Saturday, 1 October 2011 How you can build a taxonomy based catalog 30/02/2011
Hullo everybody, this is Ryan Szrama with Commerce Guys. I wanted to show you today how you can build a taxonomy-based product catalog in drupal commerce as I have done on my demo website:

If you look over here in my sidbar you will see that I have a catalog Block that lists out ["coffee holders", "conference swag", and "wearables"]
catalog catagories that are actually  
taxonomy terms linking them to their 
taxonomy term Pages:
[this shows differently on the video because it shows the site when logged-on as admin. For admin, the term page shows a coffee holder with two tabs, "view" "edit", a paragraph describing the coffee mug and an add-to-cart form with a drop-down list, that moves your page from the one about black mugs to white mugs]
Term Pages in Drupal 7 have been enhanced a little bit, allowing you to
  • specify custom urls, [eg coffee-holders] allowing you to 
  • display a discription on a page, and giving you 
  • both a view and a quick edit link here to edit the Taxonomy Term settings.
This particular one - Coffee Holders - has the description and it shows all of my -er different coffee holder products on the demo website.
This ["read more" link under the mug picture] is just a Node Teaser List of product display nodes. The product display node being a special node type that I've made that has both a
♦ Product Reference Field on it, that turns into this handy dynamic Add To Cart Form, and then it also has a
♦ Taxonomy Term Reference Field on it,
which you can see here lets me to tag this node with a particular taxonomy term and links it back to its term page.

1 Create a taxonomy vocabulary

Now if you wanted to build something like this yourself, the first thing you would need to do, is to create a taxonomy vocabulary for your catalog:
admin>structure>taxonomy>edit vocabulary [pictures at about 1'24" on the video]
So you can see here my catalog vocabulary, and if we look at the terms I've listed, my three terms are each present, and each one of them has
  • a name, 
  • a description, and 
  • a custom url alias that just provides a nice search engine friendly url for this term page on the front.

2 Go build a menu; enable a bloc

Once you've listed out each of your taxonomy terms, the next step is to go build a menu for this.
So I'm going to go to stucture>menus, and you can see here that I have a catalog menu, where I have manually added links to each of the term pages.
[screen shows remembered "search engine friendly url" typed into the box. This can be found by going back to >structure>taxonomy>edit vocabulary to cut-and-paste]
Er - Whenever you create these links you can actually use the search engine friendly path that you have defined, and whenever you save this menu link, it will be converted to the actual Drupal path that has been assigned to that taxonomy term.
Whenever you create a menu you automatically get a block, that you can then enable, to show that menu in any of your sidebars. Here ...
structure>blocks [first option on the structure tab] can see my catalog menu block has been placed into the first sidebar. This is a region in the Corolla theme which now has to be installed after Adaptive Themes Core. Once installed it has a tab on the blocks menu. From that tab you see the options shown in the video, where shopping cart, catalog, user menu and user login are all selected for the first sidebar, and I've configured this bloc...
[from the "configure" link on the "catalog" line] not appear on checkout pages - notice I've used checkout asterisk so it will block all of the checkout pages, so that whenever you go to checkout and are in any step of the checkout process, er you do not have a sidebar. I did this to reduce distraction and noise on the checkout form so that the customer doesn't have distraction and when they're trying to complete the checkout process and give you their nolas.
Once you have
♦ built the taxonomy vocabulary,
♦ the menu item,
♦ put your bloc in place...

3 Create a Product node type

the next step is to actually have nodes showing-up in your teaser lists. Drupal Commerce will install a default product type whenever you first enable everything.
store>products second tab is "product type"
On this demo site I also have a T shirt product type, um, for my T-shirt products, er: I'll discuss that in a different screencast [about sized products].
Once you have product types though, the next step is to create a product display node type. So I'm going to go to my Content Types menu.
structure>content type second option on the structure list
You see here I have a product display node type, and the reason being: even though I have product types in the back end, I can list out all the products on my website on the back end, there is no automatic point of display for them on the front end. We've separated-out the front end from the back end in Drupal Commerce, er so that you have a lot more freedom to detirmine how you want to display products to your customers. Whether it's through product display nodes as I am , or some other method involving Views, or Pagemanager and Panels, or something else entirely!
If we look at the fields that I have put on this product display node type, you can see both my product reference field, and my [Taxonomy] Term reference field.
I like the autocomplete textfield wiget...
...because it lets me enter products on this node, using the product SKU with the product title with an autocomplete. And I can have as many as I want to, without having to bother with the multi-select select list, or perhaps just an overwhelming checkboxes list if you have many products on the website.
I also have a catalog catagory term reference select list.
So what you do is:
whenever you add a term reference field, you have to choose which vocabulary this is for, and then of course the widget select list autocomplete radios [radio buttons] so that on the product page - which I'll go to this right now - um so that on its edit form, you get to specify how exactly... - I'm denoting which catalog catagory this belongs to. So you can see here my Product Reference Field with the autocomplete, my catalog term reference field with the select list, and again how this is presented on the front end, with an add to cart form, and a link going back to the term page.
Well those are all the things that you need to know, to build your taxonomy based drupal commerce product catalog. Let me pull-up a .pdf here that shows you the different steps: [the order is slightly different on the .pdf]
♦ Create a "Catalog" taxonomy vocabulary, with terms for each of your categories.
♦ Create a "Product display" node type using a product reference field and a term reference field, and create nodes for your products.
♦ Create a "Cataolog" menu and display its block.
forum thread

Mid 2011: First look at Drupal Commerce. Where are the instructions?

I downloaded and installed Drupal Commerce when it was still in Beta: that's how cool I am when it comes to bragging but not when it comes to results. The gap between me and results is an instruction book, and I see on Amazon that nobody has dared write one yet.


Products and Views are different in Commerce. Or something more accurately stated along the same lines. OK I get the general idea but anyone on a video or writing an explanation of Drupal Commerce seems to get stuck on this point and not state how to cope with it. A bit as though Sea France staff stood at the harbour and said "the thing you have to realise is that there is a water-filled channel to cross between the UK and France and that is what makes a ferry company so good compared to other forms of transport". Sea France are a bit like that in real life. Book a ticket. No ship. When you get a ship it is really good if you bring your own loo paper but they are a nationalised industry, not a staff owned company, and solving problems is not their job. If you want cheap tickets on ferries, why not open an account at a cashback site first? For effect, I will pretend not to be biassed by the chance of a tiny referral payment. Once on the cashback site the deal is from Ferrycheap, although there might be better offers on other parts of the net. The salads on Sea France ships are good.

A difference between nationalised ferry companies and open source software companies is that people like the software companies.Which is odd because buying a ship and doing the human resources and payroll and acounts would take a lot of paperwork I think, while software should be a bit easier, but people like software companies so much they go to events in London (Croyden) and clap. A few hundred quid to go to Drupal London, then more to see Drupal Commerce. Surely nobody who pays for their own ticket would go to such a thing. Stranger still, in video-speeches that are online, people clap when something good is said about Commerce. All the people who front the show look intelligent, industrious, self-critical, and even nice to meet but I don't usually clap when such a person gives a lecture about something you hoped-for like a ship that is not quie available. Maybe there are Apple users in the crowd who think the whole world works like Apple with wierd gushing enthusiasm and not a lot of criticism. Maybe it's because the USA never had the First World War to such a big extent that there are so many non-cynical people there. Good luck to them.

Another way of looking at it is that not enough people say "thank you" to producers in other industries; we are too used to getting it all from China. Maybe people really do clap when a Sea France ferry arrives on time, but people don't appreciate local producers who are offering a fair price but can't pay for advertising as the china import corporations can, even though they pay their taxes employ our offspring and in good years might respond to local demand. I hope to release a thing called a Blackspot T Shirt onto the market soon via - watch this space.

Note to self: "The Source is invalid. Cannot connect to the database. The Source is invalid. Cannot connect to the database. Unable to connect to any of the sepcified MySQL hosts".

the world in three parts

More on this subject at

Julius Caeser write that Gall is divided into three parts, and Royal Mail has done the same for world postal zones (or four if you are fussy), so come the new year 20010/11 I thought I had found a way to do the same for Drupal and Ubercart. Take three of the existing hundred or more countries. My home country is the UK. That's already known to Ubercart. Europe and Airmail are the others.

Now, if I over-ran two obscure countries in the code of Ubercart and renamed them "Europe" and "Airmail" and deleted all the others I would be happy. I chose Andorra and American Samoa, because I thought the invasions would go un-noticed, and had a test site more or less working. There was no need to understand the code to be hacked - just a bit of patience finding it and some trial and error. According to the code, these countries were still Andora and American Samoa, but they were printed on screen as Europe and Airmail.

By 2011, Drupal 7 was finished but Drupal Commerce - ubercart's successor - was only starting so it seemed worth a little bit of a wait to see how the new program tidied-up the problem.

uk unemployment 1980s

This post might become a transcript of a 1980s UK economics textbook chapter, done in order to see whether the book deliberately lied or deliberately mis-led about the government's effect on the recession at that time or whether it just failed to win my confidence. I think it just failed to win confidence. The chapter is headed "26 Unemployment", which is an odd place in a textbook to put the chapter on unemployment when the total was three or four milllion in 1984 when the book was published. There was no chapter called "why all the factories are closing", but there was a rather technical reference, even later in the book, which described the closure process caused by government's policy on interest rates that tweaked the exchange rate.

Related: Bad Economics Teaching for the twenty-teens from data on Unistats, 2015 Better Economics Teaching: some off-the-cuff suggestions based on being a 1980s student The British Economic Crisis - a similar book to Robert Peston written in the 80s - Star Courses: the least satisfied, most bored and lowest paid UK graduates, written 2015 Boring Economics Teaching is interesting: how someone managed to teach economics from memories of an old textbook at the peak of the worst recession since the 1930s, and tried to cover-up for government causing the recession. Journal Articles by Professor Les Fishman - unbelievable beliefs - 1980s recession explanations I wrote - UK unemployment 1980s from the Begg 1984 textbook

In the early 1930s, more than one quarter of the UK labour force was unemployed. In particular regions and occupations the unemployment rate was very much higher. [employment of economics teachers was hardly effected at all]. High unemployment means that the economy is throwing away output by failing to put its people to work. It also means misery, social unrest, and hopelessness for the unemployed. Over the following 40 years, macroeconomic policy was geared to avoiding a rerun of the 1930s. Figure 26-1 shows that it succeeded.

In the 1970s views about unemployment bagan to change. People began to reject the Keynsian pessimism about the capacity of the economy to respond to shocks by quickly restoring full employment. The classical model began to be more widely accepted as a description of the way the economy works even in the relatively short run. Since in the classical model unemployment is voluntary there is less presumption that unemployment means extreme human suffering. Moreover, research by labour economists has shown that in the 1950s and 1960s most of the unemployed quickly found jobs. Unemployment might therefore be considered a stepping stone to a better job.

By the 1970s, not only was it felt that the cost of unemployment might have been overstated; in addition, governments in many countries began to percieve an even greater danger to economic and social stability, the danger of high and rising inflation. Thus by the end of the 1970s many governments had embarked on tight monetary and fiscal policies into try to keep inflation under control. The combination of restrictive demand policies and the adverse supply shock of hte second major OPEC oil price increase in 1979-80 has led to a dramatic increase in unemployment in most of the industrial countries in the early 1980s. Figure 26-1 shows data for the UK. Data for other countries are shown later in the chapter.

High unemployment is one of the major problems of the 1980s. Will it contine? Is it a drain on society or a signal that iat lst people are getting out of dead end jobs into something better? What can and should the government be doing? These are the questions we set out to answer in this chapter. We begin by looking at the facts.


Not everyone wants a job. Those who do are called the labour force.
The participation rate is the percentage of the population of working age who declare themselves to be in the labour force. In Chapter 10 we pointed out that postwar growth of the UK labour force had been caused by an increase in the population of working age who declare themselves to be in the labour force. In Chapter10 we pointed out that postwar growth iof the UK labour force has been caused less by an increase in the population of working age than by an increase on paricipation rates, most noticably by married women.
The unemployment rate is the percentage of the labour foce who are withoug a job but are registered as being willing and vailable for work.
Of course some people without a job are really looking for work but have not bothered to register as unemployed. These people will not be included in the official statistics for the registered labour forcem nor will they appear as registered unemployed. Yet from an economic viewpoint, such people are unemployed. This is an important phenominon to which we return shortly. For the momentm when we present evidence on the size of the labour force or the number of people unemployedm it should be undestood that data refer to the registered labour force and the registered unemployed.

Figure 26-1 makes two main points about the unemployment rate in the UK.
First, unemployment was high during the interwar years, especially during the great recession of the 1930s. It was the persistance of unemployment that led Keynes to develop his General Theory.
Second, by comparison, post war unemployment was tiny until the late 1970s. By the early 1980s it was starting to get back to prewar levels. This basic pattern applies in many other industrialised countries. [I doubt this is true - JR]

Stocks and Flows

Unemployment is a stock concept measured at a point in time. Like a pool of water, its level rises when inflows (the newly unemployed) exceed outflows (people getting new jobs or quitting t he labour force altogether). Figure 26-2 illustrates this important idea. Beginning with people working, there arc three ways to become unemployed. Some people are sacked or made redundant (job-losers); some are temporarily laid off but expect eventually to be rehired by the same company; and sonic people voluntarily quit their existing jobs. But the inflow to unemployment can also come from people not previously in the labour force: school-leavers (new entrants), and people who once had a job, then ceased even to register as unemployed, and are now coming back into the labour force in search of a job (re-entrants). People leave the unemployment pool in the opposite directions. Some get jobs. Others give up looking for jobs and leave the labour force completely. Although some of this latter group may simply have reached the retirement age at which they can draw a pension, many of them are discouraged workers, people who have become depressed about the prospects of ever finding a job and decide to stop even trying. Between January 1980 and January 1983, the number of people registered as unemployed in Britain rose from 1.3 million to 3.1 million. Data collected through Department of Employment

jobccntres account for most of this increase and .11 shown in Table 26-1. The table makes the 1)( wit that the pool of unemployment is not skignant. Even with 3 million unemployed, this tit her is less than the number of people entering and leaving the pool every year.

I I )nr.itioll thiciiiplovnicnt When un-employment is high, people have to spend longer in the pool before they find a way out.
Table 26-2 gives data on the duration of unemployment. As the level of unemployment has risen, the problem of the long-term unemployed has returned. Whereas in 1974 only 20 per cent of the people unemployed had been out of work for longer than one year, by April 1983 this pro-portion had risen to 36 per cent. And over the same period, the fraction of the unemployed who had been unemployed for less than eight weeks fell from 44 to 17 per cent. Unemployment can no longer be regarded as a temporary stopover on the way to better things.
The Composition of Unemployment Table 26-3 gives a recent breakdown of unemployment by sex and by age. A recession hits young workers badly. Unlike established workers with accumulated skills and job experience, young workers have to be trained from scratch, and firms frequently cut back on training when times are tough. The over-50s are also vulner-able during a recession. If they lose their existing job, they will find it tough to persuade a firm to spend on them what little training money is available; firms would rather spend the money on younger workers, who may represent a better long-term investment and may be able to learn more quickly. Table 26-3 also shows that the unemployment rate is lower for women than for men. In part this may reflect the fact that employment in the declining heavy engineering industries has tradi-tionally been predominantly male, so men are worst hit by redundancies in steelworks and shipyards. However, although established women have managed to hang on to their jobs, young women are finding it nearly as tough as young men to get started. Labour economists believe that the discrepancy between male and female workers is smaller than the table suggests, because unemployed women are less likely than unemployed men to register as unemployed. Hence the true un-employment rates for women are probably higher than the table suggests.


Having introduced some of the most important facts about unemployment in the UK, we now develop a theoretical framework in which to discuss the subject. We begin with the old-style classification of types of unemployment, which emphasizes the source of the problem. Then we discuss the modern approach to unemployment which emphasizes the way people in the labour market are behaving.
Types of Unemployment Economists used to classify unemployment a frictional, structural, demand-deficient, or clamp ical. We discuss each in turn.

Frictional Unemployment
This is the irredrit ible minimum level of unemployment in .1 dynamic society. It includes people wIr.)4e physical or mental handicaps make them aim, 'NI unemployable, but it also includes the pc(11►1, spending short spells in unemployment Ir. ■ hop between jobs in an economy where b( )111 r h. labour force and the jobs on offer are cont in tr.111‘ changing.

Structural Unemployment
In the longer run, the pattern of demand and production is alwir‘ 4 changing. In Chapter 31 we discuss the re.r,...114 why particular countries in the world CC(111411M come to specialize in the production of 1).11 ticular commodities at particular times. In re, (Au decades industries such as textiles and heavy engineering have been declining in the UK, Structural unemployment refers to unemployment arising because there is a mismatch oi and job opportunities when the pAtIci II of

Itint.t i id and production changes. For example, a 44111C(I welder may have worked for 25 years in %Ittplwilding but is made redundant at 50 when the industry contracts in the face of foreign competition. That worker may have to retrain in it new which is more in demand in today's et 'II( )111y. But firms may be reluctant to take on mid it din older workers. Such workers become victims of structural unemployment.

Demand-deficient Unemployment
This refers Keynesian unemployment, when aggregate dentaild falls and wages and prices have not yet 'Owed to restore full employment. Aggregate Jett l id is deficient because it is lower than full-iv merit aggregate demand. In chapter 25 we saw that, until wages and have adjusted to their new long-run equilibrium level, a fall in aggregate demand will lead lower output unemployment. Some workers will want to work at the going real wage rate but will he unable to find jobs. Only in the longer run ill wAr,e,, And prices fall enough to boost the

real money supply and lower interest rates to the extent required to restore aggregate demand to its full-employment level, and only then will demand-deficient unemployment be eliminated.
Classical Unemployment Since the classical model assumes that flexible wages and prices maintain the economy at full employment, classi-cal economists had some difficulty explaining the high unemployment levels of the 1930s. Their diagnosis of the problem was partly that union power was maintaining the wage rate above its equilibrium level and preventing the required adjustment from occurring. Classical unemployment describes the unemployment created when the wage is deliberately maintained above the level at which the labour supply and labour demand schedules intersect. It can be caused either by the exercise of trade union power or by minimum wage legislation which enforces a wage in excess of the equilibrium wage rate. The modern analysis of unemployment takes

the same types of unemployment but classifies them rather differently in order to highlight their behavioural implications and consequences for government policy. Modern analysis stresses the difference between voluntary and involuntary unemployment.

The Natural Rate of Unemployment Figure 26-3 shows the market for labour. The labour demand schedule LD slopes downwards, showing that firms will take on more workers at a lower real wage. The schedule LF shows how

many people want to be in the labour force at each real wage. We assume that an increase in the real wage increases the number of people wishing to work. The schedule AJ shows how many people accept job offers at each real wage. The schedule lies to the left of the LF schedule, both because some people are inevitably between jobs at any instant, and because a particular real wage may tempt some people into the labour force even though they will accept a job offer only if they find an offer with a rather higher real wage than average. Labour market equilibrium occurs at the point E. The employment level N* is the equilibrium or full-employment level. The distance EF is called the natural rate of un-employment. The natural rate of unemployment is the rate of unemployment when the labour market is in equilibrium. This unemployment is entirely voluntary. At the equilibrium real wage w"-, N, people want to be in the labour force but only N"- want to accept job offers; the remainder don't want to work at the equilibrium real wage. Which of our earlier types of unemployment must we include in the natural rate,of unemploy-ment? Certainly all frictional unemployment. But we should also include structural unemploy. ment. Suppose a skilled welder earned £150 a week before being made redundant. The issue is not why the worker became redundant (the decline of the steel industry), but why the worker refuses to take a lower wage as a dishwasher in order to get a job, or why steelworkers as a whole did not take a sufficient wage cut to allow the steel industry to remain profitable and com+ petitive at its former levels of output and em-ployment. If the answer is that steelworkers refuse to accept that the equilibrium wage for their skill has fallen, and refuse to work at wages lower than those to which they have been accus-tomed, then we must count this unemploymen as voluntary and include it in the natural rate. They are not prepared to work at the going wag rate but still want to be considered part of tlic. labour force.
What about classical unemployment, for ex-., mple where unions maintain wages above their equilibrium level? This is shown in Figure 26-3 a wage rate w2 above w"-. Total unemploy-ment is now given by the distance AC. As indi-v iduals, a number of workers AB would like to ta ke jobs at the wage rate w2 but will be unable o find them since firms will wish to be at the point A. As individuals, these workers are in-voluntarily unemployed. A worker is involuntarily unemployed if he or she would accept a job offer at the going wage rate. lowever, through their unions, workers collec-t i v el y decide to opt for the wage rate w2 in excess 1 the equilibrium wage, thereby reducing the level of employment. Hence for workers as a w hole we must regard the extra unemployment .1., voluntary. Thus we also include classical imemployment in the natural rate of unemploy-ment. If in the long run unions maintain the w .1 gc lv,, the economy will remain at A and AC is the natural rate of unemployment. 'Ilk leaves only Keynesian or demand-deficient mei i t ployment. Such unemployment is involun-ta r v, being caused by sluggish labour market ustment beyond the control of individual workers or unions. Thus we can divide total unemployment into the equilibrium or natural ate the equilibrium level determined by normal labour market turnover, structural mi%itiatch, union power, and incentives in the 1,111( 1111. market — and Keynesian unemployment, ►ict lilies called demand-deficient or cyclical unemployment — the disequilibrium level of lily( )1tintary unemployment caused by the com-hin.ition of low aggregate demand and wage oilinstment which is sluggish for the reasons we t.N.iiiiined in the previous chapter. l'his division helps us think clearly about the guvernment policies required to tackle the un-employment problem. Since we have argued that fit the long run the economy will gradually niaiLage to get back to full employment through slow process of wage and price adjustment, Keynesian unemployment will eventually get rid

of itself. But in the short run, Keynesian un-employment is the part of total unemployment that the government could help mop up by using fiscal and monetary policy to boost aggregate demand, rather than waiting for wage and price reductions to increase the real money supply and lower interest rates. In contrast, the natural rate of unemployment tells us the part of unemployment that will not be eliminated merely by restoring aggregate demand to its full-employment level. The natural rate is the 'full-employment' level of unemployment. To reduce the natural rate, supply-side policies operating on labour market incentives will be needed. This is the framework we employ for the rest of the chapter. We begin by investigating the large increase in unemployment over the last decade, in order to understand its causes more fully. Then we discuss the prospects for unem-ployment during the rest of the 1980s and the policy options open to the government.


By 1983 the UK unemployment rate was more than eight times as high as it was in 1965. The task for empirical economists is to try to say how much of this increase was caused by an increase in the natural rate of unemployment and how much was caused by deficient demand and slugg-ish wage adjustment. In Table 26-4 we give some recent estimates of the forces at work, based on the work by Professor Steve Nickell of the London School of Economics. Nickell's esti-mates were derived from data on male unemployment, which is more comprehensively and reliably documented than the unemployment of women.'
' For other attempts to estimate the natural rate of un-employment in the UK, see R. A. Batchelor and T. D. Sheriff, `Unemployment and Unanticipated Inflation in the UK', Economica, 1980; and Patrick Minford, Unemployment: Cause and Cure, Martin Robertson, 1983.

In considering the prospects for unemploy-ment in the rest of the 1980s, we begin by looking at how the government could get the natural rate of unemployment down to a lower level. Then we consider how quickly Keynesian unemployment could be reduced.


Keynesians believe that the economy can deviate from full employment for quite a long time, cer-tainly for a period of several years. Monetarists believe that the classical full-employment model is relevant much more quickly. But everyone agrees that in the long run the performance of the economy can be changed only by affecting the level of full employment and the correspond-ing level of potential output. Supply-side economics is the use of micro-economic incentives to alter the level of full employment, the level of potential output, and the natural rate of unemployment. Although in this section we are interested chiefly in how to change the natural rate of unemploy-ment, it is convenient to discuss some of the wider implications of supply-side economics at the same time. We return to the determination of potential output in Chapter 29.
Income Tax Cuts One of the key themes of supply-side economists is the benefits. that stem from reducing the marginal rate of income tax. The marginal rate of income tax is the fraction of each extra pound of income that the government takes in income tax. We discussed tax rates and work incentives in detail in Chapter 10. We pointed out that a cut in marginal tax rates, and a consequent increase in the take-home pay derived from the last hour's work, tend to make people substitute work for leisure. But against this substitution effect must be set an income effect. To the extent that people now pay less in taxes, they will have to do less work to obtain any given target living standard.
Thus, theoretical economics cannot prove that income tax cuts increase the desired labour supply, and in fact most empirical studies con-firm that, at best, tax cuts lead to only a small increase in the supply of labour. We gave some details in Chapter 10 and give some more in Box 26-2. Figure 26-5 may be used to analyse the effect of a cut in marginal tax rates. The labour demand schedule LD shows that firms demand more workers at a lower real wage. We draw a steep schedule LF showing that higher after-tax real wage rates, at best, lead to only a small increase in the number of people wishing to be in the labour force. The schedule AJ shows how many

An income tax makes the net-of-tax wage received by households lower than the gross wage paid by firms. When the vertical distance AB measures the amount each worker pays in income tax, equilibrium employment is N,, the quantity that households wish to supply at the after-tax wage w, and that firms demand at the gross wage w. At the after-tax wage w, the natural rate of unemployment is the horizontal distance BC. If income tax were abolished, equilibrium would be at E. Employment would rise from N, to N, and the natural rate of unemployment would fall from BC to EF. Relative to the fixed level of unemployment benefit, the rise in take-home pay from w, to w, reduces the level of voluntary unemployment.

Ni N2 Number of workers
people wish to accept job offers at each real wage. It is drawn for a given (real) level of unemployment benefit. Hence the horizontal distance between the AJ and LF schedules — the it umber of people in the workforce refusing to work at each real wage, or the amount of voluntary unemployment — decreases as the real wage rises relative to the given level of un-employment benefit. Thus the figure incorporates lie fact that a reduction in the replacement ratio, t he ratio of unemployment benefit to wage rates, reduces voluntary unemployment. Suppose initially that there is a marginal 11 come tax rate equal to the vertical distance AB. lhe equilibrium level of employment will then he N, . Why? Because income tax drives a wedge between the gross-of-tax wages paid by firms the net-of-tax wages received by workers. At t lie employment level N, firms are happy to hire this quantity of labour at the gross wage w,. Subtracting the income tax rate AB, N, workers kN'allt to take job offers at the after-tax wage w3. I 'II us N, is the equilibrium level of employment. l'he horizontal distance BC shows the natural ,it e of unemployment, the number of workers in I In' labour force not wishing to work at the going r.i I e of take-home pay. To show the effect of a cut in marginal tax ales, suppose that income taxes were abolished. gross wage and the take-home pay now oiiicide, and the new labour market equilibrium IL, at L. Note that two things have happened. First the equilibrium level of employment has ri wit. Second, although more people wish to be III the labour force because take-home pay has increased from w, to w2, the natural rate of unemployment has fallen from the distance BC t > the smaller distance EF. A rise in take-home pay relative to unemployment benefit reduces I he level of voluntary unemployment. Si nil lar effects would be obtained if, instead of cti t t i lig income tax, the level of unemployment benefit were cut. For a given labour force schedule :1;, fewer people would now wish to he un-employed at any real wage. I fence the schedule (I I, showing acceptances of job of furs, would
shift to the right. Again, the effect would be both to increase the equilibrium level of employment (and hence of potential output) and to reduce the natural rate of unemployment by reducing the replacement ratio. What about the effect of changes in the national insurance contributions paid both by firms and by workers? These are mandatory contributions to state schemes which provide unemployment and health insurance. They act like an income tax in driving a wedge AB between the total cost to a firm of hiring another worker and the net take-home pay of a worker. Figure 26-5 shows that a reduction in these contributions will increase the equilibrium level of employment, increase the equilibrium level of take-home pay, reduce the replacement ratio, and reduce the natural rate of unemployment.
Other Policies Aimed at Labour Supply In Figure 26-3 we showed that, by restricting labour supply, unions could force firms up their labour demand schedule. In consequence, the equilibrium real wage would be higher but the equilibrium level of employment lower. Since a higher real wage reduces employment but (slightly) increases the number of people wishing to be in the labour force, we said that in raising real wages unions had increased the natural rate of unemployment. Collectively, labour had opted for higher wages and more unemployment. Conversely, the natural rate of unemployment will be reduced if the power of organized labour is weakened. Unions will then be less successful in restricting labour supply and forcing up wages. Hence any government intervention in the labour market to weaken the monopoly power of trade unions should be classified as a supply-side policy aimed at reducing the natural rate of unemployment and increasing equilibrium employment and potential output. Such policies would include changes in the law governing trade union activities, or incomes policies — direct regulation of wages — if the aim of the latter is to reduce real wages.'Phis need not he the sole aim

BOX 26-2
Do tax cuts make people work harder? It is important to distinguish two aspects of the labour supply decision.
HOW MANY HOURS TO WORK A lower marginal tax rate makes an extra hour of leisure more expensive in terms of the income and goods sacrificed by not working. It makes people substitute work for leisure. But tax cuts also increase workers' disposable incomes, making them want to consume more leisure. This income effect makes them want to work less. The table below is taken from a highly readable survey of incentive effects on labour supply, 'The Tax Carrot', by Professor Steve Nickell, published in Management Today, September 1980. Based on work by Professor Tony Atkinson of the London School of Economics and Professor Nick Stern of Warwick University, the table shows that the 1979 income tax cut in the UK should not have been expected to lead to a spon-taneous eruption of work effort. Nickell's survey shows that this is the over-whelming conclusion of many studies of work effort in the UK.
WORKERS WITH 1979 ANNUAL GROSS INCOME OF: £4800 £5460 £8990 £10 920 £13 759
— 2.1% — 1.8% — 0.4% + 0.2% + 1.8%
WHETHER OR NOT TO WORK The second aspect of labour supply, and the one in which we are primarily interested in this chapter, is whether or not individuals want to work at all. Again we must consider the income and substitution effects of higher take-home pay on the decision about whether or not to work. The UK evidence, surveyed in C. V. Brown, Taxation and the Incentive to Work, Oxford University Press, 1980, shows that for men the income and substitution effects cancel out. However, for women higher take-home pay does lead to more women wishing to join the labour force. One possible reason, which we discussed in Chapter 10, is that at low wage rates it may not be possible to offset the costs (commuting, babysitters, etc.) that must be incurred when working. Hence in this chapter we assume that the labour force schedule LF is not vertical. Higher real wages increase the total number of people wishing to work, though not by very much. By increasing real take-home pay, income tax cuts will lead to a small increase in the labour force.

of incomes policies, as we explain in the next chapter. Earlier, we pointed out that frictional and structural unemployment are important com-ponents of the natural rate of unemployment. Policies aimed at reducing frictional and struc-t it ral unemployment should also be included in stipply-side economics. Their objective is to shift he AJ schedule to the right relative to any given position of the labour force schedule LF. Among such policies we include grants that llow redundant workers to retrain in relevant skills, and the various government measures introduced to help school-leavers develop skills and job experience for the first time. By making the labour force more suited to employers' needs, such policies aim to allow firms to make wage offers that unemployed workers will find ceptable. Hence such measures reduce voluntary unemployment.
Policies Aimed at the Demand for Labour Thus far, we have emphasized policies aimed at t he supply of workers for employment. We now turn to the demand for workers by firms. In the previous chapter we saw that an adverse supply s I wk could reduce the demand for labour, shift-ing the LD schedule downwards. It seems plausible that the two dramatic rises in real oil prices in the 1970s had this effect. Overnight, many energy-intensive factories were inade economically obsolete by the rise in oil 1,rices. 'l'hey could no longer compete with more modern energy-saving plant. It was as if many 1st i ng firms had suffered a reduction in their usei HI capital stock. Since labour now had to )1-1K with a smaller quantity of relevant capital equipment, the marginal product of labour was !educed at each employment level. This can be I (presented in Figure 26-5 by a downward shift t be labour demand schedule LD. Try constructing your own diagram to show the effect of this. (Forget about income taxes and %1 .11A Iroiui the point F, in Figure 26-5.) If you draw the diagram correctly you will discover

[more to follow if this chapter is not transcribed yet. It relates to a later post about bad economics teaching in the 1980s which ignored the manufacturing crisis that had caused 3-4 million people to be unemployed, many of them close to the campus, and preferred to teach the usual graphs and a lot of statistics that couldn't be used instead.]

The problem with Ubercart

As I got to know Drupal and Ubercart better, I realised what an extraordinary thing a rambling open source project is. Anyone could suggest a module - whether they're a trained developer who writes a manual to go with it or a DIY hack like myself who finds something that works for them and releases it as a favour. It is possible to spend quite a lot of time learning the ins and outs of the system.

After a month or two experimenting with Ubercart, I realised I was not alone. I was not the only person who couldn't make the shipping modules work. All I needed was three zones and a weight option, but apparently this involved things called Conditional Actions and a large amount of work, so better to wait until the new version of the cart came out that did away with them altogether. Or the favoured option seemed to be to move to emmigrate to the USA where there is a USPS and a Fedex module written in great detail with every combination of speed and state sales tax and tracking. Maybe someone would write something - even a simple thing - that covered three zones and a dozen or so weights, but the developers who worked on Ubercart seemed to be looking forward to something new. They'd noticed that ramshackle nature of Drupal  6 and Ubercart for those who have a problem to solve and are searching the forums. There was a new Drupal coming out any moment. I just had to wait a little while. Everything would be fine.

Last year: installing Drupal

Company history

2010 was a special year for Oyster Bay Systems, celebrating 25 years in the commercial and consumer finance industries.

Oyster Bay has helped finance companies gain profitability and efficiency for over 25 years with an expanding portfolio of products and services that is used throughout the UK, offshore financial communities and in Europe.

Since winning their first contract a quarter of a century ago, Oyster Bay has grown consistently and steadily with its clients, empowering them to exploit opportunities and to achieve success. Oyster Bay's experience and range of products means it can provide the most appropriate system at each stage of a client company’s growth.

Michael Breach, Managing Director explains "We are committed to adding business value, providing guaranteed support and services throughout project development, implementation and beyond".

Oyster Bay prides itself in taking a true partnership approach in the way in which it works with its current and future customers. It is this approach that has forged successful long term relationships and placed Oyster Bay as the preferred choice for many companies over the years.

As a software company that came into being during the 1980s, Oyster Bay has a distinct advantage in that it has evolved expertise and experience in response to many changes in the marketplace and to the legislative and regulatory demands of the times.

Michael Breach said "I formed the company as a consultancy in 1983 writing software on Apple II computers.

It soon became apparent that asset lenders were a niche badly in need of the benefits of computerisation. He explained: “it was pure chance that our initial clients were asset finance companies. They were using legacy systems usually comprising mainframe computers or even Kalamazoo-style ledger card mechanical tabulator, and it is sobering to think that there were hardly any spreadsheets or word processors to be seen anywhere.”

An early client for Oyster Bay was Lloyds Bowmaker, which in 1983 commissioned Oyster Bay to develop a system for its joint venture with Caterpillar in Saudi Arabia. Michael recalled “We developed the software, which was an Apple II based CP/M networked system, and shipped it out to Saudi Arabia, all suitably conformed to Sharia Law.”

A series of other new customers included Weston Acceptances, Larch Finance, Lancashire Leasing and the DC Cook Group. Michael recalled that “Client demand was mainly for administration systems including a route right through to collection procedures. At the same time, since we were obtaining consumer credit information for an increasing range of lending organisations, and since demand for payment profile information was on the increase, we fought to introduce the first consortium for consumer credit data submissions to UAPT which later became Equifax. This bureau facility is going strong today under the Profile Data Services label, and sends data to all three major UK credit bureau from a wide range of subscribers, big and small.”

Oyster Bay’s offices were located at Swansea University’s Innovation Centre. In the early days this provided excellent shared reception and conference facilities, more importantly unlimited access to the University’s academic and computing departments proved very valuable. Michael said “When we eventually moved to larger premises we stayed close to the university since the advantages were still so obvious.”

A significant breakthrough for the company came about following senior staff changes at NatWest’s Centrefile bureau which had been running asset-finance portfolios for several years. The result was that Oyster Bay came to inherit some 90 per cent of the Centrefile’s client base. Michael said: “one such was Lombard, which today is still using our software in its Marine, Channel Isle and Manx divisions.”

A further event that propelled the company forward was winning the contract to supply Volvo Financial Services with the first installation of the pioneering Vienna system. "Looking back," says Michael, "this was the turn of the century, the internet was still basically an unknown force, and yet despite the difficulties surrounding the nascent techhnology, the project was completed very quickly and successfully. In my mind, it was a perfect example of the true meaning of 'the partnership approach', with both parties playing an active, positive and collaborative part in achieving the common goals."

Although Oyster Bay has a number of products and services, Vienna remains the flagship system, and has been adopted by a number of significant lenders within the UK and in Europe as the 100% web based enterprise level system that is both fully functional and proven. Vienna provides straight-through processing with in-built workflow management features that control the movement of a proposal from point of sale, through to underwriting, payout and into ‘go-live’, all in real-time.

Michael explains that “Vienna came about as a result of the need to progress from systems in Microsoft DOS. The way forward seemed unclear at first and as we had determined that it would not be sensible to go the route of early Windows based systems, we spent some time in evaluating current platforms and attempting to forecast the future.

It seemed probable, even at this early stage in the internet’s development, that the adoption of web-based systems would benefit clients. The end result was the development of a new front office underwriting system.”

Vienna has recently been introduced into Volvo Financial Services’ Service Centre, North West Europe region, with one of the main goals being to have a single back office system capable of managing all of the North West region operations. This expansion means that Vienna is now being used to manage the UK, Southern Ireland and Netherlands (which includes a Russian division) portfolios. Michael said “I am pleased to say that the team, again by working in close collaboration with VFS’s staff, migrated the Southern Ireland and Netherlands portfolios onto Vienna in a very short space of time. ”.

In the financial services marketplace, which has become acutely cost conscious, systems efficiency is a core business requirement, and Oyster Bay Systems has an established pedigree in serving the client, with a strong reputation for “getting it right”. The company delivers a compelling business proposition with high-quality off the shelf and tailored software solutions in a timely, cost-effective and efficient way.

Oyster Bay has a range of solutions to manage portfolios of any size and all product types with end to end processing. It provides powerful, robust, scalable and secure solutions to support business requirements. These solutions can be used in-house or as hosted services, where shared cost access to on-line credit and asset search facilities is available.

Oyster Bay never lose sight of the fact that “less can be more” for clients and end users. They believe that systems should be simple to use, transparent, flexible and proven. They should have the functionality to improve manual processes whilst delivering answers to issues raised by the challenging and constantly changing regulatory framework.

New technologies that focus on how information and its surrounding processes are managed rather than simply on data capture and reporting are now central to Oyster Bay's proposition for the rest of the decade.

change of subject
This page used to be about installing Drupal but there are auto installers now...
I don't remember why, I just remember a lot of FTP installs of Drupal 6.

Drupal is no ordinary program to install. It talks to you on little notes attached in "readme.txt" files next to other files that have to be uploaded. It plays tricks on you, asking you to install new modules into a folder called


rather than a more appealing folder called


which is just put there like a mermaid to distract seafairers.

Even when you have your modules in the right place, there file called default.settings.php which has to be renamed .settings.php and there are various read/write permissions which have to be changed temporarilly.

There's another thing. Drupal comes with its own installer that you look at through a browser on your web site. It asks the route to your database and one or two other things I've now forgotten for Drupal 6. I have never had to press the onscreen buttons that my server provides to set-up a database before, nor given it a username and pass, nor thought how to describe a route to it. Localhost did in in the end, but the permutations of things that can go wrong took over a month to work-through.

Blog on a single page from the vegan shoe shop

Last year: choosing a shopping cart

It all seems a long time ago now, but at some point I must have chosen to install a shopping cart on Drupal.
  • Speed of loading
  • Flexibility
  • Price
Were all sensible grown-up reasons to do such a thing. Speed was meant to be good for search engine placement. I don't know if the current shopping cart is still fast but I am past caring - it was just a good idea at the time, that's all.

Price was important at the time because I wasn't selling anything. The price of a Drupal web designer looked proposterous. Even if I'd be slower and more amateur, a DIY job was the only way to save money. Again, I'm just saying this seemed a good idea at the time.

Lastly, Drupal-based carts are flexible. If you have different sales points to tag different products with, Drupal can work around this. A similar cart, Joomla with Virtuemart, allowed "manufacturer" and "brand" or some such hard-wired tags and everything else had to go in the text. This was no way to carry-on, so that's how bits of life began to revolve around this droplet-like group of programs, sometimes one at a time, and never all working together at once in a way that sold things like a shop.

Similar post from 2015:
Free Fast and Pretty: choosing a shopping cart