Policy in crisis

By the end of the 1980s, inflation, high interest rates, and currency and debt crisis were all (theoretically) tied to ‘excessive’ budget deficits (see Fischer 1989). The mainstream political and economic discourse was now firmly geared to budget restraint or sound finance, which did not necessarily imply balanced budgets over the cycle.

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The philosophy of (economic) language

In Language as Symbolic Action (1966), Kenneth Burke suggests a belief system establishes its own vocabulary to present its adherents with a specific reality. Proponents of neo-liberalism, the dominant economic, social and political ideology since the 1970s, have been effective in establishing a vocabulary, particularly in relation to the conduct of fiscal policy.

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Chancellor for a day…

Mr Osborne’s fiscal austerity agenda has been pursued under the misleading guise of ‘sound’ public finance ostensibly to strengthen the economy’s credibility in international markets and restore economic growth. Yet the required rebalancing of demand from the public to the private sector, particularly private investment and net exports, has not materialised.

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