Thursday, June 21, 2012
Time to Start Keynsian Spending Mr Osborne
Jenkins begins by stating 'It's not working is it?'; by which he means the austerity policies of Cameron and Osborne. Krugman's plea for 'immediate, universal demand expansion is unanswerable' says Jenkins. Bailouts do not solve the problem but merely prop up the 'dud loans' of German and other banks. The accompanying cutbacks in spending enforced on the bailout nations merely accentuates the problem; debtors have no means of escaping their debt and people are thrown out of work unnecessarily. Cash needs to be injected into these collapsed economies: even Friedman agreed with Keynes on the need for this remedy.
The IMF has studied 173 cases of austerity packages since the 1970s and all led to recession not growth. Each bailout to "boost confidence" in Greece and Spain further collapses the bond markets. Confidence is best served by the prospect of growth, and not the dilatory growth of government-controlled infrastructure projects, but the crude printing and distribution of money – whether through social benefits, tax cuts or dropped by Friedman's famous "helicopters".
Some, like Niall Ferguson, say you can't solve a debt problem by borrowing yet more money but Krugman demurs. He insists in Prospect this is the only way to kick-start growth and that 'when growth returns debts melt away very quickly, as the years of Bill Clinton showed'. It also has to be said that loans for regeneration are currently available at very low rates, as Osborne has boasted. Jenkins concludes by invoking the responsibility Britain has to the rest of Europe:
Rising deficits create bubbles during expansion, but during recession the planning of controlled and transparent deficits holds the key to economic rescue. Membership of the euro denies this rescue to Greece or Spain, but it remains open to Britain. London has a responsible government with sound credit and a floating currency. There is no need for enforced short-term austerity in Britain. There is every need to reflate demand. That is the best way for Cameron to set an example to the rest of Europe.
You say 'very few economists deviate from this approach. Well, one does and he's the Nobel Prize laureate at the subject. Moreover, I agree 'few governments have deviated' from it but no government has solved the problem of no growth. Banking on austerity is to invest in failure long-term- surely you must see that....?
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