27 Mar 2014

Money is a story (and not the one the government are telling us)

image by Russ
The Bank of England have started admitting all the things about money and banking that we Greens have been saying for years. The Guardian has a really good article about it. Wealth is made when we imagine money and lend it. Green economist Molly ScottCato has been saying for ages that this should be in public hands, not undertaken for private benefit.

Money is simply a way to move things round and make things happen. Governments can, and should be able to invent money to solve problems. This makes a total nonsense of the logic underpinning austerity. Move money around, make things happen, and you have not only a thriving economy but also a strong, functional society with room for everyone and a decent standard of living for everyone. We could have that – it is doable and possible. It’s nice to see the Bank of England validating Green policies and perhaps people who couldn’t see how our maths would possibly work, will start to see that much of what we’re talking about around money is happening already, it’s just not happening for the common good. Money could and should work for everyone and we want to make it work that way.

Austerity is an expensive solution to what is really an imaginary problem. If your kids tell you a dragon has stolen all the money, you don’t move out of your house. Effectively that’s what we’re doing, using real resources and damaging real people’s lives to solve a pretend issue. We could have solved the financial crisis in essence by imagining a solution, rather than punishing the poor, which is solving nothing. Either this is utter stupidity in action, or it is a callous desire to punish the most vulnerable, or both. There is simply no excuse for it.

On the day that I’m writing this, Parliament will debate capping welfare. Apparently no one in government has read what the Bank of England are saying (a dereliction of duty), or they don’t care (which is madness), or it is too difficult for them to understand. What they’re doing running the country if they can’t read or comprehend statements from the Bank of England, might turn out to be a pertinent question. More shocking perhaps is that Labour seem to be onboard with the idea that the answer to financial crisis is to attack the most vulnerable. Clearly they have the same sets of issue around evidence, comprehension and caring as well.

We deserve political approaches based on the best evidence, the best thinking, the best insights and the most reasoned position we can develop from those. We deserve political solutions that work for ideally everyone, and failing that, the vast majority. We’re getting fantasy and an ideology designed to serve the few, and with Labour onboard, it looks increasingly like Greens are the only voice on the left speaking for the downtrodden majority.


Chris Jockel said...

Thanks Molly. The emperor is truely naked.

Julian said...

Sustainable wealth is made by the realisation of renewable resources. 'Money' should only result from these; though goodwill & hardwork are the main currencies for achieving these resources and rather lacking.