funduffer wrote:Related to this thread, there is a new report on the State of the UK Economy from the economists at UK in a Changing Europe.
https://ukandeu.ac.uk/reports/the-state ... nomy-2024/
It is quite long but has some interesting trends plotted out.
From the introduction:It’s hard to sum this all up – and, as noted above, there is no single silver bullet
for the problems we face – but some themes do emerge.
One is the need for a longer-term, joined up approach in policy areas ranging
from education to public services to artificial intelligence. The UK has long been
plagued by short-termism, and the political instability of the past few years
has considerably aggravated this already damaging tendency. Incrementalism,
whereby further complications are layered onto existing systems to the point
where they are no longer comprehensible to policymakers, let alone the public,
also imposes considerable costs, the tax and planning systems being cases in
point. Both a clearer vision of how systems should work, and a feasible plan for
how to get there over the medium to long term, are required.
Second, we need to work both with our strengths and with the grain of
technological progress. The UK is fortunate in that our most successful sectors
– high-productivity tradeable services – are likely to represent a growing share of
the global economy. But to make the most of that we need domestic policies that
enable them to grow and to be more productive – in particular housing, planning,
and transport policies that foster growth in our major cities. And we need
trade and regulatory policies that make them globally competitive. Regulatory
uncertainty and political short termism should not be allowed to undermine
the obvious strengths the UK enjoys, for instance, around higher education and
Finally, economics is not, and should not be, separate from broader social
policy concerns. The disappointing overall economic performance of the last
fifteen years has also seen existing inequalities entrenched and in many ways
exacerbated. There is no conflict between strategies to increase growth and those
to reduce inequalities. Indeed, in areas ranging from education to tax to regional
policy, they are complementary. The UK can be both a more prosperous and a
None of which is to say that this will be easy. Yes, simplistic or single-source
explanations – like austerity or Brexit – are insufficient, but there is no denying
that both have worsened the problems we face and will make addressing them
harder. Yet this is not a counsel of despair. What is needed, and what this report
provides, is a clear-eyed and honest analysis of where we are, as a basis for
planning how we might get where we want to be.
I frequently see economists mention the need for more housing as a critical factor in Britain's economic transformation. I've underlined it above. But I just don't understand in what way it is crucial, or even a nice to have. You can't export houses, or sell them abroad - the house has to stay where it is. Everyone already has plenty of living space to carry on their homelife and economic activities. I see comparatively few living on the streets. A house is a cost, a luxury. I would go as far as to say that all economists who mention housing in their analyses are talking out of their backside.