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Academics attack George Osborne budget surplus proposal

Discussion in 'off topic' started by auric, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. auric

    auric pfm Member

  2. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The sad thing is I think he is! He's clearly figured out his electorate will fall for the most simplistic soundbites (vote Labour, get the SNP, long term economic plan, hardworking people etc) and similarly daft economic analogies with household budgets etc. He's actually playing a blinder as Labour are nowhere to be seen and right now he's selling off the nationalised banks to his mates countless £millions below value. I'm beginning to think he is very good indeed at screwing the country for his own end. A master politician.
  4. Michael J

    Michael J pfm Member

    The thing about RBS is that it was not nationalised, just bailed out to the tune of about 80% of the shares. Because the gov. didn't own all of it they couldn't do whatever they wanted with it, and the markets wouldn't reflect "true" value as long as the gov. had such a huge holding. Share price is already up on the announcement of the near-future sale of some of the gov. stock, and commentary seems to indicate that - short of owning the whole lot in perpetuity - the best thing to do is to reduce the gov. share for some return and to stimulate the economy as a whole. The indirect return will be worth it, is the theory.
  5. stephen bennett

    stephen bennett Mr Enigma

    I think Tony has it, nail, head.

    Sell bank under market value to chums. Chums make a killing. Chums bankroll Tory party. Chums make their 'cut' of the taxes that bailed the bank out back plus interest. The rest of us cover the losses.

  6. auric

    auric pfm Member

    Not the old privatise the profit and socialise the loss game plan?
  7. 73Chaz

    73Chaz pfm Member

    I think the more salient point is in the OP. Which respected economists [ok, that's a small group, I admit] think that GO's crazy ideas are viable?

    IMO, the man is talking through his hat, to put it politely.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I thought that for a long while, but over recent months I've arrived more at the conclusion that he knows exactly what he is doing and it really is as cynical, manipulative, grasping and destructive to the national interest as it appears.
  9. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    This has nothing to do with economics, it is a political construct to trap Labour at the next election.

    I wish he would stop this silly politics and focus on doing the right things for the economy. but alas, this is probably a forlorn hope.
  10. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

    Indeed. And seeing as it worked so well in the election it's hard to think why he might do something differently. If he can damage the economy and get elected on the basis of economic competency then it's hard to see what motivation he has for managing the economy properly.

    I also think that Osborne believing in smaller government and the dismantling of the welfare state is a more convincing argument for all this than allegation of a sort of quasi-corruption over the sale of RBS, if only from an Occam's Razor point of view.
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    A quaint old boolean 'and' works here too.
  12. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

    I am not sure it does. I am obviously no fan of Osborne but it's just much more likely he is selling RBS because he believes that it should be privately owned than because he wants to generate quick profit for his "mates".
  13. stephen bennett

    stephen bennett Mr Enigma

    I think Tony again nails it with 'and'.

    In the same way that the economic crash was a handy excuse for the Tories to do what they do naturally under the smokescreen of 'austerity'. It's a happy accident that the natural inclinations of Osborne and his ilk come together in such a way.

  14. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

    The problem with the and is that the speculative nature weakens the overall case. So for example, there is a very strong case against Osborne's incompetence that is well evidenced and supported by a large majority of experts but we end up talking about not only a relatively trivial piece of news, the sell off of RBS, but talking about it in terms of "Yeah, the fix is in! For his mates! So typical of the Tories!" which allows people an easy out ("Typical Lefties!")

    Also the main reason Osborne got away with this at the election is because these are quite difficult, counter-intuitive arguments that took Economics nearly two centuries to work out. So I think muddying the waters in this way is very unhelpful in getting the point across and that arguing the electorate are idiots misled by soundbites and poor analogies is actually inaccurate and unfair.
  15. Jonathan Ribee

    Jonathan Ribee Unavailable at present

    The curse of logical not being the same as intuitive. You can study something in depth for ten years and two blokes in the pub still get to tell you that you're wrong. Innit.
  16. auric

    auric pfm Member

  17. Brian

    Brian Eating fat, staying slim

    The blokes in the pub could well be right. There are no guarantees from those ten years.

    Shameful. People who voted tory need to take a good look at themselves. I would like to think they don't believe this stuff and don't really support it but that's wishful thinking on my part.
  18. dweezil

    dweezil pfm Member

    It's a total disgrace that we run so much national debt. Interest at over a billion per week.

    There should be no budget deficit but successive governments are effectively buying votes, you could say this is a major failing of democracy.

    If we can't reduce the national debt now when will that happen?
  19. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

  20. auric

    auric pfm Member

    Looks like the last time we had this % level of debt it was at least 35 to 40 years ago and then it was falling, what has happened since 2010 to reverse this trend?

    Is this ratio a useful measure of economic health or something that is rolled out when political points need to be scored or ignored?

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