How Did the Fiscal Squeeze Game Change Over Time?

While all of the squeezes explored in this book involved loss imposition of some kind to increase revenue or rein in spending, we noted two changes over time from our analysis in Chapter Two, namely an apparent move away from revenue-led squeezes in the final third of the period, and an apparent move from more emphasis on 'short sharp' squeezes (the 'surgery without anaesthetics' approach) in the early part of the period to more long-drawn out 'boiling frogs'-type squeezes in the final three episodes. But as we also noted, those episodes included individual years of hard squeeze sandwiched within longer periods of soft squeeze.

Looking more qualitatively at each of the squeeze episodes over the past eight chapters, other accompanying changes over time are noticeable. One, relating to 'blame politics', is the apparent (and in some ways curious) absence of delegation strategies for fiscal squeeze since the 1930s. A second relates to changing triggers for fiscal squeeze over time, and a third consists of changes in the way the spending and revenue game was played over the hundred years considered here.

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