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The dogs of jargon feed us one last lie

Politicians and economists mess up all the time but we continue to accept their excuses and heed their predictions.

They do it so well that we can’t be blamed for being duped. That’s not to say they are smarter than us, it’s more a matter of practice makes perfect or as German Chancellor Angela Merkel might say, “Ubung macht den Meister”.

After a lifetime of making errors professional pundits and politicians don’t even have to think about how to wriggle out of a tight spot for the 400th time – it’s become a Pavlovian reaction.

But instead of salivating at a hint of criticism these dogs go barking mad with jargon. Thus printing money isn’t something Al Qaeda might do to create chaos and it isn’t trying to get something for nothing but it is quantitative easing and a tool of the state.

Similarly, borrowing your way out of debt is now known as a stimulus initiative.

Some of us can’t square the notion that we’re to blame for the boom and bust because we borrowed too much with believing that if Prime Minister Gordon Brown does the same he will save the world. But experts have the perfect answer – the concept is counterintuitive.

It wasn’t until modern times that it was realised you can’t get something from nothing. But then again we’ve just spent £4.4bn on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to do just that. Maybe that’s counterintuitive too and I’m just plain stupid.


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