Debate Magazine

Ed Balls, Syriza Vaguely Talk Sense: Shock

Posted on the 10 February 2015 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From City AM:
To those who say that Labour is anti-markets, Balls replies: “We have shown a huge understanding of how the markets work. Markets are really powerful in driving incentives but you need to write the rules of the game. Without them you get a lack of investment, collusion and a lack of competition.”
His first sentence is an outright lie, the middle sentence is correct and that last sentence sounds borderline Georgist, if only he realised landowners' role in the economy.
“Markets alone won’t deliver long-term infrastructure, or stability for the energy industry or vocational learning. Markets can not fund a basic science base. But a proper plan must understand the dynamism of a market economy and ensure that government plays its proper role in assisting that.”
Yes, we know that he was quite senior in the last Labour government which got it wrong on both sides: two much intervention where it was not needed; not enough intervention where it was needed; and f- all 'investment' in roads, electricty generation or proper education. And we also know that, John Major aside, each UK government has been worse than its predecessor, so whether Labour or the Tories get in this year, they will be worse than the current Tory-Lib Dem coalition, but hey...
From the BBC:
It is not just the poor who voted for Syriza but the middle classes as well. [Home] owners in Athens's leafy, northern suburbs were enticed with the promised abolition of a hated annual levy on [homes].

Known as "Enfia", the tax was introduced in 2011 as an emergency measure but made permanent under the previous government. Instead, there will be a tax on luxury homes and large second [homes].

Fair play, their Enfia was a lot less than our Council Tax but it was more like a Poll Tax. If they make it more proportional to land values, then that must be a good thing. We'll see.

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