back to article Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

I'm old enough to remember when the British left really was dominated by Marxist thinking, however thinly or thickly that was covered by a layer of Fabianism or some other "socialism lite". I haven't forgotten that the old Clause 4 of the Labour Party constitution, for example, insists that workers "by hand or brain" really …

  1. P. Lee

    Free markets or competitive markets?

    Methinks there is a difference.

    1. BillDarblay

      Re: Free markets or competitive markets?

      I agree. The author seems to ignore the Marxist policies of today, including; Right to buy, Help to buy, QE, Bank bail outs, Bank nationalisation. Don't forget the special privileges for 'Party' members like off-shore tax havens and second house subsidies. Amongst many, many others.

      There 'aint much difference between Marxism and Crony Capitalism in practice.

      1. Ossi

        Re: Free markets or competitive markets?

        "The author seems to ignore the Marxist policies of today"

        In what sense has he 'ignored' them? In the sense that he hasn't discussed every single economic policy of government?

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Free markets or competitive markets?

        @ BillDarblay

        "The author seems to ignore the Marxist policies of today, including; Right to buy, Help to buy, QE, Bank bail outs, Bank nationalisation."

        Where does the author avoid these? It isnt even the topic.

        He does mention the left and their obvious incarnation of old labour which is not so obvious now. As for the policies you mention, we have a left leaning tory party in coalition with lib dems following a labour party that increased government spending, bloat and welfare.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Free markets or competitive markets?

      One thing not noted is: where is the money coming from? And the answer is, mostly, from paying fans. Football is NOT a 'market' in a traditional sense because fans are 'captive' to their team and would not be paying to buy, for example, a replica shirt of a rival team. Nor is any fan going to change their support to another team playing more attractive football at lower ticket prices. So prices for the fan are kept artificially high*.

      At the same time, none of the additional money in the game has led to better quality of football, because the threat of relegation means that teams shovel more and more money at established players to get immediate results, and very little of that money actually flows into player development, grass-roots coaching, youth facilities etc. It's almost all going towards the first teams, where the same pretty average players just get paid more and more.

      In the basic economics of things, I have no problem with Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Aguero etc getting paid a quarter million a week or more, these are the players who the fans are paying to see. What really raises questions is seeing talentless relegation-fodder cloggers or unproven 18-year-olds being paid 5-figure-a-week sums.

      *I am aware that it is the fans themselves keeping prices artificially high by their unswerving loyalty to a single club

      1. Tim Almond

        Re: Free markets or competitive markets?

        "Football is NOT a 'market' in a traditional sense because fans are 'captive' to their team and would not be paying to buy, for example, a replica shirt of a rival team."

        But you could not choose to go to football, not bother with it much, and not buy a replica team.

        I'm not much of a fan, but I used to go and see Northampton Town play. then the terraces disappeared, prices went up, and I stopped enjoying it so much. I still keep an eye on what they're doing, but I'd rather spend my money going to the pictures or on a new PC game. An evening seeing Tosca is cheaper, and you get a bar at half-time.

  2. Edward Noad

    No Racism In Recent Football?

    Someone isn't paying attention. Also, it would seem American Football teams are centrist by his definition whereas Soccer Football teams are "extreme-left" and pretty much the entire rest of the economy is "extreme-right" - it's the extremes that don't work, not the left/right ideologies themselves.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: No Racism In Recent Football?

      "No Racism In Recent Football? Someone isn't paying attention."

      Tim is saying that black players are paid the same as white ones, or at least the difference isn't statistically significant. He's not saying that some fans don't do stupid things.

      I know that the knee-jerk reflex is faster than engaging the brain, but it isn't better.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most political economic and social theory..

    is based on refuted propositions, wishful thinking and greed, stupidity and utter incompetence.

    There is strong evidence that most of the 'problems' would-be governments campaign on, and presumably get elected to 'solve' are either non-problems or cannot be solved by central government intervention.

    Basically, they are all a bunch of total Cnuts.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Most political economic and social theory..

      "Basically, they are all a bunch of total Cnuts."

      You're wrong. King Cnut was specifically demonstrating that even he, the King, had limitations on his powers. Prospective governments trying to get elected will promise lower tides if they think it will them an extra vote. That makes them cunts, not Cnuts.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid

    I think calling Marxism 'stupid' is incredibly arrogant and.... stupid.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Stupid

      No, he's pretty much right. Marxism is a pile of sophomoric rubbish thought up by a man who sponged off his rich parents and only got jobs to show "solidarity" with the working classes. Marx, the affecter of poverty who spent most of his working life as a piss-poor "journalist", would fit right in at the Guardian. He's even got the racism disguised as paternalistic "concern" for the poor oppressed foreign sorts down pat.

      Socialism is a different matter, though as a righty I'm reflexively against the idea anyway (which leads to lots of interesting debate with the swedish socialist I find myself married to). And before you argue that socialism and marxism are the same: They aren't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Graham Dawson

        "And before you argue that socialism and marxism are the same: They aren't."

        That's what I'd expect a goddam pinko commie socialist marxist to say!

        I bet you voted for that Kerrang-worshipping goddam Soviet liberal Obama, didn't you boy??!

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Stupid

        Please be a bit careful with the socialist word. I know some funny Americans tend to call Sweden socialist. As all the Nordic countries, that is Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland are very very similar in what they expect their countries to be like. I suppose the same Americans should call Norway socialist too but I suppose they experience some sort of an brain-short there as Norway is one of the richest countries in the world and also a Nato country.

        The word you are probably looking for is social democrat and to mix that with socialist is just bull. There is a Social democratic party in Sweden (no majority) and else where too. There are no Socialist countries in Europa.

        In the Nordic countries the things that are considered important are, good and affordable education for everybody, good and affordable health care for everybody, a fair but progressive taxation, trade unions, gun control, for a short list.

        Private schools are OK too like private hospitals provided the standard is acceptable. Non of the US rubbish where anything can call it self a university.

        Affordable, like a hart transplant for about the same price as staying at the YMCA for the same number of days, or free.

        Just common sense any Bushman would agree with.

        Germans the French and the Dutch are very similar and I don't think you Brits are that different.

        As soon as people start throwing around words like left/right/capitalist/socialist you know common sense went out the window.

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Stupid

          Thing is, Lars, she calls herself a socialist - though in practice she's much more of the social democrat that is the norm in Sweden. In fact she out-capitalists me sometimes... :D

          But she calls herself a socialist and she knows all the talking points. I'm not going to argue with her about that, not unless I want to have my half of the bed redistributed between the cats.

          1. Lars Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Stupid

            Point taken, Graham, can't blame you, some experience.

            But it also shows how dangerous those one words are as they don't really explain anything or solve anything.

            Transparency International has a list about the "amount" of corruption in different countries. Finland among other Nordic countries are the least corrupted countries according to them. But, surprise surprise when I had a look at comments by Finns about it, there was a lot of - "what the shit, of course there is lots of corruption".

            And there is a funny logic in those comments, that is, if Finns don't face corruption in their daily life they would react in an other way if they had lived in some more corrupt country for some years and had faced corruption daily, then their reaction would be something like - "oh my god how nice it is to live in Finland".

            Then again if you ask people in more corrupt countries about it you suddenly realize that they often don't even recognize it because it's just part of normal life.

            Had your wife lived in a socialist country she would probably call herself an anti socialist.

            The thing is that I am so damned fed up with worthless words.

            To prove my icon I have been searching for the religious word to explain the following.

            The pope and condoms. Well, one can assume, perhaps, that he does not need any, age, or by hand, or and lets go no deeper here. But he does know about condoms and Aids and all of that problem and with his 1.2 billion followers why does he not speak up. What is the theological word to explain this. Is he afraid of being assassinated, did god not speak to him or is he afraid of suddenly having nobody to speak to.

            Common sense is not in that picture.

      3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Stupid

        But...but...Marx looked very wise, beard and all, how could he have written rubbish?

        /it's an election time, have to play along/

    2. Tim Worstal

      Re: Stupid

      "Marxian", meaning using certain strands of Marx's analysis to illustrate certain subjects has a great deal of value. While he didn't actually use the word he was spot on about the dangers of monopsony purchasers of labour just as one example (and I used exactly that analysis when looking at the Valley wage restraint cartel).

      "Marxist" as a detailed set of rules about how to run an economy or society. Well, we ran that experiment, we generally call it the 20th century. Given the outcome of that experiment I don't think "stupid" is really all that strong as a description.

      1. Jim 59

        Re: Stupid

        Hence the old saying:

        The world would not be in such a snarl

        if Marx had been Groucho instead of Carl.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stupid

      > I think calling Marxism 'stupid' is incredibly arrogant and.... stupid.

      True, but the real issue is the assumption that we live with a duality of choice, marxism/socialism/communism versus capitalism/free_market. While the discussion is mired in the convenience of an either/or scenario, it can't really enlighten us. It's hard to find information on alternatives to these apparent opposites, but distributism is the school of thought that seems to me to get closest to meeting the needs of the human condition, and therefore it offers a better critique of both capitalism and communism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism

      So I would say the argument made in this piece is academically of minor interest but so narrowly defined as to be a mere straw man.

      1. Anthony 13

        Re: Stupid

        "Reasonable, even excellent, analysis up to a point and then the leap off the 10-foot board into the deep vat of stupid"

        Now who does that remind me of - it's on the tip of my tongue - for some reason 'rare earths' are coming to mind...

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    However

    The silly amount of money and wages in Premiership is killing it and fleeching the consumer. Why doesn't the consumer boycott and they'd be back to sensible wages, free to watch matches on BBC / ITV / C4.

    The pressure to be in Premier league and the wages are bonkers.

    1. Sarah Balfour

      Re: However

      Not as bonkers as the amount the taxpayer forks out to keep Betty and her inbred parasitic, racist, xenophobic, paedophilic, fascist (and that's just Phil and Chaz!) family. Betty gets more than £1m A WEEK, fuck knows about the rest of the cunts.

      Yes, I agree, Premier League wages ARE insane - but at least the taxpayer isn't paying 'em.

      Vive La Révolution! Vive La République!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: However

        @ Sarah Balfour

        That's right. Have an elected head of state. What would you get? A politician.

        Frankly, I don't envy the queen one jot. I'm a good deal younger than her and retired. There's no way I'd want to be condemned to carry on in harness until I drop.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: However

          "Vive La Révolution! Vive La République!"

          @ Sarah Balfour

          That's right. Have an elected head of state. What would you get? A politician.

          --

          A politician from France maybe - DSK is free at the moment ...

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: However

        Not as bonkers as the amount the taxpayer forks out to keep Betty and her inbred parasitic, racist, xenophobic, paedophilic, fascist (and that's just Phil and Chaz!) family. Betty gets more than £1m A WEEK, fuck knows about the rest of the cunts.

        Bollocks.

        The Sovereign Grant (which replaced the old Civil List), paid by the taxpayer to cover the Queen's official duties was £33m for 2012-13, likely to be £40m next year. It;'s handed over in return for the income from the Crown Estate, at an agreed 15%. i.e. the Queen gets 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate to pay for her duties, the taxpayer gets the other 85%. That's a tidy profit for the treasury, even without considering all the intangible benefits that come in from tourism, etc.

        On top of that we get a constitutional arrangement that guarantees far more stability than having just another career politician in charge, as an elected President. Can you really imagine the catastrophic consequences of a President Bliar?

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: However

          "Not as bonkers as the amount the taxpayer forks out to keep Betty and her inbred parasitic, racist, xenophobic, paedophilic, fascist (and that's just Phil and Chaz!) family. Betty gets more than £1m A WEEK, fuck knows about the rest of the cunts.

          Bollocks."

          It's double bollocks when you remember this is an economics article, and you need to include opportunity cost, that is, the cost of an elected president in, say Germany for example for a similarly sized country with a titular head of state. Oh look, he costs about the same as Brenda.

          1. peter_dtm
            Pirate

            Re: However

            no; the German president costs a hell of a lot more (an infinite amount more ?) than 'Brenda' WHO PAYS HER OWN SALARY -- see up post for the arrangement

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: However

          So the obvious solution would be to have a premiership footballer as head of state.

          All they have to do is push out heirs and look good on a stamp - something Posh and Becks could do just as well as Betty and Chuck

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: However

            "All they have to do is push out heirs and look good on a stamp - something Posh and Becks could do just as well as Betty and Chuck"

            And entertain foreign dignitaries. And not rape people, shout racist abuse or attack people in night clubs. Not looking so easy now, is it?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: However

              "And not rape people, shout racist abuse or attack people in night clubs. "

              No, no minor royal would ever be caught doing that kind of thing would they.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: However

            something Posh and Becks could do just as well as Betty and Chuck

            But they'd charge more, and and only want to play on weekends.

          3. BongoJoe

            Re: However

            "All they have to do is push out heirs and look good on a stamp"

            Until the last part I was looking forward to Peter Beardsley being king.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: However

          "Can you really imagine the catastrophic consequences of a President Bliar?"

          Don't even mention it.

          <shudder>

        4. phil dude
          FAIL

          Re: However

          Sorry to be contrary, but the royal family and all connected parties stole land and "treasure" over hundreds of years from *someone*, using threat of violence, and much much worse.

          The concept of monarchy is quite simply a stain on humanity.

          The American president acts like a king when congress doesn't stop him, but they *can* stop him. The reason they don't is due to the dysfunctional dependence on dogmatic policy.

          I find it hard to hold those with no choice of their birth responsible, as it is inescapable for all humans.

          But the concept of royalty needs to become a historical curiosity the same way as the "divine right" did.

          The constitutional arrangement is a sham, because govts can stuff the upper house with their cronies. Oh, and then there's the parliament act, so parliament is supreme. So the royalty is just there to distract from the nastier secrets of the govt. Unless Charlies wants a peek at bills that affect his interests....Clever huh?

          I respect your opinion that perhaps it is a stable arrangement.

          I am not sure I like the message of overwhelming inequality it sends out...

          P

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: However

            TL:DNR

          2. lucki bstard

            Re: However

            'I am not sure I like the message of overwhelming inequality it sends out' - I'm not sure I like your patronising attitude and smug air of superiority; but unless I do something about it I'll have to take it.

            So here it is, either quit bitching in front of a keyboard or get out and make changes happen. Don't be that person who spouts out how they would rule the world and then does nothing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        Re: However

        Adieu alors, citoyen de la France; les chances sont que vous ne serez pas manqué dans ces îles verdoyantes de la Grande-Bretagne ...!

        1. Hans 1
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: However

          @ RogerStenning

          Google translate sucks, did you not know ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Go

            Re: However

            That I did know, which is one of the reasons why I used it ;-) The other reason is easy to follow: My own abilities with the French language, learned when I went to school some *cough cough splutter* years ago, are entirely insufficient to the cause of sarcasm ;-)

      4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        @Sarah Balfour

        You might find this enlightening:

        http://www.cgpgrey.com/blog/the-true-cost-of-the-royal-family-explained.html

      5. peter_dtm
        Flame

        Re: However

        I suggets you trouble yourself to find out how the Monarchy is funded.

        Then perhaps you would like to volunteer to have the same arrangement with the government.

        Including the working hours and the removal of all your rights to free speach; freedom of association; right to privacy; right to a family life and perhaps most infuriating the right not to have assorted envious no hopers going on about how little of their OWN money they are allowed to keep

        But then; a certain type of envy ridden coetirie have always perfered fiction to fact; especially when they run out of everyone else's money and actually have to use their own - though; being shameless; they normally bluster on and on and on and on.......... refusing point blank to use a single penny of their own ill gotten gains

        1. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: However

          "I suggets you trouble yourself to find out how the Monarchy is funded"

          To be fair, if what another commenter explained above about 15% or revenue from Crown property is true, it still needs to be explained where the Crown property rights flow from? Crown estates / 'royal' property comes from the concept that the monarch, ruling by divine right, owned all the land except that which they graciously apportioned to their vassals.

          In a republic, any 'Crown' property would be government property and 100% of the revenue from it would flow to the government*, and I doubt it would cost 15% of that to maintain a non-royal head of state. Of course it also needs to be factored in that having a queen is a revenue generator for Britain, as many tourists want to visit Buck Palace etc

          *strictly, should be to 'the people' but we all know that for all the nice theories, in practice 'government' <> 'people'

          1. lucki bstard

            Re: However

            Ok, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you are simply ignorant, not something else.

            'concept that the monarch, ruling by divine right, owned all the land except that which they graciously apportioned to their vassals.' - Went out with Charles I, English civil war; and was previously really hit hard in 1215.

            'n a republic, any 'Crown' property would be government property and 100% of the revenue from it would flow to the government*' - Look around the world, see how republic's work (hint they don't). The reality is that it doesn't happen that way.

          2. Omgwtfbbqtime
            Facepalm

            Re: However

            "...government property and 100% of the revenue from it would flow to the government"

            So 100% would be pissed up the wall rather than 85%?

            Lets leave things as they are, less government waste all round.

      6. Graham Marsden
        Thumb Down

        @Sarah Balfour - Re: However

        > Betty gets more than £1m A WEEK,

        And the US Presidency costs their country over $1 BILLION a year!

        How much would a President Tony or a President Maggie cost the country?

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: @Sarah Balfour - However

          How much would a President Tony or a President Maggie cost the country?

          "President Tony", I can put good bounds on the cost of that.

          "President Maggie", I'll need to do some digging and some research...

      7. BongoJoe

        Re: However

        @Sarah

        In principle I would agree. But what is the alternative? Would a self-serving politician being president be any better?

        I think that I would happily pay my 75p a year for the Royal Family as the alternative (think of President Blair) is too horrendous to consider.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: However

      "free to watch matches on BBC"

      And that means a disproportionate amount of my licence money going to pay excessive wages to a bunch of yahoos chasing bags of wind up and down fields.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "tab/slot arrangements"? Haha ....

    "And then we've got a columnist in The Observer, an arch lefty, arguing that this near fascist corporatism is better than that free market" Remember that this is from the same stable as The Guardian, which has shouted very loudly about other companies and their tax arrangements, while living in one itself - and which until recently was kept afloat by the used car market ... capitaism is bad except when we do it, all animals are equal but .. etc etc

    As to the main point, and a previous comment about racism in football: yes, it is still there and that job remains unfinished, but it is better than it was. As a start, ""the football leagues are less racist than they used to be in the wages they pay" can be used to show that ignorance / fear / crass stupidity can actually have a cost. "Note that the same racist attitudes might still be there, but if you make it expensive enough for people to act on them then act on them, they won't." Oh, they are still there: but now, in the English leagues at least, it is newsworthy from time to time, rather than expected. There are also people who hate that people from Eastern Europe "come over here" and do jobs that they themselves are not prepared to do for that rate of pay: sadly, some politicians listen to them. Take away the ignorance - but more importantly, take away the audience - and some things correct themselves. It's worth a try.

    The idea that MLB has an exemption from antitrust is laughable - it's bad enough that the TV companies in the UK effectively prevent new entrants to the market, but to actually have a court rule that the free market does apply in your industry? Now that's an achievement .....

  7. streaky

    This is because that relegation pressure flows through into a desperate desire to pay however much that rare talent that might keep you up, or promote you, can count up to.

    This is nonsense. It costs money to stay in the Premier League it costs more to take a run at the EPL from the lower leagues. For the record nobody is paying whatever a player wants under the top 3 and nobody below that is buying players at any cost. Liverpool did once with a certain player that turned out to be worthless and it wouldn't ever be allowed to happen again.

    If you want to take a run at the Champion's League that's a different story because you suddenly *will* meet teams like Barca where no wage or price restraint applies and nobody can compete with them even though they are within the terms of the FFP regs.

    Also not for nothing but Labour are centrist, and they took a turn to the right of centrist back there at one point.

  8. crayon

    How free does a market have to be to ensure that incompetent top executives who f*ck up a company will never find a job again? The free markets that we have seem to reward failure with golden handshakes and an even better paying job a couple of months down the line.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Premiership as an example of good capitalism?

    I suppose it could be. That surely can't be allowed? Unlike the banking sector, football never did my interests any harm, and it pays for itself. I'd go as far as saying it mostly does no harm. Yes, Sky and BT may put the prices up, but I'm under no obligation to take a subscription, and there are other ways of catching a game*. Come to think of it, the bad things about the subscription model are down to morons in Europe.

    Moreover, some of those over-paid footballers do end up spreading their wealth in a measurable ways. United's (yes, there is only one United 8-) class of 92 are already responsible for quite a lot of people being in paid employment.

    * Assuming you still have a local. A lot of these seem to be falling victim to bad capitalism.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: The Premiership as an example of good capitalism?

      "Assuming you still have a local. A lot of these seem to be falling victim to bad capitalism."

      I wasn't aware that falling alcohol consumption amid health campaigns were bad capitalism. I stand corrected.

      1. dogged

        Re: The Premiership as an example of good capitalism?

        > I wasn't aware that falling alcohol consumption amid health campaigns were bad capitalism. I stand corrected.

        It's possible that pricing pubs out of the alcohol market in favour of major political donorssupermarkets along the smoking ban have more to do with that.

        On the latter, there's an example of bad capitalism writ large - non-smokers said they didn't go to pubs because of the smoke. So they banned smoking and non-smokers still didn't go to the pub. Also, less smokers went to the pub. So the pubs closed.

        It's not as if landlords were stupid - it's cheaper (in cleaning, redecorating and replacing nicked ashtrays) to run a non-smoking pub. If there had been such a huge demand for non-smoking pubs, there would have already been a shitload of non-smoking pubs. Instead there were about three and nobody went to them.

        But no, the health puritans have to fuck things up for everyone. And then live longer and cost the NHS money.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Complete bollocks ?

    Surely the CEO of a privatised utility earns his million pound bonus "by brain" in exact accordance with the principles of clause 4?

  11. Bluenose

    Captialism got rid of Racism!!

    What a brilliant article, here is someone explaining how free market economics got rid of racism, shame it is, like football in many respects, a load of balls.

    Racism is an attitude that still exists in football and can be found every day just by looking at the industry: from the kids in South America and Africa who are exploited by the Capitalists in order make money from their possible sale (Carlos Tevez was only the start of an industry where players are owned by agents and touted to clubs for money). Then you have the chants and attitudes of Italian fans to black players or the comments by both Spanish and Italian managers about the number of black players. It soon becomes clear that just because a black guy is paid the same as a white one, racialism is still prevalent in the football and industry.

    More importantly, I am keen to find these Captilists who magic up the spades to sell to potato farmers. The only capitalists I can find are those who need workers to do the work whilst they provide some money. The problem is that the Capitalist uses their financial power to exploit the workers who are more important to the creation of wealth than those who simply move money around. As many coal miners would point out where it the wealth creation in using children to mine cheap Columbian coal to sell in Britain and other parts of the world?

    1. uncredited

      Re: Captialism got rid of Racism!!

      Well, that capitalist invented the spade, then found the resources (usually money, often from other capitalists) to make the said spade and finally had to travel to the farmer and show him the benefits of using the spade. Of course this is nothing but exploitation of the person that put the spade together and got paid for his time.

      1. ST Silver badge

        Re: Captialism got rid of Racism!!

        [ ... ] that capitalist invented the spade, then found the resources (usually money, often from other capitalists) to make the said spade and finally had to travel to the farmer and show him the benefits of using the spade. [ .... ]

        Really? Capitalists invented the spade? Or perhaps was it a Venture Capitalist, living in a Luxury hut?

        I did a bit of digging around, and the earliest documented uses of the spade - as an agricultural tool - go back to Ancient China and Ancient Greece. The spade was probably being used - in various variants - much earlier than that. In final analysis, it's a tool. There are documented uses of various tools going back to primitive human societies - i.e. stone age. Not to mention documented uses of tools in the animal realm, today, and not necessarily only amongst primates.

        I'm surprised to learn that these ancient societies are now thought to have practiced Capitalism. I was under the distinct impression that Capitalism - as an economic practice - is a consequence of the Industrial Revolution.

        Perhaps you could clarify this discrepancy for us. This discrepancy is about 2700 years long, given that the earliest documented use of the spade as an agricultural tool in Ancient China dates back to the 11th Century BC.

        1. Ossi

          Re: Captialism got rid of Racism!!

          Erm, the 'spade' was clearly allegorical in both the above posts. He wasn't actually claiming that 'the' capitalist had invented it.

          Surprised you missed that.

          1. ST Silver badge

            Re: Captialism got rid of Racism!!

            > He wasn't actually claiming that 'the' capitalist had invented it.

            Do 'Capitalists' ever invent anything?

            Or do they just pursue the extraction of wealth derived from other people's creativity and/or work, for their exclusive benefit?

    2. Ossi

      Re: Captialism got rid of Racism!!

      "The problem is that the Capitalist uses their financial power to exploit the workers who are more important to the creation of wealth than those who simply move money around."

      I always find this 'the boss is an evil exploiter' talk curious. At what point do they become evil exploiters? When they've got a market stall and hire an assistant? When they've got a shop and they've got ten workers? When they get their second shop? Is there an 'evil boss' induction ceremony they have to attend?

      Do you really think dividing the world into good guys and bad guys is a good way to understand it? Do you really think it's that simple?

      1. nijam Silver badge

        Re: Captialism got rid of Racism!!

        > Do you really think dividing the world into good guys and bad guys is a good way to understand it? Do you really think it's that simple?

        No, but Marx did. That's why Marxism is, as previously mentioend, stupid.

      2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Captialism got rid of Racism!!

        "At what point do they become evil exploiters? /.../ Is there an 'evil boss' induction ceremony they have to attend?"

        It's the secret handshake. Which nobody hasn't seen (it's secret, natch), but is known to exist beyond any doubt whatsoever.

  12. DF118

    Complete bollocks of course, but then that's Marx for you. Reasonable, even excellent, analysis up to a point and then the leap off the 10-foot board into the deep vat of stupid.

    In that respect exactly the same as Ayn Rand.

    1. Tim Worstal

      Yes, a distinct similarity there.

    2. Naselus

      Aside from the reasonable analysis part, yes.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what the hell is this all about

    It says The Register on the masthead, but I appear to be reading the Daily Telegraph.

    What the fuck is going on with the Reg?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: what the hell is this all about

      They're trying to publish articles which might interest you even though they're not strictly IT. Like Ars Technica do but unfortunately El Reg are not as good as it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why The Register has jumped the shark

    Right here, in this Torygraph opinion piece.

  15. Graham Marsden
    Boffin

    "So it is with the football teams. Look at their wage bills"

    Yes, Tim, why don't you look at their wage bills.

    And I don't mean just the wages paid to a bunch of over-priced prima-donnas poncing around on a pitch once a week, then snorting coke, knocking back booze and shagging girls who may not have consented, but the wages paid to everyone else.

    Or do you think, as Richard Scudamore (the chief of the Premier League) seems to think that it isn't the clubs’ responsibility to ensure that their staff are paid living wage despite them getting £5.14 BILLION from Sky and BT and that it should be up to the Government to raise the Minimum Wage instead?

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/feb/11/richard-scudamore-premier-league-responsibility-living-wage

  16. InNY

    Umm...

    "American football may be richer, but takes infinitely more care to spread its largesse more equally around its clubs and players" - except the NFL and team owners gives us poor property taxpayers the bill for their stadiums and all the security for their carefully managed events. Then they let the players have a smidgen of the huge, almost tax-free revenues,they receive whilst fighting against proper long term funding of health care for those same players.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never understood why fans don't buy club shares instead of season tickets. Being the real owners of the club would let them at least have a say.

  18. David Roberts Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Alternative explanation?

    Nobody else seems to have looked at the original proposition, that is that paying highly skilled black players lower wages is evidence of racism. This is obviously one possible explanation, but there is this correlation/causation thing.

    To bring in an IT angle, back in the day I had a small team of contractors to do some development work. One was an awesomely skilled Kiwi at a remarkably low rate. Turns out the agency was fishing for Kiwis coming to Europe to work and signing them up at rates which looked really good compared to NZ rates but which were less than their skills could command on thr open market.

    So the same analysis applied to the IT industry at the time could be used to demonstrate racial prejudice against Kiwis.

    Of course once the Kiwis saw what everyone else was getting then their rates went up, and lo there was no more racial prejudice.

    Was this disparity in wages and skill levels by any chance at roughly the same time that African football (which strangely seems to have a lot of black players) began to mature and feed players into the European game?

    So another explanation could be purely capitalist.

    Locate a source of cheap goods, sell into an expensive market at a discount, profit.

    As the cheap source is exploited more the price goes up.

    Not saying that racism wasn't the cause, just that I don't see an automatic correlation between lower wages and racism.

  19. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Market Restrictions...

    So Worstall looks at the data for racism in football, and concludes that "markets beat racism"? But football isn't a free market - the number of jobs is highly restricted, the employer can't decide to replace the 11 "Premier League" players with 22 players who each cost half the price. The number of slots in the Premier League is restricted too. So, it seems highly dubious to reach a general conclusion based on something that is so far from the normal situation.

    I'll admit to not understanding the value proposition for fans, too... At first sight, fans are buying 90 minutes of entertainment, but is the entertainment value of a match between two Premier League teams so much higher than the lower leagues with lower ticket prices, or even an amateur match? Are the fans, in fact, buying the feeling of being a member of a group of 50,000 like-minded people?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spades.

    It isn't so much that the capitalist buying the spade makes money but that he makes more money than the man wielding the spade.

    One of the better discussions of this is in The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Free on Gutenberg), despite being coloured by a rather naive view of what socialism has to offer (written before the various demonstrations of it in practice) it does show quite well what totally unconstrained capitalism does to the people who have neither unusual or rare talent nor capital.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its all about selling your labour

    All Marx came up with was the notion that most people exist by selling their labour -- that is, they work -- and as such their interests are fundamentally different from those who profit from reselling that labour. Its obvious, really. All the political stuff comes about because people who work markets can't resist trying to manipulate that market -- everyone wants to buy cheap and sell expensive, don't they?

    All this stuff about wealth redistribution and who's really a socialist is really just noise and a lot of it comes from those who profit from having a workforce that's weak and divided among itself. After all, if your corporate goals are going to be met by outsourcing your customer support and IT work to India you really don't want to be facing a united workforce. (The typical Indian worker is cheap and focused because they know just how far they can fall if they don't toe the line -- they just have to look out the window.)

    We now know that all that political ideology from the 1980s, about deregulation and free markets and so on, was really BS. All it did was roll back the social gains made by working people over the previous 100 years. It made a relatively few people insanely rich while it impoverished the majority. We were suckered into it because we were given (metaphorical) lottery tickets for our birthright and all assumed we were going to be winners (and, anyway, There Was No Alternative). Other societies -- Scandinavia, for example -- were a little bit more prudent. (...and some of us got out while the going was good.....)

    1. kwhitefoot
      Unhappy

      Re: Its all about selling your labour

      Unfortunately the BS is contagious and our current government here in Norway is hell bent on selling all sorts of strategic assets like StatOil, the wildly successful airport express trains and anything else that doesn't currently make a loss. They are also keen to reduce employee power by making it easier to hire and fire and to employ people part time ostensibly to reduce unemployment in a country which hardly has any (3.5% in 2013 according to the World Bank http://bit.ly/1JDKzqB).

      I could understand selling state owned companies that weren't working properly but they never seem to do that they just sell the ones that are bringing in plenty of revenue. Even the bloke who runs the magazine Kapital (a very pro business monthly) and who is as free market as they come is alarmed that well run natural monopoly companies are in the sights of the right wing privatisation fanatics.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Its all about selling your labour

      @AC

      "We now know that all that political ideology from the 1980s, about deregulation and free markets and so on, was really BS. All it did was roll back the social gains made by working people over the previous 100 years."

      It also dug the US out of the rut caused by constant welfare programs and excessive gov spending, made the vast majority of people richer, made the rich people pay more tax, made more rich people, closed the deficit (if you discount the cold war era military spending boost), caused massive job creation at record levels, caused the reporting of the 'misery index' to suddenly vanish and bring inflation under control. And more importantly it reduced the tax on poorer people while they were getting richer.

      Care to ask what the romans did for us?

  22. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Heres why

    Marxism is bollocks... because it ignores human nature and our inbuilt desire to control as much and as many resources as possible.

    Pure free market capitalism is bollocks for the same reason.

  23. Howard Hanek

    Fruits of Labor

    I'm concerned that with the current trend the most common sports injury will be hernia from carrying all that money to the bank or from the weight of all the gold bling they wear......

  24. Hans 1
    IT Angle

    Deeply Appaling Piece Again, Tim Worstall

    The sad thing, Tim, is that you are unaware of THE most important concept you need to analyze historical events, it is called "historical context". Sadly, it seems to be totally absent from British/American curricula in schools, I wonder what use history courses are if you are not taught this really fundamental concept ...

    At the time when Marx and Engels wrote their works, workers were being exploited 6 days a week, 10 to 14 hours a day. Absolutely no security equipment, no healthcare, very poor accommodation. Young children were working in mines, for example, all that for a pay of misery ... I could go on and on.

    Were it not for the socialists/marxists, we would probably still be working our balls off in mines and factories, together with our children, 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. We would have no healthcare, no paid leave, and a salary of misery.

    Now, you are probably going to argue that in some/many countries, these advances (healthcare, paid leave ...) were introduced by conservatives ... again, ignoring the historical context ... in the 20th century, especially the 30's and 40's, the leftist parties gained considerable momentum. The conservatives had to react where they were in power. You see, I have had this discussion with many an anglo-saxon from both sides of the pond ...

    Another thing you could have mentioned against Marx and Engels would have been the genocide of an entire population, they called out for that, they were also against International Jewry. Again, if you use this concept called "historical context", you can say that in Prussia as well as many other German states at the time (Yes, there were approx 113 prior to 1870, iirc) most if not all banks were owned by Jews, and the banks were funding the factories with money made on the back of the workers. Now, don't call me anti-Jew, again, historical context, William II of Prussia allowed many Jews from across Europe into Prussia, they brought a lot of funds with them because for centuries, Christians were not allowed to do business with money, Jews were the only "legal" bankers at the time. They stayed and thrived across the German states. So when Marx was calling against Jews, he was actually calling against banks.

    BTW, I think the whole point in clause 4 of the Labour party constitution is a fair share of the capital produced by the company for all employees. In the 70's, a CEO would earn less than 10 times more than the employee with the lowest salary ... today it is 1000 times more in more and more places, if you think that is right, I suggest you take a course on business awareness. And, 1000 times more is approximately what a factory owner earned in the 1880's, compared to the factory worker with the lowest pay.

    It is very, very, very sad to see these poorly researched articles from Tim lately, I do urge el reg to rethink its approach to journalism - this is not the daily mail, this is an IT-centric publication, I expect to read about things IT, not some neo-liberal, clueless propaganda from a [auto-censured][auto-censured][auto-censured] ...

    Besides, as a lot of you know, I am not a marxist/communist/leftist, I am a tree-hugger.

    1. lucki bstard

      Re: Deeply Appaling Piece Again, Tim Worstall

      'Christians were not allowed to do business with money' - Please provide the proof for this statement

  25. Mark Storm

    I'm pretty sure when Marx talked about "workers" the definition would exclude football players, who in their classification are probably more comparable to the skilled professional classes, eg CEOs or even doctors. Try looking up the difference between wage and salary.

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