5How to wreck an Economy (A recipe Hestor Blumenthal could never have dreamed of)
By following these simple steps you, too, can reduce your economy to a bankrupt wreck within two or three decades.
Firstly hand whatever remaining power you have left to create the money supply over to the banks. In doing so you must be very careful not to ask for anything in return, except perhaps the odd weekend on one of the banker’s yachts. You will enjoy that. Many bankers are lavish entertainers ... and they can well afford to be.
Secondly never worry about the ever-ballooning mountains of debt. You can always borrow even more to pay it all off with. If the numbers get so inter-galactic that they lose all meaning take a sleeping pill. If you are already a good sleeper, get even more sleep by developing the siesta habit. You will probably have already learned that wonderful Mediterranean tradition on your bankers’ yacht when it was moored off Crete.
Thirdly an absolutely essential ingredient is that you must progressively shut down your manufacturing industry. Of course your population will still need the things that your manufacturing industry used to make so that capacity will have to be transferred overseas. Who cares if a few inferior brown-skinned people or slitty-eyes earn a few bowls of rice to make this stuff? Just chuck them a little bit of aid from time to time. Cheap at the price ... in fact a wonderful investment. But always make sure the brown-skinned people are well filleted and stay that way. The objective is not to raise their wages but increase your profits. If they get bolshy by trying to move to where the wages are higher lock them up in detention centres. Then you can quickly get them sent back to where the wages are low and your profits are high.
Fourthly it is always a good idea, when scuppering your manufacturing industry, that manual skills are properly denigrated. This is a bit of a cultural ingredient, but it does help if your people think that being a lawyer, an accountant, a supermarket manager, or a banker is absolutely wonderful, whereas metalworkers, carpenters, plumbers or electricians are barely more than sub-human. Strong in the arm and weak in the head, old boy!
Once this mixture is nicely stirred and set you can add the fifth ingredient. Replace the aforesaid manufacturing economy with a rentier casino dependent on financial services and the retail trade. Tear down all your factories ... they are ugly, smelly things anyway which properly belong in the third world ... and replace them with bright new supermarkets.
Naturally these supermarkets will be selling imports. But if you start running a huge balance of payments deficit then quickly take another sleeping pill. The smart lads of monetarist orthodoxy will say that does not matter because the ‘balancing item’ must always balance.
If the awkward question arises as to what makes up this ‘balancing item’ again there is no need to get anxious. Pawn the family silver. Don’t fret about what happens when you run out of public utilities, government securities, football clubs, real estate, and energy companies to pawn. Don’t fret about the mountains of debt. Between siestas and sleeping pills all you have to do is just play in your wonderful new casino and live for today. Tomorrow ... which never comes anyway ... will take care of itself.
Now at this stage you must carefully work into this mixture a huge inflation in your supply of credit. This will give your people the illusion that they are getting richer. That illusion will be much enhanced when all of this debt-based funny money starts inflating the value of their houses, even though houses don’t make anything except garbage.
It will take many years for these oiks to notice that it takes Ł3 worth of debt to generate every Ł1 worth of what you call ‘growth’. Many will, hopefully, become either so exhausted or so glued to dumbed-down celebrity television that they will never notice at all. And of course you must be sure to spice this dish heavily with endless quantities of this sort of ‘entertainment’.
(Now you must be very careful to use the word ‘growth’ at all times, otherwise people might get the idea that working ever harder for an ever smaller disposable income ... after they have paid all their debts and ever shrinking job, pension and environmental security... isn’t much fun and might even be some sort of economic smoke and mirrors trick which looks like real ‘growth’ but isn’t. That would never do. Actually getting your population to work ever harder to get themselves ever deeper into debt makes you lots of money whilst ensuring that the hoi poloi keep their noses firmly to the grindstone. That has always been the best way to make sure that these oiks don’t get any mischievous ideas into their little heads that this is all some enormous scam.)
Next, you must be sure to add eye-watering quantities of waste and discard. This bit is wonderful, for here you can put in anything that comes to hand. It doesn’t matter what cheap, useless, throw-away trash you are importing and selling but sell it. And make sure the oiks throw it away as quickly as possible so that you can sell them some more. Consumption keeps all your brand new supermarkets going and all the credit needed to buy this stuff keeps your newly expanded banks and your rentier casino in the manner to which it will be accustomed. There is also a special sedative available for those who start fretting about what will happen when the world runs out of stuff to make things out of.
(This is also where your dumbed down celebrity TV will come in useful. You can use it to create any number of fads for any amount of pointless junk gadgetry. Gee Whiz! Just look at this! If you get really
lucky you might even create a mass market for a gadget to automatically wipe their backsides for them.)
Finally you must simmer this mixture through slowly by giving away any last vestige of any control you might ever have had over it. Who cares about control and democracy when you are making so much money? The big corporations, the World Bank, The IMF, the European Union will take care of all that for you ... for a consideration of course, so you needn’t worry.
So if anything goes wrong, then you will be able to shrug your shoulders and say it’s none of your fault, because you don’t actually control or govern anything anymore anyway. You will able to explain that we live in a globalised world and that is a GOOD THING, and hope nobody notices that it is a huge supertanker with its engines on full power, but with no captain, no engineers and no rudder ... like some latter day Marie Celeste ... and headed straight for the rocks.
Your reward will be a feast, the like of which has never been seen, except perhaps that you might find yourself dining alone.