No doubt reacting to the impact made by the support of 41 economists – several with an international reputation – for Jeremy Corbyn’s economic proposals, Paul Levine (Professor of Economics, Surrey, right) has written a letter to the Financial Times with another long list of less well known signatories from British academia. They ‘wished to register’ their opinion that the economic policies sketched by Jeremy Corbyn are likely to be ‘highly damaging’.
Very true, many influential commercial and political vested interests would see a somewhat reduced income if policies for the common good were to be adopted.
These economists sent their message ‘to counter the impression’ created by a previous letter from 41 economists, that Mr Corbyn’s policies command widespread support in the mainstream of the discipline. Three points were made:
Deploring damage to ‘the climate for enterprise in the UK’ – aka reducing vested interest income
- Renationalising industries is highly unlikely to improve the performance of its targets, and very likely, if history is anything to go by, to make things worse. If compensation is paid, it will be a waste of fiscal space, even unaffordable; in case it is not, it will be extremely damaging to the climate for enterprise in the UK as other companies fear the government would get a taste for it.
Advocating more borrowing instead of resorting to debt-free QE
- “People’s QE”would be a highly damaging threat to fiscal credibility, and unnecessary, since at this time of very low interest rates and tolerable debt/GDP public investment — in many areas much needed — can be financed conventionally.
Condemning figures which are actually suggestions for democratically conducted consideration
- Figures put on money that could be found from ending “corporate welfare” and combating tax evasion are almost unbelievable.
Now employed by the Nikkei, a large media/financial group in Japan, which recently bought the UK’s Financial Times, Chris Giles its economic editor, repeated the gist of this ‘missive’, which he said had been ‘penned’ by Professor Tony Yates of Birmingham University and Paul Levine. Tucked away for consumption in the World section, it was presumably intended to more widely discredit the disturbingly popular Jeremy Corbyn.
Will the common good prevail over vested interest?