May 11th, 2010

breaking bad

Money said so

There are two global issues which any government has to grapple with. The first is that our production methods are not sustainable - and this means one day there will not be enough food etc. This is an unavoidable problem, to which there are solutions, but I am not convinced we have a political and economic system which can get us to those solutions. George Monbiot writes in the Guardian about the Dark Mountain movement, which accepts, perhaps embraces, collapse. He is critical of it.

The second issue is that in the mean time, while there is enough food etc. our economic systems hamper people from working productively and sharing in the products. This is also a massive issue. The banking crisis is a manifestation of this issue. The behaviour of the World Bank and the IMF are expressions of the problem. I think it comes about because money, which is only a social symbol used to juggle work and production, is treated as if it has a meaning of its own, separate from people and the work they do.

So, for instance, it may be that to 'save money' I lose my job. Now, I am a smart and experienced person. I believe that my work produces value which is greater than the cost of employing me. Thus having me stop work does not add value to the community, it lowers the amount of work done in the country, and thus slightly impoverishes the economy.

OK, I am probably aggressive and determined enough to go and displace someone else from their job elsewhere, so I won't actually be unemployed; but like in a game of musical chairs, if you reduce the number of chairs, someone has to lose out. So the net result is someone sitting at home, doing nothing, who was previously doing work. Because money said so.

ETA - my point being that the first problem can only really be solved from outside the current system, in an almost SF world of the future, but the latter can be tackled from within the system. Labour in my opinion, by emphasising human work over money, are more likely to help the UK negotiate a problem caused by those who prioritise money over people.
breaking bad

What now?

Have been unimpressed by the work so far of top journos like Nick Robinson. Can you do better?

Poll #1562892 Where will they jump?

Lib Dems will form an alliance with

Conservatives
13(86.7%)
Labour
1(6.7%)
Other
0(0.0%)
None
1(6.7%)


By the time I get this up it may all be over anyway.

ETA - well, Labour have just declared their side of negotiation is over (4pm). I wonder whether the new secretary of state for education will be Gove, Laws or possibly Ian Duncan-Smith.