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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > September 2017 > A fiscal policy fit for our time

A fiscal policy fit for our time

The auterity fetish is over. A new investment doctrine can be just as prudent, but much more productive
The Wessex Centre was built under the “Building Schools for the Future” project
© VIEW PICTURES/UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES

Deficit fetishism has finally been defeated. As I recently wrote in these pages, this year’s Queen’s speech at last put “strengthening the economy” ahead of “the public finances.” This is progress. But there is still no agreement on what should replace austerity.

If the doctrine that a country can cut its way back to prosperity is dead, the hunt for new answers should start with the most obvious alternative—enriching ourselves by investing in valuable things. The state must reaffirm its own role here. That has long been in retreat: public investment as a share of total investment fell from 42 per cent from 1960-75, to an average of roughly 20 per cent over the subsequent four decades.

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In Prospect’s September issue: Emily Andrews, Andrew Brown and Tom Clark assess what the reign of King Charles might look like. Andrews profiles Charles and questions whether he will be able to keep his opinions to himself. Andrew Brown look at the coronation—the world is a very different place now from when the last one took place. Tom Clark explains the results of our poll, conducted by ICM, into people’s view on Charles taking the throne—it turns out fewer people than ever before want the heir to become our monarch. Elsewhere in the issue Nick Cohen details his battle with the bottle and shows that Britain has a problem with drink that it doesn’t want to talk about, and Toni Morrison Also in this issue: Toni Morrison on America’s stubborn race divide, Brian Klaas on how Europe should deal with Trump and Jessica Abrahams explains everything you need to know about fourth wave feminism
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