Wealth Perception and Reality


This is a good video on the state of wealth in the USA, comparing people’s perceptions with reality and what they think would be ideal.
I would expect the situation in Britain and Europe to be a bit different, but the broad result to apply. We would like a more equal situation to pertain and not realise how chronically elitist the situation really is.

My own view has long been that we should sequester the rich and use this ‘money’ to pay down household debt and abolish most of financial services beyond ‘boring banking’.
Instead of sensible discussion of wealth, incentive and using the planet’s resources reasonably, the big new option available to us in the UK is UKIP – a little Englander party that plays on immigration and our myopic hatred of the European Union. UKIP are less revolting than any of our standard politicians, but the EU costs each of us about £74 a year – buttons compared with the rich and probable liabilities of the financial sector. A question of ‘its the economy stupid’ – with the proviso we’re too dumb to understand any economics!
I don’t care whether we are in the EU or not – though we should want to be in the trading block. What we’ve needed since I can remember is a decent industrial policy, near full-employment, decent policing and much great equality (though there is no point in expecting a few slogans in this area to lead to anything worthwhile – and the dangers of Soviet Paradise lurk).
The telling point of this video is that argument is pretty hopeless because most of us live in cloud cuckoo land. I’m off down the pub for a drink with Farage. He got my vote as the least of all evils on display.


So Vince Cable Is A Pinko After All?

Vince Cable, the man more of us would have wanted as Prime Minister than any other current public figure before the ConDemned Alliance now supposedly running the country crept into government while we were sleeping, is announcing ‘capitalism is bad for us’.  Well done Vince.  I’ve just switched off some rabid clown on Sky News claiming this is the politics of the 6th Form. ‘What do we get that isn’t?’, I thought.

Vince will probably tell his LibDem audience that massive bonuses are wrong, drop the ‘b’ from bwankers and say a number of platitudinous stuff about unfairness, the need for regulation and the creation of a stimulating business environment not based on greed.  All fair and all useless.  He is already being called a Marxist and no doubt knows a base from a superstructure.

We are so dumb as a public we don’t know what Marxism is, probably thinking someone wearing M & S underpants who laughs at Groucho’s jokes qualifies.  I expect we could find what Vince will say in Adam Smith.  Capitalism has never had free markets since its modern invention by the Dutch around 1300.  The basic idea has always been about monopoly, or variations on that tune in terms of market share and stealing commodities using forced or dismally paid workers.  Wars have usually been about trade.

If Vince is a modern Pinko (like Zizek) he will talk about the way we are being taxed by Microsoft, and discuss high salaries and bonuses as taxation without representation.  He won’t.  We’d be too stupid to know what he was on about. Instead, he will talk about the need for a new business culture and morality (we like morality).  Vince Cable will prove today that he is a likeable old codger on the make, with an eye on his memoir sales.  Better than Blair or Adair Turner, he is constrained by our ignorance and the lack of interest we have in politics and knowledge generally.  We should look at him today thinking this is the best of English politics, knowing like our soccer team that any outfit permed from the supposedly lower divisions has as good a chance of beating Germany.

Capitalism is both the problem and not the problem.  It is the problem because it is what we have, and not the problem because it has never had any opposition.  Everything beyond Stone Age economics is capitalism.  We are just so dumb we can’t see the capitalist-communist ‘argument’ is a fiction.  All regimes are capitalist, the questions we need answers to hidden in their propaganda which commodifies our lives and governs our souls.  Our lives and souls are so worthless they are bought with trinkets and the fine words of idiots ‘leading’ us on cavalry charges into the centre of volcanoes on their day off.

What we need is a radical change in employment relationships away from employer domination and forced need to work.  The problems are about getting us to work in such a new relationship and preventing people stealing a living, whether as ‘evil poor’ or ‘evil rich’.  Part of understanding this requires us to know how much work has to be done and what a fair share of it is. Instead of something we can understand, we have ‘economics’.  That this doesn’t work is plain.  Sports and film stars make fortunes along with bwankers, we are always at war, the spread of wealth is in the same ratio in China as the USA, IQ correlates with endemic diseases and your chances in a legal system depend on wealth.  Our education systems are so unfair, people pay to get their children out of any placement by lot and into the most favourable schools and universities.  Everywhere, ‘standards’ are rising as nothing works.

What we need is true alternatives to international money.  Vince may touch on this, though probably not on his government’s sly and unheralded part-removal of mortgage interest payments to the unemployed, a measure that will save nothing and force some poor people into rented accommodation to get housing benefit in full.  Pinko?  Nah!  Stinko!

I offer no solutions here.  We need around 5 million new jobs in my country – more we if admitted the full extent of under-employment.  Plenty needs doing, but we can afford none of it under economics, a religion as vile as any other.  The Swedes have elected anti-immigration people to their parliament.  We would have double or triple the number in a fairer election system, or at least one more proportional to public opinion.  I don’t see such stuff as a solution, just writing on the wall.  At some level we know there are no real jobs for around half our working-age population, but don’t know why.  Old ‘faiths’ crop up as answers, including a ‘thrusting private sector’, charities and not-for-profits and protectionism.  It is only because we are uneducated through ‘education, education, education’ that we put up with the dross we get.  Only a couple of a million of us watch Newsnight, my last excuse as an oldie being to do with fancying upper crust, fading crumpet who would stereotype my belly as beer moulded.  I suspect the vapid self-interest of this programme is a microcosm of the country’s practical problems, fiddling while Rome burns to an audience that is its mirror image.  Vince will be no different at party conference, worming into the cosy souls of aspirant councillors on the make.  Good job you’re a married man Vince.  I found knickers came down rather easily at the last one I attended, and I’m nowhere near as smooth a criminal as you.  You could change your name to Pinko Redthunder and still be to the right of Blair.