Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Birthday present based growth policy.

As today the first day of the Meteorological Spring is here today, here's a little financial options ditty for you, bearing in mind that wings are low delta options as well as flight devices.

Spring has sprung and stocks have riz
I wonder where the black swan is
They say the swan is on the wing
But that's absurd
The wing is on black swan.

Today I have another birthday, though they are fairly irrelevant now as one really doesn't want to count them anymore and the sort of things you are given as presents are never life changing as far as comparative wealth goes. When you were a child, birthdays and Christmases were like Goldman Sachs bonus days. They were 99% of your annual income. Nowadays, though delightful to recieve kind gifts, they fit into a limited set of catagories.

1) It's an essential you would have bought for yourself anyway and so just dissolves into the piles of everyday life - clothing mostly.
2) It's a thing for doing something you don't do.
3) You can drink it or eat it - always a result.
4) It's something you really wanted but it was far too expensive for you to buy, so your partner has bought you something very similar, but not quite right, with money out of the joint account anyway. Which is an emotional gordian knot.
5) It's brilliant, brilliant present, WOW.

[For sake of disclosure and not to appear a whinging old git, I hereby declare that I have received a catagory 5 present this year and for further disclosure it was a piece of offspring designed and made garden furniture]

But unfortunately most of the world's presents are confined to drawers, boxes, garages, charity boxes and bins. Although you may think this is gender biased, with me refering to boys' toys of torches, tools, mini remote controlled drones, wires and things for taking the foil off wine bottles (does anyone use those in private?), I only have to look in our cupboards to realise that flavoured cooking oil and hand creams are the gift currency of wives and my wife must be very well liked. I have just counted 16 different bottles of flavoured olive, rapeseed, sesame, [insert name of any nut here] oil in one cupboard alone.

But there is a point to all this. All the rubbish we give each other contributes to the economy. It may not be efficient and it may be wasteful but then so are many of the policies, both fiscal and monetary, that are devised for stumulating growth. And growth is what we need because we have all borrowed or leant to each other on the future to pay for the now.  We need to know that the value of the future is enough to balance us up.  We are effectively stuck in our own Ponzi scheme and the solutions being proposed are more and more absurd. Here, your honour, I call NIRP as witness for the prosecution.

I have long thought the world needs to invent/ discover/ become entranced with a so far unknown product that we all desire, takes lots of man hours to produce and would work our socks off to aquire. TV's, cars and smart phones have practically run their course as consumer essential global stimulants. If we are desperate for growth then the Keynsian idea of digging holes and filling them in again could be applied to goods in general and idea of Birthday gifts could be extended. I am of course being flippant with this suggestion but if the world was to introduce more present giving days to the year then the demand for unneccesary consumption would rocket as otherwise unwanted goods are purchased and given as drawer stuffing rubbish to others. Just look at the boost Christmas gives to western economies. If birthdays were introduced monthly instead of annually and present giving enforced, 12 times a year you would have to buy presents (we could set a minimum value) to all immediate family thus increasing demand. It's a form of compulsory money circulation and manufacturers, retailers, recyclers, (and chest of drawer makers) would flourish. A side effect would be that it would be a disincentive to having copious amounts of children. A form of negative child benefit as parenets are forced to fill their already overflowing homes with more pink plastic bleeping rubbish.

Just a thought.

Right, I'm off to do my birthday bit for the French economy by consuming too much of their most famous of Bordeaux exports.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!