With Governments around the world now wedded to austerity, it’s easy to lose sight of what the overall goal of economic policy should be. At the moment, the goal seems to be ‘deal with the debt’, ‘pay down the deficit’ (whatever that means). We have stopped asking why austerity is necessary and kind of accepted it as a fact of life. Sure we don’t like it, but there’s no alternative right? Maybe we could raise taxes on the rich a bit more, or go after tax dodging more, but ultimately, that deficit must come down or the sky will fall in.
There is a general consensus about this right across the political spectrum, and – after being bombarded by over two years of propaganda – amongst the public at large. But should economic policy be all about ‘deficit reduction’ with only token nods to ‘policies for growth’? I think not…
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