Thursday, November 24, 2011

Economic Analysis That Doesn’t Add Up

I don’t know who Baradan Kuppusamy is and I don’t want to give him any more exposure than necessary, but this article he wrote had me laughing (excerpt):

Economic policies that do not add up
By Baradan Kuppusamy

The lack of economic expertise in Pakatan Rakyat underlines the many difficulties the Opposition would encounter if it captures Putrajaya.

WHILE Pakatan Rakyat has been quick to capitalise on Barisan Nasional's political setbacks like the current controversy over the National Feedlot Corporation, it is weak in its economic policy formulation, and one reason is the lack of qualified economists.

This shortcoming would weigh heavily on the coalition if it were ever to capture Putrajaya.

Its weakness in formulating economic policies like the Alternative Budget 2012 …is a sign of its incompetency in ruling the country…

…Its inability to go beyond making unrealistic and populist demands and criticising the policies formulated by the experts i.e. Bank Negara economists, is a setback to Pakatan growing into a valid and competent coalition.

…The lack of qualified economic formulators is glaring and shows how the Barisan federal government is far superior in that respect to the proposed Pakatan government when it comes to administering the economy, warts and all…

…While the Opposition-run states are struggling without competent experts, their politicians also show little aptitude for heavy economics.

Except for Tony Pua, the DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, there are no competent economic advisers working with Opposition controlled states that are struggling to line up economic advisors, the cable noted.

Pua is a one-man-band and he has his hands full. Besides, “one swallow does not make a summer”…

There’s a hole in this argument big enough to drive a truck through.

How many BN politicians can you name have any competency in economics either? Tok Pah? Husni? NMY? The majority of politicians, of either side, just don’t have the chops.

But that doesn’t disqualify them from political leadership of the country. Leadership in this context isn’t about technical ability or knowledge, it’s about managing those that do have that knowledge towards achieving the best results for the country.

For example, “…the policies formulated by the experts i.e. Bank Negara economists…” – if PR ever forms the government, those experts will now be working for PR, not for BN. There’s this confusion between the permanent apparatus of government, and its political leadership.

More, BNM economists provide support and input into monetary policy, not fiscal policy or development policy. Their role in the latter is peripheral and mainly confined to macroeconomic analysis and financial sector development. Fiscal policy is under the purview of the Treasury, while development policy is the responsibility of the Economic Planning Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department.

Bottom line: this “analysis” is a joke.

1 comment:

  1. Gooooood one! There's just one too many analysis that does not hold air, much less water.