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What will the future be?

(68 Posts)
Whitewavemark2 Fri 15-May-20 14:41:48

I’ve been reading about how crises, like war, severe economy recession and and pandemic often brings changes to the way we live our lives.

Prior to the beginning of the war in the USA, Roosevelt has introduced the “new deal” plan. Keynesian economics were utilised to bring about a swift recovery from the 1929 crash, and although resisted by the republicans and more conservative Politicians proved so successful that it kept the democrats in office for decades.

In Britain, the same Keynesian economics were employed by the incoming Labour government, post WW2 to provide growth on a scale the U.K. had never before experienced, and which lasted for nearly 2 decades. There was wholesale social restructuring with the welfare state, nationalisation of some industries and increased taxation.

The national debt incurred by the end of the war exceeded 230% GDP but in the following decades this reduced considerably primarily through economic growth. Opportunities were distributed much more fairly and overall the standard of living was increased to a level never previously thought possible.

All this both here and the USA was done without any reliance on austerity or belief that debt was something you needed to pay back, to balance the books. Those governments were much wiser.

My argument is that for success in our future, a form of Keynesian economics need to be deployed once again. To grow our way out of the recession and debt. How we grow is another issue. We have choices. But grow we must. There must be absolutely no return to austerity, which will choke off any seeds of growth. It would be disastrous and delay and weaken any recovery, with the real cost being even more damaging to our public services health and education. Britain can’t afford another period of austerity.

But of course the right will resist this just as they did in the 1930s and post war. They argue the now familiar refrain. “Governments must only spend what they have”

But this is as history has taught us entirely incorrect.

“The state is the last remaining pillar of the economy when households or businesses cannot or will not spend. If government also retrenched, there is no way to stop the spiral downwards. But - if government spends, others are much more likely to do so. It doesn’t crowd out private initiative or spending, it encourages it.

It is the way to our future.

vampirequeen Fri 15-May-20 14:50:45

The rich will get richer. The poor will get poorer.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 15-May-20 14:53:24

Not if we learn our lesson from post other disasters.

EllanVannin Fri 15-May-20 16:30:48

Price rises galore.
The local greengrocer was telling me this morning that prices have risen in the wholesale markets with fruits and greens increasing overnight, which obviously makes our purchases more expensive but this isn't the only area.

A slowdown in the transportation of goods from Europe and the delay and shortage of farm workers in this country will begin to affect buying both wholesale and of course retail.

The knock-on effect of this virus will be devastating in parts.

Davidhs Fri 15-May-20 16:33:11

I remember the post war WW2 period as austerity my parents made do with what they had, grew what vegetables they could, never went out to a restaurant, never had alcohol at home. After 1960 it did get better, although taxation was quite high, manufacturing recovered as best it could using old buildings and machinery.
Investment was lacking and most of what they produced was poor quality and did not last. Very quickly after that better technology and manufacturing from overseas overtook the UK and sent most industries into decline.
The great achievement post war was the NHS, that made a big difference to lives, as did the rebuilding in the cities. Everyone accepted that we all had to pull together to recover from wartime, a big contrast with today.

EllanVannin Fri 15-May-20 16:38:20

Yes, the answer is to grow your own. No excuse really if you have a garden is there ?

Dinahmo Fri 15-May-20 16:39:04

Sadly the present government don't agree with Keynesian economics. They're spending at the moment because they can't let tens of thousands die but I don't think that will last after the current crisis is over. The only thing they will do is to help each other and their friends. Eg Randox (advised by Owen Patterson) "won" a contract to do testing. No other companies asked to tender.

JenniferEccles Fri 15-May-20 16:47:50

The much maligned ‘rich’ of course will be the saviours of the economy with their spending power.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 15-May-20 17:07:04

jennifer no evidence shows that the wealthy spend no differently. In fact if given more money they simply save more. It is the poor who spend. So it is sensible to lower the tax for the poor and increase it for the wealthy.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 15-May-20 17:12:15

ellanvannin roll on December eh?!

JenniferEccles Fri 15-May-20 17:21:29

The fact remains that the very hard up have no spare money at all after all the necessities have been paid for.

Your theory of the better off squirrelling away their money is too simplistic.

Yes some would be saved which is sensible, but it’s obvious that a lot of spare income would be spent on things to make life more comfortable and enjoyable.

The poor meanwhile, some through their own fault and some not, will be a further drain on the already over stretched State.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 15-May-20 17:24:46

jennifer So what would you like to see happen?

lemongrove Fri 15-May-20 17:26:49

Rabbi Sachs did a wonderful thought for the day today, on this very subject.?

Whitewavemark2 Fri 15-May-20 17:36:13

Oh! What did he say lemon?

MaizieD Fri 15-May-20 18:01:40

The 'rich' are already comfortable, JenniferE, they don't tend to spend extra money; they do just squirrel it away.

I believe you're thinking of the 'trickle down' theory. Well, 'trickle down' was what Thatcher and all tory governments since have said would happen. But no, all that has happened is that the rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer. No trickle down at all.

Did you know that, when all taxation is taken into consideration, income, VAT etc. the 'rich' actually pay a smaller percentage of their income than do the poor? Does that seem in the slightest bit equable? Why should those who can least afford it have to pay the most?

Do people think that wealthy people have some sort of right to hog the world's resources and the rest of us just have to be grateful for their crumbs?

growstuff Fri 15-May-20 19:05:11

JenniferEccles The "rich" haven't helped us over the last couple of months. State intervention has saved us from some of the worst effects - not private enterprise.

growstuff Fri 15-May-20 19:08:25

JenniferEccles The theory of trickle down economics has been thoroughly debunked many, many times.

The poor don't have money to squander on luxury goods, but they do have to spend their money (in fact, they're forced to), which is what keeps the economy ticking over.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 15-May-20 19:13:15

jennifer your use of language is very telling. The rich are sensible whilst the poor are a drain.

JenniferEccles Fri 15-May-20 19:18:29

I didn’t say they did growstuff
I thought we were talking about what will happen eventually.

We will have to agree to disagree about whether the wealthy spend money as I have described.

As regards the question of what would I do, all I can say is I’m glad it’s not my decision to make!!

Taxes will have to rise but other than that, we shall have to wait and see.

vampirequeen Fri 15-May-20 20:09:32

Why are the poor a drain, JenniferEccles? Why do describe the poor in two ways? Do you believe there are deserving and undeserving poor by any chance?

growstuff Fri 15-May-20 21:48:12

The poor pay rents to the rich. Without them, they'd be nothing and have nothing.

I wonder who has been more valuable to society over the last few months - medical staff, care workers, posties, cleaners, delivery drivers, transport staff, food pickers, etc or landlords, investors, people with seven figure salaries?

Maybe there will be a rethink about how much each person is worth. Maybe we'll see a repeat of the 1945 election.

Grany Fri 15-May-20 21:51:10

Well Said Wwm2

Has anyone read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists?
By Robert Tressell I have just read the unabridged version. Published 1965

The RTP were working just for the benefit of their employers who got richer, the poor workers, poorer. First published 1914

It is semi autobiographical the main character Owen wanted to change his workmates attitude shake then out of their acceptance of how things were, to how things could change for the better, more equality, workers having their fair share in the good life their hard work produced.

This book helped to bring in the Labour 1945 Clement Attlee Government

All written is true.

"I have not invented nothing There are no scenes or incidents in the story that I have not witnessed myself or had conclusive evidence of"

So agree #Whitewavemark2*the way the economy and this government is run needs vast improvement. A complete change smile

EllanVannin Fri 15-May-20 21:54:47

Why December Whitewavemark2 ?

growstuff Fri 15-May-20 22:06:10

Yes, I've read it Grany.

Four years is a long time, especially in politics. I don't think Johnson will last the course. I suspect Whitewave is referring to Brexit in December. Next year is going to be an absolute shambles.

There is no way that the public will take it all lying down.

growstuff Fri 15-May-20 22:08:13

Maybe some people should be made to take courses in basic economic understanding hmm.

The poor are not a drain on the state. Some people need to think what they mean by the state.