Monday, 16 January 2012

More Lanchashire Cotton Wool

Troglodyte Reactionary Syndrome, Part II

Economic ignorance amongst the left never ceases to surprise it seems.  Hidebound in ideology, leftists would appear unable to see what is right before their face.  

The latest example: the self-styled humble blogger, Danyl at Dim Post.
Labour Party candidate Josie Pagani (relation) has a column in the Herald about Labour’s identity problem. Some of it’s interesting, but this jumped out at me:
There’s a reason we’re called “Labour”: We have always represented people who work. If you work hard you should earn enough to pay the bills, save a bit and enjoy the holidays with your family. If you have a great idea to build a business and work really hard, a Labour government will back you to be world class. It’s not just about dividing the economic pie fairly, it’s about increasing the size of the pie so everyone can get their piece.
Growing the pie. David Shearer used the same cliche in his first speech to Parliament. Here’s my question: why are Labour still using ACT Party rhetoric about the panacea of economic growth, when all our economic statistics, social indicators and lived experience over the past thirty years tell us that the benefits of ‘growing the pie’ now aggregate to a  small number of high-net worth individuals? The rest of us stay where we are, or go backwards.

For a few years during the mid 2000s it felt like we were going forwards – but that was just a bubble fueled (sic) by overseas debt. During this time Helen Clark constantly resorted to the tired old Kennedy/Sorenson trope that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. But this just isn’t an accurate way to think about economic growth. It may, eventually lift general living standards over a long period of time, but it always involves an element of ‘creative destruction’. Businesses go bankrupt and people lose their jobs, and their occupations become obsolete.
Two things  stand out.  Firstly, Danyl seems to have little idea of what economic growth actually is.  Ironically, Danyl is making his point via a blog on the Internet; he presumably is using a PC; no doubt he has a cell-phone--maybe even one of those latest funky smart phones.  He probably owns a car with performance characteristics undreamed of thirty years ago.  He presumably has travelled overseas via a Boeing or Airbus aircraft, and the food on his table is likely much more interesting, varied, and more healthy than what was on his grandfather's table thirty years ago.  Moreover, the cost of the shirt on his back is a fraction of what it cost his grandfather at the time, and we are pretty sure Danyl has far more shirts overall in his wardrobe at present than his grandfather ever owned in his entire life.  We don't know Danyl, and are speculating.  But we think our speculations will not be far from the truth.

But for some unfathomable reason, Danyl does not regard these phenomena as economic growth.  He does not think the pie has got bigger.  Spare us.  It represents a classic example of leftist ideology blinding its adherents.

Secondly, Danyl appears offended by the idea that economic growth can only come via creative destruction.  Some things, firms, jobs have to go the way of the dodo as economic growth happens.  This, to Danyl represents human suffering.  It is why economic growth is costly and bad.  Puleeeeze! 

To Danyl its somehow evil and sad that our thoroughfares are not longer filled with horses perambulating up and down, filling the roads with fly infested dung.  So many hostlers and stable hands out of work.  And think of all those doctors whose livelihoods have been threatened because they no longer get to work on attempting to cure tuberculosis.  And all those nurses made redundant once the TB sanatoriums had to close down, because economic progress killed them off.  Terrible.  What a cost.

He can't be serious.  No, he just can't think straight.  Why?  His hide-bound ideology has made him myopic, if not blind.  One more troglodyte reactionary living in nineteenth century Lancashire cotton wool.

Hat Tip: Kiwiblog

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