Dig­ging another hole in our future

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There are wide­spread reports that the polit­i­cal fetish with return­ing the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment to a sur­plus will result in cuts to Australia’s research fund­ing bud­get of close to half a bil­lion dol­lars:

Research cuts put lives at risk, say med­ical insti­tutes

Research cuts will cre­ate ‘brain drain’

These cuts are dri­ven by an obses­sion with run­ning a per­ma­nent bud­get sur­plus that is good pol­i­tics but bad eco­nom­ics. For Aus­tralia to con­sider achiev­ing this point­less goal by fur­ther under­min­ing its already pathetic level of research fund­ing is even more insane.

Nor­mally polit­i­cally inac­tive researchers have finally had enough and are fight­ing back. The Wal­ter and Eliza Hall Insti­tute of Med­ical Research has estab­lished a protest move­ment “Dis­cov­er­ies Need Dol­lars”, and they are hold­ing a Rally for Research in Mel­bourne next week:

RALLY FOR RESEARCH!

State Library of Victoria (Swanston St) — Tuesday 12 April @ 12:45-2PM

Mooted poli­cies like this show the wis­dom in Don­ald Horne’s often mis-quoted descrip­tion of Aus­tralia as “the lucky coun­try”:

Aus­tralia is a lucky coun­try, run by sec­ond-rate peo­ple who share its luck

Aus­tralia showed less enter­prise than almost any other pros­per­ous indus­trial soci­ety. (Don­ald Horne)

It’s time to tell the sec­ond-rate peo­ple think­ing of mak­ing insane deci­sions like this to back off. If you are in Mel­bourne, please attend the rally, and sup­port the cam­paign.

About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.
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  • ak

    This is where all this stuff comes from:

    http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2011/04/05/paul-ryans-revolution-would-finish-reagans/

    The blue­print embraces free mar­kets and indi­vid­ual choice to rad­i­cally reshape America’s social wel­fare state for the 21st cen­tury and shrink gov­ern­ment. Instead of look­ing for ways to finance an ever-expand­ing pub­lic sec­tor, it would pre­vent Wash­ing­ton from grow­ing to a pro­jected 45 per­cent of GDP by 2050 (vs. 24 per­cent today) and instead reduce it to just under 15 per­cent by that year. Ryan would down­size gov­ern­ment to its small­est size since 1950 and pre­vent the Euro­peaniza­tion of the Amer­i­can econ­omy.”

    One thing which is not entirely clear to me is why Aus­tralian “Labor” party is imple­ment­ing the plan invented by the extreme neo­con­ser­v­a­tives in the US. But any­way… when one is cut­ting down some­one else is expand­ing.

    China is on the verge of over­tak­ing Japan as the sec­ond-biggest spender on research and devel­op­ment after the U.S., mark­ing another key shift in the rivalry between the world’s eco­nomic pow­er­houses, a new report shows.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703734204576019713917682354.html

  • @ Ak April 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm | #

    One thing which is not entirely clear to me is why Aus­tralian “Labor” party is imple­ment­ing the plan invented by the extreme neo­con­ser­v­a­tives in the US.”

    I am led to believe that the Aus­tralian Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment — all Par­ties, but par­tic­u­larly Labour, is well now in the firm grip and under the hyp­notic fren­zied con­trol of these fanat­i­cal Zion­ist “neo­cons” — rep­re­sented by Hillary Clin­ton et al. There appears to be a swarm of very influ­en­tial peo­ple who are strongly affil­i­ated to this war­mon­ger­ing polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy within Aus­tralia. Please con­sider M’s Gillard’s recent speech of loy­alty before the US Con­gress and else­where — and her affir­ma­tion that Aus­tralia is wel­com­ing US mil­i­tary Occu­pa­tion of Aus­tralia for ’ the joint mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion of China … etc.’

    her idea is con­sis­tent with K Rudd’s Wik­ileak rev­e­la­tions and M’s Gillard’s joint state­ments to the Media when Hillary Clin­ton recently vis­ited Aus­tralia.

    I believe that Aus­tralia is now under full Zion­ist con­trol.

    And I don’t think that this phe­nom­ena is new but it cer­tainly is con­sis­tent to the slow with­drawal of sci­en­tific research fund­ing in the USA. I have read some recent arti­cles that sug­gests that this is a Zion­ist Pol­icy being imposed on the West in favour of indus­tri­al­ist favouritism as is prac­tised openly in Europe. It is fas­cism.

    Now it is here. Won­der­ful, what next.

    The cap­tion of the image below was:
    “Bend over, we are from the Gov­ern­ment”

  • Philip

    Steve,

    I fully sup­port this move­ment. My PhD is look­ing at this very topic of exam­in­ing alter­na­tive forms of financ­ing R&D, specif­i­cally phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal R&D.

    For instance, in 2009, under the ter­ri­ble IP patents sys­tem, the mas­sively state-sub­si­dized phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try per­formed an alleged self-reported $1.02 bil­lion in R&D, while the PBS (tax­payer plus con­sumer dol­lars) will break the $10 bil­lion bar­rier this year, in order to make monop­oly-priced med­i­cines more afford­able.

    This is a com­plete waste. My pro­posed model (there are oth­ers) is for the gov­ern­ment to scrap IP, and then finance R&D directly. $2 bil­lion can be allo­cated to each of the fol­low­ing R&D sec­tors:

    - gov­ern­ment labs (e.g. CSIRO)
    — the uni­ver­sity sys­tem (47 uni­ver­si­ties)
    — the for-profit pri­vate sec­tor (under con­tracts)
    — the non-profit pri­vate sec­tor (e.g. Wal­ter and Eliza Hall Insti­tute of Med­ical Research).

    Then all infor­ma­tion in placed in the pub­lic domain, so that med­i­cines can be pro­duced and sold at free-mar­ket prices, aver­ag­ing around $5 — $15 per unit. My cal­cu­la­tions show that cur­rent phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal expen­di­tures will col­lapse from $14 bil­lion to approx­i­mately $3 bil­lion. Any sav­ings can be returned to tax­pay­ers.

    R&D per­formed would likely increase by an esti­mated 600%, while increas­ing the R&D work­force by over 200%.

    Exactly 50% of cur­rent indus­try employ­ment is sales & mar­ket­ing — hired for the pur­pose of under­min­ing ratio­nal infor­ma­tion, an utter waste.

    There is a lot more to say but this com­prises the basics.

    Yes, the gov­ern­ment is stu­pid by cut­ting back R&D fund­ing to bal­ance the bud­get but what is even more ludi­crous is for the pub­lic and econ­o­mists to accept the cur­rent eco­nomic poli­cies of fund­ing sci­ence, inno­va­tion and R&D by means of IP. We can do more with less.

  • ak

    Peter­jbolton,

    I dis­agree.

    I would be care­ful not to mix up neo­con­ser­vatism with Zion­ism. I am also not con­vinced whether long-term weak­en­ing of Amer­ica is in the best inter­est of Israel. I would assume that quite the oppo­site is the case. Yet another dimen­sion is that both social-demo­c­ra­tic and neo-con­ser­v­a­tive ten­den­cies are present in the Israeli pub­lic life. Again I am not con­vinced whether neo-con­ser­vatism and right-wing nation­al­ism serve them well and whether they haven’t been taken there for a ride there, too. 

    In regards to Zion­ism in gen­eral I think that after what hap­pened dur­ing WW2 there are good rea­sons for Israel to exist as a Jew­ish state but obvi­ously the rights of the Pales­tini­ans need to be respected, too. I would pre­fer to see a pro­gres­sive and peace­ful Israel as envi­sioned by the founders of the mod­ern Jew­ish state.

    I am also not con­vinced that there is a global con­spir­acy even if links between think-tanks and lobby groups exist. But we can say the same about every other global move­ment for exam­ple the envi­ron­men­tal­ists or reli­gious groups. 

    The toxic ide­ol­ogy based on pseudo-sci­ence called neo­clas­si­cal eco­nom­ics is the main prob­lem, not the peo­ple who share a cer­tain ances­try and may have pos­i­tive atti­tude towards a rather small Mid­dle-East­ern state.

  • TruthIs­ThereIs­NoTruth

    ak

    firstly well said. I think pjb has a cer­tain stig­ma­tised per­spec­tive and inter­prets snip­pets of infor­ma­tion to fit his view. 

    in response to this state­ment:

    The toxic ide­ol­ogy based on pseudo-sci­ence called neo­clas­si­cal eco­nom­ics is the main prob­lem”

    I think this is sort of what they want you to think. Deci­sions are not dri­ven by ide­ol­ogy, once deci­sions are made an appro­pri­ate ide­ol­ogy is found to jus­tify them. 

    Dereg­u­la­tion is a good exam­ple. Finan­cial dereg­u­la­tion in the US was lob­bied not because peo­ple had mis­con­strued neo-clas­si­cal beliefs but sim­ply because there was bil­lions of dol­lars at stake. Econ­o­mists are then hired to pro­vide some ‘sci­en­tific’ jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, it’s just part of the mar­ket­ing lobby pack­age.

    Greed is the dri­ver, neo-clas­si­cal eco­nom­ics is a con­ve­nient jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.

  • @Ak April 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm | #

    and

    @ TruthIs­ThereIs­NoTruth April 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm | #

    I doubt if greed is a dri­ver per se, more of a nat­ural human expres­sion along the axis of a spec­trum of an ide­ol­ogy. All ide­olo­gies, what­ever they are, have one thing is com­mon — which is a utopian ‘sta­tus quo’ ideal which is brought about by the abstract ideations of a com­plete and per­fect the­ory cum solu­tion. Non have ever worked and non ever will work and you can take that to the Bank.

    For­tu­nately, none of these aspi­ra­tions are pos­si­ble and there pur­suit, brings us fur­ther from our human­ity as the ide­ol­ogy imposes its sta­tic weight on all aspects of human­ity until they con­form or are destroyed. (“you are either with us or against us”) The human behav­iour which is often mis­taken as greed is merely oppor­tunis­tic which is derived from a def­i­n­i­tion of life where that being ‘of infini­tive pos­si­bil­ity and prob­a­bil­ity aris­ing out of cir­cum­stance’. Greed is a bad inter­pre­ta­tion of the human spirit soar­ing to infi­nite heights or evo­lu­tion­ary end; it is that human attribute which tends to make us see our­selves as related to the Gods, what­ever they were.

    It is ide­ol­ogy that brings igno­rance, hate, geno­cide, war, hunger, inequal­ity and all the other such things and Zion­ism is such a curse, and indeed it is alive within Aus­tralian bor­ders as well as run­ning amok else­where. Yes, your “neo­clas­si­cal eco­nom­ics fits the same billing, because, of course it is an ide­ol­ogy and behaves con­sis­tently in iden­ti­cal terms and Yes, pseudo sci­ence is always a major con­trib­u­tor to shilling for mem­ber­ship and dona­tions; and, always has been.

    Thus, and accord­ingly, all orga­ni­za­tions, col­lec­tives and co-oper­a­tives also behave is the same man­ner and that goes for polit­i­cal par­ties, snooker clubs, think tanks, pro­fes­sional asso­ci­a­tions, clubs, etc., lead­ing me to the point that when a weak group meets a more pow­er­ful group, the weaker one — nat­u­rally want­ing more — “greed” (if you will) so as to become more pow­er­ful, becomes a joint part­ner, but sub­servient part­ner, with the stronger: And therein you have the work­ing fun­da­men­tals behind hege­mony and the US lever­age on all or most of the nations of the World, includ­ing Aus­tralia. It is called the Judas Prin­ci­ple, and it is apart from all else, nat­ural behav­iour.

    Deci­sions are dri­ven by ego; incom­pe­tence and influ­ence founded in weak­ness and undif­fer­en­ti­ated matu­rity; any excuse is used — even ide­ol­ogy (and National Secu­rity).

    War, is the human expres­sion of “lead­er­ship” incom­pe­tence and it arises out of the weak­ness that per­mits influ­ence to dom­i­nate — frus­tra­tions of the fail­ure to gov­ern suc­cess­fully and to suc­ceed and dom­i­nate in diplo­macy; impa­tience and to a large degree, shame in denial. It is far eas­ier for “lead­ers” to project the guilt onto unknowns and describe them as “evil doers” and set off the forces of destruc­tion — than to face the Truth and accept the incom­pe­tence of one’s office. IOW it is eas­ier to lie if sur­rounded by “True Believ­ers” who need to pro­tect pro­tect them­selves. The col­lec­tive is safer that fac­ing the World alone espe­cially if one doesn’t have a spine.

    There is a lot to be said for invest­ments in “real” infra­struc­tures and inde­pen­dent sci­en­tific pur­suits, not by cor­po­ra­tions, but by indi­vid­u­als. Infra­struc­tural invest­ments should include cap­i­tal costs only but designed to allow free enter­prise, pri­mar­ily at the indi­vid­ual level, to build upon.

    Gov­ern­ment should be made up of Gate­keep­ers only, and reg­u­la­tors… while bank­ing should be totally re-invented to work in a util­i­tar­ian direc­tive with no access to the Gate­keep­ers and “Law­mak­ers. Of course a work­ing knowl­edge of a sci­en­tific based Eco­nomic The­ory would be most help­ful, for a change.

    Ide­ol­ogy is Toxic, by def­i­n­i­tion — when imposed.

    I hope this clar­i­fies my point of view,

    Here is the “Bend over, we are from the Gov­ern­ment” image (I hope)

  • ken

    We can’t have both the worlds most expen­sive infra­struc­ture and fund research. Some­thing is going to go. My guess is that the choice will keep the CFMEU happy.

  • Mich

    Bad eco­nomic to run a sur­plus? Well, I’d rather pay up front for research than inter­est on deficits to banks.

  • Adrian

    It’s just one thing after the other with this gov­ern­ment, and quite dis­grace­ful given what R&D has pro­duced for this coun­try in the past. Look at the rev­enue from WiFi e.g., but obvi­ously many other wor­thy exam­ples. I’m dis­gusted at Labour and the Greens, and I can’t say any­thing good about them. The big prob­lem is that they can’t get any­thing right, and we the tax­payer suf­fer, and they get their golden pen­sions, direc­tor­ships etc. 

    Nation­ally it’s a dis­grace when it’s eas­ier to get a loan for a house than to get a loan for R&D. When the hous­ing bub­ble bursts things for R&D won’t get bet­ter as politi­cians just do get it.

    Pol­i­tics in our coun­try is bro­ken”.

    I’ve just been in Shang­hai to their Sil­i­con Val­ley equiv­a­lent and I was being told that they can’t do all the projects and they have some much fund­ing. I’m try­ing to get some joint projects here, but I can’t see it hap­pen­ing.

    I’ve writ­ten to my local mem­ber Andrew Robb, but Gillard and co like every­thing else will shout us down and do what they like. They can find $1.9 Bil­lion a year for boat peo­ple , but not for the lifeblood of our future.

    This is dire stuff by a dis­func­tional gov­ern­ment with no clue.

  • cyrusp

    Half a bil­lion dol­lars is chicken-feed com­pared to neg­a­tive gear­ing con­ces­sions.

    But God for­bid we touch neg­a­tive gear­ing — wouldn’t want to hurt those kind hearted investors pro­vid­ing a valu­able com­mu­nity ser­vice 🙂

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/negative-gearing-top-tax-break-20100326-r377.html:

    NEGATIVE gear­ing by rental investors has become Australia’s biggest tax break, with land­lords claim­ing $12.75 bil­lion of net losses in 2007-08 to reduce their tax.”

  • That’s just it cyrusp: keep the research and “fund” it by end­ing neg­a­tive gear­ing & the first home ven­dors grant on exist­ing prop­er­ties.

    Now wouldn’t that pro­posal set the fox amongst the born again Key­ne­sian chick­ens in Can­berra?:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/budget-warning-now-its-time-to-pay-20110408-1d7og.html

  • @ Steve — Cyrusp — Adria — Mich, et al

    …Wayne Swan says that with the pri­vate sec­tor return­ing to healthy growth after the global finan­cial cri­sis the gov­ern­ment needs to restrain its spend­ing, reduce debt and return the bud­get to sur­plus.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/budget-warning-now-its-time-to-pay-20110408-1d7og.html

    This is the OMG Moment

    When from Money Morn­ing Kris Kayce: pre­vi­ously posted
    *************************************************
    ” if you remove bank­ing and resources stocks, profit growth for 2010 was… minus 3.72%:

    All Stocks 35.44%
    All stocks ex banks 24.12%
    All stocks ex resources 20.86%
    All stocks ex resources and banks –3.72%
    ***********************************************

    The minus (-) — 3.72% above rep­re­sents the Aus­tralia SME sec­tor part of the Aus­tralian Econ­omy or

    IOW

    There is noth­ing in profit in play apart from Banks. Min­ing being mainly for­eign invest­ment / share­holder con­trolled together with its ser­vice indus­tries.

    Or, Swan and Labour are going suck every man woman and child in this Nation dirt poor so they can turn “the bud­get to sur­plus”.

    Key­words: tough | mind­less | stu­pid |

    IOW Labour are going to get that stim­u­lus back from the pen­sion­ers and oth­ers that they pre­vi­ously paid out… with inter­est just as Peter Costello announced at the time, that they would have to.

    This is noth­ing but pure unadul­ter­ated INSANITY.

    Image below said to rep­re­sent the cur­rent Level of the State of cur­rent Global States­man­ship

  • ecoN­um­bers

    new NSW gov­ern­ment is plan­ing to spend half a mil­lion dol­lar to build one meter of new North west­ern rail line ($10b for 20km). That will be by far the most expen­sive rail line in the world. I doubt the real cost of that line is more than 200k per meter. At the same time there is no half a bil­lion for research. Where is our money going? Ask your MP!

  • mahaish

    Bad eco­nomic to run a sur­plus? Well, I’d rather pay up front for research than inter­est on deficits to banks”

    the prob­lem is mich,

    econ­o­mists who advo­cate sur­pluses in the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, are just lousy accoun­tants

    the gov­ernemt finan­cial sur­plus is equal to the non gov­ern­ment finan­cial deficit.

    so if you want to run the pri­vate sec­tor into the ground and have them jacked up to their eye balls in debt, sure go for a sur­plus.

    but just about every reces­sion or near reces­sion has been pro­ceeded by series of fis­cal tight­en­ing by the gov­ern­ment.

    and whether inter­est is paid, is a pol­icy option for the gov­ern­ment since they can eas­ily move towards a zero sup­port rate, and not issue debt instru­ments.

    if the pri­vate sec­tor has to go to the bank­ing sys­tem to fund itself, if the gov­ern­ment pulls back its fund­ing, then the debt ser­vice bur­den on the pri­vate sec­tor is prob­lem for all of us.

    the goven­ment can pretty much decide for itself what the inter­est bur­den for itslef will be, because even­tu­ally the fed can exert con­sid­er­able influ­ence on the yield curve, and if the gov­ern­ment where so inclined they could eas­illy move towards zero pol­icy rate, since tar­get­ing by decree is in force now.

    the gov­ern­ment debt bur­den is mean­ing­less,

    the pri­vate sec­tor debt is big big prob­lem, and gov­ern­ments run­ning sur­pluses and remov­ing sav­ings from the pri­vate sec­tor is just throw­ing fuel on the fire.

  • @ Mahaish April 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm | #

    I believe what you describe so well is known as applied depres­sio­pog­nomics -“THE AMANÂSA HAVE DEFILED OUR FUTURE ABODES. THIS IS KARMA. ” — THE SLOKAS OFDZYAN

    The image pro­vided above is vivid enough and needs no fur­ther graphic assis­tance.

  • Philip

    Bal­anc­ing the bud­get clearly is a class issue, as expe­ri­enced in the US, and will likely be the same in Aus­tralia once our debt-defla­tion begins.

    In the US, the prob­lem with the bud­get is twofold. One, it is pro­moted as a hot-topic issue to dis­tract the pop­u­la­tion from the sub­stan­tial eco­nomic prob­lems and from those who engi­neered the cri­sis, namely finan­cial cap­i­tal­ists, com­pla­cent gov­ern­ment offi­cials, and main­stream econ­o­mists.

    Two, the rea­sons why the bud­get deficit is expand­ing, and there­fore gov­ern­ment debt, is because of three things: mil­i­tary and national secu­rity spend­ing ($1.2 tril­lion), the grossly inef­fi­cient pri­vate health care sys­tem (which is actu­ally a greater prob­lem than mil­i­tary spend­ing), and the plunge in tax receipts due to the fall­out from the hous­ing bub­ble burst­ing.

    The two ele­phants in the room are mil­i­tary spend­ing and the pri­vate health care sys­tem. What to do with both of these are quite obvi­ous, but instead, the main­stream press and busi­ness class are focus­ing upon pro­grams that have the rather irri­tat­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of help­ing the mid­dle and work­ing class: Medicare, Med­ic­aid and Social Secu­rity.

    The pop­u­la­tion are told they must tighten their belts, as jan­i­tors, fire­fight­ers, teach­ers, etc. receive bloated incomes, enor­mous ben­e­fits and out­ra­geous pen­sions. Self­ish pub­lic employ­ees are increas­ing the deficit due to their lux­u­ri­ous lifestyles (not much is said about pri­vate sec­tor work­ers because the cor­po­rate state has already smashed their mea­ger rights).

    Of course, the top 1% do not have to tighten their belts as they are the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the enor­mous state-spon­sored upward redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth.

    The fall­out in the US and also Europe has resulted in a move toward the far right, which is rather omi­nous.

    Whether one thinks that the bud­get should be bal­anced or not is irrel­e­vant to the fact that it is the mid­dle and work­ing class who pays for the eco­nomic dev­as­ta­tion caused by the rich.

  • jamesw

    The rally for research on Tues­day is also hap­pen­ing in Syd­ney (Bel­more Park) and in Ade­laide (Steps of Par­lia­ment House, North Ter­race) as well as Mel­bourne (State Library, Swanston St). See http://www.discoveriesneeddollars.org/rallyforresearch

    Every­one is wel­come — you don’t need to be a researcher!

  • Tel

    I think you all have to accept that if we don’t have sig­nif­i­cant polit­i­cal pres­sure demand­ing that the bud­get be brought back to sur­plus, then it never will come back to sur­plus and we will run con­stant deficits for­ever (and con­stant infla­tion too). For a gov­ern­ment, spend­ing their way out of trou­ble is just way too easy.

    Con­sider a project like the NBN, it has run into cost prob­lems get­ting con­tracts for the work involved… so with­out bud­get pres­sure, they would just let the costs blow out and spend like the drunken sailor. As it is, the ALP are fac­ing the deci­sion to either blow the bud­get (and cop some polit­i­cal flack for poor eco­nomic man­age­ment), or recon­sider the NBN… and that’s a dif­fi­cult deci­sion, but one they rightly should be fac­ing. Allow­ing peo­ple to skip around dif­fi­cult deci­sions is a guar­an­tee that dif­fi­cult deci­sions sim­ply get faced.

  • mahaish

    ” think you all have to accept that if we don’t have sig­nif­i­cant polit­i­cal pres­sure demand­ing that the bud­get be brought back to sur­plus, then it never will come back to sur­plus and we will run con­stant deficits for­ever (and con­stant infla­tion too). For a gov­ern­ment, spend­ing their way out of trou­ble is just way too easy”

    what a sur­plus is,

    the gov­ern­ment reach­ing into your wal­let tel,

    like pick pock­ets

    and tak­ing more money out than it puts back in,

    and if you dont have enough read­ies to do every­thing you want to do, you have to go to the bank.

    you can only play that game for so long, until the pri­vate sec­tor debt bur­den becomes unsus­tain­able,

    deficits add to yours and mine sav­ings. true they can be lev­ereged care of the fohg, but thats a pol­icy choise.

    the prob­lem is pred­ju­dice is rife in the eco­nomic right, and they either dont under­stand the math,

    or delib­er­ately dis­tort national income account­ing to equate gov­ern­ment sav­ing with national sav­ing,

    and they are flat wrong .

    the gov­ern­ment finan­cial bal­ance + the domes­tic pri­vate sec­tor finan­cial bal­ance + for­eign domes­tic pri­vate sec­tor finan­cial bal­ance = 0

    so when you do the math,

    the gov­ern­ment run­ning a sur­plus means atleast on of the other sec­tors has to run a deficit. now a gov­ern­ment can get away with a sur­plus if the for­eign domes­tic sec­tor is adding to national sav­ing care of trade sur­pluses and once in a gen­er­a­tion increase in terms of trade.

    but that will end some day too.

    as for infla­tion,

    well take a look at japan. some of the largest deficits in the world and we have had 20 years of delfa­tion.

    ditto amer­ica,

    no ones argu­ing infla­tion isnt an issue, but we are a mil­lion mlies away from it being a prob­lem in most of the wetern world given unem­ply­oment rates.

    they would love a lit­tle infla­tion to get them out of the hole they are in, but alas they are still star­ing down a defla­tion­ary morass.

    need to do the math,

    then we will under­stand what a stu­pid idea a budegt sur­plus is, unless we are run­ning large trade sur­pluses, fill­ing up our dmoes­tic cur­rency bal­ances in our domes­tic bank accounts