Saturday, 31 January 2009
2. The Ford Cortina Mk 1 and The Ford Mondeo. The lineage of the current Mondeo can be traced back to the Mk1 Cortina - the first true repmobile / family car. The Cortina was launched in 1962 and ended its production run as the MK4 version in 1982. Replaced by the Sierra which in its turn was replaced by the Mondeo. The modern Mondeo is efficient, safe, recyclable, low emmitting, economic, reliable (my 1996 version is still going strong at 160,000 miles with no major component change - cross fingers) engineering marvel. Luxury and comfort at low cost. The product of capitalism.
So, working on the evidence it is clear that capitalism conserves resources. It developes efficient products and solutions. That's the point efficient. Driven by competition and ingenuity.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
In the recession of the early 80’s unemployment rose to at least 3 million. These mostly represented redundancies from the old model state supported industries. These industries were inefficient, overmanned and produced products that no-one wanted to buy, or simply rationed supply to sustain employment, hence suffering endemic producer capture. In other words the jobs occupied by the redundant workers were not wealth creating jobs at all. The workers were already redundant, they just didn’t know it.
The result of this forced (and painful) restructuring was that most of the UK’s manufacturing sector and private business generally became efficient and not over-manned.
This time the same failed quasi socialist policies have created the same approximately (probably at least) 3 million non-jobs in the direct public sector. The client state has been transferred from non-jobs hidden in inefficient uncompetitive industrial organisations to equally, or more probably even more inefficient and overmanned, direct public employment. The workers are still not gainfully employed, and again they just do not yet know this.
This time, laying off these already redundant public sector employees will not increase the visible costs to the state. It could well reduce them.
If we assume that each of the 3 million public employees is paid at the NAE rate of approximately £24,000 per annum and that total on-costs are factored at 3* times pay the total costs to the taxpayer is £216 Bn. Once these workers are laid off we can assume that the total benefits may well equal NAE plus an administration cost of say 25%. This gives a cost of £90 Bn. In other words a saving of £129 Bn. per annum. (I accept that these figures are approximate, but it is the case that the costs of benefits are less than the costs of employment).
Furthermore many non-jobs are sustained on the taxpayers purse through the vehicles of alleged charities and Quangos. More of the same savings are available here.
Every way I look at this current crisis I see two complimentary factors. One massive over-employment in state bureaucracies and their associated tame charities and Quangos funded by confiscatory levels of taxation which deprives private individuals and business of spending power combined with a complete absence of responsible fiscal management resulting in massive increases in money supply, that is inflation.
If these factors cause the problem, the correction of them will by definition cure the problem. That is massive reductions in public expenditure brought about by releasing millions of state employees to find more productive wealth creating jobs in private business resulting in massively lower taxes on private business and individuals.
* I realise that the income tax notionally paid by public employees nets out but I have added back a factor of 30% for pension costs.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Reading the above took me to a piece by Mises himself. I quote:
There is no use in arguing with people who are driven by “an almost religious fervor” and believe that their master [Keynes] “had the Revelation.” It is one of the tasks of economics to analyze carefully each of the inflationist plans, those of Keynes and Gesell no less than those of their innumerable predecessors from John Law down to Major Douglas. Yet, no one should expect that any logical argument or any experience could ever shake the almost religious fervor of those who believe in salvation through spending and credit expansion.
The highlighted last sentence says it all really. Why, just why does Brown and New Labour think it'll work this time, when all the evidence of history denies it?
Sunday, 25 January 2009
What a complete plonker. Listen and learn Cleggy.
"Speaking on the same programme [as Ken Clarke], Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said there was a "crisis of confidence in Britain PLC". Nick Clegg: 'We must retain optimism'. He said the economic model of the past 20 years, driven by minimal regulation and subservience" to financial markets, had been swept away and only the Lib Dems could offer the radical changes needed to address these problems. "The future is going to look dramatically different than the past in terms of how we run our economy," he said.
1. Financial regulation has become over-weening and burdensome. It looks, is implemented and managed like nationalisation lite. The FSMA 2000 is the problem, not the solution.
2. There is no need to 'run' the economy. The economy can 'run' itself. As long as it gets the rule of law, government as umpire not player, sound money, the right to enjoy private property, freedom.
3. The 'crisis in confidence' is in inept and nannying and interfering government.
4. We, the people, just do NOT need YOU to RUN anything.
I agree with all of it except the last paragraph. There absolutely no reason at all why the UK should slip quietly into the second league of nations. The 'managed decline' so beloved of post war civil servants.
All countries can avoid this. All of them. But we are better placed than most with our outward looking history and a proclivity for trading.
All it needs is the energy, and the absence of politicians and crucially the removal, or at the very least the severe reduction, of the welfare state. If people have some fear they will try. Pay people to do nothing and they will do nothing, it's rational and I for one would join them if the pay was high enough. So would you. I'd get bored though and go and do something. Now, when I do that something, I am coerced into paying tax at confiscatory levels to support (I calculate) about 12m people either doing bugger all or not more than 25% of what they are capable of. Remove that dead weight overhead and our costs would reduce and we will be able to compete with anybody. Our workers (anyone at any level who turns up and does something productive, whether managing director, dustman or even a merchant banker) are as good as anybody's and work just as hard, but those in the private wealth creating sector are burdened with a huge overhead to support.
Managed decline. Pah!
Saturday, 24 January 2009
Now, whose diseased brain could possibly be behind such a thing?
Moses needed just 10 rules. Works for me.
Friday, 23 January 2009
...There is need to emphasize the truism that a government can spend or invest only what it takes away from its citizens and that its additional spending and investment curtails the citizens' spending and investment to the full extent of it quantity...
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Tonight I was in invention mood and the result was very successful, so being of a generous disposition I thought I'd share it with you. By the way it is based on the 'usie uppie' principle.
4 modest sized thick sausages
1 rasher smoked back bacon
1 red onion
1 half red chili de-seeded (or not - Some Like it Hot)
1 can plum toms
enough new pots.
Red Pepper small and sliced.
Paprika 1 teaspoon ish.
White wine splash plus.
Wash and chop to medium sized new pots. and boil until soft-ish.
Cook sausages until done then chop into 20 mm lengths - ish.
Meanwhile chop onion and chili and soften in saute pan in 1 tbsp olive oil until golden ish.
Add red pepper and cook for 5 mins
Add bacon and brown
Add white wine
Stir in paprika
Add can plumb toms.
Cook for 5 mins
Add cooked sausages
Add 1 tsp Italian seasoning
Season to taste.
Cover and place in moderate oven for 15 mins.
Take out and dish up. Accompany with a nice red. Beaujolais works for me.
Now feeling happy and relaxed with coffee percolating away.
I even had a fleeting sympathetic thought for Gordon Brown. But only very fleeting.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Sunday, 18 January 2009
The UK banks have been stupid and profligate. Their management's have failed spectacularly. And she still does the PR job.
Angela Knight - the Tariq Aziz of the British Bankers Association.
Friday, 16 January 2009
George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four refers to the Big Lie theory on several occasions. For example:
“The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts”.
“To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed...”.
Thursday, 15 January 2009
I'll take the liberty of copying and pasting the last three paragraphs below.
Capitalism needs no adjustment. It needs to be understood and put into practice. Not only is capitalism never the cause of a financial crisis, it is always the cure. Government intervention is never ever under any circumstances the solution to any problem, large or small, economic or otherwise. When will men ever learn that more Government is not only never the solution, it is usually part of the problem?
Real capitalism — that is, capitalism based on secure private-property rights, sound money, the division of labor, social cooperation, freedom of contract, freedom of association, voluntary exchange, and the absence of government control, oversight, and regulation — is the answer to the current economic crisis.
Not state capitalism, not crony capitalism, not mixed-market capitalism, not fascism and interventionism under the guise of capitalism, but unfettered, laissez-faire, free-market capitalism.
Go on. Treat yourself. Read the whole article and the books it recommends. I have.
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
I agree with Steve. I wonder what would happen if we as a firm asked for this concession from HMRC?
When we have to complete our Gabriel return becuase of course the liability would still remain, even if deferred, we'd fall below our capital adequacy requirement and then the FSA would remove our authorisation and we'd beunable to work to repay the money owing to HMRC!
We've just taken the decision to cancel our intended IT spend, training for potential new adviser (internal development) and my own revision courses for Diploma exams as spending all this reduces our capital/cap ad. On top of that whilst we'd taken on a new part time admin last summer and had just started an 18 yr old as part time whilst he does some colleg courses too, I gave them both their notice today as if there earnings and NI will form part of expenditure based Cap ad, getting rid of them and getting my wife to do more hours for the same basic wage, keeps cap ad needs down!
Do they think ANY of this through? We've got work and business coming out of our ears, but I don't want to tie anymoe of my capital up in a business where the biggest part of a SWOT analysis comes out with the FSA and regulation as the THREAT!
Lenders face paying tracker borrowers
Lee Jones - 08-Jan-2009
Lenders may be forced to pay tracker mortgage borrowers if rates continue to plummet.
According to Moneyfacts, as many as 83 tracker products by 33 lenders were offered from July 2007 tracking below base rate. They include BM Solution's tracker at 0.76 per cent below bank rate, and Yorkshire's at 0.61 per cent below bank rate.
The FSA says unless it clearly states in the KFI that the tracker floor is 0 per cent, lenders would have to honour any contractual obligations.
A spokesman says: "Any floor must be clear and must be fair."
Cheltenham & Gloucester, which offered a tracker 0.01 per cent below bank rate from July 2007, says if bank rate does fall to 0 per cent, it would not pay.
There is no mention of any floor in the C&G KFI.
A spokeswoman says: "We will not go further than 0 per cent on our trackers. If it were a savings product, you would not expect the saver to pay the bank. Our contract details the borrower paying us interest, there is no mention of C&G paying the borrower."
John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says: "I do not know how C&G cannot pay its borrowers if the rate does fall to 0 per cent."
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Monday, 5 January 2009
Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice