I may be a little ahead of Tom Gruchy here in blogging on Richard Murphy's Plan B for Jersey (videos at bottom of page), but I wanted to give it a critical analysis from a Libertarian viewpoint. Unlike many in Jersey, I recognise that Richard is an astute and able accountant and is certainly an effective 'expert' but fundamentally he believes in government. I have no doubt that his analysis of the viewpoint of the European Union and what they intend to do is correct, but I think that for now they have other things on their minds. I would also fully accept his analysis of the political intentions of Jersey, but I do not believe that the government of Jersey is solely to support the finance industry, what you have to remember is that the civil service makes up 43% of the workforce, all of whom are paid by the finance industry. All the pensions and benefits, all the services. Jersey is locked into a financial Armageddon which even if nothing else hits, will result in complete bankruptcy for the States by 2020. The pensions time bomb is burning and the fuse is getting shorter by the day.
I believe our government is solely concerned with its own survival and I firmly believe that it is not going to survive. The entire Western financial system is in a meltdown of its own and countries round the world are printing money to pay for services, a privilege that Jersey does not have. When the balance of power shifts from we Anglo-Americans, what then for Jersey?
Make no mistake it would not be possible for the banks here to operate as they do without the full knowledge and support of external governments but fortunately the US is in charge, for now.
When that ceases to be the case who will pay for all the civil servants? No one they will leave. Will the Chinese and Indian banks move to Jersey rather than their own offshore centres? Not likely.
The expectations of growth will not be met, the expenditure will continue to rise as hyper inflation hits and so the question just remains, how long before the UK government is called in to clean up the economic disaster, yet again?
Government ultimately is the problem.
Unfortunately Richard and those of his ideology simply do not recognise that there is a limit to how many people any country can have idle. Whilst we, like the United States and Western Europe, have gotten fat and lazy living off the backs of the poorer nations around the world. The incompetent and corrupt have retained power by giving candy to those who would remain children. That is the inevitable legacy of seventy years of Socialism.
Richard is right though he talks about what assets Jersey does have, but he does not accurately describe them. It is not our knowledge of how to process financial transactions which will likely be the future. It is the same assets we have always had, it is our natural environment, one which we have struggled to maintain against over-development.
When the finance industry withdraws and the civil servants leave, our environment will remain. With the inevitable plummet in house prices, cost of living and wages that will ensue, we can go back to being what we are a small and insignificant island that it is nice to spend a week on. The market will re-assert itself and Jersey's place within that market will be restored, as long as we go back to no GST and low duties, as long as we go back to limited government.
There is going to be a lot of pain for a lot of Jersey people - those who have not prepared for what is to come. It is not the end though, just a new beginning.
Richard Murphy's Plan B