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Tuesday, 24 April 2012


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"we borrowed": who's this 'we', Bub? Do you mean we the citizens borrowed it as individuals and that's the total, or do you mean Our Bloody Government borrowed it?

We need to strip out some of the colossal amount of waste in the public sector, but there is no desire to do it and as far as anyone can tell it isn’t going to happen. Absolutely everything would be blamed on “the cuts” and ministers know it. They lack backbone and principle.

Tossers indeed.

To be absolutely precise, DM, 'they' borrowed it but 'we' owe it! The mafia couldn't do it better!

I can hear your teeth gnashing from here, AK!

I reckon Osbo's problem is much more difficult. The economic blogs touch on a dearth of investment opportunities in the West and an apparent lack of creativity and 'bezazz'. Some say this has been developing over the past 30 odd years.

Imagine if you will that I invented a 'large hadron transistor' (or whatever) that worked a million times faster than ordinary ones. Where would I set up a factory to make it? You got it, and not just the planning laws but labour costs too. OK, so I make money out of design - I sit 20 designers in front of screens then email design files to Taiwan and my accountant offshores the profits. I could go on.

Alternatively I could undertake a breeding programme to produce only super-clever people with super-clever skills others will buy. That is not going to work on so many levels. So Osbo is a bit stuck and can only hope the Europeans can recover enough to buy a few jubilee teacups (designed in Basingstoke, made in China). The world has become a flat market for labour - the implications are not pretty.

That's a very interesting point, Roger. I remember a quote from Steve Jobs who said that what he and others did could only have occurred in the free-wheeling California of the '70s/'80s. I read a quote yesterday which said that California is now a State fit only for the very rich and the very poor and the mass of the middle-classes are leaving en masse.


Well I suppose if a reduction in the planned rate of increase constitutes a cut (or even, as the Failygraph had it the other day, an "unprecedented cut"), then a reduction in the rate of growth of your overdraft does indeed count as some sort of progress.

Somehow I doubt my bank manager would see it that way.

They're out of control, aren't they?

I think, Andrew, they simply lack "the vision thang", as dear old 'Dubya' put it. For that, of course, you need to have a rudimentary grasp of economics which both Cameron and Osborne lack, which is silly, really, because it ain't difficult - as Cafe Hayek reminds us today in the words of Milton Friedman:

"[M]y life as an economist has been the source of much pleasure and satisfaction. It’s a fascinating discipline. What makes it most fascinating is that its fundamental principles are so simple that they can be written on one page, that anybody can understand them, and yet that very few do."

The final ingredient, of course, is will power - need I say more?

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