Tory press cheers on £3bn cuts… but ignores anti-austerity IMF report

Today’s right-wing newspapers commit sins both of commission and omission. What they do and don’t say about economics today is very revealing. First, the omission. As Left Foot Forward reported yesterday, along with the Guardian, the Economist and others, the International Monetary Fund has published a report arguing that focus on cutting national debt rather than investment can do more harm than good. It said a bit of debt won’t actually hurt your economy, and will naturally be swallowed up by investment-led growth. Predictably, since this strikes to the root of the Tory government’s rationale for its economic policies over the past five years, (and for the five to come), the paper has been ignored by today’s right-wing print newspapers.

I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you, that most of the press in the UK is so obviously biased. Did the supposedly leftwing BBC mention this? I bet it didn’t.

Source: Tory press cheers on £3bn cuts… but ignores anti-austerity IMF report | Left Foot Forward

The austerity delusion | Paul Krugman | Business | The Guardian

A long read, with economics related stuff in it, but worth working through.

Short, angry version- austerity is bullshit and held back economic recovery. The Conservatives are either economically illiterate or only imposed it because of pressure from big business and their rich friends. And Labour are a bunch of pathetic cowards because they’ve been bullied into promising to stick with a failed policy.

Source: The austerity delusion | Paul Krugman | Business | The Guardian

Extreme Money

I’m reading Extreme Money at the moment. It’s slow going. For one thing it’s information heavy, jumping from idea to idea as it traces the history of the modern obsession with the market. I’m also already angry at the politicians who are destroying all the good things in our country, and this book shows up the emptiness of the ideology they’re hurting us all for.

The financial sector- the thing the Tories will kill and destroy to protect- isn’t a house built on sand. It’s an ugly and decrepit Disney castle held together by a string of lies and floating on the hot air generated by Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of economics. The experts whose study is cited to justify austerity can’t even add up a column in Excel. If they’re incapable of the intellectual rigour required to check their sums, why on earth are we letting their ideas ruin our lives?

Some interesting links on climate change

Behemoth of the blogosphere BoingBoing has a guest blogger on board this week who has posted a collection of climate change denial posts. Cory Doctorow has come back with a bunch of posts about the science of the subject. For instance-

The Discovery of Global Warming – a history, a hyperlinked text because there were/are so many pieces of research going on concurrently and independently that an attempt at a linear history of the subject wouldn’t work.

What we’ve learned in 2008– discoveries in the field of climate change last year.

Climate Change Economics. This looks like heavy going, but it’s all about the economics around cutting green house emissions and discussion of different incentives to do so.

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The Real Great Depression

Historian Scott Reynolds Nelson feels that the current economic crisis is not modelled after the crash of 1929 but rather the Long Depression that began in 1873. More material to mull over for Sounds of Soldiers. The comments about increased protectionism could be a basis for the closed borders I’ve been hinting at in the snippets written so far.

via Open The Future