• About the cuts…

    by  • October 20, 2010 • Everything Else • 5 Comments

    When the world’s credit markets have no more money to lend the governments, because good money has been poured after bad, and soaking the taxpayers to the fourth generation wears thin, because nobody is quite sure that they will be any more able to pay than the current generation is, and we weep, and wail, and gnash our teeth for our friends who will be made jobless, like the populations they once had the job of helping, when all of this has come to pass, you must pause and answer one short question.

    Who’s money were we borrowing all this time, anyway?

    We needed to borrow the money because we were not making enough money to support our current levels of government spending. That war did not just fight itself. The banks, oh yes, they lent and lent and lent and lent, and in the good times it was all private profit, and in the bad times, the spineless governments bought the debt and asked future generations to pay it because it was the only way to keep the game running, to keep the illusion that we are the rich, and the poor are far away, and other, in far off places, in countries with hard-to-spell names, far from us and ours and our islands of might and money.

    But the truth is we live in one world. We had no money because we were no longer colonial kings. If you think this tightening of belts is intense and difficult,

    imagine if we had to live within our environmental means, not just our financial ones.

    We have only just begun to see the start of limitation.

    Our uncontrolled excesses are killing other people, and the planet. If this is how much reducing our financial deficit hurts, imagine how bad eliminating our environmental deficit is going to be.

    It’s not an option. Just get ready to do it with grace, and without whining too much. I’m sorry.

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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


    5 Responses to About the cuts…

    1. October 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

      I completely agree that everyone in the UK has been exceptionally lucky and greedily consuming more than our fair share of the world’s resources. Yes, we all need to drop our consumption of physical resources and energy dramatically. (By orders of magnitudes.)

      Nevertheless, I’m prepared to whine like hell that the rich and powerful are using their power to unload the worst of the re-adjustment onto the poor and powerless of the country.

      Ultimately there can’t be a sane, controlled, re-adjustment of consumption in this country (or Europe or the US) as long as the whole system is organized to defend the continued privilege of, and consumption by, the super-rich minority.

    2. Pingback: Don’t Fight The Cuts – FIGHT CAPITALISM!!! « take now or stay the same

    3. October 23, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Fight capitalism the message above says. I can’t find a point on the goat rodeo scale for that, or for perhaps changing it, nor indeed the problem I relate. It is however very messy as the following blog relates.


      Prostitution of children, the death of a parliamentarian under suspicious circumstances and a hostile cyberstalker all at once.

      Yes the underlying idea of a to deploy capitalism for social benefit seems to gain some ground.

      From there on progress is made but it will get a lot uglier.

    4. October 24, 2010 at 8:59 am

      I posted my comment above on the wrong article. It was meant for the ‘goat rodeo’. Now I see this, here’s a perspective on debt, a critique of capitalism which was the core argument for people-centered economic development.

      In Sumy Ukraine, through the Economics for Ecology conferences P-CED offers an argument that environmental sustainability cannot be based on an economic paradigm which is itself unsustainable.


    5. October 24, 2010 at 9:00 am

      Sorry I missed out the link for the critique of capitalism.


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