Showing posts with label Nick Hanauer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nick Hanauer. Show all posts

Monday 17 April 2017

Easter X

Tomorrow the shops will be full of cheap Easter Eggs, Easter is over for another year now, and Jesus still didn't come back did he? I have enjoyed the four day weekend, but tomorrow begins the clean up at work for the new financial year that actually started on April Fools Day.

I've only just made that correlation that the new financial year starts on April Fools Day .. so the Government can takes for another ride, tell us we need to to tighten our belts as CEOs and Politicians give themselves huge pay rises because they deserve it. And we still stand for it... but as Nick Hanauer says, it's only a matter of time before the privileged leeches go down in flames and pitchforks.

Silent Passage
I've managed to find all my "missing" books, hidden in a bag under the stairs. This house is a bit bigger than I thought, it is amazing what things can be hidden under the stairs , in cupboards and elsewhere.

I'm currently listening to "Silent Passage" by Bob Carpenter , which I bought because of the beautiful woodcut cover drawing and the album is living up to the cover.

Yesterday I listened to "Paradise Ballroom" by The Graeme Edge Band a beautifully packaged excruciating seventies album which is in the pile going to the charity shop, so you can't judge an album by it's cover.

But as it's Easter I'll go with Marillion's "Easter" , and wonderful song from the Steve Hogarth incarnation. Hope your Easter has been a good one.

Friday 19 June 2015

The Nothing Revolutions ... Getting Lost in Morals and Politics

Even as I put my finger to keyboard I'm still unsure about writing this. I am not going to back any of this conjecture up because you now have at your disposal the sum of knowledge that is the world wide web and internet, and by writing this I am implying that my ideas have some worth, and maybe carry some weight. They do for me, but you can take it or leave it , on what you think. I'm going to get a bit political , and a bit moral about this and am going to include a controversial talk by possibly the only plutocrat I admire Nick Hanauer.

There have been a number of revolutions that have advanced society usually in a tangible way, two examples of this are the industrial revolution and more recently the communication and computer revolutions. These have all provided tangible benefits for mankind , enable the production of quality goods , creating economies of scale and eventually benefiting a great many of the world's population, bringing down the prices of goods through mass production , increasing profits for companies , providing employment, growing markets and dragging a great deal of the western world on an upwardly mobile path.

Horrible side effects of these development caused World Wars , and the greed of an unchecked banking systems caused the Wall Street Crash , which required the planning instigated by Roosevelt in the thirties to get the world back on course , part of which included very tight controls on the banking sector again. This was again hit by War , but then in the fifties and sixties the world grew like hell , though war and conflict was still with us. The rise in living standards meant people could even buy houses , subject to strict lending criteria , but money was always backed by the property people were buying. If you wanted luxury items then generally you saved or at least put down a hefty deposit. This enabled growth backed by stability. One of the problems in Britain was the unions becoming too powerful , there always needs to be a balance, but then the power swung the other way with the toies coming to power and on the back of that a deregulation of banking and credit which allowed lending with virtually no checks or controls.

This fueled and inordinate amount of spending , coupled with mortgages being lent to people who couldn't afford to repay them. This was the first Nothing Revolution , all it created was debt , which provided huge earnings for the financial sector as people hocked their life for the latest things whether they could afford them or not. By Inflating the debt the financial sector creamed of the money from high interest repayments from people who could not afford to keep up. This model worked when wages were increase , but the cracks began to show when wages started to stagnate. People still needed the latest car or iPhone or a new house, because that's what the financial sector told them they needed , and the financial sector needed them to believe it. Fall out from this is that more and more employment is in "service" (call centres and the like) and less and less tangible goods are being produced in the west , shrinking the spending power of markets, to the point where people are running to keep still, and lots of them drop. Money gravitates towards the rich and the poor get poorer. The lack of union power means that people don't have the clout to take on Corporations which are buying governments off to serve there own ends.

The only solution to this is for a Roosevelt type figure to bring Corporation and the Financial Sector to heel increase taxes , implement a real living wage and work towards a full , highly paid employment. People who are on benefits should have enough money to effect the economy in a positive way but should also be helped into work , not beaten with sticks and vilified.

Appy Now?
The next Nothing Revolution is digital media. I see walls of cards to but stuff off Google Play , Amazon and iTunes , and when you buy the items you don't have anything you can touch. It's a collection of zeroes and ones on a card . You can't show it to anyone , it's in the ether , it's nothing. Yes it's convenient , but it doesn't make people appreciate the media, be it film or song or books, often people with download and forget, because it feels like they got nothing.

OK sorry for the lack of laughs and music , but though I would just let rip about this. Hope it made you think.

Saturday 20 September 2014

There But For Fortune

I woke up too early , and I don't know if I'm "getting old" but something recently has started bugging which morally should kick off my sympathy switch. If people are worse off than me , if I can I should look out for them but ....

These Guys Help

When it's raining there's a beggar camped in an unsheltered area near where I cross the road for my train . The guy is treating it almost like a marketing campaign , when I know if I were in that position I would be going to St Vincent De Paul in Shieldfield or trying to find somewhere I could shelter. And I well know that there but for fortune go I.

Then coming back from work in the short walk from Central Station to my bus stop on Grainger Street there were three beggars (One of who is fairly aggressive and I've seen often in pubs) and three Big Issue sellers. I have adopted a Big Issue seller and she is a very nice lady with a pitch on Grey Street and have bought from her for years, but three in a ten minute straight walk I just ignore. Again the beggars do have support  in Newcastle , but I don't live on the street and don't even know if I could or what the answer is.

In a full employment economy there shouldn't be a need to beg or to sell the Big Issue but both seem to be multiplying.
Everybody Wants One

This is the day the iPhone6 launched which can set you back £800 for the top end model and Apple sold four million on the first day, and in the week that Apple also negotiated a free download of U2's new album much to many people's annoyance. I'm fine with it but it's a publicity stunt. There is a lot of money in the world , plenty for everyone, but not everyone gets access to it.

I don't really do posts like this but just had to say it. I don't know the answer. I also think I need to write another post very quickly which illustrates my normal positivity , because this makes me feel too much like a Daily Mail reader for my own comfort. It doesn't help that it's September and grey and it's six o' clock on Saturday morning.

I nicked the title from the Phil Ochs song although maybe the Joan Baez version is better know to you. I suppose there 's a lot of articles linking opulence with poverty, which has just reminded me of an excellent TED talk by Nick Hanauer that I need to include:

Right that's that done next up some positivity.