Category Archives: Economy

The new game theory | Gary’s Economics

Take a look at this video clip in which Gary Stevenson debunks game theory.

The premise is that you can predict what people will do because people act selfishly.

But Gary’s saying that, in economic terms, acting selfishly will not help us – in fact it will bankrupt us. It’s only by working together that we can ensure that our living standards improve.

See for yourself:

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Jonathan Pie speaks for us all on Rishi Sunak’s recession

Rishi Sunak: he become prime minister in late 2022 and the economy – almost immediately – tanked. The government just got around to admitting it and now commentators like Jonathan Pie are putting the boot in.

I understand that, taking population rises into account, the UK was in recession for the whole of 2023 but we just weren’t told.

So Rishi Sunak’s premiership has been one of unremitting recession except for the first few months – when he was pushing us into the recession that followed.

It’s not a good record and, as usual, Jonathan Pie’s analysis hits all the important points:

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Rachel Reeves has blown her credibility so now she’s trying a new catchphrase. Who’ll care?

Rachel Reeves: she thinks we’re all idiots. This is the look on her face when she finds out we’re not.

This couldn’t have happened to a better person, could it?

It turns out Rachel Reeves took money from climate sceptics, right before Labour ditched its £28 billion-per-year Green Prosperity Plan:

Corruption?

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She has now gone on to float a new catchphrase: “Securonomics”:

According to the Telegraph,

Labour would aim to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7. To do this, it would adopt a new approach it has coined “securonomics”, or “modern supply side economics”.

This would involve bringing in “tough” fiscal rules with a new “enhanced role” for the OBR and establishing a new Office for Value for Money to ensure taxpayer cash is being well spent.

If it seems like nonsense, that’s because it is.

Reeves is still trying to pretend that money is a limited resource in the UK; it isn’t. A Labour government would be able to create as much as it needed, to fund any projects it wanted – as long as it taxed back enough money (from those who could afford it) as would be necessary to prevent large-scale inflation.

The problem there is that – as she has shown by taking a donation and then ditching a policy that would have been extremely useful – Rachel Reeves is in the pocket of the rich.

Still, the idea of an Office for Value for Money is a good one, even if it won’t work in practice because governments will find a way to ignore it if it says they shouldn’t do something they want to.

Ultimately, we can only have one comment on all of this:

Rachel Reeves: what a phoney.


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There is more money in the UK economy than ever before. Who’s got it?

Money, money, money: Rishi Sunak says there’s hardly any available for public services but there is more of it in the UK economy than ever before – more than three times as much as when the Tories came into office in 2010. Why doesn’t he use some of that, rather than leaving it in the hands of people who didn’t deserve to be given it in the first place?

Who is hoarding all the cash?

There is currently around £2.7 trillion washing around the UK economy somewhere. It’s not debt, as your mainstream Establishment politicians keep telling you, because the system needs to have money in order to work. It’s the blood that keeps the body alive; the oil that keeps the engine working. This Writer demonstrated as much in a previous article.

In a population of 68 million people, £2.7 trillion comes out as around £40,000 per person – easily enough for us to be able to pay for top-level public services and have enough left over to treat ourselves.

But we are constantly being told – most recently by Keir Starmer – that there is not enough money to provide the public services that we need; to re-nationalise our national utilities that are mostly making profit for firms owned by foreign governments, to restore our rotting water and sewage network that greedy private shareholders have allowed to fall into ruin while they took our bill payments for themselves, to invest in environmentally-friendly power and technology, to provide cheap housing… the list goes on and on.

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So where is all the cash? It must have gone somewhere, right?

The answer is that it has been given to extremely rich people who don’t need it, mostly (for example, in the case of the Covid-19 PPE scandals) in return for goods and/or services that didn’t actually work.

If you believe people like Gary Stevenson (and I tend to), these people have then hoarded that wealth, using it only to buy assets – property or businesses, in order to make them too expensive for the rest of us to be able to afford.

These things may then be rented or sold back to us at a price so high that we need to go into debt (think how much a mortgage costs these days) and spend the rest of our lives trying to pay the money back to them, with interest, so they can sit back on their fat backsides, eating lotus or whatever it is the idle rich do.

Remember: the inflated prices they ask us to pay are entirely arbitrary. They don’t have to charge us the Earth for anything because they are already rich and don’t need the cash to support them; a far lower price would be enough for them to get by.

So (again) if that’s where the cash has gone and what it is doing there, why is this happening?

The answer can only be: to keep the rest of us down. By denying us properly-funded public services, they force us to pay for expensive private schemes that don’t work because of profiteering, and this keeps us poor. Because we are poor, we have to work like slaves to try to make ends meet.

And this is the logical conclusion of all the neoliberal politics of the last 40-50 years: the creation of a new slave state, toiling in the dirt to keep a tiny group of elite citizens in absolute luxury.

Am I mistaken?

If you think so, then ask yourself: Where is my £40,000?


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Keir Starmer’s reason for killing Green Prosperity Plan: economic illiteracy

It was bad enough that Keir Starmer decided to ditch his party’s last policy that divided it from the Tories; now we learn that he’s justifying it with the worst piece of economic illiteracy of the last few decades.

Here’s Another Angry Voice:

Apparently Labour can’t now afford to invest for the future because the Tory government has said it is going to “max out the national credit card”.

If this sounds wearisomely familiar, it’s because it is. The “maxed out national credit card” trope was one of David Cameron and George Osborne’s favourite propaganda lines when they were trying to convince the country that “let’s cut our way to prosperity” austerity ruination was a wise economic strategy, rather than the macroeconomically illiterate road to ruin it’s proven to be.

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Anyone with a shred of economic knowledge understands that comparisons between national economies and household family budgets are profoundly misleading, and that they’re especially egregious when public borrowing is portrayed as akin to a reckless credit card splurge.

Unless you have a money printing press in your house, your household budget is almost entirely unlike a national economy, and public borrowing (the cheapest possible form of borrowing) is extremely unlike credit card borrowing (the most expensive aside from payday loan exploitation).

Thus anyone making such comparisons is either an economic illiterate who doesn’t have the faintest idea how national economies actually work, or they’re wilfully spreading economically illiterate tropes in order dupe people they believe to be gullible.

Apparently Starmer and the right-wing ghouls he’s surrounded himself with believe we can solve Britain’s economic malaise with the same ruinous “cut our way to prosperity” policies and by spreading exactly the same asinine economic illiteracy as the people who actually caused it!

You’d have to fit Einstein’s definition of insanity to believe that we’ll end up with different results by trying the same thing again, down to the exact same propaganda lines used to justify it.

Once again we learn that the way forward for the UK is neither a Conservative nor a Labour government.

Source: Why is Keir Starmer spreading economic illiteracy?


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Keir Starmer kills off £28bn Green Prosperity Plan pledge – and his election hopes?

Windmills of his mind: but did Keir Starmer ever have any real intention to go through with his now-ditched £28bn Green Prosperity Plan?

No serious commentator could possibly describe any of Keir Starmer’s policies as “firmly held principles or promises” because he changes them with the wind, so the above is not strictly true for him – although it is for his party.

Labour had been adamant that, if elected into government, it would invest £28 billion a year on green energy projects like creating a publicly-owned green power company, building offshore wind farms and developing electric vehicles – until today (February 8, 2024), when the policy was unceremoniously dumped.

Why?

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According to the New Statesman,

Campaign director Morgan McSweeney and the national campaign coordinator Pat McFadden have long feared that the £28bn figure leaves Labour  vulnerable to a classic Tory “tax bombshell” attack – the strategy that helped deliver them election victories in 1992 and 2015.

McSweeney recently warned the shadow cabinet that … Labour has to “bombproof” its offer in advance.

Since economic modelling has shown that increasing investment to £28bn a year would break the party’s fiscal rules, the figure was never likely to be met in the next parliament.

Starmer’s move is not without political risk. It will encourage the charge from left and right that he is a “flip-flopper” who doesn’t stand for anything. Indeed, his chief of staff, Sue Gray, has warned him in advance of this.

Rightly so. This speech strikes home:

That’s the right-wing charge. Here’s the charge from the left:

Even Barry Gardiner, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary at the time of the 2019 general election – and one of the party’s most eloquent promoters – has turned on his boss over this:

Going back to the Statesman, there’s one final point to be made:

On a more fundamental level, it also raises the question of how a Labour government would increase Britain’s economic growth to the highest in the G7 and achieve its target of clean power by 2030. As recently as yesterday, Starmer insisted that £28bn was crucial to both. The policy may have gone but the arguments it triggered will endure.

So Starmer has ditched the Green Prosperity Plan because it would break Labour’s fiscal rules – but without it, the party cannot achieve its economic goals.

This Writer has a feeling that Starmer has created his own nemesis, rather than vanquishing it.


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What really caused the inflation crisis? Here’s Gary to explain why rich people have your money

The real cause of inflation: the super-rich sucked up government cash that was given out to keep working- and middle-class people alive during the Covid crisis – by being the providers of the services and supplies everybody else needed. But that was a crisis and it should be time to normalise the situation. Why won’t politicians do it?

According to Gary Stevenson, governments like those in the UK and US caused the post-Covid inflation crisis by giving away thousands of pounds to keep us all going when the economy was locked down.

The problem was that those of us who normally work for a living had to then use that money to pay our bills (that’s not including This Writer; I just carried on writing Vox Political all the way through and lived on the money I earned from it, plus savings – those were happier days) while the rich, who issue the bills that we have to pay, just sucked up all the cash.

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They then started using that cash to buy what they could – not luxury items, because they were forbidden from doing it due to the shutdown of the economy, but so-called economic assets like houses. This stopped the rest of us from being able to buy them by keeping prices high – as Gary has discussed in previous clips.

Notice: he doesn’t say there was anything wrong with governments spending the money in the way they did; people needed cash to survive and it was inevitable that providing it to them from the Treasury, rather than the economy, would increase the national debt and massively increase wealth inequality between the poor who spent the cash and the rich who received it.

But because the circumstances were extraordinary, and the result was an unbalanced economy (increased inequality), the government should then have taken action to re-balance the economy by using the levers available to it to re-distribute the wealth.

It should have taxed the money back off the rich. Logically, the government could have got away with calling it a windfall tax because that’s what it would have been.

That hasn’t happened.

And neither of the ‘Big Two’ political parties – Labour and the Conservatives – are even considering such a rebalancing of the economy. Instead, they are both planning to bake it into our lives for a long time to come.

So we can say that Labour and the Tories both intend to increase wealth for the richest and poverty and debt for everybody else – and that includes those of you who are middle-class, sitting there smugly thinking you’ll be all right (you won’t).

There’s only one answer, but This Writer doubts many people will take it up.

You have to think for yourself.

That’s right; you have to get details of the political plans of every candidate standing in your constituency in the general election and you have to work out which of them – if any – intend to re-balance the economy to prevent us all falling into this debt trap.

How do you fancy that?

And politicians? Here’s a challenge for you:

Are you going to produce manifesto commitments to tax the money back off the super-rich – who don’t need it, remember – and re-balance the economy or are you too scared of them to dare upsetting them?


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Politicians are hell-bent on pushing us to fascism. Let Gary explain how to stop it.

After a six month hiatus, Gary Stevenson is back with a video clip discussing what has happened in the UK during that period. And it isn’t good.

Inflation is down. He explains why the Tories should take no credit for it.

Interest rates will start to fall, following inflation.

House prices, after rising during the Covid crisis, have not come down again – and Gary explains that this is because the rich have accumulated an enormous amount of money over the period since early 2020. They have used it to buy houses without mortgages, which is why prices have not fallen. And with high interest rates, their savings accounts are growing massively.

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As interest rates fall, rich people will invest their savings in buying houses, and this means prices will rise again.

Living standards have fallen with the rapid rise of inequality that came with the transfer of huge amounts of cash to the rich. Rents, the price of goods and the price of holidays will also increase. Young people will be very strongly harmed by these developments.

With living standards falling, and no political party in the UK serious about reducing inequality, people will be dissatisfied – whichever party is in office. People will want an alternative, and the populist far right is poised to promise them anything they want. This is why it is so terrifying that the Tory with the safest seat is Kemi Badenoch.

This risk is increased by the fact that the economy is failing – no matter what Rishi Sunak and his spokespeople say.

An accelerated shift towards fascism is inevitable unless a positive alternative can be presented.

Increasing equality will improve living standards and stave off the fall into fascism.

The challenge for us now is to encourage public opinion to support such measures.


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Right-wing rag attacks junior doctors as winter viruses surge

Striking doctors: they’re being blamed for the expected effects of increases in “winter viruses” – but won’t those increases be due to the stupidity of the people spreading them? And will they be spread as far, if Tory inflation means people haven’t been able to afford to go out as much this year?

How nice of the Tory-supporting rags to blame junior doctors for pressure on the NHS caused by the so-called “winter viruses” – flu, norovirus and Covid-19.

Junior doctors are set to walk out for six consecutive days next week, in the latest part of their long-running dispute with the government over pay.

So media outlets like The Times are blaming them for any increased suffering that may happen during that time – ignoring the fact that this, and the 974,000 missed appointments alleged to have happened so far, could have been avoided if the Tories had simply paid them the appropriate wage.

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The Times reported,

In the week to Christmas Eve, there were an average of 942 patients with flu in hospital each day, including 48 in critical care. It is almost six times higher than the 160 average four weeks ago. Meanwhile 452 hospital patients on average were there because of norovirus symptoms, which include diarrhoea and vomiting, and 3,620 patients had Covid-19 — up by over a half from the month before.

And it quoted Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, who said the impact of care was likely to be

“much more severe next week with six days of industrial action planned by junior doctors, the longest in NHS history, at a time when hospitals usually experience the most pressure with high demand and higher levels of virus admissions”.

Covid cases were expected to rise to a peak around December 30, in the aftermath of Christmas gatherings. Here‘s the i:

Covid cases are expected to have risen sharply as JN.1, the new highly-contagious dominant subvariant, spreads rapidly – increasing its share of new UK infections to 48 per cent on December 23rd, making it the biggest strain in the country.

In the aftermath of Christmas, where people have spent prolonged periods together indoors, cases are expected to keep rising for at least the next few days, according to Professor Karl Friston, a virus modeller at University College London.

It is common for illnesses to increase around the Christmas period as people socialise more and cold conditions help viruses to thrive, at the same time as weakening our resistance to them.

There are also concerns about waning immunity to Covid … As a result, scientists fear that a higher proportion of those cases could become severe this year than last year.

The increased chance of serious illness also pushes up the risk of a person going on to develop long Covid because serious cases are more likely to lead to that condition.

This is all perfectly plausible – but it omits one important factor in the spread of any disease: human stupidity.

If sick people have been infecting others at Christmas gatherings, what possessed them to go there? If they were feeling flu-ey (or whatever), why didn’t they do the decent thing and stay at home?

In This Writer’s own family, Mrs Mike’s mother had to stay away from our family gathering this year because her boyfriend (I know it’s weird to talk about them like that when they’re in their late 70s, but what other word is there?) visited her, despite having Covid.

He ended up having to self-isolate – and is now in hospital because of complications that may have arisen because of the Covid – and she agreed that she should stay away, to avoid the possibility of infecting the rest of us.

So that was a couple of people’s Christmas ruined; worse than the one that it could have been if he’d stayed away, but better than spreading it among the rest of us.

Conversely, the dire economic effects of having a Tory government might have worked in our favour: I visited my local pub yesterday evening for the first time in a fortnight and it was very quiet indeed.

My friendly neighbourhood bartender told me it had been like that all the way through the Festive Season so far, and we agreed that, what with the higher cost of food this year because of Tory inflation, together with the strain of buying presents, people probably didn’t have any cash left with which to go out.

It harms the economy – if money can’t be spread around as much as it was before, then some businesses will suffer and may even go under.

But that’s Tory politics for you. Their aim is always to concentrate all the cash – and therefore all the power – among a few people at the top.

It may lead to lower-than-expected “winter virus” infections this year – I’d like to hope so and we’ll have to monitor the results carefully – but that’s an unintended consequence.

And the full extent of harm to the economy may not become clear for some time to come.

Source: Winter viruses surge before longest junior doctors’ strike


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Shadow Health Secretary’s bleak opinion of the NHS should terrify you

Wes Streeting: the Shadow Health Secretary doesn’t even understand what running the NHS entails, so he certainly doesn’t deserve the chance to try it.

Richard Murphy’s appraisal of Wes Streeting’s words is accurate; the National Health Service is an investment in the future of the entire United Kingdom.

It works (when it works) by ensuring that the UK’s workforce is fit and healthy, thereby being able to add value to the nation’s economy – making us wealthier.

So Streeting is telling an untruth. Money spent on the NHS is an investment in “child poverty reduction, spending in schools, crime and policing” or whatever.

Buy Cruel Britannia in print here. Buy the Cruel Britannia ebook here. Or just click on the image!

It is an insult to the UK’s voters that a so-called Labour Party health spokesman is speaking tripe like this – as the rest of us have noticed:

Here’s “MsAlfieB” on ‘X’: “What a disaster We normally expect some HOPE from the opposition to a lousy govt, something to look forward to… This spiv and the spook and the fiscal frump just fill me with complete dread.”

Dr Dan Goyal brings the more obvious threat to Labour: “I get that Labour’s political strategists’ straw polls and focus groups suggest this “NHS has enough money” narrative appeals to the Tory base, but I have one question: how have they estimated turnout rates? Because I’m not turning out to vote for this nonsense.”

That’s the issue here. Who will turn out to vote for this nonsense?

Anybody voting Labour because it’s their “tribe”, or because they think it has to be automatically “better than the Tories”, needs to screw their head back on, because it has clearly come loose.

In the forthcoming general election, more than at any time in the past, you must consider what all the candidates are offering, and vote for the policies that would actually help you, no matter who is offering them.

Voting for a party just because you think it will beat another party is ridiculous, stupid, childish… It’s what has installed the corruption into Westminster that we see today.

It’s what put Wes Streeting in the Shadow Health Secretary role that he so clearly doesn’t understand, let alone deserve.


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