By Pete Moore On May 17th, 2013 at 9:55 am
Another triumph of government economics.
First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities – toilet paper.
Explanation: Venezuela has been printing money like mad, resulting in massive price inflation (reported at 29.4% most recently). The government panics and institutes price controls, forcing prices below market levels. Consumer demand soars as people grab what they can while supply dries up. Astonishingly, the AP (as published in The Telegraph) manages to zero in on this explanation:
“State-controlled prices – prices that are set below market-clearing price – always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union,” said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.
By Pete Moore On May 15th, 2013 at 7:35 pm
Better safe than sorry …
Can you believe that the CDC’s “guidelines” on salt are not just misguided, but may actually cause health problems? Say it ain’t so! A new CDC study says that the 1500 mg-level (whatever that is) long sanctioned by Nanny is not just wrong, but that it may lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and death. This is not news to ATW regulars. (Coming next: saturated fat and cholesterol aren’t bad for you afterall.)
More than an increased risk of heart attacks, a reduced salt intake can lead to many problems. So enjoy glorious salt, just not that rubbish, bleached out stuff. Goodness knows what’s in that, but it includes plenty of chemicals. I recommend a decent sprinkling of Maldon Sea Salt with every dish. You’ve never tasted salt ’till you’ve had some of this.
By Pete Moore On May 15th, 2013 at 12:52 pm
Much political posturing today at the news that oil firms might have colluded to drive up fuel prices.
The real fuel scandal is that prices are driven up and that we are ripped off every day, because most of the price is the cut the state takes. We can’t do anything about it because they have a gun to our heads.
By Pete Moore On May 14th, 2013 at 7:50 pm
Liberalism again makes a case for being classified as a mental disorder.
SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – Transgender students would have the right to use public school restrooms and participate on sports teams that correspond with their expressed genders under a bill approved Thursday in the California Assembly.
In English, that means if Californian boys want to use the girls’ changing rooms and toilets then they have the right to do so. Citizens are warned that if the randy 14 year old down the road wants to get naked next to your daughter, tough. If you disagree, you’re a bigot.
I say let bigotry reign.
Need I say that parents should do everything possible to keep their children from the nonces, weirdos and perverts who infest government schools?
By Pete Moore On May 14th, 2013 at 12:40 pm
On why we don’t want politics sorting anything out.
Dan Hodges blogs in The Telegraph that Cameron is making a right cock up of the EU referendum bill, stating: “But whatever you think of the issue of Europe, is this really the way Britain should be dealing with one of its leading strategic geopolitical partnerships?” He’s right of course. Tim Worstall replies (as I said it’s a very good point, and fundamental, so I’ll paste it below):
But this is how politics deals with everything. It’s why it’s such a shit way of dealing with things: sometimes entirely necessary but exactly why we want politics to have as little do with things as is possible.
Every decision is weighed as to the political benefits that it brings the decision maker. And that’s it: we don’t get carefully considered mulling over what is the right thing to do.
Consider the (possibly apocryphal, but it’s illustrative of the problem all the same) decisions over steel works under Callaghan. Yes, everyone accepted that steel works needed to be very large indeed in order to be efficient enough to survive. Big integrated works. So along went the decision: British Steel would have a girt big integrated works.
But where to put it, Scotland or Wales? For political reasons it was halved in size (and therefore neither half was large enough to be efficient) and one half in each Labour dependency.
As I say, that’s how almost all decisions are taken@ what’s good politics, not what is good by any rational standard.
Whether we should be in the EU or not is something that can and should be debated (as everyone knows, I’m hugely biased on this point). But that’s not what is actually happening, is it? Instead we’ve got the usual mess of short term political manouvering.
Politics just isn’t a very good way of dealing with things.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Pete Moore On May 12th, 2013 at 6:55 pm
When some describe them as government mouthpieces …
The president of ABC News and the president of CBS News each have siblings in the White House working for Obama.
I’d say it’s a very important point to remember, whenever these organisations report on White House business, that it’s a family affair.
By Pete Moore On May 5th, 2013 at 7:30 pm
Step forward … two African rioters! Yep, it’s our old friend the “right to a family life” yet again.
The Telegraph can reveal for the first time how the two rioters – who were both made an example of by the criminal courts for their roles in the 2011 disorder – have since overturned the Home Office’s attempts to have them sent home.
One was convicted of violent disorder after rampages involving attacks on shops and cars by a gang in two Home Counties towns, while the other was convicted of burglary for his part in the London riots.
Right, so over a year ago the Home Secretary introduced rules “that made it “absolutely clear” that those who have committed a crime, broken immigration rules or cannot support themselves must not be allowed to stay”, but nothing’s changed in reality.
Ever get the feeling you’re being lied to?
By Pete Moore On May 5th, 2013 at 7:17 pm
It’s not just the CIA dropping off the cash. Now we find that MI6 is doing it too.
British intelligence is handing “bundles” of cash over to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai for special peace projects despite warnings that handouts are promoting corruption at the heart of his regime.
Gosh, do you reckon that the Karzai crew might not be accounting for every penny of our cash? How shocking it would be to find out that our cash is being trousered by a bunch of Pashtun gangsters, which is all the ruling class is over there.
Kabul will fall five minutes after we leave. I fully expect Karzai to pop up in Switzerland just in time.
By Pete Moore On May 1st, 2013 at 8:10 pm
Marching through the institutions?
I’ve always thought that religion and the modern military were a strange couple. Nevertheless, it sounds like the Pentagon is being advised a real anti-Christian headbanger. One consequence: a Pentagon statement that Christian proselytisers “could face court martial for promoting their faith”.
If there’s anything in the report (I’ve not seen it elsewhere), some people are going to go completely mental.