andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

McDonnell's Economic Plans

Date: 2018-10-31 12:27 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (seven legged spider)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I think McDonnell is eyeing up a significant Kenysian stimulous following a Labour General Election win. If so, this would involve increases in public sector capital expenditure, increases in public sector operating expenditure through expansions of public sector headcount and pay increases, probably increases in transfer payments, such as pensions, welfare and job seekers allowances and *no tax increases for anyone* because it is funded by borrowing. It has to be funded by borrowing in order to be a fiscal expansion.

The totality of that can be plenty enough redistributive or progressive even if part of that is retaining a few individually less than progressive measures such as increases to the top-rate tax thresholds. Public sector workers are usually not well paid. The unemployed are not well paid. Poor people benefit more from well funded public services than the rich as the rich can make their own private provision. Capital expenditure on infrastructure boosts long-term growth rates, creating employment and strengthening the bargaining position of less well paid workers.

But crucially, you don't bring in a tax increase for anyone if you are trying a macro-economic fiscal stimulous.

I'd be interested in his thoughts on endogenous growth theory as the other side of a macro-economic fiscal policy. I expect I can guess as at his views on improving the bargaining power of workers vs capital but I'm not sure where he stands on endogenous growth.

Re: McDonnell's Economic Plans

Date: 2018-10-31 05:43 pm (UTC)
mountainkiss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mountainkiss
Oh good, thanks. I was wondering about this. I knew you'd know.

Re: McDonnell's Economic Plans

Date: 2018-11-01 11:14 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
Well, I'm guessing, but I hope it's an informed guess.

Re: McDonnell's Economic Plans

Date: 2018-11-01 11:15 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
It is unlikely that he is triangulating in a Blairite fashion.

Re: McDonnell's Economic Plans

Date: 2018-11-03 10:12 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
Yes, every pound you *transfer* through taxation is a pound unavailable for stimulus.

Deficit spending today represents taxation tomorrow. That later taxation can be more or less progressive. But if you are running a fiscal stimulus you don't want to be undermining it with additional taxation anywhere.

Public spending is inherently redistributive.


Date: 2018-11-02 02:07 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
A couple of thoughts on the Robert Mueller fake sexual harrassment plot.

I wonder if it the target is not Robert Mueller but the concept of sexual harrassment.

If one was worried that sexual harrassment allegations would be problematic for one's own politcal tribe one might wish to de-weaponise them.

Assume that Robert Mueller has not sexually harrassed anyone and is known to be a well-mannered person. Therefore the chances that a number of false allegation would be rapidly exposed as false and discovered to be part of an orchestrated campaign to discredit him.

This in turn discredits attempts to discredit people by accusing them of sexual harrassement (or worse). With one very obvious and well known attempt at a false flag operation you can then push a narrative that all the other (real) allegations are actually part of someone else's campaign to orchestrate false accussations against prominent men.

Why might you do this? Perhaps you are worried that your tribe is more likely to be damaged by accussations of sexual harrassment because a) your tribe has more men than women, b) your tribe has more badly behaved men, c) key figures you wish to protect are known to you to be sexual harrassers, d) your tribe suffers more damage for a given level of accussation.

And if you are wrong about Robert Mueller not being a sexual harrasser then more, real allegations emerge in a Me Too cascade and you have damaged Mueller.

I dislike being this paranoid.

Re: Mueller

Date: 2018-11-03 10:13 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
Not all Republican voters are Republicans.

Reflective Material

Date: 2018-11-02 02:35 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
A few thoughts on the reflective film.

It's good news.

Starting with the first use case, it's basically cheap air conditioning.

I'm assuming that as the material is made out of glass and something silver or silvery, it doesn't have very expensive rare earths, it can be made in a factory in rolls etc it will be relatively cheap to manufacture.

So that immediately drops a whole bunch of energy demand out of the grid.

That demand will be peak load in the countries where air conditioning is a significant load factor. So, all other things being equal, expensive load.

It might do interesting things to the interaction of demand and supply curves in places with lots of solar PV.

Power plant efficicency
It looks like it can be used in conjuction with solar PV to keep them from over heating and therefore gaining one or two % of extra conversion efficiency. Probably good news so long as the material is cheap enough to make that worthwhile.

It might also help boost the efficiency from thermal plants by making their cooling towers more effective. Secondarily you might be able to put things like nuclear plants in different locations because you can use less, colder water as cooling water. I suspect the effect is too small to make much difference but it might improve the condition of rivers used for cooling water.

Looking at geo-engineering - how much land area can you cover with this stuff? How much sea? What happens if you put it on very specific parts of the Earth's surface and therefore create cold spots?

Energy exports

If it drops net energy demand in places like California and Saudi Arabia they get to export a little bit more of the energy they produce.

California looks like it uses about 3% of it's energy demand for air conditioning is 3%. Assume widespread roll out of this film reduces that by 1/3rd - frees up 1% of California's energy for export. Other states seem to use more judging by the 6% of energy used for air con in the USA as a whole.

Building engineering

I wonder what fun you could have with building design to make some parts cooler than other parts and therefore create natural airflow. For example cladding the top of a skyscrapper in this material and creating cooler air at the top of the building.

Or in places like Australia using it on shade sails over public spaces

Re: Reflective Material

Date: 2018-11-05 01:47 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
My guess is about a 3-4% improvement in overall energy system efficiency in hot countries.

Which is, as you say, not huge, but is pretty significant. Just on it's own it's a nice win. But you also get a benefit in developing countries of a reduction in the capital expenditure required to enjoy WEIRD standards of living.

There are roughly 100 large power stations in the UK (including currently operating, in planning or recently decommissioned), they cost about $500m each, so a 3-4% efficiency gain would avoid perhaps $2bn in capex. That is a goodly sum of money that places like Kenya don't have to find and a goodly number of Indian coal miners not down a mine getting lung disease.

Date: 2018-11-05 09:54 pm (UTC)
anef: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anef
The tax cuts for the wealthier make no sense except in the context of a potential general election. Neither does McDonnell's reaction.

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