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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some Comments I Have Made Elsewhere

On John Redwood regarding whether growth or cutting the deficit is more important.
We have had 2 years of this government. If, during that period we had reached only the, non-Eu, world average growth rate of 6% we would now be 12.4% better off. With the Exchequer’s takings up 12.4% (it would probably be marginally better) the deficit would be down by £60 bn to an acceptable about 3% of GNP (actually it would be better than that because we would be able to print money equal to 12.4% of our money supply without causing inflation).
That we could achieve considerably better than the world average, if the political classes wanted it, us not factually disputed.
Redwood on keeping the lights on
The BBC typically reported the windmill subsidy as “subsidy for new nuclear & wind” which then metamorphosed into a “nuclear subsidy”. Clearly there is no lie too outrageous or obvious for our state broadcaster to tell.
In fact the AP1000 reactor is available, off the shelf from Westinghouse (a company owned by British nuclear until the Labour government bankrupted it by regulatory fiat) for £6-800 m. As John points out the fuel costs of nuclear are negligible and since it is so automated that they can run for several years without a human hand, the genuine running costs are also negligible.
All the rest is government imposed parasitism.
Douglas Carswell on currency competition
I don't think we will see a lot of currencies in widespread use because it is just too complicated. For the same reason Wikipedia has cornered its own niche market. However competition will mean that the currency that gets accepted will be one that is stable. & run on sensible banking lines not leveraged until it crashes. My bets would be on the Facebook credit, the AT&T dollar or the Swiss Franc.
Mark Wadsworth on how house prices have not only gone up faster then the RPI but even faster than incomes.
If the inherent cost of manufacturing housing were the dominant factor the proper comparison would be the RPI since there is no technical reason why housebuilding is not subject to the technical improvement everything else is.
If it were a perfectly monopolistic market (which it cannot be except where the councils giving planning permission are wholly corrupt) charging all the people will bear, or a totally government controlled one with the government imposing all the parasitism the people will bear house prices would be expected to rise in line with incomes.
Achieving results even more expensive than total government parasitism can only be put down to people eager to "invest" in houses because real money investments are getting inflated away by a government which has a monopoly on printing the stuff.
One of Steve Sailer's apolitical threads - are the British better at English than the Americans - he thinks so but commenters incline otherwise.
Very flattering, possibly true - I will have to think on it. On the other hand I once blogged comparing speeches by British PM Gordon Brown, whose PR team proclaimed him, probably correctly, as the intellectual highlight of the British Labour Party & Sarah Palin.
No comparison. Palin had well thought out informed positions. Brown had unthought cliches.
Channel 4's Snowblog discusses "Syria's inconvenient truth"

No comment from me because it was censored - which says as much as anybody needs to know about C4's commitment to truths of the inconvenient sort.
John Redwood's on the Euro
I’m a bit of a heretic on this. I think the primary problem is the EU and the Euro is more of a symptom. The EU has a range of antigrowth policies built around bureaucratic regulation and Luddism. This is why the EU area has been in recession while the rest of humanity grows at 6%. The borrowing, quantitative easing and so on that the weaker economies have been doing is to simulate the growth they refuse to have in reality.
With Germany now in the process of closing down its nuclear plants it, though it was the intrinsically strongest economy, has also doomed itself and not all the fiscal measures in the world will prevent it – though they can delay it & make it worse.
Had the EU zone been growing at the world average none of these countries would have had to exceed their 3% of GBP borrowing limits and the, admittedly ramshackle, Euro would not have been under the stresses that pull it apart.
The good news is that, just as we could be out of recession and into fast growth in days if the political elite wanted it, the entire EU could in months – this will require the replacement, or damascene conversion, of the majority of our MPs, which, on the one hand looks quite an ask & on the other looks like something the large majority of voters would be very happy with.
Telegraph blog on Sock Puppetry
This is a classic positive feedback effect driving parasitic government spending (the non-parasitic bits will be using their money usefully). No mechanical system except bombs use positive feedback, indeed negative feedback is always used to prevent machinery destroying itself - this applies to social systems in precisely the same way as mechanical ones.
As the report later points out such government funding of charity is virtually always given to unpopular causes useful to politicians (popular ones wouldn't need it) such as catastrophic warming - 90% of "environmental" charities get 70% of their funding direct from the state, and an uncertain but large amount of the rest from less direct payments. This is not democracy it is the negation of it.
The inability to fire parasites and idiots in the civil service makes a mockery of democratic sovereignty and makes clear who is in charge. This is why they can prevent politicos getting spending under control.
"Motivation's easy - you just get rid of the unmotivated." quoted approvingly by Sarah Palin

sorry original site unknown
As part of a discussion where somebody said government spending/investment could never improve an economy On a slightly theoretical manner
I think it is possible for government to create jobs by funding technology prizes. This works because patent law is not & inherently probably cannot, allow inventors to get proportionately as much of the value they produce as capitalists and workers.
This is theoretical because, in practice, politicians don't do it because their primary concern is not national well being but obtaining patronage for their friends. The last time our government put up an X-prize was in the 18thC - the Longitude Prize. Since that directly resulted in Australia being British it must be one of the best investments ever made, at least Mr Delingpole must think so.
Daniel Hannan on how most Tories would rather have a pact with UKIP than the LudDims
This would almost automatically mean a lot of Tories keeping their seats and relatively few UKIPers. The corollary of that, with UKIP now reaching 46% of the declining Conservative support in the polls, would have to mean UKIP dominating policy.
Personally I think that if the party members were offered a deal whereby they supported a fairly run referendum; an enquiry into whether the BBC have vitiated their Charter duty of "balance" by giving only 1/40th as much coverage to UKIP, per vote, as to the "lefty" Greens; an end to the catastrophic global warming fraud and all the attendant carbon nonsense; a free market in energy with a level regulatory playing field; cutting back the state; and all the pointless and damaging regulations and thus among for at least the average growth rate of the rest of the world (6%) then the large majority of Tory activists would jump at it.
In fact I think the majority of Tory activists would like that simply for its own sake, it is just that "their leaders" don't.
I also happen to think that is a programme which a large majority of the British public would go for which is the real point.
On EU Referendum - a discussion on how the "left" infiltrated the government institutions -
I believe the opposite has happened. I do not believe the normal "right wing" theory that what has happened has been some conspiratorial infiltration of our institutions by the "left" It is less organised and conspiratorial than that though just as real.
What has happened is the reverse - the co-option of "leftist" rhetoric by the institutions. As Pournelle's Iron Law puts it - every unchecked institution comes to be run, not by those dedicated to its nominal aims but to enhancing its power and imperial ambitions.
"Leftist" rhetoric and ecofascist scare stories are obviously better for enhancing government bureaucracy than anything free marketist.
But if you look at the people - Cameron, Clegg etc - they have no history or reason to be closet leftists - they are entirely of the hereditary ruling class. Also if you look at the old left - Scargill and co - you will find that they have nothing in common with the "new left". The old Labour party would have fought to the bitter end to throw as much subsidy as needed at the coal mines because that was in their political DNA. When New Labour came to power they didn't waste a minute on that but went straight into subsidising windmillery on the basis of the warming fraud.
At worst the "right" is still fighting, the old "left" has been zombiefied by the bureaucrats and Luddites.
This is also the answer to Booker's other theme. The "caring professions" are not run by those who work hard, doing there best for the kids, though there probably still are a few. They are run by and for empire building parasites who exist only for their own self aggrandisement. Iron Law in action.
The only solution is to cut down the size of government to its necessary components. Then the people in it will be working at their official duties rather than getting 10s of billions to "raise awareness" of all the scare stories they need to justify the money the parasites get from us. During the Victorian era government spent as little as 6% of GNP.

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