Sunday, 10 February 2008

Fat Cows, Skinny Cows, thoughts on economic cycles.

I am no economist.

But one does not need expertise in order to observe that good times and bad times have spelled each other off all through history. This is a world of contrasts and cycles. The tide can’t always be in. The Moon is not always full.

When a Pharaoh dreams of fat cows and skinny cows the answer is clear.

Cycles will occur, good years will be followed by bad ones. Build a little nest egg during the good times, OK? It’s not rocket science!

The economy appears to be slowing down. So it goes. Only cancer cells grow forever, or rather till the host dies, but that is another topic.

Now here is what always gets my goat when politicians talk about the economy. It is a stupid, dishonest game and they all play it.
It goes more or less like this:

Bad Economy, party in power:
“The Economic cycle is against us right now, but that is not our fault.”
Bad Economy, party in opposition:
“The Economy is doing poorly, and it is the fault of sitting government.”

Good Economy, party in power:
“Look at how well we have managed the Economy! Vote for us again!”
Good Economy, party in opposition:
“Sure, the Economy is good right now, but they are just being lucky!”

In other words, power to manage the economy is either claimed or denied depending on where the advantage lies. Could we get some honesty please?

The reality appears to be that cycles will happen, no matter what governments do.
But societies can choose ways to take the edge off.

To get back to the biblical example: Fourteen years of fat cows is not an option. But Pharaoh still has choices. He can choose to use the good years to build himself a bigger palace or he can fill the granaries so the people won’t starve during the lean years.

Oops, is that interference with the sacred cow of the free market?


  1. Great post! I agree with a smile.

  2. The guys in charge are building bigger places. They're getting bigger and bigger and bigger. All the animals around here look like that skinny cow.


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