When I say 'worth', I mean that it has more buying power. It's a bit like our cheap internet connection, we have to share the bandwidth with more people so it gets slower.
Also the same with our electricity! Because we are an Island, and import a lot of our electric from France, when we all cook Sunday dinner the oven works slower, (because everyone has put too much load on the finite supply) and you have to wait ages for a saucepan to boil. You can't get a good flashroast, (so we put our joint on the barbeque). It doesn't cost any more, because the meter doesn't go round as fast! You just can't cook yorkshire puddings.
Anyway my answer to that is to cook a batch of 24 yorkshires on another day when I have the oven on high, like when I make a batch of bread, (A baking day) put them in the freezer and get out the 4 we need warmed up, it's cheaper than buying them, and you also need a high oven to cook off the bought ones.
I think in priciple you can do the same with roast potatos, I have never tried it. I can't imagine you can get them crispy enough, and even if I wanted to drop them in hot oil on the day to crisp them up, I doubt we could get the oil hot enough... and they don't taste the same.
So we either Barbeque the meat, or buy a slow roast joint and have new hand dug Jersey Royal potatos in season. They are beautiful. And you get a gorgeous gravy from a slow roast over root veggies and some celery.
I did explain in a previous post about fixing the price of oil and gas at $70 a barrel. This means that the energy costs for everyone are fixed and act as a 'governor' on the financial markets. This way quotas can be set for each country, and goods and services and technical expertise 'swapped' while all new investments are made in sustainable fuels like Hydrogen and Methane.
I would much rather have an old fashioned Rayburn or Aga style range running on Methane. We are not connected to gas, so I would get a tank put in next time my oil tank needs changing. I think it would work like using propane only better. Besides if we could produce it on the island from our waste, it would mean we are not so dependent on sourcing our fuels from the mainlands. As I mentioned before its compatible with natural gas, and can be simply added to the natural gas infrastructure. We would also use the by- product fertiliser as we are a farming community.
The guy who designed the Aga style cooker didn't get a Nobel prize for nothing! As we have a reasonably hot summer, I would run mine from October to March, and see if I can get permission to put some evacuated tubes somewhere discrete for our hot water. We might bath a bit more, rather than have a skimpy shower!
We have to get permission to put these tubes up because we have a listed building. We also have to have permission to put in a flue for a fire or Rayburn. I would choose a Rayburn or Stanley I think, because you can heat radiators and hot water off them better.
If you are on metered water, keep the plug in the bath and use the water to flush the loo! We aren't metered, just on a borehole so we have to treat our water with soda ash, and then it goes through an ultra violet chamber. Which all obviously costs money! The water we drink has to go through a reverse osmosis filter under the sink, which is why I don't need to buy bottled water. It doesn't fur up my iron either.
Besides the soap in the water keeps the copper sulphate deposits, and 'furring' off the loo and bath.
I make my own soap out of essential oils, olive oil, coconut, walnut oil, and all these seem to work together to keep the loo and the bath much cleaner than using bought stuff and it's fun having a chemistry day with my gloves on up to my elbows and a pair of goggles on. As this still has a tinsy bit of lye active, It also does a great job with a pedicure or manicure! Just use a litmus test if you are a bit dubious about it, or leave the soap to harden and cure for about 6 months.
Just remember all the mass produced shampoos, bath products, toiletries and clothes are made in China because its cheaper to buy them from there. If you get into buying these products from home producers, even if it's on the 'swapsie' home made market, you don't have to buy them from China. Then they don't have to 'burn the money' when they get it. Just because a product can be made cheaply somewhere else and shipped in, doesn't mean it's better value.
Remember they all contain Sodium Laurel Sulphate, so you get poisined and sick with them too!
It occurs to me that China has been agressively undercutting the production markets for years, so that people buy from them. Once the infrastructure and skill base is lost in countries who used to produce those goods you can bet they will put the prices up.
This I think has already happened, however it's backfired! As there is no longer any actual value in the currency they are being paid for their goods, as the countries they sell to are no longer producers.
They are soaking up the devalued currencies probably by escalating the inflation/devaluation of the currency in their own market. Or buying something like government bonds and losing out, just so they own a bit of that country too.
That means their own people are still paying for the devaluation of other people's currency because they have flooded the world market with cheap mass produced goods that are a huge drain on resouces, thereby becoming one of the major producers of carbon emmissions and toxic waste. So they are going to get their people sick. (Which means their drug companies will do well offering snake oil to get them better). No wonder they don't want to sign any emmissions regulations.
So the answer to the 'china syndrome 2' is to make soap at home. And take a dressmaking class. Get those beautiful fabric factories up and running again, and lets see some quality verses quantity in the clothing shops. I have a few vintage items in my wardrobe by major designers. The Roland Kline jacket is coming out this winter. I bought it in a sale for £15 about 20 years ago, it was marked down from about £150! I could probably sell it on a vintage site on e-bay for quite a bit. But of course I like the jacket, that's why I bought it, so I wont sell it.
The real value in a locally made product is how many people can be employed to make it, and how much they can be taxed to pay for social services.
We buy a lot of our food from our own farmers in farm shops, as this cuts out the stupidity of shipping our home grown stuff to the UK, having it packaged and priced and sent back to us, which is exactly what happens in our local supermarkets. This is 3 day old produce, that has also been chemically treated so it doesn't go off on the shelf! And we have to find somewhere to dump the plastic, and pay the costs of incinerating it in our lovely new incinerator that makes energy from waste.
Anyway a friend has just dropped in, so I am off to make coffee!
Back to local employment. Our government is waking up a bit more by the look of it. We have a lot of red tape regarding employment so it's difficult to actually employ someone. Unless you are a Bank!
All businesses in Jersey, have a quota of persons they are allowed to employ. So I guess there are businesses who can't expand who are doing ok. Its all a bit stupid really as these permits are supposed to protect our own Island people. However they got lazy! So we have been importing labour for years.
Just to give an example my last Hairdressing trainee left after 4 years. That's the cost to me for training, day release la.la..la... Then as all her friends out of a whole year at the day release college had left hairdressing she decided to as well.
Thats probably 150 people on a hairdressing course either full time... which are unemployable after full time college, or probably 50 on day release, who all cost their employers and the tax payer for putting them through this course. Now she is doing a child care course, when she actually goes to work in that for a year, she will probably want to do something else! This was the one that managed to spend £98 on her mobile phone when she was taken to England for 5 days on a training course.
I was chatting to one of our senators (Deputy actually, but that wouldn't mean anything to anyone else) a couple of months ago about this, and she said isn't it better to have these young people on some course rather than not doing anything? I said I didn't want my profession wrecked because the government wanted to massage the unemployment figures.
It's a loss to the taxpayer if they are on a course there is no job for at the end. All these that go on this course then do their friend's hair for some cash at home, so the actual businesses that have to be insured, regulated to the eyeballs, and offer permanent contracts are being undercut. (sorry its a Hairdresser pun).
That's why the salons don't see the point of the full time students, as they are unemployable anyway. They don't have salon culture or stamena, and think they can walk in and take over a time served senior stylist role, before they can stand on their feet for more than half an hour a day.
I would rather see them on a full time supplimentary course to improve their basic literacy as most of my trainees over the last 15 years needed maths and english coaching from me. Then a course offered that filled a definate gap in employable skills in the curent marketplace. Bit like henry Ford... any colour so long as it's black!
Anyway, it's prety obvious at 14/15 if a child has the capacity to go on to further academic education. Better to be teaching skills from then on so they can get a job in industry,building, and manual tasks. Oh... sorry, the Chinese make all that stuff these days!
Is it not time to bring back indentures? If the little darlings want to swap and change this should not be at the taxpayers or the business' expense. She was a good Hairdresser, and if she realy did apply herself could have had a very good career.
Woe betide an employer these days if you want to discipline your staff, they are straight off down the employment tribunal to see if they can sue you for something. You have to have a paper trail 6 months long to show someone is not a good employee, can't do their job, and is a liability.
In the old days it was a question of if you still had your job as there were plenty of people after yours. We had to be the best to keep our jobs. A top salon charging top prices needed top stylists, and we got more in tips back then than wages, and we were happy. Nowadays you are lucky to get tipped.
I remember two girls doing business studies for their GCSEs coming into my salon about 12 years ago, and asking me if I would do a SWOT with them. I love this sort of thing. Anyway they asked what they thought my biggest threat would be, I said 'Mobile Phones' and contracts for services. They couldn't see any connection.
I said 'Within 5 years most people will have a mobile phone, but they won't give anything else up. It will use up so much of their income they won't have anything left for luxuries like hairdressing'.
Only now the kids expect one as well, so I guess it would be interesting to know what a family of 4 spend a month on phones. Plus people actually go out and buy pretty phones that cost hundreds of pounds, when the phone company give you a new one every 2 years anyway!
I guess I will never understand other people, but then they will never understand me, so thats a silly thought.