a windfall from “growth”.

 

 

How Long Before We Have Real Street Protests?

Interesting in a democracy that we aren’t seeing much reporting of a mass movement of protest that’s starting in the USA.  There are a few ‘campsites’ forming in the UK, but our social security safety net cushions people from the kind of homelessness and hunger that brings anything to attention and action in politics.  We just don’t care or want to care, do we?

Around the world, research shows that government cuts of 3% or more lead to substantial increases in the amount of protests – ours (UK) are just about to start hurting and exceed this figure (see Jacopo Ponticelli and Hans-Joachim Voth – ‘Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe 1919-2009″ – Centre for Economic Policy Research).

Philosophically we might start asking, instead of ‘when is a terrorist a freedom fighter’ the question ‘when is a police officer an agent of repression’?  I like the latter question as it assumes policing has a lot to do with democracy and freedom, which it does.  Instead, those of a more practical bent might start wondering where to spend the over-time.  The link to the paper is – http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1899287 – students and those interested will find a wealth of material at this site.

I have as little to do with the system as I can manage.  If you earn more than £50K it’s barkingly obvious you don’t deserve it, though we might want to preserve wages (not earnings) up to £100K for motivational purposes.  No one should be able not to contribute work to the system and we have a lot of idle rich and putative ones.  The are as scum as any evil poor,perhaps more so as they must know they are looting.  It’s now taking £4 to £8 of debt to produce a quid in increased GDP – this is because the rich maintain a system that plunders and enslaves.  If my next book sells well and the rest it could make me more money than I have otherwise made in my lifetime – farcical – and then some poor slobs end up having to work to pay the interest when I lend it to them (indirectly).  I don’t wish to be a slave owner, however indirectly.  I might be more effective than the whole of ACPO if given the chance, but I’m not worth one of their salaries.  No one is and we’ve been conned over the years into beliefs in all kinds of unproven crud on expertise and the need to pay for it.  I know universities don’t teach much expertise outside of science and medicine, and just how poor most business graduates and MBAs really are.  Don’t confuse me with a leftie -I’ll be well to the right of anything you think up.

We’re about to see a lot of household incomes drop,including so-called middle income groups.  Those with kids and big mortgages are already struggling – inflation is at 15% onimportant stuff like food and general living expenses.  Jobs are nowhere to be found in our bleak areas, immigrants are everywhere we could once drop down to and the economy has changed structurally so as to prevent growth in jobs.  We still have mad notions that GDP increases mean an economy is growing rather than burning the planet, and don’t understand we could now largely emancipate ourselves from work.

I’ve just read a short book by a police officer concerned the job is so stressful it drives most people away within ten years or so – it does.  Women lasted an average of five years last time I looked.  The answers are couched in terms of much I’d agree with as a start – but I think we need to go more radical.  I suspect work is generally bad for us and we wouldn’t do most of it if we didn’t think we needed the money.  And I think we could get by much better than we do now on a 30 hour 3-day week.  Work is fundamentally non-democratic and the means through which the ancien regime continues as an Undead.

Street protest will not be about considered change to our society.  If a three-day week seems fantastic to you, remember the last real one when Heath was PM lost only 4% of national production.  I can find you Wall Street and City Men who will tell you unemployment is now really at 15% – but my company doctor analysis is that it runs closer to 70% if we add in useless work.  You can approximate to the figure by imagining, say, that all ACPOs were killed this morning and when we’d notice.  I can show you detailed analysis of work that shows most of it conforms to the Pareto principle.

What we need is a sensible change towards better quality of life (not that piss to mention at promotion boards) and reasonable equality.  They still have us thinking quite chronic inequality is necessary and that powers in work hierarchies that amount to droight de sneignor are needed.  We need to get rid of these hideous medieval practices.  One used to be able to moderate this stuff by earning your way out of it – but debt has kiboshed that opportunity for most.

The Arab Spring looks like a failure already.  Our own streets will fill as things bite in around 12 months time, but there is no plan to bring real change.  I saw some odious BBC woman asking what more kids in relative poverty would mean.  FFS!  This is how dumb we have become.  We are now massively productive to what end?  Poverty?  Cops paid by banks, earning property through over-time suppressing the people?  Where have we seen that before?

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.

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!