Wednesday, April 29, 2009

talk radio for the deaf - reminder

this is a reminder to people who read this (i know there's two of you, including me)

this is not my cambridge blog - thats the clog one;
this is not my net blog - thats the true history one;
and none of the three are to do with the university work i do.

this is my rant blog - if you take stuff here seriously, more fool you -
(as geo. bush junior so wisely said "fool me once...")

oh, and people accusing me of being a commie, pinko, liberal, socialist, leftie, etc:
you have no idea how completely and utterly wrong you are, you capitalist lacky, you:)

Deconstructing Wellington Boot

Wellington Boot is an interesting choice of nom de guerre - I think it behoves us to think about what a person is trying to convey by using such a moniker.

1. I don't think they mean they are claiming falsely to have invented soemthing (e.g. Duke of Wellington's claims to have invented a type of boot - sandwiched between the Earl of Sandwich's claim to having invented structured snack food and the Edison Lighthouse Family's claim to have invented the invention).

2. I doubt they intend to be a UK pharmacy in an antipodean city.

3. So do they want to inherit the dubious kick-ass honour of having routed the french?
odd? or do they mean that they are "booting wellington" i.e. kicking "brit" ass?

clearly they subscribe to some theories about economics. This is a bit like subscribing to private eye - amusing and occasionally informative, but hardly a fit activity for someone who asociates themselves with or against the british aristocracy of the early 19th century. Oh, wait - Wellington was a "west brit" (allegedly irish) and an anti-parliametary that doesnt work

hmm - weird pseudonym. oh well...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

hate the rich

seems like I am not allowed to tax the rich without hating them,
so let's cut to the chase and just hate them without bothering to tax them.

as long as there's no tax on hate, of course.

obviously we should get rid of government, state services and so on
and have zero tax and then use pure hatred to get trickle down to work
(if it doesn't get maundy money, it might at least extract blood from the stones).

meanwhile, those of us who are quite rich will use fear to combat the hate and trickle down - this will create a dynamic tension (so loved by Charles Atlas)
and build a fitter society.

of course it will.

Ayn Rand, I love you and your funny name. I love the politics of envy. I love the smell of revolution in the morning. So much healthier than starbucks.

This has been a lay brother's leveller rant, part 2
A self-hating rich guy:)

Smith, wealth of nations
Marx: Das Capital
The Spirit Level; WIlson & Pickett
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes
Naomi Klein, No Long (according to
a malevolent thinker - so that is ok by me)
Collective Choice and Social Choice, Amartya Sen

expect more

Thursday, April 23, 2009

tax the rich

there's some serious lies going on to protect the rich - during the budget analysis yesterday, several people wih unstated but obvious vested interested said that there's no point in taxing the rich as you don't get much money, and you should raise the base rate of tax as that way you get much more.

are they completely stupid?

do these people actually believe that we can't look at graphs of wealth and see quite plainly that most of the wealth in the country is concentrated in a small number of hands (famously 7:84 is a ratio that has hardly changed in centuries)

the fact is that if you want more tax revenue, then you can get more of it without causing tax avoidance by taxing the great unwashed PAYE public, but the potential revenue is in the rich

what is more, during a world-wide recession, they have nowhere to run, especially with Obama et al closing down the havens.

no - i am sick of this - Labour?Darling did right to raise the tax tier to 50% above 150k - but as the liberals pointed out (especially the increasingly useful Vince Cable) he could haev done more (e.g. progressibvely higher tax on unearned income and earned income rising to (say) 90% at 1M per annum.

some people say this gets rid of incentives. well if people only do a good job because of money that is sad but there are two big errors in this statement anyhow
1. the highest paid people (directors, bankers) didn't do a good job, so its wrong
2. professionals (doctors, teachers, farmers, carers) do a good job despite not having great pay, so its wrong.

no, it's wrong and its a lie.
taxing the rich is fair and works - we just havnt tried it often and long enough.

(as per other postings, more level socieities are better for everyone anyway.)

I'm not sure about being a Leveller, but I'm sure starting to head that way.

update:- the nice thing about being a blog owner is I can change it. SO lets look at the evidence that increasing taxes reduces the wealth of the nation shall we. Ok, so tax burdens in much of europe over the last 100 years went from 0 for the poor to on the order of 20% and from 0 or close to for the rich to in the range 40-90% depending where you look. Did wealth decrease? did it?

so in the countries where state provision of services is high (lets say scandinavia)
how do they fare in average quality of life? how well does that correlate.

Maybe we need to ignore the USA as a pathologically weird part of the world. perhaps we need to ignore the frightened squeals of people who are wrong.
oh, no, wait, the US - now quality of life in Mass or Cal?

let me re-cite
the spirit level
which contains a wealth of evidence.
instead of ranting in a datafree way.

The history of tax might give some intersting indications about whether increasing the steepeness on the slope of progressive taxation (whether on income or on property or on goods and services) actually makes people move wealth elsewhere - it is fairly clear also that things have changed a LOT in the last 100 years - see the
HMRC's brief history in the uk
for a light read. US has similar figures - indeed, it seems to reflect the social moves from agricultural based population to an urban/industry or post-industry based one.

Certainly, raising a shed load of money purely by increasing slope of progressive tax on "earned" income is limited - but note there are many sources of income and repositories of wealth (and of unfairness) - Countries have redistributed wealth in lots of ways and I don't see a correlation with the sum total evaporating - of course you can get it wrong - that is irrelevant - we're arguing from a standpoint that the market model is bogus (always was - it just got lucky for a short time - gambler's streak) and its proponents are intellectually, morally, and probably sometimes economically bankrupt:)

lets move on...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

why not arrest all foreign national students on arrival

see bbc story: about students held for 11 days without trial

we might as well save hassle and arrest all students as they arrive in this country and give them a brief spell in jail - many of them will then go home in disgust, freeing up places for all the unemployed 25 year old and younger who now need a place to study...
and the ones that stay wont need arresting abgain, saving many embarassing moments for policemen carrying secret documents openly or hitting them on the head in demos with riot shields...

we could call it speculative anti-terrorism

a modest proposal, #123

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

apologists for official torture and police violence

so cheney now says torure works and the uk police chiefs defend handling of G20 demo

are these people completely stupid?
do they think the world is a static, passive, punch ball?

do they think the "other side" is a fixed point with fixed behaviour?

a) create more enemies
b) escalate the violence the enemies are prepared to commit

how do we fire these people?

this is not about appeasement. it is about us taking control of our servants and
not letting them screw things up beyond all recognition.

If we don't reign in the dogs, we will deserve what we get.

I think Obama should get Mossad to assassinate Cheney

Sunday, April 19, 2009

why we havn't seen any alients yet

there's this theory (conjecture/hypothesis) attributed to lots of different people that there cannot be any aliens else why havn't we seen any yet.

My explanation is that we are actually in a corner of the Universe that is an area of outstanding national beauty, and tourists are not allowed to visit here anymore
(viz, antarctica

why wouldn't they want to talk to us humans, I hear you cry.
why? would you?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

E-mail smears handling defended

sounds like some sort of mud slide/rugby tackle kind of scenario

smears handling - hmm - maybe not - maybe this is marketing fr a new web based laundry service?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

G20 police state

so journalists and police behaved equally (almost) appallingly at the G20 demo - first off, around 30 photographers surrounded the guy throwing stuff the the RBS glass window - not one tried to stop him while 1 demo guy (the ONLY other one there) did try and reason with him

then 30 police surround an "innocent" bystander and knock him to the ground (and the only visible demo guy there is trying to help the chap on the ground, but none of the polis do) and he dies. like it would have been ok if he was on the demo, maybe, or brazillian:-(

if this was a python sketch, his dying words might have been
"...I didn't expect the IDF..."

bbc for various video links...including lovely police medical help and
culpable by ommission journalists.
In this video you can clearly see the chap trying to stop the yoofs bustin up the RBS window....

now we have this woman being slapped in face with glove then hit with baton

this is not proportionate behaviour by the police - it is assault.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

fictional biograph of the mayor of london...

the risable rise of Mayor Johnson - Tragic Tory

first sentence,

like gollum, boris was a creature of Hobbit...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

three elephants in the G20 room

so the lovefest between Mr Brown and Mr Obama continues - but they seem to be completely ignoring the real problems - they are truly in lala land

the lessons of the Bush era are at least threefold

social capital is more important than banks

religion and terrorism go hand in hand

expansion and environment are incompatible

yet they are not doing anything about equalising the differences between rich and poor,
improving the education of masses so that religion is revealed as a distraction, and every statement about economy is about getting back to the expansionist days - what is wrong with them? they'be learned the superficial story and are treating the symptoms, not the cause.

frankly, I think we should have days where we
a) turn off the stock exchanges for 24 hours at random
b) anti-sabbath days where it is illegal to go to church/synagog/mosque
c) turn off the electricity grid for 12 hours at random to encourage people to lag their houses and fridges better.