What happened to manufacturing (MC)
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9 What happened to manufacturing;
Even before the 20th century engineering was not a clean nice well paid profession (though often described as honest), even though British engineering was and still is second to none. Exploration called getting money to work for you (Banking) is the nice clean career, and has been so for a few centuries. Through the 1980′s the country moved by popular support very definitely into a post-industrialisation era burning many bridges back, the “drastic cuts” of the 1980′s. British engineering had been replaced by the creation of money (credit), the £25 restriction on the amount of cash that could be taken out of the country was lifted and “Big Bang” of 1986 now labelled casino banking.
A programme some years ago on Radio 4 about British Rail said – British Rail used a pair of very large heavy marine engine/generator sets in it’s Deltic Class Locomotive “He-He”. As if this was a joke, but technically the loco is very fast regularly doing the journey between Scotland and London more quickly than other locos probably due to its weight, power, and reliability (250 miles in one and a half hours). The BBC relies on technology but their presentation often seems technophobic, favouring classical subjects, language, and art. Many programmes are created by companies for the BBC, these companies know what is expected and are likely to follow that line.I suspect that power is corrupting; In The story The Lord of the Rings were whoever has the one of the rings will be corrupted by its power which happened to Gollum, but even those who are least corruptible are eventually corrupted to some degree by the power of the ring.
Jobs exported abroad consequently and machines imported to take over the work such as surveillance cameras in public places, to save trained policing. CCTV though brought with it the acceptance of change from covert to overt surveillance in public places. The covert phone tapping at Menwith Hill, has slide into overt surveillance of all types. Politically it is the least bad option for a party who wishes to be re-elected to support surveillance and political parties now don’t have to talk sceptically of it.
* Traditionally money is created by swapping I-owe-you’s for goods, this leaves the creator with a good, in exchange for a promise on a piece of paper, this is broadly how government print money. The amount of paper and coin money in circulation is limited by law.* The other traditional method of creating money is for tokens to be made that can be exchanged for goods in a local community, eg. the Lewis pound (in East Sussex). LETS schemes.* Barter evolved in to IOU or exchange of tokens, as a first step was the exchanging a goods for a coin of equal value in precious metal.
* This money can be put in a bank for safe keeping, and the bank could lend this money nine times over. That money could be banked and lent another nine times. That’s how traditionally, money creates 99 times more money, and interest is charged by the bank 99 times over but only pays interest on the single unit of original saving.
* The new trick is remove the limit of 9 and just create electronic money and change interest. Actually a small reserve of 3% is held, but plainly that has not been secured well. There is no statutory limit on the amount of electronic money that can be created in UK and much of the first world.
There is more money owed than can ever be paid back because for all money is lent that money must be paid back plus interest, that is more money than ever existed in the first place. This is not workable and eventually a debtor must default. See http://moneymyths.org.uk/
Although I-owe-you method leaves the government with a gold reserve, the law has been changed long ago and you can’t ask for your gold back. During the past 30 years the gold, and other government assets have been sold off. There is no promises to pay anything in gold, just a promise to exchange paper for another paper bank note. This is part of the new banking that has happened in the past 30 years. Private financing of former government operated functions creates more money, which when spent is wealth measured by GDP.
I am an engineer not an economist, or banker, so please correct me if I am wrong. This is how the British Dream of creation money (credit) without doing work, that is free-loading on the backs of the third world mainly, other than book keeping, has been for filled. (Bankers are the scape goat but they could not do it without us)
After the 1929 Wall Street Crash President Hover/Roosevelt brought in the “Glass Steagall Act”, and in the UK ”informal Glass Steagall Act” were put in place. This separated banks into those that speculative lend money and those who’s lending was is more secure, ordinary peoples savings. These restrictions on the way banks capitalise were lifted by Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson in 1986, “Big Bang”. Nigel Lawson admitted [Jan-Feb 2010 on Radio 4] that they (cabinet presumably) had not thought what the consequences would be. The Glass Steagall Act was repealed in the US by President Clinton in 1999 after lobbying by those banks to follow UK.As a sequel Nigel Lawson [January 2011 Radio 4] blames the US banks for coming in to UK to take the advantage of the legislative change that allowed them to get around the US Glass Steagall Act. He has in my view an extreme idealist view disassociates his actions and separates them from consequence.
See Radio 4, Analysis ”A Price Worth Paying?” - 01 Feb 2010 analysis_20100201-2102a.mp3
I guess that military spending, PFI-ing what government formerly did is a major part of the reserve that the banks hold to back their creation of money (credit – Fractional Reserve Banking). Banking and finance is more valued than Engineering, food producing, and other hands on work judging by comparative rates of pay in the UK. The more work we have done abroad the more obliged are those countries doing that work for us to continue to take our credit, the wealth divide broadens consequently.
Those WWI veterans, I talked about at the outset, lived through a time when to serve the people working for a nationalised industry was a good thing, And up to the end of the 1970′s where the public broadly supported government. To where ever we are in the cycle of things now.
Timex watch of Dundee. Purchased in 1974 for £12.
Very understated original specification the claimed water resistance is very good. Does not claim to be shock proof but is, and exceptionally accurate considering the technology (clockwork), keeping correct time all winter, 1 minute a month slow in the summer, and 2 minutes slow in the hottest month.
British Textiles were very strong and cloths lasted. This was true of most of British manufacturing but not of television set manufacture for example. Metals had improve vastly since Victorian times when steel tempering and strength was quite poor improved greatly after each world war.