8 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. That certainly explains why France’s productivity is so high: pour money into armies of state employees doing fuck all and productivity magically increases.

  2. Can anyone explain why the public sector (specifically the part funded by taxation) is included in GDP? It’s what GDP’s paying for. It makes as much sense as including the value of domestic activities, walking the dog say, as part of income.

  3. A commentor at ASI writes:

    Service occupations have an entirely different cost (educational) structure than manufacturing occupations. Training is far longer and so are the returns. The vast majority of the so-called ‘high-skill’ occupations in manufacturing industry can be learned in a few hours.

    There you have it Tim. Public service requires years of education whereas “high skill” manufacturing is trivial. It’s an illuminating take on manufacturing by someone who has absolutely no clue about craft.

  4. GDP measures economic activity, more accurately value added. Government may be crappy, excessive and sometimes unwanted but it’s still economic activity and at lest some of it is value adding.

  5. @ bnis

    Can anyone explain why the public sector (specifically the part funded by taxation) is included in GDP?

    If it doesn’t include the public sector as well, then wouldn’t these two scenarios give completely different answers?

    a) Man pays tax of £5k and receives £5K of health treatment from the doctor employed by the state.

    b) Man pays insurance company (or health company) £5K and receives £5K of health treatment from the doctor employed by the health company.

    Lots of public sector functions outsource activities to the private sector, whilst others may “employ” what might otherwise be the same type of staff. And some countries may privatise whilst others nationalise.

    Why would any of that (in itself, forget what’s efficient or not) make GDP different.

  6. We are at cross-purposes Tim. I’ll leave the economics to you.

    I was struck by the comment that “high skill occupations in manufacturing industry can be learned in a few hours.”

    That’s all we need to know. Show a peasant how to push the button and out pops an iphone. Drag a junkie off the street, show him how to pull the lever, and we have another internets.

    Manufacturing is so easy, whereas serving a coffee with patterned froth or processing your UB40 requires an appropriate degree. At least.

  7. “I really really do. I can’t speak for diversity advisers — though I would surely like to have a chat with one — but having spent several years in engineering (in shop floor quality control) I was familiar with every operation in a multinational factory that used to make more tractors per day than any other factory in the world.”

    I seriously doubt this today. If something can be taught in a few hours, it’s probably something that you can easily program a robot to do or get a company in China to do for you.

  8. Thanks for that ONS link, Tim. Working on a Govt contract I’m always being told how poorly civil servants are paid. I can now send that as a riposte.

    The big problem though is that they are all vastly over qualified. Degree minimum to write a press release, for example.

    I can also add that I have now seen Parkinson’s Law in the wild.

    As to the comment about manufacturing being easy, they don’t understand the value chain and think it’s all about bashing bits of metal. As Tim N says that bit has been outsourced. They need to talk to Dyson to see the full value chain, or his he no longer a darling of the left?

    (Anchored in Swanage bay.)

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