Saturday, July 25, 2009

Intermission

Apologies for the break in posting. Technical nonsense. In the meantime, don't forget to read War in Context, Noam Chomsky and Juan Cole on Middle Eastern stuff and global politics generally. Bo Rev always has the goods on Latin America. The Nation and ZNet are top drawer representatives of the intelligent US left. Mondoweiss hosts vibrant discussion on Israel-Palestine from a Left-Liberal, pro-Palestinian US-Jewish standpoint. TomDispatch has absolutely the best in-depth political analysis essays around. Oh..and I may as well big up The Heathlander while I'm about it. The lad's going places, you mark my words.

Closer to home, I'm hoping to write something soon about the current debate over the economy that's going on in the UK. But for now, I'l say this. There's a lot of talk at the moment about public spending cuts, but when you're trying to resuscitate the national economy, strangling the patient in his bed strikes me as a pretty ill-thought out idea. The question to ask now is whether the economy is being stimulated enough to recover. Balancing the books will be a lot harder if it doesn't. Then you have to ask yourself why - when the time does come to pay off Britain's debts - it should be public services that have to bear the burden. After all, accounts can be balanced by increasing revenue as well as by cutting expenditure. So why have increased taxes on the wealthy (or indeed, on the financial speculators that got us into this hole) not come onto the agenda? The answer has something to do, I would suggest, with who's pushing this spending cuts agenda - namely the Tories and the corporate press - and the fact that the elite economic interests they represent have no interest in picking up the tab for the mess made by the calamitous failure of their favorite economic dogma: Thatcherism.

For more on that, here's Polly Toynbee, John Lanchester, and David Blanchflower. I'll try and write something myself soon.

2 Comments:

Blogger Man in a Shed said...

The failure was of Brown's debt bubble in the private sector, that he allowed, followed by the debt crisis in the public sector.

Nothing to do with Thatcherism - everything to do with burnt earth socialism.

What you are missing is the need to rebalance the economy. Higher taxes on the rich don't do this - they just move economic resources from the economy to be burnt in the increasingly inefficient public sector. The national debt must then grow to pay for all the food we don't grow, TV's we don't make, Cars we don't build and energy we can't supply.

Monday, October 12, 2009 4:14:00 PM  
Blogger David Wearing said...

There can't be many people left who think that Brown and New Labour have anything to do with socialism, especially in respect of finance.

It was Thatcher's "big bang" reforms that set the financial sector loose to behave in the reckless manner that led to the banking crisis of 2007-08. When Labour came to power it accellerated financial deregulation rather than rolling it back.

It was also Thatcher that created the huge gap between rich and poor, a problem which was exascerbated under New Labour's neo-Thatcherite economic policies. This left millions unable to get on the housing ladder except by taking on unsustainable levels of debt, and much money swilling around at the top ready to be lent recklessly to those people. This was another cause of the banking crisis: Thatcherism's redistribution of wealth from poor to rich, which unbalanced the economy in a way that has proven to be unsustainable.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 6:16:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home