Tim Worstall

New findings from British academia

Where would we be without all these people not investigating hovercraft, jet engines and nuclear power?

Via email:

The distress caused by the Coronavirus pandemic means parents should maintain the “vital tonic” of the Father Christmas myth for children this year, psychologist urges

For further information:

University of Exeter

Press Office

Sigh.

Weird, just weird

Stonewall about trans:

FACING DISCRIMINATION AND ABUSE

OK, no doubt it happens. We’d like less of it. This is, from their placing it on hte same page, clearly one of their examples of discrimination and abuse:

I was raped. Police kept referring to me as ‘she’ and ‘female’ and
using my birth name. The doctor they brought to examine me, made
me uncomfortable and continued calling me female.
Angus, 24 (Scotland)

Note that it’s not the rape itself which is being claimed as the discrimination and abuse. Yes, rape upon males is indeed possible and does happen. But again, that’s not, I think, what is being talked about here.

Someone vaginally raped is claiming abuse as the doctor referred to them as female.

Seriously?

Mobilise The Proletariat!

What does investing in a sustainable economy look like?

Most important, it is about making the UK’s 30 million buildings energy efficient. Triple glazing. Insulation. New boilers. Heat pumps. And solar power. All done street-by-street by a mass of newly trained people to do the job.

It’s as if he’s never heard of the Great Leap Forward. Or even the Australian Great Green Bodge Job.

Parse me this one

And unlike a household, the government does not need to worry about paying back debt when interest rates rise. Interests rates will only rise if economic growth returns. When it does, this will mean higher revenues in state coffers and, with higher employment, less public spending on safety nets for poorer households. At this point, taxes should go up, to ensure that corporations and the rich pay their fair share.

Tax revenue rises because economic recovery therefore tax rates should also rise in an economic recovery?

This is what they refuse to teach at Eton

The Head Master felt that some of the ideas put forward in my lecture – such as the view that men and women differ psychologically and not all of those differences are socially constructed – were too dangerous for the boys to be exposed to,” Mr Knowland said.

The difference between Eton and the state sector being that in the state no single one of the teachers would believe that this idea was even worth presenting so obviously wrong it is.

Well, no, not really

Britain is lagging in international league tables for cancer survival, largely because so many cases are spotted so late.

As a result of Covid we’ve had estimates of increased mortality from delays in treatment. From memory, a month’s delay in treating (fill in forgotten name of cancer here) increase mortality by 9% or summat.

Hmm, OK. The NHS promise – not one that’s met – says your cancer should *start* being treated within 60 days.

It is actually vaguely possible that the reason the UK has bad cancer results is because the NHS is shit at treating cancer. On the grounds that Stalinist bureaucracies never do anything quickly.

Gosh, that’s exciting

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrated their first Thanksgiving as a family in the US on Thursday, sitting down to homegrown vegetables from the garden.

A plate of veggies for thanksgiving. Yum!

It’s also grossly, pathetically, stupid. A £10 million estate used to grow 50 pence worth of vegetables is silly on a personal level. But it’s insane on a societal one.

America still does have those wide open spaces. You don’t really grasp how much of the damn place there is until you’ve driven it. And here we are, with people claiming virtue because they use the most expensive part of it, coastal California, to grow 50 pence worth of veggies that could – and should – be grown damn near anywhere.

The expense of that land showing us that lots of people want to have it, of course. Thus we should be putting that expensive resource to its highest value use, not some triviality like growing broccoli.

The broccoli should be grown in some arse end like Gilroy, even Santa Ynez, not Santa Barbara.

Being mawkish elsewhere

Don’t worry about the Puritans, we English didn’t like them much either. The Native Americans have a point. What you have turned Thanksgiving into, that celebration of family, is not so unusual across human societies. There are many analogues out there. What sets Thanksgiving apart is that you don’t just bend over backward to ensure, you positively insist, that no one break bread alone that day.

It is the most sweet, even glorious, aspect of your society. Please don’t ever lose it. To the matriarch near Lincoln, Nebraska: My apologies for not understanding before. Now I do, and from afar, I raise that slice of pumpkin pie to you and 330 million other Americans. That sharing of the cloak is always something to give thanks for.

This is fun

But despite the recent attention, some say the rise of Parler fits into the larger history of American conservatives and their relationship with the media.

“This follows a pattern of what the right wing has done [since] the rise of talk radio in the ’80s, and then through live cable TV, and then the rise of social media,” Lawrence Rosenthal, the chair of the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Right-Wing Studies, told Recode. “In each case, what you found is that the right wing gives up on participating in mainstream media and creates an alternative universe.”

Parler is just the latest iteration of this phenomenon, Rosenthal explained.

I guess that’s one way to put it.

As it’s grown, Parler has become a way station for hate speech and misinformation that Twitter and Facebook wouldn’t allow. The site is also where many Trump supporters are spreading the false narrative that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. The burgeoning influence of Parler is part of a broader trend of fringe outlets like One America News and Newsmax hoping to reel in an audience of Trump loyalists, especially after he leaves office.

Another might be that as the Woken SS take over a place then normies go off somewhere else.

Amazingly, he’s fighting the last war

But, as I have already noted, the assumptions that underpin this are that business and consumers spend, spend, spend from 2022 onwards and there is simply no evidence based on past economic recoveries, where caution persists for a long time after recovery begins, to suggest that this is likely.

His already noted part is a piece which looks at post-2008. That is, not past economic recoveries but the last economic recovery. Which is a pretty thin evidence base really, one time in one place.

Actual economists who opine on such things have pointed out – in fact good ones, like Krugman, were pointing this out in 2008 – that recessions following a Kaboom in the financial system – or accompanied by, or which cause, your taste there – take a long time to recover from. Recessions so unaccompanied do not.

He’s fighting the last war and only the last war, rather than looking at what economics and economist actually have to say. But then this is Snippa, isn’t it?

No Tom, this is what *you* want

The reality is that neither Sunak nor the Tories or Britain’s wider political class have woken up to the essential truth of the pandemic: Britain needs structurally higher government spending and that means permanently higher taxes, too.

This is the same thing Polly has been wailing about for decades. That Britain should have a larger state, paid for with more tax, like parts of Europe.

It’s a vision that the British haven’t bought into over those decades either. We do, after all, keep voting in people who don’t do it.

So who knows who is running this Plod scheme?

Members of the public will soon be able to directly upload to the police – for the first time – doorbell video footage of crimes, according to police chiefs.

Olivia Pinkney, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for local policing, said forces were aiming to have a standard online platform by next year that would allow crime victims to submit video when they reported an incident.

The move aims to capitalise on the explosion in video technology ranging from door bell cameras and dash cams in cars to CCTV and mobile phone images to enable the public to report crimes from thefts and burglaries to dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour.

Ms Pinkney said a pilot by her force with traffic offences drew 250 submissions from the public, of which a third resulted in police action.

It’s amazing what people on this blog know at times.

I’ve a piece of software lying around which would be a useful backbone for this system. Developed for the US military it was. The aim and idea being collection and monitoring of exactly this sort of input. It actually works right now too.

So, who should I go talk to?

We’ve been burying bodies for thousands of years

Surely – and as Mr. Venning said, the answer to any question which includes the word “surely” is “No” – peoplpe were aware of this?

As if the Danish government’s rushed decision to cull and bury more than 10 million minks wasn’t a grisly enough story, thousands of the animals’ bloated cadavers have begun to re-emerge from their shallow graves.

The phenomenon was reported by Denmark’s state broadcaster DR on Tuesday after mink carcasses were spotted popping up to the surface at a mass burial site at a military training field on Sunday.

“It is an extraordinary situation,” Thomas Kristensen, a press officer with Denmark’s National Police, which is responsible for the mink burials, told state broadcaster DR.

“In connection with the decay, gasses form, which cause the whole thing to expand a little, and then in the worst case they get pushed out of the ground.”

Bodies need to be buried deeply to stop this happening. That’s why it’s “six foot under”.

OK, doesn’t have to be six foot for a mink but the principle remains. We don’t use shallow graves for a reason.

Statistics, statistics

The Tre Professore has told us this morning that very few people understand UK economic statistics. Apparently, because the ONS site isn’t very good.

Hmm, it could be because some people just don’t understand economic statistics:

What is happening is aberrational. Households are saving almost 30% of their incomes.

Of course, that helps explain an economic downturn. This translates into a lack of demand in the economy.

No, no it doesn’t. The numbers being quoted are up to the end of June. We’re in November now, they are not current numbers. Further, the Telegraph can tell us what is actually going on:

The Office for National Statistics’ more detailed breakdown of the April-June quarter – the worst decline on record – showed average household savings jumping to a record high of 29.1pc after the shuttering of all but non-essential shops.

Household spending over the quarter sank by a record £80.5bn

Yes, and?

The UK economy is 21.8pc smaller than it was at the end of last year.

But thanks to the effect of the furlough scheme, as well as support for self employed workers, employee compensation “only” fell 2.2pc over the quarter.

People couldn’t go out and spend during lockdown. But they still had incomes. If you can;t spend then you must save. QED.

Professor cannot look up information

A bemoaning:

But they’re not alone in producing hopeless information. Until a couple of years ago the Treasury produced a useful monthly publication called te Treasury Pocketbook. They have now abandoned it. I know not why.

And the Office for Budget Responsibility replacement is not that good.

Is it really beyond the wit of the OS to publish a monthly pocketbook of economic data in an accessible form, with links to accessible explanation? I think that the minimum we should expect from them.

The, err, pocketbook sources are listed – by the government – here.

Sigh.

MMT!

Seeing off austerity will require the realisation that QE must be used to help finance longer-term measures to deal with regional inequality, the need for secure jobs in every constituency, the repair of our threadbare social infrastructure and the climate crisis.
Colin Hines
Convenor, UK Green New Deal Group

That’s really turning it into a magic money tree, isn’t it?

Just keep printing money until the heart’s desires of the ex-economist of Greenpeace* are achieved.

*I think?

Those arts graduates again

Like the mayors of all big cities, there was an international dimension to his office and in 1992 Dinkins visited the Canary Wharf development in London to promote New York as an international business centre. “In many industries, a leading company can hardly afford not to have a presence in the Big Apple,” said the mayor of a city with more than seven million residents and a budget of $30 million.

Only out by three orders of magnitude on that budget there.

I, for one, say let’s do it for the musicians

According to the Broken Record campaign, artists receive about 16 per cent of the income from streams, while record companies take about 41 per cent and streaming services 29 per cent.

The committee heard that while musicians were struggling the biggest record labels — Universal, Sony and Warner — were making record profits.

Many musicians are lobbying for streaming platforms to employ an Equitable Renumeration system, which is used to cover royalties due from music played on radio and gives a roughly 50-50 split between artists and labels.

Great. Let’s do it.

Altho’ someone should point out to the musicians. Radio only pays songwriters, there’s no payment to acts or musicians. Streaming pays songwriters and musicians……

College is voluntary love, voluntary

And you do know what voluntary means do you?

Students at Liberty University have to sign an honor code, which describes accepted and forbidden behavior – and LGBTQ students fear they have to remain in the shadows to graduate

It took one weekend to leave Tessa Russell truly exposed.

On 6 April 2019, her girlfriend Ash Ables traveled to Liberty University in central Virginia to surprise her. They had been dating for four months, but it was her first time visiting Russell on campus.

The two were eating pizza in front of the TV when Russell’s resident adviser (RA) swiped into the room, catching the couple off guard. Because same-sex relationships are effectively verboten at the evangelical Christian school, Russell immediately tried to pass the relationship off as platonic.

Her resident adviser wasn’t buying it, and ordered Ables to leave campus. Russell frantically reached out to her Liberty LGBTQ network, and the couple crashed at a friend’s apartment.

Then Russell’s cellphone rang. Her RA demanded that she return, saying the two “could not be together”. Feeling that she didn’t have a choice, she left Ables and went back to her dorm at 3am, where her adviser was waiting.

“You know, you can get counseling for this kind of thing. These relationships are sinful. I recommend you go to therapy for this,” Russell was told.

“It was just painful because it was so shameful – even though it’s something that should not be – I have a girlfriend who I love. There was nothing wrong with that, but it was just so looked down upon by my peers,” Russell, who graduated in the spring, told the Guardian.

Here’s the thing. Why would a lesbian go to a university which says that being a lesbian is a sin? There being some tens of thousands of places across the country that are willing to take the cash in return for the degree certificate.

Why would you do that?

Of course, it’s possible, on further investigation, to think that there might be a slightly different problem here:

Those folks down south are known to have had the occasional problem with miscegenation as well.