Today, in an underemployed economy, with excessive household debt, and a Sydney-centred property bubble, the Government and the Opposition are locked in a struggle for who can announce the biggest ‘budget savings’.
Never mind that a monetary sovereign can’t ‘save’ in its own currency. Such a concept has no meaning.
The Coalition has announced its planned ‘savings’; the Labor Party refuse to be outdone in an incompetence contest, and so intend to announce even bigger ‘savings’.
Because the Government is just like a household, isn’t it, and we all have to tighten our belts and live within our means, don’t we?
Never mind the fact that the non-government sector needs the government to provide net financial assets, by net spending.
Never mind the fact that we are nowhere near full employment.
Never mind the fact that the Commonwealth Government has nothing at all in common with a household, that Commonwealth government ‘debt’ isn’t really debt at all in the nomrla sense of the word (but a form of money), and that the Government cannot save its own money (it makes no sense to even talk about saving your own IOUs).
The Australian Employment Party is right that it is many years overdue for us to abandon so-called ‘sound finance’ for ‘functional finance’.
This, of course, does not mean limitless government spending. It DOES mean net spending at the level necessary to sustain non-inflationary full employment with an employment guarantee.
As for the Australian Greens, they are genuinely well-meaning people, but those among them who understand don’t seem to have anything to say at all on these issues in public, and those that don’t just want to join the delusional group-think of governments as households, and show they can be as rigorous with ‘the budget’ as the ALP and the Coalition.
And all the media seem to to, including the ABC, is to witter on unquestioningly and uncritically about ‘budget repair’.
Goodness, me. We are overdue for a change.
It seems we’ll need at least one more private debt crisis before such a thing is possible.
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