Once, just once, I’d love to see someone from the left tell us how to fix the economy (fast!) without proposing to hike taxes on the rich. Well, they never do.
I guess it’s a cheap trick though. Point to people who (apparently) aren’t paying taxes, ignore the fact that they actually contribute most of the tax take, then demand that the government ransack their finances. This tactic is incredibly safe, because no government is foolish enough to take this advice, as we all know from history that taxing something reduces it, and less rich means less money in the economy.
So what is presented as a “solution” is in fact simply someone grabbing a politics-of-envy video from a country with a completely different economy to us, then claiming that this is the answer to fixing the economy fast.
Or to put it another way, it’s political support the author is after, not a solution to the economy.
Because we know how to fix the economy. It isn’t pretty or popular, but does work and it will work. But like most things, it won’t happen over-night.
It’s called hard work. In particular, doing more with less while people in debt pay off those debts. Once those debts are paid off, then the economy will expand.
While it’s tempting for governments to tinker and/or create grand schemes to grow the economy, in reality the best thing that governments can do is to create the right conditions for businesses to grow, and then wait for them to do so. (Oh, and run government accounts sensibly.)
This isn’t popular however, and any government pursuing this option leaves itself open to people who “have the solution”. This is what happened in New Zealand post 1999 – the Labour government told everyone they fixed the economy, while making lots of noise about “job creation programs”. In reality, they left most of what National had done alone, knowing full well that they had done the right thing, while creating a bigger and bigger legend of who evil the 90’s National party was.
And this strategy of pretending to care about the economy while grandstanding for political support is what the left is doing again today. Unless you seriously are going to tell me that taking GST off fruit and vegies, and forcing students to join student’s associations are going to fix the economy*.
*Bit hard to claim that Labour’s only other suggestion – Home Insulation – is going to fix it after National created their own scheme.
Update: Yes, I completely re-wrote this. Twice.
Update2: Hm, in that case I should really re-write the headline 🙂
Update 3: Ok, that was a good idea. New healine.