Not sure I can cope with this

A lefty blog that understands, for at least one post, economics.

Note please, I\’m not saying that everything is right here: only that this is they economic way of thinking.

Something all too rare in leftyland and welcome when it is found.

9 thoughts on “Not sure I can cope with this”

  1. Mind you, Economic thinking is hardly necessary. You could dismiss the idea simply by reminding yourself that it’s a recycled New Labour policy.

  2. Quite right to include the caveat, Tim. It is the economic way of thinking, in the sense that the author is using the term ‘price elasticity’ and talking about the overall effects.

    But it’s not the economist’s way of constructing an argument. Just because the p-e-d for alcohol is probably not particularly elastic does not mean that it is necessarily zero. It is an empirical question. I think HMRC reckons the p-e-d is around -1 (which suggests that they’ve got the revenue maximising taxation level about right). That’s an elastic p-e-d. But even if it was inelastic, it wouldn’t be zero.

    Then the suggestion that there is a significant income effect resulting from higher expenditure on alcohol that will lead people to spend less on healthy things is wildly speculative.

    Frankly, the argument reminded me as nothing so much as the idiot postmodernist literary critics savaged by Sokol, using terms from physics and thinking they were doing something scientific. There’s more to economics than knowing what the words mean.

    Anyway, shouldn’t you be having a go at Chakrabortty? He’s today arguing that all the companies paying bankers’ bonuses are wasting their money completely. ‘Cos they’re obviously not as clever as him.

    Tim adds: I did have a go at him in hte comments there: poiting out that paying bankers bonuses means that banks have flexible wage strctures. Which is why they do it.

  3. Mmm, says a lot about the economic understanding of this site that you think that shows any. FlatEric has it about right – it’s someone throwing around some economic terms without considering for one second whether what he (is that David T?) is suggesting makes any sense

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    I am not sure I would call HP a left wing site. It is a site for people who used to be Left wing. Marxist Leninists in fact. But they are often, even mostly, Jewish and strongly Zionist. Which means that they are about as welcome on the modern British left as a bacon and cheese burger at a Frum wedding.

    They may think they are on the Left, but the Left does not want them. Just ask them how many have been banned from CiF.

  5. Much obliged for the link to H.P,Tim.
    Last visited there at the height of New Labour’s pomp & had completely forgotten of it’s existence.
    Great entertainment.
    Don’t agree withSMFS.
    It’s definitely ‘left wing’ but the general hum of brain cells actually firing over there is such a novel experience in left wing debate it’s easy to become confused.
    I must take a stroll through their archives covering the Broon reign & The Great Fall when time permits. Should be fun reading.

  6. SMFS: Never mind CiF, some of us on HP, have been banned from HP too. Numerous times. We have to create new identities for ourselves, but we always get back in.
    It’s like having to sneak into your own house through the cat flap.

  7. Pingback: Banditry » Alcohol-related stupidity

  8. FlatEric is basically right here. Only thing to add is the utter witlessness of concluding that a minimum retail price would harm pubs: given that a minimum retail price would be above current supermarket prices, but below current pub prices, it can only help pubs.

    I’ve blogged this.

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