With the ever approaching threat of the euro collapsing, comes frantic, ill thought through decisions and common sense theories. Now Spain, Europe’s fourth largest economy has been bailed out, resulting in mass uncertainty and resentment towards the ability of the world “leaders”. This week Spain received €100 billion from the European rescue mechanisms to recapitalise Spanish banks, actively showing the euro needs to at least change. Yes, it wouldn’t be easy, but we are currently keeping a suffering, dying dog with a very contagious disease alive, which is just plain cruel. And sadly, it’s only a matter of time before that disease spreads.
Even after 1 country went bust, banks around the world have been allowed to continue down a path which everyone knows leads to dire straits. Lee Freeman-Shor was correct; this situation has resulted and is continued by the “sunken cost bias” which resulted in a behaviour trait which has paralysed global decision making. But that’s not rocket science, the average person in the street could tell you that the world leaders have failed to accept reality and as a consequence got us knee deep in their shit and don’t know how to dig us out so instead try to ignore it.
The idea of the European union was, as many people rightly point out, doomed from the start. For example, if you view the European countries as a business, then the idea it wouldn’t work is obvious. Every country is unique through culture, ideas and all are at different economic levels. Yes, every country wants to be rich, but how they aim to do this differs completely. Imagine putting a hairdresser, a bakery, a clothing shop, an art shop and a gym in one building, allowing them free trade with each other. All these businesses aim to make money and helping each other out is a great idea, but one has to remember these businesses have different qualities and require different strategies to thrive. The hairdresser may get free clothes and food, in return for a haircut and all seems well. However, the ability to just walk into any shop and take what you like means each shop becomes “contaminated” and some even make a loss. Hair is found in the pastries, paint over the clothes and the stench of sweat from the gym just pisses everyone off. The idea of free trade is great, on its own. When you start to dominate multiple countries by adding the same regulations and laws, forgetting they are like different shops and don’t function the same or contaminating culture through unlimited immigration laws, you are no longer contributing, but instead hindering something which could have been great.
The idea of free trade, with the use of a single currency is great in theory, but to have a single currency you have to have a single system and most importantly a single mind. Multiple leaders will always disagree on how to run their country, so it will never work in its current structure. It is also stupid to assume that one regulation which works in one country, will work in every country. The European union has been given the power to dominate, but this shouldn’t be its place, it should be in place to aid. Instead unfair trade barriers, approved by the UN, are actually continuing 300 million people’s poverty (World bank, Global Economics prospectus, 2002). Free trade should be allowed between all countries, or none at all. A few countries shouldn’t have the power to hinder another countries development. We have created a repeat of history, its just another empire and we all know what happens to something with more power than it can handle. Many argue that we shouldn’t change the EU, or even allow it to collapse because of the benefits it gives us. However, the policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all - Jawaharlal Nehru.
(NEXT ARTICLE - WHY WE NEED THE EUROPEAN UNION)
Hi, I am new to blogging so you are correct :). However I am actually in my first year studying both psychology and sociology at a university called abertay in Scotland. Sociology is very politics based though. However, i do genuinely love politics and would love to do a post grad in it :)
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Many people agree with the above statement, and with working peoples tax’s being given to people who don’t work, it is no surprise they do. Working people comment on the luxury life that everyone on benefits experience and that we should make them suffer as they don’t work. HOWEVER, not all of them live this luxury life and at least half want to work, there just isn’t enough jobs.
Yes, we allowed people to be comfortable being poor and it lead to a situation where some people don’t want to work as unemployment leaves them in a more privileged position. We also concentrate on the importance of intelligence, and we even killed industry. The problem with that is not everyone is capable of going to university and not everyone enjoys it, leaving some people with very little options. And it is also true that some working people are worse off, but working people shouldn’t be suffering, that issue is linked to the minimum wage and unfair taxes, and the solution shouldn’t be to target the unemployed, but instead the employers.
People, even Benjamin Franklin say unemployed/people in poverty can climb out of it, but not everyone can and the chances are slim. To climb out you have to be gifted in something, or at least have the confidence to think you are. Those who find education difficult unsurprisingly feel all they can achieve is nothing. And if you don’t believe you can achieve anything, then you never will. So many people are placed at the bottom of the system and believe that is where they belong, before they are even old enough to get a job, so it’s no surprise they amount to nothing.
If we take the help away from the unemployed, if we make their life more difficult, some will get out of poverty, but the rest will “clutter the streets”. To tackle unemployment we shouldn’t take the benefits away YET, but instead we should work on putting an alternative in place. It would be inhumane to make people suffer with no hope of it stopping, because truthfully there isn’t enough jobs for everyone. Yes, our taxes are given to the unemployed, but would you rather give your taxes or have valuable possessions stolen in an attempt for them to survive.
Welfare is currently required and only when there is a liveable wage, an attitude and job type change and enough jobs should it be cut. The true face of unemployment isn’t laziness, instead it’s a loss of hope and no jobs. We shouldn’t target people through cuts, we should give them the opportunity to work FOR A LIVEABLE WAGE, and then if they refuse they deserve nothing. But right now, the unemployed haven’t been given a proper opportunity to show they would work and they are capable of it. Employment is the true solution to this economic crisis, its the only solution to redistribute wealth and making cuts is just making it worse.
Job instability, and even difficulty in finding a job has resulted in a world of competition. Many could argue that competition is good, that only the very best become someone, but if we look at many politicians or in fact anyone with a high status many were born with that pre-defined privilege.
Capitalism, from the nature we have given it is incapable of allowing “true” social mobility. However, that is not a new problem. The new problem can be seen as the “I don’t give a f**k attitude”. For example, a year in university will allow you to acknowledge that only a small minority of people are there because they truly love the subject, and an even smaller minority who are there to learn. Yes, we may assume that everyone is there to learn because it is part of the degree, but the majority only care about the degree and not the accumulation of knowledge itself. But, who could blame them. When an employer looks at your C.V they have no idea whether you have a vast accumulation of knowledge, and most of the time they don’t care, it is all about the grades you achieved over a period of a few years. All that matters in life is being better than everyone else.
This has resulted in everything important being turned into crap. History as a degree is almost useless in terms of job prospects, but it is fundamental to the understanding of present day society, but many people fail to realise that.
Humanity prides itself on being intelligent beings capable of amazing things, but can great things be achieved if everyone stops caring. The accumulation of knowledge was, back in the time of the Roman Empire seen as “The Good Life” and look at the scientific discoveries found during the time of Classical Antiquity. Throughout History, has there ever been vast important discoveries from people who didn’t give a sh*t about the world. And now, in a period where we need intelligent people to want to accumulate knowledge and to use this knowledge to change a screwed up social structure, is the period where people have lost an interest.
We live in a world which continually feels as if it’s getting worse and many of us feel helpless. But we just accept this world, we accept that nothing can be done, so it is no surprise we have lost an interest in learning about it. And if we never want to learn about it, we can’t ever hope to improve it.
Capitalism can be seen to ruin everything from Education, to a pie due to the need for constant expansion and therefore mass production which turns everything into “cheap crap”. However, is it really capitalism or is it human nature which turns everything into crap? The problem with human nature is it can be seen as a product of history and therefore a problem related to the beginning of “civilisation”. Surplus, the thing which drove humanity forward in terms of intellectual and mechanical advances, also drove us into war, greed and inequality and as this need for surplus grew, so did inequality, war and greed and so did the illusion that humanities behaviour/nature grew steadily worse. My question, is has our mentality and behaviour grown worse, or is it the thing which hasn’t advanced and instead stayed static leading to the theory we get worse and worse. And in a world more advanced than our mentality, is it any wonder it’s so corrupt. .
Undoubtedly, capitalism as we know it will collapse one day, just like every system before us. The problem with capitalism is it was built on a baseline of faults, and we will continue to add to it. A new system will almost certainly follow the same pattern as it will come in a crisis and therefore being built on faults is almost unavoidable. The problem isn’t capitalism, the problem isn’t finding a new system, the problem is can any system in this advanced world truly work for such complicated beings.
It appears that aspects of us advanced too quickly, too soon and in an attempt to improve our lifestyle, we have made it worse in other ways. Nobody can deny we are unique and intelligent, but that intelligence appears incomplete.
The latest news of Government failures focuses on the issue of child poverty and why recent government cuts have actually increased it. At a fragile time in the economy, where some cuts can only be described as stupid the issue of poverty is fundamental to the recovery. Common sense tells you that if you increase wealth, the economy grows, but instead the government are almost ignoring the issue of poverty and solely concentrating on the next tax to “steal from the poor”.
Even the word poverty is seen to cause controversy. A skim through the comments section on the Independent highlights that some people think poverty in Britain doesn’t actually exist, and that child poverty is the fault of irresponsible parents. Yes, in some cases it may be irresponsible parenting, but to tarnish every family in poverty with the same brush is just ridiculous. It is possible for a parent/both parents to a lose a job and not be able to replace it resulting in them losing their house, car and a livable wage. That’s not irresponsible parenting, instead that is the daily struggle faced by so many people in this unjust country. When a child’s diet is badly effected due to financial circumstances (eating beans and toast for dinner a few nights a week and some nights no meal at all) and their clothes attract bullying then that creates a difficult situation for that child which should be confronted.
Yes, its not the same suffering as third world countries, but its still suffering and its still poverty. Just because it doesn’t look the same, doesn’t mean its not the same.