The News In Shorts

How the news would look if everyone stopped waffling and told the truth.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Where Has All The Money Gone?

"I'm afraid there's no money left," Liam Byrne told his successor at the Treasury as he left government. But what does "there's no money left" actually mean? Did it all disappear in a puff of smoke? Did it all leave for a holiday in the sun? No, it had all gone to the banks because they'd lost theirs. So what happened to it next? It was paid to shareholders and executives to reward their complete and utter failure. So where did this money to pay the banks for their incompetence come from? From you and me, from the ordinary taxpayer. In other words it was transferred from ordinary people to bankers who were utterly useless at their jobs in order to maintain their lavish lifestyles. Where is it now? Still with the banks who are hoarding it to protect themselves against the recession they caused in the first place. So why austerity? Because our governments are too incompetent themselves to get it back from the banks and because they really do not want to tax rich people to replace the loses. So, having made ordinary tax payers save the banks, they are now withdrawing support and services from the poorest in our society to make up the shortfall. The upshot of all this is that governements across world have been busily transferring money from the poor to the rich under the rubricks that "there is no alternative" and "we're all in this together." Enter democracy stage left. Ordinary people, unconvinced by the facile argument "there's no alternative," decided that they didn't want to give rich people all their money to fix a system that was broken beyond repair. So, in places like Italy and Greece, democracy was suspended and bankers were placed in charge as an "interim administration." In other words the banks were allowed to repossess entire countries. Of course there was an alternative to all this. The banks, who have spent the last 30 years lecturing us on the benefits of untrammeled capitalism, could have been allowed to fail like any other business that makes a serious mistake. But that would have meant that a lot of rich people would have lost their money as administrators called in all the debts. House prices would have collapsed, trade would have evaporated and most of us would now be out of work. Given then that the banking system had to be saved to avoid economic meltdown, what alternatives were open to governments other than pauperising the already poor? They could have fully nationalised the banks to take them out of the hands of reckless banking executives. As for austerity, they could have aimed that at the people who have gained more than anyone else out of the madness of the last 30 years - the rich. That governments chose not to do so nails the lies that "there is no alternative" and "we're all in this together." We, the people, have no money because they, the greedy and stupid, have stolen it all.

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