Spuds still not got it, has he?

Andrew says:
December 10 2019 at 11:35 am
This issue is a matter of substantial economic research, so with due deference to Prof Weeks, we don’t have to just take his word for it. What does the literature say? Certainly, when taxes on companies rise, then in the first instance, companies will just pay more tax on their profits, and the shareholders will suffer lower returns. But over time, shareholders will attempt to maintain a level of post-tax return on their capital, which will create pressures to decrease costs including wages paid to employees, and to increase prices charged to customers. So, down the line, who ultimately bears the tax? Answers on a postcard.

Richard Murphy says:
December 10 2019 at 11:58 am
Read Prof Kim Clausing


The answer? Most likely shareholders

Concerning that Clausing paper, Snippa and I have discussed it before.

In wider terms, it is precisely the jurisdiction shopping that such
companies undertake that explains the lack of evidence of an impact
upon labour of the corporate income tax.

I just wanted to check that that is the implication that you are
making in this part of your conclusion?”

Her response?

“Thank you for your email. Yes, that is the implication.”

Alternatively of course we could just say he’s not doing economics but politics.

That Brexit uncertainty

Berkeley has also built up record cash reserves of £1.1 billion. It has indicated that it holds about £500 million of surplus cash that it will decide how to deploy once the political situation becomes clearer.

At some point the uncertainty, being cumulative, becomes more damaging than the act itself. We’re past that – in my view.

Fun numbers

When Cyril joined France’s state rail operator, the SNCF, he looked forward to stable employment until his retirement at the age of 50.

A few years ago the rules changed and he discovered that he would have to work until he is 57 to get a state pension that he reckons will be about €30,000 a year.

OK. His current pay?

The prospect is intolerable to Cyril, 46, who declined to give his last name. He got his first job at the SNCF at the age of 16 and now earns €36,000 a year as a high-speed train driver.

He wants a pension of 80% of pay for 30 years – actuarially at least?

You can see the incentive to change this, no?

Hmm, wonder who this is?

Reading it I think at times of a bloke in the schmutter trade. And then think, nah, there’re clues here that it’s not him. There has been stuff about him and NDAs, yes, but still, not him:

One of Britain’s wealthiest men is under police investigation over allegations of rape and sexual assault, The Times can reveal.

The multimillionaire businessman, whose identity is protected by court orders and who has been referred to as Mr X, agreed financial settlements last year with two former female employees who accused him of assaulting them.

Why not him?

Wide-ranging secrecy orders imposed by a senior High Court judge mean that The Times cannot name the businessman, who has extensive establishment connections,….

Not quite how we would describe that individual, is it, establishment, quite the opposite?

The judge said that the case involved “allegations of sexual offences” against “a public figure with a well-known family name”.

Not really.

Mr X, who is married with grown-up children, has homes in London, the countryside and overseas.

So, if not him, then who?

Comments closed, obviously.

Ah, yes, solved, is it?

The world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft has taken its inaugural test flight, taking off from the Canadian city of Vancouver and flying for 15 minutes.

“This proves that commercial aviation in all-electric form can work,” said Roei Ganzarski, chief executive of Australian engineering firm magniX.

The problem being that it doesn’t scale up. Neither in size of plane nor distance:

Battery power is also a challenge. An aircraft like the one flown on Tuesday could fly only about 160km on lithium battery power, said Ganzarski. While that’s not far, it’s sufficient for the majority of short-haul flights run by Harbour Air.

Isn’t Argentina lucky?

‘We’re back’: Alberto Fernández sworn in as Argentina shifts to the left

It’s not so much the left though, is it? Peronism is rather more Latin American fascism. Certainly, it’s populist corporatism and the corporatism occupies the same economic space as fascism.

The more important point though being that it’s going to work as well this time as it did last. Not that is.

Well, no, not really

UK has lost trillions by letting ‘home-made’ innovations slip through its fingers

This is the usual we’re great at research, at inventing stuff, but not so good at making or owning it.

The mistake that is always made here being that it’s the existence of the thing, the possibility of it being used, that creates the wealth. As Bill Nordhaus has pointed out the entrepreneur usually ends up with about 3% of that total value.

Which does mean that it doesn’t actually matter who owns, we’re much more interested in whether the product hits the market or not. It also means that the Mazzucato like stuff that govt should gain more of the value created is nonsense. At least, if anything people do to gain a greater portion for govt reduces the amount of or speed with which stuff hits the market then it’s nonsense. For whatever might be gained oin the 3% will quickly be swamped by the losses on the 97%.

And we all do believe that government is equally efficient at launching new products, right?


No one knows how many homeless people there are. Countries define homelessness differently; count only those sleeping rough and in shelters on one night night in a year; struggle to estimate those camping with friends or family and living in bad housing or places not meant to be homes.

But what’s clear is the number is increasing.

If we don’t know how many there were, don’t know how many there are, then how can we know the number is increasing?

Oh, yeah, sorry, forgot myself. Guardian and numbers, ’nuff said.

Oh dear

Difficult to take seriously someone who says this:

A 2016 IFS report shows that property tax raises relatively little revenue in Britain.

The OECD says that Britain raises more in taxation upon property than any other OECD nation. Some 11 or 12% of tax revenue raised as opposed to a 3 or 4% average. For rates are indeed a tax upon property and they do, together, raise some £60 billion a year or more.

Not believing this bloke also turns out to be wise:

The assertion that increases in the corporate income tax would be paid by employees is if anything less credible than the stockholder argument. Corporations cannot directly charge employees for the tax they pay. The mechanism that the IFS have in mind must be indirect, through wages levels, that higher corporate tax payments by reducing corporate profits reduce potential wage increases. This is unlikely to be important in the UK current context.

No, the argument has been around since 1899, from Seligman.

Capital added to labour is what increases productivity. Productive workers get paid more. If we reduce the amount of capital added to labour we get lower wages. Taxing profits reduces the after tax return to investing in adding capital to labour. Given that there is an average return to capital across taxing jurisdictions those who tax capital returns will see lower wages in that long run.

Across companies the relative bargaining power of employees and employers determines wage outcomes. Since the crash of 2008 private sector real wages have grown very slowly and remain below their pre-crash level. These were years during which the corporate tax rate fell from 28% to 19% (shown in a graph from Trading Economics). If as IFS believe higher corporate tax rates depress wage growth, then lower rates should have increased wage growth, for which there is no evidence. In the abstract, corporate profitability is one of many factors influencing wages changes. It does not appear as an important influence in the UK in recent years.

‘E’s entirely missing the actual argument, isn’t he?

A truly weird change

What’s wrong are the regulations. Over the last several decades, through hundreds and thousands of tiny edicts, Americans have had terrible experiences in the bathroom and with water use generally imposed on them by bureaucrats who think they know things like:

A showerhead flow can’t exceed more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi)

I’m old enough that one of the reasons to visit America in that dim and distant past was to enjoy a shower that actually worked, had some water in it.

It actually was a thing – “their showers are different your know” went along with the wonders of soft toilet paper as proof of the wealth of that society.

Lies work both ways George

The rewards for political lying are massive: they include winning referendums and elections. The penalties are either nonexistent or tiny.

This being one of the few times when tu quoque is logically valid. Have you actually read the newspaper you work for on the subject of American access to the NHS? Jezza’s claims? On claims of poverty when inequality is meant? On many a subject in fact.

Well, obviously it’s true

On Saturday, the Sun published an exclusive story by its political editor, Tom Newton Dunn, which announced that a group of former British intelligence officers had uncovered a “hard-left extremist network” at the heart of the Labour party. “HIJACKED LABOUR” declared the piece, which went on to claim that Jeremy Corbyn sits at the centre of a “spider’s web of extensive contacts” that stretch “from Marxist intellectuals to militant groups and illegal terror organisations”.

In that not specifically and actually true sense but with a certain truthiness to it…..

I thought this was already known

Doting killer whale grandmothers help their grand calves survive, particularly in times of food scarcity, scientists reported in a paper that sheds new light on the evolutionary role of menopause.

Orca females stop reproducing in their thirties or forties but can continue to live for decades more, a phenomenon known only to exist in humans and four other mammal species, all of which are whales.

It has been suggested that the trait evolved because it allowed post reproductive females to help their wider kin – referred to as the “grandmother effect” in people, but the theory had not been tested in whales until now.

I knew about the menopause bit and also the grandmother effect in people. But I thought that one of the reasons I knew about it was because it had been observed in whales – the only other species(es) which have the menopause.

Hmm, not sure about this

From studying just under 1,000 student athletes, around half at the elite Division One level, the athletes were able to ignore electrical noise in the brain in order to better process external sounds such as a teammate or coach giving instructions.

The study’s author, Nina Kraus of Northwestern University said: “No one would argue against the fact that sports lead to better physically fitness, but we don’t always think of brain fitness and sports.

“We’re saying that playing sports can tune the brain to better understand one’s sensory environment.”

“A serious commitment to physical activity seems to track with a quieter nervous system,” Kraus said. “And perhaps, if you have a healthier nervous system, you may be able to better handle injury or other health problems.”

College level athletes in the US are usually pretty good. This is a lot more selective that peeps turning out for the college third team in the UK.

How much of this is going to be because people at that level of anything are pretty good at concentrating?

Career transitions

Wouldn’t wish the disease upon anyone:

‘You see that grey building?” Leslie Ash says. We are standing at the window of her central London penthouse. “That’s Charing Cross hospital. Now, see that bit sticking out on the left? That was my room, on the top floor.” In 2004, Ash spent nearly three months there, recovering from the superbug methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), a variant of MRSA, perhaps watching her old life out of the window and wondering if she would ever get it back.

Sure, it’ll make a dent in a career. And yet, and yet:

She was 44 when she was admitted to hospital, still best recognised as the perkily luscious Debs in the BBC sitcom Men Behaving Badly. At 59, she still looks perky,

There’re an awful lot of good looking women who don’t quite make that transition. On the grounds that some careers – of course, not this one, of course not – are built on the perky lusciousness alone. And when that’s gone, as it does go……

Richard E Grant wants to throw gay actors out of work

No, really, he does:

Richard E Grant believes that straight actors should not play gay characters.

The Oscar-nominated star is opposed to what he sees as heterosexual performers taking the parts of their homosexual colleagues.

The portion of the acting profession that professes gayness is rather higher than that of the general population. Rather higher than that prevailing among the parts being played. Thus to insist upon casting by sexuality is to deny many gay actors work.

For this will work both ways, right? If the cis and hetero cannot take parts that are not cis and or hetero then those not cis or hetero cannot take parts which are?

I wuz raped so I should inherit more money?

Rape’s a terrible thing. But quite how it means you should inherit more money is difficult to discern.

Ms Dillon is seeking 4 million Australian dollars (£2 million) from her father’s $18 million estate, rather than the $750,000 she was left.

In a 25-page affidavit lodged at the New South Wales Supreme Court and reported by The New Daily, she claims she was raped by Bill Landeryou, a Labor MP and close ally of Mr Hawke, who died in February aged 77.

Ms Dillon alleges she was sexually assaulted three times: at a Hilton hotel, in parliament and at the MP’s home.

“These instances of sexual assault occurred during a period when, to my knowledge, my father was preparing to challenge the current Leader of the Opposition for the role of Leader of the Australian Labor Party,” she alleges in the affidavit.

Other than “bad stuff happened to me, give me money” what is the actual argument here?