Handbag economics

After the 2010 election, journalists sought out the woman who Gordon Brown called a bigot for her remarks about immigration, and treated her like some sort of guru.  I wonder if they will now seek out the guy who lectured Ed Miliband about public spending, saying (Thatcher style) that he knew about sticking to a budget because if he overspent he could not go to the pub at the weekend.

If they manage to find him, it may be worthwhile asking this Adam Smith de nos jours some questions about the similarity between his household budget and the national exchequer, viz:

  • Do you, like the Bank of England, have an unblemished credit record that stretches back to 1694 ?
  • Can you print your own money ?
  • Have you recently undertaken quantitative easing for the financial sector by buying in billions of commercial and government bills ?
  • Are you the only agency able to support the financial sector when it gets itself into a pickle ?
  • Is your income large enough to influence the volume of gross national demand ? Specifically, when you choose to cut your spending, does it raise the national rate of unemployment and reduce economically growth ?

and if the answer is “Er, I don’t know” or (better) “Of course not.  I shot off my mouth without thinking”, will credit rating agencies reduce the value of his opinions to junk status ?



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