Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Real Cost of out of Control Capitalism!

A couple of stories, just a couple but there are many more out there just as bad, that caught my eye.

From the UK, this one seems to suggest that the stringent budget cuts across the board is resulting in, "public spending cuts causing more road deaths?"  and of course it is also reported this week that Local Authorities, "will have 'no money' for main services by 2020"

And the third story to catch my eye is that Stockton in the USA, with a population of 300,000 is to be declared bankrupt, but to me that is not the story here, as it just surprises me that not more cities and towns are going bankrupt, and I'll explain that in a moment.  No the story is that since they laid off 20% of their Police Force, the crime rate has soared and continues to do so with gang members baiting the remaining officers with taunts asking how long before they lose their jobs!

A couple of weeks ago I commented on 'unemployment' again, and a good Twitter Friend, Ian Beckett who just happens to be a Local Labour Councillor in Harlow Essex, but please don't hold that against him, he is a nice guy; commented that as long as the local community pulled together and created local jobs, all would be well!  Bless him, nice, lovely guy but I'm sure he wears rose tinted spectacles.

It's a lovely thought mind you, if local communities could create enough jobs to put everyone into a placement where they could go out and earn a decent living, enough to be able to live and to pay for rent, mortgage, and living, without relying on state benefit's, but they can't, and they can't for a number of reasons. Not least by the fact that we have created generations of the same families who have never worked and don't want to work.

In fact I was having another conversation with an electrician in my office last week and the thought struck me as we chatted that there will always be a need, no matter how technologically advance we become, for certain skill sets such as:

Electricians and Plumbers, but do you know what I was hard pressed to think of any other jobs that could in fact be jobs for life! Carpenters, Brickies, Manufacturers, i.e. people who make and build stuff.  You'd think they would all be in demand, I think their time is running out too.

And this caught my attention earlier in the week as well, it was a photo of the old Bryant and May factory in London and the tag line was:
"The Bryant & May Match Factory, Bow, London. January 1920. Redeveloped into residential accommodation in the 1980’s the Bryant & May Match Factory was the site of the Match Girls Strike in 1888 that culminated in the establishment of the first British trade union for women. At its peak it’s said there were more than 3000 women and girls working at this site."

(More images of Britain from above, can be found here)

Of course during the 20's and including WWII factories like this one covered not only our country but most of the Western World and like the one above.  Whether they were making matches or cars and trucks, bricks for building or any number of thousands of people were employed on shifts work, twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year, but even with these behemoths with their armies of workers spewing out their goods, there was never a time of 'Full Employment'.

Take a look these:

Dodge Assembly Line 1950's

Modern Assembly line

Now if we couldn't give, and guarantee full employment, when factories around the world were employing thousands of people around the clock with no robotics and mechanisation with computers running everything, what makes governments and for that matter local politicians believe that they can do so now.

And, it can only get worse.  I did suggest that possible electricians and the like will always find employment, but even that is not the case, if we go back to Stockton, near the city dump where a mini  Skid Row has sprung up with tents and cardboard shelters. More than 400 people, a third of them children, sleep at the nearby Shelter for the Homeless.  Shelter Director John Reynolds said,
"I'm seeing people that shouldn't be here, people that had good jobs like electricians, nurses, retail managers, people with businesses, people who were living in four or five bedroom homes."
So all these people in Stockton and elsewhere in the US are living in Skid Row and having to go to 'Food Banks' something we thought we would never see in the UK, think again, apparently,
  • 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK. Our foodbank provides a minimum of 3 days emergency food and support to local people in crisis
 And it can only get worse!

Over 2 million people are unemployed in the UK today and while there has been a marginal decrease in the figures reported in June 2012 the long term prospects can only get worse.  See Unemployment tracker

1 in 4 of school leavers aged 16 and the same  for 21 year old graduates will probably never get a job
Technology is racing ahead, and why shouldn't it but the cost of technology advancement is jobs.  It is estimated that within the next fifteen years that the new 'print' technology will be able to manufacture whole buildings, so much for the building trade and the tens of thousands that it employs then; 
within a decade or two, it is likely many homes will have one of these printers in their home, downloading and printing off whatever is needed.
For instance, if you lose the battery cover for your phone, chances are someone else has done the same - and will have built you a plan.
Indeed, your mobile maker may well release these plans for their customers.
Or you may use a printer for cutlery, for toys, or simply anything that you need in your home which isn't electrical or perishable.
It may be a big change, but don't fear it, for as Yoda, might tell us: 'Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2160974/Clever-3D-printing-Yoda-helps-explain-latest-technology-innovation.html#ixzz1zEFu2qne

So, for those who have a home and a job, they'll have printer in it, but they wont need to go to the mall to buy anything, all they need to do is print it out.

And what of the have nots, the further generations, added to those previous generations that don't have a job and will never have one?  Will governments be raising enough in taxation to feed them at food banks or will me see more and more riots on our streets.  And of course if law enforcement and military are being laid off because governments and councils can't afford them, do we revert to creating cities and ghettoes  like that seen in 'futuristic movies, where the peasants and the feckless are walled in with gunships keeping them penned up and away from the 'chosen ones' who had money!

 It just seems to me that no government has any answers to these issues and whether or not they are actually thinking about them is debatable, but one thing is certain, it can only get worse!

If the unemployed figures keep rising then there is less revenue in taxes.  If taxes aren't being raised how can governments, councils and cities pay for the services they need, we are on a slope and someone somewhere keeps pouring oil onto it making it more slippery, year by year and yet not one politician from any political hue seems to be talking about it. It's as if their is a collective sense of 'omerta' in that if we don't talk about it in a serious fashion (if at all), it will go away. It wont and rebellion and riots are the likely outcome.

What do you think?

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