Sunday, 23 November 2008

Of Crunches and Credit and Such Like

We, as a global society, seem locked into the negative right now. All press emphasis appears to be geared towards pushing the bad news while ignoring the fewer snippets of good. Confidence seems to be the buzzword, and it's difficult to see how confidence can be restored given the way this looming recession is being delivered to the people.

It saddens me to believe that this situation is so engineered. Don't be fooled that it's not a redistribution of wealth. When the chumps and the weekend share owners have bailed out of the markets in terror, their savings and pensions decimated in the process, the wealthy will be there to buy at ridiculously low values, and the economy will eventually recover and the poor will be poorer and the rich richer.

It's sad, too, how I guess it will bring a redistribution of workforce. With tens of thousands of redundancies already announced or threatened, firms will feel justified in bringing forward those plans to rid themselves of staff with impunity. Who will notice a few more amongst the many?

I'm not that old to know of gentler times; when firms at least had some semblance of loyalty toward their staff. When I began work, the company even had a hardship fund to which employees could apply for money if in difficulty. Not any more. Now the noises are of 'responsible redundancies', an oxymoron if ever there was. I'd like a return to what I'd call responsible capitalism, where a company is lauded not just on how much profit it can return but also by how many folk it can keep gainfully employed in the process. I suspect those days are gone forever.

So, we hunker down and try to ride out the storm. But we must do so with hope. If not, then what's the point?

See you on the other side...

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