One of the things the economically literate have been trying to point out to varied environmentalists is that the first great lesson of economics - that incentives matter - really is true. The implication of this is that we don;t in fact need to overturn society, assuming that that's not the goal in the first place, in order to deliver ourselves from climate change. We simply need to change the incentives that people face. Thus the idea of a carbon tax of course.
But it is also true that this makes much of Richard Murphy's blatherings about savings and the direction of their investment a nonsense. For he keeps insisting that savings must be invested in this and that in order to save the planet yet he never comes to grip with how it is that a return will be made by those savers. This then ignoring the base economic problem we have here, which is that while going Green is all very nice and all that it's exceedingly difficult to capture those benefits.
You know, as the Stern Review points out at length, emissions are an externality not captured in market prices. So, investment to reduce emissions might be collectively good and beneficial but the person doing the investment doesn't gain the personal return from that benefit. This is what externality means. Thus the economists answer, incorporate the externality into market prices. Or, another way of saying the same thing, make investment in those Green lovelies profitable to...
The Guardian treats us to a report about how HMRC is going after footballers. Well, OK, fair enough. The background here is that it is becoming more usual to split payments to those oafs who play the gentlemans' game. Some amount of the total payment is paid in wages, through the normal club and PAYE system. Then some other portion is paid for "image rights" which goes off into a company - a personal services company as they are known - for the benefit of the same footballer.
This is all the same shouting match as the stuff about IR 35 for contractors, the BBC presenters given lovely, lovely, large tax bills an all that. HMRC is thinking that while image rights for, say, Mo Salah are indeed worthy of separate consideration the bloke paying reserve left back for Hartlepool might not warrant such. So, we'll have a look.
Upon the election of Nixon Pauline Kael said "But I didn't know anyone who voted for Nixon!". This being used as the perfect exemplar of how out of touch - and liberal - the elite of American journalism are. The way Kael actually said it was as proof of her own walling off from what a significant majority of Americans actually thought. She was commenting upon her own walledoffness rather than how dare the proles defy liberal opinion.
At which point Kael is doing significantly that Dan Froomkin. A recent report that Americans think that bias in the press is getting worse, there is less objectivity around:
But a blog post from Knight interpreted that to mean "that Americans' hope for an objective media is all but lost." And Sam Gill, the senior vice president of the Knight Foundation, declared on NPR on Monday, "People really do not think media...
The American left has never had - and this is a view of course - all that close a connection with reality. But we really should be demanding that there is some, some connection, rather than the pure and entire invention of matters.
It might well be that the Pentagon's spending is too high. The US could indeed be too militaristic. And yet complaining about that does not excuse this:
The absurd fact that the world's richest country spends more money on bombs, missiles and tanks than medicine in the middle of a pandemic is made even more blatant by the failures of the warfare state to "defend" itself.
The author, one David Masciotra (no, me neither) has already correctly identified the Pentagon's budget as being of the order of $700 billion a year.
Compared to medicine:
U.S. health care spending grew 4.6 percent in 2018, reaching $3.6 trillion or $11,172 per...
If even the "capitalist tool" can't get the details of capitalism right then what hope for everyone else? This simply isn't true:
Quicken Loans IPO Boosts Billionaire Dan Gilbert’s Fortune By More Than $33 Billion
No, that's not how it works.
Detroit billionaire Dan Gilbert, who founded mortgage firm Quicken Loans 35 years ago, took the company public Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange for the second time in its history. With shares trading at $19.30 at 12:45 pm ET, Gilbert’s 95% equity stake in Quicken Loans parent Rocket Companies is worth $36.4 billion. Gilbert also sold $1.76 billion of Rocket Companies shares in the IPO. With his other assets — he owns the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team and a significant chunk of real estate in Detroit — he’s worth $41.1 billion.
That makes Gilbert, age 58, the 17th richest person in America, and the second richest NBA team owner....