Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mechanism For A Crisis

The financial 'crisis' is not difficult to understand when the focus is directed towards the obvious. Misdirection is essential to make the illusion work. The main thrust was initially to convince everyone that a problem is the reality. The solution quickly follows constantly reminding of growth which is symbiotic with debt, but that is rarely, if ever, mentioned. Without the debt then growth cannot happen. It relies on Winners And Losers. It's always about loans, interest, borrowing, inflation, debt, recession, decline. And...


aka growth

The definition of this 'growth' depends on viewpoint. The government objective is to 'reduce the deficit inherited from the last government' (alleged deficit - DA) and this is managed by making the people pay. Brutal, but simple. This does not require actually attacking the problem (but this is the solution to the 'created' problem so leave it alone as it's working so well - DA). Any child of school age would appreciate that raising taxes (and VAT) and minimising outgoings would raise the finance coming in to the Treasury by forcing the people to 'donate' a greater part of their already taxed income.

Disposable Income

Government 'governance' is patronisingly cynical in the extreme. Exploiting the 'making life easier' for some, the minority with true wealth (gold-based), at the expense of everybody else (majority). The Virtual Money 'possessors'. That's what they do. Create wealth for the select few. In the interests of ALL citizens? Absolutely NOT.

Not creative and definitely not pro-active in dealing with the problem, though in a grotesquely nauseating paradox...

there never was a 'problem' to deal with, but the

contrived and unnecessary

'solution' is working very, very well - DA
    Winners And Losers. Redistribution. This sustains the problem and continues to raise the rate of inflation substantially and it's self-sustaining. Cyclical. Interest on savings is depressed and that encourages the 'spend it now' philosophy. It's all depressing evidence that this is a government that has absolutely no ideas except to control and behave as a true parasite. It is also supportive evidence of there being no intention of attempting to reduce inflation, taxes etc. In fact, the reverse is clear. Inflation on the increase and debt encouraged is the in the mindset only of the total incompetent. And, of course, the human parasite feeding off humans. All that really grows is...
    r a g e

    Planet Earth only has a fixed amount of water and of that only very little fresh drinkable water (about 3%). This may seem a lot in the grand scheme of things, but a growing population that has the most essential need in water with NOTHING AS IMPORTANT.

    Without water there is no life

    This critical resource is scavenged and effectively destroyed by locking up in cement and concrete to build more houses for more people and in the process 'creating' illusory wealth. Concrete soaks up water and over time gets harder. Although 'dry' concrete still contains all the water used to make it, none of this water is available to sustain life. It is chemically bonded and forever totally irrecoverable. Building upwards conserves land, though for the price of one site many apartments can be constructed and sold.

    The cost per m2 (footprint ground area) makes it absolute sense to build upwards (maximise profit). The same site-footprint exists, but each apartment is priced according to where the building is located. It's a simple multiple. As an example, 20 apartments would come from 5 floors with 4 flats on each. Obviously, construction itself becomes more difficult the higher the building goes and this would have a major cost impact. The trade-off is cost of the building site against the increased construction cost. A taller building would need a larger footprint for stability, but the growth rate upwards is greater than outwards.

    If x = horizontal and y = vertical, the relative ground area is (x x x) and the structure volume is (x x x x y). The value of x will increase at a lower rate to that of y so if x grows in the sequence

    1.00 -> 1.25 -> 1.5 -> 1.75 -> 2.00

    The ground area will increase:

    1.00 -> 1.56 -> 2.25 -> 3.06 -> 4.00

    The structure volume will increase:

    1.00 -> 3.12 -> 6.75 -> 12.24 -> 20.00

    • 1.00 x 1 = 1.00
    • 1.56 x 2 = 3.12
    • 2.25 x 3 = 6.75
    • 3.06 x 4 = 12.24
    • 4.00 x 5 = 20.00
    The increase of ground area is much smaller relative to structure volume. Volume represents the number of apartments (1 floor = 4, 2 floors = 8, 3 floors = 12, 4 floors = 16, 5 floors = 20) and the consequence is that profit:

    increases rapidly

    This has to be a major reason for wanting to construct the tallest building. It's 'sold' to the people as a 'competition' to be the tallest. This means, of course, the most profitable. Dubai is one of the most expensive place to live on Earth. A good reason to build the tallest and most lucrative real estate. The more narrow the building (smaller footprint) for its increasing height, the profit will increase more than for a larger footprint. The equation marries the greatest height with structure volume for the smallest footprint (ground area). The maximum number of apartments.

    Minimal ground area

    Maximal structure volume

    Greatest profit

    Imagine, a tall block of flats in a rural setting: rare if ever. But in London, New York, Dubai... The financial benefit from a rural tower block doesn't exist. Large numbers of people living within a small area require supply of essentials. A high population density defines a commercial setting. People are necessary to populate such areas to ensure a viable marketplace. Oddly, tall buildings and structures are rare in Paris (France). This city has an extensive underground metro system that enables construction in the suburbs (les banlieues). France has a large land area for the population size. London has a very much larger population density for a smaller overall land area. Dubai is surrounded by desert so building upwards makes more sense than outwards. The landed gentry create an effective desert around the urban areas. Such land ownership stifles outward growth and forces it upwards. The wealth is potentially located with the landed gentry so perpetuating the cynical nature of growth.

    Growth can only happen with the decline of something else and that is very difficult to qualify. It is not likely to be a single factor. The web that is weaved can be likened to a tree growing upwards. It becomes more complex (in 3-dimensions) as it grows. The apparent 'rise' in standards can only be based on the debt.

    • It really is that simple

    All the experimental and therefore untested solutions only make matters worse, but Keynesian Monetary Theory is still

    It's feeding a terminally dying (or dead! - DA) body while it declines. The classic scenario of an old car constantly requiring repair illustrates the end game. The cost outlay to keep the car working ultimately exceeds the cost of starting with a new car. Or at the least a younger one that is in better condition. Otherwise the money is sucked in to attempt propping up the now definitely dead car.

    It's the same with finance, except the belief is that the device (debt) can be saved. But this is, perhaps, being too generous.

    The future for the planet looks really
    healthy while that for the human
    race is increasingly bleak

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Alcohol And Pricing Out Alcoholism

    Pricing alcohol higher to combat consumption?


    Addiction does not work like that. Alcohol cannot work like that. Alcoholism isn't a new science and many 'facts' are very well known. When something is well understood, it can be easily and invisibly manipulated. To confer advantage. But advantage to one can be horror to another. While other essentials get relegated to a more inferior level, the cost of these other essentials increases as the cost of alcohol is increased. The argument is based on the perception that a cheaper commodity will encourage engaging with it. Making it more expensive does not prevent the engagement. Profit can be made from the misery, rather than tackling the problem. The sales of alcohol would not be expected to suffer, but the families and everyone connected to the 'alcoholic' do suffer. The alcoholic suffers through being totally controlled by alcohol, and it is complete reliance on drink, whereas the families suffer by both watching the alcoholic suffer and having family finances diverted to satisfy the alcoholic. Being an alcoholic is not by choice, but by addiction. The 'alcoholic' will not go without (cannot go without - DA) and this is the dreadful nature of addiction.

    Enabling a higher cost for alcohol does nothing to reduce the problem of 'binge' drinking and the subsequent increased likelihood of alcoholism. It's a major factor in the closure of public houses: the cost of drink necessitates alternative sources to be found. Cheap alcohol in supermarkets can be bought that is then consumed at home instead. Drinkers still drink, but just change the 'watering hole'. Responsible drinkers are punished by being forced to perpetuate and subsidise those who cannot stop drinking. NOT won't.

    Physiologically? Possibly, but psychologically:


    Addiction has main players: the physiological and the psychological. The physiological effect is essentially the adaptation of the human organism to any agent and is much like changes realised in the physical stress-related activity of bodybuilding. Muscle growth. The removal of the increased stress that causes extra growth will result in reversion to a smaller muscle that is still large enough to deal with the normal physical stresses of lifestyle. Muscle growth is reversible. However, addiction is not tackled simply by the removal of the agent that is responsible for the physiological dependency. The alcohol itself. Psychological dependency is extremely potent.

    Nicotine dependency is similar. Stopping smoking means never starting again. Starting again defines only the suspension from smoking. The psychological desire must be dealt with and can continue long after any physiological dependency is ended. Emotion is psychological. A broken bone is related to body physiology. Addiction involves both together and breaking the addiction necessitates tackling both.

    The physiological dependency can be removed relatively quickly, but the psychological desire is much more difficult. This captures a definition of an inability regardless of the want to break the habit. It's not about the 'irresponsibility' of the 'binge drinker' (the 'alcoholic' in the making) or the 'fully blown alcoholic'. The 'alcoholic' in nearly all situations is in total denial by refusing to accept they have a drinking problem. Governments seriously desiring to tackle the problem (and that is highly suspect, the revenue is too BIG 'an earner' - DA) have a journey up the very, very steep hill. But they never demonstrate a serious attitude. The individual with a serious drink problem desperately needs help. Not punishment.

    Drinking is actually encouraged so to maintain the revenue flow and a few drinkers (millions) unknowingly having an addiction are targeted. A massive cost in terms of money and the misery of their close contacts. Easy money for a government. Many people are 'addicted' to petrol through the 'need' for a car, but as nobody really 'needs' a car, it is personal choice to have a car. Life would be very difficult without access to a vehicle and, of course, it becomes another (expensive) necessity. Asymmetrically 'balanced' by the huge weight of revenue, social problems are declared manageable. It's deceit and a dereliction of governmental responsibility. Drinking is out of control with the future revenue providers starting the career in drinking earlier and earlier in life. The binge-drinking teenager is a disaster in progress. The disaster becomes ever more serious, but the revenue into the Treasury continues to increase.

    Alcohol for many is as serious a problem as the crack cocaine or heroin to the drug addict. Alcohol is just another legalised drug. A legal drug can be openly taxed. An illegal drug cannot be taxed. (Yet. Until it is decriminalised - DA.) An end-of-life attitude begins at a very young age, resulting in hopelessness. 'Responsible' government behaves as though it couldn't care.

    Money is the god and it's worshiped. Absolutely.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    NHS Privatisation

    Backdoor privatisation of the NHS funded publicly by taxpayers (£64bn) appears to be the game still 'played' by the Tories. And any concept of coalition can effectively be dropped absolutely. The tail that had been wagged by the Tory 'attack dog' has at last fallen off to reveal the real animal. In a true business sense, this is a 'merger', but only involves acquisition. The Tories have acquired power and the Tory way is selling the family silver.

    The parasite feeds

    This appears to work by the proceeds being taken by the Tories and any costs and expenses borne by the taxpayer. Little has changed in the Tory philosophy and exemplifies the obvious danger in a system that 'gives' absolute power and control to politicians. The consequences of ideologies that are based firmly on wealth and nothing else.

    The growing parasite

    still feeds

    Governments and politicians do what they want to institute change for advantage [the beneficiaries are usually obscure, but always involves somebody spending (taxpayer) and somebody else 'buying' - DA]. Conditions can always be engineered to force the 'justified' necessity. This has the effect of complete absolution from any blame: 'there was no choice', 'the deficit we inherited from the last government'.

    • Isn't it surprising that no inheritance tax has been added to the inheritance? (But it has: VAT and any other cause of inflation - DA)
    Create the problem and

    provide the solution

    • Awareness may be on the increase, but the Labour Label will return. The system of continuation goes on and the discussion regarding any new voting system is just diversion and misdirection. The same Labels will still be firmly in place whatever the system and beliefs may be.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Inflation Is A Growth Requirement

    Inflation And Oil
    Inflation Control

    Inflation is inextricably linked with debt and its associated interest. No debt -> no interest = much, much less inflation.

    Not zero, just paradoxically a great
    reduction in 'growth' potential

    That's a good thing for consumers, though the worst scenario for the commercial sector.

    Inflation shows that prices rose 3.7% to December 2010, up from the 3.3% of the previous month. The rapidly rising cost of oil drove the biggest monthly increase on record. This is growth. Inside the last three decades, the UK had the cheapest petrol in Europe, but now has the most expensive. In a global market, why is there such a huge increase. Lowest to highest? The figures from the Office for National Statistics mean that inflation, as tracked on the consumer price index (CPI), stayed at least one (almost 2% more than - DA) percentage point away from the Bank of England's 2% target.

    • There seems a lot of surprise about rising inflation levels, but this is what makes money grow. It's what it's all about. Profiting through inflation. Without inflation growth would be very slow. This has a knock-on effect on all prices and the associated VAT and other 'duties'. The only way to make money appear to grow is to devalue it, so that more money is needed to 'buy' any commodity or service. If money were to truly grow, then less would be needed as it would be more powerful. 'More money' equates to actually 'weakness'.
    Create the problem.

    Provide 'a' solution
      Inflation  is now certain to move above 4% by early 2011...” (Simon Ward, chief economist at Henderson Global Investors).

        • That's a contest that is lost before the race is even started. It's a principle that interest on savings must be less than inflation and anything that increases it. If the yield from inflation is greater than any interest out ('earned') on savings then growth is guaranteed. Growth of the banks.

      Energy and food prices are driving up inflation in the UK (or the other way around!!! - DA), as global oil prices near $100 a barrel and crop supply shortages around the world increase demand for food. These problems (may have) remained behind the sudden surge last month: soaring month-on-month air fares. Prices for fuels and lubricants jumped 2.8%. But what caused the jump in the first place - DA). This represents the biggest rise in a November-to-December period since 1996. Prices were also pushed up by increasing gas bills as some of the major energy suppliers raised their tariffs.

      But what actually caused the rise?
      Were prices simply raised and 'justified'
      by undefined cost increases DA

      The 'worry' (expectation) is that inflation will accelerate further as January’s rise in the VAT to 20pc takes affect and the rising cost of oil keeps feeding through into fuel prices and utility bills (as The Plan moves ahead). The Bank of England’s own (usually inflationary moves) projections are that a full pass through of the sales tax rise would add 1.4 percentage points to the inflation rate. Or 0.7% even if only half of the effect feeds through.

      Apparently, BoE Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting minutes last month showed that members noted that inflation could “well reach 4% by the spring, somewhat higher than the November Inflation Report” in which they laid out their quarterly projections. Wait for it...

      • Paul Fisher, the Bank’s executive director for markets and a committee member, said in a new interview that the sticky inflation was "very uncomfortable", but that the Bank had to look through the short-term factors pushing up prices, however unpopular that may be.

      The MPC policymakers will have had an early estimate of the latest inflation rate to hand when they last week left interest rates on hold for another month. The Bank is worried (really!!! - DA) about derailing* the recovery by raising rates prematurely, but others question whether the higher commodity prices are indeed a short-term phenomenon.

      *Risk upsetting The Plan

      Inflation as tracked by the retail price index (RPI), which includes more housing costs and is the benchmark for many wage deals, also picked up, from 4.7% to 4.8%. The highest figure since July.
      George Osborne, the Chancellor (BBC, Tuesday) that rising price pressures were a concern for the government. (Well, of course they are!!! - DA.)

      "We're very clear that the pressure on working
      families of rising prices is a huge concern for
      everyone and a concern
      for the government."

      "We also support what the BoE is doing on its fight against inflation, and...

      we're paying off the nation's credit card... *

      which is crucial to all of this," he added, referring to his deficit-cutting plan that starts in earnest this year. It seems it hasn't really even started yet - DA.

      * Usual rhetoric taken directly from the script.

      The Plan started in the USA is well under way and moving onwards - 100 years on.

      Monday, January 17, 2011

      Banker Bonus

      Cameron would like to "tax the [bankers'] bonuses to Hell", but also because of the desire to grow the economy, wants banks to lend money to businesses. That is entirely in keeping with the Tory ethos (forget coalition) of raising debt with the associated interest. These bonuses won't be taxed regardless of the rhetoric. The VAT tax for everyone else is (probably) permanent as the tax on the less wealthy. Rich or poor, VAT applies at the same rate. It's just that the %age of disposable income is very different: £2 in £10 = 20%, but £2 in £100 = 2% or £2 in £1000 = 0.2%. It explains why VAT is a very unfair tax. (Most tax is as unfair as it is unequal - DA)

      Investment bankers suck money into the UK and, since wealth can't be created only redistributed, the parasite grows as it feeds. It is argued that the UK economy would not be first league if the banks were not so successful and so a healthy parasite defines a 'strong' economy. The struggle that is the redistribution is illustrated by all the major global economies all vying for supremacy in apparent competition. This must be 'coincidence'. Purely. Any other business would expect to move finance from within other budgets. Banks are so successful that alleged £bns more are required and are raised by 'loans' from the UK taxpayer. The taxpayer acts as legal guarantor without ever having been asked if that's acceptable.

      Pay up and shut up

      Governments behave in the traditional patronising and supremely arrogant fashion of the know-it-all when the people are (conveniently) assumed just to be too stupid to understand the complexities of finance (aka greed). Really, it's simply ignoring the people as they don't matter (except being the feedstock and the only true source of wealth). One definition of success is to be the winner. Even if that means there can only be one winner and millions of losers. The parasite wants. The parasite needs. That's its only reason for living. Nothing else.

      The parasite feeds

      And feeds

      And ...

      Thursday, January 13, 2011

      Population Growth: A Reason

      Population Growth

      It is not enough to simply observe that the global population is growing out of control and has become a very real threat to everything that lives on Earth. Human and everything else. This does not include animal livestock that is reared purely for human consumption. It's quite an obnoxious ethic that animal numbers are increased simply to provide sustenance for the human parasite. But that defines the true parasite. The greatest threat to life on Earth is the existence of the parasitic human creature. Within the domain of parasites exists a worse parasite that lives and feeds off the parasite: the parasitoid and...

      ultimately kills the host

      • Setting up debt as early as possible in life will create the biggest potential 'take'. The extraction by the parasitoid from the parasite (consumer) and it's the subset parasite (seller) that feeds (possibly unaware) the parasitoid.

      How articles are paid for makes no difference. It's the 'paid for' that is crucial. Whether it's a consumer who supports him/herself or a beneficiary of support by the parasite is pure irony. Keeping the host alive so any wealth it may have now or in the future can be plundered. The youngest are most likely to survive the longest and have the greatest requirement for new acquisitions. The older the individual, replacement is probable with (additionally) new acquisitions. A highly lucrative source.

      The pecking order of survival would be the youngest followed by the middle-aged and lastly the elderly. Within each of these populations there is further classification and can be described as 'the wealthy' and 'the poor' sub-groups. So, the poor and young could change into better off and young, but certainly as being a group that has needs and wants. Such a large group has the greatest potential for the parasitoid to feed on. It is also the easiest to condition and 'persuade'. And it has a lot to do with just buying products that usually involve running costs. The commercial world itself only survives by selling its products to the consumer. All products have commercial cost value, but many fail to have any true 'value'.

      The middle-aged will exist for a reasonable length of time and also have amassed wealth from a lifetime of 'creating' by saving. Property and possessions have an intrinsic 'value', but that does not necessarily represent true value. It's the 'worth' to someone. Trading-up will see growth.

      The elderly would represent both the worth and worthless groups. Old and wealthy have riches that can be legally (officially) or illegally (stolen) plundered whereas the elderly poor just cost money to keep alive. They don't have anything 'worth' taking. It may have already been 'taken' and hence the later life poverty. The device of allowing the population to grow and create a larger market has reached the point where balance is lost. The 'tipping point'. The point where cost out exceeds the revenue in.

      When the elderly have had their wealth plundered (governments, retirement homes, nursing homes...) they can be 'allowed' to expire. They also represent the group that has little further need to expand their range of possessions. It's the young urban professional or young upwardly-mobile professional (yuppiethat requires the most since early in life they possess the least.

      Creation and maintenance of a consumer market will inevitably involve pandering to and supporting the young and encouraging a birth rate that produces the new 'batch' of future consumers. The 'batch' process is continuous: new in with old out. An aged population is possibly less able or healthy to understand finances and where it's all gone. Perfect.


      • Virtually everything in the 'modern' world (that is very backward going forwards) comes down to cost: debt and financing debt. It's human endeavour that is being destroyed by the parasitoid and represents mankind's legacy.
      It's not outside the boundary of belief to expect diseases (viral and other) that affect the weak and elderly more than the (immature immune system) very young. Quite often, to remove the very old it can also involve the ('accidental') attack on a small element within the desirable group. The 'sacrifice' is economically viable. The economic viability equation constantly turns up and 'sacrifices' happen all the time. All unprovable mostly since the belief in such a dreadful tactic is totally absent. This has a similar principle to known defects in an item that can have fatal consequences, but in very rare circumstances. The cost of recall and correction vastly outweighs the occasional 'compensation' payment. An acceptable level of 'mistakes' get made.

      Biofuels, Tax Revenue And GM
      Overcharging Results In Suicide Attempt
      Over-Diagnosis, Over-Treatment And Over-Anxiety

        Monday, January 10, 2011

        University Degrees

        Simply considering how much the future will cost does not help much when the issue is whether university is the correct choice or not. The cost for most prospective students is too high to consider going simply because this is "what everybody does". Thinking like this is entry into the trap. The "needing to go" is critical. Not the "wanting to go". A ticket just to board a 'plane is not enough as it is essential to know the destination. Without this information it is unlikely that the destination will be the right one. A university degree involves an expensive one-way trip. There are careers and there is work. They are not the same thing. If a career is not the best considered option, then the degree may not be the best choice. This is a very personal decision that must not be allowed to be influenced by peer groups (school friends). They can move away very soon (and very quickly) leaving behind them all sorts of poorly made decisions based on that influence. They could well make the wrong choice themselves based on emotion and not pragmatism. Any quality decision should be examined and made with a 'cool head'. This can be a difficult state to attain in youth, but the cost issues make it very important. Such decisions are about the very long-term.

        The career selection must be clear from the outset so that the course and university can be chosen wisely. It should never be about entry to "a university", but entry to "the university" that provides the best options for a future that will, hopefully, last for many years. The so-called 'soft-option' courses are not likely to open the doors of real opportunity. There are too many graduates with unhelpful degrees to obtain quality employment. And it's not just about money. A career is (very) long-term.

        The cost of the course that provides the degree must be financed and settling the debt could last for up to 30 years. The cost of owning a car or buying a home must be factored in. It is so easy to increase a debt by borrowing more and more, but that simply stacks up poor cards in a 'game' of life. But life in not a 'game'. It's very real and exists every second, minute, hour, day... of life. If a mistake is made at the beginning, it is possible that a solution may never be found. Personal success is measured by what is actually owned and not by possession. Many own huge (unaffordable) debts, but have very little that they can really call their own.

        Any long-term venture has to be properly considered if mistakes are to be avoided. There are no guarantees to success either even though the chances of success can be improved. Today, the (global) situation regarding employment is tough and competitive and to possess the right 'ticket' to a desirable 'destination' becomes ever more important. To enter into an unknown future (the potential trap) that may not begin for several years, but with a known downside (the debt), is patently unwise. In order to turn the known around into advantage, the future must have been considered at the start.

        While it's fine to set sights high, they must be realistically high. Aspirations can be (expensive) dreams or realistic life goals and early (and considerable) consideration may avoid a lot of grief later that could be very long lasting. There's little point in going to 'a university' to get 'a degree'. It's important to go to 'the university' for 'the degree' that is necessary to fulfill a deliberate selection of career.

        When the stake is a probable +£30,000, avoidance in making a mistake is absolutely paramount. Government propaganda is designed to encourage entry into the system. The condition of entry is to take out a very expensive loan (tuition fees for a minimum 3 years that may take 30 years to pay off). If a wrong choice is made there is no way out. A no exit trap. This illustrates the difference between a career choice and a job choice. A job may not require a degree and the degree may actually hamper gaining later employment.

        Jobs can be very short lived,
        but careers are lifelong

        Tuesday, January 04, 2011


        'Call me Dave' David Cameron 'suggested' (09.01.2011) that the VAT rise is likely to be permanent. Of course it will be (he always manages to wear such a transparent look of 'pain' and 'anguish' DA).  Who could ever imagine anything else? The last government reduced VAT temporarily, but the present one will want to continue to 'earn' its money. When the alleged (unverifiable) deficit 'that has been inherited from the last government' is 'brought under control' (that by definition will never happen because that could never be allowed), the grip will continue to tighten. To extract ever more, forever. Once ground has been 'earned' it will never be given up.

        Labour (as a Label) would

        "tax the rich until the pips squeak"

        The quote was denied by Healey.

        Inflation can never be reduced and must always rise: it's in the nature of the beast. (The parasite is cynically 'clever' and the transparent cleverness is very... transparent.) It's the antithesis of the Apollo fiction where nobody wants to believe, yet (nearly) everybody does.

        A sickening paradox

        • Create the problem: deficit
        • Provide the solution: cuts, cuts, cuts
        • Less and less out and more and more in

        Crude, hopelessly inelegant,
        but completely effective

        Waking up, yet? George Orwell (Eric Blair) did. These visionary 'stories' are more popular today than ever. The ensnarement of the next generation [and the one before (yesterday) and after (today) and the next (tomorrow)] is still being played out.

        Wake up!
        Wake up!
        Wake up!

        The rise of 17.5% to 20% is far from a trivial 'just' 2.5% increase: this hike is actually 14.3% (2.5/17.5 = 14.3). Or:

        17.5% + (14.3/100 x 17.5) =


        The (upward) movement in rate is highly cynical as always suggesting that the rise in VAT (value added tax) actually enhances value. Something that costs more must represent better quality/value. Mustn't it? It's one of the oldest 'tricks' around to dupe the unwary. In some instances this may be true, but in many others the trick is 'played' and the best place to hide a tree is still...

        in a forest

        The term should be something like value-added tax at the very least as opposed to value added-tax. The term value never belongs with tax. The association crudely attempts to create a psychological 'belief' by linking the two. A tax is a tax and to suggest VAT is the least painful is staggering deceit. The extent of 'spin' knows no boundary. The term carries the implication that anything of perceived value is worth the extra tax. Anything is only 'worth' what someone is prepared to pay. The artificial raising of value is similar in principle to the auction price elevation technique of 'bidding against self' and using an accomplice or 'co-conspirator'. The only obvious short-term loser would be the bidder, but in the (slightly) longer-term and then forever onwards, the 'value' has been massaged upwards. Incredibly crude, but it works. The gullible will always pay 'the going rate' in order to possess something perceived as valuable. Or as a trading practice, it enables profiteering. But by any name, a tax is a tax is a tax...

        Another side to this is that those forced to pay for the 'value' forced upon them, truly have no choice but to accept the 'value'. Rail fares are always an easy target by virtue of trains being a necessity to travel. The commuter who must use trains at the created so-called 'peak' hours is just a victim of profiteering through parasitical feeding off the trapped victim. Victims will pay since they need to work. The parasite debt-based system demands that everyone works. The growth of the individual and perceived wealth hangs simply on funding it. The bigger house or car regardless of need is the status symbol some people find irresistable to demonstrate how well they are doing in life. How successful they imagine themselves to be. The more debt that can be managed (afforded) equates to more success. It's really perverted logic as any debt implies a loser rather than a winner. But conditioning 'spins' the meaning and belief around.

        The consumer is being targeted (and skewered, shafted...) again to 'earn' the government the means to reduce 'the deficit inherited from the last government'. The term 'earn' is euphemistic for 'extort', but without menaces. If you don't pay then go without. Maybe your job.

        The extent of 'spin' knows no boundary.

        • VAT: rate will rise from 17.5% to 20% from January 4, 2011. Effect: negative
        • Personal income tax allowance: to be increased by £1,000 in April to £7,475 - worth £170 a year to basic rate taxpayers. This is roughly £3 a week. Inflation will easily erode this and probably already has. Effect: negative
        • Consider balancing a 2.5% increase in VAT against the reduction in personal tax (for those that pay it). An item ‘valued’ at £1000 will attract VAT @ 20% = £200 from £175 (17.5%). Cost of a £1000 item will actually cost £1200 against £1175. An additional £25. This may not sound a huge amount, but the tax is still an additional £200 of already taxed personal income. Effect: negative.
        • The cost of a new car (say £15,000) will cost an additional £375 (= £3000 - £2625). About 120% more than the saving in personal tax for the basic rate taxpayer. Effect: negative.
        • VAT is applied at the higher rate of 20% on petrol from 4th January 2011, but this is only after the fuel duty rise on the 1st January 2011. This increases the VAT yield. It's cynically separating the two rises with just two days in between, but the order of increases is critical to maximise the tax revenue. This defines fuel duty as applying to the petrol before any tax.
          • Some consumers (apparently and allegedly) regard the 2.5% increase in VAT as nothing really very much. That's the idea. The expectation of NOT doing the maths. If true, of course.
          • It is anticipated that 880,000 of the lowest-paid will be taken out of income tax altogether, but instead must pay an addition premium for a perceived additional value. For the time being food and newspapers (the method of communicating the propaganda-inspired 'spin') are amongst the zero-rated supplies.
          • Council tax: could be frozen for one year from April 2011 in England, but extra funds will only be offered to councils which keep their own costs down. Effectively it could be interpreted as a bribe to 'encourage' conformity. Allegedly, worth about £35 per household (no indication of where such a figure comes from and is totally unverifiable). Should Council tax be regarded as a tax on some sort of added value? DA
          Freezing does not mean
          suspending in hibernation

          • When (and if) any freezing occurs, it prepares for a future thaw when greater rates are applied to recover everything apparently 'given back'.  For example, say council tax for 2010 had a rate of £1000, then the tax for 2011 would 'normally' be expected as £1050 (5% inflation). But freezing the tax at £1000 enables removal of services (probably never to be restored) and the expectation for 2012 at continued inflation of 5% might then be £1050. However, the 'frozen' £1050 would jump to at least £1050 + £52.5 (5% + 5%) = £1102.5 to recapture the 2011 'lost' revenue in 2012 that would include a rise for 2012. Restoring the charge for 2012 is more likely to be at a rate of something, say, approaching £1200. An 'invisibly', and opportunistically, much higher rate: £1200 instead of £1102.5. 'Frozen' for one year would translate to £1000 + 0% (2011) -> £1000 + £200 = 20% (2012). So, instead of an overall 5% that includes a 'frozen' 5% over 1 year the actual jump could be 20% over the same period. Beware = be aware: DA
          • The expectation here is a very selective system and consequently very regional. The more the decline in an area, the less the 'government' subsidy (taxpayer support). This relocates wealth. A 'contribution' 'taken' from taxpayers in one area and centralised at the exchequer then 'given' (disbursed) to another. Governments always attempt to capitalise on the perceived advantages, but in the process hide the true rise.

          With interest

          • Capital Gains Tax: to rise from 18% to 28% from midnight for higher rate taxpayers. The "entrepreneurs relief" rate of 10% on the first £2m of gains will be extended to the first £5m. Enabling the wealthy to get richer? And does this (yet) include MPs? DA
          • A 50p a month "landline tax" to fund the rollout of fast broadband will be scrapped. But. The government will support private investment, partly funded by the digital switchover under-spend within the TV licence fee. (Eh? How is an alleged under-spend verified?) Can the BBC be independent of government when it/they feed each other with money? DA
          • The balance of spending cuts to tax rises would be 77% to 23%. (Eh? DA)
          Be mindful of a huge unit cost before VAT is added and the total will be enormous. Maybe

          Enough reason to initially forget to add the VAT, raise the %age rate and only then remember the VAT that was forgotten.