Emerging Growth

Emerging Growth (But At What Cost?) Blog  (3)

I think that the working class would find it still difficult to believe that “green shoots of economic growth are appearing”, according to the Chancellor recently. Certainly from the perspective of the majority I would hazard to venture that the cost of living rises, especially from the uncontrolled greed of power companies, Blog  (1)combined with stagnant wages, that in real time have been reduced, would result in a belief that things are actually getting hard. I accept from the big corporate perspectives they would not agree, but that’s because they are the ones making it harder for us all to pay bills, bills which never cease in their endless quarterly or monthly flight through my letter box and onto the mat. The big corporations really have benefitted from the Governments lack of willingness to regulate them or get them to cut their cost to help a struggling nation, but instead they manage to cut investment in renewable energy, which makes our futures untenable on this fragile ecosystem called Earth. Furthermore, these holders of high office have even rewarded failure of the corporations to deliver on the big contracts. For example, when G4S did not live up to its obligations to cover the wonderful Olympics and Paralympics (thank you Lord Coe and your Team, it was wonderful), they did not have to pay the money back and even won other contracts after that farce that the Armed Forces (with the thanks of the nation) rescued us from to keep people safe at the Games. So I conclude that the well-known phrase, “Greed is good”, is alive and well for the privileged few. For the rest of us we struggle from month to month despite the recession. Since the 2008 financial crash that plunged us all into a recession, the like of which has not been seen since the 1920’s, there have been vultures circulating, feeding, their squawks so appealing to the needy, the Blog  (4)desperate, the weak that feel they have no options. But unlike even the power companies these vultures have feasted so well and are now everywhere, sponsoring TV films, Premier League teams, and with adverts bombarding our senses until they actually seem acceptable. But of course they are not, they are parasites making it good on the back of the recession, sucking their hosts dry, even having the religious establishments rage against them like the biblical battle of Jesus against the money lenders. Yes these parasites are pay-day-loan companies. Perhaps making reference to the church wasn’t the best thing since they found out they were investors in the very same companies they were declaring economic war on. The same acute embarrassment, the custard pie in the face of, the pulling down of trouser type humiliation that Councils faced when they too raged against the loan companies only to find out their pension pots were doing very nicely from these companies. But the principle, the conviction was right, to set up Credit Unions in every church, in every high street to challenge the spread of these parasitic pests. Credit Unions that would offer the needy a low rate of return and even lower interest rate, not the 5,000% APR and over advertised on many of the adverts. This whole situation is compounded by the fact these immoral vultures do not care who they loan to. Blog  (2)They claim to do checks but many exposé has revealed that they do not; they feast on their victims until there is nothing left, to then cast them aside to be broken finally by debt collectors. To these vultures the recession has been the perfect conditions for them to grow, to breed, but also the lack of regulation has also added to their success by sucking the life out of people. I take issue with the Government, they could stop these people advertising on TV, in newspapers, they could cap the APR, they could do a host of things to make this situation so much better, but the simple truth is that they choose not to, choose to watch their investments in such companies grow. The powerful few could easily stop the misery these companies inflict on people but they choose to take the dividends from their investments and let the most vulnerable be victimised. They choose to look away and pretend that it is the choice of the people to use them or not, economic success or not is down to the consumer they would say, but this is far too simplistic, and they blinking well know it. You see the people that are most affected are the very people who cannot cope with their bills any longer. So, Blog  (6)as the news starts to fill with Government rhetoric of the economy growing, the cost of living increases have moved many people from just coping to just unable to cope. The banks decline as they can see that the person cannot cope with any more outgoings and so they are drawn to pay-day-loan companies, and then their lives will never be the same again. They have a future of spiralling debt, loans to cover loans, interest rates that are higher than Everest, pressure that would crumble granite and years of worry, stress and anxiety. Once they have you, they really do have you, as no one else will lend to you, except other pay-day-loan companies. So to clear one loan you take out another loan with a different company, again and again just to stand still as the debt starts to build around you until you drown in it. This is possible because they do not do the checks and due diligence they say they do, they can’t do or they would see just how much debt you are accruing, and yet they lend, lend again and again. It’s a vicious circle created by a recession feeding frenzy.Blog  (7) Why do people go to them? This is a reasonable question. It is because they don’t have choice, often already up to their eyes in debt or just not earning enough, or on benefits and needing to feed children, for example (yes they also lend to people on benefits). But it is these factors that make it possible:

  • Lack of regulation
  • Lack of Government conviction
  • Decision makers benefiting from their growth
  • Cost of living risesBlog  (9)
  • Salaries stagnant
  • Huge increase in minimum wage level salaries
  • Temporary or zero hours contract prevalence
  • Banks unwilling to lend
  • High levels of hardship with benefits reduced or removed
  • Bedroom tax
  • Hardship from energy bills increasing significantly

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Blog  (1)These are just a few reasons for this dreadful state people find themselves in but only a willing Legislator will stop these parasitic companies feeding off people’s desperation and misery. So what is the answer since legislation to curb these parasites is not going to be coming any time soon? Well, although it was lost in the embarrassing disclosure that they actually invested in it, the churches’ Credit Union plan is workable and could deal these vultures a blow that should bring them crashing down to earth, and hopefully their interest rates too. If the Church of England and the Catholic establishments can establish a credit union attached to every church or parish hall, community pub or local post office, then this would topple them for sure. Again the Government could make it so much easier to set these credit unions up but they won’t, the fat-cats always need to get fatter. These unions really could bail out so many families and bring to an end a tyranny of debt and their collectors. Finally I have to say that I am really quite appalled that in this country, of which I am very proud of in Blog  (5)so many ways, can allow these pay-day-loan companies to exist. But more so the fact that the Government have overseen the dismantling of the welfare state to a point where the bedroom tax penalises the disabled so that we have seen the rise of disabled people, some whom cannot work, are taking out these extortionate loans at sky high interest rates, taking them out to pay bills and put food on the table. I just find it horrifying that we see the rise, equal to the rise of the pay-day-loan companies, of food banks so people, children, the most vulnerable can eat. Whilst we see record numbers of our elders, the people we have a duty to support as they have paid into the State all their lives, freeze to death or use a pay-day-loan that they cannot have any possibility of repaying. keep-calm-and-join-your-local-credit-union-2So during 2014 I am going to:

  • Do all I can to support Credit Unions, help establish them
  • Help support organisations that guide people out of debt (and not the ones that charge as they are of the same cloth as the pay-day-loan parasites)
  • Work to stop these pay-day-loan companies by legislation (It will make our nation a better place)
  • Campaign to curb the use of zero hours and temporary contracts to get round employment registration,
  • Campaign to pay people a decent wage for a decent days work
  • Pledge to join campaigns to curb the profits of the power companies
  • Campaign to nationalise the power and the water companies, and make it affordable for all, so our elders do not die of cold in the UK

These organisations have to be controlled and not fed from profits made from the poor, who are completely unprotected by a big corporation back callous Coalition. It is time to fight back and do what is right, enough is definitely enough. test2

Yours most sincerely

Jonathan Wade

 Smiling Cat Ventures (www.smilingcatventures.org)

Innovative Minds @ Work (www.innovativemindsatwork.org)

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