I do so enjoy Mr Richer

Anyway, back to the story. I wanted to talk to Richard about an idea in the very last paragraph of The Great Tax Robbery: his suggestion that we needed to “monitor systematically multinationals’ tax payments and actions (or inactions) against tax avoidance: TaxWatch perhaps”. I agreed passionately.

And so Mr. Richer did indeed start the funding for TaxWatch.

The same Mr Richer who sold his company – entirely and wholly legally – without incurring a tax bill for himself nor, I think I’m right in saying, even creating an asset which would then be subject to inheritance tax. Although I may well have misunderstood that last.

It tracks all forms of tax abuse and works very hard on what to do about it, and has started a national discussion on what tax avoidance actually is (HM Revenue & Customs’ definition is “bending the rules of the tax system to try to gain a tax advantage that parliament never intended”, which most of us don’t seem to realise).

TaxWatch being run by Richard Brooks, the Private Eye guy who entirely made up the idea that Vodafone faced a £6 billion tax bill, that there was some “deal” which led to a much lower bill actually being paid. When Vodafone was, in fact, simply obeying the European Union’s laws on the taxation of subsidiaries.

But then one man’s entirely legal and moral obeying of the tax laws shades into tax avoidance when done by someone else, doesn’t it?

Is a bit of a problem, yes

A logical problem that is:

But the liberals will not resile from this stance, even though it involves, as usual, a philosophical paradox, a contradiction. They will argue, simultaneously, that the poor are not more inclined to criminality than the rich and that the poor are driven to crime as a consequence of the predations of the rich.

Confirmed – inflation hits the poor worst

New analysis from the Resolution Foundation shows that inflation for the poorest 10th of households has hit double digits, standing at 10.2%. It is now significantly higher than the 8.7% rate experienced by the richest 10th of households – itself a high level in historical terms. The disparity has widened as poorer households spend a greater share of their income on energy. The 1.5% gap is the highest on record, placing it above the last period of significant food price inflation, in the early 2010s.

Which is, of course, one of the reasons to be against inflation. Because the poor suffer more from it than the richer.

As opposed to a fairly common view out there, which is why not have a bit of inflation if it means that we get to play with more newly minted money?

So, err, what is an “Adult Sauna” then?

Monkeypox cases in Spain have been linked to a superspreader event at an adult sauna in Madrid.

Enrique Ruiz Escudero, the region’s cabinet minister for health of the community, said on Friday that health officials had traced many of Spain’s 30 monkeypox cases to a single sauna in the capital.

Is this a bathhouse? So we’ve the same transmission mechanism as HIV in the early days then?

Isn’t this lovely?

The House of Lords could shortly welcome its first trans peer and only female hereditary member.

Matilda Simon was this week given permission to contest the next by-election for one of the upper chamber’s remaining 92 hereditary seats.

If she wins, she will doubtless become the envy of peers’ daughters across the country, because the vast majority of titles may only be passed to a male heir.

Absolutely and completely a woman in every way and sense – disregarding primogeniture because that would be inconvenient.

Which is rather female, really, isn’t it?

The Gender Recognition Act 2014 includes a provision stating that a person changing gender “does not affect the descent of any peerage or dignity or title of honour”.

Yep, man’s a cretin

This is just drivel, to be polite. If banks do not need deposits to lend – and they do not – then this is total nonsense.

The Bank of England really should understand banking before they publish a book about it.

Banks need deposits to finance loans. If this were not true then no bank would ever suffer a run or go bust, would it?

It’s the P³ that needs the remedial lesson.

Hmm, yes, well

Over the last 12 years, I fear we have been sleepwalking closer and closer to the F word. I know everyone is scared to say it for fear of sounding over the top or being accused of going too far, but I say this with all sincerity. When I say the F word, I am talking about fascism—fascism wrapped in red, white and blue. You may mock and you may disagree, but fascism does not come in with intentional evil plans or the introduction of leather jackboots. It does not happen like that.

Not wholly sure I’d true the analysis of a nationalist and socialist politician on this. Especially as she – happened – to be wearing a black shirt at the time.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

The relevance of this last one is to show that inflation peaks are usually pronounced, and rarely result in plateaus. Even if they do, those plateaus are of short duration after which the trend is that there is an almost invariable sharp decline.

Politicians can make things worse, of course: Thatcher did in the early 80s, which most people tend to forget, but there are always consequences for deliberately trashing an economy, as she did. These exceptions apart, it is clear that inflation has not only recently, but throughout 800 or more years of history had a habit of correcting itself.

The assumption underlying that. That previous governments didn’t – just never ever – change policy so as to reduce inflation. It all happened by magic instead.

Deeply unconvinced

Capital gains
First, Rishi Sunak could raise capital gains tax rates to match income tax rates, and reintroduce an inflation allowance, as his predecessor Nigel Lawson did in 1988. It was the top recommendation by Sunak’s own advisers, the Office of Tax Simplification, in 2020. This could raise up to £16bn. While some people will doubtless delay cashing in gains to avoid the tax, the chancellor should comfortably reach £10bn even accounting for this. A reformed capital gains tax would also be fairer, reducing the opportunity for some to game the system to pay lower effective tax rates.

With inflation at 9% entirely uncertain that CGT with an inflation allowance would raise anything at all…..

As ever

My 12-year-old son has additional needs and significant sensory processing issues. He has not been in school for almost five months and I am his full-time, unpaid carer. I am currently claiming universal credit. Right now, I am furiously paddling to stay afloat and trying to stay far enough away from the edge financially that we don’t lose our home. But even that is not a given.

In the story of poverty. Something missing. Heart-rending etc etc. And where’s the child’s father? The child support?

No, of course, she could be a widow. Etc. But there is, as so often, the assumption here that all of us should be supporting them through taxation. Rather than, say, the biological parents of this child supporting the child.

I recognise this argument

The tiny fraternity of monetarists who track esoteric M1, M3, M4 “aggregates” warned in late 2020 that the money supply across the West was becoming unhinged, and that this in turn was incubating double-digit inflation — or something close — with the typical lag of one to two years.

They argued correctly that the “velocity” of money would recover as western economies reopened, turbo-charging the enlarged stock of money. They expected the price shock to hit with full force more or less now.

After all, MV = PQ is a definition. And as V increases it’s necessary to reduce M. QT that is.

Not the most perceptive of analyses

But hold on. Renault, with some back-seat driving from President Macron, is making a big bet on an alternative technology. The company has just announced ambitious plans for a hydrogen powered vehicle, not long after France unveiled a massive programme of investment in the fuel. And yet, that is already looking like a terrible mistake.

Hydrogen is an unproven technology. The infrastructure for fuelling vehicles is woefully inadequate and unlikely to get any better. And unless hydrogen hits a critical mass there will be very little incentive for anyone else to come into the market. Renault was carving out a potentially successful niche in electric vehicles, especially with the big-selling and relatively cheap Zoe. It looks like blowing it on a high risk wager that is doomed to fail.

The same is true of all new technologies. And H2 with fuel cells looks like it will become the propulsion of choice for lorries. So much of that infrastructure will have to exist.

But then this is why we use markets anyway. Everyone gets to try and then we find out, right? Rather than planning by either government or newspaper columnists.

Ahahahaha

The extent of this boost varies from person to person: While libido is often portrayed as a simple reflection of hormone levels, it’s actually the product of a slew of complex factors—an equation that experts are still puzzling out. Notably, the alleviation of gender dysphoria that often comes with going on T can reduce a person’s stress levels and increase their comfort in their own skin. Those changes themselves can trigger an uptick in libido. The initial surge in sex drive that comes with taking T also typically abates over the course of a few months or years, eventually leveling off into a new baseline of sexual interest and urges.

You get more interested in sex because you’re no longer worried about your sex – instead of because testosterone.

Yeah, right.

You will starve and you will be happy

Experts agree that it’s the easy availability and low cost of highly calorific, sugary, salty, fatty food that has to be tackled if obesity is to be reduced.

Food’s just so cheap that the proles – THE PROLES! – have to let out their belts. Better do something about that, eh?

Fuck off.

Only a small thought

But has Aaronovich ever considered the one little fact:

In a 180-page screed written to accompany his massacre he alluded to his belief that something called “The Great Replacement” was taking place, in which American whites were being supplanted by people of other colours and ethnicities. This, he believed, had to be resisted.

I won’t name him and in any case he was just the latest in a bloody line of white men who, in various countries over the last decade, have murdered the innocent in the name of stopping this non-existent threat to the white race.

He’s saying this in a country where 14% of the population is foreign born. That is a hell of a change and it’s a recent one. And, well, whadda ya mean no one’s allowed to muse on it?

We’ll see how this works out soon enough

A strong performance by left-wing Democrats in primary elections came as a snub to President Biden: he wants centrist candidates who he believes have a better chance of winning in November’s midterm elections.

Instead, Democratic voters chose “progressives” for the vacant US Senate seats in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, seen as key to control of the chamber, while also rejecting a rare endorsement by Biden of a well-funded, sitting centrist congressman in Oregon.

Fake left, run right, has long been the way to get through the primary and election process for Democrats (the inverse for Rs of course). But what happens when the left part isn’t a fake and then meets the general population?