Andrew at LC on bloggertarians:
Libertarians almost all seem to believe that they have achieved everything in life entirely by themselves, having struggled against mighty odds and overwhelming enemies to become moderately successful computer programmers, despite the horrible disadvantages of being born white, English-speaking heterosexual males in middle-class families.
I admit this is slightly unfair: some bloggertarians are gay, and some are from upper-class families.
For someone who isn’t a professional webmonkey, I seem to be spending scary amounts of time both in my job and at home being forced to deal with ridiculous amounts of web-based nonsense.
Ho hum. With more wood-touching than a tree fetishist in the Black Forest, it looks like I’ve got everything, both work-wise and home-wise, more or less sorted for now. Yay.
The Metropolitan Police and the CPS, yesterday:
The Metropolitan Police have apologised to Colin Stagg, who was wrongly accused and jailed for the murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common.
Assistant Commissioner John Yates said “mistakes were made” and added: “It is clear that he is completely innocent.”
The Crown Prosecution Service has also written to Mr Stagg expressing regret the case was brought against him.
The Cleveland (UK) Police and the CPS, yesterday:
“We are not reopening the investigation into Kyle Fisher’s death and we are not issuing an apology.”
“I am entirely satisfied that the Crown Prosecution Service and the police were wholly right in bringing this case to court for a second time.”
So, my decision a year ago to stake my life that house prices wouldn’t fall by more than 20% in 2008 appears to have been vindicated. That’s just as well. And I’m still projecting house prices from Jan 2008 – Dec 2012 to outperform the base rate (OK, the base rate cuts have helped with this one…)
When someone buys a country’s government bond, the government needs to pay it back on a specific date. If the government refuses to do so, there will be a total collapse in international confidence in the debt of the country and of all its banks, companies and residents, a currency crisis, and generally a wide range of Very Bad Consequences.
When someone works for a country’s government and is told they’ll get a nice fat pension, the government can decide to not pay it. This will upset the person who works for the government quite a lot, and might be perceived as somewhat unfair. However, the consequences for the country’s ability to borrow, invest and trade in international markets are non-existent.
Therefore, anyone who counts public sector pensions as a liability faced by the UK government in the context of the current financial crisis (generally as a way of saying ‘ooh, we’re nearly as bad as Iceland’ – Nadeem Walayat, this means you) either doesn’t understand what they’re talking about, or is trying to mislead their audience into thinking things are much worse than they really are.
A commenter at CiF, against all odds, cites some relevant statistics:
Financial services which – some people fondly believe – is “all we do nowadays” made up only about 5% of the economy at their height, (rather less now, methinks), whilst industry accounts – according to that CIA thing everybody else seems to be quoting from – for 23.4% of GDP.
In Germany, by contrast, industry makes up a massively larger 31.1% of GDP. (With France a measly 20.6%, the US an even more measly 19.8%, and mighty Japan, at 26.5% only 2% bigger.)
The Bill Emmott piece on which he’s commenting isn’t at all bad, either. Although the total, ruinous collapse of the dollar next year is going to be the major story…