Britain After The Fools Goldrush

As the great consumer and easy credit bubble begins its rapid deflation I thought I’d share my own personal thoughts on what, In Britain we are possibly left with in terms of our ability to weather any potential oncoming storm.

Walking Without Crutches

A Britain without the artificial crutch of high consumer spending and ever increasing property prices may reveal  a less favourable environment for surviving an economic downturn without a degree of turmoil.

In Britain our productivity in the workplace is nothing to really shout about considering our culture of long working hours. The idea of a meritocracy has also been in reverse gear for some time as status and privilege has again grown in importance  whilst access to education for all, gender equality and child poverty levels have all been travelling in the wrong direction.
Chronic under investment in our infrastructure, in people, in training and workplace capital is a very British shortcoming which still leaves the Britain with a comparative high number of low skilled workers and  now a sizeable underclass.

The Bubble Bursts

The housing bubble may well adjust itself to more sustainable prices as many estate agents go out of business but will we be able to accept the changed landscape that removes the great British dream of owning a property from under the noses of an entire generation as future mortgages require a much greater deposit down payment and which has already relegated  95% mortgages to the past.Things will become particularly unbearable if a greater degree of regulation is not introduced into our housing rental market or if truly affordable housing is not built built and protected from future market speculation.

Pension Shortfall

We already had a pensions short fall problem and the world economic downturn will only exacerbate the shortfall especially if the over reliance on ‘property as pension’ turns out to not be the great guarantee of security it once was.

Whilst many European countries may cope well with the fallout from US financial woes which will surely effect the world markets in the coming weeks and months ahead,I suspect that Britain may well wake up to find that a lot of its benefits were in fact temporary illusions that masked some very real intransigent problems that may continue to have a detrimental impact on our society for a very long while to come.

Britain has been for some time now a very expensive place to live and is likely to remain so which will only make it more difficult for those that may find themselves in different financial circumstances.

The question is how well we’ll each be able to adjust to new realities and restricted possibilities. It’s often said that the true key to happiness is to limit our expectations.It may or may not be a new socio economic era is just dawning around us.The rush for fool’s gold has ended with little of real worth to show for it.

Picture by ben88_uk under this creative commons license

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2 thoughts on “Britain After The Fools Goldrush

  1. Ah I had better not let my son catch sight of that badger. He is still recovering from watching that giant kitten in The Goodies. I thought it would be harmless fun for him but he had nightmares for ages.

    But yes, we could all do to lower our expectations. We tend to forget how short a time period it has been that we have all had all these “riches”. Only a hundred years ago the UK was a very different place.

    I know I will be affected by the financial “crisis” – in fact the biggest effect on me at the moment is simply that all my little short and interesting pieces of work have dried up whilst newspapers and magazines focus solely on financial matters and lose interest in environmental concerns and radio active badgers.

    But I for one am glad that property prices are falling – less happy about pension shortfalls.

    But we will all survive one way or the other. It is time we all got back to a simpler more local way of living.

  2. Hi RB-sorry your son was spooked by Kitten Kong.I loved the Goodies.I was self employed when the last recession hit in the early 90’s and one by one my clients went the way of the pear.I learned from that experience and have probably been prepared for another big downturn for a while now.I’m sure we’ll survive though there’ll be the usual human fallout along the way.It’s the same as before but different.

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