The state of the Union, the state of the Kingdom


Recent elections in the UK and the end of the American primaries prompt the question: what does the future hold for the two greatest Western powers?

For the United Kingdom, the future is bright, despite the somewhat pessimistic mood. The Labour Party, to the dismay of Polly Toynbee, at least recognises the need to cut taxes and haul in spending. The Conservative Party may campaign on (perhaps among other things) low taxes and smaller government. Either way, it seems friendly changes are on the way.

For the United States, it’s difficult to say. Over the last few years, the debate has been centred not on big government and high taxes vs. small government and low taxes; but on big government and high taxes vs. big government and low taxes. The second option, favoured by Republicans, obviously does little good for the economy. The first, favoured by Democrats, is obviously not ideal either but at least does not encourage debilitating debt.

Will Gordon Brown read the writing on the wall? Will David Cameron and his party exploit failed Labour policies that have raised taxes and spending over the last ten years? If elected, can John McCain resist the Republican trend to incur debt and grow government? Can Barack Obama resist his party’s inclination to subsidise, intervene and regulate?

In other news, there’s also this war…