Tim Worstall

What they're really doing with the limitations on political party funding

Written by | Monday 7 October 2013

There is, as we all know, a move afoot to try and ban the spending of large sums of private money on the pursuit of politicas. Specfically, on the donation of large sums of money to a political party. We will then be forced to cough up for the poltroons through our tax bills rather than in a voluntary manner by our donations. This, in itself, is good enough reason to condemn the proposals.

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It really is all obvious or trivial except

Written by | Sunday 6 October 2013

There's a story about economics, that it's all trivial or obvious except....the except being Ricardo on trade. The point was made when a mathematician asked an economist whether there was anything in economics that was not trivial or obvious. As opposed to, as in mathematics, attempting to unlock the secrets of the universe of course.

I was reminded of this when reading about Sam Johnson and his writing of his dictionary recently. I came across this quote:

Yes, Sir, no man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.

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Talking about controlling conflict minerals

Written by | Saturday 5 October 2013

I was having a chat this past week with a senior bod in a charity that is trying to do something about conflict minerals. These are the ones where child slaves are sent out to dig up the ores which the armed militias then greatly profit from. Something I'm sure we'd all like to see stopped.

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Making the US Govt shutdown seem worse than it is

Written by | Friday 4 October 2013

It's always the same, any bureaucracy under attack will cut the most obvious, public and desired of its services when the budget is under attack. It's never the paper shufflers who are asked to cut back but the library hours that are reduced. Or the parks are closed rather than the diversity advisers getting it in the neck. So it is with this latest shutdown of the US Govt.

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Isn't this absolutely wonderful about payday loans?

Written by | Thursday 3 October 2013

Although the loans are marketed as a quick, flexible way to get cash for items like home improvements and holidays, almost four out of five people who turned to Christians Against Poverty (Cap) with problem debts, including payday loans, said they had used them for food. Half said they had paid gas and electricity bills with them, while a third had borrowed to meet rent or mortgage costs.

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The problem with rent controls

Written by | Wednesday 2 October 2013

There's a growing number of calls for rent controls here in the UK. This really isn't all that sensible an idea for as has been pointed out before:

Swedish economist and socialist Assar Lindbeck commented years ago that, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

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On why Africa is poor

Written by | Tuesday 1 October 2013

The economist has an interesting article linking to this paper trying to work out why it is that Africa is so poor. If you're deeply interested in why so muich of Africa is so depressingly poor then you might well read both pieces.

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Why cannot the British left understand markets?

Written by | Monday 30 September 2013

Forgive me but this is going to be a bit of a rant on one of my bugbear themes: why is it that the British left simply cannot understand markets? Here we've got Martin Kettle describing one of David Sainsbury's ideas:

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There's a because missing in The Guardian's analysis of tax evasion

Written by | Sunday 29 September 2013

When different regions are compared, Europe comes out the worst in terms of the size of its black market and the total amount of tax it loses as a result. As a region though, Europe also has the highest tax rates in the world. Out of 36 countries looked at, Europeans averaged a tax rate that was 39% of their GDP, compared to a world average of 28%. The lowest rates were found among 39 African countries which had taxes that represented around 17% of their GDP.

Sigh.

That "also" needs to be replaced with a "because".

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It's because of socialism you fools

Written by | Saturday 28 September 2013

This is a classic headline from The Guardian:

Venezuela food shortages: 'No one can explain why a rich country has no food'

Absolutely anyojne can tell you why a potentially rich country like Venezuela has no food: it's the socialism you fools!

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