Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Collapsing Britain

I am pulling this data out of the middle of a "discussion" within the economist crowd as to "best policy."

My general point would be that if you run an automobile over the edge of  a deep cliff, which recovery policy you choose may only make a small difference as you plummet past the half-way point down.  You can buckle your seatbelt, crouch and cover, and pray.  But in the end, you chose your path at the top of the cliff, and are just going to have to live with that decision.

The Mouse That Roared
The Money Illusion, 24 March 2012 (hat tip: MR)

The Office for National Statistics’ current data on quarterly UK nominal GDP growth in 2008 is as follows, at Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rates:
    Quarter 1: 4.3%
    Quarter 2: -1.7%
    Quarter 3: -5.2%
    Quarter 4: -3.4%
A Financial Times Piece (hat tip MR again) notes that the living standards of young Britons in their 20s has been overtaken for the first time ever by those in their 60s, and that retired incomes of those in their 70s and 80s is rapidly keeping up.

The data, which underpins government publications on living standards, takes no account of housing costs or wealth. Had it done so the results would have been even more dramatic, showing median living standards of people in their 20s have now slipped below those of people in their 70s and 80s.

The worrisome demographics of Europe and Japan , and to the lesser extent the United States, is of course at play here.  All of the Western economies are having issues with an aging out population.  How you are going to keep the elderly going without extracting so much from the younger generations that they can even make a go of it, is very much a question. 

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