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Idiocy or evil?

The simple fact is that in the coming months markets will fail many millions of people in the UK and billions of people around the world. There is no market solution to that market failure. There is only a state-driven one, and a state-driven one that suspends any belief in balanced budgets when the priority is keeping people alive.

The challenge in this is enormous. In a world economy where most in power have been taught that only markets can offer solutions we have to face t

he reality that this is not true, and that the operation of markets must be suspended if lives are to be saved.

So, which has produced more starvation in recent centuries? Markets or central planning?

24 thoughts on “Idiocy or evil?”

  1. What’s needed is a potato famine, by which I mean, “Shut up you idiot”. Spud really is a bellwether – whatever he says, do the opposite.

  2. Well it is quite an interesting post.

    I am pretty sure he would decry any defense of colonialism or empire as ‘racist’ and ‘neoliberal’ but I fail to see how his solution (such as it is) could be accomplished without a global administration that made the British empire look like a parish council

    By suppressing markets all you will do is drive further shortages. You only need to look at Venezuela and North Korea to see that in action. As a ‘Free Marketeer’ Indont especially want to see people die unnecessarily but I don’t agree that emulating economic basket cases is the best way to avoid that.

    Interestingly the shortages are largely caused by a combination of Net Zero, the Ukrainian War and COVID lockdowns – all of which he backs. Most of those advocating those policies advocate a huge reduction in global population, as I am presuming he does. Now it’s happening they’re crying foul? I know he’s an example of Dunning Kruger previously thought to be hypothetical but the lack of coherence Would disgrace a first year undergrad.

  3. What he really means is that he wants to (mis)appropriate the fruits of the market and spend them where he sees fit. Handily forgetting that as soon as one area of the market is stolen, people will just move else where.

  4. Tim Worstall: *researches economic trends using arduously collected data*

    Richard Murphy: *pontificates while on the john*

  5. Dennis, Correct And Therefore Hateful

    The simple fact is that in the coming months markets will fail many millions of people in the UK and billions of people around the world.

    Conjecture, not fact.

    There is no market solution to that market failure.

    Conjecture upon conjecture.

    There is only a state-driven one, and a state-driven one that suspends any belief in balanced budgets when the priority is keeping people alive.

    Demonstrably false.

    The challenge in this is enormous. In a world economy where most in power have been taught that only markets can offer solutions we have to face the reality that this is not true, and that the operation of markets must be suspended if lives are to be saved.

    Also demonstrably false.

    Spud’s had himself a morning, hasn’t he? He’s concocted a crisis that doesn’t exist in order to offer a solution that few would want and is guaranteed to fail. It’s the virtual version of the old man in a bathrobe and bunny slippers standing in front of a Tesco yelling that the end is near.

  6. Dennis

    Beyond the obvious hilarity of the last paragraph, you’re spot on – I had missed the earlier post on the ‘Social Consensus’ and ‘Money for Nothing and Tweets for free’ as his bibliography increases further.

    Regarding him being in front of a Tesco – when you’ve had every pub in a town ban you your options are, I’m guessing, rather limited.. Quiet, graceful retirement seems out of the question…

  7. Dennis, Tiresome Denizen of Central Ohio

    Quiet, graceful retirement seems out of the question…

    Quiet and graceful are not words I associate with Richard Murphy.

  8. The hubris of someone who hasn’t run a business for over 20 years, relying on hand-outs from charities, and who has never held any political office to be explaining how every politician and economist is wrong but that he knows how to save the world is breath taking.

    And the pretentiousness of someone living 70 miles away to be claiming that he’s someone a man of the people living in The Mile End Road similarly so.

    The puff pastry of his ‘Social Consensus’ is just him spazzing off on his keyboard as he imagines ruling the world. I don’t know why he didn’t include “The State will ensure that everyone will live happily ever after and finish off each working day by dancing around a giant bronze statue of Richard Murphy”

    What a twat.

  9. I’d be interested to know how he proposes to suspend markets. Has anyone in the entirety of recorded history ever managed to suspend markets operating?

  10. BiS

    “Has anyone in the entirety of recorded history ever managed to suspend markets operating?”

    Not even inside the highest security prisons…

  11. @PF

    Tim once wrote an article on this very subject, specifically the trade of cigarettes among inmates.

  12. Well, the use of cigarettes is a classic paper following WWII prison camps which I might have referred to but didn’t write. There are more recent ones looking at the surprising popularity of dried mackerel (I know, I know) in US prisons. Money is whatever people will accept as money. Dreidmackerel can be got from the prison commissary, it keeps so it’s at least possible it will hold its value etc etc.

    I’d hate it to be thought that the observations about prison money were original to me – very much standing on the shoulders of when I refer to it.

  13. I was thinking of something much more mundane & current, Tim. How many billions have been expended on the “War on Drugs”? With what results?

  14. It’s about 6 years since stories about ramen noodles assuming the slot as favoured prison currency in the States started surfacing. Whether that slot’s been refilled I don’t know…

  15. I guess the problem with using conch shells as currency in prison would be smuggling them in.

    For the men anyway. I’ve known girls who could probably have brought in 3 at a time.

  16. I’ve just come across this interesting little story, that I’ll put here as a rare illustration of a government agency acknowledging the inadequacies of government agencies:

    ‘Dave Tremper, director of electronic warfare for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, pointed to SpaceX’s ability last month to swiftly stymie a Russian effort to jam its Starlink satellite broadband service, which was keeping Ukraine connected to the Internet. SpaceX founder Elon Musk steered thousands of Starlink terminals to Ukraine after an official sent him a tweet asking for help keeping the besieged country online.

    “The next day [after reports about the Russian jamming effort hit the media], Starlink had slung a line of code and fixed it,” Tremper said. “And suddenly that [Russian jamming attack] was not effective anymore. From [the] EW technologist’s perspective, that is fantastic … and how they did that was eye-watering to me.”

    The government, on the other hand, has a “significant timeline to make those types of corrections” as it muddles through analyses of what happened, decides how to fix it and gets a contract in place for the fix.’

    https://www.defensenews.com/air/2022/04/20/spacex-shut-down-a-russian-electromagnetic-warfare-attack-in-ukraine-last-month-and-the-pentagon-is-taking-notes/

  17. RichardT has it

    You are talking about the most stupid commentator in the history of mankind. No one I have read comes close!

    He is the physical embodiment of pure evil certainly! So the post is somewhat misnamed!

  18. @Van_Patten @RichardT

    Spot on. Often, when I have trouble deciding whether someone is stupid or just an asshole, it’s usually a combination of both.

    A big enough idiot can have trouble grasping social cues and basic human decency.

    A big enough asshole can end up doing stupid things when blinded by their own assholery.

    Dr. Jordan Peterson has quoted Jung in saying, “If you can’t determine someone’s motives, look at their results.” Spud’s results are both idiotic and evil, so there you go.

    My own analysis would venture a guess that Ritchie has several personal vendettas (or, as we say in the U.S., a “chip on his shoulder”) stemming from bullying, a drill-sergeant of a father, a domineering mother, unrequited love, childhood brainwashing, or some other ordeal that he has yet to come to terms with as an adult. Far easier to blame an invented bogey man for one’s projected insecurities.

  19. As RichardT says, there is no need to decide between idiocy and evil. Spud is both! He has diligently practiced and refined each of these traits – though in his looking-glass-word they are sagacity and good. He believes, as all leftist do, that HE ALONE is the embodiment of lucid understanding, the holder of the true understanding and heightened reasoning.

    That we do not heed his warnings; that we ignore his solutions, is proof of our ignorance.

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