Thursday, 26 February 2015

Around the Traps 27/2/15

It is time for Around the Traps. Updating on Sunday. Vox-wonk really interesting

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly but not only Stats)
Genial Dave Giles
Nuttin as yet

Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Wage explosion has arrived!

The Wage price index was released yesterday. It showed the lowest EVER rise in wages.

Here is obvious proof that people such as Judy Sloan, Steve Kates and Gerard Henderson allege that the Labour market is over regulated!

The Kouk writes some common sense,

We might note two things.
The critics of the current system NEVER mark their beliefs to market.
They are also quite innumerate.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Has The government recovered?

All sorts of talk about the Present Government recovering in the polls because of the latest newspoll.

Here is Mark the Ballot on Newspoll.  Essential reading.
Here is Kevin Bonham on the latest polls. Also essential reading.

Whadya think now?

Monday, 23 February 2015

Bias at the ABC

I am late on this but Colleen Ryan's report on Bias was aired last night on Mediawatch.

Paul Barry went through better than I.

If Sarah Ferguson was biased then she would have interviewed Joe Hockey differently to Chris Bowen. She didn't. End of story.

No-one ever has at the ABC. They have at commercial networks however!


I am reminded the ABC has supplied Liberal party with more candidates than the ALP has!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Getting the Pension

There has been a lot of talk about pensions lately and who should get it.

For instance the ever excellent Grattan Institute have produced two reports This one on the Budget  and this one on the Wealth of  Generations. The first one you have to read the recommendation ( start at p 64) and the second one is worth a whole read.  I don't agree with everything. Just one thing for example. We do not have good economic growth at present!

The pension is welfare. People should only get it if they are in need. If people are asset rich then as a general rule they shouldn't get it. ( Thinking about this it couldn't last long. It is costly to maintain a house that is worth a lot of money. At some stage any person living in such a residence would have to sell it simply to have the money to live on.)

However let us get one thing straight. The pension is not the problem in the short. medium or long term. Health costs are. Restricting the Health care card would be of more use than imposing stricter tests on the pension.

A better way of taxing superannuation would help as well. If we treated superannuation the same as income and thus only taxed it at the benefit stage and at the person's marginal tax rate then this would help most people to have more self funding in retirement.

I will be interested how Scott Morrison treats all this.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Around the Traps 20/2/15

It is time for Around the Traps.

updating on Sunday unless the weather intervenes.

Northern America

Andrew Gelman ( Mainly but not only Stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Why does Abbott do it?

Tony Abbott is in a lot of political trouble.

Why does he do THIS?
There are a number of answers

1) He is incompetent and does not understand what the Charter of Budget Honesty is and what PEFO is?

2) He is an inherent liar and does

3) He does and wants the electorate to think the boost to the deficit After the election was all due to the ALP. This is simply a variation of 2).

4) Someone has told him to say this so he keeps on repeating it.

His major problem is not he and the Government have told lies. The electorate expects that. It is the broke promises for specious reasons and then said they did not break promises.
The electorate are not fools and hate being taken for fools and this is what is costing Abbott at present and it is debatable whether he can overcome this.

Treasury and Finance thought the Budget deficit was at $30.b or 1.9% of GDP and that by 2016/17 it would be a surplus of $4.2b or 0.2% of GDP ( otherwise a balanced budget.)

Any person who thinks the ALP left the Present Government with a deficit of around $40b is a fool.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Why cannot the Catholic denomination insist teachers in their schools observe their teachings?

I see some trendiods are up in arms that the Catholic denomination is saying to their teachers they must respect and teach Catholic teachings.

Fancy that. Did they expect teachers would teach Jewish teaching? Islamic teachings? Atheist teachings?

If you want to teach at a Catholic school do not whinge when you are told not only to respect Catholic teachings but also to teach them. If you do not like it go teach elsewhere.

If you enrol your child in a catholic school then you should know this. If you do not like it take your child to another school!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment is in the news because of the Bali 9.

I have no hesitation in supporting capital punishment Under CERTAIN conditions.

The only punishment that is just is one that fits the crime. Jesus tried to point this out when the Jews screwed this up by relying on tradition to understand what an eye for an eye meant.

Thus under what circumstances would capital punishment be the punishment that fits the crime.
It would be when a person brazenly wantonly and calculatedly  murders another human being.
Think of Martin Bryant for example.

This is the only time where capital punishment does fit the crime.

Hence the use of capital punishment for drug smuggling in Indonesia is not warranted.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Judith Sloan is an idiot

Judith Sloan has always been a sandwich short of a picnic when it comes to fiscal policy like all of them over at Catallaxy but today takes the cake.

Poor Judy has let the peroxide get into her brain again so let us help her.

Her evidence.
Maastricht. Let us assume it means the fiscal consolidation that is occurring in Europe. That worked out well.
Reagan  oops wrong again
Estonia  wow it has a DEPRESSION i.e. a fall in GDP of over 10%. Unemployment is still at recessionary levels. Way to go
New Zealand.  If the terms of trade rise and GDP rises strongly it isn't hard to consolidate!

And she misses the massive consolidation done by Wayne Swan. He cut NOMINALspending. The deficit fell from 2.9% of GDP to 1.2%. What happened. The economy got weaker and payments rose to 23.6%.
If fiscal consolidation helps the economy then Wayne Swan gave us a rolled gold version of it and we should have boomed. Funny about how she 'missed' this and what happened.

We didn't because Ross Gittins, Glen Stevens et al are right. You do fiscal consolidation when the economy is strong not weak. Something Keynes said back in 1936.

Yet we still have imbeciles asking for it without any evidence to support their case.

One last thing. Sloan can write this rot and get away with it at Catallaxy because it is an echo chamber for banal stupidity. She doesn't wander to any other blogs as she got smacked down badly at Club Troppo when she said Matt Cowgill was innumerate. Sadly it was she that couldn't understand the numbers! That must be the reason why she obviously doesn't attempt to read Budget papers. NBN not on the Balance sheet anyone!

I think Judith should read THIS

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Around the Traps 13/2/15

It is time again for Around the Traps. Will try to update on Sunday.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly but not only Stats)
Genial Dave Giles (Econometrics)
nuttin as yet. Bad Dave

Dianne Coyle (Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Repentance and Paedophiles

I am staggered at the reaction to a Jewish Rabbi on the issue of Repentance.

As I understand it he merely said a paedophile who repents and does it no more should be forgiven.
He didn't say they shouldn't be tried for their crime.

When asked by Peter how many times a person should forgive some-one Jesus told him  77 times that is each time they repent. ( Repenting means a change in their life.)

You cannot forgive someone who does not repent because they do not believe they have done anything wrong.

What provoked the savage reaction to the Rabbi's comments was that you cannot forgive such crimes no matter whether the perpetrator repents or not.

I am glad God is not like this otherwise he would not forgive anyone!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Tony Abbott is gone part 2

It matters not that Tony Abbott won yesterday's vote on the spill motion.

A large majority of backbenchers do not want him as leader. The was not organised yet the vote was quite large. Thus he has been put on notice. If the polls do not change he is cactus.

The polls were quite blunt in telling the Liberal party they wanted a change in leaders just as they have been in previous contests.

Abbott has said he will change however we know he cannot. He has said umpteem times he would change and hasn't. He hasn't because he cannot anymore then Kevin Rudd could.

Previously he could make 'captain's calls and not worry because he was a successful Opposition Leader and then won the 2013 election.
This no longer counts. People in the Liberal party have finally woken up to what the polls are.

As a consequence I expect Abbott to try and change but prove to be unsuccessful  in doing so. As a consequence of this I expect he will be replaced by Turnbull.

There is no other person who can do so.

Hockey has proved to be the failure I thought he would be.
Bishop was a terrible failure as shadow treasurer and people in the Liberal caucus still remember this.
Morrison is in a portfolio which provides no fodder for demonstrating he is PM material.

The major problem when you replace a PM ( and isn't is ironic that Abbott like Rudd believes only the electorate can replace a PM despite the fact they do not vote for that position) you then have to enunciate on why you did that. As the ALP found out it is very hard to argue you had good policies but a bad PM. If there are bad policies whom ever replaces the PM was part of delivering those


Steve from Brisbane has this on his blog about Abbott.

Peter Martin is also devastating. and which Steve also links.

Further update:

Another blunder. We have a competitive evaluation process but no-one can tell us what that means!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Around the Traps 6/2/15

It is time for Around the Traps. I hope to update sometime somehow on Sunday.

Northern America

Andrew Gelman ( Mainly but not only Stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)

Dianne Coyle ( Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Asian Cup

Australia won the Asian cup.

We didn't have our greatest game in the final but it showed we had a lot of guts.

The first goal was sensational and the second one pretty good.

The Korean goal should have never been given . There was a Korean high foot and thus Australia should have received an indirect free kick.

Overall It has been a great Asian cup for Australia.
not only did we win it we found out we have some great new players. Sainsbury and Luongo were the two standouts. The team played open attractive possession football. We scored a lot of goals and could have scored more.
The defence now looks sound.

However we still need some quality fullbacks, a hard running midfielder with a huge work rate and some forwards.  I think mid-field is the most urgent area to examine.
Now it is on to the confederations cup in Russia and hopefully we qualify for the World cup again.

Onya Ange!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Tony Abbot is gone

It matters not whether there is a vote for leadership in the Liberal party now Tony Abbott is gone.

Once people in a party start crowing for a change in leaders then it becomes inevitable as the current leader loses any credibility they have.
Given that Abbott had little to start with then it now becomes a matter of time particularly when most backbenchers are backgrounding journalists that a change is needed..

I often find it strange that politicians are the last people in the land to pick up any trend in polling. It has been the case this time as well. It has been clear for a long time this government had a problem. They had no honeymoon which is unheard of.

No-one was paying attention to their denunciations of the previous government. what made it worse is that either the PM or the Treasurer has to be a detail men ( yep it is always a man) but neither Abbott nor Hockey are detail men hence the government gets into trouble any time they try to explain their policies.
Abbott was never a policy wonk indeed if anything he was known as a policy flake.

When the ALP replaced Rudd they couldn't explain why they did that. If it was a good government, which it was, why the change? The public soon made their mind up about that charade. The NSW Right was seen for their utter incompetence at politics.

This time round it will be similar. Why the change?  If policies do not change it will make no difference.

As for whom will replace Abbott I have no idea. M0nty thinks it could/should be Morrison. To put such an inexperienced person in charge would be extraordinary.

Turnbull could give them a potential makeover but he has put too many people offside and the right hate him.

As the Chines might say we live in interesting times

Monday, 2 February 2015

Mark the Graph A change is needed

when I attempt to open Mark the Graph or Mark the Ballot I get this.

This blog is open to invited readers only
It doesn't look like you have been invited to read this blog. If you think that this is a mistake, you might want to contact the blog author and request an invitation.
You're signed in as - Sign in with a different account

Please change this again Mark.
It is fixed now.


Why the Government is in trouble

There has been a lot of talk of why the Government is in trouble.
I thought I would look at in in chronological terms.

Why did they win the last election. The main reason was that the Nominal economy was in recession. See Skeptikoi and me here and here.

The present Government did not have a honeymoon. This is highly unusual. Why did  this occur?
It appears from both parties polling is that the electorate believed the opposition and their media followers that the previous government spent money like drunken sailors. Hence get spending under control and hey presto everything is okay again.

Only one problem. It wasn't the problem and people saw this when the government came into power. They sounded awfully like the previous government about problems with revenue etc and how getting the budget back into the black would take a lot longer than they thought.

Most people thought they had been wood ducked. This was exacerbated when Abbott and Hockey tried to say the cupboard was bare and they were not prepared for this. Although the electorate are not avid followers of PEFO. They do know it means Oppositions can never be misled about the economy or the budget.

People simply never trusted the government after this. More so when the government insisted they had not broken any promises when they patently had.

This means a change of Leader will make little difference. A new Leader will be as culpable as Abbott. A new Treasurer will be just as culpable as Hockey.

They desperately need the $A to continue to fall so nominal GDP gets back to trend.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Gerry Jackson is ill

Enlightened Hayek supporter Gerry Jackson has been confined to bed by his doctor.

Get well soon Gerry!

We miss you

The Political Earthquake in Queensland

Holy Cow what happened in Queensland?

In my lifetime I have only been surprised by two results this one and the one that turfed out ( eventually) the Government in Queensland led by Wayne Goss arguably the best seen in that State in our lifetime but more on that later.

for punditry see:

So how did this happen?

My guess it was a combination of things BUT the electorate swung late , very late to the ALP.

  • No-one bought the oh the cupboard is bare and I have to break all my promises line.  Newman knew what was in store. If he was upfront in the beginning it would have been much better.
  • He and the Ministers were arrogant. If you have tough policies to sell then you must sell them and convince the public. You do not say this is coming ready or not!
  • Conservatives can always put off people on trendy issues that attract the 'Left's' support but when scions of the Establishment have a go at you for the appointment of the Chief Justice ( Newman appointed the Chief Magistrate into the job. It is bit like replacing Arsene Wenger with some-one for the 3rd division!) and the Crime Commission things start to smell a bit.
  • Newman had a very poor campaign whether it be   alleging bikies were funding the ALP or saying the long term leases were not asset sales. Indeed No-one seem to care when the Opposition Leader made a huge gaffe on the GST!
  • The Federal Government's woes must have had an impact in that last week. Tony Abbott could take a trick
  • The Borbidge effect. The electorate didn't really want to toss the government out. They thought they would give it a kick in the shins. After all the polls had them winning ! No-one but no-one said the electorate was out with Baseball bats waiting for January 31
  • Cynicism  Why was the election being held on January 31 when most of the campaign would be in the 'holiday' period
I should put on the record I thought the best result was a narrow LNP win and Newman losing his seat. I think it is a travesty the ALP can win Government after being in too long previously!

Are there any implications for Tony?

I think he has almost done his dash. What has hurt him and Hockey is that the punters bought their theme that the ALP were large spenders and were spending like drunken sailors. Hence the answer cut spending.
When people found out this was not the case they felt like they had been wood-ducked. An unfair budget based on broken promises allegedly because of a bare cupboard was not bought either.
Although the average punter might not understand the intricacies of the charter of budget honesty they do understand the Coalition knew exactly what they were in for hence disbelief at their attempt to break their promises.
This also makes people look back and think the ALP Government wasn't all that bad.

2015 will prove to be an interesting year!