Skip to content

This is lovely fun

Some have argued the presence of teachers on OnlyFans underscores the financial pressures those in education face, with the average school teacher making $66,745 a year and 40% of all education professionals earning less than $25,000 every year.

The high school teachers – even the elementary ones – do pretty well. $66 k is only just a little under median US household income. Teachers have long been hired out of the lower drawers of the intellectual chest.

Getting into college is just the beginning. Your GPA will fall under scrutiny when you are ready to declare yourself as an education major. Education programs generally require a minimum GPA of 2.75. This can be lower or higher at your school, so ask your adviser for the minimum GPA requirement. In 2020, Columbia University Teacher College, required a minimum GPA of 3.0, as well as two letters of recommendation before they would accept an application

A GPA of 2.75 is not a major intellectual achievement at college. Nor, to be honest, is a 3.0.

So for those who do become school teachers the pay is really pretty good – and add vast pensions and health insurance etc on top, the short working year and so on. It’s really not a bad screw.

But of course there’s then that 40% of “educators” on less than $25k. They, weirdly, are the academically brighter but not bright enough. Those who didn’t do the teacher training classes. But instead did the Masters, even the PhD. But then didn’t get to become professors with tenure. Instead they’re floating around those hallowed college halls as adjuncts. Really, the only place where the vast mess of graduate overproduction can find any sort of work. Who else would hire a PhD in grievance studies? And even the colleges won’t hire as many as the colleges produce.

Which does lead to an interesting conclusion. The best thing America could do would be to close down 85% of their higher degree programs.

Go on, prove me wrong.

Sidney Blumenthal is an idiot, isn’t he?

The brief by Ginsberg et al was unvarnished: “A decision from this court leaving unresolved the question of Donald Trump’s qualification to hold the office of president of the United States under section 3 of the 14th amendment until after the 2024 election would risk catastrophic political instability, chance disenfranchising millions of voters, and raise the possibility of public violence before, on, and after November 5 2024.”

The brief added that “the grounds for avoiding the merits are not credible: Colorado manifestly had the authority to determine Mr Trump’s legal qualification for the office he seeks, and this court has jurisdiction to review that federal-law decision on its merits. To punt on the merits would invite chaos while risking great damage to the court’s reputation and to the Nation as a whole.”

But apparently the justices failed to read this brief, just as they apparently failed to read the various amicus briefs filed by distinguished historians.

Picture how the scenario might unfold as though reading it as a history from the vantage point of one year from now. The Ginsberg brief predicts the dire consequences that would flow from the supreme court ruling against Colorado. If we layer on to that prophesy the seemingly disparate events of this winter of our discontent we can see, through a mixture of fact and speculation, a disastrous unraveling.

The warning – for whatever it’s worth – is that if the Sc doesn’t decide whether Trump is eligible or not, if it simply delays the decision, then that might cause big problems down the line. Well, could be.

Blumenthal then leaps to the assumption that he’s already proven that the decision must not just be made, but must be made for Colorado and against Trump.

This is not just idiocy, this is malevolence. But then we knew that about Blumenthal anyway…..

The feminisation of men

For James, it started with muscles. He was about 16 and had become self-conscious about his physique, fearing that he wasn’t buff enough to attract girls. He found his way to a bodybuilding forum and began to work out. He can’t remember when it happened, but at some point trolls began to infiltrate the forum. They were visitors from another online community with a different focus.

“Their general vibe was quite mean,” says James, who prefers not to use his real name. “They’d take images people had posted of their impressive physiques and be like: ‘You guys forgot to work out your faces!’”

Despite the meanness, curiosity pushed James over to the forums, which were largely focused on facial aesthetics. He discovered a new world in which mainly young men and teenage boys scoured pictures of each other for perceived flaws and purported fixes.

The forums hummed with brutal judgment and offered James a compelling new outlet for his insecurities. “I was learning about problems I hadn’t even noticed,” he says. “I had a short face and a short chin, my nose was too wide, my eyes were too far apart, my hairline was too high … You don’t see a lot of these things until someone else points them out and then you can’t stop seeing them.”

That’s teenage girls that is. And as a passing phase neither good nor bad. One problem we’ve got is that this passing phase now lasts 15 years. Late primagravidae means the maintenance of that passing phase far beyond its expected years.

And men are being told they should become more feminine. Men are becoming more feminine. And even The Guardian isn’t liking the result.

So, umm, perhaps we should stop with the femimnisation of society?

Immigrants are pushing up house prices!

However, the Saunders were still baffled by the policy itself. “What on earth is the council doing forcing people to sell their houses – and even an empty house is owned by someone – so that asylum seekers can live in them?” said Jose. “The answer to this is to stop them coming in the first place, not to force people out of their homes.”

The incident was seized upon by the Reform UK Party, whose candidate in Thursday’s Wellingborough by-election, Ben Habib, heard about the case.

Mr Habib, who is also the party’s co-deputy leader, said: “I was horrified to hear the plight of Mr and Mrs Saunders.

‘It is utterly shocking that the council would fire off a letter like that to two elderly people. And do so with the aim of buying a £200,000 house for asylum seekers. This from a council that is as good as bust and has never filed consolidated accounts since it was established in 2021.”

It comes after The Telegraph revealed on Tuesday that the Home Office has quietly built up a stock of 16,000 properties for asylum seekers despite acute shortages of homes for young workers and families.

Contractors working for the Home Office are offering landlords five-year guaranteed full rent deals to take over the management of properties as they race to transfer asylum seekers out of hotels.

It’s impossible that house prices not go up as a result of this policy.

Wish more people said the right thing to Call Me Dave

Lord Cameron has warned the US Congress not to repeat the mistakes of the 1930s by blocking a multi-billion pound aid package for Ukraine.

The Foreign Secretary said the West must not “show the weakness displayed against Hitler”, in an unusually blunt intervention into American politics.

In an article for The Hill, an influential Washington newspaper read by Capitol Hill policymakers and insiders, he said approving the support for Kyiv was “a matter of global security”.

But his overtures were immediately rejected by a Donald Trump-supporting Republican who on Wednesday told him to “kiss my a–”.

Idiot email

1.4 billion children globally missing out on basic social protection, according to latest data

Fewer than 1-in-10 children in low-income countries have access to child benefits, leaving them vulnerable to disease, education gaps, poor nutrition, poverty and inequality.

The International Labour Organisation is telling us that poor countries don’t pay child benefit.

Ho Hum.

Sigh

Core CPI (excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco) rose by 5.1% in the 12 months to December 2023, the same rate as in November;
….
The rise in tobacco prices is still related to a change in the law deliberately pushing prices up. Everything else nets out to zero. And no one expected another significant fall in inflation until the energy price cap falls in a couple of months’ time.

The media will be all over this saying the battle on inflation has not been won as yet and that catch up wage rises are threatening a wagwe price spiral. All of that is nonsense. By mid-year inflation will be near 2%. That will be hard to avoid now. Eberything else in the media omn this issue is just fodder to let the Bank of England keep interest rates high.

Core CPI is the policy relevant inflation rate, not CPI.

‘T’is to Larff

Spud tells us that if households save more, government saves more (or borrows less), business doesn’t invest more, then foreigners must dissave from the UK.

OK.

This would also mean the disappearance of the trade deficit, the bit Spud doesn’t note.

This would also, apparently, be a disaster. At which point, Spud in his own words:

Think tanks are very good at suggesting that governments should do joined-up thinking. It looks to me as though the Resolution Foundation might need to do the same. It might also need to sharpen up its understanding of macroeconomics. It might be a little more credible if it did so.

Ho Hum.

This is the necessary consequence of the infallible logic implicit within double-entry bookkeeping, which is that every action has a reaction

Double entry also applies to trade deficits and capital surpluses, see?

Snigger

NHS nurses being investigated for ‘industrial-scale’ qualifications fraud
Scam involves more than 700 healthcare workers who used proxies to pass test in Nigeria enabling them to work in the UK

Hands up who is surprised about this?

And the thought that it’s only 700 nurses……snigger.

Why?

The Six Nations has abolished a long-standing tradition of forcing home teams to wear their alternate strips in instances of kit clashes during this year’s championship.

The onus in the Six Nations – and the Five Nations before it – had traditionally been on the home side to change their jerseys in the event of a clash but Telegraph Sport understands that the protocol, which has existed for over 75 years, was reversed ahead of this year’s Six Nations as part of wider plans to modernise the championship.

Sure, it’s different, by why is it modern? Someone’s got to change and the allocation of who it is is neither modern nor archaic.

Twats.

There’s a joke to be made here

Duchess of Sussex joins podcast company that wants to make life ‘suck less’
Meghan ‘overjoyed’ to sign podcast deal with Lemonada Media after parting ways with Spotify

Possibly life will suck less because Megh has done all of that for us in her earlier life? Along those lines – but I can’t quite construct it properly….

Polly really doesn’t get it, does she?

Paying their bills was their top concern, so what do they make of Sunak paying an effective tax rate of only 23% on his vast capital gains? Income of the same amount gained through work would be taxed about twice as much as sitting back and letting rewards flow effortlessly in from rents, shares or self-inflating valuables.

Rents are taxed as income, of course. So too are dividends from shares (with allowances for the corporation tax already paid).

Sigh.

Dan Neidle of Tax Policy Associates lays out the yo-yo history of capital gains tax (CGT), where the pay of private equity executives expressed as “carried interest” attracts only 28% tax, avoiding the 45% top income tax rate. Another affront: the first £6,000 of capital gains attracts no tax. Add that to the basic £12,570 personal tax allowance and CGT payers get an £18,570 starting point. Who are the gainers?

In 1988, the Thatcherite chancellor Nigel Lawson equalised capital gains tax and income tax, rightly declaring: “There is little economic difference between income and capital gains.” This dismisses the handy myth that low CGT encourages investment: it doesn’t, the IFS proves.

Neatly missing Dan Neidle’s point that if CGT rate is to be equalised then there must be an inflation allowance as well.

Another uncosted CGT gift to the rich is mocked by Paul Johnson in his book Follow the Money: any capital gains you owe on your death dies with you. Your shares, property or antiques may have swollen 1,000-fold in value in your lifetime: don’t sell and your heirs take it all without paying any CGT you owe, HMRC’s loss unknown.

And that’s cretinous. Because you pay 40% inheritance tax, of course.

OK, so we can reject this thesis

False prophets are peddling conspiracy theories about Ireland’s history. Here’s the truth
Emma Dabiri

From Russell Brand to Steve Bannon, pundits are distorting our past oppression – when it should be a source of solidarity with refugees

OK, so that might be a theory worth testing.

Western liberal democracies are apparently inhabited by vast and increasing numbers of disaffected, dissatisfied citizens who could conceivably put populists in power on both sides of the Atlantic over the coming year. Donald Trump’s White House comeback bid should be the stuff of dystopian fantasy, not a news story. But as Naomi Klein describes brilliantly in her new book, Doppelganger, our collective trajectory away from reality seems to be in freefall.

Ah, describing Naomi Klein as brilliant. It’s bollocks, isn’t it.

A pensions Laffer Effect

Sorta, and around and about.

The reason? One of the biggest buyers of government debt is about to become a seller – pushing up state borrowing costs as a result.

Defined benefit pension schemes, often known as final salary pensions, have traditionally been big buyers of the Government’s long-term debt.

The Treasury could keep borrowing cheaply as these pension funds were effectively guaranteed lenders through the gilt market.

But most of those schemes have closed to new contributions. Employers have shifted from costly defined benefit schemes to defined contribution pensions, which link payouts to the amount workers save rather than their final salaries.

Now, the sun is setting on the defined benefit industry as members reach retirement age.

As a result, instead of buying bonds, these funds are going to ditch around £40bn of long-dated gilts over the next five years as they raise funds to pay out to pensioners.

Brown, G, changed the rules on defined benefit pensions plans. Removed the dividend tax free stuff, forced higher bond holdings on solvency grounds on the funds. This made them big buyers of bonds which was nice for Brown. G.

But the prices on offer changed so much that the defined benefits pensions closed. And here we are, there are no new defined benefit pensions on offer (even in the public sector, they’re mostly unfunded) and so the bond positions are being sold down.

Which is, sorta, if you squint, a Laffer Effect. My Clever Plan! to lower the cost of govt borrowing has, in the fullness of time and maturation of prices, raised the costs of govt borrowing.

Thanks, Gordo.

Eh?

Lib Dems target ‘Waitrose women’ to smash the Tory Blue Wall

They’re already the only bloc that reliably vote for them, aren’t they? The virtue signalling middle class?

Oh, well done!

Spud misses the error that the Resolution Foundation commits:

The Resolution Foundation published a report this morning which suggests that at least 30% of UK households have savings of less than £1,000 and are, therefore, unable to manage many of the cash-flow risks that are a normal part of life as a consequence of unexpected events.

You do not need to have £1k in cash savings to be able to manage cash flow risks. You need to be able to have access to £1k in order to be able to manage cashflow risks.

These are not the same thing. In a country with a banking and credit system the requirement is that you be able to go get £1k if you need it – by, say, borrowing it.

The very existence of a credit system means all require lower amounts of cash savings.

Hah

I heard Meghan actually thought she was going to be a princess and live in Windsor Castle.

There’s a reason the royals rarely married out of the princely or aristocratic families…..

This is rewilding

One factor contributing to the apex predators’ presence is the fact that much agricultural land on the outskirts of Siena is no longer farmed.

It has reverted to scrubland, which provides a habitat for roe deer and wild boar and attracts the wolves, the mayor said.

The effect?

There has been an increasing number of sightings on the outskirts of Siena, some 135 miles (220 kilometres) north of Rome, as the creatures nonchalantly pad along suburban streets.

The most recent sighting was in late January when a pair was spotted at Porta Camollia, on the northern edge of the Tuscan city.

They were seen by a motorist who did not manage to photograph them with his mobile phone. But he notified the authorities and officials found wolf excrement at the scene.

G. Monbiot will be along in a moment to tell us that the solution is to bring the bears back to attack the wolves.

What fresh hell is this?

In the process of doing so they entirely missed the point that without deposits, a bank has no meaning. Holding deposits is it essential purpose.

Two weeks back we were being told that banks don’t even need deposits. Now they’re the very purpose of them?

The name for something that simply holds deposits is “a safe”.

Both resonate with me. I will never be the world’s greatest theoretician. I might not even be an outstanding theoretician. But I think I hear the music of political economy, without the need for any ‘ism’ but pragmatism, tinged with empathy. The condition of the person dismissed too often as ‘ordinary’ is what matters to me, and not the promotion of any ideology.

He’s now declaring himself to be the Mozart of political economy. Ho Hum.