As has been said before, the UK no longer makes anything, builds anything or sells anything tangible. The decline in industrial production has resulted in an overall decline in employment of industrial workers, who have not been aided by a failing system to transition to other work.
Some would say that the changes occurring in the UK, at this time with the increased importance of service industry work and intelligence rather than physical labor employment is a natural byproduct of globalization and an evolutionary product of the next phase as a "developed" nation.
They evidence this by observing that all developed nations are leaning in this direction. Yet, the transition has not and will not be easy, whether it is normal or not, a point which remains to be proven.
With the education system in the UK in serious need of reform to reflect the changing needs of the country, and her people there is little hope for this generation. Though some would say that education is a social issue the connection between education and industry has been highly honed throughout history in the western world. Compulsory education is a way not only to create better civic citizens but it is a way to bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood industry. Yet, the higher education system and the poor apprenticeship programs in the UK are not conforming as quickly as the industry is changing.
Leathwood and Hayton) Which will in turn increase the unemployment rates, illicit behaviors and general unrest in the nation. There are several bullet points in the basis of this work that have been outlined below and they are:
Poor general education Standards, poor apprenticeship System
Manufacturing now only a small and decreasing part of GDP, with productivity below that of France, Germany,
Scandinavia despite longer working hours in UK
Lower Standards of worker protection and lower labour costs in UK are NOT leading to lower prices for British goods
Balance of payments - massive deficit and rising
North Sea oil production peaking
Poor infrastructure - railways, roads etc.
Poor long-term Investment over many years
The decline of the productivity of the UK is probably of the greatest concern after education and economic transition, as the attempted observation of many humanitarian labor goals have attempted to be met by the UK. Standards for employment that ar enot seen in other places and a huge part of the foundational ideals of a nation built, sadly upon the backs of very low paid, and under served masses of individuals all over the Empire, as it where, as is also commonly known a major player in the slave trade and use. The mid twentieth century, with its many independence-seeking nations, who were still under the infrastructural and nominal control of the UK, led to a greater awareness of the historical significance of unfair labor practices among the UK's people not to mention the immigrants from these very nations achieving freedom.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the United Kingdom I boasted the highest economic output per capita of any nation in the world, and its material standards of living were without equal. Ever since then, it has gradually lost ground. It now ranks bottom of the league of G7 countries, trailing the leader, the United States, by 30%
Lovegrove et al. 44)
With that in mind the UK has also seen a steady decline in productivity that many would place squarely on the back of fair labor practices, yet is this a fair assumption?
A significant study on the subject says that no, this is not the root of the problem, rather the root of the problem is lack of exposure ot best practices and a low competitive intensity.
The reasons often cited for poor performance, such as low capital investment and poor skills, are consequences of these factors. Lack of exposure to global best practices and low competitive intensity are often the result of product market barriers such as trade restrictions, price constraints, and land use regulations. In some cases, these barriers constrain competition and so limit the pressure on management to adopt global best practices. In others, they prevent the implementation of best practices or render it uneconomic.
Lovegrove et al. 44)
What is true is that many developed economically sound nations have adapted their restrictions on social and labor issues to better meet the need of the market economy. Now this is not to say that we should abandon the laws that govern the legitimate social objectives of the nation but that we should readdress them to help create better ones.
According to one study: Replacing them with more market-friendly alternatives could boost GDP growth by more than a full percentage point a year over the next ten years.
(Lovegrove et al. 44) This should not have begun at lowered standards of worker protection, as it has, it should begin with a reevaluation of broader concepts that limit production and profitability of industry. Doing so would answer many of the other problems associated with economic and social issues, and would also possibly lead to a reduction in the mass industrial exodus from a nation founded and created by industrialization, with a strong work ethic and a blue blood mentality. (Ostrom and Schroeder)
As has been mentioned previously, credit card debt for consumers in the UK is at an all time high and yet few everyday people really understand what is at stake. A clue should be derived from the fact that it appears so often in any discussion of decline, as an important factor worth regarding. In fact many would say it was a national crisis, and still many more, especially those who get fat off the interest and fees paid by consumers would deny such a charge. We can clearly agree that past labor practices associated with the lending of credit to workers, far exceeding labor ability at high interest in exchange for labor was a way in which many corporate entities in the past have sapped profit from the labor of others. Yet, when it comes to the plastic most people do not see the significance of the problem, they see it as a temporary fix to a poorly balanced work to pay schedule, and the like, yet they do not understand the full impact of the payment system and with best intentions aside they rarely meet their initial goals with regard to balance or making payments above the minimum.
Many consumers value uncollateralized credit lines for making purchases when they are illiquid (i.e., before their incomes arrive), even at relatively high interest rates. Because few alternatives to short-term uncollateralized credit exist, the demand for such credit may be fairly inelastic with respect to price (Brito and Hartley 1995). Ausubel (1991) suggests that consumers may not even consider the interest rate when making purchases because they do not intend to borrow for an extended period when they make purchases. However, they may change their minds when the bill arrives.
Chakravorti and Emmons)
For these and many more reasons this problem takes the top billing in the list of general economic concerns in the UK. The statistic on credit card usage in the UK speaks for itself and begs for a great deal of research and scrutiny both by consumers and the society in genral.
75% of credit card borrowing in Europe is in UK - average personal debt level highest in Europe
Inflated house prices feeding living on credit
Balance of trade - see above Uncertainty about the € has negative effect on Investments and longer-term planning
Housing prices have also been a historical problem in the UK, since really the beginning of urbanization, with the industrial demands of the cities, far outweighing the available housing, yet with growth at a relatively low rate of increase it is hard to see how such prices can be held so high eternally. There is many a UK resident who would like to understand why it seems so much more fundamentally difficult for a young upwardly mobile professional to buy a home than it was for their even blue color parents, and why if this is the case, doe sit seem that the higher the prices for a house the stronger the economy?
A writer entertaining the thought of moving to a larger house had this to day about the possible reasons for the housing crunch. Though this may seem a simplistic answer, it was straight form the horses mouth, as they say.
According to an estate agent I spoke to the other day, the reason for the housing shortage is absurd. Estate agents go around telling people, for all I know truthfully, that the property from which they are hoping to move is incredibly saleable in the present market conditions. This is supposed to…