Fun question

The vast majority of right wingers also concede a role that is vastly bigger than that: they accept that unless the state both establishes the rules of trade, which is a function that goes far beyond enforcing contracts, and also corrects for the many externalities that business creates (including poverty, inequality, climate change, threats to health and much else)

How does business create poverty?

Willing to at least listen to the arguments about inequality, but poverty? How is that created even? Rather than assuaged by economic activity?

29 thoughts on “Fun question”

  1. Capitalism eradicates poverty, creates equality of opportunity, has stuff all to do with climate change and has drastically improved health and longevity.

  2. A business with potential to impoverish would be one that ramped up The Great Bladder of Ely as a tourist attraction.

  3. Reading the full article, I’m suspecting that he’s thinking, or betting on, a moderate candidate winning the Labour leadership contest.

  4. See also: lefties claiming that businesses in Venezuela created shortages of basic foodstuffs in order to profit therefrom.

    The mechanism by which this could possibly function is never specified though…

  5. I don’t want the state establishing “rules of trade”. I want the state to establish what is legal to do, legal to own. They should have nothing to do with trade beyond that.

    Most “rules of trade” are where the government has been successfully lobbied by a special interest group to make the people poorer.

  6. ‘The vast majority of right wingers also concede a role that is vastly bigger than that:…’

    Because they are Statists like left wingers, which is why telling apart the policies of left and right wing Parties is impossible, and why Parties of both wings cling desperately to one another dancing in a circle on the head of the centre-ground pin.

    Neither left not right understands nor wants economic liberty, because if that were to exist, there would be no role for them.

  7. ” I’m suspecting that he’s thinking, or betting on, a moderate candidate winning the Labour leadership contest.”
    Well observed, Dr Bud. For what is always more important is not what we are being told but why we are being told it.

  8. You should remember that the lefties have redefined poverty as “less than 60% of median income”. So when business creates wealth and well-paid jobs for those of below-average income the median income rises so some people whose income has remained unchanged or even risen by less than the average will fall into “poverty” under their new definition.
    Just because the claim is ridiculous is not enough reason for Murphy to disbelieve it or to refrain from repeating it.

  9. To be fair, if you lived next to a giant chemical works in, say, Bhopal and you’re now so unable to breathe properly that you can’t scratch out the most basic living, that is poverty. So I think business can create poverty – for individuals – if regulation does not respond to externalities.

  10. As a starting point, Ironman, don’t you have to know how the chap coughing out his lungs might otherwise have been doing?

    I’m being somewhat flippant, but no more than you’re being rather inconsequential.

    Of course, we could of course, all of us, simply wait in our caves to be rescued from the fire smoke we’ve never invented…

  11. [the state] establishes the rules of trade

    Nope, individuals do; the state creates barriers to free trade

    @BoM4 +1
    @John B +1

    @john77 +1

    Yes; always worth repeating to all & sundry Left’s execrable re-definition of Relative Poverty as Real Poverty

    I’ve heard Left MPs on QT claiming it’s Absolute Poverty

    Nurse on QT (single, no children) claimed she was on £34k pa and had to use food banks – gambling/drug addict?

  12. @Rusty

    Bhopal accident was not caused by UCIL, but by the state keeping the unwanted plant open
    “The local government was aware of safety problems but was reticent to place heavy industrial safety and pollution control burdens on the struggling industry because it feared the economic effects of the loss of such a large employer”

  13. Talking about trade and wealth, this is my major niggle with the fictional Wakanda. History has shown again and again that you get rich and develop technology through trade. No trade, no technology, no richness. Every country that has locked its borders to trade has been an economic basket case, look at isolationist Japan, trade war Ireland, current North Korea.

    So how on earth has Wakanda got better technology and more wealth than the outside world by locking itself away from the outside world for centuries? The conditions the fiction is predicated on creates a backet case, not a super-power wonder.

    Yeah, MST3K etc.

  14. “How does business create poverty?”

    Via the local effects of creative destruction. New business model causes failure of less efficient business models. Owners of and workers in those made poorer. If they can build or board another boat then the rising tide will float them higher, but until then – poverty.

  15. @ Ironman
    I used, intermittently, to live near the largest chemical factory in Europe (intermittently Badische’s factory was bigger) and about one day in three we were downwind. It didn’t do us that much harm – my father who was continually exposed was playing good class hockey into his late-40s and again in his 50s (gap due to lumbago from gardening!), I am still intermittently competing and/or walking up hills/mountains.
    Union Carbide was not allowed to control Union Carbide India thanks to the socialist philosophy of Jawarhal Nehru and Krishna Menon so their safety standards were not upheld. UC should have threatened to pull out and then done so – an error of judgement probably caused by the US management inability to visualise Indian safety standards [the Flixborough disaster in a plant run by a JV between the National Coal Board and Dutch State Mines required five successive safety failures each of which was verboten and most of which were unbelievable to ICI executives (among our friends was an ICI safety officer)].
    Of course businesses can damage innocent people but it’s not in their interests to do so.

  16. The latest BBC version of A Christmas Carol was heavy on the evils of capitalism to the point they couldn’t fit in the rest of the story and failed at seeing the point of the original.

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    Ironman

    To be fair, if you lived next to a giant chemical works in, say, Bhopal and you’re now so unable to breathe properly that you can’t scratch out the most basic living, that is poverty. So I think business can create poverty – for individuals – if regulation does not respond to externalities.

    The real current poverty was created by the government deciding it would be better at dealing with compensation rather than letting the case run through the US courts and litigated by ambulance chasing lawyers.

    We discuss Shruti’s work on constitutional political economy as it relates to India. We start by talking about the Indian constitution. India got its independence in 1947 and ratified a constitution shortly after in 1949. Interestingly, it is the most amended constitution in the world. Shruti argues “that the formal institutions of socialist planning were fundamentally incompatible with the constraints imposed by the Indian Constitution.”

    We go on to discuss Shruti’s work on the Bhopal gas tragedy, which demonstrates some of the failings of India’s institutions. The Bhopal gas tragedy was a man-made disaster in 1984 where mishandling of dangerous chemicals by the company Union Carbide resulted in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of non-fatal injuries among the public. The Indian government mismanaged the legal cases against Union Carbide, resulting in no payout to the people affected by the disaster.

    My emphasis.

  18. @Pcar
    Nurse on QT (single, no children) claimed she was on £34k pa and had to use food banks – gambling/drug addict?
    Be a little more generous.Maybe she’d inherited a stately home. Those things cost a fortune in maintainance.

  19. On the climate change issue, it appears that many of the most ridiculous predictions of the “experts” are going to be coming home to roost in a few day’s time. The number of disasters that are due to occur before 2020 will be all over the news between now and New Year’s day if they actually happen. Watch the old media ignore them when they don’t.

  20. “The real current poverty was created by the government deciding it would be better at dealing with compensation rather than letting the case run through the US courts and litigated by ambulance chasing lawyers.”

    But BiND, the US has no jurisdiction in India. Indian crimes belong in Indian courts.

  21. Wiki:

    “Civil and criminal cases filed in the United States against UCC and Warren Anderson, UCC CEO at the time of the disaster, were dismissed and redirected to Indian courts on multiple occasions between 1986 and 2012, as the US courts focused on UCIL being a standalone entity of India.”

    In this case, they did.

  22. @ Gamecock
    Good!
    Albeit avoiding setting a precedent by saying (correctly) that Union Carbide did not control UCIL so both sides of the case were Indian and not American

  23. Shame @Rusty couldn’t write:

    “Guys, I was wrong. Thanks for heads up on truth about UCIL”

    Happ New Year Everyone

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