Handbag economics: The ideology of austerity

Here’s a great article from Mary Mellor in which she turns the ridiculous rhetoric of “government is like a household and must spend within its means” back onto the idiots who peddle the myth.

The London Economic

By Mary Mellor, Emeritus Professor, Northumbria University

Handbag Handbags

George Osborne’s Autumn Statement was a classic espousal of handbag economics, so named after the saint of the handbag, Mrs Thatcher.

Handbag economics is the common sense of our age.  Public sectors are like households, they must live within their means, balance their books, cut their coat according to their cloth. Britain is to face more years of austerity, not because it is in recession, but in pursuit of the handbag ideal.

According to handbag economics there is only one breadwinner in the economy, the private sector. Only the private sector can determine the size of the public household budget. In this gendered analogy, the public-housewife must not ask for more house-keeping, or borrow more, to make ends meet. Most emphatically, the public-housewife must not set up a printing press in the back room to create her own money.

There is a shed, though…

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