Friday, 17 July 2015

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy corrupts all involved , it is self perpetuating , it is immoral at all levels.

Usually Bankruptcy is a measure of last resort, but the journey there causes many heartaches and soul searching by some and  in others a "fait accompli",  just business and with no moral or understanding of the full ramifications of the consequences.

Surely there should be a way of monitoring the journey of a loan , to ensure that the repayments can be met and no to create indebtedness that we see all around us today.

Within a capitalist society, as there surely should be in any civilised society, responsibilities on both sides of any deal that is created,  lending and borrowing excessive amounts for goods and services that are not affordable in the long term has to be questioned , even if the lender is offering sweeteners and tie ins that are mainly to the benefit of the lender, as we see with on most interstate loans.

These tie-ins are often enabling the lending country huge incentives to lend further money and involve buyouts of resources within the borrowing state, and then employing the lender's capital and resources to maximise the return of the borrowings. We see this across the EU particularly in the transport and road building sectors, where germany has almost the monopoly of providing such services.
This in turn degrades the borrowing states ability to help themselves, by doing the work themselves , perhaps with help and education from the lenders, but not the action which employs local labour and the nation's own resources.

Loans should be only provided  along with education and direction with respect on both sides on which is the best way forward for the long term.
To allow bankruptcy at levels where the collateral is far lower than the assets is unforgivable, except in the position of state borrowing , where the state has no collateral of its own, it all belongs to the people of the state and any government who wants to sell its assets should be resisted at all levels. as this diverts any possible income from the borrowing state to that of the lender  as in the case of transference of rails assets for example, and another county takes any profits back home denuding the states ability to help itself still further.

The acceptance as almost normal in business that there are few consequences of going bankrupt is at the heart of where we are going and want to go as society as a whole.

The question we have to ask ourselves , should we really lend and borrow money at all, especially at high interest rates and unreasonable tie-ins? Is society ready for this sort of change?

In the state sector as in Greece and African states , surly debt cancellation or relief has to be done, but with the knowledge that it is often the poorer in all the lending states that will suffer the most!!!! So should there be a change whereby the rich are forced to take the biggest hit , as it it they who took the risk in the first place?

We need to look back sometimes at some of history's lessons and built knowledge from philosophers  like Ruskin and others to gain other insights in how we may get out of this mess.

Grexit, Loan sharks, Coup de tait, upon Greece , is without compassion and fairness.

It's all WAR without any Love, compassion, understanding and without forgiveness.

Greece has been dealt a horrible hand of cards since the mid 30s, and have been advised by numerous politicians, economic advisors , generals, and dictators on the best way forward as have many other countries in the region.  It is this center of democracy that has led perhaps to Greece being dealt the hand it has , as it has had more leniency awarded to it by it's lenders and also without any real compassion but on a pure commercial basis.

The difference between credit to a business and a country are huge although with corporations getting to the size they are now , bring some of them down certainly would have dire consequences to some countries also. Credit to most business is purely commercial and  if repayments cannot be made then a rescheduling is done on what can be achieved realistically or the company is put up for sale and made bankrupt, with the state often picking up the pieces of the subsequent unemployment and lossof local investment is infrastructure of education, health and welfare.
On the other hand the state has no long term control of the direction of where its target is , governments change from left to right or vice versa, ensuring an unstable commitment repay loans negotiated by a policy which is often defunct after a few years, it is this which is now a major problem as the loans have built up to a level, where they are not only unsustainable but are self perpetuating, meaning that they in all probability will never be paid and so in effect the lenders have an income for perpetuity without the capital providing any services to Greece or any other borrower.
Other commitments of the state  has to guarantee personal and state security, health and welfare provision as well as education and transport and other infra structural obligations  which are set not just by the state but also by the EU and other global institutions.

These obligations to it peoples forces many governments to borrow far more than they can pay for , so as part of any lending to states there has to be a moral understanding that the lenders should not and cannot expect the same terms as a commercial enterprise.
The lending to states should only be allowed if is only for short term needs and be able to repaid in full within a normal term of office of one parliament.
Lending into the distant future as see applied to all countries globally is abhorrent, and indeed is is morally indefensible, as it seeks only to benefit the wealthy and rich within society as a hole and places the poorer in an impossible situation where they are unable to dig themselves out of, and will if perpetuated cause long term social deprivation at best and unrest and chaos at worst due to lack of respect and the bare necessities of life.

The creditors of Greece and indeed all creditors globally should quickly take stock of the moral implications of what they are doing, and must provide a let out in situations like this,in Greece. They are responsible often for the terms and conditions of such loans and they appear no better than the loan sharks we have seen in the UK as payday lenders , asking such high interest rates and take no mercy and force people into suicide and poverty rather than guiding them through with intelligent loans that we have seen applied to some countries in Africa.
Just because some states are "Developed" and others are not all should be treated with the same  respect and  dignity and terms that can be seen and applied that if all goes wrong will not in themselves jeopardize the State's ability to fund basic security for their citizens.

All this often is discussed and debated without ant reference to the effects of such loans have on the environment and indeed on climate change. It is in this area that far more has to be considered in how  much, when and what terms any loans should be awarded.

Money use=Energy= goods and services+environmental damage and climate change.



Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Response to You and Yours, Welfare Cuts?

Welfare Cuts ?

Having just been listening to the program  I was surprised to hear that in effect you want to see a simplified and more fair tax and benefit system  and that all the recent tinkering with them only causes more and more unfair situations both for the recipients and also the taxpayers.

To this end I have been actively trying to suggest a complete reformation of the tax and welfare system , But surprisingly I have arrived at it from a completely different angle , that of how do we effectively sort the climate change  and environmental problems we have at present .

The proposed solutions are idealistic , but I feel that it is now time to really think the unthinkable and have a fundamental reform of the whole tax and welfare systems based on empowering the individuals to make the right choices for themselves, rather than being in effect being forced to do what the government says by default. This covers all aspects of consumerism and health and welfare.

To achieve this I have proposed a simpler taxation system  that would replace all existing taxes except a death tax used to redistribute excessive wealth, This new tax would be to raise revenue from the use of all natural resources based on the actual and potential damage their use causes the planet, from fossil fuels,  minerals,  water ,  and land .

This new tax collected as near to source as possible and raised at a level to replace all existing tax revenues, it is a tax on natural capital use rather than on human capital use. a fundamental shift to recognise that it is the planet's survival that most important and also as it is collected at source would also be less subject to fraud evasion and avoidance.  

As individuals will not be paying tax  directly unless they are a land or property owners, They will have a lot more disposable income , and it will then be their decision how and what to spend the money on, and if the want a big car then they will pay dearly for the privilege of being able to pollute the air and cause damage to the nature by large areas of concrete roads etc.


Welfare and Benefits , These I believe should be scrapped and a citizen's wage should be introduced  and it should be the citizens right to use this money as they wish , but primarily , it is to replace all welfare and health benefits ,and the NHS would become in effect a private company where citizens can obtain surgery and all existing services but through payments from their citizens wage, There would however be exceptions for the disabled and severely long term  incapacities that some require, but basically similar to the netherlands health provision,.
This would encourage preventative health options and should in the long term be a less cost option than what we have at present , with all individuals feeling they are in control.
The benefit system as we know it would cease as the citizen's wage would in effect be its replacement and also it would  also be a pension for everyone, There is an example of this in Canada which trialed such a system and proved it could work but was stopped before the real benefits could be gained. However it promises to be solid example of where we need to go in the future.

Finally , a death tax to help redistribute wealth rather than leaving it to the super rich to spend it on their own pet ideas, some of which are all good and do help others across the globe , but much is wasted on giving a "life of riley" to subsequent generations  and hoarding the money in staches  of investments which distort the real free market economies.

I firmly believe we have to maintain a Free Market within a capitalist system which promotes choice, and bettering oneself , but within a new tax regime which respects the planet's sustainability and reduces the difference between the rich and poor, enabling everyone to have a more equal chance to succeed and increase mankind's capital wealth on the planet.



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Monday, 22 June 2015

THE ALTERNATIVE CLIMATE CHANGE INCENTIVES

THE ALTERNATIVE CLIMATE CHANGE INCENTIVES



If I may take a few minutes of your time to point to a new direction I believe we should all be taking on the issue of climate change.

Firstly we all recognise something has to be done  quickly , and effectively and with the cooperation with all global citizens, It is to this end  I have come to the conclusion that it is the financial and tax systems that will be key to any lasting and fair way forward to this mounting problem of not just climate change but also of water security,loss of species, ill health due to pollution and other factors like poor diet, noise and so on.

Secondly  we all need to recognise the widening gap between the rich and poor along all the world over and especially in Europe, where being near to the islamic states and north africa where so recently we saw the Arab Spring uprisings. all of which have been partly due to unfairness and widening gap between the haves and the have not's.

Thirdly, welfare, to include all welfare of pensions, health, and education are being attacked on all fronts due to lack of resources and ever increasing expectations.

Forthly, Greece has highlighted the greatest problem of overstretching the monetary capacity of sustainable financial stability of not just the EU but potentially of the global capitalist system.

 
These four fundamental aspects are high on everyone's agenda, but the one thing everyone seems to not be able to comprehend and facilitate is the way in which all these aspects are interlinked and dependant upon each other and when discussions are taken place  whether on Roads, Rail, Housing, Greek bailout, Climate change, and in fact on most topics that The EU and the UN are responsible for. there is a failing of grasp an holistic way forward that not just helps on objective but helps meet many objectives at the same time.

To resolve this major global problem , surely we have to think and act in a completely different way, so as to  enable each citizen to have the tools to make the right decisions for society and the planet whilst at the same time feel they are in charge and not being controlled by states, multinationals or even other individuals. This empowerment is the real challenge and would I believe create real human capital and give us the power to control our destiny as a united civilization , rather than one which is tearing itself apart as we see at present in Greece, Russia and Ukraine, Syria and so on .

The resolution I believe is to treat everyone and every entity equally , so if we abolished all taxes with the exception of a death tax to redistribute excessive wealth, rather than relying on benevolent Bill Gates and the like. This being replace with a single tax on all natural resources at source, and based on the potential harm their extraction and use does to the planet, This would include all Resources eventually in any changeover , from water to land ,  Fossil fuels to minerals. This then would be the only tax states would use to obtain revenue to enable services to be rendered. The replacement of all existing taxes and replaced with this Natural Resource Tax,(NRT), would empower every citizen and business to rethink the real value of natural resources whilst at the same time reducing Fraud, Evasion and Avoidance at all levels and everyone to be treated equally.

As I write Greece is at another crisis point , but will the politicians have any idea of their responsibility in their deliberations for the longer timeline of a sustainable future for all?


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Who is prepared to help the world's climate?

The Rich? The Poor, the Wealthy, The Worker, The Entrepreneur, The Banker. Me?

Just who is responsible for the damage that being done to the planet?

It's all of us equally in various ways, It's the way and how much we consume goods and services in our everyday activities, whether it's going to work and doing as the boss says or do I have any say in how its done, how it's bought in and remanufactured and resold. Do I have a say or am I to frightened to question anything?
The Banker's, do they question the ethical , moral and sustainability of their products, I doubt it very much ,they are more interested in what they can get out of it for themselves in higher bonuses, otherwise they will soon find himself being replaced.

The wealthy with large portfolios of cash or property, Are they really worried about the quality of life of those at the bottom of the investment chain, or the tenant renting a property at exorbitant prices that leave many living in cramped overcrowded accommodations and sucking money from the tenants life that they have little left to enjoy a fulfilled life.

Living on the bare necessities of life is not fun and puts most  people under stress which is  the No1  cause of ill health in the modern world.Why should we put up with this? Can we afford to have so many people ill with stress?

All this and a lot more is draining the so needed resources of hard earned cash away from where it is needed in new and replacement housing, but also from preventative health and welfare, education and vital modern infrastructure of safe cycle paths, roads  footpaths and public transport.

 Having traveled around europe  from east to west north to south , it appears the UK with its history of winner takes all is being severely left behind in having a society that will be at one with itself in the future, unless something very fundamental changes.

This change in the form of more reducing the vast difference between the very poor and the very rich has to be reduced  and the so called middle class  have also to be aware of their responsibility of not always trying to grab everything before the more needy in society, as we are seeing with the private rented sector  buying up all the surplus housing and inflating prices at the taxpayers expense and doing little in improving the quality of the housing stock.

Everyone in the chain of life and consumerism is guilty in causing the problem of climate change , and that is why we must really make a fundamental change in the way we approach the whole problem of the climate but also of the whole social way we all integrate with all the natural resource we employ and consume in our everyday life.

Hung up on Carbon Taxes

Everyone seem to get hung up on carbon taxes, or an individual tax  on a specific problem, It seems to me that what needs to be done is to completely revolutionise the taxation system, the whole lot from bottom to top.

This means in my opinion to take the responsibility  of choice from governments and let individuals choose , by their behaviour of being a consumer.

Consumption is the problem, and it is the reduction of consumption especially the most damaging ones that has to be achieved, This surely can be done by taxing heavily those resources that damage the environment the most. We are so dependant on the scientific community to guide us through this maze of , " what is the damage caused by any one resource".  The answer to this question has been very variable over the years and has been the subject of many debates, and subject to blackmail from corporations also.

That being said , I believe we have only this option left to us . if we are to make good headway quickly enough as we have already seen , there is little change in pollutants  that effect climate change, and with the prognosis very stark , surely we have to grab the nettle and do more fundamental changes.

Taking the regressivity issue of carbon taxes, I agree it is a problem , that is why we have to tax all natural resources as near to source as possible, dependant of the damage they cause or potentially cause the environment, not just carbon dioxide directly but also to all the effects of all the micro flora and ecosystems at all levels of life. It is then that we will begin to make real headway into tackling the problem as a whole. Piecemeal choices of single specific taxes will solve nothing , as the consumer will readjust their habits to the new situation. and that is why it is so important to address the whole system to embody the whole of the planets planets resources and systems.

This is the BIG challenge we face , Are we up to it?

I believe we can make the change , and it has to eventually encompass the whole globe , not just the rich of today or tomorrow , but also the children of all our future generations

Apr 10, 2015


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Decarbonising Development, 3 steps to a zero carbon future, from the World Bank, a personal comment

I find your report most enlightening , as it is suggesting a methodology that is very useful when in need of a radical  change of circumstances has to occur. 

I have been suggesting for some time now that society has to relook at the way history has lead us to the present situation on the massive overuse of natural resources,  without much due regard to the consequence of all life forms on the planet. 

This opinion is now gaining consensus among the scientific and economic communities, but both are failing to join the two principles together as one problem. 

The need for the financial, both the monetary and fiscal aspects, to be linked directly with consequences of employing  natural resources without looking at the real long term consequences of such action upon the planet as a sustainable living organism maintaining all the various life forms upon and within it.

To this end I have been proposing the abolition of ALL existing taxes and replacing with a single Natural Resource Tax , based on the damage caused to the planets sustainability by the very use of those resources and the methods used in the processes of conversion to end consumable products.

This taxation then would be placing real emphasis on the individual to make real choices based on the actual or potential damage these resource will release by their use and consumption. This new awareness by everyone in the chain of Natural Resource use would hold everyone equally responsible and held to account for their actions and the market place would then determine what is acceptable or not according to price and amount of sales.
By collecting all revenue that governments require by this method , There also would be little room for avoidance, fraud and evasion  thus making this taxation a fairer and more equitable tax to all citizens. 

However that said, I do feel that we all want a compassionate and fair society which we all want to have an equal chance to succeed in. To achieve this we need to make more revolutionary changes to the structures that have been built up over the millenia. 

Firstly that a citizen's wage would be introduced to everyone for life without means testing,

Secondly the welfare and health benefits should be made so as to be paid for by those that use it, with few exceptions, of the severely disabled, and  down and outs who need temporary help to regain their role in society.

Thirdly all education and apprenticeships to all up to graduate level would be free.

Finally a death tax to prevent excessive wealth rolling over from generation to generation and maintaining the gap between rich and poor. 

Your three point plan would be of great benefit in implementing and engaging such a proposal, as it needs to be kickstarted from the top of the governmental institutions on a global scale. There is no state or government that has the vision or the will to implement such a plan, as self interest and greed by all within existing societies will not be given up quickly to make the fundamental changes to stop climate change and runaway global warming within the time span everyone is talking about, let alone the vast quantities of vanishing species on the planet which one day may include us. 

I call on you as individuals, the World Bank as enabler, and other global international institutions, to bring about a real radical change that will change the direction the living systems upon the planet  can work to promote the only sustainable way forward.

The right action is needed and quickly, waiting for the right technology to come along within the existing framework will fail, as greed determines that quick fix solutions will bring big profits with consequences that are unforeseen and unimaginable and probably not sustainable for the planet and all life.

We need Smart Growth where we use less but obtain a better outcome is using less resources, This needs a whole new mind set step change , and I feel it will not happen until there is a direct consequence of our lifestyles, ie , pay dear for products and services that cause damage to the planet on all things from housing, roads, fuel, food, leisure,health and education, we must learn to pay the right price and do it in a sustainable way.  

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2015/05/11/decarbonizing-development-zero-carbon-future?CID=CCG_TTccgEN_D_EXT