Austerity and the Mistaken Lessons of History : a UK Misfortune – John Cassidy – The New Yorker

The New Yorker

The New Yorker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an excellent and MUST READ article from John Cassidy, published in the NYT.

via Austerity and the Mistaken Lessons of History : The New Yorker.

Personally, I think that John Cassidy argues the case against UK economic policy brilliantly. It seems that much of the UK political classes and the UK media is currently being brain-washed.

Any thoughts on why and what to do about it?

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7 responses

  1. Pingback: A Hard Look at UK Austerity and Correcting the Mistaken Lessons of History – John Gelmini « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. Austerity and cutting on their own are never going to work because the jobs which are lost as a result will not be replaced unless other measures are taken in parallel.

    Secondly, austerity has to be delivered quickly as was the case with Canada and Ireland where it was applied for two short years and where people were told in advance why it was being done and how growth would be engineered.

    In the UK, we have had austerity delivered too slowly and without the accompanying additional measures.

    The necessary measures are (inter alia):

    a)Lower taxes to get money hidden offshore brought back onshore and thus increase tax revenues and become an offshore tax haven within EFTA or alone

    b)Stop overseas aid and military adventurism in countries where we have no business

    c)Bring in measures to make it more attractive for directors to invest in plant,machinery and expansion than sit on cash mountains abdicating their responsibilities and overpaying themselves

    d)Abolish the Barnett Formula

    e)Devise measures to promote inward investment and migration of super wealthy immigrants prepared to create jobs for the indigenous population

    f)Quadruple the size of the export sales-force and apply NLP and Pimsleur language training to ensure their effectiveness.Assign these salespeople to firms in industries where market leadership exists and market research indicates room for overseas expansion

    g)Merge all county councils and unitary authorities to just 12 for England,1 for Scotland ,1 for Wales and 1 for Northern Ireland.Abolish Districts,Boroughs and all other councils and outsource remaining services.

    Reduce constabularies and fire commands to 15 for the entire country along with 15 shared service centres to replace all existing local authority call centres and police non emergency dispatching.

    h)Reduce civil service numbers to 15000(this was the number who ran the entire British Empire in Victorian times) and reduce the number of ministries to the minimum required.

    i)Merge Adult Social Care into the NHS and reform both using the French and German systems as the benchmark

    j)Bring in variable taxes on foods and pay doctors based on the number of people they keep well not the size of their patient lists

    k)Re introduce National Service for all school leavers followed by Business Boot Camps for the non academically inclined and university for the brightest.

    l)Compel all schoolchildren to learn at least 1 economically useful language by age 16 to increase their global employability

    m)Reduce annual holidays to 4 weeks until such time as worker productivity rises to the top 10% globally and abolish all Bank Holidays

    n)Reduce MP numbers to 200 on 1 all inclusive fixed salary with no expenses and purchase a Government owned block of flats for them to live in when in London.
    Establish videolinks so that they can listen and contribute to debates from wherever they are as is being proposed for court cases

    o)Appoint a super-bailiff plus a team of assistants and go after the bankers,money launderers ,those who gave the bankers their instructions,corporate fraudsters and any public servant guilty of embezzlement or corruption.

    Recover all monies where possible through asset seizures,sequestration of corporate assets,reimburse the public through tax rebates,try and imprison all those convicted using harsh penalties coupled with restorative justice to make them see the error of their ways and make restitution.

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