>>But governments don’t set themselves the objective of actually repaying public >>debt – they are merely concerned to maintain its manageability
I assume you mean “revolving debt” on a national basis, what us in Pocket Calculator world would call Credit Card Debt. You pay some off but then by the end of the month you spend it again. Hence you keep paying the interest on a fixed sum – and that is what has to stay manageable – Paying chunks of national wonga to our bond holders, read banks, insurance companies, pension funds and foreign investors.
By the time you have six credit card you are suffering badly!! I know I’ve been there.
This has to stop at some point. So we should be asking our new government – What’s the plan to get out from under the debt yoke?
We all know that if you make the minimum payments on a large credit card debt, you will be paying for ever – which is what the card company / bond markets/ foreign investors want. UK plc has to find a faster, better way of repayment not continue paying the interest ad infinitum!
What is that way? In the past we would have said – “Growth” – simple arithmetic again – stimulate the economy – create more taxpayers – get higher income – pay off some debt. Have a little bit of inflation because that helps reduce the burden of the debt over time too.
Today there are a few problems to say the least…
Our industries have been decimated, let’s not kid ourselves, they were never fantastic except perhaps in the distant past, and even then we relied on cheap materials and extraction from the Empire. It was not really a fantastic feat was it? We had a third of the world, strictly controlled, often beaten into submission, as a resource funnelled into a tiny island. Well, forgive me, hardly difficult to make few bob was it.
Those are the times that we have been made to pay for, we the “Great British” gave every one of those “common wealth” peoples a right to live in blighty and a claim on our future. What could go wrong? We ruled the waves and the economy of the world! AND we are “Great”…
What went wrong, we all know, the world changed and we tried not to. We still want to play in the big boys playground, but we are diminished, shrunk, a raggety band of pen pushing paper shufflers collecting a few fees for said scribbling and shuffling. Bolstered by our arrogance and our wallowing in our past “glories”.
What industry we do have is not ours. We have paid the credit card bills by selling our furniture and worse we are now down to selling our tools – the tools we use to make a living, few it seems are left.
The rest of he world must look on and chuckle. “Great” Britain, hmm.. since when.. “special” relationships, hmm…here boy… Sort-of part of Europe when it suits them, hmmm..grumble, grumble, Saves the world…hmm.. The Great British working mans spirit and ingenuity, hmmm.. half mostly employed ingeniously getting the tv to get free channels and to calculate the cheapest beers at the super market per % alcohol…hmmm… Saves the world again! hmm..
We need to start saving ourselves. We need a new attitude. We need to firstly realise that the economic restraint and prudence that we preach at others actually applies to us too. The free ride and credit rating, granted by the rest of the world due to our history is over. We have never defaulted on our debt. No, we always pay up! we are the Great Brits, whatever are you thinking! Well, maybe we should… The business world is tough world they say – and this is business of the most serious order. One sting is all we need. Deep deep doo-doo would result but hey we will only have the Great British Pound for so much longer, so why not send it off with a bang. Not his terminal cancerous decline.
If you don’t fancy that well, what do we have left, apart from paper shuffling?
Brains, Science, inventors and oh yes, that ingenuity.
Brown is right on one thing only in my mind – Investment. Investment is what we need. So where are the opportunities in this changed world?
Energy drives everything, and in todays world that means oil. But spot the problem… oil has been done, and is done for eventually. So what takes its place? Renewable/sustainable energy technology and energy frugalism. That’s what. There is ultimately no other answer. That is where we need to be. While the rest of the world bickers over degrees of co2 and smokestack emmissions, we should be beavering as if it is the beginning of world war 2 and we need Radar, Spitfires and Hurricanes. We just don’t know we need them, we don’t know what they are yet, but know we will need them. So we should beaver rapidly to discover what these future things will be.
In an earlier post – hat tip DevilsIntheDetail We see how continued 3% growth adds 30% to GDP in 10 years. If we do the same sums for the DECLINE of oil we end up over 20% down in the opposite direction. Giving a 50% gap between available energy and required national output. So it can’t be done. It’s not achievable! As our new incoming prime minister will probably be told in a few days time. At which point he will instantly age 10 years – it happens to every new prime minister! He now knows he is driving a piffling force (the UK economy) into an immovable object (the peak oil problem). It’s no wonder these poor guys end up with short term aims – the long term aim is just too difficult to contemplate.
So THIS IS the most important election for centuries. Our new prime minister needs to turn the wheels of the economy and point them NOT at growth, but directly at energy investment, energy research and energy saving and distriution technology. We don’t need shiny electric cars and other such showcase items, don’t waste effort and money on glitzy consumables we need future things, solid lasting things.
ENERGY not BANKING is the future. We need to use the dregs of our credit card limits to set this up. We need to use the unemployed/economically inactive to insulate every state building. We need to nationalise our energy grid and suppliers. Stop the stupid competing and lining the pockets of foreign share holders. Re-align the industry to point it directly at the future. Use the “profits” to create small scale feed-ins and community projects. All state owned, this time with the remit to be actually for the people, not for profit.
It IS an emergency as big as a war! So we get kicked out of the E.U. for doing it, ho hum they’ll be back (a little arrogance is not necessarily bad).
If we do not do this – we will freeze to death in the dark in the not too distant future. There are good people here, clever people. We need to stop beating on them and support them. We need bold steps.
Oops, seem to have rambled.
I rambled so much that the BBC closed the comments before I could post it