Thursday, 23 October 2014

Corporate power and the new economy

Corporate power , as we have seen in recent years , unbridled and all powerful  with the freedom to do as they wish will have to stop.

 As we see Tesco falling from the giddy heights a few months ago and now falling headlong into an abyss which may kill it off altogether. This capitalist method of rise and fall , does only a few real favours  but but enhances mans greed for ever more power and supposed wealth.

As with the Banks are they to big to fail, what about petrol supplies, food distribution and pharmacies that so many now have become reliant on. Will the remaining retailers cope if they were to foreclose tomorrow? With something like a 20% market share , and in some localities it could be as high as 50%. what is the real fallout, Higher prices,higher taxes to pay for more redundancies and higher welfare payments , high stress levels for everyone from suppliers ,employees and customers alike, making even more work for the NHS and services that help in these situations.

All corporations should have a maximum size that they are able to become with only few exemptions when the State can become a share holder as could be the case for Energy, Utilities, Pharma and Food production and allied industries that are strategic to the national well being of the nation. This size should be determined by how much of the national market they take in their sphere of activity. This lies around the 10-20% share as has been discussed by various economists, but once struck should be strictly adhered too.
This would then enable smaller and more nimble businesses to be able to enter the field and move technology and ideas forward at a faster and more economic rate than in the past.

Large corporate entities are in themselves slow and not very nimble as we are seeing in the race to a vaccine for EBOLA, Will it be GSK or a smaller company that makes the real breakthrough, It will hover be the big boys muscle that will be the winners in the end as they will swallow any small players in one bite , and become even more bigger and powerful.

Lets hope that Ebola does not infect GSK in the process and put us all back decades in lost hopes for the future long term health of the planet!

Changes the NHS and Welfare must make protect the Nation's future

With economic pressures  placing real impacts on the NHS there appears a few solutions being proposed of which the main one that will give any real long term credence is the giving of power to the individual and empowering them to look after themselves.

This empowerment comes with responsibility and respect for others and society as a whole and as sacrifices have to be made by everyone , it should be within some bounds, especially when one sees some abusing their bodies with excess drugs and alcohol and excessive food.
Along side this transition  it is important to educate and reduce working hours so to make life less stressful, and accompanied by an overhaul of housing and open spaces to provide a sanctuary where people can exercise , play and meditate.

Town Planners are often very instrumental in allowing noisy zones alongside residential areas, housing without facilities of balconies , open spaces and gardens are all to often last minute additions rather than a fully integrated part of the plan.

Whilst traveling abroad, there are many examples of good planning and retrofit fixes of past mistakes and these ideas need to be not only shred but acted upon to make a more pleasant and satisfying place for everyone to live , not just those rich few who have the means to buy privateness, and quietness and wilderness, that we all enjoy . It is not just the rich that should enjoy these perks  but all to some extent. 

Housing and the family should always be the first priority of any government, to maintain a high level of contentment and happiness.There has been enough research on this subject to make the right decisions, However it should be linked with the responsibility of receiving a citizens wage , which would enable the individual to take real real responsibility of their own heath and wellbeing.

Without this coordinated approach by all sections of society, little will be achieved and we will fail ourselves and society as a whole and also fail to save any real cash on the budget side.

As we see already, when an epidemic, like EBOLA attacks us all, everyone hides and withdraws all medical help for any other condition also, making the situation a lot worse and could ultimately result in meltdown and all medical service withdrawn and other epidemics of malaria and typhoid could easily make a massive comeback undoing all the good work done in recent years at great vast expense.

This course of action should also run along side a reversal of climate change, which can also only be controlled by all individuals acting together with one common aim of reducing carbon use and ensuring all natural resources are sustainable for the future millenia, not just ours for now.

This part should be acted upon most urgently with the empowerment of all individuals by removing all existing taxes and replacing with a tax on all natural resources at source depending on the damage they do during extraction and final use to the ecosystems and planet ecosphere as a whole.
A healthy planet, environment and all ecosystems will result in healthy people. Respect for all Nature and all the planets resources is critical if we are to form a long lasting civilization for the future.


Monday, 6 October 2014

6/10/2014   David Dunn  on  Naomi Klein

It appears that all groups are in agreement that it will be at the grassroot level that action has to be taken , in that spirit, It follows that once the idea of climate change needs to be addressed, then what is the actual action that has to happen

No-one can accept a loss of face, as we see in many wars of past and present, so we have to be seen to treat everyone transparently in a fair equal,ethically and morally acceptable way across all divides of creed religion and culture.

We have at present a global tax system that is pretty well similar across the globe that has been developed over the past , based on past historical experiences and that the winner of war takes all. This is the premise that has to change, to one where the planet, eco systems and future  generations take precedence over our own greed for the moment.

To that end we must fundamentally reform the value of all of natures bounty and we must re-educate ourselves to the new world order of big populations and limited resources, else we will be forever where we are now with war, famine and strife.

Everyone has to take equal share of responsibility for climate change and damage to the enviroment according to their own means and lifestyle choices.

    to achieve this we must I believe

1 Remove all existing taxes

2 Replace with a NRT,  A  Natural Resource Tax, which is collected at as near to source as possible, mine head, oil well head, owner of land, at the quarry etc, and the amount determined by the potential and actual environmental damage the products are liable to cause.

3 Other issues that effect humanity but also impinge on the environment are, health, welfare, housing, and pensions, and to make everyone responsible for their own actions a citizens wage for life should be used.

4 Finally a death tax should be implemented to redistribute wealth to all citizens as needed.

Monday, 15 September 2014

How all the Establishments and big business are lined up to say No to Scottish independence.

All the strength of all the establishments along with all big business is trying to get Scotland to say no to Scottish independence is absolutely amazing sight to see.

Never before have so many been against one enemy  , except for the last wars , have we seen the rich and powerful worried that the voice of the people will upset the biggest apple cart of the British Union.  and all the consequences that may result , especially in devolving power more equally across the rest of the UK and power having to be relinquished in favour of smaller enterprises.

The rich, justifiably worried about the out come , as this will change the politics for the whole of the UK and indeed may inspire other around europe to do the same  and will force all governments to listen to what its citizens are really wanting and demanding.

The days may be just numbered of governments having absolute power without any real democratic mandate by its peoples.

Change will have to happen if the vote is YES , but if it is NO to independence the status quo will be maintained and there will be little change despite all the rhetoric and promises made now , as happen in all recent elections  manifestos are there to be torn up upon election into power, and this will I am sure be no different .

WE need a change of governance in the whole of the Uk and this is our real and few chance s to make it happen lets take it we have little to loose , Its only the rich Greedy and powerful one that have most to loose , and thats why they are squealing and begging to say No to independence

VOTE YES for a  Guaranteed change, Vote NO for NO change  The choice is yours  to make to determine the future of Democracy  for your children and their futures, and so they too can decide their own fate.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Scottish independence and the world holds its breath

Is this now the revolution we have all been waiting for to reform all the institutions to a new way forward with regards to a more cohesive and equal society?

Many columnists and alternative people have been proposing a revolution in all sectors of society from banking to tax reform , from health and benefit reforms to citizens wage.

Is now the revolution in our midst and we do not recognise it ?

Is it not time to use this moment to capture the BBC and the Press with all the potential ideas that have been buzzing around and give them a good airing .

So far there has been little said by the public of what they want to see happen , No Public TV debates  confronting the establishment and holding them to account , The press so self conceited in their arrogance that they know all the right questions to ask , but fail in the real debate of what sort of society do we really want?

If the Scots do vote YES , then it will be a big endorsed meant that the democratic system has failed in such a big way that no-one now believes them at all.

Successive Government's have far to long NOT been accountable , Parties manifestos extol the radical ideals and get the votes then, nothing happens. The manifesto is ditched in all but name and no one is held to account and the civil service maintains the state of quiet contentment at achieving an even sail of work and policy.

Of course most think this is rubbish except the poor and underprivileged who have to pay the ultimate price of poor health, housing and final early death without care.

Wake up Britain , now is the time to take control from the bottom up and demand accountability of manifestos,  Hold parties to real account is the real constitutional change that has to occur, then the banks , tax, citizens wage  and many other institutional systems will change. and just maybe Scotland then will think again about leaving,

But Have we left it all to late to stop the breakup, I believe we have  and we now have to pay the real price of burying our heads in the sand , That of the poor suffering even more in cuts and uneven distribution of wealth in all its meanings.

Optimistically, I believe we can pull through but it will need a whole mindset change by everyone , not just the politicians but also all citizens, corporations and institutions. WE need a more accountable democratic model based on equality and opportunity for all while at the same time  need to give responsibility to everyone for their own actions to change the way we all want the world to be .

A real sense of achievement must be felt by everyone equally through the everyday decisions they make while buying and consuming the essentials and luxuries of life towards a better life and a sustainable planet for all the next generations to live and prosper in.

I Vote YES for Scotland's independence , so we can see this revolution happen , as a NO vote will I believe return us to the same old state of  nodding heads and returning to the same state we have inherited from the rich classes of the past.

A yes vote is for no turning back to the ideologies of the past , a new dawn is beginning to happen , and a new generation is born to make it happen , lets embrace the future and make it a place our children want to live in.

This is a demonstration of how Democracy can work in its finest hour, A real and collaborative effort is required by all, but it is the duty of governments to govern according to the peoples long term wishes, not to forever go exploring and  being opportunistic, the need to forge a new relationship with Scotland based on trust and mutual benefits for both should have been the mantra , but will have to be the actuality of the future if we are both not to loose to much in the national and world arenas.

As a world leader of the past, we have the knowledge , but have so often failed to use it to our own long term benefit, just for short term gain by the rich and powerful, with resulting long term consequences we see culminating now to a divorce from the UK , which is the final break up of the British Empire.

Vote yes now is so important , so we can now finally break down the shackles of the past and move on quickly to a new and prosperous future , one based on TRUST, EQUALITY,with MORAL AND ETHICALLY BASED VALUES.


Friday, 29 August 2014

Micro organisms in the gut and on the planet, all life depends on them!

Last night I saw a BBC horizon program about gut micro-flora and its affect on the humans immune system  and subsequent effects on allergies and eczema  by the heir inactions with the immune system, especially at birth.

This just goes to show how the balance of life is so fine and so interdependent on each other at  all levels of life. These interactions demonstrates how little up to now we really know about living systems and how they work with each other.

Moving up to a planetary scale , we know almost nothing about these interactions between the micro- organisms in the soil, air and water, and how they impinge on our everyday lives through their interactions between themselves and directly on us and the planets bio and climate systems

This brought it home to me , of something I have always taken a strong interest in as all my children , despite living in the countryside all have some sort of allergy and eczema, which also brings me to think there may also be links with the air we breath and the cleanliness of our homes.

I have been promoting a Natural Resource Tax to replace all other taxes , and one reason has been to create an awareness that all resources are subjected to damage and abuse and as a result we have now depleted the soil with low micro-organisms due to mono cropping and pesticides and reduce carbon content due to the lack of organisms to do the work of breaking down organic matter.

This is ongoing and as we find more and more out technically about the earth's bio-systems, the more we are realising the importance of their maintenance at all levels, from rainforest destruction right through to conventional and organic farming to wasting land to urban development. This in an all embracing concept of joint mutuality and ownership of the planet and the consequence we will all bear as a result of not fully understanding these vital relationships .

In Biome 2 in Arizona which failed to achieve a sustainable climate for man to live in . just shows how far away we are from real sustainability, Perhaps we should continuously rerun this trail, until we do understands what makes the world tick.

In the meantime we need to take action , and quick and decisive on a global scale, That is why I believe we have to fundamentally change our habits from the grass roots, and empower every living person to make the right choices, but this only works dependant on the system of governance they live and work within.

We are all dictated and controlled by the laws and legislation of natural laws as well as those imposed by society and the state, It is the latter two which should be fundamentally altered so we all have  a greater understanding of natural law and the processes that underpin the very basis of life.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Christine Lagarde's " Promoting Responsible Energy Pricing"

Promoting Responsible Energy Pricing

Christine Lagarde
Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Center for Global Development, July 31, 2014

As prepared for delivery

Good morning!

I am delighted to be back at the Center for Global Development, and I would like especially to thank Nancy Birdsall and Lawrence MacDonald for the warm welcome.

We all know that CGD combines top-notch intellectual firepower with deep-rooted concern for the world’s poorest people. It is an indispensible agent of economic development. Thank you, Nancy, Lawrence—and all of your colleagues—for the great work that you do.

As some of you might recall, I was last here two years ago in the run-up to the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development. At that time, I talked about the path to a sustainable future that would require us to overcome a triple crisis—an economic crisis, a social crisis, and an environmental crisis.

Today, I want to follow up on the third area—the environmental crisis, which is shaping up to be one of the greatest crises facing our generation and our century. It is also the issue upon which future generations will judge us.

If we do nothing, we face a future that is grim indeed. Our fortunes will melt with the ice, evaporate like water under a relentless sun, and wither away like sand in a desert storm. And the planet’s poorest and most vulnerable people will be the first to feel the pain. 

Clearly, that is simply not an option. We must push back against these grave threats to our environment—as a matter of utmost urgency. This certainly calls for the international community to come together. Yet there is also a lot that countries can and should do on their own—this is one of my themes today.

What is the IMF’s role in all of this? Two years ago, I made a commitment that the Fund would work hard to provide practical guidance—a kind of “toolkit”—to help our members ensure that they are pricing energy responsibly.

Today, we are following through on that commitment by releasing a new book: Getting Energy Prices Right: From Principle to Practice. In effect, it is the toolkit that we promised.

In that context, let me talk about three things this morning:
First, why environmental issues—particularly those related to energy production and use—matter so much to the Fund.

Second, what we mean by “responsible” energy pricing.

And third, how this principle can be put into practice. 

Environmental issues and the IMF

Let me begin with why the IMF is concerned about the environment. The reason is simple: a degraded environment leads to a degraded economy. Environmental damage has macroeconomic implications, and implications for the design and impact of fiscal policy.

So where environmental damage is “macro-critical” it must also be “mission-critical” for us.

Fossil fuels, we have learned, are a doubled-edged economic sword. The unprecedented improvement in global living standards over the past century certainly would not have been possible without the energy derived from these fuels.

Yet we seem to have lost some ancient wisdom on the importance of balance and moderation.

For while the world became richer as energy fueled economic expansion, only recently have we come to fully appreciate the damage done to our precious—and irreplaceable—natural resources.

Think of spiraling atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which—according to the latest assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—will warm the planet by around 3-4 degrees Celsius by 2100, in the absence of firm policy responses.

Think also of dirty air, which is caused mainly by burning fossil fuels. According to the World Health Organization, outdoor air pollution alone causes 3.2 million premature deaths a year. Meanwhile, relentless growth in vehicle traffic results in ever more productive hours lost in the grind of daily congestion.

What can we do? We clearly cannot reset the clock to a time before the industrial revolution—that is as impossible as it is undesirable. The only viable solution is for policymakers to protect rather than plunder the environment, to steward rather than sabotage our precious resources.

As the American poet Wendell Berry put it, “To cherish what remains of the earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.

But sometimes the poets need some help—in the form of clear, effective, practical advice on how to “cherish and foster”.

As we all know, there is no simple solution here. Protecting the environment involves a multitude of moving parts. It encompasses, for example, research and development, infrastructure upgrades for power and transportation systems, and appropriate tax and regulatory regimes for extractive industries.

Yet, in all of this, fiscal policy must take center stage. The message is simple: to get it right, price it right. Make sure that prices reflect not only the costs of supplying energy, but also the environmental side effects.

This brings me to the main entry point for the IMF.

We have already done quite a bit of work in this area. For example, we have been pushing hard for the elimination of energy subsidies, which—as discussed in IMF research published last year—are bad for the planet, bad for the economy, bad for the budget, and bad for social equity.

But we need to go well beyond the elimination of direct cash subsidies, and make sure that energy tax systems around the world properly reflect environmental side effects.

On this point, let me be crystal clear: we are generally talking about smarter taxes rather than higher taxes. This means re-calibrating tax systems to achieve fiscal objectives more efficiently, most obviously by using the proceeds to lower other burdensome taxes. The revenue from energy taxes could of course also be used to pay down public debt.

We would expect these sorts of tax shifts to have limited adverse economic effects—the whole point is to raise revenue in ways that make the economy work better by fixing market failures.

Of course, taxing energy is not the only route. We can certainly think of good alternatives like programs where governments sell rights to pollute. Cap and trade systems have been around for a number of years and, if set up properly, provide a very reasonable alternative to meet the same objective.

What does responsible energy pricing mean?

Moving on to my second point today—how can policymakers design responsible energy pricing?

Using fiscal instruments to reflect environmental damage in energy prices is not rocket science. It is really a matter of basic tax principles, or actually just common sense. The two main issues are the appropriate tax base and the appropriate tax rate.

Carefully targeting the source of the environmental harm is critical. This means, for example, making sure that charges on different fuels are proportional to emissions from those fuels. That way, we get the relative prices of dirty, intermediate, and clean fuels right—and environmental damage is properly factored into energy prices.

In turn, that encourages people to make green choices all across the spectrum—such as power generators switching to less polluting fuels or installing emissions-control technologies; and households driving less often, or upgrading to more energy-efficient vehicles and appliances.

Using a single fiscal instrument targeted at a particular source of environmental harm is both effective and administratively simple. It is better than relying on a patchwork of uncoordinated policies—such as telling some manufacturers to install certain control technologies, requiring others to use certain fuels, or rewarding households for buying certain vehicles.

The bottom line is that we can spur the same kinds of virtuous behavior by using a much simpler tool—a single fiscal instrument. And once we price bad things right, we will not need to worry so much about subsidizing good things—like renewable energy.

Once we know what to tax, the next logical question becomeshow much to tax. Again, this is straightforward in principle. Aligning tax rates with environmental damage provides an automatic check and balance.

If taxes are too low, many socially desirable changes to energy production and use will not be made, and the environment suffers. If taxes are too high, energy will be produced with excessive costs, and the economy suffers.

So this is a delicate—but very important—balance to get right. To do this, policymakers need to have some sense of themagnitude of environmental damage and what this implies forappropriate energy tax systems.

Putting principle into practice

This brings me to my third area—putting principle into practice. This is really the whole point of the new IMF book—providing actionable guidance to policymakers on “pricing it right”.

The unique contribution of the book—or the toolkit—is that it lays out a practical methodology for quantifying environmental damage across developed and developing countries alike. It shows what this damage implies for appropriate energy taxes, and the benefits of policy reform.

Let me raise an obvious but important caveat. There are many controversies and uncertainties involved in measuring environmental damage—for example, in putting a price tag on future global warming or on the lives saved from cleaner air. It is possible to come up with many plausible values for such things, but the IMF is not in the business of telling governments what to assume here.

Rather, what the book provides is a framework for understanding the issues—the key factors that determine the environmental damage. It provides estimates of tax levels needed to incorporate environmental costs in the prices of coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel—for over 150 countries. It also offers an accompanying spreadsheet tool—available online—that traces out the implications of alternative assumptions for these factors.

So we see our contribution as helping to inform the debate, make transparent the policy implications of alternative assumptions, and provide a benchmark against which other—less efficient—policies can be evaluated so policymakers better understand the tradeoffs.

This is not the place to get into a technical discussion of how to measure concepts like deaths from air pollution or the costs of traffic congestion—for that you should read the book!

Instead, let me mention just one other important aspect—how pervasively energy seems to be mispriced at present, based on our assessment.

Take coal, for example. This is about the dirtiest of all fuels, yet almost no country imposes meaningful taxes on its use. Our work suggests that, to reflect the carbon damages alone, a reasonably-scaled charge would amount, on average, to around two-thirds of the current world price of coal. In countries where a lot of people are exposed to air pollution, the coal charge should be even higher—several times higher in some cases.

What about motor fuels? There are many costs to count here—the obvious carbon and air pollution damages, and also the costs coming from congestion and the risk of additional traffic accidents. If all of these costs were reflected in gasoline and diesel taxes, it would mean substantial charges across developed and developing countries.

Some countries are already in the vanguard here. Many countries in Europe, for example, already impose taxes on fuel at levels that seem broadly appropriate for the damage they cause. The more important question for them going forward will be the appropriate mix between traditional fuel taxes and more novel approaches—such as per-mile charges for peak-period driving on busy roads to deal with congestion.

We also need to make sure that the poorest and most vulnerable households are protected. But let’s be clear: keeping energy prices artificially low is no way to help the poor. Instead, policymakers should focus on the overall fairness of the tax system—and make sure that all have access to decent healthcare, education, and social benefits.

Pushing ahead with energy price reform might not be easy, but it will certainly be worth it—many times over. It produces a triple benefit—saving lives, saving the planet, and saving the budget. For example, we have estimated that these policies reduce fossil fuel deaths by 63 percent, reduce carbon emissions by 23 percent, and raise revenues by 2.6 of percent of GDP.

When we put it in these terms, the case for action becomes urgent. Yes, we need global cooperation to overcome global challenges like climate change. In this vein, we fully support ongoing international efforts to move climate mitigation policies forward. Yet this is proving hard because the costs of action are clear and they are borne by local communities while the benefits of action are more long-term and more dispersed across the globe.

But this is not an excuse for individual countries to stay in a holding pattern. As we have shown, there is a lot that countries can do to protect the environment on their own, by acting in their own national interests. If everyone cleans up their own neighborhood, our entire planet will be in much better shape.


Let me conclude on that note. We do not expect energy price reform to happen overnight. It will require education about why substantially higher fuel prices are needed—and indeed unavoidable—to deal with mounting environmental challenges.

Yet as Nelson Mandela once said, “it always seems impossible until it’s done”. So let’s get it done—at the national level and at the global level. We know where we need to go, and how to get there, so let us start the journey.

I promise you that the IMF will help countries move forward here—with our policy advice and, as countries seek it, our technical assistance. We are all in this together.

Thank you very much.