LETTER: Not ‘heading’ towards recession, we’re deep in a depression

I TAKE issue with our MP’s analysis and remedy for the economic state of the country (“From the House”, Leader Times, December 2nd).

We are not “heading into a recession”, as he states; we are already deep into a depression, a slump, not just in parts of Europe but in the UK too. We are facing the global collapse of capitalism. The cycles of boom and bust are over; the free market party is over.

Even the Prime Minister now admits we are in the midst of another “credit crunch” or as I would call it a “double dip”. It is worse than the first crisis in 2007, which we have never overcome.

I would also question his assertion that the measures which the Government is undertaking will “support growth and improve fairness”. It is obvious “we are not all in it together”, as George Osborne claims. What’s fair about measures which make the rich richer and the poor poorer? Gandhi said: “The world has enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.”

At a more fundamental level, I believe we should challenge the mantra of economic growth, as a way of digging ourselves out of a hole. We cannot consume our way out of this crisis by spending what we have not got, as it leads to debt spiralling out of control.

Kenneth Boulding states pithily: “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” The New Economics Foundation (NEF) thinks we need to do things differently, and soon – a new economic model. We need to start from first principles and build an economy which serves society. Right now every one of us is dependent on growth. The way our economy is structured means that unless there is growth people lose their jobs, the tax base shrinks and politicians struggle to fund the public services we all rely on every day. NEF wants to break that vicious cycle by building a new macro-economic model that is geared not towards growth, but towards achieving the outcomes that meets the needs of society and that can be sustained by the planet’s finite resources. This change will not be easy but it is essential for our survival that we create an economy that provides basic essentials for people and ensures the protection of the planet. Time is not on our side. We must stop profligate and needless consumption or we will be consumed – destroyed in the pursuit of endless economic growth.

DAVID PENNEY

Noyna Street, Colne