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Sunday 31 July 2011

Del Boy And The Reward Package

Friday brought good news from the Maily Telegraph as its blogger James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole momentarily stopped selectively interpreting other folks’ selective interpretations on climate change. Del Boy has moved on to the subject of economics, where he puts his faith in the hearsay of someone who is not an economist.

Why he can’t find a real economist to come to his defence is not known, but the parallel with his pal Christopher Booker, who cites those with no relevant qualifications while demanding specialism from others, is clear. Also clear is Delingpole’s air of disillusionment: of Britain he tells that “the country I love has abandoned me”, so Young Dave must be doing something right.

But Del Boy is still up for the usual quota of abuse aimed at anyone who might dissent from his worldview: the Government is “Cameron’s bastard Coalition”, its junior partner consists of “economically illiterate Lib Dems [sic] loons”, and the “useless” Coalition are, in total, “braindead, communitarian lummocks”, although on the 50p tax rate, “Boris gets it”.

The thought that “Boris gets it” because his income stream – including £250,000 a year from the Maily Telegraph which Bozza has let slip is merelychicken feed” – puts him well into 50p territory, and his stance is therefore an act of blatant self-interest, does not enter with Delingpole. Instead, Del Boy turns for inspiration to a man called Eric who “works in computers”.

And Eric knows what is wrong: “everyone else is racing ahead, but Britain is stuck in the slow lane” he concludes, which by fortunate coincidence chimes with what Delingpole believes. Eric’s solution is that high earners should be at the front of the queue for tax cuts, the inference being that these people are creating jobs. But almost all of them are doing no such thing.

In any case, this idea was behind giving the most well-off in the USA tax cuts, and the extra jobs that were supposed to follow never materialised. The well-off already have enough money to service all their needs: one can only dine out seven days in any one week. For them, the propensity is to save: extra money will be taken out of the economy and economic activity will not be further stimulated.

The least well-off, on the other hand, inevitably have more demands on their funds than they have money coming in, so for them, the propensity is to spend. Extra money will be spent and economic activity will be readily stimulated. Thus one of the best ways to promote economic activity is to give tax breaks to the least well off.

This will continue to be true, no matter what someone “in computers” says, no matter how much abuse Delingpole hurls against it, and whether or not “Boris gets it”.

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