Monday, 10 February 2014
The great flood - A political and economic lesson to be acted upon.
Floods have been the demise of civilisations past mainly due not to the flood itself but to the lack of timely response both to the actual crisis , but also to planning and maintenance.
We appear to have learned nothing from the past , we spend millions on digging up the past and observing, but we do not learn and act upon what we learn.
This huge discrepancy between what we know and what we actually do from his knowledge, is what will bring down governments and civilizations.
There are to many chiefs and to few Indians to do the work, as the expression goes. Everyone want to do the interesting exploratory and fun work , but few want to do the grinding building and maintenance especially when the rich are to rich and dictating that we spend less on this building and maintenance which serve not only the rich but the poorer also.
This flood we are having may or may not be caused by Climate Change , but until we learn that mankind is just one of many species on this planet, and that we should treat the Earth's resources with respect and try to use our intellect to redesign the way we all live together and share them out equally with our neighbours and other species.
The only controlling mechanism at our disposal is TAXATION, this can enhance or destroy the whole of our current civilization, by awarding the rich to be richer and the poor to remain poor, by building fantastic war machines and wasting huge sums on protocols and red tape , starves the very foundations we all depend upon, that of a warm and safe house with adequate food, health and education.
Taxation must be reformed to reflect the urgency of the problem with fairness, equality and transparency.This reform should fundamentally address our use of all natural resources and tax them according to the damage there use does to the environment , either directly or indirectly.
Moving tax away from labour and capital taxes to resource taxes will change fundamentally our view of the world as one of profligate use of resources at any price, to one of appreciation and understanding of the over and misuse of all natural resources from fossil fuels, land and air. It also makes labour relatively cheaper than resources, so will enable more employment to occur . see http://www.ex-tax.com/
This tax shift will fundamentally change the way all business is done , and the new thinking in the way we have to use these relatively expensive resources will change the way we design build, distribute and market all goods and services , whilst at the same time the consumer will change their habits towards buying less expensive and more sustainable goods and services.
Taxation of accumulated wealth should also be addressed , to prevent the rich elite from dominating the market and the direction of political will as we see at present. This could be in the form of a death tax which both Bill Gates Senior and Warren Buffet also support , so its not that we could not do it, its just that there is no real political will, and they appear to be waiting for a revolution from the people before any real action will be taken.
Finally , we have to think long term as in the Netherlands, since the floods of 1953 , they have actively supported a long term commitment to flood defence , but the real benefit has come in a different form , that their politics are now thinking forward and planning rather than constantly fighting fires as we do in the UK.
This fundamental shift encourages long term solutions to problems and there is much more discussion with all parties to formulate a solution, though this sometimes takes time, the final solution is beneficial to all and everyone can support it. I also believe the Netherlands has also to reform its taxation , as indeed most countries in the world need to also.