Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Cambodia and Asylum seekers

Which country has the better human rights?   Malaysia or Cambodia?

If you said publicly you could not support having Asylum seekers in Malaysia then you could not possibly support putting asylum seekers in Cambodia. Moreover if you were open and honest you would announce this not the Cambodian Government THREE times!

I might just add asylum seekers who have made it into your jurisdiction are your responsibility not  PNG's or Nauru's. Outsourcing does not mean evading responsibility.

Hypocrisy writ very large indeed!

Scott Morrison is a very small man.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Is Tony Abbott stupid or simply a liar?

Tony Abbott has of late said a number of things which appear to show him as either completely stupid or a natural born liar.

Let us just look at a few things.

  • Budget. The Charter of budget honesty means Treasury releases during an election campaign the PEFO. The last PEFO was very similar to the last MYEFO of the previous government. The only increases in spending actually came from the NEW government. If Abbott read PEFO then he would have found out there is no budget crisis.
  • Spending. The reason why the budget is still in deficit is because nominal GDP is so weak. Spending has never been a problem as the previous government had a 2% real spending increase cap on which they adhered to since 2009. yes 2009!
  • Budget structural problems. The  budget structural problems all emanate from the revenue side NOT the spending side
  • Equity You cannot bring a paid parental leave policy that is highly inequitable and then say your government is ensuring everyone will suffer together
  • Means testing. You cannot say that means testing the Family payments system to $150k under the previous government and say it is class war and then impose a means test to $100k!
  • Taxes  you cannot say a broken promise only refers to permanent tax increases. A tax increase is a tax  increase. This is possibly one of the worst excuses I have heard and laughable. Update. If the leaks are correct this tax will hit families harder than the ETS without the benefit of cutting demand for carbon emissions.

This list is not extensive but then it doesn't need to be.
What do you think?

Here's M0nty and his take. He is pretty much on the money!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

A tale of two Premiers

Neville Wran died recently. He was a very successful Premier of NSW, He never lost an election or by-election. however I was never a fan of his. He had the foulest mouth of any person I have ever met.

He didn't appreciate being being told by someone much much younger than himself that people who use foul language only do so because they are deficient in the English language. ( Paul Keating didn't like being told this either!)

Mike Baird succeeded Barry O'Farrell as Premier of NSW. I was somewhat amused by two articles on him. In one he is portrayed as a committed christian and he and his chief of staff say similar things to what RBA Governor Glenn Stevens has said about his job re christian belief.
At least Mike , unlike either his Father or sister seems to understand basic biblical doctrine.

I just wish journalists would try and understand what people say. If what Mike Baird and his chief of staff said was controversial then so what Glenn Stevens said!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Around the Traps 25/4/14 Anzac Day Edition

It is time for Around the Traps. It is anzuc day here. Just google it to see why it is important in Australia. It is a battle We lost to the Turks mainly because of bad maps. Thanks Churchill.

It is a no boys weekend so I will update at my leisure if my wife doesn't intervene!

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (Mainly Stats)
Dave Giles (Only econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


The CPI is out. I think we can say it means Ricardian Ambivalence 1 The Kouk 0.
The previous quarter's figures were artificially high due to the declining dollar.

This means interest rates remain where they are so both non-mining investment and consumption can rise whilst mining investment declines.
Of course if you forecast STAGFLATION  you have have even more egg on your face!

I should add wages growth at present would imply a lower inflation rate ( and is the key determinant if you ever get stagflation as well.)

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Handel at his greatest

The greatest song from the greatest oratorio ever written.

How appropriate on the day he rose to have such a great song.

He rose from the dead because he was perfect, without sin. He was God and man.

Because he was perfect he could take the punishment for our sins. We only have to believe in him to gain entrance to heaven. No more  no less!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Around the Traps 18/3/14 Easter Edition

It is time for Around the Traps. No football as it is Easter so I will update at my leisure

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (Statistics mostly)

Dave Giles (Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Barry O'Farrell

Barry O'Farrell has resigned as Premier because he not only forgot he received a $3000 bottle of 1959 Grange Hermitage and he also forgot he wrote a thank you note for the gift as well as phoning the person giving him the gift.

First I have to say Barry O'Farrell and Grange Hermitage have one thing in common. They are both highly overrated. ( The Rosemount Balmoral is a much better wine and far far cheaper.)

O'Farrell had to resign. He had misled ICAC and in fact found to be incompetent. How could anyone not only forget getting such a bottle of wine but also ring up to thank the person who gave the gift as well as personally signing a thank you note for getting the gift.
It was O'Farrell insistence that he had not received the bottle of wine that got him into trouble.

In another example of irony it is the Liberal party that has been hit by an ICAC investigation not the ALP.

As I have said at another time this ICAC investigation along with others  have brought out into the open corrupt practices.( I am not saying by any means O'Farrell was corrupt only very stupid.)

NSW is a much better State for the investigation


THIS is pretty good

Monday, 14 April 2014

Is there excessive spending in Australia?

Yes dear lonely and only reader we have looked at this topic a number of times but since I heard quite a bit about this yesterday in the media I thought I might go over the topic again.

There are a number of problems of believing there is excessive Government spending in Australia.
1) The Structural deficit. We examined that here. The major reasons for the structural deficit has to do with revenue. Indeed whatever problems there were on the spending side have been addressed.
2) Spending in nominal terms fell in the last completed budget of Wayne Swan. Thus if spending is a problem then we would have seen a huge increase in the current budget. In the latest MYEFO documents this is nowhere to be found. The only increases in expenditure since PEFO have come from the current Government ( they almost doubled real spending)and they have been political to make the current budget look 'bad' and future budgets look good..In other words accounting tricks.
3) Cash rates are 2.50% and have been there for some time.The market is expecting future cash rates to FALL! If there was excessive spending then they would be rising and the market would be expecting rises in the future.
4) Nominal GDP is forecast to be 3%. If there was excessive spending it wouldn't be so low.

I might just add in finishing revenue as a % of GDP is forecast to be 23.1%. ( It will probably be a tad higher). It was never at these low depths in the Howard years!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bigotry and Racism?

In a quite extraordinary outburst this author outs himself on the topic if Israel and Palestine.

the key sentence is thus. Note what  the author does not say
'Simply astonishing that some people think that Jews, uniquely in the world, shouldn’t be free to live where they choose. '
Note the author does not say there are any disputed territories at all. One can only conclude he believes that it is all Jewish territory moreover only Jews should live there.
It is just unlucky if you are an Arab- Israeli or a Palestinian.

Bigotry is defined thus 'stubborn and complete intolerance of any creedbelief, or opinion that differs from one's own.'
Hence we can conclude the Author is clearly and apologetically a bigot.

Racism is defined thus
'a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural  or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the   right to rule others.'

I do not think the Author should be given the benefit of the doubt given his history nor his unwillingness to intervene when clearly such comments are made by others here thus the Author is clearly a racist.

No wonder he wants the RDA changed !

Toni Childs

Toni Child's voice simply grated on me however there is one song she sings to perfection.

Nice array of animals as well.enjoy

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Around the Traps 11/4/14

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Refereeing on Saturday and watching my boys and we have guests over on Sunday so I will try to update at some time.


Northern America

Andrew Gelman (Mainly Stats)
Dave Giles (Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

I wish Joe Hockey was consistent

I still cannot work out Joe Hockey.

Is he going to bring down a contractionary budget or not?
One minute he says he is and then the next he says that would lead to lower economic growth. ( He is probably right there.)

As far as I am concerned given nominal GDP is forecast to be 3% then imposing a contractionary budget on top of this would be crazy. Ricardian Ambivalence is in favour of this but would want monetary policy to offset fiscal policy.
I am a little sceptical about how much monetary policy could do this under present conditions.Thus I think the risks are too great.
I would let the automatic stabilisers do their job and impose contractionary fiscal policy when the economy will benefit from it.

We will find out next month but I do wish Joe Hockey would cut out his mixed messages.

Monday, 7 April 2014

the WA Half Senate Re-Election

I guess it is time for a comment on the WA Half Senate re-election.
( A by-election only occurs when a person or persons resign or retire. This did not occur here. People in WA had to vote again for the Senate.)

I am not going to comment too much as I live far away from WA. Obviously people voted against the two major parties. it beats me how any sane person could vote for either the Greens or the PUP.

I am somewhat amused by various commentators suggesting one of the reasons for the poor vote for the ALP was the No1 person on the ticket.
Why didn't some-one, anyone suggest it was the No2 person on the ticket. Afterall people knew buggerall about her until a certain speech was leaked. Once they knew her 'strange' circumstances why didn't anyone think people might vote against that candidate.
No-one but no-one has any evidence for any speculation yet it was all one way.
How very politically correct.

Here is one comment. on the result ( almost) I will post further comments if I see any.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

When we lose a loved one

Steve from Brisbane recently lost his mother.

She was in her eighties ninety and for most of her life was as sharp as a tack. Unfortunately she recently acquired Alzheimer's disease.
This is a terrible experience. People who lived as intelligent people decline to feeble people who do not recognise you.

Both my Father and my wife's Father have died. In both cases I was sad but glad. They had lived wonderful vigorous lives but at the end were people who I sometimes could not recognise.
I admit to shedding many a tear after seeing either because of this.

On the other hand I didn't shed any tears at their funerals.

Life can be very hard to explain at times.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Warren Zevon

The Late Warren Zevon had a signature tune.

It wasn't his best song BUT it was great to listen to


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Around the Traps 4/4/14

It is time for Around the Traps again.
Football season has started. Refereeing on Saturday and Sunday and one of my sons is on the Referee Development program so not a lot of time BUT I will try to update on the week-end!

Those articles in bold are highly recommended.

Avagoodweekend!! ( Aussie Expression)

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly Stats)
Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ken Parish on a roll

Ken Parish at Club Troppo has a great article on the Racial Discrimination act.

His suggestions sound eminently sensible to me.

His article is definitely worth a read. after reading you can cogitate on what it all means!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Austerity again

I thought I might write again on Austerity again since Kruggers wrote  on austerity-memories.

We have seen Austerity measures ( defined as the public sector detracting from GDP) in Europe, the UK and indeed in the USA and here in Australia.

In every case the major effect of fiscal policy was to reduce GDP. Indeed in Europe it produced a recession.

Thus let us get back to basics. When are austerity measures good for the economy and when are they bad?

Keynes has been proved correct yet again. If a country introduce austerity measures when the economy is slowing then those measures exacerbate that slowing usually producing a recession.
If they are introduced during very good economic times then they enhance economic growth. Indeed in Australia we have seen two examples of this. The best example was in 1987 by Paul Keating. The other example was in 1996 by Peter Costello.

One thing Keynesian critics cannot understand is that a deficit can be contractionary. Wayne Swan's budget for the last financial year was in deficit but it was the most contractionary budget we have ever seen given our budget history. 
A Surplus budget can stimulate like Peter Costello's last budget's did.