Misleading Words and Phrases

Words are important; if you tell a woman she has a good figure, she will take the compliment; if you tell the same woman that she has a good body , she will usually be slightly uncomfortable that there is a sexual innuendo in your compliment. Politicians are masters of abusing words as George Orwell showed in 1984. In his novel the Ministry of Love was about hate, and the Ministry of Peace was about war. The Ministry of Plenty tried to manage the shortages of food and basic materials and the Ministry of Truth conduct vicious untruthful propaganda. Continue reading

Oil As A Weapon of War

You would not think that oil prices have fallen so drastically in 2014, if you filled up your car with petrol in the United Kingdom today. You always seem to pay the same amount notwithstanding that oil prices are now the lowest that they have been for many years. The price of crude oil has halved since the summer. Continue reading

The Cost of the Olympics and The Recession

Britain is now out of recession and that is good news. Preliminary figures show a third quarter growth of just 1%. Some commentators put the growth down to the Olympic Games ticket sales, but I have no doubt that the tickets sales were of a lesser amount than the lost dales in the retail industry in London and the construction and maintenance industry slow down during the games which was caused by the games taking place in London.

There is other good news; there have been more people in employment and despite the impossibility of small businesses securing finance  from their banks, businesses are managing somehow, although with difficulty.

It is clear that we need to employ people in making things, installing things and servicing things if we are to secure our economic future. It is also clear that we must learn the lessons of the recession, caused by bank and hedge fund speculation. Someone has calculated that people are now £1800 a year worse off than they were in 2008. Most of that money has gone into the pockets of the bankers and hedge fund operators. That is no way to run an economy.

As our economy grows we must ensure that we direct money and therefore growth into the production of things, rather than the production of another giant casino which will impoverish those who are not wealthy. That is the lesson we must learn.

A Complicated Life

Life is becoming very complicated, or I am becoming old. As I am wont to do, today I tried to improve my computer but managed stop it working. Perhaps that is an improvement of some kind. It made me realise just how dependent we have become upon the workings of machine that we imperfectly understand powered by energy which we do not directly own. That is quite complicated, but one complication does not matter. You cannot expect everything to be simple. Continue reading

It is time to cleanse this den of robbers

Something must be done and done quickly; everyone agrees that the economies of the developed world must be stopped from tumbling back into recession. Something must be done but no one really knows what to do. If you pay back your debts you are accused of bringing “austerity” into the world. If you allow the normal capitalist process of bankruptcy to apply to a nation you are accused of wrecking the economy of a significant part of the developed world. It is an odd world. Continue reading

Grown ups who keep growing

It has become a mantra: growth is the solution to all our woes. The politicians and economists have repeated it so often that they think that everyone believes that growth will cures our economic ills. Continue reading

Recession and climate change

The value of the goods and services of most nations, their total value and output is declining. In effect, there is no economic growth at the moment – the economies of the majority of the world are in recession. Recession is the opposite of growth and a recession occurs when there are six continuous months of no economic growth. Over the whole period of human history there has been economic growth, even though from time to time there have been recessions, economies recover from recession and continue to grow.

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