These interesting times might take our eyes off the things that really matter. During a recent late night discussion on the BBC among the financial cognoscenti, one of the participants warned against getting drawn back into ‘the red herring of banker’s bonuses’. The real issues were the British government and police being in the pockets of the Murdochs, media plurality, the debt crises in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, etc etc and the future of the Euro, not to mention the changing world roles of the US and China as well as the developing famine in East Africa. Bankers’ bonuses were surely small beer against such giant issues.
Keynes argued that reducing taxes on the poor enabled them to immediately increase their spending which would stimulate growth in the real economy, thus reducing debt and creating jobs. Reducing taxes on the rich did not have that immediate effect, but, the argument ran in Keynes’ day, it enabled them to increase investment in the real economy thus having a long term positive impact on growth. That was then.
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