The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'Economy' Category

BBC A Tad Sniffy About Working In Retail…

You and Yours is one of several Radio 4 programmes that still have Reithian values embedded within and earlier this week they had a useful and timely piece on “Not Going To University”

On Call You and Yours we’ll be asking do you need to go to university to be successful? More than four hundred thousand students are just starting their new courses across the country, and have committed to spend at least three years and in the region of fifty thousand pounds in getting a degree. But is university the only path to getting solid qualifications? If you didn’t apply or didn’t get in, are you left feeling flat and directionless?

Increasing graduate unemployment and dumbed down degree courses have made a mockery of the “50% at university” pimped by the Blair drones who never really left student politics. So a serious attempt to remove “not going to uni” as a badge of shame is to be welcomed.

Overall there was a great deal of common sense in the programme. But in the course of the broadcast when somebody advised going out and doing any job rather than waiting for something “suitable” one of the presenters agreed about working in a supermarket or McDonalds until something “worthwhile comes along”

Now that is rather odd when you realise that companies in the supermarket and fast food areas are doing very well and are major employers. Retail is also one of the few areas where it is still possible to rise quickly through the ranks via enthusiasm and hard graft without an initial fistful of paper “qualifications”. It is also an honest way of earning money to pay the bills.

But the BBC has always had a rather aristocratic disdain for “trade” and shopkeepers because that is the feeling of the media demi-monde that inhabits and controls the organisation. Selling is a grubby little business in their opinion whereas “making” things is godlike, hence their idealisation of manufacturing, ignoring the fact that stuff is useless unless it’s sold.

That, of course, was the mistake made by the communists who ruled Russia for over seventy years. Lenin and Stalin were so obsessed with production that they forgot that the goods and the crops also had to be distributed. Transport networks and retail systems were neglected – the USSR was always a logistical nightmare.

The result? Goods stockpiled at chokepoints and zero choice for consumers who were therefore forced into buying crap products.

Maybe I can draw a more clearer picture – Thatcher losing in 1983 and Britain under Michael Foot during the 80s = British Leyland cars and BT still dictating who could have a phone…

How about we put it another way to You and Yours?

Not going to uni but you need to earn money but nothing suitable in the pipeline? You could always fill in the time in at the BBC until you got something worthwhile at Tesco or McDonalds

H/T for pic…SodaHead

posted by david in BBC,Economy and have Comments Off on BBC A Tad Sniffy About Working In Retail…

Someone Should Tell Public Sector Workers That They Are Employed By Me And My Fellow Taxpayers…

Mark Serwotka, leader of PCS, the trade union of Britain’s civil servants, is organising a strike of immigration officials at airports and seaports during the Olympics to highlight the the left’s campaign against the UK government’s austerity measures (or “cuts” as the BBC constantly characterises them)

To be fair he did organise a ballot of his members to endorse his actions and just over 50% supported him…..democracy in action, you might say, until you discover that only 20% of the membership actually voted.

Serwotka is one of the recognised leaders of British trade unionism in the 21st century – a movement which is virtually moribund in the private sector but highly organised, widely spread and extremely militant amongst public sector workers. Moreover these union men and women are no longer horny handed toilers in factories, workshops, docks and mines…..they are almost entirely white collar and they toil at filing cabinets, computer screens and photocopiers.

They regularly seed the audience at BBC Question Time, invariably railing against “cuts” and demanding more money, sharing, with Serotka, the quaint idea that you get out of recession by increasing the size of the public sector because this will then generate “growth” and help those private sector workers who have either lost their jobs or had their pensions devalued……a bit like infesting your dog with more fleas in an attempt to improve it’s health.

Faced with this 1960s sub Marxist nonsense the Great British Public appears surprisingly supine – so let me throw some petrol onto the barbecue.

public service unions would eventually create a new and powerful branch of local government presiding over fiscal matters. He warned that these unions would result in the loss of control of local budgets at the city, county and state levels of govern-ment. To support the ongoing commitments to these employees, other services provided by city, county and state governments would be severely curtailed or taxes would have to be raised.

No, that didn’t come from some hardnosed right wing blusterer but from Frank Zeidler that rarity amongst US politicians, an openly declared Socialist who was Mayor of Milwaukee during the 1950s.

When public sector workers go on strike who are they confronting, who are they fighting? Not some cigar smoking fatcat in an oaklined boardroom – they are striking against you and me, comrade, because the money that goes into their bank accounts comes from that perennial milch cow, the taxpayer. So when they say the government should pay them more they really mean that you and I need to dig deeper into our pockets to keep them at their desks shuffling paper.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the next time some whining public sector worker began to parrot their bleeding heart sob story from the union cribsheet the person next to them got up and in no uncertain terms told them that as a taxpayer and therefore their employer he expected them to cut the crap and do the job the rest of us were paying her to do….

Well, I can dream, can’t I?

posted by david in Economy,UK Politics and have Comments Off on Someone Should Tell Public Sector Workers That They Are Employed By Me And My Fellow Taxpayers…

Central Banks – The Ultimate Price Fixing Cartel…..

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices….

That was Adam Smith’s perceptive dismissal of any trading cartel be it an association of manufacturers, retailers or trade unions because every one of them was constantly seeking to fix a common price for goods or labour to avoid the dangers of individual members lowering their prices and thus offering a more competitive market to consumers. Smith placed demand at the centre of any economic activity

Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.

Any attempt to fix or manipulate price outside the mechanism of the market for the short term “common good” would in the long term produce distortions (business closures, repossessions, unemployment, shorages etc) that would cause even greater social misery.

Including the price of credit over the last decade says Steve Baker MP in the UK Spectator

Central banks held down interest rates to stimulate economies with new credit, to push impending corrections out of sight. Those artificially low interest rates discouraged saving and encouraged borrowing but banks can extend credit into existence to cover the gap. With moral hazard endemic, banks loaned recklessly, using derivatives to book unrealised cash flows as profit up front. Some individuals went home unjustly rich and politicians won elections as the system over-extended itself.

Such shenanigans have been blamed on relying too much on market forces and so recently there have been cries for greater degrees of supervision and regulation.


If there had been a truly free market for credit the corrections would have been self generating according to the ebb and flow of demand. Closer supervision and regulation merely makes it easier for powerful elites to impose “adjustments” to suit their own particular political/cultural agendas.

The really important question today is not whether the Bank of England encouraged manipulation of credit markets by self-interested rogues but why we tolerate systematic credit market manipulation by the central banks as a matter of policy: nowhere else in the economic system would we accept explicit planning of the price and quantity of a vital commodity. If it worked, we’d all be communists.

In other words – beware of the man with a plan because it will inevitably lead to your own true interests being subsumed for “the greater good”…as perceived by the man with the plan.

If a man has a plan use another four letter word to tell him where to go…..

posted by david in Economy and have Comments Off on Central Banks – The Ultimate Price Fixing Cartel…..

An Idiot’s Guide To “A Plan For Growth” (aka Borrowing More Money)

David Davies MP at The Commentator tries to explain it in words so simple that even Krugman, Obama, Hollande and the BBC/Guardianistas might be able to understand…

The ‘plan for growth’ is actually a euphemism for borrowing more money than we already are. Sound familiar?

The theory goes that the government borrows money to spend on a big project, like building a motorway. This creates lots of jobs in construction, and afterwards even more jobs are created.

We spend money to make money.

This sounds too good to be true because it is.

‘Growth plans’ have to generate enough money to pay back the sum borrowed, plus interest.

The government is already spending around £45 billion a year on interest payments alone – this is more than the defence budget.

This is actually a low figure, because those lending to us have confidence that we will pay the money back.

Countries that want to carry on spending money they don’t have (like Greece) can no longer borrow money easily and therefore need to be bailed out.

We don’t want to go there.

So, in order to ensure that banks and other countries retain their confidence in the UK’s willingness to sort out its deficit, this means sticking to the plan to spend what we earn.

I think we have learnt enough from the past decade to understand that a ‘growth plan’ is a thinly veiled call for ‘increased spending.’

Of course there is always the money tree……

posted by david in Economy and have Comments Off on An Idiot’s Guide To “A Plan For Growth” (aka Borrowing More Money)


There are 9.27m people in the UK of working age who do not work. 2.65m are unemployed 3.71m are in education. This leaves a balance of 2.91 million people who are neither seeking work, nor are they in education. This is a 30% rise or 1 million additional people in the final category in the last five years.

We now have 46% of the working age population supporting 54%.

Then there are 6m public sector workers, many of whom play an important role in our society and whose services are vital for the smooth functioning of a modern state. However their wages are fully funded by taxes levied on the private sector. So, remove the 6 million public sector workers from the income generating workforce and you have 37% of the working age population paying for the other 63%.

In other words taxes taken from the wages of one third of the working age population are needed to provide income for the other two thirds.

And when you realise that about 30% of the whole population are either in school or retired and are therefore not part of the working age population you must be as shocked as I am that cruel and vicious conservatives pretend that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MONEY TREE.

Fortunately Ed Milliband, Presidents Obama and Hollande, the public sector unions, the BBC and the audience at BBC Question Time know that conservatives are lying. They don’t call it a money tree, of course, they call it “growth”. But at least the latest Greek darling of the left wing media is much more upfront.

Leftist Alexis Tsipras, 37, emerged with the power to block them. Greece, he said, could ditch its spending cuts and renounce its debts to EU partners, yet enlist their help in keeping the euro currency some 80 percent of Greeks cherish.

“Pythagoras didn’t manage to square the circle and god knows these guys don’t know how to either,” said one EU diplomat in Brussels, echoing widespread sentiment in European capitals.

“The Greeks seem to have no understanding of the seriousness of their predicament……

There they go again, pretending that money doesn’t grow on trees, that there is no such thing as a free lunch…

We know our rights.

We want a money tree and we want it NOW!!!!!….

..and the next generation? Who cares…they can take care of themselves…

h/t to a comment at Biased BBC

posted by david in Economy,Greece and have Comments Off on SUPPORT THE LEFT AND DEMAND A MONEY TREE…..

Whenever The Media Quotes An “Expert” I Reach For My Revolver….

Of course I am paraphrasing Goering’s famous quote about “culture” – and I also recognise that in a personal capacity I am usually willing to trust the doctor who repairs my hernia or the plumber who fixes my boiler because the chances are they know more about hernias and boilers than I do for they are dealing with them every day.

No, the “experts” I would love to threaten are the ones beloved of the media because they need a gap filled in the programme or on the page. Moreover the “expert” is usually produced to push an agenda favoured by the editorial team – to pimp a company or a political viewpoint or a questionable scientific “theory”.

The “experts” usually dress up their presentation with an impressive display of certainty buttressed with “facts” which on the surface appear ultra convincing. These “facts” are then often machine gunned out with a degree of rapidity that discourages in depth analysis. Certainly the host or editor rarely has the time or inclination to find someone who could present a contrary view.

The result? An initially rather shaky position is offered a framework of reinforcement by inertia and becomes an accepted wisdom. Very often the purpose is to agitate to change something that has worked efficiently and effectively, often for centuries with a view to provide opportunities for a whole tribe of leeches who cannot find gainful employment in the normal world.

Fortunately the “experts” are frequently proved wrong by subsequent events. Unfortunately so often a large amount of time and money has already been wasted in a fruitless search for each specific unicorn.

So – bring on the “experts”……

Less than two weeks ago our UK “experts” were saying this

contingency plans are being drawn up as the Environment Agency confirmed the drought is likely to last until Christmas.

Today they were saying this

The Environment Agency issued flood warnings in the South West and South East as drivers battled torrential rain on the motorways.

Why do we even listen to them. Switch on any TV news programme and there will almost certainly be an “expert” droning on about some topic and usually blaming us, the ordinary everyday folk, for being ignorant.

Remember which company was being singled out for praise by financial guru Gary Hamel in 2000?

extraordinaryaspirations, a willingness to listen to new points of view, flexible organizational boundaries. The managers of —- concentrated on the growth of new markets and industries, andindividual entrepreneurship is highly encouraged

You guessed it…Enron…yes that Enron….and he wasn’t alone in pimping it…

At roughly the same time a certain UK banker was being lauded as a business superman but a few years later the media changed their tune

Remember all the great and the good who really did think money grew on trees….until the recession? I wonder why they got it wrong?

And those brilliant minds who were telling us that those who opposed the Euro were Neanderthal doomsayers totally out of step with the times?

Well now James Lovelock, who as a “scientist”was always treated with due reverence as a top level “expert”, says he got it wrong about global warming when he issued dire warnings in 2006.

There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now … The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time

Thanks a bunch, you silly old fool – can I have my taxes back, please?

Don’t get me wrong. Every man and woman is entitled to express an opinion and, being human, will sometimes be mistaken. But for self proclaimed “experts” it is never sufficient to “express”…..they must PRONOUNCE as if they have descended from Mount Sinai with tablets of stone. They exude authority and turn a fierce and disapproving eye on any who dare question the validity of their utterances…and we fall for it every time. Even when they are proved wrong “experts” shamelessly slough off their mistakes as a snake sheds it’s skin. Like whores they are forever turning new tricks.

So next time you are watching TV and an “expert” is wheeled in to pontificate on some burning issue remember

1. He/she is getting paid for it and traffic will expand earning potential…everyone will want to go Al Gore

2. So many “experts” have got things wrong every future pronouncement should be accompanied with a large dose of salt

Somebody once defined the etymology of the word “expert”

In mathematics X is an unknown and in plumbing a spurt is a drip under pressure

Sounds good to me…, where is my Smith & Wesson?

h/t for violin cartoon

posted by david in Climate Change,Economy,EU,media and have Comments Off on Whenever The Media Quotes An “Expert” I Reach For My Revolver….

Why Something Is Missing From The BBC’s Reporting Of Those Anti-EU Protests In Greece & Elsewhere…

Over the last months there have been regular marches and demonstrations against the massive cuts in state spending being forced by the EU in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece. Indeed in Greece these protests have frequently escalated into full scale riots.

The BBC has, of course, reported on these protests but in a strangely disconnected manner. The levels of anger and frustration are made obvious and the fact that the austerity programmes are the result of pressure from the EU (aka Merkel/Sarkozy) is clearly noted.

But that’s where it ends. There is little background or follow up – the journalism is very two dimensional. Now this is odd because there is nothing more that the BBC likes to do than to dig deep into any protest/riot. G20, Tottenham/Croydon August 2011, Occupy and Syria…..the agitation is lovingly filmed and often carefully choreographed for the cameras, just in time for the evening news. Individual protesters (usually young and photogenic) are interviewed with a hushed and reverential air and over the days there springs from out of nowhere a veritable tsunami of in depth analysis which is usually skewed against the powers that be. Within a fortnight or so there appears the Panorama documentary and six to twelve months later the play/film/opera dramatising the whole event with a cast of heroes…and villains.

The villains – they are always central to the whole performance. Bankers, Oil companies, government ministers – all wheeled out and deconstructed in the name of truth and journalistic rigour. Yet the script has been changed for these Mediterranean protests. There are no villains in this epic – no shadowy figures to abuse, excoriate or condemn. No implication of a deep laid conspiracy to suppress freedom.

Nobody to blame.

Of course you and I know only too well who to blame. They are the cartel of bureaucratic bunglers and con artists who cobbled together the gigantic scam that is the Euro a decade or so back. They are the guilty men and women. In any other situation the BBC would be hunting them down with mike and camera, confronting them in their glittering taxpayer funded offices in Brussels, metaphorically tarring and feathering them in the name of justice and revenge.

But the BBC could never perform that function against the EU, not in a million years. For it is essentially the PR arm of the EU. It has shamelessly pimped this raddled harlot across our airwaves for decades. It would be like the pope flourishing a condom. To admit this monumental failure on the part of the EU elite would demand a degree of honesty and conscience that is simply beyond the pale for any BBC chattering class apparatchik.

Sorry, people…move along there, nothing to see here. Why not look over there at Tesco or that travellers site or the anti capital protest – we’ve already got scores of reporters and the whole team of Today and Newsnight presenters covering those much more important stories…
You see all that criticism of the EU is simply not…helpful….it undermines the narrative and we at the BBC always appreciate the big picture….

posted by david in BBC,Economy,EU,Europe,Greece and have Comments Off on Why Something Is Missing From The BBC’s Reporting Of Those Anti-EU Protests In Greece & Elsewhere…

How Goldman Sachs Helped the Greeks Enter The Euro By Making Their Deficit “Disappear”

The BBC shows us how, just before Greece entered the Euro, Goldman Sachs and the Greek political elite cobbled together a dodgy deal to cover up the huge elephant in the room that was Greece’s debt and then how the EU financial “experts” looked around and pretended not to see it.

Their fingerprints and DNA are all over the room but, you see, it was all a misunderstanding and anyway it’s water under the bridge.

That sound? It’s Al Capone, turning in his grave out of sheer envy….

Or, as Adam smith might have said

Investment Bankers, politicians and EU officials seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public

posted by david in Economy,EU,Europe,Greece,Politics and have Comments Off on How Goldman Sachs Helped the Greeks Enter The Euro By Making Their Deficit “Disappear”

You Knew It Had To Come…..”Margaret Thatcher Should Be Sentenced To Death For Mass Murder”

It’s inevitable. Mention Thatcher (or Palin or Bush or Blair) and the looney tunes pour out of the sewers.

So stand aside Stalin with your NKVD killing squads and your gulag. Get to the back Mao and your famines and Red Guards. Ignore Hitler’s SS and death camps. Forget Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killing fields.

There’s a new mass murderer in town.

Margaret Thatcher.

That’s right. Elizabeth Farrelly’s snarky little memoir of her brief sojourn in London at the height of the “Thatcher Regime” smoked out a comment which referenced one Paul Treanor, a passionate opponent of the nation state and crusader for collectivism who uses Russian statistics to “prove” that free market economies shorten life expectancy and since Thatcher’s free market ideas were copied by countries all over the world she is clearly directly responsible for mass murder.

If the free market has caused about one-third of all deaths, in market economies, over the entire period of their existence, then the market has killed hundreds of millions of people. More than all wars, and more than the impact of a one-kilometre meteorite

Treanor believes that Thatcher should be tried and sentenced by a special tribunal and, naturally, there could only be one outcome.

A European Tribunal for Thatcher would be a sign, that Europe intends to remedy this defect of the British nation state. Such a tribunal should have the power to apply the death penalty, the most appropriate penalty for mass murder.

Of course, being a tankie, Treanor would be quite familiar with tribunals imposing death penalties. He would also assume that statistics published by the Soviet Union were totally honest, though others might disagree. But the true significance of his ill constructed ramblings has nothing to do with facts and figures or with constructing a case.

It is about the construction of a narrative. A narrative which aims to sabotage the argument for individual responsibility and limited government that underpinned Thatcher’s policies – for what worried the collectivist consensus was her popular appeal and the impact her electoral successes had on subsequent political generations.

So the counter myth of brutal Thatcher capitalism gained currency in those elite circles that had the most to lose from the decline in state power – the cartels….the bureaucrats, the academics, the planners and the pressure groups who all depend on the public teat for their well financed comforts.

Treanor’s looney tunes ramblings are merely a useful tool to justify their convictions – and in today’s climate it is more than likely that some BBC documentary maker or Hollywood producer could use them as the basis for a smooth piece of Michael Moore style agitprop that would mainstream the concept of Thatcher and her free market ideas as the willing agents of the grim reaper.

They wouldn’t deny the slaughters of Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot, they would merely slip her into the discourse using the sly concept of equivalence.

The Stasi support group GRH are only the tip of an iceberg, comrades….

posted by david in Communism,Economy,Europe,History,Liberal/Left,Politics,Russia,UK,UK Politics and have Comments Off on You Knew It Had To Come…..”Margaret Thatcher Should Be Sentenced To Death For Mass Murder”

Those Riots…Should Cameron Listen To The NYT – Or Tell Them To STFU?

The New York Times, the house journal of the Obama administration, has obviously been given the nod from the White House to convey an important message to UK Prime Minister David Cameron from the Presidential golf course.

You have got it so wrong on the causes of those riots.

Mr. Cameron…..has blamed the looting and burning on a compound of national moral decline, bad parenting and perverse inner-city subcultures.

That is so naive.

It’s about being POOR, man. The rioting and looting was a cry for help from the blackberries of the penniless, starving hordes of England’s shanty towns as well as a political protest against Cameron’s savage budget cuts.

What’s that? These are scheduled cuts for 2012-2015? Spending for 2011 is still much the same as previous years?


It’s the perception,stupid…..the masses trust only the BBC and the BBC has, since May 2010, been constantly warning them about THE CUTS.

That is why the “protesters” (as the BBC preferred to call them) needed all those flat screen TVs. They were to be used as COMMUNITY SCREENS so that the downtrodden could bypass government propaganda and hear the truth from the BBC.

Fortunately President Obama from his years of executive experience in Chicago can redirect Mr Cameron back onto the path of righteousness.

You don’t solve these problems with “draconian punishments” and “excessive sentences”

Britain’s urban wastelands need constructive attention from the Cameron government, not just punishment. His government’s wrongheaded austerity policies have meant fewer public sector jobs and social services……..What Britain’s sputtering economy really needs is short-term stimulus, not more budget cutting.

That is how it was done in Chicago by Obama – and it is now, presumably, one of the safest cities in the western world.

So there you have it, Mr Cameron. The NYT is telling you to spend more money and ignore the debt and those scaremongers at the credit rating agencies. I am sure they could put you in touch with the Chinese bankers who have been so helpful to President Obama.

On the other hand…..perhaps you could just tell the NYT to STFU……

posted by david in BBC,Economy,Law,Liberal/Left,media,Politics,UK Politics and have Comment (1)

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