Thought For the Month 2 - February 2012
Energy - the next meltdown
The energy game is hotting up...
Having seen how bankers and investment racketeers are prepared to gamble entire economies on short term gains, we are now seeing energy corporations gambling on the very lives of the poor, the infirm, and the elderly.
Not satisfied with profits of £13 billion (yes, Billion) last year in the UK alone, they look set to crank it up by a further £2 billion (yes, 2 Billion) this year. Remember the "free market" mantra - that "the market" will always deliver where it's most needed because that's where consumers will be willing to pay more? The assumption is that desperation breeds willingness to pay over the odds. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out that if somebody is poor but desperate enough to conjure up the resources to pay over the odds for some emergency need, they may have trouble keeping up exorbitant prices once that specific emergency has passed.
The free market. Yeah, right. The goods and services will always flow towards the rich, regardless of price busts and booms.
These energy companies too, speculate in lending and investment markets. And when they get too greedy and cocky and overextend their leverage, who do you think they'll come weeping to? Yes, us, the tax paying grunts. They, and their major shareholders, will trot out the old "too big to fail" argument.
Socialism for the rich; market forces for the poor.
© 2012 Deacon Martin
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