Thursday, April 30, 2009



I may have mentioned this before, but Mark Steel really is an obnoxiously unfunny little tit.  But he does have the benefit of acting as a policy wind-vane – whatever he thinks is a good idea clearly isn’t.  And he also demonstrates an unusual ability in this column – that of destroying your own argument by attempting to illustrate it.

The argument that raising tax doesn't bring in any extra money is mad on lots of levels. It's a good job these people don't run a shop, as presumably they'd tell their customers "Oh don't bother giving me any money for those biscuits. The notion that if you give me money, that will raise any more money for me than if you don't give me any is a myth," and be bankrupt in a week.

It’s evidently a good job that Mark Steel doesn’t run a shop, relying instead on free money from Radio 4, because he would presumably say to his customers “By the way, I’ve jacked up the price of biscuits by a tenner a packet so that I get more money for them.  The notion that rational people might change their behaviour as a result of a change in financial incentives is a myth,” and be bankrupt in a week, surrounded by packets of unsold biscuits.


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