Turn off the TV and open the window. Listen carefully. Can you hear it? That noise, that great sucking sound is money flowing out of this country. Now, you won’t have access to it, but I subscribe to a very useful service that shows me the capital flows between countries. What I mean by that is it shows where the money is going. And it is flooding out of Europe and the UK, and has been for some time.
This country is sick, but let me explain why you don’t see it. When my dad was ill with cancer, he was put on a course of steroids. “This is the best I’ve felt in ages,” he said to me. He still had cancer, but the steroids masked the symptoms……for a while. This country is coming towards the end of its course of steroids, with a stock market that hasn’t beaten the highs of ten years ago, a dying industrial base and a service sector dependent on a healthy world economy.
Unfortunately, the world economy isn’t healthy. The Baltic Dry index, an assessment of the price of moving major raw materials by sea, is at its lowest level for years. China is slowing, France is a basket case, Germany probably just signed its economic death warrant by taking in almost a million refugees (a very noble and selfless act though) and the banks are in trouble again. Oh, shall I mention the countries debt……no better not, this isn’t supposed to be a horror movie. But walk down any high street and tell me you don’t see a blizzard of commercial to let signs still.
And no, I’m not trying to depress you, and believe it or not I’m an optimist. But in my dictionary, an optimist is someone who hopes for the best but plans for the worst. And if the people I listen to are right (mainly Martin Armstrong to be fair, but there are others) then we are in for a bumpy ride. And it means some not so pleasant times for this country over the next few years. Because governments ALWAYS repeat the mistakes from history. Right now, the government is trying to raise tax revenue, forgetting the more they tax the more they actually dampen the economy. OK, they are hitting the outliers first, like pensions and stealth taxes, but think of all the retirement funds that have seen no growth over the last 8 years, who had had to invest in riskier and riskier investments just to get some kind of return. The prudent have been punished for the actions of the imprudent. But it’s only a matter of time before they really start squeezing. That’s what all this talk of moving away from a cash economy is about. They want to know where every penny is so they can tax it, milk it and tip you upside down until your pockets are well and truly empty. Then they will want your trousers.
I challenge you, right now, to do a SWOT analysis of your finances, right now. Not tomorrow, not next Tuesday, right now. Do it, I can wait.
I know most of you didn’t do it by the way, because we always like to follow the easy path. Hell, I do that all the time. But whilst it’s easy at first, it soon turns to misery. It’s easy to sit on the couch and eat Cheeto’s. It’s easy to go to the pub instead of going to the gym. It’s easy to buy that car on finance rather than saving up for it. Just watch the film “The Big Short” to see where easy gets you. None of the banks that brought the world’s economy to its knees were punished, none of the bankers were put in prison. They were bailed out with trillions of dollars of the people’s money because it was easy, it was easy to protect the status quo that almost destroyed the western financial system. And now in America we have politicians saying they will “sort out the bankers” whilst accepting millions in campaign funds. It says something that a man like Trump can be so popular, simply because he is not seen as being an establishment figure. In times of hardship, people vote for the extremes. And we have the return of liar loans. History repeats itself. Hell we are making the same mistakes the Romans made.
But that’s not why I called this the “dying empire”. It is dying because the rule of law is being used to oppress you. Rules, guidelines, regulations and diktats are being dropped on you from a great height. They are there for one reason only, to control you. To control you and to oppress you if you choose to stand up against the torrent of shit that is flowing on our heads day in day out. People realise that regulation only applies to those who are regulated, that the law has gaping holes in it that they can drive a convoy of illegal whitening products throug.h
Taxes, fines and levies are thrown at us daily, and the cost of living in the country gets ever more oppressive, by both government and companies that have sold their soul for the Queens Shilling. And I could make this a tirade about parking fines, booking fees, rail costs and the price of a cup of tea in an airport. I could make it about poor customer service, broken roads, jobsworths and lawyers suing you left right and centre. But I will concentrate on one thing, Dentistry. Dentistry is presently consuming itself. There is a growing trend for dentists to slag other dentists off, either because they think they are better or because they see some kind of financial gain. This is a reprehensible practice, and it often backfires. Because patients are smart, and some learn to spot a gravy train when they see it. If they can sue one dentist, why not the next.
Why are we attacking each other? Why are we either slagging each other off in front of patients or stabbing each other in the back on social media or by anonymous complaints to the GDC? If there is a legitimate cause for concern, then there are proper channels to go through, channels that work. Everyone complains about the GDC, but much of the problem with them has been caused by us. By our own lack of integrity, by our own inflated Ego’s, by our self-importance and our inability to remember that out opinion is just that, AN OPINION, one of many, and not the word of God.
And our countries professional regulators are caught up in all this. It’s not just the GDC, it’s everyone. Sometimes the regulators get it right, sometimes they don’t. And when they don’t businesses and lives get ruined. People sometimes even kill themselves if you look at the research done on the suicide rate of medics undergoing GMC investigation. Why on earth would a professional want to contribute towards THAT. Yes, I know there is the duty of CANDOR and the duty to whistle blow, but as I said, there are legitimate ways and means to deal with poor performance that don’t entail massaging ones ego or swelling ones bank account.
And some of you actually seem to want to potentially ruin another dentist’s life so you can get a few more pennies??? For f*cks sake, just stop it. Because dentistry is already starting to consume itself, and the end result of this will not be pretty.