George Irvin goes entirely doolally

Take pensions: although a strengthened EZ cannot take over the entire pension system given current productivity differentials, it could deliver a basic citizen’s pension, a payment which would guarantee a subsistence minimum for all its retired citizens financed by a Robin Hood tax.

Ya Wha\’?

Pensioners are about 20% of the UK population, take that number to be true for all of Europe. So, 100 million out of 500 million people.

A basic citizen’s pension. £100 a week? 100 million times £100 is £10 billion a week. Some £500 billion, or half a trillion, a year.

And, umm, you think you can fund that with a Robin Hood Tax? The EU thinks they might be able to get €50 billion a year out of the RHT (this is before falls in income from other taxes driven by the RHT shrinking the economy which they themselves note).

You’re £450 billion short aren’t you? Either that or the “basic pension” needs to be £10 a week.

I know the economics at SOAS is a bit squiffy but I did think you were up on arithmetic.

9 thoughts on “George Irvin goes entirely doolally”

  1. Er, as a RHT is going to be getting it’s revenue from the same financial transactions the pension funds are making aren’t we in a – bucket, standing in, lifting ourselves up by the handle – situation here?

  2. “You’re £450 billion short aren’t you?”

    Might he be rolling member state state pensions into his plan and using the hotly anticipated RHT revenue to top them up to some claimed level of subsistence?

    I disagree with his suggestion that the EZ cannot retreat and cannot tread water. The failures are not through a lack of integration they are through corruption, incompetence and moral hazard.

  3. Sorry, my stupid. It’s just a straight transfer from contributory to non-contributory pensions, isn’t it? Yet another one.
    So in other words, dig an enormous Greece shaped hole & jump into it.
    Oh well, at least he’s working from a tried & tested model. You can’t say he’s not learning from experience.

  4. “The failures are … through corruption, incompetence and moral hazard.” It’s awfully tempting to think that the Euro was designed by people who were just stupid, ignorant or reckless. But I wonder if there was also some malevolence. Any chance that a few old KGB agents were involved? I mean, otherwise we have to assume a Himalayan degree of hubris behind the stupidity, ignorance or recklessness. Wouldn’t friend Occam advise that it’s simpler to assume malice aforethought?

  5. A Danish colleague told me back in the 90’s that the only reason for the euro was as a necessary step towards full political union. If you’re coming from that direction, the fact that it won’t work properly without full political union is scarcely a disadvantage.
    Until the S hits the F, that is.

  6. @dearime – I’ll see your Occam and raise you a Hanlon, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

  7. OK, JD votes for recklessness, F for stupidity. I don’t myself see why you need suppose the same motive for everyone involved. Since in any sizeable body of Eurocrats it’s pretty much guaranteed that some are former agents of the USSR, there’s still room for malice, isn’t there?

  8. dearieme:

    Don’t overlook that much that is wrong may not simply be due to either stupidity or malice. Over much of my lifetime, I’ve been able to observe numerous instances in which malice, itself, is due, in large part, to ignorance/stupidity. Defeating that combination is what’s sometimes called “a tall order.”

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