A weird argument from David Blanchflower, often seen as one of Britain’s most radical economists, in an article on the Guardian website. As an alternative to the government’s economic strategy he argues: “(T)here is a better way – five or six years of 5% inflation does the job nicely. That way we get to inflate […]
Ireland still has the power to make itself a country worth living in, the Observer, by Fintan O’Toole. The assistant editor of the Irish Times argues the Ireland should embrace “ethical austerity”. I suspect that will be even more painful than regular austerity. Government ‘planning to measure people’s happiness‘, BBC. For a critique of this […]
It is not possible to make a convincing case against austerity without countering the pervasive cultural aversion to prosperity. Read my latest spiked article here.
Protests across Europe against austerity should be welcomed in principle. However, it would be wrong to exaggerate their scale or downplay the limitations of their political outlook. Although there have been demonstrations in several European countries – including Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Spain – they seem to be relatively small in scale. This […]
Sadly what passes for “investigative journalism” nowadays seems to be stories that would please the government. Yesterday at 8pm Britain’s Channel 4 ran a documentary in its Dispatches series called “How the MoD [Ministry of Defence] wastes our billions”. It argued (probably correctly as it happens) that the ministry has spent billions propping up the […]
Anne Applebaum, a foreign affairs columnist for the Washington Post, made some fundamental errors in her piece last week headlined: “For the US, Britain’s austerity is a foreign concept”. First, it is not true that in Britain austerity “has a deep appeal”. I am willing to bet a large sum that the British are generally […]
It is saddening but not surprising that 60% of the British public said they are in favour of reducing the deficit in a poll commissioned by the BBC World Service. Some 33% were against and the rest said they do not know. In the present enviroment that is likely to mean that the vast majority […]
In another example of the British government’s contempt for democracy (see Tuesday’s post) the public is being given the choice of voting on which cuts they prefer of the 44,000 suggestions evidently submitted to the Treasury. Even these ideas will simply be “considered” rather than binding. The choice of whether or not to have austerity […]
The reference by George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer (finance minister), to “deficit deniers” is a blatant attack on the legitimacy of criticisms of the government’s economic policy. In a speech in London today he argued that: “Anyone who is serious about tackling the nation’s debts needs to come forward with an alternative plan. […]
I was intrigued to see a comment piece in today’s Financial Times with the headline “For states in crisis, austerity is not the only option” (in the newspaper version). Unfortunately it turned out to be an anti-climax. Michael Hudson, the chief economist of the Reform Tax Force Latvia think tank, argues that for troubled economies, […]
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