‘Headless chickens’ still steering the economy in Britain

Being a schmuck means never having the balls to say you’re sorry. More importantly, it means knowing you’re wrong about the course of action you took, in this case economy austerity, but continuing to pursue the same course because changing it would be an admission that you didn’t know what the hell you were doing. From Guardian UK:

Europe’s collective response to the 2008 credit crunch ranks with the treaty of Versailles and German reparations among the great follies of history. While the peoples of Greece, Spain, Italy and France wrestle with counter-productive austerity policies, Britain’s rulers have no more idea of what to do next. On Tuesday David Cameron and Nick Clegg renewed the coalition marriage vow of two years ago, but there were no smiles of rapture in a Downing Street garden, just gritted teeth in an Essex factory. Cocks of the walk had become headless chickens.

Those who warned at the time that the coalition risked double-dip recession by over-suppressing demand have been proved right. The chancellor, George Osborne, raised [the value added tax] to 20%, tightened benefits and allowed banks to restrict credit (while saying the opposite). He declared that private sector growth would more than compensate for public sector contraction. He meant well, but he was wrong.

He was also wrong to dismiss the desire of Gus O’Donnell, then cabinet secretary, for a plan B. It was clear 18 months ago that demand was collapsing. A government obsession with rescuing banks took the cabinet’s eye off the ball and had nothing to do with the case. The longer course correction was delayed, the more demand drained from the economy, until the gangrene of double-dip set in. Britain is now having one of the worst recessions in the OECD…