Saturday 10 December 2016

'Economists at dawn' were like Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Published 27/09/2015 | 02:30

David McWilliams: disagreeing while fundamentally agreeing
David McWilliams: disagreeing while fundamentally agreeing

I see the Irish Independent has pitted two heavyweight economists - David McWilliams and Dan O'Brien - against each other to great fanfare. 'Economists at dawn' makes a very alluring headline but when examined, their 'battle' appears very like that of Tweedledum and Tweedledee; agreeing to disagree by fundamentally agreeing with each other. Interestingly, Lewis Carroll's pair of disagreeing agree'ers are considered mirror images of each other trying vainly to disagree while their innermost thinking is entirely at one.

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This is a great problems with economists of the moment, and I fear we suffer greatly from them all apparently agreeing on the basics. There appears absolute consensus that we have simply experienced another 'recession' and are mounting a 'recovery'. Sadly, no economist says: "No, this is different. This time core economic activity has been transformed."

There are three inter-related areas of utter transformation; ability to produce, need for growth and dependence on human labour, or work. Since the dawn of history, the human race has suffered a fundamental inability to produce all the goods and services needed for the human race to live healthily in comfort and abundance.

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