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August 12, 2006



"And why are the poor poor? Lal has the decency to acknowledge that in some (many?) cases, it's because they are victims of past thefts of land." That's plausible, but, on the other hand, I have done a bit of reading on the two most-publicised British cases of land-theft - the Highland Clearances in Scotland and the Parliamentary Enclosures in England. It turned out that, as far as I could see, the popular case is bogus.


"He's speaking here of justice in the sense of ensuring people have liberties (Lal is dismissive of "rights") to do as they will. What he never answers is the question which the poor might ask: "why should your conception of justice - which is only one of many - trump my need to continue living?""

You don't even need to change the question. The poor are perfectly entitled to ask why they should be denied the liberty to do as they will by not being able to afford it.

Tim Worstall

"This is great advice for a 10 year old. But it's just ridiculous for a 50-year-old."

Why? Over the past 18 months I’ve just changed my career completely. OK, I’m not 50 but I’m well over 40.

Tim Worstall

BTW, you’ve done a much better job with this review than I did for one of the dead trees.

"Most people merely talk to their own tribe of converts. If they recognize an opposing position at all, it's only as a target of cheap abuse."

All too true.


[I have done a bit of reading on the two most-publicised British cases of land-theft]

Yeah, maybe you should read this then: Hughes, Lotte (2006). "Moving the Maasai: A Colonial Misadventure" Palgrave Macmillan.


EG: why? There isn't a popular factoid account of that: as far as I know, anyone who has views on the matter agrees that the Masai were pushed off the land just as if they were Red Indians. [Or, indeed, Palestinians?]

Bob B

The worrying insight is that this observation by George Orwell in his seminal book on poverty in the north of England in the 1930s: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), still holds true of many (insular) working class communities in Britain now:

"The time was when I used to lament over quite imaginary pictures of lads of fourteen dragged protesting from their lessons and set to work at dismal jobs. It seemed to me dreadful that the doom of a 'job' should descend upon anyone at fourteen. Of course I know now that there is not one working-class boy in a thousand who does not pine for the day when he will leave school. He wants to be doing real work, not wasting his time on ridiculous rubbish like history and geography. To the working class, the notion of staying at school till you are nearly grown-up seems merely contemptible and unmanly."

How come that in parts of Yorkshire that Orwell was writing about the second person singular (thou, thee, thine - all transformed to "tha") still survives in the local dialect?


"The schools minister Jacqui Smith admitted that the number of 16 year olds who stay on in education in the UK is lower than in other countries and asked them to consider studying A-levels or taking an apprenticeship."

"Truancy rates in England's secondary schools rose by over 10% last year, according to government figures. Despite £900m spent on anti-truancy initiatives, the annual figures show the highest truancy rates since 1994."

"THE death rate among young drivers has doubled in the past five years, prompting demands for greater restrictions on those who have recently passed their tests. The steady improvement in road safety across the general population is masking a sharp increase in the number of drivers aged under 20 having fatal crashes, despite a tougher driving test."

"London, England (AHN) – New research has revealed that the art of conversation is slowly dying because families do not spend enough time talking to their children. More and more children in school are barely able to communicate and instead speak in monosyllabic ‘grunts’, according to researchers."

"The British are Western Europe's biggest binge drinkers, a new study has revealed. According to market analysts Datamonitor, drinkers in Britain consume 6.3 units of alcohol - equivalent of 2.2 pints of lager - each time they visit the pub."

Kevin Carson

One possible avenue of appeal to egalitarians on the issue of unemployment from outsourcing/technological advance is to point out the extent to which the two-tier labor force results from state intervention. The state subsidizes capital accumulation, R&D, and technical education, thus skewing production toward capital- and skill-intensive forms, and resulting in deskilling and income polarization in the labor market. As just one example, consider David Noble's Forces of Production on the role of the military-industrial complex in funding development of all the prerequisite technologies for numeric control technologies in the machine tool industry, and the initial introduction of such technology in Air Force contractors.


'digisime' Maybe it is you who needs to go back to school ey? Sonny jim? ey? ey?

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