Nov 142012
 

It wasn’t until I read the following editorial in the Independent that I thought much about the PCC election tomorrow: Editorial: Police commissioners are worth voting for Here are my options for the Greater Manchester police force area. Should the candidate be independent of any political party? If so, why? One candidate thinks so: Roy Warren, Independent But the argument for a PCC who is independent of a political party is not made by this candidate. He clearly believes it, but didn’t explain what’s in it for me. Perhaps he is right, but if so the only way to find . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 282012
 

In order to demonstrate how little I understand national and international economical affairs, here is my view of a multi-stage approach to solving Greece’s problems in the Eurozone! Rather than lead up to it with waffle, here is the summary: 1. Help Greece exit from the Eurozone under control, but stay in the EU. 2. Implement something like a Marshall Plan to help Greece become more viable. 3. Allow Greece back in to the Eurozone when it has properly met the criteria. It is pretty obvious that one of the most serious problems for Greece at the moment is that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 312012
 

Two UK TV programmes this week have presented problems with the new approach to sickness and disability benefits. (Channel 4 “Britain on the Sick” and BBC2 “Panorama: Disabled or Faking it?”) Both programmes used anecdotes and under-cover investigation to make their points that there are flaws with the new system. And there do appear to be flaws. But are these flaws of philosophy/policy or flaws of implementation? I think they are primarily flaws of motivation and implementation, not of philosophy. First, some statistics presented as criticism by Channel 4 about the assessments performed by Atos, the private-sector contractor used for . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 242012
 

As usual when people pursue a single issue, logic fails and the plot gets lost. That is the case with what David Gauke, a Treasury minister said, and/or with the discussion that followed it: David Gauke: we shouldn’t ignore hidden economy Paying tradesmen cash in hand morally wrong, says minister Money Morals: Is it really morally wrong to pay my cleaner in cash? How ‘morally wrong’ is it to pay cash-in-hand? “David Gauke, a Treasury minister, told The Daily Telegraph that home owners who allow workmen to evade VAT or income tax were forcing others to pay more”. To show . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

May 162012
 

The Greek economy is a tiny fraction (2%?) of that of the eurozone. The economy of the eurozone is a fraction of the global economy. The population of Greece is about 11 million, a small faction of 1% of the population of the world. Yet a democratic election in Greece is feared in financial circles across the world! The global impact of Greece exiting from the euro would be many times the size of the Greek economy. Politicians and economists want Greeks to take the rest of the world into account when they vote. But that is really a contradiction . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 212012
 
Public sector workers don't really pay tax!

See below for what I’m not saying here! This post is in response to people who justify the number of public sector workers by using the argument: “public sector workers pay their taxes which contribute to the public purse”. No – public sector workers do not contribute to the public purse (consolidated fund)! What is the difference between the following payment methods for a public sector worker for a given number of hours? Salary £1000, income tax £200. Salary £900, income tax £100. Salary £800, income tax £0. Essentially, no difference. They all draw £800 from the public purse. The . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 212011
 
The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis

This is the 3rd of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market” Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing (This article) “Intergenerational analysis” is a popular topic (and more discussion across the world can be expected in future). There are many people, associated with a number of organisations, campaigning for it. There is nothing inherently wrong about campaigning for any form of fairness, as long there is a reasonable definition of “fair”. But there rarely is, because it is in the eye of the beholder. . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 202011
 
Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing

This is the 2nd of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market” (This article) The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis There are obviously things seriously wrong with the housing market in the UK. But according to The Intergenerational Foundation, it is primarily about unused bedrooms in houses hoarded by older people! I’ve published an introduction to their errors in: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market”. Here I’ll illustrate the error using the analogy of an imaginary country with a simplified version of . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 192011
 
Some fallacies in "Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market"

This is the 1st of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: (This article) Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis The Intergenerational Foundation is a relatively new charity intended to help younger generations at the expense of older generations. They don’t put it quite like that! They say “We believe that each generation should pay its own way, which is not happening at present. British policy-makers have given undue advantages to the older generation at the expense of younger and future generations”. (In what way are we – I’m . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 022011
 
Abortion - some unemotional analysis

Abortion is in the news in the UK. See: Nadine Dorries’ abortion proposals – Fact and Fiction I am among the least qualified to comment on abortion. I am a childfree man who is not likely to be remotely involved in such a process in the foreseeable future. But my detachment may be useful for introducing some analysis to this topic. (I don’t claim originality for most of the ideas here, but it would hard to cite all the influences). Trying to treat an inherently emotional subject unemotionally leaves out a lot that is important. I expect there is something . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]