27 Mar '16, 9am

'Handbag economics' and the other myths that drive austerity

The basic justification for austerity is that the public sector must "live within its means". There is a plausibility in the claim that the state is like a household that should not spend more than it earns, but this kind of ‘handbag economics’ draws its analogy from an entirely mythical family budget. We already know that real households do not live within their means; if they did, the economy would grind to a halt. Modern prosperity is built upon debt, and the main aim of economic recovery is to get the banks lending again to both households and businesses. It is a myth, and it is propping up austerity politics. Another myth is that there is a shortage of money. This implies that there is a fixed pool of money, or some other external factor limiting supply. That might be true if money was made of a scarce resource, such as precious metal, but modern money is mainly held ...

Full article: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/handbag-economics-and...

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