Monday, 6 October 2008

Monday Funday - with travelators

The marvellous David Slack sees the bright side in the impending recession/depression, including:
2. Depressions are a time of exciting public works. In the last one, we got Tamaki Drive, we got pine forests across the North Island and how many damn hydro dams did we get? America got a colossus. It's so big, they say you can see it from space, if we ever find the money to get back out there. I'm going to put my request in first. Prime Minister Key, may we please have a travelator under Auckland harbour?
Something to look forward to, indeed.


Hugh said...

I think saying that depressions inevitably lead to public works is extraordinarily simplistic. For starters, the sample size is 1.

Anna said...

Well, it was tongue and cheek - and I thought it was pretty hilarious, particularly the soup aspect. I would be pretty happy to see a global move away from speculation and towards production.

Hugh said...

I would be pretty happy to see a global move away from speculation and towards production.

Care to expand on that a little?

Anna said...

Yes - but only a little bit of expanding, because this is certainly not my area of expertise!

I think speculation of all sorts is a pile of shite. It sends capital into areas which of the economy which produce nothing. If I buy a house in an accelerating market, planning to make money by selling the same house at a later date, I've done absolutely nothing of value to anybody. The 'wealth' I've created has no correlate in any actual thing, as the banks foreclosing on people's mortgages are currently finding. Likewise, currency speculation. When you add to that the problems caused by speculation (the boom/bust cycle which we're now entering into the bust phase of), it doesn't have much to recommend itself.

If we must have capitalism, it would surely be better for folks to invest capital in productive enterprises, ie those that produce goods and services. Those have more potential to do something useful for humankind than the likes of John Key making his fortune through currency speculation.

Hugh said...

Hmm. Well as you say this isn't really the subject of the thread, so I won't argue. Thanks for laying it out, though.