Ritchie book review

By, not of:

The result is a work that feels dogmatic, however good the scholarship. It appears that its whole purpose is to suggest that no situation where taxing the rich more than the rest of the population can be justified now exists, or is ever likely to recur. But at no point is the fact that we actually now have regressive taxation for the richest justified, and the basis for modern compensatory payments is too lightly dismissed. Financial market failure, unjustified pre-distribution of income and wealth, the prevalence of rents in the modern economy and environmental justification for reducing consumption by a few are hardly mentioned.

The result is that there may be an argument implicit in this book, but not the one it presents.

I tend to think that you’ve got to be rather more than 0.2 of a Professor to give scholarship that lofty a dismissal.

12 thoughts on “Ritchie book review”

  1. But the book is still wrong. Tax has nothing to do with farness. Simply the ability to capture the readies.

  2. “environmental justification for reducing consumption by a few are hardly mentioned”

    This is one policy I can get right behind. Just give me a missile to aim at Mr and Mrs Sting’s private jet next time they fly off to attend a private party somewhere.

  3. The Meissen Bison

    I can’t do more than skim his stuff but what leapt (yes, leapt) out for me was pre-distribution.

    Wasn’t this a short-lived coining of Ed Miliband’s and didn’t it work as effectively and ephemerally for him as the glorious Edstone? It’s a term redolent of something and nothing at all and perfect for Murphy.

  4. “environmental justification for reducing consumption by a few”

    I’d be surprised if reduced consumption by “a few” had any environmental justification at all. Or maybe he just can’t write.

  5. “But at no point is the fact that we actually now have regressive taxation for the richest justified”

    Wow. We have regressive taxation for a particular socio-economic groups but not for others then? Given the plain meanings of ‘progressive’ and ‘regressive’ that seems very clever indeed and I would love somebody to explain it to me.

    Or maybe he just can’t write.

  6. Murphy’s book reviews consist of:

    “Where the author agrees with me his/her ideas (which he/she got from me) are good. Where the author disagrees with me his/her ideas are bad.”

  7. Bloke in North Dorset


    “He’s missed a comma before “and environmental justification”.

    It reasonably well written, by his usual standards. Perhaps the editors should be given a medal and excused missing the odd comma?

  8. Even when I could possibly agree with Murphaloon he twists logic to a degree that I am left saying WTF are you blathering on about.

  9. Is suffering a critical Murph peer review, the equivalent of being savaged by a dead sheep?

  10. ‘dogmatic, however good the scholarship.’ seems to suggest that he didn’t understand it enough to try and attack it intellectually, though that would be something of a change for him to adopt that approach

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