Lessee how well this works

There is no such things as taxpayers’ money. The UK government is the monopoly producer of sterling. It is government-created money that we use. That money is created when the government spends. The part of that spending not taxed back – the so-called national debt – is the government created money that keeps our economy functioning. We can’t do without it. And we couldn’t pay our taxes unless this money existed. Government money is what keeps the UK going.

Well, try a Marxist rewrite on the basis that labour is the valuation of everything:

There is no such things as taxpayers’ labour. The UK government is the monopoly producer of labour. It is government-created labour that we use. That labour is created when the government spends. The part of that labour not taxed back – the so-called national debt – is the government created labour that keeps our economy functioning. We can’t do without it. And we couldn’t pay our taxes unless this labour existed. Government labour is what keeps the UK going.

We could also insert, more correctly, resources, or even value added. There is x amount of value added in the UK each year. That’s what GDP is. Government abstracts some of that to do what government thinks should be done rather than what the people who create think should be done. Not quite so powerful an idea that it all belongs to government now, is it?

23 thoughts on “Lessee how well this works”

  1. “We can’t do without it.”

    A simple thought experiment would be to compare what would happen in two scenarios.

    In the first, the government stops creating Sterling entirely and the people (the economy) keep on producing – with the inconvenience of having to invent alternative currency.

    In the second, the people (the economy) stop producing entirely and the government (somehow) keeps on creating Sterling.

    We quickly see that wealth is created by the people and that the government and its fiat currency is almost irrelevant.

  2. He does claim that, yes. A surplus means sucking money out of the economy and shrinkage can only be the result.

    Except, of course, that’s the same as his tax more to lessen inflation prescription. Plus, Germany’s been doing it for years…..

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    So we have 2 choices:

    1. Pump money in to the economy using technocrats to control where it goes and how quickly. The time and control of getting that money back out of the economy is also controlled by technocrats.

    2. Allow politicians to give vast amounts of money to their various favourite voter pleasing causes. When inflation pokes its head above the parapet we then rely on another politician to raise taxes at a rate and timing to suit the electoral cycle.

    Hmmm, difficult choice.

  4. Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank also print £5 notes. So if the Bank of England stopped printing them, the three Scottish Banks could continue to do so.
    Murphy and ignorance ….

  5. Ah, but the Scottish note-issuing banks have to deposit haggis eggs with the Bank of England to equal value to their bits of paper.

    An interesting quirk in Hong Kong is that the note-issuing banks are required to own shares in the government press.

  6. We’ve done this experiment in England. In the period leading up to and during the Civil War, there wasn’t enough coinage being produced (lack of precious metal to make them), so shopkeepers and pub landlords paid to have their own ‘trade tokens’ made, to meet the shortfall. In theory, they were only good at the shop or pub that produced them, but in practice they got used more widely.

  7. “I make widget. I trade that widget for something.
    Yet it’s still my widget and not your widget.”

    The British Society of Plant Breeders have managed (using political lobbying both at Westminster and Brussels) to manufacture a situation whereby their members can sell agricultural crop seeds to farmers, but retain full control over the DNA contained therein and farmers are forced by law to pay royalties if they have the temerity to save some of their own produce as seed for next year. They can resell the same item multiple times over to the same customer. Its genius. The Mafia would be proud.

  8. Jim
    F2 hybrids have been around for years. Gardeners have stopped complaining because the flowers are prettier.
    Hollywood licences cinemas to show movies. If the cinema wants to show the movie again tomorrow they have to pay again.
    And so on.
    Sorry, Farmer Jim, you’re not a special case.

  9. Jim
    November 23, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    “I make widget. I trade that widget for something.
    Yet it’s still my widget and not your widget.”

    The British Society of Plant Breeders have managed (using political lobbying both at Westminster and Brussels) to manufacture a situation whereby their members can sell agricultural crop seeds to farmers, but retain full control over the DNA contained therein and farmers are forced by law to pay royalties if they have the temerity to save some of their own produce as seed for next year. They can resell the same item multiple times over to the same customer. Its genius. The Mafia would be proud.

    They are not selling the same item over and over.

    Unless you’re going to complain that the supermarket keeps charging you for a new loaf of bread each week?

  10. Philip/Agammamon – I’m not sure you have got Jim’s point which, as I understand it, is that a farmer cannot in certain cases resow seed retained from his previous year’s harvest.

    From memory, this all began with Monsanto and GMOs and is rather different from what gardeners experience with their crops. F1 hybrids will not produce seeds that are true to the parent plant and F2 hybrids are even less faithful to their predecessors but there is nothing to prevent people retaining and propagating from whatever seeds they choose to collect.

    Nothing requires them to pay over a royalty to the original supplier of the seeds of the parent plants they have grown.

    Where I possibly part company with Jim is that he may enjoy significantly greater yields from his seed requiring royalty payments than from the alternative so he could opt for a different planting regime if he chose to suffer that loss.

  11. The Meissen Bison
    November 23, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Philip/Agammamon – I’m not sure you have got Jim’s point which, as I understand it, is that a farmer cannot in certain cases resow seed retained from his previous year’s harvest.

    No, I get that. But that is a separate issue from ‘selling the same thing over and over’. You can make an argument that the product of a self-replicating system should not be controlled that way. You can also make the argument that, you know, patents and innovation incentivization, etc.

    You can’t make an argument that charging someone for buying a similar product multiple times is wrong. So the whole ‘they’re selling you the same thing over and over’ doesn’t cut it.

  12. Where I possibly part company with Jim is that he may enjoy significantly greater yields from his seed requiring royalty payments than from the alternative so he could opt for a different planting regime if he chose to suffer that loss.

    That’s where everybody parts company with him. ‘Free’ self-replicating systems are available. A farmer can choose to use those.

    Another thing Jim forgets (or doesn’t know) – only subsistence (and some really small-scale) farmers routinely save their seed for the next planting. That’s something we stopped doing long before modern GMO’s came onto the scene as dedicated seed producers are more efficient at it. Even without modern gene engineering tech (we’ve been genetically modifying plants for 10,000 years) a dedicated breeder produces more efficient crops than a bunch of farmers who don’t have the time to selectively breed on that scale.

  13. We’ve done this experiment in England.

    It’s been done many times, usually during a war, because that is when governments fail badly.

    In the Russian Civil War there were all sorts of governments, and all sorts of banknotes as a result. In general there was a shortage because it was hard to print the money without the right sort of paper and inks. But until the Reds won definitively the notes people valued highest were the old imperial ones — precisely because they were no longer able to be produced and hence were at zero risk of inflation.

  14. “‘Free’ self-replicating systems are available. A farmer can choose to use those.”

    No there aren’t. The market place for agricultural seeds are sown up by the large multinationals, and they only produce seed that they control the DNA for. There are no breeds of wheat available in the UK whose DNA is not owned by some corporation or other. They have a monopoly. Which given their monopoly came from seed whose DNA was owned by no-one, and they slightly modified it very slightly via breeding and then stuck ‘Copyright of Monsanto Inc’ on all of the DNA contained therein is a complete scandal.

    You only have to look at the comparable situation of livestock to see what a stitch up it is. If I buy a cow and a bull, I buy the DNA contained in them. I can make as many copies of said cattle as I like and I don’t have to pay anyone a penny in royalties to do it. Why is breeding in one area of farming free, and the other strictly controlled by law? Because livestock breeding is largely done by other farmers, not multinational corporations. And farmers wouldn’t have the nerve to try and copyright nature. But big business is quite happy to wine and dine politicians until they get what they want – a corporate monopoly backed up by the force of law.

    “Another thing Jim forgets (or doesn’t know) – only subsistence (and some really small-scale) farmers routinely save their seed for the next planting.”

    Well that just shows you’re talking out of your arse. Farm Saved Seed is a very large part of arable farming, everywhere, not just in the UK. The cost of new seed each year is prohibitive, and just about every arable farmer in the UK will save his own seed for replanting on a regular basis. Even allowing for paying the royalties its still far cheaper than paying from new seed each year. New seed will only be purchased when a new variety comes out that offers some increase in yields. Not only that, many farmers have found that by reusing their own seed year upon year, and selecting for the best grains each time via precise sieving, they are actually slowly adapting a crop to the specific conditions on their farm, and increasing yields that way.

  15. The big corporate interest argument is persuasive – I only half remember a large US corp trying and failing to claim copyright on some useful benefit derived from the neem tree which would have meant that folk in India had to pay a royalty for a natural product available and used by them for centuries.

  16. The market place for agricultural seeds are sown up by the large multinationals, and they only produce seed that they control the DNA for. There are no breeds of wheat available in the UK whose DNA is not owned by some corporation or other. They have a monopoly.

    Doesn’t that market then show that it’s delivering the product buyers want? If there was a market for seed not grown by the large multinationals, that would be competing. You can have one way or the other way. But you can’t have it both ways.
    It’s sounding a bit like the sneers against the less agricultural tech co’s. Twatter’s a monopoly! Except there’s nothing prevents starting up another message ap. Other than twatters are content with Twatter for twattering.

  17. “Doesn’t that market then show that it’s delivering the product buyers want? If there was a market for seed not grown by the large multinationals, that would be competing. You can have one way or the other way. But you can’t have it both ways.”

    There are no varieties of wheat (or any of the main arable crops) that aren’t copyrighted, so no-one can set up a ‘royalty free seed company’. They’d have nowhere to start, all the wheat DNA is owned by someone else. Who won’t sell it to you to give it away. In the Uk anyway. Whether there are non-copyrighted varieties of wheat available elsewhere in the world I couldn’t say. And I have a feeling that you can’t by law import seed from abroad and sell it unless you are a registered seed dealer. Its all set out in law, they’ve got the whole thing set up to form a nice oligopoly. All based on genetic material that came from nature (and centuries of farmers breeding better crops) which the multinationals then stole.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *