Thursday, 27 May 2010

Caution - idiot at the keyboard

After a few days of light depression, I feel quite perky this morning. I'm going to get a few things off my chest. May not be totally sensible but - so what. It is my time.

Firstly, The Times did a thing on creatures that live in our deepest oceans, One of them was this beastie. Quite a fearsome item to have crusing about
and look at those teeth! They seem designed merely to grab and stab with no sign of any front dentures to tear things apart or molars to crush its prey. And those eyes - what are they all about given that there is zero light that far down. Snakes have heat sensors to detect prey and to aim their strike so why has this fish not evolved to those instead of these big eyes?

Once again we are submerged in debt stories. Whole nations standing on the brink of extinction if one believes the pundits. I cannot believe this. We have seen what African nations do and it is most certainly not worry about their economy. So, it takes a wheel-barrow load of money to buy a loaf of bread. Solution to me is to revalue things - instead of having to carry half a million of Lubola notes, print half million notes. Easier to carry about.

I also fail to understand another element of this debt thing. Seems that everyone is owing money to another and at the same time is owed money by some other Nation or entity. OK - cancel all existing debts and set up a system that means each country has to live within its own assets. No lending. No borrowing. I read that X company has made Yea many millions and everyone applauds. Yet, no one ever asks who lost out here; Whose funds went down the Swanee and ended up elsewhere as profit?

Shareholders. I worked for a firm where the founder had got on his bike in Newcastle and rode down to London. This in the early 1830s. He was a plumber who did a bit of electrical work on the side. By the 1960s the firm he founded was one of the leading mechanical and electrical contractors in the country. We had some of the best tradesmen and design engineers that existed. Our projects were priced right and executed properly and we had none of the after-completion wrangling with sub-contractors that was a hallmark of our industry. But, all this brain and muscle power was subordinate to the benefits demanded by shareholders. They largely ruled what the CEO and directors did. Most of the shareholders didn't know the difference between a 13 amp plug and a bath plug. But they ruled the roost. Their loyalties were so strong that they were all for it when a major competitor came along and wanted to buy the company. Some two years later, the old ethos was expunged and we were no better than any other Tom, Dick or Harry contractor. So, get rid of shareholders. They hold paper acknowledging that way back someone gave Geordie Lad a quid or two. Right - give them that pound back, tear up the bit of paper and let companies be run by those with the knowledge and drive that made the company what it was.

Further puzzlement to this old feller comes from the question of Banks. We see that some went broke because of possibly buccaneering ways and avarice. Others had to bail them out. This all played a part in the general monetary cock-up. So - why do we need so many banks? We have a Bank of England that could well do all that is needed in terms of banking. I can see that there needs to be two sorts of bank. Mine - plain straight vanilla and no frills. It takes in money and pays it out. Alongside that establishment we have what I understand have been named Casino Banks. Bit shady. Dodgy dealings. They will take a set amount from my 'nice' bank and use it. Flash Harry makes a few quid and wants to buy a few flats for rent. He goes to the Casino Bank. They make a deal with him. Tailored especially for him - terms, repayments etc. - the whole shebang. If he goes tits up - his flats belong to the bank who are free to pursue him for anything not recovered. If the bank fails - tough on him and he gets to keep what he has and that is it.

Bonus payments. Another thing we hear too much about. Given as rewards for good work. Here we come back to my point that your profit is my loss. The argument made regarding bonus payments is that if not made, the individual will trot off elsewhere and we have to pay 'the going rate' Who sets and determines this going rate? Who? - other guys who get paid bonuses.

There is a very simple solution. Set a reasonable salary for those who might be in receipt of a bonus. Offer that. No bonus any more. If some - what I understand is termed as a Big Swinging Dick - demands more - tell him to get stuffed. If he threatens to walk, point out that all salaries are the same so he will not get more money or better terms elsewhere anyway. After some initial scurrying about as the rats all change ship, the BSDs will realise that they are in the same position as us salaried employees. Better paid but that is all. So - they are paid for performance and might not perform in the absence of a bonus? If they do not cut the mustard - point this out. Two interviews without biscuits later - sack em. Happens to us poor salaried slaves all the time.

Not a lot more today. The Two Ronnies have said they want greater involvement from the people in decision making. This can be done quite easily. Ant change or new idea is investigated by some existing commission or such like. They examine the whole thing. They ensure that all angles have been covered so we are not conned with half the facts as so often happens now. Then, they prepare a short - 15 minutes - TV report with the pro and con facts clearly detailed. After a short pause - maximum a week - we all vote. Each home will have a terminal if they do not have internet access. Using a PIN, we vote Yes or No. It is then the Government's job to facilitate anything new and approved or think again on anything rejected. We could even have the actual election run this way. As add-ons, there could be a regular 'What do you think of it so far' where we as the voters can rate our elected representative. Three strikes and he is out.

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