Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

He’s Probably Wrong, But So What?

From the Daily Mail

One of the frontrunners in the race to replace Arlene Foster as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party is a creationist who believes the world is 6,000 years old.

Edwin Poots, Stormont’s current Agriculture Minister, said in 2007 that he believes the earth dates back to 4000 BC.

He also hit out at scientists who he claimed wanted to ‘indoctrinate everyone’ with the theory of evolution. 

Sure, all the evidence is that he’s wrong about this. But does it really matter? If you think it’s 4000 or 4 billion years, what’s the effect on the price of fish?
Why is this such an issue, but no-one has a good snigger at politicians who think jobs are a benefit rather than a cost? Or fiddling with mortgage deposits, supposedly in the name of helping people get a home of their own, which won’t work? Or bidding for the Olympic games. These are as easy to prove wrong, and have an effect on people’s lives.
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Arthur the Cat
Arthur the Cat
3 months ago

I suspect the belief that jobs are a benefit, if it isn’t just blather for the electorate, reflects the cost to the government rather than the economy as a whole. Someone being paid by a company will get less (or no) money from the government, thus leaving more in the public purse for MPs’ expenses and white elephant projects.

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
3 months ago
Reply to  Arthur the Cat

There are about 30 million plus change people in the workforce. Say that the average employer has 10 employees. Thus there are about 3 million employers. That means there are 3 million people who think that jobs are a cost, and 27 million who think that jobs are a benefit. Isn’t it about time that this piece of nonsense was put to bed?

Boganboy
Boganboy
3 months ago
Reply to  Arthur the Cat

True enough.

Also sneering at someone over evolution shows that they and their accomplices believe in the ‘Science!!!!!!’ and are thus worthy of a government handout.

Spike
Spike
3 months ago
Reply to  Arthur the Cat

A job is a benefit to the politician because he’s not paying; there are more voters getting than paying; and they are in a stable, well-defined arrangement where pols can gift them more legislated fringe benefits from time to time, versus being available for street protests. And unions can skim off some of their pay.

Snarkus
Snarkus
3 months ago

given the madness put out by devout materialist religion pundits about the provable here and now (Marxists to most of us) , whing about the unprovable past is small beer. Does the candidate have a good grasp of administration, problem solving and real communication skills ? The skill set most likely o be needed as a taxpayer funded employee.

jgh
jgh
3 months ago

Having a religious fundamentalist for a party leader did wonders for the LibDems.

Esteban
Esteban
3 months ago

Seems to me the “jobs are a cost” concept isn’t quite the open and shut case it’s presented as. I do understand that “creating” jobs that don’t add value are a bad idea (Friedman’s “give them teaspoons” point). However: We don’t cheer when the unemployment rate rises. My job was always a good thing for me to have (otherwise I wouldn’t have been showing up). If I’m an entry-level worker in Peoria and MegaCorp announces that it’s opening a facility that will create 1,500 jobs I’m glad to hear it – more competition for workers like me should increase my… Read more »

Nila24
Nila24
3 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Yeah, but EVERY job is a bad job – give them teaspoons. Unemployment is not bad as such. It is the effect of being unemployed in current society which is bad for people. Not as bad as it used to be though. People used to die from starvation when being unemployed. Now they do not. Nor they have to live in the streets. Not being able to afford latest iPhone is still a problem, true. Extrapolate the trend to full robot overlord mode and everyone is unemployed, yet nobody dies of starvation and they can afford new iPhones because they… Read more »

Spike
Spike
3 months ago
Reply to  Nila24

What is not to like? For starters, that a system where no one has to pull his own weight will have to be imposed at gunpoint. For another, robot overlords will not innovate, and probably no one else will either.

Esteban
Esteban
2 months ago
Reply to  Nila24

If EVERY job is a bad job, why do people want them? Seek them out, go on interviews, etc.

Give them teaspoons? Perhaps you don’t know the teaspoons story?

Since we’re not at the full robot overlord point yet, I wouldn’t base my argument on that. There is a difference between not needing to work and not being able to find suitable employment.

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
3 months ago

Presumably he won’t want to develop policies that support/enable/don’t hold back numerous sectors of medicine and biological sciences etc. that are predicated on an understanding of the evolution of DNA. Not sure that he would be my first choice; although I could be persuaded if the alternative was someone who believes that a man can transmogrify into a women willy-nilly.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
2 months ago
Reply to  Leo Savantt

If you believe in other biblical stuff, and then insist on interfering based on it, yes, that would be bad. But I don’t see any great harm in this belief.

It’s rather like the way that Glenn Hoddle had some weird opinions, but did it really matter to football?

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
2 months ago
Reply to  Bloke on M4

Spending ones time kicking a sphere around a plain of artificial grass is somewhat different to having legislative power and disbursing people’s wealth, which is taken from them on pain of imprisonment.

However, let the voters decide.

john77
john77
3 months ago

It shows that he has just swallowed what he has been told without questioning it which (Timmy excepted) is more a failing of Roman Catholics than Protestants. Even a fundamentalist who understood what he was reading would note that just adding up the numbers in Genesis etc doesn’t give the age of the world because Judges keeps saying “after so-and-so a new Judge arises” but does not say how long after.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
2 months ago
Reply to  john77

Lots of people swallow what they’ve been told without questioning. Like most of our politicians think high speed trains are a good idea. Or that the NHS is wonderful. Or that the MMR vaccine causes autism. As opinions go, the earth being 4000 years old causes less damage than any of those.

Pat
Pat
3 months ago

Firstly Politician should.have knowledge relevant present day problems. Whether he agrees.with the current wisdom as to the purpose of the pyramids, the birthday of.Mohamed or anything else archaic is irrelevant.
Secondly, I feel that our Tim is instinctively counter narrative.
The usual narrative is that exports matter, imports don’t.
Also that jobs are a benefit not a cost.
I believe he knows that the truth is far more nuanced- a benefit for one is a disbenefit for someone else, an import is a.benefit for some and a.discredit for someone else.
The key is in finding the balance.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
2 months ago
Reply to  Pat

What nuance? You have to pay people to do jobs, therefore jobs are a cost. It’s self-evident. And we’ll find other jobs for people to do.

Charles
Charles
2 months ago
Reply to  Bloke on M4

Jobs are not a cost. Jobs have a cost. They also have a benefit. You cannot separate the two. As an employer, if the benefit you get from giving someone a job does not exceed the cost you are paying, then you should get rid of that job as it is losing you money. Similarly, for a worker a job has a cost (they need to do some work etc) and a benefit (usually that they get paid, but there are also volunteering jobs). If a worker finds that their job is costing them more than their benefit, they should… Read more »

eris23
eris23
2 months ago

So…Mr. Poots holds to Isaac Newton’s 4000 BC. Does the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, of which he’s a member, believe the same? Anyone know?

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