07 April 2010


As you may have heard, Gordon Brown called an election for May 6th. Now, I don't follow British politics that much, but I'm going to try to do my best to follow this election. The UK is in deep shit economically, like the rest of the world basically. I'm not a conservative by any standard, but I am sort of torn about this election, to the extent that I understand it.

Here's basically what I believe about the economy:
  • You can't spend more money than you have for any extended period of time. Doesn't work for me, doesn't work for the government. Eventually you're going to have to deal with it.
  • Raising taxes to make up the deficit doesn't really solve the problem. Living within your means is a better way to try and solve this problem, I think, rather than trying to get more money. You aren't really solving the underlying problem then.
  • Cutting the budget sucks... but it's gotta happen. In the US, it's the military industrial complex: we pay way, way to much on guns, razors, knives in the US.  I'm not an expert on it, but it seems that benefits-sending is a huge problem here. Check out this chart. I'm happy to be corrected about this, but it seems like the government is spending a whole hell of a lot on benefits.
  • People won't try to work if the government benefit scheme is paying them as much as they would working a job. I'm never a big incentive person, but if you have a choice between not working and working at a trendy fast food chain... I don't know. Yes, the government needs to work at providing good education and training. Yes, many people can't work or have a ton of trouble working. But, I'm sorry, if you can work and there is work, you should work. Does that make me a conservative?
On the other side:
  • I don't, however, believe that the government should let business leaders make decisions about the public good. Tesco is not going to make decisions with the good of the people in mind. They are trying to make a profit: fair play. But the government (which is the people) needs to regulate them and make sure that many don't suffer for the benefit of the few.
  • Education is key, KEY to keeping your population moving forward. Cutting spending in education is just ensuring that you have an under-educated population in the future.
The problem is that I am benefiting from government spending. And if the Tories win, they will probably cut education, leaving me with a very difficult employment situation in two and half years. I gotta say, however, that if me not getting a job leads to the government getting spending under control and having a sustainable model for government spending... I think that's the best thing.  Hopefully, some balance can be struck.