If only they actually understood economics

It was recently announced that the UK came 19th in the World Happiness Report and yet we are allegedly the fifth richest economy in the world.

What is the point?

– the economy is not achieving what its essential purpose should be and we are at least 14 places too low.

Now if we were number 4 in the World Happiness Report that would be a result.

Err, we want GDP per capita, not just gross GDP, and we want it at PPP too. Where the UK is 24 in the list. Meaning that our happiness is 5 places up from our economic ranking. Neoliberalism makes you happy, you see?

Even Vox says Hillary was a pretty shit candidate

The second main argument Shattered makes is that Clinton herself was a flawed candidate whom no campaign team could have saved. This argument hinges on the idea not that Clinton was failed by her staffers, but that she failed them by never articulating a political vision that they could use to capture the public’s imagination. It is in uncovering proof of this second thesis where the book is both most persuasive and most arresting — and where its lessons for the Democratic Party are the most salient.

And if they’re saying it then yes, she was a pretty shit candidate.

Hmm, or is this the reverse ferret? Because they still think all her policies are just great so therefore it must be the candidate that was flawed?

Anyone out there know Hugo?

I want to do some experimentation in building a site using static, not dynamic, pages. Yes, I’ve got programmers here but this is number 17 on the list and has been for months. So, is there anyone out there who already knows this language/system?

Essentially, I want to use it like WordPress. There are already designs for the site out there which can be downloaded, just as with WordPress. But of course with my technical skills–lack of them–I’m never going to be able to get a site up and running.

So, the question is, anyone already got those skills? Set me up with a Hugo site with a design to be nominated, an editor that I’m actually able to use etc? Got my URL already…..

M. Le Professor Pomme de Terre

Simon Saize says:
April 23 2017 at 5:21 pm
The purpose of the Great Repeal Bill is to bring the corpus of EU law under the aegis of the British parliament. The Henry VIII powers are needed to re-word the legislation to make UK agencies responsible for enforcing the legislation.

The next phase (and it may well last a decade or more) will be for Parliament to scrutinise this mountain of regulation item by item and then amend, repeal or continue with each measure.

Richard Murphy says:
April 23 2017 at 5:57 pm

Do pigs fly past your window at frequent intervals?

I have to say that if you want to post here it’s best not to use what looks like a very fabricated name that happens to shorten to SS and to then post propaganda


It’s propaganda to rightly describe something these days.

Won’t happen but what if it did?

By the mid-2000s, some economists began wondering whether Big Data could discern every individual’s own personal demand curve—thereby turning the classroom hypothetical of “perfect price discrimination” (a price that’s calibrated precisely to the maximum that you will pay) into an actual possibility.

What if – we’d all be vastly poorer as the consumer surplus would vanish.

Not quite how I’d describe it myself

Jimmy Choo has put itself up for sale as part of an evaluation of its future.
The British luxury brand, which specialises in shoes and accessories, said it was to conduct a review of various strategic options to “maximise value for its shareholders”, including the possibility of a sale.

Because what is being said there is “We hope we can find some other bugger who values it more than we do”


FIVE women were reportedly victims of a brutal and alleged homophobic attack by a group of men in Hampshire.

One of the women reportedly lost seven teeth when she was punched in the face.

The women were assaulted as they walked home after a night out in Portsmouth at 11.30pm on April 16.

It is understood the victims, were in a group of eight, when they received homophobic abuse from seven men who then went onto attack them.

Attacking women is now homophobic?


Serena Williams’s pregnant victory reminds us how amazing women’s bodies are
Natasha Henry
The tennis star triumphed at the Australian Open without dropping a set while in her first trimester. Are women the weaker sex? I don’t think so

Hmm, little meiotic glob of cells that no one would note if it just slipped away, or were forcibly removed.

Funny how the descriptions of early stage pregnancy change dependent upon the point being made, isn’t it?

BTW, as to women being the stronger sex, in terms of endurance yes quite probably. Don’t forget that your great grandmother – dependent upon your age today possibly your great great – and all her forbears in the matriarchal line spent the entirety of their adult lives pregnant, suckling or too old to do either.

Women doing stuff while pregnant is the natural state of humanity.

How to solve everyday sexism

Language reflects and reinforces social norms; ungendering language is an important part of solving sexism. And there has been some progress. As you might expect, much of this emanates from Sweden. In the 1990s, there was consternation among Swedes that there was a colloquial, non-sexual word for penis (“snopp”) but no female equivalent; a discrepancy with ramifications on how children view and learn about their body. So Anna Kosztovics, a social worker from Malmö, coined “snippa” in 2000 and started promoting it. The government encouraged her efforts. Apparently, nursery school teachers were encouraged to put up notes on their doors asking: “Have you said snippa today?” Snippa entered the Swedish dictionary in 2006 and is now widely used.

Earlier this year, Kosztovics called for the UK to follow Sweden’s lead in a video on the BBC. British English has the word “willy” but lacks a widely used non-clinical, non-sexual way to talk about the vagina. Kosztovics says this means “little girls grow up with the thought that there is something wrong between their legs”. She adds: “There are 360 million people who speak English and I think it’s time for you to discover your own word … I say let the best word win.”

We need to find a new way to say cunt.

You know, I have this feeling that it’s going to be a bit more complicated than that, I really do.

Spud blight

What, then, is that ‘something’? That is the question that needs to be asked. I think the answer is apparent. It is about advancing the neoliberal cause…….. Like all neoliberals her one goal is to push back the state and increase inequality.

Isn’t it interesting that inequality has been declining these past few years?

The so-called Great Repeal Bill, with its Henry VIII clauses that willdeny accountability, will reduce employee and environmental rights, harm the protection for those with disabilities (as if that could still be imagined), diminish universal rights to health care, harm security in old age, damagingly bias markets in favour of big business and foreign owned companies, remove legal protections, probably claw back against LGBT rights, undermine social stability and encourage the break up of the Union. But none if this will matter to May. She will have fostered the self interest of the few, increased their access to the state as a means for appropriating its common wealth for private gain and will have put in place mechanisms that will be contractually hard for successors to unwind. That is the goal.

And amazingly the Great Repeal Bill does absolutely none of those things. It simply encapsulates all of those protections we currently derive from EU law into British domestic law. Not a single one is repealed.

So how’s that for Spud’s blight upon the body politic?

Spud’s off on one again

He’s realised that developed countries tend to have a higher tax share of GDP than poor ones. And thus:

And, as is clear from the line of best fit that Charles has added, the trend is very obvious: as tax rates increase so does GDP. You could argue it’s the other way round but I would very strongly challenge that because government spending is part of GDP and whilst the link between government spending and tax is not direct, what is apparent is that the spending comes before the tax (as I have argued in The Joy of Tax, for example) and so it is GDP that drives the tax flows and not vice versa.

In which case when you have under employment, low productivity and low inflation why on earth would you want a low tax economy?

There’re a number of things he’s missing. Logically, even he’s not saying that higher tax does it. Rather, he’s saying that higher government spending does. It’s still true that tax is the cost of gaining that.

But of course there’s more. Perhaps richer people desire more public goods? Maybe more social insurance? Could be that tax is low in poor places because taxing the people will kill them through starvation? What if there’s some sort of Laffer Curve, or Kuznets maybe, here? Up to some level of GDP then more government – and thus spending and tax – does make the place richer and above that it doesn’t.

For example, the US and UK are richer than France or Finland. So, who is at the sweet spot?

Correlation, as we know, does not show causality…..

Well done to the Herald

Bank of Scotland’s £20m bailout now back in pockets of taxpayer

THE Government has recouped the £20.3 billion used to bail out the Lloyds Banking Group during the financial crash, leaving the Bank of Scotland owner on the brink of privatisation.

Billion, million – and, of course, Lloyds is already in he private sector.

I’ve got a little business based upon this

Talent shortage is acute in the IT and data science ecosystem in India with a survey claiming that 95% of engineers in the country are not fit to take up software development jobs.

According to a study by employability assessment company Aspiring Minds, only 4.77% candidates can write the correct logic for a programme — a minimum requirement for any programming job. Over 36,000 engineering students form IT related branches of over 500 colleges took Automata — a machine learning-based assessment of software development skills — and over two-thirds could not even write code that compiles.

The study further noted that while more than 60% candidates cannot even write code that compiles, only 1.4% can write functionally correct and efficient code.

We’ve been wading through piles of India written code and sorting it out into something efficient and functional.

One little story. One program brings up images of events onto the screen. Perhaps 50 images might come up on one screen. The original code brought all images up in full size and people then wondered about system performance. While we were doing something else we just added a bit here. Full sized image goes into storage, a medium sized copy too, main screen just brings up thumbnails. Click on one to get to medium, again to full.

Just an obvious thing to do.

Get call from client. Umm, why is this running really fast now? Have you finished all your work?

Nope, but while we were doing other problems we did the above.

Wait, what? You mean you are actually thinking about how this should work and making it so?

Err, yes….

We didn’t know that it was possible to find a contractor who does that…..