Sunday 8 December 2013

The New Yorker: "By George, Britain’s Austerity Experiment Didn’t Work!"

The culprits? This piece in the New Yorker is well worth a read
It's always thought provoking to hear what our friends in other countries think and this view from The New Yorker magazine about George Osborne's handling of the UK economy is, to say the least, interesting.

It reports that Mr Osborne, whom it christens "the patron saint of austerity enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic" has cost "the average U.K. household a total of about £3,500 over these three years." because "after Osborne introduced his austerity drive, economic growth slowed down" having been on target to "expand by 1.3 per cent in 2010".

The author doesn't pull his punches adding "From an economic perspective, Osborne’s argument is hogwash. His effort to cure the patient by subjecting it to the equivalent of leeching—big cuts in government spending and higher taxes—a return to pre-Keynesian policies watched closely the world over, failed abysmally. Imposed at a time when the U.K.’s economy was recovering from the financial crisis of 2008-09, it subjected his countrymen and countrywomen to three more years of slump-like conditions, and it produced a dearth of public-sector and private-sector investment that will hobble Britain for years to come. It even failed to meet its own targets of drastically reducing the budget deficit and bringing down Britain’s over-all debt burden."

This isn't the first American analysis to contrast with the spin Mr. Osborne is currently giving: On 21st October 2010, Nobel Prize winning economist Professor Paul Krugman wrote this prediction and on the same day, Professor Brad De Long gave this critical view and called Mr. Osborne and his colleagues "clueless dorks". How the economic situation plays out politically, we'll have to see but the best economist are pretty clear that Mr. Osborne et al have made Britain's situation much worse and may well do so again.

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