Today’s feature story takes us across the pond where those innovative Brits are at it again. They have found another way to create poverty, the foundation of socialism. They just define it. They have just created yet another poverty measure. You probably think you know what poverty is. Most of us think that poverty represents having less income than you need to support a basic standard of living – you know cable TV with a 43 inch screen, a cell phone., and enough fast food to give you a hefty paunch. These days, it’s harder to understand since poor people get most everything free or subsidized thanks to the government. Still that’s the normal way to measure it. Well now in the UK you can doubly qualify for poverty. Poverty can mean you are too poor to buy your basic levels of goods and services but you can suffer energy poverty as well. Now this is an interesting concept because it no longer relates to a basic level of household usage. With the new Energy Poverty as defined in Britain, you are energy poor if you spend more than 10% of your yearly income on energy. They have taken socialism to a whole new level. This means that everybody can be energy poor-equal opportunity. Now even the Queen can be poor just like the layabout lad who’s time is just too valuable to waste on a job.. Since the British government has pledged to eliminate energy poverty by 2016, it quite likely means that Parliament will need to retrofit Buckingham Palace to keep the Queen out of poverty.
Those dotty Brits
It is the Brits , of course, and we haven’t seen eye to eye with them on taxes and the role of government for over 200 years. Still it is disturbing to see a government decide how much a household should spend on anything. It is strikingly similar to the Chinese policy that couples can have only one child. Maybe the Brits would take that one too but they’d probably be too scared to implement it on the new immigrants who still want to procreate. But I digress.
I guess the next question is what does the government intends to do to keep it’s pledge. They clearly need to establish a database for every household, capturing income and expenses. This shouldn’t be a problem for the Brits after socializing medical treatment, still it’s a major enterprise and will require the US government is taking to capture every American’s medical history. When that’s all done then the fun will start. What will the government do with households found to be in energy poverty.? There are so many options but they all have problems. First of all, some of those households live in houses that are too big, or too old and drafty. Maybe they move them to new government housing built to standards for family size and energy efficiency. Or maybe they move people around to equalize the space utilization. If your house is too big for your household, then move in another household to make it better. Or maybe they scaled your income to your house or the other way around. The mind boggles at the options.
Even the socialized Brits might argue with some of those ideas so perhaps a better approach is just to ration energy. You get so much for your household and then the meter cuts off. It if gets too cold, then you have an incentive to fix it by increasing your household size or demolishing part of your house. I don’t think it would take long for demonstrations demanding that the government solve this problem though and then you could go back to plan A.
Still, it’s an interesting concept so long as your goal is to drag everyone down to subsistence level. I for one, am eager to learn how our socialist cousins across the pond work this all out and especially how this might fit with the plans of the European government. Maybe the Germans would pay for it just like they do for the Greeks. It’s a complicated process for all the government layers but it will sure simplify life for the rank and file Brits, maybe even the Queen. Still, my hat is off to those creative Brits always looking for a new way to advance socialism.