Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Capitalism and Punishment

Winston Churchill once said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings: the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries” and, despite more than a fifty year interval, capitalist principals continue to force feed financial misery to the masses while our corporate and banking elite remain free to enjoy, and retain, the blessings of bailouts, rescue packages and sweet heart tax deals designed exclusively for their benefit. 
One might have thought embracing capitalism would provide the freedom to fail as well as the freedom to suceed but it appears the favoured few have remained remarkably unhampered by their failures and their bad decisions have instead achieved freedom from consequence via the government supported socialising of their losses.  In contrast I, not unlike the banks, but an individual with an unrecoverable deficit void of asset backing, continue to be on the receiving end of a “holier than thou” attitude towards a hand I have been dealt as a direct result of flawed banking risk management policies which saw many of the world’s largest banks run out of money in 2008.

Since then, with only the aid a few charitable hours of CAB time and the help of my trusty friend Christine, I have endeavoured to explain my impoverished circumstances to all our creditors. I have explained over and over again my husband’s vulnerable state of mind has resulted in a low paid job which leaves us nothing to offer towards the repayment of our million pound deficit and repeatedly described the enormous strain constant requests for money have had on our health, our marriage and our children’s family life. Our creditors should be in no doubt that their balances are unrecoverable, not least, because each and every letter has been supported with both financial and medical evidence.

For the past three and a half years I have borne the anxiety of our ordeals alone. I have done this in the knowledge that suicide was never far from my husband’s mind when the burden was his.  Compelled to do everything within my power to prevent my youngest three children enduring the loss of a father in an identical manner to that which their older sisters suffered more than twenty years ago I have, inch by inch, with the help of family, friends and nothing short of huge personal resolve, pieced together a modest lifestyle and a supportive family environment against all the odds.

Year in and year out I have dutifully and covertly prepared financial statements and medical reports for our creditor’s perusal far from sight of my husband’s glancing eye. With each creditors update I always enclose an appeal for a compassionate write off in the light of our unchanged circumstances. This year, however, there has been one fundamental difference to the content of this message of misery because, to my immense joy, not to mention unbridled relief, our most recent medical report states my husband is no longer contemplating taking his own life.

Despite the obvious benefits of this news to me and my children, the Financial Ombudsman’s Service now tell me it is precisely because of the improvement in my husband’s health that Lloyds TSB are now unwilling to consider debt forgiveness at all. After three long years of living with the fear of an intolerable outcome, I am now told Lloyds TSB are looking for a less uplifting change in my husband’s health to be able to reconsidered my family and I for a share in the blessings that came only their way in recent years and not mine.
Unlike Lloyds TSB’s own chief executive, Antonio Horta Osorio, it appears I am destined to enjoy no respite from debt fighting stress. There will be no government bailouts for me nor will there be time off to catch up on my disturbed and troubled sleep. It appears the only hope of freedom from the misery of capitalism’s failures for me is in the unpalatable event of my husband’s demise.
American philosopher Henry David Thoreau once said, “The price of anything is the amount of life you are prepared to exchange for it”, and I was recently shocked to hear that in China a seventeen year old boy’s kidney was the going rate of exchange for an ipad and an iphone.  I am, however, nothing short of astounded to discover that in the UK, the going rate of exchange for £25,000 of unsecured Lloyds credit card debt is no less than the life of a forty six year old family man. Sadly, I cannot see any amount of tightening of the regulatory screws will ever address this.


  1. Capitalism, like the other isms, believes in "The devil takes the hindmost".

    I know I'm boringly repetitive but till we find a means to curb human greed or at least limit it socioeconomic injustice will continue.

    1. I think it is me that is boringly repetive but sadly nothing seems to change. Couldn't agree more on the human greed point. I think a starting point would be to make individuals within corporations accountable instead of allowing the corporate cleansing machines to repeatedly absolved offenders of their sins. I hastened to add I have no idea how to achieve this!

  2. Sorry Christine time for him to go loopy again its just plain daft but maybe thats the way forward I had today my neighbours visited by the equivalent of Baliffs for Im told a £35k debt which in the grand scheme of things isnt bad apart from the fact they trusted their son to use their property for his deals. I dont know if they are cream crackered but it did help the baliff said we shall wait till he comes home in his car.... he has been blind for 30 years!!!