Friday, August 01, 2008

What goes down, might stay down

Anyone who imagines that the present UK slump is likely to get magically better as the result some curious notion of cyclical factors that will start to swing back like some mystical pendulum of fortune, needs to think again. In this slump, a huge number of people are now employed in non-jobs paid for by the dwindling numbers of folks in real jobs - far more so than in any previous economic downturn, thanks to 10 years of Labour's tireless efforts at creating a client state and pointless layers of administration and government.

Business efficiencies leading to slimmed down workforces have been piling on for the past 20 years on the back of the IT and Internet revolutions, so that precious few "real" businesses have any fat left to shed. Meanwhile, every town hall and most of the Westminster village continues to pile on pointless weight and gorge on other people's cash as if nothing had happened. Public service unions expect to be paid more because they want to be paid more, and because the government they helped to fund politically and put in place, has now buggered just about everything up.

Government has created a climate in which smaller business operated by people who can think for themselves (and are thus hard to micro-manage and control with stupid and pointless regulations) have been progressively replaced by dubious cartels (such as the supermarkets and energy companies), since it is easier to cajole, confuse, intimidate, control and tax a handful of slow-moving large companies that exist at the mercy of an ever changing a pile of legislation several feet high.

Two key aspects of the economy that this government has allowed to let rip appear to have been property speculation, and financial services - which have combined together to create a volatile mixture to fuel a misleading notion of consumer prosperity, based on Gordon Brown's fairy money - and that ultimate weapon of state control over individual freedoms - the mortgage.

Boy, are we screwed.

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