Thursday, 6 March 2008

I'm no economist but ...

I was reading the paper this morning, and saw this:

"Meanwhile, ABS trade data showed the value of imports soared by five per cent or $1 billion in January. Rising imports helped push out the goods and services trade balance to a bigger than expected deficit of $2.723 billion, a blow-out of almost $800 million from December. It's the second worst trade gap on record."

It reminds me of a short piece by C. J. Dennis called The Glugs of Gosh. In this story, foreigners who were once the enemy of the Glugs approached the King and Queen with a neat importing deal...

"We'll sell you pianers and pickels and spanners
For seventeen shiploads of stones:
Smooth 'uns or nobbly 'uns,
Firm 'uns or wobbly 'uns,
All we ask is stones."

It all sounded very good, but eventually someone noticed something wrong.

But a Glug stood up with a cast in his eye,
And he said, "Far too many baubles we buy;
With all the Gosh factories closing their doors,
And importers' warehouses lining our shores."

Despite reports on how much more we're spending plenty on shipping out more and more rocks (coal can be thought of as a rock) are we just fooling ourselves that our economy is getting better.

It seems to me like we're going from having a low paying job at the supermarket to getting a slightly better one, then using your newly approved credit rating to go buying new clothes, stuff around the house and a car.

So while we are shipping out more rocks all we seem to be doing is to get into deeper debt and stripping ourselves of any manufacturing and skills base.

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