Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Tory Road To Ruin

The Tories have issued another election poster, presumably out of the head of the genius in political-economy, and master strategist that is George Osborne.

The Tory Road To Ruin
But, what is missing from this picture?  It is that there is no sign of the huge potholes that crater most of Britain's roads, as a result of Tory neglect, and cuts in spending.  True, the road has no decent lighting, but if it had lights, the reality, in Tory Britain, is that they would not be lit, as a result of the same Tory spending cuts.  Those same cuts not only impact on ordinary British people, who have to suffer the poor roads, the dangers imposed by inadequate street lighting and so on, they also impact the efficiency and profitability of British industry, whose goods remain stuck in traffic for much longer, increasing their transport costs, damaging their vehicles, and slowing down the rate of turnover of capital, which reduces the rate of profit, and causes them to tie up capital needlessly, that otherwise could have been used to expand production, and create jobs.

The reality of the Liberal-Tory economic catastrophe, of the last four and a half years, is that they have failed to mend the roads, whilst the sun was shining!  Not just the roads, they have failed to mend the schools, the hospitals, the care homes, and all of the rest of the infrastructure that is needed, not just for a decent society, but also for a profitable, efficient, modern economy!

Where they have not simply left the foundations of the economy to rot, they have vandalised it even further, closing it down, pulling it down, or selling it off to profiteers and speculators.  They have acted like an old style Rachmanite landlord, with the structure of society being a responsibility they want to disown, whilst continuing to pull in as much rent from the tenants as they can get their hands on.

In short, the Liberal-Tories have acted in the way every previous Tory government has acted - short term, cheap skate penny-pinching that creates long-term economic weakness, that a future Labour government then has to remedy by investing in the necessary infrastructure and productive capacity. For decades, at the start of the last century, Tory and Liberal governments, had failed to spend money on infrastructure, just as in their private capacities, as capitalists, they had failed to invest in the mines they owned, the steel mills they owned, the textile mills they owned, and so on.  It was left to the 1945 Labour government, to put in place all of that investment, including the investment in providing the kind of educated, healthier labour force a modern economy requires, via the welfare state.

For thirteen years between 1951 and 1964, successive Tory governments, at least didn't attempt to dismantle that, but again, with their eyes able to see no further than the bottom line, they failed to put back a sufficient amount of investment, from all of the surplus that workers were producing.  It was again left to Harold Wilson's Labour Government, after 1964, to invest in all of the "white heat of technology" that a new modern economy required.  For 18 years after 1979, Thatcher and Major's governments were even worse than their predecessors.  Not only did they fail to invest sufficiently, but they sold off the family silver to every speculator they knew.

It was again left up to Blair's Labour government, after 1997, to remedy the damage they had done. The Labour governments, between 1979 and 2007, prior to the financial crisis, caused by the deregulation of financial markets, introduced by Thatcher and Reagan in the late 1980's, were able to invest huge sums, trebling spending on the NHS, for example, to begin to reverse the damage done by the Tories, and yet, because that was done in a way that stimulated economic growth, the average deficit to GDP, during that period, was only half what it was under Thatcher and Major!  So much, for the Tories lies about Labour overspending.

The Liberal-Tory economic policy can be summed up as "penny-wise, pound foolish".  Their economic policy is the same kind of penny-pinching attitude, as that of the small capitalist, who fails to borrow money to buy the machines they need, or to buy the more reliable vehicles they need, or to train the workers in the skills they need, and then wonders why their business is failing, because they cannot produce the goods their customers want, because their machines are inadequate, or can only produce them at a much higher cost than their competitors, or that, having produced the goods, they always deliver them late, because their delivery vehicles repeatedly break-down, and whose goods take longer to produce, and are more shoddily produced, because their workers have not been properly trained in the skills they require.  They are like the small business, that fails to spend money on repairing the factory roof, because they prefer to keep the money in their bank account, only to find that the roof has let the rain in, and destroyed all their stock, and made it impossible for their workers to work.

Like a Rachmanite landlord, rather than spend a little money now on painting the window frames, they would rather penny-pinch, only to find that the window frames have rotted, and need complete replacement.  Instead of mending the roof whilst the sun is shining, as many large businesses are doing, like Apple that is borrowing billions of dollars to take advantage of once in a lifetime low interest rates, the Tories prefer to save the money on repairing the roof, so as to hand over the money to their friends the bankers, and in tax handouts to the rich.

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