As Ritchie insists, people don’t move for tax rates

The cat-and-mouse game between state tax collectors and wealthy New Yorkers who are moving to Florida has reached new levels — and gone high tech.

New federal tax laws limiting the deduction of state and local income taxes have created incentives for wealthy New Yorkers to move to Florida or other lower-tax states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month blamed wealth flight for the state’s $2.3 billion revenue shortfall in December and January.

“Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich,” he said. “We did. Now, God forbid, the rich leave.”

There really is a Laffer Curve…..

Who knows about Great Big Sod Off sound systems?

Just a little thought here. We’ve got some noisy people around us with their sound systems. Breaking the law with their sound systems.

One idea is to have a great big Sod Off sound system to oppress them occasionally.

So, what does one need for a Great Big Sod Off Sound System?

I’m thinking about something that can produce 130, maybe 140 decibels as a nice starter. Possibly significantly more. The point being that if they start running well above legal limits then I can flatten them against their own wall.

An alternative is something that is only about as loud as they are. 110 to 120 Db. But which is ever so slightly our of whack with their system. Even, picking up their music and playing if back at a .25 sec delay maybe. Yes, I can imagine big feedback problems with that idea.

Anyway, anyone any bright ideas? Or guidance? Is there someone who has built this sort of system already?

So, who are you going to believe?


There is excellent, and wholly rational reason for not investing in oil now. It is that the worth of any company is dependent upon its future revenues. And these companies are as a result valued upon the basis of their supposed reserves. But the fact is that those reserves are going to have to stay in the ground if there is any hope at all that the world can survive climate change.

Norway is selling out of oil because it knows it has no future.

Or me?

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund – the Government Pension Fund – has just announced that it’s to sell off its stock in the gas and oil exploration sector. This makes very good sense indeed – so much so that they should never have invested in the sector in the first place. No, this is nothing to do with the climate crisis, nothing to do with stranded assets and all that malarkey. It’s just the simple and basic rules for investing – you diversify.

Note what they don’t note

The world’s richest 1% holds about the same proportion of global wealth now as it did at the start of the millennium, according to Credit Suisse’s 2018 global wealth report.

Wealth inequality rose after the financial crisis in 2008 but has stopped rising in the past two years.

Wealth inequality fell during the financial crisis therefore….

Well, that tells us then

Is some, and maybe a large part, of that fall in life expectancy due to austerity then? I very strongly suggest that it is.

And much of the rest may be down to the lifestyle promoted by neoliberalism, with excessive consumption of inappropriate foods at the heart of that.

My conclusion: neoliberalism kills.

Neoliberalism promotes that extra pizza apparently. Is there nothing that can’t be blamed upon it?

Errm yes?

A groundbreaking study by the English Institute of Sport has revealed shocking findings about the physical toll on women in high-level sport.

The research, which is released on Friday, has revealed that menstruation, incontinence and breast pain affect the performance of international athletes. Key findings of the report include:

38 per cent of female athletes in a variety of sports in last year’s Commonwealth Games suffered stress incontinence during training, while 28 per cent suffered from the same condition during competition.
More than 50 per cent reported painful period symptoms and premenstrual tension, significantly higher than the national average.
Upwards of 30 per cent have infrequent or absent periods, which could lead to fertility issues.

Training up to international sporting standards lowers body fat and thus leads to an absence of periods. Yes?

We knew this, didn’t we? What’s groundbreaking about it?

Define hoax that must be suppressed

Facebook will ban anti-vaccination adverts and suppress anti-vaccine content as part of a broad crackdown against dangerous medical misinformation.

The social network announced a multi-step plan to tackle “anti-vaxxer” content after widespread outcry about the way its algorithms amplified vaccine conspiracy theorists and quack medicine peddlers.

The company will set its algorithms to demote pages and groups that spread known hoaxes, and prevent such groups and pages from being recommended to users or from appearing in search predictions.

Vaccines? Higher minimum wages cause job losses? Socialism ain’t all sweet things and no puppy god tails? Rape’s not that common on campus? Dicks are things possessed by men?

what is a hoax that must be suppressed?

And he calls himself an economist

But, second, and much more importantly, they are not admitting this because very large numbers of jobs will be threatened by scrapping tariffs. The fact is that whilst we might have free trade with the EU we do not with many other nations on earth for very good reason. The tariffs we impose protect UK jobs. Remove the tariffs and those jobs disappear. The biggest gainer will be China, of course.

The government is, unsurprisingly reluctant to admit that this is what free trade means.

As every economist knows trade as no effect upon the number of jobs at all.

It’s entirely monetary and fiscal policy which does – the state of aggregate demand that is.

Trade affects which jobs, not the number of them.

This man teaches economics at a British university. Lucky us.

Some might say this life was a failure

If, by the end, Simon Norton was concerned that his life had not been what you would expect of one of the cleverest men in the world, he did not show it.

This was the man who as a child was fêted as a prodigy in the Daily Mail and The Sunday Times. Yet as he sat amid the accumulated detritus of his basement — a tidy mind in an untidy world — he displayed little worry that his was not the position of eminence most readers would have predicted years ago.

He was the mathematician who gained his first first-class degree aged 17, who began his second hailed as among the most promising prospects of his generation — and who, indeed, had some notable success in his twenties. In the dim half-light of his Cambridge flat, however, he did not appear to be bothered whether after that he had really fulfilled his potential — whatever that means.

Well, yes, mathematical genius, has breakdown, leaves maths. So, a failure then.

Norton was unambitious and never quite of this world. He was also generous, concerned and kind. He did not have a partner, children or many close friends, but what he did have, wherever he went, was a way of eliciting fondness.

When he died, on February 12, the family said they were surprised by just how many people wanted to pay tribute. “Simon’s funeral was attended by mathematicians, bus campaigners (who look very similar to some mathematicians), publishers, grateful former tenants — a peculiar and lovely mix,” said Alexander Masters. “Afterwards we all ate jaffa cakes (Simon’s favourite biscuit) and went on an hour-long bus ride round London, in celebration.”

There’s a certain glorious – and rather English – victory to that life.

Err, George?

And I’m struck by the amazing variety of ways in which cars have ruined our lives.

Let’s abandon this disastrous experiment, recognise that this 19th-century technology is now doing more harm than good, and plan our way out of it. Let’s set a target to cut the use of cars by 90% over the next decade.

It’s a classic, isn’t it? George gets by just fine without a car – although as I recall he didn’t in rural Wales with a small kid – and therefore the rest of us should. Project much George?

Building a wondrous straw man

It is a bewildering and alarming time to be a Jew, both because antisemitism is rising and because so many politicians are responding to it not by protecting Jews but by victimising Palestinians.

On 16 February, members of France’s yellow vest protest movement hurled antisemitic insults at the distinguished French Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut. On 19 February, swastikas were found on 80 gravestones in Alsace. Two days later, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, after announcing that Europe was “facing a resurgence of antisemitism unseen since World War II”, unveiled new measures to fight it.

Among them was a new official definition of antisemitism. That definition, produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016, includes among its “contemporary examples” of antisemitism “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination”. In other words, anti-Zionism is Jew hatred. In so doing, Macron joined Germany, Britain, the United States and roughly 30 other governments. And like them, he made a tragic mistake.

Anti-Zionism is not inherently antisemitic – and claiming it is uses Jewish suffering to erase the Palestinian experience.

The claim isn’t that anti-zionism is inherently anri-semitic. It’s that many anti-semites disguise such under the cloak of anti-zionism.

And Obama never used the teleprompter, right?

New research into Donald Trump’s speeches reveal why the president’s scripted brand of populism doesn’t come easy

Donald Trump spent much of his presidential campaign mocking his rivals for relying on teleprompters – until, reluctantly, he was forced to do the same. “If you run for president you shouldn’t be allowed to use teleprompters,” he complained. “Because you don’t even know if the guy’s smart.”

But intelligence isn’t the only trait that politicians can fake by relying on automated scripts. New analysis suggests Trump struggles to express populist ideas unless he’s reading remarks prepared by his scriptwriters.

The research by Team Populism, a network of political scientists, analysed Trump’s speeches – both scripted, and off-the-cuff – looking for three core elements of populist discourse.

Interesting really

And so we end up with an act of wilful self destruction, which is what Brexit is. The vast majority can see that in itself it is glaringly obviously not the right thing to do.

Strange then that the majority who voted did so in favour of Brexit. And if the opinion polls are to be believed, so would a plurality again. So what is this vast majorty who can see that Brexit is obviously not the right thing to do?

Isn’t Joan Smith well informed

It also appears to send a negative message to their employers when it comes to setting salary levels. Virgin Atlantic has a significant gender pay gap, according to figures published last year. Its median hourly rate for women is 30% below that of men, something that means – as the government’s gender pay gap report painfully spells out – that women earn 70p for every £1 that men earn. (The gender pay gap at British Airways, by contrast, was 10% in 2017.)

Clearly, this habit of sex discrimination is very hard to break. It starts with dress codes and ends with salaries (or doesn’t – let’s see what this year’s report on the Virgin Atlantic pay gap has to say). One minute you’re telling women what colour lipstick to wear, the next you’re paying them less as well. How on earth does that happen?

The gender pay gap in airlines is driven by there being more male pilots than female, more female cabin crew than male.

and that’s it, no more to it than that.

Anna Soubrys Electoral Math Lesson..

Anna Soubry must have been given maths lessons from Diane Abbott last night after claiming that 63% of people voted for remain (or rather didnt vote for leave..)

However, her own election in Broxtowe makes some interesting numbers itself…


This looks like an error

AC Grayling has won £20,000 libel damages against a Twitter user who accused him of being a paedophile in a case he said should act as a “marker” against irresponsible social media users.

The 69-year-old philosopher and Oxford University fellow was “distressed and enraged” after Peter North suggested he possessed videos showing child abuse in a tweet posted online in May last year.

The defamatory tweet read: “I’d bet good money that AC Grayling has a hard drive full of under age botty sex videos.”

Professor Grayling was alerted to the post by other Twitter users and said he felt so insulted that he was unable to ignore it as he launched legal action, the High Court heard.

North, who failed to file a defence,

I’d have at least tried the defence of mere common abuse….

Didn’t we find out last time?

More than 100 children a day are having rotting teeth removed in hospital, when nine in ten cases could have been prevented, new figures show.

Children aged five and under accounted for 14,545 tooth extractions in 2017/18 in England, with most of those – 12,783 – as a result of tooth decay.

The rules changed meaning that extractions are now in hospital, not the dentist’s chair?