Thursday, December 01, 2005

Working longer for less

The debate is on in the UK - and probably the rest of the industrialised world - as to what we should do with our pensioners. We live longer and cannot afford paying for their early and comfortable retirement. Whether the older generation have made a valuable contribution to society and deserve respect and dignity in return is not part of the discussion. It’s all about economics. This is a materialistic society, after all. More than that, however, the debate is seriously flawed in its basic premises.

Industrialisation and material advancement were once thought to be the panacea for all of humanity’s woes. Machines were to do all the work and people were to reap the benefit of their (the machines’) labour. There is no doubt that machines have taken the sting out of many jobs and have replaced human effort, be it in the household or in the factory. But they have not freed up their human masters to pursue leisurely tasks. Instead, they have enslaved them.

In the home, domestic equipment has freed women from doing the housekeeping only to force them to seek paid employment. In the workplace machines have reduced the requirement of human input and forced people into unemployment. The predicted prosperity has not become true for most of the citizens of the industrialised world. To the contrary, life has become more rushed, more stressful, less satisfying.

This is not the fault of the machines. The reason for this disastrous outcome is a skewed financial system where money becomes an objective in itself instead of being a means to an end. In the early parts of the last century the protagonists of the social credit movement made it abundantly clear that if machines were doing the work but were not being paid for it, then the people who were no longer doing the work and were not being paid for it either could hardly afford the products produced by the machines. They argued that every citizen should receive a dividend to share in the wealth created by automation.

In the materialist world, however, man is only worth as much as he produces, although, after some means-testing, he may be given a pittance to keep him alive and out of poverty. Children may be future earners, but old-age pensioners are a burden and dispensable as far as the materialist economy is concerned.

The way we run our economy is a huge con-trick by the bankers. Everything is debt-financed, from the bread we eat to the houses we live in. Food is shipped around the world, products are imported from far-off places, whilst a country’s local produce is being exported - all in order to increase our dependencies. The banks - and unfortunately most people are not clued up on this - do not finance economic activity with their own funds or those of their depositors. They have been given the right by government to create new credit out of thin air and then charge for it.

If a bank creates a pound in new credit but wants two pounds back over five or ten years, where is the extra pound going to come from? At an average interest rate of 5% (and we’ve got much higher rates now) the compound interest on a single pound lent in year one of our calendar would today, two millennia later, be worth five thousand balls of gold each weighing the weight of the earth. It is lunacy, it is unsustainable. Governments hope to postpone the melt-down by creating economic growth. But nature does not permit unlimited growth which becomes a cancer that eventually destroys its host. If it wasn’t for wars as a valve to let off steam the economy would have collapsed a lot earlier.

Have you ever wondered why there is always more money for war than there is to spend on peace-time benefits? Or how come that these fabulous banks have more money than all the countries in the world put together, seeing that there isn’t a single country now that is not indebted to them? They have obtained their wealth by fraudulent means. First they corrupted our politicians and governments plus the media, and once they had them in their pockets it was plain sailing. Instead of issuing a nation’s money supply themselves, as Abraham Lincoln argued they should, governments gave that authority to the banks and then bought it back from them at a surcharge. Our high taxes are the result of the banks collecting the spoils.

The pension debate, therefore, is a red herring. Short of a thorough shake-up of the financial system by which we are enslaved we are heading for a rough ride into the future.

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