Wednesday, 13 May 2015

LVT is the flying pig of politics

From the comments on Stumbling and Mumbling: Wanted, a new Blair:

I actually like Luis's idea a lot, but I think it's got about as much chance of happening as (say) a UBI supported by LVT.

19 comments:

Lola said...

Personally I think Stum mum is about 80% total bollocks. But hey, it's his blog.

The 20% he gets right is that it is now beyond left and right. It's about authoritarian/libertarian. Socialism has failed. Toryism is NBG. Managerialism is another word for interventionism aka socialism.

Never before has knowledge been so universally available to everyone. There is no need for Big Government, which is tough for BG but so bloody well what?

What he gets fundamentally wrong is his low growth meme. We have low growth because of BG (and bad money), not despite it. Capitalism (for want of a better word) hates a vacuum and will create wealth - and hence employment - if it's left alone to do it. One of the areas where there is huge opportunity for efficiency and wealth creation is in the last bastions of nationalised monopolies; health and education.

Mankind is relentlessly innovative and acquisitive. Why do clever people seem to fail to recognise this?

paulc156 said...

There are only two blogs that I look at daily or at least most days, this one and stumbling and mumbling. Dillow always substantiates everything he says, he doesn't think from first principles alone.Hence the countless links to other work. And for a marxist his thinking is refreshingly open minded.

eg; "a small state in Thatcherites' case, policy stability in Brown's. In an era of secular stagnation, however, neither is sufficient (though they might be necessary)." Note the bit in brackets. I think he's an empiricist rather than an ideologue, [as in just having a certain view and then claiming its obviously been proven correct, when it hasn't]. He's also quite damning about housing policy and in favour of LVT.

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2010/12/what-should-be-the-tax-base.html

The Stigler said...

paulc156,

"Dillow always substantiates everything he says"

No he doesn't. He's obsessed with "managerialism" and I have challenged him to provide data and he simply doesn't answer.

paulc156 said...

Well he does it more than most. More than anyone I can think of. More to the point he generally puts up data in his posts rather than in response to requests. Have you read this?

Limits Of Managerialism.

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2013/10/limits-of-managerialism.html

The Stigler said...

paulc156,

No, I didn't read that one, but I read plenty of his other stuff.

Again (and no, I'm not going to follow his links - if he's got data that nails his case he can highlight it), where's the data? Oh, right, a company makes a PR gaffe. Therefore, all management is terrible rather than fallible.

His last sentence is a huge giveaway:-

"I write all this in the spirit of a leftist, who wants to argue that inequalities of power are economically and socially corrosive and that bosses don't deserve their big pay. "

See, he hasn't actually studied what makes companies work. He's just a Marxist and looking for excuses for what he believes in.

Unlike Dillow, I have worked in places that are a lot more diverse than the city and journalism. I've seen the effect of firing a total berk and bringing a better boss in: those same workers suddenly seemed to produce a lot more than they did before.

Lola said...

TS Oh shit. I'd better fire myself then....

The Stigler said...

Lola,

Seriously - know why Linux is a success? It's not because Linus Torvalds is a good hacker - it's because he's a really good manager. OK, he's a bit of a dick at times, but generally after he told people not to do things, and they did.

Random said...

TS, Linux is good because it is free and open source software that anyone can use or edit.

paulc156 said...

That's unfair really. He's being honest. He 'is' a Marxist so by definition he's going to favour more equality. The same as people on here are often libertarian free marketeers and will simply assert that which chimes with their beliefs. It's a shame you don't bother checking out some of the links. There is some anecdotal stuff
[like your personal experience regards firing a bad manager] but plenty of good studies which look at the reasons for the demise of firms in the US over a lengthy period[Ormerod], or identifying causes of productivity growth in UK manufacturing 1980-92[Richard Disney, Jonathan Haskel]. There's another link there where Ormerod discusses his findings and suggests the success of Windows [by way of an example] was largely accidental. It initially bombed. It came close to being abandoned. It's success was in large part a "fluke".

It's a shame. Your evident dislike of Dillow prevents you from considering alternative ideas.

Random said...

Paul,
I don't think any of us dislike Dillow. Could you link to studies etc.
A major problem is that on the internet people tend to associate with people with the same ideology like an echo chamber.

Lola said...

P156 "He 'is' a Marxist so by definition he's going to favour more equality. The same as people on here are often libertarian free marketeers and will simply assert that which chimes with their beliefs " Hang on a minute. That's contradictory. Or rather he is doing exactly what you are accusing others of, only it favour his preferences. And FYI it is precisely for reasons of 'equality' - voluntary, not coerced equality - that we are classical liberal. Marxism is the philosophy of despair. In its name hundreds of millions of people have been murdered and hundreds of millions more impoverished. Whereas by definition (the no harm principle) that is exactly what classical liberalism has not done. precisely the opposite in fact.

paulc156 said...

Lola. It's a marxist blog so the bit TS quoted was just him saying 'I'm predisposed to thinking a and b are correct' but really he is an empiricist imo. He frequently goes against the Marxist grain by expressing rather odd views for a Marxist, like proposing 'market socialism' or questioning whether increasing wages will rescue us from stagnation.
Yes, great harm has been done in the name of Marxism but that's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If capitalism tends toward monopsony, monopoly and crisis and is subjected to a tendency of the rate of profit to fall we need to know!

paulc156 said...

Random. Those links were in the above post to The Stigler.
Here it is again.
The Limits Of Managerialism.

Bayard said...

"Marxism is the philosophy of despair. In its name hundreds of millions of people have been murdered and hundreds of millions more impoverished."

Beliefs are not responsible for the people that believe in them. What you say about Marxism can equally be said about Christianity. Man is quite capable of being unbelievably brutal and cruel, without following a particular belief system, imperial China being a good example.

I would agree that Chris Dillow's posts are way more well referenced than the ones on this blog, impressively so, but that doesn't make them any more right, just more plausible. There's plenty of wrong stuff out there on the internet to link to.

Lola said...

P156. Fair enough. On principle not happy with any '-ism'; Marxism, Socialism, Capitalism. Really only happy when everyone buggers off and just lets us get on with stuff. And as chaotic as it sounds that seems to work quite well.
And given that you have proper non-crony stuff then capitalism will not trend to monopsony.
But I do, I really do, think Marxism needs to be killed off PDQ.

The Stigler said...

paulc156,

"There's another link there where Ormerod discusses his findings and suggests the success of Windows [by way of an example] was largely accidental. It initially bombed. It came close to being abandoned. It's success was in large part a "fluke". "

No, Windows was not accidental, or a fluke.

Version 1 and 2 were not particularly successful. This was mostly just down to them being very limited products. Windows 3 was more of a real OS rather than just an add-on to DOS.

And around Windows 2/3, Microsoft were working with IBM on OS/2. At that point, everyone was expecting OS/2 to be the big operating system. So, had Windows not happened, the big operating system on desktops would still have been one involving Microsoft.

So, no, this was not a fluke.

And the reason Windows beat OS/2 is that they got to market first, got an API out for developers and worked with companies to ship PCs with Windows. And at that point, the minnow decided to take on the shark.

Microsoft had some luck along the way, no doubt. They had more luck in the DOS era, when Gary Kildall didn't want to work with IBM on licensing CP/M, and Microsoft suggested their own OS, MS-DOS.

But a lot of the success of Microsoft with Windows was down to management. IBM ran as a bureaucracy, giving bonuses based on K-LOCS (thousands of lines of code), the equivalent of paying delivery drivers by miles driven rather than packages delivered. Microsoft on the other hand paid people well and gave them lots of stock in the company. They structured things to get all the crap out of the way to get programmers programming.

paulc156 said...

Well, you can emphasise the good management or the luck depending on your starting position. Mlodinow wrote it up as largely luck in his 1990 book 'The Drunkard’s Walk. How Randomness Rules Our Lives'. As you mention in passing, If Kildall had cooperated, Gates wouldn’t have been involved at all! Even Paul Allen wrote of the significant lucky breaks they got, along with a lot of hard work of course.

So when Ormerod said in the Harvard business review; "I’d say Windows dominates desktops today because of a series of early accidents, not due to a carefully planned strategy." He had a valid point.

Another area completely unrelated to technology where good management is routinely exagerrated and luck under rated is football management. You see it constantly. Managers rated outstanding one minute turn into chumps the next. It's really just a handful of exceptions that prove the rule. But of course, it's in a lot of people's interests, not least the managers, but egged on by the fans and indulged in by the club owners to perpetuate the bloody obvious myth that every manager they hire is outstanding and the key to the clubs impending success. Never mind luck which is more important by an order of magnitude.

The Stigler said...

paulc156,

"So when Ormerod said in the Harvard business review; "I’d say Windows dominates desktops today because of a series of early accidents, not due to a carefully planned strategy." He had a valid point."

No, that's not valid. They had one big lucky break with CP/M. Windows beating OS/2 was down to Microsoft being better managed than IBM (who had far more resources than Microsoft and should have crushed them) and their defeat of Apple at the time was down to Steve Jobs not understanding (and Apple still don't) the importance of 3rd party software. Bill Gates was the only head of a computer company who foresaw a PC on every desk.

paulc156 said...

"No, that's not valid...Bill Gates was the only head of a computer company who foresaw a PC on every desk."

ahem... the same Bill Gates who 'if Kildall had cooperated, wouldn’t have been involved at all'? In any case he went on to be a great monopolist. :)