Thursday, 22 September 2011

Does anyone know what they’re on about?

Our economy here in the ‘United’ ‘Kingdom’ is apparently set to ‘grow’ by ‘only’ 1.1%, and this is a bad thing.  Other so-called statistics bear this out (the ‘bad thing’ bit I mean): unemployment is 2.something million and rising; government borrowing has gone up (yes, up!) to an all-time high of £16 billion for August; and consumer spending is trenching (unless you’re buying Mulberry or such stuff).  And at least one kind of inflation is running at 4.5%.

Anyway, the economy will ‘grow’ (in my version of the language, that means ‘get bigger’) over the next twelve months, by 1.1%.  That’s a positive rather than negative number.  So why is it bad news?  And how does ‘growth’, however meagre, reconcile with all those other negatives?  How come, for example, unemployment is rising whilst the economy is getting a bit bigger?  And how come we need to borrow more whilst we’re brutally slashing our outgoings?

I have pondered before the question of whether it makes sane sense to base all our policies and expectations on the premise that economies can, and must, go on getting bigger and bigger, for ever, or be doomed.  But that’s for another day.   For now, I just don’t get it.  And guess what, I don’t think they do either.


  1. We had four applicants for a part-time caretaker's job, but three of them had got full-time jobs before it came to the interview. The fourth is excellent and we've offered him the job (with the prospect of full-time soon). So maybe the economy is growing.

    I don't think they have a clue unless they're down with us where it happens.

  2. The MARKETS (that's the ones that rule the world, not the ones that sell venison, alpaca cardies & treacle tarts) require growth to dilute & combobulate their lunatic behaviour. 1.1% doesn't obfuscate enough for them to hide behind.

    This is the brontosaurus theory of growth (mine, after Elk): growth is thin at the start, gets fatter, then gets thin again at the end.

    sulachip (wv from Intel)

  3. So that would be mutual incomprehension then, 'they' and 'us'. I'd say 'we are doomed', except that I'm not sure 'we' means anything anymore, in the grand scheme of things.

  4. Like you I am completely befuddled. Like you I don't see how 'growth' can go on eternally so why head for it. My solution to all the world's fiscal troubles is simple. Just cancel all international debt! Wipe the slate clean. Of course it will be unfair, but the present situation is no good for anyone at all. A World Debt Cancellation would mean we could all start afresh and NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES AGAIN! (Sorry to shout!)Here, in Australia, we've managed to escape the worst, but we can all see it heading our way, so consumer spending has dropped and........oh well, I don't need to tell you.