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‘Socialism for the rich’: the evils of bad economics | Inequality | The Guardian
Much of the inequality we see today in richer countries is more down to decisions made by governments than to irreversible market forces. These decisions can be changed. However, we have to want to control inequality: we must make inequality reduction a central aim of government policy and wider society. The most entrenched, self-deluding and self-perpetuating justifications for inequality are about morality, not economy. The great economist John Kenneth Galbraith nicely summarised the problem: “One of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy … is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. It is an exercise which always involves a certain number of internal contradictions and even a few absurdities. The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character-building value of privation for the poor.”
economics  policy  inequality  Thatcherism  tax  socialMobility  morality 
12 weeks ago by petej
Economist Paul Johnson: ‘We are nowhere near out of austerity' | Business | The Guardian
Even without Brexit, the challenges facing the UK would be formidable. With Brexit, they look cataclysmic. “The economics are obvious,” he says. “If you make trade with your biggest, nearest and richest trading partner more expensive, you will make yourself worse off. The truth is there is no dispute about that. Of course there is a case for Brexit. It’s just not an economic case. It’s a controlling-immigration case. With everything – and this is what’s frustrating about a lot of political debate – there are trade-offs. Do you want control of your borders or do you want to avoid taking a hit of a couple of per cent of GDP? You can’t have both.
economics  economy  UK  austerity  policy  cuts  publicServices  tax  NHS  welfareState  HammondPhilip  politics  democracy  Brexit  JohnsonPaul  IFS 
march 2018 by petej
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