Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Watching the clocks

Excuse me while I engage in some scientifically dull economic analyzations without consideration of the human condition.

On the U.S. debt clock website, I coincidentally recently watched the U.S. national debt reach to over $15.4 trillion. The U.S. GDP to debt radio is solvent enough for runaway inflation and economic collapse as a consequence to not occur. But if it possibly does in the near future, I would rather not think about the consequences. I would advise that the United States government eradicates its debt by reducing its gigantically perpetual subsidy of the military-industrial complex, raising taxes on its extremely wealthy (rather than cutting them), and by replacing its immensely cost ineffective and inhumane market-driven healthcare system in favour of provision of universal healthcare.

We then observe the international debt clocks. Compared to the bank-caused catastrophes of southern Europe, it is fascinatingly transparent how the deficits of countries such as India and China are slowly but surely decreasing. Exporting, and international currency and trade manipulation, will obviously provide such a result.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Humanity as an expense

  • Children disowned into orphanages because their parents cannot be feed and clothe them adequately.
  • Epidemics of HIV-AIDS and malaria because of inefficient funding for public medicine. 
  • An increase in suicide rates from one of the lowest to the highest in its region.
  • Students in schools deprived of books to read in overcrowded classrooms.
This is not some third world country. This is Greece, the birthplace of democracy. A honoured region of mainstream western Europe, who's people are now being forced into virtual poverty en masse under the power of an unelected one party state and the jurisdiction to international neoliberal bureaucracies.

One punitive austerity tax by the Greek government is a property tax attached to electricity. Those who cannot afford it have their power disconnected, which is why there are local authorities and mercenary electricians voluntarily reconnecting homes to the power supply in defiance of the state. On the BBC World Service, I heard an interview with a woman who was caring full-time for her disabled mother, terminally ill with cancer, and unable to pay the property tax. Their home was going to be denied heating and electricity for this, due to the expense of the mother's care.

Like Joseph Stalin's referral to genocidal purges as "liquidation", or the U.S. military's use of "collateral damage" to refer to civilian deaths, the scientific terminology of austerity economics is conveniently detached from such realities. Besides the insular and self-distracting existences of compliant workers, only through obscurantism and deception can dictatorial powers get away with such moral atrocities. They otherwise depend upon violence and intimidation in the forces censorship and the brutality of riot squads. The multinational corporate agendas that caused the financial crisis are Big Brother, and the degraded and statistical human being made to suffer (or even die) to preserve their vested interests are the equivalent non-persons of Orwell's dystopia.

This nihilism depends upon an ingrained nihilism. A nihilism of fear, ignorance and complacency. In order for this inhumanity to impose itself it must deprive humanity and condition inhumanity. Inhumanity is that without compassion, philosophy, or culture. A consumerist 1984 with its prolefeed and reeducation is the ultimate neoliberal destination and ideal.

Monday, 6 February 2012

"There is no alternative"

(A more comprehensive update of this earlier post)

See also
John McDonnell: The Radical Alternative to Austerity

According to the UK's coalition government, there is no alternative to the socialisation of private debts caused by the financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that continues to affect us. 

Cabinet members, morally and intellectually vapid careerists,  from the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and now Labour parties robotically bleat conformity to the deficit propaganda narrative. To them, there can be no compromise to centeralised wealth in paying for the cost of the irresponsibility and criminality of investment bankers and executives of multinational corporations. Therefore, the social fabric of society must be torn apart. Welfare for poor families, the elderly, disabled children and cancer patients must be reduced. Support for education and scientific research must be revoked. Tuition fees must be massively increased. Libraries and children's care centres must be closed down. Frontline health services must be deprived of doctors and nurses (and the healthcare system overall must be conveniently privatised). I for one am quite convinced that the government's abhorrent injustices would be occurring regardless of the socioeconomic situation that exists circumstantially. But as I have elaborated before, it obviously provides a perfect rhetorical alleviation of longstanding ideological intentions. The government is doing everything Margaret Thatcher wished she could have (with some other foundations provided by Tony Blair's neoliberal New Labour project). I will set out my own manifesto (though only derived from already existing proposals), that could eradicate the country's structural and budget deficits; but they are rejected and ignored for clearly corrupt and ideological reasons. Our message of opposition should be bold and straightforward: there is an alternative.

1. An end to corporate tax evasion through legitimately effective legal action: £60-80 billion a year (the New Statesman reports £69.9 billion, which I will use as a mean). The same applied to general tax evasion: £25 billion a year, as researched by Richard Murphy. The accumulated wealth of multinational conglomerates of the richest 1% are preserved. The HMRC has proven its to be complacent to this injustice and criminality. The base sum for yearly expense of tax evasion and avoidance schemes in Britain is £95 billion every year.   Research by the Green New Deal Group has shown the overall cost of tax evasion to be £100 billion every year.
2. The abolition of publicly-subsidied free insurance provided to the banking system, which also amounts to £100 billion per year.
3. A Tobin Tax raising £20 billion a year. Under David Cameron's leadership, only Britain and the Czech Republic are isolated from the rest of modern Europe in rejecting this marginal financial transaction tax in the gains of investment banking.
4. A permanent tax on the bonuses of banking executives, originally introduced under Chancellor Alastair Campbell in 2009: £1.7 billion a year. The government has lifted limits and limited transparency on the cost of this publicly subsidised pay.
5. The fair application of capital gains tax on the wealth of the 1,000 richest persons (many of whom were involved in creating the financial crisis with these newfound gains as the direct consequence of it), raising £88 billion.
6. A mansion tax on properties worth over £2 million: another £1.7 billion a year.
7. Abolition of the Cold War-era Trident nuclear weapon system: £130 billion. Two words can summarise why this proposal is rejected: Lockheed Martin. The influence of the international military-industrial complex is one of the most powerful.
8. An end to the £700 million a year subsidy for arms companies such as Lockheed and BAE Systems that profiteer from selling weaponry to dictatorships such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Abandonment of the £25 billion purchase of new JSF war planes.  To why this wasteful facilitation remains, see above.
9. Abolition of wasteful and inefficent private finance initiatives in the public sector, amounting to £300 billion
10. Reforms to welfare, taxation and employment law in line with social justice, which would save £3.8 billion and £5 billion respectively, as researched by Dr Eoin Clarke.
11.  Renationalisation of the rail system, with £1.2 billion a year saved through reversing the entirely counterproductive experiment of privatisation.

These eleven measures alone would raise around £2.3 trillion over a five year parliamentary term: more than fourteen times the cost of all the government's £81 billion of cuts to public services and welfare combined. And if the treasury were to rightfully request public reimbursement of the  £1.5 trillion bailout funds from now liquidated banking establishments, the entire structural deficit could be eradicated with over £2 trillion to spare.  Though if we wish to compromise for the sake of political pragmatism, as the Labour may, a selection of a one or two of these proposals would be sufficient as an alternative for sheer wantonness, despair and devastation in greater society.  But as this poses such a challenge to elite interests, "there is no alternative."