Monthly Archives: October 2017
Mill’s lost ‘supply-side’ perspective has now been found
Here’s the subhead to an article on the editorial page of the AFR today with the title: Job creators don’t need subsidy.
The billions spent on industry support seems to make very little difference to new job creation.
This is the rediscovery of classical economic theory, and here let me quote John Stuart Mill:
“Demand for commodities is not demand for labour.”
Alas, the amount of unlearning that would have to happen for Mill’s point to be understood is an impossibility, but it is interesting that someone has noticed the actual facts on the ground even if they don’t understand why it’s true. As a wonderful example of someone who sees the point but doesn’t understand it, here is the abstract of a paper by an economist by name of Roy Grieve criticising my paper on Mill’s Fourth Proposition on Capital in which I have, for the first time in more than a century, explained what Mill and the classics meant:
Steven Kates has recently (2015a) attempted to explain and justify J S Mill’s paradoxical “fourth proposition on capital”, which states that “demand for commodities is not demand for labour”, a proposition which notoriously – over generations – has baffled many eminent commentators. Kates intends to resolve the puzzle by offering “a proper understanding of Say’s Law as it was understood by Mill and his contemporaries.” We conclude that Kates does indeed reveal the logic of Mill’s proposition, making it clear that from Mill’s lost “supply-side” perspective, it is in no way puzzling or paradoxical. However, at the same time it becomes evident that Mill’s whole position is undermined by his acceptance of the untenable belief that “demand is constituted by supply”, which leaves us with the clear understanding that his fourth proposition, despite Kates’s rationalisation and defence thereof, as well as certainly being paradoxical, is simply untrue.
I hadn’t even known the paper had been published until just now, but found it only because I was looking online for my own. But this is wonderful since he says five things I am extraordinarily happy to have said about what I wrote:
1) I really am the first economist in well over a century to understand Mill’s Fourth Proposition.
2) I do indeed “reveal the logic of Mill’s proposition”.
3) And what is shown by the Fourth Proposition on Capital is “Mill’s lost ‘supply-side’ perspective”.
4) Say’s Law is the central proposition of supply-side economic theory.
5) And what does Say’s Law teach: that “demand is constituted by supply”.
That Grieve thinks Mill’s Fourth Proposition is untrue only has him lining up with around 98% of modern economists. That it actually is true is demonstrated by the failure of every single peacetime stimulus package in history to increase the level of employment. There has never been an exception to this rule.
Let there be darkness
Comes with the old joke:
Q: What did Victorians use to light their homes before candles?
You know, Victorians, as in those folks who live in Melbourne.
And this from the comments which has a reality that is not far from the truth, if they could arrange it.
The Truth, Yarragrad, Democratic People’s Republic of Victoriastan
The People’s News
Order of Correction of Counter Revolutionary Tendencies
Comrade M. Hardy
After a democratic trial before the Peoples Revolutionary Court for the Elimination of Counter Revolutionary Hoarders, Wreckers and Traitors, the convicted counter-revolutionary wrecker and traitor Steve Kates is hereby ordered to be subject to Revolutionary Justice in Stalin Square, Yarragrad. The convicted counter-revolutionary wrecker and traitor Steve Kates confessed to 106,789 counts of use of pre-revolutionary wrongthink. As the convicted counter-revolutionary wrecker and traitor Steve Kates confessed his crimes against the people and under rigorous questioning denounced 1,287 other counter-revolutionary wreckers, wrongthinkers and traitors. The glorious People’s Safety Bureau is currently hunting the counter-revolutionary wreckers and traitors and wrongthinkers the convicted counter-revolutionary wrecker and traitor Steve Kates denounced under rigorous questioning.
Ever-merciful glorious and radiant supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Victoriastan Secretary General Comrade Andrews has exercised his magnificent mercy in sublime judgement. From Karl Marx room in the Lenin people’s Administrative Complex he has announced that the convicted counter-revolutionary wrecker and traitor Steve Kates will not be dissolved in acid as is normal for counter-revolutionary wreckers and traitors and wrongthinkers but will instead be burned at the stake.
The people will bring their children and attend this glorious entertainment. Entry is free, with a voluntary Peoples Donation of 12 trillion Blokhins at this mornings 0912:35 rate. Alternatively, a piece of firewood will be accepted.
Adam Smith and “the man of system”
From Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (paragraph VI.II.41-42):
The man whose public spirit is prompted altogether by humanity and benevolence, will respect the established powers and privileges even of individuals, and still more those of the great orders and societies, into which the state is divided. Though he should consider some of them as in some measure abusive, he will content himself with moderating, what he often cannot annihilate without great violence. When he cannot conquer the rooted prejudices of the people by reason and persuasion, he will not attempt to subdue them by force; but will religiously observe what, by Cicero, is justly called the divine maxim of Plato, never to use violence to his country no more than to his parents. He will accommodate, as well as he can, his public arrangements to the confirmed habits and prejudices of the people; and will remedy as well as he can, the inconveniencies which may flow from the want of those regulations which the people are averse to submit to. When he cannot establish the right, he will not disdain to ameliorate the wrong; but like Solon, when he cannot establish the best system of laws, he will endeavour to establish the best that the people can bear.
The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.
They have all the answers to questions that are not being asked. Smith could see the gulag even before he had seen Robespierre.
The approach to foreign policy America has desperately needed
Via Instapundit whose heading is Ridiculous, it’s not getting any press as if anything PDT did right would ever be mentioned: Trump’s Malaysia Gambit: Call It Another Win. Who would have thought foreign policy would be one of his major strengths? The following is only for those to whom foreign policy counts:
Trump’s Malaysia gambit is an excellent example of the kind of realpolitik approach to foreign policy that America has desperately needed for more than a decade. Rather than coddling tin-pot dictators and terrorists at the White House, we have an administration that is willing to work with leaders who are willing to work with the United States, reach mutually beneficial agreements, and along the way strengthen U.S. national and economic security both abroad and at home. . . .
We’ve seen what happens when we have a president unwilling to defend and uphold our nation’s interests at home and abroad. It will take years for us to recover, but the Trump White House is digging in and rebuilding that trust and that national interest one ally at a time and whether the media elite and its friends like it or not.
It’s not long so you should read it all. As discussed already, the most transformative president in American history. The more you see what he does, the more vile his opponents become.
The most transformative president in American history
Unique to a degree unimaginable even to those who supported him for president. And it was unimaginable since no one, not even DJT, understood the obstacles that stand in the way of good policy both domestic and international. But Trump is an action figure who wants to get things done, and so far all of the things he has wanted to get done are what I would like to see done. This, however, is beyond anything I could have imagined, but here it is: Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud: “We Will Eradicate Extremism Very Soon”…. Who knows how much of this is possible, but I do know that if it can be done, there is little I would consider more worth doing. The quote below is itself a quote within the article from the Egyptian President, but you should link to the article to read it all if these things interest you.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: “I first saw the campaign of his excellency President Trump, and I listened to his speech of the neccessity of facing and confronting terrorism all over the world; that he is a great personality and a unique individual, and that he will find great success.”
“I fully trust the capabilities of President Trump, and I have full conviction that he can do things, exert efforts, that very few people can do. And he can succeed in so many fields that others cannot. I trust him wholeheartedly.”
“I followed all his announcements through his campaign, he has a very unique personality and administration, and now I’m speaking with full confidence of unprecedented success for him. He is seeking the interests of the United States and the American people in a very clear manner, and a very direct manner. And a very strong manner as well.”
“His true will is a very strong will to counter terrorism and extremism in the world; and that is a very strong commitment from his excellency the president, and in addition I am very supportive with full force in facing this terrorism.”
“There is a true understanding to the realities in the region, and there is a seriousness and responsible actions in facing extremism and terrorism in the region, and that’s a wonderful thing indeed. There is nothing better than to counter evil.”
Nothing may come of any of it, but change can only happen from small beginnings that blossom and grow. These are those small beginnings. Only time can now tell.
You would think they would hope we would all forget
From today’s Cut & Paste in The Oz:
We gave him a hard time in 2007? We gave him our endorsement. The Australian’s editorial, November 23, 2007:
Mr Rudd has spoken of recapturing some of the reform zeal of the Hawke and Keating years … We recognise that no change is free of risk, but we recommend a vote for Mr Rudd.
The Australian preferred Kevin ’07 to John Howard! Why would you bring it up? Have you no shame!
The public cost of supporting those who game the welfare system
This is how the welfare system works: it is as if someone has moved into your house, uses your kitchen, bathroom and one bedroom, but doesn’t contribute to the groceries or help to pay the rent. There may be reasons to allow this: sick relatives, friends who are down on their luck or because of a charitable streak in the owner of the house. But whatever else, this outlay does draw down on what is available to everyone else and leaves those who offer the welfare less well off than they otherwise would have been.
Most societies have offered welfare assistance to the sick, the disabled, the elderly or others who cannot provide for themselves. But they have also always limited the amounts provided for a number of reasons including the ever-present possibility that some of those receiving welfare could be earning their own incomes and contributing to total output, instead of taking from the earnings of others while putting nothing back in.
I say all this because of an article that showed up on the front page of the Herald Sun this morning: Warning over booming Australian welfare bill. From which:
TAXPAYERS are coughing up $300,000 a minute for a welfare bill that has soared $40 billion in 10 years.
The Herald Sun can reveal that the total lifetime welfare bill for all those currently receiving benefits has been estimated at $2.1 trillion.
The frightening figure emerged as federal government debt reached a record $506 billion yesterday, renewing concerns about the public cost of supporting those who game the system or are locked into a cycle of welfare dependency.
Remarkably, anyone currently receiving government help to study is expected to be on welfare for nearly half of the rest of their lives, costing taxpayers an average of $247,000.
This is the equation showing in miniature how our ability to spend works:
Income Earned – Taxes Paid + Welfare Payments Received
There is no reason in any particular instance that Income Earned minus Taxes Paid will be greater than Welfare Payments Received. Especially if for those receiving welfare are able to keep Taxes Paid to a minimum relative to Hidden Income Earned.
Welfare should not be a way of life, but assistance given when it is needed and only then. But now that Voting for a Living has become a viable alternative to Working for a Living, the constituency to do something about what is shown by these latest studies on our exploding welfare bill may no long exist.
Not everyone on welfare is gaming the system, of course. But not every payment on welfare is legitimate either.
The October Revolution reaches 100
What have socialists ever done that would make anyone think they care about other people? For myself, I cannot think of a thing. Socialist ideas have never, not in a single instance, not at any time in the whole of its history, improved the lives of the communities they ruled. Other than for its leaders, socialism has only caused misery for anyone who has been trapped inside a socialist regime.
This post is a reminder of what cannot be denied other than by liars or those with not a shred of historical memory, written in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Russia’s still celebrated October Revolution which was once the centre of a worldwide faith in a glorious future, that is, a glorious future once the tens of millions of regime opponents had been eliminated, driven into the gulag, or terrorised into silence. And while it was the “October” Revolution, that was old calendar, but in the new calendar that is the date we have now reached.
October Revolution, also called Bolshevik Revolution, (Oct. 24–25 [Nov. 6–7, New Style], 1917), the second and last major phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, in which the Bolshevik Party seized power in Russia, inaugurating the Soviet regime.
Socialists seek political power by pretending they have answers to genuine problems but never do; they only make such problems infinitely worse. We will never be rid of problems, nor will we ever be rid of people who will tell you that if only they are put in charge, our problems would go away. Any community in which the majority of its population are unaware of this massive danger to their future lives is in perennially danger of falling into the abyss of a socialist governing clique taking power.
Here is the reality. The socialist left is filled with people whose lives are driven by envy and hatred for the productive, contented and self-reliant. Ruining their lives makes no one better off but does lay to waste the lives of everyone involved, other than those who take power. No one can any longer be unaware that every socialist so-called solution to our existential and economic problems has been disastrous for everyone but those who seize power. Every socialist leader is a Stasi agent lying in wait.
Publishing historical fact is now illegal in Germany
You do know the picture within the picture above is of an actual historical meeting. Here is the story that comes with the picture:
A German court recently sentenced journalist Michael Stürzenberger (pictured) to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a Nazi official in Berlin, in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of “inciting hatred towards Islam” and “denigrating Islam” by publishing the photograph.
This was just by way of illustrating a much more disturbing change in the German legal system:
A new German law introducing state censorship on social media platforms came into effect on October 1, 2017. The new law requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint — regardless of whether or the content is accurate or not. Social media companies receive seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law.
This state censorship makes free speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than absolutely necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine. . . .
Germany has made no secret of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU, which already has a similar code of conduct for social media giants. The EU Justice Commissioner, Vera Jourova, recently said she might be willing to legislate in the future if the voluntary code of conduct does not produce the desired results. She said, however, that the voluntary code was working “relatively” well, with Facebook removing 66.5% of the material they had been notified was “hateful” between December and May this year. Twitter removed 37.4%, and YouTube took action on 66% of the notifications from users.
Where this will end is not good, but the certainty is that none of the social media giants will be in the fight for free speech.