Thursday, 4 June 2020

Around the Traps 5/6/20

It is time again for Around the Traps

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Retired but still genial Dave Giles ( econometrics)
  • nuttin, Dave stop fishing
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Yes we are in Recession

The National Accounts were released yesterday.
GDP fell 0.3%.
See Greg Jericho and Peter Martin.
I should add isn't it ironic the government refused to spend in the March quarter because they originally thought they may stave off a negative quarter in June.  If they had have perhaps no negative quarter.

More articles on the future
Jeff Borland
Stephen Hamilton et al 

I am really worried about the December quarter. That is when people have to pay the mortgages or rent back at 'normal' levels. That is also when job seeker absurdly reduces by half and job keeper is over. If all this occurs because the liberals are 'superior economic managers then prepare for another negative quarter then.


It is entirely suspicious that the government will give a budget update AFTER the Eden Monaro by-election.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

What I did during the Lockdown

The situation in the USA is horrific so I am going to write about fluff now.

During the lockdown we all had plenty of time to do whatever.

Not much on the radio. too much about coronavirus and nothing else.  ABC FM does not play much interesting music from 10. Only blues can heard on monday nights on 102.5 FM.

Politics was different. Watching Trump give press conferences was simply too embarrassing, ABC news channel had too many press conferences .
so onto Television.

The Mentalist is still great viewing. Our own Simon Baker the the star of the show however since I have written about this before I will leave it at that.

Suits is a series my sons tried to get me to watch.  We differ on Megan Markle who stars in it. They think she is beautiful whereas I think she is ordinary. Since they like it a lot I have put it in.

Before writing about the next two I feel I should write about two common tropes about Yank TV shows. The first probably best exemplified in Friends where average looking females are supposedly beautiful.
The second is even super attractive women in a series are ALWAYS single something I have never seen in real life.
so we go to CIS Miami. Apparently there are a few of these series. The acting isn't great and nor are the scripts. No public service department would have such expensive equipment either.
The best asset is easily Emily Proctor whom I knew from The West Wing. She had put on a few pounds but still looked great. Her character was of course single.
I liked the one lineup. when it changed it was not as good.Damned if I knw when that was though.

NCIS is another that had different series hither and thither. It has the problem of the above where money is no object when it is in the public service. It always has 'beautiful' women who are not. It has a ladies man with whom they try ( unsuccessfully) to have sexual chemistry with another female agent. They have a very  wide boss who has been married I think three times. I have never met a wise man who has been married so many times.

It took sometime for them to  find a decent boss. It does look a bit tired these days.

Aggh. I forgot FBI.  I only started to watch this show because the beautiful actress from Forever would be on it. As yet she has to appear. There are only 4 characters on this show. The boss is always a female. The first one is in her mid 50s. the second one in her mid 60s but trying to look mid 50ish.  My favourite actress will look far too young to be a boss!
The two main characters are good. The plots are solid.
We shall see.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Robodebt is a disgrace

The Australian government has given up the ghost on robodebt. They now agree it was illegal.

Before I have my say read Terry Carney and weep.

The whole concept was crazy. Take some earnings at some point in time , annualise it and guess what these people need to pay back money.
It is somewhat analogous in saying Bradman made 99.94 in every innnings he batted in. Err no it was his average.

Any person of intelligence should have foreseen the troubles this would involve. Even if they could not the  numerous examples of problems should have involved some serious thinking and maybe cogitation.

Not this government it took a court trial and then another one for them to put out the friday Garbage. Of course no apology. Just remember some people were so overwhelmed by this they took their own lives!

I should finish in saying Bill Shorten absolutely shined in this. A pity he did not display these qualities in the election.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Why the riots occurred in the USA

As I write this just remember I did not take any psychology subjects at Uni.

To me it seems pretty obvious.
People have completely lost faith in the system. They believe the police will continue to kill unarmed blacks in the USA and nothing will happen. It is a severe indictment on the political class in the USA.

What makes the situation worse is the fact more politicians put more effort in criticisng the rioters than they ever do about the people who kill black people in the USA.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Around the Traps 29/5/20

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Retired but still genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Diann Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
vox wonk

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

The benefits of the Lockdown and a false argument

I thought I was like Nick Gruen (the nicest bloke in the blogosphere) who enjoyed the lockdown.
When I started talking about the lockdown to other people I found to my astonishment lots of people enjoyed the experience.

Why you say. Here are some of the reasons:

  • More time for sex.  Instead of the husband or wife getting to bed at midnight and simply wanting to sleep there is time to enjoy sex again!
  • Tradies loved the lack of traffic.They could leave home later and get home earlier. They could even do extra work sometimes.
  • Families could have dinner together for the first time. Both parents were at home. They saw their children in the morning for breakfast and more importantly for dinner.
  • When people walked the air seemed to be better.
  • More time. One mother had heaps more time. She didn't have to drive her children to school and back ,nor to swimming or violin training.
  • Associated with this is just how much time at work involves social interaction. working from home means that is gone. It means one can play golf, go to the supermarket (eek).
  • You costs are a lot lower, Transportation, food ,coffee etc
  • The social distance , health requirements and isolation warderd off the flu
Now to the false arguments.

There are some arguing the costs of the lockdown is greater than if there was no lockdown. this was fist promulgated by Gigi Foster on Q&A.  It is also endorsed by Paul Fitjers. Menzie Chinn has dome it for the USA It is a silly argument on both sides of the equation for Australia

Firstly the costs are vastly over-estimated. Why you say? Well primarily because of Massive government intervention. Whether it is Job Keeper, Job Seeker, mortgage relief or rental relief etc household income has held steady this time round. It did not in either the early 80s or 90s. Hence suicides for example have not increased.

Secondly the counterfactual is all over the place. Foster does have a lockdown for old people but that is all.
However this fails to take into account people were changing their behaviour well before anyone knew what a lockdown was.. They were wearing masks and buying what they thought were necessities in February. 

This means the choice was between a formal lockdown with massive increase in government payments and an informal lockdown  where it is possible the costs are greater in the informal; lockdown.
I won't even go into why Scott Morrison had to impose a formal lockdown because of politics. That is self evident

Some might say all this is a rookie mistake but I could not possibly comment.