Not getting the radio gig

So, they wanted someone to be a right headbanger about GDP being the central aim of economic policy. Had a chat, now been told that I – me, really, ME – have views to reasonable for the program, won’t produce enough shouting and vituperation.


29 thoughts on “Not getting the radio gig”

  1. Other way round, it’s a BBC prog. They were worried that I’m not an evil enough capitalist babyeater to get their audience frothing at the mouth.

  2. The BBC pays SFA though no? Although I suppose as it’s radio you could have done it remotely, cock in hand.

  3. That’s the BBC definition of “balance” – idiots ranting extreme views rather than balanced, nuanced debate. And they wonder why they attract such derision from anyone who isn’t a complete nutter

  4. Also, anything that starts “if you observe humans interacting….” is verboten as it’s only da feelz that are allowed.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    It’s the unique way it’s funded, it doesn’t have to go after ratings like the commercial stations that means it can provide balanced, educational, output.

  6. Tons of podcasting platforms out there, and even the more professional equipment is very affordable nowadays (I’m sure you already have most of what you need).

    If you splurge a little on a developer to add a streaming section to the blog, it will be that much more engaging for your audience, and you can set up a paywall for parts of the stream and receive sponsorships. Can ask B&H about any technical issues with broadcasting from your location.

    If you use OBS Studio, which is the industry standard, then you’ll also be compatible with the platform I’m building right now, and we will have even more monetization features.

    Most importantly, you’ll be able to say what you want, exactly as you wish to say them. You can fill at least 30 minutes talking about all the news items you post here on a given day. The Rodecaster Pro mixer is about $700 and it even allows you to take phone/Zoom calls through Bluetooth, so having guests and call-ins is pretty easy as well.

  7. They must be missing Janet Daley. If I recall correctly, Craig Brown attributed to her the line: and even when they [the BBC] do interview a token, right-of-center contributor, they always choose a raving headbanger like me – deliberately, in order to make all conservatives look ridiculous.

  8. But GDP/head *should* be the central aim of governmental economic policy surely.
    However, the government should not impose that directive on the populace who get to decide for themselves if they want to get richer in a richer society by being more productive or more time doing personal stuff like DIY/cooking/gardening/hugging/childcaring in a richer society.

  9. Fascinating how the BBC operates. They put on what they can plead is a balanced debate but choose for one side someone who will discredit the argument, so can do political indoctrination whilst claiming impartiality. Neat tactics.
    And something can be learned from. Unfortunately it never is, is it? The public school boys will still insist on a level playing field & observing the rules. Which is why progressives win & conservatives don’t.

  10. “But GDP/head *should* be the central aim of governmental economic policy surely.”

    Get an immigrant in. Give him free money while he stays in a hotel. Or give someone who’s been fired (because the business has closed down because of a disease…) more money than he was earning when he was working.

    That money is counted in GDP. Is it a real increase in the capabilities of the country? No.

    Sure, increases in GDP should be aimed at. But you run into the problem of the fiddling of the figures.

  11. BIS,

    “And something can be learned from. Unfortunately it never is, is it? The public school boys will still insist on a level playing field & observing the rules. Which is why progressives win & conservatives don’t.”

    I honestly do not understand why the Conservatives keep funding their enemies with voters money. Like privatising the BBC feels like such an easy decision. Look at the people who get mad at the idea. How many of them are Thatcherites or even floating voters? Almost none. They’re mostly Guardian readers who solidly vote Labour, so you lose nothing.

  12. Same in Oz BoM4.

    A bloke pointed out that at least 90% (99%?) of LNP voters oppose giving a Constitutional ‘voice’ to ‘Aboriginals’. One presumes that aboriginality would be determined by at least one drop of blood. You might call this the Pocahontas Effect.

    But of course the LNP are unwilling to come out and oppose Albo’s proposal. Certainly if they lost, they’d be shat upon anyway. But if they won they’d win the next election for certain. Whereas their just whaffling means that those old fashioned Laborites who also oppose the voice would just vote for Albo anyway, whether he won or lost.

  13. Can I second the call for a Worstall Podcast (and/or Youtube) please? These pearls need to be cast before a lot more swine than just visit here.

  14. Back on the main topic, Scott Sumner (on his blog TheMoneyIllusion) talks a lot about targeting Nominal GDP instead of inflation, basically factoring market expectation into the policy process. I have no idea if this is genius or madness, but I never see ideas like this debated – maybe our genial host would care to add his two bob’s worth?

  15. Scott’s right, simple as. Any particular level of stimulus, monetary policy, fiscal etc, will produce NGDP changes. So, use that as the target. Simples.

  16. I don’t get it either BoM4. The Liberal/Nationals in Aust get constantly accused of wanting privatise the ABC, our equivalent broadcaster and as bad if not worse. They don’t even bother with frothing at mouth alternative viewpoints. My attitude is, who the fuck would buy it? Just cut them loose and tell them to fend for themselves. The staff collective that runs it would shit their collective pants. And as Boganboy says (on a different topic), it probably wouldn’t lose the Libs a single vote.

    Incidently Boganboy, my tip is the Libs will refuse the jump and go conscience vote on the voice bullshit.

  17. I suggest you get a character reference from Spud who is unlikely to have you in the ‘too reasonable’ camp. Amanduh, TJN ..

  18. The Meissen Bison

    …been told that I […] have views to reasonable for the program

    When you are talking to the BBC “researcher” who is lining up guests it’s generally pretty clear from what he’s saying that the need is for someone to represent a given point of view. If you want to do the interview you give it your all accordingly but when you are live on air you can be as “reasonable” as you like.

  19. Another thought: it’s the BBC. They want a “lovable loser”, or a nutcase.

    Someone who actually represents and defends what’s called “conservative” (to the point of maybe changing some minds) is not what they want.

  20. @Bongo – “But GDP/head *should* be the central aim of governmental economic policy surely.”

    GDP is not a very useful measure of anything. It’s the (approximately) total cost of all commercially provided activity. So, for example if Dan is a dog-walker and charges Louise $100 for dog walking, then GDP counts that as $100. If Dan puts up the price to $200 (and Louise continues to use his services), GDP has increased by $100 even though no extra useful activity has taken place.

    Or, more topically, if two parents each stay at home to mind their respective children, that counts as zero towards GDP, but if each starts a child-minding buisness and they mind each other’s children, GDP has increased even though nothing extra is happening of value to anyone.

    GDP can be a useful rough indication of economic activity, but if it is ever used for a serious purpose – especially as a target, it becomes meaningless.

  21. Yep, and we can go further. There are lots of things that matter in life beyond GDP. If we improve our lives – maximise utility – by doing or dealing with those other things then we might well reduce GDP. Hm, but we’ve just maximised utility by reducing GDP, and utility maximisation is the goal. Therefore GDP should not be. Other than as a general indication of how things are going, as your say.

  22. I think I’m accidently listening the programme right now. One person arguing that we must stop growth, but must have increased education, but increased education doesn’t count as increased growth ‘cos reasons; one person arguing that GDP is just a measure invented ‘cos people wanted a measure to measure.

  23. @Charles
    GDP is not a very useful measure of anything
    I beg to differ but we might be close in thought than you expected

    We’re going to have a governmental driven economic policy (we shouldn’t but it’s government so we’re going to have one, and a vote for none is not going to be on any ballot).
    It’s true that paying your neighbour to walk your dog or care for your child does not add to human utility if it replaces mutual exchange of those services and that is the only counterfactual. But the paid system means that we get to find out who is good at dog walking – maybe some people are naturally good at exercising hounds to a level which makes them tired and hungry, keeping them under control around cyclists and disposing of their shit and returning them to customers who like the indoor companionship part of the gig rather more than the rest of the responsibility. They can do it several times a day,often with 2+ canine charges. Those people are more productive imv at this activity. That makes us richer.
    In a government there will be ministers for welfare, inequalities, environment, health and all the rest, but if you are a govt with an econ policy, can you think of a better priority? I can’t.

  24. ‘Incidently Boganboy, my tip is the Libs will refuse the jump and go conscience vote on the voice bullshit.’


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