December 2013

Whining about Amazon again

Because Amazon is the future of shopping; being an Amazon “associate” in an Amazon “fulfilment centre” – take that for doublespeak, Mr Orwell – is the future of work; and Amazon’s payment of minimal tax in any jurisdiction is the future of global business.

Because Amazon doesn’t make a profit you stupid woman!

The problem with Pigou Taxes

Is that politicians cannot leave well alone and keep them as Pigou Taxes.

Air Passenger Duty is a good tax, in that it does indeed correct for the externality of the emissions from planes. That rate has been pushed too high of course, because that’s what people who get to levy taxes do with them. And this problem is encapsulated here:

“However, it is important that the aviation sector plays a part in helping to bring down the deficit.”

No, a Pigou Tax is not there to raise revenue. It’s a nice side effect but that’s all. The rate must be at the cost of the externality.

And that of course is what is wrong with Pigou Taxes. That they’re open to being misused in this manner.

Still better than regulation or banning of course, but not perfect for the usual political reasons.


A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers.

Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb.

The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman, an Italian who was in Britain on a work trip, because she had suffered a mental breakdown.

The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery.

Nowt to say but Jeebus.