But why didn’t anyone predict the Crash?

Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers …

“Nobody over the last 50 years, not the IMF, not the US Treasury, has predicted any of the recessions a year in advance, never,” he said.

Bit of a problem for those who would plan the economy really.

77 thoughts on “But why didn’t anyone predict the Crash?”

  1. Well, other than Peter Schiff, who was ridiculed as a party pooper.

    I actually said this on John Redwood’s blog the other day. We don’t know when there will be crashes and recessions. What we do know is that they will occur; and thus instead of governments and parties printing USSR style five year plans predicated on smooth mathematical projections of GDP (growth will be 2.5% next year, etc) should they not instead be publishing policies for how they intend to respond when the market suddenly falls over instead of just saying, “well nobody expected that!”?

    Here is my prediction: in the future there will be crises and panics in the markets at unpredictable times. This prediction has 100% certainty.

  2. Economies are like race cars, if you drive them at their limit crashes are inevitable. Driving like a little old lady on her way to church has been ruled out by the politicians as “too boring”.

  3. Alex (a different one)

    Isn’t this like share prices? In that a minority can predict a change ahead of time, but if it’s more than a small number then the market adjusts now so the price change moves forward.
    If the economic consensus is that a crash will happen in a year then the market will react now and the adjustment will happen a year earlier.
    So it’s logically impossible for more than a small minority to predict a crash ahead of time.

  4. Fred Harrison, the British land taxer, predicted the crash to the month to the year by observing the cycle of land price inflation.
    As a land taxer,TW should know this and not keep babbling markets know best propaganda when the property market needs basic intervention.

  5. abacab

    Between Richard Murphy and his legion of ‘stellar economic thinkers’, including the ‘gang of five’ (Ivan Horrocks, Andrew Dickie, Carol Wilcox, Mark Crown and Howard Reed) hasn’t every economic crisis in history been retrospectively predicted? I believe if you dig far enough even back to the crises during the Roman occupation of Britain or the time of William the Conqueror, the issue was always the same – neoliberalism, especially since the time of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, was the culprit.

    After all the combined wisdom of more than two centuries of economic and political thought is actually invalid when compared to the output of a semi-retired accountant from Norfolk who is ‘the greatest living expert on tax’ in the UK, surely?

  6. “Roue le Jour
    April 30, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Economies are like race cars, if you drive them at their limit crashes are inevitable. Driving like a little old lady on her way to church has been ruled out by the politicians as “too boring”.”

    No it hasn’t. Its been ruled out by the people who make up that economy as idiotic.

    Its actually the politicians who have been placing brakes on the economy since . . . as long as there have been politicians threatened by changes in the status quo.

    Its considered desirable to become as rich as you can as fast as you can – even if that comes with some mild downturns from time to time – vice ‘investing’ your money in your mattress to keep it safe.

    Unfortunately the pols also like to take the ‘opportunity’ presented by economic downturns to lick the absolute worst policies for dealing with it – though, strangely enough, those polices do tend to work in the politicians favor by granting more power to them.

    Funny how that works out.

  7. Well, as Gordon Brown had abolished boom and bust there was no need to predict a crash in this country. Wasn’t going to happen. Ever.

  8. Alex (a different one)
    April 30, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Isn’t this like share prices? In that a minority can predict a change ahead of time, but if it’s more than a small number then the market adjusts now so the price change moves forward.
    If the economic consensus is that a crash will happen in a year then the market will react now and the adjustment will happen a year earlier.
    So it’s logically impossible for more than a small minority to predict a crash ahead of time.

    Yes.

    Which is why Tim’s main point is that its stupid for government ‘Top Men’ to try to plan the economy (vice simply having a contingency plan for when things do suddenly go sour).

  9. DBC Reed
    April 30, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Fred Harrison, the British land taxer, predicted the crash to the month to the year by observing the cycle of land price inflation.
    As a land taxer,TW should know this and not keep babbling markets know best propaganda when the property market needs basic intervention.

    The property market is already *full* of government intervention and the actions that private parties have taken to route around that.

    You’re essentially saying that you want government action to fix a problem caused by government action.

  10. Agamammon, at the risk of being uppity, your posts would be easier to read if you use the <blockquote> tag instead of bold.

    DBC Reed is one of those who believes that property is current a free market that needs State control to euthanise the rentier, rather than the actual reality that the property market is in a mess due to State regulation and intervention. Land taxers are paleo-Ricardians.

  11. I don’t know what you mean by “plan the economy” – who does that? – but if that is supposed to be a dig at lefties or Keynesians, it doesn’t work. Because unpredictability does not preclude left wing variants of 1. policies minimise the frequency and magnitude of shocks 2. policies to deal with the aftermath. Of course there may be right wing versions of 1. and 2. also.

  12. The point is, you can’t actually run the economy. The myth of governments doing so is a great myth of our times. They can interfere with it and damage it, but that is a different thing to running it.

    What actually happens is that governments diddle about with it, take credit for years that happen to be good, then blame the unexpected for years that happen to be bad. It’s the same as claiming government credit for good weather and blaming bad weather on the unpredictable climate.

  13. Ian B “What actually happens is that governments diddle about with it, take credit for years that happen to be good, then blame the unexpected for years that happen to be bad.”

    Indeed and similarly, economists tend to say one thing for a whole career and dine out on it if they happen to get lucky.

  14. Van_Patten

    Between Richard Murphy and his legion of ‘stellar economic thinkers’, including the ‘gang of five’ (Ivan Horrocks, Andrew Dickie, Carol Wilcox, Mark Crown and Howard Reed) hasn’t every economic crisis in history been retrospectively predicted?

    Reminds me of an incident last night that made me grind my teeth at the radio. Typical “comedy” panel show with lefty comics. One of them starts a pre-planned rant about capitalism, and quotes some tract about globalisation, forcing the less developped to adapt or perish, some such nonsense. He asks the question as to when that was written – a couple of years back when the textile factory collapsed in Bangladesh, 25 years ago after Bhopal.

    No! he exclaimed. It was 1848, the Communist manifesto. It’s all in there! (audience applause).

    That got me thinking – yes, indeed, it could have been written at any time in the last 167 years. But why is that? It’s not that Marx was particularly astute, clairvoyant or prophetic, it’s that lefties have simply been repeating exactly the same stuff for the last 167 years. Whenever they see a problem, they repeat the same piece of scripture, or a minor varient thereof.

    Hence they always seem to have predicted the problem (which is always the same, apparently), just like the LHTD.

    And thus a 167 year old screed sounds modern simply because we have become used to hearing it in little-changed form for the last 167 years of “progress”.

  15. bloke (not) in spain

    There is an unfailing method for predicting & benefiting from crashes or any other sort of market reversal. Observe the point where everyone & their grannie, without exception, is assuring you one won’t happen. Then sell.
    Works for me, every time

  16. Enough of this bullshit. Every time there’s a bit of commercial prosperity ,its cancelled out by property prices rising. Or as Henry George put it: Progess (commercial development leading to more money about) leads to Poverty (through property price inflation and demand for goods and services being reduced by raised rents and house prices) See title of magnum opus Progress and Poverty (Go together you see).If you wankers haven’t noticed this phenomenon for yourselves ,go off and vote for the Land Price Inflation parties in the name of Freedom! Yok.yok,yok,yok.

  17. abacab

    Anyone been to TRUK to see the latest ‘rebuttal’ of Frances Coppola – it’s effectively an endorsement of Zimbabwean economic policy before the collapse of their currency – absolutely barking even by his low standards – as for the piece on the ‘CLASS’ paper by Howard Reed – words fail me – it’s as though history passed these clowns by.

  18. Oh not this fucking land tax thing again.

    Look, land tax might be just fine in a hypothetical universe but it’s one of those (actually quite rare) circumstances where market liberalism collides with social liberalism. In other words, it’s a threat to peoples’ right to peaceful enjoyment of the fruits of decisions they made some time ago. Which to my mind makes the lack of land tax (and hence existence of other taxes) a “market inefficiency” that is well worth tolerating.

  19. abacab,

    I think Marx was the first to adequately describe quite a few things articulately. Tim will correct me but I believe commodity pricing of labour is one. Kapital is pretty heavy going but I think there is a lot of astute observation (not expert enough to know how original it is), it’s just that the prescribed interventions are mostly more poison and less cure than the commies believe.

    The problem is over since capital is eating itself. You don’t need capital any more. Look at interest rates. Growth is driven by bunches of people on laptops, increasingly they’re global connected groups rather than monolithic firms as well.

    Making machines that make things to drop on feet costs capital, buying a laptop doesn’t. As we need less of the former and more of the latter there is less demand for capital and less return to capital. Again, vide interest rates (and the fact that having them this low is having zero effect on the economy other than to inflate property prices, that central banks are printing money like it’s going out of fashion but we have no inflation, etc.). If you have the right immaterial capital in your brain, workforce, contractors and so on, you can however get a massive return on your minimal investment capital.

  20. Like I said, DBC is a standard Georgist, or paleo-Ricardian. It’s the theory that all increases in production are absorbed by land rents. Hence, nobody profits from an increase in production except the rentier class. Thus, the rentier would euthanise both the capital and labour classes.

    Marxism is pretty much the same, except Marx decided that the capitalists were the true rentiers.

  21. BiG-

    We still needs lots of big things- aeroplanes, bridges, radical feminists. Even digital businesses need capital. The return on capital would be fine without the excessive expansionism of finance capitalism (I could call it Neoliberalism and get my Ritchie badge for the day) which attempts to “drive” the market with capital rather than capital being a service to producers (the “engine room of the economy” claptrap), which is why they run out of productive people to lend to and start eating themselves.

    The curious thing is that the Finance Capitalists are basically Keynesians, who think you can generate production as a function of increasing the money supply.

  22. Back when The Economist was good, the homespun wisdom was that any surefire investment recommended by a London cabbie was a position to be exited as swiftly as possible.

  23. “Enough of this bullshit. Every time there’s a bit of commercial prosperity ,its cancelled out by property prices rising. ”

    So average disposable income has remained stable since, say, the 70’s then?

    Nope. We’re on average vastly richer in both incomes and wealth than back then, and only idiots want to take us back there.

    See this ONS study: https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ch%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D1%26cad%3Drja%26uact%3D8%26ved%3D0CB4QFjAA%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.ons.gov.uk%252Fons%252Frel%252Fsocial-trends-rd%252Fsocial-trends%252Fsocial-trends-41%252Fsocial-trends-41—income-and-wealth.pdf%26ei%3DLzg5VdDPAsH3OuHrgPgE%26usg%3DAFQjCNH8_pmSmNMo_viBnmVCwRCoMdHDmg%26sig2%3DDFnav0MpicBp7CNISptnCQ%26bvm%3Dbv.91427555%2Cd.ZWU&h=fAQHfqdSY

  24. bloke (not) in spain

    @ abacab
    “Nope. We’re on average vastly richer in both incomes and wealth than back then, (70s)”

    Are you? How much of the incomes are going on servicing debt? How much of the wealth is leveraging debt?

  25. Look, land tax might be just fine in a hypothetical universe but it’s one of those (actually quite rare) circumstances where market liberalism collides with social liberalism. In other words, it’s a threat to peoples’ right to peaceful enjoyment of the fruits of decisions they made some time ago.

    1. Bollocks.
    2. Fine, get rid of Council Tax, bring back Domestic Rates.

  26. Land tax might in a paradoxical way be meritous at the moment as a counter-intervention in the already State-spannered property market.

    People do need to be clear though that the Ricardian/Georgist argument that taxing rents is market neutral is pure bollocks of the highest degree.

  27. DBC: “Enough of this bullshit.”

    You have spent your entire life believing/spouting it. There is nowhere for you to go.

  28. “Are you? How much of the incomes are going on servicing debt? How much of the wealth is leveraging debt?”

    Surely disposable income is calcuated after housing costs (which include mortage repayments/interest).

  29. bloke (not) in spain

    “Surely disposable income is calcuated after housing costs (which include mortage repayments/interest).”

    Thing is, abacab, if you want to hark back to the 70s, it was much more common then to have single earner couples. Now they’ve become, not so much a rarity, but an impossibility. If you wish to include yourself amongst the “prosperous”. Most people in “9-5” jobs actually worked 9-5. Now half of them come in at 8 & don’t creep out until 7. To keep those jobs. And we know we value our own time higher than we do working time, don’t we? Or else we’d be working.
    So maybe you need to reappraise 70s incomes to take account of non-monetary benefits.

  30. “Technology makes that a hands-down win for today.”

    I was just about to say that. Now, we have the entirety of human knowledge, art, culture etc. at our fingertips, which we use to watch amusing videos of cats and argue with complete strangers.

    In the 70s you had a probably B&W TV with 3 channels, an AM radio, and a phone wired into the wall that cost you a stupid amount in device and line rental per month. Which made a physical copper connection with the other party you were calling at an exorbitant rate per minute.

  31. “It’s easy to predict the next crash. Predicting when and why is the tricky bit.”

    Well, I think we’re risking rain tomorrow if we’re not careful. If I say this every day, when it rains I can prove I predicted it……

  32. Everybody has hopped straight to attacking Land Value Tax without thinking.Fact is the UK had flat house prices for two decades 50’s to 70’s .And they didn’t have LVT. As somebody says above ,they had domestic rates.They also had a weird schedule of Income Tax which took house prices straight out of Income( Schedule A).
    It is disgusting that this country practically waged a civil war to rid itself of Wage Inflation, destroying the unions in the process then did everything possible to encourage house price inflation /land price inflation by at one time (that of the pitifully absurd Thatcher) abolishing the efficient rates.Its still inflation. There remains an enemy within though: those who think land price inflation is natural and beneficial.
    Land Values and house prices flat forever is something all shades of political opinion should combine to ensure.

    It is perfectly possible to have flat house prices forever
    prices forever

  33. bloke (not) in spain

    Tech I’d give you. There’s certainly been a lot of saving on in-the-home work, thanks to tech, has freed time up for leisure.
    But the rest of your stuff…not so sure. if you’re talking wealth & disposable, you’re really talking quanities not qualities.
    And when you get down to qualities…
    Well, 70s may have had only three TV channels but people did used to sit & very happily watch those three channels. We’re still watching the programmes, now. Is there anything to show folk get more out of their leisure time in the twenty-tens than the nineteen-seventies? I seem to remember maxing out on available fun. Does one max-out higher, today?
    What does one prefer to be doing at 6 on a Thursday evening? Chatting in a pub over a pint & a fag or poring over spreadsheets with an hour to go until staggering home & sleeping in front of 200 channels of loft-discovery-auction shows.

  34. “Nope. We’re on average vastly richer in both incomes and wealth than back then, (70s)”

    There are four components to the ONS’s net household wealth: property wealth (net), financial wealth (net), physical wealth and private pension wealth. The biggest component is property wealth. It’s paper wealth, isn’t it? If you’re the owner-occupier of a 70s semi, you’re no better off in that than you would have been in the 70s. You’re not richer because the house is better than it was in the 70s, you’re richer on paper because in theory you could sell for that price – then of course you’ll need to find somewhere else to live, which will cost you some of that money you got for selling.

    If you’re not an owner, you’ll probably have to live longer with your parents or share with others before you buy your first place. The house price to earnings ratio is significantly higher than the historical average. In 2014, UK house prices per square metre were the second highest in the world (exceeded only by Monaco). Builders have been reducing the size of new properties and building fewer properties.

    We’re vastly richer and people are finding it increasingly expensive to put a roof over their heads. Slow handclap?

  35. @B(n)IS

    I’m one of those hideously obnoxious creatures who no longer watches TV, so I’m afraid I can’t answer your question.

    However, I also don’t pore over spreadsheets at 6 of an evening…

  36. bloke (not) in spain

    abacab
    Nor am i. Have you seen SPANISH!!! TV?

    But I was thinkin’ As a mid twenties in ’75 I was pulling in a reasonable £60 p/w net & socialising down the pub, most evenings, at 20p/pint. The local here, now, wants 4 quid a pint. The neighbour’s mid-twenties son does not quaff 4 quid pints most evenings. He may be on a reasonable wage. But not £1200 a week reasonable. He’d have trouble standing a round. And what he told me he’s paying for car insurance made me need a drink. He still lives with M&D. He can’t afford to leave home. At his age, I’d been away most of a decade. Very…enjoya…interes…educational decade.
    Who do you reckon’s having the best of their twenties?

  37. How much of the house price increase is Georgian and how much simple supply and demand caused by immigration and planning controls?

    And how much of the reduction in average home size correlates to smaller families?

  38. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Since no-one drank 300 pints a week even in 1975 it’s not really that meaningful a comparison. Plenty of other things are real-terms cheaper (e.g. clothing) and of much higher quality to boot. Sixty pounds a week was a damn good salary for 1975, especially for someone in their twenties.

    I don’t know where this idea comes from that we are working longer hours today than 40 years ago. It’s rubbish.

  39. Van _ Patten

    Yep I went. MMT has disproved all those inflationista ‘Weimar/Zimbabwe’ lies hasn’t it.
    Funny, MMT never offers an explanation for actually did happen in Zimbabwe or Weimae Germany OR for that matter what is happening right now in Venezuela.

    So we have a choice folks, who do we trust? Frances or Richard? I know who gets my vote.

  40. A while ago I put a post on the ASI blog, asking if anyone could come up with an argument against taxing the rental value of owner-occupied housing, at normal income tax rates (the old Schedule A sort of thing, but with up to date valuations) that didn’t also apply to our current system of taxing investment income.

    No-one managed to come up with a good one. I’m still curious to know whether there is one.

  41. bloke (not) in spain

    “Since no-one drank 300 pints a week even in 1975 it’s not really that meaningful a comparison.”

    It’s the sort of comparison means something to 25 y/o’s rather than the mid-life professionals, much of “quality of life” opinions get based on. And most people aren’t mid-life professionals. In ’75 I could have at least attempted a 300 pint/week. Sonny-Jim next door has to carefully consider pint #1

  42. Ian B
    April 30, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Agamammon, at the risk of being uppity, your posts would be easier to read if you use the ‘blockquote’ tag instead of bold.

    I’ll take that advice.

    But it would be nice if Tim got a proper ‘quote’ or ‘reply to’ function installed here.

  43. bloke (not) in spain

    To add to my comment, above:
    If you are a mid-life professional, you’ve already got your foot on the increasing-store-of-value property bubble ladder & are desperately trying to yank the lower rungs out of the reach of new climbers. It’s not surprising the mid-C20th teens look like fat city, to you. If you’re a baby-boomer, like me you’re waxing ever fatter on the transferred wealth of those late climbers..
    It’s gonna end in tears.

  44. i might be bit younger than some people on this board, but I don’t remember the 70s being a decade of milk and honey, I remember it being grim and grey and the square root of fuck all going on. But hey, beer was cheap and we had The Sweet. I pity t’youngsters of today.

    bnis – if you were getting £60 pw in 1975, that was quite a lot more than the UK average wage. I hope your neighbour’s lad is earning similarly in excess of the average today, otherwise your comparison is bollocks.

    On Land Value Tax, we have it here in Hong Kong. It has done wonders for keeping house prices at a reasonable level.

  45. Oh yeah, house prices being flat from 1950-70?
    Remarkable.
    Anyone would think that, a wee bit prior to the start of that period, we’d lost half a million in population for some reason.

  46. “A while ago I put a post on the ASI blog, asking if anyone could come up with an argument against taxing the rental value of owner-occupied housing, at normal income tax rates (the old Schedule A sort of thing, but with up to date valuations) that didn’t also apply to our current system of taxing investment income.”

    Cos then you’d have to put back mortgage interest tax deduction. Which the lefties would call a subsidy on home ownership… And would whack pensioners who have paid off their homes who suddenly find they have an extra say 12-18k in vapourware income, which they have to pay 20 or 40 % in real money on…

    Anyway, as I am about to find out, we have that here in CH, and with interest rates being as silly as they are, the deduction ain’t worth what it used to be.

  47. Give them full fiscal autonomy – let them raise all their own taxes, let them do all their own spending.

    Let them build Caracas in Scotland’s brown and rainy land.

  48. be as theoretic as you would like – it would crash the housing market and beggar middle-class retired people.

    You might not like it / care from a theoretical standpoint, but it’s electoral suicide when the whole pension system is based around owning your home outright or being in social housing.

  49. I didn’t claim it is politically expedient – of course it isn’t. We have a housing crisis including ridiculously priced property because of decisions made in previous years (subsidies, cheap credit, decreasing building rate etc) and as time goes by it becomes increasingly inexpedient to try to rectify that.

    But your argument is “theoretical” too, especially the rates. It is reasonable to suggest the genuine ‘poor widows’ could defer and roll-up, which neatly skewers that tired argument against LVT (then anti-LVT people try something else).

    And of course falling house prices won’t help the paper wealth of the owners but does make buying cheaper for everyone else.

  50. “house prices being flat from 1950-70”

    Hmmm, remind me again what happened in 1970? Something to do with the final end of the gold standard wasn’t it? The introduction of the fully fiat global currency system?

    One might almost conclude that when one produces lots more currency at the stroke of a pen (or keyboard) things that are in fixed supply will rise in price in rough proportion to the amount of money sloshing around the system.

  51. One might almost conclude that when one produces lots more currency at the stroke of a pen (or keyboard) things that are in fixed supply will rise in price in rough proportion to the amount of money sloshing around the system.

    Shame on you, you’re not supposed to apply sound economic reasoning to the property market. Do you want to cause a crash or something?

  52. @J If the fiat money system did become fully operational in the early 1970’s , it would surely indicate the need for something like LVT to stop all this money inflating the property market.Instead Thicky Thatcher bust her knickers trying to inflate the property market by deregulating the banks and abolishing the domestic rates.

  53. DBC Reed
    April 30, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    @MC
    We’d also lost an enormous number of houses (bombing and all that).

    In the 1970’s?

  54. Well, the Provos did their best, but I don’t think they managed to destroy many houses. They did blow a big hole in Lord McAlpine’s, but a week after his lease expired and he’d moved out. Can’t imagine that had much effect on the national housing market though.

  55. But weren’t we building 300,000 new homes a year in the 50s and 60s? Wouldn’t that increase in supply have had at least a teeny effect on prices?

  56. Bloke in Costa Rica

    bnis: “In ’75 I could have at least attempted a 300 pint/week.” I know Watney’s Red Barrel was frankly piss, but 43 pints a day of the stuff would tax even the stoutest of bladders.

  57. All this talk of house prices misses the point.
    It is the cost of aquiring women and maintaining them that is central. Hence the increased rental in females.And government control of same eg Sweden.
    Men alone would all to often be happy to live in sheds.

  58. You didn’t drink it, you washed your car with it. The fizz and slight hint of alcohol put a nice shine on a Cortina.

  59. If the fiat money system did become fully operational in the early 1970’s , it would surely indicate the need for something like LVT to stop all this money inflating the property market.

    Or, not print the money.

  60. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in Costa Rica – “I know Watney’s Red Barrel was frankly piss, but 43 pints a day of the stuff would tax even the stoutest of bladders.”

    Which means William Hague’s achievement of something along those lines is all the more remarkable.

  61. Bloke in Costa Rica

    ‘I’m only here for the beer’ – one of the earliest ironic advertising slogans in history

  62. @!B
    An unusually bone-headed comment: Governments don’t create money. The commercial banks do.Its all there in the marvellous confession by the Bank of England (Money Creation in the Modern economy) The Government could just as easily and more properly create money itself and spend it into circulation; save all the third raters getting into a public school/ Oxbridge state about the deficit for starters (See Paul Krugman The Austerity Delusion: we’re the only country that takes austerity seriously).
    Yes money does grow on trees! Get used to it. We should spend it with wild abandon but not on pumping up land prices because its just inflationary.

  63. DBC-

    Whether the central bank counts as “the State” is a matter of personal opinion, but the effects of monetary expansion are the same regardless of who creates the money.

  64. @ DBC Reed
    You have made so many stupid errors (unless they weredeliberate termonological inexzactitudes) that I cannot deal with all of them at once.
    So I am starting with the quickest
    i) “Competition and Credit Control” was introduced by Tony Barber when Mrs Thatcher was Secretary of State for Education
    ii) Commercial Banks CANNOT create money out of thin air – they can only use fractional reserve banking to increase the velocity of circulation (which may give the uneducated the impression of creating money as they are allowing borrowers to spend depositors’ money). Anyone who thinks otherwise is welcome to set up a bank with no money and create some out of thin air and get free accommodation at he majesty’s pleasure.
    iii) No third-raters get into Oxbridge (unlike Yale and Harvard) – it is probably the most effective selection of talent entrance examination in the world withbuilt-in adjustments for the poor quality of teaching in a large minority of state schools so that the few talented pupils get an equal chance to those going to Eton or Harrow with an equal inteelectual capacity. Third-raters like Murphy go to third-rate universities and most first-raters, as well as all second-raters, go to non-Oxbridge universities. There are half-a-dozen *other* UK universities in the top handful of universities in the whole world.

  65. @ DBC Reed
    iv) Today my wife took me to the Downland Open-Air Museum, from which one can see the massive improvements in living conditions over the centuries. The two biggest jumps were after the Black Death (the surviving peasants had more land each and the shortage of landless workers pushed up wage levels) and under the Tudors (after the end of the Wars of the Roses, when a century of progress was allowed to feed through) So your appallingly ignorant diatribe “Enough of this bullshit. Every time there’s a bit of commercial prosperity ,its cancelled out by property prices rising. Or as Henry George put it: Progess (commercial development leading to more money about) leads to Poverty (through property price inflation and demand for goods and services being reduced by raised rents and house prices) See title of magnum opus Progress and Poverty (Go together you see).If you wankers haven’t noticed this phenomenon for yourselves ,go off and vote for the Land Price Inflation parties in the name of Freedom! Yok.yok,yok,yok.” can be seen to be just that – an appallingly ignorant diatribe. The landless labourer in the sixteenth century had a better house than the Yeoman farmer two centuries earlier.
    v) The country did NOT wage a civil war to rid itself of wage inflation. Arthur Scargill attempted to start a civil war by calling a strike – AGAINST NUM RULES – in an attempt to overthrow the elected government. When the DUM seceded he sent thugs to attack mineworkers obeying the rules of the NUM.
    I grew up in two mining areas – you are a stinking liar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *