I write to express my thanks to Ron Watts for his Village Soapbox piece in the December issue and to say how much I agree with his comments on the various aspects of the current financial crisis. His remarks concerning the ridiculous heights of directors’ and executives’ self-awarded pay, certainly highlight the sheer unrestrained greed of these people, which shows no regard for anyone beyond themselves. Ron’s quotation from Warren Buffet makes the point: “There’s a class warfare alright, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making the war, and we’re winning”
Back during similar problems in the 1930s, the economist Lord Keynes, apparently had confidence that a time would arrive when the economic system would provide all of us with a comfortable living. Speaking on ‘Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren’ he speculated that: “When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles . . . by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession . . . will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.”
Unfortunately that ideal situation has not arrived and, whilst the needed financial controls and regulations remain absent, it is never likely to be make any kind of headway. As Ron says, “We must implement the checks and balances that allow the capitalist system to operate fairly and safely.” Otherwise, as Ron predicts, the current situation is going to cause trouble.
Cyril Cyril Marsters