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This neoliberal is delighted to argue this question

The ethical question no neoliberal wants to answer


Answer 1.

Global GDP per capita (at PPP) is about $18,000. Call that £12,000 between friends. Is Richard Murphy willing to – does he act as if he does? – live at that standard? Therefore Richard Murphy does not believe in that equal allocation.

Answer 2.

Resources are not something that exist. They are things that are created. GDP is value added. People in rich countries add more value – that’s definitional. Therefore, people in rich countries create more resources than those in poor – they are worth more as resource creators.

Of course, I’m the neoliberal who is not allowed to debate with Richard Murphy because summat.

Of course, I’d be entirely delighted if – as and when I hope – all those poor people in poor countries are sa rich as we are. When they are as productive as we are, when they create as many resources as we do. Which is why I argue for globalised free market capitalism, that very thing which has done so much to equate the production of resources these past 50 years.

That is, I’m a neoliberal precisely because I want to bring about that more equal world it’s just that I’m grasping the correct end of the stick as I do so.

38 thoughts on “This neoliberal is delighted to argue this question”

  1. Is he literally complaining that the USCG didn’t spend resources to rescue some migrants off the coast of Greece? Is he complaining that the Greeks don’t hold all humans as worth saving as the USCG does?

    Because this all seems to be a Greek problem.

  2. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Surely the lesson of both incidents is that if you voluntarily, of your own free will, and at enormous cost, put to sea in an vessel that is so unsafe you expose yourself to a high risk of death, then the consequences are basically your problem?

  3. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Now, if you had two Titan subs, that would be an absolutely class way for a bunch of very wealthy people to do a Reggie Perrin.

  4. Jesus on a bicycle – you can’t just *assume* all lives are of equal worth.
    Compared to when? to modify the Tom Sowell question.
    Those Pak lives are worth significantly more than Pak lives were in 1948.

    You can desire that they are of equal worth, so go out and promote strategies like free trade, globalisation, FDI which have brought those worths both higher and closer together. Definitely do not promote progressive protectionism. Twat.

  5. Spud strikes me as the kind of guy who would call out the coastguard and a helicopter if he got his fat arse stuck in a paddling pool

  6. I must admit I value my life far more than that of others. Of course I’m sure they consider theirs to be worth far more than mine.

    This is why I always thought Raygun Ron’s missile defence system made a lot of sense. Quite clearly, it was much better to spend a billion dollars to save my worthless hide than to waste it on incinerating a billion foreigners.

    More perhaps to the point, the Pakis were breaking the law of Greece, and indeed the EU, and potentially that of Britain. Should you lavish everything you have on people who choose to risk their lives to break your laws.

    This is the usual attitude of the left. Because we’re all human, we must all give their favoured pets whatever they want. And it’s evil racism to expect to get anything we want, or indeed anything at all, from them.

    Murph’s argument is basically that of imperialism. The wogs are worth the same as us, so we must sacrifice everything we have to make sure they’re just like us.

    But since I grew up during the period of imperial collapse, I naturally believe that the wogs should be free to go to hell however they choose. We have solved a large number of the problems they suffer from. The methods of dealing with them are in the public domain. So they can copy us if they wish. If they don’t it’s their problem.

    This very definitely applies to the Pakis and other Third Worlders. Places like China, and now India, are industrialising fast. I suspect that we’ll deindustrialise and be whinging and whining for scraps from them pretty soon.

    However as matters are now, we can spend our resources on whoever we please. If the Pakis come grovelling to the UK and beg to be kept in order by the noose and the lash as they were in the good old days, you can do what you wish. I’d just give ’em the finger.

  7. One wreck may yield insights into the behaviour of titanium / carbon fibre composites and perspex under extreme pressure, thereby leading to technical advances.
    The other is just an overloaded boat.

  8. Amusing considering the subject matter. The advert I had displayed in the midst of these comments, looking like it was a post.

    Ahorra comprando ida y vuelta – Compra tu billete con antelación y viaja cuando quieras. Cambios de fecha gratis

  9. 3: What gives Lord Spud the right to direct the allocation of resources above those people who wish to use those resources?

  10. But shirley, all those on the left are full of love, sweetness and the milk of human kindness?

    Or perhaps not: Her reaction to the Titan submarine “charade” (© James Cameron), demonstrates that Ash “I am, literally, a communist’ Sarkar, doesn’t think we are all equal.

  11. There is an established literature on whether or not policy should consider all lives to be of equal worth. For starters, he could look at agent-relative ethics. I love my kids more than I love your kids (sorry) and therefore vote in a way that reflects this preference. Second, if all lives are equal, including lives in the future, then this generation has to shoulder the burden of all future generations equally to our own. We then get into a paradox where it appears optimal to bear huge expense in this generation so that all future generations can benefit by tiny amounts even though (according to the vast majority of economic forecasts) future generations are expected to be significantly wealthier than our own. The idea that this is a question that no neo-liberal wants to answer is flat wrong.

  12. Media Temple migrated my site to GoDaddy in the past couple of weeks. I wasn’t happy about it, but was otherwise occupied so have only just got around to addressing the matter. I don’t know why there’s an SSL problem as the certificate is up to date and everything appears to be working as it should. However, I keep getting this error message, too.

    In the next few days, I’ll be migrating to a new host of my choice, so while there might be some disruption in the meantime, it should be sorted by the end of the week.

    The short term solution is to keep refreshing the page.

  13. Mr Elliott, I have to say I’m somewhat relieved to read a comment from you. Post Titan, I had visions of a small pile of wreckage somewhere on the Isle of Man, thinking that another example of adolescent wish fulfillment had had dire consequences…

  14. Despite the veneer of Spud worrying about little brown people, he doesn’t give a shit about them. It’s virtue signalling and a chance to bash rich people. He’ll probably follow up with how they should be taxed to pay for own demise. If he had a string of posts about migrant boats sinking around the world, I might believe him, but he doesn’t and he’s a cunt.

  15. Single man, lives in house with FOUR Bedrooms and THREE public rooms, complains about the inequality in allocation of resources.

    A more blatant example of over-consumption it would be hard to find. Time to reintroduce a window tax, with penal rates for under-occupation.

    What an insufferable cvnt he is, truly.

  16. How much does Murphy donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeals for Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, East Africa …?

  17. It is a bit rich to challenge people on your blog to answer a question claiming that they can’t, while at the same time refusing to allow them on said blog to make their case.

  18. I am finding the notion that Murphy ‘thinks’:

    1 – there are people in a position to simply click their fingers and change approaches to ‘the world’s problems’ by simply arranging 200 different countries’ economies and polities to act in the same fashion

    2 – that if such people did exist they’d have the slightest interest in the pontification on those matters of a superannuated ‘academic’ and failed accountant whose knowledge of the subjects in question could be written on the back of a fag packet

    vaguely amusing!

    Truly the most delusional man extant in Cyberspace today

  19. I’ll chime in from the Left. As you often note, many important things are not captured in economic analyses. Most of those important things would not support your argument, but let’s stay with the economics.

    And from the economic POV I think you’re broadly correct. Good for you, Tim! And I’m very pleased you share my hope for a future where even in economic terms we are all roughly equal. It’s good to have a goal.

    But I would submit that what will define us ethically in the eyes of future generations is what we do in this period of time when inequality is so great. See? Ethics and Economics… at least they start with the same letter…

  20. What are the ethical issues involved here?

    Blame lies with the people-smugglers surely. Why is this described as a Greek shipwreck?

  21. @ Jack C
    It’s described as a “Greek shipwreck” in order to blame a centre-right government, whose fault it was not, rather than the greedy, brutal, “third-world” criminals who callously (and in this instance, fatally) risked other people’s lives for their own profits because Guardian Newspapers Ltd (including “The Observer”) has an editorial policy that all the evil in the world is caused by middle-aged middle-class white males.

  22. @John77 “How much does Murphy donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeals for Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, East Africa …?”
    I think you misunderstand the potato’s relationship with charities. he doesn’t donate – he takes obtaining grants from various charities to develop his so called “ideas” No doubt at this moment he’s in contact with the charity you speak of, trying to flog them sustainable cost accounting and mmt. Like most of the left he’s a parasite.

  23. There is no greater service we can render the oppressed of the earth than to maintain inviolate the freedom of our own citizens.
    Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.
    There is no substitute for a militant freedom. The only alternative is submission and slavery.
    Freedom is not only bought with a great price; it is maintained by unremitting effort.
    There is no justification for public interference with purely private concerns.
    The individual has rights…And the protection of rights is righteous.
    Ultimately, property rights and personal rights are the same thing.
    When once the right of the individual to liberty and equality is admitted, there is no escape from the conclusion that he alone is entitled to the rewards of his own industry. Any other conclusion would necessarily imply either privilege or servitude.

    Calvin Coolidge. “Silent Cal” nails it.

  24. @ moqifen
    I do not muisunderstand: I was pointing out the inconsistency of his words and actions.

  25. But I would submit that what will define us ethically in the eyes of future generations is what we do in this period of time when inequality is so great.

    You seem to be defining inequality as undesirable.
    Care to show your working?
    If a person succeeds & receives the benefits of their success, inequality increases. As it should do. Take that away & where’s the incentive for doing anything.

    And a little cod philosophy. Before we’re asked about how we judge other’s value, it’s worth asking how we adjudge our own value to ourselves? I would submit by the degree we raise our own living standards. That’s what civilisation’s all about, isn’t it? And in commerce, we combine to do this. This doesn’t come free. It takes effort. So of course we value ourselves higher than a bunch of Pakis. As they value themselves lower. Both individually & culturally. If they valued themselves as high as we do us, they’d raise their own living standards. But they don’t. They seek to come to where we live to get a free ride on our efforts.

  26. Incidentally, when I say people I mean the people who create the world we live in. Who put effort into making it better. We know who we are. I don’t mean the deadheads who live off our efforts. We are fulfilled happy people. They are jealous miserable cunts as they never stop telling us. No more value than a bunch of Pakis.

  27. But I would submit that what will define us ethically is what we do. Full stop.
    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn how much money Elon or Warren or Jeff has got – what defines *me* ethically *includes* (BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO) what I do with *my* money, not what anyone outside my direct sphere of influence does.
    My personal view is that I wish to help the deserving poor but that I have no right to impose personal views upon other people (unless I see a thug attack an innocent person).

  28. John, I stay well away from ethics (Not only because it contains Basildon) Ethics like morals are qualitative. You can define them any way you feel like.

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