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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Some thoughts from the next generation ...

The Postulant responded to an email from the Monk with the following rather perceptive observations in her reply. In my opinion she makes some extremely valid points. Perhaps some politician - one of that class she mentions below - might take some time out of their busy schedule to answer her on some of these points ...
I won't hold my breath though. She begins by answering my question regarding a "national strike" I had heard a passing reference to ...
Yes to the strike - I have no idea what it's about. It could be solidarity with teachers etc, whose pensions are being rewritten to match the private sector. There was a documentary last night on BBC Four I think, which asked where all of the taxpayers' money has really gone over the last few decades - PFI featured heavily. Some of the banks that we've bailed out have also been sold off recently - and mysteriously the debt has stayed on the government's books, rather than been sold off with the banks in question. I saw a wry comment from a nurse friend on twitter last night - she asked what the world would be like if the banks' remuneration packages had been monitored as closely or discussed as openly as public sector workers' pay is.  
At the risk of sounding as grumpy as you often do on your blog :P ...basically every government we've had since the introduction of stock market trading has ensured that they're alright and to hell with everyone else - when the stock markets have done well, they've taken credit for it and when the stock markets go bad, they blame the previous government. The colour of their ties makes no difference. The stock markets are cyclical because most things involving humanity are cyclical. There's no great mystery to the way that bubbles boost stock prices and then burst - it's easy to see them building up, much like seismologists can see a potential volcanic eruption. Nobody looks because it's not in their best interest to do anything other than play along. At some point we might have to find another way of trading or creating value - what form it would take is anybody's guess, but I'm not in the camp that thinks we should return to bartering or living in caves! I just think we are on the cusp of another phase - yes, stock markets serve a useful purpose in capitalising new companies, but the artificial growth in value of shares, which then slump, has been a millstone around our collective necks since the South Sea Bubble. Now that computers can trade for us, faster than any human trader and with even less judgement, the problem is getting worse. All of our pensions rely on this model working - and it isn't working - and the booms and busts are getting closer together...  
When my brother and I wandered around IKEA in October, we wondered how much longer the consumer society that we've grown up with will last - it isn't sustainable for much longer. We saw items in there that were being sold for less than the cost of the fuel to manufacture and transport them across Europe to the store. And I totally agree with you about the Gegeners - they're totally clueless about the position we're in. Or if they do realise how unsustainable the population is, they probably think it's justifiable to cull other human beings, or dictate how who's allowed children and in what quantities. They have that sort of nasty mindset that comes with thinking you're right all the time. I will be interested to see where we end up - I don't think our retirement will look anything like previous generations' did!   
Er... I should stop there, shouldn't I? 
No, my dear, someone has to see through the charade and the lies that is the daily fare of the news media, the politics and the stock in trade of the self serving "civil" service.

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