In The Telegraph today and on the news, we've heard of a new scheme designed to 'boost the economy', which the originators have tagged 'Funding for Lending'.
On the face of it, this looks like another injection of effort to try and kick start a nation suffering from the effect of historic, greed driven actions of people in the Banking and Finance sector (Sub-prime / Libor fixing) and others in the world generally, pre-conditioned to pursue an economic definition of 'success'.
The actions associated to greed as a primary belief and driving force have now come back to 'Bite them in the arse'. In response to the effect of their own actions, these same people, (People make decisions and act - not organisations!) have become too risk averse to continue to serve their clients with the model they created. The answer? To inject more tax payers money into this system, to ensure those tax payers can take more risk and get further into debt while reducing the local authority budgets and services once available to them.
It may be my ignorance of course, but it seems, taking money off of people in the form of Tax and then giving it to the banks, so they can give it back to the people in the form of loans (+ interest), with the specific purpose of increasing their levels of debt to make the financial sector more profit, because 'Lending' ticks a box in an economic model, is significantly and fundamentally flawed in it's approach ... isn't it? ISN'T IT? Or is it just me?
In many ways, I guess, this is over-simplistic, but perhaps, if people were not T'axed (apostrophe placement was conscious) so heavily at absolutely every turn, they would make the profits they need to re-invest in their companies and the education of future generations without having to go into debt to do it?
Now an economist, i'm sure, would argue that this approach is necessary to boost economic growth and ... assuming we accept growth as 'Good', that argument may stack up ... but (as my earlier posts and published articles) what if 'Growth' and 'Debt' become a negative condition, undermining people and their capacity to perform at a deeper level, what if, being in debt is fundamentally wrong at a neural and psychological level regardless of the economic rules we've made up in the past?
What if the economic model we've created, is just plain old 'Bad for us'?
The evidence suggests it is, When we are lacking in confidence, i.e. worried about holding down a job, or finding the next customer or order to keep our own little systems churning, with the sole aim of paying back monies we've borrowed .. it increases levels of stress.
As i've highlighted in many places, latest discoveries show us neurogenesis (the creation of new neural mass in the brain to reflect our current / latest experience, both physical (real - now / past) and emotional (real - now / imagined - future), caused by progenitor cells) is very real indeed ... based on our levels of confidence / anxiety, we change at a physiological level to adapt to our prevailing conditions ....
A lack of choice, normally imposed through control mechanisms also has incredibly debilitating effects, we learn 'VERY' quickly to become helpless (Seligman's Dog experiments).
So control people with rules, take away their choices by creating conditions in which they become locked into the system through debt, and you raise the levels of stressor hormones being released into their systems on a chronic basis.
Not being over-dramatic, but chronic stress can cause cancer! (amongst a plethora of other damaging conditions). It also reduces the positive effect of Brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) and diverts glucose energy away form the Neo-Cortex and toward the emotional cortex.
Link this into the same kind of repetition loops that play out in PTSD cases and we can be sure we are creating conditions that fundamentally undermine people at levels our standard approach to business and economics is incapable of considering with the current measures it wholly relies upon.
So - Funding for Lending ... is it a good thing ... I suspect it isn't, not only on a moral ('Rob Peter to pay Paul') social level, but also at a psycho-social and physiological level.
I suspect, what we really need, are political leaders who can look to the future and repair the damage caused to the entire socio-technical system of UK-PLC over the last 40-50 years. People who will make it their aim to bring house prices back into line with salaries, and 'beliefs' in line with virtue and prudence, (Saving in place of borrowing) such that youngsters can conceive of saving up to buy their own accommodation whilst in jobs that compliment the on-going sustainability and independence of the nation ... maybe then we wouldn't need to spend tax-millions on advertising campaigns to get people into professions that can't satisfy their ambitions .... because they'd see 'Engineering', or 'Nursing' (for example) as a viable option and a life choice.
Until we see this kind of change in leadership ideals, we will remain slaves to the machine!