Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chris Dillow — Reactionary Postmodernism

There's one thing not happening today which should be. People are not ridiculing Nick Clegg, at least no more so than usual. But they should be, because one part at least of hisspeech yesterday was downright stupid:
Who suffers most when governments go bust? When they can no longer pay salaries, benefits and pensions? Not the bankers and the hedge fund managers, that’s for sure. No, it would be the poor....
Of course, this is plain wrong. In countries with their own central banks, governments cannot go bust because the central bank can simply print money to buy government debt: this is what QE is. Of course, this might or might not be a bad idea. But Clegg didn't argue this. He just made a prat of himself.
 However, my point is not to condemn Clegg; I'll not flog that dead horse. Instead, it's to note that the MSM seem to have ignored this. His speech was reported with the usual post-conference bromides rather than along the lines of "Deputy Prime Minister shows himself to be crass idiot."
This is the part of the post that will likely be most interesting to readers of MNE, but the rest of the post is where Dillow makes his point. Worth reading in full.

Stumbling and Mumbling
Reactionary Postmodernism
by Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle (UK)


Matt Franko said...

This is a good observation: "the Overton window has shifted so far away from rational policy discussion that blatant falsehoods not only do not provoke the derision they deserve, but actually go unchallenged."


Ralph Musgrave said...

The failure to challenge blatant falsehoods is inherent in all societies because members of all societies throughout history have been cursed by the Overton Window phenomenon: that’s the inability to think outside a small range of ideas.

People living in Ancient Egypt would have been allowed to discuss whether large pyramids were better than small pyramids. But if you’d suggested that all pyramids were a waste of time, you’d probably have been arrested.