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May 09, 2015

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Nikw211

This was deemed incredibly funny. And note the assumed “we”.

Here some young people attempt to grapple with concept of democracy - they haven't quite managed it yet.

Then again, it's his florists so if that's how we wants to run his business ...

Today Paul Mason, the economics editor of Channel 4 News and whose mind still lingers in the student union bar …

Nearly spat tea over my keyboard when I read that - especially the last part.

Dr Cromarty

a Labour party rally attended by senior party figures, with a largely Muslim audience segregated by sex

Where the most senior party figure attending self-identifies as a feminist

David

especially the last part.

But when fifty-something lefties are still titillated by riots and vandalism, as Mr Mason is, regularly, and when they still want to “overthrow capitalism” with computer games about collective farming, you do have to wonder if it’s at least in part a kind of pathetic nostalgia. He was, after all, an enthusiast of the Trotskyite group Workers’ Power, back when such idiocy could still be considered a mark of daring, albeit by other idiots. Yes, if only he were young again, when revolution seemed possible, when pop music was so much better and more authentic, and when he might, just might, occasionally get laid.

Mags

So David, which one are you…?

https://twitter.com/MartinDaubney/status/597763110720643072

: )

David

So David, which one are you…?

Heh. It’s the exclusively that convinced me. I denounce myself.

Tim Newman

Here's another who lists a load of untruths about the Tory policies, and then admits he cannot understand why people would vote for them. At no point does he stop to consider that his intial premise is bullshit and people *aren't* voting for "privatization of the NHS.

Theophrastus

Rhiannon Lucy Coslett wants you to know that 'we' can cry about the election result:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/11/cry-election-emotion-left-tories-empathy

David

Rhiannon Lucy Coslett wants you to know that ‘we’ can cry about the election result:

“This weekend has, for me, been like the most savage of hangovers. Waves of despair, punctuated by panic, anxiety, paranoia, and fear. A profound weltschmerz and a curious lack of appetite… I finally broke down properly at around 6pm on Friday, when I allowed myself, finally, to think about my little brother, who is severely disabled, and what might happen to him. Whether I should grab him and run for the hills so that we could camp down together under warm, soft blankets and not come down again until the bad people have gone.”

Sweet God, make it stop.

OJ

I can see an 'Agonies of the Left' Election Special coming on... I'll throw this Graun article by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett into the mix:

This weekend has, for me, been like the most savage of hangovers. Waves of despair, punctuated by panic, anxiety, paranoia, and fear.

Oh, the humanity!

OJ

Bummer, I commented before I'd refreshed the page so just repeating what had already been said.

dicentra

"No, what's disgusting is that some people are more worried about a war memorial than the destruction of the welfare state".

That's exactly the same sentence construction that was deployed during the Baltimore Riots, when the Twitterati expressed dismay that the looters were destroying their own neighborhoods (assuming they weren't bussed in by Soros-bot orgs).

"Why do you value insured buildings more than police brutality/systemic racism/a dead guy?"

They must have a keyboard macro that permits them to fill in the blanks for any occasion.

Bastages.

Low-quality Kafkatrapping but Kafkatrapping nonetheless.

we_smell_sausage

If only one ... *just one* of those evil Tories had had a disabled child, perhaps they'd understand!

Oh, wait.

(She's clearly never been camping, either.)

Horace Dunn

For a more measured view, perhaps we should turn to one of the most important novelists of our age, who tells us:

"Neoliberalism, austerity, the preservation and protection of a secretive nonce ruling class, and the destruction of a Britain founded on the welfare state: it seems inherently sane to want independence from all of that. The real madness lies in tolerating this twisted nonsense, while assuming it’s going to fix itself."

It's an intriguing notion, that Britain was founded on the welfare state.

Anyhow, should you want more of this:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2015/may/07/labour-risks-failing-the-english-just-like-it-did-the-scottish?CMP=share_btn_fb

james

Exactly- see Laurie Penny's tweet "No, what's disgusting is that some people are more worried about a war memorial than the destruction of the welfare state".

Standard fare and a well used tactic.

You complain about her swearing on television, and your are guilty of bourgeois sensibility by being offended by something as trivial as bad language while ignoring that millions of women are being raped by the patriarchy at that very minute.

You complain about wanton vandalism, and it shows that you are more concerned about minor damage to property than millions of people who are dying of starvation in Britain.

Remember: she owns the high moral ground!

james

Apologies for the post above. Several commenters had already made the same point and indeed made it better. For some reason those comments were not apparent when I posted.

Ray

I rather like the sound of this "shut down the welfare state, bring back the birch, a smoke and a blindfold for communist traitors" party the Guardian is so afraid of but strangely they never seem to appear on any ballot I've participated in.

David

I rather like the sound of this “shut down the welfare state, bring back the birch, a smoke and a blindfold for communist traitors” party the Guardian is so afraid of, but strangely they never seem to appear on any ballot I’ve participated in.

Ah, but in order to flatter themselves as heroic or oppressed or whatever, which is the object of the exercise, they have to depict their opposition as practically demonic. I, for one, will be flicking lit matches into the pushchairs of passing babies. Starting with the black ones, obviously.

David

As the Guardian’s Week of Woe rumbles on, and on, I fear they’re running low on material. Today, Hadley Freeman asks,

How should we dress under the new Tory government?

Readers suggestions include, “whatever the charity shop is throwing out,” “Dickensian workhouse chic,” and, inevitably, “in chains.”

Dr Cromarty

For a more measured view, perhaps we should turn to one of the most important novelists of our age, who tells us:
"Neoliberalism, austerity, the preservation and protection of a secretive nonce ruling class, and the destruction of a Britain founded on the welfare state: it seems inherently sane to want independence from all of that. The real madness lies in tolerating this twisted nonsense, while assuming it’s going to fix itself."

Like his fellow socialist/independence enthusiast, actor Brian Cox, Irvine Welsh lives in the US of A.

splotchy

I wonder if these anguished, angry lefties, with their shreiking abuse, obscene graffiti, vandalism and hostility to all the small-c voters who Labour desperately needs to woo back - do they really think they are helping their side?

I'm all for letting them rant away, with intermittent pleas on privilege, triggerings, various 'isms, narcissism and general angry unaspirational outlook - may they continue to be prominent in the mefia and the Emperor's New Clothes digital media that is twitter. They will keep Labour unelectable for years while a discrete dignified majority continue to vote conservative. And it'll be just as big a surprise to them next time as they scratch their heads wondering why the nasty evil murderous tory voters in their midst don't chat openly and relaxedly about their views.......

Theophrastus

Bryony Gordon manages to be gracious in defeat:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11597436/Stop-your-whinging-why-the-Left-are-such-bad-losers.html

CIngram

"How should we dress under the new Tory government?"

To the right, of course...

Patrick Brown

There's even some sense in the Graun from Lionel Shriver - If you want more accurate polls, stop shaming shy Tories.

Somehow got involved in an argument with quite a prominent lefty celebrity who was getting a bit aerated about the election result on Facebook the other day. I lean a bit to the left myself, but I had to point out that you can't assume everybody who voted Tory is simply evil and at the same time congratulate yourself on your "empathy". People have different ideas of what's right and fair, and if you can't understand why someone might vote Tory with good intent, you'll never figure out how to appeal to those voters and you're doomed to eternal opposition. To his credit, he took the point.

I'm hopeful that the sane wing of the left, that believes in things like freedom of speech and doesn't think tantrums are an appropriate way for adults to achieve their objectives, can reassert itself over the safe spacers and jazz handers and moral busybodies that seem to dominate it at the moment. One party states aren't healthy.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

How should we dress under the new Tory government?

In accordance with socialist lifestyle, of course.

David

In accordance with socialist lifestyle, of course.

“The television programme claimed that hair length can affect human intelligence, in part because of the deprivation to the rest of the body of nutrients required for hair to grow.”

David

I’ve been trawling through the post-election tweets of some publicly subsidised British artists. It’s quite odd, watching people who imagine themselves as worldly intellectuals having the kinds of conversations you’d expect to find in a student union bar or sixth form common room. Apparently the electorate have been “bludgeoned with grotesque right-wing propaganda.” It’s the only possible explanation for someone not wishing to vote Labour or have even more of their earnings confiscated. Conservative voters are dismissed as greedy, selfish “philistines” who “only understand the value of money.” (This one from a chap I happen to know and who’s been leeching on the taxpayer teat for decades, thanks to the Arts Council, to the tune of around £100,000 a year. You see, his lifestyle choices are much more important than yours, so he’s obviously entitled to an endless supply of your confiscated earnings. No greed or selfishness there, thank goodness.)

Franklin

It’s quite odd, watching people who imagine themselves as worldly intellectuals having the kinds of conversations you’d expect to find in a student union bar or sixth form common room.

Political and economic thinking among art people is gallingly primitive. They've hardly thought through the premises of their own side of the arguments, to say nothing of the other sides. Challenging those premises strikes them as tantamount to endorsing evil itself. Here's me attempting to explain freedom of expression to the art critic of the LA Times.

David

Political and economic thinking among art people is gallingly primitive

What’s irks, I think, is the pretence that it’s some high moral principle and not at all self-serving, when the more obvious message is, “Why aren’t those stupid fuckers – those cleaners in Leeds, those shop assistants in Sheffield - voting for a party that will give me more of their earnings? Don’t they understand the importance of my conceptual installations and experimental theatre?” And in the case of the chap I know this is someone whose lifestyle - bohemian middle-class - is more comfortable and glamorous than most of the people that are being taxed to fund his lifelong parasitism. Apparently twenty-odd years of mooching and well over a million quid of other people’s earnings just isn’t enough to cause embarrassment. He and his peers think they’re the ones entitled to indignation.

David

Also, Peter Risdon’s latest is rather good:

Even when they write about Labour’s need to stop hating the provinces and the self-employed trades, contempt drips through. There’s still the unexamined narcissism that believes the poor are hated by the Tories, and only they can provide clean hay and warm barns – the notion people want to stand beside them rather than beneath them doesn’t seem to occur… The idea that the people who know most clearly that there are freeloaders and scroungers are the fucking working class who live next door to them isn’t anywhere near their horizons.

Yes, I like that.

Franklin

Someone I know locally was recently describing her effort to lobby a state representative for film-industry tax credits, which several US states grant to draw film business. She persuaded him on the basis of the old argument that goes, film companies hire local workers, who in turn hire supporting workers, and so on. I pointed out to her that one, industry-specific tax credits are corporate welfare, and two, anyone who knows economics more than cursorily recognizes a multiplier-effect argument and knows how to gut it. She replied by suggesting that I ought to educate myself.

In another example, I had to explain to someone that not all contemporary Marxists, even, are clinging to the Labor Theory of Value and Marxian pricing to the degree that he was.

Sometimes I think I might as well be explaining the Dunning-Kruger Effect, in Aramaic, to a donkey.

David

Sometimes I think I might as well be explaining the Dunning-Kruger Effect, in Aramaic, to a donkey.

I feel your pain, brother. But as Celia Green once said, “You can’t defeat motivation.” And the people we’re talking about have every motive for remaining ignorant of such things, bewilderingly so, while affecting an air of altruism and pretending to be virtuous. And what motive could such people have for recognising the arrogance and bad faith of their own behaviour, their own staggering conceit? I mean, these are artistic lefties we’re talking about. You pull at that thread and the whole thing comes unravelled.

wtp

anyone who knows economics more than cursorily recognizes a multiplier-effect argument and knows how to gut it. She replied by suggesting that I ought to educate myself.

In another example, I had to explain to someone that not all contemporary Marxists, even, are clinging to the Labor Theory of Value and Marxian pricing to the degree that he was.

Sometimes I think I might as well be explaining the Dunning-Kruger Effect, in Aramaic, to a donkey.

Been there, done that as well. I'm curious as to how you gut the multiplier effect in conversation. I've tended to fall back on focusing on what wealth is actually getting created, tied in with broken window fallacy and such. It all gets rather mixed up in that I have struggled to find a simple enough way to describe the problem even to more educated people. It's hopeless with the class of folk who just want someone to build them a fancy stadium for their whatsit sporting team. Not that all of those souls are poorly educated either, but...

As for LToV and Marxists, the refrain Marxist fellow travelers (they always deny their savior) have lately adopted is that Adam Smith endorsed it as well. Which if you have read Smith on the subject, you would know that comparing his LToV to the Marxist version is like comparing apples and orangutans. Not that I regard Smith as a god, but compared to Karl...well, orangutans again.

Lancastrian Oik

Just thinking about Paul Mason's rather condescending remarks about being able to watch rugby union now that working-class kids are playing the game. What he doesn't say, because I suspect he has conveniently forgotten, is that for large parts of a large swathe of England (the Severn Valley, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall), union is the game of the working class, much as it is in South Wales.

So on that basis alone, Mason is talking bollocks. Nothing new in that, of course.

Hal

Someone I know locally was recently describing her effort to lobby a state representative for film-industry tax credits, . . .

Unless she's particularly being a corporate lawyer, Why Bother, when an alternative---of many---gets more done??

Franklin

I'm curious as to how you gut the multiplier effect in conversation.

The effects of the unspent money multiply as well, negatively. In the case of the film-industry tax credit, you are now failing to raise money that could go to some other effort to bring business into the state, say a new ad campaign for tourism. So the advertising agency that would have been hired do the work gets nothing, and they in turn don't buy coffee from the place up the street, and they in turn cut down on their milk purchases. Meanwhile people who might have been inclined to visit from out of state don't think to do so, so that costs too. The multiplier effects only show up in the film industry. Taken as one industry among every other in the state, the net effect is zero.

The key principle is that resources are scarce and have competing uses. You know this, of course, but good luck explaining it to somebody not already inclined.

Adam Smith endorsed it as well.

Short answer here: His version was premised on demand for the fruits of the labor. Something demanded and difficult to make is indeed going to rise in price as more labor is required to make it. Something not demanded and difficult to make is going to seek a price of Free To A Good Home. Marx completely screwed this up by disregarding demand and getting the notion that there is a "real" or "true" price for a thing, based on the labor that went into it.

David
Steveo40

Ha ha, just having a look at a further Jessica Valenti link. Wow, what a moron:
http://twitchy.com/2015/04/30/that-much-stupid-must-hurt-jessica-valenti-wishes-the-pope-were-more-pro-abort/

David

On the subject of left-leaning Arts Councils and their cronies, this is worth a read.

prm

@ David | May 12, 2015 at 16:18

Sort of related to that is a quote - can't remember it exactly but it's something like this:

"You can't get someone to accept reality when their livelihood depends on not accepting it."

prm

Stopped clocks and all that:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/14/working-class-tories-are-not-just-turkeys-voting-for-christmas

(Though she does get a quick 'evil Thatcher/ignorance of what the free market is' in)

Bluntnose

Been there, done that as well. I'm curious as to how you gut the multiplier effect in conversation. I've tended to fall back on focusing on what wealth is actually getting created

Surely in this example it's obvious what wealth is getting created? If an industry sets up in your area the things it makes are wealth creation, and it isn't unreasonable to think that the people working with and in that industry will benefit from that created wealth. Bit confused about the objection here. There is a multiplier. And one man's 'corporate welfare' is another's 'removal of disnincentivizing taxation'.

David

The spam filter is being a tad zealous. If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll coax them free.

wtp

If an industry sets up in your area the things it makes are wealth creation, and it isn't unreasonable to think that the people working with and in that industry will benefit from that created wealth. Bit confused about the objection here.

First, let's be clear about the kind of subsidizing we're talking about. Government working with business to ensure adequate roads, sewage, permitting, etc. to get the business functioning or even chamber-of-commerce type efforts to attract businesses to one's locale by selling the unique aspects of the locale that future businesses may not be aware of are all well and good. No objection to that...well, most of that...the business still should be paying something and where that line is is another game economists play. But the crony capitalism of carving out unique tax credits for said business that intertwines the business with the government is a problem.

As for the objection, two things...on a national scale, the business was going to exist somewhere so efforts to subsidize it are just robbing Peter to pay Paul. Wealth isn't created nor is potentially augmented due to a better decision being made. It is just relocated. Second, the money the locale used to attract the new business is an opportunity cost to potentially other businesses or, more Friedman-ish, taken from previous wealth creators who are thus unable to do with that money as they wished. In general, it warps the market.

Was going to comment earlier...the multiplier effect that I find harder to describe is the so-called one where money is "loaned" (printed) to someone who deposits it in their bank, the bank then loans 90% (or whatever the reserve requirement is) of that to someone else who makes a deposit and then that bank loans 90% of that out, etc. etc. etc. but no wealth is actually created. This is the incarnation of "multiplier effect" I have a harder time explaining.

Bluntnose

But the crony capitalism of carving out unique tax credits for said business that intertwines the business with the government is a problem.

I think you are assuming that a subsidy is paid to the business whereas I was assumimng the business would simply be expected to pay less tax for a specified period. I assume you have no in-principle objections to the latter (if it works, it works, right?).

Dr Cromarty

Meanwhile, the legal process must be racist when it finds against Bangladeshi electoral fraud

http://criticallegalthinking.com/2015/05/16/why-muslims-cant-trust-the-legal-system/

David

Meanwhile, the legal process must be racist when it finds against Bangladeshi electoral fraud

Strange how the term “critical thinking” so often means something else entirely.

WTP

I was assumimng the business would simply be expected to pay less tax for a specified period. I assume you have no in-principle objections to the latter (if it works, it works, right?).

No. Whether you pay the money directly to the business or you simply don't collect tax from a business (assuming other businesses in the area have to continue with their same tax burden), what's the difference? It's crony capitalism either way. Lower taxes? By all means, but lower them on all players, not just certain ones who can get special government access. Of course lowering taxes should accompany some spending cuts as well.

Bluntnose

No. Whether you pay the money directly to the business or you simply don't collect tax from a business (assuming other businesses in the area have to continue with their same tax burden)

This may be the confusion, I think the example of film production assumes a mobile business that would other wise not exist in the area. Even so, though, I don't get that tax breaks represent 'crony capitalism' so long as they are temporary and available to all. It's more like a one-off 'buy one get one free' offer. Win-win.Nothing is lost to the exchequeur unless it is gamed by business that would have come anyway.

David

Bluntnose,

For reasons that escape me, your comments keep getting snagged in the spam filter. If it happens again do let me know and I’ll shake them free.

wtp

I think the example of film production assumes a mobile business that would other wise not exist in the area.
Yes, true. "In the area". But as I said "on a national scale, the business was going to exist somewhere so efforts to subsidize it are just robbing Peter to pay Paul". No net wealth is getting created when a film relocates to Pittsburgh instead of being produced in Hollywood. In fact, one could argue that there is a net loss of wealth in that money has to be spent on hotel rooms and such for cast and crew in Pittsburgh which otherwise would have been returned to shareholders (hahahaha...Hollywood) or spent in Hollywood. Now if you manage to get one or more major film studios to open permanent offices in Pittsburgh, because the general tax climate is good for business or other factors are good for making movies, that is a good thing overall. But not if the tax cuts are aimed specifically at attracting film studios. Other businesses in Pittsburgh would then have to make up the difference, which is not fair to them and may drive some of them out of town or out of business, or cause them to spend less locally.

I don't get that tax breaks represent 'crony capitalism' so long as they are temporary and available to all.

Agree. As I said, "assuming other businesses in the area have to continue with their same tax burden...but lower them on all players, not just certain ones who can get special government access". If the breaks are available to all, OK. Yet still things get messy by taking this too far. One way or another taxes must get paid. Similar to above, shifting taxes around so that one group gets a break while another has to continue to shoulder the burden is a form of crony capitalism itself.

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