Monday, 29 June 2015

Q & A and Free Speech part 2

I previously commented on the Q&A brouhaha HERE. . Steve From Brisbane writes again on the topic.
Mediawatch looked at this and made some sensible comments. The best one being Mallah should have asked the question like David Hicks did in a past Q&A. Incidentally Howard showed a lot more class in his reply than any of the present mob.
What was interesting that all the usual suspects who had a go at the ABC are all divisive people who have reputations for being loose with the truth as they have been here.

A few thoughts on the overall topic.

  • Wilson and Kelly on Q&A looked prize prats ( a technical term) in arguing their positions. News Ltd could interview the man but Q&A couldn't have him. It is bad the ABC has him live but not if TEN has him live!Wilson approves of free Speech but not for Mallah.
  • Kelly said the legislation went through all the usual cabinet areas and was advised by their experts. No if only two misters had read the discussion paper then it most definitely did not go through the usual procedures and no expert would propose unconstitutional legislation
  • Turnbull looked a prize idiot in saying Mallah was a security threat to the audience but wouldn't be in a shopping centre. If he was a security threat was was he free? 
  • Ciobo was lying about his knowledge about Mallah's case. As the Lady said he was found innocent and he was born here i.e. he cannot be deported anywhere.
  • Mallah is not a convicted terrorist
  • Mallah does not support ISIL. Indeed he is totally against them as the Lady pointed out last nigh on Q&A.
  • If the government and News Ltd demonise Mallah who is against ISIL then that plays into ISIL propaganda
  • The only people coming back to Australia from either Syria or Iraq are firstly disillusioned and secondly as David Kilcullen has pointed out are not involved in fighting. Such people have been found to be highly effective in countering ISIL recruitment overseas. This cannot happen if their citizenship is revoked this cannot happen.

If one didn't know any better then one would conclude the government, News Ltd and others were deliberately aiding and abetting ISIL recruitment.

Andrew Catsaras is spot on.

Independent directors for Industry Funds. Much ado about nothing

The government has introduced new laws for superannuation funds.
A man from Mars would find this strange, Industry funds are both lower in cost and out perform retail funds ( dominated the the big banks). Why is the government  concerned? There have been a plethora of scandals involving the major banks and financial planners yet the government has been essentially dormant in their interest or wanting to change the industry.

The industry funds are up in arms about this. See Tim Lyons for example. However they should not worry too much.

Every public company has independent directors.The board itself looks for these directors.
The industry funds should just replicate what most public company boards do!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Around the Traps 26/6/15

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, 24 June 2015

The Killing Season

The Killing Season ended on Tuesday night.
Can we glean anything out of it?

1) Rudd was one of the main reasons the stimulus was as large vat it was and thus helped Australia avoid a recession or as Keating said we had the worst moment since the Great Depression and lost no skin!

2) ALP politicians particularly those wanting a change had no understanding of basic statistics,. no-one but no-one asked any of the apparatchiks of why the internal polling was so at odds with all the public polls.  I am staggered by this.
 I remember the clueless at Catallaxy saying one such leaked poll had the ALP losing most of their marginal seats. Mumble merely said at the time if this was correct then the ALP would take quite a lot of safe Liberal seats given all the public polls.
Clearly Arbib and Co wanted a change of leadership and relied on ignorance to get it.

3) The ALP government had overall no political nous.

  • Gillard didn't realise that saying a fixed price ETS was a carbon tax would be a killer.
  • Swan didn't realise promising a surplus just around the corner could be a problem.
  • Having your Leader saying climate change is the major moral issue of your generation and then reneging on it would have consequences.
  • If you dump a PM you are saying the government made wrong choices hence overcoming the GFC was lost. This was lost on all the conspirators
I could go on but I doubt if I have to..

I found the series interesting and found my admiration for Greg Combet increased but deceased for everybody else.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Q & A. and Free Speech

I do not watch Q&A however I watched the 'terrible' part which has created a bit of brouhaha.

I am trying to understand what the fuss is about.
Michelle Grattan is no help. Katesy shows he should never be allowed out of the asylum. indeed he goes further. There is no hope at all. Malcolm would say he is mentally unhinged. HERE he goes further but he goebellised. Somehow he via the Australian cut out some of the 'unperson's comments. Couldn't lie straight in bed.
Steve from Brisbane is the sanest person around . He actually shows the 'unperson' is actually against people going over to Syria/Iraq to fight.

Democracy is something we supposedly stand for. This means you allow people who have stupid, bizarre, demeaning or depraved views to express themselves.

If they go too far the courts will intervene as people take legal action such as when  Andrew Bolt found when he made inaccurate charges and was forced to admit he was wrong.

I see no reason why the ABC had to admit anything. Plenty of convicted people appear on television.
It appears the government believes the 'unperson' is an ISIL sympathiser when he clearly isn't.

How ironic that the critics of Q&A are acting exactly like ISIL in this regard. They do not care for expression of ideas either.


I have been criticised by some in e-mails that Ciobo did not know the 'unperson' was Australian i.e. born here. I think Ciobo was simply making the point he would have liked the 'unperson' to be taken away from Australia after all he was found not guilty of terrorism and if he knows of the trial he would have known he was born here so I am prepared to allow him some poetic licence.
 See Richard Ackland
Further update:
I am with Brian McNair Michael Brull is worth a read as well. Lets add Dennis Muller

Further Further Update:

There seems to be a debate about the applause when the 'unperson' spoke. It seems pretty obvious to me the audience are applauding the fact the Minister will not be making the decision to revoke citizenship.

Further Further further update:

I heard Greg Barton interviewed by Richard Glover. He confirmed the 'unperson' was hostile to ISIL but a bit of a dill who likes the limelight and Jonathan Holmes gives us some facts that makes the critics look well stupid as the 'unperson' So does Richard Ackland,. Indeed it seems as though Ciobo was talking porkies

Thus we come to the conclusion the critics of the 'unperson' and the ABC totally got their facts wrong and refuse to admit it as such.
We are lucky the Minister will not have the power to revoke citizenship!

All this has to do with is a political attack on the ABC and the ABC's response has made this possible. They need backbone as their critics are lazy and could have been hit out of the park.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Climate: Tamino and Greg Laden

Two articles of interest if you like to read about climate change.

Tamino writes about the 'pause' again only examining the lower troposphere.

Greg Laden examines mark-steyns-newest-attack-on-michael-mann-and-the-hockey-stick. It gives a good history of the topic.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Why is wage growth so low?

In the latest RBA bulletin we get an excellent paper by David Jacobs and Alexandra Rush on why wage growth is so low.
It puts the meat on the bones of what Glenn Stevens was talking about last week.

This is possibly the guts of the issue.

"The decline in wage growth since late 2012 appears to have been unusually large relative to the increase in the unemployment rate. Based on the estimated 3 There are various theoretical explanations for the slow adjustment in wages, including the use of contracts, imperfect information, the effect of wages on productivity (the ‘efficiency wage’ theory) and the absence of unemployed workers from wage bargaining (‘insideroutsider’ theory). 4 The unemployment gap is the difference between the unemployment rate and a statistical estimate of the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU). For a discussion, see Ballantyne, De Voss and Jacobs (2014). While one possible explanation for slow wage growth is a decline in the NAIRU, other evidence does not suggest that a marked reduction in the NAIRU has occurred. Graph 3 Australia South Korea UK Spain Japan Norway France Germany OECD Canada Italy Sweden US -2 -1 0 ppt -2 -1 0 ppt Wage Growth Surprise* 2014 * 2014 growth in compensation per employee (i.e. AENA per head), relative to 2013 OECD forecast Sources: OECD; RBA BULLETIN | JUNE QUARTER 2015 11 WHY IS WAGE GROWTH SO LOW? WHY IS WAGE GROWTH SO LOW? relationship that held from 1998–2012, WPI growth has declined by more than twice as much as would have been expected. A longer-term analysis, based on the measure of average earnings from the national accounts (AENA), also suggests that the wage adjustment has been large given the change in unemployment (Graph 5). What stands out about the current episode is that wages have fallen as sharply as they did in some earlier episodes that had larger and sharper increases in the unemployment rate."

It does say the unemployment rate, a decline in inflation expectations and  the decline in the terms of trade and   account for around 2/3 of the reasons for the low growth in wages.

However  they also add
"Wages may have become more flexible over time. It has been widely recognised that the system of wage bargaining in Australia has become more flexible over the course of the past few decades (Borland 2011), and there are reasons to think that flexibility may have been greater than usual in the current episode. To some degree, individual employment contracts are more prevalent in the industries most exposed to the declines in resource prices and investment, Graph 13 Private Sector WPI Growth Year-ended 3 4 % 3 4 % Actual Fitted model Contributions* 1999 2003 2007 2011 2015 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 ppt -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 ppt Inflation expectations Unemployment** GDP deflator * Contributions to fitted line relative to average since 1998 ** This includes the effect of the change in the unemployment rate and NAIRU gap terms in the model Sources: ABS; RBA 16 RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA WHY IS WAGE GROWTH SO LOW? WHY IS WAGE GROWTH SO LOW? Graph 14 1995 1999 2003 2007 2011 2015 0 1 2 3 4 % 0 1 2 3 4 % Expected Wage Growth One year ahead Firms (NAB survey) Union officials Sources: Australian Council of Trade Unions; Employment Research Australia; NAB; RBA; Workplace Research Centre Table 1: Enterprise Bargaining Agreements Per cent of total Mar 2008–Sep 2009 Jun 2011–Dec 2014 Agreements replaced(a) 80 105 Employees covered under replaced agreements(b) 75 133 (a) Calculated as the number of non-greenfield agreements negotiated divided by the average number of agreements active during the period (b) Calculated as the number of employees covered under non-greenfield agreements negotiated divided by the average number of employees covered by EBAs during the period Sources: Department of Employment; RBA such as mining and business services. Another factor is the relatively long span of the episode, at more than three years. As a result, a higher portion of employment contracts have been renegotiated during this period of subdued demand conditions. The typical length of an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) is around three  years, so virtually all outstanding EBAs have been renegotiated since mid 2011 and some agreements have been negotiated twice (Table 1). By comparison, over 2008–09 a lower proportion of agreements were renegotiated, covering fewer employees."

We have had a flexible labour market ever since Keating instituted EBAs. What we are now seeing is the result of this.
Those people who claim the labour market was re-regulated by the previous government have egg all over their face AGAIN.

Greg Jericho on this as well