Skip to main content

There is an alternative and the British Chambers of Commerce spell it out.

Today the Prime Minister, David Cameron, adopted the strategy of economic madness. Whilst his Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has described the loss of the triple A status as being largely 'symbolic', Mr Cameron once again nailed his colours to its mast. It is a bit like crashing a car into at a tree and then declaring that it indicates they were travelling in the right direction. Mr Cameron continues with the line that there is no alternative. This is wrong, blind, foolish, obstinate and rather arrogant. It rejects advice from those economists who call for a change in direction.

The economy is in a bad shape. It is insufficient to point to the odd 'green shoots', the odd indication that things might turn out all right in the end. The coalition is missing its targets by a wide margin, and with the current strategy, austerity is set to last at least until 2017 and beyond. A decade of austerity will leave the economy considerably weakened, the poor poorer.

Nor is this a party political issue. Groups across the political spectrum, and of no political colour, have called for a strategy for growth.  Today, in light of the absence of growth, the British Chambers of Commerce has called for immediate action to stimulate growth. This would be a major change of direction. Growth should be the objective, and not simply cutting the deficit.

The Director General of the BCC said today:

"The Chancellor should seize the opportunity in next month's Budget to be radical, and introduce measures that creat“e an environment of enterprise, stimulate export growth, kick-start infrastructure projects and create a structure of business finance which supports growing companies. Above all, these measures should create confidence. Our own research shows that firms across Britain believe they can drive growth this year, but they can’t do it alone. The government must be bold and do all it can to boost confidence so that businesses can create jobs, wealth and ultimately long-term growth.”

The government strategy is counter productive as blind austerity reduces revenue it becomes more difficult to cut the deficit. It is bad economics and bad for the country. There is an alternative.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bad trade kills the planet.

One problem with the financial crisis of 2008/9 is that it focused attention on the banking system as if it could be separated from global economics.  It fostered the notion that all that was needed was to reform the banks and all would be well.  The underlying assumption was and is that global economics didn't and doesn't need fixing.  Everything works well but for the financial system.  Let's all keep calm and carry on.

Yet, the focus on a bad banking system hides an underlying economic malaise,  The economy depended on banks lending, and growth was predicated on debt, debt and more debt.  This was not simply a problem of the banking system.  It was, and remains a problem arising from the mythology of economic growth.

Politicians have long fostered the mythology of growth.  Growth became a  mantra.  Growth is good.  Good is growth.  Let's grow! Growth as and is presented as a miraculous cure.

Let's call this the first neoliberal myth.  The second neoliberal myth…

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



No plan for Brexit The UK is  now just months away from leaving the European Union, yet still the government has no plan for Brexit. Sector after sector of British society are registering their concerns about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.  The country is in the dark about what the future might hold.  Key issues remain unresolved, yet it is as if it doesn't matter.   Brexit, remember, means Brexit!  
Whether we are for or against Brexit we should be concerned that the government can't agree on what kind of deal they want with our biggest trading partner - the European Union.  
There is no idealism behind Brexit, and no vision for the future.  Instead, there is a blind hope that it will be 'alright on the night'.  That somehow a…