I once dipped my net worth below zero by the simple method of spending it faster than it came in. It's very easy to do and a lot of fun while it lasts. The aftermath wasn't fun at all. Now, I adjust spending in accordance with my rate of earning so that I don't end up back in that mess again. Lessons were learned. Really learned, not Labour learned.
If I can't afford it I don't buy it. That approach is also simple and while it's not such intense fun as 'spend it and to hell with the consequences', it doesn't have that nasty aftermath thing at the end. It's a much more relaxed approach.
You would think that, if someone like me with almost zero understanding of accountancy and finance could learn that lesson, surely those in charge of the country must already know it? The evidence to date is that Labour not only do not know it, they are actually incapable of learning it.
Time and again, Labour governments ruin the country's finances and leave us all penniless. They eventually get back into power and then do exactly the same thing, in exactly the same way, all over again. They are fond of the 'lessons must be learned' chant but they clearly have no idea what those words mean.
If I had something valuable, like a pile of gold, and gold prices were high, I'd sell some of it. When gold prices dropped, I'd buy it back and keep the change. Scale that up to Bank of England amounts of gold and you could generate a very nice, if intermittent, income for the country as a whole. Income that might even reach the point where Government could suspend income tax for a month or two every year.
What did the Brown Gorgon, the man in charge of the country's finances, do with that gold? He sold it when it was cheap and he announced the sale in advance. The gold market knew it was about to receive a glut of that commodity and the price dropped further. Gold prices are now high, so any day now he'll announce his plans to buy a load of it.
I'll never be Chancellor. I am not even remotely qualified and juggling figures is of no interest to me. What I find amazing is that I could be Chancellor. Anyone could. No actual skill is required, no qualifications needed, all you need is to be pals with the equally unqualified Prime Monster of the day. You don't even need to display any common sense.
Just try knocking on Barclays' door and telling them you want to apply for a head-office job in charge of finance. The first thing they will ask you is 'What are your qualifications' and the second, 'What is your experience'. If you answer 'none and none' there will be a short silence and a raised eyebrow to signify the end of the interview.
Yet we put people in charge of the country's finances who would be turned down for a job as a bank manager!
Then wonder why it's all coming apart. Wonder why we have to pay for their mistakes. Why they invent solutions for problems that cost far more than the problem, and usually make it worse into the bargain. Why their dozy employees propose measures to fix the economy that anyone without an ounce of economic training can see will destroy it.
And still it continues. Now, getting into university is not about how much of a contribution you can make to society and the economy by taking on that extra training. It's all about how much money your parents have and about cheap political point-scoring. Except it's not cheap. We'll be paying for this meddling for decades to come - assuming we can ever pay it off at all.
Even now, while the Euro is in a state of collapse and even the French are declaring that the whole thing is about to fail, what is Labour's response?
The Euro is great! We really must join!
Lessons learned so far? Zero. They have absolutely no clue what they are doing. They have no understanding of finance whatsoever. They really believe that the money they take in tax has no limit, that companies will not relocate out of the country if they raise more and more tax, that individuals will not simply stop working before they get to the 40% tax band (as I currently do) and that nobody will mind if they squeeze harder.
For all their talk of 'evil capitalists', socialists are obsessed with money. Other people's money. No matter how much someone else has, part of it belongs to the Socialists because they want it. They have no intention of working for it. They're just going to demand it. It's not fair that some people are prepared to work and earn a living while they want to sit around all day. Those working people have money. Take it from them!
It's not to 'run the country'. It's not to 'help those who cannot work'. Look at what they do with it. The amount that actually goes to the genuinely needy is tiny. Most of the rest are in a Labour-designed benefits trap. They are paid to vote Labour once every five years. I wonder how that works out as an hourly rate? Paid a retainer for five minute's work every five years. If they attempt any real work while on a Labour vote-retainer, they are penalised.
The amount needed to run the country is trivial compared to the outright waste on quangos, fake charities and pressure groups, layer upon layer of managers, databases of nonsense that serve no purpose, idiotic schemes, meddling in everyone's lives, systems so complex even Einstein would have failed to navigate them, and so much more. The plain fact is, they have wasted the money they have taken from us and still they won't stop spending. Now they are borrowing at a rate of millions per hour and wasting that too. They cannot stop. They are not even going to try.
Creditors eventually cry 'No more' and start demanding repayment. I am amazed that hasn't started already. It can't be far away now. We currently owe more than we can possibly repay. We can't even afford to cover the interest payments. And still they borrow more.
Will they make cuts? Yes, they have already cut the university budgets and will no doubt cut education further so that it will be even worse than this. They won't cut the social engineering, they'll cut the real learning further. There will soon be few with the ability to work above the level of street sweeper and those that can, will be taxed so hard they'll leave.
When tax on millionaires was of the order of 95%, I was very young. I heard that and thought 'Why bother working to be a millionaire? You only get to keep a tiny bit of it.' Millionaires left the country. When the tax rates became more sensible, some (not all) came back. Now we have a situation where people who aren't all that much better off than me are talking about emigrating. Another trigger for the self-employed is the tax on account scam.
The author Michael Moorcock, who produced whole series of fantasy novels at a frightening rate (and before the invention of the word processor), left because of this. His argument with the tax office was that he didn't actually owe them the money they were asking for. They agreed but demanded it anyway. He moved to the USA and stayed there. So, no more tax from him.
Look at the responses to such stories in newspapers. The socialists are delighted when the rich move away. They're glad to see the back of those evil capitalists. Yes, get them all out of the country. They have not the slightest idea where the money comes from to pay for their silly games.
Some might have realised. There have been a few comments along the lines of 'just because they've left the country it doesn't mean they can stop paying tax here'. Yes, it does. It means exactly that. It's their only reason to sell up and go. They will pay tax in whatever country they move to. Not even socialists can justify demanding tax from people who live elsewhere.
So the new generation are uneducated, the bar that triggers emigration gets lower and lower, useful immigrants find it almost impossible to get in while the dross is welcomed, anyone wanting to start a business will face double tax in their first year of operation, there is no money and no prospect of anyone bothering to bring any into the country. The financial sector's contracts are being broken by legislation so no overseas financier is going to bother coming here. Contracts here are as reliable as Chinese copyright assurances.
Labour have not only spent all the money, they have arranged things so that there will be no new money coming in, no means to generate any internally and absolutely no incentive to try.
Part of me wants them to win that next election. I'd be on the first boat out (I have no intention of trying their Porn Idol machine at the airport) but I'd stay close enough to watch. Close enough to hear all about their scrambling to fix the scorched earth they have prepared for the Tories but now find is their problem after all.
A bigger part of me wants them consigned to oblivion forever. Because if they win another term, they won't try to fix anything. They don't believe any of it is broken.
Stay away from them. Don't let them approach. Their lack of basic intelligence is so profound it might be catching.
You don't want to suffer from secondary stupid.