Monday, 31 March 2014

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fiscal Policy hasn't changed all that much

In Opposition the present Government would state again and again the problem with the Government was spending.

We examined this and found this statement wanting badly.

In the last Budget we have details on Wayne Swan produced the tightest budget in budget history.Spending fell in nominal terms let alone real terms. Cash rates continued their down trend as the RBA saw no dangers of inflation.
When Wayne Swan released his last budget he followed advice and allowed automatic stabilisers to do their job. Thus the budget was mildly expansionary. The Present government came in and boosted this expansionary nature of the budget.

We can then surmise the Government when in Opposition persistently lied about fiscal policy as they are now doing the exact opposite of what they said they would. Indeed they are adopting very similar fiscal policy to Wayne Swan except it is more expansionary.

Whilst they are being hurt in the opinion polls now their obvious plan is to get the economy back to trend growth and then deal with the problems of the budget.
This echos my thoughts entirely. Of course a further fall in the terms of trade could see nominal GDP growth continue in its present weakened state and then their plans would explode in their face..

I also note that all the Government apologists have ignored this issue. Probably because they have no understanding of it.


Wow fancy forgetting about the causes of the structural deficit. There is no more problems of spending in terms of the structural deficit, It is all about Revenue. Mainly but not only income tax cuts that both sides of politics thought would be paid fro by company tax revenue.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Around the Traps 28/3/14

It is time for Around the Traps again.

I can really recommend the Stats and Econometrics sections and Wonk is always interesting.

only umpiring in the afternoons this week so updates hopefully on Saturday and sunday

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Stats man)

Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( Quirky + Book Reviews)

Vox wonk

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Parliament is a farce

Yesterday the Government and tony Abbott in particular had no idea of how to react to laughter following the announcement of the Bunyip honours.

Bronwyn Bishop , possibly the worst Speaker we have ever seen, told one Female ALP member to get out of the chamber because she was LAUGHING. That's right laughing. ( Indeed she was laughing so much she had to hold her sides.)
By doing so Bishop has allowed herself to become a laughing stock. She has better watch out. People are very hypocritical when it comes to females who are neither very bright nor very attractive like Bishop. They give them no slack at all.

Tony Abbott looked completely flummoxed by the laughter the ALP made at his absurd Bunyip honours system. Indeed no-one in the government had any idea of what to do.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Bunyip Aristocracy

Tony Abbot made the ridiculous announcement of making the previous Governor General a Dame and the New Governor General a knight.

I had thought Australians had grown up and were aware of how silly and childish such  'honours' systems were. see HERE   Also Mumble

Apparently not.

Government apologist Samuel J believes these honours make the old ones second rate.
sorry honours that are a laughing stock are the second rate ones!

Monday, 24 March 2014

SA Government, Bolt plus a bit more

South Australia has a government now one independent has said he will support the Labor Party.
As I previously said I thought it strange that a party with 53% of the 2PP vote could lose an election.
however the electorates are not gerrymandered as Thomas Playford did back in the 60s where Don Dunstan got 55% of the vote and lost.
Unfortunately the liberal vote was far too concentrated in safe seats. The Independent looked at seat numbers and came to a sensible conclusion. The Liberals lost votes in the campaign.
Here is Steve form Brisbane on this. see also Mumble.

The Government is going to change the racial discrimination act to ensure there are no more judgments like what happened to Andrew Bolt. My opinion is pretty similar to John Quiggin on this.
It is ironic the litigants to Bolt to this court so they wouldn't get any money merely a correction.
Bolt was his usual indolent self in his research and got the facts wrong AGAIN!

I can't get over how poor the government is in Parliament.Given it is all in favor of the government in parliament and it is their first term they should be well on top of the Opposition but they are not.

 I guess it doesn't help when you appoint a speaker who is incompetent and makes you look bad. It doesn't help when the Treasurer can't even get his story right either.At present it is not the Opposition putting pressure on the Government but the Government looking decidedly unimpressive

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Around the Traps 22/3/14

It is time for Around the Traps again.

It is a bit smaller than usual but the quality is there. I am umpiring on both Saturday and Sunday but somehow dear Lonely and Only Reader I will update this just for you!!

Stats and econometric section is really interesting this week. Genial Dave Giles has more time on his hands and we are all grateful!

Northern America
nuttin agin

Andrew Gelman ( mostly stats)
Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Royal Commission into home insulation

A royal commission into the home insulation scheme started this week.

This is rather strange. We looked at that here.

We found the number of fires in houses was around TEN times less under the program.

Safety definitely improved.
No matter whether you used Possum's numbers, The CSIRO or did a simple Z test you found there was a significant difference between industry practice BEFORE and AFTER the Home Insulation program.

That being the case then why would you have a Royal Commission into the program?

One obvious answer is the government is not concerned at that much with spending money!

The other is the government is all about the politics of the scheme.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

State elections

State elections for both Tasmania and south Australia.

 Mumble to the fore in talking about them so soon.

I am not surprised by Tasmania.

If a party gets well over 52% of the 2PP vote and still doesn't win then it seems to me the distribution of seats is not right. ( Mumble writes on this here.) The Liberals have every cause to believe they should from Government in SA.

This is completely different to the 2010 federal elections where they didn't and fortunately we did get the right government.

We can only hope the independents in SA are as wise as the independents were after the Federal elections.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Bob Seger

At one stage people were comparing Bob Seger and the Boss.

that was absurd but this song Brave Strangers was to my mind his best.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Around the Traps 14/3/13

It is time again for Around the Traps.

I have highlighted articles I think are really interesting to read.

updates on Sunday.


Northern America

Andrew Gelman ( mostly Stats)
Dave Giles (Econometrics)

Dianne Coyle (Quirky + book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Great Depression in Australia- Gerry Jackson

Gerry Jackson has written a very thought provoking article on the great depression in Australia.

I think he has missed the 'Hawtrey' line on the benefits of devaluation quite a bit however it is interesting.

I do think he adds a bit to understanding what occurred then.

I am betting big money there is no rebuttal from Davidson and Novak!

Ken Henry talking sense as usual

Ken Henry was on 7.30 last night talking a helluva lot of sense on the taxation system. He was the person put in charge of the review of the taxation system that the previous government mostly ignored.

This present government should take up those recommendations and run with them.

It is unfortunate Martin Parkinson has been forced to leave as head of Treasury.
I would endorse everything Ken Henry said on that.

 Michael Pascoe nails it completely.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

What are the polls telling us.

I was going to write an article explaining what the polls were telling us but Kevin Bonham has already done this and done it very well.
I agree pretty much with what Kevin is saying.

If I was advising the ALP then I would be happy the ALP is in the lead but I would still think the government is in the box seat to win the next election.

Now if the terms of trade fall over the time prior to the next election and nominal GDP growth is still around 3% then all bets are off!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Skeptikoi nails it!

The ever excellent commentator Skeptikoi writes one of the best columns of the year on why people should be looking at the nominal accounts at present.

in nominal terms Australia has been in a recession and we are still in a sluggish state. If the Terms of Trade fall again, as Ricardian Ambivalence expects, then the nominal economy will stay in the doldrums ( and the budget in deficit).

I might add it was the major reason why the ALP lost the election in such a thumping way!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

John McLaughlin and Jean Luc Ponty

I was lucky to see these two masters at the Hordern Pavilion.( Luc Ponty also was with Frank Zappa when he was here.)

Looking at this I do feel old!


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Around the Traps 7/3/14

It is time again for Around the Traps.
Another cracking edition. sorry that's a tautology.

David Glasner shows why he is the only person on earth who can take on Kruggers and beat him. Nick Rowe simply keeps on keeping on, Chris Dillow shows us why is the only intelligent Commo around, Andrew Gelman gives us his usual high standard articles and the Climate section is full of interesting stuff indeed the whole lot is interesting.
Genial Dave Giles is bludging however. Not happy Dave!  Genial Dave pleads having to grade papers. ANSWER accepted Genial Dave. your P statistic is significant!!!

update on Sunday.

Northern America

Andrew Gelman ( Usually just Stats but..)
Dave Giles( econometrics)
nuttin. You're bludging Dave!!
Dave is grading papers

Dianne Coyle( Quirky + book Reviews)

Vox wonk

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A small thing that showed up in the National Accounts

The National Accounts were released yesterday.

One small thing that was in them was this.
  Public spending fell by 2.0% in the year.  This was the first decline in more than sixty years and detracted 0.5 percentage points from GDP growth.

 Wayne Swan's budget was actually an austerity budget. It was the most austere budget we will ever see

Gosh I didn't read that over at Catallaxy. both Sinclair Davidson and Samuel J said his budget was expansionary.

They got it wrong. Badly wrong.
Fancy that.

Added Bonus
 the Incomparable RicardianAmbivlanence on the GDP figures.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Is this person barking Mad?

This column has provoked some comment.

Steve from Brisbane has a column which says commentary-from-hysteric-and-some-others.

M0ny has one saying steve-kates-whistles-cats-go-feral

Now read Noah Smith on obama-seems-very-good-at-foreign-policy.

Notice the difference in quality at all?

 I think the main question is why has Steve Kates a job at any institution which teaches people.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Poll blues continue for the Government.

We have the latest poll for Government out now and it ain't good news.
Indeed when looking at the latest polls it appears that it is the Nielsen poll that is the rogue not the last Newspoll.
That is the surprise to most people who analyse the polling.

Most of us thought it would have been the Newspoll that was the rogue but the ReachTEL poll has smashed that theory to pieces.
I think My piece on why this occurring still stand up pretty well.

The WA Half Senate Election is going to be interesting.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Nils Lofgren

Nils Lofgren could be the most gifted musician of our generation.

This is my favourite song of all that he does. The best version of Carole Kings' Going Back