Brett Dunbar

Brett Dunbar

  • Commented on A plaintive request
    One possibility is the coup was launched before the plotters had planned as the loyalists had discovered the plot and the traitors felt that they had to act immediately to have any chance of success. Knowing in advance is not...
  • Commented on A plaintive request
    There was a recent paper by Erik Myerson on the economic consequences of coups. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxGIkxI0T-q7ZmhxQk1GRWRxSDQ/view The upshot is a coup overthrowing a democratically elected government lowered GDP by 1-1.3% per year over a decade. I find that, conditional on a...
  • Commented on A plaintive request
    A failed coup against a democracy has no apparent effect on economic growth. A successful coup reduces growth. From a purely economic standpoint democratic rule works best....
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    It surprised me as well when I first heard it a couple of years ago, but it seems to be correct. One source for the data is gapminder. http://www.gapminder.org/ The energy consumption data came originally from the world bank. US...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    Per capita energy consumption in the UK peaked in 1973, for the USA the peak was 1978. Economic growth can happen without an increase in the overall consumption of resources....
  • Commented on Random thought for the day
    ISDS is about investors not creditors. A problem that a number of poor historically badly run states have is that foreign investors don't trust the state sufficiently to be willing to invest. Primary extraction businesses don't have a lot of...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    That's wrong about North Wales. Four seats: Delyn, Alyn and Deeside, Wrexham and Clwyd South are all fairly safe Labour seats with the Conservatives second. One seat: Clwyd West is a Con/Lab marginal gained by the Conservatives. Two seats: Aberconwy...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    There are a few other bits and pieces left to sell. The remaining bits of RBS and Lloyds, which were always intended to me temporary part-nationalisations. There's also the Forestry Commission. The FC includes both recreational environmental and purely commercial...
  • Commented on The Scottish Political Singularity, Act Two
    I was really hoping that the Liberal Democrats would be able to provide political cover so the Tories could abandon their dreadful and counterproductive economic policy. The Tories wanted to do exactly what had failed in the 1930s in for...
  • Commented on The Scottish Political Singularity, Act Two
    That's a widely held myth but it is definitely a myth. Afghanistan has been defeated quite a lot. If anything it has been part of someone else's empire more than it has been independent. It has been mostly independent since...
  • Commented on The Scottish Political Singularity, Act Two
    There was one case of a government losing a motion of confidence and the election being held several months later. On 8th June 1885 Gladstone was defeated on the budget and resigned. Salisbury then became PM de3pite a large Liberal...
  • Commented on The Scottish Political Singularity, Act Two
    The 1979 motion was explicitly one of No-Confidence it was an opposition motion laid by the conservatives superseding a similar motion laid by the SNP following the decision not to implement devolution in Scotland after a narrow yes vote on...
  • Commented on The Scottish Political Singularity, Act Two
    The monarch can sack the prime minister. While none have attempted to do so since William IV sacked Melbourne the legal power still exists and a PM refusing to resign after losing a vote on the Queen's speech is one...
  • Commented on Who ordered THAT?!?
    Monsanto didn't develop the terminator genes, it was the US department of Agriculture in partnership with the Delta and Pine Land Company. Monsanto acquired the patents when purchasing said company in 2007, they have not used them in any commercial...
  • Commented on Who ordered THAT?!?
    Actually 179 is not the largest majority in a UK parliament either absolutely or proportionately to the size of parliament. It's the largest under the the post war two party system and the largest ever Labour majority. However several earlier...
  • Commented on Cameron v Churchill
    It's rather stronger than that. Exceptions to the general right to freedom of expression can only be made on the rather limited range of grounds given in clause 2, and they must be set out explicitly in law. And even...
  • Commented on The morning after
    The maximum effective size of a legislature seems to be 600-700, The house of Commons has usually been around 650 since 1801 and has tended to be about the largest actual effective legislature (excluding the sham legislatures like China) but...
  • Commented on The morning after
    Basically yes. We don't have much separation of powers, we have much stronger accountability at Westminster only the commons is elected so as well as the preponderance of legal power only the commons has the democratic legitimacy to use those...
  • Commented on The referendum question
    Actually the proposed boundary changes were cancelled by parliament in January 2013 when the Liberal Democrats withdrew support for the planned reduction of the Commons to 600 members after Conservative backbenchers blocked reform of the Lords despite it being in...
  • Commented on We need a pony. And the moon on a stick. By next Thursday.
    No, the cheek swab is checking skin cells which are unaffected. A bone marrow transplant would change the white blood cells....
  • Commented on We need a pony. And the moon on a stick. By next Thursday.
    I think what the idea is, is that while they don't check all the time they check sometimes proofing your agent against any of the various checks is possible but as you know there are quite a large number of...
  • Commented on The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism
    There are more than a few issues with this. It breaches European law to seize property without compensation. Confiscating the property of someone who hasn't done anything wrong also tends to cause capital flight. In a country that is pretty...
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    That Italy can do something doesn't mean that it is easy to do. According of the nominal GDP tables on wikipedia Italy has the world's ninth largest economy, below Russia and above India, with about 3% of world GDP. It's...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Shipping is the single area of transport least affected by shortages of fossil fuels. Firstly it is much more able to use lower quality fuels. High energy density isn't a huge priority as even with a large fuel space the...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    We should have fairly good figures on the cost of totally replacing ports, as we actually do that surprisingly frequently. Containerisation involved building new facilities laid out in a totally different pattern and able to handle much bigger ships which...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Unemployment figures contain a hidden trap. The figures are given as a proportion of the labour force not working. Obviously this excludes those not of working age, children and the retired, as well as those of working age who are...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    There are two trends notable in the evidence relating to revolutions. There is actually a fairly large evidence set to analyse. First the older the average age of the population the less likely a revolution is to happen. Once the...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    The mortgage market was extensively de-regulated in 1982 before then there wasn't really a market at all there was no real competition and the single rate offered was set centrally. As were things like deposit requirements and earnings to loan...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    It's effectively a graduate tax, you don't start paying until you pass the earning threshold. What it amounts to in practice is that you pay a higher rate of income tax than a non-graduate. The fact that there is a...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    The student loan isn't really a debt in any normal sense, for all practical purposes it's a graduate tax. Most graduates will have some outstanding balance when the debt is automatically written off. The old system had a high level...
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