Alexander Nekrassov writes: Here’s something that no mainstream economist would ever dare suggest: why not ask the criminal underworld to help sort out the British economy?
Yeah, sure, some people might object to this as morally wrong but let me ask them this: is it morally right to allow bankers to get away with daylight robbery and let licensed loan sharks charge astronomical interest rates while politicians misuse taxpayers money on stupid stunts and gimmicks and wars abroad? So let’s agree to keep morality out of modern economics, especially as it’s got nothing to do with decency or equality or common sense.
Right, so this is how it will work in practice: Chancellor George Osborne, who acts as the fixer for PM David Cameron in his dealing with the banks, will host a high level meeting in the basement of 11 Downing Street of all the big mobsters who, as the latest figures show, control the black economy with an annual turnover of more than £120 billion and growing. On this basis we may assume that these guys and girls – yes, some of the big names in the criminal underworld are women – are serious players and must be doing something right if their ‘businesses’ go from strength to strength.
At that historical meeting Mr Osborne will make an offer to the mobsters that they can basically refuse, but would be stupid to do so as it may give them a chance to go legit. Mind you, being astute businessmen the criminal godfathers and godmothers may have their reservations about dealing with this Tory government, as it has been coming up with some pretty dodgy scheme and privatising state-owned assets at a huge loss, not to mention going back on its promises. But let’s assume that on this occasion Mr Osborne would be told of the possible consequences of breaking his promises. (‘We ain’t some punk voters, George,’ I can just imagine Big Jake the Hammer Drill telling the Chancellor, with the approving nods of the others. ‘We’s gonna hurt you bad, George, if you’s betrays us.’)
So what could come out of this arrangement, you may wonder. Well, for starters, a deal might be struck that all counterfeit goods, including booze and tobacco, would become legit, with a tax slapped on them that would put a few billion quid in the government’s coffers annually. Protection rackets and illegal loan sharking operations that make a healthy profit each year would have to be taxed too, but in return would get licences and compete with banks, credit card companies and payday loan firms. Extortion rackets would be turned into ‘consultancies’ that would ‘persuade’ banks to lend money to businesses and not gamble it away on dodgy get-rich-quick deals on the markets. This last one would be an important part of bringing on the real recovery, as banks these days work against the economy and need to be handled by like-minded people who think and act in similar ways to them.
Illegal betting syndicates that make an absolute fortune these days would be asked to contribute to the economy as well, in return for relaxed regulations on investing their money into licensed gambling operations. These syndicates that are run by people with strong links to sport could also help introduce some sort of financial sense into professional football which seems to be in debt all the time, paying well below in tax than it should. Not to mention that illegal bookies know a lot about dope and performance enhancing drugs and could be asked to police all sports across the board.
Big money making groups like drug cartels could be asked to lend money to the government, for reasonable interest, and in return get some heat off them, even though the squeamish would probably say that it amounts to rewarding criminals for their evil deeds. To which I will say this: well how about allowing bankers who have bankrupted the nation to a crisp get billions in bonuses? Doesn’t that amount to rewarding criminals as well?
Need I say that prostitution rings that currently pay nothing in tax could be asked to contribute to the recovery effort and in return get all sorts of perks, including better locations for bordellos, a softer treatment by the authorities and the police and, in certain cases knighthoods and other honours for pimps. In fact, knighthoods should be offered to all the mobsters who take part in the scheme, as it they would not really be all that different from the many people who were getting them in the past.
Finally, if someone objects too much to such a development let us remind them that it was Queen Elizabeth I who struck a deal with the English pirates and paid off all of Britain’s debts with that money, laying the foundations of the British Empire. So it’s not like George and the gang would be doing anything out of the ordinary.