Britain’s town centres certainly look crowded.
If these people are spending money, does that mean the
British government’s strategy of stimulating demand by cutting sales tax is working?
Alas, it seems more likely that these people are maxing out
the credit cards than releasing capital they have prudently been holding back.
Such spending, far from being a cause and an effect of
confidence in the economy, is an act of despair. Many who think it is almost
inevitable that they will go under next year feel that they might as well enjoy
one last party.
“Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.”
Given that the recession was caused by such irresponsible
spending in the first place, the Archbishop
of Canterbury was right to call the government’s attempt to encourage more
spending “a bit like the addict returning to the drug”.
Other aspects of his semi-Marxist
analysis may be well off beam, but in calling the recession a “reality
check”, this other-worldly prelate shows more understanding of economics than
the politicians, civil servants, and supposedly brilliant bankers who are
making the decisions.
For economic reasons, as well as theological, Christmas
should not be about consumption.
On that note, a Happy Christmas to you all!