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Innit fun?

And now we have a form of hardcore Manchester School nineteenth-century capitalism that believes that so-called free markets, absent of government regulation, are the route to prosperity. This is where the tax-cutting and freeport mantra comes from.

We used to call these folks liberals. The Guardian was set up to propagate the ideas.

Some of us still are liberals of course. Just not those who call themselves such so much.

But the hard-core Brexiteers are unlikely to get much of a kick out of a low tax zone in Great Yarmouth. They don’t do economics.

Oh, right, that’s me told then.

The rest of it is rather cometh the hour, cometh the Potato.

14 thoughts on “Innit fun?”

  1. The MANCHESTER Guardian, to be precise. which I was dragged up on as the son of old school Manchester Liberals. Like so many, corrupted by moving to London

  2. I am finding the notion that someone that walked off his undergraduate economics course after less than 1 term ‘does economics’ somewhat preposterous.

  3. I think this comment from AEP in today’s telegraph may be apposite in connection with the asinine Tumour of Ely.

    “The UK faces difficult times but it is not an economic crisis and it is not in worse shape than Europe. Nor does it have higher inflation, contrary to what we are led to believe. The August tally was 9.9pc in the UK and 10.1pc in the EU.

    What we do face a cultural crisis: a trahison des clercs. The pathological catastrophism of the pro-Brussels commentariat is becoming a national cancer.”

  4. “the pro-Brussels commentariat”: ah, the Quislings.

    I suggest we carry on the Brexit theme and leave NATO, the ECHR, and anything else to hand. Sod the lot of ’em.

    If we want a continental ally consider Switzerland. Gnarly buggers, the Swiss.

  5. “…believes that so-called free markets, absent of government regulation, are the route to prosperity.”

    Hasn’t this actually been proven to be true empirically? Also isn’t the current period of high inflation due to government interference in energy markets and follies like giving half the workforce a year off and printing money to pay them with?

  6. Indeed Stonyground. There’s a controversial paper from Lynn/Verhanen from about 20 years ago which found the top 3 things prosperity is connected to for a nation are:
    1. IQ
    2. Market economy
    3. Domestic energy
    You can’t do much about 1. in a 30 year timescale, and there was a massive gap from 1. to 2., more so than from 2. to 3. But you can make yourself a market economy in short time frames, and tap your own energy in medium time frames.

  7. I like how the argument is framed as “absent of government regulation”, which allows them to raise all sorts of spectres such as welching on debts, oppressive contract terms, rights over defective goods etc…

  8. If prices are arbitrary, why not index?

    So the other blog about free markets only where warranted stands retracted?


    How can markets be proved efficient if preferences are willfully intransitive? I.e., does OPEC capriciously flood markets then starve them, based on whatever whim strikes MBS as a good idea this year?

  9. In related news.

    The German govt has nationalised the gas importer Uniper, striking a deal with its Finnsh biggest shareholder at a cost of 8 billion Reichsmarks.

    Also there is an investigation pending into the Austrian govt’s 2 billion Reichsmarks bailout of Wien Energie. The company is now saying that it wasn’t really in trouble when it couldn’t meet its invoices, honest.

  10. “…does OPEC capriciously flood markets then starve them, based on whatever whim strikes MBS as a good idea this year?”

    I don’t know, does it? Please elaborate and explain how this affects the basic premise that free market economies work better and that government interference is generally a bad thing.

  11. Stonyground.

    The only time I can remember the Saudis deciding to pump out the oil to the limit of their capacity is 13 Sep 1985. But that was because they were already ‘loaning’ money to Saddam to keep him fighting, so their keeping prices high merely continued to subsidise the Iranians as well.

    Amusingly enough, that bankrupted the Soviet Union as well as Iran. And thus won the Cold War for the West.

    Of course it’s annoying when the whims of someone other than you controls things. But that’s just one of the downsides of not being God.

    I’m sure our friend would prefer that position. Of course, if I had a choice, I’d reserve it for myself.

  12. …does OPEC capriciously flood markets then starve them, based on whatever whim strikes MBS as a good idea this year?

    How would the UK being non-free market change this? The OPEC price isn’t different if you are Socialists. (Not that OPEC has anything to do with free markets, of course. The whole point of OPEC was to rig the market, not free it.)

    Being free market means that if the other party starts playing hanky-panky, the change to alternative suppliers is likely to be quick.

    Putin, thinking as a statist, assumed that turning off the gas would punish Germany. Well it did, but in a couple of years, when other suppliers have been sorted out, it will mostly punish Russia.

  13. Bloke in the Fourth Reich


    The Fourth Reich is currently experiencing levels of corruption and graft that would shame a seventh-term President of a banana republic.

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