Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Elephant in the Room - DECEMLAND U.K Opening Statement

DECEMLAND U.K Opening Statement

The Elephant in the Room

By Dr Ev Damigo: PhD

It is my pleasure to share our visions with all of you fellow members of DECEMLAND and begin by praising Monfort for his Herculean efforts in coordinating its network of expert dreamers worldwide.

Our visions of WHAT’S WRONG are always based on facts.

FACT: United Kingdom had a robust economy – but not everyone benefited the same.
FACT: It is now over five years since the crisis onset and recovery is proving slower and weaker even than after the 1930s Great Depression.
FACT: United Kingdom lacks a sustainable, equitable socio-economic values framework.
FACT: Social mobility has declined and the social cohesion of the U.K fabric crumbles as you go up North.
FACT: Opportunities are spread thin across the Geo-Demographic canvas; all the wealth, talent, capital has been centralized; 90 percent of the economy revolves around the City.
FACT: Financial speculation has been rewarded at the extreme and criminal malpractice seems the standard practice of today's banking culture.
FACT: Banks are ‘Too Big to Fail!’ Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, summed up the situation: “In good times, banks took the benefits for their employees and shareholders, while in bad times the taxpayer bore the costs. For the banks, it was a case of heads I win, tails you – the taxpayer – lose.” That stands valid today.
FACT:  Industry has declined from 20% of GDP to 13%.
FACT:  According to insolvency group R3, around 150,000 “zombie” companies – some 8% of all UK businesses – are “running on empty”, being able to pay interest on their debt but not to pay off the debt itself. Policies that keep artificially low interest rates in an effort to prop up zombie companies are actually prolonging the recession.
FACT:  The money in our pocket lost over a third of its value in just 15 years. Wages have not kept pace with growth and as a result a great deal of alienation of unskilled manual workers has created a cultural divide in working culture. With wages rising slower than prices, everybody is feeling poorer. Taking inflation into account – up 17% since the crisis began – incomes have reverted to the 2005 level.
And then you have the noose of fiscal tightening. But still U.K running at 8.8% of GDP deficit - the gap between what the government spends and what it gets in income, mainly from taxes - are a world apart from France (5.8% of GDP), Germany (1.0% of GDP).
Blame European Central Bank policies for the recession?
But Britain is not in the eurozone. 
Out of eurozone there is Sweden (zero), Switzerland (1% surplus).
How can it be?
And the government, the Bank of England, has bought 30% of its own debt.
What next?
Demographic pressures will force government spending still higher. With the population ageing rapidly, the cost of simply paying the basic state pension will, says the Department for Work and Pensions, double to more than £120 billion within the next 20 years.
Will they be able to pay?
God knows!

Is it possible to think the unthinkable?
With declining tax revenues, the government has no choice but to borrow ever more. This is a detrimental recipe. And don’t forget what Albert Einstein had said: “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
So what do you expect?
Not much! Or as the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, Spencer Dale says: “If the handbrake on your car is stuck, putting your foot further and further down on the accelerator won’t get you very far before the car starts to overheat.”

And this takes us to the heart of the matter.

THE HEART OF THE MATTER: There is a fundamental loss of trust and direction… The democratic dissemination set up in U.K eludes its equanimity purpose. And the taxes required to service the enlarged national debt will impact on growth.
It is our responsibility to figure out what matters and why.
We are the ones to reweave the social fabric of this country, and make sure that well-held beliefs are dispelled and exposed if we’re to take seriously what Spencer Dale, also said: “One lesson we have learnt from the financial crisis – perhaps the most important lesson – is that economists and policymakers know far less about the economy and its behaviour than many might have liked to believe… We don’t fully understand the structure of the economy or the behaviour of households and companies within it. Not even close.”
And he even wondered: “Is there a danger that we might do more harm than good?”

So I guess is time to ask the right questions.
Is there a way out of this mess?
What are the alternatives to this meltdown?

In view of the above mentioned facts and unanswered questions, a first challenge that our U.K Decemland Task Force  - Thinking Ahead Strategy Kernel (TASK) of expert dreamers - currently focuses on, are the regional disparities present in the U.K public sector governance and equity coordination fabric, that speeds up the future in an uneven trajectory.
It’s a serious matter.
The Gap!
That’s the elephant in the room.
The gap in prosperity between the regions of the United Kingdom is socially unjust and economically inefficient. This gap in growth rates is damaging to the economy as a whole, with those regions not fulfilling their true potential. This gap in growth rates also results in reduced life chances for people in the poorer regions where low productivity, poor education, unemployment and ill health are concentrated.
"We need to make sure the benefit of a really high-quality education for young people is being driven down into the local communities, particularly where the students and their parents will be a lot poorer and disadvantaged," Blair said recently.

It is our view that clear and accurate information is essential for maximizing the value of democratic decisions in an equitable manner. Tackling regional disparities should be a responsibility across Government departments, and not simply of those departments with traditional responsibilities for mainstreaming and neutralizing regional policies; e.g. The Department of Health does not view its targets as being regionally focused. Trade and industry policies have insufficient capacity to respond to differences between regions.
To combat those disparities, we are structuring a series of articles to spark a national debate on the theme of devolution, aiming to reframe the meaning of the public interest and the impact of different policy options across the broad policy spectrum of regeneration initiatives; spatial policies, planning, education, health, housing, migration, societal cohesion at large.
Essentially devolution and regeneration is about the achievement of an equity objective.
Maximise the Value for Money for public investment.
So how do we go about it?
By developing a devolutionary framework for reversing economic, social decay, by fostering a sense of solidarity and hope. By making better use of assets and our people, as to improve the distribution of wealth and opportunity; restore social justice, and reduce community tensions.
And the conceptual framework for moving away from mainstream national economic development policies to regionally differentiated national planning, is: ThinkingAhead Policies Regeneration (TAPR)

And the dream becomes reality to realize the potential the human race deserves.

We hope that you’ll find it of interest, and would be happy to receive comments and reactions to our subsequent releases.
And with this opening statement I extend a warm invitation to all who believe that it is time to make an effort and fuse our mindsets, and nurture the spirit and shared values of Decemland, as to make our country and this world a more equitable, democratic and better place.

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