By Tony Weekes on October 14, 2011
A number of Friends have shared with me their unease about the idea of Quantitative Easing (QE). It may be of interest to share my response with Quakernomics users.
What QE does is show that the Central Bank can, in effect, create ‘money’ (or liquidity, or credit). But what many thoughtful economists (Ann Pettifor and Caroline Lucas, for example) are saying is that the ‘Easing’ is going in the wrong place – directly to the banks rather than to (let us call it) a National Energy Agency (NEA) whose task would be to start now to create the lower carbon, renewable energy economy. The NEA would pay the bills for a systematic renewal of our built environment. Ann Pettifor describes the idea more fully in her ‘debtonation’ blog at http://www.debtonation.org/2011/10/my-plan-b-for-the-new-statesman-launch-a-green-new-deal/#more-5482.)
We would create real work – for people of all kinds of (working) collars. There’s need for those with skills to deal with the technical, legal, spatial aspects of this task. The training of people to do the retrofitting and subsequent maintenance is, itself, a major task. Training would create stable, future employment. Young people recently qualified in (among other occupations) architecture, law, spatial planning could be engaged immediately in a junior capacity, thereby acquiring useful skills and experience for the future – rather than left unemployed.
The money would flow into the economy, rather than into the balance sheets of banks. We might well find that – rather than horrendous and growing unemployment – there would be a serious skills shortage – the task is so large!
Two weeks ago, I posted a (rather polemic) piece to Q’nomics, contrasting the behaviour of the medical professions with the incompetent behaviour of the (so-called) “profession” of economist. It’s been read a few times – but no one has either agreed or disagreed with me – or with my proposal that it’s time for some anger.
Quakers seem to feel they mustn’t “do anger” – but Jesus (from whose recorded life comes our heritage) shows anger over the money changers in the temple!