mainly macro: The imaginary world of small state people – Simon Wren-Lewis

This blog from leading Oxford economist, Simon Wren-Lewis is well worth a read. Check it out!

via mainly macro: The imaginary world of small state people.

Personally, in terms of political ideology, I tend to favor a small-state, and take exception to some of the Wren-Lewis’ argument. I fear that he has missed the point with regard to George Osborne, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer.

For me, it is better to separate the politics from the economic evidence.

I agree with Wren-Lewis that in terms of strictly economic management, Osborne’s record has been seriously ineffective. In particular, I agree that Osborne’s austerity has been too deep for too long. So I endorse the Wren-Lewis argument about the opportunity cost – under Osborne economic growth has been seriously curtailed.

From the beginning, Osborne’s economic credentials have been questionable. Personally, I believe that Osborne has always been long on political dogma and short on economic argument.

To conclude, I favor small-government but believe that Osborne has precipitated an omni-shambles of savage cuts to public sector services. This blog has repeatedly argued that the Government has not taken a strategic approach to public sector cost reduction. The UK public need to wake-up to the evidence that the UK is only 40% along the journey of ten years of cost cuts.

For me, there would only be one thing worse than Osborne as Chancellor and that would be Osborne as Prime Minister.


One response

  1. Simon Wren Lewis is wrong about the BBC and he is wrong to pose the problem as “Big State” versus “Little State”.

    The State can do more than it does now with a fraction of the people if only the people could be shocked into becoming more productive.

    Dr Alf says that austerity went on for too long and I agree. It should have been deeper and far more concentrated as was successfully done in both Canada and Eire for just 2 years.

    At the same time a crash program of quadrupling exports needed to be in place using a combination of faster writing down allowances, Pimsleur style language training and benefit recycling.

    We are now facing the prospect of bringing in Portuguese bricklayers at £1000 gbp per week because we lack sufficient bricklayers here and we have a shortage of engineers which is going to be filled by recruiting from Spain.

    We are also going to bring in vast numbers of Syrian refugees at a time when we have a shortage of 11.5 million houses, are building 100,000 a year and lack bricklayers.

    Our welfare system and the innate nature of too many of the indigenous population promotes laziness,torpor and in those who do work very low productivity. This has to be confronted, along with the obesity and alchohol consumption which accompanies it. Simply sanctioning benefit recipients is not enough, as it is it is used to massage the unemployment figures down and save on the benefits bill. Those who are sanctioned need to assigned to care homes and other forms of useful work in exchange for their benefits.

    Food banks are expanding because of the sanctioning of benefit recipients but there are cases of Heroin addicts and others using the food which they obtain with real and possibly fake documentation as currency with which to buy drugs or to finance trips to hospitals like the Lister at Stevenage near where I live where they sneak in and try and steal drugs. which now have to be guarded by G4S 24 hours a day.

    Other food bank recipients may well be genuine but I have witnessed a number of them smoking and guzzling beer in the Witherspoon pub in Letchworth Garden City and the same practices go on throughout the country and are witnessed by others.

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