Steven Pearlstein on the United Kingdom

Indeed, there is a suspicion that at least some of the downturn here is a statistical mirage caused by the necessary adjustment to wages and prices following the bursting of that financial bubble. If the financial sector never really added as much genuine value to the economy as was indicated from all those inflated salaries and bonuses, then at least some of the decline in GDP since then may merely reflect a healthy repricing of labor, financial assets and goods across the economy rather than a worrisome loss of output. Low inflation, slowly rising employment, little or no growth in measured productivity, household incomes and GDP — these are all consistent with that story of statistical mirage.

Here is much more.  And there is this:

Other than Labor Party politicians, nobody seriously doubts the wisdom of cutting back on the number of public employees or the size of their pensions, or capping welfare payments to any household at the median income, or bringing more efficiency to public education or the public health service through greater competition. The idea that these will be done once the economy returns to normal growth is a political fantasy.


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