So, I should be travelling to Birmingham today to enjoy some of the sights and sounds of something during my holidays. So, there are quite a few interesting facts about Birmingham… Here they are:
1. Facts, facts and some more facts – BBC
Summary of the article. I have put 10 really interesting points about Birmingham… The rest are on the article:
i) Birmingham means home (ham) of the people (ing) of the tribe leader Birm or Beorma.
ii) Birmingham is the home of Cadbury Chocolate.
iii) ‘The River’ is one of the largest fountains in the world. It has a flow of 3,000 gallons per minute.
iv) Bingely Hall is the first exhibition hall in the world that opened in 1850.
v) J. R. Tolkein, author of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, spent his childhood in Birmingham. The Shire is said to be a model of the tiny village that Tolkein lived in.
vi) James Watt built the first steam engine, which led to the beginning of the industrial revolution, lived in Birmingham from 1775-1819.
vii) The first x-ray was taken in Birmingham
viii) Henry Clay invented a new form of papier mache using sheets of paper (1772). [This one is for nostalgia as I remember doing this in my school in Year 6 in Qatar using papier mache to create Greek pots].
ix) State education was pioneered in Birmingham in the 1850s
x) Antonin Dvorak, Czech composer (1841-1904) said of Birmingham: “I’m here in this immense industrial city where they make excellent knives, scissors, springs, files and goodness knows what else, and, besides these, music too. And how well! It’s terrifying how much the people here manage to achieve.”
2. A little bit about Birmingham… Economically – Birmingham City Council
i) ‘Comparative measures of economic output such as output per capita or per worker shows that Birmingham is below the national average and is mid ranking amongst the eight English core cities.’ (6).
Here is the Gross Value Added per worker:
ii) It seems that the structure of the economy has changed dramatically for Birmingham over time. From 1998-2008 there has been a great reduction in the manufacturing sector and increases in the public sector. Here is Birmingham’s employment change 1998-2008:
iii) Unemployment rates have been quite high in Birmingham ever since the financial crisis of 2008. It is now at 11.8% and it seems that Birmingham is also worried about the quality of employment taking place. Many people are unable to find permanent jobs. ‘Claimant count unemployment is a measure of all those claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). The claimant unemployment rate is the claimant count unemployed as a percentage of the economically active working age population.’:
This is a very short summary of the 83 page document, for more information on this check the website (link posted above).
1. Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy – W. Mosler
So, my advice is to… Read this pdf! It literally changed my thinking about how the economy works. It is a very different way of thinking and Warren Mosler is a fantastic thinker. In the end, we must remember that government spending is not determined by the amount of tax revenues you collect. Or as Fraud 1 states:
‘The government must raise funds through taxation or borrowing in order to spend. In other words, government spending is limited by its ability to tax or borrow.’
To understand more… Read through this short page-turner.
Need some inspiration?
1. Are you a Rockefeller or a Harvard? – Yoshito H.
This is something I ask myself daily. I try to understand what it is that I want from life. Many have told me that I seem to be the more professorial type and others say I could do as I wish. I hope to be a professor one day but I want to make a lasting impact in business and reach unprecedented heights.
A massive bit of ambition, but let’s see what happens. So, here is something to think about…
1. Politfy… New Public Policy Tool – The Daily California
Students from UC Berkely have created an app that allows the people to understand how the presidential candidate’s economic plan affects everyone at the state level.
The advantages include more information dispersed to the masses allowing them to truly understand how economic policy affects them on a more personal level. This may increase a little more understanding of policy.
Also, it makes people rely less on religion, rhetoric and false facts. Both these advantages allow for better policy making as the people should be more educated.
I do not know the specifics about this new tool but it should grab some national attention.
Today is the first day of my travels. I hope you enjoyed this one and learnt a little more about Birmingham and also the other interesting things happening.
Have a great day!