Tag Archives: Ed Balls

The double sided blade

I stumbled upon a situation last night that gives food for thought. You see, I am the first one to give way to those who are growing an actual business, those who are there to be true captains of industry. Yet what defines a captain of industry nowadays? What if the person is stated to be an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist; yet, the information given to us makes that person a mere oppressor, a borrower and an antagonist or opposer? In this case I am talking about Jeff Bezos, the man behind Amazon. Multi billionaire before he became half a century old, making him more successful than Bruce Wayne without the cape and the niceties.

So where does my view come from?

That is an important part, because other whiles it would just be envy, which in my condition isn’t entirely untrue either. The part that set it off yesterday was in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/11/amazon-accused-of-intolerable-conditions-at-scottish-warehouse). We could agree that the subtitle is merely an emotional part, yet the consideration it gives when we read ‘Willie Rennie claims workers are paid so little some camp outside warehouse in tents to cut commuting costs’, depending on the distance, we can agree that alternative solutions would be found and it is not up to an employer to decide how any employee is deciding on their budget.

Yet when we see the following elements:

  1. All permanent and temporary Amazon workers start on £7.35 an hour or more and earn at least £11 an hour for overtime (The new national living wage is £7.20 for workers aged over 25).
  2. Amazon has been accused of creating “intolerable working conditions” after allegations that workers have been penalised for sick days and that some are camping near one of its warehouses to save money commuting to work.
  3. A Sunday Times investigation found that temporary workers at the warehouse were being penalised for taking time off sick and put under pressure to hit targets for picking orders.

So are my impressions founded? You see, point one gives way that the Amazon is acting within their right and as such Amazon does nothing wrong, as stated before is there an issue as we see point two? There are clear labour laws, you get a number of sick days, but you need to build up that right, so again is there a wrongdoing? Item three repeats item 2, giving additional questions when an article seems to rehash a point, yet in addition the requirement for targets and pressure are a clear issue. The question becomes are these targets realistic? If they are not then there is an issue.

Yet this is not the only side in all this. In addition there is the part we would have seen in the Daily Record (at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/politicians-union-leaders-urge-snp-7235948), more important that this news was from January 2016, so the issue is not really new. The issues in that part is: “Rennie clashed with Sturgeon over the issue at Holyrood on Thursday, highlighting a £1 million grant given to Amazon in the past year alone. The UK arm of the business paid just £11.9 million in tax in 2014, despite taking in £5.3 billion from British shoppers“, which implies that a company making £5.3 billion, only pays £11.9 million in tax in 2014 and got a £1 million grant last year. Now, we can see that three could be an issue, but where are the direct links? You see, Revenue is one, profit is another and after that there is taxation. We can put a straight argument that 5 billion would require more than 10 million in taxation (11 million minus a grant), yet what possessed the giving party to give that 1 million grant? Why was only 11 million in taxation paid? None is this reflects on Jeff Bezos, this is not a failure of the maker of Amazon, but a failure from the governing parties giving out cash where the requirements in light of revenue was nowhere near any justification of any grants, especially when we consider Forbes, who stated that Amazon boss Jeff Bezos ‘added $20 billion to his net worth over the 12 months through late September 2016‘, so, based on how much revenue and profit brought the increased net worth? The newspapers are extremely non-revealing on this. Now consider the two sources, the fact that some was known for nearly a year, we could ask questions from these agencies hiring, we could ask questions at the HR offices of Amazon in the UK and Scotland, yet in all this, were any errors, any transgressions made? Amazon is a business and its concern is profit plain and simple. The fact that according to the initial part that Amazon pays £0.10 per hour above a living wage, we could consider the firm to be Scrooge like which is not a crime! Now we need to look at two elements. The first is the definition of a living wage, which is regarded by several sources as ‘a living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs’. Yet what are basic needs and where does that end? In addition we should consider that the living wage should be substantial enough to ensure that no more than 30% of it needs to be spent on housing. Which is interesting, because that is nowhere near realistic in many places. In larger places, we either need to consider growing cost of commuting or consider that £144 pw is not the cheapest in Scotland and not that sizeable. So at a working week of 40 hours the rent is 48%, implying that the living wage is far below expectations or realism. The only way to get near a living wage is to work a full day extra in overtime, yet in all this the cost of living is not considered, so we have a CEO who is getting demonized here (by yours truly), yet what wrong has he done? From the parts I can see, there seems to be enough evidence to see that there is no wrongdoing on the surface, yet we can in equal measure debate whether he can call himself a philanthropist. If you are spending money on one side by being a ruthless almost cutthroat like business man on the other, they should be cancelling each other out. Is he validly under the same conditions really an investor? If he is using the guise of tax deductibility, is he actually investing or is he relocating funds that were due to HM Revenue & Customs? Relocating some (read: most) of these funds so that they benefit the ‘personal goals‘ of Amazon. Is that really investing? Lastly there is the title of entrepreneur. If we accept the definition: ‘a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit‘, well Amazon has been here for a while, so setting up? We could see it in light of franchises, does that count? And as for taking on financial risk? With the league of tax write offs and grants, should he be allowed to call himself an entrepreneur?

So perhaps the titles or entitlements given to Jeff Bezos are no longer valid, is that a valid view, does this warrant demonization? Off course is does not, because that would be unjust. Yet, we seem to focus on the ‘stamps’ we are giving a successful person, whilst in the cold light of day we overlook the non-repayable funds given to Amazon. In addition, when we look at the independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/money/tax/revealed-amazon-earns-more-through-government-grants-than-it-pays-in-tax-8617919.html), where in May 2013, the following was given to the public: “Amazon paid less in UK corporation tax last year than it received in government grants, its official company accounts have revealed – sparking condemnation from MPs around the country“, which happened in 2013. We now get another side that is not with Jeff Bezos, but with parliament and elected officials. Yet that news did not really make it to the massive forefront (other than Willie Rennie who seems to shout for attention). You see, if I can be harsh on Jeff, I need to be equally be harsh on Willie and in that regard the fact that the Amazon issues have been on the papers for the longest of times, implies equally that there either is no political issue, or that the most in charge have not committed to anything towards the workers who feel wronged, yet are any laws broken? That is the issue we need to address. What is valid and what is of concern is the labels we seem to bestow on people. For what reason? We can argue that enabling through tax laws does not make a person an investor and the £5.3 billion gains against £11.9 million taxation is equally incomplete more important, how much was exactly invested by Amazon and where? Even if we accept certain labels and certain values, we need to equally accept that the old values entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist are no longer what they seemed to be. In a world of constants, we see the change and evolution of entitlements on a nearly daily basis giving us less to hold onto and even less than that to consider as the stability of an impression in a constantly changing world.

How is that fair on those who truly were philanthropists, investors, and entrepreneurs?

So until the true investigation, if it happens at all, Jeff Bezos might not be seen as a borrower, an antagonist or opposer. Yet at this point there is in addition nowhere near the clear evidence available to see him as an oppressor, that part would only be seen in the eyes of the workers who decided to stay in tents, to avoid travel costs that does not make him an oppressor. In addition, what scrutiny have the agencies been going through? The smallest quote in the Guardian stating: “Staff have to pay to catch an agency-provided bus to the Dunfermline site” gives us the part where we need to ask how much people have to pay and was this clearly communicated to them in the beginning?

In the end, we need to take a look at what is going on at the Dunfermline site. Is it merely Liberal Democrat shouts for attention via Amazon?  If not, considering that this has been going on for quite some time, how have officials failed and in addition, who signed off on the grants for Amazon? All valid issues and without clear answers we can only see Jeff Bezon as a shrewd business man, which is not a crime and not a valid push for demonization of him in person.

And the hidden messages we now see regarding the whistle-blowers and Google taxation? The independent is giving a nice line, in between the lines of Amazon, yet why is this not seen in a clear tax audit? If there is an issue not reported or not seen by Ernst and Young, it means that either the tax laws are not clear enough, or that Ernst and Young is shown to be unable to do its job. This would be a valid discussion with PwC, yet is there any clear indications with E&Y? And who were those whistle blowers? What many are ignoring is that the benefit of a global company means that you have global options, which is the clear benefit that Amazon is using as well. The fact that politicians have been unwilling to make changes to tax laws makes them negligent and possibly incompetent, not the large corporations, a part clearly not seen in any of the articles. So like Ed Balls, we see another politician shouting for the limelight, yet is there clear wrongdoing?

It seems that this is sidestepped by several parties and when we consider that the sources I mentioned are news sources, perhaps they are missing the plot too, but that just a small speculation from my side. We look at a double sided blade, Amazon and Google alike will slice from the revenue on one side, yet they will in equal measure slice from entitlements within legal limits from the other side of the blade because the option was given to them. Given to them, not taken by them, there is a clear difference and politicians are at the core of that largely diminished roast being presented.

 

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When everyone is a winner

You have heard of these special schools? The school where everyone wins, no one has a bad grade and everyone is special. Yes, we are talking about the Eurozone, the one school where lessons are not learned, where those who posture (read: all) win a prize, or perhaps they fetch a price. What matters is that this social path does not get us anywhere.

You see, I am not some anti-social person, I understand that we can be compassionate, but I do have a problem when grown men, all making 7 figure incomes are given that level benefit of doubt. Mainly because I could do a better job for half the price. We see the first issue a few days ago when Wolfgang Schäuble makes the statement (source: the Guardian) “Greece must implement economic reforms if it is to keep its place in the Eurozone“, and when we see the degrees that this man has, we might consider that he is not a demented toddler, so when we consider the knowledge that we have obtained over the last year:

1. A nation can only voluntarily leave the Eurozone.
2. Considering the UK and the hassle it is facing just to get past article 50.
3. The fact that Grexit was not a possibility, which drove the UK towards Brexit and France towards Frexit.

Can we sincerely ask the question why this man is opening his mouth posturing some level of adulthood (or adultery for those with a sarcastic look at the EU charter), whilst all know that this is basically an empty statement?

So, if the statement “If Greece wants to stay in the euro, there is no way around it – in fact completely regardless of the debt level”, the entire Brexit could have been avoided when the children of the EEC commission had acted when they should have (read: all the way back in August 2014), so because the denied ‘status quo group‘ who tried to keep the gravy train going we all had enough and most Britons decided that going it alone is just the best solution, now that we see that this same group is realising what they are about to lose, it is only now that we see the first noises to make the hardest decisions, all because they are about to lose trillions. The fact that this comes from Germany is not a surprise and it isn’t linked to the hardship the Deutsche Bank faces. Yet, the people behind Schäuble (Wall Street and the IMF, which is my personal speculation), we now see desperate steering towards alternative solutions hoping to find an option to thwart Brexit and perhaps steer Frexit away from a referendum course. It might work, but we all need to realise that French pride has already been dented, so there is no way to accurately tell how that part will pan out.

We see a diversionary tactic in the quote “With his own popularity plummeting in the face of fury over creditor-mandated cutbacks, the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, had hoped to wrap up a second review of policy measures in time for Monday’s meeting as part of a broader strategy to secure short-term debt relief and participation of Greek bonds in the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme“, yet this is all true. So why do I call it a diversion? You see, the players behind the screens are about to lose thousands of billions (read: trillions), so Greece and their 300 billion really do not add too much on the entirety of the big picture. Even as the US is heralding such huge achievements in unemployment figures, most will not realise that in February, after thanksgiving, after Christmas and after January sales, the shops will downsize by a lot. There is a lot of speculation on Black Sunday and the other shopping spree numbers, but as too many speculations are given here from too many sources, we actually will not know the actual outcome until mid-January and after that any action and all numbers will get quietly hushed to page 23 of newspapers. That is done because the Democrats really do not want anything in that regard to receive too much visibility until January 20th when all eyes will be on the start of the Blame Trump campaign.

What is a given is that the American administration is facing dire moments and their only fortune is that this impacts Wall Street, the IMF and the Rothschild’s, so their all uniting in finding any solution that keeps their Status Quo. They might not be related to the band, but the tour that these players have been preparing for will include hits like ‘Whatever I want‘, ‘Roll over stay down‘ and ‘Rocking for all that I own‘. Now, what is the link between the IMF and the Rothschild banks? Well, it is not what some conspiracy theorists states like: ‘Rothschild Bankers Looting Nations through World Bank/IMF‘ or ‘Hungary Becomes First European Country to Ban Rothschild Banks‘, what is of principle matter is the claim that ‘The International Monetary Fund is an international development banker. It makes loans to governments. It gets its funding from member governments‘. Yet, when you consider the debt these members are in, with the top 5 having a total debt that surpasses 35 trillion, can anyone explain where their money is actually coming from? The short answer is that the funds are fictive and virtual, and basically as I personally see it based on fraudulent economic settings to say the least; which now implies that only the larger (read: largest) players with the Rothschild family at the very top are included as behind the screen underwriters (for a percentage of course, they are not philanthropists), that is the reality of banking and those underwriters want to see their money. So at this point losing 300 billion is nowhere near the issue as losing an amount surpassing 5 trillion. So there is every issue in play and the German Wolfgang Schäuble is doing the ‘kick off’ whilst everyone is slightly less interested in economy and more into the Christmas parties with the office assistant in a horny accommodating outfit that in the mind would include transparent Red Santa lingerie, willing to engage in activities of a ménage-a-troy kind.

Welcome to the holiday season they will think, whilst on the other side the economy is decided for the largest players in a setting of debt by those not elected but enabled. The mere consequence of governments and the corporate contracts. The debt must flow, the debt must grow and the UK moving out of the EEC is the first step into giving the UK its true independence from these financial institutions. That part is now also under attack as the ‘British Balls’ (read: Labour Party Ed Balls, former Economic Secretary to the Treasury) is at the core of that part, as was shown (at https://www.ft.com/content/2616611e-a665-11e6-8b69-02899e8bd9d1), on November 17th in the Financial Times. You see, even as I have had a few disagreements with its Governor (aka Marky Mark of the British bank), the man has steered it correctly in the direction the United Kingdom required it to go. Yet now as this does not pleases the non-governing parties at large, well Balls, let’s make a deal, shall we? If we agree to reign back the independence of the Bank of England, you must agree and sign a decree per immediate that any politician squandering treasury money due to any level of negligence (or incompetence), will have to go to prison for 10 years without the option of parole. Would you sign that Ed? Consider the NHS IT issue of 11.2 billion, how many of your friends will be set to prison? How many negligent programming contracts were signed off on? Are you willing to make that leap, because the only ‘friends’ you end up having are those of the non-UK kind and many of them mere graduates that were on your every word in that Harvard building where you made that speech and a few more in financial institutions who didn’t much care for the independence of the Bank of England. So how about it Eddy, you got the Balls for that one? I would expect some kind of other proclamation soon enough. You see what he wants is not any accountability in a setting where all is squandered away. The British people have had more than its share of that one. So as we read: “The paper comes after vehement attacks on central banks and their policies in the US, UK and Germany; criticism that would have been unthinkable in the 1990s and pre-crisis 2000s, when the fashion for central bank independence was at its peak“, where I would see that the idiotic notion of the Bank of England should be forced to fund infrastructure projects, whilst we know where 11.2 billion didn’t get the job done and there wasn’t enough money to get it sorted due to negligence and what I would regard after 20 years in IT as ‘steps of utter stupidity’, well worth of getting those decision makers in prison for the longest of time (read: while I am aware that the maximum prison term would be 10 years), a term that others would call too light, especially those who are now due to no fault of either party are getting less from the NHS that can no longer meet the high standards it gave for the longest of times.

So when we read in that same paper “Carney says politicians ‘deflect blame’ by attacking central banks’ Rising inequality is driven by more fundamental factors, argues BoE governor“, my response would be: “Right you are Marky Mark!“, although I would speculate that some of these fundamental factors would be the ignorance of the decision makers whilst relying on people trying to get the maximum they can out of the deal offered and the connections relying on them. That would a fundamental first to consider and solve. Which gets me to the point that those politicians will be held accountable for the support to these projects and they need to be dealt with if they fail. So the special prize for these non-kids is the one that every winner wants, 120 months of hotel accommodation in places like Holiday resort Wakefield, or Wandsworth Garden retreat in South West London? Would that perhaps up the game of a few politicians, or will they suddenly decide to be less enabling to those who see the independence of the Bank of England to be more than an eye sore and a factor that stops their maximum profit to continue? I am merely asking, not making a claim of any kind.

The Financial Times article has a few other sides and makes fair statements, even though the initial source is questionable from my point of view. The writer Chris Giles adds at the end “For the Fed, the problem is reversed and while it has in its Financial Stability Oversight Council sufficient political legitimacy for macro prudential policies, the US central bank does not have sufficient tools to do the job and cannot request new tools from the administration, it adds“, you see, the British and US systems might seem the same, but they are not. I would surmise that there is a Federal and State level of these issues that the UK does not have to the extent the US has them. It is not just the differences in approach and connections, I and most of us see the Bank of England as the pulse of the health of the British economy and as such, its independence, especially from a boatload of politicians, is essential to this view. Now, I might certainly be wrong, yet overall, how many would agree that many politicians seem to spend in what they truly believe to be for the best, whilst not having a clue on how proper debt levels need to be and they will happily push that bill to the next cycle, the NHS IT is not the only, but definitely one of the clearest and largest examples of mismanaged spending on several levels, having someone independent in charge of the Bank of England making sure that the tap gets closed before it is too late in this term with a clear look at what comes next and what else is due now. A view many politicians on a global scale are lacking. And as the US system has a much more isolated view regarding the economy enablers, the economy and the US treasury gives another shine on their view and their lacking demand for independence and accountability (again, as I personally see this).

You see, there is a lot more in play, this isn’t just on what is due to Greece, the UK or the Banks wanting there coin. The fact that left and right have to some degree social values and of course, the left tends to have a little more of that. Yet, when we look at ‘Greece under fire over Christmas bonus for low-income pensioners‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/greece-under-fire-over-christmas-bonus-for-low-income-pensioners), we need to question certain responses. The quote “A goodwill gesture to ease the plight of those hardest hit in Greece by tax increases and budget cuts has backfired spectacularly on the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras” is one that is of great concern. Consider that this is about retirees that get less than €800, so, when we consider that rent in Greece is €450 or more, with added monthly utilities of no less than €140, this means than they get to live of €310, which is abysmally little. A week of food and clothes and other things at €75 per week is the nightmare scenario for even the best miser in town. Now consider Christmas is around the corner and these Greeks and those getting even less are getting a one-time bonus for Christmas. It is a social smallest act by the Greek government and after the issues that the retirees have gone through clearly the act that should be done as soon as possible. So I would really like to know the names of these ‘International creditors pour scorn on prime minister Alexis Tsipras‘, in addition, I would like to see what their functions were and their incomes from 2004 onwards. You see, I want those people and I want to see if they were in any way enabling the imbalance that Greece developed between 2004 and 2009. Mainly because the Greeks suffering now would really like to get those names and addresses. For those following a little longer, I have had plenty of criticism towards what I used to label ‘rock band Tsipras & Varoufakis’, in addition I have had additional issues with what was done over the time period, yet I had never had issues with any solution that could be found resolving the issue, in addition, when Greek was playing hard to get, I was first in line to throw them out of the EEC and the Euro, yet the power players behind all this, and possibly the people holding onto the debt markers were equally accountable. Yet, I have never had anything negative to state over the Greek people at large (apart from the stupidity of all these strikes), so I would have no issue with Tsipras giving a little release in the one month when that makes perfect sense and likely matters the most. Yet in this social climate, we see in equal measure the debatable view by Labour people wanting central banks to be more dependent on the politicians who cause a lot of these issues to begin with. How freakin’ crazy do you need to get here?

So when we consider that special school where everyone is a winner, can we actually accept or even entertain the thought of hiring someone who is on that school of thought? How much damage must Europe endure before the people at large gets a clue? There is accountability, which I have always supported, yet in equal measure, the strain on the Greek people have been unjust been brought by those who have been facilitators of a system that should never allowed to continue to this degree, meaning that Greece should have been removed from the Euro at least 2 years ago. Doing it now, could only be done if the debt of 300 billion would be forgiven, a step that the players are unwilling to give, yet in the light of all that is passing, they are now considering certain steps, only so that they can hang onto an optional 35 trillion, that is the game in play and now, as they realise that the UK has had enough and that France is on the same side of that seesaw, now those creditors are considering the consequence of pressure so now they will divide the EEC and conquer whatever funds they can, for as much as possible. In that light the one off payment is scorned on, so how inhumane have some players become and should we even consider tailoring to their needs?

The scenario where everyone is a winner is a long time away and it is unlikely that Greece and a few others feel this way any day soon, giving even more caution to the words of a president who is on the way out. And who are Greeks creditors? What is the full list, is it not interesting how the press has the detailed specifics on the knickers (read panties) of a Kardashian and the Greek government creditors list gets trimmed to the aggregated list that serves themselves and no one else. In that I believe that Yanis Varoufakis is only scratching the surface when he states “the UK referendum was a “symptom” of a series of mismanagements from EU leaders“, in that he is right and it seems that now he is less of the rock star he presented himself to be, now we see another Yanis, one that is not just driving the nails on the head, he is quickly realising that certain players are preparing for even more issues to be added to the exit of nations from the EU. Even as some is by part to smear the cogs of Germany’s needs, the quote “To take a trip down the Danube to discuss the formation of a European army – pure irrelevance. There is no evidence unfortunately that the political class on the Continent is capable of even sitting down to address the right questions, let alone, deliver the right answers“, which is at the core of failure of any created European army. The biggest issue is not how it is formed, we will see soon enough that once Frexit is a reality, what would actually be left to actually form any decent European army with? It could be a revolutionary new Disney. As we redesign Snow White and the Seven Dwarves into Germany & the 7 minions who cannot agree on anything, will we now see new polarisation in several ways being added to the list of negative plights? In addition, if Italy remains as the larger player, the mere concept of language will be the hilarity of many. I would be willing to wager that the concept as it is failing will derive laughter from 2400 Route de Pexiora, 11452 Castelnaudary Cedex, so loud that it can be heard in both Berlin and Rome, which should make for an interesting news cycle to say the least.

I have spoken against the ideas of several people mentioned in this article, I thought that they went the wrong way about things and they got bit, which I would call ‘serves them right‘, yet I have never applauded or agreed to the level of pressure the Greek people are currently under, in addition, the German finance ministers views, as I personally see them, are not about Europe and not about what would be best for Europe or the United Kingdom. I believe some are starting cycles of facilitation and enabling that will in the end be really bad for Europe, for the United Kingdom, for France and for Europe as a whole. I will let you contemplate how wrong I could be and if that is not the case why the clear outspoken opposition against these proclaimers aren’t coming from more sides, more people and more media. Is that not weird either?

A game where everyone is a winner only knows losers, a truth that goes back to ancient Greece, they were the founding fathers of the Olympics after all!

 

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Show me the money!

That is what I wanted to shout out loud today, not because of a scene between Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr, but because of the story written by Larry Elliot (the Guardian economics editor). He is not wrong, probably with his insights and degrees he is more right than anyone else so why am I all up in arms about it? You see, if he is right then there is something extremely wrong with this world. Here is the crux, either he is wrong, or the bulk of the planet has become demented. What will it be?

Why do I consider this to be my view?

The view evolves when we consider the following aspects of the British economy. First there is “The budget deficit will be almost £100bn this year and is rising. It was supposed to be below £40bn. If the current Treasury chief secretary, Danny Alexander, is foolish enough to leave a little note for his successor, he will only need to insert one word into the one penned by Byrne: still” and “Britain currently enjoys the sort of growth rate that Germany, France and Italy can only dream about. The economy should expand by 3% this year, making the UK the fastest growing G7 nation. Jobs are being created at a record rate, a development that explains why Britain is proving a magnet for migrants from the rest of the EU“, we have seen this. Yet, as immigration is not capped to the extent it should be, jobs go to the cheap Polish workers, whilst we see a massive +50 workforce unable to get jobs, which we get from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/13/unemployment-fall-masks-jobless-over-50s). “Bennett is one of more than 400,000 people over 50 in the UK who is registered as unemployed, according to the latest official jobs data released yesterday“, you see, the mature experienced workforce is deemed useless in many areas and as such, the economy will take two hits. The first one is that these people in the end still cost money, in the second that as companies rely on cheap labour; we see that they go three steps forward, two steps back; it is getting them nowhere fast and at great expense too. So as those people have an income, the companies are just scraping by, having therefor the dubious benefit of living at tax level zero. That keeps the Osborne coffers (also known as the UK treasury) pretty empty.

Let’s take a look at some events linked here “Former BBC director general Mark Thompson has said sorry for the £100m failure of the BBC’s Digital Media Initiative (DMI)“, “Siren police IT project’s £15m failure a ‘debacle’” and not to forget “Abandoned NHS IT system has cost £10bn so far“. There is a level of sheer incompetence that is beyond measure. Yet, I think it goes further than that, I think that as areas have cut back and scrapped from the bottom of the barrel, we see cogs of non-comprehension that just twirl having no connection to any other cogs. Companies, which are no longer structured in the old ways, but still presented as such, they are niches into rooms, where only the manager has access. Like the American cubicles, that only one person oversees, absent of checks and balances, whilst the people no longer talk to each other, no clear communication. That represents the new era of work. The 50+ population have seen why there are issues with the cubicle approach and the manager who needs to get the task short-sightedly done is barring 50+ from being hired, this results in a sliding slope of minimised success.

What do they have to do with one another?

Let’s get back to the writing of Larry Elliot at this point “It took until 2013, however, for the level of output to get back to its pre-recession level, the slowest recovery of the post-second world war era. Osborne thought the economy would cope with austerity better than it did. He underestimated the impact of higher VAT and cuts in spending on growth. The chancellor thought his tough deficit reduction plan would boost growth by generating more confidence in the private sector that the books were being balanced. He was wrong. The upshot was weaker growth, lower than expected tax revenues and higher than expected borrowing. Half way through the coalition’s term in office, Osborne abandoned the idea of sorting the deficit in one parliament, and reverted to a more modest plan akin to that drawn up by his predecessor, Alistair Darling

The crux is “The upshot was weaker growth, lower than expected tax revenues and higher than expected borrowing“. I think that it is not entirely correct! Yes, Elliot writes the truth, but behind the curtains we see projects failing due to bad decision making (like the headlines mentioned earlier), in addition we see mergers of an unparalleled size “The chemist chain Boots is being sold to the American retail company Walgreens in a £10bn deal that is delivering a huge pay-day for its private equity owners“, which sounds nice, but how does that fill taxation coffers? It does not!

Corporate choices are made to avoid taxation like “U.S. Treasury Seen Loser in Tax-Avoiding Pfizer Move to U.K.” is at the heart of the second tier of failures. Not a failure by George Osborne, but a failure by their corporations that bleed nations dry, whilst not being held accountable, there the nations have failed themselves by not alter the proper legislations to avoid these acts of non-taxability. Whatever happens next will happen too late, the coffers are empty and those who walked away will do so in non-taxable luxury for the rest of their lives and the lives of the next 3 generations of their family to come.

The next part has a few issues (none of them are Larry Elliot) “The foundation notes that two-thirds of people who have moved from unemployment into work in the last year are paid below the living wage, the average self-employed person earns 13% less than they did five years ago and there are around 1.4m contracts not guaranteeing a minimum hours. Over half of them are in the lower-paying food, accommodation, retail and administrative sectors” Many of these lower paid jobs are all about areas where we see high rent, a massive drive to turn around orders and well above counted hours are needed. Life in London (as well as in Sydney) has become a life not unlike hyenas. These bosses are trying to stay afloat, which they do by hiring the weak, the cheap and the manipulative. One waitress mentioned this in a forum “Now I understand I am competing with people on the dole who can be near enough forced to work for free but it still sounds a bit shady“, the mention has bearing, as people are pushed more into unpaid extra hours, less rights, less options and less energy, we see a community that has devolved from symbiotic into parasitic, with only one winner in the end, the landlord!

Both the UK and Australia have been unwilling to deal with this entity, leaving the people at large to fend for themselves without any support.

The next part is a statement of fact, there is nothing against it in any way “If it is taking longer than expected to knock the budget deficit back into shape, the same can be said of Osborne’s other objective – to boost exports from a re-invigorated manufacturing sector so that Britain once again pays its way in the world

How to go about it is at the heart of it and several options are open as they always are, but consider that out of a dozen avenues, one is a solution, three are deadly and the rest tend to have a costly non solving effect. Several parties in play, not Just George Osborne, but in that same view, Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown all had the same flaw (as I personally see it). Instead of finding a solution that is a mere band aid, they all failed to seek the solution which had the visionary idea to include the next generation. I had that idea on two instances; the one that matters here is the article ‘What’s in a health system?‘ on June 29th 2014, where I state “When people ask which company will do this, the answer should be ‘None!’. The UK is filled with universities, some of them regarded as the most prestigious and brightest on the planet. Consider that most IT people, might claim experience, yet their drama skills are the only ones that improved for the most, is it not up to the Universities, those who are introduced to the newest ideas, design a solution that would make the work of the doctors and nurses at the NHS better, slightly more efficient and a truckload of less hassle! Is that such a tall order?

Like a regional solution for a independent Scottish IT environment, the visionary approach is to bring this to the universities, to develop a new system, not just a mere frame that goes on top of something else, but an actual new system, LINUX based option, a security enhanced LINUX for healthcare, one that is designed, not for 2016, or 2017, but for the next generation. Why not give the universities access to design their new future, not leave it to these current so called executives that waste up to 20 billion not delivering anything. That visionary approach is missing and it could be the death of us all (UK and Australia alike), we have so many similar issues, why not tackle them together, open up avenues that have never been considered. If you want visionary, then look at the Netherlands, they decided to change the bicycle lanes into solar panels, do you have ANY idea how many bicycle lanes the Netherlands has? It is actually a visible percentage of that nation’s surface. Now, they decided to give it a second function, which means generating electricity, without needing any space at all, illuminating the bicycle road through fluoresces, making it safer at night. They decided to attack road safety and energy issues all at the same time. That is the level of innovation we need to see, preferably without spending another 20 billion pounds. So how about changing, or better stated evolving universities and giving them a real hand in innovation and solving future problems we have ignored and left dead for granted (like the NHS).

The last part is seen here “Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, said: “I am not that bothered about being behind on economic competence. In opposition, we are always behind on economic competence. Brown and Blair were at this point before the 1997 election. “I would rather we were further ahead in the polls but the Tories are leaving it a bit late for a feel-good surge. That’s why Cameron is talking about red lights flashing on the dashboard. Maybe he thinks he can scare people into voting Tory.”

I disagree, Ed Balls needs to get scared shitless real fast! George Osborne needs to do something similar! Economic competence is not something that is behind, the indicators are that they are close to non-existent. As numbers are hidden behind the statistics of ‘% of GDP‘ we are diluting ourselves that we have a handle on things, once the message is that the total debt has decreased below 750 billion, we have an actual message, but for now, that 25% decrease is nowhere in sight. Life in the UK is all about meeting the payment of the interest debt, whilst none are tackling any solution regarding the total debt for the future. That danger has been voiced by several players all over the field. The message now is that ‘Investors Underpricing Risk May Threaten Growth, IMF Says‘ (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-17/investors-underpricing-risk-may-threaten-growth-imf-says.html) as well as ‘Flug Flags Underpriced Risk as Investors Drop Corporates‘ (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-30/flug-flags-underpriced-risk-as-investors-drop-corporates.html), which gets a punch from today’s news ‘New York Hops on $15 Billion Israeli Corporate Bond Boom‘ (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-30/new-york-hops-on-15-billion-israeli-corporate-bond-boom.html). Like the housing in Hackney through Westbrook Partners and Round Hill Capital in the Netherlands, we see again a change in markets (like they always will), but this is different. Like Greece (again) last week with “A Greek official says the country is under pressure from rescue creditors to impose new austerity measures to resolve an ongoing budget disagreement worth a reported 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion)” (at http://www.cnbc.com/id/102222375), we see a market that keeps on getting pushed whilst there is no money left. By the way, those two players (Westbrook Partners and Round Hill Capital), did you consider combining these facts?

Have you considered when Westbrook goes market value and they merge with 2-3 other players (perhaps Round Hill Capital as one of them), when they merge, how much taxation will be missed out then, also, what danger will these tenants be placed in at that point?

So back to Greece and their dwellings, Greece should both be dissolved and offered to Turkey (just to make it sting a little more) or they need to clean up their act, including dealing with these massive strikes. Let’s not forget that Greeks themselves did this to Greece (partially through Goldman Sachs). We see cogs of greed interacting, finding new connections not to be held accountable, whilst its population gets the bill, blaming Germany for all of this. In that same light we see how we are now confronted with underpriced risks. So, not unlike the 2008 crash with all these “sub-prime” borrowers and bailing on 8 trillion, we now see governments trying to intervene by ‘forcing’ banks to make low cost loans to the underprivileged “sub-prime” borrowers, trying to create a fake boom, whilst at the same time, they have created a more likely than not risk that it will only explode in their faces, whilst imploding their economy (this is as I personally see it). Here in the end, we see that the bank wins no matter what, either the government pays them, or they just own it all. Like the landlords of London, it will destroy the quality of life for more and more people, whilst not showing any resolution in solving the actual problems.

This all comes together when we consider the IMF part on underpricing risk (mentioned earlier), there we see the part that is truly linked to all our woes: “Policy makers from the Group of 20 nations meet this week in Cairns, Australia, to discuss ways of boosting global demand. The Fed today maintained a commitment to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time.” At the same time, Fed officials raised their median estimate for their policy interest rate at the end of 2015 to 1.375 percent, compared with the 1.125 percent estimate made in June“. The crux: “ways of boosting global demand” it is at the heart of the failures we see. It is worse than bad marketing. The last thing we need to do is boost demand. We need to resolve debts. Yes, the US wants to see demands boosted, as it was one step away from bankruptcy 5 steps ago. They are trying to bluff into a new era of not being dead, whilst they have been unsuccessful in dealing with their debts, having no solution and even less options. We must find another way. If the Netherlands, one of the smallest nations in the world can turn around an age of innovation to their advantage in a novel way never seen before, then so can we! If you wonder how this linked, then consider how their solution can become a new era of energy independence all over South America, parts of America and all over Europe and Africa. Solar panelled roads, a patented solution that can change the face of the earth in one mere step. Once the high pressure solution is done for cars, we will see a new era of energy. Not bad for a place that is famous for wooden shoes and a leaky dike! So where are we in the Commonwealth? Where is our innovation?

In the end Larry Elliott spoke the facts, the truth and wrote an excellent article, I just disagree with the views they link to, in the end, it might be me who was wrong and it is all in the eye of the beholder!

In this age of debt, innovation and Intellectual Property are soon to become the only currency that will have any true value! The Commonwealth needs its own share of those, less it becomes as desperate as America currently is.

 

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