Tim Worstall

A thought

One that isn’t fully fleshed out you understand. But, as here:

It’s also possible to invert the entire discussion and point out that we all already agree with this thought anyway. Exactly those who tell us that, say, blood must be donated voluntarily, are likely to be those who also insist that we don’t solely rely upon charity to solve poverty and inequality.

We must instead tax and then use government to hand out that forcibly acquired revenue to solve that problem. No, this doesn’t mean I think we should use force to gain kidneys for transplant. But by insisting that voluntary action, charity, won’t solve the problem we have just agreed that voluntary action, charity, won’t solve the problem. We thus have to use some other method to do so.

We must use only voluntary donation to provide organs for transplant. OK, fine, fair enough, but that does leave some people dying.

We cannot leave it purely to voluntary and charity to alleviate poverty because some will die. OK, fair enough.

Where this falls down is that it’s only in Poul Anderson novels that forcible transplants take place. Or maybe Chinese prisons.

But it is interesting, at least I think so, that most people on one side of either of those statements will be on the other side of the other. Those who would insist that we cannot use paid markets for body bits would be, in my experience at least, those most vehement against relying purely upon charity to deal with poverty.

Well of course they are

‘They’re all passing the buck’: UK travel firms flout the law on holiday refunds
Thousands of UK travellers face long struggle to get their money back for trips cancelled because of pandemic

They’ve spent the money already. Block booked hotels, sorted out the transfers from the airport, paid the advance on the allthesangriayouc’ndrink’n’vomitwelcomeparty and all that. They haven’t got the money they’ve been paid so of course they’re being resistant in paying it back.

It’s a fair and useful and not entirely true statement to say that all and every travel firm – including near all airlines – is bust. If they have to pay all the bookings back they are that is. If they can switch them into vouchers for future trips, or blame someone else, then perhaps they’re not. Sorry ‘n’ all that but that’s reality.

Yes, I know, he’s one of my bosses

And yet this is indeed, not just because he’s a boss some levels up, a lovely little line:

That is especially true when the person who made you order the salad rather than the burger, or stop at the second glass of wine — the person, in fact, for whom you were happy to do those things — is no longer there.

Robert Colville on the death of his wife.

Losing a loved one before their time is an awful thing, and I can’t save my children from going through it.

Cool

The gaming industry is particularly conducive to a culture of misogyny and sexual harassment, Ms. Gordon said, because straight white men have “created the identity of the gamer as this exclusive property.” When women, people of color or L.G.B.T.Q. people try to break into the industry, she said, the “toxic geek masculinity” pushes back in ways that often lead to sexual abuse and bullying.

Gaming studios are often reluctant to defy those fans, Ms. Gordon said, but recently it has become clear that there is a demand for a variety of video games that appeal to all types of people, which requires more diversity among game designers and could necessitate changes in the industry.

So all the people who are not cis white males should band together to write games for all the people who want games written by non-cis-non-white-non-males.

After all, there’s a market for it, it’ll fly off the shelves, right?

Capital won’t be a problem either as all investors will see the market to be addressed as well.

Well, yes…..

We know – and the government knows – that LGBT+ people suffer disproportionately from mental health issues

This is true.

The important thing is to work out why this is so?

due to multiple factors: discrimination, lack of family support, long waiting lists for essential treatment, social isolation and so on.

Well, yes, that’s also undoubtedly true. But possibly not the whole story. After all we do insist that some forms of body dysmorphia are mental health issues in themselves, do we not?

Isn’t state planning great?

UK manufacturers are to export surplus medical ventilators after they produced 14,000 to treat coronavirus patients only to find that most were not needed.

Boris Johnson hailed the success of the “ventilator challenge”, which began in mid-March when he urged British industry to help produce up to 30,000 of the devices amid fears that NHS supplies could be overwhelmed.

Fried Noodle!

Those who retain an online presence are finding ingenious ways around the new restrictions. The protest slogan “Gwong fuk Heung Kong, si doi gak ming”, which means “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, has been declared illegal. Online activists are circulating a similar sounding slogan — “Yin yuk heung cheung, si choy cha min” — which means “Bacon, sausage, vegetables, fried noodle”.

In some online groups, the words “sausage” or “fried noodle” are enough to signal support for the protest movement.

Even…sausage!

Now there’s service for you

Two Mexican women who discovered that they were having an affair with the same married man decided to take the ultimate revenge: they organised his contract killing.

Ana Laura Jaramillo and Alhelí Mendoza, who are thought to be in their thirties, have been sentenced to 43 years and nine months each in prison for the murder on April 2, 2018, which was the day they found out they were being cheated on.

Some industries in some places can get right down to providing the promised service. Other witter about too busy mate, can’t do it for months Guv and all that.

Mexico – where the hitmen can be found, hired and in action the same day.

Obviously that effect of competition in the private sector…..

It’s the Chuck Berry crime

Maxwell, 58, was charged on Thursday in a 17-page indictment with allegedly enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, conspiracy to commit both of those crimes, and perjury related to a sworn deposition. If convicted, she faces up to 35 years in federal prison.

The important but not said there being “transporting across state lines” which is what makes it a crime for the Feds. And, yep, this is what Chuck did a couple of years for.

There’s a wide spectrum of said crime too. If, say, the age of consent is 18, and you drive a date over the state line then park up and hubba bubba, said date being 17, then that’s this crime.

If you, purely as a theoretical illustration you know, organise vast fleets of young teens to service rich old men it’s the same thing.

But, but, but….

Eyebrows have been raised in Royal circles at suggestions Meghan has endured “hundreds of thousands of inaccurate articles about her” – with some questioning whether the Duchess understands the difference between untrue headlines and simply negative ones.

A negative headline about perfection such as she is a wrong one, obviously!

The answer perhaps lies buried in the legal papers. In one section, about the level of “wealth and privilege” the couple enjoyed in Britain, the Duchess’s team say their public funding was “relatively nominal,” with costs for their May 2018 wedding met by the Prince of Wales and paid security only for the protection of crowds.This “was far outweighed by the tourism revenue of over one billion pounds sterling that was generated from the royal wedding … which went directly to the public purse,” claim the legal documents, which do not quote a source for the figure. Republic, the anti-monarchy campaign group has described this as “complete fiction”.

Republic is right of course. The tourism revenue doesn’t go to the public purse, that goes to whoever is selling the tourism services. Further, it’s probably that there was no extra such revenue anyway. As there wasn’t for the Olympics. Sure, lots of people came to London for said Olympics, they spent money. And lots of other people avoided London because of the Olympics and didn’t spend money. The nett being around zero.

After all, how often do we see the streets and squares of London as howling wastelands devoid of tourists?

There has even been talk of Meghan running for the White House.

Now that’s funny.

So, the offer of a deal starts

The revelation that Ghislaine Maxwell will never sell out the Duke of York comes from a controversial confidante who has known the Maxwells for years.

So, here, presented through my “long term friend” is my first offer of a deal. What do I get if I do sell?

Sometimes the lying is just too obvious

The Washington Post reported that on June 14, the Federal Reserve estimated that “more than $6.5 trillion in household wealth vanished during the first three months of this year as the pandemic tightened its hold on the global economy…. roughly equivalent to the economies of the United Kingdom and France combined.”

As Chuck Collins, Director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good observed “since March 18th, the US Billionaire class has seen their wealth increase by 20%, or $584 billion, since the rough beginning of the pandemic.”

Look at the time periods again.

A note for MMTers

Not that Snippa will take note:

For it was not merely the government that had over-borrowed. The central bank had borrowed from private banks to maintain a fixed exchange rate with the dollar that kept down the price of imports: imports of food and fuel, for everyone, and of luxury goods, for the rich.

You can’t control both the quantity of the money and also its price. If you print lots more then the value will go down.

Well, not quite, no

When the British socialite and media heiress Ghislaine Maxwell arrived in New York City in 1991,

Rather the point was that there was no inheritance…..

Although that became more apparent in 1992, fair enough….

Isn’t this a horror

It’s official: America has the most billionaires in the world, for yet another year.

OK, Google tells me it’s 614 of them.

Finland, the happiest country in the world, has just six billionaires.

Hmm, Finland’s population is 5.5 million, the US 330 million. So, adjusting for population size we’d get 360 Finnish billionaires. Sure, that’s different from 614 but not that different, is it? Also, the US GDP per capita is about 24, 25% higher, again closing the gap.

As usual, The Guardian is giving us numbers not rates and being misleading in doing so…..

66% of the public are morons

Why do they wish to bring back state slavery, helotry, for their children?

National Service should be brought back, two thirds of the public have said, as Boris Johnson and the Queen issue thanks ahead of Armed Forces Day.
While the period of compulsory service in the Armed Forces was phased out in the UK by 1963, two-thirds of Britons said that they would support its reintroduction, with many believing that it should be compulsory.

A more subtle point being perhaps that they think it will teach people the value of authority and all that. When the actual outcome of that 1950s was the explosion of sod all authority ‘n’ it can bugger off in the 1960s. nothing more likely to make people hate the state and its corporals than actually being subject to them for a couple of years.

Ooooooh!

The suspects were as baffled as anyone as to why they were suddenly being picked up, perhaps fearing the work of a supergrass. But then, on June 12, some of the most senior members of Britain’s criminal fraternity received a text on their mobiles that made everything clear. The top-secret, encrypted messaging platform EncroChat, which they had for four years used for their business, had been compromised by law enforcement agencies. The message from the shadowy France-based provider was stark: “We can no longer guarantee the security of your device. We advise you to power off and physically dispose of your device immediately.”

But for many of the 10,000 UK users it was too late. The police had already begun kicking down front doors. EncroChat handsets, which cost around £3,000 a year, provided gangsters with a supposedly secure network on which they could deal drugs, order gangland hits, arrange money laundering and carry out their underworld activity.

Emerging in 2016 to replace an end-to-end encrypted service that was disabled, EncroChat became the go-to platform for top-tier criminals.

Britain’s National Crime Agency, with European law enforcement bodies, had spent four years trying to crack the system without success. But in April, cyber specialists working with the French police managed to hack into the network without being detected.

They were able to eavesdrop on millions of chilling messages and harvest a treasure trove of evidence. Nikki Holland, director of investigations at the NCA, said: “It was like getting the keys to Aladdin’s cave”, while her deputy, Matt Horne, likened it to “cracking the criminals’ Enigma code”.

Entirely unconnected, didn’t James Stunt just get arrested?

And the bloke I’d really like not to be at the moment is the cryptographer behind EncroChat. That sounds like a rather desperate position to have right now.

See how expensive the plan is!

Snippa telling us how lovely his Green Plan will be:

A huge number and range of jobs will required to install, service and update this
massive retrofitting programme. They will include general builders, roofers and
labourers, plumbers, heating and air conditioning engineers, joiners, window fitters,
insulation specialists, plasterers and renderers, electricians, carpenters, painters and
decorators, solar PV roof fitters, engineers, building scientists and researchers.

Jobs are a cost, not a benefit. This is detailing how expensive the programme will be.

And guess what he and Hines don’t do? That’s right, consider how much of this insulating of houses has already been done…..

Oh FFS

But what landlords will soon learn us that when there are no tenants their priorities have remarkably little value. Evictions work when there are new tenants who can pay who are queueing for property. But such tenants will be few and far between soon. Then the financial crisis really begins.

At which point rents fall given the lack of willing tenants at current prices.

The government could solve this, of course. It could provide statutory deferral periods. And mandatory rent cuts.

Why should the government involve itself in something that is already solved?