In his latest book, John Mills tackles The Elephant in the Room, which he describes as the economic policies pursued by consecutive over the last 40 years which has led to Britain deinstruialising on a scale unrivalled anywhere else in the world.
Recovery from the coronavirus crisis won’t be easy anywhere in the world. It may, however, be considerably more difficult in the UK than elsewhere because the UK’s underlying economy was in much worse shape before the crisis hit us than is generally realised.
The UK has a chronic productivity problem. Output per person is virtually the same as it was ten years ago. This is why the economy is growing so slowly and why most people’s incomes, net of inflation, have stagnated or declined. Furthermore, without significant policy changes, there is little prospect of this situation improving as far ahead as we can see.
This book is about questions of evident importance to which there appear to be no obvious answers. Why is economic growth and prosperity in the world so patchy and unstable? Why are countries in the East doing so much better in growth terms than those in the West? Why have incomes for so many people in both Europe and the USA stagnated for long periods? Why is there so much inequality – and debt? Are all these conditions inevitable or are there more effective ways of ordering our economic affairs which could achieve better results?