RICH MAN, POOR MAN, THE BACTERIUM AND THE LOONIE
Here’s an old song for you from the Depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
"Every morning, every evening, Don’t we have fun!
Not much money, Oh, but honey, Don’t we have fun!
The rent’s unpaid, dear, We haven’t a sou!
But dreams were made, dear, For me and for you!
There’s nothing clearer, The rich get rich,
And the poor get poorer,
In the meantime, In between time, Don’t we have fun!”
From this popular song, it sounds as if people didn’t mind being poor in those far off days. However, we have a new voice burst upon the world, talking about the growing gap in today’s society between the super-rich and the rest of us, with the poorest suffering most . The voice is that of a young Frenchman, he is in his early forties, and his book is called “Capital in the Twenty-first Century. He has spent his time in the Ecole d’economie de Paris, most of his career collecting data about economies from the nineteenth century right up to the present day. According to his extensive research, the young Professor Thomas Piketty in studying not only America, UK and Western Europe, but also Russia, China and other countries emerging from under-development has drawn some startling conclusions. It seems it is unstoppable that the small elite who are the super-rich all over the world are getting more and more rich. Their increase in wealth is happening at a faster rate than the growth in economic strength of any of the countries studied by Piketty. And it seems the poor are becoming poorer at the same rate as the rich are getting richer. Without change of tactics by governments, the inequality gap must just continue to widen.
Much of the above has been gleaned from The Observer of 13th April, The New Review Section. In the reporting of an interview of Piketty by Andrew Hussey, the article is called, “It just doesn’t add up.” One critic, Karl Smith of the Financial Times is quoted as saying, “The author, an inequality expert, is distinguished. The work is acclaimed. The book’s empirical evidence is already the stuff of legend.”
The whole matter has set off fierce debates between economists, including the advisers to Ed Milliband in the UK. It seems that Piketty proposes tax and more tax of the super-rich. Will this work? The rich have the power. Greed keeps driving up the salaries of super-managers. They make or produce nothing. They have broken away from the markets and reality, just like the bankers in 2008.
Well, that’s just heavy enough of a subject for an opener from me today. Other little jewels of information. Yes, it seems that evolution has stopped being of any importance. We have evolved into beautiful human beings from some one- or two-celled sea creatures. This has taken 3.6 billion years. But now scientists can switch round the DNA of say, a bacterium. You could re-engineer its genome, perhaps, for example, to make it ingest carbon dioxide and excrete crude oil. Would you Adam and Eve it? It seems that the Science Minister from the government gave a speech at the meeting held in London about the future of 'synthetic biology', announcing evolution could now be forgotten about, evolution had now been retired. He even presented evolution with a gold watch!! And a geneticist at Harvard stored an entire book on a strand of DNA and got a DNA sequencing machine to read it back to him. This is our world, folks! SCARY! (See, “When humans hijack evolution” by Michael Brooks. The New Statesman 11-17th April, 2014.)
I’m sad about the South Korean ship that sank, and the tragic loss of life of young people on their day out.
I hope that governments pay heed to the warnings of the United Nations about Global Warming. With all the problems facing the populace, it is no wonder so many people nowadays are said to suffer from depression and anxiety, especially the young, teenagers, young parents, and all struggling citizens. How can we effect some changes to make our world a greener place? Does anyone know?
There was a power cut yesterday evening, it seems that locations all over the north of Scotland were affected. Suddenly no lights, no television, no computers, no telephones, no electric blanket in bed, no reading in bed (ah, the Kindle!) What to do? Darkness inside and outside the house. With the unexpectedness of the situation, tempers became frayed. “Where are the candles, why aren’t they here?” and the like could be heard in loud tones. How frail and vulnerable we all are! Who do we turn to? Should we ask the stars above to look down on us and keep us sane!
This man was visiting a mental hospital (loony bin!).
As the man is leaving the institution, on the driveway he spies an inmate of the place kneeling down with his ear to the ground. The patient stops the visitor, “Come here, man, listen to this!” The visitor kneels and listens, “I hear nothing “, he says. The lunatic replies in amazement, “I know, it’s been like that all day!”