Thursday, 30 May 2019

Where The Money Is

Tuition fees again? Oh, well, if we must. But I would work with all my might to ensure that apprentices and trainees enjoyed the same benefits as were enjoyed by their peers in further and higher education, and vice versa.

I would do that while promoting the understanding that we either funded higher education all the way up to doctoral level or we charged fees at every stage (with a very strong preference for the former), and while guaranteeing that the training and other standards for the private sector to match were set by national and municipal public ownership, itself reformed towards greater democracy and accountability. Behind all of this, and taking care of the question of maintenance, would be the Universal Basic Income and the Jobs Guarantee.

Like adult social care, and like the extra £350 million per week for the NHS, whether or not Boris Johnson lied about it, this or anything else would be perfectly affordable once we had returned to the understanding, which was universal and implicit before Margaret Thatcher came along, that a sovereign state with a free-floating fiat currency had as much money as it chose to give itself. As much as anything else, it can pay off all of its own debts in an instant.

Within and under that, both fiscal and monetary policy were and should be under democratic political control in order to control inflation, which like curing unemployment is a perfectly simple thing to do, and in order to encourage certain patterns of behaviour while discouraging others. In all fairness to Thatcher, she never signed away democratic political control of monetary policy. That was Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, although it could be taken back as easily as it was given away.

But not until a Prime Minister who thought that running a country was the same as running a house did anyone, or at least anyone who mattered, think that taxation paid for government spending, so that public money was in fact "taxpayers' money". No one who knows the first thing about the money supply has ever imagined that for one second, yet it is astonishing how that blatantly obvious fallacy has taken hold of the popular imagination.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

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