Tag Archives: Danmark

IKEA politicians hammer changes!

Yes, the issues have come bashing through the walls, or in the case as Julian Assange claims it, though his floor from the apartment below. I feel uncertain what will happen to Sweden. Let me start by adding two sources. One is the Huffington Post (at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/14/sweden-election-results_n_5819612.html); the other is the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/14/sweden-election-feminists-greens-stefan-lofvan-social-democrats).

This is all in response to the initial setting that led to my Blog ‘Memory lane is a freeway‘, from last Saturday (13th September), which all started with some greed driven piece on something called ‘the sovereign investor‘, which did not make sense and let me indirectly to Natixis, who until then had stayed below my radar.

But why is there such an issue? You see I did not have any issue, just the text “But some political events have the power to destroy economies on a large scale. And Sweden’s vote is one of those moments“, this is at the core of the deception. It is not politicians who are failing, in the case of Sweden, some privatisations took the road of profit at the expense of quality; this had angered a lot of Swedes, which means no more easy profit and no exploitation of the elderly.

A return to a Social Democratic government, allied with communists on the left, would see corporate profits plunge in Sweden as the state confiscates businesses’ earnings to pay for increased welfare payments“, reads like ‘American’ McCarthy like responses, yet Reuters gives us the clear reason why the Swedes are angry “Voters have been shocked by scandals over privately-run state welfare – including one case where carers at an elderly home were reportedly weighing diapers to safe money – and bankruptcies of privately run schools” (at http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/14/uk-sweden-election-idUKKBN0H90XN20140914). So the article by a ‘profit seeker’ called Jeff D. Opdyke, leaves more than just a little to be desired. This is a clear showing on how a small greedy fish is exposing a titanic sized behemoth, whilst leaving all the other people wondering why we are allowing for these absurd levels of exploitation. So, thank you Mr person from Delray Beach, Florida for showing us just how greed and exploitation needs to be halted on nearly every level.

Now, I allow him his viewpoint, I do not agree with it, but that is his right. You see, when you privatise something, which is always good when the government does not have to, we must allow for two things:

  1. If it is profitable others would come quick, or to some extent taxation goes down.
  2. If someone tells us that they can do a better job than the government, all people should demand EVIDENCE on how they expect to do that.

Any of these two parts are nearly always ‘avoided’ in any privatisation, which means that we see a decrease in services or an addition in cost. When someone expects to make a profit from a care centre, you can be certain that the people in the care centre end up being victims. We have privately run places here in Australia, yet they tend to cost in excess of $1,000 a week, the care is truly top notch, now consider that the government gives decent care to the elderly, cheaper and not as amazing as some private spaces, but that is the consequence of government health care. I have been in the arms of government health care in a hospital and I had ZERO complaints (apart from saving my life, these people showed true care and passion for their vocation), so when someone steps in stating ‘I can do it cheaper’ we will see casualties and it is not the people claiming to do it better. I think that the less we say the better. The Guardian had this quote “The decision, which follows four school closures announced by the company in February, came as the Danish private equity group Axcel, which bought the chain in 2008, decided it could no longer continue to cover the company’s losses“, which just shows you how some privatisation aims are not even close to being kept.  (at http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/may/31/free-schools-education) I wonder if Mr Profit Seeker took a look at the data from these places. In that regard, from that same article we learn “Michael Gove is open to the idea of profit-making companies running free schools, an idea expected to be in the Tories’ 2015 election manifesto“, so I hope that Mr Gove (a conservative MP from Surrey Heath) takes a long cold shower to mull things over, because in this climate, the UK can ill afford an education blunder like that.

So, is the Swedish Social Democrat system so bad?

There is no clear answer there, it is a given that the outgoing PM was not a bad person. Fredrik Reinfeldt took what seemed to be the safest route in a dubious economy, largely created by the earlier mentioned capitalists and their financial advisors.

Sweden, one of the most social and caring nations in the history of this planet went from an undisputed first position, to somewhere below the top 10, this in itself might not have been the worst place, but local pride had been given a devastating blow and as such a large change happened last night. Yet, is this road the best? Not sure if I can say yes, as a Christian I state that the road of Buddha (one of balance) is at times not just the safest road, but it seems to me that at present it is the only road many nations should consider. Greed is globally at an all-time high and it can only be countered by illuminating those people under loads of sunshine, whilst holding people accountable for choices and actions. Consider the repose we saw earlier “it could no longer continue to cover the company’s losses“, this implies incompetence, but is that the case? Schools will never be a place of profit. Why do you think that a place like Ashbourne in Kensington (UK) costs well over $11,000 per term? Quality costs in the end and proper teaching is all about quality. So did the Danish private equity group Axcel not crunch the numbers correctly? Was there a profit reason? It seems that this issue is still not dealt with, because equity groups tend to be about profit, what happened to the real estate value of these schools? Who owns them now? All questions, no answers and it seem to me that these matters are not enjoying that much exposure in that regard either. I am not stating that any laws were broken, but when you start ‘funding’ schools, it comes at a cost. The Ashbourne website states “Ashbourne was founded in 1981 by its current Principal and Director Mr Mike Kirby“, I am willing to bet the house (or at least a decent 21 year old single malt) that this took all his energy, dedication and pretty much every moment of his life to get this one place to the point it got (as one of London highest desired schools to get enrolled in). When some investment group gets involved I tend to turn cynical and suspicious (yes, all at the same time).

So, we do not know how the new Swedish government will pan out to be, yet we should all consider that the Swedish way worked through loads of hard times. Personally I think that turning away greed driven players is the best course, so how about me?

Well, I considered teaching English in Italy next year, whether for just a year or two, I do not know. Possibly in a Catholic school, preferably state run. If I get free classes in Italian and Latin out of it and some pocket money, a place to sleep as well as storage fee, I will be happy. I won’t cost anyone anything, I do not take up space and I bring positivity to a place that is not there for a profit, which means that if I am not a pressing cost it is a win-win. So, you the reader, when did you last consider turning that master degree or PhD into a long term social benefit to a school or a worthy cause, even if it is just for a year or two.

We all seem to race towards a ‘Return On Investment’ position, whilst those exploiting us will dump any of us in a second if we do not match the spread sheet index factor of profit. Let us all make this world a little better and let the financial system collapse the way it is, when they collapse, our lives will return to the notion that life should be about a roof, a bed (preferably with a passionate woman in my case) and a decent meal. These are all changes that do not require a hammer, and IKEA has all but two of the other components (they do not build houses at present).

There is no real moral here at present, yet if Sweden does pull of a real reorganisation whilst not diving into the deepest depth then Sweden becomes the first nation to ward of Greed and survive in the process, I reckon we should all keep our eyes on Sweden and illuminate any greed driven change, because if they can make it, so can any Commonwealth nation and as such, hope might return to America at some point. Greed driven players and financial institutions might not be doing that well, but I feel an air of certainty that no one else will lose any serious sleep over that part of the equation.

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