No, no it doesn’t Ritchie

To make the economy work as neoclassical economics suggests it does requires perfect information, rational expectations, equal access to capital, and so much more.

Simply nonsense.

And do note that he’s saying neoclassical there: he’s including Keynes (who was most certainly a neoclassical) in his list of economists who are simply all wrong.

52 thoughts on “No, no it doesn’t Ritchie”

  1. I find this one is very widely believed. Lefties simply scoff at me when I suggest that it’s not true — that, in fact, it is authoritarianism that requires perfect information, and that the impossibility of ever having it is precisely why markets are a better option.

    I find they conflate the ability of economics to explain the past (pretty easy, once you can see what people’s incentives are) with its ability to predict the future (very hard, because who knows what the fuck people’s incentives are?) and conclude that its failure to do the latter means it can never do the former.

    Interestingly, they apply precisely the opposite logic to climatology.

  2. Still, his desired Society requires perfect knowledge and superhuman ability in State planners, plus an altruistic attitude from State employees.

    At least we have actual living evidence that our system works. Not perfectly, but works.

  3. The word neoclassical is too badly defined, but most usages would probably place imperfect information economics as a ‘departure’ from the neoclassical, so I might give him that.

    where on earth does he get “Equal access to capital” from? Econ 101 models say start with unequal endowments, end with unequal outcomes

  4. I’ve just realised something. If we vote for independence, the frequency of that cvnt R Murphy complaining about the new Scottish tax system is likely to decrease substantially is it not (even with the proposed 3% corporation tax drop for Scotland)? Maybe he’ll say nothing at all?

    Christ in a fvcking haggis baguette with brown sauce.

    How should I vote now?

  5. There are three possibilities:

    1) Scots tax is reduced below UK tax levels. This will prove how the Neoliberal Project has seduced Salmond et al into believing that tax competition is a good thing: it will deprive Scots of income they need to build a new state, and it will give the UK an excuse to cut UK taxes even further (which will justify further attacks on public spending).

    2) Scots tax is raised above UK tax. This will prove that low taxes are not necessary for growth, that recent austerity was needless, and that the Neoliberal Project that dominates the rest of the UK was a deliberate attack on the poor. However: the increase will be merely a token amount that should have been much larger: Scotland will not benefit as much as it could (should) have done. If the increase is in fact large, then it will demonstrate that large rises are possible and so it could have been still larger.

    3) Scots tax stays the same as UK tax. This will demonstrate the paucity of Neoliberal thinking in the tax arena – the new Scotland will have shown itself to be a Cowardly State by not taking the opportunity to improve matters.

    In the longer term, whichever road is travelled Scotland will either be more successful than the rest of the UK or less so. If more so, it will show that the Neoliberal Consensus in the rest of the UK has been wrong all along, and whatever policies Scotland adopted should have been introduced long ago (if they do not in fact change anything, it will show that the policy was OK for Scotland (but could have been better) but was wrong for the UK); if less so, it will show that the octopus tentacles of the Neoliberal Consensus have deliberately stifled a promising new start in order to eliminate any dissent or hope for change.

    In any case, the argument for Tax Justice will have been made, and it will be clear that the Neoliberal model has failed and changes must be made.

    [/tongue in cheek]

  6. This from Ritchie:

    “We could invest in staff to collect the money unpaid to HM Revenue & Customs and create what a genuine market economy wants and needs, which is a level playing field on which only honest businesses can compete.”

    So what a genuine market needs is Tax. We need tax to level the field against the dishonest ones; the dishonesty in question being… not paying tax.

    Rather beautiful in my view, more spiral than circlular.

  7. Rob

    You make a very apposite point, and amidst all his blathering the fundamental point which he won’t bring himself to accept because it doesn’t fit his carefully crafter world view,(and perhaps the source of much of his tetchiness and rage) is that people basically are mostly self-interested rather than altruistic, and that frequently fear is a much more powerful guiding force behind peoples actions than hope.

    Behind the blathering one could almost feel sorry for him (or at the very least empathize with him) – there really is a great deal of pent up rage behind his posturing…

  8. Van P

    There is more rage within these pages than most civilised blogs i read. It is a constant litany of wishing death or pain or mental illness on to people with differing opinions.

    Worstall’s claim that his purpose is to point out where people are wrong is more egomaniacal than Murphy by country distances.

    The hatred on this blog towards individuals renders it intellectually useless. Despite the fact that worstall may be intelligent, the cronies collectively are vile.

  9. Despite the fact that worstall may be intelligent, the cronies collectively are vile.

    Logical fallacy – type = “false dichotomy”.

    It is just as possible to be stupid and admirable as it is to be intelligent and vile. Or both virtues or both evils.

    Of course, what appears to be “Arnald” again, manages ignorant and vile quite happily. It is difficult to differentiate between ignorance and stupidity without considerable context. Which I am disinclined to explore.

  10. Oh, and SE, please describe to me how commentators on here don’t wish death or pain on others in comparison say to Murphy’s blog. Are you an idiot not to see the truth, or is it ok to wish the worst on others just because you can?


  11. @ Arnald

    “please describe to me how commentators on here don’t wish death or pain on others in comparison say to Murphy’s blog”

    I’m not really sure the “comparison” is in any way useful, as this is let’s just say a more robust (and pretty much unmoderated) forum by comparison. Ie, quite different “styles” / objectives.

    But, if that is genuinely how you feel about it, then I struggle to understand why you waste your time even looking in here, never mind finding the need to comment?

    And even more confusing (given what you are saying) is your willingness to lower yourself to the same level you so readily criticise? It almost seems to be the equivalent of indulging in a guilty thrill / forbidden fruit in some way..!?

  12. Arnald

    Is ‘Armald’ a different person? Whilst I see what you say – I’m struggling to see the relevance. There are a lot of angry people on here? Yes, and so – There are plenty of angry people on Murphy’s blog: Horrocks, Dickie, Reed, theremustbeanotherway – Does that render it ‘intellectually useless’?

    In terms of the ‘Hatred’ expressed here I agree there’s some angry people here, but once more you must either not actually read the Authors posts on Tax Research UK with any discernment or be so blinded by hero worship that you cannot see what it represents. Hatred towards small countries that have lower tax rates, hatred towards private enterprise, hatred towards Conservative and UKIP voters, hatred toward people with a greater degree of geographical, scientific, economic, political or historical knowledge, liberal use of certain terminology to shut down argument, no Freedom of comment, an inability to see any other point of view than your own, etc, etc

    ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ – I’m afraid Murphy doesn’t get off first base for a self-proclaimed quaker…..

  13. Rob

    I put this point to a partisan of Murphy (albeit in relation to the Smith/Saville cover-up, which is of a piece)

    The response was that ‘Privatization would have made it even worse’ – I kid you not…… It was worthy of a ten year old

  14. I’m not sure how I can be “wankers”. Not without some fairly extreme surgery.

    Hey, but it’s our random French troll. It doesn’t need to make sense.

  15. Arnold, your sentence doesn’t actually make sense: “…how commentators on here don’t wish pain or death on others in comparison…”

    Fancy another go?

  16. Arnald – “please describe to me how commentators on here don’t wish death or pain on others in comparison say to Murphy’s blog. Are you an idiot not to see the truth, or is it ok to wish the worst on others just because you can?”

    Maybe you should try it Arnald. Because if history is any guide, and it often is, people like Murphy end up murdering millions. People like SE end up retiring to Devon and tending their flowers. The Reforming Left is the real threat to humanity. Not people on the Right.

    So perhaps we get it out of our system? Perhaps keeping it bottled up inside due to some crippling social awkwardness drives people like you to become Pol Pot? Who knows? But one thing is for sure – you have no moral authority to lecture anyone on anything.

  17. Ritchie was making a speech at the
    Adam Smith Business School at Glasgow Uni.

    Were there *no* economists there who could beat him around the head?

    If not, then frankly I’m giving up completely on Scotland.

  18. I’ve never read so much nonsense.

    Van P. There is no hatred towards small countries. The country itself has nothing to do with the pernicious financial institutions that capture that country’s governance to such a degree that the lines between corporate control and democracy are completely blurred.

    You’ve obviously been a tosser all your life. Comparing Murphy to Pol Pot is laughable.

    I spend time reading here in an effort to understand how sociopathic extremists such as worstall engage themselves with the rest of humanity. Sadly, it’s page after page of bilious puke.

  19. Arnald: “I’ve never read such nonsense”.

    Yes, I suspected you don’t give your comments a read-through before you post them; now I have the confirmation.

  20. Arnald

    Please explain how fluffy R Murphy reconciled the bile, glee and hatred he allowed to be expressed on his blog (which he actively moderates remember) by his adoring camp followers immediately following the death of Margaret Thatcher with his Christian and “civil society” beliefs?

    The man is a vile populist.

  21. Glendorran

    “Ritchie was making a speech at the
    Adam Smith Business School at Glasgow Uni.

    Were there *no* economists there who could beat him around the head?”

    Apologies if you’re from Glasgow, but “Weegie Economist” seems to be something of an oxymoron to me.

  22. BraveFart

    Fair point!

    I guess Ritchie and chums speaking there is similar to the Flat Earth Society hiring a room at the Royal Observatory and plastering the venue in huge font all over the advertising.

  23. Arnald – I would refer you to point 2 of the comments policy on the blog:

    “Secondly, the comment offered must be intended to develop the themes I am discussing. There are ample opportunities in a wide range of media for opposing the opinion I offer and you are welcome to use them. This blog is not one of those places.”

    I think that means only sycophants need apply (QED), or do you disagree? At least your witterings are permitted here, are they not?

    Murphy wants a Fahrenheit 451 society, apart from the Bible and of course the Courageous State (and soon I understand the Joy of Tax), all available from Amazon SARL.

  24. Ironman

    I did, and can find no reference to BraveFart’s assertion that “bile, glee and hatred” were expressed on murphy’s blog following Thatcher’s death.

    Whereas Worstall attracts commentators who wish harm and death several times a day.

    Cretin? You’re a waste of space.

  25. Please reassure me Arnald; English is your second language isn’t it?

    1. I don’t believe you went and read it.
    2. Your own filth – laden comments, with multiple references to bodily functions, show that you wouldn’t recognise them if you had read it.

    But please write again, you make feel quite clever.

  26. Ironman

    In fairness to Arnald, I can recall that Murphy himself, whilst condemning her policies was careful not to exalt in her demise. The same cannot be said of his followers, although in comparison with the kind of triumphalism seen by some in Central Londo, it was relatively tame stuff.


    I am not surprised you couldn’t find it – unlike Tim, Murphy does not offer an index of posts by Month (I imagine he’s set up on different software or it may be personal choice – he doesn’t seem the type to dwell on the past), and his main hostages to fortune aren’t normally tagged (he may be many things but he isn’t totally clueless, at least in the wake of the Mcalpine judgement) so unless you managed to find a way to cycle through the blog to April 2013 without clicking about 700 times then I’m not surprised you couldn’t find it easily..

  27. Arnald

    Thanks for those – unexpurgated and pretty much makes the point of BF at least re: the commentators although as I said Murphy commendably emphasizes condemning the ideology rather than the recently deceased…

  28. Arnold, you missed this one:

    And to be completely fair (to Richard), only Zappia got something freely through moderation (in that thread) that might have been considered marginally below the belt.

    But the point is that Richard moderates – and ruthlessly – no comment is permitted until he has read it and accepted it.

    Whereas the only moderation at all that appears to take place here is if you put too many links into one post.

    Hence, by definition, that simply allows perfectly freely for a much larger variety of different styles of interaction from those who post here.

    But what is most interesting, Arnold, is that you come on here and engage with precisely those you appear to find the most distasteful, and in exactly the same tone.. Hypocritical, or confused..:)

    “I spend time reading here in an effort to understand how sociopathic extremists such as worstall engage themselves with the rest of humanity.”

    Hmmm – ok, were we perhaps getting a bit light headed at this point..:)

    You also conveniently missed BF’s reference to point 2 of RM’s comments policy, which, combined with the vigorous moderation procedures above, demonstrates that Richard, unlike Tim, is simply not looking for the kind of completely free and open discussion that you yourself are free to engage in right now.

    VP – I simply searched for “Thatcher” on his blog, and actually very little came up..:)

  29. Yes thanks very much for reminding of the way Richard spent the day of her funeral encouraging his creeps to discuss her “sins” whilst hypocritically asking them all not to make it personal; “Love the sinner; hate the sin”.

    It was the equivalent of the pornographer affecting to be shocked by the pornography.

    I’m not surprised you missed it all Arnald.

  30. “It was the equivalent of the pornographer affecting to be shocked by the pornography.”

    You really are an arsehole, Ironman.

  31. I admire Arnald’s perseverence here. Genuinely.

    However, Ritchie’s posts following Thatcher’s death were all of the “Of course we must think of her family. But during her life she did terrible things”.

    It’s along the lines of “I’m sorry if you were offended”. it’s qualified remorse. False grief.

  32. Christie – the point I was making is that there was bile in amongst the comments rather than from the man himself. I actually commented on one of the posts to applaud his relative moderation on that occasion as he’s usually rather more forceful and vitriolic in his condemnation of ‘Neo Liberalism’

    That is why I always finds Arnald’s contention that Tim’s blog is hatefilled vis a vis Tax Research UK so bizarre.
    Hatred exudes from every post by the likes of Wilcox, Dickie, Horrocks and Reed – no attempt to understand the other side’s viewpoint; Mindless adherence to an ideology, which as SMFS points out, has killed millions; condemnation of the other side using a variety of epithets which basically mean ‘I can’t argue against you so I’ll just resort to calling you names’ – it’s a veritable witches cauldron of envy, greed, resentment and hate.

  33. No Van; Ritchie ring-mastered the bile. Even posting was an invitation to his trolls and he knew it. He is a troll with a blog; nothing more.

  34. VanP

    Apart from the fact that a large proportion of worstall’s blog is focussed on Murphy, that wasn’t what I was highlighting.

    Most posts and most comments here have the edge that anybody that doesn’t conform with whatever phobia is striking them that day, are either Pol Pot/Stalin or wanting the western world undevelop to the stone age.

    An unhealthy proportion of posts wish individuals harm and sometimes death. Worstall does this often. It’s a given here.

    As for the language of TRUK’s more prolific commentators, it’s hardly personal! Worstall is making a career out of attacking Murphy, with little justification. As Worstall has said “it’s just an opinion” that usually he can’t be bothered to defend.

    So, I am saying that this blog invites tossers to be vile. If people think that opining against injustice is so offensive then I guess those people should put up an argument other than “heheh pol pot hehehe”.

  35. “An unhealthy proportion of posts wish individuals harm and sometimes death. Worstall does this often. It’s a given here.”

    Arnald, I am not sure if you genuinely understand that a lot of Tim’s livelier narrative – and this may perhaps just be language if you are Swiss / French? – is nothing more than rhetoric?

    For example, when he says “Hang the cunts” or worse – because sometimes they really do deserve it 😉 – he doesn’t literally mean “let’s all club together and buy some scaffolding”, although Tim may of course deny that. And which brings us to…

    Interpretation of humour, which is another thing that often gets hopelessly lost in translation (and not differences in language). FWIW, I have lost count of the times (over at RM) when someone has quietly been having a bit of a laugh (dry, parody, banter, whatever), and it has either gone totally over the heads of “the locals” or alternatively something has been taken too literally.

    “with little justification” – that’s a different discussion..:) Richard frequently and controversially puts himself up to be challenged? Surely it would be sloppy not to point out the more obvious failings in his logic or analysis?

    “If people think that opining against injustice is so offensive” – no, whatever you think you may have read or understood, I’m afraid that’s simply just not it (0/10 for that one). “How” you deal most “effectively” with injustice is far more relevant, and which of course is often politics – as Richard himself has admitted.

    It’s late. Someone else will probably (as always) respond to this far more eloquently than I am capable.

    But interesting all the same, to understand your take on this…

  36. Arnald

    Actually Many thanks for the response- that’s actually very interesting and in future I hope to perhaps be rather less personal and enage in an ideological debate as opposed to a contest of personal insults – until the next time…..

  37. I reckon I could get myself moderated off this forum by Tim the dim if I really tried. Might have a go if I find myself at a loose end.

  38. Togf – it would take you considerably less time to get moderated off Murphy’s blog, though- now if you post here, you are automatically barred…

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