Monday, 31 October 2011

Summer's End

The hour has gone back and summer is over, even though the days are sunshiny and near perfect.  But they are short and the night is cold, which is more or less what the doom-laden economic news is telling us.

Should we believe it?   Yes.  The jejune economic philosophy of consumption of desirables being interpreted as investment has resulted in effective Greek default on a scale comparable with Poland in the early 1980s - but without  a hope that  recovery can be effected by the dismantling of realised socialism and competent economic governance put in place.  (The Polish experience in the 1970s until the crisis of 1982 is well worth a look - and a gulp of recognition).

Look at the 'letter from 100 economists' and weep.  Keynes's "even the most practical man of affairs is usually in the thrall of the ideas of some long-dead economist" could not be more apposite - but, then, Keynes does apposite spectacularly well, even when it applies to himself.  Anyone with some acquaintance with the personnel of economic academia can see that a new generation of  statist spendthrifts has been spawned by those who believe profoundly that the benefits of capitalism can be harnessed by technology and directed to an ethically justified greater good;  a good and an ethic determined by a (preferably) meritocratically selected governing class.

Morgan Forster gave two cheers for democracy (one for individualism and one for facilitating criticism); the same two cheers can be given for capitalism.   Not perfect, but the best we've got.


Elby the Beserk said...

Summer is indeed ended, and our lovely pink Azalea has decided to go into full bloom. Lovely Autumn here in the South West, and the Gingko tree on our regular dog walk is a wonder to behold. Welcome back, HG, to the house of cards. Sweepstakes on when the Euro collapses/Greece defaults for real/Germany leaves the Euro/Berlusconi gets the boot/DSK gets done/Sarkozy started wearing Napoleonic gear (in public, that is). One thing is for sure, I have learnt a hell of a lot about economics in the past three years, and even more in the past three months.

hatfield girl said...

Hello Elby!

You're right. Sarkozy is quite imaginable in Napoleonic gear. For the rest, it's already happened to all intents ad purposes - but too late to be of much use. We always read of how beautiful was the summer of 1914.

Still, olives to be picked from Wednesday, winter veg. rolling in demanding to be preserved in some form or another (what DO you do with cabbages?) and the tortoise refuses to bed down for the duration and basks in unseasonable sunshine. I so envy you your azeleas, can't do azeleas or rhodies here, wrong kind of earth.

Actually we all seem to be on the wrong kind of Earth for a bit.

Elby the Beserk said...

Cabbages? Give them to your neighbours, unless they are red cabbages, in which case you can braise them with onions, cooking apples, a dash of Balsamic and a cup of red wine, and a teaspoon of proper dark sugar. Perfect with sausages!

Azaleas can be grown in pots, with ericaceous compost

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"a new generation of statist spendthrifts"

Oh how true and what a great phrase.

I suppose the reckoning will fall due eventually. Bring it on, I say. It'll be messy and painful, but we might be able to live honest lives afterwards.