The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
When I was young it was expensive to buy company shares, but it’s much cheaper now with electronic trading. So why do fewer people own shares? Shareholders used to be people, now shareholders are companies, funds and banks. Shares are bought and sold by computers. The price of a companies shares drops a little and stop-loss instructions kick in on a zillion computers; they panic and send the shares crashing down. Governments are panicking too and printing money like there is no tomorrow. Is the world economic system terminally sick? The rich will saunter around Harrods, sip their champagne and munch on their strawberries which the poor scavenge for bargains in discount stores.
According to the Sunday Times rich list, the rich are still doing good. I read on FT.com that prices for luxury property in London is still in demand with one house for sale for 300 millions pounds. It seems that although the rich are buying property, most people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and soon will have big rises in energy bills to worry about. One report suggests fuel bills for ordinary people could rise by 30% this winter. The companies will blame a rise in wholesale prices. The traders in commodities will be buying up gas and oil supplies reducing supplies even further. Supply and demand will dictate that the reduced supply will mean even higher prices. They will make them a nice bonus and their masters the super-rich will get even more super-duper rich. For many, paying higher energy prices from a fixed income will mean cutting down on something else. Pensioners who like a night at the bingo will have to stay in and watch some crap on television. They can always ask for a loan from those nice people in the adverts though. The adverts that feature the elderly, relying on pay-day loans to get through to their next pension day. You must have seen them counting their wonga… A million people a month now use payday loans and pay interest on them of over 2,000%. The government says there is too much regulation on the finance industry. That would be why we have the PPI scandal, the LIBOR fixing scandal and many more high level scandals. If we had a financial transaction tax across Europe, it would bring in tax and force better accounting. It would make many of the tax dodges and fiddles harder to do.
Over in the States, it seems things are worse with the rich increasing their wealth by 15% in just the last year. How can this be? In a recession too! The US Federal Reserve will now print more money with the European central bank and Japan joining them. Who will get all that extra money? My bet is the price of mansions in Hollywood will go up quite a lot next year, as the rich get richer. That is the American dream, luxury for the few and Facebook for the many…
There are relatively poor people who have a job and think they are somehow important and live in a dream world where they think that one day, it will be their turn to be rich. They will win the lottery, become amazingly successful and their dreams will come true. These deluded souls are against taxing the rich more and tell us that the poor are just jealous of the possessions that the rich have. It is not the possessions that the poor want, it’s the financial security; they want to sleep at night. They want their home bought and paid for. They want money in the bank. They want to know they can feed their kids next week. They want to know they can afford to retire when they get old. They want to know that they will get good health care when they get sick. They want respect and security. They don’t want dodgy pensions, PPI, payday loans, constant price rises, commodity speculation or even their phone hacked.
The only hope that poorer people have or even ordinary people have is to be smart. When the energy prices are announced, be prepared. You spend more on energy so have to spend less on something else. Try to make it financial services, spend less on interest to banks, insurance companies and to the parasites in our society; pay-day loan companies.
I hope you have liked today’s blog. Money can’t buy happiness or everlasting life. Be grateful, if you are even close to being happy. There are more blogs on the home page of a zillion ideas.