Thursday, 19 April 2018

Around the Traps 20/4/18

It is time yet again for Around the Traps.

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

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Do small parties understand their role?

Small parties do not hand around a lot..

I am thinking this could well be because they do not understand their own raison d'etre. Personality conflicts loom large as well.

Most small parties are their for purely to protect sectional interests like the National party or more usually as a protest against the major parties. Don Chipp put it best when he said a person votes for the Australian Democrats to keep the bastards honest!

If we examine any declines in small parties it is when they completely change their raison d'etre and try to be a mainstream party.

The Australian Democrats imploded when some people got too  big for their breeches and they are no longer around.

A small look at One Nation, Clive Palmer's once party, Nick Xenophon's party shows they lose big time when they change from being a protest party and think they will become a major party. When that party is named after one person it seems personality conflicts appear compulsory!!

Nick Xenophon after his SA election debacle has learned one lesson and that is get rid of a person's name. Neither Pauline Hanson nor Jacquie Lambie have learned this lesson. Neither could be accused of being intelligent with at least Lambie does not have a Svengali hanging around in the background.
It seems both women have made the choice that name recognition outweighs problems of personality.

We shall see

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

When to do Labour market reforms

There is a great article in what I call vox wonk on labour market reform.

Andrea Bassanni and Federico Cingani on the-short-term-employment-consequences-of-structural-reforms 

If I can make a short summary of the paper the any negative employment consequences are negligible when the economy is an an upswing.
Discernible readers will realise straight away this confirms previous OECD and IMF research on these subjects on which I talked about previously. ( some 6 years ago in fact).

Monday, 16 April 2018

The GFC reconsidered

Many thanks to Carola Binder ( the hottest economist around but she is married fellas) for a link to a very interesting paper which examines mortgage backed securities ratings and losses in the USA.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Evangelicals are the big losers from supporting Trump

We are used to the same apologists using the same excuses in discussing Trump however it is the evangelicals in the USA who have been badly burned by their using any excuses to support Trump.

However it seems the biblically literate evangelicals are hitting back. Timothy Keller here for example. There are other. My favourite Don Carson comes to mind.This is quite topical. Michael Gerson weighs in  Jim Wallis puts it very clearly.

It seems from afar that the biblically literate ones live in the north and the others in the south.That is only speculation however.

Let me give an demonstration. I was astonished to hear people who claim to be evangelical trying to show Trump was just like King David!
Let us go to that story.
 King David was in his palace . Although the greatest military commander of his age he delegated that to others in the current war.. It is at this time he spots a lady whom he then lusts after. He does indeed have sex with the woman. When he is told she is pregnant he tells the husband whom is a soldier to relax and be with his wife. He does not. Unlike David he knows his duty.
He then sends him to a part of the fighting where he must die and he does. Davisd apparently rationalises all this.
However when Nathan confronts him with his sinful acts David immediately repents. He knows and says he has sinned against God.

On the other hand Trump has said he has nothing to repent of. This clearly shows he is an unrepentant sinner.
It seems some in the evangelical movement have become like the Jews of the Old Testament and are now imitating the secular world.
In other worlds they are neither arthur nor martha!

It is all very sad. The question is whether those are truly Evangelical will escape from this and still be able to spread God's message.

Let us hope so

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Around the Traps 13/4/18

It is time again for Around the Traps

Northern America

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

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Israel Folau should stay off twitter

Israel Folau is in trouble because he answered a question on twitter.

He was asked what happens to gays.

He said they  go to hell unless they repent. This is a true statement but twitter does not enable a person to write all there needs to be on the subject. The best you can hope for is that a person may give you good links on various topics like the late great Mark Colvin did.( Soony please take note).

We really should say to say this answer was homophobic or hate speech is simply ridiculous.

 Israel should have done a few things which would have added to his answer IMHO.

Firstly ALL people need to repent if they do not wish to go to hell. Heterosexuals and homosexuals alike.
Secondly it is the ACT of homosexuality that is sinful not being attracted to the same sex.

Thirdly he should have said it equally applies to heterosexuals who indulge in fornication and.or adultery.
There is a lot more of them. ( Given homosexuals are only less than 2% of the population I have always wondered why the time and effort decrying homosexuals and little done towards fornication and adultery which is rife in our society and growing unlike homosexuality).

In most cases twitter is used by people to keep them in the public spotlight. Hence why journos. politicians, actors and actresses and of course sports people are wide users of twitter.

I would give twitter away Israel!
This is very good. This is what he should have linked to. you cannot do this on twitter!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Some beauties on the ABC

Unforgotten finished last Thursday on the ABC. It was superb.
Well written and well acted where the chemistry was particularly on show.

No beautiful women and no chick magnets just people who looked and acted like detectives. the suspects were very good as well.

I am looking forward to the next season given the quality of the first two.

Harrow continues on friday night. This is an Australian production starring the inimitable Ion Gruffud as a forensic pathologist. sometimes it gets too close to Forever . This is a shame as even though Forever had a stupid overall plot line it had a hellva of a cast.
Harrow has a good cast and an interesting plot line which makes you wonder if you have it right.
Its major problem is the love interest. The female policewoman is simply not attractive. Perhaps because she is a redhead.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Liddell Power Station

There has been a lot of talk in recent days about the Liddell power station and its future.

Firstly Kriti Nagrath looks at this.  AGL do have a future without Liddell with which AEMO is comfortable with.

Secondly Simon Homes A Court examines how AGL acquired it and looks to its future.

A couple of things to contemplate.

  • AGL have stated their plans on replacing the power from Liddell when it closes.
  • AEMO is quite satisfied with that.
  • Liddell is a nice little earner for AGL mainly but not only becasuse of the absurd low prices it pays for coal, 
  • This ends when the plant closes.

On a related matter I offer up Hugh Saddler with a dated article on busting myths about South Australia's wind and solar power

In another fact free article  Big Al goes thew full Katesy and now advocates  nationalising coal powered Stations. He even goes further and believes Liddell should be adquired from AGL and owned by the Government.  I must have missed that in the 'conservative handbook. Nationalising industries.

Are there any conservatives in Australia with an intellect and consistency in views?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

News poll number 30

Yes it is the 30th Newspoll the Liberals have lost with Malcolm Turnbull as Leader. This was the benchmark set by Turnbull to get rid of Abbott.


What can be said.

Well Turnbull obviously did not think he would lose 30 Newspolls in a row. That was foolish thinking.
What is better to cogitate on is why did the polls rise and then fall under Turnbull.

We can ascertain that the public were heartily sick of Abbott. He simply was not up to the job and to be frank he never realised what the government had to do.
The public wanted a change of leadership. What was not known was the Faustian bargain Turnbull did with the conservative wing to become Leader. They all knew they were roadkill at the forthcoming election that is why they changed leaders. however Turnbull had to perform so many policy back flips it quickly became apparent Turnbull was simply Abbott lite and the public did not want that. 
Can the Government recover. I doubt it. It is not impossible but losing 30 polls in a row usually means the public have made their mind up.
Can the Government do much a bout it? I doubt it. There simply is no aspiring leader in the background ready to lead then to electoral glory. no-one has the ability. Plenty of ministers but no Prime minsters to be seen.

Greg Jericho on a-different-style-of-leadership-an-annotated-guide-to-malcolm-turnbulls-victory-speech

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Around the Traps 6/4/18

It is time again for Around the Traps

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

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

An education lesson for Catallaxy

Oh dear both Alan Moran and Judith Sloan jump the shark on electricity at Catallaxy.
Although both claim to be experts as every braggart at Catallaxy does they are woefully ignorant of the basics so let us help them out.  I should add I am no expert, I simply read a bit more then they do.

As we have see before Alan puts all his eggs in the Mineral councils basket when it comes to the coast of electricity on new coal powered stations.  Unfortunately no-one else believes the Minerals council's figures. The market certainly does not as NO investor shown any interest in a new coal powered station. They would be queueing up  bigtime if they did as would financiers to finance the project. They are nowhere to be seen either. Whoops

He also conveniently  ignores any externalities coal produces such as emissions or pollution.  He does this as he would be laughed out of court if he explicitly said this. without a price on carbon then a subsidy makes sense. Whoops

He also implies these subsidies have led to higher electricity prices. Wrong , Wrong, Wrong and Wrong  Whoops

He wants a new brown coal station ignoring all the social costs involved.  Whoops
 He also ignores the many breakdowns on coal powered stations over the summer. Whoops

Judith claims solar and wind powered stations have higher costs than a new coal station. Finkel says not so. Few disagree .Where does she get her figures from? Who knows Whoops
Scott Morrison obviously disagrees with her on information that has come to cabinet.

A couple of other points.
Alinta closed down the coal plant in South Australia. It was uneconomic, units frequently broke down in summer, servicing costs were high and getting higher. They wanted government help and did not get it.

AGL got the Liddell station for essentially nothing. They also got coal at below market prices  for the amount of time they own the  plant. This changes when the plant closes ( or changes hands).
The servicing costs are quite high and rising, Units break down in summer for reasons shown above.

No bid has been made and I very much doubt a bid will be made, Note this is vastly different to interest in the station. If Alinta do make a bid you can be sure it is with government sweeteners.
AGL have stated they will have electricity Liddlel currently generates covered when it closes.
Remember it takes a lot less time to build renewable station and therefore start generating electricity.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

A Good PM needs quite a bit of luck

Some people look back on John Howard as the last decent PM we had. There is an element of truth to this HOWEVER most people conveniently forget that up to around 2000 Howard was viewed as a complete loser. A man out of his depth. Very easy to pressure.

 Depending on your point of view 11/9 or Tampa ( the one I prefer) changed all that. His latent lack of self confidence disappeared overnight He became self assured.
His handling of tamps while morally challenged was politically brilliant. When the 2000 election looked like turning in the last week His 'leak' to the Australian turned the attention back to Tampa and he won with ease.
Why have the four since he was PM failed.

Well for a start they never had the luxury of staying as long as PM as Howard. This is very important.
although in most instances it might not have mattered.

Well let us examine each.

Kevin Rudd came in with the best record as an Opposition Leader anyone had ever see.He had one great weakness which we only found out about once he left. He was very poor with people. ( This leads me to believe his Christianity is a facade). He also never followed up on programs he initiated.
This is strange because why did not Cabinet ask questions?
As a politician he followed Howard the wrong way.  His change on climate change was poorly explained and followed an understanding of the electorate by people who clearly did not have a clue.
He never tried to explain away the 'pink batts' program which as we found reduced house fires  ten fold.

Julia Gillard clearly never had any self confidence whilst in the job. She reminded a lot of the early John Howard. Like Howard she was good in Parliament whilst not Leader but suddenly lost all her mojo when becoming Leader and became average in Parliament. She clearly could negotiate with the best of them however she had no political smarts nor did anyone she relied on . She clearly could not sell a cold beer in a pub on a hot day.
The only question is if she had the luxury of leading her party as PM as long as Howard would she like Howard improved? We will never know.

Tony Abbott was never liked nor trusted by the electorate. On becoming PM Abbott acted as though there was no such thing as the Charter of Budget Honesty and PEFO  never existed. He then went back  on his most important promised when the first budget came out. He was road kill from that time forward. He understood this and never learned from his mistakes. He proved as bad as Stanley Bruce in the office.

Malcolm Turnbull became PM because the Liberals could see he was the only was they could win the next election. however Turnbull never had political smarts at any time in his life and certainly not when he became PM. He acceded to the conservatives in the party not understanding the only reason people wanted him to be PM was to rid themselves of Tony Abbott and what he stood  for. The electorate never wanted a Abbott lite as PM

This leads us to Bill Shorten who seems to be an enigma. At times he shows great promise by not being a small target and having controversial policies that are beneficial to the economy. At other times he acts like Abbott used to criticising without any suggested ways to improve the situation.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Krugman V De Long V Waldmann

There is a really good debate on globalisation.
Three people who would normally agree with each other are having different views on the matter.

Noah Smith gives us delong-vs-krugman-on-globalization.
Robertt Waldmann then weighs in on on-what-w-missed-about-globalization

This is the best of the blogosphere.


Sunday, 1 April 2018

The Resurrection is central to Christianity

It is the Resurrection that makes Christianity and stand out. It is why it is not actually a religion as people do not have to do anything they merely have to accept it it.

When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day (Sunday) Everyone knew exactly what had occurred. Thomas put is best when he stated My Lord and My God. Only a person without sin could rise from the dead. As EVERY man is sinful then it could only be god as man who rose.

How do we know this occurred. We there were plenty of witness, As Paul put it to people there were over 500 hundred, It would be very easy to seek them out to ensure the veracity of the statement.
The Jewish religious elite would have made hay with such an extravagant 'trumpian' claim if it were untrue but they didn't.
His Apostles who feared for their lives whilst hiding were then emboldened to speak out knowing death was certain and it was for most. Why die for a lie?

The significance of the resurrection is that the Crucifixion then made sense, Only a sinless person could take the punishment for others. Only a sinless man could be the perfect substitute.

This offer of being forgiven if a person repented of their sins was totally alien then and now to most people. It meant a person's action did not determine their entry into  Heaven only their acceptance of Jesus as their saviour.

We should also note both Peter and Paul put the blame of Jesus's death fully on the Jews. Modern Day Jews do not deserve any opprobrium over this as it was God ordained. The other reason Modern day Jews are simply not related to the Jews of Biblical times. It is the Christians that are. That is why they follow Jesus.
The term christ killer is simply the statement of a biblically  illiterate person

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Around the Traps 30/3/18 Easter Edition

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