In 2015 Jeremy Corbyn adopted the policy of People’s Quantitative Easing when seeking to be leader of the Labour Party. He borrowed the idea from me. Since being elected he and John McDonnell have little used the idea. This is hard to understand since it was probably the most distinctive part of his whole economic appeal in 2015, letting him suggest that the funding to build the new infrastructure this country required would always be available if the physical resources to deliver it on the ground existed.
Well, yes, OK.
So, in other words, all the legal and structural arguments against People’s Quantitative Easing fall away: it has already been authorised and is already legal. Labour could say so and they would be entirely right in doing so.
The question then is why aren’t they doing so? After all, we are still not living in ‘normal economic times’, whatever that might mean now. And there is not a shadow of a doubt that we are suffering underemployment that is resulting in low productivity and so under-usage of capacity which only needs the availability of credit (which is, note, the reason for QE) to bring it into use. This is exactly what a National Investment Bank could deliver. That Bank could, of course, offer its bonds to the market, most especially as a form of National Savings, I suggest. But the backstop for its funding could and should still be People’s QE.
The result would be that in every constituency those ‘shovel ready’ jobs that we know need to be done could be funded.
Great, now, hands up everyone who thinks there are available physical resources in he building trade these days?