A struggle to believe
I'm not a cynical man and I try to think the best of those we elect to lead us, but my mental struggle begins when I consider the powers wielded by those same leaders. Our leaders have access to the services of countless leading experts in many fields including those of financial and economic matters, and yet we all have been led by those same experts into possibly decades of depression and ongoing demands for austerity. Maybe here I should make it clear that in referring to leaders and experts I include all leaders and experts throughout the planet not just the current crop in the UK.
I'm English, 77, an OAP on a very limited income, but just a small handful of years ago my letterbox was continuously bulging with junk mail from so-called financial experts offering me unlimited credit, urging me to borrow, borrow, and borrow more and more money. Are these the same experts who currently forecast ongoing depression and now demand widespread, unending austerity? Thank God, early on during my childhood my world-wise parents drilled it into me to avoid living on credit and to also steer clear of the current "Must have it and must have it now" attitude to life.
It is very difficult to not suspect that these periodic pendulum swings from prosperity to austerity and back again are deliberately foisted upon a gullible public brainwashed via the Media by our leaders and their assorted cohorts. The periodic bursting of property market bubbles are typical examples of encouraged greed combined with fear of losing; no longer is property bought to live in long term but instead is often bought to sell for inflated profit as the bubble inflates but preferably before the bubble bursts, and as a result who can dare to step onto the property ladder in 2013/14?
Mass unemployment is another example of manipulation of the masses. For many decades the emphasis has always been laid upon gaining the paper qualifications that will enable the student to get a "good job'. Sadly for the majority, and for many reasons, including shaky education levels, those qualifications are not gained and so the student is excluded from the "good jobs' market and so the only employment available would be a simple, repetitive job that the employer would only afford to teach the new employee in the minimum period of time. For many decades this system worked whilst manufacturers needed to employ vast numbers of unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
All went well, and here in the UK the countless employees, in good faith, paid from their wages the required PAYE income taxes and National Insurance contributions coupled with the employer's NI contributions into the governmental coffers. On this basis the Chancellor of the Exchequer was able to balance the nation's books. So what went wrong, why is the system collapsing?
Part of the answer lies with the invention and versatility of the computer. The computer is a wonderful invention, but the system as described above was never designed to function in the presence of the computer age. The ongoing motive of manufacturers and suppliers is, and always has been, to make for their selves and their investors, ever-increasing profits; a motive always limited by the costs entailed in employing a large workforce trained to do repetitive tasks.
For employers the problem was solved in two ways; computerise the factories, replacing the countless unskilled workers with computer controlled robots serviced by a few skilled technicians. The second way was and is to outsource production to third world countries while also gaining tax benefits from third world governments and paying much lower wages to the native employees; lovely for the manufacturers and their shareholders but for the countless unskilled unemployed workers in the UK no choice but to claim social security benefits thus draining instead of filling the national coffers. Can there ever be a solution in these modern times to this national and international worsening situation? Usually in the past the cynical and grim solution found between nations was to have a good old extended war where vast hordes of unemployed of each nation were conscripted and trained to fight in their national armies against the conscripted men of other nations' armies. A great deal of media emphasis was placed upon the required loyalty of each conscript to be prepared to kill or be killed whilst protecting king/queen and country. Fortunately for current possible conscription candidates wars are no longer fought to the death army against army. Today as we all know wars are fought with massed regular troops pitted against highly mobile freedom fighters that successfully use methods of attrition and ambush to achieve their ends. So if old fashioned wars are no longer a viable solution what could be done today about massed unemployment?
We TV audiences sense ongoing uncertainty that haunts our PM's brave speeches about "being all in this together'. We are left with the impression that the people we rely upon to act for us have no idea what to do. This is not surprising when we know that the entire system on this planet is based in selfishness, where powerful unelected people (say 5%) control and keep for their selves and from the 95% the wealth and resources of this bountiful planet. Until they choose to become unselfish and spread and share their wealth the position as described will continue and worsen.