Zeitgeist Magazine, for the story behind the news
Issue 14,
Volume 7,
28 August 300 AP

The Story behind the news.
The unknown economy
Unionism's rising tide

Election 300
Poll: Alternative conservatives surge
Interview: The complete Burovian philosophy
Boornal blasts Pres. Hope

Corruption in Kanhara?

International Christiana's John Joseph sacked!
Thistland's "scorched vexillium" policy

Utanian Golf's grand prize
Football: Round six

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What IS a Zeitgeist?

Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported news.
The unknown economy

On November 1st this year, the Reserve Bank of Utania are supposed to have completed a "measurement" of the Utanian economy which will allow the Federal government of Utania to take over taxation, revenue-raising and budget management from the states. To date the only question would be "which figure do you like best?"

Christianan journalist John Lancaster, on assignment in Utania, following the Utanian election, made an interesting observation to a fellow local journalist recently that had him astounded. "Why is it, after two months of hard campaigning and electioneering that none of the candidates has yet offered tax-cuts or targeted spending increases?"

The simple answer, he was told, was that no one, not even the politicians, is brave enough to guess the size of the federal budget come November. The simple fact is that after years of being a Guwimith Dependency, no one has the feintest idea.

But, they're getting closer. The Utanian Reserve Bank is charged with the task of working with UNVCOCN economists to determine the size of the Utanian economy. Until now, all government spending has been on the basis of loans from the UNV, and from taxes gifted by the states. On November 1st, that all changes: the (federal) Department of the Treasury will be responsible for taxation for the entire country, including revenue-raising for the states. But, without a viable model telling them the size and structure of the economy, how can they possibly guess whether the tax rates are onerous or too little?

Measuring the unknown

That's where the econometric experts, like Professor David Argent of Vela Luka University, come into the picture. Argent leads a team of over 30 economists and 200 clerks collecting, collating and analysing data from company annual reports, tax returns from the Dependency Taxation Division, and submissions from community-based co-operatives. From this and other data, they are planning to introduce the first economic model for Utania.

"It is an exhaustive search, but the consequences of getting it wrong could be somewhat disaterous", Argent says. "If we too heavily tax, say, the manufacturing sector, we may find a large number of companies going bankrupt. This is not something this country needs at this time. So we are acutely aware of the consequences of our work."

Unfortunately, ask an economist to tell you the time, and they'll have ten different ways of telling it. This is the problem to date: not that they can't get a figure, but that they can't get their various measures to agree. And this is essential.

And so the work continues, measuring the unknown.
Related Articles:

Alternative conservatives surge

Interview: The complete Burovian philosophy

Boornal blasts Pres. Hope

The unknown economy

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Stock Exchange:
Luka Stock Exchange, July 3rd

Stocks continue to stagnate - when will the Govt. release cash controls?

Belson, Utania's largest food processing company. Link to homepage.

©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)