Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spending the way to prosperity or doom

Many politicians and their economic advisers believe that the way to get the economy moving is to get people to spend. That is undeniably the right thing to do, but only up to a point. This is a flawed argument in times of prosperity.. Many, if not all, of the developed countries that are now in trouble do not save for rainy days. Their governments spend through bad times to stimulate the economy, and then continue to spend in good times to win votes by making people feel good. Of course, when people spend endlessly, the economic indicators will tick upwards. Unfortunately, the ensuing prosperity is ephemeral. The day of reckoning will eventually come, and come it has.

This is perhaps a time for our government to reflect on what is good and responsible economic management. If it is not able to spend within its revenue, perhaps it should relinquish the job of running the government to the opposition. We should have a law to prevent those in power from spending over the budget, which is what they like to do as it helps to garner votes by giving everyone some goodies. Only that the goodies are obtained by incurring debt, to be paid for by the future generation.

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