I heard a former minister and top politician of the Flemish socialist party tear down the proposed state budget for 2009, and rightly so : that is not a budget, but a farce.
But his argumentation is amusing and disquieting at the same time. How can the government base a budget on a 1.2 % GDP growth whilst at the same time the prime minister says we are living through the worst crisis ever ? Belgium has seen periods with average growth of around 1.2 % when no one even talked about recession.
So, our guru says, the budget should be based on 0.1 to 0.2 % growth.
But that is a ridiculous assumption. A deep recession (let alone a depression) provokes negative growth rates. Ever heard of - 3 %, - 5 % or even, God forbid, - 10 % , professor ?
By the way, economics really is a stupid pseudo-science : there is no expression to describe a decline in GDP, except for negative growth. Politically correct ? Yes. Relevant ? Ahum ...