Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reasons to be cynical: David Cameron's analytical skills

[Forgive me for being a little late on this one - other stuff got in the way.]

Findings from a paper titled "Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe, 1919-2009", by Jacopo Ponticelli and Hans-Joacim Voth:
"Does fiscal consolidation lead to social unrest? From the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1930s to anti-government demonstrations in Greece in 2010-11, austerity has tended to go hand in hand with politically motivated violence and social instability. In this paper, we assemble cross-country evidence for the period 1919 to the present, and examine the extent to which societies become unstable after budget cuts. The results show a clear positive correlation between fiscal retrenchment and instability."
Wisdom from British PM David Cameron:
"[T]hese riots were not about poverty: that insults the millions of people who, whatever the hardship, would never dream of making others suffer like this. No, this was about people showing indifference to right and wrong, people with a twisted moral code, people with a complete absence of self-restraint."
Well, then, I suppose that settles it. I guess it was too much to hope that Cameron and company might have actually learned something? Something that would lessen the likelihood that this might keep happening, and then happen again? (And again...)

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