Comment: A portrait of Europe’s white working class – FT.com – John Gelmini

 

English: A caricature of Peter Cooper (1791-18...

English: A caricature of Peter Cooper (1791-1883), inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist. Cooper led a successful fight to build a public school system in New York. His most lasting monument is Cooper Union in New York City, his attempt to offer education to the working classes. This caricature plays on Cooper’s name. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Making of the English Working Class

The Making of the English Working Class (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Dr Alf poses a difficult question in that it is probably too late for the UK’s working classes to ever catch up with the requirements of the job market because the skills they now need are not the ones being taught and because the majority of them  perhaps do not “get it” and will not change.

They typically lack additional language skills, or the money to go abroad to live, so they are limited by the UK job market which has 47 people chasing every vacancy and too many of those part-time.

They may also lack the drive of many of the better educated immigrants or the money to buy franchises/set up small SOHO enterprises.

Too often, I fear that they want no risk, the ability to still go on holiday and money on a plate.

WHAT THE POLICYMAKERS HAVE ALREADY DECIDED

Dr Alf wonders what the policymakers ought to do about the working classes but essentially they have already been written off as economically useless, and their roles will be replaced first by better motivated and more efficient immigrants and later these roles will be automated.

Politicians would like to pretend that this is not the case but they are not enforcing anti-ageism legislation, they are not encouraging firms to invest their cash mountains fast enough or at all, and they are not pressuring the banks to lend.

The UK working classes have a proud heritage. Sadly, now the UK working classes are on their own, and have to create their own salvation. Under David Cameron’s government, there are increasing barriers to social mobility but matters were not that much better under the Labour governments of Blair and Brown.

To take the US example, the American Dream is dead – it’s no longer enough to rely on hard work and education to make your way in life.

Unfortunately, once again, we live in a world where the super-rich, the privileged and the well connected take the cream.

WHAT IDEALLY SHOULD BE DONE

The working classes should be sent to business boot camps at the weekends and during the week if they are unemployed. These boot camps need to be intensive, ”in your face”, energizing and motivating in nature. This is to inculcate the necessary mindset for success and a “can do” attitude.

Local authorities need to be made to reduce in number and get out-of-the-way. This means less red tape, no more massive holdups when it comes to planning permission for businesses just starting up and a sensible approach to parking rather than one that stifles trade.

Proper business mentors, properly paid, not David Cameron’s unpaid ones, should provide coaching and mentoring to get these people into the right mindset and then into business planning mode, as a precursor to doing their own thing.

People like for example Dr Alf or myself  or our peers, could easily help with the coaching.

To be clear, the barriers are the political classes, the bureaucrats and not necessarily the working classes who just need the right encouragement. For those that then “get it”, they will progress; the others, with ossified attitudes, are probably doomed to eke out a miserable existence, grow old and die.

In addition, there should be benefit recycling, faster writing down allowances on plant, machinery and cars and no more business sapping green taxes or attempts to stop fracking or nuclear power. There should be fiscal incentives for the self-employed, for their risk-taking and innovation.

A further measure would be the complete cessation of overseas aid, the stopping of the Barnett Formula and restructuring of the Monarchy with the so-called Crown Lands and assets put into a Temasek style Sovereign Wealth Fund. That fund would modernize our infrastructure in terms of roads, bridges, airports, railway lines, track, signalling and rolling stock. Building these things would create jobs for the working classes and stimulate employment more widely. It would also create tourism style jobs, as the number of foreign tourists rises and those tourists spend longer on each trip.

John Gelmini

Why Millennials must become Individualists?

Against Automation

Against Automation (Photo credit: Taxi For Gable)

Let me clarify my recent blog, published by Dr Alf.

I mean that Millennials should create micro businesses and, wherever possible, put any excess to work to create income or more micro businesses. Here are some examples:

  • If they are educated and can write, they should create e-books.
  • If they are practical then make things out of wood and sell those.
  • If technologically inclined, develop software, games or mobile phone Apps.
  • If they are loquacious and can sell, then sell things etc, etc.

What they cannot do, is expect the Government, or the system, to give them what we (the Baby Boomer generation ) once had – yes, you have guessed it, “a job”!

The Governments do not even grasp the problem. They are fighting “the war of the last century” and are not even acknowledging that the problem of technology, robotics, AI and automation destroying more jobs than can be created to replace them is very real.

Wars and diseases used to solve the problem, by killing off the surplus people and the returning soldiers would be employed in the efforts to create a reconstructed economy.

Surplus product was consumed by fire and destruction so that the cycle could begin again.

Later and now, we have planned obsolescence but people have to have income to be able to buy the replacements.

The “haircutting”and plundering by plutocrats has removed income and capital from the masses and transferred it to super wealthy people who have too much of everything and are not likely to want tat and rubbish.

By hanging on to this wealth, the process of recycling money which generates wealth for those at the bottom and middle has effectively stopped for all but a small percentage of very smart people capable of spotting loopholes and opportunities.

Governments are pretending that everything is fine, that their policies are working. They tell people that it is a matter of young people acquiring skills, developing the right attitudes when the UK reality is that there are 45 people for every vacancy.

In Europe, the figures are worse, yet there is more outsourcing, automation and technology being applied than ever and 3D printing and AI makes factory workers and call center agents eventual things of the past.

Clearly, you either have to increase the number of jobs not being automated or you have to reduce population or you have to find a way to share the benefits of automation more fairly.

It is obvious to me that the course already set is more regional wars in distant places, disinformation about the true situation and about the decisions already made and more oblique ways to thin the population (lowered birthrate, squeezing incomes at the bottom, healthcare rationing, chemicals in food, water and the environment).

The Millennials have to find solutions to all this for themselves with or without the assistance of greybeards. It is time for the Millennials to all become Individualists.

John Gelmini

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