I met my business partner for a quick lunch today in Jarrow - a place with an interesting history:
In 1936, mass unemployment and extreme poverty in the north-east of England drove 200 men to march in protest from Jarrow to London. Their MP, Ellen Wilkinson was with them as they came south to petition parliament.
The marchers wanted the government to spread a little Keynesian fiscal stimulus to the North East. But despite broad public sympathy for their plight, their gesture achieved little, and the depression continued until the Second World War in 1939. It was the frantic spend of rearmament that restarted the economy in the end.
Let’s hope it doesn’t get that severe this time round.
Is a Trillion Dollars enough? Is it the right thing to do? I’ve no idea.
What worries me is that the stimulus seems to be targeted at just the sort of work that got the world’s economies into their current mess, and the sort of industries that are contributors to the problems we face with the environment.
Have our leaders taken account of the fact that the same thinking that got us into this mess probably isn’t the thinking that’ll get us out of it?
I hope so - it’s a long walk to London.