This week on Facebook: When I first read about The Great Firewall of China I concluded that it was a model that most States would try to find a way of emulating, the rationale being that it was the first step towards securing the political supremacy of a governing oligarchy under the pretext of a democracy. Now China has launched The New Silk Road¹ (OBOR: One Belt One Road) and notionally democratic governments find themselves not only having to consider a trade war with China, but to seriously consider China’s political model as representative of the future. Read more of this post
The inexorable rise of the Nanny State explains the raison d’être of the political class. The sentiments expressed below in The Traveller; or, a Prospect of Society are particularly true today. Although written by Oliver Goldsmith in 1764, the law has increasingly become a vehicle for restraint by the State¹·²·³.
In every government, though terrors reign,Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain,How small, of all that human hearts endure,That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
This week on Facebook: The connection between inequality and economic growth is mostly lost on the indigent and those prospering in a paternalistic and what is often called the Nanny State¹. Nevertheless, it is clear that the majority of people are willing to sacrifice personal and moral freedoms in pursuit of the perceived benefits of living in a paternalistic Nanny State.
This is particularly true in the UK where a majority tyranny is exercised compelling the acceptance of State control, where those on the political left and right mostly argue about the fiscal policy needed to stimulate economic growth, with opposing policies that advocate an end to Government Spending and Austerity versus those of avoiding a Sovereign Default. Both sides finding themselves hoist on the petard of an ever increasing commitment to a Welfare State, which makes their proposed welfare system limited by Sovereign Debt, thwarting any political desire for the effective implementation of all their fiscal policies. Read more of this post
Next week on Facebook I intend to write about the Nanny State and while use of the term ‘Nanny State’ may be new in 1898 Woodrow Wilson was to write in his book The State; Elements of Historical and Practical Politics, No student of history can wisely censure those who protest against state paternalism.
Next Wednesday’s article is an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Three Cheers for the Nanny State”, that dismisses principled concerns about paternalism and presents arguments in favour of it¹. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I used to blog a lot on a now defunct site called My Telegraph, as did a chap who I think called himself Atrium. Eventually Atrium disappeared in a fit of pique, I think it was because he had such little response to his many cri de coeur regarding his opinions. Observing Atrium was a salutary lesson that taught me a lot about blogging and I think I understand why he left My Telegraph in such a huff. It was (at least in a large part) an ‘age’ thing, Atrium was most probably in my peer group, retired and clearly with a lot of time to spend on the social media. He had forgotten that as a younger man, when in a job and less time on his hands, any talk of putting the world to rights was invariably euphemistic and tempered by a blind faith that the democracy of our public administration lay in hands of the electorate.
My piquancy (I would hope) is not only tempered by an ever increasing understanding of the social media but also by the limitations to my curmudgeonliness. However, a recent article in MoneyWeek with the title ‘A Credit Score That Judges Your Politics’ (see Monday’s article) caused me to have an Atrium moment, a cri de coeur if you will. Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay—or not (see Tuesday’s article). Think of the world that you are already living in!
Evening Standard 07 Oct 1969
This week on Facebook: The subject of global inequality is clearly one that presents a global dilemma in the search for a rational between the inequalities that economic growth has introduced with the advances in technology¹. The latter being this week’s subject as the harbinger of global inequality that is now being experienced by the developed world. Would that it were that simple, but many more factors are involved and while a scapegoat for global economic woes may be desirable, its use is only papering over the cracks that are now being revealed.
The following is a brief extract from ‘Big Brother Loves You!’ by Detlev Schlichter in which he rails against fiat money and the creation of debt something that I touched on in A Universal Debt. Commenting on the trend towards interventionist policies and assertive state action, The Economist and the Financial Times talk of the trend towards ‘repression’ and ‘national capitalism’ in crisis management. The public believe that greedy bankers and ‘unfettered capitalism’ brought about this crisis. Yet cheap credit through state fiat money and the systematic subsidisation of the housing market, are not features of the free market but of politics. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: While listening to a lecture by John Maynard Keynes the famed economist, Peter Drucker realised that Keynes and all the brilliant economics students in the room were interested in the behaviour of commodities while he was interested in the behaviour of people. An epiphany that would eventually lead to his career as a management consultant. Nevertheless, both sought an approach to economic growth that addressed income inequality without advocating that income be distributed equally. Read more of this post
All Fool’s Day seems an appropriate time to post a short piece about; Morituri te Salutant, Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Winnie the Pooh, an allusion to H. Rider Haggard (well, more Horace Rumpole really): leading to the ‘Money Advice Service’ on UK funeral costs. Read more of this post
2017 @ A.P. Herbert AI Albert Haddock Banks blog book books budget budget deficit C.S. Lewis censorship Civil Service constitution Crime CRT cryptocurrency CWG debt deficit democracy education ethics EU euro fiat money Film France freedom of expression free trade gdp government history human-rights inequality internet J.R.R. Tolkien J M Keynes language Law Ludwig Von Mises Margaret Thatcher morality music Musical national debt New Labour NHS opinion parody PFI poetry police Police & Crime Commissioners politics Quantitative Easing research school Screwtape Sir Ethelred Rutt K.C. social-media Social Welfare statistics T.E. Utley taxation terrorism Thatcher The Telegraph UK Unemployment USA Victor Hugo war war on terror
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