Sunday, 31 January 2016

The ALP and Gonski

The ALP have made a big splash about committing to 'Gonksi' reforms to education.

This policy shows the benefit of having the parliamentary budget office ( PBO).

They are costed by the PBO and the ALP have also given us measures which will pay for the policy.

Now I do have some trouble in agreeing to all of Gonksi's recommendation although as a general rule a needs based policy is a reasonable statement. ( I much prefer a finlandisation of education policy.)

Having said all that any person saying the policy is uncosted is simply lying or speaking through wilful ignorance.

One can criticise the policy all that one wants but to say the policy is unfunded is patently false.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Around the Traps 29/1/15

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, 27 January 2016

The problem with both Twitter and the Internet.

Frances Coppolla had a really  bad experience. Read all about it HERE.

Very educational.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

John Cook nails it.

John Cook has written about the-science-for-climate-change-only-feeds-the-denial-how-do-you-beat-that.

He nails it bigtime. My recent foray into this with Poor old RAFE shows this in spades.

I told Steve from Brisbane this would occur despite evidence always showing climate change. The deniers will never acknowledge climate change. to them it is all a conspiracy. A bloody big one of course!

Added bonus from skeptical secience on truth-about-temperature-data

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A short lesson in fiscal policy for Catallaxy clowns

Yes, I am a bit bored but  Sinkers  has an article on fiscal policy which are mindblowingly  poor and of course inaccurate.

Sinkers says that because Costello in his first budget reduced Government spending from 25.1% to 23.9% of GDP it is easy to cut spending.

A couple of things before we start. Sinkers was amongst the cheerleaders when the same man cut income taxes and got rid of the excise duty on petrol despite being told by people more knowledgeable that without commensurable spending cuts all this would do would be to create a structural budget problem. It is noteworthy that Sinkers has never acknowledged this nor even understood this!

We have examined the structural budget deficit previously and found both Treasury and the PBO both agree that it was largely due to these two measures. Indeed any problems due to spending has been overcome .

Now let us come back to the figures Sinkers gave us. They are accurate BUT a ratio can fall due to either the denominator or the numerator.

So let us look in a bit more detail at Costello's figures and compare them with what Swan did in the last budget he had responsibility for.

Spending actually increased in real terms when using the CPI  but it did fall using the more broader non farm gross domestic product deflator. There is a difference of 1.3 %

Now let us go to Swan's budget.
The ratio fell from 24.9 to 24.1% of GDP. Not very impressive eh!

 However Spending fell in NOMINAL terms. It fell in real terms 0.7%  ( the same as Costello) when using the deflator but a whopping 3.2% when using the CPI. This huge range gives us a hint of what occurred. Swan has the experience of a terms of trade shock. Hence the broad deflator went into deflation. No Stagflation to see although!!

Swan's budget cut 0.7 percentage points off GDP the largest ever recorded in budget history. Costello's added to GDP albeit less than the average to that date.

Let us assume that Sinkers doesn't just want to reduce the structural budget deficit  at present ( let us call it 2% of GDP however it is a movable feast because of assumptions and further let us assume because he is very hairychested he wants a structural budget surplus of 1% of GDP.)

I think I am being very conservative in thinking such a budget would cut something like 2 whole percentage points off GDP

Glenn Stevens has said that monetary policy would not give a lot of oomph cutting rates from 2% towards zero so you wouldn't get very much monetary off-set.

Ipsofacto what you would get is a recession!

Of and by the way if you want to examine the impact of commodity prices on the budget look at company taxes not at levels of  commodity prices!!

So what we have here is a man who doesn't understand the basics of ratios, budget papers or fiscal policy.!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Around the Traps 22/1/15

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econmetrics)
Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Irony meter will never recover

Steve from Brisbane had this for a story yesterday.

Lo and behold Catallaxy beat that today quite easily.

Way to go , Poor old Rafe put the hate boot into Maurice Strong but that was different!!

Comment of the day must go to  Mark Hill who believes there has been cooling for 18 years. Only a compete imbecile could believe such rubbish given 2014 and 2014 have the the Earth's two hottest years.

That is Catallaxy for you, Hate filled bile, ignorance and double standards and no understanding of how ironic they are!

Let's add to that no self awareness as well!

If only Davidson could behave and have the work ethic of Gerry Jackson.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Politcal Right's dangerous support for economic quackery

Yes that is the title of Simon Wren-Lewis's latest missive.

In it he details why the policies are dangerous for two reasons

1) The first is that it can lead to major macroeconomic policy errors: in the UK think money supply targets, entering the ERM at an overvalued rate, and 2010 fiscal consolidation, in the Eurozone think of the Stability and Growth Pact and the 2011-13 recession
2) The second is that it encourages a lazy anti-science attitude, all too evident in climate change denial. If the political right in the UK and Europe want to see where this could lead, look across the Atlantic. With the left in disarray and flirting with non-mainstream economics, the right has an excellent opportunity (when a new Chancellor takes over in the UK, for example) to re-engage with mainstream economics, and cast off the quackery of the Ferguson and Bartholomew ilk.

Monday, 18 January 2016

My Centrelink experience

We found out late in the piece my eldest son may have a problem which emanated from his birth.

so my wife too him to the specialist.He would need to see the specialist regularly however the Specialist told us we could get a lower payment via Centrelink.

I went off to Centrelink at Top Ryde.

After waiting over an hour I eventually got to see someone.

I told her the whole story and was given some forms to fill out. My wife and I duly filled the forms out and wella a few months later more forms came in the post to fill out.

We duly did these.

More months passed and I got a reply from Centrelink. I was not eligible for the carers payment.

Strange since I didn't apply for it.

After various e-mails and umpteen attempted phone-calls ( They must have the worst service around) I eventually told them I didn't want a carer's payment merely to get the Specialist payment at a lower price via Centrelink.

I was told they were very sorry however since my son was now over 18 I couldn't get that anyway.

Thank you Centrelink.

I can believe everything about the report done into Centrelink. It is almost impossible to follow up anything or to get any sensible advice.

The inclusion of Medicare into Centrelink has made Medicare problems terrible. Previously any problems were easily and quickly dealt with by going to their office at Eastwood. now it is at Top Ryde also it is essentially impossible to do.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Global Temperatures

This started off by frustration that Poor old Rafe a climate denier would not address the two questions on Monkton's 'work' over at Club Troppo.
The reason he wouldn't is because he couldn't address it. He has no understanding of the subject.
(Catallaxy are full of people who are just like 1950's communists. Ideology always trumps evidence!)
John Quiggin talks about it here. Tamino HERE.   Autocorrelation  plus why does Monkton use different starting points?.

2014 and 2015 have been the hottest years on record. What sort of idiot would believe wotld temperatures have paused?

On using satellites etc again we defer to Tamino.  Interesting that 'Balloon-borne thermometers aren’t the only data source for tropospheric temperature; there are also estimates from satellites. But they don’t actually measure temperature, they measure microwave brightness, from which we try to infer temperature at different levels within the atmosphere.'

And on hockey sticks

The real message is climate deniers will not engage in debate as Poor old Rafe showed.

David Bowie, Alan Rickman and mortality

Last week saw the deaths through cancer of both David Bowie and Alan Rickman.
This hit home to me as both were only 69. They are that not older than myself.

As it is I was a fan of both. I bought all of Bowie's albums for a while because he was always different and usually pretty good. however I did get a little bit sick of him for a stage.

I first saw Alan Rickman in the Barchester  Chronicles where he played an Anglican minister of some evangelical persuasion.He was a great actor  perhaps as good as ever I have seen. He could play all parts but was really good at bad guys. I first saw him as a bad guy in the dreadful Die Hard. Who could forget him in the Harry Potter movies which I enjoyed watching with my two boys.
( I enjoyed the movies but could not read the books whilst LOTR was the complete opposite!)

He had a magnificent voice.

The great thing about both men is you can still enjoy their work now and into the future even though they have died.

The thing that struck me about both is how close to me in age they were and hence my mortality sort of magnified because of this.

I do not fear death indeed I look forward to it as any evangelical would. I have not ,touch wood, been affected by cancer as such.
Cancer really does destroy the quality of life anyone has. You become a burden to others  although of course you do not mind at all in helping those affected.

Their deaths now has me wondering how much of the lives of my two boys I will see.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Around the Traps 15/1/16

It is time for Around the Traps again. Stories on Bowie in Dianne Coyle part.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly Stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

2015 hottest year on record

2015 was the hottest year on record. It beat the previous hottest ,2014, easily.

Read about it HERE and HERE

You would have to have a lot of front to declare there is a pause in rising world temperatures. which reminds me Poor old Rafe cannot answer my two simple questions on this over at Troppo.
It is pretty easy to understand why.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Donald Trump again

In Friday's Around the Traps Nate Silver had a great article on Donald Trump. Read it HERE.

I enjoyed reading it.

I will repeat myself however. The Primaries are not far off. Candidates must drop out and I doubt much of their support will go to Trump.

Who will benefit from candidates dropping out.

Me thinks Cruz and Rubio but I could be wrong but I doubt it will be Yrump.

Perhaps then the talk will be of the fall of Trump!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Around the Traps 8/1/16

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, 6 January 2016

Thomas the Think engine

I have discovered a new blog.

Ii is

Highly enjoyable reading.

He wrote THIS for Newscorp on Dick Smith.


why was Tony Abbott so unpopular?

Here is an interesting perspective on why Tony Abbott was so unpopular.

Personally I think Andrew Elder nailed it a long time ago.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Flirting is not sexual harassment.

In all of the silly brouhaha about Chris Gayle the essential problem is he was flirting.

This was patently apparent. The lady in question blushed for heaven's sake. You do not blush unless the flirt hit its target!

sexual harassment is harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.

The Human rights commission says this

Examples of sexually harassing behaviour include:
  • unwelcome touching;
  • staring or leering;
  • suggestive comments or jokes;
  • sexually explicit pictures or posters;
  • unwanted invitations to go out on dates;
  • requests for sex;
  • intrusive questions about a person's private life or body;
  • unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person;
  • insults or taunts based on sex;
  • sexually explicit physical contact; and
  • sexually explicit emails or SMS text messages.

Does this sound like what Chris Gayle was about? Of course not.

Is Gayle full of himself. Unquestionably but the lady in question could have easily told him so but was mute!

Can soime people get a life please.

Flirting has always been around. It is always will be around.

If Gayle has been serious he would have asked her out for a drink. He didn't!

okay I agree the female journalist didn't get the gig for her understanding of the game. more hypocrisy. In other word she ain't no Debbie Spillane