EDITOR'S LETTERMerryn Somerset Webb
Controlling the weather
There are many reasons to vaguely disapprove of Twitter. But there are more to love it. Here’s one little exchange that shows why. Earlier this week The Herald tweeted one of its headlines: “Give Scotland powers to boost economy, says business chief.”
An immediate response came from the account of @countprosper (which belongs to an ex-partner in a Scottish fund-management firm): “Give Scotland power to change the weather, says tourist chief.”
Here you have all the nonsense spoken about economics summed up in fewer than 280 characters. Politics is about pretending economies can somehow be “boosted” as long as governments have the correct “powers” and “levers” to control supply and demand. Jobs can be “created” and tax revenues lifted as long as “powers” are correctly used.
Countprosper has been around long enough to know this isn’t true – we might as well claim to be able to stop the rain in Glasgow as to know exactly how to boost its economy. If it was that simple to make everyone rich, it would surely have been done already.
Bill Bonner feels the same. “Modern policymakers are either fools or knaves. Their programmes are senseless and useless. Their theories airy claptrap”.
• Read the full editor’s letter here: Controlling the weather