Ed Balls doesn’t understand basic economics

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In my industry, which is video games, large numbers of technical staff (who UK taxpayers had paid to educate) left to work in Canada and pay their taxes there. This was because our then Labour government thought that this industry was irrelevant whilst the Canadian government realised how economically important it is. The game industry is bigger than the TV or Film industries, which the Labour government did support like crazy and which did do well here.

We live in a world where labour and capital are very highly mobile. Both can switch country overnight and will do so given good reason. So for the UK to prosper we need to give labour and capital very good reason to be here. And with the current government we are succeeding, just four years ago our economy was trashed, now it is creating more jobs than the rest of Europe put together.

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Let’s look at France, who are currently burdened with the awful socialist government of François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande. They believe that envy should be a government policy, that successful people who have generated wealth for themselves should be punished. Work hard and earn well in France and you pay 66% tax, with your employer being forced to top this up to 75%. So the wealth creators have voted with their feet and left the country. London is now the sixth largest French city, 50% of young French people want to emigrate, their prospects are so bleak. This is the evil of socialist dogma in action. And this is what Ed Miliband and Ed Balls want to bring here.

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UKIP talk about British jobs for British people, but this really is dogma for the hard of thinking. We are, for instance, desperately short of engineers. At ARM in Cambridge, at Jaguar Land Rover in Coventry, at Dyson in Wiltshire. So we are importing large numbers of them from all over the world to work here, add to our economy and pay our taxes. Does Nigel Farage think that our badly educated feckless dependency underclass are capable of doing these jobs? Remember that 20% of British adults are functionally illiterate and 40% are innumerate. Perhaps the best thing that we could do would be to replace our teaching “profession” with immigrants.

The British problem here isn’t immigrants. It is a massively over generous benefits system that encourages British people not to work and encourages a small number of foreigners to come and live here as parasites. This creates a bad press because the vast majority of immigrants come to Britain to build a life, to work hard, to pay taxes and to become a part of British society. We are lucky to have them here.

The two most important things in a modern economy are profit and productivity. Maximise both and the country becomes a better place for everyone. It is no surprise that our awful trade unions, who have trashed our economy so many times and cost the jobs of millions, hate both these concepts.

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Profit is the reward for looking after customers. For providing people with the goods and services that they want. Profit is the generation of wealth that pays for new jobs and for investment. When I was young a doctor or architect had a lower standard of living than a bus driver or shop assistant has today. This immense improvement in life quality has been paid for by profits earned by British businesses. You might say that you work in the NHS or Police service, so what do profits matter to you? Well it is other people’s profits that pay your wages. Profit is the oxygen of our economy without which nothing else is possible.

Productivity is the amount of work that a person gets done. The history of human advancement since the beginning of the industrial revolution had been the relentless increase in productivity. It is only by our society making more stuff that the people in it can have more stuff. Our Luddite trade unions don’t understand this simple truth and seek to have less work done by more people, inflicting vast economic damage and harming everyone in the country. The Chinese do understand productivity, creating ever more goods as efficiently as possible, often growing their economy at 20% per annum. Putting many unproductive union bound British manufacturers out of business. And the Chinese people are benefiting like crazy, already the average Chinese apartment has a far bigger floor area than the average British house.

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Just now the trade unions in Britain are campaigning for everyone to be paid more money. Without earning it. They want us to have the rewards of increased productivity without actually delivering that productivity. If the trade unions actually understood economics and really worked in the best interest of their members then increasing profits and productivity would be at the top of their agenda. Instead they vehemently oppose both. Socialist envy blinds them to the truth.

Now Ed Balls has an answer to giving people more money. He is going to extort it from the “rich” in yet another display of nasty envy with a Mansion Tax that will mainly be paid by apartments and semi detached houses in London. But already successful wealth generators are massively overtaxed, people earning over £160K a year are just 1% of the population, yet they pay a third of all income tax. And we know from France exactly what the results will be, large numbers of the people who power our economy will emigrate and take their money with them. To New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, wherever the government isn’t run on envy. And everyone in Britain will be poorer.

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  1. ‘Remember that… British adults… 40% are innumerate.’

    Can you explain to me the scale used in the graph at the top of your blog post? The graph that comes under the banner ‘1.8 Million More People in Work.’


  2. Do you actually have any sources or evidence for the figures you continually throw out? I notice you have no trouble linking to your own articles where you feel they are relevant but you neglect to where you found the information which informed you that 20% of UK adults are illiterate and 40% are innumerate. I assume you’ve included the “functionally” to justify your massaging of some real figures, hence the lack of a source, however I would suggest that if you’re going to make such wild statements it might be prudent to back them up with some actual evidence, lest people think you’re just inventing things to suit whatever point you’re trying to make.


    1. crablover, try fitting Google to your computer. I used it and quickly found the following links, there are many more. Our teaching “profession” have failed on an epic scale, largely due to socialist dogma and “progressive ” teaching. We need to be sacking a lot more failed teachers.
      UK adult illiteracy: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2122007/Illiterate-Britain-One-adults-struggling-read-write-t-use-chequebook.html


  3. So, looking at the four links you posted (I’m not going to waste my time or contribute to their advertising revenue by reading a Daily Mail article), none of them appear to contain any evidence for the dramatic numbers you state in your original piece.

    The BBC article is based on and discusses a single survey, which appears to have the number of functionally illiterate people in the UK at 0.02%, rather than the 20% figure you stated.

    The literacy trust figures put illiteracy at 0.07%.

    The national numeracy site agrees with the BBC’s 0.02% figure but defines them as people who are “working at a level roughly equivalent to that expected of children at primary school”, which I’m not sure you could describe as “functionally illiterate”. Certainly the school I send my children to seems to expect them to learn to read.

    But perhaps our definitions of “illiterate” are different, as yours doesn’t appear to include adults who constantly and incorrectly use quotation marks for attempted emphasis.

    I would also expect someone who claims to have substatial digital experience like you to understand that Google is a web service which can be accessed from many devices and does not actually need to be specifically “fitted” to a computer.


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