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In Search of Justice — 8
Cleaning the (Political) Augean Stables
The world in general and, for me, the United Kingdom in particular, is groaning under the depredations of a particularly malignant growth — that of the human population.
Imagine what life in the United Kingdom would be like if the population were reduced by half. There would be:
It is well known that nearly everybody does his or her best work before the age of fifty. So why do politicians of all parties pretend that greater life expectancy is "a good thing"? It can only be in order to use that pretence as an excuse to extort money from hard-pressed, but hitherto docile, tax-payers.
What legitimate reason can be offered for forcing people who struggle to rear their own children to pay into a state kitty that pays allowances for rearing anonymous children born to parents who should take personal responsibility for their reproductive activities?
Why force the public to bear the cost of the artificial means used to sustain some sort of semblance of "life" in worn-out human bodies? The cost is not only in money but also in the pain and hopelessness which only death can relieve and in the emotional strain on carers burdened by looking after mere bodily shells which can only deteriorate. What "job satisfaction" can there be in the unremitting toil involved in working in "an old folk's home" — a "dead-end job" if ever there was one?
There can be only one reason for such wasteful application of human resources. Politicians (perhaps with a very few really honorable exceptions) care only for the promotion and prolongation of a personal career in the public eye and ear; and they know that, in our stupid kind of democracy, few voters will bring themselves to face stark facts of life and death today if they can be distracted by false promises of an extended life of ease, pleasure, and perfect health on a generous pension as a reward for good behaviour in the long-suffering meantime.
I am quite certain that NHS patients would have more influence over their own treatment if they paid directly with cash or credit card rather than indirectly as tax-payers. I also believe that a general return to private practice would be "fairer" (a word beloved by LibDems), more attentive to real need, and, in the aggregate, cheaper too.
Capital is savings: and hardly anyone saves any more. Indeed, saving is actively discouraged by government. Even The Bank of England, through "quantitative-easing" (an expression calculated to elicit sighs of unthinking relief rather than groans of understanding despair), is merely debasing the currency and augmenting the inflation the Bank is supposedly obliged to keep within bounds. Meantime, rates of interest available on savings are so far below the rate of inflation as to constitute a fraud on the saver.
Governments of any and all Parties desperately hope that we shall all spend, spend, spend on no-matter-what so long as a here-today gone-tomorrow MP can gain extra time in office, and perhaps even a promotion, if the current Chancellor of the Exchequer can somehow point to "growth" in the "economy".
But we all know that some kinds of growth are by no means desirable.
Any reader who really wishes to learn the true meaning of the word should read The Book of Household Management by Isabella Mary Beeton and Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.
The only thing that governments are economical with is the truth.
If the only "growth" the Chancellor recognises is in what is called "Gross National Product", then much of it is mere waste — because many of the figures included in it are mutually contradictory. For example, the cost of the wedding and the cost of the subsequent divorce all count towards the GNP. The cost of doing something and the cost of undoing it are both taxable, and that's all the Chancellor cares about. [See After the Clockwork Universe — Ed]
Please see In Search of Justice — 8.
Please read Cleaning the (Political) Augean Stables where I suggest means whereby the voters can play a more effective part in governing themselves as Nature intended.