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We do not just desire windfall and excess profits, we positively lust after their existence: for the shortages that cause them get solved by their appearance. The cure for excess profits is excess profits. Those windfall numbers are exactly what generates the change in production that increases supply, the very thing that brings profits, and prices, back down again.

As a think tank number cruncher myself I’m willing to slide over the manipulations about inflation and so on – it’s very difficult indeed to consistently produce outrage if you have to be wholly and perfectly truthful all the time. But getting the actual driving forces of the most successful socioeconomic system ever, this free market capitalism, wrong is more than just smoothing the edges or being a bit careless, isn’t it?

11 thoughts on “In the Tele”

  1. 2nd article in The Telegraph now – will this be an on-going thing?

    Is this a sign that the Telegraph is moving back to the (economic) right?

  2. That’s the 4 th or 5th recently, can’t recall. The actual cause here is that an editor I used to write for elsewhere has now been taken on at Telegraph. This is just the way it works really. An experienced editor has their little penumbra of go to writers. They get a new job, that penumbra all start getting commissions. Of course, it’s also true that they get fired and so does the penumbra.

    Just the way of that part of the world. It’s not an editorial line changed from above. Just a different person being slotted into the management system.

  3. So you confirm something we already knew. It’s not merit that brings success in journalism, but who you know. Which certainly explains the Torygraph, Graun, BBC… And why so much media output is just the same small groups of people talking to themselves.

  4. Incidentally, I’m sure we’d all admit that that the same is true in all walks of life. Many of us have been party to it. But it’s amusing that those who do it the most are always the ones to most strenuously deny it.

  5. We don’t just desire excess profits. We also desire low barriers to entry.

    Otherwise you get a few (or one) large player(s) creaming off silly money with little to no encouragement to improve while others can’t get in the door to compete.

  6. You seem to think that we live in a free market economy. We don’t. The State directs half of it, and strictly regulates the other half. So anyone who can make large profits almost certainly doesn’t face any competition, either because the barriers to entry are so large (who is going to build another telecom network?) or the regulatory barriers are immense (try starting a new bank). Its no use propounding economic policies that would work in a free market, when we don’t live in one. It just gives free market ideas a bad name, because everyone can see its a joke. They see their utility bills going through the roof, despite ‘private enterprise’ supplying their electric gas and water, they see their banks taking the piss with a massive gap between mortgage and savings rates, they see the supermarkets constantly raising price.

    Rather than arguing for text book free market ideals, you’d be better off laying out how the State control of everything is ripping the consumer off. Save the free market shtick for when we actually have something approaching one.

  7. “It’s not merit that brings success in journalism, but who you know”

    Yeah, it’s a network; or two really, the internal journos/editors one, and the external one, which football player, sleb, politician, that the journo/editor can get easy access to, for flogging to the readers.

    Then there’s the control aspect of the major node – so some of the higher potential valuations for the DT are based upon easier access to the movers’n’shakers for the owner.

    Although, I’m not entirely sure how many whippersnappers are knocking around here.

  8. If you read the press release at you’ll see that, despite headlines and your initial impression from naming the profits “obscene”, Oxfam and ActionAid actually have no problem with the amount of the profits. Their soution of taxing them means that what they really object to is the money being in private hands rather than being government controlled. The profits would be just as big when taxed. If part of their complaint is that profits are driving inflation, then they are either stupid (because taxing the profits won’t reduce prices) or lying.

  9. True, yet of course their rhetoric is meant to imspire the mob – $1 trillion!Therefore at lesat some of the piece is fighting back at the rhetorical effect…..

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