Today – courtesy of New Start – I stumbled across the opinion of this august body of mythic thinkers on the “cuts”.
Andrew Simms, policy director at the New Economics Foundation, said: ‘George Osborne is set to apply the economic equivalent of medieval medicine to the UK economy. Unfortunately bloodletting an already ailing patient is unlikely to improve their progress. To strengthen the economy and make it more resilient and fit for current challenges, we need to invest comprehensively in new low carbon infrastructure. This modern medicine will improve security, create jobs and boost the economy.’
Now leaving aside the image of George Osborne as some form of hedge witch administering a tincture of wood sorrel and elderberry to the ailing British economy, I am struck by the transference implicit in NEF’s argument. For it is the green economists who prescribe medieval remedies for modern ailments – indeed, NEF’s economic ideas has about as much link to the science of economics as homeopathy does to the effective practice of medicine.
After all this is the organisation that thinks we can get by with only working three days a week (I vaguely remember those days – happy ones for an eleven year old but less happy for older folk), who think that jobs aren’t created by enterprise but by the magic of public sector intervention and who persist in misunderstanding the Keynesian multiplier. I could go on to talk about how NEF believe there’s another credit crunch on its way and how Britain should be more like poverty stricken Ecuador. All in all a fine bunch of pseudo-economists (remember this is “new” economics so it can ignore nearly 200 years of evidence, research and study).
When we get to the crunch, NEF are simply a bunch of socialists and peddle the same tired (and disproven) solutions as all the socialists of past times. Despite its low-carbon tinge NEF’s economics is more red than green and its application would represent a huge leap backwards to a protectionist, interfering, over-taxed, over-regulated and producer dominated economy. The sort of economy that nearly ruined Britain in the 1970s. That NEF want investment to be in a “low carbon infrastructure” is irrelevant – this is just repeated the disasters of socialist capital investment led, import substitution strategies.
But then, like Gordon and the Labour Party, NEF have a money tree…