Timmy Elsewhere

Elsewhere

Minimum wage rises cost jobs. People just will not employ workers when doing so loses them money. Harsh, unfair, and also true.

One-time economic adviser to President Biden, Jared Bernstein, notes that any significant minimum raise will indeed kill some jobs. But the folks who gain will gain so much that it’s all worth it. Well, worth it from the point of view of a Swamp-dweller planning other peoples’ lives, perhaps.

We never do get the offer to explain this logic — not just from Bernstein but from anyone — directly and in-person to the employee about to move to lose their job as a result. “Sure, you’re screwed, but look how much better off those other folks are!” would be an interesting message to watch being delivered within fist-to-nose distance. Perhaps we could sell tickets to aid in paying down the deficit or something?

Elsewhere

Minimum wage rises cost jobs. People just will not employ workers when doing so loses them money. Harsh, unfair, and also true.

One-time economic adviser to President Biden, Jared Bernstein, notes that any significant minimum raise will indeed kill some jobs. But the folks who gain will gain so much that it’s all worth it. Well, worth it from the point of view of a Swamp-dweller planning other peoples’ lives, perhaps.

We never do get the offer to explain this logic — not just from Bernstein but from anyone — directly and in-person to the employee about to move to lose their job as a result. “Sure, you’re screwed, but look how much better off those other folks are!” would be an interesting message to watch being delivered within fist-to-nose distance. Perhaps we could sell tickets to aid in paying down the deficit or something?

Elsewhere

Minimum wage rises cost jobs. People just will not employ workers when doing so loses them money. Harsh, unfair, and also true.

One-time economic adviser to President Biden, Jared Bernstein, notes that any significant minimum raise will indeed kill some jobs. But the folks who gain will gain so much that it’s all worth it. Well, worth it from the point of view of a Swamp-dweller planning other peoples’ lives, perhaps.

We never do get the offer to explain this logic — not just from Bernstein but from anyone — directly and in-person to the employee about to move to lose their job as a result. “Sure, you’re screwed, but look how much better off those other folks are!” would be an interesting message to watch being delivered within fist-to-nose distance. Perhaps we could sell tickets to aid in paying down the deficit or something?

Elsewhere

Minimum wage rises cost jobs. People just will not employ workers when doing so loses them money. Harsh, unfair, and also true.

One-time economic adviser to President Biden, Jared Bernstein, notes that any significant minimum raise will indeed kill some jobs. But the folks who gain will gain so much that it’s all worth it. Well, worth it from the point of view of a Swamp-dweller planning other peoples’ lives, perhaps.

We never do get the offer to explain this logic — not just from Bernstein but from anyone — directly and in-person to the employee about to move to lose their job as a result. “Sure, you’re screwed, but look how much better off those other folks are!” would be an interesting message to watch being delivered within fist-to-nose distance. Perhaps we could sell tickets to aid in paying down the deficit or something?

British Sugar or British sugar?

Should we all get fat and happy upon British Sugar? Or should we bankrupt the NHS with obesity fuelled by British sugar?

On that one capital letter rests the latest demand from the National Farmers’ Union, which is up in arms that Tate & Lyle is labelling its foreign-produced sugar with a British flag, simply because it is processed here.

Elsewhere

This is true of every society we have ever been able to observe. Fashion, strangely enough, is a vital part of this.

It is not something invented by the capitalists to keep us in thrall. Nor is it mere vanity to want to look good or anything.

Observe any group of teenagers arguing over the latest sneakers — or if you prefer a different example, the latest dance band or movie — and the point is always relative social status.

Those who have the new, the more expensive, have higher status. This is not something about fashion, it is something about people.

In more technical terms new clothes, or fashionable ones, are not about clothes at all, they are a proxy for the thing really being attained which is that social status.

The budget statement

Probably more coherent than whatever’s been said on Jeremy Vine:

Far from freezing the personal allowance, Sunak should have raised it to the full year, full time minimum wage. True, it might not then be possible to balance the books by increasing revenue. We do, after all, face Laffer Curve problems with taxing the richer even more than they already pay. Which would mean that a just and moral system might have to reduce expenditure – something which, I have to admit, would not break my heart. Less government isn’t all that appalling an idea.

A sensible recommendation

The one and only recommendation I make about tax after coronavirus to the relevant Commons committee:

The recommendation
To instruct the Office for National Statistics to prepare estimates of the wealth distribution on the same
bases used for the income distribution. To calculate both the market, or original, distribution and also the
one after the impact of taxes, benefits and government spending upon services.

D’ye think they’ll start shouting at me?

To accuse someone of being a fascist is simply an insult. To accuse a serving politician of fascist behavior is more serious. That’s because it represents a diagnosis, not mere vulgar abuse.

Unfortunately, at present, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is behaving in a somewhat fascist manner.

When part of the legislative system prevents something Omar desires, she says the hell with the system, I’ll do what I want.

The fight over whether fascism is politically Left — economically it usually was — or Right — culturally, it normally is — has been going on for near a century now. At least since Salazar first took power in Portugal. But the one thing that fascism always did was worship power. The ability to enforce submission and foster an adversary’s lamentations. More than anything else, it was the raw exercise of power unconstrained by custom, habit, or the law. That’s what Omar seems to seek in Congress.

Cakeism elsewhere

We are suffering a mass outbreak of cakeism. This is, as the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has noted, that desire to both have one’s cake and eat it, too. This is human, greedy, and also logically impossible in some cases. Sadly, the entire journalistic profession is engaged in a frenzy of cakeism.

It began in Australia, where the government is attempting to force Google and Facebook to pay newspaper owners for the inclusion of reporting in their search engines and news feeds. Many journalists paint this as just, righteous, or a last-ditch defense of democracy. That it’s ludicrous doesn’t seem to have struck anyone yet.

What’s actually going to happen is that we’ll all see that Facebook and Google are important to news publishers. News publishers are not important to either company. So, if payment is forced by legal insistence, then we’ll see exactly what Facebook is doing right now: No news on Facebook.

This is driving my professional colleagues in journalism into paroxysms of rage, of course. A certain ego is required to do what we do, and no ego likes to have it proven to the world that we’re just not that important, however true it is.

Elsewhere

To insist that legislators should be less informed of the effects of the laws they’re considering is most odd. But that is what Franken is trying to do. It’s actually comic, a call for legislation to be passed in a miasma of ignorance. Still, we can console ourselves with the thought that everyone does, eventually, find their correct career. This is at least more amusing than his job before politics.

On building back better

It’s a common enough cry currently, we must radically change the economy from what we had before. The big question being, well, umm, why?

What, actually, is it that we would like from the economy?

Well, people generally like getting richer. It is a normal human desire for our children to have it better than we do. So, a world with economic growth, where things are getting better, is one thing we would like.

We would like, on moral grounds, that poverty is abolished. That was happening.

Absolute poverty afflicted some 40 per cent of humanity only 50 years ago; last year, the number slipped under 10 per cent.

We really could see that number becoming, if not zero, at least within a rounding error of it by 2030. We were on the right track.

We can even look at inequality, something that some worry about and others do not — I do not.

Global inequality was falling, and swiftly too. For the poorer countries were growing markedly faster than the richer ones. Meaning that the gap between them must, mathematically, be falling.

Before all this kicked off, we had the bare essentials of what we desired from that international economy: rising standards of living, falling inequality and absolute poverty declining towards extinction.

Why wouldn’t we want that economic system back?

Elsewhere

Events have accelerated changes that were always underway, shocked people into changing habits just like with the MFS and bill paying.

But this is also an example of how those changes are going to ripple out — as with the effect of home working on those sandwich bars in the business district.

This will probably have an effect on the garment industry in Bangladesh.

Because online clothes sellers look for a different set of attributes in their suppliers than those selling from physical retail locations.

Okay, this is one of those things that are not exactly and wholly true — like so much in economics — but which is largely so.

For an internet retailer, the speed of supply is much more important than it is to a brick-and-mortar seller. Because, trends and fashions change both more often and more swiftly online.

Zara, which buys a lot from the Bangladeshi garment factories, is sort of a halfway stage here.

Part of the secret of their success was that they did not run on predictable stock cycles.

They did not have the four seasons of clothes each year running on predictable timetables.

Rather, they had a constantly changing constellation of stock. To supply this, they would — and do — buy some substantial portion of their supplies from the big garment factories.

But when they espied something that was selling well, they would top up that stock with something made in Spain or Northern Portugal.

This is because, the time of supply was vitally important — it takes, perhaps, seven days to get it from Iberia instead of the 60 or 90 days it takes to source it from Bangladesh.

Online takes this a stage further.

Boohoo, one of the largest e-tailers in the UK, might have something in stock only days after it was first seen on some TV programme.

Someone fashionable wears something, folks want it, and it is copied and available near immediately.

To do this, they use UK-based factories. The higher price of manufacture is more than covered by the speed of supply.

Elsewhere

One such is the recent story of the marriage registrar, or more accurately the woman who wished to be a marriage registrar.

She was refused the job because at times — during menstruation say — she would not be able to enter the mosque and therefore would not be able to work.

My own answer to this would be to appoint her along with the instruction that she should give warning, in advance, of her period.

Those who would use that mosque, or those mosques, for their marriages, would then have to wait and much good it will do them to face their prejudices.

But then I am not noted for the delicacy with which I approach religious questions.

Elsewhere

The second is that ease of doing business ranking that comes out around this time each year. Where Bangladesh is normally some small fraction above the bottom of the listing. The problem is bureaucracy often enough. People have to stand around, or in line, to gain a permit or permission to do something. This is the opposite of productivity as the people standing in line can’t be off somewhere doing something, making or producing something.

That is, we can increase productivity — as above make ourselves richer, enjoy pure economic growth — simply by abolishing large parts of the “Babu” Empire.

That is, if we reduce the number of permits, permissions, and applications for them required to do something then more will get done — we’ll have more of that pure and joyous economic growth. Plus, it will be fun turning the bureaucrats out of their offices and seeing if they themselves are capable of doing something productive.

Being mawkish elsewhere

Don’t worry about the Puritans, we English didn’t like them much either. The Native Americans have a point. What you have turned Thanksgiving into, that celebration of family, is not so unusual across human societies. There are many analogues out there. What sets Thanksgiving apart is that you don’t just bend over backward to ensure, you positively insist, that no one break bread alone that day.

It is the most sweet, even glorious, aspect of your society. Please don’t ever lose it. To the matriarch near Lincoln, Nebraska: My apologies for not understanding before. Now I do, and from afar, I raise that slice of pumpkin pie to you and 330 million other Americans. That sharing of the cloak is always something to give thanks for.

So, this stock tip works then

Written two days back, published today:

My view
I think that the vaccine will be rolling out between the New Year and the spring. Not based upon any grand knowledge of pharma, rather that the entire global industry is focused on this and I don’t expect them to fail. Also, don’t forget, the European drug regulators are – amazingly – a little more relaxed than the FDA about approval of something valuable but not wholly and entirely proven as yet.

I also think that Easyjet has the finances to be able to survive until then in this cash is king world.

The investor view
It’s necessary to believe both of those pieces to think this is worthwhile. Only some months to a vaccine and also that the airline will survive until then. But with that then Easyjet is a leveraged punt on that vaccine arrival.

Oh, right: