Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Going Global Means Getting Austerity

The not so pretty picture above is of the Austerity locomotive designed by Southern Railways during WW2.  The huge demands of the global war effort on freight movement was beyond the capacity of its existing locomotives, 

Also the variety of types, their age and variety of those they had inherited from the past gave rise to many problems in keeping them on the tracks.  So the Southern Railway came up with a minimalist design stripped down to basic essentials, easy to repair and maintain.

During the 1940’s Austerity meant many things to many people and for the most part was ruthlessly enforced by a highly centralised government.  There was little that escaped the attention of the bureaucracy and the public were offered few choices and fewer luxuries.

Since the 1950’s, however, we have become persuaded that increasing prosperity should be the norm and we have now lifestyles where the level of consumption and the possessions of some of the poorer elements would have been considered the privileges of the better off or even wealthy then.

The world turns and times changed as do economies, monetary affairs, governments and their policies.  We still have big government but it is expected to be there to deliver not just our basic needs but all our various wants and desires.

But they can no longer do this and the politicians are reluctant to admit it, even if they understand how their power and ability to decide has been fatally eroded.  This in part is due to their own promising all things to all people.  The way they attempted to find the answers to all the problems was by signing up for Globalisation.

Oil Drum today had a post taken from Our Finite World which suggests that it cannot work; is not going to work and for many things it is going to get steadily worse.  If the writers of the article are correct the situation is that there is no going back.  The title of the post is “Twelve Reasons Why Globalisation Is A Huge Problem”.

It is a longish one with diagrams, but for a quick read just scroll down and take in the twelve sub headings in bold script.

Then think about our place in the world and where each of the developed nations stand in relation to this.  It may be that many will become “developing” nations only going in the direction of becoming steadily poorer.

This is the backdrop to the budgetary issues facing the USA, the big one and the UK its rather smaller spin off economy.  The EU is still living in la la land.  The answer they have had so far is to feed the monster with more and more money, but the monster may be about to spit it back.

Like the Austerity locomotive of the past it could be very ugly.

1 comment:

  1. I truly wish I could disagree with anything you write. No wonder history has not been taught well in schools for a very very long time, and education is sometimes abysmal - grandchildren at Uni ... but ... Every day something I thought could happen does.