Marxist theory

Delingpole on the liberal-left’s weasel words

James Delingpole does not tolerate fools and especially detests the liberal-left, especially when they hijack the language.

Not so long ago – and indeed for the first five hundred and fifty odd years of its recorded usage – a subsidy was something quite clearly understood by everyone to mean a cash incentive.

Here, for example, is the online Merriam-Webster definition:

Money that is paid usually by a government to keep the price of a product or service low or to help a business or organization to continue to function

Here is the one from my Chambers dictionary:

Aid in the form of money; a grant of public money in aid of some enterprise, industry etc; or to support or keep down the price of a commodity, or from one state to another.

This is certainly the sense in which I have always understood the word. I would suspect the same is true for most of you. So I would argue that there is something slippery and disingenuous about that claim above that there is no “internationally agreed definition of what constitutes energy subsidy.” Yes there is. Everyone – every normal, reasonably well-educated, English-speaking person, at any rate – would know instantly what constitutes “subsidy”, regardless of whether or not the word “energy” is put in front of it. It means a cash incentive.

What it definitely doesn’t mean is a tax reduction. Why doesn’t it mean this? Well, let’s examine the logic for a moment. Suppose I were to mug you in the street and steal, say, £100 from you. But then, in a fit of generosity, I decided to hand you back a tenner so you could get a cab home. Could that tenner be reasonably described as a “gift” or a “donation”? Well, yes, I suppose at an enormous stretch, it could just about. “Dono” means “I give” in Latin, so, yes, when I give you back that “tenner” it could be construed as a gift or a donation.

But only by someone lacking in any kind of moral responsibility, or intellectual consistency, or understanding of sense, context and nuance. No sensitive user of the English language would ever employ the word “gift” or “donation” in such a perverted way.   Read more »

Economic Vandals

The Labour and Greens policy in nothing short of economic vandalism. Business is reacting, and it isn’t good. With policies like these there is nothing stopping Labour and the Greens coming after you if they think you are making what they think are “super-profits”.

What is stopping Labour and the Greens from now moving to nationalise Fonterra because milk and cheese is too highly priced? What about nationalising Progressive and Foodstuffs to create a national food buying agency because fruit and vegetables are too highly priced. (They had an election policy that complained about pricing on fruit and veg), and what about banking, petrol stations? Is Telecom set to be re-nationalised because internet band-width is too expensive?

Once you go down this path there is literally nothing that you can’t just decided is making too much money and so should be brought under state control.

Meanwhile mum and dad investors are already seeing value destroyed in their investments:  Read more »

Intellectual laziness of slogans

The Occupy hippies liked to refer to “the 1%” and that they were “the 99%”. Left wing commentators and bloggers still use these terms despite the demise of the smelly hippies. But why are “the 1%” so evil?

The slogan’s are based on the presumption of an American 1%. But why not the global 1%…well because that would include pretty much all Americans then,a nd a goodly proportion of Kiwis:

If we’re all embedded in a fundamentally unjust, exploitative global economic structure, it’s hard to see why the American 1% should be especially salient. Why not the global 1%, or the global 10 or 20%, which would include pretty much the whole American population. If it is morally imperative to confiscate exceptional wealth and use it to meet human needs, then it is imperative to confiscate most of the wealth in all wealthy countries, not just the wealth of the wealthiest of the wealthy, and transfer it to the world‘s poor, not to the relatively well-to-do poor of the wealthiest countries.

If it’s not possible to bring in $600,000 in a year without therefore being guilty of complicity in a exploitative global system, which invalidates one’s moral claim to one’s income, it’s probably not possible to bring in an untainted, secure $60,000 either.

Good points…of course some leftwing troll will come here and start berating the 1%, Before s/he does that they should read the next bit:

 It’s based on the supposition that the domestic 1% is guilty of something or other the domestic 10 or 30 or 50% isn’t, and therefore deserves to be a target of scorn in a way the 10 or 30 or 50% does not. But, however you slice it, it’s going to be true that a lot of people in the top 1% got there in pretty much the same way a lot of people in the top 30 or 50% got there. If there’s nothing wrong with a way of making money at the 50th percentile, there’s nothing wrong with it at the 99th. And if there’s something wrong with it at the 99th, there’s something wrong with at the 50th. The unwillingness to identify specific mechanisms of unjust income acquisition, and the insistence on treating income-earners above a arbitrary cut-off point as a unified class deserving special contempt, strike me as symptoms of intellectually laziness and a less than thoroughgoing interest in justice.