We’re looking for writers

Over at Continental Telegraph.

No, don’t get excited, it’s definitely unpaid.

But we would be interested in more people joining the roster. There is no commitment to regularity, you don’t need to sign up to do a regular column or anything.

Pieces should be unique tho’. We’re not going to become simply a place to reprint blog posts.

If you’ve an expertise, or a point of view, we’re interested. If you’ve specific books, records, video games you’d like to review and tell us all about that’s fine too. That second might well suit those who review stuff at Amazon for example.

Drop me a line at “timworstallATgmail.com” and we’ll get things moving.

60 comments on “We’re looking for writers

  1. Be careful or the guardian will have one of their unpaid interns criticise your unpaid interns.

  2. Syndicated articles or op eds on tax and economics from the likes of Tax Research UK? You’d have to spend a lot of editorial time on grammar correction, taking out all the spurious “candidlys” etc though.

    Probably would not be any interest there though, as Murphy seems to require to be paid, handsomely.

  3. I could write an article headed;

    “the Joy of Avoiding Tax”?

    or

    “It’s no Secret; How Tax Havens benefit the Economy”?

  4. Tim

    Please, pretty please, let Andrew C do that, and not just the once…. It’s perfect, at so many different levels. Then bring in a more efficient economy, growth (better utilisation of resources), and more.

    And it will almost certainly give you new raw material from t’other place – you know he won’t be able to resist countering (badly, of course), if Andrew writes it well / good follow up pieces, etc..:)

    And / or other Andrews if C if too busy?

  5. Tim,

    Business Plan

    When do you envisage contributors will begin being paid?

    What payment model do you intend to use?

    What incentive is there for contributors to be initially unpaid early adopters?

    P

  6. Yes, m’Lud, but there’s plenty of established sites already where decent (and even less decent) writers can write for free so Pcar’s point is a good one: Comment Central, Con Woman etc. already have the traffic plus regular links from Guido so CT needs to offer something different…

  7. Pcar, I expect the business plan will be The Huffington Post model. Wanabees provide free content while the millions of dollars go to Arianna Huffington. Or in Tim’s case, the dozens of pounds.

    (But I have signed up to contribute the occasional article despite that. If I can write for Comment Central for free I don’t see why I shouldn’t help out good old Tim now and then so he can save for his dotage.)

  8. Andrew C has a point. The Internet doesn’t need yet another site providing unsubstantiated opinions and CT needs a USP.

    One of the reasons I’ve hung around here all these years under various pseudonyms is Tim’s ability to get economic concepts across to the layman. Sometimes he is a bit provocative here, especially since he started getting paid gigs elsewhere, but they are informative nonetheless.

    CT’s USP should be why things are as they are and that means pieces written by those from within the field. For example m’Lud has provided some insight in to legal issues and any number of Andrews have provided insight in to tax issues, yes there’s a few sites out there that also do that but having them in one place and written from a classic liberal standpoint could be that USP.

    Its also nice to have articles written by those who have experience of life. Not that youngsters can’t be informative, but most of them aren’t and just want to whinge about the way the world ought to be.

    I suppose that would make CT “Not Comment Is Free” (I couldn’t be bothered looking for a Boolean “not” line above comment is free but I’m sure you all get the point.).

  9. Dear Tim,

    I’ve considered your kind offer at length, weighed up the pros and cons, the downside of working for free on a website that will maintain editorial rights on my work versus the possible exposure it may bring and the concomitant gain in personal credibility and future wealth.

    I’ve decided, on this occasion, to politely but firmly reject the offer. Please don’t take this as an absolute rejection but perhaps an opportunity to negotiate.

    In the meantime, I’ll continue to write random thoughts in a brackish backwater of the Internet whilst wondering if you really are a free market capitalist after all.

  10. Quite true. The method is going to be, accept near all and sundry then narrow matters down as we all find out more about each other.

  11. I don’t suppose you’d welcome articles contrary to the Tim Worstall orthodoxy such as:

    – QE: The greatest ever transfer of wealth from poor to rich.
    – Carbon tax: Throwing rocks in your own harbour.
    – Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Worstall are clueless about UBI.
    – AI: Most infinite human needs are not worth satisfying.

  12. I know. Bet it’s Universal Basic Income.

    Where “Universal” includes any “refugee” or “asylum seeker” who pitches up.

    Yes?

  13. UBI is one of them libertarian ideas that would work brilliantly if we lived on a rational planet full of people who behave like libertarians. Vulcan, maybe.

    In the real world it’s bread and circuses Mk II, but with an inbuilt self-destruct mechanism due to the plebes getting to vote, and with shitty programmes about baking instead of retiarii fighting lions and whatnot.

  14. BIND: CT’s USP should be why things are as they are
    CT will priovide a guided tour along Chesterton’s fence?

  15. @Southerner, March 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    I don’t suppose you’d welcome articles contrary to the Tim Worstall orthodoxy such as:

    +1

    and

    – Renewable Energy: The other greatest ever transfer of wealth from poor to rich.
    – Help The Poor & “Just about managing” : Remove excises duty from alcohol and tobacco
    – AI: The Next Big Thing – Like Fusion – in five to ten years time

  16. The chance to annoy a wider audience? Count me in.

    Can I still use the word ‘wog’?

  17. “Does not answer any question in:”

    No, but HD does.

    This is where NiV might insist “Free markets, there is nothing else” and others might (shock, horror) “associate”….

    DtP

    If it was me, I’d pay you to. Yes, yes, I know you are referring to us..:)

  18. Hello. By Grace I need to stay out lf trouble myself. I just read an article where you defended Apple for exploiting Chinese labor. Unless you would work there youself (or let your children, for example) your pholosophy is wrong. I can only hope you have changed your opinion over the years. Just because people are hard up does not mean you should take advantage of them. No matter why somebody would work in those conditions, you don’t need to seek out vulnerable groups to take advantage of it. I realize I’m typing this to you on a Samsung phone but hopefully I am spreading a message that will change people, including myself.

  19. ‘Just because people are hard up does not mean you should take advantage of them.’

    If you don’t ‘take advantage,’ they’ll be harder up. Would that make you happy?

  20. Unless you would work there youself (or let your children, for example) your pholosophy is wrong.

    They’re not rounded up and herded into those factories, they queue up outside for the chance to work there…

    I worked in a large mobile phone factory in China for a week and didn’t see anybody chained to the production lines.

  21. “No, but HD does. This is where NiV might insist “Free markets, there is nothing else” and others might (shock, horror) “associate”….”

    🙂 Pleased to see the message is getting through!

    You’re quite right. Prices of any sort are determined by supply and demand. Demand in this case is how much extra per-click/per-view advertising revenue Tim & Co. can get with more contributors, and supply is how many contributors are willing to work for any given amount – including free. If enough people will work for free – because they like talking, because they want to get a reputation, because they want to get experience of the gig writing industry, because they want access to Tim’s audience, because they’ve got some creed and want to spread the word… there’s no need to pay extra. When Tim runs out of people willing to do it for free, and if the advertising revenue makes it worthwhile, it would of course make sense for him to pay. Basically, he’ll pay when it’s to his advantage to do so. People will sign up to contribute if it’s to *their* advantage to do so.

    So of course, the answer is “both”. Free markets will lead people to associate for mutual advantage. If you don’t value what’s on offer, don’t sign up.

    By the way, I’ve seen some people do websites with an “article submission” page. If you’ve got something to say, you can drop it onto a special comment page, tick the appropriate copyright disclaimers, and if it passes editorial review it gets put up. No hassle.


    “Just because people are hard up does not mean you should take advantage of them.”

    All trade is for *mutual* advantage. You take advantage of them, they take advantage of you.

    Sympathy for the poor is good. I encourage it. But free markets are all about figuring out how to *pay* for it. You have to produce the goods and services you want the poor to have the opportunity to consume. You can give your own wealth to the poor. You can steal and rob from other people who *do* produce to give it to the poor. Or you can teach the poor how to produce what they need for themselves. Free markets pick the third path.

    At any given stage of development, there is only so much being produced to go round. You can divide that different ways – you can either give a few workers high-paying jobs, or you can give lots of workers low-paying jobs. The latter helps more people, trains more people, and produces more goods to go round for everyone. The Chinese factories are trying to help as *many* workers as they can, which means spreading the wealth more thinly.

    Having to pay some people more than others is seen as *bad* by free markets, because it means you have a shortage of particular skills or experience. You have to pay more to get the few who do have them to work for *you*, and you can therefore only do so in the jobs where they’re most needed. The free market allocates scarce resources where they’re most needed. High pay also motivates everyone else to learn those skills, to fill in the gap. Interfering with price signals removes that motivation and resource rationing, making society poorer, and the poor even more so. The free market solution to inequality is to train more people to do the high-paid jobs. The free market ideal is for everyone to be on the same low wage and for all goods/services to be extremely cheap. A society grows more prosperous not by wages rising, but by the prices of essential goods and services falling, so everyone can afford them.

    Free market believers have sympathy for the poor, too. They just propose a different solution. Historically, free markets have been shown to work; to rescue the poor from poverty. Charity and stealing don’t.

  22. It’s interesting to think of what’s going on with that Samsung phone. The relatively poor of the developed economies are helping the relatively poor of less developed economies out of poverty.
    For, given that smartphones are possible, there would be smartphones. But without Chinese manufacturing they would be expensive toys for the rich made in high cost factories. And guessing by his opinions, Michael Parise is not one of those rich. He wouldn’t have one. So he’s helping the Chinese become wealtheir. And the Chinese are helping him become wealthier.
    Seems a fair exchange.

  23. Will write you a piece about water economics in Taiwan when I get around to it. Too busy working on my own book right now.

  24. ‘Sympathy for the poor is good.’

    By whom? Alleged ‘sympathy for the poor’ by the U.S. government has sucked $22,000,000,000,000 out of the economy in the past 50 years. And there are MORE poor today.

  25. ” Alleged ‘sympathy for the poor’ by the U.S. government has sucked $22,000,000,000,000 out of the economy in the past 50 years.”

    The sympathy isn’t the problem. Fixing poverty would be a great achievement, for everyone. It’s the *method* they used to try to solve poverty that’s screwed up.

    Like I said, charity and stealing don’t work. Free markets do.

  26. “And there are MORE poor today.”

    Oh, yes. And how many times has Tim pointed out the error in this statement?

  27. ‘Sympathy for the poor’ is a cheezy, virtue signaling declaration of orthodoxy.

    It is crap.

    ICD-10 lists 16,000 conditions. Do you have sympathy for all who suffer from them? Why not? Which ones do you not care about?

    ‘The sympathy isn’t the problem. Fixing ______ would be a great achievement, for everyone.’

    Except for people like you who crock on about your concern.

    ‘Sympathy for the poor’ is totalist crap justifying government overthrow of private charity. It is evil.

  28. “‘Sympathy for the poor’ is a cheezy, virtue signaling declaration of orthodoxy.”

    Most people think of it as being a decent human being. Your mileage may vary.

    I’m certainly not orthodox. Not their orthodoxy. Not yours either, apparently.

  29. It is not only content but also presentation that signals to a potential reader if a website or indeed any other publication ‘is for them’. That presentation includes the advertising. Time was, advertisers and audience were matched: advertisers could be sold an audience shaped by editorial content, readers might even find the advertising a valued part of the content. The internet has made all this a commodity: so many eyeballs, who may previously show an interest in …
    The result is you no longer really know what the site presents to the reader. I may see that tedious spam about ‘what age can you retire’ , perhaps not everybody does. When I see a site full of crap advertising (or advertising crap) I think ‘if this is the sort of readership it attracts then it is not for me’.

  30. “Time was, advertisers and audience were matched: advertisers could be sold an audience shaped by editorial content, readers might even find the advertising a valued part of the content.”

    So is there a market for a set of buttons at the top of a website where you can select what sort of advertising you’d like to see? Sounds like an interesting idea.

  31. A few more quotes for Michael, if he’s still around.

    This one’s from the mission statement of the Adam Smith Institute, of which Tim is a fellow.

    Central to our mission is our belief that free markets work best for the poor. No system has raised people out of poverty and given them the freedom to live their lives as they wish like free markets have, and in politics today it is usually the poorest people who bear the brunt of the government’s worst policies in areas like education, health and welfare. Our mission is to use free markets to end poverty in Britain and around the world.

    https://www.adamsmith.org/

    This is Tim on free markets alleviating absolute poverty.

    The socio-economic system which has caused the greatest reduction in absolute poverty in the history of our species has failed?

    http://www.timworstall.com/2018/02/19/some-failure/

    And here’s Tim on how sweatshops have achieved wonders relieving poverty.

    And it’s happening. Even in that arse end of the development universe, Bangladesh. 5 and 6% GDP growth per year from a Stone Age starting point doesn’t sound like much but they’ve been doing that for two decades now. I spent 22 hours of yesterday traveling, I should be feeling like shit. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite this generally cheerful about the world. Sure, of course, I’ve been personally more excited (that realisation that the bird with the Big Tits is about to put out always generates a certain joy for example) but in that agape instead of eros sense I am indeed that cheerful.

    We’d all like this to have happened 250 years ago, when it happened to our forefathers. But it’s true, the poor are getting rich. Life for great vast multitudes of people is getting better.

    Time for the Happy Dance, no?

    http://www.timworstall.com/2017/02/27/theres-a-paul-krugman-line-about-bangladesh/

  32. @ Tim
    Once in a while I feel like writing something and then what happens is usually (in my opinion, not necessarily anyone else’s) quite good. But it often requires a lot of editing to keepon the right side of regulators and libel lawyers – despite being true – so have you factored in the cost of editing?
    If you’ve ever bothered to read reports I’ve written when I didn’t feel like writing, you’ll have noticed the difference.

  33. @PF, March 4, 2018 at 12:43 am

    “Does not answer any question in:”

    No, but HD does.

    Which is irrelevant as it’s not HD’s money making idea.

    Tim wants writers. He needs to address “Why should I write for you?”

  34. Same as why you’d write for any other free place, I expect. Bit of exposure, bit of a platform, that sort of thing.

    As Tim already has five new writers contributing pieces today, I doubt he’s going to be worried about convincing people to come on-board.

  35. Editing the English way is easy and cheap. I’m the editor, I’ve edited it.

    The american way, where the writer is asked for permission to move a comma, is ludicrous and expensive.

  36. The Internet doesn’t need yet another site providing unsubstantiated opinions and CT needs a USP.

    The USP here is, by and large, the comments. If they don’t follow to CT in the same manner, it will be an overall loss IMO.

  37. It’s the USP for those few dozen people who get involved in the comments. For the other thousands who read Tim’s blog, maybe not so much.

    If this blog fades away then you’re all welcome to hang around writing comments at my blog.

  38. ‘Most people think of it as being a decent human being. Your mileage may vary.’

    Having been poor a couple of periods of my life, I can tell you that ‘sympathy for the poor’ means something TO THE POOR is bullshit. It is for white liberals to fret about.

    The key is that ‘Most people think of it as being a decent human being’ is why you invoke it. It is a tool to be used against people think it is being a decent human being.

    It’s totally fake, Just as much as sympathy for those with gout. No one thinks about it. It is just ponied up by libtards to justify intrusion by government. It is evil.

  39. “Having been poor a couple of periods of my life, I can tell you that ‘sympathy for the poor’ means something TO THE POOR is bullshit.”

    Didn’t say it did.

    “The key is that ‘Most people think of it as being a decent human being’ is why you invoke it. It is a tool to be used against people think it is being a decent human being.”

    I’m not using it as a tool. I’m simply one of those people in your second sentence there who *do* think of it as being a decent human being. If there weren’t lots of people who thought so, it wouldn’t make a good tool, would it?

    “It’s totally fake, Just as much as sympathy for those with gout.”

    ?!

    I’ve got sympathy for people with gout, too.

    “No one thinks about it.”

    Speak for yourself. I do. Most of the people I know do.

    “It is just ponied up by libtards to justify intrusion by government. It is evil.”

    The truly bizarre thing about this comment is that I just used it as an argument *against* intrusive government.

    I also just pointed to Tim Worstall and the entire Adam Smith Institute expressing exactly the same sentiment I did. Are you calling Tim a “libtard”? Or “evil”? The ASI too?

    Well, I guess I should have already figured by now whose side *you’re* on.

    Central to our mission is our belief that free markets work best for the poor. No system has raised people out of poverty and given them the freedom to live their lives as they wish like free markets have, and in politics today it is usually the poorest people who bear the brunt of the government’s worst policies in areas like education, health and welfare. Our mission is to use free markets to end poverty in Britain and around the world.

  40. ‘Central to our mission is our belief that free markets work best for the poor.’

    Fuck off. Freedom needs no special approval nor special result.

    You have no connection to the poor, NiV. You do not speak for them. Having been poor, I can tell you they don’t want your fucking sympathy.

    ‘Sympathy for the poor’ is totalist language. “Most people think of it as being a decent human being.” You CMs put up this and ‘equality’ and ‘justice.’ Anyone who doesn’t fall in line with your shit isn’t ‘a decent human being.’

    With your limited intellect, it is obvious that you are not a leader of the cultural Marxists, you are nothing more than a useful idiot. You do not determine who is a decent human being. You are an accessory after the fact to the murder of 150,000,000 people.

    You are a tool. Ignorant and sanctimonious.

  41. “You have no connection to the poor, NiV. You do not speak for them. Having been poor, I can tell you they don’t want your fucking sympathy.”

    You’re not listening. As I just said, I didn’t say they did.

    And what makes you think I’ve never been poor?

    “‘Sympathy for the poor’ is totalist language.”

    No it isn’t. The authoritarian bit is the *next* part of the argument. We want to cure poverty, *therefore* we must take from the rich by force and hand it out in welfare. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to cure poverty. But stealing it from the rich is both immoral and doesn’t work.

    The problem is with the implication that this is the only solution. If you leave the implication standing, then anyone who sympathises with the poor will think they’ve therefore got to support the welfare state. Anyone who opposes the welfare state has no sympathy for the poor, and is therefore evil and must be stamped on. What I and people like the ASI are arguing is that you have to knock down the implication. You can sympathise with the poor without believing in a welfare state. Opposing a welfare state does not mean you don’t sympathise with the poor.

    You’ve fallen for their line in believing the implication, and think that anyone expressing sympathy for the poor is therefore necessarily supporting state intervention. Even after I explained in detail why the statist’s argument is bogus, you’re still so blinded by your hatred of me that you haven’t understood the argument I’m making. Or that it’s the same one Tim and the ASI are making.

    You think Tim Worstall and the ASI are Cultural Marxists responsible for 150m deaths?! Because that’s what your argument implies.

  42. It’s the USP for those few dozen people who get involved in the comments. For the other thousands who read Tim’s blog, maybe not so much.

    Fair point. But I wonder how many lurkers read the comments as well as the article?

  43. Tim wants writers. He needs to address “Why should I write for you?”

    No, actually, he doesn’t. It was an invitation, and invitations are binary… You either accept it or you don’t.

  44. “Christ, NiV, you could bore paint off a wall.”

    I know I’ve won the argument when that’s the best counter you can come up with! 🙂

    It’s evidently not boring – just look at the number of people who read and interact and argue with me! Measured by the number of comments generated, they attract the most interest by far.

    My comments might not be popular, but a good fight is always exciting.

  45. No it wasn’t. It was a way to say “I don’t like this, but I can’t think of an actual factual counter-argument, so I’ll just say it’s “boring”. He can’t refute my feeelz with logic.”

    Gamecock’s disagreement was particularly ironic here, because on this occasion I was actually arguing on (what’s supposed to be) your side. (Tim’s side, anyway.) I think if I said “grass is green” now you’d argue that I was lying and it was a communist plot!

  46. ‘Antipathy for the rich’ doesn’t sell. So CM creeps talk about ‘sympathy for the poor.’

    NiV, you are too low on the totem pole to understand that. Ipso facto, you are a tool, a useful idiot.

    Every time you say ‘sympathy for the poor,’ you are saying ‘antipathy for the rich.’ You just don’t know it.

  47. No it wasn’t. It was a way to say “I don’t like this, but I can’t think of an actual factual counter-argument, so I’ll just say it’s “boring”. He can’t refute my feeelz with logic.”

    You flatter yourself. The honest truth is that I actually do think you’re a bore… It’s one of several reasons I don’t engage you anymore. But if you have to come up with some sort of self-satisfied self-congratulatory explanation to get around that that and carry on boring others, well, whatever.

  48. “‘Antipathy for the rich’ doesn’t sell. So CM creeps talk about ‘sympathy for the poor.’”

    Yes, agreed.

    Their argument is as follows:

    1. Every decent human being has sympathy for the poor and wants to cure poverty.

    2. The only way to cure poverty is to steal wealth from the rich in the form of taxes and give it to the poor as welfare.

    3. Therefore every decent person supports the welfare state.

    Statement 1 is correct, statement 2 is completely and utterly wrong, so statement 3 does not logically follow. This is what I’m saying, what Tim’s saying, what the ASI are saying.

    However, the CM argument is that if you don’t support statement 3, then that can only be because you’re rejecting statement 1, you have no sympathy for the poor, and you are therefore an evil selfish right-winger and the state is perfectly justified in stomping on you. Coincidentally, it’s the same argument *you* seem to be making. You think the issue is with statement 1 rather than statement 2.

    The problem is, this argument sells with the public at large, because they do indeed consider sympathy for the poor to be decent, and because nobody is explaining to them loudly enough why statement 2 is bogus. The CM argument is persuasive. You won’t defeat the CMs by telling them sympathy for the poor is bad – people just take that as confirmation that the CMs are right about you being a total bastard.

    The idea is to defeat the CM argument by showing that statement 2 is not true, and therefore you can reject the welfare state without being unsympathetic, and even better, you can do something of proven effectiveness to cure poverty without having to have intrusive big government, high taxes, or lots of rules and regulations. You cure poverty by getting rid of government interference in the markets.

    You can oppose the welfare state without being selfish or callous; the CMs are wrong – both in their prescription for curing poverty and in what they say about right-wingers. And they should under no circumstances be given the power to do anything about either.

    Tim Worstall and the ASI have been banging on about this argument for *years*. That the public might not have caught on is understandable, but how can a regular here have possibly missed it? Or not have understood the argument?

    I hesitate to throw around words like “idiot”, but I am beginning to wonder.


    “The honest truth is that I actually do think you’re a bore… It’s one of several reasons I don’t engage you anymore.”

    You just *did* engage me.

    “But if you have to come up with some sort of self-satisfied self-congratulatory explanation to get around that that and carry on boring others, well, whatever.”

    I don’t have anything to “get around”. I like discussing stuff. Judging by the zeal with which people engage with me, so do others. If you’re not interested in a particular discussion, you can simply skip over it in silence, as I do on a lot of threads.

    Not every blog or comment on the internet is of interest to me, but I don’t go round and comment on every single one to tell them their endless pictures of cats playing with balls of string are “boring”. Anyone who turns up specially to do that is not simply telling you they’re uninterested in the topic, they’re trying to convey an additional message.

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