It could be worse, I could be a tax accountant

(Ed note: this has been in my post queue for months; it’s a bit out of date, but might as well hit “post” on it.)

So the dope-smoking tree-hugging penguin-shagging rainbow-huffing commie pinko hippies at the New Economic Foundation got together and put out a report. Aww, how cute - they think they’re a real think-tank!

But they haven’t quite got the “academic rigor” thing down. Here’s a snip from their “General note on Methods”…

This research has been inspired by a methodology that was developed to account for value, called Social Return on Investment (SROI). The case studies presented in this report did not involve full SROI analyses of the jobs featured. Instead they were informed by SROI techniques and principles.

“We picked and chose whatever techniques would give us the answer we wanted.”

We only included things that were material. These analyses are partial, and we were not aiming for exact findings. However, we are confident that we have included the most material outcomes.

“We picked and chose whatever data gave us the answers we wanted.”

And you can probably guess what their conclusions were. Of course they have to take a swing at the banksters:

High-earning investment bankers in the City of London are among the best remunerated people in the economy. But the earnings they command and the profits they make come at a huge cost because of the damaging social effects of the City of London’s financial activities. While collecting salaries of between £500,000 and £10 million, leading City bankers to destroy £7 of social value for every pound in value they generate.

Do they mean M&A bankers? Private bankers? Relationship managers? What about FX traders? Structurers? Cash equity market-makers? Or is it more convenient to lump them all together and blame the “bankers”?

Yeah, I thought so.

Although the role of an advertising executive has high status, the impact of the industry has always been a point of controversy. […] For a salary of between £50,000 and £12 million, top advertising executives destroy £11 of value for every pound in value they generate.

The rich kid becomes a junkie, the poor kid an advertiser;

What a tragic waste of potential! (Being a junkie’s not so good either.)

Determining the right amount of tax payable is a specialist skill and often requires professional support. However, some highly paid tax accountants’ sole purpose is to help rich individuals and companies to pay less tax. […] For a salary of between £75,000 and £200,000 tax accountants destroy £47 of value for every pound in value they generate.

So as soon as you start helping people pay less than the default rate of tax, you’re an evil scum-sucker. Does this mean tax accountants should have a duty to make their clients pay more tax than the law requires?

Hospital cleaners play a vital role in the workings of our healthcare facilities. […] We estimated, however, that for every £1 they are paid, over £10 in social value is generated.

Waste recycling workers do a range of different jobs that relate to processing and preventing waste and promoting recycling. […] Our model projects that for every £1 of value spent on wages, £12 of value will be generated.


Okay, look, I totally agree with their conclusions about childcare workers, hospital cleaners, and recycling workers. But are there any high-paid jobs that these clowns do approve of?

Oh, wait, I can think of one…

Think-tank researchers promote innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environment and social issues. Our model projects that for every £1 spent on buying fair-trade marijuana and organic decaf skinny soy vanilla-hazelnut frappuccinos (with extra decaf) for lefty think-tank types, £69 of value is generated - so give us more money.