As Ritchie tells us, minimum wages cause job losses

Second, no one knows who will get the wage increases. For the under 25s they might be a disaster. For immigrant labour they might be great news. For 26 year olds they’re almost certain to spell unemployment and poverty just as they might have the responsibilities of childcare arriving.

I assume that minimum wages imposed by a Tory are different from minimum wages imposed by anyone else. Can’t think what other reason there could be for the change of heart.

You can’t build productivity by forcing wages up and more into unemployment that you are unwilling to support.

Really is a change of heart, isn’t it?

104 thoughts on “As Ritchie tells us, minimum wages cause job losses”

  1. I laughed heartily yesterday morning as Radio 4’s Today had suddenly discovered that minimum wage laws destroy jobs. To think that all the way through the Labour government they had missed this particular gem, but now the Tories are at it, the realisation has hit them like a brick. It’s a marvellous coincidence, to be sure, and not remotely partisan.

    I, in my equally remotely non-partisan, wish a plague on all their houses. Minimum wages are bad for the worst-off in society, whom our benevolent government seeks to protect from exploitation by the no less exploitative means of casting them onto welfare.

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    You can’t build productivity by forcing wages up and more into unemployment that you are unwilling to support.

    Actually you probably can do that. It was the Union-based model that worked well in the West in the 50s. If wages are forced up, even at the price of some unemployment, then companies are forced to invest in newer and better technology. It didn’t work out so well for Detroit’s car Unions but it was their logic. It was also the logic of Germany’s unions – they pushed wage hikes right across the economy. If a non-competitive company could not compete, well, too bad. Some people lost their jobs.

    Not sure this is a sensible trade off mind you.

    However Ritchie reminds me of a man who has lost his bearings in the desert. As he has nothing to fix on to that would guide his course, like, you know, principles, he wanders around in circles. In the end, there is no position he will not take. Just give him time and elbow room.

  3. I’m getting the sense of a man who employs someone (a house cleaner or gardener perhaps?) on less than £9/hr here………..I can’t see any other reason for such an volte face. The Left are always the tightest buggers out there, they like giving away other people’s money, but if its theirs…….all hell breaks loose.

  4. This isn’t the only Orwellian switch from Ritchie (and no doubt Howard Reed). He is edging as quick as he dare towards Colin Hines’ national socialist position of barring migration between states.

    We have long debated whether he is an idiot or an evil genius. I think I could read hos shite all my life and still be no nearer an answer.

  5. Incidentally, do you think Deloitte are worried by his trolling of them? Will they even notice?

  6. the Left’s attitude the the announcement has been a jaw-dropping and shameles volte-face; as you point out, having told us for years that price increases cut consumption in (for example) energy but that doesn’t apply to labour, they’ve now decided that actually the laws of supply and demand do apply after all.

    Essentially they’ve said “£8/hr by 2020 was a masterpiece of Labour policy; £9/hr by 2020 is evil neoliberalism. Yes, we *do* want an increase but we don’t want it from you Tory bastards. WAAAAAAAAH”

  7. @Ironman

    I think the inclusion of the term “genius” might have disqualified him from that particular title.

  8. @GlenDorran – a year or two back Deloitte’s needle may have twitched briefly; now the LHTD is increasingly resembling Simon Dee. Once briefly fashionable and relevant, he’s now only listened to by people so unhip that they haven’t noticed the wind has changed

  9. Maybe he’s angling for a neo-liberal grant?

    It can’t be sheer cynical tactics, as he is “non-aligned” with any party, as he keeps on telling us.

  10. Lefties: “Wahwahwah tax credits are a subsidy to business. They should pay their staff a living wage”

    Chancellor: “Ok. I’ll get rid of tax credits and increase the min wage to the living wage”

    Lefties: “Wahwahwah getting rid of tax credits is stealing food from the mouths of poor babies”

    Demented twats

  11. However Ritchie reminds me of a man who has lost his bearings in the desert. As he has nothing to fix on to that would guide his course, like, you know, principles, he wanders around in circles. In the end, there is no position he will not take. Just give him time and elbow room.

    He reminds me of a hooker who, having once been one of the high-class types who could command $1,000 per hour from senior members of the ruling classes has, after steadily gaining a reputation for egotistical and diva-like behaviour along with declining looks, been reduced to hanging around under a railway bridge offering lorry drivers a blowjob for a tenner.

  12. For what it’s worth, I.don’t think George Osborne believes in tuis measure for one second. This is pure politics, the need to frame the Conservatives as not being ‘the party of the rich’.

    On Ritchie: what happened to last week’s “Britain needs a pay rise”

  13. TN, brutal but ever such a realistic picture, a high-class hooker reduced to performing with donkeys in some dodgy Cairo nightclub.

  14. How about focusing on the truly awful price fixing policy from the conservatives rather than the amusing but ultimately inevitable position of lefties like Richie on this issue? Supporters of free markets are not criticising this enough. There is no mention on the ASI blog for example..

  15. @Tomsmith:

    The IEA have spoken about it, but you’re right that there hasn’t been a lot of criticism.

  16. Well, I can at least be proud that I didn’t vote for these stupid bastards. Any illusion that the Tories are a “free market” party must surely evaporate now.

    The government has just made it illegal to employ anyone whose productivity is less than £9 per hour. I am currently involved with a group who help people with disabilities into work. It’s hard enough already. Now, it’s going to be much, much harder as lower productivity employment is prohibited.

    One expects stupid from the Conservative Party, but this is a whole new level of stupid that needs a term beyond “jaw droppingly stupid”.

    And that red-faced little tosser “IDS” waving his weenie fists in triumph… Jesus wept. What did we do to deserve these people?

  17. Dongguan John

    sadly, I think you have nailed far too large a proportion of the left.

    I would like to point out that there are a few of us who have always recognised min wages represent a trade off (i.e. have an impact on employment) and also that tax credits powerful tool for redistribution that help with incentive to work (but also have some pass through onto wages – best estimates I have seen is that every £1 of tax credit, 30p lower wages, so net 70p higher income to worker)

  18. It’s terrible economics, of course, but clever politics from Osborne. Notice how little sound and fury has been expended on the welfare cuts.

    For years now, the British Left has been crying that we need a “living wage”. Now that Osborne’s given it to them, guess what the first response of the Living Wage Foundation was?

    If you guessed “consider changing their name” you win a coconut.

    They may call themselves “the REAL living wage”, no doubt to splinter further into the “continuity living wage” and the “provisional living wage”.

    What larks, Pip!

  19. @ Glendorran,

    I saw that. It is the same bloke who wrote the piece against it in the telegraph. I’m not really a fan of his reasoning- he doesn’t appear to be against it for the large and obvious reasons and rather seems to be quibbling about specifics. As if it would be ok if only…x..y..z

  20. Zut alors! If the frogs want to keep up, this means a 57% pay rise. As if the didn’t have enough NEETs already.

  21. Ian B – The economy isn’t a fucking game.

    Sadly, it is to the people with their hands on the levers of policy.

    It’s not a game for people like you and I who work for a living.

    But at least Balls isn’t Chancellor. It really could be worse. Could be better too, mind. I didn’t vote for this government.

  22. Among other highlights of an insane budget, it was also interesting to note that now 18-21 year olds are not considered adults any more by the State.

  23. Steve-

    I doubt Balls would have been any worse. People really need to stop with this myth that the Tories are always better than Labour.

  24. I assume that minimum wages imposed by a Tory are different from minimum wages imposed by anyone else

    Yes; that is how party politics works.

  25. Luis Enrique

    Thanks for the information on the incidence of the tax credit; very useful to have the confirmation.The Right though has blood.on it’s own hands here. We have railed against them and the ‘benefits bill’ for.a.long e. We never bothered to stop view them as the nearest we’ve had to the negative income tax/basic wage.

    The politics has certainly tried the economics here.

  26. “Not sure this is a sensible trade off mind you.”

    Well, no, it isn’t. If a company wanted to invest in machinery to reduce costs, they’d do so.

    What people don’t understand is things like setup costs, and how sometimes humans are cheaper. I once worked for a printing/mailing company. We printed bills on big laser printers and they got run through the bulk mailing machine and out. But for smaller clients with maybe a few hundred bills a week it was cheaper to have a table with little old ladies hand stuffing. By the time you’d set up the bulk mailer for the job, they’d be pretty much done.

    Raise the min wage and both sides lose. The little old ladies lose their bit of pin money. The company buys a machine because it’s cheaper than them now, but is more expensive than the real value of their labour.

    And no-one likes to be reminded of exactly why min wage laws came in, and that was to protect existing workers. It was to stop Chinese or black workers would live 8 to a house from being able to undercut white people with a comfortable living.

    I shouldn’t really complain. The guy I know that’s trying to get funding for an amazing touch screen vending machine will probably get it now (you can use cash, and also things like flashing a QR code from a phone to get a product dispensed).

  27. Well Ironman, this kind of disaster is the end result of all the years of blaming the economic mess in this country on “Benefits Street”. An attitude I have argued against here and elsewhere.

  28. IanB

    I’m not sure if you’re aiming your comment at me or simply responding to my comment. For what it’s worth.I agree that ‘benefits street’ was far too simplistic, bordering on the plain wrong.

  29. Despite enjoying the sound of Labour jaws dropping to the floor and applauding the sheer cheek of Osborne I too feel that this is a treasonable offence.

    One of our major problems is the lack of work for unskilled people and we are doing everything in our power to price them out of the market and force them to live on benefits (in the best of cases).

    How can a bar pay somebody with no talents £9/hour to collect glasses and clean tables?
    Not employing somebody,
    pressuring bar staff more,
    leaving the tables dirty or
    putting up the prices which puts the low wage earner (if he is still in a job) right back where he was and we pay Scandinavian prices for a beer in a pub.

    I see nothing positive in this other than the brief joy of shafting Labourites.

    Amazing how they are coming round to a new stand on this matter. The fastest about-turn ever seen in politics.

  30. I will not be remotely surprised if Osborne turns out to have just won the 2020 General Election. Most of the Tories’ and Coalition’s tax cuts have benefitted the poor more than the rich so far, but that fact hasn’t managed to beat the Left’s constant chanting of “TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!” This move has the huge advantage of being undeniable: the Left can scream all they like about how it somehow screws the poor for some technical accounting reason, but there’s just no way in Hell actual poor people are going to believe them this time.

    Such propaganda is important. Thatcher’s big mistake was not taking the Left’s lies seriously. When state spending is a matter of public record, why pay attention to obviously false and easily refuted claims of TORY NHS CUTS? The answer turned out to be that, if you don’t combat this shit, everyone believes it. For decades.

    I’m against minimum wage for all the usual reasons, but politics is about trade-offs. If this is the price we pay for getting tax cuts and state sector reduction and — most importantly — the destruction of the myth that right-wing politics is all about grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt, so be it.

  31. Ironman

    I think Ritchie is an ‘evil idiot’. It is often remarked that the British Left are the most stupid people in the world (worse even than say, Zimbabwe, Eritrea or North Korea) and he is certainly a useful exhibit A in proving that contention.

  32. S2 – most importantly — the destruction of the myth that right-wing politics is all about grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt

    Can we still set fire to tramps?

  33. Was basing the staff I want to take on at a certain wage based on a 25 hour week.
    Having to figure out lower hours now – but hey the staff will be happy to be on a higher hourly rate!

  34. Squander-

    This budget raised taxes. They’ll be up £7bn in three years time.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/tax/11729659/Taxman-gets-new-US-style-powers-to-raid-tens-of-thousands-of-personal-bank-accounts-to-recover-debts.html

    And take a look at this line graph-

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/tax/11729659/Taxman-gets-new-US-style-powers-to-raid-tens-of-thousands-of-personal-bank-accounts-to-recover-debts.html

    Nearly everyone loses. Plus, HMRC have been given exciting new powers to raid bank accounts. If Brown or Balls had introduced this budget, you’d be slagging it off as economically illiterate and ruinous.

  35. When Labour introduced the minimum wage lefties crow that this is a good thing. When Tories introduce the living wage this is bad because neo – liberalism.

  36. And when Labour introduce a minimum wage righties complain that it’s socialism, then when Tories massive hike it up, they say it’s a masterstroke of genius.

    Your price fixing is rotten socialism, our price fixing is glorious. Etc.

  37. “Can we still set fire to tramps?”

    Only if it is consensual on both sides. And none of this “I’ve changed my mind” nonsense half way through when the flames get higher.

  38. Let’s be honest – I, like every other right-winger – got interested in politics for the fear and terror.

    When Maggie Thatcher was carting off the poor to workhouses and dropping nukes on the donkey sanctuaries of Buenos Aires, I clapped.

    When the Iron Lady replaced free school milk with a slurry of broken glass and leopard droppings, I cheered.

    When she went out on a cold Christmas Eve with a battery-powered hairdryer to melt Raymond Briggs’ Snowman and make carrit-topped little boys cry, I was tumescent.

    The modern Conservative party is a bit rubbish at oppressing the helpless, so we have to take our fun where we can find it.

  39. Henry Crun

    It’s not the raising of the min wage (it’s not close to the Low Pay Commission’s version of a ‘Living Wage’) that’s the issue, it’s the fact that the loss of tax credits makes a lot of those on the min wage poorer.

    But as Ian B points out, the main parties are stealing each other’s policy ideas and the spin does as it does.

  40. Ian B

    I think the only thing that could be said of the budget is that Balls would have been worse – and a Green Budget delivered by Richard Murphy from the Lords would mean the end of the UK, indeed possibly civilisation itself. Damning I know but that is about the best ‘defence’ of it I can muster.

  41. > when Labour introduce a minimum wage righties complain that it’s socialism, then when Tories massive hike it up, they say it’s a masterstroke of genius.

    Nope. When Labour introduced it, it was price-fixing and was bound to lead to some unemployment, but it was also playing to Labour’s base, which is expected. Osborne’s move yesterday was even higher price-fixing and is therefore bound to lead to further unemployment, but it is also destroying Labour’s base in a politically quite brilliant way. Observing that something is good in some ways and bad in others is not hypocrisy.

  42. Ospuke has ensured that there will be more youth unemployment and that jobs at the low end will be ever more scarce. Thousands will lose their jobs be forced on benefits and then be slagged as scroungers by scum like Smith, Greyling, Maude and all the rest. Who are themselves spongers on a scale that ordinary people barely dream of.

  43. Rob – when you and your neo-liberal droogs encounter a filthy, dirty old drunkie, howling away at the filthy songs of his fathers and going blerp, blerp in between as if it might be a filthy old orchestra in his stinking rotten guts, his consent can be presumed.

  44. Steve

    When she and the entire cabinet feasted in Trafalgar Square on the corpses of dead miners’ children that her police had hung from lampposts at Orgreave I did order several bottles of Krug in mutual celebration……

  45. You’ve all seemed to miss the fact that this £9/hr wage only kicks in at age 25. Cheap workers will still be widely available, especially with the elimination of the last of the student grants. The hope is that by the time you’ve reached the grand age of 25, you ought to be capable of producing £9/hr of output.

  46. Observing that something is good in some ways and bad in others is not hypocrisy.

    Or just a desperation to defend a party run by despicable idiots, one or the other. Real people are going to be seriously hurt by this. Fuck the party politics.

    I mean yes, going in through the Ardennes was jolly clever of the Nazis but, you know, the whole picture and all that.

  47. SQ2: ” it is also destroying Labour’s base in a politically quite brilliant way. ”

    What remains of ZaNu’s base is migrants and the “My Dad voted Labour” north. Do you believe that such are going to say “Those Tory shite have raised the minimum wage. They are compassionate wonderful people after all. I’m going to change the habit of a lifetime and vote for them in 2020.”

    Osphelgm is pulling a stupid stunt which will have zero political effect but will damage lots of ordinary people badly. But why should BluLab give a shit. They won’t but booted out of the HoC and have to try and find a low-paying job any time soon.

  48. VP

    “a Green Budget delivered by Richard Murphy from the Lords would mean the end of the UK, indeed possibly civilisation itself.”

    This affirms what I came to believe a while ago.

    Murphy is the very Devil himself, and his penchant for pink cardigans and model railways is a clever smokescreen.

  49. The hope is that by the time you’ve reached the grand age of 25, you ought to be capable of producing £9/hr of output.

    Hope is a wonderful thing. If people were hitting that level at 25, there would be no need for a minimum wage, would there?

    Fuck it, just set it at £25 per hour and make us all rich. That’ll work, right?

  50. With regard to the tax credits, does anyone know if their reduction is going to lead to a change in the effective marginal rate of taxation?

    This is one of the big problems in the UK – which the Universal Credit was meant to be helping to resolve (it won’t because it won’t work properly as a system).

  51. > Or just a desperation to defend a party run by despicable idiots

    No particular urge to defend the Tories. I’ve never voted for them in my life. “Authoritarian bastards” is the phrase I usually use for them.

  52. Arnald

    No mate, sorry. Our point here is very very much that the Left is now saying, OVERNIGHT, that raising the minimum wage will increase unemployment.

    That argument has nothing to do with tax credits and everything to do with blatant double standards.

  53. @ianb People really need to stop with this myth that the Tories are always better than Labour.

    at least the tories love the English, whereas LP wishes to positively destroy the English.

    Not that it shows much in TP/LP policies, but its still a fundamental aspect.

  54. Andrew M,

    “You’ve all seemed to miss the fact that this £9/hr wage only kicks in at age 25. Cheap workers will still be widely available, especially with the elimination of the last of the student grants. The hope is that by the time you’ve reached the grand age of 25, you ought to be capable of producing £9/hr of output.”

    As a 45+ year old, what business is it of the state what value I assign to my labour for a particular task? I already vary my labour rate based on whether someone is OK or a bit of a git. If Anne Hathaway called me up to ask my advice about picking out a bikini, I’d probably be willing to do that for a few quid an hour rather than £6~

  55. Question is, “how much unemployment will this create, and how many will benefit by how much”.

    First part is very difficult to answer indeed, nobody knows the answer, excepting very full employment, where the answer is “not much”, but in that case the MW is (presumably) not raising many peoples wages.

    If there’s four million out of work, nobody knows how many lost their jobs because of MW, but likely quite a few.

    MW raises prices also, which needs to be subtracted from the benefit enjoyed by those whose wage is raised by MW. Again, on wonders that people on low wage are especially exposed to price rises due to minimum wage. (poor people shop at low wage retailers!).

    So, let us do some supposing, that for instance, we attribute 50,000 extra unemployed to MW, but that 3 million workers enjoy higher remuneration – is that worth it?

    And what about the rest of us? We all take a pay cut by way of higher prices to pay for higher wages.

    On balance, if unemployment is fairly low (whatever that means), then MW might be considered a reasonable way to direct a bit more money from the average and better off to the less well off. Or not.

  56. I’m with Andrew M: I think this might actually work. All the shit low paid jobs that can only afford to pay current min wage will get done by under 25s, and over 25s should have got their shit together enough by then to be worth £9/hr. To be honest if you’re not worth £9/hr after 25 chances are you aren’t worth the current minimum wage either, so you are already priced out of the market.

  57. If balls had made this announcement the response would have been:

    ‘Great news about #living wage from the labour party. A great start to kick on for a more robust living wage. It’s not quite perfect but let’s get behind a Labour Party returning to what it once was before Blair #yesballs #yeslabour #caringaboutthepoor’

    Instead we have : ‘this is NOT a living wage. #hurumpf’

  58. Ironman, you’re right, I misread the drift.

    Still, the argument is for job losses for those over 25 y/o as it will be cheaper to employ 21 – 25 y/os. This was not the case when the NMW was introduced. The circumstances were different.

    I don’t know why there is a fixation on the £9 number either, that’s in 5 years time.

  59. Jim: so you mean it won’t have any impact because people over 25 are already being paid the MW? (Are such statistics available per age band?)

    In addition to the complete around face over time, I guess it mean that the UK Labour Party now thinks that Obama is destroying the US with his MW stuff?

  60. Jim:”To be honest if you’re not worth £9/hr after 25 chances are you aren’t worth the current minimum wage either, so you are already priced out of the market.”

    It has nothing to do with what you are “worth”. The job is offered at a rate of pay that –compared to what you are being asked to do–that will make money for your employer. If the money to be made is reduced or eliminated by state dictate the job will probably never exist let alone be advertised. You may be some Horatio Alger hero who can do triple the work but you wont even get a chance at the job.

  61. I now realise that I’m old. for I now realise that I’m past the point where pointy elbows would make any difference in such a situation.

  62. “nd that red-faced little tosser “IDS” waving his weenie fists in triumph… Jesus wept. What did we do to deserve these people?”

    Like a stupid red faced clapping seal. I felt almost moved to tears of rage that this is our so-called party of the free market, that this is all we have. Why bother?

    And you are correct about the hypocrisy of the right on this issue- very little comment, wereas if this ruination had come from Labour we would all be shouting about the obvious stupidity of it.

    It will do terrible economic damage but I think more importantly it normalises the idea of price control in the labour market. Both of the moron parties of government will now be competing on this issue to see who can appear more compassionate. It is a disaster.

  63. Andrew M

    Thank you. And yes, that is seriously not good. One of the most important ways of getting people to work more is to have lower EMTRs. I had hoped that if they were going to play with the tax credit system they might have done something about that.

  64. For unskilled work, is there really any difference between an 18 year old and a 25 year old in how they do the job, productivity etc?
    Will youth unemployment drop?

  65. Tomsmith / Ian B – well said

    “If Brown or Balls had introduced this budget, you’d be slagging it off as economically illiterate and ruinous”.

    And it will hurt even more in the regions where £9 is a lot more than in London.

    Also – what actually happened to Osborne’s pledge at tax simplification; or was that just another joke?

  66. bilbaoboy

    Re bar staff

    I have “a solution”.

    Bar boy sets up Bar Boy Ltd to deliver glass cleaning services (and actually for anything he wants to do in the future). Contracts on a BTB basis with the pub. Glasses cleaned for one evening for £x. As a director of Bar Boy Ltd, he is unaffected by any minimum wage legislation…

    Perhaps more youngsters should do stuff like this. Might even help encourage a more entrepreneurial approach generally..!?

  67. “Steve

    When the Iron Lady replaced free school milk with a slurry of broken glass and leopard droppings”

    It’s a funny old thing.

    Which education minister first stopped free school milk?

    No……you’re wrong.

    Mrs T was education minister when the government ended free school milk in 1971 for primary school children aged 7-11 but the first ending of free school milk was by Labour’s Edward Short in 1968 who ended it for 12-18 year olds.

    And so terrible, so awful, so unforgivable was Mrs T’s crime that Labour immediately reversed it when they got into power in 1974 and again in 1997………..er…………..wait…….no they didn’t but they continued their ‘milk snatcher’ attacks…

    It’s the left’s hypocrisy that turned me against them.

  68. Andrew,

    To be fair, Short only stopped the milk. It was Thatcher who forced the kids to drink broken glass and leopard droppings.

    Not even sustainable leopards, either. Bitch.

  69. Martin Davies,

    “Ended in 1971? Darn, in 1979 was still having it. Vile stuff. Forced to drink it.”

    I remember it in the mid-70s. Little bottles of tepid milk (the milkman had delivered hours ago but there was no refrigerator) that you had at breaktime.

  70. On the original topic, Ritchie’s free market conversion: I wrote to him earlier noting Howard Reed’s published work on the Living Wage bringing in tax revenues for the Treasury – as opposed to the pockets of the low-paid. Does he now continue to hold this as a positive reason for the Living Wage if he now holds it makes people unemployed? Would Howard Reed like to comment?

    Would you believe the Courageous State has done a runner. The Courageous State is shit scared of being taken apart by the ‘trolls’. What sort of blogger are you when you are unable to engage in any debate of any sort, even on your own blog and on your own terms?

  71. @Squander

    Fair enough.

    I heard Mrs T made parents sacrifice their first born.

    No evidence of course…but I did hear it.

  72. As I understand it bar boy Ltd has to work at at least 2 bars during the finial year and he has to invoice in a manner that doesn’t look like employment (as in per glass or a fixed amount)

  73. This might be shitty economics overall, or it might not.

    It might help mahooooooosively to mitigate youth unemployment and lifelong NEETism. Or it might not.

    What it definitely is, though, is fantastic politics, getting the usual suspects U-turning on min wage laws and sounding like Milton bloody Freedman.

    Just rejoice at that news, as someone might have said in 1982….

  74. This reminds me somewhat of that thing where Mac fans used to say PCs were rubbish because they were stuck with inherently inferior x86 processors, until Apple announced the switch to x86, at which point it was suddenly, “oh, actually, that’s a really good idea, a masterstroke of genius again Steve Jobs!”.

    Except that switching to x86 was a good idea.

    The confusion and/or dismay of the Left is not actually the issue here. The issue is that we now have the supposedly not-Left party out-Lefting the Left, by adopting an astonishingly bad policy which nobody in their right (haha!) mind should support or would have if the said Left had done it.

    I give up. I’m going back to puzzling over emoji tube station number 12.

  75. “What it definitely is, though, is fantastic politics, getting the usual suspects U-turning on min wage laws and sounding like Milton bloody Freedman.

    Just rejoice at that news, as someone might have said in 1982….”

    Nothing to rejoice here. This institutionalises serious wage controls from both of the only parties with any chance of power in this country. There will be a spiral of competing stupid wage control offers from both idiot parties in the coming years.All thanks to Osborne caving in, dropping any political principles he might have held, and going for a cheap political point score.

  76. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Oh it’s amazingly good reverse ju-jitsu, there’s no argument there. But I guess part of the attraction of being a libertarian is that we would like politics to be a bit more than two indistinguishable gangs of principle-free chancers trying to outbid one another with our money. There is a natural minimum wage, and it is and always has been £0, $0, €0, ¥0. The amusement of seeing the Left all glum at having their thunder stolen should be tempered with the realisation that the only thing that separates these people from one another is the colour of the rosette they wear come election time.

  77. I’ve just defeated my arch-rival on the field of battle by giving him all my troops. The poor blighter doesn’t know what to do.

    I dare say he’ll work something out.

  78. So Much for Subtlety

    Steve – “Can we still set fire to tramps?”

    No but I believe the new Fox Hunting bill may involve a compromise.

    This might be a brilliant political move but as I have said before, we have three Lib-Dem parties. It is impossible to tell one from the other. What we need is a conservative party.

  79. It’s cretinous economically and politically. You don’t ‘win’ by doing everything the other side wants to do if the other side is wrong. That’s technically called ‘losing’.

    The Tories should be making the argument for freedom and trusting people to understand it. It’s not hard.

    This country has been handed over to a small number of fools and liars.

  80. Interested

    It’s cretinous economically and politically. You don’t ‘win’ by doing everything the other side wants to do if the other side is wrong. That’s technically called ‘losing’.

    +1

    Suffolk

    Rather than “two bars” or whatever, it’s the relationship that determines employment, hence, keep it simple BTB?

    In this type of example, the pub doesn’t care “who” does the cleaning, it simply has a contract with Bar Boy Ltd to deliver the job (like the cleaning company after work at the office), and yes ‘fixed price’ for the evening sounds sensible.

    Sure, it’s tongue in cheek, as it’s not that beneficial for low pay type stuff, and yet, once Bar Boy Ltd was up and running, and if he started thinking slightly differently, the world’s his oyster..:)

  81. Ironman

    To call his book ‘The Courageous State’ was one of the biggest verbal swindles ever. Of course he will no doubt rabbit on about ‘speaking truth to power’ whilst refusing as you say, to the negate in debate on even his own terms. As Noel pointed ou ‘The joy of tax’ is being proof read. How many people will derive any joy from the mindless wittering a of a pompous, intemperate and ignorant windbag is an open question….

  82. You’re an optimist, Ian. I start from the assumption that, whoever’s in government, they’re fucking awful, and the overwhelming majority of their policies will be bad for me, bad for everyone else, and bad for the country. Given, that, I may as well enjoy the circus when it occasionally does something amusing. You seem to be upset that this latest policy created by our lords & masters is really quite bad. Well, yeah. What were you expecting?

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