Bravo, Bravo

Paul B takes on Ritchie in comments.

I do love the little intellectual judo bit: using as the basis of the argument a paper that Ritchie has already said he approves of.

That paper Ritchie approves of showing that his current argument must be wrong.

And as to the insistence that when discussing the economic effects of a tax we must ignore economics…..

27 thoughts on “Bravo, Bravo”

  1. as the WGCE would say, SurreptiousEvil, “Spot on!”.

    He really does not get the point that the tax collectors have seen a shortfall in tax collections. An inconvenient fact that destroys his theoretical argument.

  2. I don’t know why people bother arguing with Murphy; there are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.

  3. Hmm,

    An inconvenient fact that destroys his theoretical argument.

    Actually, I think (as people have discussed here before) that the revenue from this increased tax is less significant to Ritchie than the overt (albeit wholly ineffective) punishment of people who dare to earn more than he considers appropriate.

    Hence the concept that lowering the tax rate (overtly less punishing) will increase the tax take (actually more punishing) sets up such a moral / intellectual dichotomy in his little mind that he needs to sit down and calm himself with a little Zen-unlike ranting about the evils of Old Etonians.

  4. From Murphland:

    ” Richard Murphy says:
    March 21 2012 at 6:45 pm

    54 years ago today it was what I now think I was born to do!

    And no I won’t be giving up!

    My wife fears I will blog as my last act on earth”

    FFS. How does one comment on that? man’s barking.

  5. Sad that ritchie is so thick. His inability to understand the data in the table (let alone the simple and erudite explanation of PaulB) is quite sad.

    The table Ritchie shows has in second line from the top the expected revenue from the tax (shift from 40% to 50%) is 700 million in 10/11 and 600 in 11/12. This is then reduced by the shift of income into 09/10 to being negative between 2010 – 2013.

    It’s disturbing that anyone unable to even read a table on tax statistics is given any credence. He can burble about how economics is bollox, but he can’t actually read a table correctly. He probably was a very bad accountant.

  6. The arrogance and conceit of the man seems to know no bounds- I’ve often thought the closest thing to the ‘Courageous State’ he’s always babbling about would be some form of totalitarian Dictatorship- with his attitude to what is for me pretty excellent criticism, he’d be right at home!

  7. Ive been banned from his blog for pointing out that for all his posturing and nonsense he has had zilch effect on the 50p rate argument! The guy can’t take any comments which don’t agree with his perspective

  8. I’ve had to save that web page just in case Ritchie does the same as his forebears – erasing history. Or in his case deleting posts that disagree with him.

    You know, it’s probably only a simple step in his mind to go to the next step of deleting people who disagree with him. 😉

  9. SBML
    He’s form for that already.

    Mr Van Patten
    The comment I quoted above does sound a bit like an extract from Mein Kampf doesn’t it? Although the Austrian Corporal’s writing is a little more coherent. Perhaps his ‘Downfall’ period.

  10. MattL
    We’ve a dog that’s more intellectually coherent. Shouldn’t think Murph could pen a decent sheep either.

  11. Bloke in Spain

    You’re absolutely right – I was thinking that the blog and the book that’s he always promotes ad nauseam were reminiscent of Mao’s ‘Little Red book’ but ‘Mein Kampf’ would be an even better analogy – truly one of the most delusional people I’ve ever read, and in the Blogosphere that is saying something!

  12. Earlier on today there was a comment, I think on the same blog where Steve was blocked, from someone who pointed out that the reason RM is having interviews cancelled, people walking out of shared broadcasts and people refusing to shake hands with him could be because of his persistent arrogance and rudeness. RM replied with a warning that any more comments from the author would be consigned to the spambox. I was going to post the comment and reply here…..but I’ve just searched through all RM’s current blogs and both the comment and RM’s reply seem to have disappeared…..

  13. Thanks for the applause Tim.

    I’m scratching my head at Murphy’s misreading of the OBR table. Is he really too stupid to understand that he got it wrong, despite having (I suppose) passed accountancy exams. Or is it all just an act: he knows he’s wrong but he pretends he thinks he’s right?

  14. paulB…tomorrow your obnoxious presence will have been expunged from the blog. He could have questioned whether the £0.7m was properly estimated, but still the bounds of error are not so great. He could have applied his grey cells. But you are wrong because you use maths to calculate your answer, which is classroom fake, non-Stalinist economics…whereas anyone whose gut feel is that something is awry is “spot on”.

  15. PaulB…he passed the accountancy exams. he has practised as an ICAEW accountant. I am truly embarrassed. 35% of those who started out on the trail got through the final exam. he was one of them. And he is a WGCE

  16. “Please go back to your blackboard and let those of us with real world experience deal with reality”

    Like Murphy would know reality if it bit him on the arse!

    Patronising, egocentric wanker..

  17. But if Premier R M was to sweep away all universities, those despicable places where rational thought is encouraged, think of all the tax money he could divert to his unionised supporters. Why, they probably wouldn’t have to work again.

  18. “Or is it all just an act: he knows he’s wrong but he pretends he thinks he’s right?”

    I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s a very likely scenario. Has he ever actually corrected anything he’s ever produced?

  19. @ Frances 14 Here is the exchange


    If you want to know why people refuse to shake your hand, walk out of studios, cancel your interviews and whatever else happened yesterday, you’re going to have to seriously consider modifying the incredible arrogance you demonstrate in exchanges like the one with John.

    You can of course delete this message and continue with fingers in ears, or you may want to reconsider your attitude to people who share a different world view to you. This has worked for you up to now but there is increasing evidence in the blogosphere that people are wearing thin of your “style”.



    Richard Murphy says:
    March 22 2012 at 1:38 pm .I have a simple attitude to those who take a self centred world view

    I say their view is repugnant

    And candidly it’s time a great many more people did so

    If you don’t like it – tough. I guess that’s because I’d find your views repugnant

    But there’s no arrogance in saying that at all

    It’s just I side with the majority and the poor

    And that profoundly upsets people – who then throw insults and suggest I’m arrogant in defence of their own self conceit

    People have said this of me for years – always with the same intent – to seek to shut me up so they can continue their abuse

    I’ll ignore you as I did them – precisely because I know your motive and what you seek

    The astonishing campaigning and technical succes of the Tax Justice movement shows how right I was to ignore all say nay-sayers as you all along

    As for John – he gave a tiny proportion of the facts on which i commented quite reasonably – he got very angry and told me I was wrong and then disclosed what he knew that I didn’t that might make me wrong. And you say I was arrogant? Come on – please pull the other one. But please don’t bother to reply – I’ll spam it, as I have already advised I will on the blog, now

  20. @ Frances
    I owe you thanks for your earlier intervention on Murphy’s blog (but I am no longer allowed to post there to say so because I banned for having told him again something I had already told him previously, so please accept it here).
    @ Tom
    Murphy suppressed one of my replies to an earlier rant about how he cares about the poor when I suggested that he should, and should encourage his readers, to tithe like myself. His siding with the poor does not seem to extend to giving them any of his money.

  21. John, you’re very welcome. I thought your answer was clear. But you are in good company. Paul had a similar response, I suspect for the same reason – namely that RM hadn’t got a clue what Paul was talking about so attacked him to avoid losing face. And it’s only a matter of time until I join you in the spambox, I think – I’ve been there before, after all.

    I had to laugh when RM told Paul to “show him the maths”. He really should know better than to say that to a mathematician!


    Yes, that’s the one. Were you the “Tom” of the comment?

  22. I’m not a proper mathematician – I’m an engineer by training. Nor am I an academic.

    I can summarize my conversation with Murphy in single sentences:
    Me: You’ve misread the OBR data – they’ve already corrected by £5bn for forestalling, you can’t add it in again.
    RM: Nonsense, the tax couldn’t possibly have raised only £0.7bn, show me some maths to show how it could.
    Me: The OBR says it’s due to elasticity, and here’s some maths for you to show how the effect could be of that sort of size.
    RM: No, elasticity is a crap theory, show me some arithmetic with zero elasticity.
    Me: But the OBR data (if you don’t misread the table) show that elasticity makes a big difference.
    RM: No I am right it’s just forestalling.
    Me: If elasticity is zero forestalling must be about £10bn
    RM: I must be right because you can’t show how the 50% rate could raise so little under the assumption that elasticity is zero.

    The next commentator says

    The point where I smell a very large rat on all of this is with regard to the “astonishing” £16bn that George says was brought forward for inclusion in 2010/11 tax returns so as to avoid the higher rate, and on which even more surprisingly a mere £1bn of tax was raised.

    Which would be a good point were it not for the face that the OBR report actually says

    One striking finding is that high-income
    individuals appear to have shifted at least £16 billion of income that would have been
    taxed in future years into 2009-10 so that it would be taxed at 40 per cent rather than
    50 per cent

    Because the OBR, unlike the commentator, actually knows when the 50% rate took effect.

    Murphy’s reply to this completely wrong point is

    Spot on

  23. that whole thread of comments was surreal….including the point where the Murph-meister presumably made a post under an assumed name to sipport the WGCE – whereupon he could ignore the inconvenient maths ánd the OBR report. The numbers in the report are far from certain but let’s assume they have 50% margin of error…

  24. Just create a different identity to post with. His blog is so unsophisticated that it can’t deal with it

  25. I’ve taken the plunge – commented on RM’s blog about this. Explained the maths again (Paul is right)…..I might end up in the spambox. Ah, well. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    Silly thing is, the OBR’s estimates actually support RM’s case for tax reform rather better than his own figures do. According to the OBR, the tax take from the 50p rate, even after allowing for forestalling, is £1.8bn lower than the original estimate, presumably due to other behavioural effects. Of course our high net worth individuals could all be spending more time on the golf course, but…..there are other ways of avoiding tax, aren’t there?

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