The mother of your infant children is a mentally unstable crystal-meth fiend: stumped for the ideal birthday pressie? It would take some doing to lose a child custody dispute to Britney Spears, but I think K-Fed has it in him.

Regulation and Markets

A most odd view of markets:

New \’gas guzzling’ cars should be banned across the European Union, the former head of Shell has said.

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart said the sale of new cars which do less than 35 miles per gallon (mpg) should be outlawed for environmental reasons.

The hilarious thing is that he thinks this is a market solution:

Sir Mark, who is currently chairman of the mining group Anglo American, said his years in industry had taught him that the market would provide solutions if governments demanded them through tough legislation.

The point being of course that a legislative solution is not a market solution.


Leave aside that Winston Churchill nationalised BP

When did that happen?

I know there was a large shareholding, but nationalisation? Did I miss something?

Krugmanism of the Day

People are confusing an increase in costs that was largely (not completely) anticipated — after all, the plan is supposed to cover more people, and subsidize their coverage — with a cost overrun.

So a not completely anticipated increase in costs is not a cost overrun.

This news brought to you by a winner of the John Bates Clark Gold Medal, awarded once every two years to the best American economist under 40 years of age.


In Britain, it\’s nowhere to be seen. As every economic analyst is pointing out, Labour has run up huge debts in the good times and has lost its freedom of manoeuvre. Indeed, a shocking report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies last week went further and warned that not only is Labour unable to implement the Keynesian solutions of cutting taxes and raising spending, it may well have to raise taxes to meet existing spending commitments. Brown is as trapped as Shelter\’s homeless family and, at the moment, it seems he has no way out.

That\’s Gordon Brown\’s economic management for you. The budget should be in surplus at this point in the cycle. It ain\’t.


There\’s an Explanation for This

It is possible, I suppose, that even now I could outgrow these prejudices. In my early twenties for example, I finally discovered a love for salted anchovies. Until that point I had hated them. Now if I see the word anchovy on a menu I\’m likely to order the dish. I was actually in my early thirties when I finally discovered a taste for goat\’s cheese. Previously it had tasted too much for me of what the animal smells like. I think I just became a little earthier and decided I liked that smell.

It\’s because both your sense of taste and sense of smell decline as you age. Thus you do reach a point where what were previously extravagantly strong flavours become palatable. Nothing to do with becoming earthier, it\’s because you yourself are crumbling into the grave.

Happens To Me Too

I have accidentally reached that terrifying age at which I am conscious that familiar things are disappearing, facets of life that once seemed immutable. Sometimes they melt away in pairs, leaving behind only a trace of melancholy.

Honesty in public life, rationality in public policy, they seem to have melted away….

Cannabis Hysteria

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, said: "While many people can smoke a joint with no long-term effects, for some young people regular use can double their risk of developing schizophrenia, in which a person may hear voices, and experience strange thoughts and paranoid delusions."

That\’s a blitheringly stupid statement, isn\’t it? "Some", "can double" ….there\’s no information there, is there? If we define our set for whom smoking dope is dangerous as those for whom smoking dope is dangerous…well, we\’ve not actually said anything, have we?

As we know from when this was raised previously, there are some (depending upon who you believe) 2 million to 8 million regular dope smokers in the country. The number said to present with psychiatric problems as a result has near doubled, from some 600 or so to 950 or so in a year. So our definition of "many" is in fact damn near "everyone" and out definition of "some" is damn near "none".

That\’s without even including the fact that we already know that incipient schizophrenics (not quite sure if that\’s the correct word, but those descending into the hell that is that disease) self-medicate heavily before it truly takes hold and is diagnosed. They might do it with tobacco, might do it with alcohol, might do it with whatever other drugs, legal, prescription or not, that come to hand. Given that the downgrading from Class B to Class C will have made dope more readily available (rather the point of doing so in fact) that those on that slope self-medicate with dope more often than they did so previously (sorry, to be accurate, those suffering now do so more than the previous cohort) is really not a surprise.

We\’ve go the classic confusion over causation here. We\’re not distinguishing between those who become psychotic as a result of smoking dope and those who are smoking dope because they\’re becoming psychotic.

And we\’ve got all these people using such glaringly, obviously, incomplete facts (to be generous) to decide upon public policy?


Changing the Licence Fee

The BBC is contemplating a radical revamp of the television licence fee to make it more acceptable to the public.

Corporation bosses and TV Licensing, the authority that collects the money for the BBC, believe the existing name and logo are old-fashioned and unattractive.

They aim to make the image more appealing and to reflect the fact that the BBC also provides radio and internet services, as well as television programmes online and on mobile phones.

There\’s more to it than just updating the image. They need to empahsise that internet and mobile phone part.

For, you do not need to own a television set in order to have to pay the TV licence fee. You need to own equipment capable of receiving TV programs in order to be liable for you to need a licence. And that includes broadband internet, that includes a mobile phone that is capable of an internet connection (which just about all new ones are). If a phone is capable of playing, say, an iPlayer (is that the name of it?) clip from the BBC\’s site (whether you do or not) then you need to have a licence. Yes, even if you\’re a tourist.

So this rebranding isn\’t just to update the image: it\’s to ensure that we all get the point. If you\’re connected to the net in this modern world then you have to cough up for the BBC.

Doesn\’t Look Good

Peter Hain employs his 80-year-old mother on a Commons salary of £5,400 a year, he has admitted.

The former cabinet minister, who recently resigned after donations to his Labour deputy leadership campaign were referred to the police, has employed Adelaine Hain as a part-time secretary for 16 years.

Then again, where else are you going to get someone literate for that sort of sum?

Owen Paterson, the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland whose wife Rose is paid almost £30,000 year to work for him, said: "If you can find me a Cambridge graduate who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of my constituency, who is willing to work long and anti-social hours at very short notice for that sort of salary then good luck. Until then, my wife is the best person for the job."


Those Tory Changes

Oh dear, still some educational work needed here I\’m afraid. Remedial educational work too:

Mr Osborne signals that, if elected, a Tory government would try to reverse the increase and adds: "I\’m a Conservative who believes in lower taxes. If I am chancellor I will approach each Budget seeing whether the country can afford lower taxes."

The country can always afford tax cuts. The question is whether the spending desires of the State can afford tax cuts. The country and the State are not in fact the same thing.

That the police should charge people lesser crimes rather than the CPS: isn\’t that a simple return to what we used to have? But this:

The party would also bring in "virtual courts" – linking custody suites at police stations and magistrates\’ courts by video – to allow some hearings to take place without offenders having to be brought to court.

That really depends. If it\’s a hearing about whether the trial should be on Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, why not? But if it\’s a hearing to charge someone, or to try someone, then it\’s a very large change in the basics of the law: that you be physically present when you\’re tried. It is, in fact, if it were to extend to say charging hearings, an abolition of habeus corpus. And I thiink we\’ve gone far enough down that path, of destroying basic freedoms and liberties in this country, don\’t you think?

Outrage! Outrage!

This will cause frothing at the mouth in certain quarters:

Husbands with multiple wives have been given the go-ahead to claim extra welfare benefits following a year-long Government review, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The advancing dhimmitude of Europe no doubt. I can\’t actually manage to brace myself enough to see what Brussels Journal, Little Green Footballs and Our Mel have to say about it.

Just another one of these things that would be solved by having a citizens\’ basic income. As it would be paid regardless of marital status we simply wouldn\’t have to worry about such things, would we?

One question for anyone who actually understands Sharia law though. I\’ve got the impression (and it is only an impression, that\’s why I\’m wondering whether anyone actually knows) that while a man may indeed have multiple wives, he\’s only supposed to do so if he can actually afford to do so. So why would someone be claiming benfits?

Wikipedia Edits

My, I do seem to have pissed someone off:

Tim Worstall (b. 1963, Torquay) is a complete jackass English writer and blogger, who writes about a variety of topics, but particularly about economics. In his day job, he sucks himself and works as a consultant and dealer in scandium and other exotic metals.[1] He occasionally is a retard and humorously refers to himself in his blog and articles as a member of the "international scandium oligopoly."

Worstall has badly written a blog since April 2004.[2] The blog received approximately a dozen visits in the year to August 2006. It had a readership of one in that period, though most of the visits came from mental hospitals and Europe.[3]

Two of Worstall\’s articles about the 7 July 2005 London bombings have been archived by the UK Web Archiving Consortium.[4]

Worstall has written regularly for the online magazine "Retards, it takes one to know one" TCS Daily since May 2004.[5] In a 23 June 2005 article, he coined Worstall\’s Law of stupid: "All and any morons will in the end be judged by other morons, I Tim Worstall am a moron." [6]

In November 2005, Worstall butchered the book 2005 I\’m a Moron: Dispatches from the Retardosphere, an anthology of blogging.[7]

Since September 2006, Worstall has been an intern to The Philadelphia Inquirer\’s "Editorials & Commentary" page[8]

He lives in a hole in Portugal with his wife. Hopefully no where near Malaga.

Clearly not, Malaga is in Spain.