Isn’t this fun?

First, as there was a century ago, there is a need to tackle monopoly. It is prevalent, and abusive. The nature of the beneficiaries might have changed a little: although a few individuals stand out in the public eye the gain is to a whole institutionalised minority as well now, but the fact remains that is at cost to the rest of society and to the rest of business. Major reforms to limit the power of monopoly, force the break up of monopolistic businesses, require their state control in some cases, and to impose higher taxes so that returns are normalised during transitions to new structures will have to be delivered.

Second, international abuse will be tackled. This will either be done internationally, or unilaterally if that fails. My proposal for an alternative minimum corporation tax, made a year or so ago, could be part of that unilateral response, I think.

The correct measure to reduce monopoly power is to ensure a monopoly tax system.

Erm, yes.

This is fun though, Ritchie is advocating the expansion of Vanguard:

Fifth, the age of the company pension fund will pass: common funds that will, however, be funded and at the same time be common pools of pension capital will become the norm.

Blimey:

Seventh, tax reform will reduce national insurance charges. Increased corporation taxes on monopolies and ‘non-cooperative’ companies will help fund this. So too will a turnover tax – a carbon usage tax or CUT as I called it in The Joy of Tax.

If you want to tax carbon why not just tax carbon? You know, a carbon tax?

Ninth, to reflect this the law on directors’ duties will change. The duty will be to creditors and stakeholders as well as to shareholders and the suggestion that profit maximisation is the objective of the company will be removed. Quite explicitly the company will first of all be required to act ethically; to show environmental concern; to pay creditors on time; to maintain staff welfare; to meet pension obligations in full; to make full disclosure of its activities and to comply with the letter and spirit of all laws whilst securing the long term goal of meeting the needs of society, which will require it to maintain positive cash flows.

Most amusing. So, how will a company ever invest if it must always have positive cash flows? Running at a loss as you build will now be illegal.

Tenth, worker and other representation on boards (I see roles for community representation as well from locations where a business has material impact) will be required to ensure commitments to society are met. This will require appropriate training paid for by the state for those involved: the farce of the ‘usual culprits’ from big business taking these roles has to end. These representations will be at subsidiary board as well as at main board level.

This is known as the “Gissa Job” clause. It always appears in the Senior Lecturer’s noodlings.

Eleventh, to ensure that the cost of capital to meet these objectives is kept low a policy of low interest rates will be required of governments.

Quite wondrous, entirely ignorant of supply and demand. For low interest rates don’t exactly ensure a supply of capital now, do they?

35 comments on “Isn’t this fun?

  1. be common pools of pension capital will become the norm.

    Make private contributions to a common pool and see current pensioners loot and empty it before you retire.

    And of course a ‘common’ pool will be large enough to be noticed by people like Murphy, confiscated and ‘invested’ in State boondongles.

  2. ‘non-cooperative’ companies will help fund this. So too will a turnover tax – a carbon usage tax

    What is a ‘non-cooperative’ company?

    How is a turnover tax a carbon usage tax?

  3. the long term goal of meeting the needs of society, which will require it to maintain positive cash flows.

    So companies are now cash cows for ‘society’, whose only goal is to keep the cash coming, or else. Won’t be easy though, what with the cost of “maintaining staff welfare” (what exactly is that?) and in an environment where staff will be effectively unsackable unless they express opinions contrary to the State, so no-one will bother working.

  4. “First, as there was a century ago, there is a need to tackle monopoly. It is prevalent, and abusive.”

    The NHS, education, BBC, roads, rail tracks and so on. I assume Ritchie thinks these monopolies also need breaking up?

  5. Ultimately it gets boring watching someone trying to think and failing so consistently. Can we be sure that he actually believes the crap that emerges on his blog? Is it possible for anybody to create so much crap?

  6. Diogenes

    It’s akin to a stream of consciousness unfiltered – lest we forget also, there are four books worth of this crap, and I have three of them gifted to me. How lucky do I feel?

  7. I wonder whether he’s really worth so much of your time, Tim, but the “which will require it to maintain positive cash flows” line can only be written by someone with almost zero experience of business, surely? I thought, compared to the economics he skipped lectures and doesn’t seem to have done the basic reading on, that might be where he was better informed.

  8. Henry Crun, you’re ahead of me; I as going to say that he should have called it after himself, the Carbon Usage Nullification Tax. (‘Use’ would be adequate, but people like the CUNT think longer is more authoritative.

  9. In the Courageous State, will firms be allowed to make people redundant to “maintain that positive cash flow” to the State? Firing employees in the private sector (what’s left of it) to maintain the protection racket for the State goons?

  10. Except it lacks a controlling intelligence. If I could be bothered, I might compile a selection of his witterings and publish it as a diary – a complete volte face every day of the year

  11. Ritchie writes:

    “I know it’s not trendy, cool or whatever to say you like a Dire Straits song, but I have said before, and may well say again that this is a favourite of mine:
    Mark Knopfler wrote stories. This one includes these lines:”

    He’ll be playing “Money for Nothing (original lyrics)” to his twin brother then?

  12. Noel of all the bizarre threads on the fat one’s blog, that one takes some beating. Murphy and co riffing on the joy of manual labour. This from a man whose only labouring job was to put stickers on Trivial Pursuit boxes

  13. Diogenes

    I can just see Murphy crying into his point and saying ‘I’m going to be something!!!!’ What he didn’t envisage is that he’d be the subject of adoration from arguably the greatest morons in British history and ribald mockery from anyone with an IQ of above 50….

  14. “The correct measure to reduce monopoly power is to ensure a monopoly tax system.

    Erm, yes.”

    quite, and won’t Richie be surprised when the higher taxes favour the efficient-but-hidebound large incumbents.

    “to comply with the letter and spirit of all laws whilst securing the long term goal of meeting the needs of society”

    ‘needs’ right up to and including wanting a pony, by the look of it. I must be naive to think all I need from a company is that they deliver what I’m paying for, on the agreed schedule.

  15. “Eleventh, to ensure that the cost of capital to meet these objectives is kept low a policy of low interest rates will be required of governments.”

    So, we remove interest rates from our toolbox to control inflation …? Te man’s a loon!

    “Quite wondrous, entirely ignorant of supply and demand.” Indeed.

    “For low interest rates don’t exactly ensure a supply of capital now, do they?” Hmmm… True that if a company offers high inerest rates it will attract more capital, but low interest rates, in the economy, surely push along the curve, don’t they? High interest rates in general just lead to a flight to safety, away from productive investment.

  16. Thirteenthly,

    Compulsory Fair Tax Mark* annual audits for all limited companies

    *tm Tax Research LLP

  17. The nature of the beneficiaries might have changed a little: although a few individuals stand out in the public eye the gain is to a whole institutionalised minority as well now, but the fact remains that is at cost to the rest of society and to the rest of business.

    Ritchie has figured out how to achieve Utopia, but grammar and syntax still elude him.

    Amanda Marcotte’s doppelganger.

  18. Diogenes said:
    “it’s like a modern version of the Diary of a Nobody”

    Except one sometimes feels sympathetic to Pooter.

  19. “So, how will a company ever invest if it must always have positive cash flows? Running at a loss as you build will now be illegal”

    Well, inequality is largely driven by stock gains, which are ultimately tired to successful efforts to build. One of the fastest ways of reducing inequality would be to make it illegal to build a firm which should have deleterious effects on valuations and hence executive compensation and ultimately inequality.

  20. He’s got the same hotline to Humpty Dumpty as Newmania does, what with words like “monopoly” not taking their usual meaning in Spudland….

  21. securing the long term goal of meeting the needs of society, which will require it to maintain positive cash flows.

    What are these ‘needs’ of society? Who gets to decide what they are? What happens when the ‘needs’ of different parts of society conflict?
    Why should society control any business I set up? What gives it the right to demand “positive cash flows”? Who and where does this cash “flow to”?

  22. I’ve run businesses for years. I’ve no clue how to maintain positive cash flow all the time. Drop in sales for whatever reason that cannot be altered and …. poof. Negative cash flow.
    Meeting the needs of society? I prefer meeting the desires of individuals, what at one time would have been called selling luxury items.

  23. 9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

    10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to productively work mentally or physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:

    11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

    12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

    14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

    15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of pensions.

    16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

    17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

    18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

    The common good before the individual good…

  24. What might be most sad about him is that – despite being trained as an accountant – he uses terminology *loosely*, like a layman.

    Except he’s writing a policy proposal. For public consumption. Where you need to be specific about what you really mean.

    He might say ‘you know what I mean’ if you point these things out, except we shouldn’t have to guess what he means. These terms and ideas have specific meanings and by saying things like ‘must maintain positive cash flow’ has – as Tim pointed out – very specific meaning and consequences.

    As I read what he writes, I don’t understand how anyone – even far leftists – ever took him seriously.

    On tax or anything.

  25. When pressed to name monopolies Murph comes up with Amazon and Facebook.

    So now we know that we can add “monopoly” to the very long list of economics concepts he doesn’t understand.

  26. @Dennis

    I asked him what his definition of monopoly was, but he decided not to let that comment through. Quelle surprise.

    I’m pretty sure I bought books and other goods recently without using Amazon so his definition would differ from my, I suspect.

    Speaking of definitions, a common definition of the cause of Cognitive Dissonance is when irrefutable facts are at odds to your firmly held world view.

    Murphy’s writings seem to be a text book example.

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