Dear God, Ritchie wants to minimise labour productivity

I do hope this is just because he’s confused, not because he actually wants to do this:

The first assumption in that new relationship is that because labour is a renewable, but at the same time instantly depleted resource ( because if we do not use it in the present it is gone forever), then it must be the variable whose use is maximised in the production process.

Great, eh? Bring back the teaspoons to dig the reservoirs with.

This is after he tells us that:

So, what is the answer? In my opinion we have simply got the definition of productivity wrong.

Yep, all economists before the Great One have been wrong.

18 thoughts on “Dear God, Ritchie wants to minimise labour productivity”

  1. Pretty standard anglo-leftism. “Work” is a virtue. Therefore the more “work” is done, the better the world is.

    This is why I’ve argued that the Work Ethic is a terribly bad idea, and if we must have an ethic, it should be the “Production Ethic”. Not, “have you worked hard?” but “have you actually produced anything somebody else wants?”.

    Street football diversity coordinators no doubt work very hard. Doesn’t mean they’ve done anything useful.

  2. That’s the trouble with getting old, it’s so difficult to keep up with modern trends.

    One minute it’s the nasty right-wingers who regard people as chimney sweep fodder, then, suddenly, it’s the “progressive” left who want the workers to toil at the rockface all their lives.

    One day, some bloke will start up a party that crusades for the interests of the working man…

  3. “all economists before the Great One have been wrong”

    It’s very rare for one person to upset decades of established beliefs, but it has happened. Look at the chap who discovered that stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria. It was heresy in the medical community until it was proven.

    Then again, we’re talking about Richard Murphy: the man incapable of logical thought.

  4. I’ll be interested to see his wife’s reaction when he implements this new economic theory in his household:

    ‘Great news! The dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle, stove, vacuum cleaner and central heating boiler have all been removed, as we must maximise our labour as part of the production process. Cooking will now take place over an open fire (your turn to collect firewood this week), and washing will be done on some rocks in the local stream.’

    Presumably he is now distributing his blog on flyers printed on a hand operated printing press? On second thoughts should that be individually hand written copies, as produced by medieval monks?

  5. Murphy’s wife, like most GPs in my experience, can’t be very competent. She should have recognised the symptoms of severe mental illness in her husband years ago and called the men in white coats.

  6. I believe Mrs Murphy is a partner in Mr Murphy’s LLP.

    Very often people have their wives as a partner in an LLP to avoid tax.

    Those people usually refuse to disclose the LLP profit allocation.

    Mr Murphy refuses to disclose the LLP profit allocation.

    Some people claim they need a ‘Limited Liability’ entity for non-tax reasons but it is possible to have a one director limited liability company so if someone jumped to the conclusion that anyone choosing to set up an LLP with their wife as partner they MUST be avoiding tax then who could blame them?

    (I think that’s the sort of analysis Murphy does on companies he doesn’t like……)

    Oh, I’m not saying Murphy IS avoiding tax and he is doing nothing illegal but why the secrecy, eh?

  7. @Jim

    ‘I’ll be interested to see his wife’s reaction when he implements this new economic theory in his household:’

    I think you’ve missed the point, Jim. After the great leap backwards, Murphy and his missus will engage a cook, a washerwoman and various other servants to do that sort of thing, while the great man struts about in his breeches, pondering and pontificating.


    Leaving aside any tax advantages, there’s also the point that if you stagger around the internet defaming people left, right and centre, you can’t lose your house and the contents of your bank account(s) if you do it from behind the protection of an LLP.

  8. Bloke in Costa Rica

    This Humpty-Dumptyish insistence that he should be the arbiter of what words mean is really quite odd. It renders the utterance tautological, and therefore semantically null. If you can redefine your terms on the fly then there’s no gainsaying them. It’s like saying, “two plus two equals five, for sufficiently large values of two”.

  9. Or in Murphy’s case when you ask him “what is two plus two?” He will reply, “it is what I say it is”

  10. @ Andrew
    Actually Murphy*does*reveal the profit allocation – he gets 99% because Mrs Murphy, as an overpaid part-time GP, would be paying higher-rate tax if she got 50%.
    @ Interested
    No, I threatened to sue Murphy for libel so he said he would delete the grossly libellous post – and, after I issued a second threat, he actually did so. What he is protected from is claims for professional negligence – which might be important since he clearly did not know the personal taxation rules that applied to the self-employed when Gordon Brown was Chancellor.

  11. @ Bloke in Costa Rica
    Two plus two equals 1 modulus 3 is more fun.
    Arguably if you are rounding 2.333+2.333=4.666 to the nearest integer you can get 2+2=5, but is Murphy smart enough to argue that?

  12. @John77 – being theoretically protected from a libel action is no reason not to delete a (potentially) libellous post.

    Most people have better things to do with their time than argue the toss with lawyers, though I appreciate that doesn’t apply to Richard Murphy, who has nothing better to do than pick fluff out of his navel.

    Re professional indemnity, sure, except that I don’t think he actually does any accountancy now, does he? That is, does he have any clients who might sue him for professional negligence?

  13. That is, you could still have sued the LLP, just not him personally (assuming you had an actionable claim).

  14. @ Interested

    Perhaps the Joseph Rowntree people could sue him for professional negligence if, say, he took all their money and turned it into the the incomprehensible witterings of a nasty little fascist?

  15. @ Interested
    Of course I had an actionable claim – we are talking about Murphy answering someone who points out that he is wrong so clearly that he cannot deny it – he alleged that I had a hatred for the human race.
    I profess to be a Christian (albeit not a very good one); I also work in a profession in which ethical behaviour is a mandatory requirement for maintenance of one of my professional qualifications. His lie could have cost me my job. If I had professed to being an atheist, it might not have mattered. but he *knew* otherwise since I had previously urged him to tithe as I did, and encourage his readers to tithe, if he cared so much about poverty and inequality. (He had flatly refused).

  16. @TTG

    Nah – he’s just done what they paid him to do!


    not to defend him, but assuming you posted as john77 and not in your real name, what third party would be party to his libelling of you?

    No libel lawyer would advise you to take that case, anyway.

    Though in any argument between him and you I’d be firmly on your side.

  17. @john77: did you see the exchange in the comments on RMs post about lifting the tax free income allowance, where a commenter (was it you?) suggested that his Christianity led him to support such a raising of allowances, only to be flatly told that he(RM) had examined the issue and Christianity could have no possible influence on the issue, and the only thing driving the commenter was neoliberalism? Not content with making pronouncements on the earthly ethics of taxation, he’s now moved on to matters spiritual. Does his infallibility have no bounds?

  18. @ Interested
    I use john77 on several sites (it’s easy to remember) and as a result, several people know who I am, sometimes because we have had off-thread discussions (often when a moderator said we were getting too far off-topic). I pointed this out to Murphy when he claimed that insulting me could not be libellous.

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