After I piped up earlier today saying Balls’s ideas seemed sensible enough, here’s an economist to put a torpedo straight through them. I have to admit that a lot of this is hard for a non-economist to understand and Mr Mitchell’s words could benefit from a few footnotes, but it is still well worthwhile to see what an economist thinks of this Labour Shadow Chancellor’s position. I have no idea what Mr Mitchell’s political persuasion may be.


Pre-empting the release of today’s growth figures (which showed GDP is now above its 2008 peak*), Ed Balls penned and article for The Guardian in which he warned against complacency and made the case for Labour’s own ‘radical’ economic plans. Here’s economist Bill Mitchell’s response to Balls’ article. He’s not too impressed:

This is now deemed a radical economic plan in this age of neo-liberal Groupthink

After berating the Conservatives for failing to deliver rising living standards given that “working people are worse off with wages after inflation down by more than £1,600 a year since 2010″ and “business investment is lagging behind our competitors, apprenticeships for young people are falling, and our export growth since 2010 is sixth in the G7″, Balls rejects what he calls the ‘trickle down’ tax cuts for the rich Tory strategy.

Balls concluded that:

“While the Tories claim all we need is one…

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