McDonnell’s Claim – Government Investment Works. Oh Really, Does It John?

John McDonnell’s claim is that government investment in this and that is a very good idea, very profitable. That’s why the central government should borrow to go buy all the utilities, the broadband, the transport companies and all that.

Before we consider any other issue here – like whether we actually want state control etc – the whole idea does depend upon the idea that government will be investing in sensible things. This being something we can test by going and looking at what government does invest in when it has the chance to borrow to do so:

The Treasury has clamped down on local authority borrowing, amid fears that reckless investments in struggling retail properties could bankrupt councils.

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Why Invest So Little In Property?

The Questor column in the Telegraph outlines how property is “the best income asset”. Yet they allocate only a small portion of their model portfolio in income producing property and companies that own it.

Why?

Without being willing to pay to peek behind the paywall I can only guess. But there is good economic reason.

Which is that we all invest far too much in property already. That thing you’re living in? That’s an investment. Perhaps it shouldn’t be, the world might well be better if it were the mere consumption good it should be – and used to be.…

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A Plurality Of Americans Are Anti-Abortion – Shouldn’t It Be Illegal Then?

We’ve all long known that American attitudes to abortion are rather different than they are over here in Europe. We do indeed have people who are vociferously against the practice – I am one of them but this isn’t about me or my prejudices – but there’re many fewer. We really don’t have anything like the very large American pro-life movement and most certainly not the power they have in politics.

Well, OK. And it’s also pretty easy to work out why too.…

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The Problem With Hammerson, Land Securities – Property Valuations Are Too High

We all like to think – we who think markets work that is – that markets work. Bit tautologous but there we are. Prices in a market reflect the “true” value of whatever it is. As it happens, this isn’t true. What is true is that market prices reflect the aggregate and average price of what everyone involved in the market thinks the price should be. We can be tautologous again and say that the market price is that real price as the price of something is what you can sell it for.…

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Magufuli’s Tanzania Kills Rural Development By Seizing Farms

It’s entirely true that Tanzania needs more development. It’s also true that it needs more rural and agricultural development, the country has bounteous land a lot of which is un- or barely- used. The question is, how to encourage that development of that land? The correct answer not being to confiscate it. But that’s what Magufuli’s Tanzania is in fact doing at present:

Dodoma — The government has warned Mohamed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd (MeTL), whose majority shares are owned by Mohammed Dewji, that it will revoke ownership of its (the firm’s) six farms if it (the company) fails to develop them as a matter of urgency.

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Gender Ideology – If People Vote For It Well, That’s Democracy

Democracy is not the system in which everything you like gets done and nothing you don’t does. Rather, it’s the system in which the people have their say over what does get done. This rather vital distinction gets missed all to often. So it is with this diatribe against gender ideology.

What was even more remarkable than his sudden electoral surge was that Alvarado had managed to make the election in Central America’s most stable democracy hinge on an abstract – some would say specious – concept: “gender ideology”.

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