ORIGINAL WRITTEN NOVEMBER 2008. BROUGHT TO THE FRONT MARCH 2009.
As I said on the other thread. One of the reasons I brought this to the front is that I’ll be going into some new technical matters in economics. And I want to make it clear that I can agree with an position from a technical-economics point of view and still reject it, or accept it only on the most heavily-caveated grounds, despite my recognition of this hypothetical technical argument. This is important because third parties do indeed get stooged by the constant lying happens in relation to any nuanced position that I take. I mean we are dealing with idiots and compulsive liars here. But they are often crafty, idiotic, compulsive liars.
Well I proved it didn’t I. Its like that with many arguments. There is a stupid side and an evil side. And we saw that in spades with the congestion tax debate yesterday. The anti-congestion-tax side of the argument was waged in an environment of unbelievable stupidity. Of people losing all sense of reality and forgetting any training in economics. It was like talking to people who had never travelled on a road.
And of course the evil side was despicably rotten. Not one of them enthusiastically pushed this as a way of cutting spending, producing tax cuts, getting rid of both rego, cap-and-kill, excise and other non-related taxes. None of them put in a word for boosting the lot of the truck-driver in transition. Not one of them emphasised the need to produce gigalitres of extra liquid fuels to make this deal work and be good for the average Joe.
Now to be fair, and to be as generous as I possibly can be, there was plenty of evil and stupidity on both sides. But the characterization of the two sides is clear enough. On the surface of things only Kodjo acquitted himself well. But in his hands this would be the most destructive tool imaginable. Because while he was honest enough to admit that the tax could be used to raise more than the cost of road maintenance he didn’t think to emphasize anything to do with not wrecking the economy, not bankrupting heaps of people and not generally screwing things up for his fellow man.
Occasionally when you have a stupid side and an evil side to an argument the stupid side and the evil side get together and agree on some aspect of the problem. In these cases their agreement is both repulsively evil and stupid almost beyond belief, and this we call BIPARTISANSHIP.
In this particular case both sides agree that if the roads are to be privatised it must be a straight auction to the big end of town. Or a giveaway to some collective. Yet the historical context is one where we are horribly fenced in. Where the enclosure movement was such that we are unjustly restricted in our movements. And their way of doing things is obviously idiotic to anyone not taken in by a crude mindless version of libertarianism. And clearly it is the evil option under the historic circumstances given that it would INCREASE the extent to which our liberty is restricted by the extent to which we are fenced in.
So whats going on here. Well I don’t know. But I’m allowed to speculate. The performance of Humphreys has been patchy. It will be a long time before he can live down his support for CO2-bedwetting measures. And his ridiculous anti-economics ignorance evident in his argument with Gerry Jackson.
But lately he’s been showing that he has good instincts and non-malign intent. For example his generous support of Ron Paul when most of the people surrounding Humphreys were hatefully putting the statesman of the new millennium down. And also his strongly opposing the Bank Bailout, at least in the hateful form it took.
John has an honours degree in economics. So what do we make of this statement of his FROM A TECHNICAL ECONOMIC point of view??????
“Conjestion is its own dissincentive. An additional charge is simply government policy which helps the money-rich & time-poor and hurts the money-poor & time-rich.
Of course, roads should be private anyway and the owners can decide their own prices.”
Apparently non-price rationing is on the upandup in Australian economics circles??? Its like he never went to school.
“An additional charge is simply government policy which helps the money-rich & time-poor and hurts the money-poor & time-rich.”
Not if you engage in mass-sackings, dissolve government departments by the bushel, and increase the tax-free-threshold. And cut more taxes with the congestion tax for good measure. That same reasoning can be applied to all pricing issues. So he’s lost the plot on a technical level to an extent that he’s never lost the plot before. A whole new denial of economic science going on.
And just to show that the stupid side is not ever going to run out of wickedness “Of course, roads should be private anyway and the owners can decide their own prices.”
Its like these guys can never be satisfied with the degree that we are fenced in. They want us cornered like rats on all sides.
Now Humphreys has the potential to be a fool. But he’s not THAT stupid. So what is going on???
Well here is my speculation of the situation. Contained in my response:
“No you got it all wrong Humphreys. But I’m having to side with the stupid side of the argument on this one.
I’m supposing that the stupid side of the argument have good instincts but lack introspection. So that therefore I’m suggesting you and Pedro’s subconcious minds are in the right and are telling you correctly that this will lead to more thieving and appalling Big Brother snooping. And it is this that is making you stupid on the technical side of it.
Because in the hands of these evil bastards this congestion tax will just give these guys awesome power to screw things up. And so I’m with you in opposing it for the time being.”