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September 26, 2006


Tim Worstall

So, how did you know that I took her name out of the first draft?
Yes, of course, you're right. Rather wanted to provoke.


I'm sure Tim has used this argument to attack her before over climate change - the argument being that it is irrational to minimise one's own CO2 emissions if, say, China does not also do so. (Climate change mitigation is of course also subject to the fallacy of composition, in which if everyone follows the same argument we're all fucked.)

It is telling that he notices no inconsistency in his own argument.

Mr Eugenides

I take your point, but while Polly does indeed oppose certain planks of government policy, like the internal market in the NHS and so on, quite a lot of her oeuvre really is just about increasing spending - on Sure Start, on reducing inequality, and so on: she argues that Brown is doing lots of good, but could be doing so much more were it not for the Blairite faction.

And it's not exactly unknown for her to advocate one thing and do another - witness her call for all salaries to be in the public domain, which prompted a predictable flood of comments challenging her to start the ball rolling.

james C

'It just means the argument against her isn't, in this case, as knock-down as Tim reckons.'

But he got paid for talking out of his fundament, so well done that man.

Tom Freeman

To pick a nit:

Tim says that “we don’t have an equivalent to the ‘Gifts to the United States’ account, which has been running since 1843. Last year, it received $2,671,628.40; which compares well with the £461,204.95 donated by those five patriotic Britons.”

This works out as 5.79 times as many dollars as pounds donated. Given that there are nearly five times as many people in the US as in the UK, and the exchange rate last year of more than $1.75 to the pound, that actually means that we’re giving more – especially if you factor in that we have a lower GDP per capita.

angry economist

Hey, when Tim strays into journalism, just like many other journalists, all the facts and angles of the argument don't always apply!

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