Saturday, 2 October 2010

Market Forces

Apparently, we're all in this together so we've all got to make sacrifices and suffer the effects of Government austerity measures. And the International Monetary Fund approves. Depends on your outlook, I suppose, but I don't see how putting 600,000 public sector workers on the dole is going to reduce public spending. We're going to lose the taxes they pay, and we're going to have to pay them unemployment benefits. The theory is, of course, that the private sector will take up the slack and create jobs for all these unfortunate wretches. Yep. That's why they have been so busy outsourcing as many jobs as possible to India, Thailand, and so forth. So get on yer bikes, lads, and head east.
But the financial mess we're in isn't the fault of the people who are going to have to pay for it. If you recall, it all went pear-shaped because the financial markets invented new ways of creating credit, lending money to each other and to people who couldn't afford to pay it back. The bubble inevitably burst and the taxpayer had to bale out the financial markets because, we were told, we could not afford to allow 'the banks' to fail.
The Government doesn't want to raise taxes, so it borrows money from the financial markets, which is why we must have austerity measures, so that the financial markets don't lose confidence in Government Bonds. But hang on, didn't we lend them money and increase the money supply to keep them afloat? So aren't we borrowing back our own money and then paying interest on money we lent them? Meanwhile, the chaps in the financial markets continue to get paid bonuses rather than suffer the pay cuts and loss of services the rest of us are threatened with.
Communism seems to have failed, but I am not persuaded that capitalism has succeeded except for maybe the financial markets!

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