Strange that we’ve not heard from the Senior Lecturer on this

The Treasury is to review George Osborne’s controversial tax rules on pensions amid concerns they are stifling the delivery of public services and pushing up NHS waiting times.

Higher earners are restricted from putting more than £10,000 annually into pensions without facing punitive taxes. The rules have been blamed for consultants and GPs turning down work, undermining patient treatment.

It was also suggested the rules have led to entrepreneurs losing faith in corporate pension schemes, reducing the attractiveness of plans to employees.

We’ve had much over the years about how tax relief for pensions is a very bad thing. How it should be restricted. About how it’s all a waste. And why give all that relief to the already well off anyway?

So, restrict it.

Funny that we’ve not – I’ve not looked today as yet – had a rethink as reality intrudes upon such plans. You know, maybe an “Ooops!” or something?

He’s amazingly perceptive you know

Third, Boris was a facto. Wait until fuel prices increase in the next week or so and then see whether that remains the case, because he will be the sole reason for that.

Fuel prices are going to rise.

Oil prices plunged by more than 8 percent immediately after the news, pushing WTI below $55 per barrel and Brent down to $61.

An 8% drop in the USD price of oil is greater or lesser than the change in the value of the GDP against the USD?

Fuel prices are therefore going to do what?

Just telling people to do stuff doesn’t work then

A retired accountant from Wandsworth tells us that:

So, fourthly, what this proves is that Sajid Javid is a fantasist, living in his Brexit bunker, thinking that writing a letter will solve a problem. It won’t. Just a monent’s thought on his part would make that obvious.

So why has he done this?

Because he’s stuoid?

This from the Senior Lecturer who does indeed tell us on alternative days that if everyone just followed his own little plan then everything would work.

The levers of control in something as complex as a national economy are wet noodles for conservatives and progressives alike….

Dunno about Art Laffer

A bit after 9.30, as I headed up Regent Street to the BBC I thought it may be safe to tweet that I was going on air. The BBC had booked me a hotel for the night by then, as I could not get home after the programme. It seemed it was going ahead.

And then they said Laffer had pulled out. No reason had been given. I could suggest one. He’d learned who his opponent was.

I do know a number of people who refuse to appear on programmes with the Senior Lecturer. Just as the Senior Lecturer has threatened to pull out of a conference if I were to actually speak as I’d been invited to.

Of course, when he does it to me it’s just a spiteful insistence that no one who might show the holes in his arguments be allowed. When others do it to him it’s a righteous insistence that no one’s interested in such a rude man spouting drivel.

But, you know, chacun a son gout.

Quite joyous

The Senior Lecturer posted something to Brave New Europe. I then commented. The comment hasn’t appeared. I get an email:

Thank for reaching out to us. Of course we wish to have hobby economists participate in the discussion on our website, so your comment is very welcome.

Unfortunately the chap who does the comments is on his annual summer holiday, so this may take some time.

They’re absolutely correct that I am a hobby economist of course. No advanced qualification, never worked as an economist etc.

It’s just that if I’m a hobby one then what is the SL?

Err, yes

So the US government ould rather profit from money laundering than take the bills out of circulation.

Which says rather a lot, I think.

That the American government is rational. For there’s only that seignorage profit if the $100 bills are used outside the US and don’t return. Meaning that the profit comes from people dodging taxes in Russia and the like. And it really is Russia etc. I recall well when the $100 bill changed. A friend ran the bank note importing company into Russia – all legal – and the US Treasury was sending billion upon billion of the new notes into the Russian system.

The US government profits from foreigners skimming their own governments. Given that the US government is supposed at least to be working for Americans this seems like an excellent deal.

My does the Senior Lecturer complain

So whilst Labour has been going round writing fiscal rules that it knows are meaningless because they could never apply and at the same time they have been rubbishing modern monetary theory when they know that it describes how the economy really works Johnson has been absorbing all this. And like the Republican glove puppet he really is he has decided to do what every GOP President has done in recent decades, which is ignore all financial constraints. That is because he knows, first of all that, he can because deficits can be covered by quantitative easing, and second that buying the electorate is the result and that’s what he wants to do.

The analysis being that Boris is now doing this MMT thing of just creating money to spend on lots of lovely hospitals etc.

Which is just what the Senior Lecturer has been telling everyone to do forever. In an entirely non-partisan manner of course. He doesn’t mind which party enacts his righteous ideas!

Of course I am annoyed with Labour. For a long time it’s been known that ‘How are you going to pay for it?’ is stupid question. The answer has always been ‘By putting people to work to do it’ and now it is the Tories who are going to exploit that fact for populist gain, with outcomes that will overall most likely be deeply prejudicial to many in the UK. But Labour has never had the courage to break the austerity narrative and now Johnson will. It’s deeply discouraging.

And isn’t the Senior Lecturer pissed!

What the Senior Lecturer fails to understand

Well, everything, fnarr, fnarr.


The Green New Deal requires wealth taxation

Wealth taxation is generally contraindicated in economics. Because it makes the future poorer than it need be.

Thus we think that wealth taxation is a bad thing.

Ritchie thinks that the Green New Deal is a good thing – on balance. Sure, he recognises there are costs to it as well as benefits.

At which point he fails to understand – the more contraindicated things you add to the Green New Deal then the more the costs rise as against the benefits. So, insisting that we must have wealth taxation as a part of the GND means that we get, at minimum, closer to the point that we shouldn’t have the GND.

Then there’s just stupidity:

Tax avoidance is another form of rentiersim. Remember that this activity is not things like using an ISA or paying into a pension. Tax avoidance is about exploiting loopholes in the law to not pay tax in ways that legislators never intended. The use of tax havens – that have been deliberately created in most cases to facilitate this process – is an obvious (but not the only) indication of this activity.

Legislators create tax havens. Therefore the use of them must have been intended by legislators.

Oh, and the reason why we need wealth taxes? Because rich people might get away without having to do what they’re told by the Senior Lecturer. Therefore we must have no rich people.

As the Senior Lecturer points out, capitalism is efficient

This isn’t what he thinks he’s saying, isn’t what he means to say and isn’t something he understands. But it is so:

The consequence is real. As a matter of fact I think Brexit will lay waste to large numbers of British businesses. Most are marginally capitalised at best, meaning that they have access to relatively limited resources to deal with a period of significant disruption on their supply chains.

That is also the statement that British business is economical with capital, is efficient in its use of it.

Neoliberal capitalism is efficient – your lesson for the day from the Senior Lecturer.

Is this bird just dim or what?

This blog post is shared from the Corporate Accountability Network website. It is the presentation made by Meesha Nehru, a director of CAN, at its launch event on 12 July:

I remember when I first started looking at accounts as a non-financially-trained person. I couldn’t work out why there were 15 pages on Executive remuneration but barely even a couple of lines on employees and only small notes on tax.

Because the previous generation of taters baked such wibble about executive compensation into the accounts because they thought that’s what civil society needed to know. Or claimed to believe such at least.

On government backed loans for Jaguar

There are several things to say. First, although I have reservations about electric cars, let’s be clear that this is a nascent Green New Deal in operation.

Second, let’s also be clear that this is the government picking winners and losers.

And third, quite unambiguously this is the government acting as a banker to the private sector.

And, fourth, the sum involved is far from insignificant.

So, fifth, let’s never again hear opponents of the Green New Deal and a National Investment Bank saying that it is not the government’s job to do any of these things: very clearly it is. A Tory government has just proved that.

What about those of us who think that government shouldn’t be trying to pick winners and also shouldn’t be guaranteeing loans in this manner? That we disagree with Tory policy doesn’t mean we have to accept it, surely?

But much more fun. Note what the Senior Lecturer’s argument actually is. A Tory Government is doing this, therefore by definition it is right to do this. An interesting idea that, isn’t it?

I’m sure we can help……

it was put to me over the weekend that this blog may not be as appropriately named now as it was when it was launched more than 13 years ago. Tax is not its sole focus by a long way now.

I thought about alternatives and the best I could come up with was TAPER – Tax, accounting and political economy research.

Any thoughts?

Here Be Drongoes?

That Green New Deal

In the light of large fines this week for data mishandling, is this a chance of this?

Think how that would change the world’s business models.

And then wonder whether this is part of the Green New Deal that we need.

Yep, to prevent Flipper steaming in the fumes of the last ice floe we must regulate data handling.

Is there nothing the Green New Deal can’t handle?

Missing a trick here

In the discussion at yesterday’s Corporate Accountability Network launch event I was asked how we could possibly effect change in accounting standards when it takes up to seven years for any change to a standard to take place.

My answer at the time was that this pace of change is, of course, quite ridiculous. There is no reasonable reason on earth why it should take seven years to change an accounting standard.

There must, then, be good reason why it does take this long for change to take place in accountancy. I think there is.

The reason being because they hate me etc.

The trick being missed? If it takes 7 years to gain a change that’s 7 years of funding to ask for, innit?

Silly boy

The result is a radically different approach to accounting standards. The objective is to make accounting and business responsible to all in society, which is appropriate given the enormous privilege of limited liability which most businesses enjoy, and which is granted at cost to everyone else in the communities that make it available.

If granting limited liability were a cost to everyone then we wouldn’t grant it, would we?

That limited liability makes large scale economic cooperation – which makes us richer – even possible is why we do. And that it makes us all richer is why it’s not a cost to us.

Such a liberal he is

Changing the rules on advertising yachts could help that

Louis says:
July 9 2019 at 8:31 pm
“Changing the rules on advertising yachts could help that”

Why not make it illegal for people to own one?

Richard Murphy says:
July 10 2019 at 7:24 am
Because as yet I do not think that necessary

Won’t we all need one to get around London?

And isn’t it a lovely vision of society, that your having a boat or not depends upon a permission slip from a retired accountant our of Wandsworth?

This is quite lovely

Carbon pricing is not the most effective way to reduce emissions

Matthew Hewit says:
July 6 2019 at 11:52 am
We need to ensure more realistic fossil fuel prices that include the cost to the environment, and that are high enough to tackle climate change by creating economic incentives to drive efficiency and bring alternative fuels to market. This will provide funding for other green programmes and safety nets to those vulnerable to higher prices via rapidly rising carbon taxes and revenue from carbon trading.

Richard Murphy says:
July 6 2019 at 12:03 pm
We need the alternatives before the pricing

Otherwise we will get a quite reasonable backlash

Matthew Hewit says:
July 6 2019 at 12:19 pm
I was quoting from the Green New Deal report of 2008.

Richard Murphy says:
July 6 2019 at 4:49 pm
So? You think opinion does not move on?

How else does progress happen?

Well done that man.