Tim Worstall

This is a worrying idea

It’s true that none of these projects saved Covid patients dying of respiratory failure. But in the long run, the pandemic may give proponents of the humanities an unexpected opening to change the way we train doctors and think about health care.

So the same tossery – post-modernism and critical studies essentially – that has destroyed the humanities should now be extended to technical fields.

Oh Joy.

Finally, a question we can answer

And although many female celebrities like Kylie and Kendall Jenner received huge offers to enter the porn industry after turning 18, few mainstream media personalities have accepted the offers or even acknowledged these “jailbait” narratives that have existed for decades.

So what changed?

They were already famous. Unlike their older (half-) sister who did the sex tape before, and to become, famous.

He never really does think, does he?

The needs of all should be satisfied before wants are met.

There are children in Africa without toys. Yet a man in Ely runs a model train set.

There are areas of Africa that desperately need proper trains. Yet a man from Ely travels across Britain to see entirely leisure based railways.

We cannot presume consent: it must be actively given by another able to grant it.

That rather buggers the idea that peeps consent to higher taxes then, doesn’t it?

We should be aware that people can hold differing opinion in good faith. We should differentiate those doing so from others who hold opinion for personal gain.

No comment – because I’d be banned for commenting upon that.

On that Amazon union election thing

Workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, chose to take on one of the biggest companies in the world and form a union. If they were successful, they would be the first in the company’s history. The potential for similar efforts in thousands of warehouses across the country would have risen dramatically. Amazon, America’s second-largest employer, would have been forced to contemplate an entirely new relationship with its gigantic workforce.

When the results were in, however, the analogy broke down. Goliath had won.

So, why would a company be against the formation of a union? Because of what is said here, of course. The understanding is that the creation of a union would shift power from company to workforce. So, to avoid losing that power, be against the creation of a union.

Seems simple enough, no?

From the centre of the tech trade comes this:

So inevitably the union is going to be dragging your company’s managerial layers into prolonged wage and conditions negotiations, pursuing pet causes, trying to eject people that they regard as “undesirable” – e.g. anti-union, pro-business – while trying to retain people that management regards as “undesirable” – e.g. ineffective, spending too much time on pet causes. They’re going to seek “equity” of salaries – looking for differentials by gender, race and age and poking at anomalies. Their executive is looking for a steady income stream and an increasing amount of power, and they’re not going to take “no” for an answer.

The unionization struggle, I think, is going to be over approximately 1-2 years after a union gains a significant foothold in a major tech company. The highly productive people are going to see the brake on company productivity in general, and their salaries in particular, and go looking for employment somewhere they don’t have to carry as many passengers. In the mean time, the company is going to burn.

If you don’t believe me, look at the car manufacturers in Detroit.


It is obvious enough that there are some out there better than we are at everything. This is something I find in everything I attempt much to my annoyance. Yet it is still necessary for me to do something with my life so what should that be? Among the things that I could do I should be doing the one that I am least bad at – the comparative part of the advantage is among the things I can do, not in relation to what others can.

That is, if we all do what we are least bad at then production will be as high as it can be and we are all, in aggregate, as rich as we can be.

So, those who are differently abled in that modern sense, what should they be doing? Their abilities might be different, yes, they might even be lesser in every manner than others, but their decision is still just as with everyone else. They should be specialising in what they are least bad at just as the rest of us should be. Different skills and talents, OK, but equally human and facing the same life questions as the rest of us.

We have that 30,000-foot view then but one of the advantages of belonging to a culture, a civilization, is that we do not have to work through every question we face in our lives from first principles. We have that system of transmitting through the generations the lessons our forbears worked out the answers to – that is what a civilisation is. Or, of course, in this era of globalisation we can steal the answers from those who worked it out elsewhere.

Doesn’t work this way

The Queen married a man with more royal blood than her own – a circumstance unlikely to be repeated in royal history

OK, arguable – her Poppa was actually King after all – but take it as true.

The Queen and Prince Philip were both born of royal blood – but none of their children or grandchildren married royals

That’s why it’s more likely in the future. Or, at least, more possible.

The more the British royal family marry commoners then the more likely it is that if one of them does marry into the prince/princess circuit then that incomer will have more royal blood…….

A letter they didn’t publish

Can’t think why they didn’t myself:


David Leonhardt tells us that “cash taxes paid” is the correct measure for how much tax a corporation is really paying. This is nonsense. Using this measure his employer, the New York Times Company, appears to have had a tax rate of 63% in 2014, $21 million cash taxes paid on $33 million of profits. Good going in a country with a national profits tax rate of 35%.

The corporate income tax is largely paid in arrears. Cash paid in taxes in 2014 will largely be the taxes due on profits made in 2013. Those paid in 2015 those due from 2014. The system does not exactly work in this manner but largely so.

Thus companies whose profits are growing quickly will, by the cash taxes paid method, always have low tax rates. Those maintaining a humdrum stability will have rates near the statutory one. Those where, unfortunately, profits fall year on year, as with the NYT Co in 2014, will have rates well above the statutory rate.

This is not a sensible method of determining whether a corporation is paying what it really should.

Yours etc,

Tim Worstall

But I guess that even the NYT letters section works on a less than 5 year cycle so they’re not going to publish now.

Isn’t language lovely?

Or possibly, the rhetorical effects of word choices?

argued in favor of laws that require transgender people to undergo sterilization before legally changing their gender

This “sterilization” is also known as “full transition to correct gender” which is an operation that you should be paying for, haters. To argue otherwise is to deny trans people lifesaving medical treatment.

Fun question

makes me wonder about his pension. He was an Admiral, Field Marshal and Air Marshal. Did he earn three salaries and hence three pensions ?

Anne’s bloke, Timothy whatever, he made Vice Admiral as an actual job. Sure, pushed more than a bit but still. So, full pay and pension.

Philip definitely did enough years active service to get some pension, possibly a gratuity back then, possibly an actual pension.

But those Royal ranks, hmm, well?

Not sure:

The Duke of York has asked to defer an honorary Navy promotion he was due to receive when he turned 60, Buckingham Palace has said.

Prince Andrew was set to be promoted to Admiral on 19 February, in line with a policy that sees senior royals treated as serving military members.

But the palace said he had asked the Ministry of Defence to defer it until a time when he returns to public duty.

Does he get paid/pensioned as an Admiral? Or only the rank he achieved properly? Umm, Lt. Commander wasn’t he?

Re pensions Philip is probably easier as Admiral of the Fleet, not mere Admiral – alongside Field Marshal. And there are no pensions there, it’s half pay for life. I think.

I would venture a very assured guess that it won’t be three of those half pays.

But do the Royal ranks come with pay or not? Dunno – Jason Lynch might tho’……

A missed opportunity

There were occasions when Philip straightforwardly set out to be rude; because he could. When he met the Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda in 2002, he asked him what he had done before entering parliament. He had been a student and a trade union official, he replied. “You didn’t do anything then,” Philip said.

True, but, when Dhanda tried to turn the tables and ask, well, what did you do before you became the consort?

“Oh, I fought in the Second World War.”

Not including that part is indeed a missed opportunity.

Crass idiocy is still crass idiocy, ya kno?

For some time, it has been government policy to privilege the interests of private landlords over other homeowners. This process began in the mid-1990s when banks introduced buy-to-let mortgages, which assessed buyers’ creditworthiness on the rental yield from the property, rather than their existing income. Easy finance gave landlords an advantage over first-time buyers.

Banks were not directed to do this. They found out that it made sense to do this. This is a market, not government, response.

Buy-to-let landlords have also enjoyed tax relief: mortgage interest relief, and a wear-and-tear allowance.

Just like every other business in the country – the cost of providing the good or service is deducted from the revenues from doing so before tax on the profits is applied.

David Renton is a campaigner and barrister.

We must therefore conclude that David Renton is an idiot.

There are solutions. Take the idea of long-term renters in the private market establishing a right to buy the home in which they live. How is the policy likely to look to older homeowners? If it was directed at the single homeowner who split a two-storey house in half and rented out one floor of it, many other homeowners would find the idea objectionable.

But imagine if it was targeted at landlords owning a minimum of five properties (there are enough landlords in that position for it to make a difference). When someone is hoarding five homes, why shouldn’t they be forced to allow others to have a chance of owning their own homes, not to seek profit but to simply live there?

Politicians need to be brave enough to explain to voters that the hoarding of properties by commercial landlords doesn’t just hurt young renters but many homeowners too. A Labour party that forges a cross-generational alliance on this basis could reap serious rewards.

Yep, a mindgarglingly stupid man.

Because you’ve just banned pensions and insurance companies from providing developments of rental homes – even, rentals at affordable rents, as quite a number of them are doing.

In fact, taken as it is, this proposal bans housing associations……

The louder he talked of his honour

A car leasing firm is being investigated by fraud officers after it went bust owing £26m to hundreds of savers lured in with the offer of returns as high as 11pc.

Raedex Consortium – whose boss Reginald Larry-Cole has written a book on ethical capitalism – is facing inquiries from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) following its collapse last month.

The faster we counted the spoons.

Not a bad ending

In the end, it happened exactly as the Iron Duke would have wanted it – as ever, with his beloved wife by his side.

Determined to die at home rather than in hospital, Prince Philip was able to pass away “peacefully” at Windsor Castle, where he was Ranger for more than half a century, very much on his own terms.

As his frail condition worsened overnight on Thursday, with insiders warning that he was “gravely ill”, any talk of whisking the 99-year-old back to hospital was quickly dismissed by the Queen.

According to one well-placed source: “He spent most of the four weeks he was in hospital trying to get home. They operated on his heart in a bid to give him a little longer, maybe with the 100th birthday in mind. But he didn’t really care about that. He just wanted to be back in his own bed. There is no way he would have wanted to die in hospital.”

Aged 99, in your own bed, in your own palace, with wife by your side?

There are worse endings…..


Stump thinking. Or is it because today’s Friday?

To summarise the story, Brookfield claimed to be net zero because of its carbon offsetting and because of what are called its avoided emissions in its renewables business.

Avoided emissions are, of course, good things. They are what are being sought. The difficulty is that you cannot both count them once on the basis of the fact that they did not happen and then count them again as emissions avoided and so offset them against the emissions that you do make, which would seem to be what Brookfield was doing. They can only count once.

But in Sustainable Cost Accounting I am going to make everyone count their Scope 1, Scope 2 and also Scope 3 emissions. And as Scope 1 emissions are what’s in the supply chain and Scope 3 is what’s emitted by the use of the product, then that means I am double counting emissions because everyone’s use and supply is part of the next bloke’s supply chain.

But this isn’t a contradiction, no, candidly, it isn’t.

Now here’s an entrepreneur

The family’s only concession to entrepreneurialism was opening a kiosk on the promenade each summer to sell the lozenges to holidaymakers from Lancastrian mill towns who were staying in the boarding houses of nearby Blackpool and made a day trip on the tram to Fleetwood. Many suffered from respiratory problems as a result of unhealthy working conditions in the mills. On their return they would write to Lofthouse of Fleetwood to ask where they could buy the lozenges locally.

One day in 1963 Doreen picked up a pile of these letters and suggested to no little bemusement that she make a tour of Lancashire’s mill towns in her battered MG and visit every local chemist to show them the letters as proof that the product would soon disappear from their shelves. “They thought I was a little crazy,” she recalled.

The family gave her permission but no money for petrol. Diminutive, neat and attractive, the fiercely determined Mrs Lofthouse set off on her expedition, depending on a sale to buy the petrol to drive to the next town. She returned with dozens of orders.

That is, to a large extent, she did build that……

The product’s retro packaging also proved a hit overseas. The distinctive black and red lettering had first come about because Doreen’s mother-in-law, Frances Lofthouse, had originally typed the words “Extra Strong” in red, underneath Fisherman’s Friend in black, because she did not want to waste the red ink on the typewriter.

Canny folk up there, eh?