Economic Literacy - Not Here, Gov!

Posted on: 13/05/2017

Question: how many people are registered to vote in the UK?

Very easy.

Answer: at the end of 2016, 47.3 Million.

How many of those voters are economically literate?

Very hard ( for almost all of them)


So when those same UK voters are asked in Opinion Polls "what makes you vote for a particular political party?" and they answer "competency to run the economy", the chances are that those giving the response haven't got a clue what they are talking about.

Or, put another way, their response is governed by there own financial position (as far as they understand it); what they are personally earning, job security and so on.

The National Economy doesn't figure in their thinking, partly because they have no understanding as to how it works.

Last week, I remarked to someone that the National Debt of the UK had risen by more than 50% since 2010, when "austerity" economic policies were implemented, by the then new Chancellor, George Osborne. The riposte was "I am sure the National Debt peaked under the last (Labour) government".

No. It did not. It is now £1.5 Trillion and it stood at under £1 Trillion in 2010.

The National Debt is in fact increasing every year, by a minimum of £80 Billion; sometimes more.

Of course, there are some proposals to raise income tax, in some political manifestos.

However, even if the amount of tax paid by the top 5% of tax payers in the UK is increased by 10%,it  will only raise around £8 Billion a year for the Exchequer, even assumng the top tax payers decide to hang around in the UK to cough up the money.

No UK politician I know has the faintest idea about reducing the nations National Debt - or even significantly reducing the annual deficit. What they rely on is that the electorate understand so little about our Small Islands economy that the politicos can simply ignore the rising mountain of IOU's and waffle on instead about saving the UK money by; leaving the EU; reducing the number of "foreigners" sponging off the UK; getting all those  British malingerers off benefits.

None of those measures will save significant amounts of money - but if you are going to waffle about something, might as well make it a subject where there are so many popular misconceptions that those being economic with the economic truth can rarely, if ever, be fully exposed.

The UK is effectively bankrupt. Our government would have to spend £ZERO for the next  three years to clear the National Debt. It will actually spend around £700 Billion in each of those years. 

So there is no hope of reducing the National Debt - or even containing it - in the foreseeable future. Or ever, if one is honest.

Leaving the EU is likely to make matters worse - but that is a subject for another day.

Anyway, if I happen to ask YOU why you are voting for your chosen party at the General Election in June, please do NOT tell me it is because of their economic competence. THEY are  certainly  NOT competent and YOU clearly do NOT understand economics!

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