Speculate to accumulate
In the US, by the nature of their history and ‘culture’, people are naturally industrious – working and innovating themselves out of difficulty – with little government involvement. Here in the UK, we can achieve great things once in a while (London Eye, Pret A Manger, Waitrose, non-reality TV seeded musical acts etc), but on the whole, Brits tend to be content with their lot. Therefore, when things fall apart, we don’t do anything about it. (Recent journeys on the railways where hundreds of commuters travels were thrust into chaos by ongoing ‘signal’ problems resulted in little if any fury by the late for appointments/work/shopping trip passengers at Reading Station.) Anyway, a few posts ago, this blog suggested that the government invested in apprenticeships with the proven benefit that not only are the unemployed given a robust hope, but it is a perfect opportunity to motivate the young and energetic to create radical new industries that may solve some of the world’s problems. Most importantly, such a strategy will provide the government properly sourced revenue through income taxes. An ethical and faught for alternative to the unacceptable infringements on the dignity, privacy and decenty of the majority of the populace by yet more rediculous dystopian for profit laws that are rapidly stressing and destroying the lives of increasing numbers of honorable people.
Fight back club: Invest in people and ideas.
Update: Apparently, the US gov did invest in some businesses and that may well have kick started their economy. (I don’t recall that happening – I understood that they allowed some companies to fall into Chapter 11.) Is government investment cheating? Depends. If they were simply bailing out failed industries of the past (such as automakers without a sustainable energy strategy) then of course, that is just popularist smoke and mirrors, and things will fall apart again when reality sets in. Either way, business history (in particular in Asia) has proven that when government invests in sound business (even early state cartel / keiretsu arrangements) it provides a robust foundation for opportunity and growth – and therefore mass employment, social stability and tax revenue. And the latter is what this post is all about! Tiddly pom.