Austerity Faries, Cognative Dissonance, and the UK
The latest Economist (March 9th-15th) is, again, suffering from cognitive dissonance. One does wonder if its Editors actually read their own newspaper.
Read also PhoenixWoman’s Diary: UK Tories on the Ropes, But You’d Never Know It if You Relied Solely on US Big Media. It is relevant to this diary.
Here’s some examples:
Hugo Chavez’s rotten legacy. Page 10
Not one sentence about literary rates, reduction in poverty, or improved medical care, all measurable, and have quantified improvements.
Not ONE quantitative assessment of his rule.
It is a neo-liberal rant. We hates Chavez for ever, so there.
A little faster George? Page 15
The Economist has tracked the British economy for the past 170 years, and by its measures after every downturn the British economy was growing 5 years after the downturn (It does not state if the 5 years was form the start or the bottom of the downturn, which is poor measurement technique).
It goes on (in its neo-liberal blindness) and states:
There is no growth this time.
George Osborne is part-way through a commendable course of austerity, that aims to eridacte the structural budget deficit, currently 3.6% of GDP, and start lowering the GDP to debt ratio by 2017-18.
Debt has risen from 600 billion in 2008 to 1.1 billion now (UK pounds).
So austerity is working, why? Wouldn’t that be a question to be asked at this point? (Personally I’d make it an assertion, but, what do I know?)
And then The Economist wibbles on about Bank lending, without addressing the fundamental issue for businesses and banks, demand. Leading to a section further on in the issue:
Britain: Dropping Shopping. Page 56
Spending by household is the biggest slice of GDP, accounting for 63% in 2012.It has been remarkably weak, even by comparison with previous recessions.
In Britain, growth in output per worker is low relative to other countries and to other recessions, Whereas the productivity slump is puzzling, the puny wage increases are not.
Poor demand, and increased debt as was predicted by the Keynesians, and still no questions about the effectiveness of austerity?
The Economist could, first read its own newspaper, and second, read Wray’s Modern Money Theory. I suspect neo-liberal denial at work — Or is The Economist doing so badly in this economy it cannot afford copies of the book?
I do remember a past edition of The Economist asking for growth and austerity, which per Keynes, is cognitive dissonance. The Economist is one of the most influential newspapers published on economies and governance, and it is writing this twaddle?
Why is it so locked into neo-liberal blindness? Do they have shares in neo-liberalism? If so, how can I short them?