Tim Worstall has written a really very silly article about me on the Telegraph's blog today. Worstall's gripe is with my claim that there is no such thing as objective truth in economics. So let me show that there is only, as I said, subjective opinion.
Worstall said in his article:
For a start, corporations don't pay tax at all. Ever. A tax results in some live human's wallet getting lighter: companies are not live humans so therefore they do not pay tax.
Last week the CBI claimed:
In a speech this morning at a CBI / Policy Exchange business taxation debate, John Cridland, above, the CBI Director-General, said that UK businesses pay around a quarter, £163 billion, of the country’s total tax revenue, and that a competitive tax system is essential to the economy and prosperity.
Now here we have a conundrum. Wortsall says businesses can't pay tax - ever. And the CBI says it most definitely does pay tax. But Worstall says there are only objective facts. So are the CBI wrong? So wrong that they can claim to pay £163 billion and not actually have paid a single pound, ever, as Worstall claims?
Or could it just be that each has selected their argument to support their subjective view on this issue and have presented their case in good faith in that context? That, I suggest is the case - and as many will know - I disagree with both of them on this issue! Which simply supports my case that:
In economics the idea of objectivity is a myth created by pro-market economists to excuse the flaws in their assumptions which would otherwise prevent them reaching their highly subjective conclusions.
Anyone who claims to be an objective economist is, in my opinion, by definition not telling the truth.
It's a trap into which Worstall seems to have fallen, rather readily. Comfortably for me Worstall's own insistence on his own right to determine the objective truth when it is quite clear that people can, in complete good faith, hold an alternative view, makes my case for me.