Monday, 29 October 2012

Over Consumption And Value

We over consume in a way which dammages the world - our environment. We also over consume in ways which dammage our personal well being.

In future we will need to be prepared to pay more for our food and probably more for our housing. This is an inevitability in most countries where wealth is not evenly distributed and the population have to pay more due to finite resources, restrictions on utilisations, barriers to entry and price parity or ouright collusion on pricing.

An interesting article discusses why so much emphasis is placed upon the economic consequences of under consumption yet not on over-consumption.

In consuming less we will have to pay more per unit of that we consumer, if we all- the market- consume less by price and reasoning. However if that which we consume is of higher value to us, and we create less waste, then that price is then worth more to everyone: us as individuals have our needs met more satisfactorily with a higher quality, more personalised product or experience; companies earn more margin per sale due to this and the trend to cheap commoditisation is reversed ; our environment benefits from less waste and less green house gases: products by being smaller, lighter, organic, recylcable, and most of all fully consumed and valued over other alternative activities in that period of consumption,  will so  have a lower carbon footprint.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Pico Blog : Market Education 2
further to my Pico not very tiny blog on headukayshun, It is amazing to find that it is not that we need more engineers in the UK, but rather there are
so few who give a damn about continuing in the career!!!
According to the Torygraph, there are less than 6% of graduates in relevant technical and engineering services going into
the manufacturing sector who need them most. The figures also show that other areas of industry where you presume they would
apply their skills to, are also shunned. So the country is spending millions and the 94% of graduates are loaning millions to support less than a very small town
worth of productive graduates: under 4000.
The market has to then stop being at "price parity" on what on-costs and training they will offer graduates or be even more proactive and
offer apprenticeships. It is actually the SME and medium-large, anonymous workplaces which are lacking recruits. High profile companies like Landrover, Williams, BAE,
Dyson etc have a flood of applicatants and are many times over subscribed with willing, relevantly qualified engineering and technical graduates.
You do have to ask on the one side, what range of graduates are pooled into this and if it excludes colleges and vocational training with a degree equivalent qualification. On the other hand
you then have to ask though, why the hell there are only 3700 odd punters rolling out into manufacturing when there is a need for many more.

What puts them off, especially women ?

The Divide between Left and Right

There is a rather fundamental divide between conservatives and liberal, tory and left wing.
From my own unrepresentative but fully valid sampling called a life in business post education, I can summate it prettty simply:

the left are people who think about individuals and other social strata with interest, often either  empathy or a genuine concern and interest for their lives and culture. They are interested in helping them and protecting their interests.

The right are of course also interested in protecting other people's interests, but only those who are like themselves and only when they benefit directly themselves.

Conservatives do not want to understand new cultures or understand different life styles from the wasp-nuclear family.

They tend to either wonder why everyone can't bne like them: inhereting some capital by in large and being able to run or start a viable business; or the reverse if they have started for themselves, self-made, they are interested in how they stand over other people and exploit them.
So there is a fundamental egotistical, selfishness difference and life view point which is called by some the "reptilian sub brain predominance".

Education should be exposed to market forces AND planning

It is my contention that the UK and many other countries' education system has become only obtusely responsive to the employment market.  Tertiary education,  and indeed life-long-learning should be both exposed to more market forces and planning for the type of educations which add value to the individual and country's wealth and well being.

In saying that graduates are merely obtusely qualified for the job market,   I mean that perhaps the majority of graduates in the UK are delivered to the work market as nothing more than young people with debts to pay off, eager to work, rather than actually having the right skills for the market and the future. The tax payer pays less per head per year for more places, but ends up subsidising the payment holidays and low long term interest on loans, when in fact it is employers who gain by having debt slaves to employ with little training.

Many go through years of semiskilled office jobs before either gaining enough experience and training in work to move on to provide more value in the market place, or they take further education.  In the past acccess to valuable training for unemployed has actually meant that some graduates, jaded with their debut into drudgery infront of a PC, have sat unemployed long enough to access these courses.

Rather, young people should be presented with the possibility to become tax payers earlier, and employers should receive tax credits for national vocational support in basics of IT and other skills such as presentation, communication, conflict handeling which are far more use than medieval history or modern art appreciation. This is happening over time, but my contention is that full time University study should be for an elite top 20% maximum, with other school leavers being more mature in choosing to enter the work market.

An example of planning is the "value retention cycle" approach: this would mean that for instance in the current environment, we cut back new places on courses which have over supplied the market many fold, such as law studies and teacher training.

Education is an area where the means of wealth creation fail countries and Government must play the dominant role in providing value to society. Otherwise we end up increasingly in a situation like the USA with ghettos where only the tiniest minority become "socially mobile" which is a key value creating return of public investment in any society. As in major projects for infrastructure and strategic defence, government must plan strategically for more than one term of governance. However there needs to be within that a provision for more t

Hitting the Highs and Lows in the Recession....

Telegraph Link- All time High Employment

This is an amazing fact and really a result of the changes in the economy brought about first by the Thatcher years and later by the successive Labour governments.

It is a testament both to the enterprise economy, the investment environment and the strong publically owned service sector in the UK. Also this fact confirms that both enterprise mechanisms are working healthily and that Keynsian cyclical money is holding value in the country. BBC Article about competitive firms finding growth areas

What is not happening is growth, but what is happening is that people are starting small businesses and being flexible in what they choose to do. There are less vacancies, especially for inexperienced people, but vacancies are filled by people with motivation to earn a crust.

Another factor is the post war baby boomers are starting to retire en masse, many of whom have had "with profits" and index linked pensions which are fuelling a keynsian bouyancy in the economy.

So this all confirms that a yin and yang economic system of public provision and free enterprise actually makes for a good deal of stability, wealth creation and improvement in standard of living. But we on the left who are also business people knew this all along!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Housing Benefit in the UK: A subsidy for the rich and inflation disturbance in the free market

In the midst of austerity for the majority, it seems that the majority in the UK and other countries, will continue unabaited to support the minority.

BBC article on Subsidised Poverty Wages

This is of course the massive and growing housing benefit cost. Time for a hair-cut.
Housing is not a free market in the UK: there is a fundamental and coercisive, clandestine restriction in the availability of land for development and the
type of housing which is made on that land. The beaurocracy of local council planning authorities is merely a smoke screen of innefficiencies for the underlying
issue that supply not only does not meet demand, it does not cater for demand. Supply makes to what investors expect- maximum profit rabbit hutches or the new type of semi fortress luxury villas
stuffed in like 1960s council estates in a bizzarre noveau-riche ironic visual oxymoronic collectivism.
Just like financial measures do need to be taken to bring public spending and PSBR into a reasonable short to mid term proportion of GDP, so is the time ripe for legislation which will cap the amount that landlords can
earn from publically funded tennancies.
This will lead to homelessness you say ? What it will lead to is either that the more wealthy in the country who live well from these capital assets, take a hair cut. Alterntaively r if they decided to evict tennants, then they know that most of them will be cutting not only their income resources
but also their access to investment and expansion : in the current leverage environment. In effect any government in this sitaution can play russian roulette with property owners in the chair and five bullets in the chambers. The time to act is very much now, because inflation in the housing market must not be fuelled
by housing benefit.
It is not until families in employment are on living on the street in the UK, that wealth will be shamed enough into doing something and we can return to a society where a mixture of paternalism and socialism reigns as checks and balances to ensure social inequality does not reach the levels where revolution becomes an inevitability.

There are two inevitabilities of a total free market with small, weak government. One is populace violent revolution and the other is fascism.
The first has developed throughout history because by its nature the free market centres wealth with those who already own the capital means of production and the means of supply of
daily necessities, especially housing and food. In an ideological paradise, then supply would be unlimited and all people would be born with no wealth and thus be required to make wealth by economic activity. This is not the situation of course because the rich "elite" in most lands have at some point stolen their wealth by violence in their murky pasts. For every Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, there are 100 heirs to old wealth in the USA. The situation in the UK is worse, because we actively attract oligarchs to invest in property and land without any net benefit to the general economy. To the contrary, foriegn oligarchs have no paternal interest in the population in the UK and no entreprenerual vested interest in developing provision to anyone more than their own type. This is the danger that not only does wealth disconnect from creating new wealth in the economy, but also it becomes more subsidised by governments through the housing benefit bill.
 Any market becomes open to abuse as the power becomes concentrated in the wealthy and even with a monopolies police mechanism, price parity is established in order to maintain shareholder return on investment in positive growth.
Such was life in the 19th century: large sections of the population starving while a total free market built a two sided Britain. The effect of the uneven distribution of wealth in the UK has lead to a permanent situation of poverty.
We must stop subsidising wealth, we must win back family values and freedoms for families and individuals. We must win back the right to set fair laws- speed limits on the excesses and anarchic, unorganised nature of capitalism

The New, Newer Left

We must stop subsidising wealth, we must win back family values and freedoms for families and individuals. We must win back the right to set fair laws- speed limits on the excesses and anarchic, unorganised nature of capitalism.

We must reduce the amount of tax payer's money which goes out of the value in the on the ground, street you live on value and into the hands of ownership.

Conversely we must stop punitative taxation on employment and capital.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

David Cameron's Admission on the Failure of The Market in Domestic Power

David Cameron's Open Admission That the Gas and Electricity Free Market has Not Benefited the Consumer.

This was actually quite a suprise because you would have thought that going anywhere near the purses of one of the tory party's biggest group of paymasters would be tantamount to that which Dennis Healy did to the Unions in 1978. Now they are one step away from further control under a Lab-Lib coalition in 2015.

They have admitted that it is difficult for fairly average consumers to understand which was the best tariff for them neither is it easy in comparability between suppliers.

This is of course by design: marketing professionals are trained to reduce comparability and increase pricing based on branding and high margin service frills. That is their job after all!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

De growth is in harmony with market mechanisms

Why is degrowth actually in harmony with market mechanisms?

There are two reasons: we are free to choose and market mechanisms are going to make increasing globalisation too expensive sooner and later -  Sooner in food stuffs.

As we see with local population lead initiatives like the Bristol Pound, individuals are seeking aware of the natural human sense of community. This is actually the first condition necessary for a market- trust and cooperation to make a physical market or a cyber market.

I often used to say that spending money in your local community is the greatest act of charity because it keeps people employed and locks margin locally. Usually market mechanisms enable local communities to reach a balance point of income and affordability. To some extent national economies like Britain which outside the City of London, the satellite financial centres and Aberdeen Oil, is largely based on service industry which locks some margin of the value creation locally at a provincial city, town, village and parish .

Also the concept of reduction, recylcing and replacement means displacing wasteful and destructive global supply chains. A key issue now is that international capital is not flowing into investment in local or national industries: it is flowing to property and global businesses. In future also, the ability to raise cash on the stock market and expand into new local communities will be erroded by this lack of cash supply and that remote delivery will more and more happen on a centralised internet basis rather than the ineffecient "out of town" shopping complex. People will spend more of their income on food and more of their income in local services- dining, entertainment and acts of supporting the local value retention consciously.  Investment in local businesses will be more local and involve more people. Banks and credit unions which accept a higher level of risk in small business loans will find higher rewards. However the local investment cycle is somewhat self regulating- if enough people are active in starting businesses and choosing to work for less take home, then the local market becomes both competitive and of a slow capital growth.

We go back to a pre-stock market series of pico economies which however continue to interact with regional food supply, national goods and global wares and services via the internet. Supermarkets will still be a major place of spending in metropolitan areas, but will be in semi rural areas forced by economic factors to take short-travelled food and b y demand for favourite local produce.

Sustainability and Humanism along side truly free markets

I have colleagues, friends and internet adversories who all consider de-growth and de-globalisation as laughable hippy notions.

However there are obvious parallels to be drawn: the rise of Christianity and Modern Islam to reform conservative and morally corrupt churches before; the actual reformation lead by Martin Luther; the american and french revolutions; the 19th century rural and industrial uprisings and establishment of modern trade unions; the foundation of the democratic labout movements; keynsism post depression; the labour landslide post war; the civil rights movement in the USA; the second rise of union power in the 1970s; the revival of social democracy on both sides of the atlantic in the 1990s.

We stand at a point which is like the latter half of the 19th C coupled to both the great previous depression, and the rise of the hippy and green movements. In all this there is no coincidence and the outcome will not be more capitalism in the medium term. In the short term we will be offered at the alter of the faith of capitalism: Romney will win and austerity measures in the EU will come to place. But there are few markets left to liberalise, little left to privatise, and little economic growth to be gained from rewarding the rich with more tax breaks.

The point about many of us in this movement is that it is about reduction, recycling and replacement.

Globalisation is nothing new, it has been happening since homo sapiens followed their forerunners out of Africa and populated the earth. The species was going to be dominant and going to affect the climate, the flora and the fauna.

However the effects of globalisation now reveal the unwanted aspects of linking all our lives to a global economy which is driven by things far from anything to do with notions of the free market:

Things like OPEC, a cartel which still dominates world oil production. China - a country with strange protectionism, public subsidy, manipulation of markets internationally and most of all command-capitalism. Defence: a massive global industry funded by taxes and exploitation.

So the point is that powerful orginisations are in control on a massive scale affecting literally billions;: in fact the political decisions made by OPEC, the Chinese and Indian governments, the World Bank and splinter nuclei from the Davos group affect us all.

We are told to swallow that politicians achieve very little for our lifestyle and well being. In effect we are being communicated into a post-democratic world where politicians become increasingly remote puppets for the powerful organisations.  But this is not something we need to casually accept because if we do then we will have our standard of living errroded in favour of those who own not just the "means of production" but the material of supply for our daily needs.

Systems of individual greed become inevitably corrupt and implode. It may take another round of "raw capitalism" to allow this to be fully uncovered to enough people in the west for them to rise and rebell in a democratic way.

What marks out human beings from most other animals is the ability not just to cooperate, but to do so in a way which changes the environment to enable society to grow and exploit new biozones : in future in effect we have to rethink the biozone as  zones of sustainable food and energy supply and population.

 How much land and energy is needed to sustain a population determines the biozone based upon renewability- energy resources are replenishable, food chains are climate neutral and also conversely the volatilities of the 2050-2150 AD climate has a near neutral effect on food supply: we already have a viable alternative to oil - electricity from renewable sources and in particular ever lasting geothermal power. We also have the ability to make plastics from plant materials - again - by chemical engineering and most western countries have a rational economic supply of recyclable oil derived plastics. However biofuels and bio-source petrochemicals interfere with the food supply price and range of crops chosen by farmers.

The market will not decide and guide us, and in any case, it is not free market economics which are making the strategic changes in the world now as I state above. Market economics can and will deliver however a plentiful supply of food at least to the west and second world but in terms of energy this is questionable in the mid term when we reach a point where oil, coal and woodland supplies are of enough value for non burning ends that they become uneconomic. Climate change is remember a conservative and backwards looking science so far: we are seeing the effects already- more extreme weather events and in other areas, more severe weather events; marked warming and damage of eco systems which have taken millions of years to evolve. Life itself will survive climate change, and even a full nuclear war, but the human race will not.

Privatisations Questionable Detromentary Effect on PSBR and Inflation

Where is all the evidence that privatisation of public services and monopoly utilities have benefited western economies ?

Well., a good point to start at is to look at the big picture. The summation of this is then actually macro economics on a national / cross member state basis.

Post the paradigm shift in the late 70s and 80s, and the economic growth created by data technology and liberalisation of markets. Reversing the power balance against the unions also helped enormously with reducing inflation.

However for most western countries public spending and PSBR have gone up as a proportion of GDP. When the crash of credibility happened in 2008, then it was governance who were left carrying the can for a money supply and wealth exagerration machine which went fiscally and morally bankrupt.

The other macro economic indicators are that inflation in utilities, transport and the privatised public sector provision has run above the consumer price index.

Also there has been a need to spend money exactly where the free-market dogmatists say it shouldn't be_: on highly costly civil servants and on the private side, consultants and a wage hungry echelon of middle and upper management. In the UK this lead quickly to the situation under Thatcher that there were more managers than beds. With watch-dogs for private utilities and transport, and the european beaurocracy emposed on top and as a standardised top down approach to managing
the systems for managing private contractors there are more layers of public spending on hot air instead of delivery of quality services.

The private sector of course has always had and will always have an important part to play in provision paid for from the public purse.

However it is not a panacea: PFI initiatives and shifting renewal of utilities to high prices and stock market vageries from being planned and paid for by central resources within limits to spend and price inflation to consumers.

One thing which is then very questionable is how privatisation managed to arrest inflation if it has actually not done the reverse on aggregate and contributed to the now unsustainable  level of public spending requirment and inflation in semi-monopolistic, price parity, high inflation utilities and transport.

The Best Countries to Live in Will Not Be So For Long

It should come as a suprise to those who purport the free-market, rich-run-the-place-is-best dogma that the very best countries to live in on a global basis are all social democracies.

However those oligarchical fascists have these countries in their sights:

Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Finland, Denmark, W.Germany...

All the ones which top the list of quality of life and highest average standard of living.

Terrible shocking inefficiencies like permanent contracts and a fair wage are to be swept away in the next raft of privatisation and de-unionisation. Basically, there is a margin opportunity to be taken by private suppliers, who can then lock governments and consumers into private supply with above inflation price increases to offer higher stock market performance.

The Uk went a long time ago, Sweden and the Netherlands are creeping into being rich-poor societies run by an oligarchical lead beaurocracy who continue to tell everyone how good a total free market system will be, and how many more jobs can be created by taking away fair wages and permanent contracts. For now enough people have been able to use their tax breaks and new managerment positions to buy their chique appartments and BMW, but soon they too will start to be pressured into 12 hour days as for USA wage slaves and start to wonder what they have been fooled into.

Errosion of labour rights and de-unionisation is some how supposed to improve qaulity of provision and create more jobs. On average this is a lie: the economies described above all have high value labour laws and a prominence of cooperative trade unions.

Set some how we are all going to be so much better off with "flexible " labour laws and lower pay.

Most people sell their labour, and most people are soon to realise that the personal and societal costs of NOT having fair laabour laws are just another way that capitalism subsidises itself by use of government policy and subsidies.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

What does De-Growth Mean for You and Me?

You and I are ordinary wage takers.

What does De Growth mean for us? Dropping out?

No: it does mean dropping off the expectation curve though.

The core to sustainability and human centred life style is the mantra of the enviornmental lobby too. This should be no surprise. What we do to the environment is linked inextricably from value creation.

But de-growth is not about the destruction of value creation, all economic systems or societal structures.

The key mantra is :


 1) Reduction.

We should reduce what we consume : we should do this in clever ways. This may mean investing more in our material goods such that they last longer. This is an issue you can see with HTC mobile telephone handsets: they are so good that they cover our desires and exceed them in fact, and also they last and people do not swap them out often enough. We should have infact, paid more for our quality phones.

Also reduction will be a necessity: by market forces. Prices of food and fuel/power are set to increase dramatically. This will mean in particular that meat and long-travelled-foods will become more expensive, while local-short-travelled "farmers market" foods will become more attractive. In order to have some degree of spending power above the necessities of life, we will adjust our consumerist trinket spend first downwards, while food spend goes upwards. As consumers we will become more involved with food and its quality and nutrition value per Euro/Dollar/pound.

Reduction is also a more fundamental view point in de-growth. Resizing your economic and materialistic aspirations. Less people will be able to afford the premium high price, high margin products the west has depended on for growth. Less people will see them as desirable because values of family and community become stronger.

Reduction in travel and relocation: the internet and home office, or local business incubator / office will become more and more attractive as the cyber generation begin to demand this option from employers. We will continue to interact with global employers, but the old structures and percieved necessity for presentieism will evapourate. Far more of us will turn temporary contract employment into opportunity for self employment and more self determination, using the time we wasted in meaningless adminstration and ineffective meetings to hunt for new customers and more local opportunities. City property will remain over valued for some time to come and may collapse in some areas of cities.

Reduction will mean that the numbers of corporate clones and people who compromise family for money will reduce. Already the income-balance of life equation is skewed for many and people are either marginalised in where they stand and will stand on income versus life, or find if they are better off, that they re becoming marginalised by the fluctuations in the economy which they cannot react to.

Reduction is then also a reduction in our economic activity which is directed towards value flowing up into the international capital system. It will mean many more of us are more conscious of life-work trade offs: working less hours to spend more time with our family and working to help people in our communities.  So the final point on reduction is that it is a reduction in economic expectations and aspirations to right-size our lives to our values.

2) Replacement

I have touched of course on this above with replacing our out-dated corporate office cultures with new work-life-style paradigms. We will reduce relocation and travel accordingly.

We will go much further than this.

We will also replace our ideas about what the market mechanism of the economy means to us. We will there after adjust ourselves to new perceptions of life values. We will replace our old work-oriented life styles with more focus on family and community.

We will also replace our pay-back perceptions of what work gives us: an increasing part of the population will no longer seek status symbols. They will seek personal fulfillment. This means for many like me, reducing their expectations but replacing their perception of happiness with one which is more satisfying than materialism.

It means replacement of the nuclear family life with parents working for ever more money but spending less time with their children and grand patents with the concepts of not needing to consume and not needing to conspicuously consume especially.

Down Sizing will be a net summation from the two above. It does not mean that people drop out of the economic system, it is just that they will move to other work styles, other skills and other values which are based more on the local community and family. It means for example down sizing key capital possessions: selling a house to down size and free up money to pay for other restructuring or life goals. Many houses and higher value possessions will probably never be worth more than they are now in the west. It is time to accept they will grow no more and cash in chips if they have  been made already.

3) recylcing:
This means that you fix things, buy second hand and give or gain some economic value in their next useage when you are finished with them rather than land-fill or often burning.

But it also means that you recycle values to make them more relevant: what you enjoyed doing when you were young and poor, when your kids were small, when you spent more time with your extended family. You recylce all the energy you put into one job, into several economic opportunities or ventures, into time with your family, into time doing things for yourself instead of hiring expensive trades people,  and into your involvement with the community around you.

It means recycling your knowledge into the community for both structural gains in social welfare and charitable organisation, but also into helping new businesses establish themselves locally and grow to become significant local employment sources.

Further to this you recycle your skills and economic activities: you find new ways of utilising skills you used which match a more local economic activity set, or are of value to cyber community and remote working. You take people skills and move them into new sectors. You take skills from work into your volunteer work in your local community. Conversly you take abilities, acchievments and skills from your home and hobby life out into society for economic or community value activities.

The "correction" is yet to happen: Global Economic Crisis will Worsten

In effect we have not seen the "correction" in market values of western corporates, banks and property. So far it is floating on the brink bouyed up only by public money. In the EU and US capitalism is about to bite itself in  it's own neck by demanding lower tax intake and they will try the faith in free-marketism to revive the economies by removing more of the safety net for banks and investors.

Western Capitalism as we know it, started to collapse sometime before the crisis came: the crisis is only a symptom of the sickdom: the sickdom is that western societies cannot create enough net value- greed and the need to have more growth found basically a morally bankrupt route in basically lying to itself and breaking not only laws, but the trust of investors and in their own system. They moved from freedom to anarchy.

This is the end of the faith: it holds to the alter, but basically this is a far more serious situation than we have experience over the last four years to date because the medicine from 1982 cannot work on the patient of 2012. The correction then is set to happen as a further crash in the global economy as public spending is strangled, and China slows down. Coupled to western city property prices remaining too high relative to the number of new buyers then the correction will be far harder than we have seen in the last four years.

The trouble for western economies is that outside the barrel-dollar-oil-economy,  and the subsidised health care and defence economies, there is not enough fundamental value creation, there is too much reliance on property prices and capital markets. This is what lead to the sub prime fueled crisis.

Endlessly moving fundamental value creation jobs to low wage, weak governed countries does not lead to a net growth in the technocracy and intellectual value creation employment in the west outside the oil (OPEC non free market) economy and the defence economy. The private service economy has shown itself to be more dependent on public spending than believed.


Dangers in Oligarchy Sweeping In...

( As a follow on from the last Midi-blogg)

As I write before the deep roots of a new paradigm in our economic human culture are being forged in social media and communities in Spain, Greece, Ireland and the USA.

What we think will happen next is two fold:

1) Western capital will enter a negative spiral as the collapse in value of what they own continues.

2) Due to point one: Market economics and human reasoning will create a decoupling of human activity from international capital in large enough sections of the western populations as to further errode the value capital can extract from corporates and property.

This is where the danger lies in the USA, a federal Europe and the rise of fascism in the former communist eastern block countries.

National political parties and national traditional media will start to loose the attention of the "floating voter". Politics will either become more polarised as it is in the USA, or more of a technocracy from Central compromise and consensus in the EU.

In effect the spread of the new counter culture to a significant volume of the previously corporate working class and the educated middle class ( a line blurred now) will become a threat to the right wing oligarch oriented governance and parties.

As in Iran 30 years ago and  in the middle east now, this means that extremist right wing organisation can sweep in to capture the power vacuum and take more control. This has happened in Russia and the former republics of the soviet union. However it can happen in Europe and be accelerated in the USA.

In the now almost post democratic western countries we live in, I beleive the first shift in power will be exercised in two crucial parts of economic supply: power and housing. The oligarchs will attempt to manipulate these markets to create an artificial inflation by restricting supply and coercisive anti competitive agreements amongst oligarchs. Planning on the one side for the ordinary person or small builder, will become more beaurocratic and the beaurocracies will be slowed down to make building new houses to market demand far more difficult than even today.

Power companies will be freed from inflation controls and their boards of management will be given the green light to extract more money from the populace with price cooperation across competitors and price parity being the new status quo with high inflation. This has happened in the UK.  Goverments will be coerced into strangling local power delivery companies and sustainable personal home power by introducing new technocracy which will render these largely uneconomic, or as in Norway, force them to connect physically and fiscally to the national grids and capitalist quasi market.

More people will then be marginalised and in particular more people will no longer have a net economic outcome predictable by moving to the cities.  Thus  cities will become less attractive to live in, as people find the low wages and lower house prices in the smaller previously marginalised towns and villages create a better net economic effect and allow more for a life style where conspicous lack of consumer trinkets is more socially acceptable.

The rise of the right wing parties and extremism within them that the Oligarchs require, as we see in the increasingly right loony UK Conservative party, will lead to more stringent controls on immigration. This will be a counter productive policy: there will be less freedom of movement of labour which will result in a loss of supply of bottom level, illegal and subsidised labour.

These two phenomena of marginalisation and exclusion by economics and borders, will lead to a collapse in several levels of net value generation in the property market. The capital gains "wage" so many city dwellers benefited from in several up cycles is about to collapse now, and will later enter a stagnation and further risk of devaluation after an initial revival in revaluation created purely faith, will evapourate because there will not be enough money in the supply side.

The Internet as a De-Globalising Medium

Capitalism as we know it,  is near to being in free fall collapse. Already the banks have had socialist bail outs, and the cure is not more anarchy and concentration of value with the rich. Neither is it a shift to oligarchy in the USA and a federal equivalent in the EU and China a solution as proposed by the "free" market leaders.

Instead a new paradigm economy, based on a synthesis between marketism and humanism, will develop and this will have some suprising characteristics I summate from many other sources and hypothesise further here:

1) Food, Electricity/heating and Transport will become a lot more expensive. We must get used to paying more for food, using less electricity and travelling less. This is a good thing and we will explore why in my points below:

2)  Wages are not going to increase for the vast majority: the contrary- capitalism will try to make us work longer hours for the same money or less.  Discretionary income is going to decline more rapidly as capital takes more control of property and planning processes for new housing.

3) The two forces above will lead to a negative spiral in the global capitalist system. Not a destruction of it, but as in the 1970s communism, a stagnation as it fails. It is biting it's own tail because it no longer  beleives that investing in western companies is profitable enough. While the western markets for eastern goods decline as a result of higher unemployment and lower value creation in the west. We are seeing the prediction for lower growth in China. sub 5% growth in China constitutes stagnation because ROI will decline more rapidly due to fulcrum effects on turn over, profit and capital value.

4) we stand then at a time for Reformation of the whole economic principle systems we live within,  and how market economics and democracy are freed increasingly from international capital.

5) The above forces and the reformation of marketism will be mediated on a personal level, not by presidential leaders. It will circumvent the traditional political parties by utilising the internet.

6) thus the internet, once feared as the fuel for globalisation, will facilitate pico economic systems: local, sustainable and stable businesses and exchange of values at an extended family, geographic and cyber community level

7) Because food will be more expensive, locally produced and organic, shorter travelled food will become more economic to buy. We will use more of our income on food and less on trinkets of materialism.

8) More value will be retained in local communities: this means national or international currency will be locked more into pico economies. Also alternative forms of currency and tax circumventing barter will become more prevalent. It means more importantly that more people will realise the value of their time and choose to use less time on conspicuos-consumerist oriented economic activities.

9) the old capitalist system will have to exist along side this new paradigm.

10 ) as the new paradigm, the novel evolving pattern, will develop as an attractive alternative to international captialism and working for corporates.

11) Faced with the poverty created by the finance catastrophe (2008-2020 ?) governments will be forced to examine where money flows and to cooperate more with the new paradigm of social enterprise in delivering public services rather than those privatised into

11) people need not "drop out" completely - a large section of those marginalised by poverty or virtual property-poverty will spend more of their time on human value activities and move to areas with cheaper housing. They will sell and engage their skills through the internet and develop new skills and activities which are utilised in the local geographic community and niche cyber communities.

12) the means of production of intellectual value will move from corporates to individuals, owner-owned companies and social enterprises.

13) People who are in need of social services will find themselves as in the USA, increasingly reliant on charities. However, healthy people will engage more in charity activity on a local level and develop skills for value  gain, and personal fulfilment, without being bound to expecting a monetary reward. Whole families will engage in this, and the extended family will become more important.

14) Centrally to this whole movement is the humanistic view that human oriented activities are more rewarding than economic, inpersonal activities with material outcome expectations. Time is our greatest thing to contribute. The protestant view of the nuclear family will start to evapourate as we are required by market forces to care for our own elderly more to increase their quality of life beyond public and charitable delivery, and we start to care more about those less fortunate than ourselves in our communities. More people in western countries will decide to evaluate their time investment and wage-time payoff and also re-examine their consumerist views.


De-growth is a growing movement! A counter culture of slow food, family values and alternative pico economic systems.

The Bristol pound is just a perfect example of this : stop international capital sucking out the value from local communities, and it is possible and indeed most practical on a regional city basis.

Really it is time for it to be cool again to "turn on, tune in, and drop out" while having an aim far removed from smoking pot in Goa. The new aims are to have a good, normal life with materialism and consumerism deconstructed to allow family values to prevail over 12 hour days as a wage-slave with the trinkets of materialism as shallow status symbols.

This coolness is going to happen amongst sections of the community and the message is going exponential through social media. The De-growth concept and other values around spending more time on qaulity personal value creating activities with family, personal creativity and the community is going to have the power of many consumerist brands thrown together.

The impetus for this comes from that capitalism has stopped keeping most of the people happy most of the time. Capitalism has sold consumerism as the route to happiness, when it is just a cheap substute to throw 12 hours a day as a wage slave into the capitalist system. Less demand for property and international high value brands means less value floods upwards to capital.

 Capitalism as a system has shown it's hollow promise and marginalised a large enough section of most western societies and enslaved enough of the eastern tiger populations into the slave chain that the time is ripe for de-globalisation as an organic growth movement.

Economics are a cultural activity and capitalism and socialism are faiths, not activities in them selves. They both spawn wastefulness in activity: they in fact demand that you personnaly waste your life on the belief that something other than that which is to be found in your family, your friends, your local community and your own creativity is better. A promise of a life after life in effect- one day you will keep up with the jones, one day you will have a large villa, one day you will have a BMW.

Stumbled Upon..:Again ..The Church of Stop Shopping is Still Growing

The oligarchs have bought the traditional media and the politicians : they own their messages now, diluting parliamentary and TV democracy down to being a wimpering sycophant to the inevitability that the poor will become poorer, value creation is the concentration of wealth to the few, the planet does not need any care taking, and that we should all work longer hours to buy stuff instead of spending more time with our families.

The Church of Stop Shopping was a welcome breath of counter-culture fresh air, spread by daring quirky journalists and on the internet. It was derailed by going down a different route, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.

Oligarchs like Putin and the Republicans may own the traditional media but do not yet own the message on the internet. I remember James Burke nattaring on about how the silicon chip would change our lives dramatically in a networked democracy. I frankly did not believe him: I saw data machines as individualistic. This did not change a lot: the internet was a novelty and brochure-ad site for many in the 90s, but its very roots lie in social networks.

The genie is out of the bottle. They cannot own the message here without being obviously oligarchic and basically fascist. Then the vaneer of democracy that they nurture will collapse, as it is in Europe now anyway for other reasons.

The whole de-growth and local LETS/ pico currency/ barter counter global capatilist is breathing and growing exponentially on social media.

Already  however, we are seeing that Facebook is making it more obtuse to block out messages and  is allowing more spam space as "things you may like". It is getting us ready for full push media and ownership of the most prominent messages by this. However it will still remain a base for the spreading of democratic thought freed from "free" market dogma and a meeting place for the sharing of ideas about alternative life view points, micro economics and life-styles.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Family as The Core Focus for The Next New Left Revival

Thatcher was right when she identified the family unit as the key to the modern, western economy. Confuscious had also seen this interaction between state and family, even a mirroring in that the state is run on micro economic ideology and practice.

If you can win the family unit away from the unions and labour movement by offering a better family economy and more importantly, selling the dream of a wealthier life in front of them, then you could win elections.

The Next New Left must also embrace the family as the core focus.  They must seek policies and challenge the economy to offer higher qaulity of life for families in order to regain moral and ideological ground from the exhuasted free-market 80's mind set of the now old right wing.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Irony of Keynes

It is an irony that the very ideas of state planning and opportunity for the majority which the New Right have fought so hard to ridicule and eliminate from the media agenda, are the inevitable consequence of the anarchic capitalism and new imperialism which they have brought upon the world.

Over Experienced ?

" I used to be over-qualified, yet lacking in experience. Now I find myself overly experienced while being under qualified"

That is all.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Pander to the Rich no More David Cameron!

For too long now politicians in the Uk and many countries have been pandering to the rich. The time has come to tax them more, they have done immensely well out of public spending and now they and their pals in the sub prime fiasco, can basically pay more of their incomes to help our countries.

Tories object to the idea of luxury VAT because it would perhaps lead to less employment in local western companies providing luxury goods and services, while they write the cheque each year for a massive housing benefit bill and massive legal aid bill which ends up in the hands of the wealthy and well to do.

Monday, 8 October 2012

New Model For Social Democracy

As stated above, social democracy has both drifted to the right in Europe and to the centre stage with Obama politics over the pond.

But it is in need og a major over haul to actually acheive anything against the war mongering, poverty broking oligarchs who stand against democracy on both sides of the Atlantic and over the former iron curtain.

Taxation is always the key. Or rather the trick in getting a strong economy which employs people and so further to this can create enough taxation to have a strong public sector which empowers people to be healthy, educated and proud of their country.

As an irony the thatcher years  was that public spending ran wild and the GDP / Public Spend decline only really succeeded due to liberalisation of risk: on a personal level, credit cards and lax control of property loans while on the "markets" side in the "city" a pretty rightful easing of stuffy beaurocracy for the computer age. In fact you could argue that digital telephony did more for the UK economy than Thatcher -which is an oxymoron of sorts.

Thatcher raised more tax in real terms in the late 80s than any government before and this is another irony but lesson that social democratic politicians and followers should learn from - again .

Make Cuts in some types taxes and some types of beaurocracy and you get more NET money flowing in the private economy.

And this is one of the watersheds which we reach now; there is little left to effectively liberalise or cut which could actually stimulate the economy in this type of flow.

Romney doesnt reprsent just 53.6%, he represents even fewer  Giving the rich families and corporates more money wont make the American economy that much stronger. It will just concentrate some more power in those who benefit most and can then buy the most politians for further tax cuts. It is a small elite who will benefit most versus the threats of Obama to actually take away their fleets of private  jets and super yachts. The super rich are a wasteful bunch who also sit rather precariously on the property bubble which still exists in western lands. That bubble may get bigger as the small minority try to lock cash into bricks and mortar while it is only they who can affor it. The pension institutions may get priced out and get cold feet on property. Then again the super rich can pay them off and encourage criminality in the markets as happened in the sub prime fiasco. The super rich in effect have no plan beyond their next tax cut.

 Romney will probably woo and buy over enough on the mid ground of semi taxed proffessionals in safte public money linked jobs (like the entire health sector in the USA, bed rocked by subsidious high costs paid by the state) He will promptly go to war with Iran though and the socialist public spend on weapons and personnel will be enormous for a while to be followed by more oil revenues.

Thatcher ran a bizarre socialist spending plan, perverted of course: for example into making education into a trotskyite continual revolution and the NHS into a megalythic management ivory tower with more non health delivery managers than there are beds. Also increasing the university educational budget, which I benefited from, while starving state schools of funds for materials to teach basic reading and writing. That and of course the great double-think of that era- instead of paying subsidies to industries or employing a higher head count in public service than maybe necessary, the thatcher goverment paid more and more in their first two terms to pay people to do nothing but wait until their dole ran out and they had to get a low paid job..,,.,.,.and get subsidies in terms of benefits and wages supports or "work fair" so that employers could make profit out of nothing very much of any value for anybody else.

Anyway, Thatcher's perversities aside: Social Democracy has had billions and billions of the rich's money bet against it, while in the up-times Corporates are actually rather in love with such governance. There is a hidden keynsism in the Clinton and Blair administrations. On all sides everyone thought this was a heck of a party so the public sector did nicely and the liberalised money markets, sorry the anarchy in the flow of money in loans to high risk candidates eventually bit us all in the arse.

Social democracy has to court corporates once more. Some see their top line being more erroded by lower public spending but hope for a stronger private lead epoch to arrive. Four years into the western recession and there are no signs of it, but there is a qeue of super conservatives ready to bet that cutting spending will mysteriously kick start the major economies. Cuts will start to balance the books against a forecasted growth in 2017 but that is just a fairy tale. The cuts will maybe end up being right sized for yesterdays economy while tommorrows economy will be smaller and generate less taxation again making the PSBR, balance of payments and other key indicators look even bleaker. Cameron and Romney do not have markets left to liberalise and have little left to privatise. Quite the reverse, they have some private services becoming socialistic non govermental charities while others run self destructive inflation cycles with ever more defaulters and less demand for their utilities and services due to higher costs and lower employment.

So back to this wooing of business: one thing Social Democats and Democratic Socialist must do is fall in love with corporates! They must stop penalising them with social-on-costs : job creation and training should be tax breaks! Head count per se should not have a social on cost (employers contributions) which renders them uncompetitive on price or reluctant to grow in numbers. They must  stop taxing employers for employment and get a balance based on the will and ease of companies to grow. This a policy which must reach  from the one man band who employs his wife because it is worth it, through the partnership who want an administrator, the successful plumber who moves his black market labour legit',  and all the way up to the corporate division who want to right-skill and right-size for a new market opportunity.

There the last paragraph was my nano pico rant, the rest was just ranting.

On Social Democracy

Society was never all that collective after the war while people are never all that individualistic given the chance of social interaction.

What did make "social democracy" a sweary word in  America was the punitive taxation of the rich and business. Also it is blamed for woes like ISO and HSE: systems which are now wholly embraced by all major corporates in the west at least.

The balance returned in many countries to a employees, ie tax payer pays for what they get set up. This lead then to socialist democracy becoming very unpopular amongst enough of the high skill, high pay workers and the other end, the white trash subsistance workers that the New Right could win in the UK and USA , while social democracy moved stage right from the earlier more socialistic visions which actually rebuilt europe and made the German and Swedish economies so strong for so long.

This is the real chasm: getting a house from the state was not a nanny state attitude- the market before the war did not create enough affordable housing. Sound familiar in your country or state ? Yes property is the big corner stone of capitalism for everyone: like OPEC and other gents clubs it is not a free market and capitalists do all in their power in some areas to stop it becoming a free market.

The other aspect is privatisation. Socialist democracy delivered public service which was always restrained by internal inflation and new expectations laid upon it. People complained about little choice and mediocre service and a high price to pay. Public workers and managers were seen as distant, unresponsive and over paid.  Eventually footing the bill became unpopular by taxes so utilities, railways, postal services and health services were privatised. To be subject to high inflation and people complain about the lack of choice, mediocre service and high price they have to pay. Skilled workers and managers were seen as distant, unresponsive and over paid.  The only difference I can summise is in tele-sales, fat cat salaries and even more over paid and expansionist public watch dogs who are largely unaccountable.

We pay a premium on top of the cost of delivery  for a fragmented market with less collective buying power and a sales and marketing operation largely absent or centralised on the former public utility, while on the other side, we also pay a quango beaurocracy who justifies the over inflation changes by stipulating development targets. On the continent they pin energy utilities to inflation limited price rises while in the UK and USA they can charge what they can cream off without people actually disconnecting and making their own power for example.