by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The government and the Bank of England have recently admitted what we all have already known and that is that we are headed down the drain again with the economy. In fact, despite what they have claimed, we have never actually come out of the Great Recession at all. We have just been muddling along, bumping along the bottom.
No one, however, is willing to admit that it is the system that is at fault. The system is broken and cannot be repaired and no tinkering with it will make any difference.
We cannot have a continuously growing economy, not even so-called sustainable growth, as the Planet is finite and the non-renewable resources are too. Thus we need to get down to a constant economy, one based on resources and not one based on demand and growth.
Britain has never gotten out of the doldrums ever since the beginning of the Great Recession and let no one think that Britain is going to be the only country and economy that is headed that way.
The austerity measures are biting in such a way, and not just in Britain, that people do not even have enough money for food; the prices of which keep rising and rising. The latter is being blamed on the wet summer in Britain and on the drought in places such as the USA but the truth is another one, of that we can be sure. It is the greed of the middlemen who want to reap ever greater profits, for the farmer is not getting the money, so much is sure.
The Belgian people too are feeling the squeeze and the food banks see more and more new “customers” on a daily basis. And in Britain shoplifting for food by people who cannot afford to buy it is on the increase. Instead of luxury items being stolen, as used to be the case, it is now food.
At the same time tons and tons of perfectly good food are being thrown out into the trash on a daily basis by the supermarkets and others. And, and this is the worst part of it, this food that is thrown out has to be – by law – rendered unfit for consumption by having chlorine bleach or such poured over it.
During the cold spell in mid-January 2013 many people has to make a choice between feeding themselves and their families or to go without heat in the home. It was a case of either or and they could not afford to do both.
The big energy companies, most if not all are foreign owned, either French or German, have been putting up prices month by month despite the fact that the wholesale price of oil and gas, to all intents and purposes, has been falling.
The poor are being squeezed while the rich are getting tax breaks and exemptions on all fronts. In fact, the Con-Dem coalition under Cameron and Glegg have reduced the top rate of tax, which affects the rich and super rich, while cutting benefits to the poor and the wages of the public employees. While not necessarily direct in monetary terms in the latter case it is a cut in real terms as the wages do not keep pace with inflation and the rise in the cost of living.
There is a housing crisis, supposedly, while at the same time there are hundreds of thousands of homes (homes, not just buildings) stand empty and many no longer on the empty homes register because the government has decided that they have to come down, despite of the fact that there is nothing wrong with them.
In addition to that the talk is now of knocking down the tower blocks of the social housing complexes and replacing them with houses. Right on. Those houses can then be sold for lots of money rather than rented to the poor.
However, we could have a real good economy if we would refurbish our towns and cities into green towns and cities, and the same for the villages, and get down to green industries and green energy. We do not have to build new “green” towns and cities, as suggested by the Deputy-PM but we need to green our existing places. The latter, however, does not give the same tax breaks and profits to the building companies and thus it is not going to happen.
We do not need a new government, we need a new system.