It is sometimes said to me that I think the influence of academia (i.e. collectivist academics) via the media (and directly), is greater than it actually is. Perhaps I do – however events tend to feed my “paranoia” (if that is what it is).
This morning (Thursday) I listened to BBC Radio Four’s “Today Programme” (“your version of whipping yourself Paul” – well our political and cultural leaders listen to this show, so should we not sometimes check what is said on it?).
A “economist” (modern definition – someone who studies economics at university) from Standard Chartered bank was on.
The Bank of England had done a good job (said this “economist”) by keeping interest rates low (i.e. by trying to prop up the demented credit bubble – but that is not how he put it) and the government had done its part by “reducing the deficit” (I was not aware that all the higher taxes, 50% top rate income tax… 20% national sales tax…., and the TALK of spending cuts had vastly reduced the defict). But now was the time to do more – the government should “invest in infrastucture” (he meant spend more money, thus contradicting his point about reducing the deficit, as long as the money was spent on corrupt and/or absurd government building projects).
The government was to finance its building projects by “borrowing at low interest rates to finance this investment”. Govermment spending is, of course, not “investment” – but it was the line about “borrowing at low interest rates to finance [government] investment” that caught my attention.
Comrade Stickinsect (sorry I mean “Nobel Prize winning” “economist” George Stiglitz) and his article in the “Financial Times” only yesterday. His stuff was just the same!
The Financial Times is an “interesting” publication (in the same sense of “interesting” as the old Chinese curse). Targeted at business executives and political policy makers it combines business news with collectivist politics – one expects it to be read (or rather written) by a James Bond film baddy “businesman” stroking his white cat in the hollowed out volcano base, while talking (via the wonders of modern technology) with his totalitarian allies about the final destruction of the West.
In reality, of couse, the “F.T.” is read (and written) by ordinary corporate executives and government officials (as well as by “journalists” of the same type) – but in their dreams they are….
Given this background, Stickinsect’s article was what one would expect.
Keynesian economists had always said the economy was an unsustainable bubble (liar – traditionally Keynesians have denied that credit money expansion causes a boom/bust, according to Keynesianism the problem is “animal sprits” not credit money expansion), the article begins.
And the article ends by saying the West has not learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s or from the experience of Japan over the last two decades.
In this Stickinsect is actually telling the truth – but he quickly turns truth into a lie, by saying that the lesson that should have been learned is that “stimulus” in America (i.e. the government spending orgy – under both Bush and Obama) was too little and has not gone on long enough (after all endless “stimulus” worked so well in Japan, and under Hoover and Roosevelt in the United States, oh yes it started under Herbert “The Forgotten Progressive” Hoover).
More “fiscal and monetary stimulus” is (of course) exactly what the Standard Chartered Bank corporate “economist” was pushing this morning, and (most likely) what the “Economist” magazine will be pushing tomorrow (Friday).
And in the middle of Stickinsect’s article?
Higher taxes for “the rich” of course (the 50% income tax rate in Britain has been a total mess – so the United States should do something similar), and companies should be threatened (although Stickinsect does no use the word “threatened”) with higher taxes unless they “invest” more – i.e. spend money on stuff the government wants them to spend money on (private ownership remaining in theory – but government direction in pactice, in much the same way as German “War Socialism” or “National Socialism”), if they obey the commands of government they should be rewarded with lower taxes (crony capitalism at its most obvious – everything political, with companes turned into the partners-of-governments like the disgusting General Electric organization).
And, of course, the banks should be made to “start lending again” (what was that about Keynesians being against credit bubbles?).
And….. governments should borrow at low interest rates (i.e. the ones created by Central Bank credit/money expansion – i.e. bubbles) in order to “invest” – i.e. spend even more money on demented projects (“high speed rail” anyone? Methinks this was on their minds – or those little ratholes that pass for minds in these people).
The point of all the above is not really to show that George Stiglitz is a lying sack of shit, who contradicts himself with every other line he writes (that would hardly be news). But it is to show how mainstream he is – how the big banks and media organizations (and so on – including the political elite) are not uninfluenced by collectivist academics, on the contrary they act as (toned down) echo chambers for them.