Blueprint for Serfdom

Blueprint for Serfdom

In 1972 there was a special edition of the Ecologist magazine printed, called, “A Blueprint for Survival”, virtually everything it contained, was fantasy, much of this fantasy is now seen as fact. Perhaps a better title would have been “A Blueprint for Serfdom.”

A Blueprint for Survival
The Original Ecologist magazine, was in blueprint blue with the words outlined as if it was a Blueprint, somehow the people at Penguin thought they could do a better job. No it isn’t, and lacks the distinctive feel of the ‘sensational’ magazine . I worked at WH Smith at the time and we couldn’t keep up with the orders. But then Erich Von Danniken’s load of fiction Chariot of the Gods had the same effect?

The thesis for A Blueprint for Survival, was the forth coming end of the world, except it forewarned that this booklet was not the end of the world, it merely foretold of one who would come and save you from the end of the world. So just like John the Baptist, it needed a Jesus and Christianity. The Jesus and hence modern Christianity is the Green movement?

Around early 1970s various ‘Scientists’ were forecasting the next Ice age, and this was taken up by the media, who are always on the look out for a sensational story to run, when the real news is thin. So having a real bogeyman in the from of A Blueprint for Survival, was like gold dust, except it was really a Blueprint for Serfdom.

Actually what these Scientists were doing, was furthering their careers, by being alarmist. Some had already published other papers saying CO2 could cause a rise in temperatures, and that pollution was the main problem for the future?

Graph showing oil running out by year 2000
Oil was predicted to run out by 2000. There were only 30 years of reserves, and these would be gone because of exponential growth. It is wrong on 2 counts, usage of Oil exceeded exponential growth, due to the like of China etc. And there is now a glut of oil, and about 30 years of reserves. But to top it off, ways of saving oil are being found all the time, plus now vegetable oil substitutes are available.

And here we come to the nub of the problem, there is now a total confusion between pollution and global warming.

To make things clear, CO2 is not a pollutant, it is as necessary for life as H2O, water. Yes there is a limit to how much CO2 should be in the atmosphere before it becomes a problem, just like having too much water, can cause flooding or other problems. However the current levels, at around 404 Parts Per Million (PPM) are way too low.

Indeed back in the Triassic period they went to around 3,000 PPM, CO2 levels in Triassic period
and sub mariners sometimes breathe air with CO2 levels in the region of 15,000 PPM. Greenhouses are usually around 1,200 PPM which is quite favourable, because this allows greater crop yields.

Here is one of the problems, the so called greenhouse effect is so named, because greenhouses have higher amounts of CO2 than the natural atmosphere. The higher CO2 levels, thus provide a better environment in which to grow plants.

Blueprint for survival graph
Here is a graph showing how nearly ALL the Earth’s resources would be exhausted by 2020.
Copper was supposedly all gone by now, again odd how we have around 20 years of reserves, not to mention ways of recovering slag from old exhausted mines. Copper was again a product that between 1980 and 2010 was consumed in higher amounts than predicted.
This is of course Capitalism at work, just what this book said was causing all the problems, but came up with the solutions, Socialism said it couldn’t. meanwhile it was Socialism failed to deliver any good whatsoever.

Now one of the arguments the so called ‘Green’ movement use is that, CO2 levels going up will be disastrous to life? Except history and science says otherwise, during the 10th to 12th centuries England grew its own grapes for wine, okay according to the French it was not very good wine, but none the less England produced its own wines, all through from the Saxon King Aethelstan to Plantagenet Henry II. Why because of what is known as, the Medieval Warm Period. MWP

There is also another problem for the so called Greens, CO2 levels don’t always follow temperature changes.
Why Clarkson upsets the greens, he’s done a little research?

More to the point, higher CO2 levels result in higher crop yields, which is why people grow Tomatoes and such like in Greenhouses? The book, Blueprint for Survival is looking increasingly shaky, which is why the so called Greens are shrieking ever louder. Hence the Bonn Climate Change Conference, virtually screaming at the world the end is nigh. No it isn’t, this Conference is just a bunch of Socialists and hence fantasists. They long for a Blueprint for Serfdom, so they can claim Capitalism is the evil baddie. The only evil baddies are the so called Greens, a nasty set of fascists, who want to starve the world.

One of the other positives of higher global temperatures, is the fact that more water is evaporated from the seas, and higher temperatures means the atmosphere can hold more water, which falls as rain.

Graph
Here’s an interesting Graph, from the Appendix, it correlates world Production with US usage, and subsequent disaster. Of course the two are unrelated, and hence no disaster. Just green shit propaganda.

Now let’s not get carried away with the idea everything will be rosy, the downside of higher water content in the atmosphere, is floods, and also hurricanes and typhoons. The Hurricanes and Typhoons are hard to combat, indeed the best way is just to batten down while they happen. But concrete is a wonderful product, as the Romans knew, and building concrete houses and places of safety is a realistic approach.

Flooding can usually be obviated, but guess what, the most flood prone places, are also the most corrupt, so will anything be done. No. Nothing to do with Democracy or Capitalism, but the so called Greens will blame Capitalism and Democracy just the same.

Corruption is the major reason for poverty, followed by Socialism, as witnessed by Venezuela, which has both. Meanwhile Bangladesh which has a totally corrupt Government and Institutions, is one of the countries most prone to being flooded

Also there is much confusion over pollution, this is usually obfuscated by blaming Capitalism for all waste? And waste is destroying the planet, this last is not quite accurate, waste is messing up the planet, yes, but destroying it, no. Having been brought up in a household where my Mother believed the WWII slogan, ~waste not want not~ was enshrined in Law, (I’m fairly certain she till thinks it is?) I have always been one for recycling where possible, and certainly I hate wastage.

Wastage is inefficient, and so to be avoided at all costs, because efficiency pays wages, so inefficiency reduces profit, and that is bad for incomes.

Micron production line
This is a pic taken from the Micron Corporation website, showing a production line. Courtesy of Micron, and they own the rights.

As a child, the chap who started Micron Corporation, the Chip manufacturer, bought some pigs and fed them on waste from local restaurants. His feed came free, and he was able to resell the fatted pigs at a handsome profit, because his overheads were nearly nil? He was saving the restaurants money by reducing their refuse removal charges, so they let him have the waste food free.

The Green movement have commandeered the idea of ‘waste not want not’ a WWII slogan used to help the UK get through its darkest hour. Energy saving was already on the agenda in the mid 1970s due to the Unions continually going out on strike, and the oil crisis, which was merely Free trade working its magic, and distributing wealth to poor nations. But also the need for efficiency, or productivity as it is more generally called. So the Greens make themselves appear on the surface to be correct, in all they say, to such an extent, they vilify any none Socialist groups as being against recycling or green policies, even when those people introduced them and fully endorse them. I am avoiding using the term left and right because that is French Politics and doesn’t translate, to UK politics in the same way. Namely Socialists are extreme right wing and left wing at the same time.

Is there a way out of all this, yes ignore Socialist and Green parties and just get on with life, and hope the CO2 levels do rise. Certainly a rise to 500PPM or even 600PPM will, on the whole, be beneficial.

The Blueprint for Serfdom won’t materialise as fact, but that won’t stop people damaging the world trying to make other people see it is true.

In the Medieval Period, the vast majority of the populace believed that God would destroy the world. Today it is merely human activity which is being blamed but still the belief is strong, and that dear reader is all it is, belief, there is no Scientific evidence that holds up to scrutiny.

Those believing in God, had and probably still do have, a much stronger argument, than the so called Greens about the destruction of life on Earth, don’t hold your breath awaiting the Blueprint for Serfdom, it ain’t going to happen anytime soon.

Nest egg

NEST EGG

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee will be meeting later today. It will also be releasing the quarterly Inflation report. The general expectation is, that the Bank will raise Interest rates, by a quarter of one percent, to half a percentage point. Let’s hope it does, but don’t hold your breath. They don’t like the idea that the poor have a nest egg to fall back on, and to increase the interest rates would encourage savings, and the poor having a nest egg.

Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee November 2017
They don’t seem to like having a group shot? This is the current Monetary Policy Committee, a screen shot clipped. Taken from the BoE website.

H.M Treasury isn’t against a little bit of inflation, it reduces the National Debt, without the need for the Treasury to do anything, either positive or negative. H.M. Treasury has deliberately encouraged the Interest Rate to remain low, in the belief that raising it, would hit investment.

what a load of Balderdash

I’m afraid I shall have to get technical here and say, what a load of Balderdash. I have continually banged on about the fact that raising interest rates, and more substantially encouraging savings, would increase investment into trade and commerce. It would be especially beneficial to home grown UK businesses, many of which are short of cash when they first start out, individuals don’t have that large nest egg, the Japanese and many other foreigners have.

Warehouse and Fork lift truck
Stock costs money and so is Capital invested.

This has a knock on effect later, as a business tries to expand. It can either remain smaller than it would like and build its own Capital reserves, or try and raise funds for expansion, relative to its current situation, which was probably from a low point to begin with, a small nest egg, means small savings.

At some point there will be a recession, especially if there is a hard #Brexit. This can be made easier, if savings ratios are higher than at present.

people of Britain lack that Nest egg

One of the problems is perception, the perception that recession is always just a hair’s breadth away. It is a load of nonsense of course. And the low savings ratio is due to the UKs continual short term vision, so the people of Britain lack that Nest egg, to fall back on. There is this perception with Politicians that any recession is bad. Well yes it is, so why exacerbate a bad situation by having low savings. Like a larger nest egg, in the form of money, this benefits the poor more than the rich. Past a certain point and high amounts of savings do not really achieve much. But no nest egg, can be devastating, so if a person or family has the cushion of money in the bank, when the real hard times hit, they can get through it, better than those without any savings.

Charles Dickens sums it up succinctly with Mr. Micawber, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six pence, result misery.”

Those who continually spend everything they earn, are those hardest hit when a downturn in the economy hits, or more important, when a downturn in their own circumstances hits, they have no nest egg to fall back on.

Savings as an institutional idea are loathed by Labour, they are like the late Pools winner, Viv Nicholson, who famously said she was going to Spend, Spend, Spend. And then did precisely that. However there is a little known back story to her life, before she spent a penny of her winnings, she set up a trust fund for her children to get the best education they could. All four of her children, did very well in life. Indeed in a local documentary made in the 1990s, One of her daughter’s rocked up in a top end Mercedes Benz, one of her sons drove a similar car. Viv may have spent, but her kids all saved, and as a result could rejoice.

hold and rejoice sell and repent
This print is entitled Hold and Rejoice

I have scanned a print I have in my Office, hats cut off alas, but it depicts two Liverpool Cotton traders, and it does sum up very neatly, the effects of lack of a nest egg.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will shortly be getting on his hind legs and giving his Budget speech.

Japan has lower unemployment

You can be sure savings will be low on the list, it is a disgrace in the UK, that saving is viewed with such contempt. In Japan, they have had 25 years of low and negative growth. Yet despite this, most Japanese have savings, that could see them through at least six months with no income. Many have two to five years of savings, and although the Japanese economy has suffered a severe blow with the earthquake in 2011, which devastated production, they still export more than they import. Japanese setups, still invest in high technology like Robots and Artificial Intelligence, and as a consequence, Japan has lower unemployment then most of the rest of the world. Japan has a very high cost of living, and yet they sell more to the rest of the world than they buy. Why, because they all have a nest egg to fall back on, and so when companies are starting up, there are lots of people falling over themselves to invest a small amount of this nest egg in, a new venture.

Here is the key, because they have such high savings, individuals, even the poor, can spread the risk of their investments. So they have bank savings, they have shares, they have Bonds, and foreign investments. They have the safety net of a nest egg, built up from when they start working.

The UK is heading to lower investment, because we have lower savings. Neither Chancellor Hammond nor the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, have any intention of helping the poor, by encouraging the idea of the nest egg. And as for Labour they are despicable, they not only despise people saving, they positively demand people spend other peoples money as well, it’s called Socialism.

M&A

M&A

The UK Government is reviewing its Mergers and Acquisitions ( M&A ) policy. This is to try and ensure that companies that are strategically necessary to the countries defence are no bought by companies or countries that that we may find ourselves in conflict with.

KPHM Leeds Offices sign
KPMG their Leeds offices, a company well versed in M&A

There is a simpler way to ensure this is unlikely to happen, get the balance of trade into the black on a permanent basis. Japan is, and there are few Japanese companies owned by foreign firms. The track record for Japanese M&A is one of Japanese companies acquiring other Japanese companies, or Japanese Corporations, acquiring foreign assets. Like the recent Softbank takeover of ARM plc. Arm is UKs leading chip designer, it is now owned by the Japanese. This M&A came about because the UKs balance of payments is still well in the red.

It has been for the best part of 25 years. The much maligned Norman Lamont was the person who in 1992 floated the pound for the last time and it has been allowed to find its own level ever since. However it was Nigel Lawson who really ensured the topic of the Balance of payments disappeared from the Political agenda. He allowed the pound to find its own level for much of the time, and would then peg it, by adjusting the interest rates.

Whilst a low pound can lead to inflation, this inflation only lasts just over a year, in fact the actual inflationary effects happen over a short three to six months period.

ARM Holdings Logo
ARM originally stood for Acorn RISC Machine. RISC being Reduced Instruction Set Computer, and referred to the fact that as the number of bits increased, the number of instructions rose exponentially. By reducing the instruction set, the chips worked faster. Many phones run on ARM chips

What happens is this, let’s say Sterling drops 2% in a single month, this means anything being purchased from overseas by UK people, is now 2% more expensive. However this only happens the once, if say it is September and company A is just in the process of buying goods from a foreign company, those goods are now 2% more expensive, any adjustment in price will come into effect in October when the goods are received. However any further goods bought in the following months are already, being sold at the higher price, so there will be no further rises. The Government when it compiles its inflation rates, will note the 2% increase in October and these will stay there, but in the following October will drop out, because the inflation is only measured each month, and the comparison is with the previous year.

Back to the balance of payments, and M&A activity in the UK. Basically any country has to balance the value of its imports with the value of its exports, The UK has been importing a higher value of goods and services than it has been exporting, and this has been happening since the beginning of the 1960s. When Harold Wilson got on his hind legs back in November 1967, and declared that Britain was devaluing the Pound, he also added the disingenuous, this doesn’t mean the pound in your pocket or purse will be worth less. Well actually Harold as you knew full well, it did with regards to any imported goods.

The trouble was in 1967, the Unions were just getting up to full steam in helping to destroy British Industry. In fact it was largely due to the actions and stance of the Unions that Britain was not selling more goods abroad. Any company that wished to be efficient, and make a good fat profit, was vilified by idiot Union leaders with no understanding of where profits actually came from and why they happened. Namely efficiency, or in other words productivity.

The waters in the UK are muddied with respects to profits, because there is not a culture of savings and investment in efficiency and productivity. In Japan, they automatically save, it’s part of there culture built into their language. If one wishes to buy something today, you must first save, because any purchase tomorrow will be for the day after. IN UK (and US for that matter) we look for immediate returns. This can be all well and good. However the Japanese model obviously works even better than the UK/USA model, because it doesn’t just give quick returns, it also gives long term returns. This is why when it comes to M&A the Japanese are the ones doing the acquiring.

Honda logo
Honda has a car plant in Swindon and has been a long term investor in UK

The Japanese have just been through over twenty years of stagnation with regards to their economy. And over the last six years have seen their efficiency decimated by the earthquake in 2011 which registered 9 on the Richter scale. And yet Japan still exports more than it imports, and is still being involved in M&A. The personal wealth of most Japanese is higher than the average in UK or USA. Quite simply put, they save more so can invest in better equipment, namely Robots. Because they employ so many robots, they actually employ more people, one goes hand in hand with the other.

UK needs to increase its savings ratio this in turn would increase investment in Industry. More robots would be used, creating more jobs to supply the less expensive goods, built to a higher quality. With higher productivity, there would be more robots and machinery employed, increasing the productivity. This in turn would reduce the balance of payments deficit, where at some point it should go back into surplus. Then UK would start the M&A of foreign companies, not the other way around.

Cheap energy

CHEAP ENERGY

So Theresa May is proposing to cap energy prices, why not provide cheap energy instead?

Drax power station turbine hall
Drax power station near Selby in Yorkshire uses bio mass fuel.

Oh of course we can’t upset the liars in the Green Lobby, and actually improve the world. We must kow tow to the fiction that CO2 levels rising, is bad for the Planet and for Humanity, no it isn’t. CO2 levels are historically low, and an increase would result in higher crop yields. The result of higher crop yields is more food, so the world would be able to feed more people.

Currently the CO2 levels are 404 Parts Per Million or ppm. Now the lying Green lobby argument is that rising CO2 levels are man made, and apparently anything man made is bad. Why any dead head cretin should think this, merely reflects their stupidity. Nature is random, so any good or bad, is also random, why random cooling of the Earth is good and controlled cooling or warming by humans is bad, is left unanswered. It is left unanswered because the stupid half wits who thought this all up are? Oops I am repeating myself, they are stupid half wits? According to these people allowing people to have cheap energy, is bad for the Planet?

This is their argument, since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been burning fossil fuels, and these fossil fuels have released excess Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. This in turn has increased the greenhouse effect within Earth’s Atmosphere, artificially pushing up global temperatures. This general view is very possibly correct, we don’t know for certain, but it may well be true. The ‘Greens’ follow on argument from this is, that if we keep putting CO2 into the atmosphere then in the not too distant future it will have a runaway effect, and the temperatures will be out of control and zoom up killing all life on the planet. Meanwhile in this scenario, the Greens maintain that Gandalf won’t be there to help, James Bond won’t come to the rescue, and a pink fluffy haired androgynous new race won’t be born.

Harvest time
Increasing CO2 levels means increased crop yields. In other words, the same amount of land can feed more people?

Never fear, because the ‘Greens’ have their heads firmly where the sun doesn’t shine, the whole scenario of runaway greenhouse gasses is all hot air and fantasy.

Back in the real world, the current CO2 levels at 404ppm are too low. The argument that if they increase by 10% or 20% in too short a time this will cause a runaway effect is against the Scientific evidence.

The problem with all this noise from the Greens is, that we now have records of the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, in previous times, and they don’t make good reading for the Greens. Let’s start with the Little Ice Age or lia, CO2 levels were about 330ppm html Source Nature Now historically this is low, but prior to that had been the Medieval Warm Period or mwp, this is pre industrial, so there are not a few million humans burning coal at an excessive rate, so no increase in CO2 levels, indeed they are similar to the lia. And here is a big problem, the temperatures were much warmer, than the lia and warmer even than today? Medieval Warm Period analysis During King John’s reign (1199-1216) we know there were extensive vineyards all around England. So here we have one problem, CO2 levels are not directly attributable to the temperature. If you check out the graph from a student at Oslo in the replies section of this article, it shows no correlation between temperatures and CO2 levels? Skeptical Science

It gets worse, from an historical perspective, CO2 levels are way below what they were in previous eras. Live Science Indeed during the Triassic period they reached 3,000ppm seven and a half times their current levels, or put another way a 750% rise, and some numpties predict runaway effect with a rise of just 20% to 50%, scientifically how does that work?

Plateosaurus
Plateosaurus, they were around in the late Triassic period when CO2 levels reached their highest, pic courtesy Natural History Museum

The current high energy prices in UK has more than one cause, but they can all be taken directly back to the nasty idea perpetrated by the Greens that anything manmade is bad. So they wish to keep the CO2 levels at their current unnaturally low levels, despite the fact that higher CO2 levels, give higher crop yields, that allow a higher population to be fed properly. Are these people inherently odious, no they are just deluded into thinking that human activity is somehow harmful to nature. It is part of the problem of modern living, that many of the so called greens are totally out of touch with the natural world, hence people going vegan, a more un-natural, immoral idea one is unlikely to find. Humans are natural omnivores, yet these people are so out of touch with nature, they see eating a natural product as bad? Meanwhile as these Vegans chat away on their Apple iPhones, many of their fellow humans are going cold, because they are struggling with high energy prices. This could easily be solved by building more power stations, scrapping all those stupid subsidised eyesores that are wind farms, and producing cheap coal, oil fired AND Bio-mass electricity. There is a shortage of cheap energy in Britain, purely because none scientists, haven’t take the time to look at what science has to say on the subject of the climate.

So Theresa May will look at putting a price cap on energy, because previous Governments of all colours, have cowered away from the onslaught of lies, peddled by some fantasy half wits who thin the world is going to end? No it isn’t, well not by increased CO2 levels, which would be a good thing. A price cap on energy won’t help the less well off, it will just mean May’s Government has given out some kind of virtue signal, that they think will appease the cretins in the Green movement. It won’t appease them because they are cretins, and they will then move onto their next item on their agenda.

Yes Britain needs cheap energy, but it won’t get it with price caps. It would get cheaper electricity if there were more energy companies with spare capacity wanting to lure you to their product, and away from the rival companies.

savings-increase

SAVINGS INCREASE

Here in UK the party Political Conference season has kicked off, the Liberal Democrats being first out of the blocks, holding their shindig in Bournemouth, a seaside resort on the south coast of England. Not a word about savings increase policy, but then none of the parties will whisper a word about it, because none of the politicians realises that it is one of the keys to a wealthier society.

Bournemouth bay vista
This picture courtesy of Bournemouth tourism, and I must say looks inviting. But hey if I turn up, it will be the average British damp winter weather? Even in Summer lol

This is how it works. If the Government give incentives to save, the amount of capital for investment in industry and commerce increases. Yes people also use those savings for things like the deposit on a house, or putting towards a fancier holiday. But we are talking UK macro economics here, so a 1% increase in savings, is £billions in a year. I haven’t worked out a particular figure, because I didn’t specify 1% of what? The point is that industry that is well Capitalised, (and this is an average of course) is also more efficient.

self filling a wine glass, from a regular glass bottle

Let’s take an example, Jane Toper has just decided that her device for self filling a wine glass, from a regular glass bottle, will take the world by storm. She has £10,000 of her own savings, she has had a trial device made, and she can source them from China at £1 per device. Now having the trial item made took £1,000, travelling to China and back just once could say goodbye to £2,000. This leaves her with £7,000, so she toddles along to her bank. Yes they will lend her the money she needs, mainly because she produced a good business plan, and also because she is only asking for a further £14,000, to import the stock.

However, let’s take a different scenario. The UK government has just made some large tax breaks and increased the incentives for the British people in general to save, and they are doing so. Where do their savings increase go, well there would be a number of places, not least the Government’s own National Savings, but also bank savings and shares savings. This is where Industry and Commerce, come into play, they want to see a savings increase, for the simple reason, this gives easier access to Capital, and increased Capital improves efficiency, this in turn raises productivity, and increased productivity increases the number of jobs. Also a knock on effect, is to increase the wages paid, this all comes from a savings increase, by making more money available to Industry and Commerce.

Filtronic design Leeds
Design and manufacture of specialist equipment. Leeds based Filtronic, is one of the Manufacturing companies that has just boosted UK to 8th in the world changing places with France, who are now 9th, despite #Brexit lol?

So let’s go back to our fictional Jane Toper, now her savings are £11,000, as an average there will of course be people who have not saved. More to the point because of a savings increase, the bank now has money, it desperate wants to lend money, as a way of earning interest.

This was the case back in the mid 1990s. I was looking to buy a property in Bury with a view to renovating it, and reselling it. I was lent the money by my bank at around the Bank of England’s Minimum Lending Rate (MLR), so in effect, the bank were not making any extra profit, however they were making a return on their money, greater than some depositors. Banks make their money by working on averages, as long as the average interest return is greater than the interest paid to the depositors, they are in the black.

able to change any faults at short notice

So Jane goes to her bank with £8,000, but this time she has two proposals, the first much as the above example, the second, is more complicated. She wants to borrow £32,000 (three times her capital) to purchase a couple of machines that will help in the final manufacture of her device. This will enable her to keep on top of design and quality, the final device will be £1.20 instead of £1.00 but she is confident that she can still make a profit, but also be able to change any faults at short notice, should there be problems. Also she is asking for more Capital to allow form merchandising and advertising. I will tell you now, the banks would be more interested in the second proposal than the first, because it is reducing chance, and increasing design and advertising.

More to the point, when the banks have the money, because of a savings increase policy, they want to lend, and make more do$h.

So which Political party will have this on the agenda, certainly not the Socialist Labour party, who are intent on trying the fantasy idea of taking money out of society. This only has the effect of impoverishing the masses, allowing the select few at the top of the Political machinery to become rich. The side product of trying to stop the existence of money, results in killing millions, through starvation due to a lack of money in circulation, I will repeat, money is more beneficial to the poor, than to the rich. The rich always have things, whether land, gold, jewellery or whatever.

so intent on impoverishing the Scots?

The Conservatives are being led by Theresa May, she has little imagination, and is concentrating on #Brexit, and a Chancellor with even less imagination. The other parties don’t count, but even so a savings increase is not on the agenda. The Scottish Nationalists are Socialists like UK Labour, so intent on impoverishing the Scots?

bathroom decorating
Just some tiling, grouting and then adding the finishing touches, all in chrome.

A short blog this week, I was going to say, due to the fact I had my head stuck down a toilet? However this is not quite true, but I have had my head at the back, side and above the toilet pan, a brand new one, which has just been fitted. I am just finishing redecorating the bathroom, another couple of days and it will be ready.

Toilet redocarating.
This is the old bog seat, it will have been replaced by the time you are reading this with a lovely white square seat, with soft closing. Also there will be the new oblong wash basin, with chrome fittings.

Just a technical note on the decorating, the corner tile is deliberately not over half a tile, because if you look in the other picture, the tiles around the window are over half a tile. I had to decide whether to have the corner tiles each side with only a 60/70mm or so cut off, this led to the tiles around the window all being, about 60mm, so I moved the centre of the tiling 300mm to one side. The tiles are 600mm wide, so those around the window are 360mm, while those in the corners are 240mm. This will hopefully look more professional?

Corruption Kills

CORRUPTION KILLS

Monsoon floods devastate Bangladesh, made worse by lack of infrastructure to deal with the situation.

During the last fortnight, there have been two devastating weather events, one is annual and is the Monsoon, which waters the Indian sub-Continent in a deluge of precipitation spread out over three months??? This hit the Himalayas as usual but was more severe than most years, the result was flooding in Nepal and unusually high flooding in Bangladesh. The high number of deaths in Bangladesh, shows corruption kills. The other was hurricane Harvey, which made landfall as a storm, but poured two and a half feet of water, over Texas in general, and Houston in particular. The downpour and winds lasted only a matter of hours, but resulted in a state of emergency being announced. Hurricane Irma is currently sweeping up the Caribbean, having just passed the Leeward Islands.

Both events left a scene of carnage, death and destruction. Both areas will see stories of communities pulling together, and people helping each other in an unselfish manner. It is the aftermath that will be different, in the US the Federal Government has already allocated $billions to relief, which will, delays allowed for, eventually reach the people affected.

looking to line their pockets

In Bangladesh there are already stories of corruption, amid the devastation. The International Red Cross will swing into action, and all the other International None Government Organisations will come to the aid of Bangladesh, some of the aid will eventually get to the people. In the meantime there will be so many people, looking to line their pockets, the majority of the aid will not get to where and to whom it is needed, the result will be unnecessary deaths, showing corruption kills.

Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey took a high toll of devastation, due to its ferocity and the amount of rain in such a short time.

Endemic corruption always starts at the top, that is why it is imperative, that no one is above the Law. Corruption is the main reason for poverty, it is why all the so called Socialist countries end up being poor, Socialism breeds corruption. Corruption stems from people being above the Law, but also is fed when situations arise, where some people are included into a system and others are excluded. Any State where there is a necessity to belong to a certain group, before one can get a job, or to earn a living, creates a climate for corruption to thrive.

Hence why Countries where one Political class is in power and being a part of that particualr class, is required to get the best jobs, is headed for corruption. Hence it being part and parcel of Socialism. In Venezuela it is written into the Constitution. One of the sections is on workers’ rights, and that no matter how small the company there must be workers represented on the board. Also before a person can start trading, they must present themselves to be assessed as to whether the business, will succeed, and whether there are already enough other companies doing the same business? Straight from the Karl Marx book of comedy politics.

3 Hurricanes Irma, Jose, Katia
Currently brewing as this blog is written, 2 further hurricanes in the Caribbean, plus Irma.

If a person sets themselves up in business, and puts everyone else out of business, then, the wrong people were previously running those other companies, and probably giving poor service into the bargain. Socialism and indeed the poorly educated hate this idea. But the most obvious thing is, how do people who have never run a business, know what will succeed or fail. The answer is simple, they don’t, hence Venezuela being so poor, when it should be one of the richest in the World. How does one circumvent this type of nonsense, well simple, they bribe themselves in, so those with money become richer, while those without starve. Good Socialist motivation for corruption.

some little piece of kindness

As the days proceed, and hurricane Harvey recedes, there will be stories coming from Texas, that some place or other, or some person or family, still has not received the help that it needs. This will be due largely, to either bureaucratic incompetence, or just being overlooked. At some point unrelated to incompetence, some Government employee will be praised for going above and beyond the call of duty, and will be slightly embarrassed to find themselves either trending on social media, or in the news headlines. Various unassuming people will find that, some little piece of kindness, is suddenly being used as inspiration for others.

In a couple of months news stories will start to appear from Texas, that some people are still struggling more than they should be, due to the devastation caused by hurricane Harvey, and there will be a furore over what the State Government is doing, to ensure that people are being helped in the most efficient way possible. There are unlikely to be stories of corrupt officials, suddenly becoming rich on the proceeds of any aid directed at the victims of hurricane Harvey. If any of the aid does go missing, the most likely culprit will be Mr. Incompetence, not the dude who was elected to ensure that the boating lake in the City Park had adequate water in the summer?

In Bangladesh corruption is endemic, why? Simple it is not set up as a fully functioning Democracy. Bangladesh was born out of East Pakistan, long after the British had left. Pakistan was born out of the partition, that was insisted on by many Muslims, and quickly descended into a Military Dictatorship, where the Judiciary became an arm of the Government. Whenever the Judiciary is answerable to a Government body there is scope for corruption, and in the end that corruption kills.

Also Islam has a problem with secular Law, many Muslims see ‘the Laws of Islam’ as above secular Law, but also take this to mean, they can ignore these Laws, and invoke Taqiya with regards to secular Laws. Also many Government officials can go about their business, without the threat of the Law being used against them. This in effect makes them above the Law.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne
Gaston Browne, Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister, eloquently spoke about the preparations for a hurricane, enough buildings to withstand 200mph winds, on the Island of Barbuda.

In all the rich Democratic Countries no one, Monarch or President included is above the Law, hence President Nixon found himself leaving Office for sanctioning the breaking of the Law. In UK the Princess Royal, daughter of the Queen, found herself up before the Beak, for not keeping her dog under proper control. Basically her dog bit someone, so the Law bit back, ouch.

India is currently booming, and many people are becoming wealthy, and this is happening on the back of a crackdown on corruption. Just in the last few days, some Yogi and head of a cult, was jailed, for 20 years for rape. Not so long ago, this would not have happened, someone would have been paid, another would have turned a blind eye for a decent wodge of money, and this nasty excuse for a human being would have been set free. Go back enough years, in India and it was basically Socialist, hence why it stayed so poor after Partition.

corruption is being fought in the courts

A new mood took over India, it saw its old rival China, dump Socialism in 1979, and copy the Capitalist Hong Kong. Boom, nearly 40 years later and India is now starting to fight corruption on all fronts. And the wealth of the Nation is the better for it, India is now booming, and doesn’t look set to stop doing so. Because the corruption is being fought in the courts, when the Monsoons arrive in India it kills fewer people. For the simple reason that when the Federal Government allocates money to help with flood defences, most of the money, has a reasonable chance of doing the job it was intended to.
India has a long way to go, there are certain States especially in the north of the country, where corruption is still a big problem. However even here, it is being fought, hence why India, is starting to make waves on the international stage.

Bangladesh has many problems, but most are of its own making, add in the exceptional monsoon rains and it is overwhelmed. Many people have died in Bangladesh, just because it cannot put its own Governmental house in order. Will this happen, no, because it will kow tow to some clerics, reading from a book that can be interpreted, to despise anything new. The problem is for Muslims to sort out?

In the meantime hurricane Irma has devastated Barbuda, and is heading north. Barbuda itself got a direct hit, but the Island was prepared, and had buildings built to withstand 200 mph (320KPH) winds, so the people had somewhere to go, sadly so far reported is one death, of a child.

Will there be many more deaths, from hurricane Irma, yes. Will most be avoidable, no, hurricanes take no hostages, and can change route unpredictably, certainly any deaths won’t be the result of endemic corruption.

Efficiency, a socialist problem

EFFICIENCY, A SOCIALIST PROBLEM

One of the reasons money came into existence, was due to efficiency, some would call it productivity, whatever the term, a person thinks up a better or easier way of doing something. This usually means more people can enjoy whatever has been produced, this if Socialism was based on reality would be a Socialist ideal, just the opposite it is a socialist problem.

Sharp CS 10a All transistor calculator
This was state of the art office equipment in 1964, an all transistorised calculator, pic courtesy Sharp corporation

Back in 1964, the Sharp Company of Japan produced the first all-electronic calculator. It was sold in USA for around $268, or about three weeks wages, for the average US citizen. Not that the average person could afford $268 for a luxury item like a calculator. However many companies could, and the Sharp CS 10A was a roaring success, it made calculating long lists of numbers so much easier, also it could work out percentages. It paved the way for others to copy. Calculators had been around for centuries, but not in electronic form, and they now started to be a commonplace piece of kit.

a slide rule

In 1964, the human brain aside, probably the most common general purpose calculator, was a slide rule. The Far East used the Abacus quite a lot, but that is less general purpose. Also a common item in the work place was a book of percentages, for working out the interest on various items. A slide rule is very good, however it is not fast, where it scored was on things like long division, or where methods requiring calculus were involved.

Originally mechanical, then electro-mechanical and finally all electronic calculators, made life so much easier and efficient. Sharp were the first to the market place. From then on there was a steady stream of developments and improvements. Here is a good example of where Socialism and its ideas fall flat, they are just fantasy. In the Socialist world there is central planning, this does a way with inefficient duplications and wastage. Well that is the idea, however it is a load of old garbage, that just leads to corruption.

In the free trade model, individuals use their own money, and waste it as they wish. This leads to some person being sat in an office using a Sharp calculator and thinking, well that latest piece of electronics printed circuit I read about, could do everything that is needed here, and they are sure they could sell it at under $200 and still make a fabulous profit. So they do, and also because it is there own money they have invested, they look at ways of reducing overheads. This is efficiency at work, and an example why efficiency, a socialist problem.

Typical desktop office calculator
A modern day calculator, you can buy them in £ or $ shops, a far cry from 1964, and they actually do more.

So pretty Polly Perkins, sets up her factory producing calculators, and selling them at less than $200 each. Initially she just employs three people, basically buying in the parts and assembling the machines, but business being brisk, she has to hire more staff.

electronics called a microchip

In the mean time, there has been some developments in the world of electronics, and some company called Intel has produced a new piece of electronics called a microchip. This is cheaper and does away with lots of the components. Over in USSR where they have everything passed by central planning, to reduce wastage, no one in that department has even a passing interest in desk calculators, so they are not even being developed.

In the meantime Polly Perkins has noticed that she can make an improved toaster using, some of the electronic bits, she buys. This is good because $200 for a calculators in now expensive, and although she has reduced the production costs, she finds she can make more money selling ten times the number of toasters, that lots of people can afford for their homes?

So Billy Brainstorm, elsewhere in the world, decides he can make a calculator for less than $50, and it is so small due to a new chip from Texas Instruments, that you can fit it in your briefcase. Other companies making calculators go out of business, making people redundant, but due to the fact they now have experience in making electrical items, some are taken on at a local factory making alarms systems, which are becoming more common, due to being affordable. They are more affordable because, of the new electronic chips, and the fact that things like calculators in offices means there are less staff needed to run a company.

Another example of why efficiency, is a socialist problem. Why when less people are needed to produce things, is employment going up.

Back with Polly Perkins, she has sold her factory, and could if she wished retire, but that would be boring, plus she always liked the side of business where she wrote the adverts to sell her products. So she gets a job at the local ad agency, as a personal assistant, and before long she has left and started her own company, specialising in making catalogues for distribution companies, and she does this efficiently enough, to take them within reach of small, local outfits.

calculators are now below $20

The efficiency has come from these new micro computers, which are now less than $2,000 for a good office machine. Meanwhile the calculators are now below $20, and they have a memory function.
A further efficiency causing a further socialist problem, how come when manufacturing is in decline, does employment keep going up, and people keep getting paid more?

Simple, when the Luddites in the 18th Century were breaking up the weaving machines, they had no concept, that in the future people would be employed to drive a vehicle to help someone whose car had broken down? How could they?

RAC breakdown assistance
RAC do breakdown cover in UK
Pic courtesy RAC

Efficiency is a socialist problem, because they object to people being made redundant. They then make erroneous comparisons, like the fact that a warehouse has been built on an old coal mining pit, and that the people there are not paid the same as the coal miners were.

Luddite socialists

That a person working at these warehouses, on minimum wage, drive to their place of work, has a disposable income far in excess of a 1980s miner, is lost on these Luddite socialists, and also has nothing to do with trained workers. The equivalent worker in 2017 to a miner in the 1980s, doesn’t expose themselves to the dangers back then. They work in an office, are required to use their imagination, and have a disposable income, that allows holidays in exotic world wide locations.

All because of efficiency, and the ease with which people today in UK can be made redundant.

Commodity and fiat money

COMMODITY AND FIAT MONEY

Pounds sterling
Fiat money, is not quite the same as commodity money, but commodity money can be fiat money?

In my last two blogs I went into the beginnings, and what might be termed the invention of commodity and fiat money. As I pointed out, when the first exchanges would be made, there was probably no concept of the term money, certainly there was no word for it.

this is commodity money

Those first transactions probably came about through convenience of application. The new farmer had a surplus of some good, and exchanged it for another good he required, basically this is commodity money. The point being, that there was a medium used by all, in this case the commodity of food, but also an item that can be adaptable in quantity, so the ox is not viable. The upshot is that one person can receive in exchange, for work or goods an item that can be saved or used to exchange with someone else, and although many call this commodity money, it can also take the more abstract idea of fiat money. It is not beyond the possibility of reason, that arrow heads may have been used, the problem here is we have no way of knowing.

Let’s face it before writing, there is no way of distinguishing archaeological finds used for hunting, deposited in a living area, with those used for exchange of goods? All the evidence is, there were no bartering societies as such, so the concept of commodity and fiat money appears to be grasped, in one way or another.

It is clear that very early on, other more neutral items than grain started to be used for these transactions. The main problem we have is, not knowing what the order of events were, that led to the concept of commodity and fiat money, coming into being. Was there a term for buying or selling, before there was the neutral token? We do know that it wasn’t just metal in the form of copper, silver or gold that was used as commodity and fiat money, famously shells were, along with other novel items.
Also the people on the South Pacific Island of Yap used large stone rings as their commodity and fiat money, that was usually not moved. A blog on the subject of Yap currency.

adoption of abstract numbers

In the Sumerian kingdom where the first written records of commodity and fiat money have been found, it can be seen that there was a gradual adoption of abstract numbers. The first written records were on clay tablets. The Sumerians also kept records of transactions and ownership of goods, for traders who were leaving one City to travel to another, with clay pouches that were sealed so that the contents wouldn’t be tampered with.

tally man
Tally men in Kent hopfields, courtesy Arcturus publishing

The very first counting system was probably tallying, which doesn’t require any counting by numbers. One merely keeps track by having some stones or marks on a stick. With stones you put one in a pile for each of the animals you wish to count, then when you ‘tally’ them you just take a stone away for each animal. If you are left with a stone then you have an animal missing. A tally stick is simple and straight forward, you simply take two equal lengths of wood tied together. Then you make a notch or line across the width to represent each item. So if a herdsman has ten sheep, then there will be ten lines marked across it. Then you untie the sticks, this way two people can keep track of the items. No actual counting is required, you just need to tally the marks with the items.

independent way of keeping track

At some point people started identifying numbers, two, three items and so on. When the Sumerians started using the clay pouches, they worked like this. You were travelling from one city to another, and leaving so many items with a trusted person. The thing is, both sides wanted an independent way of keeping track. This is similar to the pile of tally stones, you put one tiny pebble in the clay pouch for each item, and then sealed it up, and when you returned you just broke open the clay and checked the pebbles against your items.

The reason for going into number history is, that money accounting in Sumer advanced at a similar pace. It wasn’t long before the clay pouches started to have the counting numbers, also symbols for different items, so writing was involved. But the big breakthrough appears to be the idea of abstract numbers and quantities.

The archaeologists found that in less than thirty years through the daily use of these clay pouches, abstraction of quantities, numbers and money becomes a concept. Money as a measure came about through the use of the measure of grain, the shekel. This soon transferred to the grain being equal to so much gold, silver, bronze or goats, oxen and the like. Once there was a measure of metal, this could be held without using any resources.

You didn’t need to feed it

While the exchange was in perishable form, like grain or goats, the medium of exchange used as money would deteriorate. As soon as metal, especially silver, gold, bronze was used, it didn’t deteriorate, you could have piece of silver sat around minding its own business, and it needed no looking after. This was counted as commodity money, but is actually fiat money. You didn’t need to store it away from rats, or in special conditions, like food. You didn’t need to feed it, like animals.

Assyrian Charioteer
This is an Assyrian charioteer, Assyria, Sumer, Babylon were all a similar area, just different times.

The other point about the Sumerians (they may have been the Babylonians by this time) is that because of these clay pouches, they soon became adept at thinking of things as abstract ideas. So number no longer had to tally, they could be divided, multiplied and more to the point, not exist. So why go to the hassle of counting so many of these tiny pebbles, when you were going to mark the outside with a number, in fact a complete invoice. One might as well just mark the outside, with items and the numbers they represented, and forget about tiny pebbles. After all they were just a collection of pebbles. On the outside of the pouch, some of those pebbles represented goats others an amphora of grain. The pebbles all looked alike, it was the inscription marked in the clay pouch that told you what they were.

This then passes from commodity money into fiat money, at this point the currency is unmarked metal that was weighed to find its value. Again, this concept is fairly abstract, but these transactions were happening on a daily basis, and we all have our specialities in work where we know something just by looking. The ancients were no different.

Define Money Pt2

DEFINE MONEY, part 2.

Sumer woman's head dress death pit
From the book, Ur of the Chaldees, by Sir leonard Wolley. A Woman’s head dress, from the death pit

In my last blog I posed the question, Define Money, I am going to fill in a few of the gaps in my theory.

an unlimited number of factors and variants

In the final analysis the money that circulates as cash is just a token. The actual item whether a note, coin, cheque, figure on a computer screen, an intangible figure in a debit card, or a debit on a credit card statement, only exist, because we each have the confidence that another person will accept the value. That value is arrived at, not by any one person deciding its price, but by an unlimited number of factors and variants, that no individual decides, but that a nebulous idea brings about.

Back in the Neolithic period, humans had a revolution in development, it was called farming, this was one element, along with others that led to the ‘Invention’ of money.

On a personal level I am not happy with the term ‘Invention’, as it suggests a single human was responsible for it coming into being. This isn’t really the case, it comes into existence, because of efficiencies, or to give it another term, productivity. Money is a result of a surplus of anything over and above the needs of the being that creates it. The fact that more goods can be moved more efficiently by water, makes boats a contributing factor in money. That flint knapping is more productive than other stone tools, contributes to money coming into being.

together they increase productivity

Farming was probably the spark that started the fire, but the required kindling in the form of other efficiencies, boats, flint knapping are two, keeping livestock is another, together they increase productivity, this all led to the creation of money.

Roses
My roses need dead heading, but even with my part time work on them, they have multiple blossoms. A person working full time in a field can harvest much more than Nature naturally produces.

When the first proto money was being used, there was probably no concept of money, certainly no word for it. All that would be happening was an exchange of goods, they could not define money.

But take note, this in itself, is an increase in efficiency.

Hunter gathers have been studied in the 20th century, and one thing that is striking is, any tribes who have not come into real contact with modern peoples, don’t carry goods from one place to another. This blows out of the water any thinking that, hunter gatherers saved excess food for times when there was a famine or drought.

Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) people were hunter gatherers, however that is only part of the story. Archaeological evidence from studies carried out in Central Europe, show that Mesolithic people had a base from where they hunted or gathered, but that when the food ran out, they moved to another base.

human digestion system to gain more calories

Some Mesolithic people kept domesticated animals, these would seem to have been moved with the particular tribe. This results in an efficiency, so they had some food, to tied them over until they could gather more food. There is also cooking to be considered, the process of heating food, allows the human digestion system to gain more calories from the same amount of food. This allowed Mesolithic people to support larger families, for the same amount of food.

They also had boats, alright they were simple dugouts or timbers lashed together and caulked to allow them to float, or hides in the form of coracles. No matter they were more efficient than a simple log.

The problem is, Mesolithic people have no universal exchange medium in excess to their needs, such a thing starts to define money.

The upshot is they had no item that can be universally exchanged.

At this point there is no useful item that is both large or small that can be universally exchanged. Gold, silver, bronze, etcetera have not been discovered. Food always has its own value, because it can sustain life, boats have a value to a person wishing to cross some water. Metals on the other hand have no value in themselves, until they can be made into some technological item. So if you see someone chucking an old PC away, just remember, that there is gold in them thar circuits? Until the Neolithic period and farming, there is no excess of food, over and above that needed to support life.

doesn’t need to be fed and watered

The advantage of metal is, that one person can accept it, then save it for a period, knowing they can use it again later, to exchange for a good they may require. It also doesn’t need to be fed and watered to maintain its value, all other things being equal, it is an ideal token.

Everything points to the concept of an intermediary token, being used, before the idea of money came into existence. We cannot at this time even begin to define money.

Sumerian numbers
Sumer in the fertile crescent had a base 60 numbering system.

In the Fertile Crescent, where money is first recorded, it was as a measure of grain. So firstly there was a measure, which just happens to be grain, and is accepted by the peoples of who at the time are called Sumerians. This is the Tigris and Euphrates region of modern Iraq, you may also know it as Babylon and Mesopotamia, although these are slightly different eras.

Everything starts to come together, around these ‘Cities’ that have been established.

They invent writing on clay tablets, which enables records of transactions to be kept, as a consequence of keeping track of goods. Numbers begin to be used and so early mathematics is invented. This allows for measurements to be kept, and the kings establish a measurement for grain, the shekel. Also bookkeeping came into being, and so accounts of different animals belonging to different people were kept.

So when someone in Sumer/Mesopotamia/Babylon died, and their chattels were being calculated, there needed to be a means of estimating how this should be divided amongst the family. So what is a goat in comparison with a sheep, or cow? Here is where we need some means to define the universal value, and in doing so, we define money?

Money is such a slippery thing

But do we? Money is such a slippery thing, the above calculation only pins down what a person had in goods, not their value as a human being. This is where money becomes a cumbersome burden. We can calculate a value or worth in money for each and every person, but only in on one level, their ability to add monetary worth to the world. But people have more than one level to their lives, this leaves the value in love and happiness, incalculable.

There is also the unseen value of what a person brought to the world while they went about their daily life. Yesterday, is a song written by Sir Paul McCartney, it has brought untold joy to many. In 1965 the Beatles were awarded MBEs for services to British industry, many people objected, mainly because they had no concept of the value of music, and the joy it brings, but also that it is a manufactured good, just the same as the Mini car that was being sold at the time. Ask yourself, which was the last you saw or heard. A 1960s car, running around the roads, or a song from the 1960s. I’ll lay money that 90% of you, it was the song from the 1960s?

It is money, but not as you would define it?

Define Money

DEFINE MONEY

UK sterling notes & coins
UK money.

How do we define money?

I have just been reading ~Money~ an unauthorised biography by Felix Martin, according to this book apparently the Greeks invented Money circa 8th to 6th Century BC. Really, so the people of Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent, didn’t exchange a measure of grain, the Shekel, for other items? Likewise the transactions recorded on clay tablets, must all be fake? Oh they did, well surely that is money in use?

Here is a crucial philosophical point, define money.

The main problem with trying to define money is, it isn’t what most people think it is. To start with, money can be both abstract and tangible at one and the same time. For example let’s say you dear reader, myself and say an MP (if you are an MP choose another person earning a different salary?) walk into a Pound shop, we each buy an identical tube of toothpaste, and pay the cashier, with a £1 coin. We’ve each spent exactly the same amount, £1, we’ve each handed over, £1, a coin that is quite tangible. And yet it can be easily pointed out, that we have each spent a different amount. Oh yes we have, if you put the purchase alongside our earnings. Suddenly the concrete amount of £1, becomes an abstract amount of worth, of different value to each of the three of us.

here is the slippery-ness of money

Of course as we go about our daily lives the amount we spend relative to another person doesn’t cross our minds. As a side note, if it does give you cause for concern all the time, you will always be unhappy. There are always people wealthier in some way or poorer in other ways compared to oneself. Back to the story, here is the slippery-ness of money, it is both a tactile tool for everyday living on one hand, and a febrile none existent token of worth, on the other?

Lloyds bank branch, wakefield
Lloyds bank one of a number of banks who help to distribute money in the UK.

Many people come unstuck when talking about macroeconomics, two of the biggest myths surrounds Governments and money. Governments do not have any money, if you were led to believe otherwise, you were lied to. Governments cannot directly create money. Yes Governments can mint coins or print banknotes that represent a value, but that value is all relative, and is set against the amount of money in circulation, against what the Country produces, or its wealth in abilities. Yes Governments can introduce legislation that enables private citizens to get on and create wealth, but Governments cannot under any circumstances directly create wealth, or its money equivalent. People working for the Government are not creating wealth, they merely redistribute to a greater or lesser degree, the amount of value in the Country. The money comes from tax receipts, and is then used for either good or bad projects.

life just existed

So let’s have a little history tour to help us define money. Palaeolithic man (Old Stone Age) was a hunter gatherer society, they survived because of some weapons and tools useful for living and surviving. When the number of people exceeded the available food to be picked, they died, the population reduced, and the few remaining went on living again. There was no money and along with no increase in efficiency or as some would say, productivity, life just existed. Palaeolithic people, could no more define money, as fly to the stars.

Along comes Mesolithic people or Middle Stone Age, they have some increases in efficiency, firstly fire, it facilitated a greater release of energy from foods processed through heat, so a higher calorific value could be gained, especially from meat and cooked grain like wheat. The keeping of domesticated animals, goats, sheep etc. started around this time. These feed on different foodstuffs to humans, so there was an increase in the number of calories per person for a similar area, without having to go hunting for it, so more people survived. This also allowed a tribe, to have more leisure time, because along with cooking, they had to spend less time foraging or hunting. But there was still no essence of money, Mesolithic people could not define money.

Palaeolithic man
Palaeolithic drawings

Then came the Neolithic period and the big breakthrough, Farming. It is difficult to over emphasize the significance of the invention of Farming. It revolutionised the human race and its development. As any gardener will know, just tending a garden part time can be productive. Doing so full time gives high returns of food. This resulted in farmers being able to feed their whole family, and have surplus left over, it changed the world.

Then in an area known as the Fertile Crescent, in what is now Iraq, and Syria and south eastern Turkey, the first Cities were built. Ur being one of the Cities, has been extensively chronicled by Archaeologists. Their findings are stupendous, not least, the discovery of the first tax system, the first accounting system, the first written word, the first written mathematics.

the bestest axe head ever made

Now back to define money, and a time just before the Fertile Crescent, imagine our first farmer, Ogg. After a couple of years he has surplus grain. He decides he needs a new Axe head and he also decides he wants the bestest axe head ever made. So he goes to the axe head maker sublime, Ugg and says,
“Look Ugg, I will give you six months grain in exchange for your best axe.”
“Okay it’s a deal I’ll have it ready a week on Tuesday.”

There is no money involved and I will emphasize, there is no concept of what we call money, this is just an exchange?

Sumerian numbers
Sumer in the fertile crescent had a base 60 numbering system.

Now I hear you cry that is just bartering. Hold on, I haven’t finished the story.

Ugg scampers off home and says to Mrs. Ugg,
“I’ve just done this great deal, two months of grain for you, me and little Uggy.” (Note six months divided by three equals two, I haven’t lost the plot)
Then Mrs. Ugg has an idea,
“Look Ugg, we won’t be able to eat all this food, because I’m still going out and foraging, plus it’s been a good season. Also I could do with a new Fur coat, Agg is good at getting quality leather and furs, let’s do a deal with him. We could split half of the grain we get from farmer Ogg, in exchange for some of his hides, and have some brand new clothes, and still eat better.

Here is the crucial bit, there is no word for money, in fact there is no concept of money. However it has just come into existence, you could say invented, but I think this would be overstating the case, it is merely a proto money. The grain will be short lived, that is of no matter it is being used as money.

There is a further point to make, the evidence is mounting that there was no bartering societies as first thought. I not only go along with this, I think it virtually 100%, there was no bartering, in the sense of nothing being used as money.

the rich always have things

Plus Money benefits the poor more than the rich, the rich always have things. In the Neolithic period, many people were valued in Cattle and other such large or expensive items, the poor were obviously dirt poor. Suddenly you have a proto money that can be held for a period of time. Okay grain can’t be held indefinitely, but it is needed by all, in the form of food, and can be exchanged in small quantities. Also this would release the value of other previous efficiencies.

Not least, that boats can transport goods more efficiently than going overland, Agg the person good at getting hides, could now pay for 100 hides to be transported from someone who has too many to use? Flint knapping, this little gem I heard about decades ago. Flint is a Neolithic tool and can be formed into arrow heads much more efficiently than other stones, is sharper and does the job better. Early flint napping sites in England have been found to have an estimate waste from 1,000,000 flint heads? The farmer coming along with this proto money, grain, suddenly makes the best flint knappers wealthy, because they can be paid? If they were being paid, they were receiving money, now define money?

Basically the surplus grain, releases the value of the efficiencies, which have been created in the Mesolithic and Neolithic ages. Efficiency pays wages.

By the time of the Mesopotamians and the City of Ur circa 3,500 bc, metal was being used as an exchange medium. No it wasn’t stamped, no there weren’t coins in the sense we know them, but the written clay tablets show exchanges and accounting not for bartering but buying and selling through a medium of metal by weight. Early on the concept of money was probably unknown. Wittgenstein comes into play here, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. Wittgenstein was meaning if we don’t have a concept in words, we cannot have a concept in ideas.

At some point the idea of grain, or more probably metal, being an intermediary ‘token’ which could be held and exchanged for any goods, took hold. At this point someone started using a term, for this token, in other words the concept of money was born. It was probably the measure of wheat, in Mesopotamia, namely the shekel.

But there was no coin worth a shekel.

Which brings us full circle?

Define what we mean by money.