Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shifty Paradigms

We should see the threat of even Bigger Government

No time for a proper blog today, but I must highlight Matthew Parris's latest article. Pointing out that there is no easy escape from our current difficulties, and we just have to accept we've been living way beyond our means, he says:

"There's a piece of fashionable political nonsense you should be vaccinated against before the virus hits us: a whole vocabulary of ministerial happy thoughts to which you'd best learn to block your ears... our prosperity sinks, the politicians' rhetoric will go skyward. “New challenges”, “a new vision”, “post-millennial economy”, “thinking outside the box”...

... it will all be just so much hot air...

The non-City part of our economic landscape has not been held back by political inattention, and will not be significantly advanced by political patronage or speeches. Politicians don't “rebalance” economies. Market forces do.

This recession is not a failure of market economics. It is a reassertion of market economics after a decade in which we paid ourselves more than we were producing, and funded it precariously and temporarily by complicated credit instruments that it took a while for the market to rumble."

As so often Mr P is right on the money.

Big government types are once again screaming that "unbridled capitalism" has failed, and it's time for governments to bring forth the new paradigm - eg yesterday's Newsnight gave us Will Hutton puffing "stakeholder capitalism", the central idea of his 1995 anti-market book The State We're In.

Back in 1995, managementspeak was all about such "paradigm shifts". Yet what gave us the global boom of the next decade was not some high fallutin' mindsetgame, but the plain old-fashioned profit motive.

Which, as Mr P says, is precisely what will eventually drive our recovery from the present slump.

And you know what?

We're betting that the financial sector - despite all its past excesses, its present difficulties, and much tighter regs in future - will yet return to be a key driver of our future prosperity.

And when we've got some more time, we'll spell out precisely why it's a better bet than all those "green" industries now being promoted so heavily by the BBC and the rest of the left.

PS Talking of the BBC, their refusal to broadcast a Gaza appeal is a jaw-dropping illustration of just how arrogant BBC management is. Given the hideous damage inflicted on the Palestinians, even those of us who understand why Israel attacked, want to reach out a helping hand. And we're the ones paying the BBC's bills.

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