Effective medicine tastes badly

Food banks, cuts in services, cuts in defence spending, threats of cuts in welfare benefits and all sort of other economies and yet the deficit still remains and Her Majesty’s government seem unable to reduce it significantly. In order to reduce it properly we need to make massive cuts in government expenditure but the nation has no appetite for such a course of action. What then should be done?

Continue reading

The economics of nemo dat quod no habet

The arguments rage over “cuts” (which is the word that the UK opposition parties use to describe government savings and “savings” which is the word used by the government to describe cuts in government expenditure.

There are freely interchangeable but neither word really communicates the process that is now happening. Latin has a habit of communicating in a few words a concept that takes many words to explain, so at the risk of appearing pretentious I shall use a Latin phrase, nemo dat quod non habet, which roughly means “you cannot give what you have not got”. Continue reading

Eating the seed corn

If you live in the United Kingdom and turn on the BBC you will have heard a great deal of news about “cutbacks” and the hardship that they will cause. In truth, they will cause hardship in the public sector; most of the private sector has already suffered the pain. Our Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, apparently thinks that the BBC spends most of its news concentrating on the hardship that cuts will bring rather than the reason for the cuts that are occurring. Continue reading