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Monday, 12 May 2008

Am I missing the plot here, or what?

Economics was described by some wit as “the dismal science.”

I just read some lugubrious economist predicting dire things if the Bank of England doesn’t act swiftly.

The "downturn" is, he said, going to be worse.

It seems GDP is likely to “plunge” from 3% to just 1.7% growth, which reminds me of another remark to the effect that statistics are a way of stating half-truths inexactly.

Those figures beg one or two questions in my simple mind, the first being why can't this man speak plain English?

If growth is a downturn, what is the opposite? Is a slump an upturn

What perverse logic dictates that anything less than growth is a disaster? Who says things always have to get better?

Would it be the end of the world if they didn’t? Since the great and good think we’re using up too many natural resources, wouldn’t it be a good thing?

Anyhow, I started a business with two partners in the middle of a downturn in the late '70's. We had our own personal little downturns, too. None of us had any money and I owed £10 grand to the taxman - a lot then. Eight years later I managed to foist the whole thing on Ogilvy and Mather for quite a lot, which considering I am an abysmal business man is quite amazing.

While we’re on the subject of the improbable, how the hell did the Bliar/Brown team manage to increase taxes 50% without improving anything the Bliar promised eleven years ago? Not the schools, not the hospitals, not the transport system, not housing, not crime (another teenager murdered on Saturday), not defence. Nothing.

That really is remarkable. Mind you, there is some poetic justice since as the pied piper skips off into the distance buying up multi-million pound properties left and right and getting paid tons by the gullible, the miserable old grouch who stopped him spending is left holding the bag.

Actually, that's not quite true: the Bliar is still stuck with Cherie baby.

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