Fukushima revisited

Read this in the Guardian just now.

Currently about 400 tonnes of groundwater is streaming into the reactor basements from the hills behind the plant each day. The plant has accumulated about 300,000 tonnes of contaminated water, which is being stored in 1,200 tanks occupying a large swath of the Fukushima Daiichi site.

Eventually Tepco hopes to have enough space to store 800,000 tonnes, but fears are rising that it will run out of space sometime next year because it can’t keep up with the flow of toxic water.

The Guardian.

They think it would be safer to pour contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. The trouble with the Nuclear Power industry is that it has no real solutions the problems imposed by meltdowns. How much will nuclear safety have cost us 100 years from now? If Nuclear Energy is costed honestly it must incorporate premiums for accidents that can be bought back by safety record. It only takes one disaster to bankrupt a power company.

A better solution is to make all homes self sufficient using renewable energy. Power is still required for industry, but it is a politically achievable and meaningful result that has a positive effect on everyones’ life.

Will fracking bring it on?

The nature of the ground underneath us is that it is not the singularly solid mass we perceive. Our point of view is relatively spec like tiny and the size even of a country is hard to encompass as a personal experience. There is a lot of ground underneath us and drilling out ancient residues and making big empty caves may result in a few ground sinks but what are the effects of explosions followed by mass removal of part of the ground that we live upon?

To pretend there is definite scientific evidence that there are absolutely no risks of earthquake or ground damage is the stance of the Prime Minister. His advisors clearly are very pro-fracking and have said that there are documents that show there are minimal risks. I am sure that someone has studied them properly.

Now. it would only take a fairly minor earthquake – about 6 on the Richter scale – and thousands would be killed. The underground could be affected, it could be wrecked. Overnight London would cease to function. It may happen anyway, but fracking means letting off explosives underground and removal of solid matter that supports us. It probably will not cause earthquakes but the fear in the average person may turn to fury if something does go wrong.

There simply needs to be published proof that fracking poses no threat and not lurch into an industrial scale venture that many are convinced that may destroy entire communities,

The Prime Minister has a responsibility to do more than promote this as economic miracle – he needs to convince the electorate that the economic plans of multi national companies do nothing that endangers the lives of any citizens of the land.

If you search for the wonderful headline Quake Britain: UK overdue a massive tremor that could kill scores of people at any moment, warn experts you will find an article all about it.

Tax Havens

Adam Smith wrote the seminal work about capitalism – The Wealth of Nations. Growth was then based on nations competing in the most extreme act of international piracy in history, colonialism.

These days we talk of “bubbles” as though these modern gold rushes were a certain financial rhythm. We developed a science to predict and thus invest as a business. The most successful have been investing madly and hiding it from tax authorities. Capital is continually extracted from the wealth of nations and poured into tax havens in a sort of reverse colonialism – only to find its way back into the economy funding more Government debt via bonds.

The only way that the Government can reduce these debts is to have a money supply from tax revenue exceeding expenditure, or to devalue the currency. Western economies continue to need to spend more than they take. What has happened to the Wealth of Nations?

Business Insider

Why Austerity does not work

Over 300 flood defence schemes were subject to budget cuts and not proceded with, and hundreds of millions of pounds in insurance claims and the cost of the suffering and interruptions in people’s lives that could have been avoided by not abandoning the relatively trivial cost in net human experience quality of life vs how much exactly in tax savings?  What if it happens, again, next year?

Guardian article:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/14/flood-defence-schemes-unbuilt?intcmp=122

The role of Government is to apply wisdom to prevent disasters rather than throw the cards into the air hoping to catch a few as they tumble down.  The abandonment of not just progress, but the safety of residents – we tax payers invested in some planning for there to be 300 flood defence schemes, so lets go ahead and make the necessary investment.  It is hardly a luxury but the ruthless abandonment of Governmental responsibility for our investment in the work of civil servants which would have to be redone at another date if we are not to relocate families from 300 or more locations affected by the failure to actually employ valid work.  It is more than supplying a demand, it is an act of massive criminal cruelty to the lives of many, many people.

Austerity is a tightening of the belt of economic safety and keeping the lid on things that actually have an impact on the economy.  What the Osborne regime is doing however increasingly appears to be a failure in the strategic intelligence department.  The investment in flood barriers was not as great as the cost of the damage.  Far less than the bank bailouts.  Far less than Trident.  We waste 83 billion  on a system while isolating Iran for trying to emulate it.

A failure to apprehend that climate change meant strategy change is only now becoming relevant to Government now that 98% of the scientific community are indicating that the extreme weather we are having may well be a bit of a sign of things to come.   The others deny this and that is their right.  But Government should not be banking on the unconventional view here.  If we are going to build houses on flood prone ground, then we had better build protection.  As this had already been researched, and understood, abandoning necessary planning is worse than criminal negligence on a scale.  It is politically motivated cruelty.  Protecting the bankers while stomping on the need to look after each other.

 

 

Economic Progress

The harder things are, the better few are found? “Look at how great Britain was after the war.” The 80s drive defined by greed resulted in inflated property prices funded by an unrestrained banking sector. The economy inflated, however due to the nature of compound interest the banker made disproportionately more than the average person.

Because the economy appeared to be “growing”, things were improving as people basically borrowed themselves into bankruptcy. The property bubble does not deflate quickly. It is a great unwinding that could spread over generations. As long as there is a pressure of demand over supply, prices will hold. But if housing falls behind the increases in population, and we achieve precisely what the Right objects to most. The modular commodification of our “experience”.

Liken it to the taught crisp sail in the wind and you see the objective of economics. To harness a drag that equates to a sense of process – the hooking up of economic life-rafts to “individuals” instead of to a society – individuals empowered outside the grip of traditions. This is the new Right.

It is trivial when compared to the inherent massive inflation of the modern curse, rampant securitisation. How will a graduate saddled with near permanent debt pay a mortgage and have children? What has created that level of social indebtedness? Is it as deliberate as the libor scam?

Linear thinking about economics pervade. If it is not black, it must be white! If you said Communism was a failure, then what shall we call Capitalism? Well, both are roaring successes for the very richest and instead of serving the population, is is they, whom Governments compete with each other over.

This economy does not deliver to increasingly large swathes of smart people, unless they take risks. When the risk is abject failure the youthful drive will compete with those struggling to stay in the work force. Those who become a slave of the state are a cost to the state. Now we can add those who become victims of the margin spreading as the middle class is consumed by a creeping puddle of poverty. If you suck too much toward the centre, the edges fray but society is no two dimensional circle or even a three dimensional sphere. It is a multifaceted multidimensional and fluid organism with a huge skin and tiny skeleton that adjusts its balance according to a rule book we used to have. Our economic existence had meaning in terms of some correlation between what we did, and what we have.

Then suddenly, we were set on an economic course that allowed disproportionate capital growth. It was as though someone turned up gravity – the banks added the potential for endless fuel and this has caused a collapse of energy into the centre. As the banks made debt almost obligatory and definitely a trap for continuous pouring of human effort into a hole, as they caused a massive inflation in the value of property by lending capital back, setting us up for endless payment, Governments have gotten in on the act, and started to charge our children for their education. What is next, buying a licence to have grandchildren?

Why Austerity is Failing our children

A generation or two of high unemployment and low wages is considered a price worth paying to bring down the deficit. This makes little sense economically (no jobs means less tax revenue, hence Osborne’s frantic borrowing)

Guardian article

If the Government believes that it is good to take from the majority because they a) either live in low circumstances and thus electorates that will never vote Tory anyway, or, b) they are young and are not enfranchised into the democratic system as they have no independence of mind or body. The “Baby Boomer” generation is defined by indulgence and when this is given to children in the fashion of top education good nutrition and a sense of moral value well and good, but a vast number of children these days get past the age of 25 due to zero economic options.

It is a cynical and unlawful party that recommends scrap heaping a section of its population that may never be able to vote against them. A bullying tactic or just a natural consequence of being a Tory toff who had his bread buttered for him from the start and now can not conceptualise that the economy is like a living animal, when you run it too hungry it gets tired quickly. The methods of the “financial stimulus” that the Brown government did was to buy into RBOS and NatWest – now the most badly managed banks because they outsourced too much responsibility to one failed cog that cost them a week of downtime and millions of customer headaches. And now Barclays has been fleecing interest. After the PPI scandal you would think that the banks would be a little more careful when it came to customer base fairness. A run on a bank is always down to perception. Dishonest bankers must be rooted out and sacked or confidence in the financial system suffers manifold.

This lenience on the wealthy and brutal treatment of the vulnerable while pricing education so that students are forever in debt is a master stroke of enslavement and duress upon an undeserving generation.

The Lib Dem balls up on Proportional Representation was a tragic day for those young disenfranchised voters. All voices should be heard equally or your democracy is unavailable.

Austerity is failing our children as it makes it impossible for them to assert their independence, so they do not define themselves in terms of their roots being well placed. They start life late, feckless and unremarkable. Our instincts shelter our young so they can lord it over their own isolated game console addiction the default pacifier of the teenager. Better than having them run wild in the streets.

Today’s government is a little like a medical team locking themselves in the cafeteria in case they catch something. The evolution of progress is forming an ugly mess of a future. That is what is wrong with this austerity. It is the isolation of social spending as a target for funding wealthy arrogance.

Lift them up for godsakes.

The Natwest nightmare

So, the government bails out a bank that sailed too close to the wind with their wild investment arms flailing about enthusiastically until it all went wrong. And Stephen Hester goes in to save the day and even though the bank continues to make losses there is “progress”. Huge bonuses attract much media attention.

Are cost cutting and mismanagement behind their IT systems failure? It is easy to blame it on cheaper outsourced employees.

It is a illustrative example of how wrong footed and illogical austerity is as a solution to the economic problems caused by the banks deregulated enthusiasm for gambling assets. Deconstruct society by making education out of reach and watch the corrosion at the margins eat away at your assumed wealth.

Securitisation – do we understand?

When taxpayers paid hundreds of billions to bail out banks, we were never told in reality what we were investing in. The scale of the problem created by securitisation could mean problems for decades if we do not revise basic principals of what is economically efficient and what is fantasy.

Would it be correct to say that the 1% have the world’s capital reserves locked up in tax shelters? How long before former world powers wake up to this? And what will the consequences be?

Pension funds lose value

The value of pension funds is bleeding away in the UK and across America protesters decry Wall Street’s corrupt practices and greed. We were told (by politicians, most likely) that freedom in the markets would free things up and maybe it did. What we were not told and did not realise until it was far too late, is that continued freedom for the market to create new instruments that multiply values without any effect on the other side of the ledger, well that is not the creation of growth. It is mediation by greed. It is irresponsible government and it is pointless.

The world system is a board where each member represents badly controlled feudal entities, each of which is an experiment. Some return value funds can be directed there, others do not get a look in. For years the bleeding empires and the super consumer states appeared to be the best bets, followed by those who had a point to prove or to recover from. We have a system of systems, each of which potentially returns differential values to investors.

It works when the members have control of their entities – for stability and continuity it is reasonable that more strict regulations should apply to state controlled enterprise. When you put the power generation into the hands of a private monopoly there is nothing to stop societal extortion. By inventing methods to fit more water into the same pool, the investment banking sector has very slowly and carefully increased the money supply. The effect is to create mathematical fountains which they in turn invested in new pools, ad infinitum. It is great to create these self perpetuating multipliers of wealth but there comes a point, if the water evaporates before it hits the ground that the whole system becomes a liability, deflated by the absence of pressure and unable to restart the infernal machine as it requires more dynamics exist to feed into its frenzy.

So the pool masters, realising the one way nature of this effect dipped their cup into and extracted what they needed as they then fell from the self induced elevation of their wealth and into, hopefully, obscurity in a country mansion.

And the executive board that runs the world hope for excessive rain to refill those myriad of pools. At first they pump all the water from the foundation pools into the top pools hoping to restart the fountains. Out come more cups draining the network before any can trickle down. And the new pools are starting to rust.

It is inevitable as Governments wind down their public sector and invest heavily in rescuing “capital” from itself, that pensions are going to universally drop. The solution is to demolish the structures that feed on tax payers to rescue pensions. The other solution is to nationalise core banks and protect national sovereignty.

The theory is that the Bilderberg Group of the hyper wealthy that seem to sit above democracy want to eradicate governments at a national level, and replace it with their own, the guiding hand of the benevolent dictatorship, the grandest lords of them all. The ones that own everything.

In 2001, Denis Healey, a Bilderberg group founder and, for 30 years, a steering committee member, said: “To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn’t go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.”

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group

See also Telegraph article on decline of pension funds.