Ever since 2008, when the bottom fell out of the financial markets, we have been living in one of the longest economic downturns ever.
The economies of the ‘western world’ have been largely propped up by printing money and cutting back on services – AUSTERITY! Yes, it was the mantra.
That’s why, as in the UK for example, there’s a manifestation of potholes in the roads which never seem to get repaired.
So why now, in this election, has austerity suddenly been cancelled? Even the Tories, often the champions of cut backs, have promised to spend billions on the NHS and put up the minimum wage above £10 an hour. Conservatives?
Don’t believe it
Naturally, from the evidence of the past, we have to treat each manifesto promise with extreme caution. However, the government of any complexion is promising to spend like there’s no tomorrow – and thereby borrow – billions and more billions to add to the already catastrophic levels of debt….. when there is little or no sign of an economic upturn.
It has been argued that large government spending schemes, like improving the infrastructure, can actually kick start the economy and create many jobs. This may be so, but if so why has it taken so long for this to happen?
Over the previous decade we have all taken hits and cut backs, the medicine of austerity, whilst the economy has been essentially bumping along the bottom, only to be told now that even the Conservatives have ‘seen the light’ and we can spend ourselves out of the doldrums.
The cynic in me says I should not believe a word of it.
copyright Francis Barker 2019