THE more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s an old French saying, says Terry Bell in his latest Labour Wrap, and he thinks it applies not only to the latest budget, but to almost all such economic policy statements.
He maintains that finance ministers and the national governments they serve are constrained by the system in which they operate and which they accept. As a result, they continue to apply variations of the same policy remedies to the same problems over and over again, apparently always expecting a different result.
According to what Bell says is a statement probably wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein, this behaviour indicates insanity. But, “such is our economic system and the way we deal with it”.