June 24, 2013
Progress dictates that we determine our future based not on history but on future needs. We did not need an industrial sector before we had one.
The service sector is the largest employer and supplier of needs. Without technology and medicine, today’s world would be pretty awful. Those primary elements of productivity are not the source of all productivity. People are. Innovation and ideas are worth more than widgets or burnt coal.
I think we have yet to find an economic path that works for everyone, but so far what we have evolved with a thriving service sector is better than centralised wealth only consequential on primary production being the mainstay of all economic activity. More directly: the fewer people who can make money from the productive activity, the smaller the economy.
Banks do create money. Investment does create money. But for 100% employment to be possible, there has to be value for services and ethical organisations. Primary sectors are always smaller than what they grow. It is wrong to think we rely upon them for growth.
World class education is our most valuable export.
An argument against the assertion: “In political-economic reality, we’re still reliant on fossil fuels”
If all economic activity were purely there to convert energy, maybe that would make sense. But economic activity is actually to manage resources necessary for life. We do not have to progress into some kind of mythic space age to be successful. We have to live, grow, breed and die without making too much mess in the process. Progress means more result from less energy. Our service sector includes intellectual and cultural industries we are rather excellent at and form valid exports.
The model of human productivity and economy that depends on primary industry seems destined to fail. We can not expand primary production to solve our problems. Economic activity must be shared by all and what we make matters.
It makes little difference to the consumer if the public transport burns oil or electricity generated by nuclear power. They spend a fare or walk based on price. But this does not mean that to reduce transport costs we had better drill for more oil and gas. It is an example of how a service industry drove academic progress in science due to the war effort; the software revolution and being at the forefront of academic achievement in the sciences and arts is going to have larger economic effects in the long term than primary or secondary industry will.
Primary produce also includes agriculture and that in itself has an extraordinary economy involving much waste and unsafe practices.
June 17, 2013
The UK faces a question of staying in the EU. Meantime the USA and EU are negotiating a free trade agreement, the largest trade deal in human history.
Scotland is facing a referendum on whether it stays with the UK or rules itself, as an independent member of the EU.
The possible future relationships include Scotland having a Free Trade with the USA but not proud independent England that becomes instead a massive tax shelter free wheeling gambling and banking hub for investment shills.
June 11, 2013
It is now scientifically and medically recognised that antibiotic use must be extremely limited if they are to remain effective in life threatening situations.
David Willetts, the science minister, will propose far-reaching measures that would clamp down on the overuse of antibiotics by GPs and hospital doctors. He will also try to restrict usage on farms and fisheries, where the drugs are blended with feed to boost yields. – Guardian
As a survivor of near fatal infection following surgery the value of antibiotics is beyond question. But for real health it is imperative to avoid antibiotics unless the killing of bacteria is critically indicated. Recovery with traditional medicine (which is really helpful in relaxing the mind while avoiding antibiotics) is necessary for minor ailments. If widespread use of antibiotics is not stomped out we are in danger of evolving bacteria we can not fight eventually evolving an extinction event. It is very intelligent of the UK Government to take this to the G8, the G20 and the UN.
What is freedom if you only think you are free?
Politics is hard. If you veer too far from the peoples’ hopes that voted you in, especially if you are exploring fascist tendencies, you got a lot of explaining to do.
Of course this “war” against “terror” needs to be concluded and maybe the most exhaustive war would not resolve it. The tendency is to try and resolve the conflict during your history making turn in office. But maybe the problem is deeper and actually solving it does in the opinion of the intelligence community require a war. And if the eyes of the CIA are turned inward, they are not turned outward, doing their job. And the same kind of shift of focus into what are in essence “criminal acts” that are called “terror” as the person became a Muslim. Is that the test of whether it was an act of terror versus the act of a deranged person with automatic weapons at the opening of a Batman film? Does the definition of “terror” turn on motivation or how, we the supposedly terrified public, feel?
We will remember Boston, but the location of the Batman mass murderer has fallen from my lexicon of “terror”. “Terror” is in fact a language idea, if you call it that, then anything is justified. Just like the governments if 1984, behind steel walls, the Governments of today are now afraid of and watching their own people. The US Constitution is revealed as a set of ideals and we witness America at war with itself. Not a civil war in any conventional sense. But a war all the same. Not so much a war do to the actions of the “terrorists” (one can just imagine they finally get to meet each other on the other side as so far they are only brothers because they do the same thing due to the same sort of language indoctrination.
The war is defined by the actions of the Government. And just like medical actions that have a high risk of failure, special powers must be kept back until there is no option, i.e. a state of war.
If a government finds an existential crisis has beset it from within, if it is fighting an infection then it has to act in a way that has survival in its future. Due to the electoral cycle it wants a result within 5 years.
Yes. The NSA data gathering is extremely Orwellian and changes the perceived nature of Government now that we all know that fascist measures are in play to allow American control of “it’s interests” (interests that are, incidentally, shared with and competed for by every country in the world) may have taken a step too far.
June 5, 2013
Why do we comment in political columns? It may be necessary. Democracy depends on well framed usually moderate arguments that sway people rather than extreme arguments that insult intellect and isolate ideas.
A fine tipped right wing refutation of an unconvincing left wing assumption makes this interesting. It is worth wading through all the trolling and insults for those gems. Similarly, a left wing contrast on the effects of greed temper the right wing stomp to success so encourages social behaviour.
Comments in newspapers and on websites like this allow arguments to be refuted and no blood spilt.
Example of democratic discovery.
June 4, 2013
Noam Chomsky talks about how the West attempts to destroy the world – from the other guy’s point of view wars waged by America and its brinkmanship are dramatic.