Portugal next to require bailout, highlights simple truths

I was going to review the BBC’s explanation for the cause of the problem in Portugal and analyse it in technical terms, but I decided instead to point out a few “big picture” general truths that the economic crisis nicely highlights.

So, following Ireland and Greece, Portugal is the next euro-based economy to require a bailout. Despite reassurances from Spain’s finance minister that “’of course’ Portugal would be the last eurozone country that needed a debt bail-out”, I think we could be forgiven for taking anything any politician says these days with a mountain of salt. (I couldn’t help but notice the irony that one of the agencies that will be attempting to rescue Portugal is the International Monetary Fund. This is amusing, if you have an eye for acronyms and 60s TV.)

EU Commissioner Ollie Rehn says that there would have to be an “ambitious privatisation programme” to reduce debt. This raises the question of why, since everyone pretty much concedes that private production is the only source of real wealth, the private sector needs any more encouragement to produce and generate tangible assets? Of course, the answer is that the private sector doesn’t need any incentive to operate, it simply requires freedom. Freedom from regulation, restriction, and extortionate taxation. (I oppose taxation on principle, but I am not naive enough to think it can be repealed overnight or entirely in the current political climate.) It is government, with enough controls and rules and regulations to make an obsessive-compulsive look chilled out on cannabis, which stifles and hampers the real source of wealth: the private sector.

As the current global economic meltdown continues, I can’t help but reiterate one of Ayn Rand’s gems regarding wealth and finance which she phrased in the form of a question. I will paraphrase: ‘if the problem is that there isn’t enough money, why doesn’t the government just print more?’ Understanding why it simply doesn’t work this way is to understand what the problem is in the first place, and how we got to this stage. Money, (coins or paper), in a proper economy, represents produced but unconsumed goods. It can represent any goods, but those goods must exist. When you print paper money, without producing any actual goods to back it up, you devalue the existing currency and you devalue savings. This is the source of inflation.

Now, as if that wasn’t bad enough, tax is aimed at private citizens and corporations, with the more productive carrying the heaviest tax-burden of all. (Liberals will recite the party line about “the rich should pay more” but there is no good argument for this, and there never has been. It is simply penalising the more productive and successful because they are productive and successful).  The money to pay tax is taken from the savings of citizens and the investment capital of corporations. In other words, when times get tough we all tighten our belts; we cut down on the eccentricities and make sure we have just enough to get by. Similarly, corporations make staff redundancies, shut down factories, and donate less capital to research, investment and innovation. So, the private market stagnates, or shrinks, which means fewer jobs, less production, and, as a direct corollary, less actual wealth. Actual wealth is the only thing that keeps an inflated economy above water. Notice the sick irony: in an attempt to solve a problem it created, government raises taxes and bleeds dry the very lifeblood needed to keep a country alive.

This is why the economies of the world are falling apart: mixed, planned, or in plain old terms socialist schemes are ruining the market, just as they have done throughout history. And yet, time and time, our intellectuals and politicians, despite paying lip-service to capitalism, even recognising that only the private sector can save us, refuse to give up their bloated powerful positions and public sector schemes. Socialism is so obviously impractical and destructive, but it is also the means by which politicians amass enormous wealth and power. That is why they will cling to the socialist ship even as it sinks around them.

One final thing I wanted to share is this article: when the government is forced to make public sector cuts, it starts with non-essential personal, which raises the question “if they are nonessential personnel, why are the taxpayers funding their employment to begin with?” It’s so wonderfully eloquent, and it’d be hilarious if pointing out the failed historic evils of Soviet Russia from our higher ground. It’s not so funny when the joke’s on us. At the moment, the “joke” is on Portugal. Spain might very well be next. But I really don’t believe the worst is over.

Violent idiots protest public spending cuts

I’ve only just managed to get around to commenting on the “protests” against public spending cuts acted out by vicious mindless thugs last weekend.

Although there were peaceful protestors present, the violent demonstrators’ method was to smash up private and public property, because as we all know, mindless violence has always accomplished political reform in the past. (Needless to say, the shop-owners whose property was destroyed felt very let down by the police, who were probably too busy parked up on a wide clear road in an industrial estate somewhere, clocking drivers doing 32 mph in a 30 zone.) The police should’ve come down on these thugs with the full weight of the law, ruthlessly and mercilessly. They should’ve given the shop owners their full support and sent a message that peaceful protest ends the moment force begins, and no amount of force will be tolerated at all.

But leaving aside the pitiful reaction of the police, and the idiocy of the violence, do these protestors really have a clue what they’re demonstrating about? For a start, smashing up someone’s property because you think they are somehow avoiding tax undercuts the whole point of a lawful country that (according to these protestors) needs tax to operate in the first place. (Of course, this is not true, but they believe it, which makes their actions contradictory). Secondly, protestors should be demanding lower taxes for everyone, not crying that some appear to be getting off lightly. Corporations carry the heaviest tax burden in any country, yet they are the only real source of wealth; they create, they innovate, they provide jobs, they keep a country running, but they are taxed and penalised and regulated the most. To top it off, anarchist thugs (who are just socialists in disguise) come along and destroy their property. Thirdly, cuts to the public sector are probably the best (and only good) thing this government has done so far. The public sector is a fat ugly poisonous tumour on society, and exists only to suck all the nourishment out of healthy productive people. The public sector only consumes wealth, it never creates it. Those public sector workers who have been put out of work by government cuts should go and get a proper job, and if they can’t find one, maybe then they’ll finally understand where real wealth comes from, and how taxing the hell out of corporations only results in them making cutbacks in their investment capital and staff. When capital and staff are cut back, there is less market growth (or stagnation), and fewer jobs (or redundancies), which increases the strain on the welfare state, (paid for by…you guessed it.)

I should state, by public sector, I don’t mean the following institutions that are necessary government services in any society: the courts, the police, the army. Everything else should go.

The really dumb thing about protesting the public sector cuts is: where do you think the money for public sector spending comes from?? Tax – you know, the thing which is bleeding this country dry. We have people demanding tax cuts on the one hand, and protesting spending cuts on the other… do they even stop and think? Of course not, because they assume that money and wealth will always be here, (provided by the capitalists they despise so much.)

Earth Hour is stupid, anti-human, and hypocritical

It’s that time again when the eco-fascist madness descends on us from the well-meaning, the ignorant, and any other celebrity or company looking to score some PR: Earth Hour. I think Earth Hour teaches us all a great lesson, just not the one that it’s intended to. I further assert that those who really support the principle behind Earth Hour should make it Earth Week, or Earth Year – and put themselves out of our misery.

Earth Hour, like the other Green (the Reds have simply died their shirts) notions of today is supposed to sound nice, full of candy sticks and puppies, but it’s just an example of looking for something to feel bad about; trying to heap guilt on those who enjoy good standards of living in the technologically-advanced parts of the world…as a result of their usage of said technological advancements. Worse, it gives the Eco-fascists and certain bureaucrats a chance to get positive publicity, which will make their market regulations and eco-taxes a bit easier to sell in the long run. Worse still, it’s an insipid attempt to get the ignorant (especially children) to buy into what is really a political ideology by making it a fun “let’s all take part” awareness event. It’s like equating communism with sharing; (the kind of ‘sharing’ a bank-robber has in mind.)

You know what the really dumb thing about Earth Hour is, and I haven’t researched this but it seems like common sense to me: when you take into account the planning, production, construction, marketing, advertising, maintenance, plastic, paper, posters, video and sound equipment; everything involved in an event this size around the world, I’m pretty sure all the fuel and electricity needed along the way dwarfs what is actually saved during the Hour. Which of course means that we’d be doing the planet more good by not having an Earth Hour…

I looked a bit further to identify the principle behind Earth Hour. Apparently it was started as a “protest” against climate change. Notwithstanding the fact that “climate change” is a wishy-washy catchall expression that covers any possible variation in the earth’s climate which is attributable to many factors, some of which are out of our control (solar flares, sun spots, asteroid impacts etc), and the ones which are within our control that are disputed science. The problem for someone with genuine doubts over the claims made by climate change commitees, is that there are far too many Bonos, and other nauseatingly fame-desperate “celebrities”, and everyone else with government-funded grants to maintain, clammering to support it. (The current ‘official’ scientific position* on climate change is not comparable to the “global cooling” scare of the 70s, but it is an example of how certain people will run with whatever current crisis appears to aid their careers.)

Now, the idea of a principle is that it’s a moral rule of thumb that guides your decision-making because it’s impossible to hold all past and any possible future knowledge in your head all at once and make every single decision every time from scratch based on this. The beauty of principles is that, if they are true, they will generally work out for the best over the long-term. That is, they can be applied consistently without contradiction.

With this in mind, if the Earth-Hourers really believe that they are harming “the planet” (as opposed to say, a particular area of land that belonged to another human being and therefore eligible to legal protection), why turn off your lights and power for only an hour?

It’s like saying in order to “protest” against the end result of using the toilet you will stop eating for an hour. What kind of fairyland pie-in-the-sky fantasy world must your head be in to imagine this is anything other than a pretentious publicity stunt? Oh, right…

If you really felt that strongly about “polluting” The Earth™ why not refuse to visit the toilet for a few days, or a week?? What’s that? You’d die? I see. And how is that any different to skipping electricity for that long?

Let’s ask ourselves: even if human activity is affecting the overall climate of this planet in some long-term noticeable way – so what? If “interfering” in nature is wrong on principle (as if human activity itself wasn’t the result of natural biological activity consistent with our requirements), then surely lighting a fire to keep warm is wrong? Surely we should dismantle the factories and break the dams and knock down our sky-scrapers and demolish supermarkets and warehouses? Let’s each and every one of us pick up a spear and go hunt our own food, kill it, cook it (but you can’t store any – no fridges allowed). Of course you have to kill animals to eat, even though that would be interfering with their habitat, but that’s ok – whereas destroying a forest so thousands of human beings can live in modern centrally-heated water-supplied houses without dying of pneumonia or dysentery is wrong. (You know, like in those Third World countries where nature is allowed to “win” over humans every day, in the form of millions of dead children. Although, dead children can’t emit carbon dioxide, so every cloud and all that.)

If the Earth-Hourers really want to protest Any-Slight-Variation-In-The-Earth’s-Short-Or-Long-Term-Aggregate-Temperature-Caused-By-Any-Possible-Factor-But-Which-Must-Be-‘Our’-fault™ why not stop driving their cars…altogether?? Don’t stop driving for an hour. Stop driving for a week! Better yet – scrap your car and walk. What’s that? Inconvenient? Too impractical? Your job/family/life revolves around globalisation and mass transportation? Yeah, thought so. It’s a bitch when your own “principles” are totally unworkable in real life. Of course, if you’re already a multi-millionaire, whether it be an aging hippie whose music career is dying and needs another way to stay in the public eye, or a hypocritical failed politician with several massive homes, cars and huge swimming pools, then it’s much easier to preach to the Common Man who is looking for something to latch onto, since you’d be the last ones hit by any regression to pre-industrial civilisation anyway.

It’s easy to speak of sacrifice or giving up modern conveniences when you can rush out for a takeaway or flip the heater on, but I don’t see many of these Greenies and celebrities rushing off to Ethiopia to experience the raw reality of nature without technology.

Speaking of countries almost reverting to pre-industrialisation, Earth Hour’s official website had this ludicrous comment: “With Earth Hour almost upon us, our thoughts are with the people of Japan during this incredibly challenging and sad time for their country.” Hmm, and yet, I doubt the Japanese will be foregoing electricity and industrialisation over the coming months and years as they attempt to rebuild their civilisation. Do you think the average Japanese person who’s lost their home is going to give a damn if the Earth’s ambient temperature over the next 75 years is predicted to rise 0.2 degrees (unless it was predicted by a research post in Norwich, in which case the prediction is less than worthless), if the power of modern civilisation restores his home and quality of life in a few short months or years? (Pssst it will take A LOT of energy to rebuild Japan.)

The people behind Earth Hour (and worse, those who jump on the bandwagon) remind me a little of what Ayn Rand said about socialism: ‘assume all the benefits of capitalism are here to stay, and then undermine every single thing that makes capitalism possible’ in the name of its enemies. It’s the same with Earth Hour: let’s just PRETEND that the amazing quality of life, housing, healthcare, computer-industry, transport-system, jobs we have in the Western world are a given (given, by whom?) – but appease the hydra of Green Radicalism and its Eco-Warning of the Week™ (my royalties after this post are going to be huge!) by cashing in (well cashing in if you’re a politician or celebrity), or cashing out (cashing out if you meet the following criteria: a) are a human being, b) have to actually work to earn your money, c) can’t rely on gimmicks or government grants for survival, d) enjoy a standard of living greater than that of a mother feeding her baby cholera-infected water.

Radical? Actually no. I’m not the radical (well except for freedom) or exaggerator. I don’t deny that man can affect the planet. Actually ALL man does is affect the planet, but that’s how human beings live. It’s natural for us to exploit available resources to further our lives.  We don’t become animals and try to bend to nature (some isolated tribes notwithstanding) or pray to sky gods to change the laws of nature (some isolated tribes, Muslim countries, and States of the USA notwithstanding), no – we INVENT and PRODUCE. Sure, some parts of “nature” get lost along the way, but is this a “loss”, and if so, to whom? Is it a loss if we produce 10,000 new jobs and build 1000 homes? Is it a loss if we build a medical facility that invents the cure for cancer? I’m sorry but if WE have to lose so an animal can carry on pooing in the middle of the woods in peace, I say screw the animal. But then, I don’t hate human beings like the Greenies do.

But why does it have to be “all or nothing?” I hear you say. Technically it doesn’t; there is a very practical argument to be made for turning out the lights when you’re not using them, turning off the tap when you’ve finished with it, turning the engine off when you, you know, get out the car…but I like to call this: the COMMON SENSE ARGUMENT!

The Earth Hour argument is like saying “let’s be nice to nature…but only for an hour.” Well, way to show some backbone there. Is a course of action right or wrong, and if it’s right – why is it right only for an hour? And if a course of action is self-destructive, why even take one step in that direction? It’s like smashing one of your fingers with a hammer and saying “well, it’s only one finger” – oh well that’s ok then. Is a “little” poison ok? Is losing “only some” of your money to a scam artist acceptable?

Earth Hour is not a rational appeal to common sense (there’s no profit in that – well not for the type of people who look to make a profit off this Eco stuff); it’s an emotional appeal to stop living like a human being, in deference to a dodgy political (semi-scientific) claim, which is rabidly backed by pressure groups who’d rather see us living in the mud than build another power station.

I propose something else: Human Hour. But the beauty of Human Hour is that none of your money is wasted, nor do you help massive corporations or bureaucrats score brownie points. And the beauty of Human Hour is that you can apply it every single hour for the rest of your life, guilt free! Here’s how it works: ask for nothing more than you’ve earned, and demand nothing less. Pay for what you use and no more. Use only what you can afford, and no more. Give to other human beings the same standards of dignity, honestly, and respect that you expect, and demand nothing less from others. If you do all this, you won’t need to be taken in by a world gone mad with silly vacuous publicity stunts. During Earth Hour, think of those around the world starving and dying, and those in the Dark Ages in the freezing cold, and imagine what your life would be like without industrialisation. Show your appreciation for the beauty of modern life: flick that light switch ON.

*****

Addendum: Earth Hour has one redeeming characteristic: it’s supported voluntarily by people and private companies all over the world. Groups like this further prove that ever-expanding government regulations are unnecessary, exploitative, and simply never as effective as what chosen cooperation can accomplish (no matter how dumb). (When you realise the truth of this statement, you’ll realise why the Greens in Parliament and Washington are always mysteriously far more interested in pushing new Eco-taxes than anything else.) In fact, IF the earth was facing a real threat from the general combined effects of human activity – whilst that still would not justify hurling ourselves back to the Stone Age in the here-and-now, this is precisely how the free market can act to make things change on a global level, appealing to individuals, and all without the use of force.

PPS: The more I think about this, the more blatantly stupid and evil this Earth Hour becomes. Think about it, all around the world there are those suffering and dying because they don’t have access to the modern technology we take for granted provided by…electricity. They would give anything to live one hour of our lifestyles, hell I suspect even 10 minutes – but here we are, in our Ivory Towers, feeling so very guilty about our technology – but not guilty to other human beings who don’t have access to industry and technology (that would be bad enough, as there’s nothing to feel guilty for), oh no – guilty to freaking mindless nature! Is this a slap in the face to the poorer countries in the world, an example of gross stupidity and ignorance, or an act of moral treason?

We have half the world’s population crying out for industrialisation, and the Eco-lunatics in positions of power in the other half (made possible by industrialisation) ever arrogantly and self-righteously declaring the turning off of our power in worship to Nature. Despicable would be an understatement.

Take a look at Japan and tell me Earth gives a damn about human life. After Earth Hour, will Mother Nature stop arbitrarily wrecking our cities and wiping us out in the hundreds of thousands? Earth Hour is pissing from a great height on the Japanese, poor people, and every intellectual and industrialist that led the way to put a hot meal on your plate, so that these ungrateful nutcases should throw it away to please Gaia.

* The scientific consensus is that the earth’s temperature has increased over the last century: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6321351.stm

Having said that, five years ago, the U.N. predicted that by 2010 some 50 million people would be fleeing climate change, rising seas, mega-hurricanes and so on. Instead, no islands have sunk and their populations are booming: http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/569069/201104131900/The-Climate-Refugee-Hoax.htm

And I’m not exaggerating that the eco-radicals really do hate human beings and see them as a plague on earth: http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/569072/201104131900/Our-Infected-Planet.htm

World Cup games to remain on free-to-air TV in the UK

If you think this is good news, you need to reconsider your premises and take a reality check.

It’s not good enough to simply say “oh good, this means I get to watch World Cup games for free” ignoring the far more important, and sinister, premise underlying this.

For once I actually agree with UEFA when it says that the government has created “a disproportionate and unjustified distortion of competition on the relevant market.” Incidentally, this statement could and should be applied to government meddling in ALL markets – but most people usually object only when they feel aggrieved, just as most people turn a blind eye to government meddling when it appears to benefit them in the short term. This ruling unnaturally manipulates the market, and prevents property owners getting value for money, and prevents broadcasters competing fairly over coverage rights. You might say it’s unfair on you to have to pay to watch a certain event (as if you have the god-given Right to someone else’s property just because you’d like it, and what events do you have a “right” to watch and which ones don’t you?), but what about what’s fair on UEFA, FIFA, and all the TV companies? Does your “interest” trump their property?

(Also, there are no “free” channels in the UK, given that the British people are subjected to perhaps the most ludicrous and laughable tax ever invented, the TV License; a license that funnels tax money to the State’s official broadcaster, allowing it to compete with proper broadcasters who must actually earn their income.)

A spokesman for the UK department of culture, media and sport said: “We welcome the decision from the EU and continue to support the principle of protecting sports events for free-to-air coverage.” But why are some events exempt from fair (and free) trade and some aren’t? On what grounds does government decide to make certain events “untouchable” simply because they think a large number of people have an interest in watching such events? What if the government decided that these events are so important you must pay for the privilege and judged World Cup matches to be off-limits to the general public (similar to what North Korean has done)? At what percentage interest of the population does this become legally and morally right?

There is no objective answer to these questions, because it really comes down to what a group of bureaucrats generally feel is good or bad for an arbitrary and undefined group of people – and just as that group may grow or shrink, change interests, or have no say at all – their opinion will vacillate and meander too. In other words, they do whatever they think a large enough group will like. If you want an example of mob rule, this is it.

Make no mistake; if you distil the issue to the core you’ll see it is simply this: the government can dictate what property of others it may dish out free of charge to the mob. The government may decide what is of certain significance and therefore worthy of special State privileges. The other side of this fascist coin is that it thereby decrees what form of event or speech is unacceptable – which it already has done in the form of “hate speech” and other politically-correct nonsense.

The government should be a legal arbiter – not a moral one. So long as UEFA and FIFA sell their property to buyers, there is no dispute to resolve. If that means that certain broadcasters are left behind, that’s business. Remember, the only reason the BBC can compete with anyone in the first place is because of tax money and special government privileges. The BBC can’t compete fairly with proper broadcasters because it doesn’t generate enough of its own wealth (this is just one reason why socialism doesn’t work). If the government gave Sky some special law allowing it exclusivity over TV shows, wouldn’t there be an outrage? Why then is it ok to rule some programmes “off limits” to free and fair trade? Why is ok to give ITV a special leg-up too?

This may seem like a minor issue, but if so, it’s only because government dictatorship has become a way of life. We are so used to it being involved in every field from healthcare to science to sport, that we take it for granted and turn a blind eye. But, since government power is the power to use force against citizens, as its power grows, your liberties will necessarily diminish. And its power is growing all the time. Don’t be part of the mob that cheers for more socialist agendas and promises of “equal wealth” or “equal football broadcast rights” – nothing is free. Government interference always costs you. They say “every man has his price”. What is yours? A free lunch? A free state benefit? A free football match?

What is this “Big Society”?

Ok, so normally I’m cynical and suspicious of anything the government does, because I question its motives and actions, (justifiably so I might add!) But this “Big Society” plan of David Cameron’s has some pros, and a lot of cons. Funnily enough, the reason I’m less hostile about it than I normally would be isn’t so much because of what it says, but because of what its critics say!

Part of the plan is this “Big Society Bank” which is a big no-no: more governmental meddling in the economy, and encouraging banks and borrowers to take out loans they wouldn’t otherwise do in a free market, in other words: the same thing that got us into this economic mess in the first place!

But Cameron does say some good things: ‘The big society is about changing the way our country is run. No more of a government treating everyone like children …let’s treat adults like adults and give them more responsibility over their lives”.

Sounds good. Will this include giving me the option to choose between the debacle that is the NHS *or* my own private health insurance? Will it treat companies “like adults” in allowing them to set their own prices and reap the rewards or consequences of their business decisions? Will it treat parents “like adults” in choosing the right school and curriculum for their children?

I have my doubts about this Big Society despite the good things being said by Cameron because, at the end of the day, it’s still the State meddling in the personal affairs of individuals and trying to use government power and tax money to manipulate society into some politician’s dream. This is simply not the rightful use of government.

But, when so many socialists are opposed to it, I wonder if it can really be that bad!

“Writing for The Telegraph, Mary Riddell said ‘the sink or swim society is upon us, and woe betide the poor, the frail, the old, the sick and the dependent.’” Ah this old chestnut – the socialist’s final appeal to guilt as the excuse for totalitarianism. So if you’re able and hard-working and productive and independent – you have no claim on the property of others. But if you are none of these things, you magically gain such a claim.

“In The Times, ‘Cassandra’ wrote: ‘ It’s all very well to have the bright idea of the locals running their own bus route [...] The trouble is that running a bus route is a professional job, not for a group of local enthusiasts. How many bets that five years down the line, the enthusiasm has run out and there is no more bus route.’” Wow – I’m glad I’m not this cynical about the human race, or I might just take it upon myself to dictate to other people how to live their lives…like a socialist does. The sooner people stop thinking of actual property and services as necessary rights taken from granted, the sooner we can look for practical private alternatives.

“The national office of Unite the Union for the community and non-profit sector, suggested that “The ‘Big Society’ is smoke and mirrors for an avalanche of privatisation under the Tories”. Hang on, goods and services belonging to people and NOT the government?? Heresy!

And Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON says: “Public services must be based on the certainty that they are there when you need them, not when a volunteer can be found to help you.” Unfortunately, reality doesn’t bend to anyone’s “needs”. There can’t be a guarantee to things that must be produced and traded by others. There are no such things as “public” services – only services that the government controls and pays for using the money of people who don’t need them.

“Dr. Lorie Charlesworth, an academic from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, suggested that ‘any voluntary system for the relief of poverty is purely mythical.’” Once more with the humanity! What these anti-human cynics ignore is that people in this world already support millions of causes with their money, voluntarily!  There is one “solution” to poverty that is truly mythical: charity. Charity is nothing more than hole-plugging. Look at the most prosperous countries in the world during their golden ages and compare them to the poorest countries during their darkest, and ask yourself WHERE wealth and quality of life comes from. I’ll give you a clue, the word is: CAPITAL*SM.

With Big Society, Cameron claims he wants to “take power away from politicians and give it to people.” What kind of power is he referring to? Political power is the government’s remit – rightly so. But the kind of power that “the people” need is economic power; the power over their own wealth and property – the power to reap their rewards and expand and grow as far as their minds will take them – and the responsibility to handle their own failures.

With so many socialists opposing Cameron’s scheme, I’m almost inclined to support it!

If you really want a prosperous productive country of respectful individuals, you don’t do it by trying to manufacture an artificial society by government fiat, but by identifying that all human reforms must start with the individual. Only an attitude of individualism and freedom will accomplish this. In such a culture, people will naturally trade with each other with mutual respect to mutual benefit. For this to happen, government needs to GET OUT of our affairs. Forget Big Society, let’s have Big Individualism.

Edited to add additional thoughts:

Another thing that strikes me is Cameron’s suggestion that volunteerism can take the place of public services. The choice is therefore between impractical profitless volunteer work and impractical tax-funded State work. There’s at least one other idea that isn’t considered by anyone: private profit-driven work. By removing government involvement in this area, we will be open to new and fresh ideas as to how private companies can offer services to people in a profitable way – which is the only practical longterm and sustainable way to do so. Here is just one excellent example of how a free market can profitably service the needs of others: http://www.freerice.com/

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