27 of 80 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The State We're In: (Revised Edition): Why Britain Is in Crisis and How to Overcome It (Paperback)
Hutton's book is nothing more than propaganda virtually bereft of economic concepts.
He starts the book by attempting to trash the Tory government voted in in 1979 and also the economy inherited by the Labour government in the mid 1970s claiming that there was 25% unemployment amongst males. A selective memory indeed assuming that's true. Hutton fails to mention that unemployment, on average, is lower under neo-liberalism than Keynsianism. The most dismal picture possible is painted. The intervening Labour years are conspicuous by their absence but those of us who suffered would have thought that Hutton's description of gloom would be more apt to this era. This is why we kept a Tory government in power for two decades after the horrors of Labour.
Had he attacked the disparity in incomes between those at the top and the rest of society he would have had a valid point. But the disparity flourishes under Labour governments too. Millionaires have ways and means of escaping justice such as leaving the country and taking their wealth with them.
Despite economists having abandoned Keynesianism long ago as rubbish, Hutton devotes a chapter to it called 'Why Keynesian Economics is Best'. Unfortunately, the whole chapter is devoted to a weak criticism of neo-liberalism. Keynesianism is nothing more than socialism in disguise and attempts to justify the existence of the inaptly named working classes has included the claim that inheritance tax is justified because your descendants did not earn the money. Yet the current Labour campaign includes adverts saying 'because you've earned it' and 'pick it up. It's yours'. In what way benefit claimants have earned money seized from people who have died is not made clear.
The whole book is rubbish and obviously biased. It's so sad that it merely re-inforces the validity of the neo-liberal doctrine and this is the only possible purpose for reading the book. If this is an example of the best arguments for a socialist government, then Labour should never be voted in ever again. It comes as no suprise to find that Hutton is the ex-economics editor of the Guardian.