Why is the debate just about reducing or increasing borrowing? Both options still involve borrowing, at interest, from an independent central bank. Both increase the national debt (currently at £1 trillion). Clearly if those were the only two options, you’d go for the one which actually is able to provide vital services, as people are more important than money (although Tories seem unable to understand this point). But they’re not the only two options. Why should we even be borrowing in the first place? Why should public money be created as interest-bearing debt?
The government can issue debt-free currency. It does this all the time - all your notes and coins are debt free. How could they not be? Little pieces of paper and metal aren’t going to wing their way to the bankers every quarter are they? But only 2% of our money supply consists of notes and coins. The remaining 98% amounts to numbers on a screen or on a ledger, created either through government bond issues or by fractional reserve banking (ie when banks loan out more money than has actually been deposited with them).
In 1946, about half of currency was direct, debt-free government issued money, printed and minted. Now we’re down to 2%. Is it any wonder that in recent decades the national debt has skyrocketed (seriously, look at a graph), inequality has grown and the rich are richer than ever? We’re paying £48 billion a year on interest on this national debt, which is mainly owned by insurance companies, private (mostly overseas) individuals, and other financial institutions. Why should we?
Money is just a symbolic medium of exchange, it’s something we create as a society. It’s not real. We can change how it works. We can change it to make it fairer, and we really need to do that because the extent of the unfairness is getting ridiculous now. I wish people would be a bit more optimistic about our chances of actually achieving something (surely it’s just good tactical sense to be optimistic), and at the same time be a lot more cynical / critical towards the theories and justifications of economists and financial institutions like the Bank of England, IMF, etc. They don’t deserve to be accorded so much respect. They demonstrably don’t respect you.
They’ll talk about ‘The Market’ (what it wants, what it might do) like it’s a fucking nature deity that needs to be appeased, rather than just being the aggregate actions of real living people, particularly the obscenely rich. They’ll talk about the ‘business cycle’ (what they used to call ‘boom and bust’) as if it’s as natural as the waxing and waning of the bloody moon, rather than being affected by the centralised manipulation of interest rates. This is political language - it’s passive, depersonalised, there’s no agency, no blame, no negative connotations. It’s the equivalent of the MoD saying ‘threats were neutralised’ rather than ‘we shot and killed some people’.
If someone comes along and says they’re an expert on a subject, but then they’re unable to explain how the system actually works, they use unnecessary and intentionally obfuscatory jargon, rely on groundless appeals to authority, their models are repeatedly unable to explain / predict the data and not only that but (this is the big one) consistently lead to disastrous results - they’re not really experts are they.