It’s astonishing what he doesn’t understand

The claim that economists have lost control is based on the absence of a cost-benefit analysis in the Green New Deal and the fact that carbon pricing is rejected.

Of course, the Economist is wrong. There is a cost-benefit analysis in the Green New Deal: we cannot afford not to do it, whatever it costs.

And carbon pricing does not work. Marco Fante explains why here. The essence is simple though: renewables are cheap enough to ensure that carbon pricing is itself priced out of the market.

So, a carbon tax raises the price of emitting technologies, reducing the relative price of non-emitting.


Our task with climate change is to replace emitting with non-emitting technologies.


Renewables are now so cheap that we don’t need a carbon tax to change those relative prices.


So, we’re done then, right? Everyone will, from now on, install non-emittive technologies as they’re cheaper and we’ve solved climate change.

So why is Ritchie insisting we still need the Green Leap Forward?

This is a fair enough question actually

Was it planned? There’s something so gothic about being asked if your baby is wanted. Clearly the only response to this is, “No, so I’ll put it in the recycling bin along with the other unsolicited junk mail.”


As well as my two children, I’ve had the odd abortion and miscarriage, so this is not my first time on the pregnancy rodeo.

Given that one did, voluntarily, get put out for the recycling bin it seems like a fair enough question actually.


The alternative to this is that, as Toynbee suggests, we must all be re-educated in order to hate inequality. Then we would ask for, and would get, greater action to reduce it. Democracy would indeed produce what we want but only after we’ve elected another electorate to accord with a Guardian columnist’s ideal society. That seems rather against the spirit of democracy, even it was Brecht’s solution to the same problem.

Attitudes toward inequality do differ across societies, it’s no great surprise that their levels of inequality differ as well.

Interesting, isn’t it?

An unborn baby was removed from its mother’s womb for life-changing surgery before being put safely back inside, her mother has revealed.

Surgeons performed the pioneering operation at 24 weeks’ gestation after scans revealed the feotus had spina bifida.

The condition can leave sufferers with walking difficulties and even paralysis because the spinal cord does not fully develop during pregnancy.

Surgeons from University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital, along with Belgian colleagues, managed to repair the spinal cord and it is now hoped the baby will be born healthily in April.

At what point does the ability to correct defects means that abortion of one with defects isn’t morally justified?

Don’t forget, the 24 week limit doesn’t apply in the case of defects.

We are already saying “24 weeks is close enough to human that no abortion. Except in the case of defects.” So, at what point of repairability does the “except” no longer apply?

Quite so Professor, quite so

It could be that the UK is heading the world into a downturn: it’s happened before.

It could be Brexit, which is what most commentators outside the UK think.

What it is not is good for the conventional view of the economy.

The conventional view of the economy is that there is a business cycle, Gordon Brown did not abolish it. It’s largely diven by animal spirits, something that uncertainty undermines.

Thus Brexit, uncertainty, lack of animal spirits, well, why not a recession?

That’s actually the conventional view.

And who it is also not good for is those Brexiteers who said that those who suggested Brexit would cause a downturn were wrong. We’ve now got to the point where that prediction can be tested. And those who made it, me included, are being proved right.

No surprise there then. It was glaringly obvious.

Mrs – Ex might be able to correct him on this. A doctor can confidently predict that someone will die. It’s the timescale over which the prediction is made that matters. A century is piss easy and useless. The moment people vote to leave the EU is useful but wrong.

Logic Fail

This isn’t a movement of stupid people, or uneducated people, although some anti-vax posters on social media might persuade you otherwise. The demographics skew heavily in favour of reasonably affluent, reasonably well-educated middle-class white women.

The proof that educated middle class women are not stupid is what?

Didn’t we have a phrase for this?

Something strange is going on in India. Women are becoming more educated and confident. Pre-marital sex is on the rise – a hotel chain called StayUncle offers rooms for an hour or two to couples seeking somewhere to have sex. But at the same time, so are the number of women alleging rape on false promise of marriage.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 38,947 rape cases were reported in India in 2016. In 10,068 cases – about a quarter – the women claimed it was rape on false promise of marriage. In Andhra Pradesh state, 45% of all rape cases filed in the past two years fell into the false marriage category.

That’s “breach of promise” rather than rape, isn’t it?

Us worrying about it all being rather before my time so if anyone knows how it did used to work?

Even more troubling is that the notion of sex constituting rape if a man “reneges” on a promise of marriage is not in the penal code. It has evolved on a case-by-case basis as a result of judges choosing to interpret the notion of “consent” in this fashion. As a consequence, men can be charged with rape if they falsely obtain consent for sex by promising to marry a woman and then changing their mind.

How different from our own current system where the bird can simply allege rape if she just didn’t like the experience very much.

The rest of the piece is actually rather remarkable. It’s, for The Guardian – actually, for anywhere – an entirely reasonable discussion of the subject of rape. I don’t mean that everyone’s got to agree with what’s happening etc, but the reporting is pretty straight. There’s a problem here, this is what it is. Men aren’t the ogres, why the women are making false allegations is explained. And something must be done other than just believing the complainant.

Guess you can only talk reasonably about such subjects when they’re occurring in another country.

Yeah, I know, cheap headlines and all that but still

A woman who broke her wrist in a car crash involving the Duke of Edinburgh has said she feels “safer” now he has given up his driving licence.

Emma Fairweather, 46, who was a passenger in a Kia Carens that collided with the Duke’s Land Rover last month, said: “He’s making the most sensible decision he can. It’s a shame he didn’t make it a bit sooner but it’s the right thing to do.”

Sure, victims should have a voice and all that. But that’s enough, eh?

Well, not quite so much

France’s most illustrious Italian import was Napoleon Bonaparte, who came from a family of Tuscan nobles and was born in Corsica as it changed hands from Genoa to France.

The nobility came because Papa made good wasn’t it? Rather than it being a long familial line, it was an appointment to – umm, tax collecting? – which ennobled Papa and thus gained free fees at the military school for Nappy?

What fun

A powerful ‘mafia’-like syndicate operating within the trekking industry in the Himalayas is threatening to derail a government investigation into a lucrative scam involving the poisoning of tourists.

It was revealed last year that parts of the tourist industry have been conspiring to spike hikers in order to reap insurance payouts for costly and unnecessary airlifts from Everest and other high-altitude peaks.

An alliance of international insurers has threatened to pull cover for the country by Friday if the government of Nepal does not crack down on the elaborate scam.

Not in the sense of my approving of hikers being spiked but I am an aficionado of scams. Incredibly inventive, some of them.

Beats staging car crashes to claim on whiplash…..

A contract is a contract

A “piece of paper should not stand in the way” of women coming forward to make allegations of sexual harassment, one of Sir Philip Green’s accusers said on Saturday night.

This specific contract apparently stating – as an NDA – that you don’t make public accusations of sexual harassment. Seems fair enough that you keep it as you did sign it.

Worth noting that it doesn’t stop you making complaints to the police. Making a formal complaint, alleging criminal behaviour. For a contract which tries to do that doesn’t stand.

So, tell us all, why shouldn’t you stand by your word, your agreement?

Amazingly, this isn’t true

Common, in-clinic procedures performed by other specialists have far greater risks than abortions. The death rate associated with colonoscopies is 40 times greater than that associated with abortion, according to the American Public Health Association.

I’m really pretty sure that one person doesn’t die per colonoscopy.

Yes, yes, I know. Person and foetus etc. But still that’s an incorrect statement above.

No it isn’t

The answer is that our healthcare system is currently undergoing the greatest structural market reform in the history of its existence, and it’s happening along American healthcare lines.

There’s nothing American at all about how the NHS is being reorganised.

True, ACOs exist in the US. But they’re an attempt to move the US health care system in a more European – continental Europe, not the NHS – direction.

Quite apart from anything else they’re found in Medicare – government paid for medical services.

Interesting history here

Still, that same exhibition leaves the visitor in no doubt that what will befall these islands in less than 50 days is of epic significance, breaking a thread that has run through our long history. Even in the age of Mercia, the kingdom strained hard to connect with its neighbours in “Francia”, Rome and Ireland. The 10th-century court of Æthelstan was a cosmopolitan magnet to scholars from all over the continent.

Although not, quite famously, in political union with any of them.

But it’s not sane. Even the softest, mildest Brexit-with-a-deal represents an act of national folly that would have had Cnut shaking his head in disbelief.

He famously tried to join the Holy Roman Empire, didn’t he?

Well, yes

Woman dies after being stabbed to death by fellow motorist in Surrey

The “to death” part tells us she died, doesn’t it?

Headline writing used to be a skilled trade……perhaps an art, an arcane one and part of the subs’ toolbox. But we no longer have subs these days….

For Biggie

A slightly puzzling thought here:

Of course a privateer statelet like Singapore or Hong Kong can get rich that way. The upper bound seems to be approximately Switzerland, and plenty of smaller states ain’t no Switzerlands. Britain is well above that upper bound.

So, small states and small states only can prosper by having low barriers to trade with hte rest of the world. Large states cannot.


But large states have no internal barriers to lots and lots of trade among their large population. Something which makes those places richer. The internal economy is always much larger than any international trade.

So we seem to be saying that tariff free no barrier trade is just super except when it crosses national borders. Which doesn’t seem to work either as a piece of logic nor empirically.