It’s as if he’s never read Keynes

We are twentieth. And ignore Ireland: its GDP data is so distorted by being a tax haven even Walt Disney would dismiss it as incredible.

We are also the slowest growing country in the EU.

That is not a coincidence.

Tax rises? Bring them on, I say. We will all be better off.

It is the deficit – or surplus of course – which is stimulatory or contractionary. For tax is, as MMT says, taking money out of the economy, reducing demand.

So, the MMT man tells us that more tax is going to make us better off.


Oh, and those places which do send more of GDP through government. Are they better off than we are? Hungary? Croatia, Greece?

Logic professor, logic

The late Prof Mick Moran, who taught politics and government at Manchester University for most of his professional life, had, according to his colleagues, once had “a certain residual respect for our governing elites”. That all changed during the 2008 financial crisis, after which he experienced an epiphany “because it convinced him that the officer class in business and in politics did not know what it was doing”.

After his epiphany, Moran formed a collective of academics dedicated to exposing the complacency of finance-worship and to replacing it with an idea of running modern economies focused on maximising social good.

If the officer class is clueless – obviously it is and that applies to any group we might promote to such status – then there’s no manner of “running” the economy is there? Which is, of course, why we use liberty and markets to do so, so that there’s no clueless wonder “running” things.

Interesting but dangerous

Indian government minister MJ Akbar filed a defamation suit against one of at least 10 women accusing him of sexual harassment on Monday, calling her allegations false and malicious.

The lawsuit, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, names journalist Priya Ramani as the sole accused and says that she “intentionally put forward malicious, fabricated and salacious” allegations to harm his reputation.

Oscar Wilde made this potential mistake…..

Well, he would, wouldn’t he?

One of Britain’s most high-profile retail landlords has backed calls for higher taxes on online retailers to relieve the pressures of the “out of date” business rates regime on the country’s struggling high streets.

Brian Bickell, chief executive of Carnaby Street owner Shaftesbury, called for a “level playing field” between shops and online shopping websites such as Amazon, which typically occupy much cheaper property and pay much less in rates as a result.

That we currently have a level playing field – those who use property pay tax based on the value of the property they use – doesn’t fit the narrative of someone on the losing end of that level competition, does it?

Well, yes, could be

Modern mummy marketing is by and large geared towards heterosexual women in a comfortable socioeconomic income bracket. The mummy-targeted consumables shilled by celebrity mums like the Kardashians are deeply entrenched in anachronistic gender roles, suggesting that a new mother’s main role is as primary carer of her children.

Err, yes. A new mother’s main role is a primary carer to that new child. That’s why we have maternity leave, d’ye see?

This heteronormative approach to motherhood


But convertible into what?

Patisserie Valerie’s management snubbed a £30m deal that would have protected small investors, it has been revealed, as furious shareholders rounded on the company last night.

Investment fund Crystal Amber was plotting a convertible debt deal to rescue the firm which would have meant investors would not have seen their stakes diluted by the emergency fund raise that offered up new shares at a huge discount.

Convertible into equity. Which means dilution, doesn’

There’s no pleasing some people, is there?

A new book has re-ignited a fraught debate in France over whether gallantry is a “brilliant but poisonous myth” that must be jettisoned a year after #Metoo or a treasured Gallic exception that is the envy of the world.

Gallantry, which first appeared in France in the mid-17th century as a code of conduct between the sexes in high society and an art form, may have provided subservient women with a modicum of empowerment at the time but its legacy is perpetuating gender inequality.

That is the view of Laure Murat, a French professor at the University of California in Los Angeles in her A Sexual Revolution, Post-Weinstein Reflections, written in response to the rape scandal involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ms Murat described the concept of gallantry as a “screen” that has helped keep sexual relations partially in the dark ages in France by stopping people thinking about “what seduction is exactly”.

It continues to be viewed by many, she said, as a central part of French art de vivre based on “asymmetric consent, namely that the man proposes, the woman disposes.”

The central point being that it is women who have that decision making power. This oppresses women, does it?

So, who knows people in Malawi then?

I seem to recall that a reader here knows the country. Something about Blantyre wanders around the back of memory.

What is needed is someone who knows the ruling apparatus. Who grants licences and how.

for an adventure of very great profit but none to know what it is.

A proper anatomy exam then

Fowlkes, who taught anatomy and physiology at Lockhart High School, was accused of engaging in “sexual content with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire” of the student in March 2017.

Fowlkes was charged with having an improper relationship with the lad after turning herself in to cops in March last year.

So, so, rare

A mother-of-three has been jailed for falsely claiming she was raped.

Sophie Skinner, 25, from Llanfoist in Monmouthshire, denied perverting the course of justice but was found guilty by a jury.

Newport Crown Court was told the life of her victim Damon Osborne was “turned upside down” by the accusation in 2016.

She was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Judge Daniel Williams after he said she had shown “no remorse at all”.

The court heard that Skinner went out drinking in Abergavenny “looking for attention” on Saturday, 4 June in 2016.

CCTV showed her in a Wetherspoons pub, before going to public toilets in White Horse Lane.

“You then saw Damon Osborne who was waiting for a lift home – at the time he was 18 and you were 23,” Judge Williams said.

“You ran over to him and hugged him… the CCTV at the toilets could not be clearer – you initiated the sex with him.

“When he gave into your persistent demands for sex you told him you could get him into trouble for having sex with you.”

The court was told that Skinner then made a false claim that she had been raped to Wetherspoons’ door staff, and was interviewed by police.

But we must believe every claim by every survivor, mustn’t we?

Well done Telegraph subs, well done

It’s not tax cuts here:

Drastic tax cuts mean tens of thousands of NHS staff are fleeing their gold-plated pensions


NHS workers are abandoning their generous gold-plated pensions in droves, with a quarter of a million opting out since 2015, according to new data laying bare the extent of problems first revealed by Telegraph Money.

Experts are blaming the exodus of 245,500 NHS staff from their defined benefit pension scheme in the past three years, including 100,000 during 2016 alone, on the creep of tightening tax rules.

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at wealth manager Quilter, said: “The impact of the lifetime allowance is beginning to rear its head, a trend likely to continue as the Treasury has made it clear that taxation on pension is no longer for the substantially wealthy.”

Well, no, the lifetime allowance rules show how a defined benefit pension makes you wealthy in fact.

And it still ain’t all a tax cut, is it?

Interesting concept really

Stock markets are trying a little recovery this morning.

But the question remains as to by how much they are over-valued, since few would really dispute that they are. The answer is, by a long way

Given that around and about half of all market transactions are people buying at the current price I’d suggest that some, around and about you understand, half of all people think the market is currently undervalued. Or at least not over so.

But then I’m not a professor of economics, so what do I know?

They’ve not grasped it about planning, have they?

Pizzas must shrink or lose their toppings under Government plans to cap the calories in thousands of meals sold in restaurants and supermarkets.

Pies, ready meals and sandwiches will also be subject to the new proposed calorie limits, in a desperate bid to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis.

Under the draft proposals, a standard pizza for one should contain no more than 928 calories – far less than many sold by takeaways, restaurants and shops. And the recommendations suggest that a savoury pie should contain no more than 695 calories.

Why not 925 calories? And who is going to check and how?

Letters in The Times

I make something of a prediction. One that is obviously true, also one that everyone is going to ignore:

Sir, Further to your report “Employers must reveal ethnic pay gap of staff” (Oct 12), Sir John Parker’s independent review into the ethnic diversity of UK boards found that just 1 per cent of the directors of our top companies are black Britons. The leadership of our professions and government looks little better. Not only are we ignoring the potential of many of our people, the face that we show the world is lamentably redolent of a bygone era for which many of our hoped-for post-Brexit markets in Asia, Africa and the Americas feel no nostalgia.

The government’s proposal for ethnic pay reporting stands a good chance of illuminating this waste of talent and of nudging organisations, both private and public, in the right direction. But it is vital that such reporting is mandatory, otherwise the prime minister’s words will amount to nothing more than a pointless wish list. Worse, it would be a travesty if companies that voluntarily published their data were to find themselves pilloried while other, less scrupulous organisations skulked in the shadows.

Transparency works, but only if everyone is required to be equally open.
Trevor Phillips
Chairman, Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2006–12

Sir, Theresa May’s idea that all employers should publish their ethnic pay gap is going to be expensive and misleading. Expensive because such statistics cost to collect and collate, misleading because the age structure of the population differs by formally defined race. From the 2011 census, the whole population median age was 39, that of the white population 41, Asian, black and other, 30, 30 and 29 respectively, and mixed 18. Pay rises with age, as promotions to better-paid positions are earned through experience.

Populations with higher median ages have higher median wages therefore. No one will pay attention to this simple truth when the figures are announced — thus misleading us all. Given the age structure of the varied populations, ethnic minorities should have lower median pay than whites. This won’t be the reaction to the finding of an ethnic pay gap, though, will it?
Tim Worstall
Senior fellow, Adam Smith Institute

And a decade really is quite a long time in a career and pay structure, isn’t it?

This is probably true isn’t it?

Ministers need to be “honest” and admit that they have quietly shifted the burden of basic public services onto households and volunteers, a new report has found.

The Institute for Government said that households are increasingly having to pay for public services ranging from their care in old age to garden waste collections.

Who is there to pay for government but us chickens?