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September 19, 2021



perhaps why so many rightists have very comfortably abandoned the small state thinking of the 1980s.
...whilst also spending their time lying about this position.
And, of course, very few rightists oppose increased spending on "defence" which is the very epitome of big government; if they were really so keen on the small state, you'd think they would be advocating an entirely private system?


For many in left behind parts of the country, the reality is that the private sector is stifled by a bloated public sector that is almost Soviet-sized in some areas of the North.

[ The point of course is that the public sector provides the base and support for the private sector to grow. I am uninterested in Conservative thinking, but do enough Labour folks still understand this? Obviously Keir Starmer wants Labour to be Conservative, but are there still sufficient Labour folks who understand what Jeremy Corbyn was trying to teach? ]



August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and United Kingdom, 1977-2020

(Percent change)


August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and United Kingdom, 1977-2020

(Indexed to 1977)


I am likely foolishly trying to understand how a British government has come to undermining its relations with most of Europe, especially France, showing disdain for relations with China and cultivating a nuclear arms race in the Pacific or about a thoroughly peaceful China.

Has the British government become the Rupert Murdoch media empire? I am completely lost and deeply saddened for Britain, but I fail to understand what has been happening.


Don't both capitalists and statists owe us a basic income for enclosing all the commons such that we have no legal way of nonviolently not cooperating with either?


Fine, related essay at Mainly Macro:

September 21, 2021

Neoliberalism, Corporations and Wealth Inequality

Neoliberalism and Corporations

If I had to offer one piece of evidence to those who are sceptical about the concept of neoliberalism, I would look at Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). These entities are set up as part of trade or investment deals, and essentially allow a corporation to sue governments if governments do something to disadvantage the corporation. For some examples of cases brought by companies against governments see here. These actions are often used against smaller states, but companies have also sued Germany (for ending nuclear power) and Canada (for banning a dangerous chemical)....

-- Simon Wren-Lewis


ISDS was intended to stop countries expropriating property belonging to non-citizens of that country (companies have a legal personhood too).

Quoting Wikipedia 'The majority of the treaties provides foreign investors with substantive legal protection (including the right to "fair and equitable treatment", "full protection and security", "free transfer of means" and the right not to be directly or indirectly expropriated without full compensation) and access to ISDS for redress against host states for breaches of such protection.'

So, while there is no doubt that ISDS is being abused, there is still a need to protect companies against abusive States.


September 22, 2021


United Kingdom

Cases ( 7,530,103)
Deaths ( 135,621)

Deaths per million ( 1,985)


Cases ( 95,851)
Deaths ( 4,636)

Deaths per million ( 3)

[ The UK needed to be working with China on controlling the epidemic from early in 2020. ]


Our blogger's points are often interesting, but sometimes tiresome in his endorsing of neoliberal framing, as in here: the framing between "left" (actually the tory right) and "right" (actually the whig far right) as between big and small state is accepted here without the slightest hesitation.

But the right, whether whig or tory, do not care about principles except as a means to bamboozle the gullible, they care about outcomes, and that means mostly power and distribution of income, not even maximizing immediate income; given their already high incomes, protecting their power is more important than increasing them.

Where they benefit from "the markets", they want big markets and small state, when they benefit from the state, big state is fine too and never mind the markets, "Which is why few intelligent capitalists are minimal state purists".

That I guess is pretty obvious to most people.

Never mind talking of "the capitalists" as one group, when instead they have several factions with interests better protected by the state or the markets or different combinations of both. For example the whig right is all about heavy handed state intervention in the markets when it comes to refilling the bonus pools of City bankers, but totally opposed when it comes to providing a social safety net for everybody else.


«So, while there is no doubt that ISDS is being abused, there is still a need to protect companies against abusive States.»

Don't those states have courts? Don't their people deserved protection from state abuses too?

In practice international treaties are often designed to overlay special rights for business and property rentiers on top of domestic legislation, creating two different categories of protection, a "gold" level of protection for those who matter and a "plywood" level for "hoi polloi".

BTW the idea that ISDSes and other tricks apply only to foreign investors is ridiculous: any investor can register a company in many foreign jurisdictions and become a "foreign" investor.


So, while there is no doubt that ISDS * is being abused, there is still a need to protect companies against abusive States.

* Investor State Dispute Settlement

[ This is in essence a way of exercising control over developing states and is intolerable. Absolutely intolerable surrender of state sovereignty. ]


September 23, 2021


United Kingdom

Cases ( 7,565,867)
Deaths ( 135,803)

Deaths per million ( 1,988)


Cases ( 95,894)
Deaths ( 4,636)

Deaths per million ( 3)

[ The UK has needed to be working with China on issue after issue, but the UK would rather be sadly antagonistic. ]

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