Tuesday, 31 May 2016

two plus two equals five

I am astounded how many times the coalition gets away with the claim that it is the ALP ,who are the big spenders and the coalition is trying desperately to cut spending.

As the KOUK shows this is completely contradicted by the facts! Bear in mind the ALP had to combat the GFC something the present government never had to do.

It merely adds weight to Andrew Elder's  constant criticism of the press gallery. They must have never read budget papers.

It also shows up how poor most ALP politicians are as well.

Big Brother is well  and truly here.

Monday, 30 May 2016

A safe pair of hands

What people expect is for a leader of the major party to 'have a safe pair of hands' so they can be confident if or when they become Prime Minister they will make the correct decisions and not do anything stupid.
The punters completely lost confidence in Tony Abbott as having a safe pair of hands. Whether it was awarding Prince Phillp an honour or saying he would shirtfront Putin Abbott simply became an embarrassment. When you add his lying about what he would not cut or do in office then his drastic drop in polling was very explainable. Thus Abbott was ALWAYS going to lose this election big time.

When Turnbull took over hid great surge in popularity came about because he was seen as a non-politician. This unravelled as people realised they were wrong on this.

Another important part was Turnbull being seen as a safe pair of hands. An adult was now in charge. People were confident no stupid decisions would be made. Just as importantly people were confident that no matter how stupid people such as Peter Dutton or Barnaby Joyce would sat with Turnbull in charge he would over-rule them.
Now they are not so sure. Moreover if the political strategy was to  move the topic to Asylum seekers and win back votes then clearly that hasn't worked. All the while Turnbull has been uttering Abbott like phrases which no-one believes and acting like a very weak leader. Indeed the Liberal strategy is so inept I was wondering if it was dreamt up by Steve Kates.
They have highlighted Turnbull weak points very adroitly!  At least they have 5 weeks to rectify this. If they do not get back to having Turnbull having a safe pair of hands then  the ALP could well win the election!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

You cannot be serious

Imagine you wake up on July 3 and somehow the ALP has won a close election.

Bill Shorten has achieved something few people imagined he could attain.

Does anyone seriously imagine anyone in the Caucus would challenge anything he put up.
The very idea of the ALP winning the election but caucus over-ruling Shorten and Cabinet on border protection even though he changed policy in this area is so fanciful to be absurd.

The tight numbers in the ?house of Representatives would simply exacerbate this. The party would be tightly disciplined both in caucus and parliament. There would be little debate on any issue let alone a controversial one given the circumstances of the win.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Around the Traps 27/5/16

It is time for Around the Traps

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

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Poll round up

We have the latest round of polls so here is

Mark the Ballot here and here.
Kevin Bonham's prognostications here.

My thought's thus far. Campaign has made no difference at all as yet.
if the vote is say 50:50 but there a a number of marginal seats staying with the coalition then ipsofacto there must be large swings in safe seats.

As i have remarked previously I fail to understand why some people are so surprised Shorten favourable ratings are rising. Equal treatment with the PM usually does that.

When push comes to shove will the right wing commentariat and shock jocks still campaign against Turnbull because he is not conservative to show how powerful they are or will they sand bag and implicitly back Turnbull.

I think we can say with confidence the coalition have started badly and the ALP has not. given it is a long campaign this will not be relevant at the end of the campaign.

I should have added assuming nothing much occurs today or tomorrow you would normally expect a slight swing to the ALP given the embarrassing performances of messrs Morrison. Cormann and Joyce

Special update:

Mark the Ballot does a betting update each Friday .A must read

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Keating has a lot to answer for

In the 1987 election Paul Keating went through the opposition's policies and found a large mathematical error.
John Howard was so enraged he grabbed his shadow treasurer by the throat and started to choke him. He had to be pulled off him . Howard obviously thought at the time his  only chance at being Prime minister was gone.  As in many things he was wrong.

Go to 2004 and Peter Costello made some large claims about ALP economic policy. however this blew up in his face when firstly on AM he was given a tutorial on budgetary costings by the ABC reporter and secondly when Treasury showed in their costings Costell o simply had no idea.

Yesterday we had Morrison and Cormann attempting to do a Keating. Again it was embarrassing. They were in my words of yesterday either ignorant or lying through their teeth. Morrison's interview with Leigh Sales could well be the worst I have seen for a long time. He was terrible.
See Gareth Hutchens for how the Minsters calculated their figures!

When the current government won the last election they initially attempted to say the cupboard was bare without realising this is impassible given the Charter of budget honesty. Now the same government thinks the political scene is the same and the advent of the Parliamentary Budget Office has not done anything.

It is a different era now fellas!

As much as I hate to admit tony burke has been one of the most effective ALP politicians both on this and on other issues. He had both Morrison and Cormann for breakfast. I hate to admit because I simply do not like the bloke.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Is this lying or just plain laziness

One of our favourites wrote a column yesterday criticising the ALP's spending.
Quite a few problems.

At this stage we do not know all of the ALP's programs. We do not know for example how much of any spending plan is merely a change in priorities. Yesterday for example the ALP announced instead of a goods rail they would spend money on passenger rail which involve a significant saving!

We do know the ALP is using the Parliamentary Budget Office for costing their programs. Hence we can be confident the costings are as good as can be gotten. The Peroxide Princess criticises the PBO but doesn't give any evidence to back her criticism up at all. If she was consistent then she would criticise the budget to high heaven as she should have little confidence their costings!

The time to get stuck into the ALP  spending any revenue estimates is when it is all announced later.It isn't now when simply no-one knows what the net spending proposals and how they are funded is known.,

Sinkers had a go at Richard Di Natale. Now I have no time for the Greens who are in essence backdoor marxists. It is pretty easy to criticise their policies. However is Sinkers so lazy he didn't know the position here is a part-time one. Why would anyone put up the full-time  minimum wage unless they are goebellising?

It is no wonder given how poor both articles were Sinkers does not allow Free speech over at Catallaxy.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

What if the election was 50:50

What if the election resulted in a 50:50 result in votes so the coalition wins narrowly.

I could see civil war erupting in the coalition when all those 'conservatives ' say we would have won easily under tony Abbott. Never mind the polls saying they would have LOST easily under Abbott.

This would prove problematic as the next half senate and  HOR election would be held in two years time.

Very interesting.


Three quick comments
1)  I am surprised at how many people are surprised that people are viewing Shorten more favorably. when you get 50/50 coverage that in what occurs
2) Turnbull is not looking good for two reasons  The first is  he is no longer the non-politician. He is getting down and dirty. The punters do not like that
3) When gooses like Dutton open their mouth they used to think Turnbull would change that. Now it seems he is no longer different to Abbott. it seems he cannot control them.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Around the Traps 20/5/16

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, 18 May 2016

Peter Dutton is a grub

We learn't yesterday the Coalition is very worried about losing the election. They had Dutton as bad cop and Turnbull as good cop.
Dutton made allegations which are wrong even on his own preferred source. He was clearly dogwhistling to get the redneck vote. The ABC also showed his allegations were crap This makes it worse much worse.. Will all those right wing commentators now say they were wrong?

Even sinkers thought the allegations crap. Mind you how refugees can take 'aussie' jobs and be unemployed was beyond him ( Dutton)!

How a Minster can believe in the lump of labour fallacy is disconcerting.

I doubt is this will work for the Coalition. Dutton was altogether too open about his dogwhistling. Turnbull never looks good at being Abbott lite. I also agree with Steve from Brisbane

Shorten is performing way better than I thought he could whilst Turnbull is well below where  I thought he would be.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Stop the Presses A Wage breakout

The ABS released it Wage Price Index today. It is rising at 2.1% the LOWEST on record.

Not looking good for future budgets. Of course this is more evidence for Katesy and Sloan for their wages break out. Stagflation Davidson is looking good as each day as well. ( irony button off)

Real wages are falling thus employment is stronger, unemployment is lower and industrial disputation very low as well.

Just as well the ALP exacerbated the labour market de-regulation eh Gerry!

Catallaxy clowns

Some clown why likes to be know as I am Spartacus wrote yesterday about what was in  essense a column  attacking Peter Martin.

Peter wrote a column for Fairfax outlining four reasons why John Symonds was wrong. He didn't talk about Symonds blatant hypocrisy

To quote him he said this ' I won’t rip into Mr. Martin’s analysis beyond saying the words efficient market hypothesis.'

Amazing . I wonder if it was Judy Sloan in drag. No mention of how the RBA memo was wrong either!

This is what Catallaxy has gotten into . Laziness and stupidity.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Three Military Commanders

I got a book out from the library which compared and contrasted Rommel, Patton and Montgomery.

I have read quite a few books on each before so I didn't actually read anything new but it was a worthwhile read.

Rommel was an erstwhile Hitler supporter even though he is constantly portrayed as a 'good' nazi and was killed for nought. He didn't and wasn't involved in the plot to kill Hitler. He certainly understood Germany would lose the war before D-day and should negotiate a surrender then on their terms. I doubt if he understood Hitler though. He thought if Germany lost then the country should no longer exist. Hitler like many of his henchmen took the cowards way out and committed suicide.

What makes me more impressed with Rommel than either Patton or Montgomery is because:

When he committed blitzkrieg in France France had superior tanks yet he won easily. ( If France had any decent commanders their tanks and the planes they bought from the USA should have given Germany a bloody nose. The fact it didn't was due to luck ( which went against them in Russia) and poor skill).

He was very good when pitted against superior and larger numerical forces.I have my doubts about both Montgomery and Patton in both circumstances.

Lastly Montgomery is easily the least likeable of the three.I would  not be surprised if he aspergers!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Why is there no debate on the debate?

On Friday night at Windsor RSL we had a leaders' debate. Well it wasn't a debate really but whatever it was Shorten won it hands down according to the punters who attended.There was a scorecard!  It was 42-29. That is as comprehensive defeat as you can get.

However if you read around you will find it very hard to find this out. The Murdoch press appears to have banned the scorecard and only give its writer's opinion.

This is a shame. if journalists did their job it would provide very interesting reading on why they voted the way they did!

I used to be a politcal junkie

I had the flu last week and thus was at home for a few days. It was my misfortune to watch ABC 24 for too long. Too many politicians who simply talk slogans rather than answering questions.
I thought Julie bishop was the worst of them.It has put me off the election.
although watching Kate Ellis is very enjoyable.

I am no longer a political junkie!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Around the Traps 13/5/16

It is time for Around the Traps again

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

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Who are Industry fund's competitors?

The Peroxide Princess had another rant against Industry funds. In it she alleged Self managed superannuation funds were the main competitors to Industry funds, HUH?

A few problems here.

Most industry experts believe you need about $1m  to make an SMSF a goer! Industry funds do not target high net wealth individuals.

The companies that market SMSFs make financial advisors the bogeymen. Financial advisors are closely related to retail funds because they get trailing commissions. So the SMSFs obviously think the retail funds are the main competitors.
Indeed if you enter a retail fund without a financial advisor you will still pay the same expense!

When Industry funds advertise they clearly state they do not pay trailing commissions. It seems Industry funds therefore think their main competitors are retail funds!

Not a word from her on the higher cost and lower return retail funds

Amazing don't you think.

Two  words from John Daley and Ross Gittins on the Super changes.

Opinion Polls. An explainer

Adrian Beaumont has written a good article on explaining opinion polls.

It is a must read for any political junkie
as a bonus

Mark the Ballot  another  bonus
Kevin Bonham

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Saul Eslake bells the cat on negative gearing

Saul Eslake writes on the RBA memo about negative gearing.

Saul is now an academic is his native Tasmania. He did have a positions in financial markets for a long time and has been a long time critic of negative gearing.

He raise a number of points
'Investors' in housing has taken a larger proportion of the market since the capital gains changes.

Indeed one might say they have crowded out first home buyers.Indeed I think calling them investors is incorrect. They are speculators. They have no interest in what rent they get. They only concentrate on capital appreciation.

If current 'investors' are guaranteed then there is little prospect of a drastic fall in housing prices.

Two points from this. Saul's paper is a breath of fresh air in the debate.

If the ALP cannot use this RBA memo to defend their policy then they deserve all they get!

My thoughts is are  that  I would not allow negative gearing but allow positive gearing.I would change the Capital gains tax.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Cochrane crushed.

Ricardo Ambivalence's favourite economist has made an ass of himself.


Cochrane makes errors you wouldn't credit for a smart man a lot of times. Perhaps nick is correct!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

They're racing

As expected Malcolm Turnbull announced a double dissolution on July 2.
It starts out close so maybe this time for once the campaign will be  influential.Frank Bongiorno has an interesting piece on campaign

Lenore Taylor has a good article on the election.
Antony of course.
Mark the Ballot here and here

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Around the Traps 6/5/16

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