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When The World Changed

By Adrian Dore. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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Table of Content

  • Introduction.
  • The day work disappeared.
  • A rising tide lifts all boats.
  • Measures dictate outcomes.
  • We’re all in it together.
  • Small is Big.
  • Toxic investment culture.
  • The invisible hand.
  • Benefit Insurance.
  • Manufacture or bust.
  • Public sponsored brainwashing.
  • System Reset.
  • The Empire of Lies.

Introduction

Our economy affects everybody and every aspect of our life; health, security, work, home, education, pensions, investments, social services and the environment, plus so much more.

Therefore, it must work in the interest of the majority, not the interests of a small minority, because it affects us all. If you are not part of the elite, super-rich, making up less than one per cent of the population, then the bad news is the economy does not work for you but against you.

It hasn’t served majority needs in over four decades, so if it hasn’t already adversely affected you, it will shortly. Chances are it has already affected you, but you may not be aware how and by how much.

It’s a system out of balance. Nature tells us an imbalanced system always fails. So, rather than wait for its catastrophic failure, let’s fix the problem now. But who is going to “fix it”? Certainly not the masters of our economy, the elite 1% or the establishment, comprising government, academia and other similar institutions. They are all part of the problem, supporting and backing up this imbalanced, dysfunctional economy. So, that leaves you and me – the majority. If we don’t take back control over our economy and rectify the problems, it’s just going to get a lot worse a lot quicker until we crash and burn.

Fortunately, in a democracy, we can change the things we don’t like. However, you won’t change anything by adopting the attitude “this is not my problem.” It is your problem, as the power to change lies within your grasp, and you and the planet are the ones paying the price. If you don’t help institute change, the rich and powerful will continue to ride roughshod over you and your fellow citizens.

To meet your responsibilities, you need to understand both the problem and the solution. However, most people know little of how our economy works and show even less interest in reading boring economic books to find out how.

That’s where this book can help. Rather than set about describing how the economy works in theoretical terms, which can become boring and uninteresting, as most economic books are, I introduce them in the form of short stories. You are introduced to different economic problems, consequences, and solutions through real, everyday situations.

Our economy is not one huge homogeneous thing. It’s made up of different parts or components, each affecting us in different ways. Each story addresses one or more of these parts, giving you a good overall understanding of how the economy affects our lives. On completion, you won’t be an economist. Still, you will be informed and aware of the problems facing us and of their solutions. Hopefully, it will open your eyes and make you stop and think, leaving you in no doubt you must take action. That’s my objective anyway.

We always think change is somebody else’s responsibility or that “I’m just one person, so I can’t make a difference.” That’s why things don’t change. We have a democracy precisely so that we can make a difference. Your voice counts provided it’s added to the voices of many others. It’s not just about you taking action, but about spreading the news and encouraging others to take action.

This book will show you how the democratic process has been usurped because we are not exercising our rights. If we exercised our rights, the economy would be serving us, not a small minority. We wouldn’t be facing the massive problems we are. Granted, until now, economic issues may have appeared complicated. That perception has been deliberately promoted to weaken the democratic process.

To pervert the course of democracy, the perpetrators have to be devious and manipulative. To cover their tracks, they must also be misleading and dishonest. This book will explain the many and varied nasty tactics employed to ensure the economy serves their needs rather than yours. Each story covers one or more of their nasty deceits. Most are eye-opening and jaw-dropping, which the majority are oblivious to because we’ve been misled and lied to for so long.

All stories share the theme “When the world changed”, describing a world we are likely to inhabit if we don’t institute major economic reform. A world misshapen through our dysfunctional economic practices. As I pointed out in my opening paragraph, our economy affects all aspects of life. Our Climate Crisis has underlying economic causes, as do virtually every other crisis we face today. These crises are the symptoms of an underlying cause – a dysfunctional economy. We know we don’t solve problems by addressing the symptoms. We solve them by addressing the cause.

I recently read an interesting book by a criminal lawyer, a QC (Queens Counsel) with over 26 years’ experience within the UK justice system. It is his informed opinion that the judicial system requires a major overhaul. I concur with his diagnosis, but I know the changes he calls for won’t happen. Before we can address the judicial problems, we need to address the underlying economic conditions which cause the problems he describes. Until fundamental economic reforms are made, judicial changes are a pipe dream.

The QC’s story is repeated over and over again. I read or speak to specialists in diverse fields grappling with major problems – climate, social, medical, you name it. The underlying cause in most cases is a dysfunctional economic system. The quicker we recognise the problem and address it, the better off we will all be.

Before starting this journey, let me make it clear. I believe in Capitalism and Democracy and know they can work well together, but not by following their current inclinations. It’s not rocket science to appreciate we need a balanced approach – that’s plain common sense. The balance we need to strike is between the demands of the market and society (people and environment.) Free-Market economics believes we need to place greater emphasis on the markets, whereas Social Market economics suggests we balance the two. Most governments follow a mixed approach using both Free-Market and Social Market economy philosophies. Visualise an old scale with a weight on both ends of a balancing beam. A Social Market economy has the scales weighted towards society. A Free-Market economy has the most weight on the market. Every government weigh market and society differently. We know that under pressure from the wealthy elite, most governments are shifting their weight towards markets, thus slowly but surely increasing the imbalance between the two. This highlights the question, “What is the role of the economy? Who should it serve?”

In essence, the economy is a tool in the hands of the government. They exercise control over the economy. Therefore, the economy is an extension or part of the government. If the role of government is to serve the needs of the majority, then by extension, that is also the role of the economy. The needs of the majority are not served through an imbalanced emphasis on the markets. The government has to perform a balancing act to ensure they don’t inhibit markets while also ensuring they fully meet the needs of the majority. Investing in society (people and planet) strengthens your economic base. It does not weaken it. You weaken your economic base by weakening society. So, economic and social wisdom strongly suggest if there is any imbalance, it should favour society, not the markets.

I hope you enjoy the book, which is intended to entertain and inform. I also hope it inspires you to take action and to spread the word, as change will only happen when we act collectively – as a single democratic voice.

I welcome and encourage your feedback. I may be contacted at adrian.dore@growingvalue.net

Thank you,

Adrian Dore

Bristol

United Kingdom

The Day Work Disappeared – PART I

John turned away from his computer screen in horror.

Disbelief engulfed him. Nausea spread through his body on a rush of adrenalin.

He sat staring out the window, mumbling, “Oh my God, no” over and over.

The year is 2036.

John is a medical doctor. A general practitioner.

He is a “millennial”, born in 2002. He wasn’t a brilliant medical student. About average, but one thing he possesses in great abundance – a desire to help others. That’s what makes him such a good, caring doctor.

John had no scholarship, nor was he fortunate enough to receive a bursary to fund his education. He funded it himself, with a small inheritance from his grandmother. Consequently, he is in serious debt. To compound the problem, he is married, with two young children, and a large mortgage. He was only able to afford the mortgage thanks to the now-defunct government scheme of “help to buy, for first-time owners.” Like many young families, he has other numerous, large debts.

John is employed by the NHS and works in a rural practice with four other doctors. It’s what you might think of as a secure “job for life.” That’s precisely what John thought when he knowingly incurred educational debt, got married, bought a house, and the latest Mercedes Benz. How wrong he could be.

John’s bout of nausea, horror and disbelief stems from an email he has just read. It’s from his employer. His services have been terminated, due to the mass introduction of the U-BEscopic diagnostic equipment across the NHS. In an attempt to “reduce costs and improve patient diagnosis and treatment,” the NHS is replacing its GPs with U-BEscopic artificial intelligence diagnostic equipment supported by “medical advisers.” The “medical advisers” aren’t medically trained. Their role is to offer the “human touch,” as patients get used to the loss of their GP and interacting with a robot. Their services will be dispensed with soon enough.

John looked up from his desk and glanced across his office to the U-BEscopic stored in the corner. It’s an unobtrusive, plain bit of equipment. It looks like a garden arch, made from boxed aluminium and thin blue rubber pads running up the inside of the arch at regular intervals. It has a rubber pad at its base, upon which patients stand. A thick wire cable protrudes from the back, near the base, connected to a purpose-built socket in the wall. That’s it.

John refers to it as “the garden arch” because that’s how one of his young patients aptly named it. Over four years ago, when first introduced for trials, a mother brought her young daughter in to see John. The young girl, upon casting her eyes around the room remarked to her mother, “why has the man got a garden arch in his office Mummy?” The embarrassed mother spluttered out an apology. John, in his normal, cool, calm and reassuring manner, thanked the young girl for being so observant. He told her it looked a lot like a garden arch he had in his garden, but this arch was a lot different. It helped him find out what’s wrong with people, and to help them get better quickly.

When introduced, it was done as “an aid to help doctors cope with an ever-increasing workload” and “to help improve diagnosis and treatment in an attempt to reduce overall costs.” In the early days, it had a few teething problems. However, it did an amazing job, even in those early days. That’s not surprising – it’s an extremely clever bit of equipment, which it’s simple design belies. Patients stand on the rubber mat under the arch. The arch has thousands of super-sensors built into the blue pads running up the inside of the arch. These super-sensors gather a vast amount of data about the bodies function, way beyond the more obvious blood pressure, pulse, temperature, blood sugar level. This is all done while the patient stands on the mat fully clothed, with nothing attached to them. They need only stand on the mat for a few minutes. A little light turns from red to green when they may step off the mat. During this short time data is gathered and transmitted to a huge central computer database where it is analysed. Diagnosis and treatment are transmitted to the doctor’s computer screen, together with the data collected. This is all done in microseconds. The analysis will confirm possible pain the patient is experiencing. It really is clever stuff. Something somebody a decade earlier would have described as a “wild dream of an over-optimistic, mad scientist.”

During the trial, doctors were asked to conduct examinations as normal and to verify their findings against those of the “garden arch.” Over the years, the correlation between doctors and equipment diagnosis improved. In fact, early on, the machines started outperforming doctors, which stands to reason. The device has the inputs of thousands of doctors, backed by the latest research and thinking, compared to one doctor who is not up-to-date and unaware of the latest research and understanding.

“You fucking bastard. You fucking bastard”, mutters John.

His anger is not directed at the U-BEscopic, but himself.

“I should have seen it coming. The role of the GP is over. Who is going to employ me now? How am I going to support my family? “

He’s right. John’s medical training and knowledge are obsolete. He could possibly train as a specialist, but specialist jobs are equally at risk from AI and automation. Robotic surgery is well advanced. Robotic surgery has a higher success rate than manual surgery today. That leaves John with the possibility of an academic career in research. These jobs are rare, and employers can pick and choose from the brightest. John knows he’s not in that league, and won’t make the grade. That’s not his strength. He’s good at showing empathy and caring for people. So, what’s left? A job as a carer? It won’t pay enough to support his family.

John’s dilemma mirrors the problems artificial intelligence and robotics has had on the labour market. It has polarised it. That is, it has done away with all the jobs in the middle, effecting the vast bulk of the population. It leaves only the top-end jobs, such as researchers and bottom-end jobs, such as carers – nothing in between. All gone!

In the early ’20s when John started his studies if you had a medical qualification, particularly a doctor, you were guaranteed a job for life. The number of vacancies for doctors was huge. It was the one profession which appeared to offer work guarantees. We would always need a medical doctor. Just over a decade later, this myth is well and truly busted. Maybe, the myth holds true in emerging economies – they still need doctors. Sadly, it does not. Due to a lack of opportunity in emerging economies, young doctors left their countries for richer pickings, making emerging economies early adopters of new technologies. Unsurprisingly, the U-BEscopic was employed in emerging economies a generation ahead of those used in the UK. In these emerging markets, they don’t use “medical advisers.” The U-BEscopic operates almost autonomously, requiring minimal human intervention. What’s more, it’s highly successful. WHO (World Health Organisation) refers to it as the “medical saviour for developing economies?”

The day of the medical GP is now dead. When you can make a statement like this, about the most “secure job of all,” then you may say with confidence, “today is the day work disappeared.”


Copyright

Copyright © Adrian Mark Dore, 2022, Bristol, UK.

The moral rights of the author have been established.

This book and any part of it may be copied and disseminated provided the author is acknowledged as the author and that it conforms to the publication rights and guidelines of the publisher ValueWalk.

Disclaimer

This is a work of fiction. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

While the author has attempted to be as accurate and as truthful as possible in describing economic conditions and their outcomes, he can provide no guarantees for those following his guidelines.

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