Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Compare and Contrast

New Zealand Herald editorial, Saturday, December 20, 2008: Spending is now a social duty:

the less [consumers] spend the greater the risk may be to their jobs. Business starts a vicious spiral with lay-offs and consumers continue it when they take fright. There is no point saving money in a recession. Prices are low, builders, electricians and the like are available again. There is no better time for households to stock up, do repairs and extensions, afford some luxuries.


Spending in these circumstances is the more socially responsible course. The economy needs to be revitalised from the streets. Every purchase rings loudly in the ears of fearful shops and their suppliers, helping to offset the doleful predictions they read and hear from supposed seers.

New Zealand Herald editorial, Monday, December 22, 2008: Government must tread warily on deficits:

The Treasury's prediction that official debt will be back to early 1990s levels on the present track of revenue and spending should disturb Mr English. He has been in Parliament long enough to know how hard the road to fiscal health has been. The initial work cost the Bolger Government nearly all its political capital before its first term was through. The years that followed were sour with complaints of underfunded public services, shroud-waving health providers and food banks. It was a thankless struggle and nobody will want to repeat it.

The new Government's eye may be fastened on the economy's immediate needs but it must not lose sight of the surplus that helped sustain better days.

A case of private debt (which our rich friends and advertisers benefit from) good, public debt (which they have to pay for) bad?