Guido featured this one. It’s quite amazing. I don’t expect much from thoughtless modern politicos, but this maybe a new low. No it’s not child rape, or expenses fiddling, or perverting the course of justice, or starting pointless wars, or taking bribes, or lying (so far as I can tell), this one seems to actually believe this.
I refer of course to that paragon of intellectual rigor, Rachel Reeves. You may recall Labour’s work and pension spokesman couldn’t actually say what the pension level was and she seemed unclear on how it was actually made up. In any other walk of life, not having the most basic command of your brief gets you fired. Not so modern politics.
But today she seemed to surpass even that low point. Rachel it seems, wants to abolish the so-called bedroom tax. What this actually means is that if you live in a house where the government (i.e. the rest of us) pay your rent and you under occupy it, you have a choice. Move to a smaller house appropriate to your needs (and keep getting it free) or pay the extra costs for the extra space. For some reason which escapes me, Labour seems to regard this as the moral equivalent of jailing Nelson Mandela.
Anyway, Rachel wants to abolish this and “with the money saved” spend £175M on Scottish poverty (You will recall how the Scots are diabolically underpaid by the Barnett formula and this is in no way a bribe to the possible SNP voters). Only there’s a tiny problem.
By not asking people to pay extra for houses that are too big for them, government revenue drops. (you see how that works, government gets less money, so it has…less money, not more).
I’m almost embarrassed for the woman. This is presumably Labour policy. Is there any kind of audit going on at all? Do the shadow cabinet just say stuff and it is sacrosanct and unchallengeable? Do doubters of the final victory face a Utah firing squad? No. It’s simply group think and a refusal to think counter-revolutionary thoughts. And she is allegedly some kid of economist.
She could very soon end up around the cabinet table in number 10. Incitatus would do less damage.
Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase [ in pay]* can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent—far more than millionaires pay.
–Quoted by Hunter Lewis in his piece “50th Anniversary of Federal Government’s Failed War on Poverty.”
*Parenthetical not mine. –J.
In the article, only the first bit of which is below, you will find several delightful ideas on how to stimulate consumer spending and thus to revive the economy. And anyone who invents the phrase ‘the zombification of the economy’ has my applause.
Personally, I am thinking of taking a strong position in cockle shells.
Negative Interest Rates: Only The Start?
By Hunter Lewis
Saturday, June 7th, 2014
As Ryan McMaken noted on June 5, the European Central Bank has instituted negative interest rates for member banks. This could soon spread to the US and also to consumer accounts. If so, you would find money taken out of your bank account each quarter unless you spend it. Some observers think that in the US at least it will start with higher account fees, which will be stealth negative interest rates, and then move to overtly negative rates.
The idea is that if low rates are not yet persuading you to spend, then why not punish you even more for saving. To make this more effective, there would also be a push for all electronic money, to keep you from stashing any away from the confiscation agents. Ken Rogoff, leading Harvard (and Republican) economist has just recommended this to facilitate negative interest rates and in general to increase government control over cash.
This is far from the only “innovation” that could be coming our way. In a speech on June 4, San Francisco Fed Chairman John Williams suggested that the Fed should at least take a look at “nominal income targeting.”
What do they have in common?
Go here to find out.
Bill Whittle, Scott Ott, Steve Green at PJTV:
Al Qaeda Is On The Run? Obama’s Foreign Policy Projects Confusion and Weakness
August 6, 2013 — Part 1 of 3, per PJTV
The Daily Mail is running a story about an ex-police officer who has been arrested and charged with the kidnap and murder of a young girl.
Ex-police officer accused of kidnapping and killing ‘Pretty Maria’, seven, 50 years ago and discarding her body like ‘a piece of garbage’
The Daily Mail Reporter goes on to say:
Jack McCullough, 72 and a former Washington state police officer, has pleaded not guilty to the 1957 kidnapping and slaying of Maria Ridulph, of Sycamore. It’s one of the oldest cold-case murders brought to trial in the United States.
Fifty years ago, eh? Well I was born in 1957 and if this innumerate and nameless Daily Mail Reporter wants to shave five years off my age who am I to argue?