My attention was drawn to an article in the Spectator, well, not so much an article as a graph, really:
And what does this graph show us? Well, the red bars are what the debt would have been if Labour had won the election and the blue bars are what the debt will be under the coalition. For all the sanctimonious talk of “fiscal consolidation”, the true state of the government’s spending plans become apparent. There is no intention of reining in the runaway horse that is government spending.
The plan to conquer the deficit is a bagatelle, all that is going to do is reduce interest payments, it’s going to do nearly nothing to slow down the juggernaut of state spending.
“But”, you might say, “why is that a bad thing?” Well, yes, it is.
The government’s debt burden is going to exceed one trillion pounds in less than two years’ time: £1,000,000,000,000.00
The first thing that should worry you is that of course, ha! ha! the government doesn’t actually have any money of its own, ha! ha! No, all that debt means that every man, woman and child in the UK today is on the hook for approximately £16,000 . And if that doesn’t make you giggle nervously, then ha! ha! well, I have to point out that of course not every one of those people is economically active and that ha! ha! only about a quarter of those people actually work, meaning that if you are a tax-payer, well, ha! ha! you’re on the hook to the tune of £64,000.
And at some point, those debts are going to have to be settled. But because the state is addicted to spending, there is going to be precious little of that.
Faced with a situation like this, the government would be well advised to take a different position by asking what the state absolutely essentially has to provide. They should restructure the government to do these things and simply dismantle the rest.
We are not all feeling the same pain here, despite what Mr Osborne says and despite the bleating of the progressive commentariat. There are allegedly 15 million people officially gainfully employed in the UK. 6 million of these are employed by the state, these 6 million are a nett drain on the economy, because even if they are providing useful services (which is by no means always the case!) they are still not as efficient as the private sector in delivering those services. If we removed the burden of paying for even half of those people from the 9 million who actually generate wealth, it would be like lifting an enormous yoke from the shoulders of those who are productive. And even if those people were immediately just placed on the dole, it would still be a nett gain, because they wouldn’t cost the people who generate wealth as much money and the government would have to scale back the regulation and red tape that frustrates so much of life.
Furthermore, I’m convinced that there are many people stuck in the rut of a depressing, soulless public sector job who simply need a rocket up the rear to get out there and follow their dreams.
And finally, what about all the “services” that would be destroyed? Well, if there is a genuine need for those services, then commercial enterprises could step in to provide them more cost-effectively and more innovatively than the state can. And people with experience in those area may well find themselves in demand for delivering the services. And if there is no genuine need for those services, well, then we’re all better off without them, aren’t we?
It’s time to be a lot braver than the coalition appears to be.