Money Transfer, Wealth Transfer

What clearer lesson do you want that government has been colonised by a plutocracy and used as a means to siphon off public money into the private sector and at every stage generating private profits at public expense. So here we go-

Britain’s public finances took a big hit in December from the government’s recapitalisation of Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS).

So public money going to a private bank, then-

A scheme to renovate England’s secondary schools could grind to a halt because banks are not lending money, the building industry has warned.

Oh dear the bailout has not encouraged the banks to behave for the common good, how strange it’s not like they are explicitly profit making corporations with zero moral accountability, oh wait…but you see it’s far funnier than that-

Speaking to the committee of MPs later, Schools Minister Jim Knight said the current problems with lending could have an effect on Building Schools for the Future (BSF) because the scheme used private finance initiatives (PFI). Under PFI, private companies fund the building of schools, typically with the local authority repaying the costs over the next 25 to 30 years.

But Mr Knight added: “It is not the case that the money has dried up.” He said there was still interest from banks wanting to take part in the scheme, and there were alternative sources of funding. The feedback we are getting is that this aspect of investment, in public sector projects, is the lowest risk of them all, and probably the last to feel some of the difficulty and heightened risk attached to it.”

Get it? See the government could have used our money to build our schools but…no it used our money to keep the financial sector going with few reforms, so the PFI schemes would keep going, so private corporations would profit off safe investments in public projects, investments made with, er…our money (well they will be when they start lending). Exactly how including a third party who must take a certain amount in profit is ‘more efficient’ remains a Holy Mystery that must never be discussed… Of course PFI’s are disastrous for value and public accountability but what they do do is provide long term sources of revenue to private corporations with cosy relationships with government, who also benefit by appearing to be doing stuff and hoping no one notices the decades long bill future generations will be paying. So at the end of all this banks & politician’s who helped cause the crisis under the guise of neoliberal zealotry are rewarded while ….well some schools will get built, maybe, and end up costing us far more so PFI’s remain a good source of profit. It’s all down to who our representatives really work for and just how democratic we are, can we really have a say in how and by whom the country is run? Or are we just running occasional popularity contests for middle management, and let’s face it, an awful lot of people let themselves be lied to, as long as the living was good. Yeah, that worked out.

10 Responses to “Money Transfer, Wealth Transfer”

  1. Mike Says:

    OK, Rick, time to go lie down in a dark room for half-an-hour.

    Firstly democracy doesn’t exist, never has done, never will do. The idea that ‘the people’ will ever be allowed to control their own lives is a non-starter. There will always be some power-crazed psychotic of selfishness (that’s a politician to you) more than happy to shoot you dead in the street if you disagree with them in a manner that seriously challenges their lust for power.

    And the idea that the public sector are somehow a beacon of financial or administrative competency is pretty laughable. They screw up as often as the private sector.

    The masochistic masses will always allow themselves to be lied to as that is far less scary for them than having to face responsibility for anything, including themselves.

    And the sadistic elite will continue to sit there in Château de Silling on Thames (parliament) conspiring with big business to fuel their egotistical holocaust against humanity, that rapacious more, More, MORE! world in which they exist.

    If you want to make your life better you may be able to do that, but you will never make the world (other people’s lives) better because it is a catch 22. The more you try to ‘improve’ things the more you ensure they stay the same. It is the perversity of life that the only way things would get better is when people stop trying to make them better as all they actually try to do is to impose their own perception of better on others and perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

    And don’t even get me started on schools and health and the mis-selling of both by the public sector to the masochistic masses. Education’s for fools! Like any human relationship it should be a two-way street, but unfortunately most humans have one-way egos. And so try to impose knowledge on kids that simply feeds the imposers perception of good/education.

    I’ll call it quits as I suspect the comment is already longer than the post, but I could go on (and on) about this stuff as both public and private sector greed and self-delusion drive me nuts. The idea that it has to be one or the other when it depends on what is compatible with the individual.

    I think I’ll go and lie down in a darkened room. Later.

  2. RickB Says:

    From a dark room…Well as you have provided a comment longer than the post maybe altruism still lurks beneath the misanthropy?

    I agree with a lot of what you say but I don’t think it’s a case of interfering to make things better so much as addressing long standing hegemonies that remain in place. And in terms of public/private I prefer the one with more mutuality, private profits only ever benefit a few whereas if done honestly (hmm) public/co-operative projects benefit all. I take your point though that that is a rare thing but the more capital goes into a few hands the more power accrues to an elite and we become helpless. Disagree with an oligarch and you’re dead, easy as that, ask a Russian journalist.

    But yes, there is a problem of liberty and others perceptions fostered onto others, any bureaucracy must always be kept in check, institutions always tend toward self preservation against their original founding purpose. But outside of public ones only those with money have a say, plus there is the third party weirdness, our money>govt>private corporation can never be more efficient that us-our govt. with ‘our’ being the key bit. We do need to take back govt. roll back some of its powers and make it work for us. Which yes then meets apathy and in the vaccum that provides power is stolen away while people watch Big Brother etc and vote by text for manufactured pop stars.

    As for education, well yes the two way feedback is the only way, teaching to test and identikit teaching are turning off the students and worse, removing the instinct to question and think. I think people avoid responsibility to some extent because they cannot have control, if you are not from a favoured background you have little control, then consumerism steps in and gives you fake control and choice without responsibility other than to pay/use credit. Ultimately those with power will not distribute it more fairly, until we stop assuming good faith from the ruling class we’ll keep getting scammed.

  3. Mike Says:

    It’s Ok now, I’ve sorted that lurking altruism out. I took it out back and shot it.

    I disagree with a lot of what you are saying. I do think it is case of interfering to make things worse and thereby not addressing long-standing hegemonies, but actually perpetuating them.

    As for the public/private I genuinely see no effective difference between them. Ultimately they both run on egotism/selfishness be it for materialistic or emotionalistic gain. But if you make the mistake of getting between either group and their desires and they will trash you without a second thought. In fact in most cases without even a first thought.

    And the accumulation of power, be it personal wealth or public office, will always ebb and flow because other people will try to take that wealth and power away from them. As with Standard Oil in the old days and as they are trying to do with Microsoft these days. It is like the old ‘fastest gun in the west’, there is always someone faster comes along.

    Oligarchs are bad news, but then state actors like Mugabe, or Karimov in Uzbekistan are hardly any better. (And I would have asked a Russian journalist but they all appeared to have taken up dying as a hobby.)

    As for having a say in public institutions, you’re joking aren’t you? It seems quite clear that the public sector couldn’t care less what the public want, they only care about what they want the public to have.

    In fact you answer your own critique when you say, ‘Ultimately those with power will not distribute it more fairly…’ and that applies to both public and private. So putting time, money and effort into institutions knowing that then you are going to have to fight them tooth and nail to get anything back just seems pointless to me.

    You may as well keep that money and put it directly to work yourself and cut all the conflict out.

    It always leaves the problem of how the most disadvantaged in society are dealt with but I would prefer small scale solutions, a la E F Schumacher, to all the large scale egostutions (I made that one up) that we currently get imposed on us.

    Someone once said something like, the best government is the least government. I would agree, powers only use is to abuse. To force people to do things they don’t want to do, not to help them do what they do want to do.

    Bugger! That altruisms seems to have only being wounded, ‘scuse me while I go and finish it off. Later.

  4. RickB Says:

    Ooh E F Schumacher is interesting stuff indeed. But without a redistributive stage/method we will be prey to the powerful, it’s just not possible for everyone to go small scale until structural problems are addressed and small govt until that point will just let the fastest guns rule more than now. Yes power doesn’t want to be shared but I think there is more chance in socially owned institutions than private. I think our goal is similar but I think there are stages to achieving it that do involve having to work with what we’ve got which does mean changing a capitalist structure that rewards sociopathy and predation far more then anything useful to people and protects the ruling class. Ideally redistribution, then reduction of governance and small local social solutions will work. But probably, we’ll either all die from environmental degradation or nuclear holocaust before we mature enough for that!

  5. Mike Says:

    Turf war! I’m the misanthropist – you stick to being the whinging lefty.

    You still keep falling into the trap of left and right, public and private. As far as I can see both public and private suffer from the same failing, that the ultimate aim of each is the selfishness of their owners/operators. So the final consideration for me isn’t public or private but compatibility. And compatibility comes from freedom of association which is more easily available, in general, with the private sector than the public sector which I find more selfish (as it is effectively more powerful allowing a greater scope for selfishness).

    But it is the catch 22 that the people who have the power to redistribute are the ones who are benefiting from how things are now so they obviously have no incentive to change.

    It also sounds like you have been reading David Harvey.

    So book tip of the weekend: The Selfish Capitalist: Origins of Affluenza by Oliver James.

    Part of the Blurb: A modern day ‘The State We Are In’, it will chime with a public deeply disenchanted with all the main political parties. James points out that, since the seventies, the rich have got much, much richer, yet the average person’s wage has not increased at all. He provides a wealth of evidence to show that we have become more miserable and distressed since this time, and suggest that this is a direct consequence of Thatcherite/Blairite ‘Selfish Capitalism’, whose most significant act has been to rob the poor to give to the rich.

    It is reasonably interesting although he doesn’t offer any outstanding solutions to the situation. But promotes personal well-being over personal wealth.

    ps: Don’t forget the ‘Extreme Porn’ act comes in on Monday 26th January 2009, so delete any kinky images on your computer or face jail and having your name on the sex offenders register. More info available on CAAN, Backlash or an interesting piece on The Register. Britain just gets freer everyday!

    End of public service announcement. Later.

  6. RickB Says:

    Well I hope for better but expect probably the worst, is that a whinging lefty misanthropist then?

    But I wonder what are the outcomes in the private sector ultimately. I just see greater acquisition of wealth by fewer people and participation dependent on income rather than any intrinsic human right. Plus the planning is all short term as demanded by the markets so externalities are always disregarded. Now ok public is no walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination but they do not have the short termism or lack of accountability if done right. Although maybe re. small solutions the answer lies more in size and immediate accountability/transparency, we just differ on how to get there.

    Oliver James is on my to read list, he’s doing really good stuff indeed. I’ve watched some of the Harvey, although I vacillate between Karl & Groucho for the best analysis.

    Extreme porn! Yes well I think to commemorate that I will ferret out some nice fetish photography, it’ll only be a matter of time before the law is used to bang up consenting kinky adults or blackmail them by the authorities. The wording is just vague enough to allow massive abuse if the whim takes them to persecute people…how kinky.

  7. Mike Says:

    Well, I suppose a WLM is better than a WAG.

    As for the public/private bit I think both will always be scuppered by selfishness. I hesitate to use the expression, associated as it is with the international war criminal, nauseating toss-pot and peace hypocrite for the UN, Tony Blair – but a third way seems to be the only option. I simply struggle to see what it is.

    Until some one comes up with the selfish equivalent of Alcoholics Anonymous, say Egos Anonymous, that gets each individual to confront their own addiction to selfishness and they learn to cope with it on day-to-day basis through a twelve point plan (or whatever it is they use at AA) I think humanity will simply continue to go in circles.

    The best I can hope for in the mean time is to sort out the mess of my own life as best I can.

    As for political analysis it has to be Groucho every time, and now I’m off for a night at the opera. Later.

  8. harpymarx Says:

    Mike: “ps: Don’t forget the ‘Extreme Porn’ act comes in on Monday 26th January 2009, so delete any kinky images on your computer or face jail and having your name on the sex offenders register. More info available on CAAN, Backlash or an interesting piece on The Register. Britain just gets freer everyday!”

    And this measure, along with the proposals regarding prostitution, exposes the authoritarian nature of New Labour. The extreme porn section was originally known as ‘violent porn’.. it was based on a court case and law based on single cases usually make bad laws! If NL are concerned about abuse and sexual violence then there is enough legislation already they do not need to resort to further unnecessary legislation and for what purpose? So Jacqui Smith and her Majesty’s Finest can snoop around ,see what consenting adults get up to in the sack and determine whether you are a committing a crime..? (Ugh…now I have ‘orrible images of Jacqui Smith)….
    There could be more ‘Operation Spanner, type prosecutions and attacks on an a person’s human rights and civil liberties. And, who, are NL precisely protecting with this legislation?

  9. Mike Says:

    Damn! I’ve been quoted; therefore, I am.

    This is off-topic, really, but there is another piece by John Ozimek on The Register today.

    Mind you, given the money in the sex industry I am surprised it has taken Gordon Brown this long to come up with a stealth tax/fine on sex.

    Perhaps they should come up with a PFI with the sex industry. NL could hold their next party conference in a brothel. At least then they would have an excuse for well and truly f***ing the public.

  10. RickB Says:

    Egos anonymous would be a bit like an apathy party those most suited to going would be least likely to attend, but yes some greater awareness of the life of the mind and the corrosive effects of selfishness would help people and particularly the UK a lot.

    The anti-kink-pic law is just too vague, and as the cops have shown with anti terror laws they will stretch it when it suits to target who they choose. And yes it is also showing prejudice against some peoples choice of consensual sexual activity and as pics are on the web it means legal stuff now becomes a means to get at UK citizen’s, an effort to get people to internalise a state censor or else!

    I’m not sure on this but one part of the prostitution law sort of allows police a cut of brothel income if they break some laws, which if true seems to be ripe for abuse from the fuzz. I think ultimately that is the problem, it’s applying ruthless capitalism to sex that damages people, the trafficked and coerced do so form lack of other options due to lack of money long term. Although I sense the authoritarian prudes also see sex work by (real and not due to money or pressure) choice as a target.

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