Well we keep getting awful stats and figures in about the economy. Things in the UK aren’t going well, and recovery doesn’t seem near. But despite all the rhetoric of “serious cuts” by the chancellor, we haven’t (as I’ve mentioned a number of times before) actually had any cuts. As Frazier Nelson so articulately writes in the Telegraph, the problem with ‘Osbornomics’ is that there’s no red meat under the narrative:
So this, it seems, is Osbornomics: political stardust but an economic placebo. Winning arguments, but losing the battle for growth. Increasing debt faster than almost anyone else in Europe, while haughtily lecturing the Continentals about borrowing. Leaving Britain marooned in the middle of a Japanese-style “zero era”, with low growth, low employment and zombie banks – but not being blamed for it. It is an act of political brilliance, which very few politicians could pull off. The question is whether Osborne will finally summon some economic brilliance to match.
Quite a few on the left are attacking the UK’s policy of “savage cuts” as the reason for our lack of growth. But the real reason for our trouble is that we haven’t had any cuts. In fact, the Tory-led coalition is spending more now than at any time during the dark Gordon Brown era.
Before the election, Osborne was right to condem and warn people about the Gordon Brown/Ed Balls plan for allowing the British government debt to increase by 60%. But by allowing a large increase in spending, (and with no tax cuts to help stimulate growth and economic recovery), he’s going to preside over a 61% increase! Debt is shifting up to £1.4 trillion, compared to Gordon Brown’s pre-election proposal of £1.37 trillion.
It’s all very well to warn people about the “age of austerity”‘ and Osborne is right to have gotten people ready for the harder economic times we’re now living in. But he has to actually inact some real austerity and supply-side tax cuts or the harsher times we’re now facing will be here for a much longer period of time, and may all be for nothing.
Once government busybodies can make rules, some of them just get crazy:
Yep, that’s a real law you’re reading in the above picture. The always interesting John Stossel explains all here.
A very good explanation of the situation and some interesting points made in the below video:
It’s all a little technical and confusing, but it’s good to have someone explain it all in plain English.
Hoo-rah for Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, objectivist and all-round nice guy. He’s supporting the decision made freely by the society of contributors and associates of his beloved site, in supporting their 24-hour lock-down of the English-language version of Wikipedia as a protest against the US governments piracy bill that’s being decided upon today:
Imagine a WorldWithout Free Knowledge. For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.
All these attempts to ‘control’ the web and it’s free exchange of ideas and information must be resisted. Piracy is a bad thing, (which could be best minimised by studios adopting the radically different models that they’ve thus far avoided), but letting the government regulate and control the freest and most expansive marketplace of ideas in human history is way worse than piracy, any day of the week.
In this episode, I’m banging on about the US elections like some unqualified pub-bore:
See the whole series on YouTube here.
In his usual straight-to-the-point articulate way, Douglas Carswell sums things up very well:
The centre of political gravity would shift away from the left, towards a credible, small state alternative.
It’s worth reading Carswell’s post in full. The “third way” (apologies for that sounding very ‘Tony Blair’) of full Scottish autonomy but still part of the UK, paying a contribution to maintain our embassies, etc. is the direction most Scots want to go apparently. Will that be on offer for them though?