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. …

  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

                  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. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                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

          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?

                  2. Aitor 1

                    Re: European-style health system

                    False.

                    If no NHS existed, then BUPA etc prices would just rocket, as they would have no real competition.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: European-style health system

                      If no NHS existed, then BUPA etc prices would just rocket, as they would have no real competition.

                      .. which would invite other entrants to the market as overcharging leaves a margin for undercutting. BUPA wouldn't be alone for long.

                      Also, BUPA earning less would maybe make them think twice about allowing an idiot architect to use cobblestones in front of a hospital entrance where ambulances offload brancards with people with broken bits. No, seriously. The ambulance drivers apologised to me although it was hardly their fault, but at least I was mobile enough to just walk in and avoid the problem. Muppets.

                      1. Greg 16

                        Re: European-style health system

                        Considering that BUPA is a not for profit business with no shareholders, any overcharging would ultimately lead to better healthcare.

                      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                        Re: European-style health system

                        "... which would invite other entrants to the market as overcharging leaves a margin for undercutting. BUPA wouldn't be alone for long."

                        Once you have a dominant market player and smaller competition comes along with lower prices all they need to do is lower costs and wait for the smaller outfit to go bankrupt, then buy them up.

                        Examples:

                        How AT&T took over the USA telephone market in the 1930s

                        How BT keeps wireless broadband providers out of business in rural areas. (As soon as any area gets wireless BB announced, BT immediately pulls all stops to get DSL into the area to head them off at the pass)

                  3. Ideala2

                    Re: European-style health system

                    Spitting into the void, on a 4 day old comment...

                    But the "known fact" is due to the higher taxes being used to subsidise a national health service for those who can't pay. As it should!

                    If Private Healthcare providers were forced to take all patients, even those who can't pay, and also not just cherry pick the most simple, profitable procedures* then you'd see those private insurance premiums shoot up.

                    *They currently choose to offer their services to the NHS for a number of procedures, at a profit (naturally). This of course is beneficial to the patient (reduced waiting times) - but is it sustainable to be pumping money out in the long term?

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

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

              The single biggest problem with State-run messes (and large company messes) like the NHS and friends is that they have poor processes in place and management pay/retirement pensions defined by how many people work under them (the public service term for management seeking out more people to work under them for no good reason is "featherbedding" and it happens _everywhere_)

              Coupled with long-term entrenched active resistance to streamlining and computerisation of basic systems (because "computers take away jobs", such setups, encourage inefficiency, wastefulness and sociopathic management paying themselves huge salaries because of all the people who work under them.

              In a modern work environment if there are more than 4 layers of management between the CEO and the coalface then there's something amiss. British Leyland had something like 15. Most government departments, BT, NHS and similar organisations have at least 10.

              Every "manager" and layer in excess of actual requirements is that much extra delay (they all feel they have to do something to justify their existence) and anyone who pushes ahead is actively discouraged or even attacked for making the others look bad.

              Yes, streamlining and efficiency drives in government departments "cost jobs", but given the difference between paying someone to be a manager/drone and act as a handbrake on things being done, vs putting them on the dole I'll take the latter - expecially if they're a government worker as the overall cost is lower to taxpayers. In cases of entrenched private monopolies these need effective regulation to ensure predatory practices aren't happening (Openreach).

          2. Steve Crook

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

            You are right. But also wrong. The main problem with publicly owned anything is that politicians find it impossible to keep their hands off and leave the business to people who might know how to run it. Inevitably, publicly owned bodies become mired in one glory project or another, or as a sink for cash to bolster employment in some far flung part of the realm.

            Look at the NHS. Root and branch reform follows root and branch reform. They still don't have a working, fully integrated IT system. Not saying NHS should be privatised, but we do pay a price for having the government feel they've a perfect right to dick around with it whenever they feel like it...

            As with the NHS, so with other nationalised industries. Not saying it couldn't be done properly, just that it's not likely. Because politicians.

            As for the call centre, you mean there are worse than the one run by HMRC?

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

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

            "They were crap because they were crap"

            Absolutely. And they were crap because of protectionist policies and piss-poor management which refused to listen to the unions and workers, resulting in them being alienated and surly (who can blame them).

            Bug thumbs-up for pointing out the obvious about crap companies., This happens wherever there is a lack of real competition and they don't feel a need to keep their customers happy.

            Where I grew up, "Made in Britain" was a general indicator of "badly made unreliable crap that's expensive to maintain and fix" - which is why when the market was opened up to Japanese cars in 1972, British cars went from 45% to 3% of market sales in less than 3 years.

            The kind of mentality which went into 1960-70s-era british cars is alive and well in a number of areas thanks to management attitudes not changing as the people involved ended up in other industry sectors. Most notable is housing and railways - there's no real option to buy german or japanese made houses and whilst you can run german/french/japanese trains, the infrastructure is still operated and controlled by those old mentalities.

            Bolshie unions happen when management is equally as bad, but there's never a call to abolish London Underground management and replace them with competent people(*), as one example. There are hundreds of unions in the UK and most of them work with companies for the benefit of all parties. I've seen union mediators tell particular staff that their claim doesn't have a leg to stand on and the company was right to fire them. This it happens more often than you might realise.

            (*) LU is a particular example where management should have stood up and told Boris that night tubes are not possible, thanks to safety issues derived from maintenance requirements instead of forcing the unions to strike because of the same issues.

          4. Alan Brown Silver badge

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

            "My problem with so-called old labour is they will just create the old post-war command and control organisations"

            Really? Are you sure about that? Those old command and control organisations benefit the wealthy, not the masses and were mostly created during 1914-1946 to direct a command economy's war effort.

            If you want to see what a Labour party can do, look at the reforms promulgated in New Zealand in 1984-1988 and the effects on the economy there (plus what happened when they got deregulation and breakups wrong by not putting in enough regulation to prevent reassembly of broken-up entities, leading to rapacious private monopolies in the 1990s-2000s).

        3. ToddR

          Re: Don't laugh just yet.

          " The Tories would do well to take him extremely seriously."

          Couldn't agree more.

        4. Lallabalalla

          Re: Don't laugh just yet.

          Is that the 3 day week presided over by that Labour PM, Edward Heath?

        5. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Don't laugh just yet.

          I remember Foot, Castle, Benn, Three Day Weeks and so on. I also remember Thatcher.

          The economic and social issues of the 1970s were not a product of a particular government, they were structural and different governments tried different ways of dealing with them. The 70s opened with a Conservative government under Edward Heath which was quite ineffective in dealing with the downturn (yet another downturn) in the economy and widespread unemployment. Heath's government was effective at negotiating England's entry into the EU and that combined with the 'feeling' of currency decimalization (no kidding!) made ordinary people feel poorer, insecure and so on. They got rid of Heath and expected the incoming Labour government to provide for all. It didn't work -- they went for a wages and prices freeze, a bit of a fantasy because wages got frozen but prices didn't. (Entering the EU caused some price dislocation -- remember the Great Sugar Shortage?)

          All was supposed to be fixed with the arrival of North Sea Oil. Unfortunately it coincided with the arrival of Margaret Thatcher. The revenue flow from oil and privatization caused a boom of sorts -- described by old Tories as "selling off the family silver". This, along with changes in banking and finance ("The Big Bang") characterized the modern UK economy. To me -- jaded, of course -- its a castle built on sand, but then what do I know?

          Incidentally, he's right about economics schools teaching orthodoxy. Its like getting a MBA -- this has a lot in common with a divinity degree in that you don't get the qualification unless you drink the Kool-Ade.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re +1 for Jarvis

        "he served on the front lines and is someone who puts himself behind his convictions, not straight from Oxford PPE without tasting life."

        Fully agreed, but he has somewhat blotted his copybook by aligning himself (for now at least) with semi-clandestine party-within-a-party with independent financing and distinct objectives, Progress Ltd. (prop: T Blair (retd), P Mandelson (retd), L Kendall (approved Leadership candidate)). Quite possibly not something an Army chap would approve of, once he realised what was going on. We'll see - he's new to Westminster, it'd be an easy mistake to make.

        And who knows whether Progress Ltd will even exist within the Labour Party in two years time - currently hard to see how they would survive another internal constitutional inquiry into their party-within-a-party operations in the last few years. There was an inquiry on a previous occasion, but Progress Ltd got away with it. Their activities are much clearer now.

        If Progress Ltd are forced to dismantle (as they probably should be), some of them may wish to split, but then what is their unique selling point vs the readily available alternatives?

        Cross the floor would be another obvious option for them.

        Don't see either of those appealing to Jarvis.

        Interesting times.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: +1 for Jarvis

        I used to enjoy his show on Radio 6

      4. ToddR

        I take your point Mr Strummer about Jarvis having a job, (and shite OXford PPE gits everywhere), but it was in the army, so no sense of normality anyway

    3. Michael Dunn
      Headmaster

      AC 23hrs

      I presume you mean 'hara kiri.'

    4. 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 ?

      I prefer that party committing Hari {Kari/Kiri} (I think you probably mean seppuku, but I'm not in a sufficiently pedantic mood to look it up), rather than murdering the economy. The problem I have with Corbyn is that his approach to economics is even more balmy than New Labour's.

      New Labour had in my opinion at least a clear aim (IMHO self enrichment for as long as they could get away with it), but with Corbyn I'm left with a feeling that the UK would end up being the clear evidence of what happened when you apply failed economic theory. I don't think that's the right thing to do when the whole world is still recovering from a US crisis that New Labour helped to kickstart with jumping into a war and flogging anything they could lay their hands on, but maybe I'm just too picky.

    5. Falanx

      Hari *kiri*, you ignorant git.

      And, the term is seppuku

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ignorant git?

        It's harry carry...

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: Ignorant git?

          Hairy Carey, I think you'll find

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Ignorant git?

            Archbishop Carey, Botherer Of god?

          2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            Re: Ignorant git?

            No, the baseball announcer was Harry Caray.

    6. ToddR

      Labour's problem, apart from a lack of talent, is that there aren't enough, (working class, heavy industry), people that need them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's OK

    Mrs. Thatcher was advised by some of the most bonkers "economists" you could imagine but none of it made its way onto the statute books. Economic advisers to politicians are there for light amusement. One famous example is rthe highly eccentric (to say the least) US poet Ezra Pound, who advised Mussolini. Il Duce obviously liked him for the curiosity value, but that was as far as it went. And remember Mrs. Thatcher's adviser who suggested all roads should be privatised and the owners allowed to put tolls on them, so you would have to pay a series of tolls to get to town in the morning? He'd obviously read about the 18th century and failed to notice what happened in the 19th.

    However, the US tax system has its merits (unless you are a special case). Want the advantages of British citizenship? Pay your dues to the club. If corporations find ever more clever ways of avoiding tax, then we become dependent on taxing their employees and shareholders. Which is what the US does, and nobody accuses it of enthusiastic socialism.

    The rest of it...hot air that would be dropped the moment a Labour government came to power. The merit of a Corbyn led Labour party is that currently there is simply no economic discussion in the Commons; the two largest parties form a Venn diagram with very little outside the overlap. If any sort of democratic process is to happen, there needs to be a significant difference between the groups which can be argued about. With any of the other three candidates, at PM's Question Time the animals will simply be looking from pigs to pigs and be unable to tell the difference. (Well, except that Cooper and Kendall sound a lot snootier than Teresa May.)

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: It's OK

      "And remember Mrs. Thatcher's adviser who suggested all roads should be privatised and the owners allowed to put tolls on them, so you would have to pay a series of tolls to get to town in the morning? He'd obviously read about the 18th century and failed to notice what happened in the 19th."

      Well, yes, but Alan Walters was also the intellectual origin of the London Congestion Charge as well. Tolls and fees are not an entirely barking idea....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's OK

        "Well, yes, but Alan Walters was also the intellectual origin of the London Congestion Charge as well. Tolls and fees are not an entirely barking idea"

        Never said they were. Mania is often a perfectly sensible idea pushed to absurd limits. MI5 really does spy on us (a positively vetted relative went to work for the competition, so I know there's a file on me.) But believing that they are constantly watching us and using rays to read our minds is evidence of mental health issues. Taxation is the only way yet discovered of providing efficiently for infrastructure, so at one end you believe that the State should own the means of production, distribution and exchange and at the other you believe in a system with no laws except property laws in which all transactions are economic and between individuals, and in either case you have a disconnect with reality.

        [note - I notice that any mention of Margaret Thatcher seems to result in downvotes even when, as in this case, there was no criticism. It would be nice if these people could explain what they object to so it could at least be discussed.]

      2. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: It's OK

        Tim, please correct me if I am obviously wrong:

        The largest cost of a road is the initial construction, operation is relatively low and not much dependant on the use. That means that as society has put down the money for the damned thing (sunk cost), it better use it as much as possible.

        This means that, as long as the capacity of the road is rarely used, tolls are against good economics.

        You have a prime example very close to home: The A22 (Algarve east-west motorway) is with tolls, and the N125 (~A-road) which runs parallel is free. The result is a clogged up, accident-prone N125 and a grossly underused A22.

        1. Tony S

          Re: It's OK

          "The largest cost of a road is the initial construction, operation is relatively low and not much dependant on the use"

          Actually no. Most repair work is utterly dependent upon how much (and what weight of) traffic that travels over it. The busiest roads are the ones that need the most repairs; and if those repairs are not conducted in a timely fashion, the amount (and necessity) of repair increases faster. The roads that carry the heaviest vehicles are often the ones that need the most upkeep.

          In addition, most road repairs cost more than the original cost price of the road; even when allowing for inflation. Partly due to increased technical requirements, environmental concerns, H & S needs etc. but also because the amount of traffic has increased by more ten fold in the last 60 years; and the new road surfaces have to be better than the original specifications.

          It's also not just the roads, but bridges, culverts, embankments etc. That doesn't take into account any hidden costs, caused to local / regional / national economy by the road works and any subsequent traffic congestion that creates increased delays, excess fuel usage, diversionary activity etc.

          1. Stork Bronze badge

            Re: It's OK

            I stand corrected on that - I guess part of that is because lorries are heavier than when a lot of roads were originally constructed. I seem to remember that cars hardly cause any road wear at all.

            I am still convinced it makes no economic sense for society to charge for one road but not to the one parallel to it.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: It's OK

              "I am still convinced it makes no economic sense for society to charge for one road but not to the one parallel to it."

              No disagreement there.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: It's OK

                If you're rich, you can afford to pay the toll and drive on an uncongested motorway. This also means that you can get a little more sleep because you don't have to get up quite so early. You will also spend less on fuel because you'll be getting better mileage, and your brakes will lasts longer, etc.

                1. Stork Bronze badge

                  Re: It's OK

                  I can give you an example of the loss to the economy (or society if you want): Our local electrician has stopped doing jobs (he main line of work is installation and maintenance of TV networks in Hotels) in the other end of Algarve, 80-100km away. For a full days work it is ok, but for less he has to choose between losing 2-3h extra by using the free road, or paying perhaps an hours worth of work for using the motorway.

                  And because pay here is low relative to the tolls, a lot of people loose productive time in queues - the motorway was rarely clogged before they introduced tolls.

                  1. Tim Worstal

                    Re: It's OK

                    This is EU law. Motorways built with EU money must be toll roads. A 22 was partly EU money. Thus....

                    1. Captain Underpants

                      Re: It's OK

                      @Tim - the EU requirement on tolling is fairly recent AFAIK , as in, only within the last 15 years or so and initially only applied to HGVs and capped to infrastructure costs for the road in question. As I understand it it's changed in the last few years to now apply to vehicles over with a fully-loaded capacity of 3.5 tonnes or higher , but allows member states the option of implementing other tolls.

                      Subtle differences, but important ones. Not least because given that the EU has funded the development of road infrastructure in the likes of Ireland in the late 20th century, if what you write were 100% accurage then travelling on most Irish roads would involve paying tolls...

                      1. Tim Worstal

                        Re: It's OK

                        The road that we're both talking about (A 22 through the Algarve) has only had tolls for 3 years or so. Maybe only 2.....

                    2. Hadfield99

                      Re: It's OK

                      "This is EU law. Motorways built with EU money must be toll roads. A 22 was partly EU money. Thus...."

                      Maybe the EU forced them to do this as part of the bailout about 5 years ago.

                      I have an apartment near Lagos and have been using the A22 for 13 years. For the first 8 years it was not a toll road and it became a toll road about a year after the bailout. For those who do use it the toll collection is bolted on rather than being an integral part of its use with no meaningful way of collecting from foreign registered vehicles.

            2. drexciya

              Re: It's OK

              As far as I know, the problem is exponential; 2 times the weight is 4 times the wear on the road. Someone, familiar with the local politics, explained that was the reason they blocked a specific road for non-locals. Given the amount of heavy traffic, it would sustain a lot of damage, since the road wasn't made for that amount and weight of traffic.

              There's also weight limitations in the Netherlands for trucks, but that has a second reason; inertia. Stopping a truck which has 70 tons of load (metric) is a big challenge and so there are limitations on that kind of thing as well.

            3. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: It's OK

              "I guess part of that is because lorries are heavier than when a lot of roads were originally constructed."

              Correct.

              Road damage is approx proportional to the 4th power of the axle pressure and speeds have a major bearing on it too. See http://www.pavementinteractive.org/article/equivalent-single-axle-load/ and http://road-transport-technology.org/Proceedings/1%20-ISHWD/Road%20Damaging%20Effects%20of%20Dynamic%20Axle%20Loads%20-%20Cebon.pdf

              Roman roads were massively overengineered and as a result lasted until heavy transportation got going (unless trees were allowed to take root in the carriageway as has happened along Stane Street, amongst others)

              The reduction of railways has had a major effect too (Beeching in the UK, general economics in the USA. ) - an example of the considerations is at http://www.ctre.iastate.edu/PUBS/semisesq/session4/russell/index.htm - there's a good case for subsidising rail as you can see from this, simply because it's cheaper than the equivalent road damage.

          2. Tim99 Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: It's OK

            @Tony S

            You are right that the heavier traffic causes damage. The amount is proportional to the 4th power of axle weight. As an example if a largish private car has a weight of 2 tons that is 1 ton per axle each of which to the power of four is equal to 1 unit of damage or 2 units of damage in total. A Large Goods Vehicle can have a weight of 48 short tons or 8 tons per axle, so each axle will cause roughly 4000 times the damage of the car axle or 12,000 times the damage in total.

            If we assume that the car excise is £200 and we wanted a "fair" system based on the amount of damage caused,t the LGV would be subject to an excise of £2,400,000. Obviously they don't pay their fair share, unless we include some societal benefit of running large vehicles. I understand that Jeremy Corbyn wants railways to be back in public ownership :-) Maybe he could subsidize them to a similar extent to the societal subsidy given to the road transport lobby?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: It's OK

              "LGV would be subject to an excise of £2,400,000"

              Or maybe a car should really be 14p a year making a truck £1680... or whatever.

              Not saying this is realistic..

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: It's OK

          "The largest cost of a road is the initial construction, operation is relatively low and not much dependant on the use."

          "Initial construction" is a one-off. Maintenance is an ongoing cost into the indefinite future added to which is the periodic cost of reconstruction to widen or strengthen it as demands change. The Fosse Way was initially constructed by the Romans who did not have motor vehicles. Apart from the route what you see of the Fosse Way today is nothing like the Roman's work - it's the result of cycles of reconstruction and intermediate maintenance which, even allowing for inflation, must amount to several times the initial cost.

          1. Roq D. Kasba

            Re: It's OK

            The Seppo's love a bit of Ayn Rand. Insofar as any of Adam Curtis' documentaries are about any subject, 'All watched over...' is a good introduction to Rand and her influence - surprisingly large considering.

        3. Fat Northerner

          Re: It's OK

          We've spent far more working on the M6, M1 etc since it was built, than it cost to make.

        4. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: It's OK

          Toll roads are a throwback back to medieval times, travellers have to pay the fee charged by the Lord of the Manor to cross his land. They just impede the people who are actually working.

      3. Frank Bough

        Re: It's OK

        But the Congestion Charge is ludicrous. It has no effect on congestion whatsoever. It's merely a combination road toll and vehicle tracking system.

    2. Fat Northerner

      Re: It's OK

      Quite. The world is full of retards, who read books on solutions for a different time, and lack the brains to work their own out. We call them economists.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "In good times, when I'm confident about the future, I don't try to hold on to much cash or cash-balance savings. When I start to worry about the future, I try to build up a cash reserve in case I get fired, etc, and I spend money less willingly."

    When people really worry about the future they now see cash as being a liability. Cash in banks is regarded as a wasting asset - or even worse a hostage to government "capping" seizures.

    What they look for is something that is a hedge investment - of which gold, property, or art works are classic commodities.

    The apocryphal story of the Weimar Republic hyperinflation was the large shopping basket full of banknotes that was stolen - or rather the basket was stolen and the banknotes left behind.

    The paradox of the last few years has been the original declaration that our financial difficulties were down to cheap credit and not enough people saving. Yet the official answer to these difficulties was even cheaper credit - and reduced incentives to save. The result has been soaring house prices as cheap credit financed inflationary spirals for an ever decreasing supply.

    1. Richard Jones 1
      Flame

      AC you missed the point, the statement was that if people suspect hard times are coming they hoard rather than spend. If they suspect really bad times, they 'invest' in items like gold, airline tickets, food stuffs or anything that might be sold or more likely bartered. They do not buy flash cars, big TVs or other items that depreciate faster that a politician's promises.

      Oh, and in really bad times, gold is useless as it cannot be eaten or worn.

      When I suspected hard times were coming for the company I worked for, (I was right) I shovelled cash into the pension fund having already disposed of all debts in a previous down turn. I know that debts lose value with inflation, but I did not fancy some default and bankruptcy thank you! Did I spend, did I hell. If I think Corbyn has a chance in Hades I would try to leap out of any cash or income sources into something worthwhile hoarding.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Oh, and in really bad times, gold is useless as it cannot be eaten or worn."

        A good example is the 1870 war when food and firewood in Paris became enormously expensive and gold was of little value. Firewood could be bartered for food and vice versa.

        1. jason 7

          Re: "Oh, and in really bad times, gold is useless as it cannot be eaten or worn."

          I still think it's worth taking the time to get that shotgun certificate and stock up on the baked beans.

          1. Roq D. Kasba

            Re: "Oh, and in really bad times, gold is useless as it cannot be eaten or worn."

            If we're into shotgun and baked bean territory, you'll damn well have to be prepared to use the shotgun and be hella fast on the reloads.

            1. Charles Manning

              Re: "Oh, and in really bad times, gold is useless as it cannot be eaten or worn."

              "If we're into shotgun and baked bean territory, you'll damn well have to be prepared to use the shotgun."

              More to the point:

              You have to be prepared to eat the baked beans!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Oh, and in really bad times, gold is useless as it cannot be eaten or worn."

          "A good example is the 1870 war when food and firewood in Paris became enormously expensive and gold was of little value"

          That was presumably a closed situation - a siege. If the borders are still open - and other economies are still functioning - then gold can be used by people with access to external markets.

          That happened in the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic.

          Germany after 1945 saw people bartering their family jewels etc to occupying soldiers for food - that was often itself stolen from allied force's warehouses.

          Film "The Third Man"

          Film "Germany Year Zero"

          Autobiography "Hamburg 1947" by Harry Leslie Smith

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: "Oh, and in really bad times, gold is useless as it cannot be eaten or worn."

            Its the "if other economies are still functioning" that's the catch. In a siege, sure, but if the "really bad times" are the result of an economic collapse, other economies will taken down too depending on how big and interconnected the local economy is.

            If you're in the UK and it becomes totally dysfunctional/dystopian, even IF the economy of, say, Russia was still functioning, there has to be a way to get the gold out of the UK and bring in something you need (i.e. food) Both are subject to theft along the way, so even if the value was gold was nominally high in Russia, it will still be very low in the UK because of the difficulty and risk in transporting it to Russia where it worth something. Likewise, if food was relatively cheap in Russia, it will still cost a fortune when it gets to the UK for the same reasons (plus spoilage, which at least you don't have to worry about with gold)

            The UK economy going tits up would seriously impact the world, but the world would probably still be able to function, to a degree. If the US economy went under, it would almost certainly take down the rest of the world. At that point, unless you know some gold loving aliens, the value of the stuff is going to plummet to near zero (after first skyrocketing) once gold bugs realize that people who hold physical gold in such a world may as well be stock piling masonry bricks. It will be food, fuel and bullets that will matter, and be the "money" of that world.

      2. TheTick

        Gold isn't for the bad times, it's for the rebuilding period afterwards.

        The most important assets for bad times are family, friends and community, and a little bit of arable land near fresh water doesn't hurt either.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          >The most important assets for bad times are family, friends and community, and a little bit of arable land near fresh water doesn't hurt either.

          I was chatting to a friend with family in Greece. She mentioned that everyone was pulling together and eating things they were growing.

          So much for increasing income taxes and VAT.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          The most important assets for bad times are family, friends and community, and a little bit of arable land near fresh water doesn't hurt either.

          If things ever got that bad then you'd need firearms and a large group of friends more than anything else. Setting up your little collective and farming the land is nice, until the gangs arrive and use your women for entertainment while you load your produce into their transport.

          Community in the lefty sense simply wouldn't exist. If your neighbour has food and your kids are hungry... As soon as there isn't enough food for everyone, everyone prioritises their own at the expense of others.

        3. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

          No, gold is mobile.

          If you're investing in gold, invest in bullion jewellery and take it with you when you do a flit. Gold is highly portable, and means you aren't destitute when you get to a safe country and settle down again.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "When I suspected hard times were coming for the company I worked for, (I was right) I shovelled cash into the pension fund having already disposed of all debts in a previous down turn."

        When Northern Telecom went bust the company pension fund management was fortunately taken into the government's newly established safety net scheme. The safety net scheme capped any new pension at £28k.

        Eventually the trustees fought a long legal battle in several countries to get the pension fund's £2bn recovered from the NT assets - of which there were just about enough. I presume they were then able to be released from the safety net.

        If the government decides to discontinue that scheme then any similar future pension fund situations will mean a raw deal for their pensioners.

      4. LucreLout Silver badge

        If I think Corbyn has a chance in Hades I would try to leap out of any cash or income sources into something worthwhile hoarding.

        Corbyn will get at most one shot at winning an election. 2020. The odds of him winning are miniscule, but should he prevail, I'd seek to leave the country. Corbyns adviser may like to believe that won't happen, but I can promise him, promise him, that it would.

        It will already take the UK until about 2050 to pay the tab left by the last Labour government. The prospect of another labour government, even more barking than Gordons, would in my view make the UK unrepairable without default. The poor and the retired will bear the greatest cost for that. So if the left wish to persue it, then they can do so without my aid. The bottom line? If you want to live under socialism, go live in France.

        Who cares? Just some asshat on the internet? Yup. The bit where it matters is I'm one of the better educated, higher earning asshats that have built up a small but significant amount of earned wealth. Last time around we called this a brain drain. In the internet age, it will be an exodus.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Lucrelout

          "Corbyn will get at most one shot at winning an election. 2020. The odds of him winning are miniscule, but should he prevail, I'd seek to leave the country. "

          Oh I do like that threat. Ooh, I'll leave the country. The fatuous remark of every washed up celebrity trying to get a para in the Mail come election time.

          Nobody would miss them. Or you. Not that this is an argument in favour of Corbyn, it's just an argument against silly posturing.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: @Lucrelout

            Nobody would miss them. Or you. Not that this is an argument in favour of Corbyn, it's just an argument against silly posturing

            Perhaps not, but the two public sector workers my taxes support would certainly miss their jobs. It is directly connected, even if they, and you, refuse to see it. There is no magic money tree: Every single pound spent in the public sector has come directly out of private sector workers pockets - government borrowing only delays that. When I leave the job it goes to India.... not sure they'll want to pay for the NHS.

            Far from being posturing, it's a sensible insurance plan. Corbyn wants the state to own, well, pretty much everything. And he has not one bean to pay for that. So whatever money he uses will, as ever, come out of private individuals pockets - just because he doesn't announce a wealth haircut doesn't mean that isn't what he is doing, and by the time he does announce it, it will be too late to flee. I pay far too much for the state as it is - I'm certainly not hanging around for them to come back for another bite of the minority share they left me with in previous years.

            So where to go? America, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, etc etc There's a whole world out there. Even if I was desperately daft enough to wish to live under socialism, I'd be better of going to France where the weather and the wine are better.

            This assumption you have, that because you wouldn't move nobody else will, is one the country cannot afford. Literally, it cannot afford it.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: @Lucrelout

                The trains and the utilities are not "pretty much everything".

                The trains and utilities are just the start.

                There is a case to be made for at least part nationalising the railways.

                Not as compelling a case, unfortunately, for not nationalising any part of them, but instead doing the privatisation properly rather than the botched mess Major made of it. It IS better than BR, much better, but it could be better still - and I'd be amazed if you find any rail commuter old enough to have used BR daily that would disagree with that.

                The difficulty of getting private industry to invest in electricity generation without subsidies shows that there is a similar case for utilities.

                Private industry invests where the best returns are available. It's how markets work. Capping rises or otherwise interfereing with the normal market function is what distorts the market leading to a perceived requirement for state intervention. To actually be advocating nationalising energy generation you must have been too young to have really lived through the miners strikes and the rolling brownouts that were a normal part of life. Those of us who lived it definately will not allow you to drag us back to that farce.

                That means someone is paying you. Will this continue if you go abroad?

                That's generally considered to be how capitalism works. Yes, someone would continue to pay me abroad, just probably as a contractor for tax efficiency.

                If your work goes to India that is a net cash outflow, but will it be as much as your current income?

                I can see where you're going with this and can already see why you've got it wrong.

                The net outflow of cash from the economy may seem small to you, but where it ticks up a lot is that my assets and the income produced from them would be relocating off shore with me, so no taxes paid to the UK on that either.

                The next thing you're missing, is that I don't work for a British bank. I work for a subsidiary of a foreign owned bank. Once my role goes to India, the capital to fund it goes home. 100% of my tax contribution to the UK economy is lost forever. And that means those public sector workers I fund are shit out of luck.

                How can you be so confident that the hose will simply stop pouring money into wherever you live and start pouring it into Bangalore?

                It is what has happened to the last 6 roles people have vacated in my team and what my bosses have indicated will occur. Bet against it if you choose, just don't say you weren't warned and don't try to shirk responsibility for the mess. The left are rather too keen on that for their own good.

                Once the nationalisations start, assuming they could be financed, companies will become nervous. The first time less than full compensation is paid to the business owners, the corporate flight from the UK will be so fast and thunderous that it will make you dizzy.

                In short, there's a lot of rather simplistic exaggeration in your posts.

                I kept it simple so you;d understand. Apparantly I underestimated your desire not to do so. There is no exaggeration, there is no hyperbole. Its just a fact. That you aren't comfortable with the outcome should be informing your thoughts on the process of getting there, no?

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @Lucrelout

            @ Arnaut the less

            "Nobody would miss them. Or you. Not that this is an argument in favour of Corbyn, it's just an argument against silly posturing."

            You might not miss them but you will miss their money as France found out. Offering gifts for everyone is great until you need to find the money to pay for it. And as the green eyes seek those with money with their greedy hands reaching out while talking about 'fair', the people who can afford to will move their wealth to a less hostile country.

            The claims of posturing ignore what has and does actually happen. When those richer than you leave then YOU will be the rich one. You wont have any additional wealth but you will be the washed up posturer that nobody will miss (but for the money).

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: @Lucrelout

                Read Piketty

                Piketty has been so widely and thoroughly discredited by now than I'm genuinely surprised to find someone citing him. Starting with your conclusions and then doing your research rarely leads to aninformed assessment.

                1. amanfromarse

                  Re: @Lucrelout

                  @lucrelout

                  Piketty has been so widely and thoroughly discredited by now than I'm genuinely surprised to find someone citing him.

                  Absolutely, completely false. The supposedly flawed figures, which he addressed, did not impact his basic premise.

              2. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @Lucrelout

                @ Arnaut the less

                "Read Piketty. You might possibly learn something about whose greedy hands are reaching out while telling everybody that there is no alternative to things as they are."

                I might read his stuff at some point, especially why he doesnt think the Laffer curve is applicable to France as that kind of thinking caused their rich to leave. But I dont need to look as far as France when here in the UK we have plenty of people wanting to tax more to pay the debts and tax more to provide services and tax more to punish the bankers/rich/undeserving/political opponents/people they dont like.

                Of course it is always someone else who should pay and it is the 'rich' who should pay a 'fair' amount. Notice that neither rich nor fair are defined and are a blank cheque just as a war on terror is without limits not boundaries.

                And of course there are alternatives. N.Korea is a shining example of how socialism can work, but I certainly wouldnt want to live like that. USSR fell and China is forced to embrace more and more capitalism to survive although communist china was somewhat successful but we tend to be unhappy with famine and repression. So alternatives are about balancing a working economy and welfare. Too far one way or the other and we all suffer.... as the French found out by ignoring the Laffer curve.

      5. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

        As a general rule, whenever Socialists are expected to get into power, invest in property. DO NOT invest in land per se, but in land that has something built upon it, because Socialism is the creed of the worshippers of pettifogging rules.

        Whenever Socialists get into power, they always cause a property price boom through regulative ineptitude and over-exuberance. When this occurs, take your ill-gotten gains and invest in something other than the local currency, for Socialist economists know not their arse from their elbow.

    2. Mad Mike

      @AC.

      "When people really worry about the future they now see cash as being a liability. Cash in banks is regarded as a wasting asset - or even worse a hostage to government "capping" seizures."

      Today, cash is always a liability. If you save and then something bad happens, you have to use those savings to see you through until most are gone and then the government steps in. If you don't have savings, the government simply steps in earlier. The whole benefits system is weighted against having savings.

  6. Warm Braw Silver badge

    People maximise their net income: this is not so

    I was once at a meeting of "high flyer" treasury recruits who had been sent to the provinces to be exposed to the tedious reality of small business. They were astounded that the self-employed and small partnerships were considering incorporating in order to take advantage of changes to Corporation Tax that had been introduced by Gordon Brown. Surely no-one would change their legal status simply to reduce their tax bill? And in this case the "utility" argument was very simple - it was literally money for nothing - no other considerations, no down side.

    I'm rather more worried that these people are presumably now in senior positions in the civil service where they are giving advice to cabinet ministers - it's not as if Mr Corbyn is likely ever to be amongst the beneficiaries of their wisdom..

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: People maximise their net income: this is not so

      They were astounded that the self-employed and small partnerships were considering incorporating in order to take advantage of changes to Corporation Tax that had been introduced by Gordon Brown. Surely no-one would change their legal status simply to reduce their tax bill?

      Given the ease with which a company can be setup in foreign jurisdictions, they'd be positively horrified had they thought the matter through. The competition for corporate taxes is now a global one and that won't change for several lifetimes. You either win that game or you lose it - not playing just means you lose.

  7. Graham Marsden
    Holmes

    Did anyone else...

    ... try to read this piece, but get deafened by the sounds of Axes grinding?

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: Did anyone else...

      Well, yes. Although in my defence I'd point out that I've read and digested more or Murphy's output over the years than practically anyone else. Even possibly than Murphy: for I understand his mistakes rather better than he does.

      It really isn't just because he's sorta lefty (Chris Dillow is flat out Marxist and yet has some very good policy proposals) it's because he's incompetent, in my opinion, as an economist. Which is not a notable recommendation in one who would recommend the economic course the Kingdom should follow.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Did anyone else...

      Nope, because I first came across Tim's blog by searching for more information about Murphy after some ludicrous assertion or other that he had made.

    3. johnaaronrose

      Re: Did anyone else...

      I agree about the Axes Grinding. For example, Tim Worstall attacks Richard Murphy personally re his HE Economics prowess: many groundbreaking discoveries in the Sciences have been made by people who disagreed with the accepted wisdom taught at Universities. The Australian economist Steve Keen, amongst others, essentially supports Murphy's concept of a peoples' QE.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Did anyone else...

        Well, let them try it in Australia first then. I've always wanted to visit, might as well do it when they're experiencing hyperinflation so I can stay for a month and travel all over the whole country for $100 US :)

      2. Tim Worstal

        Re: Did anyone else...

        That Steve Keen agrees with an economic idea is not generally regarded as proof of that idea's usefulness.

        But obviously that's jut another axe being ground.

        Yes, I do know Keen's analysis iof why standard economics is all wet, have discussed it directly with him and no, am not convinced.

      3. Tromos

        Re: Did anyone else... @johnaaronrose

        Disagreeing with the accepted wisdom is one thing. Agreeing with the accepted stupidity is quite another.

  8. Super Fast Jellyfish
    Thumb Up

    Bonds

    How about an approach to satisfy both Corbyn and Worstall?

    Use the QE is buy bonds in (say) the new Northern electrified train line or a new Housing Corporation - after all that is part of the way the Channel Tunnel was financed.

    Worstall has his bonds and Corbyn has his infrastructure

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bonds

      That's classic Keynesian economics old chap, nothing new there.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Bonds

      "Use the QE is buy bonds in (say) the new Northern electrified train line or a new Housing Corporation - after all that is part of the way the Channel Tunnel was financed.

      Worstall has his bonds and Corbyn has his infrastructure"

      With what money? Either it's printed or borrowed. If it's borrowed that Keynesianism as was said by the previous poster, if it's printed you are doing exactly what People QE (Quickly in Excrement) is.

      1. Super Fast Jellyfish

        Re: Bonds

        @DavCrav

        Yes printed money. As Tim said:

        "So we do it by using printed money to buy bonds, which injects the money into the economy, and then sell those bonds back once we need to withdraw the money from the economy, and simply destroy the money we've raised."

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: Bonds

          Ah, the unions.

          Throughout history, unions have done a massive amount of good for a huge number of people. We have all benefited from increased safety legislation that arguably starts with unionisation, or is at least accelerated by it, for instance.

          However, in my current job, I just offered a short term role to a guy for £200/day, he was happy to take it. One of the union bods (and it is a small industry sector, maybe 80 people on the union's 'ok' list) called him up and warned him off our job as they were demanding £350+/day from other clients. I know some of those other clients are actively recruiting guys from South Africa an Romania on under £200/day just because of the bullying and overreach of the union. So, as a result, I can't use the guy I wanted, I have to pay more for someone I don't want, who is going to get all pissy for working a full-length day despite earning more than any other person (including myself by a huge margin). Honest days work for an honest days pay doesn't come into it, it's a feifdom protecting jobs for the top half of that union list who think that £1200/week is not a fair deal for an NVQ2/NVQ3 (GCSE/A-level rough equivalents) guy and hold the industry to ransom.

          It pains me to say it, but Thatcher had a point.

          1. wolfmeister

            Re: Bonds

            or you could have paid the guy a proper rate.

            all you're doing is whining that you didn't get the guy you want which was because you wanted to pay him the rate for immigrant cheap labour - as you yourself actually explained, giving examples of OTHER companies hiring in immigrants to pay them the cheaper wage you wanted to pay! - & he was told "this guy wants to pay you the crappy immigrant labour rate", so he f*cked off elsewhere to someone who'd pay him properly.

            and now your moaning "i couldnt get the guy i wanted, meh meh it's the unions fault"

            yes you could have got the guy you wanted if you paid him properly! it was your choice at the end of the day, all you had to do was up the wage and bingo!

            1. Roq D. Kasba

              Re: Bonds

              Silly me, I thought that agreeing a deal with a guy was agreeing a deal with the guy. I've omitted a few key details deliberately because the unions are such a stitch-up in this industry sector, however let's look at a similar scenario.

              Let's say you and I agree that I'm going to pay you £300/day to do some job, whether administering a database or whatever. We agree the deal - that is you and I agree that it is fair to us both, and both agree to the terms as adults and able to make rational decisions. I'm not offering you sub-minimum wage, nothing illegal, just an agreement between adults. Now some mobsters come by me and tell me I have to use their DBA company, no choice, no options, and by the way it's £500/day, and if I use you they'll break your kneecaps and burn down my datacentre. You are cut out of the deal. Our agreement counts for nothing. Does that sound fine to you? Let's be clear, this ISN'T a safety issue, ISN'T in fact any other kind of issue other than sheer protectionism. By all means choose that world, and just hope you're on the right side of it or you will starve.

        2. G Mac

          Re: Bonds

          The key element of that in Tim's argument is:

          "It's also, going back to our technical discussion, making M0 to spend: and as that MV=PQ again tells us, making M0 to spend *can* be highly inflationary."

          I highlighted the 'can' - yes it can, but it doesn't automatically follow, as MMTers have pointed out to Tim, and, from memory, he acknowledges, but won't accept for the simple economic reasoning of 'I don't trust the government'.

          (Which strikes me as a bit weird given how comfortable Tim must be with the number of nuclear weapons in the hands of the government.)

          Be that as it may, it doesn't have to be inflationary - as long as the government isn't competing for *real* resources - commodities, people, etc, then inflation doesn't have to follow. Again, MMTers know this because they follow how money works in real-life, not just a theory on how it should work in a perfect world.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Nukes

            Why do you assume he's "comfortable with the number of nuclear weapons on the hands of the government". He's not a Tory, you are just assuming that because a lot of his economic positions are similar to theirs.

            I'm an economic conservative, socially liberal and think the US (and UK, but I don't live there so they're not my problem) spend way too much on defense. We should be defending our borders from attack, and only rarely get involved outside our country (like WW II made sense, but not Korea, Vietnam, or Iraq)

            I'd prefer the number of nuclear weapons the US has be cut massively, because we're never going to need all those and it just encourages other countries like Russia and China to have a lot too. We don't know what we'd ever do with that many, nor do they, but we have a lot because they do and vice versa. What I worry about are not the US or UK governments having them, but being in the hands of countries that have a coup and are taken over by crazies. It is a good thing Ukraine got rid of theirs, as who knows what might have happened if the ultranationalists got control and used one on Russian troops invading in the east.

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Bonds

            Be that as it may, it doesn't have to be inflationary - as long as the government isn't competing for *real* resources - commodities, people, etc, then inflation doesn't have to follow.

            G Mac,

            You can't follow a statement like the above with this:

            Again, MMTers know this because they follow how money works in real-life, not just a theory on how it should work in a perfect world.

            You're basically trying to say that in theory, in a perfect world, the government can print money to spend without inflation. Just so long as it doesn't compete with everyone else in the rest of the economy.

            But unless it's paying unicorns to do the stuff it wants, of course it's competing with the rest of the economy. If you print money to build a road, then you're going to be employing people who would otherwise be doing other stuff - using their mechanical diggers (that now won't be digging holes for other clients), and concrete/aggregate/fuel that other people now won't be using.

            The same if you employ more nurses, someone else now won't be paying those people to do stuff.

            Now you can get away with this in Greece for example. Where they have deflation and mass unemployment and under-utilisation of resources. Printing money in Greece is exactly what the Eurozone should have done, but they deliberately decided to exclude Greece from Quantitive Easing - due to being incompetent fuckwits.

            In the UK, with much lower unemployment, and wages already slowly rising, printing money to spend would be inflationary.

            Secondly you have to remember that economics interacts with politics and public expectations. If enough people believe there's going to be a recession, then there will be. Banking crises are all about confidence. People's belief in what future inflation will be, drives their current actions, and can cause that future inflation. So if you allow the feeling to develop that you're going to lose all monetary discipline, you'll get more inflation than a government that is believed to be prudent doing the same thing.

            As an example, I don't believe that QE will in fact be unwound. The Central Banks will use it as a tool to dampen money supply growth without having to raise interest rates so much. So they'll sell some bonds back to the markets. But at some point, I believe a Chancellor will stand up at the budget and quietly just write-off a chunk of the government debt held by the BofE. Because it's a one-off, we'll get away with it with just some minor harrumphing from The Telegraph and the FT. I think that'll have no effect on inflation, and be seen as a one-off. Although it's important not to do it until we're sure we won't need QE again for a nother few generations. As it would make QE (and us) much less credible if say we did that now, then China and the Eurozone economies both collapsed, and we needed to resort to it again.

            1. Tim Worstal

              Re: Bonds

              Hmm.

              "As an example, I don't believe that QE will in fact be unwound. "

              Think it will be you know. Because those bonds mature over time. And in order to maintain QE that means that BoE must go buy more bonds to replace those maturing.

              So, unwinding QE is as simple as not continuing to do QE......and just letting the stock mature.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: Bonds

                Tim,

                Sure. QE could die a natural death. But at some point, might some future Chancellor not be tempted to say - "we've got low inflation and there's £umpty billion of QE bonds coming due next year, so we're simply going to write them off, and not pay the BofE"?

                In a few years, QE will have already caused what inflation it was going to. And some future Chancellor will be looking at the extra interest payments if that debt is sold back to the markets, and feeling sad about the next election. I'm sure some will be, to mop up excess liquidy, I'm surprised the Bank of England haven't done a bit of it already.

                So they'll maybe keep rolling the bonds over at the BofE, paying them the interest and then taking it back as profits - and that's going to start looking increasingly silly, so why not just write the whole lot off? In ten years time, is anyone going to care all that much?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bonds

      Then a Corbyn Gov would Nationalise the project making those bonds worthless.

      Didn't you read his policy on re-instating Clause 4?

      With that back in place his party will become unelectable. The workforce has moved on since the 1930's/1940's/1950's/1970's and 1980's.

      Far fewer feel the need to be in a Union and to be honest with some of the retro throwbacks currently in charge of them it is no surprise.

      I was in a Trade Union once. I had to be because of the Closed Shop it ran. Normally Apprentices were exempt from having to join the Union. Not this place. Full dues as well.

      My Father was a staunch Trade Unionist. He joined up when he started working at 'The Vauxhall' in Luton circa 1932/33. He never felt the need to join the Labor Party.

      Why Union leaders seem to assume that their entire membership support the goals of the Labor Party was quite beyond him. In the end he tore up his Union Card because he was a Liberal PArty member.

      As a result, I've not felt the need to join a union or a political party in the last 40 years. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bonds

        "Didn't you read his policy on re-instating Clause 4?"

        Yes.

        His actual words were

        "I would want us to have a set of objectives which does include public ownership of some necessary things such as rail.”

        The sound of axes grinding as this was spun up was a bit deafening, but privatised rail hasn't exactly proven a very successful project.

        1. Frank Bough

          Re: Bonds

          Depends where you look. If the rail companies were allowed to explore their own business interests properly, we could see a remarkable improvement in rail services. Look at what Chiltern have done and are doing, and look who's trying to stop them and why.

  9. Will 28

    At least you declared an interest this time

    My thanks to you Tim for making it clear that you were biased on this one. I find your abusive articles much more palatable when you make it clear that it really *is* personal.

    I also suspect that in doing so you actually make the article less abusive, as you've been far ruder about other articles and people in the past. Perhaps your clear bias prompted an attempt at impartiality (or perhaps because he accused you in that other article of ad hominem and straw man).

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: At least you declared an interest this time

      Possibly because I take the worries here seriously, think that the issue is important.....

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: At least you declared an interest this time

        Don't worry Tim. I'm pretty sure that in this case "abusive" means "doesn't accord with my political prejudices".

        See also:

        Mean old Tories do things "for ideological reasons" whereas the cuddly Left do things "because we're principled".

        1. Will 28

          Re: At least you declared an interest this time

          No, abusive means exactly what I meant it to "using hurtful language". What I find astounding is the inability of commentards to actually understand the term. Similarly so your lack of understanding that I was not criticising Tim.

          He was making a personal attack. He even said it. I thanked him for saying that, for declaring his interest such that we could move on to the discussion. I even noted that I percieved his declaration as softening his stance.

          Abusive: You're an idiot.

          1. The Axe

            Re: At least you declared an interest this time

            @ Will 28, Its only abusive if Richard Murphy thinks it is. You cannot guess how Murphy sees it, nor do you have any right to assume how Murphy sees it. Now considering that Murphy has the thinest of skins and can't take any criticism at all and such an huge ego it could be true that the Murphy sees the article as abusive. But seeing as he doesn't care one iota about Tim's views of him (look at Murphy's twitter feed to see how much he cares), its unlikely that he takes it as abuse.

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: At least you declared an interest this time

            No, abusive means exactly what I meant it to "using hurtful language".

            Will 28,

            You're really going to have to go and find some of this hurtful language that you see, because I really don't. I even went off and read that Morozov article you linked to. I see no vitriol there.

            Worstall spends both that and this article debating the issues. So he explains the technical points that he believes are important and then talks about the things that he believes they've got wrong.

            He might make the odd comment about how he doesn't know what Morozov is banging on about, but that's by no means abuse. And to have a go at Murphy for having failed economics is perfectly legitimate if Murphy is trying to claim expertise in economics. Particularly as I've now had Murphy's arguments pointed out to me three times, and each one of those times he's made a basic error in understanting how accounting or economics actually work - and then refused to accept it when his error is pointed out to him.

            He then uses these misunderstandings to build startlingly huge figures like the supposedly £190 billion tax gap, which he then uses to get publicity, in a sort of Daily Mail headline writing method writ large. Those figures then get into the mainstream political debate, and need to be challenged - otherwise we may end up with people making policy based on them.

            Even if there was 7% of GDP of tax avoidance, you can't just magically grab all that cash for government with no effect on the economy.

            There's plenty of legitimate economists, who do understant what they're talking about, to make the left wing argument. Such as Wren-Lewis or Krugman.

    2. The Axe

      Re: At least you declared an interest this time

      You must be different to me. I don't find any of Tim's articles abusive in any way. This one is not either unless you don't like have your arguments debated and react by calling the person criticising you names like "neo-liberal" and then removing any comments that are critical from your blog.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: I don't find any of Tim's articles abusive in any way

        "Abusive" is a term that replaces "reality" for people who just cannot accept that what is said is true.

        There are already largely enough genuine economists who haven't got the faintest idea how things work, we don't need a crackpot who failed economics to tell people how things should work.

        Why doesn't this nincompoop go and invent his own mathematics ? Oh, right, he'd actually have to make that work to be taken seriously.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: I don't find any of Tim's articles abusive in any way

          I found this to be one of the more amusing articles (as well as on the ball as usual Tim). For me Tims articles get the balance right between presenting reasoning and opinion based on fact, and humour/sarcasm of those he disagrees with. I could see how his articles could be offensive if he wrote in the style of the guardian.

      2. Graham Marsden
        Boffin

        @The Axe - Re: At least you declared an interest this time

        > . I don't find any of Tim's articles abusive in any way. This one is not either

        In which case, why does Tim spend so much time in it debating the *man* rather than his arguments?

        I suggest you look up the term "ad hominem".

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: @The Axe - At least you declared an interest this time

          @ Graham Marsden

          "In which case, why does Tim spend so much time in it debating the *man* rather than his arguments?"

          From what I read Tim addressed the arguments as well as addressing the man. As for addressing the man- it would be wrong of Tim not to mention the terrifying contradictions (the passport tax bit and the observer), his ban from Murphy's website, Murphy's rejection of known economics, the 'Ragging On Ritchie' section of Tims site and that Tim doesnt believe the man understands economics.

          But that is all a small part of his 3 page article explaining QE, economics and how terrifying these policies would be.

      3. Will 28

        Re: At least you declared an interest this time

        There was a definite personal focus, and you cannot take the article without accepting that it is attacking (to a point) the person rather than the argument. Tim admits this, which was actually what I was thanking him for.

        As for other times he's done it: This was particularly bitter and in my opinion uncalled for: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/04/evgeny_morozov_why_does_he_bother/

  10. bailey86

    Expats should pay tax

    Since they tend to come running home to the mummy country when they get elderly and suddenly prefer to be back in the bosom of the NHS and care services it's only right they they contribute to the UK whilst earning (often tax-free) money abroad.

    Otherwise they are being incredibly selfish - and surely Worstall (who I agree with on many points) would not be justifying that would he?

    1. Tony S

      Re: Expats should pay tax

      "Since they tend to come running home to the mummy country when they get elderly "

      In most cases (OK not all, but most) the people that do that, actually became ex-pats after they retired. So they had actually contributed for most of their working life to the system.

      (Mind you, if they are that elderly, they're probably not running...)

    2. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: Expats should pay tax

      I have to disagree. When you use the term expat, I guess you think of high-flyers in Dubai or recently retired in Malaga. An awful lot of expats are more correctly termed migrants - like the Polish plumbers in UK, who tend to contribute more than they receive.

      I have had residence and worked in 4 EU countries + Switzerland - I have given up figuring what I am likely to receive in state pension (5 years worth from UK if you are curious).

      At the moment I am permanent resident in a country different from my origin, and I have no plan to return - my wife is a national here. You had not considered that, had you? And what about our dual nationality children, are they going to pay tax in both countries?

      Furthermore, in some countries (e.g. CH) you are obliged to have a private health insurance - that is not tax. Is that offset against your expat taxation?

      The real World is as usual much more complicated than the (Mail) headlines indicate.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        @Stork "what about our dual nationality children"

        The US has worldwide taxation on its citizens, but you get a credit for taxes you pay in other countries against your own, so you don't end up paying twice. It hurts only if you live/work in a place with lower taxes than your own country, but doesn't matter at all if you live/work where taxes are higher than home.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Stork "what about our dual nationality children"

          " It hurts only if you live/work in a place with lower taxes than your own country, [...]"

          It is my understanding that many people are in the IRS tax net either because they are US citizens who live abroad - or they are foreign nationals who recently worked in the USA.

          A common complaint seems to be that they have to incur significant professional expenses in compiling the mandatory return for the IRS - even if there is no tax to pay.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: @Stork "what about our dual nationality children"

            Filling out the standard US tax returns are pretty easy - you can buy programs that will do it for you for under $50. Though as a US citizen who consulted in Toronto one year I can appreciate the pain of dealing with a tax system you have no experience with - I had to fill out both corporate and personal Canadian tax forms that year, and had to find an accountant locally who was willing to do it for me (including learning how) because I didn't want to make a mistake that cost me a lot of money or caused me to become a wanted criminal in Canada :)

            It only cost me a few hundred dollars though so it wasn't a big deal, though I suppose how high the price seems depends on how much you got paid which also depends on how long the engagement was for.

            The way the Canadian law worked was that since I was a US citizen if I paid taxes in the US it would be a credit on my Canadian taxes, so I didn't owe them anything. However, since they withheld 15% of my take at the time it was paid, I had to go through a painful process to get it back (don't know why I bothered, patriotism I guess) during which the US dollar fell relative to the Canadian dollar, costing me several thousand dollars. If I had to do it over again I'd just let them keep that 15%, take it as a credit on my US taxes, and save a lot of hassle!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Stork "what about our dual nationality children"

          The US has worldwide taxation on its citizens, but you get a credit for taxes you pay in other countries against your own, so you don't end up paying twice.

          France has the same situation for certain types of unearned uncome, such as dividends and interest earned abroad. You get credit for the tax already paid, but they make you pay the difference to the French treasury.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Stork "what about our dual nationality children"

          It hurts only if you live/work in a place with lower taxes than your own country, but doesn't matter at all if you live/work where taxes are higher than home.

          Err, no. It still hurts twice because you are hostage to the wiles of the IRS, irrespective of where you live, or, put another way, the US retains leverage over you as a result of your US passport.

          This is why a US passport holder is now unwanted in certain professions, not because they don't have the skills or the talent, but because they represent a risk to the organisation, certainly if they handle confidential matters. It would not be the first time the promise of extreme IRS harassment is used to force someone into doing things they would normally never dream of, and that's a risk few organisations handling sensitive matters are willing to take.

          The other headache is the incessant need to annually prove your innocence to the IRS which extends to any bank you may want to use - the cost of the paperwork alone means that it's hard to get a bank account now as a US passport holder unless you have a high turnover as you represent a net loss to the bank. Ask any American in Switzerland, for instance, how easy it is to get a simple current account.

          So no, being a US citizen abroad is starting to become a real major issue, even worse if you're not even aware you're subject to US law (the so called accidental American).

          *Not* good.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Expats should pay tax

      "Tax free money"

      Not too many countries have zero tax - the ones that do realized they can get cheap labour and professionals from India and Pakistan.

      I work abroad, maybe I will return to the UK someday. But I'm under no illusion that I will be welcomed back or handed money - even skilless migrants get more support. Shortly there will be a residency test to get any social security (I still pay NI contributions BTW). There's already no free NHS for expats since Thatcher. And there's a residency test for University fees for prospective students.

      And so it should be...

      But for those still in UK don't think it is all roses for us who are somewhere else. Especially if we come back.

    4. JohnMurray

      Re: Expats should pay tax

      Unless they kept residency in the UK when they where living abroad, they will not get any NHS when they come back......

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Expats should pay tax

        Unless they kept residency in the UK when they where living abroad, they will not get any NHS when they come back......

        Nonsense.

        Firstly, 'residency' relates to where you live, if you're living abroad you are by definition not resident in the UK. You may be confusing it with domicile.

        Secondly, access to NHS treatment is based purely in being resident. Anyone with a right of residence in the UK (which includes all EU citizens) has access to the NHS. It has nothing to do with domicile.

  11. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Corbyn is barking, but ...

    ... but he has a few things in his favour:

    * The status quo is also barking.

    * A generation of under-fortysomethings has no memory of how bad things were in the days of real socialism, and has been fed a myth of some golden age.

    Protest movements against the status quo have been gaining traction: look at the likes of LePen and Farage (or even Galloway). Corbyn is less unattractive than some of those, not least by virtue of the fact that he's seen (rightly or wrongly) to practice what he preaches. Could the likes of Corbyn and Trump be just the next phase of a historical protest?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

      "A generation of under-fortysomethings has no memory of how bad things were in the days of real socialism"

      When was that? I'm over 60 and I don't remember it. I believe it started shortly after WW2 and ended quickly thereafter because people didn't realise that the country had been bankrupted by the War and austerity was the result.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

        @Arnaut

        I take it you're thinking of the Real Scotsman version of socialism.

        What Nick was describing is just the British electoral cycle:

        A Labour govt gets elected. It does a whole batch of populist stuff, some good, some not. Iin the mean time makes a pig's ear of the economy as a whole by neglecting, if not asset-stripping, the wealth generating part of the economy.

        At some point the state of the economy can no longer be shrugged off as just bad luck. At the next election they get turfed out and a Tory govt gets elected (or, as we've recently seen, a Tory-led coalition). This needs at least two terms to clear up the mess, trying to get rid of the crap, start wealth generation and get the good stuff on an even keel. In fact, as an economy can't be turned round that fast, things get worse before they get better.

        Eventually there are sufficient voters who can't remember enough of the last Labour govt, fall for the populist hype and elect Labour who then start the whole thing off again.

        1. Graham Marsden

          @Doctor Syntax - Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

          > This needs at least two terms to clear up the mess, trying to get rid of the crap,

          I think you mean flogging off the family silver to their rich mates (and give them tax breaks) whilst meanwhile screwing the workers and get them fighting amongst themselves and then retiring with lucrative directorships.

          Trebles all round!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Doctor Syntax - Corbyn is barking, but ...

            This is the Labour party you're describing I take it ...?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Doctor Syntax - Corbyn is barking, but ...

            I think you mean flogging off the family silver to their rich mates

            Err, no, that was exclusively the domain of Gordon Brown. And it wasn't the family silver, it was the family GOLD. This is an allegedly "Labour" government which bails out their mates at a terrible cost to the UK taxpayer.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

          @Doctor Syntax

          Eventually there are sufficient voters who can't remember enough of the last Labour govt, fall for the populist hype and elect Labour who then start the whole thing off again.

          If things were only that bad we'd have half a chance of change.

          You forgot to mention the ever burgeoning Labour client state. Welfare families who've never worked. Never will. The public sector workers who simply don't give a fig where the money to pay their wages comes from - they're entitled to an annual increment, inflation busting payrise, and a solid gold pension to boot you know.

          Magic money trees all round!

          1. amanfromarse

            Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

            I just enlightened the wife - you're right, she didn't know that her wages were paid by some cunt on the register.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

              @amanfromarse

              Did she perhaps think the tooth fairy or santa claus were leaving the money under the chancellors pillow?

          2. JohnMurray

            Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

            That would be the senior civils I take it?

            The run-of-the-mill civils pay into their pension, it is contributory. Unlike the MPs', who drain everything into their pockets...and get away with rampant fraud, and then "retire" with a stack of dosh and into a nice little earner courtesy of their "contacts" (when discussing Africa, the same thing is called "corruption")

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

              The run-of-the-mill civils pay into their pension, it is contributory

              Yes, it is, but their contribution only covers about 10% of their pension costs - the rest of it is topped up by the tax payer. Once you add in spousal payouts etc the cost of public sector pension provision, were you to buy it privately, is just slightly more than 50% of salary. Rather more than any state worker contributes to their scheme, yes.

              Thanks to the miracle of economics, the private sector tax payer is actually funding it all anyway, because public sector workers consume tax revenue, they don't generate it.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Credit crunch

          "Iin the mean time makes a pig's ear of the economy as a whole by neglecting, if not asset-stripping, the wealth generating part of the economy."

          I seem to recall that the conservatives did that in the 1960s too. The anecdote is that the incoming Labour govt in 1964(?) found a handwritten note saying "Sorry for the mess"

          it's easily arguable that the Tories have been doing precisely the same thing in the last 5 years. Assett stripping is an easy way to make it look like you're generating a short term profit, but sooner or later the system collapses.

          The problem is that whilst politicians may _think_ they dictate policy, the same people are in the civil service and whilst the politicians don't have any economics qualifications (and are therefore dangerous), the civil servants do, but it's all paper qualifications (which makes them even more dangerous).

          Take a close look at the people in power. They're mostly not particularly successful at anything outside politics, except the ex-lawyers (if they were, they wouldn't have gone into politics).

          Governments work best for the country when they don't have enough of a majority to be able to ram things through without any meaningful opposition. _Any_ party which has a large majority is dangerous because they're all ideologically driven. At least if the majority is slim, they have to negotiate (unless some oppostion leader who's clearly sitting on the wrong side of the house tells her members to abstain on everything) and that usually results in the more extremist policies being toned down.

          There's nothing wrong with mild socialism, or investing for the future. Sucessive governments of all stripes have bought votes by passing the bills to the grandchildren and it's entirely possible the grandchildren will refuse to pay them. The single biggest government cost liability is _pensions_ and successive administrations have been systematically underinvesting in them for decades. Whilst that was tenable when the ratio of taxpayers to pensioners was high, over the next 15-20 years it will get turned on its head - and the baby boomers (now pensioners) who have been handed everything on a plate will whine loudly that they're not getting the pensions they think they deserve, effectively saying "sod you" to their children and grandchildren.

          Tim's greatest fear (and that of most libertarians) is that the young get motivated enough to actually get out and vote.

        4. wolfmeister

          Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

          No, what happened this time was

          a global crash was caused by massive lending at silly low interest rates for overvalued property caused by massive over-lending at silly low interest rates to anyone who could scrawl and X on a bit of paper.

          so the govt got kicked out and the torys came in... and immediately began rebuilding the economy by continuing massive lending at silly low interest rates for overvalued property caused by massive overlending at silly low interest rates to anyone who could scrawl and X on a bit of paper (and have now got the country in 100's time more debt)

          lol, and you dont think a huge crash is coming?

      2. CN Hill

        Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

        You obviously didn't live in the DDR or USSR.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

      " Could the likes of Corbyn and Trump be just the next phase of a historical protest?"

      Could the likes of Corbyn and Trump be just the next phase of a hysterical protest?

      FTFY

      Corbyn comes across as idealistic - but naive about the way he will lose control of his new found supporters.

      There was a film about a revolution to overthrow a despotic dictator - led by an idealist air force officer (Dickie Attenborough). It succeeds and next day the dictator is in front of a firing squad - together with the idealist officer. The power in the land is a new dictator - the tank commander (Peter O'Toole) whose help was enlisted to secure the airport.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

        " (Dickie Attenborough)"

        Oops! My mis-memory - David Hemmings as an infantry colonel. The film was "Power Play"

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078105/reviews

    3. John Lilburne

      Re: Corbyn is barking, but ...

      Haven't we all had enough already of bowdlerized versions of some Ferengi economic philosophy courtesy of Worstall?

  12. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Boffin

    Where next?

    I'm glad you've come up with an article on "Corbynomics" as I planned to request one. It's a bit of a pity that you have a spot of "history" with Murphy as the text comes over as less objective than your usual excellent stuff.

    Regarding Murphy's ideas, I've long rabbited on about how I don't think money and economics are as clear cut as TPTB would have you believe, and that economics can work for the people and against the people, engineered austerity being a prime example of the latter (Zog passim).

    I'd like to see the experiment done - if the current neo-liberal lot are so confident about their way being the only way, why not let a few small alternatives run to show what a disaster they are (e.g. the "nationalised" East Coast line)? Then we can all have a good laugh at this softy, leftie rot.

    Personally, I look forward to seeing a spot of leftish argument puling the debate back towards the real centre ground and finding the sort of consensus that gave us real growth and an increase in real wages and equality during the "Golden Age of Capitalism" post war.

    Interesting times, as they say.

    BTW, thanks for bringing the work of Ha Joon Chang to my attention. He's my kind of economist.

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: Where next?

      "BTW, thanks for bringing the work of Ha Joon Chang to my attention. He's my kind of economist."

      Might not be quite what I intended, given that I wrote a whole book arguing against Chang's ideas.....

      "why not let a few small alternatives run to show what a disaster they are (e.g. the "nationalised" East Coast line)? Then we can all have a good laugh at this softy, leftie rot."

      There's vast areas of the economy that are left to themselves in that manner. John Lewis, the Co Op, these are hardly capitalist enterprises now, are they?

      The proper neoliberals (ie, me and my two mates) are the ones who absolutely delight in such too: we're not just fine with we positively glory in a market in methods of ownership and organisation as well as markets in goods and services.

      Which is rather why we get so pissed off when people start to insist that one or another sector of he economy must be run in one particular manner. Let the different methods compete and see what works best.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

        Re: Where next?

        "Might not be quite what I intended, given that I wrote a whole book arguing against Chang's ideas....."

        The Law of Unintended Consequences eh?

        "There's vast areas of the economy that are left to themselves in that manner. John Lewis, the Co Op, these are hardly capitalist enterprises now, are they?"

        And C(r)aptia, G4S and the monopolistic privatised utilities are?

        There's middle ground to be had and I am very much in favour of businesses competing to provide the best services/products. But that ain't what we've got with the above.

      2. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Where next?

        Erm, John Lewis and the Coop look firmly capitalistic to me. The mere fact that their capital structure differs from Tesco (and you and I don't have the opportunity to invest in their equity) doesn't somehow distance them from the markets where Coop has indeed struggled of late.

        Once upon a time when I was young^H^Hmiddle-aged and naive[1], I tried and failed to figure out how I could invest in those up-and-coming forces, Aldi and Lidl. Does my difficulty there somehow exclude them from capitalism too?

        And how can you describe yourself as neo-liberal when in previous articles you've supported that negation of capitalism, bank bailouts?

        [1] Not that that's changed so you'd notice.

        1. Tim Worstal

          Re: Where next?

          Markets do not equal capitalism. Ownership of productive assets by capitalists equals capitalism. JL and Co Op are owned by, respectively, the workers and the consumers. They're not capitalist organisations.

          1. Graham Marsden
            Alert

            @Tim Worstall - Re: Where next?

            > JL and Co Op are owned by, respectively, the workers and the consumers. They're not capitalist organisations.

            True. They have this crazy idea of giving money *back* to the people who make it for them and keeping prices down for people who pay for their goods instead of keeping it all for those at the top of the tree or giving it to shareholders whilst keeping wages as low as possible!

            Lunatics, eh? Such a business model would never survive since 1844, would it?

          2. Super Fast Jellyfish

            John Lewis

            Hmm, I shop at JL occasionally but don't rember being told I own a stake in it...

            However I do agree since there are no shares for non-employees to buy, it doesn't fit the pure definition of capitalism but neither do a number of other company structures (e.g. VC or family owned ones).

            1. Graham Marsden

              @Super Fast Jellyfish - Re: John Lewis

              John Lewis is a Partnership (hence the full name). All employees are *partners* in the business, hence they get a share of the money, unlike many (most?) capitalistic businesses where any profit dividend is only distributed to share holders, not the workers.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Super Fast Jellyfish - John Lewis

                " [...] unlike many (most?) capitalistic businesses where any profit dividend is only distributed to share holders, not the workers."

                Do the Co-op workers get an automatic share of the profits? In my younger days when we shopped at the Co-op we had to remember our family "divvie" number when we paid. As far as I know that "dividend" number had a financial benefit - and presumably my parents had bought some sort of share in the local Co-op.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Super Fast Jellyfish - John Lewis

                  do the CO-OP make any profit! Been run as a total basket case over the last few years!

                2. Tim Worstal

                  Re: @Super Fast Jellyfish - John Lewis

                  Nope, because the Co Op is owned by the customers: thus the divi

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: John Lewis

              Tim: JL and Co Op are owned by, respectively, the workers and the consumers.

              SFJ:Hmm, I shop at JL occasionally but don't rember being told I own a stake in it...

              Slow down, Superfast. Take time to read what Tim wrote and notice the word "respectively".

          3. Nick Kew Silver badge

            Re: Where next?

            I haven't checked on John Lewis.

            But I happen to know that the Coop is owned very largely by the same international finance that owns our FTSE-listed companies. There's no regular equity, but there is a huge amount of bonds and PIBs. That is to say, capital raised and freely traded in the City.

  13. Circadian

    MV = PQ = WTF?

    Just checking - but from your description MV = PQ is not an actual equation describing a mathematical expression, but a desired target (like e.g. Moore's Law - a rule of thumb to target, not a "hard" equation)?

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: MV = PQ = WTF?

      Proper equation:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantity_theory_of_money

      1. phil dude
        Joke

        Re: MV = PQ = WTF?

        No partial derivatives?

        P.

  14. Pat Att

    Register, please stick with what you are good at...

    Whenever you branch out into politics, copyrght, or environmental issues, you always disappoint. Please stick to tech, and I'll get my biased rants from The Mail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Register, please stick with what you are good at...

      "Please stick to tech, and I'll get my biased rants from The Mail."

      Oh come now, you won't find this quality of stuff in the Mail.

      I often don't agree with Worstall (though I am pleased when I do) but I mention this.

      When my daughter started engineering at University she complained that they seemed to spend a lot of time doing economics. And I said, yes, so do I, having a clever idea is no good unless someone will pay for it, and they won't pay for it if it loses money.

      Economics is an integral part of technology.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Register, please stick with what you are good at...

        Slight correction required, hope you don't mind.

        "Oh come now, you won't find this quality of stuff in the Mail."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Register, please stick with what you are good at...

        "Economics is an integral part of technology"

        The largest project my previous employer let me loose with was for the processing of waste streams from their part of food industry. part of the planned outcome was to tie buyers of their product to them. While it worked, it was not cost effective and the company got a better rate of return on leaving the money it would take to build/operate in the bank.

    2. Rusty 1

      Re: Register, please stick with what you are good at...

      Well said.

      Would anyone want to read a review of the latest Intel chippery investigated and written by Corbyn? How about a Corbyn comparison of 10G PHYs?

      So Worstall has googled/wikied some economics stuff. Good for you! Why bother us with it, or is it a slow content day?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: is it a slow content day?

        Well, it is the week-end.

        And it's slow enough for you as well, else you wouldn't be commenting here.

        1. Rusty 1

          Re: is it a slow content day?

          Indeed it is the weekend, and that means I'm working. You see that leaves Tuesdays and Wednesdays free for celebrating the great noodliness of the FSM. Your point?

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
            Pint

            My point ?

            You need a beer.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Register, please stick with what you are good at...

        "So Worstall has googled/wikied some economics stuff."

        He's big enough to answer for himself, but my own opinion, fwiw, is that he's done rather more than that.

        The problem with economics is that it attracts brilliant minds, mediocre minds, and cranks. Unlike nuclear physics, where the failure of a crank fusion reactor to get hot is a bit obvious, bad economic ideas may never get spotted - if, for instance, they are adopted at a benign phase of the economic cycle when the only way not to get rich is to spend all your money on cold fusion. Since people rarely want to change things unless the economy is tanking, the adoption of good ideas may still result in failure - so they are seen retrospectively as bad ideas. In physics we can do experiments in controlled conditions, in economics it's more or less impossible. I apologise to educated El Reg readers who have waded through this economics pre-101.

        Mr. Worstall has had to learn economics as part of his day job, rather than it being his day job. John Maynard Keynes invested money for the U of Cambridge and made a good return while Oxford lost money. Like an experimental physicist who knows that e = mc2 but also knows what it takes to prove it, I will take an applied economist over a purely theoretical one any day.

        1. Rusty 1

          Re: Register, please stick with what you are good at...

          The obvious issue is that Worstall is playing the game of being an *observational* "economist", commenting on past events - pretty straight forward, much like predicting the winner of the 17:20 at Pontefract two weeks ago.

          Perhaps Worstall might be better just removing the bee that appears to be in his bonnet.

      3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Register, please stick with what you are good at...@Rusty 1

        Well, in case you hadn't noticed, there is currently an election going on for the leadership of the Labour party in the UK, and Jeremy Corbyn is highly placed in the current polls. And he uses Richard Murphy to justify some of his economic policy.

        So it's actually a very timely article, if you wish to try to influence people to not vote for Jeremy.

        I personally agree with Tim, and think that the policies being proposed are stark raving bonkers, but I don't have the economics background to put a reasoned argument together. Tim, thanks for doing it in a way that is far, far clearer to people like me.

        Whether the Register is a suitable place for this, however, is debatable.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Register, please stick with what you are good at...

        Thanks to this article I finally understand how quantitative easing actually works. And considering the effect it has on employment and business, it's a useful to understand it.

  15. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    So a proud tax avoider wants to tell the powers that be how tax money should be collected?

    How American.

  16. Jason Hindle

    Ex pats should not pay tax!

    They should pay tax wherever they happen to be living. They are already doing Britian a massive favour by not being a drain on the British economy, whether that be through not being unemployed, not needing NHS services or by simply having children (in work allowances, education, child benefit and so on). If you're not using the services of a country, you should not be paying tax there.

  17. graeme leggett

    interesting on Murphy's education

    "He is rather proud of claiming that he ignored his university economics lectures because they were obviously all neo-liberal-inspired. So he worked the whole lot out on his own, from first principles"

    Now I've nothing wrong with the truly gifted who can see the essence of the matter and how it all fits together. But equally there is many a slip betwixt cup and lip. I know how a carburettor works, thermodynamic theory and the Gas laws (Boyle etc) but you don't want me programming your car's engine management system...

    1. Naselus

      Re: interesting on Murphy's education

      Well, he may not have accepted their lectures being put forward, but he did go to university, do an economics degree, and pass it. I'm not even sure if Tim has a degree in anything. A few 'net searches don't show any sign of a serious economics background; he's a fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, but that's pretty much meaningless - other fellows include a senior nurse, a bunch of right-wing journos, a history PhD student, and a mixed bag of CEOs who are rather obviously fans of the idea of not having to pay very much tax.

      Given that generally when Worstall starts spouting analysis about most industres, those who work in the area usually pipe up to say he's talking half-baked twaddle, I'd see little reason to think his economics is any better.

      So all in all, this largely amounts to a pissing contest between a journalist pretending to be an economist and an accountant pretending to be an economist, both of them attempting to use economics they don't really understand to justify ideological positions they arrived at beforehand. Tim doesn't like paying tax and thinks that UKIP is a serious political party, so I don't really rate his opinion any higher than the average man in the pub on matters political; Richard Murphy likes paying tax and thinks Tax Research LLP is a real think tank, despite containing only himself and his wife, so I' d take his advice with a pinch of salt too.

      1. The Axe

        Re: interesting on Murphy's education

        No he did not get an economics degree. He did accounting of which part of it was economics. He didn't take the economics part. Murphy is an accountant, a small time accountant at that.

        If you think being an accountant makes you an economist then feel free to believe Murphy's opinion. I do have a bridge you might like to buy too.

      2. Tim Worstal

        Re: interesting on Murphy's education

        "I'm not even sure if Tim has a degree in anything."

        Amazingly, Murphy and I did pretty much the same degree. Accounting and Finance/ Accounting and Economics. He at Southampton, me at the LSE, about the same time too, early 80s.

        Our technical qualifications in economics are about the same: pretty sparse in fact. Which is why I always say that I am not an economist, just someone interested in the subject.

    2. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: interesting on Murphy's education

      Economics and programming have a few things in common; both are complex sciences with plenty of blind alleys and gotchas into which the unwary and untutored can easily blunder. Self-taught programmers are relatively easy to spot; they tend to be either one-trick ponies, or to turn out pedestrian, uninspired and frequently quite buggy code.

      The same is true of self-taught economists.

      Murphy seems intent on ignoring everyone else's mistakes so that he can make them anew all by himself. There is a rude but highly descriptive word for one who takes this approach: idiot.

      True genius gets to where it is by standing on the shoulders of giants, that is to say by learning from earlier genius in the field and not making the same old mistakes. Murphy is alas no genius and as the original author points out, it is indeed worrying to see him having such an influence on a potential PM.

  18. OldTimer1955

    Godwin's Law - Economics variant

    These Adam Smith chaps are the people who just ploughed the economy into the ground , so when I read:

    "Weimar Germeny" *

    in a discussion on current and suggested QE levels then I walk quietly backwards out of the room trying not to make eye contact: pure Kipper fantasy.

    *sic

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: Godwin's Law - Economics variant

        Didn't the restructuring of the German war reparations, the return of the Ruhr industrial region to German control, and large loans from the US do a lot of the work for stabilizing/recovery from hyperinflation. (Dawes plan)

        And the Republic didn't have much say in that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Godwin's Law - Economics variant

          "And the Republic didn't have much say in that."

          Yes, good comment well expressed. I can't now edit my comment so I've deleted it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Godwin's Law - Economics variant

          "And the Republic didn't have much say in that."

          This wikipedia entry seems like a reasonable primer for those whose childhood didn't include sticking 5 billion Mark postage stamps in their albums

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic

  19. Spotthelemon

    it's true that many of the economic ideas Corbyn puts forward are economically immature but the author is pretty ignorant too. His understanding of money mechanics being noticibly poor.

    The fact is that many academic economists now oppose the neo-liberal nonsense purveyed by politicians, bankers, whose inability to understand their own products caused the crash, and some academic institutions like Harvard whose students walked out in protest at the guff they were taught.

    Corbyn needs help from some of the non neo-liberal economists, perhaps Steve Keen, to fully understand why neo=liberal economics is flawed and teh potential; consequences of pursuing it

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Your comment comes across as a bit of buzzword bingo - so I'm afraid you're going to have to say why you think Worstall's understanding of money mechanics is poor.

      Worstall's understanding of the quantity theory of money and QE seems pretty mainstream to me. There's certainly plenty of debate about cause and effect though - I don't recall whether he's outed himself as a monetarist a Keynesian or somewhere in the middle.

      But my understanding from studying economics, politics and history is that if you get large rises in the money supply you get inflation. The argument in economics is whether the rise in the money supply is the cause or the effect. If you print money, you raise the money supply. If you do it to buy things from foreigners then you get currency devaluation, leading to higher inflation and the need to either make cuts or the temptation to keep on printing, leading to a vicious inflationary cycle.

      You can get away with it for a short while, or on a small scale. Particularly if no-one finds out. But not long term.

      1. Naselus

        "leading to higher inflation and the need to either make cuts or the temptation to keep on printing"

        You did miss an option here - you can raise taxes and not spending. This has anti-inflationary effects, since money that the government receives from taxation is effectively destroyed (just as money that the government spends is not taken from the government, but rather pops into existence as needed). In a fiat currency system, it's largely meaningless for a government to borrow in its own currency. Moreover, taxes used in this way can take the 'surplus' money from where it's genuinely in surplus - those of us who spend less than half our wages one rent and food. Someone on 150k a year (the 45% tax rate) will be less hurt by a tax rise of 10% to cover the cash influx at the bottom.

        Corbyn's team are not economic illiterates. They are clued up on the relevant theories and the literature behind them. The question isn't whether Corbynomics or MMT would work - of course it would work, any complete economic theory does; even 'Socialism in one country' made a crippled, backward Russian Empire into the second most powerful country on earth for forty years - but whether it would work better than the current approach for more people. Given how badly the current approach is failing the majority, there's a good chance it will.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          @ Naselus

          "You did miss an option here - you can raise taxes and not spending. This has anti-inflationary effects"

          Raising tax is one of those often ill thought through events with horrible knock on effects and a great deal of damage, but it sits well with ideology and popularism. This is where the laffer curve really makes its mark of balancing the need to collect tax and the need of a working economy. Too far the wrong way and you dont collect as much tax as you could or damage the economy.

          The French raised tax, those who could afford to avoid being robbed left. In the UK labour pushed up the higher rate of tax and collected much less, the coalition reduced it a little and got a lot more.

          As for a working socialist country, I know of only 1. North Korea is a shining example of working socialism where the people are brought down to the same level and the state is the ultimate authority (for the good of the people). It does mean a massive change in society (repression) and the freequent problems of a state that ties up resources (famine). The Russian success failed when they couldnt conquer and pillage any more countries. It did well lasting less than a lifetime though.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: @ Naselus

            Soviet never did well under communism.

            Please understand that, although militarily powerful, the standard of living has always been awful there. Unless you were one of the more equal piggies.

  20. Alistair Dabbs

    Utility not income

    Ah, that's why I work longer hours for less money than ever before. I ought to be asking for more utility.

    1. BlokeOnMotorway

      Re: Utility not income

      You ought to be writing more articles so we have to put up with fewer repeats...

    2. The Axe

      Re: Utility not income

      You've obviously not watched the latest TV series presented by Ben Fogle where people make the decision to do more utility and make less money.

  21. TeeCee Gold badge

    Yes, but.

    there's plenty of sensible left-leaning economists out there who do know one end of a curve from another.

    The slight problem with that approach is that anyone with any basic knowledge of economics knows that this "anti-austerity at all costs" approach is economic suicide. Look at France under Hollande[1] for where that particular five-year plan leads.

    To find an "economic advisor" who's actually prepared to produce an economic plan based on that populist but mind-numbingly stupid platform, you have to step outside the field of economics.

    [1] I'm not convinced that knowing that Corbyn, if elected, would likely end up in the same position as Hollande of being the most unpopular leader ever, amidst the economic wreckage of the country, is any comfort.

  22. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Flipping and flopping supply of the Great Game and great games delivers grand sub-prime con games

    And the BoE has told us how it will be reversed.

    Currently, those QE bonds they've bought mature, a bit at a time. So, currently, they buy more to keep the stock stable as they do mature. At some point they'll stop doing that. And so as they do mature, in order to roll them over (the British government very rarely indeed repays actual debt) the government will have to sell new bonds out into the market in order to pay the BoE. Who then accept the money and cancel it, thus reversing QE.

    Of course, if there is inherent base deception in the plan are all bets off, and all hell can and therefore will break loose in the madness and mayhem of markets in manipulation and executive maladministration, Tim.

    "Right. Willingness to spend is called 'velocity.' For inflation to happen, there has to be both. Money and velocity*."

    "So why are there different kinds of money?"

    "Different velocities. Cash in someone's pocket gets spent faster than in a six-month CD. So their velocities are different. Money supply's a mix, not just a single number. M0, M1, M2**are all attempts to describe that mix."

    "And the Fed controls them all?"

    "Probably not. Not easily, anyway. Interest rates let them do it for short-term money. But not bonds. Control's a lot harder there."

    "But they do control it?"

    "With difficulty. Great difficulty."

    "How?"

    "Deception."

    "Sir?"

    "They lie, Will." Good, got his name right. "If they want people to spend money faster, they make everyone think inflation's just around the corner. Want it socked away? Make everyone think deflation's about to hit. It's a game. A confidence game."

    "Like a con game?"

    "Sort of. Make people confident their money will be worth more tomorrow and they'll save it. Convince them it'll be worth less and they'll spend it. Control confidence and you control velocity."

    "And the Fed lies to do this?"

    "Misleads. Misleads is a better word."

    "They don't lie?"

    "Sometimes. When they have to. But deception is better. Honest deception."

    "They trick people?"

    "It's the only way, son. The only way." …. Thieves Emporium

    If news/media/information/intelligence do not show you the truth, are you conned and living in virtual reality projects being daily reprogrammed, and currently being done extremely badly? What continuities and dynamic projects are you part of the scenery and/or qubit players in?

    And is IT for real war in those spaces and unbelievably lucrative and rewarding and creative and disruptive and destructive too?

  23. JohnMurray

    "The slight problem with that approach is that anyone with any basic knowledge of economics knows that this "anti-austerity at all costs" approach is economic suicide"

    But so is "austerity at all costs"

    Since "the great and good" of both economics and politics have led us into an "anti-austerity" economic wilderness, closely being followed by an "austerity wilderness", I am inclined to think that the inhabitants of both economic and politic worlds are nowhere near as good as they think themselves to be. To be more precise, they are both more inclined to feather their nests by removing feathers from other nests, than they are to be either moral, or honest. And being lectured by a politician on living within our means and running our household budget in the black, when his family are serial tax avoiders and millionaires...............................................and he has never lived within his means, just others....

    Anyway...who gives a shit. No political party, or politician is trustworthy. The phrase "nest of crooks" springs to mind.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Who's pursued "austerity at all costs though"? The UK are still running a budget deficit of nearly £80 billion. Down from £150 billion in 2010. Sure there have been cuts, but not as huge as some people would have you think. The US continued stimulus for longer, and then had some pretty steep cuts because of the gridlock, and not renewing various tax cuts.

      Now austerity at all costs was imposed on Greece. With truly disastrous results. But even then, there was an alternative. If Greece were willing to leave the Euro, they could have a sane economic policy.

      Ireland, Spain and Portugal have had some pretty heavy cuts though. But again - that's more part of being in an unworkable currency union and trying to force economics to submit to politics. Which they're still managing to do - but I'm not sure how long they can keep it up. Of course they only made less than half the cuts that Greece was forced to, and 2 of them are back to growth.

      The really ideological austerity fetishists are in Germany. Who are running a budget surplus, despite having the cheapest government borrowing in their history available - and infrastructure investment at a low. But they're also running at historically low levels of unemployment and huge levels of exports. Actually I'd argue that's a bad thing, Germany is becoming a less equal society and damaging the Euro because of it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh puhleeze

    Here we go with one "economist" trying to bandy about equations to attack another one, pretending that this charlatan's field is actually a science. MV = Qyadayada. The quote from Mark Twain seems much more appropriate to this right-wing nut who has been "fighting the ideas for 10 years" (so that would be since well before the crisis that discredited your entire field, then?).

    Just to pick on a single point. What exactly is wrong with printing money and bypassing the banking system to spend it directly on people's home insulation (or whatever). That is EXACTLY what fiscal spending is: spending. Whether you give it to a corporation to build a road (or fleece the NHS), or you give it directly to individuals, it's the same thing, idiot. And if it's the BoE printing directly, that's a debt against the credibility of the currency, not that different from the current printing of bonds by the government which, this clever d1ck suggests, will at some stage be repaid. Earth to Worstall. The debt will NEVER be repaid. At best it will be inflated away, which is *exactly* the same thing as printing money directly.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Oh puhleeze

      A bit too ranty, and very much too ignorant of basic economics.

      Inflation is too much money, seeking too few goods. That pushes the price up, as you've only got so many goods to go round - however much money you have. Hence the spectacle of billion mark or Zimbabwe dollar notes.

      If the government sells bonds, then someone has to buy those bonds. With money. They give that money to the government in exchange for the bond. So the government can spend that money. So the money supply has remained the same.

      If the government has printed money, and therefore not sold a corresponding bond, then the money supply has grown. Thus there is now more money around, so all things being equal that will result in the price of goods and/or labour going up.

      Obviously if you're way below full employment, then wages need not rise. The government of Greece say could easily print a few billion (if only they were allowed to) and pay some of those unemployed people to do something useful. That would grow the economy, as they'd then have cash to spend on other people's goods and services - and yet with unemployment at 25% - you need to employ a lot of people before you start pushing wages up.

      Actually it would cause some inflation, but as Greece currently has -2% inflation, that would actually be a good thing for their economy.

      For Britain, which has much lower unemployment and is now getting some welcome small wage inflation, printing would be inflationary. Inflation is low, we might even get away with bit anyway. But the hit to the credibility of our government might be disproportionately large, such that inflation expectations suddenly rise, leading to an inflationary devaluation in the currency - and the requirement to have higher interest rates or inflation than otherwise needed.

  25. Mark Storm

    The inflation argument has been addressed by many, many, many economists.

    http://www.neweconomicperspectives.org/

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "People's QE"

    I've seen relatively little serious analysis of "People's QE", so this article is welcome. 'Though IMO the personal animosity gets in the way of the argument.

    Simon Wren-Lewis comments on "People's QE" here - http://mainlymacro.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/peoples-qe-and-corbyns-qe.html . [Spolier - he doesn't think it's a good idea either, but for different reasons].

  27. mrcatfunt

    not just eiritrea and US

    Spain do the same thing

  28. wolfetone Silver badge

    I still don't know whether Worstall is a Conservative donor, a Tory voter, or a Troll being given a platform like Katie Hopkins.

    Either way, I'm not interested.

    1. The Axe

      Worstall is an ex-UKIP press officer and someone who controls the world's supply of Scandium.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
        Trollface

        And, I'm reliably informed, sits with a white cat on his lap, stroking it...

        1. Tim Worstal

          Just for the record, I do not stroke my lap.

          I have people who do that for me.....

  29. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    Not impressed

    I'm no economist and I'm not going to start arguing the toss with Tim about all those formulas, although I must say it's hard to take a writer seriously when he uses terms such as "lefty". However in the context of the current worldwide insanity (central banks printing like crazy to buy up bonds and stocks) my naive view saw nothing in the article which really sounded all that bad, relatively speaking!

    The average voter will not understand the formulae either but may be very tempted to vote for someone like Jeremy Corbyn as a change from all the smooth Westminster lookalikes infesting their TV screens every night.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Not impressed

      "The average voter will not understand the formulae either but may be very tempted to vote for someone like Jeremy Corbyn as a change from all the smooth Westminster lookalikes infesting their TV screens every night."

      Actually, a lot of the appeal may come down to this, especially with the alienated young voters. Having said that I was shocked (shocked, I tell you) when discussing the Labour leadership issue with friends to hear the opinion, with much nodding of heads, that David Milliband would have made a better leader "BECAUSE HE LOOKS LIKE A BUSINESSMAN".

      Me? I'd vote for the bloke or blokesss in the icon if they had fire in the belly and good policies.

      1. The Axe

        Re: Not impressed

        Corbyn has fire in his belly, but his policies are total fairy stories.

        The problem is that the public at large has been fed lies about the depression being all due to evil bankers and so won't understand or want to understand economics theory. Now its true that economics has not been totally sorted out, that's why we have Adam Smith people and Keynes people with polar opposite views as to what is true economics, but just looking back at history and using empirical evidence from countries like Venezuela, Corbyn's economic policies can be seen as a total disaster.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Not impressed

      Joe Harrison,

      in the context of the current worldwide insanity (central banks printing like crazy to buy up bonds and stocks)

      This isn't total insanity. I believe QE worked in Japan in the 1930s. But it's the mainstream response to people studying the 1930s depression over the intervening years. Economics tried to learn someothing from why that happened. Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve made his name on the topic, and so happened to be in the right place at the right time to test his theories. And seems to have done a retty good job, there was no repeat of the Great Depression.

      Note that the things governments got wrong were:

      To stay on the gold standard too long, which caused the money supply to collapse. Causing deflation, which lead to a drop in demand and businesses to sack people they could no longer afford to employ.

      To let the banks go bust, destroying confidence in banks leading to a cascade of failures.

      Cutting government spending too much, leading to an even bigger drop in demand in the economy.

      So most governments did make cuts, but much more slowly, and they compensated by lowering interest rates, doing QE and bailing out the banks.

      Note that the Eurozone is a bit like the gold standard in our current example, and so those countries in trouble have struggled to fix their problems, hence the problems in Spain, Ireland, Portugal etc. And the total disaster, and hideous policy clusterfuck, in Greece.

  30. wolfmeister

    ha ha ha

    even Corbyn bashing in the Register. priceless!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: ha ha ha

      What's wrong with Corbyn-bashing? As long as it's polite, and is attacking his policies.

      As many people believe that a lot of his policies would have seriously bad effects, it makes sense to point that out before he's elected Labour leader. People can then make their own minds up as to whether that criticism is fair or not.

      As a Conservative voter, I still believe in a strong opposition. Parties that are in power for too long lose their grip. They risk becoming corrupt, incapable of having new ideas, riven by factions, or all three.

      It is my belief that Corbyn is un-electable. Someone viewed as competent with Ed Miliband's policies might well get a good hearing from the electorate. Corbyn appears to be further to the left of him. Being seen as principled I'd imagine will be good for his political image - but on the economy I think he's too far out of step with the majority of the electorate.

  31. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Whereas the QE to date

    _should_ have produced at least 30% inflation. Instead it resulted in the economy treading water.

    And there's no recession because.....?

    (Answer: because the economy didn't change or decrease, despite all that extra money sloshing around the system, being pumped in as fast as the underlaying economy contracted)

    At least the chinese will have some pretty good infrastructure to show for their version of QE. All that's happened here is that some people ended up with a lot of money and most ended up with less.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whereas the QE to date

      "All that's happened here is that some people ended up with a lot of money"

      Quite a lot of which is tied up in virtual money in the form of house prices. Which is why they are desperate not to solve the housing problem, because that would entail a very significant fall in prices.

      People who live in houses and who own them don't care because we have to live somewhere, but people who have e.g paid £800k for a 2 bed ex council flat in a tower block in the East End as an investment might be looking at what happened to Tokyo in the 80s and be very worried indeed.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Whereas the QE to date

        Which is why they are desperate not to solve the housing problem

        Sorry, what housing problem?

        I didn't step over any homeless on my way to work today. Didn't even see any, and I've travelled through a couple of counties to be here. I've previously demonstrated how a minimum wage couple can buy a starter home within a shorter commute than I have, so affordability isn't a problem. Perhaps then, the "housing problem" is simply one of inflated expectations?

        People who live in houses and who own them don't care because we have to live somewhere

        Not accurate in the least little bit.

        People that have bought homes require the ability to sell it an buy another. That requires they not be in negative equity. And that, you guessed it, requires that prices not fall faster than their mortgage repayment. There's always people who just bought their first place in the run up to a dip.

        Prices in London might turn down for a while - they seem overheated. That doesn't equate to a crash. The kind of crash that would take prices back to even 2008 levels simply isn't coming.

        1. amanfromarse

          Re: Whereas the QE to date

          @lucrelout

          I didn't step over any homeless on my way to work today. Didn't even see any, and I've travelled through a couple of counties to be here.

          I don't even have to point out how ludicrous that statement is.

          I've previously demonstrated how a minimum wage couple can buy a starter home within a shorter commute than I have, so affordability isn't a problem.

          No you haven't, you absolutely haven't. You posted some flawed figures that completely depended on external factors that only exist in your worldview. You claiming a fait accompli based on that post is hilarious.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Whereas the QE to date

            No you haven't, you absolutely haven't. You posted some flawed figures that completely depended on external factors that only exist in your worldview.

            There were no flaws.

            One last time for the hard of learning.

            2 people working a full time 40 hour week, gives a pre-tax joint salary of £27,040. Using a mortgage multiple of just 3.5 times joint, we get to a mortgage of £94,640. A 10% deposit, which can be saved by working overtime, gives us a total of £104,104.

            Now, last time out nobody, absolutely nobody, could find a postcode in any large town or city that I could not find a starter property within a 40 mile commute at that price.

            Things get even better for todays minimum wage couple, because in four or five years they'll be earning at least £37,440 joint, giving them a new grand total of £144,144. (2 people x 40 hours x 52 weeks x £9 x 3.5 x 1.1 to add on the 10% deposit)

            Hence, the real problem with property is one of expectations.

            You claiming a fait accompli based on that post is hilarious.

            No nearly so funny as you claiming I'm wrong but still not being able to find one single post code... not one. The numbers are facts. You refusing to accept them doesn't diminish their being facts.

  32. wolfmeister

    All i can say is this, there is absolutely without ANY doubt an actual full blown conspiracy going on now by the press and media to do everything it possibly can to prevent ANY change from the HYPER-NEO-CLASSICAL system we've established or are almost done establishing (I've never heard of 'neo-liberal economic theory' b4 btw).

    Even the Guardian is enraging it's readers by smearing Corbyn almost daily; and you'll note even in the Daily Mail comments the readers are disagreeing in the majority with the paper's stance on Corbyn... it's all backfiring, and hence now skulduggery is being proposed at labour HQ to keep him out.

    The voters are to get ONE choice... for continuation of an absolute corporate/banking hegemony & coup of all democratic process. Thats the plan and the 3 main parties are all for it.

    I've never voted Labour, but would if Corbyn gets it & his proposals become labour's manifesto I will, and so will a huge percentage of british people who are all seeing their lifestyle being destroyed & who see ZERO hope for their children.

    The establishment and all the tax dodging newspaper owners are absolutely cr*pping themselves that an alternative appears because they know damned well the majority will go for it!

    For a great 101 on 'globalism' economics (you've prolly seen it, but if not):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGUNbSm8T5A

    have a nice day. But seriously Register? even here?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Even the Guardian is enraging it's readers by smearing Corbyn almost daily"

      Not "even" the Guardian, that's exactly what you expect. They want a Labour government that looks kindly on well paid journalists.

      In Saturday's Guardian one of their journalists suggested that a £20000, 146mph Polo was just the thing for his parents to buy for a 19 year old. Reflect on that and a lot of things about the Guardian become clear.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      The Guardian are a Labour paper. They think Corbyn will knacker the party they support. Opposing him therefore makes sense. I've seen no smears in there against him, please point some out if you have. All I've seen is disagreement. Which surely is part of normal politics. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

      It may be we need PR. So we can have centre left and further left parties, as well as centre right, libertarian, green, nationalist and whatever else. Then we'd get to see who really supports what.

      The problem then, is that you've no idea what you'll get after the election. Which is the reason I don't like PR. But politics have to work, and if not enough voters can agree on being in the two main parties, then PR is a better solution that watching them becoming more and more remote from teh voters.

      Also, remember the vitriol is not one way. The number of Corbyn's supporters who've been screaming that anyone inside Labour who disagrees with them is an evil Tory is unpleasantly large. It's looking uncomfortably close to splitting the main opposition, and leaving us with an effective one party state - until we get a new opposition sorted out. And that worries me as much as Corbyn's policies (which I also believe to be economically illiterate).

      1. Naselus

        "The Guardian are a Labour paper"

        The Guardian are a NEW Labour paper. They think that a man who has caused party membership to increase 50%, and who has a higher appeal to the electorate than any of his leadership rivals, is a bad thing for the party. They're worried about infiltration by socialism, which is an odd thing for a paper which supports a socialist party to be worried about. They even wheeled Tony Blair out, for God's sake; and then had to wheel him out AGAIN when they realised that their readers hate him.

        As to believing Corbyn's policies are bad or good - whatever. Who cares. We have elections to determine that. The risk of splits in the Labour party presently are microscopic; they may lose some Progress Ltd twats like Chukka Ummuna or Liz Kendall, but I doubt they'd actually follow through on threats to leave, since Corbyn will control their re-election funds at that point and Doug Carswell set a dangerous precident by insisting on contesting his own seat when he left the Tories last year. The the parliamentary Labour party has been dominated by the right for a long time, and is not actually a fair reflection of the base anymore; this has caused a haemorrhaging of 'old labour' support to UKIP and the SNP over the past decade and (since Ed's platform was largely 'austerity is the right course of action, but we want to do less of it than the Tories do') has left our political scene as 'do you want tory policies from the tories or second-hand tory policies from labour?'. The floating voters are now pretty much willing to accept a shafting from any leader who can eat a bacon sandwich without looking like a berk.

        The epic efforts that the centre-right of the labour party have been going to over the past week or two to try and either prevent the vote, or prevent as many people as possible voting in it, has pretty much killed any chance of anyone but Corbyn winning now. Burham and Cooper (forget Kendall) are both too heavily associated with what seems an awful lot like an anti-democratic attempt to maintain control over the party and keep the staggering corpse of New Labour upright, despite it's comprehensive rejection by the electorate twice in a row (in the face of a Tory government that probably has the least amount of genuine talent in it since 1950).

        This leadership election is pretty much the belated funeral of New Labour; if Corbyn had stood 5 years ago I think we'd have seen the same thing then, too. Whether that amounts to the death of the Labour Party is highly questionable. I'd suggest that it could go either way. But continuing the New Labour approach at this stage is even more certain certain to fail; the Tories can always say that New Labour policies were the ones that crashed the economy (even though those policies were supported across the floor), the Old Labour remnants no longer feel that the various Westminster spivs represent them and are fleeing to other parties, and the younger generation see all 'normal' politicos as the same.

        New Labour and their highly choreographed politics of presentation is done. Whether Corbynomics is the replacement or not, doesn't really matter; the Westminster consensus of the past 30 years is over. You can bet that Cameron will face much harsher questioning from Corbyn than he ever did from Ed Milliband - Milliband was agreeing with half the things that Cameron was doing even as he attempted to push his buttons. Corbyn outright hates everything in the Tory agenda.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Neither main party is much of a good representation of their base. That's because they want to get elected. But the two big parties memberships have hollowed out over the years, such that the majority of their supporters and campaigners seem to be further from the centre than their MPs and leadership.

          Which is why you find almost as much anti-Cameron vitriol in the Telegraph as you will in the Guardian or Mirror. And I'd guess why Cameron has consistently polled as more popular personally than the Conservative Party.

          The Americans have a similar situation, where Donald Trump appears to be appealing to the Republican base at the primaries. But I suspect would get slaughtered at the national election. Although early leaders in the primaries do tend to get slaughtered before the end.

          If Corbyn doesn't win at this point, it's going to leave painful scars, and either Burnham or Cooper will have their work cut out to heal the party.

          But if he does win, I can't see Labour's parliamentary party holding together. They might be no formal split, but they will be totally unable to work together. There's blame on both sides for that, but a serial rebel like Corbyn has no right to claim anyone else's loyalty. And there have been some pretty hair-raising comments from some of his supporters about purging the opposition.

          Even if he had the best policies in the world, if he can't command the loyalty of his own party, he can't win an election. Miliband was given a reasonably easy ride by the Parliamentary party. There was no more grumbling than any other leader has to face - and he did well at keeping the party united. Corbyn has no hope of that. If he wins it will be a horrible mess.

        2. Lallabalalla

          All this talk of left wing infiltration is utter rubbish.

          Compared to the other politicians on offer of *every* party, almost anyone looks left wing.

          You are seeing the return of the previously disaffected middle ground. The 2,000,000 who marched against the Iraq war and the 3,000,000 who couldn't make it that day, and were ignored.

          We have had nobody to vote for in years. Finally somebody is standing up and saying "enough" to all the lying cheating money grubbing scumbags who make the sick, unployed, mentally ill and disabled pay for their greed.

          Corbyn may not have everything right. But he is a hell of a lot righter on things that I think are truly important. Decency, honesty, supporting the weak and enabling the majority.

          He may not be perfect but like the grateful dead - it's not that he's the best at what he does. He's the only one who does what he does.

          So he gets my vote.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        The Guardian are a Labour paper. They think Corbyn will knacker the party they support.

        Terrifying isn't it? The Guardian might actually have gotten something right for the first timein its modern history.

        remember the vitriol is not one way. The number of Corbyn's supporters who've been screaming that anyone inside Labour who disagrees with them is an evil Tory is unpleasantly large.

        Yes, the left have always been good at emotive polemic, vitriol, and hate. Not so much with economics, business, finance, etc.

        This is the civil war I've warned of previously. Its already started and they haven't even elected a leader yet. Come 2020, when Corbyn gets hammered, that's when the fireworks will really begin.

        It's looking uncomfortably close to splitting the main opposition, and leaving us with an effective one party state - until we get a new opposition sorted out.

        Yup, and that'll be good for nobody. Which is why, at this point, I think the best thing Labour can do for the country is to dissolve the party and allow new opposition parties to emerge. They won't, of course, because they've always been the party of self interest and greed. As a former chief exec once said to me, there's no greed like unionised greed.

      3. Lallabalalla

        What guardian stories are anti Corbyn?

        Almost everything the guardian prints. Show me an article that isn't!

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "The problem then, is that you've no idea what you'll get after the election. Which is the reason I don't like PR."

        What you get with PR tends to be a government of compromise. This is a good thing.

        Governments work best when the decisionmakers de jure are _not_ free to ram ideologically extreme laws through virtually unopposed.

        FWIW even the conservative govts of the mid-late 20th century would be seen as left wing these days. It isn't just the USA that's lurched to the right since 1980.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          @ Alan Brown

          "FWIW even the conservative govts of the mid-late 20th century would be seen as left wing these days. It isn't just the USA that's lurched to the right since 1980."

          Thats a seriously moving target. Our liberals used to be right wing compared to now and a lot of views Through history would have only been acceptable in the BNP. A while ago I read an interesting theory concerning the US and European political views. Europe fought the nazis who as well as being nationalists were considered right wing, and so europe lurched hard left. The US had more of an issue with the communists and as a result pulled right. I dont know how valid the theory is but the outcome is the same. The lurch right by 'new labour' was a jump towards the middle (capitalism, but government not market controlled) while the tories edge further and further left to deny labour a moderate platform.

          If the tories go much further left they will be new labour and we will need a right wing party to step into the void.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      The voters are to get ONE choice... for continuation of an absolute corporate/banking hegemony & coup of all democratic process. Thats the plan and the 3 main parties are all for it.

      An amusing turn of phrase for sure.

      The reason there isn't great economic ground between the main parties is the inescapable fact that most people have never had it so good. And things are going to keep getting better still as we become a lower tax, lower welfare, higher wage, and high employment economy.

      who see ZERO hope for their children.

      If you see no hope for your children then I pity them. I see not only hope for mine, but vast potential to do far better than I. The future is uncertain, but then the future always has been. It's why each generation continues to find it fascinating.

      1. amanfromarse

        @lucrelout

        The reason there isn't great economic ground between the main parties is the inescapable fact that most people have never had it so good.

        You != most people.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          You != most people.

          I obey the law (speeding aside). I work hard. I pay taxes. I am moderately well educated. I own a home with a mortgage. I'm married, with kids. I'd say that is a fair description of most adults, perhaps not the married part, but the rest of it is.

          Taxes are falling for the first time in a generation. The economy is growing. Unemployment is the lowest its been in a very long time. Things are getting better.

          1. Fraggle850

            @LucreLout: Okay except you're wrong about the owning your house bit

            Large scale home ownership was a blip for the baby-boomers and the younger generation are returning to the norm of predominantly rented. Thatcher managed to revive it a little with the council housing sell-off conjuring trick but it's left us in a poor position to deal with the return to the norm.

            Government should meddle in some markets, housing is a prime example.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "Taxes are falling for the first time in a generation."

            They won't for long. 60 years of economic mismanagement is about to come home to roost in the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

            Pensioners account for more than 80% of the welfare budget when all aspects are taken into account (pensions, housing benefit, free buses, fuel allowances, etc) and that budget is going to need to _double_ by 2025 at the same time as the ratio of taxpayers to pensioners hits the lowest figure ever.

            Saving a couple of billion by demonising the unemployed and disabled is easy because there are so few of them that even if they did all get out and vote it'd make little difference. The harsh reality is that increased pensions will blow that saving apart every year for the next decade - and any move to curb all the vote-buying perks will result in pensioners voting en-masse.

            If you want taxes to fall then you'd better be a fan of getting rid of those in govt who primarily exist to justify middle managment retiring on larger fixed salary pensions (the more people working under someone, the higher their pay grade, no matter if they're all sitting round twiddling their thumbs) and eliminating the parasitic middle layers of governmental organisations which haven't needed to exist since computerisation eliminated any real need to shuffle paper (computerising without removing these people is the primary reason why modernisation projects have failed - the target is to eliminate as many people as possible between the coalface and the CEO whilst lightening the load on the coalface (or being able to hire more of them) - if you don't eliminate those layers of management then you are doomed to failure form the outset as they will handbrake everything in order to continue justifying their own existence.)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't help but think that this article has come about solely due to a Murphy quote being used on Tim's Wikipedia page.

  34. Edlem

    if Richard Murphy is "the economics 'genius' behind Jeremy Corbyn", does that make Tim "the economics 'genius' behind Nigel Farage"?

    1. Tim Worstal

      Not really, no......I can claim some credit for some of Ukip's income tax policies but more in a "Hey, this is a bonzer idea" sense than "I've worked this out and you should do it" one.

      1. Edlem

        So when you give a politico advice then it's "can claim some credit", but when someone else does it they're "the economics 'genius' behind"?

        Bit snide, Shirley?

  35. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    WTF?

    Is this a primarily computer oriented online rag with a hint of science, wit and general joviality or a personal voice for New bloody Statesman?

    Including a bit of politics is one thing but this extended 'opinion' (it's not a story) is just ridiculous.

    Please, in the role of El-Reg Ed, have the balls to say 'No.' and pull the plug sometimes ... if I wanted crap 'lefty bashing' I'd be reading the Sun ...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: WTF?

      You know you're not actually forced to read it don't you? Worstall articles are pretty easy to spot, so just don't click on them. Then your problem is solved.

      If you can't cope with reading contrary opinions, then you'll be kept nice and safe. Although I notice you haven't actually pointed out anywhere where Worstall is actually wrong...

      It would be nice if El Reg could get a tame lefty to come on and mud wrestle with Worstall though.

  36. Blitheringeejit

    Just askin'

    Given the massive unpopularity of all politicians with the general public ... if Labour becomes sufficiently unelectable, would that mean they might get back to being a popular movement...?

  37. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    In a nutshell?

    Corbyn = return to stealth taxation and your money being spoken for just after you receive it with what little that is left over not being worth very much?

    Unless, of course, your income is publicly funded, with no redundancy rules writ in L-A-R-G-E, guaranteed increases in income, astounding pension paid for out of the public purse, wonderful rellocation T&Cs, ... in which case you will probably covertly, overtly or covertly & overtly pushing, influencing, taunting the Corbyn way?

    The poor wee man probably has no idea why he has been catapulted to fame and notoriety (also described as: we got a right pussy cat here?)?

    No?

    (Or to put it colloquially: the daft t*at?)?

  38. Fraggle850

    It's exactly this kind of pie in the sky left wing ideology the labour movement

    When I was a teenager I saw the miners strike and the internal struggles within the left that led to the destruction of the unions, the breakaway SDP and, eventually, the rise of tory-lite 'new' labour.

    My father was a trade unionist in the '70s and took a role on the committee. He tells me that you couldn't get a key role in the union unless you were known to be solidly communist (they made him treasurer where he wasn't in a position to do any damage) The important roles all went to trotskyites, who were then in a position to advise the poorly informed workers who or what to vote for in any ballot, ensuring that extremists held all the top positions.

    The net result of all this ideological shenanigans led to the unions taking on pointless fights that were not in the interests of their members. Indeed, I've heard it said that management would wind up the unions in order to shut down production when it suited them.

    I seriously doubt whether a return to extremist left wing ideology will ultimately benefit the people at the bottom, all it has ever done is let them down.

    1. Fraggle850

      Re: It's exactly this kind of pie in the sky left wing ideology the labour movement

      Jeez, that was a quick downvote! Any justification?

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

        Re: It's exactly this kind of pie in the sky left wing ideology the labour movement

        Sadly some downvotes only seem to express that the downvoter notices a commenter having a different opinion.

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

      Re: It's exactly this kind of pie in the sky left wing ideology the labour movement

      Good points. Extremism is to be avoided for the reasons you state. And this applies to left and right equally. I'm looking more for some rebalancing of policy options and less "there is no alternative".

      1. Fraggle850

        Re: It's exactly this kind of pie in the sky left wing ideology the labour movement

        Wholly agree. I think we all deserve a more nuanced and honest democracy but that can't be achieved under the current setup. Who would dare tinker with the workings of our hallowed democracy? Where's the disruptive technology when you need it?

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: It's exactly this kind of pie in the sky left wing ideology the labour movement

      "Indeed, I've heard it said that management would wind up the unions in order to shut down production when it suited them."

      It's still happening - the Tube strikes are _exactly_ what this is about.

  39. smartypants

    Corbyn is good for democracy

    ...because it's about time people with that world view had their party back. I don't particularly agree with that sort of world view, but parliament is a bit dull when all the main parties are trying to look different while all actually being thatcherite to this or that extent.

    What Blair did was to win elections by being a 'fluffy tory'. The fluff soon wore off when he realised that he had a calling from God to throw some more petrol on the middle east, but as a totally middle-of-the-road type of voter, it was easy to push a vote his way in the beginning.

    Now at least with Corbyn, the people who want that sort of thing can feel enfranchised again, which makes me happy.

  40. axdouglas

    Next time, do some research first

    You've mastered some basic textbook economics. But you don't seem to know anything about either QE or Murphy's proposed 'People's QE'.

    Existing QE was not meant, as you propose, 'to increase M in order to prevent a collapse in P and or Q'. The Bank of England published a report very carefully explaining the transmission channels through which QE was meant to work. The idea was to push down the yield curve and thus encourage borrowing, spending, and investment. If you want to force this into your quantity equation, it would make the most to say that the point was to increase V, through higher asset prices (http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/quarterlybulletin/qb110301.pdf).

    Another BoE report makes it very explicit that the point of QE is NOT, as you suggest, to increase M0: 'As a by-product of QE, new central bank reserves are created. But these are not an important part of the transmission mechanism.' (http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/quarterlybulletin/2014/qb14q1prereleasemoneycreation.pdf) Nor does the creation of new CB reserves necessarily amount to an *increase* in M0, since, as the same bulletin explains, the BoE *always* supplies banks with the reserves they require given their volume of lending, QE or no QE. The reserves supplied via QE thus let the BoE off the hook with regard to supplying reserves through other channels; the net effect on M0 is then zero.

    Murphy's PQE is no less reversible than existing QE. In the existing version, government bonds are bought by the BoE. In Murphy's version, the national investment bank (an agent of the government) issues bonds, which are bought by the BoE. In either case the BoE can stop buying the bonds, if, for instance, it starts to worry about missing its inflation target. Then, as you say, the issuers of the bonds will need to sell them on the market or retire them using tax revenue.

    The idea is that if PQE adds enough investment to get the economy growing at a healthy rate, the resulting increase in tax revenue can finance the retirement of the bonds. Then the BoE doesn't need to keep buying them. It's the same if private investment picks up; this eliminates the need for PQE and also supplies the tax revenue required to end it.

    You need to understand how the policies work to have a productive debate on this. That requires doing some empirical research into the institutional frameworks; you can't find the answers in the back of an A-Level textbook.

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: Next time, do some research first

      "The Bank of England published a report very carefully explaining the transmission channels through which QE was meant to work. The idea was to push down the yield curve and thus encourage borrowing, spending, and investment."

      Err, yes, I say that, that they wanted people to move out along the risk curve in the chase for yield.

    2. Fat Northerner

      Re: Next time, do some research first

      The BoE are full of retards.

      If you asked me in my job to solve a problem, and I couldn't, then I'd be sacked.

      There are too many people from excellent universities, with high grades in subjects which attract thick people, getting into power.

      I'd give every one in the Treasury, the BoE and the FCA, the request to solve it or be sacked.

      This would then yield results.

      Too many innumerate posh middle class management types.

  41. Zog The Undeniable

    You're missing the point, Tim

    Corbyn will never be PM and I'm sure he knows it; the Nasty Party are pretty sure to win a third term since re-election of ANY party depends more on the state of the economy (which is bound up more with the world trade cycle than anything else) and, barring Islamic fundies nuking the City or something, I don't see a global crash in the next five years since we're only just emerging from such a long depression. Then we'll probably get Boris for the third term and by the end of that the wheels will have come off the economy (not necessarily Boris's fault, as I said, the government always gets the blame for what's happening in the trade cycle) so Labour will be back in, but Corbyn will have retired.

    What Corbyn will give Labour, and what they probably want right now, is an effective opposition. They know they can't get Cameron out for the next five years, and they almost certainly know they can't do it in 2020 either. So it doesn't matter.

    1. JohnMurray

      Re: You're missing the point, Tim

      We are not emerging from it...we're bumping along at the bottom of the trench. Many of the failings that led to the collapse are still there, and still failing.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: You're missing the point, Tim

      the Nasty Party

      YAWN!

      Yes, they hate the poor so much they want to make them rich. Labour, the real nasty party, simply don't care how much suffering their followers must endure, so long as they get to hurt "the rich" - a phrase that turns out to simply mean "Anyone who works".

      Watching the nasty, hate filled, swivel eyed invective of the left turning in on itself is quite a spectacle to behold. I've always found it distasteful... concealing it was something Blair did well.

      the government always gets the blame for what's happening in the trade cycle

      They do, but that isn't why labour governments get elected. They get elected because kids who are too young to have lived through their last term in power get to vote. When those kids grow up a little and realise what they've actually voted for, they stop voting and the Conservatives return to office to fix up the mess. And so it goes.

      Having been one of "the stupid", Labour will always have a place in my heart as the first party I voted for, a bit like a first love, but this time around they'll have to convince me they've learned their economic lessons and can be trusted with the economy. That Corbyn is so popular shows they haven't. Come the 2025 I'll probably be sick of the Conservatives, but highly suspicious of a Labour government.

      Recessions are normal and to be expected, but every labour government ends in depression, for that is how the "great recession" will be viewed historically. If they'd only stop doing it, we could really achieve something as a nation, and many many more people would be willing to vote for them. Their main priority for their next time in power must be this: To leave office with the economy stronger than it was when they took power. Then they'd really be an electoral force to be reckoned with.

  42. LordB

    Not Murphy's Law

    Many of the policies JC is espousing have been validated by external sources. For instance Austerity has been soundly rubbished by most economists ( and the IMF, etc ) as having kept us in recession for longer and deeper than needed and is purely a political exercise to destroy the state, starve public services of cash, cause them to 'fail' so they can be privatised on the cheap...

    Tax avoidance by the uber rich and business = the deficit and coupled with a Tobin Tax ( most of the EU are in favour ) would provide significant funds to invest rather than cut

    A living wage, reduces the state burden and provides individuals with disposable income further helping the economy

    And Public QE puts cash into the economy rather than Banks Balance Sheets ( where it will end up eventually anyway! )

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Not Murphy's Law

      @ LordB

      "Many of the policies JC is espousing have been validated by external sources"

      I will have to take your word on that, I just hear of the discredited ones.

      "For instance Austerity has been soundly rubbished by most economists"

      Yet demonstrated successful. The IMF rubbished it then praised us when it was shown successful. This is the IMF who agreed to cripple Greece to save the euro. France took a different path by pushing hard left and have suffered as a result.

      "Tax avoidance by the uber rich and business = the deficit"

      Not sure I am reading that right. Are you saying legally not paying more tax than you need to to governments who have overspent and left us in a mess should be stolen from the public who you define as 'rich' (replace with any label that people should hate, but doesnt define what the label means) and think this is a long term solution? Those you define as business and uber rich will leave and you can pay your own bills. Also business? Is that small, medium, large, all? Who do you scapegoat for the governments crimes?

      "coupled with a Tobin Tax ( most of the EU are in favour )"

      Yes because it affects the UK harshly but not so much the rest of them. And of course that tax gets collected and put into their hands. You want the EU to steal money from us on top of the above?!? You cannot be serious, please.

      "A living wage, reduces the state burden and provides individuals with disposable income further helping the economy"

      Not taxing the poor would do this. Not stealing money from poor people would be a very good start.

      "And Public QE puts cash into the economy rather than Banks Balance Sheets ( where it will end up eventually anyway! )"

      I favour not taking it out of the economy in the first place. But then gov would need to be cut down to size.

  43. All names Taken
    Alien

    Oh well, if it is ...

    ... political.

    Corbyn (like Brown before him?) is a great person to have on a team.

    Team captain = yes or no.

    Yes probably = team fail.

    No probably = team fail but not as quickly with a dash of false hope in the mix?

  44. pxd

    technical or political

    Sorry, no time to read 271 previous comments to make sure I am the first to ask the question - why is this political article thought to be appropriate for a technical website? I may or may not agree with the author's viewpoint, but it doesn't seem that there is a technical issue under discussion. pxd

    1. briesmith

      Re: technical or political

      Because he's the boss with knowledge and expertise in economics? Used to have lots of defence related political stuff here as well but that seems to have fallen out of fashion. Shame; we techies don't have to be single issue OCD sufferers; well, not all the time.

  45. Lallabalalla

    Is it even possible....

    The statement "Just about everything he believes about economics is wrong on the simple grounds that, in my view, he doesn't actually understand the subject."

    "In my view".

    And my view is very different. Your whole article is actually founded on your own prejudices. It is the curse of the truly egregious that they are unable to discern when they are just plain wrong.

  46. briesmith

    What a Dick Richard Is

    Like Tim, I am also banned from his "forum" for not agreeing with him. He is, of course, not just Corbyn's go to man for economics, he is also regularly on the BBC, quoted in the Guardian etc in the way the left use their circular validation system to promote their own.

    He's in the Guardian - which the BBC buys in numbers you wouldn't believe - so let's have him on Question Time, Today and so on. He's on the BBC and in the Guardian, let's get him to write a "report" on something says the TUC. Some left-wing captured outpost of the UN employs him because of his work for the TUC and the BBC get him back on because he is now a UN validated "expert" and round and round it goes.

    In my view his parents knew something when they christened him.

  47. Lallabalalla

    Corbyn's economist? Oh no he isn't.

    Well not according to him. In an interview in the ft - a paper I trust far more than govt lapdog murcdoch's rag - he makes it quite clear he is no such thing.

    This entire article is rubbish.

    Economics is far too complex for anyone to fully master - except Worstall, brain of the millennium and all round egghead supreme ? I think not.

  48. This post has been deleted by its author

  49. Bill Murty

    Economist in 'Trust us Economists' shocker...

    Because Economists are totally brilliant at running economies. If I had a pound for every time...

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. John C Durham

    It was Franklin who pointed out in the clearest terms, when Adam Smith was a little boy, that paper money could be printed in any quantity as long as it was backed by value. What we call today, infrastructure, is what Franklin said supported (sterilized) the value of paper money as certainly as Gold or Silver.

    What this means is that the money supply can increase related to the value on which the printed money is spent. Today we know, or should know, that money can be printed for any purpose whatever that proves to increase the productive potential of any human being.

    The drags on our economy are primarily from giving huge, huge amounts of money to banks to bail them out. A worthless bond doesn't sterilize anything. To call this QE sterilized money because you might, at some point, get it back, is the stupidest idea I've every heard in my Life.

    Richard Werner invented the term QE as a recommendation to the Bank of Japan. He did not recommend giving the big Japanese banks any of that money. It was to go into the "REAL ECONOMY". That is a term you wouldn't understand if I hit you on the head with it. But, down here on Main Street, we know what it means: PRODUCTION.

  52. Lallabalalla

    Good job we're trashing on Corbyn

    because Osborne is turning out to be such a political and economic genius.

  53. Lodgie
    Thumb Up

    I would just like to say thanks to the author for an interesting read. Well done that man. Carry on.

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