Friday, August 5, 2011

Global Melt down

It is not a big surprise that the world secondary markets - the stock exchange - is going into melt down.  

Watching the debate over the United States Debt Crisis; listening to the speeches from the Republicans; and then watching Europe and the borrow, borrow and borrow for growth, growth and more growth.  

It is also distressing to see the obsession of the right wing politicians, that appear to stress the rich should pay as little tax as possible, and that middle class salary earner should pay for all services and benefits, not to mention the costs of infrastructure. 

These same politicians also stress that benefits, pensions and schemes to support the poor should be cut, cut and cut.  This includes community education and early childhood programmes that are cut regardless of the evidence that these contribute significantly to the well-being of our society and are part of social and cultural capital.

When will we (our society) come to realised that there must be an alternative economic theory that is about well-being, social, environmental, environmental and cultural well-being not just about economic growth and consumer spending.

At least some economists are now questioning the theory that said “the rich should not pay tax, their role is to stimulate the economy.  That stimulation is meant to be buying goods and services, keep businesses turning over and employ people. 
So why are there so many people becoming unemployed and why is it that the poor are getting poorer and the rich getting richer?
Maybe it is time we really looked at tax and who pays it and why and what are the outcomes for society?  

I like the New Zealand Labour and Green Party’s call for a capital gains tax, seems to be a way to get around tax avoidance.  Tax avoidance has never been against the law, but it certainly is not a way to encourage an equal society.
It is also time we looked seriously at the value of social and cultural capital and use opportunity cost economics to measure there value.

Maybe a few more of us should be calling for Genuine Progress Indicators (GPI) for all our central and local government agencies.

These indicators would certainly produce different priorities for spending and tax raising. 

Funding for programmes for the under 5 year olds and to stimulate adult learning, particularly though community education would have priority over huge expressways – or as the national government call them “ roads of national significance.

1 comment:

  1. I would be interested in your ideas on the current riots sweeping the UK. What I can see on TV are mainly young men - looting and violent. Not much social cohesion or social capital here.