Tim Worstall


The autopsy report cited in the arrest warrant for the man charged with George Floyd’s murder suggested his death was due to hypertension and a heart condition; it was, in fact, caused by police brutality and violation of civil rights, and his health issues, if true, might be just part of that same spectrum of structural violence.

We’ll add the fentanyl intoxication to that structural violence causation, shall we?

Apparently Heinz Kiosk has come back as Rebecca Solnit.

Guardian economics again

Getting it the wrong way around:

The US is by far the largest importer, and its demand has been hammered. The current strength of the dollar will go some way towards offsetting the fall in American consumption. A more valuable dollar makes it more attractive to export to the US.

No, a stronger dollar makes it more attractive to import into the United States. People paid in USD now get more hours of other peoples’ labour for the same amount of their own.

The end effect is the same, more exports to/ imports into the US. But if you get cause and effect the wrong way around you’re never going to make sense of things.

Time’s money garcon

The tax may also limit the financial incentive to eat pre-cooked meals. An official report published last week found that the average home-cooked meal for four was €0.60 (about 54p) cheaper than its industrial equivalent. But when time spent preparing the meal was factored in at an hourly-rate equivalent to the French minimum wage, the home-cooked dish was on average €5.34 (about £4.76) more expensive.

At least they’re doing the calculation right. Time is money and time spent on domestic unpaid labour should be valued at the undifferentiated labour rate – the minimum wage.

A proper guild education

Her great-grandfather had been a tailor to Emperor Franz Josef of Austria and her grandfather Franz William Kaupe arrived in England in the 1890s to avoid conscription and carry on his father’s trade as a court tailor in Savile Row. As small boys, Ann’s father and two uncles were sent to work in the attic workshop of a large house in Sistova Road, Balham, to learn tailoring skills.

William became a master tailor in Burlington Arcade on Piccadilly and made uniforms for senior officers of the army, navy and air force throughout the Second World War. While her brothers had careers as a structural engineer and architect, Ann was attracted to tailoring from an early age. Her initial forays involved cutting up her bedspread and making her first evening dress, at age 13, from “bilious green satin”. Far from pleasing her father, he seemed appalled, demanding to know: “Why doesn’t the thread match?”

Oh aye?

A medical examiner has classified George Floyd’s death as a homicide, saying his heart stopped as police restrained him and suppressed his neck.

“Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the Hennepin county medical examiner’s office said in a news release. Cause of death was listed as cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.

Under “other significant conditions”, it said, Floyd suffered from heart disease and hypertension, and listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.

FentanylFentanyl – the dividing line between getting high and suppression of breathing unto death being rather fine with that drug.

Anyway, homicide. No, not the same as murder, murder is a form of homicide. Homicide being the killing of one human by another, which includes, yea, murder, as well as manslaughter and even the entirely justified – because there are such things and whether this is or not is the interesting question – killing of a suspect while trying to arrest them.

I’m generally with Dennis here, this is really about shitty training and oversight of police. But then I think that about the US police anyway.

Kill them, kill them!

Liverpool squad take the knee in tribute to George Floyd

No, not the players, none of us expect young footballers to be intellectual giants – no, not sneering, just a different application of talents – but the journalists. Taking the knee? We’re not Americans damn you. They’re kneeling!

That African American experience of slavery really was unique you know

Passport details
Lady Florence Baker, née Flora Barbara Maria von Szász, or Sass. Born 6 August 1841 in Nagyenyed, then in the Kingdom of Hungary, now Aiud in present-day Romania.

Claim to fame
The details of Florence Baker’s early life are sketchy – for dramatic reasons. As an orphan she was sold into the Ottoman slave trade, and in 1859 found herself on the auction block in Vidin, in present-day Bulgaria. Blonde, blue-eyed and polylingual, she caught the eye of English traveller Samuel Baker, who bought her.

The uniqueness of that African American experience being that it involved more sea journeys. Chattel slavery not being something even odd in the historical record.

Dear Ms. Malik

If there was any doubt about the true nature of this government, it has now been erased: the country is run by a small, tight-knit group of arrogant and talentless entitleds. Apart from riding the public to office, they have no interest in our safety – or our respect. We must do our duty and submit, because these are the new pandemic rules, stripped back to an essence that in normal times would be more carefully obscured. In short: know your place.

Any illusions that we were ever protected from the rank contempt of our rulers by the logic of democracy – because the government embodies the will of the people who elected it – are now gone.

Well, we can in fact say that the majority of the country somewhere between dislike and despise you and your whining. That’s why you’re writing for a minority interest paper like The Guardian instead of something that actually sell like the Daily Mail. So, that he elected government is ignoring you and your whines would show that they’re doing pretty well in that logic of democracy.

This was always true Matey

Lockdown rules are now “unenforceable” and the public will “do what they want to do”, policing leaders have warned.

They said the sunny weekend had been marked by widespread breaches of the lockdown which one senior police figure suggested was “to all intents and purposes ended.”

It may have been – was – possible to get the vast majority of the British to lockdown by telling them about the pandemic. But it never was enforceable, in the sense that the police, the army, or any other set of state power, could have forced adherence to those regulations if the peeps had said bugger it.

By and large it is still true that policing is by consent in the UK….. the police can only get people to do what people agree to do that is.

We knew this but still, it’s a nice admission

The government has only got four economic tasks.

It has to make sure anyone who wants a job can have one.

It has to make sure they can live on the wage that they earn, and help if they cannot.

It has to make sure that the jobs people people have don’t harm our long term survival.

It has to make sure it can deliver all the support that’s required to deliver these objectives, from education and healthcare, to security, justice and defence, onwards.

Not a single mention of freedom or liberty there…..

We’re going to have a hell of an inflation rate – or tax rate, of course

And that’s all because they pretend that the debt subject to QE will sold back into markets one day, which would literally not now be possible: there’s just too much of it.

So, OK, we print money so that government can spend it. Shrug. At some point the economy returns to normal. That increase in the money supply is going to boost the inflation rate. Substantially. To which there are two responses. We can sell those bonds back to the market, collect the cash and cancel it. Or, we can do as MMT says, and raise tax rates to collect the money and cancel it. And if there’s too much QE to be able to sell the bonds then what will the tax rate have to be?

Because it’s a shit idea that shouldn’t be enacted

If now isn’t the time for a Green New deal, why not?

From our ever popular series, Ritchiebollock questions that we can answer.

In slightly more detail, the Stern Review insisted that we should not try to plan our response to climate change, Instead, stick on a carbon tax and allow the answer to be emergent. Largely on the grounds that if we did try to plan it then we’d end up with purebred bollocks like the Green New Deal. The planners of which are so amazingly incompetent they think jobs are a benefit instead of what they are, a cost.

Plus, of course, we really want to turn over the design of our entire economy to Caroline Lucas and Richard Murphy, right?

Hmm, well, yes….

Avery ordinary-looking metal canister will appear on BBC primetime series The Repair Shop next month. The size of a holdall, it looks like something found in a suburban garage. But it holds an incredible past. The simple container once held guns, ammunition and hand grenades dropped to the man who was perhaps Britain’s most important agent in occupied France: Major Francis Suttill, codenamed Prosper.

“He created this enormous network in just a few months – more than anyone expected him to,” says his son, also named Francis, who brought the canister to the show. “It was amazing in the circumstances. But then it fell apart due to bad luck and bad security by one of his lieutenants.”

There’s an optimal growth rate for a secret network. Fast enough to be able to do stuff, but not so fast that it accepts people who are security risks. The only perfectly secure one being the one person who never communicates and that’s of no use at all.

The stunning efficiency of the British state

Britain’s disastrous decision to abandon testing for coronavirus occurred because health systems could only cope with five cases a week, official documents show.

Newly-released papers from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies shows routine testing and tracing of contacts was stopped because Public Health England’s systems were struggling to deal with a handful of cases.

At a meeting on Feb 18, advisors said PHE could only cope with testing and tracing contacts of five Covid-19 cases a week, with modelling suggesting it might only be possible to increase this to 50 cases.

That’s really very useful in a pandemic, isn’t it?

PHE has, however, been excellent at stopping people doing that evil vaping thing so that’s all right then.

Could be a connection here, could be…..

It has been called the “Minnesota paradox”. The Twin Cities, comprising the conjoined urban areas of Minneapolis and St Paul, regularly tops the list of places in the US with the best quality of living.

Largely low rise and sprawling, set around the cities’ lakes and the Mississippi, the area is marked by affordable and largely good quality housing with lawns, parks, museums and tree-lined streets.

Its politics too have long reflected a strong progressive strand, represented by figures such as the late senator Paul Wellstone, once described as the most liberal member of the Senate. Employment – pre-pandemic, at least – was high, and St Paul serves as the global headquarters for 3M.

But there is another side to living in Minnesota, often ignored. Factor in the black and ethnic minority experience, and the state is suddenly not such a good place to live.

Perhaps being ruled by liberal progressives ain’t all that much of a good thing for blacks and ethnic minorities?

Given that most cities are run by Democrats – which is the only place you’ll find liberal progressives – and that cities are where the black and ethnic minority experience is totally shit there could be something to this. If we were to use that scientific method of analysis, calculating by outcome instead of intention.