The Left Always Spends More Money Than The Right. Even When It’s Not A Good Idea. But They Can’t Help It
Samuel Marshall writes from London: Why is it that all left-wing governments spend more money than the right-wing ones, even when it’s not really a good idea?
The Labour Party which is currently ten points ahead of the ConLibDem Coalition in the polls blew a fortune during its 13 years in office. During the boom years Labour just kept on spending. But when boom turned to bust, the cupboard was bare. Those who say they will vote Labour in 2015 have clearly forgotten this. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls’ recipe for growth is to print more money and spend more. This is pretty stupid. The present generation will not repay this debt. It will be left to our grandchildren’s generation. So sing, drink and be merry because someone else will be paying the bills.
Look at America: President Barack Obama is the most left leaning leader in living memory. The public debt has ballooned during his Administration and not even Paul Ryan can force US voters to rethink this ruinous policy. Obama is set to return to the White House in November, despite his dismal economic record. He may be the first President to be re-elected when unemployment is over 8 per cent. Americans are living on credit. The Federal Reserve will continue printing money – called, euphemistically, quantitative easing – in order to keep interest rates low. If interest rates rise, many households and businesses would go bankrupt. Bang would go Obama’s chance of re-election.
I have a theory that the left always spends more than the right because they think that it will work out eventually for everyone’s benefit. They want to make everyone equal and to remove hierarchies in society. They want to abolish poverty and end discrimination. They want equality between the sexes. All values are relative and your opinion is as valid as the next person’s. Capitalism is evil because it is based on self-interest. The way to strangle it is to regulate it out of existence. Printing money will lead to huge national debt. The interest payment on this debt will eat up a greater and greater part of budget revenues.
You get the picture? You gradually prove that the capitalist system does not work. The alternative? Marx’s dream of a communist society in which money is abolished. Everyone works for the common good and everyone is happy.
Of course, the above vision of society in which capitalism is overturned has been tried before. First and foremost, in the Soviet Union. Central planning replaced the market. Bureaucrats told you what you could do and what you could not do. Why did it fail? Because it could not produce enough goods to satisfy the aspirations of citizens. So what was the antidote? Capitalism, of course.
The only place where capitalism is allowed to work is, ironically, in communist countries such as China and Vietnam. What about the left in China? Bo Xilai thought he could make a successful career by going back to the egalitarianism of Mao Zedong. He was hugely popular with the less well off. Just when he was becoming a threat to the leaders in Beijing he was slapped down. The Right in the Middle Kingdom will have no truck with the Left at present. If the goal is economic growth, the Left has to be silenced.
What are the lessons for the West? If economies are to grow, capitalism has to be accepted as the best engine to achieve this. Electorates have to be reminded that the Left always makes a mess of the economy. The depressing truth is that voters in Britain and the US are unwilling at present to face this stark reality.