February 2019

As Spudda notes

New data shows fall in bus passenger use by 7.5 per cent over the past five years, while fares are up 18 per cent over the same period of time

Changing prices seems to change demand.

And yet:

First of all, we know that pricing does not change demand perfectly.

Amazing how beliefs can trump evidence.

There’s also this loveliness:

If emissions are to be tackled then the bus issue has to be tackled. There have to be more of them, more often, on better routes, at lower cost, with subsidy provided if required to transform local transport with the result that the last mile problem can be solved. That’s what the Green New Deal would look like. It may not be big, bold or that costly. It may not deliver massive political reward. But it would create real change. And that’s what matters.

Now recast your emissions numbers on average passenger usage, not capacity. Running lots of empty buses will reduce emissions now, will it?

Hmm, well, yes, Bradford, eh?

Basharat Khaliq, of Glaisdale Court, Allerton, Bradford, was found guilty of five counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, police said. He was jailed for 20 years.

Saeed Akhtar, 55, of Back Girlington Road, Bradford, was found guilty of one charge of rape and two charges of causing or inciting child prostitution. He was jailed for 20 years.

Naveed Akhtar, 43, of Newport Place, Bradford, was found guilty of two counts of rape. He was jailed for 17 years.

Parvaze Ahmed, 36, of Farcliffe Road, Bradford, was found guilty of three charges of rape. He was jailed for 17 years.

Izar Hussain, 32, of St Leonard’s Road, Bradford, was found guilty of rape. He was jailed for 16 years.

Zeeshan Ali, 32, of Durham Terrace, Bradford, was found guilty of sexual assault. He was jailed for 18 months.

Kieran Harris, 28, of Fir Parade, Dewsbury, was found guilty of two counts of rape. He was jailed for 17 years.

Fahim Iqbal, 28, of Quarry Road, Dewsbury, was found guilty of aiding and abetting one of Harris’s rapes. He was jailed for seven years.

Mohammed Usman, 31, of Quaker Street, Bradford, was found guilty of two counts of rape. He was jailed for 17 years.

This would be an interesting test, wouldn’t it?

Tax-conscious investors could save 30pc on their bill if they transfer their old Isas into a venture capital trust (VCT) before the April 5 deadline.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, VCTs are investment companies that provide generous tax breaks in return for investing in risky smaller companies.

They offer 30pc tax breaks on any cash invested up to £200,000 in new shares issues by these companies and typically invest in smaller or unlisted companies.

As such they are typically more risky than other investments, although these stocks are also more likely to grow quickly.

That last is nonsense of course. However.

Consider Ritchie’s mantra. Pensions savings don’t go into new investment, they just buy second hand stocks. This doesn’t build the new infrastructure the future needs. Therefore there should be no tax relief. Tax relief should only go to new investment in real stuff.

So, here’s tax relief purely for investment in new stuff.

The test? This is unconscionable tax avoidance or exactly what Ritchie is arguing for?

So here’s a stupid question

Obviously, geographical separation is what – OK one of the things – that leads to speciation. The oceans are a lot less geographically separated than the land masses. So, we get rather wider distribution of sea species than we do land ones.

Sorta, at least.

I can imagine that a barrier in the sea is the Equator. Not so much currents and stuff but heat. Down deep even that doesn’t matter of course. But I could imagine at least that we get N Hemisphere fishies and S Hemisphere ones.

At which point, how true is this?

Take, say, cod. I know there’s a Pacific cod as well as an Atlantic one. And they’re both up in northern waters as they don’t like it hot. But, and here’s the thing, do we have closely related species which are S hemisphere? Or other, cognate species? Or something entirely different occupying the niche? Or does the niche not exist?

No particular reason, just a question that crossed the synapses.

America really needs more long distance trains

A total of 183 passengers were stranded for more than 36 hours after their train got stuck in a remote and snowy part of Oregon and food supplies ran out.

The Amtrak train set out from Seattle for Los Angeles on Sunday night but got blocked by fallen trees.

Bad weather also cut power to the nearest town, Oakridge, so the passengers were forced to stay on the train for their own safety.

So much so that they should spend trillions to build a truly national network for high speed trains…..

Umm, well….

It’s unbelievable but apparently true: America’s intensifying wealth inequality has created a class of hyper-rich men who act like cartoon villains. Bored of their soft and pampered lives, they literally turn to torturing women for fun.

That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not.

Amanduh does tell us it’s not an exaggeration…..

See, See, Told Ya, Told Ya!

The killer father who murdered his wife and three sons then hanged himself was today exposed as a cross dresser who watched pornography on a school laptop.

Just can’t trust the trannies at all, can we?

It’s an interesting illustration of the depths of true depravity there, that it was a school laptop used to watch porn on.

It’s astonishing a purported economist would say this

But we know this is not true. At almost every level this logic fails. First of all, we know that pricing does not change demand perfectly. Alcohol and tobacco prove it. So too does existing carbon pricing on oil: it has not stopped demand. In other words, this comment fails to take such factors (elasticities as economists call them) into account. So theory and practice do not prove this point. They prove the exact opposite, if anything. It is only regulation that will change demand for carbon: pricing will not, and most certainly cannot on its own.

Prices won’t change demand, eh? Blimey.

As to this:

No one believes that trickle down does or will work. And no one believes that those who promote carbon tax really believe in redistribution of the proceeds.

The standard proposal is that payroll taxes be decreased by the amount the carbon tax raises. Quite why this isn’t progressive is yet to be detailed.


To explain MMT to people

It’s often said that people disagree just because they don’t understand each other. I do indeed understand MMT, and I don’t think proponents understand humans. The varied “if this, then do that” in the theory all work. It’s just humans don’t tend to do the things the theory requires. Sure, we can stimulate the economy with more money printing. It’s just that people with the taste for that never do stop nor tax back the resultant inflation.

We can even explain this to people who have no idea of economics at all. Here’s one way of putting it: Politicians can spend as much as they like on whatever, and if it goes too far they can just raise taxes. Sound like a deal? It could also be described as follows: Giving politicians a blank checkbook and telling them to go have fun is likely to work out well, right?

A certain whistling noise here

‘You’re fired!’ America has already terminated Trump
Robert Reich
The Mueller report looms but the president is doomed anyway – no one who screws the people so blatantly can win re-election

Can’t say I’m entirely convinced here.

Not that I’m a great prognosticator. I only thought he might actually win a couple of hours before the count was announced. But I certainly think it’s possible that he will win in 2020. Writing him off certainly sounds rather more wishful thinking than anything else at this point.

These aren’t the same thing

If your cat is overweight or suffering from behavioural problems it might be worth looking in the mirror to find the reason.

New research carried out by Nottingham Trent University and the University of Lincoln has found a link between the personalities of cat owners and the behaviour and wellbeing of their pets.

The findings suggest that, just as a parent’s personality can affect the personality of a child, the same is true for a cat and their owner.

My personality affecting your is one thing. My behaviour affecting your behaviour another.

Say I kick the cat every time I enter the room. It’s only a pussy as dumb as Anna Soubry who’s going to sit quietly as I enter the room, isn’t it?

But that I’m a miser doesn’t mean that cat’s going to start storing mice heads.

Well, yes, quite obviously

When England cannot provide there is no case for a Union
Whether Northern Ireland or Scotland realise this first is open to debate: it may be one or other by no more than a length in my opinion. Wales may be a few more lengths behind, but it will come in, albeit third. Whatever the ordering the reason for leaving the Union will be the same. The economic justification, which has always overcome the political and social reasons for separation, will have gone. And on that basis division if the Union becomes inevitable.

Can’t fault the argument myself. If England stops paying for everything then why should the Celts stick around as leeches? What would be the point?

To be honest, I doubt it

The Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has predicted that there will be a recession in America by the time Donald Trump comes up for re-election at the end of next year.

There will be one, sure. And Donald hasn’t aided matters by the tax cutting stimulus at the top of the cycle. But there’s 18 months to go and we’d need 6 months of negative growth to be in recession – unlikely to say the least.

Possible, sure. But I tend to think that’s Krugman the columnist talking there, not Krugman the economist.