end austerity now

I posit that we must indeed end austerity now. As I’m an engineer and I never bring a problem to the table without options for resolution, let’s have a look at this challenge shall we?

First, let’s work out what that word Austerity means shall we?

Austerity– policies enacted by governments to reduce national debts.

Simple isn’t it.

They are the policies that governments use to reduce national debt.

They are the policies that governments use to reduce national debt.

They are the policies that governments use to reduce national debt.

Now lets see what the national debt is shall we?

The National Debt – the total amount of money that a nation’s government has borrowed.

The total amount of money that a nation’s government has borrowed.

The total amount of money that a nation’s government has borrowed.

The total amount of money that a nation’s government has borrowed.

In taking these two terms we may then say that Austerity is the way in which a national government reduces the amount of borrowing it is forced into making.

Thus the real question becomes:

How do we end the reduction in borrowing.

How do we end the reduction in borrowing? Does that even seem like a sensible question to ask?

Well, my experience is that there are no nonsense questions but merely questions that help to refine ideas, so let’s tackle this question.

If we are to attempt to stop the reduction in borrowing we must first understand why we borrow money. Think of it in personal terms. How much personal debt do you have? How much money have you borrowed for things and activities you really wanted but didn’t have the cash for yourself?

Let’s take a look at some key items of personal debt as researched by The Money Charity 2014 Debt Stats :

  • £54,197 was the average household debt (including mortgages) in November
  • £163 million was the daily amount of interest paid on personal debt in November
  • 7,015 debt problems were dealt with by the CAB each working day over the year to September
  • 1,315 people were made redundant every day between August and October
  • 866,000 people had been unemployed for over a year between August and October
  • £11.0 million of loans are written-off daily by UK Banks and Building Societies (based on Q3 2013 trends)
  • Every 18 min 15 sec a property is repossessed (based on Q3 2013 trends)
  • Every 5 min 3 sec someone is declared insolvent or bankrupt (based on Q3 2013 trends)
  • £1.479 billion was the daily value of all purchases made using plastic cards in October

Those are startling figures and very worrying ones too I think you’ll agree. But we’re talking about the national debt so what’s our national money being spent on? From the very useful website UK Public Spending we can see the following:

2014 UK Spending

That website is really useful and you should spend time there looking at how spending is increasing. All those figures are in BILLIONS of £.

Sensible people will understand that ever increasing debt causes real issues. In your own life think about what problems mounting debt has caused and yes I speak from experience. In your own life think about what measures you took to get your debt under control and reduce it to a manageable level or eradicate it completely and yes once again I speak from experience.

The end goal is the same whether dealing with personal or national debt. Reduce it and if possible eliminate it. A surplus is what we as private individuals and as a nation should be aiming for. The mythical beast of manageable debt is a two faced hag that will get you in the end. It’s really hard and sometimes not possible. Sometimes it takes years. For a nation, it takes decades. The numbers are so much bigger. I hope!

Going back to the question of ending Austerity then, we are trying to stop the reduction in borrowing. Should we in fact be trying to stop this then? The answer, should in my and a lot of peoples considered opinion, is no.

It is a good thing to reduce debt.

It is a good thing to reduce borrowing.

It is a good thing to have surplus cash in the bank.

I hope we can all agree that living in debt whether a private citizen or an entire nation is a very damaging situation to be in. As individuals there is a tendency at times to think, that as we are already in debt there’s no harm in being more in debt. As a nation, socialist policies are in the same vein.

Both are irresponsible and completely without reason.

As a private individual, if we push ourselves further into debt it is only ourselves and our dependants we put at risk. As a nation we risk millions of people’s lives and futures.

It is irresponsible.

The way to reduce debt and borrowing in either case is reduce expenditure. As a personal citizen it means being more rigorous about what we buy and what we think we need. As a government it means looking at where the public spending is largest and reducing that spend as much as possible. That means the government also has to be rigorous about who the money is really targeted at. It means making sure that those that need get the money and not those that just want it because need and want are two very different things.

We all have to reduce our debts. Because debt is bad.

The problem with the general public perception of Austerity is the one sided reporting by the media intent on feeding the frenzy of public reaction in order to sell copy or drive traffic to a website.

The government’s Austerity measures are designed to better manage the available funding and to reduce the amount of extra funding we need from external sources.

Austerity measures are NOT designed to stop you paying your mortgage, getting medical help, being protected in your home, feeding your children, heating your home, going to work or any of the other things you want to do.

But that is exactly the way in which the socialist left want you to look at these measures.

The socialist left want you to feel that the government is attacking your ability to do the things you want to do.

The socialist left want you to feel that the government is trying to prevent your access to public services.

The socialist left want you to feel that it is them and us.

Don’t believe the hype.

Yes. Some people are wealthy. Some were given their wealth by their parents. Some won it. Most however worked bloody hard to get it. But don’t believe that just because they have money they don’t worry about losing it all or that some financial market fluctuation couldn’t see them and their families out on the street. The higher you climb the greater the fall. They worry about how they leave what they have earned to their children without a large part of it being taken by the government. They worry that perhaps they won’t be able to send their children to the best schools to ensure they get the best chances for the future. They worry about being seen to be wealthy because they could be targeted for theft or worse.

Yes. Some people are very poor. Some don’t have the education to enable them to get better paying jobs. They worry about how they can afford to get that education to try and better themselves and their families. They have more visceral concerns about where the next meal is coming from. They worry about paying for the heating. They worry about paying for the electric. They worry what happens when the last fiver is spent and they have to wait for the next benefits payment from the government to buy anything. They worry about how they’re going to get their children better educated so they can have a better life. They worry about how they get their children to believe in being better when surrounded by so much negativity in the media.

Yes. Some people can’t be bothered to be anything more than they are. They’re concerned about affording that new flat screen T.V. and sure, the kids can have chips and low quality fried chicken so they can afford it. They worry they might have to use all the effort at doing nothing to actually do something to get their benefits in the future. They worry about popping down to some type of weekly payments store and getting themselves more debt they can’t hope to repay. They’re worried about these immigrants with their strange customs and languages coming in taking all the jobs they didn’t apply for.

Yes. Some people are handicapped. They’re worried that it’s hard to find a job because employers aren’t educated enough to understand a physical handicap is not an obstacle to mental agility. They worry that public transport doesn’t always make it easy to get around when you have to rely on a wheelchair. They worry that the benefits they get might be reduced making it hard for them to live even though they’re doing all they can to work hard.

Yes. Some people are liars, lazy or just stupid. They’re worried they’ll get found out for not actually being in need. They worry they’ll be found out for stealing money from those that actually need to support to get ahead. They worry that the perhaps they’ll have to do some level of work to get their benefits. They worry that their life of complaining and whining isn’t enough for people to feel pity any more. They worry that they won’t be able to get as big a part of the social fund as possible so they don’t have to work or try as hard elsewhere.

There are many more types. Which are you?

Are you really so simple an entity that the term ‘them‘ or ‘us‘ fits who you are?

Think about it.

The only difference between each of us is the context we live our lives in. Of attitude. Of the desire to be better and have a better quality of life. Whether we understand that quality of life is defined by our effort and not given to us by anyone else.

If you want to end Austerity you have to be part of that solution. Because guess what?

THAT’S WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTS AS WELL.

Do you really believe the socialist press when they paint the government as some maniacal evil machine bent on oppressing you? Really? It’s just easier for you believe in the black and white of the cartoon press instead of using your intellect to question and search for challenges and answers yourselves? Really?

The government wants to end the reduction in borrowing by eliminating the need to borrow.

That’s the secret you’re not meant to find out.

You’re an intelligent and capable human being.

Be better than what the socialist left want you to be.

Please.