Saturday 3 May 2003

Tommy Sheridan: the new George Bush

Andrew Duffin pointed me to this quote from the Scotsman:
Mr Sheridan told cheering supporters: "What’s happened tonight in Scotland is that a new political force has been formed - and that force believes that the wealth of Scotland belongs to the people of Scotland."
As Andrew says:
Too right it does, mate. The people. Probably not what he really meant.
No. Tommy means the state and also that the state c'est moi. I watched the Scottish Socialist Party leader on television in the early hours of Friday. In the same paragraph he maintained that "Scotland was a rich country" and that the rich could be squeezed, but also that "Scotland was a poor country." The BBC interviewer didn't pick up on this of course - they were far more interested in the threat from the "right-wing" British National Party than from the far more dangerous SSP.

Tommy claimed that taxing the rich and giving to the poor would increase total national wealth because "the poor" have a greater propensity to spend than "the fat cats" who merely "sit on" their money. Oh dear. First, the cats don't keep the money under their beds - it is invested. Second, as the Austrian School explains, increased national wealth comes from a continuous investment in capital goods, not from a US-style consumer spending boom like that which has cost the dollar 30% of its value in the last 18 months.