Features

Why the Spanish may be better off without a government

The state’s most important economic role is to get out of the way

30 April 2016

9:00 AM

30 April 2016

9:00 AM

On 26 October last year, the Spanish government shut up shop in preparation for a general election. This duly took place in December but then a strange thing happened: after all the build-up, the arguments, the posters and the television coverage, the result was… nothing. The various parties were so balanced, so mutually distrustful and ill-assorted that no government could be formed. Since last October, therefore, there has been no government in Spain.

One can imagine that the average political correspondent would think this a terrible problem, maybe even a crisis. The Financial Times has referred to Spain ‘enduring’ months of ‘political uncertainty’. This is assumed to be a matter requiring furrowed brows and grave tones. But the economy seems to be taking a different view of the matter. It is bowling along more breezily than in a long time. The growth rate during the final quarter of last year was an annualised 2.9 per cent, which, in these days of dismal Euro-growth, is a star performance — easily beating the pants off Italy, France and even Germany.

The improvement has continued this year. Unemployment has fallen month after month and is now down to 20.4 per cent which, though awful, is an improvement on a year ago when it was 23.2 per cent. That is a much better showing than in most EU countries. In France, for example, which has the supposed advantage of an active government dedicated to fighting austerity, the unemployment rate has fallen by a mere 0.1 of a percentage point. One could begin to wonder whether having a government is such a good thing after all. In fact, if one looks around, a lot of the evidence seems to point in the opposite direction.

Switzerland probably has the weakest central government in all Europe. It is so puny that it does not even have a minister of education. Yet Switzerland is the most successful of all the European economies if one leaves out small tax havens and oil-rich Norway. Its GDP per capita is £52,000 compared with Britain’s modest £28,000.


Then let’s think what has been the most celebrated period of economic growth in Europe since the second world war? Was it the triumphant product of some bold Keynesian borrowing and spending enacted by a dynamic government? Not at all. It took place in Germany when it was a bombed-out wreck. On 7 July 1948, Ludwig Erhard, the Director of Economics, going well beyond his official authority, grabbed the power to abolish hundreds of price and production controls. He removed with a sudden yank a great blanket of government that covered the economy. He just let the market get on with it. The bureaucrats in the occupying forces were appalled. What would happen to poor Germany in the absence of their guiding hands?

What happened was spectacular economic growth. There had been terrible shortages of everything from bricks to stockings. These were replaced with jumps in production. Production of stockings, as it happens, soared from 23 million pairs in 1949 to 152 million in 1956. Industrial output overall rose 140 per cent over the same period. Some may say, ‘Oh yes. But Britain had a recovery too.’ Yes, it did. But Britain’s industrial production grew by less than a quarter of the amount in Germany. This was because Britain had a government that planned, rationed and managed whole industries.

There are plentiful ways in which governments damage economic growth. When governments decide on prices, they make them too high or too low. So either you get a wasteful surplus or else shortages and rationing. Prices set by a free and competitive market are much better at matching supply and demand. Then there is government investment. Being politically influenced, it tends to have a much lower rate of return than private investment. In other words, the resources of a country are not deployed to best effect. Since governments incorrectly believe that they spend well, they spend a lot. So they raise taxes or debt (which is nothing but delayed taxes). Taxes reduce the incentives to work and be enterprising.

As if all this were not bad enough, governments regulate and then regulate some more. If governments were boyfriends, you would call them control freaks. The controls and regulations are always ostensibly for the good of the people. But the unintended damage is extraordinary and vastly underrated. The cost of filling in the paperwork and making sure the regulations are abided by is so great that often only big companies can afford them and smaller, challenger enterprises cannot compete. The World Bank, in a dry academic study of why growth rates vary in different countries and what should be done, found that there would be ‘sizeable benefits from reforming the regulatory environment and in reducing the role of the state in business activities’.

In fact, nearly all academic studies find that government regulations reduce prosperity. John Dawson and John Seater, two American economists, estimate that extra regulation since 1949 has reduced US growth by 2 per cent a year. They make the mind-boggling assertion that if no new regulations had been imposed since that date, the USA would now be three times more prosperous than it is.

Which brings us back to Spain. One key reason why Spain has been doing better is that the previous administration, before it lost office, removed a couple of ways in which the government interfered. Formerly, companies often had to accept wage agreements made at a regional or sectoral level. The government removed this requirement: companies can make wage deals suitable for their own circumstances. Secondly government interference in redundancy payments was reduced. The payoffs required by law were brought down from 42 months’ pay for the longest-serving employees to 24 months when layoffs are ‘unjustified’ or 12 months if they are ‘for economic reasons’. These changes and other lesser ones have made it more attractive for companies to hire permanent staff again. The chances of getting a permanent job have consequently jumped by over 50 per cent — albeit from a very low base — according to economist Juan Ramón Rallo.

We probably do need governments for some things. But not anything like as many as we think we do. Across the world, they frequently reduce growth that would otherwise take place. In fact they are at their most useful when they devote their efforts to removing their rules and controls — just getting out of the way. Governments do not generate wealth. Businesses and individuals do.

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  • Zalacain

    Governments should never have anything to do with the economy except to insure fair play (no monopolies) and minimum health and safety standards.

    • davidofkent

      Ensure fair play, I hope. Insurance seems to lead to PPI-like scams in which people who refuse to read the small print are handed £billions of shareholders’ money.

    • Trini’s dad

      Gatta give up aal dem monopolies in public transport bratha. You na doin it so wha di raas is di point?

      • DoctorCrankyFlaps

        Please stop.

        • Trini’s dad

          When you sort dis underwhelming pubic transport service out me stop ‘mon. Caal me when you done.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Ensuring workers are paid enough to live on is also “fair play”.

      • Zalacain

        Except that they can’t ensure workers are paid enough.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          They who?

          The employers who chose what to pay workers?
          The government who sets employment law?

          • Zalacain

            Governments can (and often do) create poverty but cannot create wealth. So it is up to the free market to create wealth. How do you increase the income of the poorest? Well, there are lots of ways, but if there is virtually no unemployment the next employer that wants to hire somebody is going to have to offer better terms than the competition. And so it goes on the more competition for workers, the better wages will be. Education and training is part of it which is why a country such as Sweden has no minimum wage written into law, but has high wages.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            That old one… you’re talking about your goals, check.

            And the free market, which is hindered by capitalism…including the capitalist move of not paying workers enough to live on, leaving them reliant on government wage top-ups.

            And Sweden a. uses the Nordic Model b. Has sector bargaining for wages, the minimum wages set there are far higher as a percentage of the average wage than the minimum wage is in the UK.

            (65-70%, as opposed to just under 50% here, and that’s /with/ April’s rise!)

            Trade Unions are very strong in the Nordic countries. This is not coincidence.

          • Zalacain

            Trade Unions in general create unemployment. They ask for wages which benefit their members but price lots of workers out of the job market. They operate the policy that those “in the club” have more rights than those outside it. They are disgusting. Spain, France, Italy and Greece have much stronger trade unions than the UK or the USA. One guess as to which countries have higher unemployment.
            Don’t compare with German or Nordic trade unions which operate a policy of wages being tied to productivity.
            Which car companies got into trouble in the USA, the ones dominated by trade unions, in other words the Big Three based in Detroit, or all the other companies that are based in different parts of the US, to avoid the trade unions?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah yes, workers talking to each other “creates unemployment”, check, as you trumpet the capitalist line that low pay is the only way, etc.

            Trade Unions in many countries protect all workers, but they’re not legally allowed to here.
            Those disgusting workers, you say… as you deny the hidden (and rising) unemployment here, check.

            As there’s no comparison, magically, with successful high-regulation, strong-trade-union, high productivity countries. Nope, a comparison with weak-trade-Union America, check, as you avoid basic workers rights and push anti-free market capitalism.

          • Zalacain

            When people start to lose an argument they start to make up things or put words in the mouth of the person they are debating with. Please tell me where I have said that low pay is the only way?
            The original article above is about Spain which has much, much stronger union power than the UK. It is very difficult to fire workers and basically impossible to fire government employees. Now, do you think that it is British workers that emigrate to highly unionised Spain, or the other way around? The problem with socialists, is that your ideas always are in conflict with reality.
            I have no idea what you mean by anti free market capitalism.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Yes, you do.

            As you opposed Unions, when factually weaker unions correlates to lower wages. As you try and take one example as gospel… as you ignore your damaging capitalism and why some countries struggle as a result…the capitalist bank crisis for instance…

            As you get it wrong, I’m not a socialist… but as you say countries like the Nordics are “in conflict with reality”.

            And you have no idea about the free market, your enemy? Right.

          • Zalacain

            You are starting to make less and less sense. I don’t understand the first sentence, or the last.
            I’m opposed to trade unions because the tend to make countries and the average worker poorer.
            The bank crisis, had different causes, not just “capitalism”. Although it is also clearly true that the more capitalist countries, such as the USA, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands recovered a lot faster than Spain, Italy, Greece and France.
            Also earlier you implied I said “those disgusting workers”. Please stop lying and putting words in my mouth.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you blame me for your poor English skills.

            As you deny the studies and many countries, and claim workers talking makes “countries” and the “average worker” poorer.

            While denying the primary and only significant cause of the bank crisis… and then you try and claim the UK recovered fast, when the Tories chopped off the recovery here while America recovered because spending rose, etc.

            And I see, so you think workers are worse than disgusting, I see. Unions are simply workers talking, after all, so what do you think workers are then? The enemy? Worms? Filth?

          • Zalacain

            You are not worth answering any more.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Yes, I don’t hate workers and support the free market, you’ll run away from that every time.

  • davidofkent

    Italy is the perfect illustration of government. They have coalitions which spend all their time annoying each other and rarely get down to any serious business. The result is that Italians lead happy lives with little interference from the busybodies (except the EU, of course).

    • obbo12

      Try running a business in southern Italy and see how long before the mafia come round demanding money with menaces. You could wonder why you are dying from cancer from the illegal toxic and nuclear waste dump run by the mafia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_of_death_(Italy)

      • wibbling

        As opposed to big government that builds a windmill farm nearby destroying wildlife, poisoning the ground and blighting the environment – the same level of toxicity. Difference is the state deploys the army to enforce it’s stupidity and changes the law to get it’s own way.

        • obbo12

          Idiot. Self indulgent green ink nonsense. Governments don’t sell cracking and meths on the street. Go back to saying how you will vote UKIP

  • HJ777

    I tend to agree with this article.

    However, this statement is misleading:

    “Yet Switzerland is the most successful of all the European economies if one leaves out small tax havens and oil-rich Norway. Its GDP per capita is £52,000 compared with Britain’s modest £28,000.”

    GDP per head is not a very good comparator of wealth, especially for small economies where the degree of cross-border transfers is high. For a country such as Switzerland where many international corporations have a European HQ, this can lead to large upward distortions of GDP.

    The same effect is seen with Ireland where, apparently, each one of Google’s European HQ employees adds about £17m to its GDP. The high Irish GDP/head figure is accompanied by wages that are lower than in the UK.

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      That didn’t stop our own Treasury trying to relate GDP to mean household income. It’s little wonder their doom-laden Brexit report got laughed out of class.

      • HJ777

        Yes, of course that Treasury report was absurd and did them no credit.

        I am reminded of John Cowperthwaite who refused to collect/compile economic figures in case it tempted politicians to use them as an excuse to interfere.

  • rolandfleming

    Countries without governments are usually places where there has been some or other kind of crisis, and ipso facto places where there is larger capacity for growth. Growth isn’t an unambiguous sign of success. It just means things are not as bad as they were before.

  • Ingmar Blessing

    For what country does that not count? Take Italy for example. Rome charges the highest taxes in the world and delivers the fewest services for the public and if the mafia was legal, they’d probably run the entire Mediterranean and this – considering their declaration of war against the migrants – far more properly and in co-ordinance to the will of the locals.

    And for Germany, I’d give a leg if Merkel was gone. I can defend myself against thugs and get myself a garden and maybe an off-road vehicle to get through the post-government era. But I can’t defend myself against the delusions of incompetent politicians who have a multi-billion heavy apparatus at their full disposal.

  • Dr. Heath

    “The state’s most important economic role is to get out of the way.” Really?

    As our greatest living philosopher – John Gray – wrote…

    “The west greeted the collapse of communism…as the triumph of western values. The end of the most catastrophic utopian experiment in history was welcomed as a historic opportunity to launch yet another vast utopian project, a global free market.” [9/11 History Resumes]

    Some people believed, as many continue to believe, that the state’s most important economic role is to establish the command and control system for a Soviet style system. Others believe in the opposite point of view as expressed in this article’s byline. Both groups are deluded because both are incapable of perceiving that the consensus they opposed or actively destroyed, something that endured for much of the twentieth century, represented the wider interests of civilisation and a compromise benefiting the largest possible proportion of voters and citizens. At the extremes, alas, are alienating forms of dystopic barbarism. Governments that are despised either for being bloated, corrupt and authoritarian, or for being ineffectual and useless.

    • friardo

      That “logic” is grossly faulty, a global free market cannot be introduced, it just has to be allowed to happen, otherwise it isn’t a free market. Governments and corporations need to get over being such control freaks, then pull out of the market as much as possible.

      What makes John Gray our greatest living philosopher.

    • John Hawkins Totnes

      Surely you mean Freddy Gray not John Gray!

      • Dr. Heath

        Freddy’s a commendable second place.

  • enoch arden

    Governmental mismanagement is an old Spanish tradition. Which was inherited by its former colonies in America. A most spectacular example is Argentina. It was one of the world richest countries after WWII, and the sequence of right-left governments turned it into a complete economic disaster, despite its fabulous natural resources. A special talent is needed to achieve this result.

    • Trini’s dad

      Yah raas. Every won knows Argentina dem is soshalist ‘mon. No wonda!

  • Aberrant_Apostrophe

    A classic instance of the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Hmm, I wonder if Britain do the same?

  • During the early part of the coalition, recommendations for dramatically reducing business regulation were advanced, but rejected out of hand by the LibDems. One can only wonder why, now he had a majority, Cameron has not attempted anything similar.

    • doubting_rich

      I don’t. I know. He is a politician. By this I do not mean a man who happens to be in politics as a current profession. He is, like the repulsive Blair and inane Obama, in his current job because he is, by character and nature, a politician. One who uses political means to exrecise power over others.

      In him it comes out as decisions that appear to our over-simplified politics contradictory. He is generally considered conservative but often advances socialist policies (insane minimum wage, tax on dividend income). In fact it is utterly consistent: he is authoritarian.

  • Polly Radical

    But of course, if we leave the EU, we’ll lose the benefit of the amazing talent and expertise with which the European Commission govern.

    • MajorFrustration

      Seriously!

  • WatTylersGhost

    In the UK we have the worst of both worlds, a corrupt and bought government and a non-existent opposition.

  • rationality

    It shows how much power has been lost by the government to the EU and corporations. Wasnt it the same in Belgium not too long ago? it just shows that parliamentary democracy has become a complete farce that are there to manage and implement laws set by the banks, corporations and the shadowy committees.

    • Holly

      Don’t forget…
      Reforms of stuff like, welfare, health, pensions, and free school dinners.
      We will probably end up with a shed load of councils….
      Local and ‘EU Central’.

    • wibbling

      No, it shows that government is useless and unnecessary being nothing but a drain on economies.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Yea, things like that evil drain of paying workers…

  • Damian Hurts

    The deficit as reported by the PIGS national economies (OECD/2015):

    Greece -1,4% of GDP
    Portugal -2.4% of GDP
    Ireland -3.1% of GDP
    UK -4.1% of GDP
    Spain -4.5% of GDP

    Thank God for that, hey?

    • Geo

      Without a government, there is nobody to cut spending, hence the high deficits. All the previous government’s programmes remain in place.

  • Adam Carter

    As another commenter on this thread has gone some way to suggesting, part of the problem with governments is the character and psychology of people who are ambitious to go into politics.
    They like to interfere, to exert power and control and get in the way so they can withold or grant approval to non-politicians. This gives them importance and self-satisfaction.
    I have a low opinion of nearly all politicians, of whatever party.

    • Fraser Bailey

      Yes, I came to this conclusion some years ago and simply stopped voting. Not that I ever really started. As we can see from the whole Labour antisemetism thing, politics really does seem to attract the most awful, incompetent people.

      • joseph mackay

        Politics is the eternal refuge of the congenital parasite.

        • Quest for Liberty

          congenital parasite?

  • foxoles

    Same thing when Belgium had no national government for a protracted period – nobody noticed.

    Mind you, when you’re in the EU, none of the ‘regions’ have any real need of a national government because they are all run by Brussels.

  • roland500

    A pity it hasn’t stopped that gob-shite Garcia-Margollo continuing threaten Gibraltar. It appears that the Spanish are to be given a second opportunity to get rid of Rajoy and the Fascist sons and daughters of Franco. It is to be hoped that this time they take it.

  • Graeme S

    Governments only foul things up, people get stuff done. Government is only there to further politicians careers, and avoid getting a proper job

    • Ralph

      People do get stuff done but bad things as well as good.

      • wibbling

        Yes… but when those bad things happen the individual pays the price and that’s where it stops. Government does nothing positive and when it fouls up it keeps going, making the same damaging decisions to protect itself.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Yes, no need to i.e. arrest murderers.
          Or stop the Russian troops.

      • Quest for Liberty

        However, when government is profligate it loses money taken regardless of consent. Government has not money of its own, only what it chooses to siphon from the pockets of civilians.

  • The Masked Marvel

    When Socialists aren’t given the reins of power to do as they please, good things are bound to happen.

    • wasteman

      oh the sarcasm i love it!!

  • Tom M

    True, Governments have only a brake to apply to the economy, they don’t have an accelerator.

  • Marathon-Youth

    On a side note a huge trove of Roman coins was found in Spain. Amphoras with over a thousand pounds of Roman coins just unearthed

  • Richard Lally

    In principle government should be as small possible. No doubt, no problem.
    On the other hand one of the principle causes of the crash of 2008 was the Reagan-Thatcher deregulation of the financial sector.
    By all means reduce the interference of government, but don’t do anything as stupid as trust bankers!

    • Adam Carter

      I would say that one of the causes of the 2008 crash was the banks’ belief that they would be bailed out. This contributed to them making wildly imprudent decisions.
      If businesses know that they will go bust if their decisions are so bad then they are less likely to make those bad decisions.

      • Zalacain

        I agree. Basically banks in each market shouldn’t be too big. That way governments could afford to let them fail.

        • wibbling

          The government could* have let thme fail. They idn’t because Labour desperately wanted votes and they really, really wanted to pass the buck. If they had failed Labour would have been exposed as the incompetent fools they are.

          • red2black

            They won’t let them fail, whether the government is Left, Right or Centre, because they’ve all (to put it politely) got their hands in each other’s pockets. Also, what would be the knock-on effects of allowing things like big banks to collapse?

          • hobspawn

            “…what would be the knock-on effects of allowing things like big banks to collapse?”

            Genuine prosperity.

            1) it has never been easier to run a bank, because of technology.
            2) when banks fail, destitution afflicts only those who have put all of their assets in the bank, i.e. nobody sane.
            3) the cost of supporting those genuinely made destitute is a drop in the ocean compared to bailing out the bank, with its army of overpaid gangsters.

            The benefit of allowing banks to fail is that depositors are reminded that a ‘bank’ is just a euphemism for ‘casino’.

          • red2black

            It also seems that from your first point, it’s never been easier to rob one either, for the same reason. A lot of less well off people only have one bank (or similar) account. Bailing out a bank is expensive, but short-term, whereas people left destitute may be many in number and long-term.
            I imagine a bank being compared to a casino depends on how the bank is run. How would other countries and companies view a country that allows banks to fail?

          • Mr B J Mann

            There is, or should be, a difference between the bank’s money and their customers’ money.

            If a safety deposit box company, however large, however big the deposits, is badly run, and goes bust, that shouldn’t affect its customers, or the country;

            Only its shareholders and employees.

            We need to return real power to the owners, to eg cap directors salaries, directors pay should be linked to real long term performance, they should have to take a hit with shareholders if the company goes bust, and banks shouldn’t be able to make money to lend, and then lumber depositors (or taxpayers) with the losses if they lose it.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Reality; Things are moving the other way thanks to your Capitalism.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Says nutty noeL nosefloW!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            *What* does your “nutty” alternate personality say?

            As you defend things like insider trading and bribery. Good capitalist practices!

          • Mr B J Mann

            8< – – – – —

          • hobspawn

            In a nutshell.

      • wibbling

        I don’t beleive they knew at all. What was obvious is Brown specifically ignored advice that if he continued along the Labour line of encouraging over lending the banks would fail. The banks, as they were making lots of cash continued to over reach.

        The failure was obviously the Labour government, primarily that to protect themselves from being shown as incompetent fools they prevented markets from managing failed businesses.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Blaming Labour when the Tories wanted less regulation, check.
          Denying the crisis happened in lots of countries, check.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You really, really are an idiot!

            The Tories wanted less enterprise strangling pointless bureaucratic red tape.

            Labour and Clinton not only made it easier for the banks to make reckless loans, they encouraged it.

            A world of difference.

            And the fact that Clinton, Blair and Brown dragged the rest of the world’s economies down with them is hardly an excuse!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, I am not like you.

            As you say basic rughts are “red tapes”, and as you blame Labour for not doing enough, as the Tories wanted, to cut lending requirements. Potato, potato, pay your workers.

          • Mr B J Mann

            On the hard stuff again, noeL nosefloW?!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You and your alternate personalities issues are yours, worker-hater.

          • Mr B J Mann

            ..!.,

          • Leon Wolfeson

            All the eloquent finger, the brush off of the concerns of workers..

          • Mr B J Mann

            ../,

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Oh, right, sorry, the triumphalism you show in grinding workers down.

    • richardofkent

      Glas Steagal Act and Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac

    • WFC

      Nothing to do with the requirement by the Clinton administration requiring banks to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford to pay them, then?

      And then changing the law to allow those banks to dump the resulting junk mortgages on investors through rolled up securities guaranteed by the federal government?

      • red2black

        Hence the need for social housing.

    • Mr B J Mann

      Thatcher deregulated the stock exchanges allowing the ordinary working man to share in the proceeds of his toil and the sweat of his brow.

      The 2008 crash was down to Brown copying Clinton’s deregulation of banks and loans and encouraging a house price inflation linked mortgage based lending spree financed feel-good consumer boom and the ensuing toxic debt and its collateralisation.

      Oh, and any Tory demands for slashing red tape were for slashing red tape, not policing of corrupt lending and toxic debt.

      • red2black

        It seems ‘the ordinary working man’ didn’t have the slightest clue about stock exchanges.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Well, certainly the few lefty “liberals” still amongst them don’t:

          They seem convinced they are the same thing as mortgage brokers and money lenders.

          • red2black

            They seem to be regarded as the financial equivalent of Eton, and I do know people who regard them as such who are by no means Left.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Money Lenders and Mortgage Brokers?!

            Strange then that Broon should have chosen them to spearhead his cunning plan, well, actually Clinton’s, to fake a false feelgood frenzy driven by borrowing based consumer boom propped up by unsustainable house price inflation?!

          • red2black

            What you describe seems to have begun when Mr Reagan and Mrs Thatcher (after a practice-run in Chile) cleared the way for what’s turned out to be a big-scale Ponzi scheme. I always remember a conversation at work fifteen or so years ago when someone claimed that people had never been so well-off. The reply was ‘Yes, but it’s all based on credit’. Whoever’s to blame for whatever, regulated Capitalism appears to be the order of the day.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Fifteen years ago Reagan was 3 years and Thatcher 12 from death.

            I think you’ll find bLiar and Broon were well into their first term by then!

          • red2black

            That’s right, but the groundwork had been done by Mrs Thatcher. Were any radical ‘Thatcherite’ policies repealed by Mr Blair? ‘New’ Labour was a continuation of a new type of ‘post-industrial’ economy which had been introduced by Mrs Thatcher, although I’m sure she wouldn’t have taken it in the direction that Mr Blair & Co. did (?) I was brought up to believe that if you couldn’t afford something, you either went without or saved-up until you could. Even so, I believe that affordable borrowing is acceptable. Of course, the least well off are the biggest risk to a lender, and interest rates on unregulated high street legalised loan-shark loans peaked at around 4000%. Many people are still in the mire through personal debt. The average personal debt among current 15-24 year-olds is around £12,000.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Strange, but I could have sworn that the “new type of ‘post-industrial’ economy had been introduced” by commie unions determined to smash the capitalism, first under Labour, then, when they surrendered too easily, they tried again under Thatcher, who eventually stood up to them and gave them enough rope to hang themselves.

            And I think, if you look carefully, it was actually the EU (aka Germany) that had decided that the UK was going to be “post industrial”, by which I think they meant pastoral, or was it arable?!

            Anyway, they didn’t plan on any of the regions that the UK was going to be spilt into being industrial.

            Probably why Benn and the Unions were so anti EU!

            Contrary to popular belief, Thatcher. for all her faults, and her misunderstanding of how many things worked, despite a science training, was actually pro industry.

            The classic case is her attitude to railways.

            Many on the left think she was against them and wanted to privatise them. In fact, all too many lefties will swear blind she swung the Beeching Axe (actually, the deepest cuts were by Labour, while Beeching was trying to SAVE the railways!), privatised rail, and has blood on her hands for any rail fatalities.

            She was actually dead set against rail privatisation, which happened after her term of office, and which she fought against!

          • red2black

            ‘Free To Choose’ by Milton Friedman? Free Market Neoliberalism. Extremists on both sides in the Miners’ Strike wrecked a lot of people’s lives, and in the area where I live there is still a lot of bad feeling towards Mr Scargill, Mrs Thatcher, and the Police. Mr Benn and the EU? People who are interested in acquiring power for themselves will react against anything that threatens to take it away from them. Odd how Ernest Marples, as Minister of Transport, decided to ignore the railways and concentrate on roads: no doubt the fact he was a director of a road-building company had nothing to do with it. Even so, ‘Flying Scotsman’ and ‘Mallard’ are a fine sight when they make an appearance these days. I don’t know much about rail privatisation, but public ownership seems to have support across the board.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Ah yes Marples and the evil individualistic road lobby vs the romantic communal train!

            Funny how they ruined agriculture too!!

            Once upon a time farmers would lay pairs of hyper efficient low friction steel rails down the sides of their fields, run not just ultra economic and practical, but really cute and romantic, steam engines along them to pull a plough backwards and forwards between them.

            But then along came Marples and the road lobby and forced them to switch to evil, smelly, polluting, inefficient 20th century tractors!!!

            Do you know when Italians proposed their first Autostrada?

            1921.

            Do you know when the evil British Road Lobby was born?

            1921.

            To promote a London-Birmingham motorway.

            Do you know when the first Italian Autostrada was opened?

            1926!

            Do you know when London-Birmingham motorway was completed?

            Never!!

            It was never even started!!!

            Our fist “motorway” was the 8 miles of Preston by-pass, completed as many years AFTER the END of WW2 as Italy’s was BEFORE the START of it!!!

            The first 500 miles of motorway weren’t completed until the 1960s and the first 1,000 miles until the 1970s.

            Despite plans for a motorway network first being drawn up in the 1930s (and the M25 being based on plans for an orbital multi-lane dual carriageway road system with FIVE rings dating back to before the war to relieve traffic congestion in London and the SE. That’s before the FIRST World War! To relieve HORSE traffic congestion!!!).

            And despite the fact that Poland inherited 500 miles of peripheral Autobahn from Germany after WW2 and had had plans to build 3,000 miles of its own before it started.

            And the loony left think that our motorway “system” is down to the “criminal” activities of Marples and the road “lobby” (is it run by Swampy from an office in Greenpeace HQ?!?!)!!!

            If there were any it must have been the only way to bring Britain into the 20th Century in the face of the criminal ANTI roads lobby!!!!

            You’ll be telling me next that the roads lobby was responsible for the suburbanisation of the country.

            Despite it happening in the 1800s.

            Because of the RAIL roads!!!

            I sometimes wonder what myth filled alternative universe the left inhabit?!?!?!!!

          • red2black

            “Look folks… I’m on my own in a car designed to carry four people, and I’m stuck in a traffic jam with thousands of others in the same position… But hey… that’s what defines Individualism.”

          • Mr B J Mann

            Look folks, red2black couldn’t construct a coherent counter argument:

            So he had to fall back on old fashioned lefty propaganda formulations in a failed attempt to foster ill feeling against freedom!

            But:

            “Look folks… I’m on my own in a bus designed to carry forty people upstairs and fifty downstairs”

            “Yes, I’m being paid by the state to drive a completely empty bus back to the depot despite it being the rush hour.”

            “Because even at the peak of it my occupancy rate is 25% (remember I might start or finish full, but then I’ll finish or start empty!)!”

            “And because the rest of the day I’ll be nearly empty both ways my overall occupancy will probably be under 10%, 13% max!”

            “But because we live in a socialist society the communal option always has priority!!”

            “So there I’ll be, massive engine hauling a massive vehicle, and no one on it but the chaeuffeur, going backwards and forwards, wasting diesel, and filling the air with toxic fumes.”

            “But, I’m at least fulfilling my primary task: clogging the roads in an attempt to drive motorists out of their cars!”

            “In fact, buses can even do that when they’re not on the road: 24 hour bus lanes (you might well ask where the 24 hour buses are)!”

            “But at the moment it’s the middle of the rush hour and I’m stuck in a traffic jam with thousands of others in the same position…”

            “Even though I’m going against the peak flow: you see, there’s empty buses ahead of me stopping to pick up a single passenger, and even if the road is wide enough to pass them, the authorities will have cunningly placed a traffic island just behind it so that when the bus stops, the whole system stops! So you just need one empty bus to pick up one passenger every now and again and we can gridlock the city!!!”

            “We hardly need all that expenditure on mis-phased traffic lights, pelicans that stay on red so long an OAP on a zimmer frame could cross, do their shopping, and get back before the traffic moved, speed humps, chicanes, lowered limits, built out bus stops (heh, heh, the drivers can’t complain about us stopping in the middle of the road when the stop is in a bus lay-by any more!), narrowed and hatched off lanes, built out pavements (sometimes so much they meet in the middle), restricted turn option junctions, closed roads, one way systems that have drivers going round in circles until their heads spin, pedestrian precincts, and even whole areas of cities closed to “private” transport, and all the other traffic “planning” ploys the people in control use to close down the arteries of the nation through which the life blood of the economy is trying to flow!”

            “Oh, and if there is any sign of movement they can always rely on their psycholist stormtroopers to hold a mass cycle rolling roadblock!!!”

            “But hey… that’s what defines Socialism!”

            Thankfully the motorist in the street, never mind the man on the omnibus, will never stop to think that all that multiplies traffic by dozens of times* and if it wasn’t for the work of people like me there would be hardly any traffic on the roads!”

            “Heh, heh, heh!”

            * close half the roads = 2x the traffic on the rest.

            Make traffic go tound the other three sides of the block = 3x the traffic.

            Cut traffic speed from 30mph to the speed of the horse and cart (7 to 8mph for short periods or all day if you have a dozen changes of horses) = 4x the traffic.

            Do all three of those and you have:

            2 x 3 x 4 = 24 times the traffic!!!

            Slow traffic more, close more roads, make long distance traffic go through the middle of every village, town and city on the route, restrict parking so half the vehicles on the road are circling for a parking space……..

            And that figure can skyrocket!!!!!

          • red2black

            Tee hee.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Look here, it’s Ms. Mann making silly accusations and hating public transport, as she spews silly nonsense about her fantasies about “Socialism”, etc.

            All to promote rich people’s cars, and to spew PC bigotry because she’s so repulsive nobody will sit next to her.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No sign of you drying up then, noeL nosefloW?!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Your alternate personality? Doesn’t interest me.

            All because of your hate of transport for the peons, so sad.

          • Mr B J Mann

            8< – – – – —-

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you’re just spamming me? Fine, reported.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Oh, and why wouldn’t Marples “ignore” the railways?

            We already had far too many of them!

            Much more, pro rata, than many of the so called rail friendly countries the rail lobby want us to “copy”!

            The reason we could never afford a high speed network is that the rail lobby insisted we continued to provide a local bus service on a national heavy rail system while strangling the arteries of the nation through which the life blood of the economy was trying to flow – our pathetic, pre Victorian excuse for a road “system” which they haven”t allowed to be brought into the 20th, never mind the 21st, Century!

            All the while bleating that the “fact” that token provisions, decades after they were originally planned, and built to carry far fewer vehicles than would be expected, got congested, “proved” building roads is counter productive?!?!?!!!!!

            Funny how they never use that argument for the rail roads?!

            Or hospitals!!!

          • red2black

            Attention should have been given to both road and rail.

          • Mr B J Mann

            There ya go!

            “Liberal” “logic” for ya:

            I explain that we already had far too many railroads!

            Much more, pro rata, than many of the so called rail friendly countries the rail lobby want us to “copy”!

            And NO motorways in the 40s and 50s!

            Despite our competitors building hundreds, and even thousands, of miles of them in the 20s, 30s, and 40s!!

            And the lefty reply is, in total:

            “Attention should have been given to both road and rail.”

            At least noeL nosefloW manages a couple of “sentences” of Marxist “logic” in his “replies”!

          • red2black

            I’m not a Marxist. We have good road and rail networks. I ride a motorbike, drive a car, and travel by train (not all at the same time). I would like to see more engines like ‘Tornado’ on the railways, along with modern updates of A4 Pacifics like ‘Mallard’. Such an engine is being built quite close to where I live.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, as I’ve pointed out twice now, while we (had to) lost some “redundant” but strategic alternative links in the rail system (due to the unions bankrupting rail in particular and the country in general), we still had too much rail and too many stations* for the size of the country, and we used them to provide a local bus service, with local bus service revenue, but heavy rail network costs!

            And we had NO motorways until DECADES after our competitors, even then built hardly any compared to them. Germany has SIX times as much! Many supposedly public transport and cycle loving and car hating nations have much more motorway pro rata, and many have more cars, despite using buses and bikes so much.

            We also are much more poorly served with trunk roads and by passes.

            That’s why our competitors can afford everything from play streets to high speed rail:

            They haven’t strangled the arteries of their nations through which the life-blood of their economies is trying to glow!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            * The trainspotters try to argue that we need to keep underused branchlines and stations because they are needed to feed passengers to the used sections and stations otherwise they will become redundant too and the whole system will collapse.

            That’s a load of old buffers and bogies!

            Picture a “line” of track with less and less busy stations, with the last one handling a passenger or two a month.

            As you travel along you pick up more and more passengers from busier and busier stations.

            Now, imagine at the next station you get the 1 or 2 a month from the previous station, 5 walking from the village served, 1 or 2 cycling from a nearby village a month, 10 on the bus from another couple of villages, and 5 driving in from various hamlets not near the bus route.

            Would anyone in their right minds suggest providing a branch line to serve the one or two cyclists a month? Or even a couple of motorists a day?!?!

            So what’s the difference with the last bit of “main” line?!?!!!!

          • red2black

            The trains I occasionally get on are usually full.

          • Mr B J Mann

            By definition lots of people get onto full trains!

            Meanwhile, also by definition, very few people get onto nearly empty ones!!!

          • red2black

            No concessions when it’s standing room only.

          • red2black

            You’re making all sorts of assumptions. I’ve nothing against any particular form of transport, and there will always be arguments about what’s for the best. I really don’t know why you’re bombarding me with your opinions about it.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I can almost hear you singing la la la!

            Try reading your replies to me!

            Plus, why don’t you want me revealing a few tranport truths! ? ; – )

          • red2black

            You’re free to reveal as many ‘transport truths’ as you like.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Hate of public transport is not “truths”

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, those used-by-the-peons and hence “redundant”… right. Too much public transport, check.

            Roads blah blah… as you ignore other countries spending on transport networks and push one element at the expense of others.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You don’t need to confirm you can’t read, noeL nosefloW, it’s obvious from your incoherent dribbling!!!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Keep talking to your alternate personality.

            All because of your hate of transport for the peons, so sad.

          • Mr B J Mann

            8< – – – – –

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Keep hating public transport with that random ASCII art!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, gotta blame those evil hospitals you want closed, right.

            When the evidence about roads from scientific studies is well known, as you blame the existence of bus services for the peons for underinvestment in Rail. As you complain that the 99% are allowed on the roads still.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Keep taking the “medication”, noeL nosefloW!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            See, your alternate personality and you, being the same person? Yea, your pills, stop trying to get others to take them.

            All because of your hate of medical care for the peons, so sad.

          • Mr B J Mann

            8< – – – – —-

          • Mr B J Mann

            Oh, and in the early years I Germany:

            “Nat!onal Soc!alist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) – the Naz!s – collaborated with the German Communist Party in sabotaging the construction of ‘car-only roads’, as these concrete runways were initially called. The Naz!s’ argument was that the roads would “only benefit rich aristocrats and Jew!sh big capitalists and their interests.” The Naz!s stayed well clear of the political negotiations on financing the motorways. It was only when Ad0lf H!tler came to power in 1933 that the Naz!s realized they could use the autobahn for their own ends.”
            http://m.dw.com/en/the-myth-of-hitlers-role-in-building-the-autobahn/a-16144981

            The left still think they are there for fat cats in their rollers.

            Whereas the fat cats are being chauffeured in First Class Luxury on the train:

            While their workers are struggling to get between zero hours contracts on the roads!

          • red2black

            That’s right. The Autobahns were originally a Weimar project.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Depends how you define “project”.

            Hardly anything was planned and most of that wasn’t funded.

            Apart from a couple of very early (pre WW1) trial road sections, and a few short lengths of a private cross country project, there was only one “motorway” completed (just) before the Naz!s took power.

            But while it had no crossings and was restricted to motor vehicles and from pedestrian access, I think it was only single carriageway.

            So it would seem that it was the Naz!s who built the first true Autobahns!

          • red2black

            I know that. You seem to be implying that people don’t like roads because of NS-built autobahns.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, I said Socialists, including the NS originally, don’t like roads because they thought they would be used by the toffs and capitalists.

            Later the N branch of S decided the workers could benefit from them while the Internationalist factions were too blind to see that it was the workers (with their clocking in, taking work wherever they could find it, needing multiple jobs to survive, and now zero hours contracts) who needed, depended on roads while the toffs swanned around by first class rail!!!

            And everybody doesn’t want anything goods ssad about the N branch of S, especially their fratricidal brothers in the I camp, so they try to make out they weren’t behind the Autobahn system.

            Even though they hate motorways.

            But not as much as they hate Nationalist Socialists!!!

          • red2black

            I’ve no problem with the fact that the NS built autobahns, and I’ve no idea as to why you imagine I would have. They also made lots of cars and domestic appliances manufactured by companies that still trade today, and I’ve no problem with them either. I really don’t understand why you’re making such a fuss.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Because you’ve repeatedly made a pro train and anti car fuss.

            And then repeatedly repeated your pro train and anti car fuss when i’ve shown it to be the opposite of the truth.

            And then repeated your repetition.

            For example you’ve just tried to imply I’m wrong about inefficient branchlines by posting “The trains I occasionally get on are usually full”.

            Which I’ve just had to demonstrate is a load of old bogies.

            And you’ve also just claimed that: “You’re free to reveal as many ‘transport truths’ as you like”.

            But yet again you’re trying to imply there’s something wrong with me when I try to do just that with your passive aggressive and sly attempt at undermining my points with your:

            “I really don’t understand why you’re making such a fuss.”

            When you know perfectly well.

            The question is: why are YOU making such a fuss?!

          • red2black

            I’ve already said I’ve nothing against any particular form of transport. Regardless of occasional inconveniences like traffic jams and late trains, I enjoy riding my motorbike; I enjoy driving my car; I enjoy travelling on trains. Give it a rest.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So much for:

            “You’re free to reveal as many ‘transport truths’ as you like.”

            And who spread the lefty spin, the “liberal” lies, the PC propaganda about:

            “Odd how Ernest Marples, as Minister of Transport, decided to ignore the railways and concentrate on roads: no doubt the fact he was a director of a road-building company had nothing to do with it.”

            “Look folks… I’m on my own in a car designed to carry four people, and I’m stuck in a traffic jam with thousands of others in the same position… But hey… that’s what defines Individualism.”

            “Attention should have been given to both road and rail.”

            “We have good road and rail networks.”

            “The trains I occasionally get on are usually full.”

            Despite my repeatedly showing you that you are wrong, we concentrate too much investment on rail that we have too much of, while we spend pitifully pathetic amounts on the roads despite having a shockingly poor road system for a second world, never mind supposedly leading first world, nation that lagged behind our competitors a century ago and has only fallen further behind still.

            And yet you continually come back insinuating I’m wrong?!

          • red2black

            I’m not insinuating anything. If you think something like HS2 is a waste of time and money, I’d be inclined to agree with you. The roads that I use seem, for the most part, fine to me. If you think more should be spent on roads than rail, then fair enough. Road-works and the consequent traffic problems are probably a small price to pay.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’re insinuating a lot of things.

            Especially that I’m wrong.

            I’ve repeatedly pointed out to you that we have pathetic levels of motorway provision compared to comparable countries, poorer levels of trunk road provision, by-passes, etc, whilst having far better, or rather more extensive, rail provision (which is why, because of both poverty of road infrastructure, and waste in rail service provision, we can’t afford things like high speed rail).

            And you come up with a pile of steaming bogies and old buffers like:

            “The roads that I use seem, for the most part, fine to me. If you think more should be spent on roads than rail, then fair enough. Road-works and the consequent traffic problems are probably a small price to pay.”

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah yes, less spent on roads, gotta slash that public transport despite high usage… as you rejoice in Britain’s problems and try and make them worse.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Dribbling as usual, noeL nosefloW!

            No change there then!!

            Maybe someday science will find a way of unscrambling your incoherent drivel?!!!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you blame your alternate personality… as you spew some nonsense…

            All because of your hate of transport for the peons, so sad.

          • Mr B J Mann

            8< – – – -.-

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Right, and that well-reasoned rebuttal…oh, more nonsense spew, no difference.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Because Ms. Mann’s raisin-de-etra is making a fuss. (And at me, whining about her alternate personality).

            Takes all kinds.

          • red2black

            I did have a sneaking suspicion…

          • Mr B J Mann

            So you understood:

            Leon Wolfeson -> red2black
            Because Ms. Mann’s raisin-de-etra is making a fuss. (And at me, whining about her alternate personality).

            Takes all kinds.

            Perhaps you could translate his Red Planet speak for us down here on the “Blue Planet”?!

            As Earth is sometimes known?!

          • red2black

            I took his gross misrepresentations to be a personal issue between you and he.
            Beyond that, I had a sneaking suspicion…

          • Mr B J Mann

            He’s either an early version of that MS teenager twitterbot that’s escaped from the IT Lab:

            Or just an escaped “tw!t”!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Why not just start spamming ASCII?
            Not like he’s going to play to your hate spew.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you don’t have the faintest idea what Socialists think about roads. Right.

            As you mention your NSDAP ideological allies, who liquidated people…evidently that’s your plan for public transport riders, eh? (YOU ARE BEING MOCKED)

          • Mr B J Mann

            We already knew you couldn’t think, and we already were aware you had no idea, so I’m not surprised you’re mocking those you can’t understand!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Your personalities “know” things, I see, as you blame me for your issues.

            All because of your hate of transport for the peons, so sad.

          • Mr B J Mann

            8< – – – –

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, the eloquence.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So “the left”, as you chunter on about your rich and your cars… as you attack the trains workers use… as you rejoice in the 0-hour contracts you use so heavily…

          • Mr B J Mann

            I think we know why your nostrils are dribbling, noeL nosefloW!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You think your personalities know about your alternate personalities… biological issues.
            So…Hayfever?

            All because of your hate of transport for the peons, so sad.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Please don’t spray me with your biological issues, noeL nosefloW!

            8< – – – – —-

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Your alternate personality does not excuse your spam.
            And I don’t care about your hayfever, it’s not a justification for hating public transport.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Now now. Those were capitalists, not free-market fans.

            And not quite on a public rail – there’s a solid bloc of Tories (not all of them, but a considerable number) against it. Basically everyone else is for public railways.

    • emily dibb

      It was Clinton who de-regulated the financial sector, not Regan.

  • Jack Rocks

    Didn’t the same thing happen in Belgium? Here’s the thing: The role of MPs is to deal with individual voter’s problems, specifically the problems they have when they interact with the state (public services). As Rees-Mogg has pointed out often enough, this function is no longer possible now everything is subject to EU diktat.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So as Ress-Mogg gets it wrong…lol.

  • Ivor MacAdam

    A comparable role-model would be post-war Hong Kong, which managed huge growth, with a very light-touch government.
    Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the corrupt, over-meddling, micro-managing, interfereing bureaucrats of the European UNION, trying to mis-manage an artificial empire which is declining in both trade and civilization.

    • Alex

      I don’t doubt it – but how much of that Hong Kong growth actually went to normal people? That’s the problem.

      • Lo Bin Sun

        It went to the rich and the poor.

        Those in the middle are suffering . . . and leaving.

      • emily dibb

        Not sure what you might think of as abnormal?

        • Alex

          Well, those at the mode of the income distribution…

      • Quest for Liberty

        There has been a massive increase in standard of living thanks to the economic growth, and an increase in median salary. The boom has lifted every one up.

        • Alex

          It certainly has lifted everyone up, hasn’t it. Onto the 70th floor of a cage building. Is there anything the invisible hand can’t do?

          • MrVeryAngry

            Better than living in the dirt, in dirt poor mainland China or struggling on subsistence in a paddy field with no health services and no prospects. By far and away the greatest beneficiaries of J J Cowperthwaite’s reign were the low paid.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            To a large degree it succeeded because it helped keep the mainland Chinese poor.

          • MrVeryAngry

            Nope. That was communism and the murderous reign of Mao. You will recall that mainland Chinese were perpetually trying to escape to Hong Kong and were mostly prevented from doing so by the Mao’s thugs. HK also provided a very useful gateway for China to the West.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, refusing to share the blame, check.
            Went on well after Mao, of course.

            Communism is bad. But so’s capitalism – viva la free market!

          • MrVeryAngry

            Sigh. Your earlier comment – nonsense. Your later comment – sophistry. You – what? I’m only asking.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So facts are nonsense, as you say it’s “sophistry” to say Mao died…

            As you look at people like me, who don’t make excuses for ripping off the poor and have some understanding of how trade bottlenecks can make wealth…

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Hong Kong? Did what it did because of it’s position as a trade nexus into China.

      As youy decy those pesky worker rights, and ignore the fact that i.e. Germany has a lot of red tape and has high productivity.

  • antoncheckout

    Over in Deutschland, where the state is holy and untouchable, and inflation is virtually zero, all state, local regional and communal state employees have been awarded 4.75% pay rises.

    • itdoesntaddup

      A Migrant Solidarity Tax beckons…

  • M P Jones

    Governments are at best small organisations financed by voluntary contributions, tasked with external communications, overlooking trade agreements, organising civil defence to keep the country safe, operating a judicial system and a small police force. Any other functions are best left to private initiatives.

    However, what typically happens is that small bureaucrats push above their station, politicians seek favours and pecuniary advantage from their humble mandates, and rent-takers corrupt the government and push any statist system towards feudalism. Eventually, this mechanism results in ‘big government’, a parasitic organism existing mainly, if not solely, to perpetuate and expand itself to the great cost of the host of this huge parasite, namely the working people. A particularly insidious invention by these parasites is a monopoly to produce ‘fiat money’, inherently worthless tokens of payment used to plunder those who create and produce of their honestly and justly earned assets. They even have the audacity to make these worthless token ‘legal tender’, making it difficult for traders to demand honest payment for their goods and services, e.g. gold or even Bitcoins.

    These developments have led to the current situation, namely a criminal state stealing with arms and legs. So, indeed, the Spaniards will probably be much better off without not only a government but without a parasitic administration – as would we all.

    Those who are intelligent enough and imbued with initiative should not fall into the trap of contributing to keeping the thieves in power and able to suck their lifeblood but read and learn from Atlas Shrugged.

    • WTF

      Read it twice (AS) and have the movies and its so true because it taps into human psychology and what motivates people rather than governments who are so arrogant they refuse to believe the obvious.

  • abragan

    There will be a government in Spain soon – the politicians can only survive so long without receiving their “commission” for placing contracts

    • chris

      Just like Italy and Greece

  • JohnInCambridge

    We need a government in the UK after Brexit to undo all the harm which the EU has done.

    • Gold Bug

      Why? No government means no enforcement of stupid regulations.

      • red2black

        It wouldn’t be long before contradictions like ‘Anarcho-Capitalism’ would have to come up with stupid regulations of its own.

    • emily dibb

      Yes, this would be the first and most useful thing that is crying out to be done. Remember how Margaret Thatcher hacked away the red tape that had swathed and shackled every sector of British Life! We are now more restricted, more spied upon, more bullied and abused by our Govt than at any time since King John.

    • MrVeryAngry

      Not really. One giant Repeal Act and off we go….!

  • Gold Bug

    Why is this a surprise to anyone? Can anybody think of a more inefficient, corrupt, slow moving, authoritarian and violent method of stealing money from productive people, using some to buy votes then giving the rest to politicians and their cronies through wars and dodgy contracts?

    • wibbling

      The EU?

      • Quest for Liberty

        You’re quite right. The more centralised the government, the more problematic. Especially when it comes to corruption or holding someone responsible.

  • chris

    What a breath of fresh air.

  • wibbling

    Isn’t this sort of obvious? Government has no role beyond security. The rest people can work out. I’m always annoyed – and find somewhat laughable – that an ardent Left wing unionist sates that some people can’t be ‘trusted’ to make the right decisions. My counter is that as I can, why should I pay for government to make them for me. They can’t quite understand that they re wrong, fundamentally and completely. The state is a useless, incompetent, bloated and unnecessary thing.

    For the record, Switzerland has a amazing government. It’s called the people. Lowest corruption (because the people can remove laws), lowest taxes (as the state cannot vote for more of itself) and most importantly, democracy. That’s why it is a wealthy, happy country. it is also why the EU wastes hundreds of millions of our money trying to get around the referendum block. It hates that the people can reject it. it far prefers to deal with corrupt, self serving politicians and that doesn’t work in Switzerland.

    • wasteman

      It’s a great case for Anarchism

      • Zalacain

        It’s a great case for Anarcho-capitalism.

        • red2black

          If you can afford it.

      • emily dibb

        Or perhaps a great case for maintaining a civilised society?

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So you think the government should only protect you, and you can use your wealth to act the king otherwise, check. As you hate the Swiss for their government, want more corruption, high tax, and decry your enemy democracy, right, logically per your argument. As you confuse yourself and the EU.

  • MrVeryAngry

    Another, actually probably central, reason for leaving the EU. Too much government.

  • Gear Mentation

    Corporations are forms of government, and depend on government for enforcement of their structure.

Close