Saturday, 17 December 2011

Where does the economic problem lie?

Here's some thoughts

Globalisation. Which has undermined the manufacturing base in our economy, caused loss of jobs and falling living standards. It is USA & Europe versus China & India. But we brought it on ourselves by moving those jobs to Asia and giving them our technology!

Government paralysis. Powerful interests prevent action on un-employment (freezing up of loans), inequality (poor incomes) & budget deficits (bond yields?). Our top income tax is too low, so their is not enough equality in society. Our banks are under-capitalised and un-regulated as we don't insist on either. Public investment is strangled and miss directed to structural spending not productive investment. The poor are asked to pay for the errors of the rich.

Politicians are in over their heads. They are arts graduates, not economists or technologists. So special interest groups move in and write the agenda. EU summits all fail politically and technically. The euro is being killed by incompetence.

No policy. The USA has miserably failed to produce any policies on any major item: budget, tax, energy, climate, financial regulation, healthcare or property. Europe is likewise lacking democratic policies that will work. The EU's 27 nations all await only Germany's proposals, which themselves are driven by a disaster of coalition politics, crippled banks, local interests and amateur politicians. The EU commission itself has no role and has done nothing. Treaties are pushed forwards with no debate, technical or political, the EU parliament is sidelined and has a huge democratic deficit as local parliaments hang onto power.

Fundamental problems. The two fundamental problems are inequality and poverty, these need active government policies of equality and inclusion. But current policies are trending to support the rich and penalise the poor. OUR money is being consistently sucked from us to fund casino banking. De-capitalised banks, through stupid investments of their own and central policy, fail. While Europe as a whole gets no focus on fiscal controls and central banking needs, while banks continue to worsen.

Despise Government. Perhaps the worst of all, as long as this goes on people will more and more despise Government and politicians on TV. They present no solutions. We need to make democracy work again, educate people to make decisions, present the options and ask them to decide. For our sake.

Thanks to the Guardian for stimulating me to write this.

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