Not a true believer

By agreeing with the following, this is where I discovered I’m not a true rightwing marketeer:

Putting a price on a flat-screen TV or a toaster is, he says, quite sensible. “But how to value pregnancy, procreation, our bodies, human dignity, the value and meaning of teaching and learning – we do need to reason about the value of goods.

The markets give us no framework for having that conversation. And we’re tempted to avoid that conversation, because we know we will disagree about how to value bodies, or pregnancy, or sex, or education, or military service; we know we will disagree.

So letting markets decide seems to be a non-judgmental, neutral way. And that’s the deepest part of the allure; that it seems to provide a value-neutral, non-judgmental way of determining the value of all goods. But the folly of that promise is – though it may be true enough for toasters and flat-screen televisions – it’s not true for kidneys.”

Having been Labour in my early sentient years, your humble blogger is now regarded as centre-right libertarian. And why did I vote Labour? Because they seemed at the time to care, which marketeers on the right did not. Ayn Rand didn’t help with her “greed is good”.

In both positions are fallacies. How many times does it need to be said that the compassionate leftist who is all for legislation to ensure human kindness in their terms is actually aiding and abetting government tyranny, prejudice and discrimination, whilst ignoring what they should be protecting – the nation’s defence, heritage and strong economic foundation?

Yet if a market determines everything, then you do get things like this corrupt work scheme, people locked in penury quite apart from reasons of being lazy bums, no safety net for the genuinely disabled, a flood of foreign workers, the ability of big chains to price fix, especially on food and a culture of the uncaring.

Yesterday at ASDA, I was speaking to a lady [“I’m almost 80”] who was occupying the one and only bench and who moved up to let me put my basket of groceries at one end to sort out. There had been four benches in that space for [generally] the elderly to sit down and what it created was a sort of community atmosphere.

They’d taken the benches out one by one and replaced them with promotional displays for products no one wanted, all with brightly dressed and pleasant girls and young men urging people to sign up or buy. People were ignoring all this in droves. I notice Tescos’ incentive scheme has gone the same way. Minced beef has gone up from £1.52 for 250g one year ago to £2.10 for the same thing. That’s some inflation.

There was a discounted shelf of foodstuffs which they’ve discontinued because people were flooding it and not buying the dearer, more recent items. This was after they reduced reductions, so to speak, to about 5% or less. Steady encroachment, steady build up of prices, no change in wages, except for fat cats.

The truth is so many bosses don’t care, they really don’t. There’s a coffee shop and I’m friendly with the manager because I feel more affinity with managers than workers – I think more in those terms, understanding how difficult it is to run a business and cover all overheads and other contingencies, something the average NMW gum-chewing girl has no idea about and will try to do the bare minimum.

Yet that boss himself is a right bastard to his staff – super-hot on their responsibilities and docking pay for even unjustified reasons – or at least failing to be assiduous about it. I once had a headmaster who was the opposite – staff pay was his first priority – but I always felt he should be demanding staff meet their obligations first.

What I’m trying to say is that, quite apart from Them who care nothing for anything but raking in the cash and enslaving the people, there is also an attitude of greed among bosses and many of the 2ICs are even worse, earning brownie points with the boss. Let’s not even mention HR. At the same time, workers are not giving value – the tales continue to pour out in Britain.

A State controlled economy is anathema – I wish you all could have seen 1990s Russia and you’d never support a State controlled economy again. The State truly needs to butt out – on most things, certainly on social legislation. Yet the uneducated, do-nothing, lazy-bum mentality is also killing the country. Therefore, the bosses are at odds with the workers.

If both were to modify their positions … but that’s idealism again, isn’t it?

3 comments for “Not a true believer

  1. Greg Tingey
    June 13, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Partly because the “unions” are/were NOT allowed to have seats on “The Board”.
    Which happens in Germany.
    And in John Lewis’
    When that happens, a different ethos emerges.

    Look at Bob Crowe of ASLEF – he’s an old-fashioned semi-Marxist, looking for trouble.
    But, he only seems to get a LOT of support from his members in one area, with one employer, possibly two.
    Why might that be?

    Could it be that almost all of the other employers are at least half-way reasonable people, so his agitation gets no-where?
    But, if you are the sort of employer who deliberately tries to set up a union member for dismissal with a fake phone call, and with a pre-arranged photographer at the ready – only to have it fall apart on you at tribunal (South West Trains) …
    Or worse still, you are an employer who harrasses and bullies your staff every day, and encourages that bullying to be passed on, with as much audible harassment as possible on to the trapped paying public (London UndergounD Liars) … and you get LOTS of “union militancy” – now I wonder why that might be?

    • June 13, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Funny that your examples are from, directly or indirectly, state controlled organizations.

      The same organizations that are paying their workers extra for doing their bloody jobs during the Olympics.

  2. Andrew
    June 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    “But the folly of that promise is – though it may be true enough for toasters and flat-screen televisions – it’s not true for kidneys.”

    Iran has a market for kidneys, they’ve got no shortage.

    The UK doesn’t, people die because of the shortage.

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