Thursday, 22 February 2018

Around the Traps 23/2/18

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (quirky+ book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A Few Things

SHETLAND just finished its 3rd season on the ABC. It was an absolute ripper. Take out the one obvious clanger in it the season was fantastic.

Billy Graham died. A wonderful Evangelist. A pity some journos did not know of him sharing platforms with Martin Luther King. His crusades allowed any people in . Colour, culture et al did not matter. all that mattered was that people got to hear how Jesus saved people! Yes he got wood-ducked by Nixon but he was not on his pat malone on that. THIS is very good

Tony Burke is being brought up by some in government as the 'Barnaby Joyce 'affair continues to linger.  I am no fan of burke as I have outlined previously however there are significant differences. Burke left his wife and began his affair with his now wife about TWO years after she left his office. So either he either different to joyce or a far better politician than joyce because there is no smoking gun to show he was lying to everyone like Joyce, He also did not uproot his family and move interstate only to leave them. He also was never a person who promoted 'traditional family values' or the 'institution of marriage'

Yet again Hamish McDonald has presented the Radio National breakfast program. He is simply so much better than Fran Kelly. He asks far better questions and appears to be better informed on most but not all subjects. Make him the permanent host.

Tony Abbott maybe right says Harry Clarke

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The link between Productivity and Pay in the USA

IF Mark Thoma links this paper it must be good and as usual Mark is correct.

Ana Stansbury and Larry Summers are the authors of this thought provoking paper which Brad De Long has a few ( very few) comments on this as well.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Let us not get overly sentimental over the ALP Government led by Bob Hawke

Before I start this rant I should say Bob Hawke is possibly the best PM we have ever had and his cabinet the same.Sunday night was the last episode looking at Bob Hawke as PM.
I'm sorry but I was not impressed. I was around at the time.
When the ALP won they had no plan indeed no idea of the major problems affecting the Australian economy.
It was only after deregulating the banking sector and floating of the dollar that the Government started to do radical things the economy needed.
No-one at the time thought his cabinet was made up of outstanding individuals. Only Paul Keating  had it all over his government opponent however that was not the case once he was given Treasury. He took a long time to get on top of treasury matters ( probably about a year into government).
I can still remember reading Max Walsh in the AFR writing about how new Government looked overwhelmed and  unimpressive.
What made Hawke a great PM for someone who was almost ( I did say almost) Trump like in telling people about how much he knew about various things was he was a great chairman. HE had confidence in his cabinet ministers and that gave them confidence to do positive things.

He and his Cabinet could change very quickly if circumstances demanded it and it did. When the Dollar looked as though it was in free fall His government produced policies that were good for the economy but were unpopular electorally. They tightened up the means tests for government payments, they reduced tariffs considerably, are just two good examples of this.
I am tired about hearing about Hawke's compassion. Do people not member what he said about Vietnamese refugees when Fraser and only Fraser allowed them to come to Australia?

Personally I found Hawke a very unimpressive individual. He was a very short man ,shorter than John Howard yet no-one ever said little Bobby Hawke.
If John Howard was a boring individual at least he allowed you to talk about various things, with Hawke it was all about Hawke.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Barnaby Joyce's position is untenable

Barnaby Joyce is the leader of the National party formerly the Country party.

One of the main planks of the party is the upholding of traditional family values and thus the sanctity of marriage.

We now have the spectacle of the leader of the party showing scant regard in fact no regard at all for these values.

During the course of his adulterous affair he lied to  his wife, daughters, Prime Minister and of course his own electorate.

This means the National party owns his affair and his values ( or lack of them.) This is the great difference between him and the ALP's Tony Burke. Burke didn't stand for family values ( nor did he uproot his family and move them inter-state for selfish political reasons.)

The National party was always vulnerable to One Nation now this vulnerability is in spades.  One Nation can say they uphold family values whereas the Nationals patently do not given Joyce is still their leader.
Joyce is also quite vulnerable in his own electorate to an independent who upholds family values and says he won't lie to the electorate like Joyce did.

Moreover Joyce just does not get it that in a party of family values you cannot say things are personal. Social liberals can because adultery means nothing to them.
The patent allocation of his mistress to other offices once she was pregnant and then accepting rent free luxury accommodation shows just how bad his political instincts are. Last week also showed his understanding of his portfolio is not very high.

If Joyce is still leader at the next election the coalition will be decimated given what erupted over last week.


I find myself having to make three related points.

1) Anything Joyve said in the same sex marriage debate was shite
2)  I have listened to 2GB since this all occurred every so often. No blame on Joyce despite the obvious derailing of family values. Criticism of Turnbull unbelievably because he upholds said very values. It appears 'right wing ' people hate Turnbull more than they actually believe in the values they espouse.
3) Joyce will be 41 before bubby appears on god's earth. This means if she is a daughter and say marries at 25 then he will be 76 when walking down the aisle with her. Absurd. Will his four other daughters want him at their weddings???

Hat script:

I should have talked about Barnaby's hat. Why would a man wear such a hat in a suit in the shade?
I will write slowly for Soony. He is yet again trying to portray himself as a man of the land, a farmer, a cow cockie. He is in fact an accountant from a regional city in Queensland who was so pro-farmer that he had no farmers as clients.  He would have a great story to tell if he ran the books of various farmers. He would know their business inside out yet he has NEVER spoken so.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Around the Traps 16/2/18

It is time for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Is it possible to be this ignorant?

Our old mate Katesy was always a bit of a looney tunes but it seems he wants to go further. now the Trump is in charge of Chaos house!
Here he is
He wonders about  why there is no revolt against Keynesianism

Oh dear! where do we start?
Perhaps with Henry Farrell and John Quiggin's excellent piece on hard keynesianism.
Just read this
'Contrary to the beliefs of nearly all anti-Keynesians — and, regrettably, some Keynesians, too — Keynesianism demands more, not less, fiscal rectitude in normal times than does the orthodox theory of balanced budgets that underpins the EU.'

 They are writing in 2011.
 Kates thought because there were budget deficits in the euro-area they were expansionary when they were quite contractionary. If only he and other understood fiscal policy!
Herein lies the problem he is anti-keynesian but has no idea of what Keynesianism actually is.
No wonder he is a Trump apologist.
He still has no understanding there is a seasonal pattern to revenue receipts in the USA. the Budget goes in to surplus for a very short period. It did this under Obama but our Stevey does not know this.
Kruggers has a short snappy article on when deficits are needed and when they are not in the USA.

You would think he might put two and two together if the US public debt is rising but again not our Stevie.

I guess the other thing to say he also has no self awareness. Just like Trump he is showing ignorance on a large scale but does not know it.