Two Numbers To Know About The NHS

The Senior Lecturer Emeritus at Islington Technical College tells us two numbers that we need to know about the National Health Service. He’s right in that these are two important numbers. Given who he is he manages to gain entirely the wrong conclusions but then that’s rather what we’d expect.

Health spending has risen by an average of 3.7% per year since the NHS was founded, but only by 1.5% since 2010.

The relationship between input and output is known as productivity.…

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House Of Lords – The New High Speed Train Set Shouldn’t Be High Speed

The standard method of getting a political boondoggle going in this country is to insist that this massive leap forward in technology and its application just must be done to put us in the forefront of the world. It’ll be massively fast and whizzy and white heat. The economic justification is that it really will be whizzy. Once the very undercooked budget is signed off then we get two things. That budget inexorably rises, the performance promises fall.…

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Political Incentives – Modi’s Indian Election Bribes Will Have To Be Paid By Next Government

We can, if we wish, tut and mutter about how India’s government is lashing out spending and tax reliefs as the election approaches but this is just how politics is done – spend other peoples’ money on other people. That’s rather the point of the process. Further, the political incentive is always to promise such in order to gain the votes of those select constituencies whose support is being bought with that other peoples’ money. Finally, of course, the bill is going to land in the lap of whoever is in government after the election, not the necessarily the one hoping to win it.…

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Jupiter Macron Does Seem To Be Having Economic Problems

M. Macron has, famously, compared himself to the most powerful of the old Gods, Jupiter. Able to do just anything, to move us mere mortals around in order to achieve his higher goal. Then there’s that pesky reality outside the window as les paysans in their yellow vests seem to be less amenable to such high handed direction. The idea that they should be paying even more into the pot in order to keep the French state and it’s vanguard on the sauce chemin de fer not being quite to their liking.…

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Budget Revelation – Those Who Pay Income Tax Benefit From Income Tax Cuts

It might be worth our giving a little explanation to The Guardian about how tax systems work. We impose taxes upon certain things. Activities, transactions, even at times unsuccessfully upon mere existence as with the poll tax. These taxes are then paid by those who indulge in such activities, perform such transactions, have the temerity to exist. If we then decide to cut the tax rate or level on an activity, type of transaction or mode of existence then it will be those who formerly paid the tax on such who benefit from the tax cut on such.…

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We’ve Not Got Any Austerity So Why Raise Taxes To End It?

The public conversation is labouring under a misapprehension. Or if you prefer, the b’stards are lying. We’ve not actually got any austerity in the public finances. Given this there’s no need to raise taxes to end that austerity, is there? But people keep giving us plans to end what doesn’t exist in the first place:

Philip Hammond could make progress towards ending austerity in his budget on 29 October despite opposition from backbench Tory MPs to tax rises and extra borrowing, according to a leading tax and benefits thinktank.

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The Guardian’s Absurd View Of NHS Funding

Even for The Guardian managing two logical fallacies in the one editorial is pretty good going. But that’s what they achieve in this one on funding the NHS. They manage both to get the Keynesian – and by extension, modern monetary theory – idea of deficit financing wrong and also the implications of the National Health Service being the efficient manner of organising health care. Actually, this is such a misunderstanding that I suspect it’s been written by Aditya Chakrabortty:

Before spending more money on the NHS, British politicians should take the advice of the US economist Stephanie Kelton: in a UK lecture this week, she explained that it was wrong for politicians and the media to argue that the government must balance its books, just like a household.

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Shock! Horror! Government Not Good At Spending Money On Council Housing!

There is much to enjoy in this little story about budgets for council housing. For while all bien pensant non-thinkers are loudly screaming that very much more of your and my tax money must be spent upon housing for their political constituency the actual mechanism they wish to use, local councils, is returning council housing money to the Treasury. Because they cannot spend what they’ve already got.

Yes, that’s right, council housing budgets are currently too large.…

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