Commenters, eh?

So, over at Seeking alpha, I say:

Don’t Sweat The EU’s Starbucks Tax Investigation

On the grounds that even if they were found to have gained state aid it’s a trivial amount, $20 million for a company Starbuck’s size. Over many years. And if they done wring all they do is pay that trivial amount back.

Results announced today: trivial amount, $20 million over several years.

In the comments I get told I was wrong because they’ve got to pay back the €20 million.


9 thoughts on “Commenters, eh?”

  1. Still, at around 7 years’ tax bill it must be, relatively speaking, a whopping girt huge fine, which will obliterate the next several years’ profits of this infamously low-margin, impoverished company that has struggled to break even for years. I bet the share price collapsed on the news. Oh, wait.

  2. Looking at the comments on El Reg about economics not being a science, I’m reminded of your post the other day where the biologist was making the same complaint.

    The comment I was going to make there (hurrah for second chances!) was:

    – Applied economics is unable to solve economic problems
    – Therefore economics does not understand the field it purports to study
    – Therefore economics is not a science

    – Biology purports to understand living beings
    – Medicine (aka applied biology) is unable to solve problems in living beings
    – Therefore biology does not understand the field it purports to study
    – Therefore biology is not a science

    Note that the letter’s author takes it as axiomatic that analogy is a valid argument… 🙂

  3. On one of El Reg’s Timmy pieces on the possibility of ongoing growth (rather than “infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet”) a long discussion took place in the comments, with the most highly upvoted comment being one that sagely explained how it all depends on whether Timmy’s graph of GDP growth included inflation or not. If inflation counts towards GDP growth then yes infinite growth is possible but otherwise it isn’t.

    When writing in non-specialist publications it makes sense to assume the audience are quite possibly ignorant of even the very basics. (How many computing grads will have heard of the GDP deflator?)

  4. Just remember that nobody would value your wisdom if it wasn’t for the sea of ignorance that surrounds them.

  5. @Pellinor, October 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    … – Therefore economics is not a science
    … – Therefore biology is not a science

    According to Rutherford (IIRC) – “The only true science is physics, all the rest are merely stamp-collecting.” 🙂

  6. That’s why the only good Nobel joke is the award to Rutherford of the Chemistry Prize. You don’t get fine jokes like that nowadays, eh?

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