3 October 2011


There are some things that I know about but other things are as distant from my way of thinking as the planet Pluto. One of those things is "The Economy". It figures a lot in national and international news and gradually it has seeped its way into ordinary people's perceptions of life in the early years of this twenty first century.

"The Economy" makes my eyes glaze over - my mind goes walkabout. Wall Street? The Bank of England? The Hang Seng Index? I look at the television and see traders waving papers or beavering away at computers. Every day the BBC tells us about share prices and currency fluctuations. But all of this means nothing to me.

Greece to me is its rich classical legacy, the moussaka and retsina, a bouzouki playing evocatively across the harbour in Mykonos, a sunlit beach and clear azure waters. But now it seems we are meant to fret about whether or not Greece will "default". Are the Greeks playing tennis? Who initially lent Greece the money and if the country's structures were so damned suspect, who the hell allowed them into the Eurozone in the first place? Why did they have the Olympics as recently as 2004? I just don't get it.
"The Economy" is the monstrous child of human society. Men made it and gave it succour. If it rises and falls like a Frankenstein beast then that is surely down to the men (and a few women) who ride upon its back and the highly paid politicians we all elected to deal with the damned thing. It is their job to tame the beast and make it serve us better. I don't know. As I say, "The Economy" is a mystery to me. I never learnt about it in school and those who claim to know about it seem to speak an entirely different language.

The world appears significantly different from how it looked five years ago. Then "The Economy" was well-tethered. It ate its oats and responded to our commands but now it's bucking and there's horse-shit everywhere. Protesters marching on Brooklyn Bridge. Riots in the streets of London. Greece squeezed like an empty tube of toothpaste. Millions unemployed. Pension pots squandered. Bankers' bonus culture booming. Where's it all going to end? I wish I understood. I wish I knew what "The Economy" really means.


  1. Well I'm sort of with you on this one. My only interest, I have to say, is personal. When my hard earned super disappears fast and leaves me not able to live the life I saved and slaved for all these years I start to sit up and take more notice although my eyes quickly glaze over as Tony tries to explain it all to me.(over and over.... !)

  2. Sigh.......I do agree with you...and it is quite depressing. The world appears to be going mad and I do worry about the future for my kids....

  3. I think "The Economy" is one of those things that is intentionally kept vague and beyond our (and by "our" I mean even reasonably intelligent people like us) comprehension, so someone can use it as a tool to screw us out of our money and our homes. It's another occasion, just like the others that "crises" have afforded in the past 20 years, for opportunists to profit. And more often than not, those opportunists have been tied to the politicians.

    Are you ready for another revolution, YP? This time we can be on the same side.

  4. Didn't someone write about 'the end of history' after the collapse of communism? Perhaps capitalism is the next domino to fall.

  5. I really can't comment. No, I mean, I really CAN'T. I did Economics 1A at university in my last year. It was widely known that no-one failed, so it was handy if you were short of a single stage one paper.
    I failed. Well, virtually. I was given a 'Pass in lieu' and told by the examiner I must never express an opinion on the subject ever.
    So I'll have to keep my opinions to myself.


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