A guest post from John Souter
For the sake of our communal reason and for the new year to come, we have to get this financial quagmire into some rational perspective.
It is not Armageddon in the sense of a nuclear world war would be in its ‘not – for – profit' madness. This is an idiocy without substance other than for one set of electric digits to consume an other set of electric digits and victory goes under the name of profit as equally meaningless digits.
This is a game played by a small coterie who claim they are ‘the elite’ by the mass of digits they hold, and should anybody want to get involved in their game they must borrow the stake from them and pay services charges and interest on it. The enticement of this game was it was ‘money’ from nothing, the rewards high and the stakes were risk free. It was manna from digital heaven and through the advances of technology, heaven was spewing out digits in greater quantities and speed than their minds could evaluate. It became the ultimate resource curse created by a resource that has no substance and little true purpose other than to create an addiction.
The ‘elites’ have been very successful in creating that addiction and claiming their rewards from it. But the problem for ‘elites’ is they eventually get tired of the mongrel diet that feeds them and the slaver over the diets enjoyed by their peripheral members. In fact this trait is in all our natures but not necessarily our nurture and in most circumstances what nurture corrupts nature destroys.
So what would happen – how intense would be the pain were we to stop the addiction and start the cold turkey?
I suspect the pain will be as illusory as the gains of the game. Sure there would be changes to lifestyles and a re-evaluation of values but, in essence life after a few faltering steps, will go on with more true energy and a lighter load to the next hurdle on our path of evolution.
Would we starve, be homeless reduced to a constantly threatened existence. No we’re far too resourceful for that. In fact there’s a far greater risk of these conditions becoming prevalent if we allow the ‘elites’ to continue.
Would commerce, industry, markets, trade, even capitalism clunk to an abrupt end? No it wouldn’t. It’s part of our nature and even our nurture of it hasn’t all been bad, just diverted and distorted by the wrong reasons by the wrong people for the wrong purpose.
So what do we do to leave this hurdle behind us - remember we’re not aiming for utopia; just to get on with our lives and allow our successors to move on to the next hurdle.
First we have to remove the distortions created by the ‘gambling’ of money. The assets held (or claimed) by the ‘elites’ will, I believe, be as illusory as the Emperor's clothes and have less substance than a cod-piece.
National governments take back control and responsibility for the administration, quality and economic integrity of their term in governance under the people's sovereignty.
Central Banks, will become National Banks. They, as will any other institution of government, will have citizen members chosen from a random list of localities on their board. These members will not be unduly constrained from reporting their interpretations of the boards policies or decisions to the body public.
The National Bank will be responsible for printing all the money needed to maximise the stability required to maintain commerce and legitimate services while the auditing and valuation of the old, dubious investments are in moratorium. All costs associated with the audits and their eventual value and resolution will be deducted and paid into the common purse along with any taxes due.
In time the National Bank, in partnership with the Government and the Audit office will decide the amount of money in circulation in line with the earnings envisaged/generated by the nation.
For businesses over a stipulated size Commercial banks will not be allowed to lend money for anything other than short term (3 months) cash flow problems. For longer term investments they will take shares in the company, thereby maintaining their interest and expertise in the long term viability of the company and its administration.
For genuine new start and innovative small to medium sized companies, they will be entitled to apply for loans at rates fixed at 2% above or half the commercial rate - whichever is the smaller - than the rates charged by the National Bank. Depending on the nature and volume of their business the borrower will agree to their books being inspected by Audit Inspectors at regular intervals.
Governments will not be allowed to subsidise businesses nor provide grants in order to entice business without first submitting a fully costed appraisal to the Audit Office and the National Bank both of which will have citizen members. Where it's deemed appropriate the amount involved could be offered as a loan and written off when at least four times the amount of loan has been paid in tax by the company.
For clarity of position the word avoidance will be removed from the lexicon of the Tax Office. Corporations and businesses over a certain size will be assessed on their tax liability and scheduled for payment on a monthly basis. Should their end of year audit prove they have paid too much tax either a rebate will be made or their assessment reduced for the requisite amount of months in the following year.
Tax will be collected at one rate and from a single source (probably on purchases) except in the case of income from overseas investment and unearned income, where any income accumulated over £50k per annum will be taxed at £80%.
Utilities and the commercial running of the Nations natural resources will be owned by the nation and run as commercial businesses except the shareholders will be the people, the government the non executive directors and the directors equally responsible for the viability and success of the business as they would be in a dynamic private commercial enterprise.
Terms of employment will be applied on a common template throughout the nation.
Members of parliament will be responsible to their constituents and if chosen to serve on the executive to the people as delegates not representatives.
Whatever method is adopted by the people in choosing the delegate, the ability to competently carry out the responsibilities of the winning delegate will not be restricted to languishing in ‘opposition’ due to the vagaries of political clubs and allegiances. The executive will be formed from all parties equal to the ratio of votes won in the election. For the purpose of integrity on issues placed in parliament, a shadow executive will be formed along similar lines, with the exception the shadow cannot be from the same stable as the executive in charge – and he/she will be given exactly the same advice and facilities. (Never again do we want to hear the whinge of “If only we had known” used as an excuse to turn promises into lies.)
Executive members will not be allowed to have direct access to or from Lobbyists. Instead Lobbyists will present their petition to a selected committee who will select MPs at random to hear and report on the petitions relevance and purpose. The full petition and the petitioners will be made available for public scrutiny as soon as it is registered by the selection committee.
Finally - though of course it isn’t - and I believe most important of all, we have to get rid of this paradigm where everything is measured by price without any recourse to the costs in social and moral values other than cheap bling created to keep the politicians in power.
Experience has proved they are too easily bought and, unfortunately, we allow ourselves to be too easily sold.
Discuss, add, argue and modify – we have a path to run and a hurdle to reach without the slough of despond shackling us down; and who knows - we may have all the best to come in the new year.
All the best to You All.
John Souter. 02/01/12.