As I write this, inflation in the UK is nearly 10% yet interest rates are 1%. It’s clear that economics are broken: they are where the Standard Model is in physics. Clever theories won Nobel Prizes but have helped little in the real world. Monetarist or Keynsian, money itself is broken.
On one hand we have ‘full’ employment and lack of manpower all around with the ’supply chain’ broken in so many places. On the other, we have food banks feeding a large proportion of the UK.
Surely this suggests just one thing ? Wages are far too low.
Worse still, the pandemic has seen many older and better off people withdraw from the job market totally. With money worth nearly nothing and its utility also fast diminishing (how many Deliveroos can you order in a day ?), there is little motivation to work or even get richer.
Ideas, free time and personal agendas are the features of the 2020s.
For decades, salaries have barely risen in the UK for most people, whereas wealth for the top 1% has exploded. There’s something viciously Victorian about this scenario, an era that our current Eton and Oxford educated Tories hanker after (as, it has to be admitted, do many of their serfish Brexiteer followers).
So, Johnny foreigner has to be kept out, the workers need to be kept in their place and Britain can be great again.
Except money is broken. The dollar is hanging on in there against competition from the ludicrous, polluting Bitcoin (which deserves a carbon tax). But money isn’t worth anything.
The last refuge for Brits was property. So many of us own second homes and ’buy-to-lets’: my property investments have consistently outstripped everything I have ever done or invested in.
So, once again, it’s more economical to sit in a home whose price is rising by 10% a year than go to work.
The real currency of the UK is our housing stock, swathes of which is unproductive since it was bought by overseas investors under the nose of the Mayor of London, who is, er, now our Prime Minister as he did nothing to alleviate housing costs for his constituents.
So, you can mine money by sitting at home or using an environment destroying rig, since mining for gold or being an investment banker is pretty difficult.
The question remains: if money isn’t worth anything, how do we measure our values ?