In an act of striking economic naivete and breathtaking historical revisionism, writer Joe Beagelhole marshals the European debt crisis as evidence that allowing political institutions to use a lack of transparency to rack up debt is sustainable, and that we don’t need an independent body making the full cost of fiscal decisions transparent to the public at large.
Well, at least if the author of this column can insult other people like a pretentious prat – then I figure I’m allowed to be equally pretentious (hell I even used his first sentence as the base of mine – in case it wasn’t obvious 😉 )
Let’s ignore his excessive claim that Greece didn’t have a debt problem prior to the crisis – when it did, and the problem was exacerbated by informational issues (something that is key to the article he is criticising).
To be honest, I’m in love with the idea of an independently set tax rate – something that is closely related to the idea that is being criticised. And its not because I’m a dictator and want technocrats to rule my life. The reason I love the idea is that the COST associated with the spending politicians promise is made TRANSPARENT.
By having such an authority, politicians can redistribute and spend – they just have to be elected. By having an authority that states the costs associated with scheme (through the given tax rate), people in society can vote with full information. This IMPROVES the democratic process.
Beaglehole shows himself incapable of thinking about transparency and information with regards to politicians, and accuses other people of being undemocratic for daring to give society more information about government spending. If you ask me, his faith in government officials to just ‘do what is right’ without transparency is more akin to a belief in philosopher kings than anything Mr Worthington stated.