Antiquated benefits system faces overhaul | Reuters


Where to start with the folly of this? Let's start with the elephant in the room that politicians never mention - the startling but indisputable fact that there are far more people in the UK than there is paid work for them to do. Yet there is an overwhelming all consuming obsession that people should be working and even forced to work if they don't particularly want to, and soon even the unemployed will be forced into 'work for welfare' schemes (what will amount to state sponsored slavery). Moreover they've already started tinkering with the retirement age so people will be working longer. That's all so very nice if you're in a job you like - but hell if you're in one you hate. This is being done under the guise that people are living longer and longer. (Um, that's not an argument that sits well with me when my mother died at 68.) And anyway aren't there new statistics that many children born today aren't going to outlive their parents due to obesity and ill health?amo

And aren't we the only country in the EU where people work the longest hours (but are paradoxically also among the lowest in terms of levels of productivity)?

Anyway the point I'm reaching for is that it's the whole world of work that needs to be looked at and overhauled in many crucial areas. But with the blind worship of anything in the private sector by a succession of governments you can guarantee that's never going to happen. Well, you know -do anything big business doesn't like and those party donations might stop coming in.

So what's left to do..? oh yeah. Blame the victims for their own plight. Unemployed people aren't unemployed because there's no jobs or because employers don't want to employ them - of course not. It's because they're idle and feckless and the benefits system is all so generous - that every unemployed person has two homes, and can claim for giant plasma screen tvs, and champagne and caviar, and duck houses, all on taxpayer's money. Oh wait. That wasn't the unemployed (as the Daily Mail likes to portray them) that was the MPs. *headslap* Well there you go - if they do it then they must know how to stop the unemployed scamming the system... or something.

We're basically living in a state of perpetual delusion - we've just had an extended period where we allowed the financial sector of the western world bloom into a feel-good fantasy world where property prices where going to go on increasing unto infinity and banks could sell mortgages to people who hadn't a cat-in-hell's chance of ever paying back, and that's now collapsed in a heap. But now we're heading into another whole new fantasy state where if we go through an extended period of austerity and cut backs and prune back the state (making a few thousand unemployed in the process) then by magic they'll soon be jobs for every one of us and the good times will roll again...

until the next crash.

Antiquated benefits system faces overhaul | Reuters

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