What Ritchie really means here

So let me find a small silver lining if I can. This is that tariffs are back on the agenda, where they belong. The Ricardian ideal that competitive advantage alone should determine who has the commercial right to determine the source of supply for a country, irrespective of national interest, was always flawed and yet whole economic systems – including the EU – have been built upon it.

Ricardo is about comparative advantage, not competitive. Sheesh. The one non-trivial and non-obvious idea in all of economics and our 0.2 of the Professor of International Political Economy doesn’t get it.

But it does, of course, get worse:

The same is true for the movement of capital. Capital comes in all sorts of forms. There is human, emotional, intellectual, environmental, national, personal, corporate and financial capital. We have, perversely, chosen that financial capital shall have almost complete freedom whilst limiting in some way most others. The consequence has been predictable. Just as unfettered migration creates processes of change that can be too difficult to accommodate so too can the unfettered movement of capital be harmful. We have now suffered that free movement for too long and are seeing the consequences.

So, a bunch of Indians come over here, lose £5 billion of their money on a steel business no one else wanted and we’re the people suffering?

The implication is obvious. A policy that favours the movement of capital must also, and simultaneously, constrain that movement to ensure that the common good is achieved.

This is no new departure for me;

No Ritchie, it isn’t. Because what you really want is that Brits cannot take their capital out of the country. That way you can tax it more heavily.

Isn’t it just amazing how so many nominal lefties get all wet at the gusset over the idea of fascist autarky?

16 thoughts on “What Ritchie really means here”

  1. But then facism is a lot more correlated with leftism than the “Nazis are evil right wingers” crowd would ever dare admit.

    “National socialism” was invented to distinguish itself from “international socialism” which was specifically and deliberately the thin end of the communist wedge.

  2. They want tariffs on imported steel to make it more expensive to use imported steel to make domestic steel more competative, but they won’t countenence having “tariffs” on imported labour to make it more expensive to use imported labour to make domestic labour more competative.

  3. “The one non-trivial and non-obvious idea in all of economics and our 0.2 of the Professor of International Political Economy doesn’t get it.”

    Be fair, he doesn’t get incentives or opportunity cost either, both of which are not obvious and not trivial.

  4. Surreptitious Evil

    Theo,

    Incentives are obvious. That’s why they work.

    Opportunity cost is trivial, which is why people miss it. Although most parents are well aware!

    You are entirely right – he doesn’t get them. But that is because he is, as we have discussed previously, either an idiot or a charlatan. Just possibly, both.

  5. You may remember the failure to find a new CEO for RBS, at least at the salary on offer. The lesson he took: there’s clearly no demand for the job at that price, so.lower the price (salary). Is this tribial? Maybe so; maybe not. Is it obvious? It is…and he doesn’t get it.

  6. “Just as unfettered migration creates processes of change that can be too difficult to accommodate…”

    Given his idea of fetters involves undiluted enthusiasm for zero controls on the millions -MILLIONS – of migrants on Europe’s shores, one has to ask just what would “unfettered” look like.

  7. There is no idea too stupid or futile for this buffoon. I would have expected him to come out for tariffs.

  8. He missed the most important capital of all, bullshit capital. The type of capital that allows one to earn an income all while sprouting any random nonsense.

  9. “The implication is obvious. A policy that favours the movement of capital must also, and simultaneously, constrain that movement to ensure that the common good is achieved.”

    He’s talking exit visas and internal passports now.

    Its insane how people who support socialism will decry violence while simultaneously skip right straight down the path that’s guaranteed to lead to it on a massive scale.

    Oh but he’s a *nice* socialist, like that Bernie Sanders, *he’d* never put anyone into a camp.

    Yes he would, and feel good about himself for doing so.

  10. Agammamom

    The state closest to Murphy’s theories in practice, North Korea does have internal passports and emigration is not permitted- unless the entire globe was forced to follow his prescriptions it is hard to see how else it could work in practice.

    Of course like many on the Left he will say ‘I don’t know anyone who supports North Korean style socialism’ – I’d credit him with enough intelligence barely to realise an open paean to North Korea might not be a good idea but he fails to realise that in the absence of any practical example of a ‘Curajus State’ analysis has to turn to the country closest to the theory in reality – I’d have to class that as the Korea DPR, although equally strong cases could probably be made for Venezuela, Belarus and Cuba.

  11. Again what I find hilarious is his idea that any of this represents a ‘radical’ or a ‘new’ agenda – it seems a mere rehash of the suggestions of Tony Benn in the 1970s. You could probably even see echoes of it in the agenda of Joseph Chamberlain before World War One – the guy really is proof of the Keynesian maxim regarding being a ‘slave of some defunct economist’

  12. Van_Patten
    April 2, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Not just NK, but the Soviet Union and China have had/have strict internal movement controls and required permission to leave.

    In fact I’m pretty sure that *every* communist country has enacted strong ‘capital’ controls that restrict the internal movement or exit of capital – including (especially) the human kind.

    Which is why it boggles my mind that these people keep insisting that, while wanting to implement the same policies that the communists did, that they’re not advocating authoritarianism or that somehow that authoritarianism will work out.

    Completely delusion – and this time around we have one of these fethers running for president!

  13. Pingback: A Link to the Past 12/04/2016 | In Defence of Liberty

Leave a Reply

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