Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Blair's "gift" to Britain

It's sad that the Tories in Britain are such a sorry, unfocused lot that Blair still appears as a dynamic leader (if one ignores his disgraceful pandering to radical Islamic fundamentalists. Of course, to the Dems, Blair is still their dreamboat candidate. In an article yet another Thomas Friedman misread of the situation, Theodore Dalrymple has this to say about the depths to which Blair's government has reduced Britain:

The British economy is far from healthy. Its growth rests on vast personal indebtedness secured by rising real-estate prices. It perennially produces less than it consumes. It is thus a kind of pyramid scheme that is liable to sudden collapse. Its supposedly low unemployment rate is a myth: the unemployed have simply been moved onto the disability rolls�there are now more alleged invalids in Britain than after the First World War. Half the jobs created in the last eight years are in the public sector or are directly dependent on it, and the vast majority of those jobs are not merely non-productive but anti-productive. Their only economic function is as a Keynesian stimulus that cannot long be sustained in the absence of other, genuinely productive economic activity, which these jobs preempt. Not only is the budget deficit increasing fast, but the proportion of the GDP taken up by the public sector is now relentlessly rising. As for the deftness of finance chief Brown: consider that, against all advice, he sold most of Britain�s gold reserves just when gold was at its lowest price for years (depressing the price still further) and just before it was about to double. His taxation of pension funds (in effect, a violation of the prohibition against ex-post-facto legislation) means that they yield 25 percent less than they did before he turned his attention to them. In an aging society, this is no small matter. It is building up poverty for the future.
Regarding the highlighted language, I have a question. Among the many arguments I heard against Pres. Bush's proposed privatization of social security was the claim that they tried this in England, with disastrous results. Does the highlighted language explain those disastrous results? If so, that shows that England's disaster came from inept, possibility illegal, government meddling, and had nothing to do with the virtues (or lack thereof) of privatization.