Front page news in the Daily Telegraph today (link below) and billed online as ‘Chaos over biggest employment tax shake-up in 70 years‘. The Daily Telegraph informs us that “under the new ‘Real Time Information’ (RTI) system, more than a million businesses – as well as charities, churches and families who employ nannies or cleaners – must report immediately any wage payments to the taxman ...
For those of us who have spent at least the past 5 years pointing out that the developed world has reached the end of growth, in other words the end of industrial age, cheap-fossil-fuelled-energy rates of economic growth, it’s no surprise to learn that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has today announced a halving of his December 2012 growth forecast for 2013, from 1.2% pa to 0.6% pa.
Once again I've just been reading Jeremy Warner in today's Daily Telegraph (link below) where he's written an article entitled "David Cameron is 'pure wind' on the economy". Mr Warner makes reference to George Orwell who pointed out that, "political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind". Reading Mr Warner's piece got me thinking.
Since around the end of the last century, and certainly within the first few years of the 21st century it seemed clear to me that the only game in town for the coming 25 years – and quite possibly for the next 50 years – would be energy; specifically, mankind’s insatiable appetite for energy, exacerbated by a declining trend in net energy. In other words, mankind is finding it increasingly difficult to extract worthwhile energy returns on energy invested (or ERoEI as it’s known).
In this second edited extract from Four Horsemen: The Survival Manual, Mark Braund argues that while Keynes brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to economics in the 1930s, his refusal to acknowledge the importance of land diminishes his legacy.
The man on the Clapham omnibus is unlikely to have heard of Tullett Prebon. Tullett Prebon is an inter-dealer broker in the wholesale financial markets; Tullett Prebon acts as a link between firms to enable them to trade with each other anonymously; its brokers are the fast-talking middlemen who match buyers and sellers of complex financial products.
Democracy will not work in a jurisdiction where the majority of the electorate lack education, a minimum moral standard, and a sense of citizenship. How can the raw capitalist spirit be tempered to produce sustainability and a great democracy?
By ignoring debt, and thinking magically about economic growth and the operation of markets, the mainstream of economists and politicians have wrecked havoc on the UK economy. We now collectively owe so much that if the net worth of the UK was cashed up and used to pay off private-sector debt, there would be a £2 trillion shortfall. This level of debt is not neutral in an economy. We need a rational approach to private debt.