There must be a third option

Interesting to read both Mr Ian Griffith and Keith Bird’s views on capitalism.

There was a time when we could rely on local authorities to take on the role of developing all kinds of community projects from social housing to leisure centres. Not any more.

Private developers have taken over this role, but we have to recognize that their main objective is to make a profit, and as significant profit can only come through selling relatively large numbers of flats and small houses.

Britain and western countries are saturated with consumer goods. People are being made redundant and other employers are not taking on new staff.

The younger generation coming from education are unable to find work. We are living through the biggest financial crisis to consume North America and Europe for over 50 years.

A crisis brought about by a system of greed and recklessness. The free market economics has come to dominate the world over the last three decades. We should be looking at alternatives to the system.

Our Western economies seem to be built on building houses and making sure they keep going up in value, the higher they go the further they will fall, but governments keep propping them up, in order to prevent that from happening. The way forward is to have real quality affordable housing for all,that is not market-led.

We may be looking at working three or four days a week in the future. There needs to be a way one can survive on ones income without state hand outs.

Politicians, councillors and financial experts should face up to the fact that unemployment is not going to fall, the arrival of commercialism and computers in the 80s started the decline in jobs.

For most people all they want is to be happy, to have a home, enough food, a family and friends, and have enough money to pay their way. But what do we have? There is homelessness, starvation and lawlessness on a global scale.

When many people go to work, they sit in traffic queues and cramped trains often for a dead end job just to pay a mortgage or rent, and struggle to pay the rest of the bills.

With construction workers laid off, with plant and machinery idle, and with stockpiles of materials, it is evidently not a shortage of labour or capital that is causing distress in the building industry.

The problem is that land hoarding and land speculation have driven the price beyond a point at which profitable operation is not possible, not only immediately but in the foreseeable future.

Around us already, our welfare state is beginning to crumble.

While Bradford and Bingley were the main lenders for buy to let, this has created an artificial economy, in many cases pushing up housing benefit. Some £250m a week is given out on housing benefit often paid out to buy-to-let landlords.

Rents would drop if housing benefit wasn’t paid to the private sector. There is no need to this so called property ladder, we are on a hiding to nothing.

While the credit crunch may appear to be bad news for some, it is the best news we have had for years.

No doubt big business is the cause of the financial crisis on a global scale.

It would appear there are some people who have too much capital. They can destroy others by their actions.

It is not the fact they have too much money, but what they choose to do with it that causes problems.

State capitalism is also a failed system. It may be said we have a market system, but it is the market which is not working.

If I were to invent a widget, I would need capital and workers to make the goods, both would be important.

Under the capitalist way, the profits (if there is one) goes to the shareholders, and workers have to ask for pay increases, that can create inflation, a profit sharing scheme in place creates a happier work place and fairer system.

There needs to be a third way.

Cllr Laurence Keeley



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