Monday, 16 May 2011

What the Future Might Hold

Listening to the radio this morning there was a report coming up that suggested that the gap between rich and poor in the UK might soon reach proportions last seen in Victorian times.

That is just startling considering the standard of living we enjoy at the moment. But it is also true. When see that the average salaries of senior executives vs the average salaries of their workers has now widened to sixfold (it's tenfold in the US), you suddenly realise that we are gearing for issues in the near future.

In the Industrial Revolution comparatively few people controlled the precious resources and manufacturing capability in Britain. In time, the exploitation of the masses by those few caused the rise of the Unions which fought hard to get fair deals for their members. As much as Unions have become bywords for bloody-mindedness and lack of business reality, they served the most vital purpose during those hard times and arguably paved the way for the lifestyles we all enjoy today.

Unions may yet have a say in this approaching issue of rich vs poor but I would suggest that the problem is more to do with the Invisible Earnings sector. The influence if the Financial Sector on the UK GDP we were reminded during the recent crisis was just 9% but the meltdown threatened to bankrupt us all.

So we learnt that measuring the Financial Sector against GDP had nothing to do with how dependent we are on the Sector. Just ask Greece and Ireland. What is clear is that a comparatively small section of our society working in this sector earn on average more each year that the vast majority of the rest of the citizens in Britain will earn in their entire lifetime.

We also learnt that Zero Sum Finance is a myth. Fortunes are made daily across the globe by trading in the debts that we all incur and repay. Each debt has a known profit over its lifetime but somehow that debt can earn even more if it is traded between other parties. And when we run out of money for these people to play with we simply create more out of thin air and euphemistically call it Quantitative Easingbased on Fractional Reserve Banking. The idea that if I have no cash in my pocket, I just touch a little stone and say 'Abracadabra' and I have a further £100 which I never repay to anyone. Yeah?

To the average person this makes no sense. And that's because we are right. The world of Finance is creating profits out of thin air daily. And at some point the frail house of cards will collapse as a whiff of wind of reality wafts by. We got a taste last time around but that was only the prelude.

It is sick to think that some people will earn £billions from Hedge Funds in a single year when a tiny child in Africa needs a cup of clean water just to stave off death.

That idiot Deepak Chopra said that everyone has the opportunity to earn a fortune. In his perfect world scenario he has no reality as the basic credence of Economics says that for every winner there has to be a loser. Over a third of the world population lives in poverty which proves his banal best sellers are as much based on thin air as the Financial Sector. Wait a minute, they might all read his book, find a vast supply of disease-free water and have access to the Rwandan franchise of McDonalds and rise up and become millionaires. Or they might find it more practical to use the pages to clear up the mess dysentery causes.

The winners are just gambling with our future and getting rich beyond all imagination and we are stupid enough to just sit here and let it all happen even when it presents itself in our faces.

Look on the bright side. Out of the incredibly dour and hard times of the Industrial Revolution we got Charles Dickens. That might be all we are left with this time around too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

No comments: