Thursday, December 12, 2019

Word PSA: "Austerity"

Per Al Jazeera:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party have offered starkly different visions for resolving the impasse and rebuilding the UK after a decade of austerity.

austerity, n. Difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure.

Between 2009 and 2018, annual UK government expenditures rose by more than 20%, from £671 billion to £842 billion, at no point in between ever falling as low as that 2009 figure (in fact, falling in only one year -- and the year after that rising to higher than before the one-year reduction).

UK government expenditures grew more slowly over the last decade than they grew the decade before that (in which they grew by about 45%) but slowing the rate of increase of something is not "reducing" that thing.

If I go from weighing 165 pounds to weighing 195 pounds over ten years, and then over the subsequent ten years go from 195 to 215 (falling from 210 to 208 during one annual period), an increase of "only" 20 pounds instead of 30 pounds, no, that second decade was not a decade of "losing weight."

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