Ms. Malik:

In a country already riven by economic and class inequality, Trump proved how easily such divisions could be exploited to benefit rightwingers promising economic prosperity for some at the cost of the rest.

The final pre-covid Trump year saw the lowest unemployment rates in two generations, the lowest black unemployment rate ever recorded, significant real wage growth, a fall in the poverty rate…….those rightwing bastards profiting from everyone else, eh?

So here’s a question for the economic statisticians

Poverty is less than 60% of median household income, equivalised.

OK. It’s also usually measured by looking at disposable income – after taxes and benefits. OK, should be, obviously.

But here’s the question. The median household income that that is supposed to be 60% of. Is that also disposable income? After taxes and benefits?

I’m sure it must be but on the other hand given the casuistry around poverty numbers it might, might, just, not be.

So, anyone know?

Allow me to translate this

Drew Nelson, the chief executive of IQE, one of Britain’s few semiconductor manufacturers, says the UK’s lack of production capacity leaves it exposed. “If the UK has to rely on foreign countries, which may or may not be friendly in the future, for all of its semiconductor hardware, it is going to be in a strategically extremely weak position,” he says.

“It’s an absolute tragedy because 30 years ago, when TSMC was founded, the UK led in the manufacture of silicon chips.The Government hasn’t really grasped the importance of investment in sovereign capabilities, in its own semiconductor industry.”

Nelson says the UK’s ability to produce its own chips should be a matter of national importance. The idle car factories and laptop shortages caused by the current shortage may well be seen as evidence of that.

All your money are belong to us”

A new silicon fab costs of the order of £5 billion. The UK doesn’t use enough chips of any one kind to make domestic production sensible – exports would have to happen to make a line economic. And if exports have to happen then we’re back to being reliant upon the rest of the world, aren’t we?

Erm, yes?

The UK’s lowest-paid workers are more than twice as likely to have lost their jobs in the coronavirus pandemic than higher-paid employees, according to a study revealing rising inequality amid the crisis.

The Institute for Employment Studies said one in 20 low-paid workers had fallen out of a job in each quarter since the pandemic struck – equivalent to 250,000 workers across Britain – compared with one in 50 of those on higher wages.

The lower paid are, by definition, more marginally attached to the labour force.


It’s gonna be an interesting test of MMT

Over the last year there has been a veritable explosion of the money supply. In the US, M2 has surged by 24pc. In the UK, M4 has increased by 12.8pc. And in the eurozone M3 has grown by 11pc. (In all three cases the expansion of the ultra-narrow measure of the money supply has exceeded 50pc.)

Me, I say inflation returning is likely. Spud that it’s all under control.


So, what’s new?

The Italian health ministry has been criticised after a draft of the country’s new pandemic plan revealed medics would be permitted to choose which patients receive life-saving care.

This is the first time Italy has updated its pandemic plan since 2006. The absence of an adequate plan is thought to have contributed to Italy’s coronavirus death toll of more than 79,000.

The draft copy of the pandemic plan for 2021-23, seen by the Guardian, stipulates that while health workers are obliged to provide the best and most appropriate care to patients, there are circumstances that may make it necessary to prioritise who to try to save.

Everything is always rationed. Those £30,000 per year QUALYs for example.

All that changes is how you ration, not whether. We do, after all, live in a resource constrained universe.

Horrors, horrors!

UK retail sales suffered the biggest decline in 25 years last year as the closure of non-essential shops during lockdowns more than outweighed the online spending boom fuelled by Covid-19.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said total sales fell by 0.3% last year from the level in 2019 – the worst performance since records began in 1995 – reflecting the impact of government lockdowns and shifting consumer spending trends.

A vast pandemic leads to a rounding error change in retail sales. Gosh, that is terrible, isn’t it?

Not the answer being looked for

Can you answer Manolo Makaveli’s question: “What are the limitations of market intelligence?”

The average IQ in a population is, by definition, 100. Half the people are more stupid than that. Markets are, therefore, not notably intelligent.

Their saving grace is that it’s the more stupid half that always ends up occupying the decision making positions in any non-market system.

Batshit Crazy

While the recent vaccine news has brought hope, it also has exposed the pharmaceutical industry’s broken business model,

The fastest ever, finest ever, response to a pandemic is evidence of a broken business model.

Yep, that’s Mariana Mazzucato alright.

An answer presents itself

But that point is likely to be a long way off, and in the meantime, Brexiteers have to spell out exactly what they plan to do with their newfound sovereignty.

Winning it back is one thing; using it effectively within the parameters of a country that politically is not yet ready for the monetary and fiscal disciplines of a European version of Singapore is quite another. We await the groundbreaking agenda with bated breath. It had better be good.

We should do the work to be able to be Singapore on Thames. A place that’s richer, growing faster, with a better health care system and which has also solved its housing problem. Whats not to like?

From the Observer

Conventional economic theory suggests that one of the most effective ways of bringing down prices is competition. Every new entrepreneur says they agree with that, but they tend to change their minds once their own company starts to dominate. Then maintaining their huge scale becomes the best way in which to serve customers.

Now let us apply that to the NHS. Or the education system.

The actual argument against MMT

MMT tells us how money is made and government is financed. We’re fine with it so far. It’s the next leap that worries – if government can just print to spend then of course it should until the economy is at full capacity.

This, at least, is my worry about it. Telling the politicians they’ve a blank chequebook until inflation appears worries. Partly simply because I desire a small government polity. But rather more because of this:

That the government should borrow extra funds to get the economy back on track is clear. That it is capable of borrowing wisely, and for a greener future, is in doubt.

Government’s simply shit at spending money. Whether they’ve printed it or borrowed it, they’re shit at the doing things with it. Therefore we want them to direct fewer of the collective resources, not more.

At Quora

Why is humanity constantly in a rush? Couldn’t a lighter work ethic still sustain a prosperous economic environment for everyone?

Tim Worstall

Mebbe. Now think about who gets to make the decision. In a free place, in a liberal polity, that’s the individuals who have to do the work, or who get to enjoy the leisure.

To an economist this is “utility”. That mix of communing with nature, slumping on the couch with a pizza, working to provide the cash for hyperconsumerism that people do. The economists’ assumption is that people rationally – rational here not meaning entirely calculating, but just consistently – maximise their utility.

OK. So, what do people actually do?

We’ve been doing less work and taking more leisure for about 800 years now.

What confuses people is the thought that work is what we get cash for. This isn’t true. Work is everything that isn’t personal time – sleeping, eating, washing – and isn’t lesiure. Work comes in two flavours, household, also known as non-market – caring for children and family, washing the clothes, cleaning house, cleaning the gutters etc, cooking – and market – going out to work for The Man.

The accurate description of working hours over the past 800 years or so is that we’ve been doing fewer and fewer household production hours, women have been doing more market hours, men less, and both men and women have been having more leisure.

Effectively, and not wholly accurately but it illustrates the point, we’ve been automating the household work and going out to work in the market to pay for it. In modern times think vacuum cleaner, washing machine, microwave, ready meals and so on. But it stretches back a long, long, way. The spinning wheel was the automation of hand spinning. The early industrial revolution the automation of the spinning wheel. And until you think about it you’ll not realise how much time women did spend upon hand spinning. At least hundreds of hours of labour a year for near each woman.

Another way to put this. We all, now, have vastly more leisure than even our grandparents, let alone those hundreds of years before us. Given that this is so we must have a lighter work ethic, right?

And how much lighter should it be than it is now? Well, that’s up to the people doing the work and taking the leisure, isn’t it?

Anyone use CoinBase?

Been testing out coinbase and doing a few of their tutorials on Crypto.

The “lessons” are simple, three multiple choice answers and you can get them wrong as many times as you want (as i did). You get $10 for each of the lessons you complete which i assume comes from the marketing department of which ever crypto. Its available to both new and existing CB users. Crypto transfer is instant after you select the right answers. Easy money for an afternoon on the sofa.

Lesson One

Lesson Two

Lesson Three

Do we have to put up with this damned idiocy?

Our social status also shapes how fair we think the world is. The higher we rank income-wise, the fairer we think inequality is. And our views shift with our social position. Moving down the income ladder, or losing your job, makes you recognise inequality as less fair.

Crippled JC on a goddam pogo stick.

Seriously, why do we have to put up with this sort of idiocy? What sort of damn fool equates class and income in Britain of all countries?

So QE works then

More money has been raised in IPOs in 2020 than in any year since the financial crash, according to Dealogic, and this year may surpass the 2007 peak. Markets have surged to all-time highs amid monetary stimulus measures and the prospect of a coronavirus vaccine boosting the economic recovery.

Sure, we can call it asset price inflation. We can also call it people moving out along the risk curve. The aim and idea of doing QE…….

It’s not new bloody research

Britain has the highest burden of property taxes in the world, new research has revealed, as the Chancellor looks at ways to raise even more revenue to repair the public finances.

I’ve been making the point for well over a decade.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that tax receipts generated from property climbed to £91bn in 2019, up from £88bn the previous year. Property tax receipts were worth 4.1pc of GDP, ranking top for a second straight year and just ahead of France, a typically high-taxing country.

The Government raises 12pc of its revenue from taxes hitting homeowners and business premises, such as stamp duty, business rates and council tax, the OECD revealed. That is around double the levels of property taxation seen in the average OECD country – a group of 37 developed nations.

This also isn’t even new research, they’ve been publishing the same set of stats – adjusted per year, obviously – ever since I can remember.

Do bugger off my lovely

Authorities are hamstrung by having to prove that mergers are harmful: a tricky business at the best of times. It is time to reverse the burden of proof so that instead it is the firms that must prove that the deal serves the public good.

Nobody knows. Sure, a few people have some convictions about stuff but no one actually knows. It’s also not possible to know – Hayek and all that.

Experience – the past couple of centuries of this markets and capitalism mixture – tells us that the best method we know of, the best method we’ve ever tried, is to allow people free rein with those convictions and ideas and see what turns up.

What you’re suggesting is that we all have to gain permission from the bureaucracy to do anything. Something that East German and all points poorer tells us doesn’t work.

So, my lovely, do bugger off would you? There’s a good little lawyer…….

Michelle Meagher is a competition lawyer and author of Competition is Killing Us: How Big Business is Harming Our Society and Planet – and What to do About it