It’s difficult these days to even define what money is. It can be coins in our pockets, notes in purses and wallets or numbers on bank account statements. Money can be just bits in a computer or tokens of any kind.
In theory, competition and supply and demand should regulate prices in a free market. In practice that isn’t the case. There are monopolies and cartels. There can be a lack of competition. There can be government interference in the market, such as the government’s ‘help to buy scheme’; that can distort the property market. An increased money supply can also mean increased demand.
When I was younger, there was a lot of industry in the Black Country. Working and making money was hard, but there was also ‘easy money’. Making beer could be considered a lot easier than working in a foundry or down a mine.
It seems the British economy is growing and we aren’t in recession after all. GDP has increased 0.3%. Well it’s better than nothing. That means spending has increased by 0.3%, that’s combined spending, the government’s and ours. The government is spending less. Are we spending more?
Rents for social housing have gone up over the years in the UK and have been subsidised first with rent rebates and then that was changed to housing benefit. They went so high that workers couldn’t afford them.
We all need water and food and we need to keep warm in winter. The divide between what we actually need and what we want is getting a little blurred. Do we really need mobile phones, cars and internet? I think we want these things and a lot more, but we don’t need them. We don’t even need television…
The town that I live in used to be run by the town clerk from the town hall. Now we have a new civic centre miles away, they didn’t even put it in a central location. Social Housing used to be council housing and people paid their rent and that included rates, water rates and sewage. (more…)
I answer my phone this morning. This is unusual for me, I usually leave the calls to go to my answering machine because of nuisance calls that could be dealt with easily; but aren’t because they make money for the telecom companies. It was from TalkTalk.
I read about a Lord this week who tried to live on a pound a day for food. He tried to do it for five days. That isn’t too difficult if you’re healthy and can eat anything. It’s only five days.
We all wish that we had been born with a silver spoon in our mouths. But the reality for most people is that rather than enjoying inherited wealth, they have to create their own wealth. Many people will never own their own home and for those that are lucky enough to own a home, they spend their life paying off the mortgage. To make it all worse the money we earn is constantly devalued by an expanding money supply.
A few years ago, the refuse collection service where I live was put out to tender. One of those big ‘outsourcing’ companies won the 300 million pound contract. They now collect refuse, a wheelie bin for recycling, a bin for garden waste in summer, a bin for a kitchen waste and a bin that is supposed to be kept in the kitchen for waste too. The staff got a pay cut when it was all reorganised and that wasn’t the only council service to be outsourced.
Big is beautiful to some people. Well, you get paid more for running a city than a town! Near my home there are six shops. There used to be a greengrocers where you could buy fruit and vegetables; that is now a ‘tanning salon’.
While many people are worrying about paying their bills in January after the excesses of Christmas. It was revealed this morning in the Telegraph that one London street has homes valued at £8.1 millions. These houses are a stone’s throw from Harrods and belong to the super-rich. They can afford the best and never need worry about the next gas and electric bill.
I just looked at chickens in Tesco, they are £4.00 each or 3 for £10. Why do you have to pay a 1/5 more if you only want one? Is this discrimination in favour of families or against single people?
There is always an excuse for higher food prices and now it’s a shortage of potatoes. Earlier in the year farmer’s organisations said there would be a shortage because of the ‘drought’. They did their rain dances and rain came and kept on coming. After a summer of persistent and record breaking rainfall, they complain crops have potato blight.
Last month, I received an email from Scottish Power with their price rise. Is it simple? Is it hell! There are two unit prices for electricity and two for gas, three out of four will be increasing. Then there are the annual discounts for taking both gas and electricity and the on-line discount. They are being cut by a total of £11.55. It’s complicated, but the unit price of gas is going up by over 12%. Can it get worse? Yes it can. Now they want over 24% extra!
Today’s picture is a little different to the usual photo that I start a blog with. This is one is of Blackpool, a popular seaside resort in the North of England. You can see Blackpool Tower and the pier; it was taken by Simon James. I edited the photo last night with Windows Live Photo Gallery; cropping it to make it look quite panoramic.
The recession is affecting most people, but if you have lost your job then it’s even worse. In the UK cuts in all welfare payments and provision are hitting the least well off most. While the government panders to the rich who try to avoid taxes; the most vulnerable in society suffer. They are often thought of as scroungers who spend all their time drinking in the pub . The truth is very different.