End to free lunch

Peter Geoghegan (Opinion, 1 August) claims that austerity measures are exacerbating the problems of the eurozone.

This is not the case, particularly in Britain, where public spending is still rising. It is also not true that if “we all reduce spending at the same time, we all grow poorer”, as one cannot spend oneself into prosperity.

It is an inversion of the truth to say that austerity measures were put in place after 1929, as the 1930s were dominated by reckless spending and currency inflation together with hyper-protectionism that brought world trade 
almost to a dead halt.

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What is to blame for the current global economic malaise is the false belief that a free lunch, in the form of state intervention, is possible.

This idea, promulgated by Marx and Keynes, dominates 
the world, and economic growth will not be achieved until it is

Bruce Crichton