Does this sound like a threat to you?

Does to me:

I agree, but the hegemony of market based thinking seeks to deny that there are any such limits or that there is an issue to be faced.

That is one of the many reasons why one day we will need to hold those who have promoted such false thinking to account. For now, we need to make clear to the world that firstly such \’free\’ market thinking is actually an exercise in exploiting the planet and the generations to come, and secondly, that there are alternatives.

And of course Ritchie is his usual incompetent self in the claim that market based thinking tries to insist that there are no limits. For of course markets are about economic goods. Economic goods are defined by there being a scarcity of them. If there\’s no scarcity of something then they\’re not an economic good and there\’s no markets in them.

So, given that the entire market based thing is all about how we deal with scarcity, we cannot go around stating that markets ignore scarcity, can we?

Well, we can, but we\’d be idiots to do so.

20 thoughts on “Does this sound like a threat to you?”

  1. In other news, man who buys an iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air and 27″ iMac slams people who buy an Audi instead of a Citroen Berlingo.

  2. Isn’t this on the GCSE syllabus? I think it is… am sure it’s on the IGCSE syllabus. The classic example is why we don’t have a market in air – though Tim will be keen to point out that in cities it can be a good idea to create a market in clean air.

  3. This is the second of two extremely nasty posts dressed up as the concerns of a caring family man. A man of affluence, has the means to choose his lifestyle and moves to a very expensive part of the country and then sneers at others who have made the same choice. To do so he falls back on the old Marxist chestnut: false consciousness. Advertising creates a desire amongst the gullible, naïve or plain stupid. These people don’t realise they really DON’T want or need a new car and aren’t capable of making an informed choice; freedom is just an illusion. They need smarter, less malleable people to tell them what they really want, people like, well stone me, like Ritchie.
    Well I think he’s delusional. This is shown by his reference to THE Summer Holidays. Not MY Summer Holidays; THE Summer Holidays. So he tells us there are better things to do in THE summer holidays than write a blog and muses on our false consciousness leading to unecessary and harmful consumption. Meanwhile the rest of us go to work. What a fucking twat.

  4. If you’ve got kids at school the you tend to call them the summer holidays. Same as the Easter holidays and the Christmas holidays.

    You’re a fanatic, Ironman.

  5. blimey that is a bit scary – come the revolution, Worstall, you are clearly going to be the first up against the wall.

    he’s got a point if he means that mainstream economics tends to ignore the problem of depletable resources (and some economists / commentators lazy assume innovation means everything is going to be okay, never mind habitat loss etc.). On the other hand, just because plenty of economists don’t pay attention to that kind of problem, doesn’t mean that none of them do. See for example:

    The Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics:

  6. It’s a non sequitur if not a threat. Problem is, being Ritchie that doesn’t mean it’s not just a non sequitur.

  7. Blowhard threats are two a penny. Ritchie couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding.

    Violence is what socialism is all about once you rub off the sanctimonious shite they cover themselves with.

  8. Most of us who do have kids don’t have the luxery of saying “it’s the summer holidays so I’ve got better things to do than turn up to work. And look at you all working so that you can buy a vulgar car”.
    And anyway, a twat is a twat whether it is being pointed out by a fanatic or a moderate genius. So I call Ritchie a twat; Surreptitious Evil never tires of telling you what a twat you are.

  9. Hmm, be careful what you wish for.

    When one’s solution to tax laws and economics is to tell everyone what to do, micromanaging the whole shebang, accountability is the last thing i should think he wants.

    More likely, this is another example of his “don’t do as I do, do as I tell you” philosophy.

  10. Surreptitious Evil


    You’re a twat. And an idiot. And, very occasionally, slightly amusing. In a ‘laugh at’ rather than ‘laugh with’ way.

  11. Comes down to two basic leftist errors. The first is the, um, “fallacy of the exponential graph”. The second is the wrong economic paradigm; they see the economy as something that “allocates resources” rather than something in which “produced value is traded”.

    So since they see the economy as dividing a pie of resources, they presume that resource usage must always rise pro rata with consumption, and if consumption is exponential so must be resource usage; resources being the pre-existing pie. They don’t grasp that the market operates by creating more value for less inputs; a modern radio is tiny and cheap, compared to an early radio which was huge and expensive, for instance.

    In fact, when they do see stuff getting produced for less input, they start whining about how “nothing is sturdily made, like the good old days, my gran’s washing machine was solid cast iron…”.

    Or I could have just said, “they haven’t got a fucking clue about economics”, of course.

  12. When do we finally get to hold the Marxists, Communists and Socialists to account for the horrors of the twentieth century?

  13. From his pronouncements it’s easy to imagine him on the Committee for Public Safety: less so actually actually carrying out the bloody deeds.

    I’d like to call him an utter sack of shit, but as he increasingly presents disturbing thoughts, I’m wary of condemning someone because they potentially suffer from a debilitating illness.

  14. I suspect Ritchie’s fantasy is a Room 101 style scenario where he puts Tim’s face in a rat box and makes him accept that tax avoidance is and always has been illegal

  15. Dear Mr Worstall

    “For now, we need to make clear to the world that firstly such ‘free’ market thinking is actually an exercise in exploiting the planet and the generations to come, and secondly, that there are alternatives.”

    Should we not go back a few (or more) generations to see what “such ‘free’ market thinking” has bequeathed us?

    Boats and canals and railways and automobiles and planes.

    Radio and TV and computers.

    Clean water and sewerage disposal.

    Lots of food. Lots of drink.

    Foreign holidays.

    Lots more …

    Anyone feeling downtrodden and abused by our ancestors yet?

    Just asking.


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