John Ward – Analysis: Neoliberal Consequences Explained Through The Media Of Car Hire And Flying – 3 January 2014

JohnWCheat and fire, cheat and fire, cheat and fire….on it goes; but there’s no such thing as society, so we shouldn’t really worry about it. Should we?

My car hire was advertised as £82 for five days. But when I turned up, the damage insurance was a further £95. And if one doesn’t take the insurance, then the customer exposure to cost is £600. It doesn’t say anything about that in the online ads.

Nor do Expedia tell you that, while one baggage piece for the hold is free, on the way back you get hit for forty quid….because it’s not free at all on the way back.

I was flying with Flybe (mainly because I’d rather do the wall of death in my underwear than fly Ryanair) and normally the staff are nice and helpful. But there are a lot less staff than there used to be. This is why you now have to check in yourself. To be more precise, you have to scan your passport at a robot kiosk, place your bag on the belt using a robot scanner, read the forbidden articles sheet on the robot screen, peel the back off a baggage tag spewed out by a vomiting robot, wait for your boarding pass plus receipt, and only when the robot says you can go airside should you do so.

That’s four jobs gone on one queue (line for our American readers) and ten lines at the checkin. 40 jobs at one small departure point for one airline in one small provincial airport. As for the customer, well there are three people where once there were forty to explain the screen syntax and generally WTF is going on. None of them were English this morning. We presumably had to let them immigrate because there are only three million people out of a job in the UK (double it if you’re real) and none of them are trained to help fellow human beings because they’re all Thatcher’s children. She must’ve had a bloody bike.

Here again we can see the awesome depth of consequential thought going into the future of the British economy and the civilisation it serves. The accountants and/or management consultants being used by Flybe are busy unemploying people in the name of efficiency, the only problem being that – while it may be efficient for the bottom line-obsessed shareholders and analysts, it is 90+% dysfunctional for social balance, equitable wealth gaps, the welfare budget, the Treasury tax take, and product consumption.

About the only ‘reason’ for this lunatic greed one might be able to dredge up would surely have to involve these selfish corporate institutions paying a ginormous amount of tax. But as we know, the average tax paid as a per cent of gross income by UK-based multinationals is around 30-60% less than individuals pay.

Right then, this is the plan.

We make consumers pay more than they expect for sh*t service, and fire as many of them as we can. This – plus stealing their tax money to undertake QE – ensures that they have the bigger and bigger disposable income we need to keep the neolibcapitalist growth powering ahead pointlessly, but when for some reason these idle buggers turn out to be broke, we offer them credit they can’t repay so they’ll be able to take more flights, hire more cars, buy more stuff, and ensure we have the redundancy budgets to fire even more people who then cost the taxpayers in work more money still. And if all else fails (as in, right now) we cheat the taxman to keep our margins up and give that to the shareholders too, and that keeps the stock market up…..unless some idiot starts QE tapering, at which point all the banks get into trouble, and the markets panic, and government bond borrowing costs rise….as do other interest rates. So, in the unlikely event of that happening, we rebrand bank customers as creditors, and steal their money.

It doesn’t work for me, but I’m sure it does for some people. Somewhere. / link to original article


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