Sunday, 19 May 2013

Government versus the people

I was chatting to a man yesterday who is exactly the voter being targeted by all political parties: he is hardworking, qualified, runs his own business, has a mortgage, has a wife, two children and a dog.

What does he think of the government?  “They are all shits”
Does this comment relate to particular party.  “No, they are all the same.”

He spent several years as an apprentice learning how to become a fully qualified electrician only to see the government introduce a “quickie” six week course that allowed people to claim they were qualified electricians.  This was done because various governments have not supported industry training schemes.  “Cowboys now undercut me; customers are being given a shoddy service; the only people who benefited are the ones running the training schemes.”

To shore up his income in the light of his now-struggling electrical business he spent £30,000 enrolling and paying for certification in the government’s energy conservation scheme for homeowners (“HIPS”) only to find that the scheme was scrapped a few months later.

This is a man trying to make ends meet in a government created recession being knocked sideways by constant changes in government policies. 

Never in the history of mankind have we had such big governments.  It’s an untried experiment.  When things are done on a human scale systems tend to be self-regulating.  If an individual takes undue risks they ‘come a cropper’.  Big government, however, can make laws that distort human behaviour – and particularly financial behaviour – that leads to massive catastrophe.

The Greeks, once they got rid of their military government were doing alright until they joined the Euro.  As were the Portuguese and the Spanish.  The problem in Greece was massive corruption; not out-and-out theft but an inability to tell the absolute truth about the viability of many projects undertaken by big business too closely allied to big government. 

The same was true in Spain: local authorities, completely ignoring basic financial prudence, embarked on massive, and in many cases unnecessary, infrastructure projects – airports that were just not needed.

The only people who benefit from big government are the people working in it or the big businesses directly linked to it.  Amazon is the latest of many examples: one of the world’s biggest companies receives more in British government aid than it pays in taxes.  My electrician friend wishes he could be treated the same.

More conspiracies to defraud the public?  Read The Ministry of Cannabis on Amazon

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