I watched a video this week of young children going up to smokers in the street and asking them for a light. The smokers responded by giving them a lecture on the dangers and health risks associated with smoking. The children then gave them a leaflet that asked them why, if they cared about the child, they didn’t care about themselves.
The smokers were kidding themselves that the risk was worth taking and that it would be too difficult to give up their addiction. I remember when most people smoked and the strategy of the health authorities was to try to persuade people to smoke low tar cigarettes. There was a chart in my doctor’s waiting room telling me the different tar levels of different brands. My brand was the lowest, the doctor’s brand was the highest. I gave up eventually; the doctor died from emphysema. There is a lesson there somewhere.
I read an article by an investment advisor criticising David Cameron for suggesting the minimum wage could be higher. It was a pathetic attack with no reasoned arguments against the idea. He’s afraid higher costs for companies will hurt his investments. If the minimum wage is increased, then people have more money and will spend more in Tesco and the other stores. So why doesn’t he just invest in Tesco? It ain’t that simple though is it? If the low paid have more money, they won’t need pay-day loans. Some investors want easy money from dodgy investments and you don’t get any more dodgy than pay-day loan companies. If Tesco paid their shelf fillers and check out girls more, would sales in Tesco go up or would it benefit Aldi and Lidl? Maybe Tesco and Asda need to not only pay their staff more, but also cater more to the low paid. 3 chickens for £10? Why not make small chickens 2.99 like in Aldi?
There is a rumour that the Liberal Democrats are trying to distance themselves from the Tories and are cosying up to Labour a little. That could save them being wiped out at the next election, but the way things are going Labour will get a majority anyway. Are they kidding themselves?
Let’s see who is paying attention. We all know this country is in debt, the Tories keep banging on about it. According to the IMF the overseas liabilities of UK institutions was about $11.4 trillion in 2010. That’s what the government and other institutions owe or overseas entities have invested here. Now what do you suppose our assets are overseas? The amount we are owed or have invested abroad? Go on take a guess.. It was actually 10.95 trillion, giving us a shortfall of $446 billion compared to a surplus of over $2 trillion for China. China exports a lot of course, but we still have substantial assets overseas. The big difference between the UK and the US compared to China and Japan who both have surpluses is their citizens save their money while ours spend and borrow. We live in Wongaland selling out our futures for a good time today. Perhaps we should send kids around to people in the queues for pay-day loans and tell them to ask the people to lend them a quid and promise them a fiver in return next month?
Incidentally before the financial crash, global investors and companies had nearly 100 trillion dollars invested overseas. Makes you wonder why there are people starving in the world. It also makes you wonder whether all those companies and investors pay their taxes… I suspect that the rich investors kid themselves too. People on benefits in this country are all idle scroungers, so it stands to reason that people starving in the third world are idle too. Right?
We all kid ourselves about something. We all abuse our health and take unnecessary risks. We are all prejudiced against people who are different to us. We are all quite primitive and tribal, but kid ourselves that we’re modern and sophisticated with our computers and smart phones. Inside we are little different from the primitive tribal people that were our ancestors, who interbred with Neanderthals and lived in caves. I know a few Neanderthals…
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