This morning I wrote about the bizarre case of Grant Shapps and a book called “How to bounce back from recession” written by his Partridge-esque alter-ego Michael Green. We decided this needed the eye of a professional, so we spoke to our secret economics boffin, who have a look at the “self help” book this afternoon. This is what they told us:
1. “Most “mainstream economists” (those of whom most of us cannot personally relate to) believe that recessions are caused by reduced purchase of goods and services.”
I love the inverted commas on mainstream economists. Yes most economists say that, because that’s a statement of fact. A recession is a fall in GDP, one of the main measures of GDP is the total volume of purchases.
2. “The advantages of the recession are not just for investors and governments and the top 1% of the (wealthy) population. For the average person, and you know who you are, the recession has brought about positive as well as some not so pleasant changes for you. “
Really quite hard to see how the steepest fall in lving standards since the 1920s has helped ‘the average person’ but what do I know?
3. “For those who have had their incomes severely impacted or reduced, you have an opportunity to eat better, slow the pace, shop smarter, clean out the useless, seldom-used, or forgotten items for cash or recycle, or spend more time with family/friends in simple pursuits like talking, cycling walking/hiking, camping, fishing, playing cards and games, learning skills or hobbies from others (playing an instrument, weaving a shawl, carpentry, mentoring). In short, you have the opportunity to begin to LIVE HEALTHIER, FULLER & BETTER.”
I see! The answer to the living standards squeeze is to take up fishing and card games. As for ‘living healthier, fuller and better’, er… part 2 of this makes interesting reading.
4. Now for some advice: “Interest rates are low – the lowest in 60 years. Now could be a good time to buy a house or vehicle, or just borrow money.”
‘Just borrow money’ is rarely top advice.