Stiff upper lip chaps!

It could be worse, couldn’t it?

Oh, no sorry, my bad. In fact, the beatings will continue until morale improves.



… is more than spending cuts. Contra Alex here discussing the spending of the US and UK state.

Government spending puts money and demand into people’s pockets; tax takes demand out. With regard to spending versus taxes, Adam Posen, for it is he, estimated that the US fiscal stance has contributed about 3 percent mroe to GDP growth compared to the UK’s fiscal stance. Posen’s techniques and figures are entirely uncontroversial.

This is in large part because the coalition decided a large VAT increase would be the best way to close the deficit despite lots of evidence on how damaging tax increases were during downturns.

Government may continue to buy boondoggles for people, if that’s how you want to look at it, but the Government has acted in an austere manner from a macroeconomic perspective.

Living on a Dollar a Day Swindon Style.

A friend of mine has started blogging at I’m Goin’ Hungry about her attempt to feed herself on a pound a day for five days.

As part of Living Below the Line, Caroline Napier will be raising money for Christian Aid, but there are loads of other charities and NGOs supporting this campaign (see bel0w).

Caroline won’t be shitting in a mud hole, walking miles for dirty water and will know where her food is coming from. But she will be working in an office while doing this, and nobody in absolute poverty has to put up with that sort of monotony, so we’ll call it a tie with regard to the non-food budget elements of poverty.

I jest, but only because the horror of absolute poverty is so far removed from day to day life. Any steps an individual can take to bring poverty to people’s attention are a step towards eliminating it.

So give her your money, or sign up yourself and follow her blog [rss]. Also, look out for her in Swindon’s local papers and radio.

PS  Owen Barder is good on development, the IMF’s official blog is a bit dry, but covers a lot of ground and the Guardian’s Global Developmetn is a bit more case study orientated but also covers a great deal. All good places to start with some good blogrolls to browse round.

Christian Aid UK Malaria No More UK Restless Development UK Results UK Salvation Army UK UNICEF UK  Article 25 ChildHope Giving Africa Global Poverty Project Health Poverty Action International Service Leaders' Quest MADE in Europe  Mike Campbell Foundation  Peace Direct  Positive Women S.A.F.E.SCI Skillshare Think Global VSO

Paging Adam Posen

Look Adam, we have had high inflation, but we’ve also had low (and negative) growth, nominal expenditures just aren’t accelerating in a dangerous way. The UK’s real GDP is a long way from peak because its nominal GDP is a long way from peak, and your job is to take charge of nominal GDP.

So please restate your commitment to a more expansionary monetary policy or we’re all screwed.