Sunday, 21 January 2018

One Year of Trump and the politics of impeachment

We have had one year of Trump now . Doesn't it seem like a decade.
Conservatives are by far the best critics of Trump. Funny enough John Quiggin has a short article on this.
By far the most devastating critique on Trump was the article written by Tom Nicholls
I really cannot add to it and so won't.

What I might do is talk about impeachment.
Trump could be impeached now. He could have been on his very first day. He has no sort any approval for the foreign monies he gets. Remember Obama had to when he received his nobel prize.
However impeaching a President needs a solid and good reason not a technical one.
The Republicans found this out when they tried to impeach Bill Clinton. The electorate clearly thought the reason to impeach him and thus in essence 'sack ' him was not really important.
I do think if you are going to impeach a President and thus remove him you need a reason which shows he is clearly unfit to remain in office.
Whilst Trump's behavioiur is disgraceful it is no different to the behaviour he exhibited during the campaign. Also he also clearly showed during the campaign he was no 'einstein'.

If the Democrats get the numbers to impeach they will need n issue that the electorate agrees is something that cannot be allowed.
The Mueller investigation may find this  and of course it may not!!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Around the Traps 19/1/18

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy
Northern America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
General
Climate
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Alan Moran gobbelising again

Alan Moran from Catallaxy has another rant on renewable energy.

In the main in revolves around two spurious arguments.
First is that renewables are subsided and that EXISTING coal power is cheaper. Please note there is nothing at all about coal producing negative externalities to society. This includes both pollution and increasing carbon emissions.
What would normally occur in this context is a government would impose a carbon tax ( which we have not had) or and ETS ( which we have had).
Since we do not have either then  ipsofacto there must be a subsidy so renewables  can compete on a even 'football field'.

Secondly Moran again produces the dodgy Minerals Councils 'research' to promote new coal fired stations. We must note that this research is totally contrary to that produced in the Finkel Report.

Who is right?

Well if the Minerals Council and Moran are correct then investors would be running over each other to build new coal fired power plants. Are they? In a word no. And Alan Moran claims to believe in markets!!

Neither investors nor financiers are looking towards new coal fired power stations. That is because the costs of new coal powered power stations are much more costly than for renewables.
They are poor in hot weather as we saw earlier this week, and not good for dispatchable power.
If you use coal powered stations you must produce a hall of a lot more power than is needed. Not very efficient.

We need to award Alan Moran the Goebbels award for this month for misleading articles!

Whoopsy I should have added how the reason for electricity rises by Moran and David Blowers is so remarkably different.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Murder on the Orient Express

I went with my wife last night to the Cinema ( at Macquarie Centre  if you wish to know ro watch Murder on the Orient express.

I was curious to see how Kenneth Branagh would plat Poirot. It jusdt didn't seem a character he could do. Perhaps David Suchet did such a brilliant job of it in the wonderful TV series.
however Branagh being Branagh does a very good characterisation of Poirot. nothing at all like Suchet but very good nonetheless.
Indeed the this movie version is easily the best I have watched probably because it has a cracker of a cast with performances much better than you would expect from some of them which I include Johhny Depp and Michelle Five for  ( I am a cricket fan afterall!!)
some of the scenery is simply out of this world and the cinematography equally so.

I highly recommend the movie.

Monday, 15 January 2018

The Telsa Battery saves us from coal power problems

Dylan McConnell tells us that the Telsa battery has performed beyond expectations since its inception. Indeed it was to the forefront when one of the units at Loy Yang tripped.

We learn further from Peter Martin that coal powered power stations are the biggest threat to energy security!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Negative Gearing and housing.

In the last election any knowledgeable person knew the Coalition was talking porkies on what would occur if negative gearing was not allowed.
Guess what both the Treasury and the RBA agree. Who would have thought???

Not Catallaxy. They still prefer lies.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Around the Traps 12/1/18

It is time for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy
Northern  America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
General
Climate
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Minimum Wages

Two really interesting articles on Minimum Wages.

Firstly Ernest Dautovic, Harold Hau and Yi Huang examine China and the linkage between minimum wages and household spending. ( This is in Vox wonk in Around the Traps on Friday.)
Next courtesy of Brad De Long we have Doruk Cengiz et al examining the linkage between minimum wages and employment in the USA.


Sorry no spoilers. you have to read both.

Monday, 8 January 2018

The Ashes Result explained

As the meme goes the Pommies came to Australia for nothing ( 4-0 get it).
This result was easily predicable. I said as much as at AFTERGROG CRICKET  at some stage.
So let us now look at the whys and wherefores.

Bowling
I said at the start we would win easily because of our bowling and so we did. We had three fast bowlers all of whom were different who could both swing the ball ( new and old) and bowl good short balls. Lyons was always accurate at one end tying it up as well as taking wickets as well. The bowlers were rarely tired.
The Poms on the other hand were always going to struggle in Australia. Broad and Anderson were past their best and would find it hard on our pitches. Their back up bowlers were only fast medium seamers who are very useful  in England but not here on our hard pitches.
Ali was unfortunate to have a finger injury which hampered his bowling but again where he is very useful in England his flight and spin make him six material here and he lost confidence by the bucket loads as well.

Batting
Smith towered over everyone . He is very hard to get out on flat tracks unless you have a new ball, have EXTRA pace or you have a good legspinner. If even the Marshes get centuries against you you know you are bowling badly. The only time the ball swung big time ( in Adelaide) Anderson made us look poor. Warner too thrives on flat wickets and did again.
Given that neither Cook nor Root scored centuries when needed then it becomes easy to understand why the lost so heavily.
What I do not understand is why they were so vulnerable to the short ball. They knew it was coming yet most batsmen looked as they they had no idea of how to play a short ball. If you cannot play horizontal bat shots you avoid the ball by watching very carefully.

Captaincy and Luck
In simple terms a good captains always has good bowlers so Steve Smith was always going to going to have a better series than Root. root tried things , particularly in the first two tests some came off and some did not.
What some people will forget is the first two tests were much closer than they looked.
It is obvious Smith's confidence was too the forefront after the first two tests where as it was the opposite for root.
Luck almost always favours the winning team and so it was in the this series. not just dropped catches when they matter but snicks not going to hand. Ali is lucky in England when they win over there but not here!!

The Next Ashes
We will find it much harder in England. We still have a very good  bowling line up all at their peak but the poms will undoubtedly have 5 seaming pitches waiting for us. Our Batting is much more vulnerable than we realise. Neither Smith nor Warner have scored a ton in England on a seaming track only on flat tracks. Perhaps South Africa will show up portents of what is to come in England.
On the hand hand the Poms have to come up with a consistent batting lineup. Maybe put Malan at no.3 Bairstow no.5 Stokes at no.6 and Buttler at no.7. Ali at no.8 makes a reasonable batting lineup.

We will still be favourites and we have a young team.

Postscript
I have to say something about the commentators. Nein is still poor. Chappelli is now showing signs of age , nowhere near as bad as Trump but the signs are there. The rest are average. how come former test players do not know the difference between a ball that seams off the pitch and a ball that swings through the air. I do wish someone would tell Shane Warne to grow up.
The ABC was as bad. no-one can do ball to ball commentary now not even Jim Maxwell. Their analysts are good though. I missed Aggers from the BBC. . Alison did a reasonable job but just does not have the personality of Aggers.

Interesting that the poms are all very good. Graeme Swann, Vaughn, Boycs and even Athers are all top rate although Botham of all people is boring to a tee. How come they are so good and we are so bad??

Sunday, 7 January 2018

How to deal with climate change deniers. Price carbon

Rick van der Pleog and Armon Rezai discus the future under a future where people who believe in climate change and those few whom do not and show how pricing carbon is the wisest course no matter what you believe!!

Imagine if Trump were competent and intelligent

Donald Trump is not very smart. My theory is that is has a lot to do with his age.He is losing his cognitive skills quickly. However as we have seen obviously he was no deal maker so it could well be he has always walked on the coat tails of more talented  underlings. ( His contribution to the Art of the Deal was most probably minimal.)
 We do know he knows how to market himself. Indeed IMHO his presidential bid was all about boosting the brand Donald Trump.

His term as President thus far has been one of chaos, incompetency and a mind that cannot understand basic issues.

Now imagine if Trump had a sharp mind and was competent. Matt Yglesias comes close to thinking the  unthinkable but goes a wee bit overboard.

Why so. Even though Trump is if not about destroying institutions certainly changing them they are well advanced in the US society. The Supreme Court will overrule him if he does things legally.
The FBI and Security agencies are doing their jobs despite the immense pressure being put on them by Trump.
Also important here is that the USA has had democracy for some time. Trump only has support with people who simply will not change their votes. He is distinctly unpopular.

An intelligent and competent Trump would be in a far superior position to do things but of course if he were so he would change quite a few policies!!

You want proof that Trump is stupid. Only a moron would sat a cold snap in Northern America means Climate change is not occurring. He is confusing climate and weather.

He says he has reduced the national debt.Obama did this 6 times. It is a seasonal thing.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Around the Traps 5/1/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy
Northern America
Europe
Asia
Wonk
General
Climate
Andrew Gelman (mainly but not only stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Blowers on electricity over the decade

David Blowers from easily the best Think Tank in Australia, the Grattan Institute, examines the causes for why electricity prices have risen over the past decade.

Highly educative and informative.  A must read.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Austerity and the rise of the Nazi party

Frances Coppolla has a compelling article on this very topic.

It looks at a new paper on the topic. Like Frances I always thought that the terribly high unemployment rate was the main reason for this.
Nope.  It was the middle and upper classes that voted for the Nazi party.

I might note two separate things.
First even Hayek recanted on his support to Bruning's fiscal policies. He even supported some increase in public works expenditure.

Second austerity done at the correct time is good for the economy. Keynes told us back in 1936 when to do this. It is when the economy is doing well. Keating did this in 1987, Costello did this in 1996 here and Clinton did this in the mid 1990's in the USA.