So, Aditya wants us all to know that poverty is a big and serious problem in Britain. I certainly think it would be somewhere between cool and really good if more people had higher living standards. However, there's a mistake in here:
How ingenious are the British! Like the legendary Inuit people who coined 57 words for snow, we have devised a long list of clever aliases for the stuff that dominates everyday life. Know the ones I mean? Try food poverty. Fuel poverty. Child poverty. Clothing poverty. Transport poverty. Period poverty.
These are phrases mouthed in Westminster and plastered across newspapers (which, this week, are discussing “digital poverty”). They help shape the UK in the 21st century. But this ever-growing jungle of subcategories obscures the one true problem they have in common. It is poverty: the condition of not having enough money to live your life.
Well, yes, but haranguing us about it is a bit off. Because it's not us on this free market right that have been claiming all these different forms of poverty. This is all the lefty campaign groups trying to find something to whine about.
And they do have to. As Barbara Castle pointed out back in 1959, that destitution had already gone by then. Economic growth and the modest welfare state of those days had in fact conquered poverty. Which left an awful lot of people with nothing to complain about so things were invented.
Take fuel poverty. First, invent some standard (being able to heat...
In among those arguments in favour of reparations for slavery is the idea that slavery is what actually built America therefore large amounts should be paid to the descendants of those who did the building. It is true that black familial wealth is generally lower than white and so let's have some repayment to those who actually built that economic pile, eh?
This strikes as being a bit too Marxist to be true. Not in the sense of being a bit too Soviet and communist, but Marxian, in that it concentrates much too much on capital. One number I've seen floating around is that 40% of all American capital was actually the value of those slaves. As economic growth depends upon capital therefore 40% truly belongs to those whose labour was exporopriated from them.
Except that's the unfortunate Marxism there. Yes, economic growth does depend, in part, upon capital....
The effects of this rise in the Federal minimum wage to $15 are going to be slow in arriving, this is true. That's what makes it a useful political ploy - the benefits in glory come now, the costs are diffuse and take a long time to turn up.
But we do indeed know that it's going to be a disaster. The essential point to make here being that Economics 101 is actually correct. Sure, it's not correct in every exact particular of time and space but the general principles do stand. Much of Economics 301 through 517 is testing the minority of occasions when those general principles don't quite, completely and exactly, hold.
One of those general principles being that supply and demand curves do in fact work. The implication, hell the fierce insistence, of that being that people buy less of things as they become more expensive. So,...
It would be interesting if the pages of our national newspapers were less than four years out of date. Well, obviously, they're allowed to have archives there of what they were getting wrong four and more years ago but the things they publish today, it might be useful if they weren't.
This being something the business pages of The Times is not achieving:
In 2012 when Joe Biden was a mere stripling of 70, the world’s developed economies began exploring ways to squeeze more tax from the likes of Google and Apple.
The arguments for reform had become overwhelming. Technology companies had mastered the art of siphoning profits to tax havens and there was little tax authorities could do to stop them. Tax collectors had to rely on weapons created in the 1920s, when convertible cars and water skis were the acme of sophistication.
This is a problem that was solved in 2017...
There's much complaining and wailing about the manner in which musicians and other luvvies no longer get to tour the remnant EU without having lots of pieces of paper. The surface of the problem being that each individual country gets to decide about work permits 'n' stuff for people outside the r-EU. So, that means there are 27 different systems to negotiate.
Then add on top of that the EU's own nonsense. For example, carnets. Each instrument needs a special little badge. For which you pay £350 by one estimate. This is because as a travelling musician you might bring stuff in and sell it without having paid tariffs and taxes, thereby undermining the vitally important r-EU instrument building industry.
The solution to this being not the payment of the tariffs and taxes into an account to be returned on the re-export, but the payment of the non-returnable £350. Well...