"What's yours is only truly so to the extent that we, the functionaries of the Hive, do not decide that we have a better use for it and so do not exercise what we insist is our prior claim to it," they imply, though a little more disingenuously than heretofore.
"Dear Grandma and Grandad, thank you for making the valiant effort over these past decades to achieve a measure of self-reliance in your dotage and for allowing us jacks-in-office full use of your savings in the meanwhile as both a means to fulfil our political ambitions and as a way to act out our own economically-illiterate and usually illiberal prejudices at the expense of you and yours."Sadly, it transpires that we have not only wasted a goodly part of your savings, but we have greatly added to the host of irredeemable promises which we made to you, in the form of a mountain of even more pressing pledges issued to the Biggest of Big Fish in the financial markets. So that we do not entirely dissuade these latter sophisticates from again indulging our follies at the earliest opportunity, we shall now have to ask you to share – and thereby greatly to reduce – their pain."Be assured, however, that the loss for which you have my heartfelt sympathy will patriotically ensure that we can continue to live well beyond our means. In this way your sacrifice will see to it that the least possible harm will come to any of us in the political classes (a.k.a. the agents of your misfortune), to our army of placemen, patronage-seekers, and dole-gatherers, or to our plutocratic enablers for – as the IMF puts it – '...resources that would otherwise have been paid out to creditors will have been retained [to] reduce [our] overall financing needs.' Nor will we have to suffer the indignity of modifying our existing approach overmuch by actually only spending money on the things for which you, in true democratic fashion, have openly voted the taxes since – here let me cite those marvellous chaps in Washington, once again – 'resources could be efficiently employed to allow for a less constraining adjustment path.', i.e., to allow one demanding as little fundamental 'adjustment' as possible."I feel confident you will join me in looking forward with some enthusiasm to the next, inevitable 'reprofiling', just as soon as we can arrange to overspend enough to make one necessary once again. Should I have already laid down the heavy burden of selfless public service by the time this comes about and gone instead to my just reward as a highly-paid 'consultant' to a global investment bank, I would urge you to give your full support to my successor, of whatever political stripe he or she may be. In such an event, there will, of course, be precious little different in the treatment you receive at the hands of any of the mainstream parties as currently constituted."Yours Insincerely, The Minister of Finance."
"This all corresponds to a somewhat contrived definition of sustainability and ignores the highly disruptive effects...besides, it relies on a very pessimistic growth outlook," he argued."Once one starts not to pay ones debts, borrowing becomes very expensive and the impact on growth greatly exceeds that of managing a gentle reduction in debt."
"The outlook is very positive," he exulted. "Growth now is very much entrenched, and given all the positive data that has come out, it looks like growth is here to stay."
- before the Scottish Independence referendum;
- before the UK General Election next spring; and
- if it can be managed, before our beloved Governor quits (in 2017...?) to leave his palm print on the pavement of Grauman's Chinese Theater en route to what is rumoured to be his apotheosis at the pinnacle of the Canadian Liberal Party hierarchy,