Economic prospects and unrelenting debt

 

Sir; – The ESRI report discussed in your editorial of March 23rd (“Risk management”) echoes the soft landing delusion of 10 years ago. A boom of enormous lending proportions came tumbling down on to the rock hard reality of unrelenting debt being unsustainable and unrepayable. Yet boom debt of 2008 was paltry compared to “recovery” debt of 2017; the US debt doubled from $10 trillion to $20 trillion; the EU increased its debt by almost a trillion euro each year; and all other economies, including China, are on a similar trajectory.

Recovery is one of the greatest economic illusions of all time. Recovery from what? The singularly most successful economic time of great abundance and unprecedented ability the human race has ever had the good fortune to encounter? And it’s all done by the genius of modern technology, but economic gurus of the world cannot admit it or cope with the success it has wrought. They encourage continually increasing production, although grossly more than enough is already being produced. They pump trillions into sustaining and increasing “growth” in a world of abundance surpassing sufficiency, which needs restraint of enormous ability much more than “growth”. And they utterly ignore the unrelenting elimination of dependence on human labour affected by an astonishing wave of robotics and automation.

The world produces wealth like never before, while the means of distributing portion of that wealth through business and employment to the masses crumbles on all sides. Millions are being abandoned to instability, dependency and despair by using old, outdated economic convention to manage new economic abilities. Until establishments throughout the world face up to the real causes of Brexit, Donald Trump and extremist politics, then the sham recovery leads us toward the hardest of hard landings of the most successful economic time ever experienced. The crash of 2008 will look like misplaced loose change in comparison. – Yours, etc,

PADRAIC NEARY,

Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.