Quote of the day: “If you are an economist and did not see this coming . . . “ [updated]
The Key Government has continued to signal that they are going to backtrack on the tax cuts that were at the centre of their platform in the recent election campaign – and the mainstream media has continued to ignore this broken promise.
As I’ve said before, to say now that you didn’t know last October that the world’s economies were collapsing is a sign of either abject incompetence then or cynical dishonesty now. Bluntly, Bill English is either a liar or a loser.
Sure, there were plenty of trained economists who didn’t know at the start of 2008 what was about to happen (though there was little enough excuse for that abject ignorance), but you’d think that by the 9th of October, when the Dow Jones had dropped by nearly half what it was the previous October, even a prospective Minister of Finance might have noticed something was up?
And what about all those “trained economists” who never saw the train wreck coming? A commenter on a housing blog, Patrick.Net, wrote recently that economists did a worse job of forecasting the housing market than either his father, who has no formal education, or his mother, who got up to second grade. And his comment, which has now gone around the world, is my quote of the day:
"If you are an economist and did not see this coming, you should seriously reconsider the value of your education and maybe do something with a tangible value to society, like picking vegetables."
UPDATE: As always, Susan makes a comment worth repeating:
Not going ahead with promised tax cuts signifies that the govt believes that *its* spending requirements are more important than those of taxpayers.
Thus, I think it's right and proper to henceforth refer to John Key as John Keynes.