Howard Reed’s economics again

Almost 2 million more children than there are at the moment will be in poverty at Christmas in 15 years’ time, according to a highly critical thinktank analysis of government policies.

Projections by the Fabian Society and Landman Economics showed significantly wider inequality by 2030 than they had expected before the general election. It suggested a family 10% off the bottom of the income distribution would expect to earn only another £90 a year – a rise of 1% – while those the same distance from the top would be 25% better of with an extra £1,600.

All incomes rise but poverty does too. A useful example of the fatuity of relative poverty as a concept, no?

Quite so, quite so

British music journalist Mark Beech tweeted that Lemmy had told him: “I will be killed by death. I might be killed by too much booze, women or music, but it’s not a bad way to die.”

His music was abrasive, but his tastes were cultured: Monty Python and PG Wodehouse were lifelong companions. “I’ve had a whale of a time out of rock’n’roll,” he once said, “and rock’n’roll has had a whale of a time out of me. That’ll do.”

That Italian diet

The thing that people seem to be forgetting about Italian food is that it’s a peasant diet:

It has long been lauded by doctors across the world for its health benefits and life-lengthening properties, but it appears the Mediterranean diet is becoming increasingly unpopular in Italy.
A study has shown that fewer than half of Italians now eat a traditional diet rich in vegetables, olive oil, pasta and fish.
Instead, many people are turning to foods more commonly found in the British or North American diet, including red meat and butter.
Scientists at the Institute of Clinical Physiology in Pisa found that a diet low in fruit and vegetables and high in dairy and protein was linked with obesity – a phenomenon once rare in Italy, but now increasingly common.

It also changes hugely depending upon what region you’re in. A spaghetti carbonara, for example, from the south would be dry, one from the north likely to have cream in the sauce. Partly farming differences, partly the north has always been richer than the south (in modern times at least).

And as people move away from being peasants, get richer, then their diet quite naturally changes. Which is pretty much what is going on here.

Yes, it’s foreign peoples’ QE for Gay Paree now

Richard Murphy, the tax justice campaigner credited with devising Corbynomics this summer, hit back angrily against the calls. Writing on his Tax Research UK blog, Mr Murphy aimed his fire at Mr Danczuk: “The economic illiteracy that underpins the crassness and even callousness of his comment is what angers me.
“The economic illiteracy that I refer to is Danczuk’s obvious belief that we have a choice of either doing overseas development aid or flood relief . . . It is very obvious that we do have the resources to undertake all necessary flood defence works, and we can at the same time fund overseas aid.”


The actual problem is nothing to do with money anyway. It’s the EU’s insane insistence that we shouldn’t be dredging rivers at all which is.

Nope, we think this is all just lovely Zoe

We hear much less from foreign critics, across the spectrums of politics and wealth, acknowledging how great it would be never to have to stay in a job for the health insurance, never to have to go bankrupt following a life-changing illness, never to have to gamble on the accident-proneness of your own children. The NHS is more than collective insurance against disaster: it changes everything about the confidence we have and the peace we know. The people who can see that best are the ones who don’t live it.

It’s just that every country other than the US manages this and no one else does it like the NHS. There’s other, better, ways of achieving this goal.

Roy Orbison’s family background

There was a knock late in the evening and they looked through the hole and it was someone with a sweatshirt and a leather jacket and a baseball cap, and my grandmother said ‘no, no, no, we’re not having anyone, this looks suspicious’.
“And so she opened the door and sent him off and then she shut the door. And then my grandmother said to my mum ‘Who’s Bob Dylan because he’s looking for your dad?’ So they had to open the door and run and go and get him,” he said.

Soo, interesting tax question

The step grandkid just did a TV ad. Bit of sitting in a car or summat I think. For which, at the age of 10, he gets £3k or so.

Presumably the dance teacher who booked him into it is going to try and take an agents’ fee.

But what’s the tax situation here? does he, at that age, have a tax free allowance?

Is he on his mothers’ (Dad’s out of the picture here)?

How does this work?

In terms of what to do with it, pay his dance lessons, put some aside for goodies or new dance shoes or whatever etc. And then whack some properly away. With this sort of sum, £1k or a bit above, probably premium bonds. Yes, there’s better investments but there will be all sorts of teenage fun when the occasional random check drops through the door.

Obviously, if he gets lots of work, then sorting investments out properly (no load Vanguard index funds sorta stuff, properly wrapped in an ISA and all that, it’s never too early to start a pension fund) but at this stage it’s just the tax thing we know absolutely nothing about.

So, who knows?

Idiot tosspottery

“Capitalism,” says Saviano, “needs the criminal syndicates and criminal markets… This is the most difficult thing to communicate. People – even people observing organised crime – tend to overlook this, insisting upon a separation between the black market and the legal market. It’s the mentality that leads people in Europe and the USA to think of a mafioso who goes to jail as a mobster, a gangster. But he’s not, he’s a businessman, and his business, the black market, has become the biggest market in the world.”

It’s difficult to communicate because it’s bollocks.

Are the narcos capitalists? Sure: and are they also free market? Yup.

But to go on and insist that the capitalist and free market mode of, say, producing and delivering potatoes, to name another South American import, depends upon people producing toot is just flatulent tosspottery.

That part of the argument doesn’t even make any sense.

I think we can tell how this is going to work

Hodge, who became the scourge of multinationals in her time chairing the Commons public accounts committee, said: “Who pays tax and how much they pay has moved from being an obscure issue only discussed by tax professionals to one of huge public concern which is of interest to everybody.

“We want to stimulate an open debate on the challenges and reforms needed to restore and maintain confidence in the fairness of our tax system.

“Raising the tough questions and breaking through the technical jargon, which in the past has created a veil of secrecy, is just what parliament should do.”

They’re talking about corporation tax.

Abolition of corporation tax is to be considered by a new cross-party group of MPs and peers who will subject ministers and business leaders to public interrogations in a bid to secure fairer and more responsible tax policies.

No, they won’t abolish it, which is what they should do.

With evidence growing that the current tax on profits is unfair and too easily avoided, the group wants to debate whether it should be replaced by a new tax on location of activity and sales.

They will recommend unitary taxation.

This is all pre-ordained.

Not one single one of them will even bother to consider the economics of this, nor even read the Mirrlees Report. Instead of taking the advice of a Nobel Laureate on the design of tax systems they will instead take their lead from a retired accountant from Wandsworth.

How well we are ruled, eh?

My word, this is a surprise, isn’t it?

Children brought up by single parents and in step families are three times as likely to suffer from mental health problems, a major study has found.
Research on more than 10,000 children found that those brought up by both natural parents are far less likely to suffer severe emotional and behavioural problems.
The major study by University College London shows large differences in the well-being of children, depending on their upbringing.
Experts said the findings added to “a mountain of evidence” about the damage caused by family breakdown, with children left stressed by marital breakdowns, or falling into poverty which could increase their risk of psychiatric distress.

You mean a species which has evolved all sorts of things to keep a breeding couple together through the decades finds that breeding couples not staying together through the decades ain’t a good idea?

All those things, the female orgasm, concealed ovulation, tits, face to face sex, female survival past menopause, pair bonding itself: you mean all of these things do in fact lead to better raising of the resultant offspring? The very reasons they evolved in the first place, not “because”, but as those who did these things outbred those who didn’t and thus became the ancestors of us all?

My word, that is a surprise, isn’t it?

Not that science is going to be allowed to come in the way of a socially constructed narrative of course.

There is actually a reason why American fathers throw baseballs at pubescent sons. It’s just as much a part of the build a human being kit as some Masai showing a child which end of the spear you stick in a lion. And that’s why it just takes 20 odd years to produce a human ready to produce grandchildren, just because it does. For two people…..

So shoot the Telegraph subs already

Wave of refugees to Europe an “organised invasion” says Czech PM
Milos Zeman urges young Iraqis ad Syrians to take up arms against Isil

Zeman is the Czech President. He beat Prince Schwartzenberg, he being the father in law of Peter Morgan (Oscar for script to The King’s Speech and formerly drummer in my band….how’s that for a tenuous connection to the subject at hand?) to the post.

Look, it’s right there in the first paragraph of the piece:

Czech President Milos Zeman has called the current wave of refugees to Europe “an organised invasion”, adding young men from Syria and Iraq should instead “take up arms” against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) group.

Zeman’s also a dick but he is the President. And even a subeditor at the Telegraph should be able to parse the first sentence of a piece he’s writing the headline for. Except, of course, they can’t, as the good ones have all gone off to The Times (Hi Redacto! Good to see ya!)

The secret of why the art world doesn’t work

Without that curiosity, he emphasises, opera risks not only stagnation but leaving the next generation with a tedious list of repeats.
“We know how the Hollywood model works: you’re successful with one thing and you make the sequel,” he shrugs.
“But how often is the sequel better than the first movie? Very, very rarely because you’re just trying to capitalise on success.
“So it’s that originality that we’re looking for.”

The other way to put that is “Hmm, that works. Better not do that again then, eh?”

Anyone know anyone with a spare $100 million?

Now, campaigners calling for Britain to leave the EU fear that they will be out-gunned in the debate by pro-European political parties and the Commission in Brussels.
Because the Commission is based overseas, it is exempt from having to comply with the UK election laws that limit the amounts that the British campaigns will be able to spend on advertising and leaflets in the months leading up to the referendum.

Set up an overseas organisation that meets the same exemption standards as the EU itself and fund that.

Ad I would also play dirty, very dirty. Put Martin Schultz in a Picklegrauber (? spikey helmet?) with the caption “Do you want a fat German socialist running Britain?” Find one of Juncker badly drunk or hungover with “Would you buy a used constitution from this man?”

Etc etc. Really go or it, entirely unattributable to any of the official campaigns of course, but use both humour and insult to their best extent.

So anyone know anyone with a spare $100 million?