Sickonomics

Our country is one of the “developed” countries of the World. Once that indicated that this country had a well developed industrial base, with an efficient, highly mechanised agricultural sector, an employed population who were healthy, with a sound social system that acted as a safety net for anyone needing it.
Since the 1980’s, however, a new phase of capitalism has emerged based on neo-liberal economics. The idea of a developed nation now indicates an expanding financial sector, while the industrial base has been allowed to deteriorate and with it employment and social welfare conditions. The global economy has been developed and this has encouraged a movement from owner control to manager control, a change which appears to lower risk, but which changes its nature and “moves the goalposts”.
Within the global structure jobs and materials are sourced from wherever they are cheapest. As this change developed global assets grew rapidly, to the benefit of the management of the corporations involved, but this explosive growth was financed by “pretend” money created through debt.
The notes in your wallet or purse promise “to pay the bearer the sum of …” a promise founded on little more than confidence; which in 2007/8 was shaken to the core, threatening to bring down the whole worldwide financial organisation. Money is created not as a representation of wealth but rather through the creation of debt, which then becomes an asset of the lender.
The movement of control of businesses from its owners to its managers has had dramatic effect. Growth, rather than profitability, became the measurement of success. Purchase of other businesses provided immediate growth, but without, necessarily increasing profitability. This growth financed huge bonus payments for the managers that had engineered it, even when the purchase may have threatened the survival of the expanded corporation.
Some of these corporations have even outgrown many countries but still have to find even more expansion, so they now propel their client governments toward expanding their markets even more. They are doing this by entering into trade agreements within which all obstructions to trade are removed. These “obstructions” may well include protections for employees, consumers or the environment. Watch the news for mentions of these trade agreements which are happening throughout the world, mostly behind locked doors, and which are often hailed as “breakthroughs”.
The latest obscenity is that many of these agreements now create “rights” for the corporations, so that companies can now sue governments if a nation tries to protect its interests at the cost of profit to the corporations.

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