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Time. It takes a long time for the increase in supply to impact much on price. A much longer time than the lifetime of any government. So, governments don't see it as a priority and don't do it. 2% is not much over a year, but 2% per annum is a big deal over 25 years. So no, increasing supply is not a short term magic bullet. But long term?
Toggle Commented Oct 17, 2017 on On cutting house prices at Stumbling and Mumbling
For good or I'll, given McDonnell's personal history, he has no prospect of persuading the voters Labour needs that he could be a competent economic manager. You can't see or hear him for all the baggage in the way. New or orthodox. With an iPad or a free microwave. It doesn't matter whatsoever.
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2015 on "A new economics" at Stumbling and Mumbling
"Paradox one is that, as John says, "left-wing" policies are popular but left-wing parties are not." Two reasons you don't mention. First is free ponies. When offered a free pony most people say yes please. "Would you like Energy prices to be frozen? Yes please!" That doesn't mean you trust the person offering you the free pony. Second, you may have "an accumulation of policies, even if individually popular, that, taken together, contradict that strategy and send us too far left." As somebody who knows about this kind of thing said You might get away with promising one free pony. Half a dozen, and you won't be trusted. Not that any of this kind of rational stuff matters for the immediate future of the UK left.
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2015 on Paradoxes of control at Stumbling and Mumbling
Quite brilliant.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2015 on Heartless, clueless? at Stumbling and Mumbling
"Plato (Republic, Book VI) argues that democracy is inferior to various forms of monarchy, aristocracy and even oligarchy on the grounds that democracy tends to undermine the expertise necessary to properly governed societies. In a democracy, he argues, those who are expert at winning elections and nothing else will eventually dominate democratic politics. Democracy tends to emphasize this expertise at the expense of the expertise that is necessary to properly governed societies. The reason for this is that most people do not have the kinds of talents that enable them to think well about the difficult issues that politics involves. But in order to win office or get a piece of legislation passed, politicians must appeal to these people's sense of what is right or not right. Hence, the state will be guided by very poorly worked out ideas that experts in manipulation and mass appeal use to help themselves win office." We have been down this path before. We shouldn't of course fetishize democracy, or be blind to its flaws. However, S W-L's analysis, which is as you say Marxist, has been taken seriously by the left in many different recent times and places. It hasn't ended well. Having elected politicians make these decisions, even when they cock things up, is much to be preferred.
"Nor is it clear that a BI's treatment of immigrants is wrong. Because it's a citizens' basic income, immigrants would not be entitled to it " Free movement of persons in the EU doesn't allow that. You can't ringfence benefits (or tax relief etc) to citizens. That is what free movement requires. So, you'll have to leave the EU to have it.
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2015 on Basic income: some issues at Stumbling and Mumbling
At the end of the season, the table does not lie. The problem with economics is, there never is an end of the season. Looser fiscal policy leads to higher growth in the short term. Everyone accepts that. The question at the beginning of 2013 was whether a looser fiscal policy was necessary. The likes of S W-L said it was. They were proven wrong. Osborne, for the avoidance of doubt, deserves no credit for that. He just got lucky.
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2014 on The outcome bias at Stumbling and Mumbling
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Jan 2, 2014