Tim Worstall

It's not entirely obvious that the power firms are ripping consumers off

Written by | Friday 27 September 2013

My reaction to Ed Miliband's proposal to introduce price caps on energy was not, I'm sorry to say, something that was printable in a respectable place like this. So I'll spare you that and look instead at the basic contention that is being made.

Clearly, Miliboy must believe that the energy firms are ripping off consumers if he thinks that their prices need to be capped. If they were indeed ripping off consumers then we would see it in their profits. They would be making excess returns, profits well above their cost of capital and well above the rest of the market as well.

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You know that ever longer working hours thing? It's wrong

Written by | Thursday 26 September 2013

It's a common meme, a trope, that we're all working ever more hours for The Man. Further, that we should all lighten up, stop sticking our nose to the grindstone and get a work life balance. Now my normal answer to this is that looking only at paid working hours is very misleading. We nered to also include unpaid hours in household production and as those have been falling swiftly for a century or so now we are all indeed enjoying more leisure.

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Do we even have sectors of the economy any more?

Written by | Wednesday 25 September 2013

I find myself rather scratching my head over this latest bright idea from a lefty think tank:

Sectoral bargaining should determine pay and conditions: The legislation relating to sectoral bargaining should make provision for the determination of pay and other working conditions, provide procedures for the resolution of disputes, and deal with skills, training and productivity;

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Why the Green New Deal won't work

Written by | Tuesday 24 September 2013

I'm sure you've all heard about the Green New Deal. It's the idea that we'll just print a load more new money then spend it on lovely things like building green houses, lagging and insulating those that already exist and by doing so we'll create lots of high paid jobs and boost the economy. Plus, of course, reduce CO2 emissions.

I'm afraid it's not going to work though:

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Will Hutton's very strange thoughts on climate change

Written by | Monday 23 September 2013

Apparently we free marketeers are almost entirely responsible for the fact that Flipper is going to boil in the coming end of times. It's all our fault that not enough is being done about climate change.

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Perhaps government regulation isn't the way to go then

Written by | Sunday 22 September 2013

That something must be done is sometimes true: that that thing must be done by government regulation might also be true at times. But I have a very strong feeling that the majority of times when something must be done doing it by any method other than government regulation would be a good idea. Just three examples from around the place just recently.

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Why are insurers willing to make permanent losses on insuring people?

Written by | Saturday 21 September 2013

Following on from my blog post of yesterday I've been emailed with an interesting question. I asserted that the very evidence that banks are making losses on current accounts (before we consider the value of the float that is) is evidence that the banking market for current accounts was competitive. I was then asked this follow up question:

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What an interesting example from Zoe Williams

Written by | Friday 20 September 2013

If this were true it would most certainly be undesirable:

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The new economics foundation hasn't bothered to understand Adam Smith

Written by | Thursday 19 September 2013

You would think that 237 years after publication that those who wish to pronounce on matters economic would have, by now, grasped the simple and basic points that were made by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations. But apparently not, at least not over at the nef, which is why Giles Wilkes explanation of the acronym, not economics, frankly, is so apposite.

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Heavens to Betsy, Robert Reich almost gets one right

Written by | Wednesday 18 September 2013

Unfortunately Robert Reich is not a perfect guide on what not to do as he sometimes almost manages to get things right:

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