As you will recall, dear reader, I won a trip to London , as well as Paris. My London excursions were fun, interesting and informative. I’ll include several of my personal photos for you to Enjoy! I can recommend at least 2 Restaurants: The Cote near the Theater ” The Play that Goes Wrong”, a hoot!, part Monty Python and Agatha Christie. The restaurant, Red Fort , was a lovely, reasonable Indian Restaurant, quite authentic. My accommodations at 45 Park Lane were 5 star, typical of the area; a study in contrasts: the Uber wealthy with a Winter Wonderland available to those who could not afford the price of a Ferris Wheel. Luckily, the Winter Wonderland, closed during the first week of January and the Middle Class could afford to look away and not spend their last Pounds!
During the Christmas season, the Brits go into debt, they can ill afford, to provide the customary presents to their families. The Banner on the BBC read: Britons in debt to pay for Holidays. Against a back drop of unemployment and underemployment, 6 million more Brits went into debt to pay for Christmas necessities! The Middle Class is being asked to seek counseling to curtail their debt, but even with increasing awareness of their debt burden, it is becoming harder for Brits and Parisians to just say NO! The older Middle Class is becoming increasingly responsible for “helping” their children and their children’s children, as the Middle Class Globally sinks into poverty. There is no way to stop the borrowing, since the available jobs in hospitality, retail and services are being split among the poor and homeless from other European and Baltic Nations.
To counter their existing debt, England is now allowing the Middle Class pensioners to “dip into their Pensions”, without a tax penalty. Let’s hope we don’t follow them in this folly. Since most Middle Class folks are part of the working poor in England , a new ruling let’s ordinary pensioners cash in their pensions and manage their retirement nest egg themselves. Otherwise, they could seek the advice of an ” informed” money manager, with “good ” intentions, but no fiduciary responsibility.
If England continues to sanction this scheme, you will have an elderly population totally depleted of funds and back in debt with a loss of all assets. Hardly a brilliant idea when the working poor already need a helping hand. Britain not only supports it’s own population, it is now supporting the young kids from Italy, Spain and Latvia. We haven’t seen a ” real working Brit” yet in retail or Hospitality?
Hyde Park, where I stayed at 45 Park Lane provides great Customer Service via it’s “imported ” staff. It is situated in the most expensive area of London, similar to 5 th Avenue in NEW YORK , but perhaps more expensive , the price of housing/ brownstones or “flats” is $20 million Pounds on average. That’s around $30 Million per residence. While the Middle Class can’t afford to ride the Ferris wheel in the Winter Wonderland Park across from our hotel. When I asked the tour bus operator if this was true. His statement , says it all, Power is in the hands of the elderly and the young don’t vote. A truth, a universal western truth? Why, the youth have more to lose then the elderly? We’ve got 20 yrs? They’ve got 50. Someone has to show the young how to raise their voices in unison, against this State of Inequality that no one can accept, if not now, when? The longer it takes to make progress on voting on the local and community and “state” levels, the longer it takes to create Balance in an unequal system. Today, the Bank of England acknowledged that central Bankers can only provide Quantitative Easing, it was up to Industry and Government to provide the Stimulus for jobs. We’ve heard that before! The same dilemmas and the same messages are circling the Globe.
Globalization has taken over London too! The older antique shops and pubs have largely disappeared replaced by Pret a Manger and Starbucks. All the shops were familiar , too familiar, like walking on the upper west side of NYC or Madison or 5 th. Globalization is US. The same Corporations given tax breaks at home, have set up shop in Europe. We have become a global mall
We have similar consumer Global products and similar financial ills: as the fiscal crisis we created in 2008 continues unabated. It’s easier to bemoan our fate, then to create sensible Bank and fiscal regulation. Why create jobs when you can continue to impoverish 50% of the Globe without any consequence? Why Indeed? It’s Ok to be out raged, it’s appropriate to react to inequality. It’s not appropriate to be a “ZOMBIE”!