Not really understanding the numbers, no

My suspicion is that many self-employments are exceptionally marginal. In particular, capital engaged will be very small. Productivity ratios will look poor on any conventional measure.

Standard labour productivity measures don’t look at capital employed. It’s hours in versus value of output out.

53 thoughts on “Not really understanding the numbers, no”

  1. “another possible cause”
    “It is my suggestion”
    “I suspect”
    “many self-employments might be additional employments”
    “I would not be at all surprised”
    “My suspicion”

    With not one fact offered to back up his hypothesis.

    Although he does make one ‘hard’ claim…

    “many of these self employments are very marginal and genuinely generate little in the way of income.”

    But offers no facts to back up his claim.

  2. The point is that the UK is full of people who are self employed who are actually just sales on commission or providing very little more than Labour but qualifying as self employed for tax purposes. I don`t know what the source for this comment is about but people claim the UK has a vibrant economy because it has a lot of start ups .It would be truer to say it has a reasonably robust economy due to the ability of employers to evade all regulation by using nominal sub contractors in place of employees
    That has a cost in terms of non existent pensions job security and safety, but the cost in now born by the ex employee
    I still think the UK is better off maintaining high employment but these are choices not gifts

  3. Any facts to support that, Newmania? I thought not. You should try and get in on Spud’s grant application to study productivity. It might give you some income post-Brexit to supplement the burger deliveries

  4. According to the ONS

    “Looking at the estimates for May to July 2019 by type of employment: there were 27.67 million paid employees (84.4% of all people in employment), 235,000 more than a year earlier. there were 4.93 million self-employed people (15.0% of all people in employment), 125,000 more than a year earlier.10 Sep 2019”

    Oh dear, wrong again, Newmania.

  5. Dennis, Crusher of Fools

    According to the ONS

    Seriously. Who are you going to trust? The ONS? Or some guy who writes – and types – like he’s been awake on meth for the past six days?

  6. Newms – The point is that the UK is full of people who are self employed who are actually just sales on commission or providing very little more than Labour but qualifying as self employed for tax purposes.

    I know that I have an ally in you when I assert that writing is a craft and not just a way to convey meaning. And in your case, it is not just a craft but a craft with sales as you so deftly illustrate. Are your collected pensées available on Amazon yet?

    Yours, lost in admiration,
    TMB

  7. @ Newmania
    ” … very little more than labour” describes all authors, book reviewers, consultants, dramatists, ….zoology lecturers.
    Consultants have zero job security and we know it. It means that we have to justify being hired instead of free-loading – is that so terrible?

  8. “The point is that the UK is full of people who are self employed who are actually just sales on commission or providing very little more than Labour but qualifying as self employed for tax purposes.”

    Says Newmania after no seconds of research on self-employment or tax.

    Next time you call out one of these ‘fake’ self-employed plumbers providing little more than labour, remember to set up a PAYE scheme so you can employ him.

  9. J77 – Agreed.

    Newmania – “very little more than labour”.

    That’s all any of us individually ever commit, our labour? And as Tim says, hence, we produce value. Whether that value is in the form of a physical product or a service or whatever.

  10. The UK, Newmania, also has a lot of people who make more in a day than you make in a week. Or possibly in a month. Who’s productivity gets measured by the very real money people pay them for what they do. Which is why some of them can be sitting in the sun sipping a cool drink & laughing at people like you.

  11. Ritchie is self projecting. His self employment is exceptionally marginal given the figures in his LLP accounts.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    I suppose we can expect a report from Ritchie for a think tank or charity that makes these claims as facts, quoting that blog post as authority. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s done it IIRC.

  13. Andrew C

    I mean it’s getting to the point where he’ll need a padded cell. I often say ‘what rough beast, it’s hour come at last, slouches towards Ely to be born;’ but does anyone beyond the Corbynites, XR and other imbeciles take this guy seriously?

  14. @V_P

    Snake oil and miracle cures are always bought by those desperate to believe in snake oil and miracle cures.

    Spud is the Gwyneth Paltrow of economics, the Andrew Wakefield of tax.

  15. More demented comments from the demented spud. He’s predicting what might cause the downfall of Boris.

    “A natural disaster might – and we have one potentially looming right now.

    Chlorinated chicken might just do it.”

    Dennis, you’ll have to help out here. What is the death toll from chlorinated chicken in the US? Must be running into the 10s of millions by now.

    Ok, Ok, I know that the European food safety regulator EFSA said there’s nothing to worry about but what do they know*? Trump. US. Bad.

    *Apparently, you’d need to eat 3 entire chickens every day for an extended period to risk any harm.

  16. “providing very little more than Labour but qualifying as self employed for tax purposes. ”

    Well bang goes the self employed status of anyone who uses their knowledge and education to make a living working for themselves then. All those lawyers, accountants, consultants, software designers, graphic artists, agents of all kinds etc etc. None can be self employed because for that they must be using lots of capital in their business.

    I guess its another aspect of that whole Leftist obsession with things you can stub your toe on – if the thing you make is not made of metal and the size of a block of flats it doesn’t count as ‘real’ work………

  17. If you’ve educated yourself and gained experience doing various jobs for various people, isn’t your brain capital?

  18. @Andrew C

    Better question:

    – What is the UK visitors death toll from chlorinated chicken in the US?

    As we never see Al-Beeb or The Groan wailing about this, I’d say no more than killed by EU chicken

  19. “A natural disaster might – and we have one potentially looming right now.

    Chlorinated chicken might just do it.”

    Please tell me that is satire. If it is, you perfectly captured the misanthropic eager hope.

  20. Dennis, On The Front Lines Fightin' Them Chlorinated Chickens

    Dennis, you’ll have to help out here. What is the death toll from chlorinated chicken in the US? Must be running into the 10s of millions by now.

    I can’t speak for all of the US of A, but here in Central Ohio attacks by chlorinated chickens has dropped off since the defeat of their forces at the Battle of Mount Indifference. Despite massed assaults on the local Chik-Fil-A and KFC they gained little in the way of territory and their casualties were exceptionally heavy. Most folk around here remain heavily armed, and we menfolk do take turns acting as lookout for the neighborhood. Most nights you can hear ’em out there, gently clucking, planning their next move. Not that that bothers us. Shit, we’re ‘Mericans, and most of us don’t feel right if we haven’t shot something (or someone) every few weeks. So all this is kind of therapy for us. Unless they mutate or something, we’ve got it under control.

    I’ve bagged about two dozen of them myself. The Beretta PX-4 Compact and 9mm jacketed hollow points work just fine, but 44 magnum lead round nose out of a Ruger Redhawk makes ’em explode. So you use the 9mm if you want breast or thigh, and you use the 44 magnum if you want nuggets.

  21. Dennis, Chicken Choker

    From some site on the internet… So you know it has to be THE TRUTH:

    Chlorinated chicken– or chlorine-washed chicken – simply means that chicken was rinsed with chlorinated water; chlorine is not present in the meat. Just as chlorine helps make drinking water safe, it can help remove potentially harmful bacteria from raw chicken.

    Although it has been proven safe, most chicken processing plants have moved away from the use of chlorine as a food safety application during the production process. The National Chicken Council in the United States would estimate that chlorine is used in some rinses and sprays in only about 10% of processing plants in the U.S. Most of the chlorine that is used in the industry is used for cleaning and sanitizing processing equipment.

    However, numerous studies and scientific research have confirmed that the use of chlorinated water to chill and clean chicken is safe and effective. Chlorine-washed chicken does not pose any human health concerns and it is not present in the final product.

  22. Dennis, Septic to the Masses

    What is the UK visitors death toll from chlorinated chicken in the US?

    Unknown. Most septics can’t tell a dead wog from a live one. They pretty much look, sound and smell the same.

  23. Dennis, On The Front Lines Fightin’ Them Chlorinated Chickens,

    The whole comment was just great, but “you use the 44 magnum if you want nuggets” was FABULOUS.

  24. @Dennis

    It seems you days are numbered.

    Someone challenged Spud, pointing out that US citizens are eating millions of chlorinated chickens and are fine.

    “Except that they are not fine. And the data shows this” Spud.

    How can you argue with that?

  25. Dennis, On The Front Lines Fightin’ Them Chlorinated Chickens…

    Bravo, sir.
    Just bravo…

    Of course, I shall be passing this off as my own work on the social media when opportunity arises.

  26. “Except that they are not fine. And the data shows this” Spud.

    The logic is irrefutable.

    “Richard Murphy, Poultry Inspector” has a nice ring to it. Perhaps the BBC could develop it into a dramatic series. Matt Lucas could play Murphy.

  27. In the UK, most town councils put chlorine in their swimming pools to kill bacteria. Swimming pool water tastes foul if one is unlucky enough to be condemned to compulsory swimming lessons. Why would anyone volunteer to eat chlorinated chicken when there are alternatives available? Last thing I read 90+% of US chicken is washed in some non-chlorine bactericide.

  28. Bloke in North Dorset

    The last time I got in to this with an opponent and pointed out the safety issue were bollocks their second line of defence was animal husbandry and that the reason chlorine was used was because the chickens were so badly treated they were full of lice and skin disease.

    I wasn’t in a position to gainsay and haven’t got round to looking in to it. Anyone got any background on that issue? I think it’s just protection and anti American, but haven’t got any data.

  29. This is the most absurd middle-class moral panic ever, and there have been many. You don’t have to be a psychologist to see it as a projection of dislike of Trump (and America) by small-minded ignorant snobs who nevertheless think they are intelligent and well informed for no reason other than their own self-regard.

    I guarantee that if the Guardian tomorrow said that the French do this too they would all shrug.

  30. They’ve been drinking it from their tap all their lives for Gods sake. If chlorine is dangerous when washing chickens, what about a lifetime’s exposure at a lower dose.

    As for the animal welfare angle, that’s why the Left are so hostile to Halal butchery, right? Oh.

  31. @ Rob
    No, we have not been drinking chlorine from our taps – that’s flourine (and not all *my* life – I can remember arguing with my father about its introduction).
    However if you told the lefties that some plant in Canada or Belgium was washing chicken in flourine I should be very interested to learn their response – my laughter would NOT indicate a lack of interest.

  32. Newmania
    February 4, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    The point is that the UK is full of people who are self employed who are actually just sales on commission or providing very little more than Labour but qualifying as self employed for tax purposes. I don`t know what the source for this comment is about but people claim the UK has a vibrant economy because it has a lot of start ups .It would be truer to say it has a reasonably robust economy due to the ability of employers to evade all regulation by using nominal sub contractors in place of employees

    You would, of course, just prefer these people not be employed at all rather than in a, to *your eyes*, ‘marginal’ position whereby they gain skills and experience useful to moving up. Far better they sit in their council flat and collect their dole.

    Seriously, who the fuck are you to tell me whether or not its better for me to be an employee or subcontractor? An employee has no more security or benefits than a sub – and they have a lot less freedom in how and when they do their job.

    As a subcontractor, I and the client agreed to a set of deliverables. The rest is up to me. There are certain milestones I have to hit, but beyond that, I start work when I choose. I leave work when I choose. I’m not sitting around watching the clock nor am I being issued make-work to fill a time allotment – I get paid about 50% more than I would for the same work as an employee because no one is trying to fit that work into a 40 hour week. I am free to refuse tasks that aren’t related to what I was contracted to do. And I can take on outside work as I choose.

    Given the same pay, why in the hell would anyone want to be an employee?

  33. Bloke in North Dorset
    February 4, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    The last time I got in to this with an opponent and pointed out the safety issue were bollocks their second line of defence was animal husbandry and that the reason chlorine was used was because the chickens were so badly treated they were full of lice and skin disease.

    I wasn’t in a position to gainsay and haven’t got round to looking in to it. Anyone got any background on that issue? I think it’s just protection and anti American, but haven’t got any data.

    Factory farming isn’t for the faint-hearted, but we don’t raise them any differently that yours do. And there’s lot’s of ‘free-range’ producers.

  34. Dennis, Revolver King

    MB –

    The plural of Dennis is Dennes.

    And of course nuggets will prevail… 44 magnum is great fun, what with the big bang and the fine red mist and the feathers. And afterwards we collect the chicken toes and sell them to Uncle Fang’s Chop Suey Palace and Kosher Delicatessen. Evidently Asians eat ‘em.

    As Col. Kilgore said to Capt. Willard, “I love the smell of nuggets in the morning… Smells like victory.”

  35. None of the chicken deniers seem to have noticed that prepacked salads and veg have been chlorine rinsed in the UK for decades. I spent some time in a lab working on a ‘natural’ alternative for this some years ago. Project was dropped, eventually, because it was too expensive and, if I recall the internal market research report correctly, “consumers don’t give enough of a toss to pay more”

  36. Of course the chlorinated chicken is adversely effecting Americans. They elected Trump didn’t they. This is why all the vegans oppose Trump.

  37. Bloke in Costa Rica

    @AndrwC: “Spud is the Gwyneth Paltrow of economics”

    What a horrid thought. I had a sudden mental vignette of him flogging scented candles on his website that smell like his cock. I bet Carole Codswallop would buy one.

  38. The main argument against washing chickens in chlorinated water is that it is pointless. You’re going to stick it in a very hot oven for some time, which will kill all the nasties.

    Perhaps, prior to this practice, ‘Murcans had been licking raw chickens? Seems unlikely, but it’s a funny old place.

  39. @Agammamon
    Thoroughly endorse what you say there. Haven’t been employed by anyone since I was in my twenties. I want the whole of the value of what I create, not a part grudgingly passed over by someone taking the lion’s share. But there’s something else. Small is agile & you can’t get much smaller than being solely responsible for yourself. I’ve always been self employed but what I’ve done has varied greatly over the years. Change is the default state & I’ve always been ready to change faster than the world is changing around me. I’ve known a lot of people, over the years, thought they were in secure well paid jobs. Until they weren’t. The world changed & the company they worked for couldn’t hack the new circumstances. Or the niche they occupied ceased to exist, removed by technological innovation. I may be successful at what I’m doing now but I’ve always got my eye on the next thing. May be incubating that next thing whilst prospering from the current gig. I can do that because my time’s my own to do what I like with.

  40. Some interesting literary criticism hem hem ….. My point about ‘Labour’ is the distinction between ‘Labour Only’ Subbies and ‘Bona Fide’, in construction. It’ an interesting area of Employment law but has nothing to do with entrepreneurial-ism. There are different but related border disputes going on with taxis and elsewhere as we know
    Overall, the UK, supposedly, has a high net rate of new business formation, adding 2.4 m new businesses in the last 19 years. Out of 5.9 million businesses, however, 4.5 million have no employees .We can see, can we not, that the coarse measure of start ups is a poor guide to the real value being created in the economy. As I have suggested, many of these are little more than Labour being deprived of rights or security of tenure. I`m not sure why everyone is getting so emotional about this. I would like to see a highly productive economy. All I`m saying is that at the moment we do not have one .We have a load of little twerps selling crap on the internet, self employed navvies and so on.

  41. @ Newmania
    If you had said that you were talking about “the lump” then arguing about the lack of employee protection would have some merit – but that is not a recent phenomenon and has *nothing* to do with the rise in self-employment. If anything, the shrinking of “the lump” has reduced the number of people reported as self-employed in the last dozen years.

  42. Dennis

    Bravo for the hilarious posts.

    Somehow, though, I think there may be grain of truth in some of it. I can quite imagine you loosing off at a barn full of chickens with an Uzi, while Duelling Banjos is blaring out of a ghetto blaster.

  43. Dennis, Defender of the Barnyard

    I can quite imagine you loosing off at a barn full of chickens with an Uzi, while Duelling Banjos is blaring out of a ghetto blaster.

    I haven’t hunted in over 47 years and haven’t been around a barn full of anything – chlorinated or otherwise – for 40. I only shoot paper and steel. I carry only rarely and wouldn’t shoot anything other than a bear or a human. As there are no bears in Central Ohio…

    I have shot an Uzi and wasn’t impressed, despite the fact that it had been illegally modified to shoot fully automatic. And I don’t think they make ghetto blasters anymore… Not that it would matter, as they were never considered a proper accessory for a CPA.

  44. I understood that the chlorine was to protect the kitchen, not the chicken.
    Taking the hen out of the bag the first thing Mom does is douse it under the kitchen tap. This sprays staphylococcus all over the worktop so it gets mixed with stuff that doesn’t go in the oven.

  45. ” chlorine has always been used (at very low levels) to keep nasties out of tap water.”
    You want to try showering in what comes out our taps here. It’s like getting a dose of CS gas. Which is a point. The EU doesn’t like chlorine washed chicken. But is comfortable with chlorine washed Europeans.

  46. @Andrew C

    In Ritchie world only chicken eaters voted Trump. Ethnics love of fried chicken dismissed as a lie

    @john77

    Do you drink, wash with tap water? Eat bagged salad, inc sandwiches and salad ready meals? Chlorine washed

    @BiND

    Lice or skin disease would slow growth and increase production cost

    @john77 February 4, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    No, you have been drinking and washing with Chlorinated water. Most UK water has no fluoride added

    @MC

    @philip +1

    The Chlorine wash is to make preparing raw chicken before cooking much less dangerous

  47. @ Chris
    Thanks for info – no-one told us that there was chlorine in tap water. Wasn’t universal though since when we were on holiday some farms/cottages got water direct from a spring.
    @ Pcar
    Eat bagged salad? What!
    If I want salad I buy a lettuce, some tomatoes, cucumber, maybe radish, maybe spring onion … When I was a kid my Dad used to grow lettuce, cucumber, radish (but not tomatoes as it wasn’t hot enough).

  48. “Newmania
    February 5, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Some interesting literary criticism hem hem ….. My point about ‘Labour’ is the distinction between ‘Labour Only’ Subbies and ‘Bona Fide’, in construction. It’ an interesting area of Employment law but has nothing to do with entrepreneurial-ism. ”

    There is no difference – except to ‘Top Men’ who insist on forcing specific ways of living on people. And you’re against options like Uber anyway. You only want a few ‘allowed’ options to exist – you like to have things made ‘legible’ so the state can understand them – while ignoring that life doesn’t divide into these categories naturally.

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