Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Getting Out Of Recession 1
I think we had a very good discussion. Not alone in this - a new member said it was "infinitely" better than Labour party meetings he had attended (which apparently are out of Life of Brian except only such as those get to speak). I don't think a discussion as serious and constructive could have happened in any other party even at conference.
I'll put my speech up in full tomorrow. If you have read what I have written of X-Prizes you'll know it already. Questions were on whether patents would still rest with the inventor - yes, prizes are there to enhance the rewards of patents rather than replace them - and how to ensure politicians don't put up silly politically correct prizes - not absolutely possible even with an independent foundation running it but unlike grants, if the objective is unachievable it won't be won whereas with conventional grant funding the money gets spent anyway.
Mike introduced a number of graphs you will see later which I find absolute proof that GDP and energy use are Siamese twins.
Ivor was no holds barred in support of the principles of Adam Smith and other Scots of the liberal tradition.
I believe that it was reasonably proven that each of the 4 strategies would be enough to get us out of recession. Certainly nobody in the audience came up with anything to the contrary. Of course if any part of our state broadcasting monopoly or press or indeed any 1 of the 129 MSPs in Scotland feel that it is debatable that each of these strategies would make get Scotland out of recession I invite them to broadcast, publish or participate in such a debate - but I won't hold my breath that a single one does.
I grant that there isn't such overwhelming evidence of X-Prizes working repeatedly on a national scale because it hasn't been tried. However there is ample evidence of prizes, small by the standard of government spending, producing massive effects - the plastics industry, food canning and discovering Australia.
Not discussed because we are all already convinced (& the rest of the political class must also be convinced because they refuse to discuss it) is the cost to our economy of the EU. Tim Congdon has calculated this, giving the EU the benefit of what doubt exists, as 10% of gdp. By thus limiting investment money this must take at least 10% off growth but by making us generally uncompetitive, will have a considerably greater effect.
If any one of them would produce real growth all four, done together with determination, could hardly fail to give us an economy leaving China in our wake.