Tim Worstall

That planned economy stuff

The P3 insists that governments can beat the markets. They can control their own money supply, interest rates and the FX rate all at the same time. This might not be so:

The Turkish lira plunged as much as 15pc after President Recep Erdogan declared he would win an “economic war of independence” and praised low interest rates.

The central bank cut rates last week from 16pc to 15pc despite inflation soaring to almost 20pc last month, which mainstream economists would usually try to control with higher interest rates.

It tends to be a bit more like engineering, faster, better, cheaper, where you have to pick two of the three, you can;t have it all.

Which is going to make that launch of the Bawbee a little fraught, no?

Pick me teach, Oooh, Oooh, pick me!

In that case a simple question has to be asked. If a gas company can be too big to fail – and it is now really apparent that this is possible – why shouldn’t the supply of domestic gas be nationalised since it is now clear that all the big players in this market are operating with an unstated but nonetheless profoundly implicit state guarantee underpinning the activities? Why in that case don’t we just create a state energy company to do the job instead? Call it English Gas if you like – because Scotland and Wales should have their own energy companies – and let’s move on. What is the counter-argument?

Because we’ve tried that and it was worse.

Now this I do not understand

Carer stabs man 12 times in homophobic rage after they have sex
He shouted “I’m not f***ing gay” after losing his temper when the man declined more sex

Helloo?

Even this doesn’t help:

Liverpool Crown Court heard

I thought Scousers were layabout tealeaves, not thick as pigshit?

All the Sacklers’ fault of course

It’s devastating’: how fentanyl is unfolding as one of America’s greatest tragedies
More than 100,000 people died from overdoses in a single year – driven primarily by one drug

The narrative is that the Sacklers, with their Oxycontin, made America into a land of opiate addicts. Then, when that supply was cut off, they went to fentanyl.

So, yah boo sucks to billionaires, right?

An alternative interpretation is that humans just love opiates and the Sacklers just happened to be legal purveyors for a time. I go with the second myself but that’s never going to win out as the public story. Because it’s today’s insistence, no individual is ever at fault, it’s always “them” who force us. Used to be the Joos, now it’s the capitalists, but it’s always them not us.

This isn’t about climate in the slightest, is it?

Men’s meaty diets are responsible for 40% more climate-heating emissions than those of women, according to a UK study.

The research also found a quarter of diet-related emissions were from “optional” food and drink, such as coffee, alcohol, cakes and sweets. The scientists said policies to encourage sustainable diets should focus on plant-based foods but switching drinks and cutting down on sweet snacks presented further opportunities.

Got to get back to working on that multiperson lamppost…..

No,absolutely not

Can get lonely still pacing that classically liberal path:

Victims could get a new independent right of appeal to challenge releases of criminals by the Parole Board after the recall to jail of Colin Pitchfork, the double child murderer, for approaching young women in the street.

Nope, no way, un uhn, fuck off.

The entire point is that it’s the Queen’s justice. Yes, we been done wrong. That’s a bad ‘un. But the punishment is going to be according to the law, as written down and understandable to all. The mob gets no look in, has no say.

Well, other than that jury which always has the nullification power of insisting that whatever the evidence that t’ain’t no crime.

This means no raises in sentence because the victim statement after conviction is a proper tear jerker, no lynching, no heavier sentence ‘coz the bloke’s from some class or background or another. Here’s the crime, here’s the time, that’s that.

We can argue against the very idea of parole – serve your time! We can argue that everyone gets it, come what may – roughly what we do have, folk serve what, a half of their sentence these days?

But no, we don’t have a system where some get punished more heavily because some part of the public don’t like ’em. Because that’s killing off the central point of the system. Rulz is rulz, whosoever you may be. A longer time served ‘coz of what some folks think of you breaches that, horribly.

No, fuck off.

Gorbal Worming

Surprise!

More than two dozen cargo vessels are stuck in Russia’s Arctic ice, waiting for ice-breakers to come to their rescue, after an inaccurate forecast from the country’s Met Office.

Maritime traffic in the Northern Sea Route has been on the rise in recent years as rapidly warming winters reduce ice cover, and Russia invests in its Arctic ports in preparation for a further boom.

But this year several segments of the Northern Sea Route froze up about a fortnight earlier than usual, catching many ships unawares.

I once met a bloke who’d rowed that route.

Still, no doubt this can usefully be explained by “climate change” now that we no longer call it global warming.

Gasping idiot

But what it does mean is that interest rate policy is never going to be the answer to the question as to how to tackle inflation again.

Sigh.

In the absence of absolutely any other ideas that I have ever seen on this issue I still suggest that my proposal for a financial transaction tax on all the financial flows through the bank accounts of all individuals and companies, with very low rates on those on lower earnings, progressing to higher rates as flows increase, is the answer to this question, whilst also simultaneously providing the mechanism to eliminate national insurance, which is a holy unjust tax.

So you drive transfers outside the banking system where the velocity of circulation might be higher, thereby increasing inflation?

What sodding crisis?

We are five to 10 years behind’: long road ahead for solving Australia’s textile waste crisis
Australia has the second highest rate of textile consumption per capita globally, but measures to address the issue are still in their infancy

Burn the stuff. Oz knows how to do that, the Abos had fire 40,000 years ago…..

Don’t let the civil service near anything at all

So, folks who want to come and work here do need to be filtered in some manner. Even if it’s just to sort out those who want to work from those who don’t. And yet we shouldn’t allow the civil service near anything:

Food industry figures complain the tests foreigners must pass are unnecessarily complicated, with few managing to garner enough points under the current system.

They argue the reading, writing and speaking requirements are equal to what is expected of doctors, teachers and chemical engineers, despite the language demands of those roles being much higher.

In some cases candidates are also tested on niche or bizarre subjects, the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers claims.

Official listening exercises that the trade body sampled asked applicants to listen to a recording and then answer questions on topics including a cheese rolling competition, basketball, emus, Burlington Arcade, crane flies, Charles Dickens and Matisse.

Lampposts, that’s the solution.

Twat is indeed twat

Prominent trans activist Paris Lees criticised Redmayne’s casting in 2015, saying: “What right does Eddie Redmayne have playing a transgender woman?

Ms. Lees, do you understand the word “actor”? The verb “to act”? It means “pretending to be what you are not for dramatic purposes”.

Once you grasp that basic bit of the English language you should be able to work out the rest.

A natural experiment

It is not surprising the bishop couldn’t recall Swealmeen: the Anglican cathedral had confirmed hundreds of asylum seekers from Muslim countries in recent years. The Home Office regards this as something of a scam: if the conversion to Christianity is accepted as genuine by a tribunal, asylum will be granted because such apostates are at risk if returned to their country of origin.

Last week The Times revealed an ad placed on Instagram by a people-smuggling network, claiming that conversion to Christianity was a way of winning an asylum claim “in the shortest possible time with the lowest cost”. In 2016 the Dean of Liverpool admitted there had been no similar rush to convert to Christianity among Muslims who already had British citizenship: “I can’t think of a single example.”

If you change just the one variable then do you get a different result?

Linguistic details matter

Blurred lines: can selling your body ever be empowering?

That specific question, as particularly asked?

No.

Apart from anything else it’s illegal. You cannot sell yourself into slavery.

Now ask the question as it really is:

Blurred lines: can renting out your body ever be empowering?

Answers might be different, might not be, but it is a very different question.

Ah, no, not quite

However, it comes with a price tag. Estimates by the World Bank suggest air freight is usually four to five times more expensive than road transport, and up to 16 times more than sea. This has typically meant only some products earn a plane ticket: certain fresh foods, time-sensitive documents, pharmaceuticals and cut flowers, for example.

Depends what you include as an expense. Air freight might take 5 days. Sea freight – even in good times – 45 days.

Say you had high value electronics. iPhones, say. $700 each, imagine. Cost of capital on $700 for 40 days is what? Further, it’s electronics, suffering a 1% per week (rough idea, you understand) depreciation rate.

Now, is air freight more expensive than sea or not? Tweak the numbers as you wish, but don’t forget to include that cost of capital plus depreciation.

Oh, Apple flies its iPhones. Funny that.

Of course, I don’t actually know about the BVI

But I do know a little about the next place over:

The British Virgin Islands is preparing for a referendum on removing the Queen as head of state and becoming a republic amid an escalating corruption row with the UK Government.

Corruption wouldn’t wholly surprise. A distant relative was a colonial adminstrator as a career. Specialised in small island nations. Gilbert and Ellice, Anguilla, Montserrat and T&C are the ones I know of.

He found it a bit surprising one day when “his” Prime Minister was filmed at the airport stuffing bundles of cash into his pockets. Said PM owning the refueling company and certain planes from S America wanting to refuel, quietly, before visiting the US. Got charged by the Americans too.

Not as odd as the rebellion against independence and insisting on becoming a colony (sorry, “overseas territory”) again, the struggle financed by selling the new postage stamps. But still, corruption in the area wouldn’t wholly, exotically, surprise.