Monthly Archives: April 2015

The War on Our Young

youth photo

If there is one thing guarantees me a good work out in the gym, it’s a political slogan or soundbite and such was the case yesterday. I was just warming up, when there on the TV screen was Cameron being “very clear” in his usual opaque fashion and behind him the slogan ‘A Britain that Rewards Hard Work’. Blood pressure . . . Richter scale . . . Go figure!

Is it any wonder the electorate are disengaged from politics, when such emotive rubbish is promoted at them? These words have come into existence from a VERY expensive advertising agency, who have tested them and many others with panels of people to see which words stimulate the greatest feel good factor. The fact they bear no resemblance to the truth is irrelevant.

Our kids are confronted by a world of disappearing jobs, student debt of frightening proportions and disappearing social support. They work hard at getting their degree, only to find the ‘reward’ for that hard work is huge indebtedness and no meaningful jobs with which to repay it. Added to which, they now live at home much longer and start families much later, in an insecure environment where they are changing jobs more frequently.

When I was starting out it was an easy decision. Office work at a good wage or an apprenticeship of 3 to 5 years at low pay but trained to a job that would catch up and often pass those office wages, once qualified. We invested in our young then.

In this environment I had no debt, got married within 5 years and bought a house for £5,000, which same house today will cost £300,000. The security of jobs was defined by the phrase ‘womb to tomb’ and so taking on the responsibility for a mortgage and family had that essential underlying reassurance.

Those were the ‘rewards’ for working hard and we did not have to work in today’s stressful environment. We took full lunch breaks and left work at 5 o’clock. We took our full holiday entitlement and certainly weren’t expected to think about, or continue working, after leaving the workplace.

There are no ‘rewards’ for working hard these days. Just a Neanderthal attitude that says “If you don’t like it go somewhere else!”, knowing full well that this is becoming more difficult, as technology takes jobs away from people and hands it to robots. I’m sorry Cameron, is this the ‘reward’ your distasteful slogan refers to? Do you expect the young to kill themselves just to keep a job that could disappear in 5 years’ time, as the robots get cleverer?

Even their education has been corrupted, as corporations seek to replace religions in providing their teachings about life. At least with religion there was a morality at work, biased though it was to each particular religion.

Immorality is now the order of the day, as text book content is edited to ensure the ‘facts’ do not conflict with corporate policy and strategy. We are no longer training them to go out into the world to make their unique contribution but turn them into ‘consumers’, towing the corporate line if they are lucky enough to find work!

We campaign, rightly so, for the relief of so many vulnerable people suffering disability and disadvantage, whilst corporate backed government is now creating a whole Society that is hugely underprivileged, disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Our young are the lifeblood of innovation and competition. Look at their contribution to the development of the internet. The moral depravity of Society has now sunk so low that, in the words of anthropologist Alain Bertho “Youth is no longer considered the world’s future but a threat to its present.”

The corporate world is fully aware of this and hence, with political connivance, the war on our young takes the shape of global monopolies, deliberately created to stifle education, innovation and competition.

What they don’t want is a bunch of young Richard Branson’s coming along and unsettling the comfy status quo. After all, look what he did to the cosy British Airways monopoly of Atlantic air routes. Big corporations are too inflexible to fight innovation and they know it and so their answer is to suppress.

Perhaps there is a glimmer in the growing number of disastrous financial reports now appearing from these monoliths, as their conniving and false accounting breeds its repercussions. What is becoming evident is that ‘Too Big to Fail’ is sounding their death knell and that the young will, eventually, have their day.

As an aside, I Know I should be grateful to all political parties for their positive contribution to my current fitness regime . . . But I just can’t work up the enthusiasm!

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Money is Now Getting Scary!

 

Public BankingWhen Richard Nixon stopped backing the dollar with gold in 1971 and replaced it with the promises of governments as to its worth, the global financial system entered the world of fairy tale. Now 95% of global money is provided by private banks, who produce it out of thin air on a computer screen and lend it to us as credit, not cash. We are being charged for something that costs them very little to produce, whilst also placing us under a debt ‘obligation’.

Since the 2008 financial disaster banks have been printing more and more money, creating more and more debt and the only people benefitting are large corporations and the super-rich. They have been able to borrow this flood of money at virtually zero interest and use it to buy back their own shares, artificially inflating share prices to an all-time high and paying vast bonuses and salaries to the few. All of this at a time when profits are going down and unemployment is going up!

In recent years we have had the dot-com bubble, followed by the sub-prime mortgage bubble. What we are now facing “The Mother of All Credit Bubbles” that will dwarf both the dot-com and sub-prime bubbles combined and multiplied several times over!

Because money is being printed without any means of control and issued as debt at incredibly low interest rates, it is difficult for banks to make any money with traditional lending. They are therefore continuing their pre 2008 practices of high risk gambling with derivatives and subprime loans that demand higher interest rates for higher risk.

It won’t be mortgages that burst the bubble this time but subprime student loans, subprime car loans, subprime government debt and subprime corporate debt. In America student loans not only account for nearly half of government ‘assets’ but those ‘assets’ are now being looked at by the rating agencies in the same manner as sub-prime mortgages in 2007 and we all know the outcome of the downgrading of that debt!

Nearly one in three loans are delinquent by 30 days or more in the US and we are talking here about an outstanding debt of $1.3 trillion. In the UK it is now estimated that over 70% of students will not repay their loans after 30 years, when they are automatically written off.

Car loans are becoming seriously worrying, as lenders adopt the subprime mortgage strategy and drop their lending standards to attract more custom to the higher interest bearing loans that are now up there with student debt. Fitch ratings agency is expressing concern that defaults are beginning to grow at a more rapid pace than has been seen in a long time.

All of these debts have been created out of thin air and printed into being by computers as a result of this credit based money system. Cash doesn’t figure anywhere. UK national debt has nearly tripled since 2008 at £1.36 trillion (projected) and in the US it has nearly doubled at around $18 trillion.

Credit depends on trust. I lend you £20 in anticipation that you will pay it back. With such eye watering amounts now lent out as subprime debt, where the anticipation of getting paid back is very uncertain, this lack of trust will again implode the financial system as it did in 2008.

Cash will become the only trustworthy ‘money’ because you can hold and store it. Nobody will want to deal in credit and our plastic will be quite useless. (As the reality of the last crisis became apparent US depositors took out $550 billion in cash in just 2 hours and would have bankrupted the country in 24.)

Banks will shut down ATM’s and bolt doors to lock in creditor’s money to hold on to reserves. The Governor of the Bank of England said as much when he assured taxpayers their money would be safe, “as banks would look to their creditors if another failure occurs”. THEY ARE THE SAME PEOPLE! Taxpayers are also bank creditors with their accounts and savings. The rabbit is being skinned in more than one way!

Money is becoming really scary and maybe it will take a disaster such as this to begin a revolution that demands a debt free sustainable banking system. Don’t underestimate how painful it will be, as cash becomes the only means to buy food, petrol and basic essentials.  It will require visionary leadership to get through it.

Current indicators suggest this financial tsunami will hit the next government. No party wants to talk about it because it doesn’t get votes, through lack of public awareness, although the effect upon that public will be devastating. Will they be able to deal with it? . . . We shall see.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes