Saturday 2 July 2016

How the World Economy is Failing - My Personal Experience

On Thursday at 1am, I finished my last shift at the company I worked for and I am now officially unemployed. I'm in pretty good spirits as I did the job to a high standard, I saved as much as I could and I'm glad I don't have do anymore 12 hour shifts, ohhh and this weekend I get off, my first for the year. But I have been exposed to a few different views of just how bad the world economy is.

A few weeks ago the owner of the company came in and we had a chat for about 10 minutes. He told me that he had no choice but to send our jobs overseas as everyone else (meaning the other companies in the industry) had done it and he couldn't compete. Now a call centre operation was started in Indonesia late last year and it took the workload off us at a time when we desperately needed it. But of course the sirens call of cheap labour can only be held off for so long I guess. Having worked with the call centre for over 6 months I can say some of them are very good and others are really not. When I say really not, I mean they technically speak English but in reality they cannot understand anything more complex then very simple instructions. Most native English speakers have had this conversation with someone who technically speaks English, "Yes, yes, yes, Sir I understand". Which you come to realise really means I have no idea what you are talking about, but I don't want to upset you and I desperately want to end this conversation.

What was also interesting was how the Security Guards, 90% Indians and Muslims, I spoke to hated talking to the "Chinese people" as they called them. They could not understand each others accents, they couldn't provide instructions or information and they showed very little initiative. So why am I unemployed and they aren't?

Well in that conversation with the owner of the company he told me two things I didn't know. He told me that it cost about 1/5th to pay them than I was paid and in Indonesia that was a decent wage. He also told me that they could hire white people to work at the call centre, in Asia!

He said to me "I don't know how they do it, I guess the cost of living is so low they can live like Kings". So now we are in a situation where white collar office jobs are being exported to Asia so that whites can go there and work for good money by Asian standards but with no hope of being able to live a life of any standard back in their own country!

Later that Thursday I went to the bank, I took some money out and just before I left the Bank Teller asked me if there was anything else I required. I said yes I want to know what this payment is in my account. I handed my bankbook back to the Teller and he involuntarily snickered as he read the amount, I did the same when I saw it. He replied "It's your interest", I received 45 cents Interest on an account they charge me $7 a month in fees. It's absurd, I then asked what the Interest rate was and he said "I can find out for you", I said "Yes please". A few moments later he asked me if I would like to go behind the counter and read for myself the Interest rate, it was obvious that he was too embarrassed to say it out loud. I went behind the counter and there on the computer screen was the Interest rate, 0.01%!

So now I am in the bizarre situation where I am paying the bank to look after my money. I admit I do not have a Banking Degree or even a Bankster Degree, but it does strike me as being the opposite of what Banking is all about. You know where you put money in the bank and the Bank lends it out and you get Interest in return. But in Australia (and I'm sure many other Western countries), you cannot get a wage or any Government benefit without a Bank account, so my first instinct which is to close my account means I have find another Bank to put it in. Will the new Crook be better or worse than the old Crook?

This is the second time the Global Financial Crisis has got me, the first time I lost my job back in 2009, now it is destroying my savings because to keep financing the massive debt around the world, Interest rates have been pushed lower and lower. What next, just how many rabbits are in the hat? How far away are we from a Depression? And what happens then? This is not going to end well at all.

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1 comment:

  1. The old paradigms of economic growth just don't work anymore.

    Low or non-existent interest were seen as a means of stimulating growth. NOW zero interest rates but little if any growth. So what now?