I once had the honour and privilege of meeting Anthony Hilton at a certain party in a certain building. He should be anybody’s first go to on all matters political and economic. And as an avid reader of his column for many years, I slowly began to appreciate his advice on how important the small to medium sized business is, as an engine of innovation and dynamism. Count me among the converted for the rest of this read.
Now with the coronavirus crisis, this sector is in real, real trouble. We should all give full marks to the government for trying to help http://www.gov.uk covid 19 support for businesses. But….in a worse case scenario , what if it isn’t enough? Imagine your favourite little local restaurant deciding it can’t, it really just can’t, go over to take-aways. So it stops buying from suppliers of food, IT and labour. They in turn do the same. As the businesses shrink, the banks can no longer lend—oooops it’s 1933 all over again. And once a business is gone-well, it’s gone, there is no simple re start
So how do you jump start an economy that is completely and utterly dead. Stalled. Kaputt? I am afraid that the answer could very well be by Direction of Labour. Picking projects. And putting the recovered to work on them. Consider the following. Not far from where I live is a large wind farm .It stretches along the outshore waters from Brighton to roughly Worthing. Imagine that you took a lot of unemployed workers and made them extend it all the way to say Chichester. First, you would have created real wealth, in the form of extra power. It’s not as efficient as how capitalists would have done it, but it’s done. Secondly you put unemployed people back to work. They then take their wages and spend them in local businesses on beer, chips and goodness knows what else(this is a family blog) At this point, with money circulating again, a capitalist economy begins to reboot. Far fetched?It’s actually what happened between 1939 and 1951. After a dozen years of socialist planning, the economy was beginning to tick over so well that a Conservative Government was able to take over again.
Now the point of this blog is to generate ideas: I bet I have missed something. So….what do you think?