Lately I don't get it. It seems we all get upset when some group, public or private spends money to take our surroundings and life further, but regardless of funding, isn't that the goal . . . to move forward?
Everywhere we turn we hear austerity and in every country I work everyone says the same thing . . . don't spend money, don't build more, don't . . . well you get the idea.
Standing with our feet stuck in sand doesn't do anything for anyone.
I always thought the idea of growth is to change and improve our condition, open our minds, do something that is different not the same.
I understand learning from the past, I just don't understand staying there.
But itís not just people saying donít spend money; itís a fact that money simply isnít there for the spending.
Iíve been somewhat mystified by the ease with which blame is heaped solely on the bankers (with their watchers) of this world: it appears that the people who take out loans that they canít service are absolved from all and any responsibility in the matter. That the sellers of these loans make commission on clinching the deals isnít the only reason for the problem, itís also at least
as much the fault of those who leap in where their brains must tell them they canít go. Yes, almost any society or family can stand these dumb deals for a while, say a couple of months or more in the case of a family, and then when the money in doesnít match the money out, the shit hits the fan. Itís the same with governments and local authorities, except that their fan is a little further away. But, in the end, that fan hits their shit.
And thatís where we are today: not only individuals but entire countries have made the fan connection.
It shows where Mrs Thatcher, a shopkeeperís daughter, had the firmer grasp on commercial and fiscal reality: she understood that the concepts of supply and demand are related
and that neither can you realistically buy what you canít afford; that there is no point in producing products that no-one wants to buy. Inevitably, entire industries fell into the bin and what happened? What happened was that, ultimately, they shot the messenger: some news is just too grim to swallow, so just pretend thereís a way around it; itíll keep the mobs off the streets a while longer.
Well, you canít. Thatís where we are, all of us, in or on the edge of that bin. Europe looks for handouts, others look to providing them and making more money from that; the lessons are not being learned and the fudge continues all round.
So, of course wiser heads are saying no, donít spend money you donít really have available for the spending; donít keep digging the hole youíre in any the deeper or youíll never be able to climb back out. I really believe that we have still, generally, not seen the mess that we are all in, that the illusion of blaming individual sectors of the economy is still thought to be the easy paddle to the beach from the wreck, that sacrifice of the few will save the necks of the many.
What will save the many? I donít know, I donít think anyone knows. I imagine that the only way will be to sink to the bottom and start again from there with, I hope, the benefits of hindsight. But Iím not optimistic; it happened to all the big civilizations that came before us Ė they rose and they fell. And it wasnít always a smooth transition from one to the next.