Elsewhere

A new start up opiniony place sorta thing. Good folks running it. You should read the site often:

It seems a fair and reasonable contention that if we are ruled by the ignorant then we are going to be ruled badly. An acquaintance with reality would seem to be a useful attribute for anyone making the rules by which others must live.

This is not a left or right issue, since surely even the most determined planner would agree that the whole system works better when the brightest and best-informed people are those doing the planning.

The question then becomes: do we end up with the best informed as our rulers? The answer, unfortunately, is we do not. The planning delusion, therefore, moves on from the socialist calculation problem to something that simply does not work under any circumstances.

Since we find ourselves subject to rule at the hands of the ignorant, our rulers should be allowed as little control as possible over what we may do. Laissez-faire is justified not on moral or efficiency grounds but through the lack of knowledge of the planners.

25 comments on “Elsewhere

  1. I could not help clicking on the previous article, written by some social media female in violent praise of Free Trade. She penned the following immortal line:
    “Free trade is much more than hundreds of pages of legalese …”

    If it takes hundreds of pages of legalese, then it is Managed Trade — not Free Trade. But that point seems to have passed her by — maybe she was busy on Instagram at the time? She also got really excited about the UK’s adoption of (largely) unilateral Free Trade in the second half of the 19th Century — initiating the period when the UK declined from an Empire On Which The Sun Never Set to the Sick Man Of Europe. But that surely did not have anything to do with foolish trade policies?

    The 1828uk site seems like a good idea. But be careful with whom you share the limelight, Tim.

  2. [T]he whole system works better when the brightest and best-informed people are those doing the planning.

    And those who consider themselves the best informed people are always precisely those who believe that they are entitled to orchestrate the lives of ordinary lesser people down to the finest detail – the ignorant, knowing their limitations would leave well alone.

  3. Next article:

    According to the study, the chancellor’s current pledges would see the proportion of annual government spending hit 41.3 per cent of GDP, while Labour would take it beyond a staggering 43 per cent.

    The Labour party is likely to see this as no bad thing. They are ready to engage in the battle of ideas, to make the case for government overseeing such a large part of our economic activity. But B>many will be surprised that the Conservatives, who have hitherto prided themselves as the party of economic freedom and fiscal responsibility, are pledging such a spending boost, especially as they’re not even saying where exactly they’ll find the cash to do so.
    https://1828uk.com/2019/11/06/its-time-for-economic-liberals-to-stand-up-and-fight-back/

    Surprised? Nope saddened that all our parties are Socialists and voters’ choice is “Who is least worst?”

    Previous

    Abolishing or lowering trade barriers is crucial, but not enough on its own. A victory for free trade is only possible if it succeeds in winning over public opinion. Richard Cobden of the Anti-Corn Law League knew this, and it seems that Liz Truss does too.
    https://1828uk.com/2019/11/05/how-to-bring-free-trade-into-the-21st-century-2/

    Unfortunately most of her fellow “Conservative” MPs are hi-tax, hi-spend protectionists

  4. Unfortunately most of her fellow “Conservative” MPs are hi-tax, hi-spend protectionists

    My own MP was practically advocating a return to the corn laws after Brexit to allow farmers to transitions.

    Sadly he’ll get 50%+ of the vote and the local party aren’t much and won’t turf him out.

  5. It would be nice to think that the best and brightest understand that people are best left to make their own way

  6. The best and the brightest are too busy making stuff or doing stuff and thereby making an excellent living whilst improving life for millions.

    The floaty excrement in government are just the incredibly inbred leading the unflushable.
    Right family and small or lazy brains given an education but have no skill at inquiry.

    I know a few. Intelligent in a learn for a test way, hopeless beyond a school, damp Squibb in academic terms but without the sense to know it and desperate to justify themselves by making life better for the proles by spending their money for them.

    They severely lack self-awareness of their own uselessness and think government is God.

    They absolutely should not be allowed anywhere near other people’s lives.

  7. My own MP was practically advocating a return to the corn laws after Brexit to allow farmers to transitions.

    This week I will be mostly wearing Donna Karan

  8. “This is not a left or right issue, since surely even the most determined planner would agree that the whole system works better when the brightest and best-informed people are those doing the planning.”

    If that is the paragraph in the back of whoever-it-is’s mind–then they are a cunt.

    It is arrogant tripe. Yes he then calls for lassiez-faire but for wrong reasons if that paragraph is what his premises consist of.

  9. Pcar–yes Johnson and BlueLabour are BlueLabour. Please tell me how handing ourselves over to the EU by vote splitting changes that?

    And no BRINO quotes. Martin Howe says it IS a real Brexit –with reservatIons. That is good enough for me seeing that REMAIN is the only alternative. And since even Farage acknowledges publicly that TBP can’t win outright–your only choice is active support for vote splitting and remain via the grand and hopeless gesture. Which would be fine as your choice were you not trying to do the rest of us in as well.

  10. That’s very odd. First time I’ve come across lines of text it’s impossible to highlight & copy. In Firefox, at least. Even “select all” in the edit menu does visibly bugger all. Had to paste the entire page into Notebook to extract this:

    The technical point that must be understood is that the person handing over the cheque is not necessarily the person bearing the economic burden of the tax.

    The pub sends its VAT to the Treasury, as the brewer sends their beer duty, but it is us sipping away who really pay the tax. Our employer hands over the PAYE but it is our pay cheque that is affected by its existence.

    Equally, business rates are taken from the landlord, not the tenant. This is well known. The intuition is that there is a certain value to a certain location. A scarcity value to a place with high footfall. That is what a potential tenant is willing to pay and that’s that.

    The fact that the price is split between the taxman and the landlord makes no difference to how much the tenant will pay. So, whether we do or do not split it, the total amount paid will be the same.

    So explain to me.
    There’s a scarcity value to a pint of beer, to me. As I’m not currently holding one. The value is set by what I’m willing to pay for a pint – because that’s how much money I have in my pocket – and that’s that.

    So now tell me where the tax incidence is, again & how that differs from a shop to let? As far as I’m concerned, whether I pay for the pint depends on price. What the pub will charge for the pint depends on the taxes on the pint. And it does seem to me directly analogous, as it’s a well known fact that pubs do not sell beer, they only rent it out. You return it to be run back through the pumps at their convenience.

  11. Let’s take a variation on this theme.
    I’m standing in the bar, pondering whether to buy a pint, when this amazing, stupendous, delicious bit of totty walks in As everyone knows, it’s impossible to chat up totty without a drink in your hand. More importantly, it’s impossible to chat up totty in a bar without putting a drink in her hand. The quality of the totty is such that the price I’m willing to pay for her cocktail is effectively infinite. Does this change the tax incidence?

  12. What determines tax incidence is elasticity.

    https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain/microeconomics/elasticity-tutorial/price-elasticity-tutorial/a/elasticity-and-tax-incidence

    The tax incidence depends on the relative price elasticity of supply and demand. When supply is more elastic than demand, buyers bear most of the tax burden. When demand is more elastic than supply, producers bear most of the cost of the tax.

    The supply lof land is pretty much fixed, therefore inelastic.

  13. The supply lof land is pretty much fixed, therefore inelastic.

    The supply of land for commercial premises is not.

  14. Thanx, TMB. It was rather my point. It’s not what is being priced. It’s the elasticity. The supply side inelasticity of buying a pint at 4AM in Guildford is high, so a bar can charge pretty well what they want for it. The inelasticity of demand for electric monkeys on a street corner near me is so high it’s damned near infinite. Bloke’s been trying to sell the same rechargeable ape for most of the summer. Looks like the incidence of simian VAT will be wholly on him for being mug enough to buy it from the wholesaler in the first place.
    Which rather drives a coach & horses through Tim’s article. Real world economics is not dependent on the theories of economists. It’s dependent on the economics of the real world.

  15. High street rents, and therefore rates, are influenced by other factors than supply and demand. Valuations, for instance, are far less flexible than a proper rental market would be. In the meantime the price you can charge for your stock in the retail shop is influenced by the market, not the rental market. Therefore you cannot, as a retailer, easily pass the cost to the punter. A change in business rates can eat all your net profit quite easily, and that is not the limit of what the council can do to mess you up.

  16. As someone who ran a business and rented premises, it is the total amount budgeted rent + rates that matters. How that sum is split between tax authorities and landlord is not part of the decision making process.

    I rented premises in an enterprise zone, rates free for two years. My decision was based on how much I would be paying rent + rates in two years time.

    Since rental agreements have rental review points, lower rates is an invitation for landlords to put rent up. Renter won’t care as long as the gross amount is the same.

    If rates go up and you can’t afford the gross amount, move or go bust. Landlords will understand it is easier/cheaper to revise rent down and keep a reliable tenant, than have no rent whilst they find another.

  17. “If rates go up and you can’t afford the gross amount, move or go bust. Landlords will understand it is easier/cheaper to revise rent down and keep a reliable tenant, than have no rent whilst they find another.”

    It’d be nice if that applied everywhere. Here, in Spain, a landlord would rather keep a property vacant than accept a reduced rent. (there is, as far as I’m aware, no financial advantage in doing this. It’s purely a state of mind.) So you get a lot of people wanting properties they can’t afford. Both residential & commercial. And a lot of both available at rents people can’t afford.

    Example of the same sort of thing: Guy I know comes over here to play golf. Went to the course he prefers to find the cost of a round had been raised by 30%. Few golfers golfing. Asked why the price had risen. Told it had been increased because fewer people were coming to play golf. Heard similar stories about restaurant prices.

    And you want to be in an economic union with people think like this?

  18. “If rates go up and you can’t afford the gross amount, move or go bust.”

    Most high streets have empty shops where the retailers have done just that. Empty shops. Because the market isn’t working or the shops would be occupied.

  19. As daft as it sounds, if the loosely aligned have left and the lower numbers remaining are those that might play golf / eat at the restaurant anyway, then that might work? Ie it’s an unexpected outcome in determining the top of the revenue curve. Not saying that is the case (your mind set explanation sounds far more plausible), but not all supply / demand curves are typical shapes?

  20. @PF
    With a golf course it’s pretty well all fixed costs. The marginal increased costs of any one person playing a round are trivial. It’s much the same with restaurants. Premises, services, labour are all pretty well fixed costs. Even the food you’re buying in because you need to be buying a certain amount of perishables to be able to provide a menu, irrespective of whether it’s eaten.
    Businesses don’t have fixed costs? Parts of the construction industry. Labour’s self employed brought in when needed. Materials bought in as needed. Taxis if the car’s not on a loan/lease? Envelope stuffers? But the proprietor still has to eat.
    Spain’s a strange country. If you ask the proprietor of the bar why his beer’s 2€ a bottle he’ll tell you because the bar opposite’s 2€. If you ask the in the bar opposite, you get the same answer.

  21. @Mr Ecks November 7, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Martin Howe says it’s a “tolerable deal” for him:

    the revised deal is still overall a bad deal. It lands us unconditionally with huge financial obligations for nothing concrete in return, beyond the opportunity to negotiate a trade deal which we would be able to negotiate anyway. A UK-EU FTA is one-sidedly beneficial to the EU, given the UK’s huge importation of goods from the EU concentrated in high tariff sectors such as agriculture, cars and clothing.

    You can argue that in the sweep of history, paying large sums of money we did not owe will be forgotten and the important thing is to regain our freedom. This is unfortunately a cheque the British people must pay for the negligence of Theresa May.

    Of more concern are the longer term negatives which remain in the WA such as saddling ourselves with long term ECJ jurisdiction. I predict that we will have bitter cause to regret such concessions in future years as unpredictable and activist judgments come out from the ECJ, which the UK and our Parliament will have no choice but to obey.

    It delivers BRINO as did May’s “Deal” neither are a “tolerable deal”

    Hardly a ringing endorsement, more like Howe is suffering from Brexit fatigue

    .
    My vote doesn’t matter, what was an almost marginal Conservative seat is now safe Labour due to successive boundary changes, last one being a long finger (on map) deep into Labour land

  22. @bloke in spain November 7, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Example of the same sort of thing: Guy I know comes over here to play golf. Went to the course he prefers to find the cost of a round had been raised by 30%. Few golfers golfing. Asked why the price had risen. Told it had been increased because fewer people were coming to play golf

    Council owned GC? That’s Councils all over UK response to fewer people visiting as parking too expensive.

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