The headline actually says “balance the books” but it might as might just as well read Ed Balls pledges Britain will export more than it imports by 2020. Or Ed Ball pledges to stop the private sector saving by 2020. Or Ed Balls pledges to send the private sector into deficit by 2020. He’ll probably achieve none of these things but he’d be likely to crash the economy trying. He might want to look up the mess the Australian Labor Party got themselves into by promising an-impossible-to-achieve-surplus in the 2010 Australian election.
George Osborne is promising exactly the same of course.
An aircraft pilot wouldn’t be allowed at the controls if he had no idea of how to fly a plane yet finance ministers the world over have no idea how to ‘fly’ their economies. If they did they wouldn’t be producing sonic booms at one instant and stalling the engines the next. Passengers do expect ‘soft landings’ at airports. I seem to remember that analogy being used around 2007/2008 when it was obvious there was going to be a big crash.
Is there any chance of getting Ed and George to practice on an economic simulator before they cock it up for real?
PS Does anyone know if such simulators exist? I’d say they are desperately needed.