My father himself did not come from a prosperous family although he did go to one of the major public schools. I don’t know how this was paid for. His mother (my grandmother) worked in a laundry. His father who died from cancer when he was young was an anaesthetist in the Royal Navy. His stepfather also died from cancer when he was young.
When he was young ( I am not sure now what age he was talking about, maybe under 10) he said he saw children around Gosport in Hampshire who didn’t have shoes. He was always afraid & worried that Margaret Thatcher was taking us back to those days. In fact it never became quite as bad as he had feared.
But is this where we are heading now? Every country seems to be in debt. But who are they in debt to? If the EU means anything, then surely it must mean that the system of government chosen by the organisation should be more rational & more equitable. It should be more uniform. No-one denies that he Germans are more efficient, more hardworking than anyone else especially the Greeks. No-one denies that the Greeks have grievously mismanaged their affairs since the demise of the military dictatorship in 1974. What they did, create loads of sinecures & spend loads of money which (in capitalist terms) terms they didn’t have on social welfare & so on, was a great mistake; measures such as very early retirement. Rightly or wrongly, it is said that few people pay tax in Greece. I don’t really think it was all morally wrong. Perhaps it was, perhaps it wasn’t. It all depends upon the definition of morality & no 2 people would have the same definition of the word, I would think. Most European countries seem to be in debt to each other or to the World Bank or the IMF. So how do the IMF & the World Bank find their money? Presumably they print it. But then apparently the UK & others have just lent money to the IMF. The UK is hugely in debt, apparently. Where do we find the money to lend to such a big & apparently powerful organisation as the IMF? It is all a bit of a mystery.
Greece needs help & so do we all. Europe has had enough of the ebb & flow of market economics. We have had enough of the system whereby capital is transported around the planet at the touch of computer button & often the markets react to events like the weather so that they go up or down as a result of this & nothing else. We frequently hear the ridiculous statement you can’t buck the market; it is patently not true, the tenets of market economics were not found on a mountain somewhere. It would not (I assume) take much to tweak the system to bring a little more rationality into the system. Whilst big corporations have so much power & are in many ways more powerful than entire countries, the system cannot work equitably or fairly. Big corporations, really, are only accountable to themselves & their shareholders & will do almost anything to make money. Often they operate on the very edge of legality; often they stray over the edge & because they are so powerful they get away with it.