Tim Worstall

Pay rates that might not quite make it

The Ultimate Sports Network is expanding our service to include coverage of the English Premier League. We require passionate fans of a particular team to communicate with your audience, an audience in need of information and entertainment.

Qualified candidates must be able to communicate utilizing proper grammar.

This a remote position, so qualified candidates must be able to work with a minimum level of supervision and follow instructions when provided.

We are seeking media members that are also passionate about their team, so please apply for your favorite team only.

Job Type: Part-time

Pay: From $5.00 per hour

Education:

High school or equivalent (Preferred)
Work Location:

Fully Remote

They’re looking for folks for pretty much any team. For an addict it would be quite fun. But $5 an hour?

Where’s my prize?

And where was the economics prize that might have gone to someone suggesting we might just need to change the way we manage resources if we are to survive? There wasn’t one, because the whole theme was that we definitely didn’t want to upset the status quo.

Pity The Sage has missed that they’ve already given the Big One, the Nobel, to the bloke who has already told us that. William Nordhaus and let’s have a carbon tax. And the subsidiary one, the peerage, to Nick Stern for saying the same thing.

You know, the solution that The Sage can’t bear to accept. Largely, one assumes, because the solution doesn’t emanate from The Sage.

Idiot

The prime minister of Spain plans to ban prostitution, 26 years after the country decriminalised it.

Pedro Sánchez, 49, denounced the activity for “enslaving” women, and vowed to initiate a significant change in the law.

Speaking at the end of a three-day congress of his Socialist party in Valencia yesterday, he said the party would draw up legislation to ban prostitution, and punish those who profit from it — including clients and places which allow the sale of sex.

The major effect will be that profits made by intermediaries will rise.

They just can’t help themselves, can they?

He calculates that if the UK installs 100 megawatts of tidal power a year as part of a growing global market, by 2040 the industry could be contributing £4bn a year to Britain’s economy.

Up to 14,500 jobs would be created either building or maintaining offshore tidal power systems – many of them in coastal or remote areas which the Government is keen to level up.

Might be lovely stuff, might be a disaster, but those jobs are a cost, not a benefit.

Wonder how many noticed?

Scotland’s civil service agreed to delete the word “mother” from its maternity leave policy in response to pressure from transgender rights activists, it has emerged.

That maternity rather implies the existence of mother? That, with a bit of cod linguistics, we’d even say that it’s the state or process of being a mother – mater?

Bit annoying

The man arrested on suspicion of murdering David Amess had considered killing other MPs, the Telegraph understands.

The investigation into the tragic death of Amess suggests he was not specifically targeted, but picked at random as part of a plot to kill any national politician.

Imagine the annoyance of dying on the basis of eenie, meenie, miney, mo.

Of course, we all do in the end, whether random chance or weighted that this bug or that cancer takes hold. But still.

Old habits die hard, eh?

Three people have been arrested in southern Italy after a police raid on a cannabis farm led to the discovery of hundreds of dead and alive protected dormice apparently being eaten by local mafia as part of ritual peace-making dinners.

On top of 235 caracasses stuffed in a freezer, police found several cages of live dormice that were being fattened up for the kill. Three people were arrested on suspicion of capturing and slaughtering a protected species.

Despite being illegal to hunt or eat, dormice are a popular delicacy in parts of southern Italy and some restaurants serve them up in secret, keeping their fluffy tails intact so that they are distinguishable from other mice.

We have recipes from the area that are at least 2,000 years old.

And, of course, if they’re raising them for consumption then they’re hardly damaging the wild population, are they? Sorta like saying stop eating cows in order to save the aurochs.

The rhetoric needs to be a little better

There is discussion in newspapers today of MPs being fearful for their physical well-being. I think it profoundly unfortunate that they are. I also think that it is apparent that their safety must be ensured. Whilst safety can never be guaranteed it is apparent that more can be done to protect them. I think doing so would be wise.

But I want to add a discordant note. I do not in any way wish to undermine the significance of MPs’ fear. I wish to show no disrespect to the late Sir David Amess. But MPs are not the only people to know the reality of fear in the UK. Nor was his the only unnecessary, and so to be regretted, death on Friday.

The Treasury is reported to be trying to undermine planned green investment in the UK. There will be countless, especially younger people, who will be profoundly fearful as a result.

If your pensions are not spent according to my mad plan about windmills then this is exactly the same as an MP being stabbed to death while talking to his constituents.

Disagree and you’re a neoliberal!

Horrible, but

Four Russians found dead at Albanian resort

Sauna goes wrong, asphyxiation. Horrible.

And the immediate thing that popped into my mind was something entirely different. Yes, OK, Albania, Adriatic. Coastal Croatia is lovely just to the north, so is Corfu just south. Mountains and wine dark sea and all that, why not resorts?

And yet, I’m old enough to find this very jarring. All that commie and socialism stuff. Iron Curtain etc. And Albania was deranged even by the standards of that nonsense.

What, resorts in Albania? No, don’t be silly – ah, hmm, perhaps the world really has changed in this lifetime?

Tsk

Our high commissioner to Australia, Vicki Treadell, has, presumably on instructions from No 10, told the Aussies (big coal exporters) that they should be doing much more to cut their emissions; and that, if they didn’t, “that would not be acceptable”. For her pains Treadell has been described as “a sanctimonious bore” by what are described as “Australian government sources”. They went on to accuse the Queen’s representative of “repeatedly overstepping the mark on climate change by giving us lectures on what our sovereign domestic policy should be”.

High Commissioners are the reps for the government. Governors General are the reps for the Queen.

Tsk.

Well, yes, it is a grift

But what’s much more fun is the outrage:

Female Spanish thriller writer Carmen Mola revealed to be three men

And? Given that the entire field is about made up stories the problem is?

Beatriz Gimeno, a feminist, writer, activist – and former head of one of Spain’s national equality bodies, the Women’s Institute – attacked the men for creating a female persona in their publicity for Carmen Mola books, over several years.

“Quite apart from using a female pseudonym, these guys have spent years doing interviews. It’s not just the name – it’s the fake profile that they’ve used to take in readers and journalists. They are scammers,” she said on Twitter.

There goes the sound of a less successful writer screaming “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?”

Last year, a regional branch of the Women’s Institute recommended one of Mola’s works as part of a selection of books by female authors including Margaret Atwood that could “help us understand the reality and the experiences of women in different periods of history and contribute to raising awareness about rights and freedoms”.

Perhaps the correct reaction is to celebrate the manner in which at least some men are fully in touch with their feminine side.

Twitter might not be the problem

Social media companies ‘must do more’ to protect MPs from online hate
Matt Warman, a former digital minister, warns that more action is needed on anonymous accounts that abusers can hide behind

Knives in churches, that might be a problem. But shouting out bad names online possibly not.

Isn’t this a terror

Texas Senate passes bill requiring students to play on sports teams corresponding with biological sex

The reason we have sex based teams is because certain important to sport attributes of humans – muscle mass, lung capacity, bone structure – are sex determined. So, when determining who goes in which sex team we have to use sex as our marker.

This really isn’t one of those difficult distinctions to make now, is it?

Ah, yes

National Grid is forecasting a winter margin – the buffer between supply and peak demand – of 3.9GW, or 6.6pc, with a range of between 4.2pc and 8pc.

And what’s it going to be on a still few days with a nice high pressure area over the country?

Snigger

He began with this text, the opening paragraph of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments
….
This is the fundamental perspective of economics that it seems that those who claim to be the followers of Smith, but are not, have forgotten. Economics should be about caring about the other person, because that really matters.

No, the idea is in the title of the book. This is about morals. It’s the other book that is about economics, Wealth of Nations.

Indeed, morals should inform our approaches to economics, just like they should inform our decisions on who we shag. You know, morals. But that doesn’t change what economics is about because it’s a positive, not normative, science. Fiddling with interest rates has the same effect whatever you think about starvling waifs. Cool, so you use economics to work out, well, if we do this then that over there will happen. Morals are about well, do we want that to happen? Therefore we’ll not do that other then, shall we?

Economics, that is, is amoral. Humans aren’t and shouldn’t be but economics is. Just like chemistry is amoral.

The New Statesman gives us the peak of the Laffer Curve

How cool is this?

Clearly 42% marginal tax rates are soceitally undesriable then. Which means that top tax rate (47% ish, 45% plus 2% NI) needs to come down, as does that 60% plus as the personal allowance fades out as does, well, all tax rates really once we add in employers NI.

How cool that it comes from this source!

How Cool!

It’s easy to feel pessimistic about the climate. But we’ve got two big things on our side
Bill McKibben
One is the astonishing fall in the cost of renewable energy. The other is the huge growth in the citizens’ movements demanding action

So the action being demanded has already happened and we’re done!

So that’s what Mark Lynas has been up to is it?

I wondered where he’d been. For there was that wailin’ of a decade back that ohmygodwereallgonnadie and then the reverse ferret of actuallyyouknowitsnotgoingtobequiteasbadasthat.

So, what’s the next thing? Can’t be writing books and articles about climate change without some contrarian point to make after all. So, what’s going to be the girtbigclaim to be made in a shocking and powerful book that keeps the grants and commissions rolling in? Why would poor island nations turn for advice to an advisor who wasn’t being radical?

So here we have the pitch on that next girtbigclaim:

Forget net zero – let’s have a ‘fossil freedom day’
Mark Lynas

Let’s just pick a day, somewhere off into the future, where we say we’ll never use fossil fuels beyond this point.

No, forget all we know about humans and politics and government. That this requires armed wardens guarding the Forest of Dean to ensure that no commoners scrape out a few hundred pounds of that surface coal. That some international source of control will be necessary. For what if some place decided not to and didn’t have to retreat to being medieval peasants as a result? Who is going to take on China which produces the germanium that makes fibreoptics work, the Ge gained by burning coal?

No, no, let’s just go for it!

My suggestion is extremely simple: we set a date for the worldwide exit from fossil fuels, a sort of independence day from carbon. Like all ideas that eventually become mainstream, at first sight this looks preposterous. You mean, we actually have to stop burning oil? No more petrol? No more LNG tankers plying the world’s oceans? No more giant coal machines scraping up carboniferous forests from underneath medieval villages in eastern Germany?

Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. A fossil fuels exit date forces us to confront what net zero doesn’t – that we have to actually entirely stop combusting carbon.

Gosh, what bravery, such iconoclasm!

I propose 2047,

Oh, why?

Fittingly, 2047 is also exactly a century on from the year of Indian independence in 1947,

Twattery of the highest order.

We should time a change in the energy system of the world to mark the ascent to political power of Edwina Mountbatten’s lover ?

Well, that’s certainly radical. Twattish, but radical. And it’ll provide at least a decade’s worth of opportunities to campaign, write, be commissioned, talk show appearances and book readings before the inevitable reverse ferret.

It also entirely ignores everything that we know about climate change. What the IPCC, Stern Review, Bill Nordhaus and his Nobel, every damn economist on the planet actually, has been saying. Which is that old saw, prices matter.

What’s the price of stopping the use of fossil fuels on that orgasmic (well, we suppose it was for Edwina, she did go back often enough) date? What’s the benefit of doing so?

What those actual numbers are doesn’t matter for the logic here. Pick any set you like but you do have to do the calculation.

For as all those economists keep trying to point out the aim isn’t to have no climate change. We’ve already sold that pass by agreeing that we’re not going to stop the use of fossil fuels at 3 pm Tuesday afternoon next week. For we’ve all also agreed that 1 or 3 or 5 billion dead folk is a rather high, a too high, price to pay for not having 1.5 oC of gorbal worming. We think that wouldn’t be a maximisation of human utility over time – which is, as the economists keep insisting, the actual goal.

The actual aim is to have the right amount of gorbal worming. That right amount being the quantity of it, balanced against the not having it, which over the centuries best promotes the greatest interests of the greatest number.

Which is prices. The price of not having gorbal worming is somenumberofsmilingkiddiesnotenjoyingtheworldbecause economicresourceswerespentonidiotclimateschemes. The price of having gorbal worming is somenumberofsmilingkiddiesnotenjoyingtheworldbecauseeconomicresourceswerenotspentonclimateschemes.

We want to take the actions which maximise the numberofsmilingkiddiesenjoyingtheworld. We do not want to take the actions which maximise the numberofsmilingkiddiesnotenjoyingtheworld. That means we want to take those actions which cost less, in the reduction in number of smiling kiddies now but maximise the future number, and not take the ones that cost more.

Prices matter, d’ye see?

The general answer from all those tens of thousands of economists who have worked on this problem specifically, the further tens of thousands who have worked on the base problem of externalities over the past century and a bit, is that you don’t set the target and you don’t then manage and plan to gain the target. Instead you set up the mechanism, with prices. Then leave society and the economy to chew through that information – prices being information, d’ye see? – and we get to that maxima. Where we’ve balanced that future damage against damage now, where we’ve reduced future costs to the minimum consistent with not making humans, over time, worse off overall.

All of this being explained rather well by Bill Nordhaus – Nobel and all that? – by Artie Pigou that century back and the Stern Review is a 1200 page exegesis on the point. This is the collective human wisdom on the subject. Stick the $80 per tonne CO2-e on it and don’t, for God’s Sake, try to plan shit.

But Mark Lynas wants to propose something different. Because, well, got the publisher lined up yet Mark? Book tour booked? Script for the TED Talk ready?

Just a little reminder, it’s not self interest, it’s enlightened self interest.