back to article Hey, folks. Meet the economics 'genius' behind Jeremy Corbyn

I recently read this piece in The Times. It tells the world a bit about Richard Murphy, the, uh, “economist” behind many of the ideas which make up Jeremy Corbyn's platform about money 'n' stuff. It piqued my interest as I've been waging a near decade-long battle against the ideas (and at times, the person) of Richard Murphy. …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    whereas ...

    ... George Osborne has one O-Level in Economics.

    Anyone know what grade it was?

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: whereas ...

      Apparently, it's Maths, not Economics. See Another Angry Voice for more about how "qualified" he is to be Chancellor...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: whereas ...

        Another Angry Voice claims to be a "pay as you feel" site. How do I get him to pay me as I feel now I've read it?

        1. Rabbit80

          Re: whereas ...

          "Another Angry Voice claims to be a "pay as you feel" site. How do I get him to pay me as I feel now I've read it?"

          I'll ask him when I speak to him next :) (I know him personally)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: whereas ...

            "as opposed to the system every other country bar Eritrea has, which is that you pay tax where you reside and that's that."

            Given this error came so near the beginning of the article it's difficult to take it too seriously. I wonder if anyone can think of another country who taxes you on your world wide income? I'll give you a clue... it's not too far away from the UK.

            1. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: whereas ...

              Being taxed on your world-wide income is not the problem. Virtually every country does this based on your residency status (i.e. are you considered to be ordinarily resident in the country).

              HOWEVER - Only the US, the Philippines and Eritrea tax their *non-resident* citizens (in the case of the latter) or SSN holders (in the case of the former), i.e. if you've *ever* held a social security number in the US, the US believes it has the right to tax you wherever you live, despite not being a citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) because you've at one point contributed to the coffers of the IRS.

              Most countries will cease taxing you when you become non-resident according to their rules. These rules include not being in the country for more than 183 days of the year (a similar rule in the citizenship rules tripped up the English cricket team coach when he applied for British citizenship), or no longer having significant holdings or ties to the country.

              The latter is the rule that tripped Boris Becker up in 2001-2 because he held a flat in Munich in the early 1990s, whilst being resident in tax-free Monaco. The German government insisted that he was still a German resident, but eventually settled for a portion of Becker's worldwide income plus a fine, plus a charitable donation. He still ended up with a 2-year suspended sentence for tax evasion though...

              So Tim is actually correct.

              1. Sven Coenye

                Re: whereas ...

                "if you've *ever* held a social security number in the US, the US believes it has the right to tax you wherever you live, despite not being a citizen or permanent resident"

                That is a crock. Been there, done that, have one. It is simply not true.

                1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

                  Re: whereas ...

                  It is true.

                  They won't come after you with hellfire missiles, but if you have significant income, certain taxes DO apply to you unless you take action.

                  I know an entrepeneur that had adquired US citizenship that renounced it (very expensive) in order to stop paying the IRS.

                  My wife, is an american born citizen, ans is required to pay taxes to the IRS. Not on income (she is below the limit), but if she sells a house, she would be required to pay tax, Boris style (but with way less money).

                  As for the article, I disagree.

                  I don't think it is a great idea to create a credit bubble, but at least you would have to admit that if we give credit to companies, we should do the same for individuals. Or ar we their slaves?

                2. Tim Worstal

                  Re: whereas ...

                  Quite, it isn't true. I've had one and it ain't.

                  Weirdly tho; the US does tax writers on their writing income made writing for American publications, even if you're not a citizen or resident. Or at least they try to....

              2. Haefen

                Re: whereas ...Canada also taxes non-residents

                Add Canada to the list of countries that tax non-residents, at least upon return. Even consulting a tax lawyer, selling all property, and setting up out of country bank accounts before leaving to live elsewhere does not mean you are not hit with a tax bill on your return. Even being deemed a non-resident and not eligible for health-care while back "visiting" Canada will not protect you from having to pay taxes as if you were a resident all along. Of course this does vary by person. Those with dual passports and money to return "home" have little problem in the Canadian tax system, particularly if they have purchased their Canadian Passport from Quebec.

                Such are the vagaries of tax systems that do not have to answer to citizens but to governments that say they must "compete" internationally.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: whereas ...

      The Chancellor doesn't run Gov finances as it's always been the Treasury, the Chancellor is just a political pantomime villain. Didn't Yes Minister teach you anything ?

    3. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: whereas ...

      And yet he was still batter at the job than his predecessors. Perhaps positive discrimination for the under educated works after all.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

    (but it helps)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

      Care to elaborate for us mere mortals? :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but that's exploiting a bug in the system.

      Could it also be verging on an offence under the computer misuse act, on the grounds of doing something you're not supposed to be able to with someone else's system?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

        What are we supposed to do with The Register's system? Agree with dismantling the BBC, deny climate change, and support a no-tax corporate-driven future a la Snow Crash?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

          Oh bugger, I've done it wrong. It seems you do need a 150 IQ.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Facepalm

            Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

            Dan 55, I'm guessing you probably tried the right steps in the wrong order.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              WTF?

              Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

              Incoming dozens of AC posts trying to figure it out.

              Edit: Oh, it's not that hard.

        2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

          Sounds like a workable policy to me....

      2. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

        'Could it also be verging on an offence under the computer misuse act, on the grounds of doing something you're not supposed to be able to with someone else's system?'

        Arguably, if you can do this to the system, then without a detailed spec how can you know you aren't allowed?

    3. Fat Northerner

      Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

      Do you get one for free when you pass180?

      It's quite funny. Because the Tories halt spending, and inheritance bails them out, after the labour party wastes money on people who'll never pay it back, and labels it investment.

      The collective G of all the economists in government, except C's (who is obviously really bright, and nothing like all the other economists,) is less than the night shift in Google's cleaning department.

      Economics is a subject middle class semi numerate kids take, because their parents know it's clean and overpaid.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

      I see that 1980's Coder strikes again. Well played sir!!!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

      It makes you wonder how difficult it would really be to do more than pick a different icon ... Not that I'm going to start trying.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

        You don't need a 150 IQ to have a custom icon as Anonymous Coward

        But maybe someone with an IQ of 150 would have figured out that boasting about it will get it removed/fixed, it's been there a long time...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeremy Corbyn is Michael Foot MKII, unelectable and stuck in a far left fantasy World that has long since vanished; a pity Dan Jarvis didn't run for the leadership.

    What is it with the Labour party and it's desire to commit Hari Kari ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Jeremy Corbyn is Michael Foot MKII

      The UK has had Margaret Thatcher MK 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 since 1979 and the economy is still a giant mess.

      1. Fat Northerner

        The UK hasn't had Margaret Thatcher Mk 2 at all.

        Margaret Thatcher fixed the problems the country had by applying intelligence to solve the problems.

        The four stupid retards took her solution, and kept on applying it, because they simply lacked the brains to know what to do next.

        This is like all the economists in world, thinking, "Duh, Keynes did X, and Friedman did Y. That gives us two possible solutions." The problem isn't that Keynes' solution and Friedman's solutions didn't work, because they did, at the time. The problem is that no economist since has come up with anything new, because they're all thick as pig shit.

        1. mhoneywell

          Re: The UK hasn't had Margaret Thatcher Mk 2 at all.

          I vote for "fat northerner"

        2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: The UK hasn't had Margaret Thatcher Mk 2 at all.

          She did fix problems than needed fixing.

          She also made sure that the poor stayed poor.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: The UK hasn't had Margaret Thatcher Mk 2 at all.

          "Margaret Thatcher fixed the problems the country had by applying intelligence to solve the problems."

          Only for a brief period and only for a small subset of them. In particular her monetary policy was a pointed disaster - no matter how much money the UK govt took out of circulation to try and curb stagflation it kept increasing.

          Hitler was credited with similarly fixing the german economy and he was also elected towards the end of a global recession. The reality is that economies rise and fall mostly despite what politicians might do.

      2. CN Hill

        The economy that has given us the highest standard of living the country has ever seen?

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          The economy that has given us the highest standard of living the country has ever seen?

          The economy that is giving the wealthiest an ever-increasing proportion of the country's wealth. Yes, you can be poor and have a flat-screen telly giving better picture quality than your grandparents ever dreamed of, but you're still living from hand to mouth and lurching from one zero-hours job to another with barely a pause sufficient to put money in the bank for a really rainy day. For a rainy day like when your landlord puts the rent up, or kicks you out after a year because he's spotted a better opportunity to make money off another poor sod.

          1. Tapeador

            "Hand to mouth"

            "The economy that is giving the wealthiest an ever-increasing proportion of the country's wealth. Yes, you can be poor and have a flat-screen telly giving better picture quality than your grandparents ever dreamed of, but you're still living from hand to mouth and lurching from one zero-hours job to another with barely a pause sufficient to put money in the bank for a really rainy day."

            That's all fine but why do we need Corbynite policies? People lived alright under Labour post-97. I remember before the minimum wage and tax credits. It is true workers broadly live better now than they've lived ever before in the UK's history. Unless you can show me otherwise. And absent large debts they refuse to default on, or other unusual circumstances, nobody in work lives hand-to-mouth unless they're refusing to claim the benefits to which they're entitled. Yes, even zero-hours workers.

            Do the maths: housing benefit, tax credits, JSA, CTB, wages, it adds up.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: "Hand to mouth"

              Tax credits are a way of subsidising shitty employers whilst also putting money in the hands of government employees who wouldn't need to be there if wages were decent enough that tax credits didn't need to exist.

              Benefits, tax credits etc are not socialist these days. They're a capitalist/statist tool to ensure the poor don't rise up and kill the rich or bureaucrats.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: "Hand to mouth"

                @ Alan Brown

                "Tax credits are a way of subsidising shitty employers whilst also putting money in the hands of government employees who wouldn't need to be there if wages were decent enough that tax credits didn't need to exist."

                Not quite. Tax credits inflate prices and allow prices to inflate because the gov can always steal a bit more money for its redistribution efforts. If the prices rise too much for the local (relatively) poor then they have to move where they can afford (same as always, no entitlement, real world) or be given wealth redistribution by the gov to allow them to stay without affecting the prices. But if the redistribution stops (say we cant afford it) there is a crash as prices inflate and jobs are lost.

                Imagine if all those people in london on tax credits stop being given tax credits. The people must move to an affordable area (rest of the freakin country) like the rest of us, living within our means. This could lead to all the cheap workers leaving london and suddenly there is a massive worker shortage which (as happens in markets) creates demand for either lower prices or higher wages paid for by the customer!

                If the customer aint willing to pay enough to employ the staff then they dont value the service that much. If they do then they will pay for it. The basic concept of capitalism plays out and working tax credits become obsolete as they were before.

                Btw, yes they are socialist and not capitalist. It is the socialist concept that the gov knows how to spend your money better than you do. The public system takes peoples money and then bribes voters with it. However by reverting to capitalism there will be a crash as the unnatural bubble from the state pops. Either prices would fall in the area to accommodate the lower wealth of the area or jobs will go as the cost per item rises (more competition for less spending power)

        2. P. Lee Silver badge
          Terminator

          >The economy that has given us the highest debt the country has ever seen?

          FTFY

          Being wealthy is easy when you're just pretending.

          Ok it isn't all pretend. A lot of it is built on the backs of what is effectively slave labour in Asia and Africa.

          1. Tim Worstal

            If we're going to talk international economics, the current system which has just given us the largest fall in absolute poverty in the history of our entire species?

            1. Mark Storm

              Lol. Mostly in China...which is a managed state capitalist economy.

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              The current system which has led to falls in poverty has precious little to do with western economies and a lot more to do with either dismantling naked capitalism or naked statism - both are equally as economically repressive when looked at overall.

              "Free markets" are a myth. If they are free of government intervention then you get mercantilism and stagnation due to power and wealth concentrating in the hands of capitalist robber-barons, as happened throughout the 18th-19th century and if overregulated then you get stagnation due to bureaucratic overload.

              The "free" part which is generally referred to now, is "free from either extreme".

      3. a pressbutton

        All missing the point

        That Thatcher was in power and then Major (underrated imo) and then Blair and then Brown (overrated imo) and now Cameron

        - and things are still not great

        ... should lead one to conclude that the party leader does not really have that much power or competence and we should be expecting less from government not more.

        Whether that is

        more local govt / trade unions / co-ops (left)

        or less govt / more self reliance / charities (right)

        depends on your pov.

    2. Roq D. Kasba

      +1 for Jarvis - but the timing is right. Labour are determined to throw away the next election at the moment (tories don't have to win it, just not lose it as badly as labour), so they need to do a Foot/Kinnock thing whilst Jarvis is preened for office. Having had a life and career before becoming a parliamentarian he needs to get some more miles logged first. 2020, after the eyewatering victory by the tories again, they'll let him out of the back office.

      Unless Labour watch the polls in the next year or two, realise their mistake, and bring him out in time for the next election, just having a bit of a flap around to distract the pundits. No mistake, Jarvis is one of the most credible politicians in the party and most likely is PM material.

      For those who don't know him, he served on the front lines and is someone who puts himself behind his convictions, not straight from Oxford PPE without tasting life.

      1. Steve Crook

        Don't laugh just yet.

        To assume that Corbyn will be a disaster for Labour may be a mistake. There are a lot of people who won't remember Foot, Benn, Castle, three day weeks, 'In place of strife' or just how crap publicly owned industries were.

        We're at a point where Ritchie and fellow travellers can peddle peoples QE, tax gaps, price controls and nationalisation and make it all sound credible, reasonable and necessary.

        Corbyn doesn't have to be right, just popular. This whole thing seems fraught with potential for unintended consequences. The Tories would do well to take him extremely seriously.

        1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Don't laugh just yet.

          If he promises to prosecute (or better yet, hang) Blair I'd vote for him.

          I swore at the last election I would vote UKIP to keep Labour out, or Labour to keep UKIP out.

        2. Francis Fish

          There's an interesting point about those industries being crap

          They were crap because they were crap. And the post-war "let's buy up some nascent industry and make an industrial world-beating giant out of it" (such as the unlamented Leyland cars) was madness. I don't disagree. Public ownership let them get away with doing stupid things and not killing of bad ideas, but they were badly run, fundamentally, by people who didn't know what they were doing. The two are not synonymous - there are a raft of very large companies that waste a huge amount of time, money and talent but are now so large they just keep plodding on being useless but doing just enough to not fail.

          Public owned is not synonymous with crap, the NHS might get slagged off a lot but it way better than the alternative - the people who run these organisations need to be well motivated and held accountable in an honest and fair way - you will get good companies that deliver good services, particularly if you involve the people who consume those services and design what you do around their needs rather than some idiot bureaucrat deciding what they will want.

          My problem with so-called old labour is they will just create the old post-war command and control organisations, because that's all they know how to do, instead of making something amazing that will show the world that you can do more with less without having to compromise on what your citizens get from their taxes.

          But there are huge awfully run companies everywhere - most of them aren't publicly owned. Next time you start screaming at the call centre for your ISP remember this.

          1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: There's an interesting point about those industries being crap

            "the NHS might get slagged off a lot but it way better than the alternative"

            What if the alternative to the NHS turns out to be a European-style health system? They have excellent care, are much more responsive to patients rather than number targets, and are very efficient.

            I'm puzzled by you holding up the NHS as an example of a well run public service, because the NHS is exactly the kind of post-war command and control monopoly that you don't like.

            1. amanfromarse

              Re: There's an interesting point about those industries being crap

              Please define 'European-style health system' because different countries have different systems.

              1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

                Re: There's an interesting point about those industries being crap

                "Please define 'European-style health system' because different countries have different systems."

                One that offers a similar service and yet doesn't consume money like an obesity patient eats cake.

                1. The Axe

                  European-style health system

                  France is a good example of a European-style health system. Managed and run privately but paid for by the state. The state collects your taxes and when you need health care it pays the company that runs the hospital or doctor's surgery.

                  In effect it extends the current UK system where GPs are privately run and paid by the state to include hospitals too.

                  It is known fact that the amount of tax everyone pays that goes into the NHS is many times more than that that would be paid if everyone went with BUPA*. And that's taking into account that under a fully private system expensive health care would still be covered.

                  * Other private health care providers exist.

                  1. amanfromarse

                    Re: European-style health system

                    After spending the evening looking into this, I've come to the conclusion that there is no universal definition for 'European style health system'.

                    If you're an American republican, it's something to be resisted as they see it as state-provided care.

                    If you're a British conservative it's something to be welcomed as it's parallel public and private care.

                    A lot of opinion seems to think that it doesn't exist for the same reasons that I wrote.

                    So it's a political term and it depends on your perspective.

                    I take issue with your 'known fact' as it's one I've never heard expressed, so if you could provide some links to back it up?

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