Opinion – Low wages are ‘return to pre-industrial Britain’, says Bank of England economist | Business | The Guardian

The Guardian reports that Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England, saying that the rise in self-employment and drop in union membership mirrors weak workforces of pre-1750 era. More critically, trade union membership in the UK is expected to continue to decline, across all age groups.

Source: Low wages are ‘return to pre-industrial Britain’, says Bank of England economist | Business | The Guardian

This is an extremely interesting article. If you’re a socialist, perhaps you would argue that the demise of organized labour is a weakness and individuals are being exploited? On the other hand, many self-employed people regard themselves as entrepreneurs – but as Haldene highlights very few of these self-employed people employ other people.

So we should argue that the growth in self-employment makes the UK more competitive, compared to country’s like France where the labour sector is completely unreformed? Well, no, unfortunately, there are too many market intermediaries that distort the market. The employment agency sector is dominated by a number of large firms that are distorting true market competition. Ideally, we need true almost zero cost based selection of the self-employed, via the web. Many large agencies profess to having expertise but it’s questionable where they add value. For example, both central and local government engage vast numbers of self-employed contractors, using these biased channels of selection – this is part of the austerity challenge.

Another area of market imperfection is in relation to multiple experts being able to compete with large firms of consultants – the latter often charge GBP5k plus for partner level expertise and will frequently deploy inexperienced consultants, sometimes just out of university.

For greater insight, look at the following highly rated blogs:

Let me ask an open question:

If the Tory party truly represented small businesses and free competition, surely they would reform the supply model and replace large agency contracts?



Opinion – Theresa May’s claim on health funding not true, say MPs | Society | The Guardian – John Gelmini

English: NHS logo

English: NHS logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

English: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NHS Job Shop: "Working for Health" i...

NHS Job Shop: “Working for Health” in Kentish Town. Closed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf poses an interesting question about the so-called crisis at the NHS and the Chancellor’s response in the Autumn Statement.

What we are being told is that the NHS is striving valiantly to deal with increasing numbers of patients as the population rises and increasing numbers of elderly people whose conditions cause them to bed block and thus create bottlenecks between cash starved local authorities trying to service Adult Social Care recipients and the NHS.

This has resulted in the NHS being £30 billion GBP over budget currently and it needing to “ration services” because of “savage cuts” imposed by successive but mostly Conservative Governments.

The truth is that the NHS is and always has been rationing healthcare and has weak leadership and a cavalier attitude to taxpayers.

The immediate steps to take to bring in more revenue are to do what has been already done twice, which is to increase the price of National Lottery tickets and introduce another game with smaller prizes which people can win more often and divert all the extra money from those sales and the new game to the NHS.

Secondly to add 2 pence to the price of fuel and divert that to the NHS.

The Chancellor then needs to look at the management of the NHS and start to clear out those at the top and reduce layers of unnecessary management to just four within a structure of perhaps no more than 15 super trusts for the whole country and just one procurement body.

Interim managers, rather than Big 4 management consultants, should undertake this work without “mission creep” and without eye watering Big 4 fees although those interims should be well rewarded.

Demand needs to be looked at and people turning up at A&E drunk, injured through fighting, recreational drugs, or “on spec” because they are too idle to make a doctor’s appointment should be charged substantially.

The morbidly obese, and others who actually have nothing wrong with them such as pensioners who feel lonely and want someone to talk to, need to be made in the first case to diet and exercise or have gastric bands fitted in extreme cases. Pensioners with nothing wrong with them should be cleared out of doctors’ surgeries and prescribed Tai Chi, meditation and walking. Basically they are malingerers who clog up the system who frequently have bad diets and drink on an empty stomach.

Longer term the NHS needs to be remodelled on German, Singaporean and French lines with Adult Social Care merged into it for extreme cases, Rife machines placed in all cancer wards, fast food outlets zoned out of built up areas in cities, harmful chemicals banned from food, packaging and the environment, hospital food quality improved but charged for and chronic cases of Adult Social Care dealt with by arrangement with India if relatives were unwilling or unable to look after the elderly bed blockers at home.

John Gelmini