John Harris, Ignorant Twat

it\’s worth taking note: per pound spent, independent shops employ more people than the giant chains

No, that\’s not a sign of his ignorance. It\’s true. The ignorance comes from the fact that he uses this as an argument in favour of independent shops instead of giant chains.

Jobs are a cost, not a benefit. Supermarkets are a technology, just as much as harrows or ploughs are a technology. We can increase the number of jobs per pound spent on food by banning ploughs and harrows, just as we could increase the number of jobs in retail by banning supermarkets.

But we\’d be bloody stupid to do either.

For just as using a plough rather than a stick to scrape the earth for our food frees up labour to do other things, like wipe babies\’ bottoms, treat cancer or go on Celebrity Big Brother, so reducing the number of jobs in retail frees up people to go and write fatuous columns for the national newspapers about how they misunderstand the basic concepts and tenets of the real world.

6 comments on “John Harris, Ignorant Twat

  1. The welfare state skews the market such that some of those rendered surplus through greater efficiencies become supported by everyone else through taxation.

    Harris cannot have his cake and eat it (though that is what they are for…). Employing more people than is neccessary means things will get more expensive. But the numbers on welfare should drop. So any calls for less efficiencies should be in concert with calls for lower taxation.(So that shoppers don’t see a cost of living rise) They never are.

  2. Gareth:

    What you’ve said is only partly true. The portion of wages paid as the result of one or another interfering policy is essentially a welfare-paying tax very similar to tax paying benefits to recipients (and to tax paying salaries to unnecessary government employees. That is quite a considerable sum, all told. (Especially when it is realized that the performances of very many government jobs actually would make us all poorer even if the such services were performed free. Apparently, we are all so thrilled by the fact that we can still “make it” (despite all the battering about the head and body) that we’ve been desensitized to the extent of damage.

    You’ve got the right “take” but are just inclined to look for bright spots where there aren’t really any.

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