Hög tid skrota överskottsmålet!

8 May, 2015 at 16:34 | Posted in Economics | 3 Comments

Sverige har haft massarbetslöshet i över 20 år. Varken de reformer som rekommenderas av etablerad nationalekonomisk teori, såsom lägre a-kassa, skatter och facklig organisering, eller andra förändringar, såsom låg realränta eller expansiv penningpolitik, verkar vara tillräcklig för att motverka denna massarbetslöshet. Än mindre för att skapa full sysselsättning.

Om regeringen ska klara av att nå full sysselsättning verkar det därför som att kraftigt expansiv finanspolitik är enda lösningen. Regeringen bör därför rikta om finanspolitiken i generellt mer expansiv inriktning. Detta innebär per definition att statsskulden bör öka …

frn-massarbetslshet-till-full-sysselsttning-katalys-no-20-1-638Alla partier i riksdagen arbetar i dag för att den sparsamma finanspolitik som bedrivits i Sverige sedan början av 1990-talet ska fortsätta. Men det finns ingen enkel relation mellan statsskuldens nivå och samhällsekonomins funktionssätt. Den skepsis som i dag verkar vara utbredd mot ökningar av statsskulden bygger till stora delar på helt omotiverade farhågor om dess inverkan på samhällsekonomin i övrigt. Delvis grundar sig detta i missförstånd om svensk ekonomi under 1990-talet.

Det finns ingen mening att ha ett mål för låg statsskuld om detta inte bidrar till sysselsättning, tillväxt eller något annat önskvärt. Mycket tyder på att sparsam finanspolitik kan skapa stora problem för samhällsekonomin, både vad gäller sysselsättning och tillväxt. Och mycket tyder på att expansiv finanspolitik är det nödvändiga verktyg som regeringen måste använda för att nå full sysselsättning. Regeringen bör därför avskaffa överskottsmålet.

I den mån det överhuvudtaget bör finnas explicita långsiktiga mål för statens finanser och statsskulden talar mycket för att detta bör vara någon form av expansionsmål eller underskottsmål. Om det finns lediga resurser, såsom arbetslösa, bör regeringen se till att deras arbete kommer till nytta — genom att öka statsskulden om så krävs.

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  1. Top economist Steve Keen explains why austerity policies are naïve

    MAY 6TH, 2015 – 12:32 AM GREG RUSSELL

    http://www.thenational.scot/politics/austerity-snp-are-right-and-the-rest-are-wrong-says-top-economist.2681?

    “AN award-winning economist has attacked the austerity policies adopted by Labour and the Tories as “naive” and likened them to a kindergarten understanding of economics. At the same time Professor Steve Keen – one of the few economists to have predicted the financial meltdown – praised the SNP and the Greens.

    In a recorded interview with the financial website everyinvestor.co.uk, Keen claimed that failing to invest in growth would not generate a sustainable recovery due to high levels of private debt. Public debt, he said, was more a symptom than a cause of economic problems.

    He joins other leading economic voices who have spoken out against the irresponsibility of austerity.

    In recent weeks Business for Scotland and the leading Scottish economic think tank N-56 have called for an end to austerity to create economic growth. Nobel prize-winner Paul Krugman called the case for cuts “a lie”.

    Keen said that the “most positive thing” he could say about the Labour and Tory view of austerity politics was: “It’s naive and childish”.

    He said: “When you look at the way that they [Tories and Labour] talk about the government having to run a surplus … you can’t think about the economy and the government’s role in the economy like a child might think about a household budget, which is all that’s being sold by politicians of both sides.”

    Keen, who is head of the school of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University in London, went on to explain how cutting public-sector spending to balance the books actually harmed growth and took money out of people’s bank accounts.

    He said: “Draw a rectangle, call that the entire economy and divide it in half, with one half the government the other the public.

    “If the government is going to run a surplus, which is what both Labour and the Conservatives are saying is their objective, that means the taxes the government is imposing on the public have to be greater than the spending.

    ‘SO what you’ve got therefore is the flow of money has to be going from the ‘public’ box to the government. For the government to run a surplus they’ve got to be taking money out of your bank accounts.

    “That’s the opposite of what people think. If the government’s going to run a surplus it has to tax the people more than it spends on the people.”

    Keen added that if government ran a surplus for a sustained period, it would be forced to borrow money from the banks. ‘‘What it means is that you’re going to have rising public debt, with a relatively constant GDP, rising private servicing pressure as well,” he said.

    “At some point the public’s going to stop borrowing money from the banks and you’ll go into a downturn.”

    “It’s a recipe for a future economic crisis.

    “That, in a nutshell is why Greece and Spain and Italy and France are in the state they’re in right now,” added the economist.

    “And both political parties are saying ‘we think it’s a good idea’. It’s kindergarten thinking about the economy.”

    Keen went on to say that Conservative austerity or Labour austerity light would both lead to economic stagnation.

    And he praised the SNP, saying: “The only ones who are close to a sensible policy are the Greens and the SNP, because they at least are talking about the dangers of the private banking sector.

    “They’re seeing the banking sector as the cause of the problems, rather than a potential solution – which is still the way the Conservatives look at the banking sector and Labour in effect lean towards banking light rather than banking heavy.”

    Keen’s rationale is that the Westminster-focussed parties have underestimated the vital impact of public-sector investment into the economy that would enhance growth by creating jobs and new revenues.

    His remarks have been welcomed by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, founder and director of Business for Scotland.

    He said: “Westminster’s ill-considered austerity consensus represents full financial irresponsibility.”

    VIDEO: Steve Keen criticises naïve austerity economics

    http://everyinvestor.co.uk/2015/05/05/video-steve-keen-criticises-naive-austerity-politics/

    “In an exclusive interview with Every Investor, Professor Steve Keen from Kingston University has warned that politicians who promote austerity economics are naïve.

    The economist, who was one of the few who predicted the Great Recession, warned last year that the US and UK economies wouldn’t make a sustainable recovery due to the problem of high levels of private debt – public debt being more a symptom than a cause of this economic malaise.

    In this interview he gives a detailed explanation as to why the austerity-heavy economic policy of the Conservatives (and the Liberal Democrats), and the austerity-lite version from Lab is naïve and will lead not to economic growth but to economic stagnation.

    Indeed, while not endorsing any political party, he does acknowledge that the economic policies of the SNP and Greens make more sense.

    This is a video that needs to be watched. It will give you insights that most professional economists appear to lack. (Hence, their evident surprise at news that the UK and US are slowing down).

    It should also encourage investors to be in ‘risk-off’ mode, which seems very sensible given likely market volatility that will follow the election and the grave economic news that we can expect this year.”

  2. Reblogged this on Blogeti blogety and commented:
    Från vår rapport

  3. Den av nyliberalerna Anders Borg m.fl. tillsatta pseudo-expertisen i Finanspolitiska Rådet hade presskonferens igen. John Hassler fick som vanligt sitta och tycka fritt en massa mumbu-jumbo utan att ekonomijournalister ställde minsta fråga som kunde rucka pladdret om det allom goda överskottsmålet.
    Formen presskonferens är förstås också till för att slippa djuplodande frågor.

    Självgodheten är magnifik bland ekonomer som John Hassler, där alla som delar hans tyckande är “seriösa bedömare”.

    Det är ett råd som gör anspråk på att vara opolitiskt och vetenskapligt, men som är precis raka motsatsen. Det är tillräckligt skäl för att rådet bör läggas ner snarast.


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