Comments on: When illogical policy seems to work Sat, 03 Jan 2015 16:42:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Bob9999 Tue, 18 Jun 2013 13:34:41 +0000 Ultimately, politicians answer to voters. One person’s cynical pandering to voters may be another person’s giving voters what they believe to be in their best interests. Urban political “machines” of the late-19th and early 20th century were very skilled at this, and the positive side of those regimes is often overlooked.

By: AdamSmith Mon, 17 Jun 2013 13:12:52 +0000 The author, Anatole Kaletsky, has written good articles here at Reuters that I’ve enjoyed.

But with this one, I see that he is completely out of touch with the working class, the middle class.

Without a protective tariff, the real jobs are gone FOREVER. It’s called globalization.

A housing bubble doesn’t solve the problem.

By: sayonara Sun, 16 Jun 2013 21:04:47 +0000 Coming from Anatole “recession what recession?” Kaletsky, I think this could be a great sell signal!

By: jrpardinas Sun, 16 Jun 2013 18:17:09 +0000 As the great contemporary philosopher Nicholas Rescher put it:

“As beings of limited capacity, we cannot manage to wrap our minds adequately around the world’s vast manifold of complex and complexly interrelated realities…there is nothing incidental or fortuitous about our ignorance – it is something deeply rooted in the nature of things.”

With that in mind, and with all due respect to the unimpeachable track record of economists and financiers, enlightened policy-makers should be doing precisely what George Osborne is doing: Taking an empirical approach to our current economic woes.

By: MaggieMP Sun, 16 Jun 2013 02:26:44 +0000 This article’s message, the assessment of the nature of ‘the recovery’ is especially discouraging; but I suppose we’re better off if more of this kind of message were tossed out to general readership. (Maybe, just maybe, there’s some slim chance that humanity will notice how it’s behaving. It’s not just high level political manipulations that need correction, obviously. Multitudes of ordinary people are so keen to ‘get back to normal’ that they don’t seem terribly interested in how ‘normal’ became such a disaster.

I’m in the US and the same can be said for developments here. I track some news from a few Canadian communities and there – since they fared better all along – skirting disaster while maintaining ‘normal’, seems the happy mindset. Humanity’s behavior, given some 8-10,000 years to reach decent levels of literacy, (and the presumed capacity to use this for developing an ever better world), seems beyond bizarre.

By: matthewslyman Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:56:51 +0000 This was half the story behind Conservative Party “economic policy” during most of the Thatcher years. This hypocrisy might have been how Gordon Brown got his inspiration to make the Bank of England into an “independent” technocratic institution (a positive step). (Gordon Brown was brilliant while ever he had Tony Blair to keep him on his toes.) George Osborne has only aped Gordon Brown’s political magnanimity and economic foresight by creating the “Office of Budget Responsibility” — one wonders why he didn’t create stronger technocratic anti-cyclical institutions?

So much for all the lip-service to “affordable housing”! With 65% of British families “owning” their own home (mostly with paper money backing that up); making them feel “wealthy” has become part of political strategy.

It’s not by coincidence that George Osborne is BOTH the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer (financial minister) and ALSO the Conservative Party’s Chief Strategist, AT THE SAME TIME. It’s an obvious conflict of interests! Yet for some reason, none of our politicians or journalists have been making an issue out of this. WHY NOT?
See posts of 20th April 2013…

By: acebros Fri, 14 Jun 2013 10:44:50 +0000 Mr Kaletsky makes his own “intellectually incoherent” jump, tucked away at the bottom of the article: “as the world pulls out of its five-year slump and gradually returns to normal economic conditions,” while noting that current policies are certain to produce a bubble.

“Normal” has a nice reassuring ring, but the only way it makes any sense in this context is to define “normal” as “the experience of the last ten years,” that is, intense cycles of bubble and collapse overlying a secular trend towards higher unemployment, lower real productivity, depressed real wages, and industrial stagnation.

To say that this policy “works” is like saying you can fly by jumping off the Empire State Building — yes, but.

By: heyrevolver Fri, 14 Jun 2013 09:16:25 +0000 So Help to Buy is “cynical, manipulative and hypocritical – and it looks like it is going to work”. Work in what way ? Provide a housing boom that works to get the Tories re-elected and a recovery underway ? Possibly yes. But work in the longer term ie 5+ years out ? I’d like to here Anatole’s thoughts on this – on the longer term repercussions. What does he think of the policy on balance. It’s not clear to me what is being said in terms of the bigger picture as opposed to what it might achieve short term. 5 years down the line there’s going to be real trouble again surely ?

It a reckless policy – hair of the dog. Do we really want to do this again ?

It amazes me how the Tories get away with it. They blame everything on the last government’s spending, Gordon Brown blah blah… whilst re-enacting the policies that actually really did get us into this mess … and the majority of the people in this country fall for it.

The Conservative propanganda machine works well that’s for sure.

By: OneOfTheSheep Fri, 14 Jun 2013 06:46:22 +0000 Every scam depends on things “…cynical, manipulative and hypocritical…” that “…looks like it is going to work.” Until it doesn’t!

Hope springs eternal…the hope of the bigger fool! It’s going to be wild ride, folks.

By: phoen2011 Thu, 13 Jun 2013 18:30:16 +0000 so Osborne’s policy s vey effectively creating a bubble which he hopes will blow up only after the 2015 elections. Vey smart indeed. It is a good indication of how desperate the (dis)United Kingdom is. Let’s hope it leaves the EU before the final implosion.