I know most of you won’t read this, but I’m writing it anyway because then at least I will have said it. It does not seem to have occurred to you that the greatest assets a country possess, are its people, and its natural environment. Arguably, people are part of the natural environment, but that’s a whole other story. People are one of your most valuable assets not because of what they might do for GDP, what they might produce, the tax you can raise from them or anything else of that ilk. People are your most important asset, because they are living, thinking, feeling beings. A country should take care of its people, and take pride in taking care of its people.
The health of your nation is one of your greatest potential assets. It is worth spending money one, because without health, happiness is much harder to achieve. And, knowing how much you care about money and productivity, now might be a good time to mention that well people are going to be more productive. This does not mean the solution is to tell everyone they are well, and stop supporting those who aren’t. This, between you and me, is a bloody stupid approach bound to make things worse. Stop it. Ill people are not lazy, are not scroungers, they represent incidents of your most precious resource needing support. Treat them accordingly.
Compared to the tax dodges of big business and the financial abuses of the money markets, benefit fraud really isn’t that big a deal. Get over it. I know it’s very easy to whip up hatred against the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society, but this is not ethical and once again misses the point that these people too, are part of your biggest asset.
We only have the one planet. Our water, air and soil are precious resources that we damage at our own cost. And yes, I do mean the kind of financial cost that you are capable of understanding. If we do not take care of our physical resources, we are doomed. This ought to be a no brainer, but too often you put short term money making ahead of long term viability. You might not be in office ten years hence, but you’re still going to have to breathe the air. Think about it.
We have a system that has evolved gently out of tyranny and feudalism. It’s a system that has always put the financial needs of an elite few first. If you want to carry on being the elite few, you might want to try practicing a little enlightened self interest. We are facing epidemic level obesity, anxiety and depression, along with a great many other illnesses. We are in financial crisis. We have an environmental disaster hanging over our heads the potential cost of which is beyond your wildest imaginings. You need to do something about this.
How about we stop worshiping the gods of GDP and profit for a little while, and ask ourselves what actually matters? Does it matter whether the excessively rich get to give themselves million pound bonuses this year, or does it matter that all our young people should be educated to a standard that will allow them to survive whatever the future throws at them? Do we need a few more expensive toys, or would we be better off making sure that our food chain is not loaded with dangerous poisons? People, and the environment should, by any logical measure, be the two most important considerations of any government. Not the income of the few, but the welfare and viability of everyone.
And please, stop with the bullshit about trickle down. It doesn’t. The super rich do not cause much by way of life improvement for others. If you doubt this, look around. Look at the Middle East where extreme wealth lives along side abject poverty. Wealth comes from the roots and it goes up, and currently it accumulates with the few at the top, to the detriment of the majority. If there is no one at the bottom, at the production and purchasing end, making all the small cogs go round, there is no system. Look at how any eco system works. Take out the bottom, the least powerful, most predated aspect of a food chain and watch how the big, dramatic predators die off. Nature tells us that you do not get high level predators without a healthy system supporting them.
To you who would be those predators; the tigers, eagles, sharks of the world, I say this. With nothing to feed on, you die. If you can’t buck up your ideas for any other reason, you might try doing it for that.