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'Something Will Turn Up' by David Smith

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'Something Will Turn Up' by David Smith

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:53 pm

Sic transit gloria Britannica

Those of us who have lived through the period of Britain's industrial decline from 1950 to 1990 need little reminder of the reasons, but contemporary scholars may be interested in a personal account by a man who was resident in "The Black Country" around Walsall and Wolverhampton, going to a school smothered in soot and industrial by-products.

"Something Will Turn Up"
Britain's Economy, Past Present and Future
by David Smith
Published by Profile Books at £12.99
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Re: 'Something Will Turn Up' by David Smith

Post by Ivan on Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:12 pm

You can buy it on Amazon for £10.49, but I wouldn’t bother.  Shocked

The book seeks to answer the question of how much of the UK economy is shaped by the forces of international capital - and the hope that “something will turn up” - and how much by the individual men and women at the heart of our economic policy?

David Smith has been the economics editor of ‘The Sunday Times’ since 1989, so you wouldn’t expect him to have much sympathy with left-wing views on economics. In this wretched book he welcomes the demise of the power of trade unionism, since it “allowed the economy to adapt and change”. Yes it certainly did, it gave us much greater inequality, more child poverty and many people unable to live on their wages when they work full time.

Smith ranks all the chancellors over recent decades and decides that Geoffrey Howe was the best of them! Not the man who presided over ten years of continual growth after 1997, not the man who put the economy back on track after the mid-1970s inflation caused by the quadrupling of oil prices, not even the Tory who sorted out the mess left by Lamont on ‘Black Wednesday’. No, Smith chooses Howe, who managed inflation up from 10% to 21.9% in just a year with policies such as raising VAT from 8% to 15%, and who presided over an increase in unemployment from 1.4 million to 3.2 million in three years, while manufacturing output fell by 17% in two years, all in the name of a crackpot theory called monetarism.

I’m afraid that’s all I could stomach. Gerald Lyons, who is Boris’s economic adviser, views Smith as “one of the country’s foremost economic journalists”, but if I want to read any texts on economics I think I’ll stay in my comfort zone of Paul Krugman and David Blanchflower, with maybe a smidgeon of Will Hutton.
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