Britain’s Economic Problem: Too Few Producers by Robert Bacon, W.A. Eltis

By Robert Bacon, W.A. Eltis

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Extra resources for Britain’s Economic Problem: Too Few Producers

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If taxes are raised heavily to pay for more civil servants, teachers and social workers in these circumstances, and everyone acquieseces in the higher taxation that is needed, workers will simply get a higher 'social wage' and less to spend in the shops; and all will be well. If, however, they do not acquiesce in what is happening they will try to make up for the marketed output they are losing as a result of higher taxation with higher wage demands, and these can lead to explosive wage inflation.

It is crucial to realise that to raise Britain's growth rate industrial investment had to rise substantially and that this required that something else be sacrificed for a time - the balance of payments, consumption by industrial workers, consumption by the public sector, or investment outside industry. One of these had to give way for a few years unless a particularly clever transition where the economy's spare capacity w~s used to provide the extra resources with no one paying for them could be organised; but the Treasury never came anywhere near to organising a Keynesian export and industrial investment-led boom of this kind.

Cf. also, Dudley Jackson, H. A. , Cambridge University Press, 1972, Chapter 3, and S. G. B. Henry, M. C. Sawyer and P. , 1976. 2 The Lost Opportunities An outstanding fact that emerged from Chapter 1 is that Britain could have achieved almost everything for which the most optimistic hoped. The really crucial obstacle to rapid growth in any economy is slow productivity growth. If productivity advances only 2 per cent a year and a country's labour force is fixed, no power on earth can produce long-term growth at more than 2 per cent a year.

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