Spain’s Election Didn’t Solve The 600 Year Long Argument

Not all that much of a surprise to be honest, that a single election, or even four in four years, didn’t solve an argument that’s been running 600 years and more. The point to recall about Spanish politics being that there’s another axis running through it beyond left and right. Beyond the usual conservative/classical liberal divide, the modern normal of the social democratic left and the hippies into woo.

That’s whether there should be a Spain at all.…

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Doctor Keynes And Doctor Hayek

I’ve written before about how our economies have become gangrenous, and how the central banking reaction has worsened the situation.

And I’ve also written about how the Left sees the Right as Demons, whereas the Right sees the Left as merely Morons.

We must tie those together, because to get macro you need micro – you can’t get the former without having a lot of the latter.

And for that, we need to look at how we actually treat gangrene in our hospitals, believe it or not.…

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If Only Robert Reich Knew Anything

We’re told that American capitalism is fixed:

You might say the $110bn man deserves this because he founded and built Amazon. But Amazon is a monopolist with nearly 50% of all e-commerce retail sales in America, and e-commerce is one of the biggest sectors of retail sales. In addition, Amazon’s business is protected by a slew of patents granted by the US government.

50% does not make you a monopolist. Further, it’s about 38%.…

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Where Michael Mann Goes Wrong About Climate Change

Michael Mann hasn’t grasped the simplest and most basic point about climate change yet:

Mann told the Observer that although flat rejection of global warming was becoming increasingly hard to maintain in the face of mounting evidence, this did not mean climate change deniers were giving up the fight.

“First of all, there is an attempt being made by them to deflect attention away from finding policy solutions to global warming towards promoting individual behaviour changes that affect people’s diets, travel choices and other personal behaviour,” said Mann.

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How We Know That Avinash Persaud Is Blowing Smoke About The Financial Transactions Tax

It’s possible to the actual work on a financial transactions tax and prove that it’s pensioners that pay it, it shrinks the economy, doesn’t increase – rather decreases – total tax revenues and so on. As I have done in fact.

It’s also possible to take just a quick look and conclude that Persaud’s blowing smoke.

The mastermind of Jeremy Corbyn’s planned raid on the City is this weekend revealed as a supporter and user of the offshore tax havens on which the Labour leader has pledged a crackdown.

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A Toast To Herr Jaeger

Not the most laudable of careers overall but it had its moment, it had its moment:

The Stasi official Harald Jäger, a second-tier passport-control officer overseeing the night shift at Bornholmer Street, became the man who opened the wall. He was an unlikely candidate for this title. Jäger had amassed 25 years of loyal service to the Stasi, mainly as a paper-pusher. Yet on the night of Nov. 9, he was the senior Stasi officer on duty at Bornholmer Street, in charge of all of the men and weapons present.

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Why Marty Weitzman Was Wrong About Climate Change’s Fat Tail

This comes into that – all too large – class of things I’d not want to have to explain myself but am willing to accept is being properly explained by another.

You know, on the basis that I don’t understand the method by which the point is being made, only the conclusion.

But, Marty Weitzman told us that there’s a fat tail to the probability of calamitous climate change. The implication of this being that we should and must do much more than we were thinking we had to.…

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How Excellent, The NHS Pays Private Hospitals

This is a weird thing to be complaining about. The National Health Services goes and buys medical services from private sector providers:

The number of NHS patients having surgery in private hospitals has nearly trebled since 2010, sparking accusations that for-profit companies are benefitting from an “enfeebled” health system under the Conservatives.

NHS figures obtained by the Guardian show that it paid for 214,967 people in England to have an operation in a private hospital in 2009-10, Labour’s last year in power.

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Vaclav Smil’s Growth – He Gets The Economics Wrong You Know

One of the joys of being a public intellectual (ahem) is that publishers send you freebie books. As the MIT Press has just done with Vaclav Smil’s “Growth” for which I thank them.

In which we find this:

“Although economists have a long history of ignoring energy, all economic activities are, in fundamental physical (thermodynamic) terms, simple or sequential energy conversions aimed at producing specific products or services.”

No, they’re not. And if you start off like this, as he does in his consideration of the economy, you’re not going to get to the right answer either.…

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9 November 1989 – We the people, the free and equal citizens of democracies, we living exemplars of the Rights of Man tore a new asshole in International Communism.

Owen Jones and Grandpa Death can bugger off. And worse.

The greatest single moment in human freedom. Take it away Mr. O’Rourke:

The people in the crowd weren’t yelling or demanding anything. They weren’t waiting for anything to happen. They were present from sheer glee at being alive in this place at this time. They were there to experience the opposite of the existential anguish which has been the twentieth century’s designer mood. And they were happy with the big, important happiness that – the Declaration of Independence reminds us – is everybody’s, even a communist’s, unalienable right to pursue.

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