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February 04, 2015


Steven Clarke

I agree with you.

But what is a virtue of markets in economic and moral terms (their dispersion of power and information) is a real vice in terms of having the power to capture the political process.

That is best done by narrow, organised interests, such as large corporations.

Matt Moore

It's precisely when the state has so much power that incentives to extract patronage are so strong. Someone has to get those contracts.

The solution to the corporate welfare problem is not a different set of politicians. All politicians are nice to their friends, they just have different friends.


The Greens could have paid off national debt and ended starvation, after gaining a majority government with the 15 million voters it has now lost by not having the funds for a properly staffed office, to cost the Citizen Income, so that policy has been lost.

The Tories say the welfare state costs £220 billion a year, but the money going to the starving has been reducing by the billions each year, so it is admin costs, both state and private, that are rising, so depriving business of that money.

The Greens say the Citizen Income would cost £280 billion, but as it has minimal admin by being automatic and universal of £72 per week flat rate for all, then all this money would pour into the local economy and local businesses, especially the high streets now becoming more and more ghost towns.

The Citizen Income would also generate youth jobs in town centres, with all shops rented so bringing in business rates to cash strapped councils. Instead of in some towns having new shops that have never been rented from day one.

So if all the admin of welfare ended in May, including the shutting of all 750 Jobcentres in the UK (nil cost as redundancy minimal as go digital in March 2015), and ending of work contracts (workfare), there would be the funding for the Citizen Income.

The Tories say they have £30 billion windfall from some lessening of interest payments for some reason (?)

The National Insurance Fund has a £30 billion surplus since 2013 (source House of Lords Library).

So there is more than enough money for the other Greens' policy that means this party is the sole party near power that offers huge numbers of men and women any state pension for life:

- Full Citizen State Pension, without conditionality of National Insurance record.

Over 60s especially would help the high street, as it is they, in the main, who shop in town centres.

When is the last time you saw a Shopmobility in a retail park?

And Shopmobility has a gap in provision. People above size 18 to 20 have no small mobility scooter to rent from these charities, when they can no longer walk about shops and so are not helped by the big scooters that you have to leave by the door.

The flat rate pension of £155 is not going to all pensioners. Some have had flat rate forecasts from government as low as £55 with a full employment history.

The mis-sold SERPs opt out (begun from 6 April 1978) has now come home to roost. Because the basic state pension of £113.10 could all be receiving about £165 ( or whatever the full rate of non opt out is today?) top up.

Pension Credit (savings) is abolished by the flat rate pension for new claimants.

Pension Credit (guaranteed credit) becomex far more complex and contiional, even to current pensoners however old.

Without any need of admin of such pensioners' benefits, again the full state pension of around £278.10p per week could be afforded, as it would pour back into the economy.

Can you help the Greens fully cost the Citizen Income of £72 per week, and Full Citizen State Pension of £278.10 per week, please?

Or if not the Greens - The Left Unity Party, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, Plaid Cymru and Scottish National Party, if they did a u-turn in their 2015 manifestos for the general election?

None of the other socialist websites list in a voter user friendly way what they offer to the poor and the old, the sick and disabled.

The Greens do not have a direct link re pensioners and pensions in their page navigation menus.

Help bring back the Citizen Income (and Citizen State Pension) and save UK lives.

The elderly are dying at 40,000 this winter as bitter cold.

But younger pensioners can also die from hypothermia in unheated homes - me for one, as the house is colder than outdoors).

And babes and kids are in unheated homes, when just like those of a great age, they need a far warmer home than average adult.

Give The Greens a SYRIZA victory in 2015 and save UK lives today.

Help fully cost replacing the entire welfare admin with the Citizen Income and Full Citizen State Pension.



"Why, then, is Labour scared of being seen as anti-business?"

Simple - they are control freaks, and the best way to control things to is to regulate it to death. 'Business', as you call it, loves regulation, deep down, because it atrophies things, keeps the oiks and upstarts out, and allows nice profits for incumbents. But the Left love it too, because a bonfire of regulations gives people freedom, which will never do, as they might do things the Left disapprove of.

Hence a nice cosy little collectivist stitch up.

Ralph Musgrave

Re subsidies for banks, that’s partly the fault of Mr & Mrs Average (and readers of the Stumbling and Mumbling blog). That is, depositors want their money to be 100% safe, with taxpayers providing that safety. That’s an indirect subsidy of the banking industry.

It’s bread and circuses all over again: provide anything for free, and you get riots if to try to remove the free goods.

An Alien Visitor

I think banks are usually the last people who need a subsidy, though after the last crisis they needed the mother of all subsidies! But banks make money period. They never provide anything for free, they never even provide anything at cost!

The private sector need crowding out, this way we get better services and less of the useless shit they offer. The more they are crowded out hopefully then only the good ones will survive. But even if that is not the case they need crowding out.

Neil Wilson

Business needs to be treated as cattle not pets.

And banks need to understand that speculation means liquidation.


Labour missing a trick here.

Bad business drives out good business. Coffee shops that pay no tax drive out coffee shops that pay tax here. Businesses that pay under the minimum wage drive out businesses that pay a living wage.

Labour is for good business and against bad business. The Tories are against good business and pro tax-evading wage-cutting bad business.



"Business - at least in the UK - has become very good at extracting corporate welfare in the form of cushy government contracts, but much less good at riskier innovative ventures."

Well, yes. That's because (in my experience at least) it's much easier and more secure to land a government contract than to embark on riskier ventures.

But is that the fault of business or of government?



"Business needs to be treated as cattle not pets."

Great line. Reminds me of an HR manager who talked about "resources" rather than people, as in "how many resources do you need?"


Business people who get close to politics do so for bad reasons. Business connections have usually been bad for the Labour Party - Kagan, Maxwell Murdoch.

A business person who is said to be close to the Labour Party is going to have their lives and businesses investigated; they are going to be followed around by the tabloids. No ordinary business person is going to put up with that. The only business people who will get close to the Labour Party are those with an agenda. Labour should say that they are proud not to have business connections.

Steven Clarke


What is the relationship between increased competition and investment?

Is there not the danger that it would threaten the profits of incumbent firms and reduce their investment? And mightn't they be in a better position than new entrants to invest?



""Business - at least in the UK - has become very good at extracting corporate welfare in the form of cushy government contracts, but much less good at riskier innovative ventures."

But is that the fault of business or of government?"

It is the fault of politicians who think that they are improving government activities by bringing in the business sector.

Icarus Green

Nothing substantive to say here except Tony Blair is a dog.

Kind Regards,

WVO House

You are saying that business has become "extractive" because profits exceed investments in equipment?

Profits end up as dividends to shareholders who can then spend or invest them as they see fit, assets like government debts that allow governments to invest (and do it at lower interest rates), and other channels that simply re-funnel the money into the economy in one way or another.

Do you think business just take profits and launch them into space or stuff them into mattresses or something? How are profits something that you "take out" of the economy?

That is literally schoolboy thinking. How can you consider yourself an economist (or an adult) and think in those terms?

Even earnings you retain in cash in a bank account are recycled into the economy when banks use them to make loans, buy government securities, etc.

Also why on Earth is investment in equipment the right way to measure the social worth and success of business?

That's completely arbitrary and meaningless.

Do you really think it's smart for a company to just sink all of its money in printers and faxes that it doesn't need?

That would inflate its investments in equipment.

Would that be considered a great success in your book?

When businesses don't think investing in their own business is appropriate, they let the money flow to people who can use it, including the government (by buying government debt).

Finally, the economic value of a business is measured by its ability to efficiently take resources, labor, and capital and turn them into things people want and need like coffee, cars, medicines, and computers (after accounting for negative externalities and stuff like that if you want).

Where does that measure come into your analysis of the social failure of business?

Because it is the ONLY measure that matters.

Investments in equipment are just... they are meaningless. Completely meaningless when you take them out of context.


Adam Smith rightly saw the dangers of this more than 200 years ago:

"The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from
[businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and
ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully
examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most
suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is
never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an
interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly
have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

–Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of
Nations, vol. 1, pt. xi, p.10 (at the conclusion of the chapter)(1776)

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