Deceit NOT Ignorance

I feel I must draw attention to the blog by Simon Wren Lewis on Monday this week. It is well worth a read throughout. But it also contains this withering indictment of ‘our’ government. It is a devastating comment, particularly for an Oxford academic and a – hardly revolutionary – ex civil servant.

“Some may disapprove of the language I use here. Should a normally sober Oxford macroeconomist talk about political parties deliberately deceiving the electorate? It is not a view I have adopted lightly, but when a Chancellor repeatedly argues that public spending must be cut to meet deficit targets at the same time as reducing inheritance or corporation tax, or a Prime Minister continually repeats the lie that immigration reduces access to public services, what other conclusion can you come to? They could get away with this deceit because academic economists (the majority of whom know that austerity would reduce output, and that immigration improves the public finances) are largely ignored by the media.”

Which is something the BBC particularly, and indeed anyone who ever again votes Conservative will have to explain.


  1. Sean Danaher -

    Indeed, after Richard Murphy’s TRUK blog I tend to look at Simon Wren-Lewis’s “Mainly Macro” blog – there is a link in the “Economics” section of the “Useful Links” page. I found the Kansas state study interesting (also I think in Simon’s same post), I was tempted to write about it under a heading “We’re not in Kansas Anymore” regarding Neoliberal overreach.

    To me Neoliberalism is amoral and even if it wasn’t it doesn’t even work on its own terms, producing high growth, but rather increases inequality. However the Tory’s seem to believe in an extreme form of Neoliberalism; the private sector is always better than the state sector, private debt is always better than state debt and even “expansionary fiscal contraction”. To me its a form of madness at best but I have tried to be kind and put it down to economic incompetence “the UK is like a household” and the fact that the government lives in a right wing echo chamber. More recently I’m afraid that the Tory’s only care about the 1% and simply don’t care. Profit always comes before the well-being of the 99%.

    Austerity is being used as a tool to shrink the state as is the “bonfire of red tape.” Possibly they delude themselves into thinking what is good for the Tory party and the 1% is ultimately good for the country and still believe in discredit “trickle down economics.”

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