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Sinking Britain: The Continuing Failure of Economic Policy

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In 2006 - along with all the other countries of the 'Atlantic Economy' - Britain was plunged into a severe economic crisis. It led, in 2008, to the nationalisation of major banks and building societies. In subsequent years, the USA has almost restored its economy to its position during 2005; while Britain's national product remains significantly lower, despite vigorous gov In 2006 - along with all the other countries of the 'Atlantic Economy' - Britain was plunged into a severe economic crisis. It led, in 2008, to the nationalisation of major banks and building societies. In subsequent years, the USA has almost restored its economy to its position during 2005; while Britain's national product remains significantly lower, despite vigorous government propaganda which asserts that 'growth' has recommenced. European economies have responded differentially to the disaster, with Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece still embroiled in crisis, while Germany has been very little affected. The seeds of the crisis were sown in the global finance sector based in London and New York, yet the British government shows no significant awareness that the crisis exposed an even deeper, long-term failure to develop the real economy. This awful situation is recognised widely by the voting public, almost half of whom record their contempt for politics and their disinclination to vote in the next General Election, while having no comprehension of the underlying economic realities that all political parties have ignored for more than half a century. In their 1972 work, 'Can Britain Survive?', David Bland and Ken Watkins predicted that the policies of constantly increasing benefit dependency, de-industrialisation, and increased government borrowing would undermine the fundamental health of the economy. That prediction has come to pass. The financial crisis of 2006-8 precipitated an awareness that there are fundamental faults in the economy that are far more serious, and longer term, than the financial problems that have been addressed by technical tinkering. More significant is the systematic destruction of the material economy by purblind politicians, with mass non-employment and the vast majority of employment shifted to service activities based on imports and funded by borrowing. The historic system of political economy has simply been ignored by economists since the invention, in the 1870's, of the pseudo-scientific 'Austrian' or 'Marginalist' scheme of theory. Political economy was not discredited, disproved, or refuted; it was simply brushed aside in favour of essentially simplistic (though mathematically intricate) market models based on a naive concept of 'free trade' that has never existed in the real world. By pushing the argument that more and more 'competition' should be introduced to the economy, with the same dogmatic certainty as First World War generals sending successive thousands of men 'over the top' to face enemy machine-guns, economists have goaded politicians into making ever more ruinous decisions. In ‘SINKING BRITAIN: How to Rescue a Failing Economy’, David Bland unpicks this tragic sequence of events, and proffers possible solutions. More than forty years of wastage have elapsed since the publication of 'Can Britain Survive?'. Thus the base on which the country can recover is vastly more fragile than in 1972. Yet with the unique positive attributes of the British people still available, albeit diminished due to the ruin of the education system, rescue remains possible. The first step in solving a problem is to understand what the problem is: and that is the primary objective of this new text.


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In 2006 - along with all the other countries of the 'Atlantic Economy' - Britain was plunged into a severe economic crisis. It led, in 2008, to the nationalisation of major banks and building societies. In subsequent years, the USA has almost restored its economy to its position during 2005; while Britain's national product remains significantly lower, despite vigorous gov In 2006 - along with all the other countries of the 'Atlantic Economy' - Britain was plunged into a severe economic crisis. It led, in 2008, to the nationalisation of major banks and building societies. In subsequent years, the USA has almost restored its economy to its position during 2005; while Britain's national product remains significantly lower, despite vigorous government propaganda which asserts that 'growth' has recommenced. European economies have responded differentially to the disaster, with Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece still embroiled in crisis, while Germany has been very little affected. The seeds of the crisis were sown in the global finance sector based in London and New York, yet the British government shows no significant awareness that the crisis exposed an even deeper, long-term failure to develop the real economy. This awful situation is recognised widely by the voting public, almost half of whom record their contempt for politics and their disinclination to vote in the next General Election, while having no comprehension of the underlying economic realities that all political parties have ignored for more than half a century. In their 1972 work, 'Can Britain Survive?', David Bland and Ken Watkins predicted that the policies of constantly increasing benefit dependency, de-industrialisation, and increased government borrowing would undermine the fundamental health of the economy. That prediction has come to pass. The financial crisis of 2006-8 precipitated an awareness that there are fundamental faults in the economy that are far more serious, and longer term, than the financial problems that have been addressed by technical tinkering. More significant is the systematic destruction of the material economy by purblind politicians, with mass non-employment and the vast majority of employment shifted to service activities based on imports and funded by borrowing. The historic system of political economy has simply been ignored by economists since the invention, in the 1870's, of the pseudo-scientific 'Austrian' or 'Marginalist' scheme of theory. Political economy was not discredited, disproved, or refuted; it was simply brushed aside in favour of essentially simplistic (though mathematically intricate) market models based on a naive concept of 'free trade' that has never existed in the real world. By pushing the argument that more and more 'competition' should be introduced to the economy, with the same dogmatic certainty as First World War generals sending successive thousands of men 'over the top' to face enemy machine-guns, economists have goaded politicians into making ever more ruinous decisions. In ‘SINKING BRITAIN: How to Rescue a Failing Economy’, David Bland unpicks this tragic sequence of events, and proffers possible solutions. More than forty years of wastage have elapsed since the publication of 'Can Britain Survive?'. Thus the base on which the country can recover is vastly more fragile than in 1972. Yet with the unique positive attributes of the British people still available, albeit diminished due to the ruin of the education system, rescue remains possible. The first step in solving a problem is to understand what the problem is: and that is the primary objective of this new text.

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