12 Oct 2008

The Credit Crunch - What Can We Learn?

After addressing the problems that occur from the continuing privatisation of British society and the effects on democracy, in my article "Brief notes - Commerce Based Democracy" Link
and after writing my more recent article "Article on Capitalism and Today's Workplace" Link
I felt it was time to suggest some solutions to recent problems that have occured. Foremost in my mind, unsurprisingly is the "Credit Crunch" and the recent collapse of banks in the US, UK and Iceland.

Before I write these solutions it is worth mentioning that recent economic events are not particularly surprising to me, and I expect to many others. The events that lead up to the recent economic crisis can be traced back quite clearly. For example; the need to save money in British public services and the lack of public sector funding to new and existing projects.

I believe that we can learn from events over the recent years and endeavour to act more purposefully and positively, when faced with financial difficulties in the future.
It is important that the Government listen to experts in public services and other areas of employment, rather than continuing policies that are evidently not working. By an expert, I mean someone who has worked in their field for a considerable period of time or someone who acts as a representative for the views of the majority of individuals working in a particular field. The way that the current UK, labour party has pushed forward with policies that have damaged many areas of public service, when expert opinion has warned, time and time again of the consequences, is quite remarkable.

The government should listen to public opinion. Public opinion should not be noted, simply to gauge the electability or popularity of a political party. Public opinion in direct reaction to Government policies should be considered as a way of monitoring the effectiveness of policy.

It is important to realise that many areas of public service do not benefit from privatisation. The value of, for example, healthcare or education cannot be measured in financial terms. The aim of healthcare, education, sport, the arts, etc. is not to create profit, or only partially to create profit. The aim of education is to prepare children for adult life, in terms of literacy, numeracy and to help them move towards their chosen career. This may sound woefully obvious, however in times of financial difficulty it is worth reminding ourselves of the purpose of our endeavours or we find that we experience a situation that is unworkable. Many employees today feel that the original purpose of their employment has been replaced with duties concerned with providing evidence for funding or implementing funding cuts. Emphasis should be on a mixed-economy, that values benefits to the public that are essentially, not measurable in mathematical or financial terms. However, without excellence in these areas the economy would suffer, both directly and indirectly. By excellence I mean the provision of services and the short-term and long-term benefits to the public. I also mean the consideration of employees, their morale and their ability to provide services, services that benefit the public and are commensurate with their role.

*Article to be continued - author suffering with flu!*

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