Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Very Serious People

I randomly had dinner with Anthony Lane the other day. Nice guy, more humble and mild mannered than his work for the New Yorker would generally suggest (true of me and my blog also too), but this is just silly.

The national deficit would be erased not through austerity, as practiced by the heinous Conservatives, but through taxes on the rich and by what Corbyn calls “quantitative easing for people.” This means, we are told, that the Bank of England will print more money: an endearing and almost childlike solution, though not one that has met with unqualified success elsewhere.

We've "printed" a lot of money and given it to the financial industries that destroyed everything. Printing money to finance government deficits, or even printing money for helicopter drops, is not silly. It's smart. It's what we should have done. There are limits to such actions, of course, but given the inflation rates in the US and the UK, we haven't reached those limits. And when we do, putting on the brakes is the one thing the Fed/BOE/ECB know how to do.

Austerity hasn't met with "unqualified success elsewhere" either, but it's still the rage. The UK has it's own version of totebaggers, those who imbibe some combination of the BBC and the Very Serious parts of the Guardian. You know...liberal, but not icky liberal.