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Is Britain becoming a “Paradise for Parasites”?

Most societies build their wealth from people producing things either in industry, construction or agriculture. But as societies develop, an ever-increasing army of people – bureaucrats, advisers, accountants, administrators, lawyers, politicians, consultants, brokers etc – realise they can get money for themselves while creating little to nothing of any true value for that society.

These people (parasites?) then indulge in what economists call ‘rent seeking’ – they find ways to pocket ever larger amounts of wealth for themselves – while those who still produce value see their numbers declining and their share of that society’s wealth either stagnant or even falling.

This seems to have been happening in Britain (click to see more clearly)

pyramid of parasites

There has been a decline in the numbers of people in manufacturing, construction and agriculture and their wages have been squeezed, while there has been a massive expansion in rent-seekers

parasites

We also see this in politics. In 1997, we had 650 MPs in Westminster. In spite of the fact that we keep on handing ever more power to the growing EU bureaucracy, we now still have the 650 Westminster MPs and, in addition, 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 108 Members of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland and 60 Welsh Assembly Members. And they all have armies of advisers, assistants, researchers and other hangers-on.

And it’s happening throughout the public sector – in the NHS, the number of managers has gone from 25,000 in 1997 to over 40,000 by 2010 while the number of hospital beds has fallen from 200,000 (8 beds per manager) in 1997 to around 140,000 today (3.5 beds per manager). The cost of energy ‘regulator’ Ofgem’s staff shot up from £18.6m just before the financial crash to around £32.6m today. While at Ofwat, the bureaucrats’ budget leapt from £11.5m in 2006/7 to about £18m.

The problem for our country is that these ‘rent-seekers’ siphon off vast amounts of money that could have been put to productive use. They make themselves ever richer while leaving the rest of us ever poorer.

Britain is truly becoming a  ‘Paradise for Parasites’.

7 comments to Is Britain becoming a “Paradise for Parasites”?

  • Paris Claims

    I don’t spend a lot of time watching quiz shows and the like on TV, but whenever they ask somebody’s occupation, nobody seems to do anything productive. They all work in a call centre or as an administrator. Nobody is a fitter or a welder.
    When the far East started gaining prominence in cheap manufactured (mainly crap quality) goods, we should have concentrated on top quality products.

  • right_writes

    I remember a couple of years ago watching Martin Durkin doing a documentary about the national debt.

    One of the most astounding things I heard from this programme, was that in 1909, the size of the government was around 10% of GDP… Currently running at something over 60% and rising.

    It is not possible to sustain this for ever.

  • Paris Claims

    http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/

    They should have an enormous screen in the H of C, H of L and every council office in the land of the above.

  • MGJ

    The single biggest parasite in this context is of course government, in its wider sense. Nothing short of catastrophic defeat in war seems capable of arresting its expansion regardless of the economic climate.

    Bill Bonner sums up governments’ raison d’etre as being “to transfer wealth from productive outsiders to unproductive insiders”.

  • Peter

    I am the Social Inclusion, Cohesion and Public Participation Management Co-ordinator Consultant and provide a valuable service to the NHS and can easily justify my £80k plus salary as I provide a valuable role to formulate strategies to increase social inclusion and ensure reflective practices and ideologies are put in place to harmonise workplace practices and educate people on the value of social change and the benefit thereof. Our society is richer for such posts and ensures that we are able to meet the challenges society will place upon us and these types of role will be here to stay and be more valuable as time marches on… LOL

  • Paris Claims

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-v1Ta_il94

    These people some manage to navigate life’s choppy waters without the state controlling every aspect of their lives, somehow.

  • John Fields

    Why do you not mention the extended Royal Family?

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