The Micawber Principle

Micawber’s quote:

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six. Result happiness.

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six. Result misery.”

How true this seems to be of the world right now. Japan has released a statement saying it is not far from the abyss of unmanageable debt, following Spain, Portugal and Greece (ad infinitum)

My query is: who do they owe this money to? And what happens when a country doesn’t repay its debt? I’m assuming some hard-line bankers who are responsible for global recession are the main lenders who are keeping many countries under the thumb of repayments and that they will not cancel interest repayment. So where does the money come from??! And who do we owe it to?! And what happens if we can’t pay?

Do they send in the bailiffs?

Can you imagine?!

“Come on Japan, open up. You’ve had a red bill 6 months ago, and we’ve sent several reminder letters since then.”

“Come on guys, be reasonable. We can’t pay you. Korea owes us, and I can’t pay you until they pay us. Plus, we thought we had a deal coming through with America, but they went back on the deal. We’ve got old people to support. Who would have thought we’d all live so long? We made a miscalculation with how much we needed to keep the oldies going. Plus, we had an earthquake, and that really set us on the back foot. It’s been nothing but misery.”

“Yeah, yeah. We’ve heard this story before. Everyone’s got a sob story. Now pay up.”

“But I haven’t anything to give you.”

So… you’ve got two options, borrow from some unscrupulous lender, like Zimbabwe or something, who’ll menace you and break your kneecaps if you don’t pay them back, or the lenders will send in the bailiffs to sell off your assets.

Maybe Japan could have a car-boot-style sale and sell off national treasures? I for one would buy Matsumoto Castle if it came onto the market. Perhaps they could start selling stuff on ebay to make up the cash?

I jest, slightly, but Bury Council sold off a Turner to make money. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The problem is, private companies then reap dividends from being able to buy up public property – and capitalism triumphs. Our national treasures are taken away from those who want to see them, and we’re all forced to pay-to-view. The poor man is the loser, as culture is lost to the wealthy.

Someone, somewhere, needs to make the Micawber Principle the global motto, for everyone.

On a sad note, I’m going to stop being a Times online viewer, since they’re now charging for the site’s comments. It’ll be a terrible diet of The Telegraph, FT and the BBC website. I hate this. I like the populist paper. I know I’m a left-wing liberal child, and reading The Telegraph is like a devout Christian reading the works of Aleister Crowley, but I can’t stand The Guardian. I’m just not that kind of left wing liberal.

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