Chakrabortty, our history graduate, on economics again

As for the £93bn in corporate welfare – since I wrote the news stories for this paper that those calculations are based on, allow me to put straight some of the criticisms and wishfulness that surrounds it.

First, the figure comes from research by Kevin Farnsworth, a senior lecturer at York University who’s been working on corporate welfare for more than a decade. The £93bn is a “conservative estimate” of how much British taxpayers hand to business in grants, subsidies, tax reliefs and other direct support. His research was published by the University of Sheffield and is available online, although this hasn’t been enough of an incentive for critics to read it.

I did read it, I did understand it and yes, it really is mindgargling nonsense.

Here:

Well, yes, that’s going to be interesting, isn’t it, a sociologist telling us about the implications of tax breaks. And after contacting him, being shown his main paper and discussing it with him, it is interesting, if mindgargling nonsense is an allowable meaning of “interesting”.

No, really, just no. Capital allowances really just do not mean that the public bears the cost of corporate investment. Taxpayers really, really, don’t “effectively pay” the costs of the entire investment. This is not one of those two-plus-two-equals-five nonsenses, this is akin to two-plus-two-equals-splurt! Entirely meaningless.

seriously, how in buggery did we end up with the economic leader writer of one of our major newspapers having absolutely no fucking idea whatsoever about the subject under discussion? And not even taking note when it is explained?

20 thoughts on “Chakrabortty, our history graduate, on economics again”

  1. “But you can’t hold mass movements to tight, logical standards,”

    Or expect an rigour from them at all it seems. And that’s the point about Corbyn, Murphy et al: if you point out the logical inconsistencies or the plain nonsense they slip into heir stock phrases: “work in progress, new kind of politics, conversation, energising, enthusing, hope, COMPLETE BOLLOCKS”

  2. “how in buggery did we end up …”: because incentives. Nobody who reads the Tox Dadger understands anything much, nor particularly wants to. So you can carry that sort of twaddle endlessly.

  3. “how in buggery did we end up …”

    Because the role of the press is no longer to inform the electorate, but to indoctrinate.

  4. Gamecock – “Because the role of the press is no longer to inform the electorate, but to indoctrinate.”

    Rob – “its not so much the Age of Stupid as the Age of Reflexive Denial and Incoherent Rage.”

    And in support of both your comments, up pops the ever reliable Jessica Valenti. To tell us online comments, i.e. people telling her she is full of crap, should be banned:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/10/end-online-comments

    Because nothing should disturb the poor little dear’s peace of mind.

  5. To be fair, some on the left have laid into this particular nonsense as well. Vide Jolyon on the topic, giving the thing as good a kicking as our genial host’s, perhaps even a more thorough one.

    But lump together tendentious assertions of value, couch the sum in the language of unrequited welfare, ascribe the result to corporate capture and you do no more than fuel a prejudice searching for a justification.

  6. SMFS

    That’s a superb link

    I like the idea that her opinions are basically beyond challenge – to the extent that any critic can only be motivated by Sexism, racism (whatever other -ism she feels like) as well as the all time classic phrase ‘Ignoring hateful things doesn’t make them go away’

    Another reason why I’m warming to the idea that we should not only bring ‘Jihadi John’ over here but allow him the freedom of several ‘university’ campuses to start making more of his videos with anyone who uses the term ‘hate speech’ or ‘safe space’……..

  7. SMFS – thanks for trawling that up. So Ms Valenti wanted to ‘destabilise the writer/reader relationship’ until she became the writer. Then, not so much.

    And the Penny quote is quite something to behold – building a new strawman out of an old one.I’d applaud if it wasn’t so depressing.

  8. Well Peston admits his knowledge of economics is limited and it didn’t stop the BBC making him the chief economics editor

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Van_Patten – “I like the idea that her opinions are basically beyond challenge – to the extent that any critic can only be motivated by Sexism, racism (whatever other -ism she feels like)”

    So she does not even consider that perhaps people keep correcting her because she is so Goddamn wrong about everything. Must be because they are haters.

    “as well as the all time classic phrase ‘Ignoring hateful things doesn’t make them go away’”

    But apparently banning them does. I love the idea that comments have to be banned because ignoring them is too much work.

    NielsR – “thanks for trawling that up. So Ms Valenti wanted to ‘destabilise the writer/reader relationship’ until she became the writer. Then, not so much.”

    Having never been challenged about her asinine opinions she does not seem to have taken to it well. She should have stuck to small time feminist blogs where she could talk to other small minded feminists. About their cats or some such.

    Jessica Valenti may well still have her t-shirt that says she baths in men’s tears. Good for her. She deserves every word of contempt she gets.

    Bloke not in Cymru – “Well Peston admits his knowledge of economics is limited and it didn’t stop the BBC making him the chief economics editor”

    Well knowing the BBC these days, do you think it was coz he’s Jewish?

    Let’s hope it is not because he wrote some dire anti-Thatcher piece of agitprop.

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