The world is still in economic crisis. Many economies are still well below the highs set a few years ago, and some look as if they will take a generation to return to those levels.
Countries such as Spain and Portugal are experiencing debilitating rates of unemployment, especially among the young. The threat of far-right political groups taking considerable power is rising by the day.
What is to be done?
My son, a busy two-year-old, has the answer. He is actively promoting a return to Keynesian economics in an effort to ensure full employment. Give him a spade and he’ll dig a hole, and then he’ll fill it in again. Once that has been done he’ll undoubtedly dig another hole and fill that in as well.
Or give him some bricks and he’ll build a big tower, survey his achievement and then knock it all down so that he can start all over again.
Let him loose with his cars and he’ll spend 10 minutes making sure they are parked in just the right way, only to destroy it all in one enthusiastic swoop of his arm. The next 10 minutes will then be spent rearranging the cars in a much better order.
And it’s not just himself. In an effort to solve all the world’s economic ills he has now employed other people. Mamãe has to spend hours drawing cars, busses and trains. Vovó has to make trains and busses out of play doh and daddy has to make trains, bridges and houses from building blocks.
Once all of these jobs have been completed, and sometimes before they have been completed, they are scribbled all over, squashed or destroyed and the employees are ordered to start all over again.
Dig holes and fill them in, it’s the only way to rebuild the economy (or bring up a child).