Being the exciting person that I am, I have set myself the task of trying to understand exactly what went wrong in the 1970s.
Should be an interesting Summer project.
So – could any readers suggest some good reading?
I’ve got a copy of Burk and Cairncross’s ‘Good Bye Great Britain’, plus biographies of various politicians.
What else should I get?
Hopi has an interesting post up asking why politicians are so pessimistic?
It’s as if, both sides having accepted the Thatcher/Blair (or Lawson/Brown or Greenspan/Clinton) macro consensus and then seen it appear to collapse under the weight of its own excesses, there is little remaining belief in the ability of forceful policy decisions to drive growth.
He’s right. The ability of macro- economic policy to influence the future seems to have been forgotten.
It brings to mind a quote from Hayek:
The main lesson which the true liberal must learn from the success of the socialists is that it was their courage to be Utopian which gained them the support of the intellectuals and therefore an influence on public opinion which is daily making possible what only recently seemed utterly remote. Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this had rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide.
If we keep saying that there is nothing we can do that will quickly become the political mainstream.