Quantitative Finance

is another catch phrase, I became aware of tonight, and it is most likely used by professional financiers. I don’t know the phrase but can imagine it deals with finance calculations based on measure. I thought about taxation for the last couple of weeks now but my unconventional style of writing and use of words probably doesn’t strike a chord with those university trained academics who think in boxes and use certain phrases. However, many routes get us to Rome, as my mother used to say.

Lately the moaning about taxes has become one of “the” more used fashion items of what one can complain about these days. A favourite is the Europe tax and also other taxes that some feel is a waste of money.

What would we do with our weekly rubbish collections, our roads maintained and our European Court of Human Rights, that undoubtedly swallows up a lot of Europa cash.

I think it is not the taxes that people moan about it’s the way taxes are collected and administered by people they have no relationship with, people and administrations that often change and tax payers think they are running away with our money.

Maybe the old-fashioned style of taxation had its days. I begin to think about the origins of taxation. When it was the monarch or local ruler of sorts who collected taxes and this ruler was in office for prolonged numbers of years and was personally responsible for the spending of the taxes and the success of his community. We used to live in a “follow-the-leader” type of world and those that followed the leader most devoted, probably lived best.  Our taxes had a meaning in that they were collected by the same ruler for many years and we had a personal relationship to those using our money. We felt more personally involved.

Today governemnts change often and other civil administrative bodies that are no longer responsible than their term in office decide what is happening with the cash.

The main difference between old-fashioned monarchs and today’s democratically elected chancellors and presidents is the length of office. One administration puts in one rule, another takes it off again and whoever makes the rules, how the money is spend, disappears after about 5 years, having cashed in their wages and getting a lump sum payment on their retirement.

The outcome of their policies is no longer their responsibility and that is the main change that no one is any more responsible for the decisions. Whether it leads to banking crashes, wars, business failures, it is no ones fault. When we had monarchs they could not use that escape route, they could not hide behind this getting out clause and that is when taxation had a useful effect because monarchs would be more careful in how to spend those taxes. Today we have anonymous bodies and administrations that collect taxes, spend them and we are not asked to give to the debate, which  policies our taxes finance. We merely vote in a group of people to govern us but what that government then decides is often a matter of the runaway train decision-making.

Like today with our Labour government, we had them now for a very long time and our economy is in ruins. Do they care? Not a lot, they just think well that’s a fine mess we left the Conservatives in and as soon as they get us back to health we can take the government over again and ruin it all. That is called Democracy and equal opportunity?  The principle of quantitative decision-making however doesn’t stop with finance, it is also prevalent in health care. We do not give inoculations just to a few, more susceptible to infection, we give it to all, to cover those few that really need it. Especially in the production of goods, it’s the more measure the better, let the cash tills ring, also the mor the merrier.

I have written in my paper “Slave to the Balance Sheet” about that and that is what we are we bow to financial calculations, quantitative numerical equations but cannot think of the personal need of people.

Quantitative calculations are the consequence of our animatistic need to reproduce and multiply, that is what we do with our money as well. We haven’t really overcome our breeding instincts and managed to contain the sheer accumulative reproduction. Wars are a mere result of over populating, it’s how we get rid of surplus people, if we would not have more children than we can comfortably accommodate we would never even dream of fighting. Indeed in some cultures having many sons that turn into soldiers, to send to war is the main reason to exist.

However honestly I think our western culture very much tries very hard to overcome this throw-away our surplus children way of life. In some countries, there are no birth certificates, some girls don’t even get names and dying is a normal expectation. We try very hard to add quality to each person but that type of equality brings different problems about how far to our resources stretch to reach all parts we try to reach. Each child now manifests itself with a bank account, they have something long-lasting for a life time, which means, once accepted in the financial world, one is wholly human and not just one of those half-humans, that cannot even get a bank account.

Yet the accumulative finance calculations banking is based on, are creating an enormous wealth gap, hence our interest rate stays at 1/2 percent, this does cut the wealth gap.  Another method to cut the wealth gap and stimulate the economy( independent of centrally collected monies), is pricing goods and services according to wealth. For someone with 10 million in the bank, paying 50 pence for a tin of beans, is easy peasy but for someone who has to cope with £20 a week for food, 50 pence is a lot of money. What we have though are farmers that need subsidies out of tax payers coffers to be able to plant and harvest those beans for us. We do everything through central systems and hence are no longer dependent on local economies, that’s why our economy is so bad at the moment. With this central system whole regions can die economically because the local culture has lost its ability to act on its own. We create pockets of consumers that rely on the products others make. Does that ring a bell?  Yet it is the question whether each geographical region should be in a place to act on the basis of their own products and labour to make sure the mental and physical health of the people there stays intact; but finance alone cannot cope with that task, yet finance regulates our daily lives and all other services are secondary to finance today.

I just watched a children’s program this morning and was shocked to see how a presenter took the Mickey out of Queen Victoria, that she was so overweight that she could only wear black sacks and that she didn’t get any exercise and always sat at her desk. I was very embarrassed that my child had to watch that, because in Queen Victoria’s times Britain had a well-functioning economy and was going up in the world, whilst today we have a Labour government and our economy is worst than ever. This just shows that today we do not cherish the lifelong  monarchs that made it a matter of personal pride to get Britain into governance, today we have elected Labour governments that run Britain into the ground. In the past Labour only ever got in for a term and could not do too much damage but this time, they have proved to us that they cannot do anything for the long term that is beneficial to us economically. We do miss this permanent long-lasting leadership that figurehead that we can look up to, a Royal family instead of an ever-changing body of ants in the House of Commons, ants that have lost the need to look after the Queen. Margaret Thatcher got that point very right when she remarked about being able to look up to someone who is there all the time and who knows more about the country than someone who just sits in a chair for 5 years and then counts their blessings. We need long-lasting responsible rulers instead of throw away governments that throw away our cash in useless investments and business decisions that throw away our autonomy along with it.

My remark of excess populations being used for wars of course clashes straightaway with anti-abortion campaigners who make big propaganda campaigns against restricting children. See this BBC article about a prominent US footballer.

I think it very much depends whether you are residing in a very large country with lots of space or an overcrowded inner-city with little space what your views about that are. I have seen such demos here in London though. I have also seen a lot of overcrowding. Of course the lady with the football star son has a very popular argument saying yes, but my child, that I was supposed to abort became a very talented super star. Even such arguments came up because a very popular composer, was it Bach or Beethoven, came for a poor large family and he brought lots of pleasure to the world over centuries.

I am not sure that such talent would only sprout in the circumstance of a poor large family or whether such talent would not have arisen in someone else. How individual is an individual and how much does talent depend on particular circumstance. Is the natural selection flexible or dependent on only one person and if that one person doesn’t get born, would the same talent appear in someone else. I suppose we can never find out this one? That is another reason to believe in God because science cannot answer all the questions.

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