So, I write to the UN rapporteur on US poverty

Saying that, you know, you’ve missed that US poverty numbers are before alleviation effects, not after.

And get the response, well, yes, I know, but it’s all very complex, short report, can’t go into everything.


14 thoughts on “So, I write to the UN rapporteur on US poverty”

  1. “Can’t peddle socialist lies and propaganda if the report is correct and accurate Mr Worstall” is the answer you should have got Tim.

  2. To use the fashionable epithet, they’re promulgating “fake news”.
    Further fake news in a quick roundup from the front page of the Torygraph.

    “Parts of UK set to be hotter than Madrid this week – despite ice and fog warnings” Proving? What’s the weather forecast for the parts of the UK at the 2200ft elevation Madrid’s at?

    “‘A dirty thing to produce’How mining bitcoin is ‘killing the planet’ This one’s hiding behind a paywall, but apparently worldwide Bitcoin mining’s using as much electricity as Wales. Bearing in mind the Bitcoin mining is the method creates the ledger validates all the Bitcoin transactions, what’s the electricity use of the UK’s retail banking industry? The world’s?

  3. Bearing in mind the Bitcoin mining is the method creates the ledger validates all the Bitcoin transactions, what’s the electricity use of the UK’s retail banking industry? The world’s?

    A major UK clearing bank will be handling (order of magnitude) several hundred million transactions a day, a thousand times more than bitcoin does globally. It’s claimed that just the electricity to handle a bitcoin transaction costs >£100, whereas at Barclays it costs a few pence.

  4. £100 of electricity is quite a lot–even allowing inflated Greenfreak means of production. How many calculations could get done on £100 worth of electric? Even to a non-expert on computers such as I the claim has that eco-freak bullshit stench about it.

  5. @Chris Miller Mini g and validation are different processes. Mining is done to create the bitcoins and does indeed use a lot of electricity. The use of bitcoin not so much.

  6. Because a truthful report would have said there was no poverty in the USA and what’s the point of that?

  7. Alex: the ‘proof of work’ calculations are required in both cases. Actually they are one and the same. The large electricity bill is needed to validate a block of transactions. The bitcoin reward is a side-effect of that. The meme of mining bitcoins has confused all but initiates, since that is not the primary purpose.

  8. It’s worse than that. The ‘proof of work’ work is largely wasted since ‘miners’ are competing to do the calculations and only one succeeds to generate the block that goes on the blockchain.

  9. I do not waste time on nonsense like this. Typically.

    But I heard the rapporteur speak for about a minute on the radio, along with a follow-up story.

    Knowing something about the economy of the United States … I found the excerpt I heard nothing short of disgusting.

  10. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Admitting that a closer examination of the facts utterly vitiates one’s report but continuing to publish it anyway on the grounds of it being too hard to do otherwise is fraudulent. It’s also par for the course with these people, which is why I never pay them any attention.

  11. I was glad to see this line of thought also turn up in the Washington Examiner, as it is always fun to read Worstall beg economists to measure the right thing, or at least measure what they claim to be measuring.

    I quibble with your point that welfare payments should be paid in cash. It is true that the recipient knows his situation better than the designer of the government program or the taxpayer. But a lot of poverty is a result of poor personal choices, which we who fund the programs object to paying for. Spending other people’s money also produces poor individual choices, such as the anecdotal cab trips to dinner at the 7-11. Many of us would rather pay to give people flour and tuition than cash.

    Food stamps, however, are now “EBT” (Electronic Benefit Transfer), explicitly designed to “avoid the stigma” of being on the suck, by people who think more highly of themselves the more freely they give away other people’s money. Republican proposals to prohibit the purchase of tattoos, lap dances, and alcohol are proliferating, and are all utterly unenforceable.

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