Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Peter Martin 1 Judith Sloan 0

Peter Martin wrote a good column on what the government could do with such low bond rates.

Note he says this.

'If we are prepared to grasp it, there's no shortage of projects that would set us up for decades to come. In education, in health, in the delivery to railway lines into suburbs that are at present barely accessible - in all of these areas there are projects whose benefits would exceed their costs and exceed them by more than enough to pay the minimal rate of interest being demanded.'
 He later says this

'the risk is that bad projects would be chosen over good ones and the money wasted. Abbott himself provides reason for concern. Despite promising during the election to "require all Commonwealth-funded projects worth more than $100 million to undergo a cost-benefit analysis by Infrastructure Australia" his first budget funded scores of road projects without such approval. Some of the cost-benefit studies weren't even published, in others the figures were massaged to make them look better than they were.'

 From this the redoubtable Judith Sloan alleges thus

'Fund all those expensive boondoggles  sorry, I fluffed my lines: visionary nation-building projects that will create jobs and improve the productive capacity of the economy – at special low rates.'

'And all that debt-funded public works has really achieved miracles around the world – just take a look atJapan: over twenty years in the economic doldrums, public debt a multiple of their GDP, but check out those bridges that don’t go anywhere: PRICELESS, REALLY.
And who is the salesman? Why none other than Pete (Peter Martin, Economics Editor of The Age.)  Here’s the pitch:'

Now does this sound anything like Martin proposed?
No of course not.
Why would she allege that?

1) she didn't read what he said. Quite possible although she did link the article

2) She didn't understand the article. It is about budgets ans we know she doesn't read budget papers. NBN is NOT in the national balance sheet anyone?

3) She is deliberately being misleading about Martin's position. Again quite likely

Please note NONE of the commenters have read Martin's piece either.
Catallaxy is simply an echo chamber of the ignorant