The great international political economist

How many people are going to impose tariffs on us?

none of course, tariffs are paid by consumers in the countries that impose them.


But their vision of free trade is based on completely false assumptions

In the real world there is no such thing as free trade


30 thoughts on “The great international political economist”

  1. Well hang on, if I impose 100% tariff on BMWs imported to the UK from Germany, chances are none or very few will be sold. Ergo both parties lose – UK buyers can’t afford a BMW (probably a benefit to society in fact tho) and German workers lose their jobs because sales drop. In that scenario, assuming other cars are available to substitute, the biggest loser is the producer not the buyer.

    Whereas if the tariff is say 2%, then more likely that the buyer will just cough up more to get his BMW, and the incidence is almost entirely on the buyer.

  2. Indeed, the revenue collected is incident upon hte buyer. The revenue not collected is incident upon the producer.

  3. If there is no such thing as free trade, it’s only because of lefty statist types like Murphy getting in the way with their Joy-ous Taxes on trade.

    So WTF is he whingeing about?

  4. This was his dismissive disgusted answer to the suggestion that leaving the EU might benefit us by enabling us to lower external tariffs previously imposed by the EU.

    Now this is the really fun part, because he himself has only just written a post on Donald Trump and tarriffs (30 or 31 January). In it he directly addresses tax incidence. So, compare and contrast:

    Only this week he sets out very lucidly the case against tariffs, using Walmart imports as his example and showing how the US consumer, poor people as he makes clear, pays the tariff and suffers as a result. Today he seems to think that removing tariff barriers would result in domestic industries being destroyed, domestic jobs being lost.

    Now there are two ways of reading him here. The first, cynical way is to see him as an unscrupulous shit who thinks it’s fine if my tribe does it but dastardly if the opposition does it. God knows I’m not a cynic though. I prefer a kinder interpretation, that he simply can’t keep a consistent train of thought in his head from one day to the next.

    He has a book called “The Courageous State”, another called “The Joy of Tax”. His next should be called “Alzheimer’s Guide to Economics”.

  5. I believe in the past he’s claimed TANSTAAFT because of such things as credence goods and advertising. The sort of crud a first year economics student might say before their professor tells them to go off and read the literature before speaking in class again.

  6. I wanted to reply to Richard’s reply to me but looks like my time on his website is now up.

    Apparently my arguments are not intelligent enough to grant me posting rights anymore.

    He even made up my argument for me that got me banned – said I wanted all the banks to go bust in 2008, which would have caused starvation. I simply said the monetary system was not a fair case study of the benefits of market forces.

    Ho hum. The left is badly losing its match-fitness with all this avoidance of debate. I can remember when it had relatively formidable debaters.

  7. My alter ego is banned:

    John Whiting says:
    January 31 2017 at 8:06 pm

    “They said we would be in the single market.”

    Richard, they didn’t. Show me a phrase from the Conservative’s manifesto for 2015 that pledges the UK would be in the Single Market. I fail to see why you persist in a fruitless equivocation that only diminishes you. Relax…

    Richard Murphy says:
    January 31 2017 at 9:22 pm

    It was widely said

    I no more have to prove it than the fact the sun comes up

    But more than that I do not need to put up with patronising condescenders and you’ve been here for too long ion that basis spreading steady supplies of alternative facts

    You won’t be again

  8. Theo

    Most of my alter egos have been banned over the years – my latest one has got through twice – but is keeping his powder dry for now….. As I said on another thread, his entire world has collapsed. He is hated by the Corbynites. He has burned bridges with various charitable organisations. The Conservatives would no more deal with him than make nice with the Corbynites or SNP. He is saying he will head for the EU but has no language or indeed any qualifications to fall back on and is a 50 plus semi retired accountant whose public offerings are barely literate screeds that a GCSE student should be able to dismantle. And being ‘Number 1 economics blogger in Ireland’ is hardly likely to satisfy his lust for power is it? The old saying ‘you reap what you sow’ or ;live by the sword, die by the sword’ is highly apt. one of the bonuses of Brexit is it could be the final end for him. And good riddance.

  9. @Theo

    That is just magnificent. Peak Murphy?

    I no more have to prove it than the fact the sun comes up

    Really? Really? I can’t think of anything to add to that. Just… really?

    But more than that I do not need to put up with patronising condescenders and you’ve been here for too long ion that basis spreading steady supplies of alternative facts

    Alternative facts. How dare you bring facts that Murphy doesn’t like? How dare you!?

  10. Today’s classic:

    He has a book called “The Courageous State”, another called “The Joy of Tax”. His next should be called “Alzheimer’s Guide to Economics”.

    Today’s other classic:

    A fool and his marbles are soon parted.

  11. VP
    True, and yet he gets invitations to address parliamentary committees and still pops up in the media. Unfortunately, he ain’t ‘dead’ yet. Meanwhile, good luck with your new alter ego!

    Yes, priceless. I clearly got under his very thin skin. He loves the brown-nosing from his gang of four sycophants, who seem to swallow his excrement uncritically. Can they really not see his inconsistencies?

  12. And can he not see what he says about himself when he bans someone for presenting alternative facts? Emphasis on Murphy himself describing them as facts.

    He fist-types so frantically he sometimes accidentally reveals the truth.

  13. @VP

    I find that starting a post with “You are so right Richard” or some such guarantees that no matter how bat-shit crazy the rest of the post is it will pass through and be published.

  14. Only last week when he wrote that lengthy post about all the questions about Brexit for which I am too stupid to know how to find the answers, one question was about what the major flows of tariffs were to the UK, as if they were governmental transfers. Hasn’t one of the gang of 4 told him that the majority are probably paid by outfits such as Panalpina on behalf of their customers? If not, why not? Are they all as stupid and ignorant as him? Perhaps P Petain knows the answer

  15. Ok, sticking my head above the parapet, do importing customers whose supply of BMWs is cut-off by a 100% tariff still pay when they can substitute said BMWs for unquestionably as good Lexi?

    Not that I care. I’d be a free trader on principle. Just curious.

  16. Bloke in North Dorset

    OT, but I need to rant.

    Swmbo’s got the BBC news on and we’ve just been informed by Carney that consumer spending held up despite Brexit. Did he miss the vote where 52% voted to leave. Why wouldn’t they be happy? I suspect that a fair proportion of leavers will have been ambivalent.

    And that numpty the BBC has as an economics editor then solemnly warned us that savings are low. Of course they are, you fucking idiot, the whole point of QE and low interests rates was to encourage us to spend.

    God, how I hate the those fuckers with their never ending negativism.

  17. BiND It gets crazy after a while. Obviously Carney hates savers, investors and pensioners. Who looks after us?

  18. The person /organisation that imports the BMW pays the customs duty regardless of what they do with the BMW later.

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