Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Tax Reform

Let us be very clear about what tax reform is.

It is reforming the tax mix.
Say increasing the GST but getting rid of many state taxes for example. It is revenue neutral.

If you cut income taxes but not spending as Peter Costello and then Wayne Swan did you simply introduce and then expand a structural deficit.

This is why no fiscally literate person ever advocates tax cuts to boost economic activity when there is a slump.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A good reason why Sinclair Davidson has no credibility

Steve from Brisbane writes about Davidson's gullibility.

Is he that stupid or he simply cant tell the truth.  Has he joined Katesy as a conspiracy nutter?

You decide!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Four Corners was first class last night.

I had some free time last night so I watched Four Corners.

It was fist class viewing.
Norman Swan showed us what unnecessary things were being done but paid for out of the public        ( and private purse). most had no evidence to back them up.

It seems top me two clear things need to be done.
GPs need to understand what has evidence to back up the treatments and what has not.

The minister should have someone going through the MBS with a fine tooth comb to cut out all unnecessary treatments paid for out of the public purse.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The only people who are disappointed in Abbott's demise are the ALP and delusional embiciles

Tony Abbott had to go.

He was most certainly go to lose the next election. All the polling said so and people don't change their mind that quickly.
He admitted to lying to journalists, He decried  backgrounding journalists but he and his office did it all the time. He dishonestly said he inherited a deficit and debt disaster despite PEFO  saying otherwise. The deficit and debt was higher when he was deposed than he won the election.

He embarrassed the nation when he told all and sundry he was going g to short front Putin.

I remember this 'decent' man laughing about John Brogden when he attempted suicide.

He was never up to the job of PM and it showed.

Shorten had his measure. His zingers whilst not being great for Shorten always showed up Abbott's limitations and weaknesses.

Only a person who is completely delusional would have wanted him to stay on as PM. Think Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt , Steve Kates.

Of course ALP supports thought Abbott was wonderful as they were odds on to win the next election.

Now it is a different kettle of fish. No Abbott and few poor performers around like Bishop, Abetz or Andrews to highlight the government's inadequacies

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Around the Traps 25/9/15

It is time for Around the Traps again.

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

Monday, 21 September 2015

Politics gone crazy

In the USA the Republicans have simply gone mad as Steve from Brisbane shows.

In the UK the British Labour party have elected Jeremy Corbyn as leader whose ideas are as just as silly but from a left wing point of view. At least Michael Foot has an intellect!

In Finland they want to punish the electorate for no good reason.

At least this has no happened in Asutralia as yet.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

New Cabinet, Canning and other things

The new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced his new cabinet and in a nutshell it is better than the old one.
I am assuming Turnbull does not believe the trend rate of GDP growth has declined at all. Morrison's comments on this will be interesting.
They have the advantage of a declining $A which should start to boost the economy going into next year. They will both be hoping the economy is growing at 3% or more by the time people are voting.
I will be interested to see how fiscal consolidation goes. It has totally failed this far with both deficits and debt blowing out.

Some people have commented Turnbull appears comfortable as PM. It is an easier job to get than Opposition Leader. In Parliament everything is in favour of the government. something that vfew people and pundits appear to either understand or comprehend. We have yet to see if Turnbull has learnt any lessons from his dismal performance both in the Republican debate and as Opposition Leader.
Quite clearly the Opposition has yet to change their tactics from opposing Abbott. time will tell if they can change successfully. Thus far Shorten does not appear to be a man who is a policy wonk. He certainly will not sail into Government because he is facing the worst PM in out history.

Three things we can see from the Canning by-election.
Turnbull replacing Abbott reduced the size of the swing against the Liberals.
Both parties could say they 'won.'
Hastie was not a quality candidate. His criticism of the previous government on defence policy was either pure ignorance or for the basest political motives. He is also a poor public speaker. on the other hand the ALP candidate appeared pretty good and could talk on a realm of issues with confidence that eluded Hastie.

We live in interesting times.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Around the Traps 18/9/15 Birthday Edition

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, 16 September 2015

The Political class has let Australia down

No matter which way you look at it the political class in Australia has let Australia down.

Five Prime Ministers in five years is nothing less than a disgrace.
Both the ALP and the Liberal party are to blame so it is bipartisan.

If I might add one thing no-one has mentioned.

it was the Hawke government that got rid of permanent public servants and since this disastrous move we have had numerous public servants sacked.

We had one infamous episode where Howard sacked the wrong public servant whom he thought was involved in the Whiteboard scandal.

Since then fearless and frank advice has been at a premium.

It is not the most important reason merely just one of the reasons.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Tony Abbott gone

Well Tony has gone and only the delusionists are outraged. That's good.Here is an example
The Liberals were heading for electoral defeat and only an imbecile would have thought that was a good thing if you were part of the Government.
Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott had two things in common. they acted like they were still in opposition when they gained Government.Cabinet process was also not the best.

If I add to what I said yesterday not only did Abbott have a political tin ear he ( and his staff) were possibly the worst people at understanding the political implications of what they were doing.

I think the only thing I can say is thank the Lord Tony Abbott was not the PM when the GFC hit the economy.
Andrew Elder you were right. No-one should have ever doubted you.

See M0nty or The Piping Shrike.
Andrew Elder is typically devastating
A great example of delusion


Perhaps I should add I am glad that I should be able to vote for the government now. It did look like I would have to ditch my long held conviction of allowing a government two terms then voting against them.

further Update:

This man had no class at all. At least Rudd and Gillard went out with grace but Abbott he goes out with sheer hypocrisy !
This all started with a terror article which was backgrounded by either Abbott or his staff.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The government shoots itself in the foot.

Before I start read Mark the Ballot and of course Kevin Bonham.

The government was having a good week until Friday when the usual own goals occurred.

First we had the Daily telegraph story alleging a reshuffle was on the cards. Various people was seen as either being demoted or promoted. This was seen knowingly as either directly told by Abbott or indirectly via Peta Credlin. the denials were simply not credible. Those journalist would only write such a story if those two people were back grounding them. Abbott has used the Terror to do this constantly in the past.
Most saw this as incredibly poor politics. Leadership tensions edged quite dramatically to the surface so it is now one of the main stories of the day.
One would have to say Tony Abbott has one of the worst political tin ears of all time in politics. He does not possess a great staff which he does not recognise. Add to that he great confidence he would win an election and you are talking about a person who is quite delusional. right up there with Steve Kates!

We also had the woeful  Peter Dutton making a very poor joke about Pacific Islands and rising waters due to climate change. Dutton is symptomatic of this Government. always caught out on being 'loose with the truth'. A poor media performer.A person the punters know is a poor performer because he never answers questions . He simply repeats his mantra all the time yet  he is held in high esteem by Abbott.

Finally we had wunderkid Hastie bleating his religious beliefs were his own and not answering whether he believes in creationism.
A Christian with any nous would have answered God told us why he created the Earth and why he did so . He didn't tell us how. He might also have said a day in Genesis is not the same as now and even quoted the Apostle Peter however Hastie couldn't or wouldn't do this. One has to ask why.

I might add the ALP could win Canning very easily if they merely said if you vote ALP in Canning then Tony Abbott will no longer be Prime Minister. They will not because they want him to continue

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Around the Traps 11/9/15

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Cricket starts again but I am no longer coaching for the first time in 14 years so updating should occur.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( Mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( Econometrics)

  • nuttin, not happy Dave

Dianne Coyle ( Quirky + Book Reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

how people were wrong concerning winter temperatures in Australia

I am bemused when people such as Katesy or the Peroxide Princess claim cold winters means global warming does not exist.
Obviously it means Statistics is amongst a lot if subjects to many to mention that they do not understand.

We are lucky that Sophie Lewis has a cogent piece on this topic.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Stop the presses. I agree with Sinclair Davidson.

Yes dear lonely and only reader I agree with Sinclair Davidson.

I always went to the emergency department of the Local hospital at Eastwood as my wife is from Bangladesh.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Bilateral trade agreements and refugees

Two items in the news are the so-called free trade agreement with China and the Refugee crisis in Europe which is emanating from Iraq/Syria.

First of all the 'benefits' of the China free trade agreement is highly exaggerated as Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer point out.Peter Martin agrees. Bear in mind the CIE's analysis of the US free trade agreement was in retrospect highly optimistic. Ross Garnaut was entirely correct when he said it didn't pass the laugh test.
The reason why the benefits are modest is because of trade diversion. This has been long recognised in economics.

I don't really disagree with John Quiggin.

I particularly agree with the comments of Uncle Milton when he said 'There’s actually very little left to do to liberalise imports, unless you think that reducing tariffs from 5% to a smaller number will make any difference.
That leaves the non-trade part of FTAs, like foreign investment rules and IP rights. I’m not sure that even in theory it’s necessarily welfare-enhancing to unilaterally liberalise these.'

In terms of the refugee situation we have to react. ISIL only came about because of the illegal invasion of Iraq. Thus we helped to create the present situation.
It should also be noted a turn back policy doesn't save lives. If people die in boats the ONLY way you can stop people dying in the sea is to stop boats.

If you are turning back boats ip so facto you are not stopping them. It is only luck people haven't dies in the seas thus far.
Neither are the refugee illegal. They can only be proved after the fact.


The facts on how generous we are is interesting. Clearly we are nowhere near as generous as we claim

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Why is Andrew Hastie a good candidate ?

I constantly hear that Andrew Hastie the liberal candidate for the Canning by-election is a very good candidate.

No-one ever follows up with reasons on why he is.

Given I am in Sydney and Canning is an electorate in Perth I simply do not know whether he is or not. It seems the implication is that because he served as a soldier with distinction  then ipso facto  he is a very good candidate. There is no correlation here. A  man or woman could serve with distinction in the defence forces  however that does not mean he or she is a very good candidate.

The only footage I have seen of him involved him saying he was a Christian but he didn't want to express his opinion on same sex marriage. That showed him to be a pretty poor candidate.. To be sure
 one can not make the case on whether he is or he is not a very good candidate on one bit  tv footage. I am certainly not.

I will be interested if anyone can provide evidence on whether Hastie is a very good candidate or not indeed if he is a better candidate then the ALP candidate.

From where I am standing it seems more people are promoting that so when the result of the Canning by-election is known then a challenge to Tony Abbott might eventuate.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Around the Traps 4/9/15

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, 2 September 2015

The National Accounts

The GDP figures came out yesterday and they were quite weak.

The CBA economics team said this
"Over the past year the biggest contribution to the 2% GDP rise was household spending which explained 1.4 percentage points. Net exports added 1.0 ppts and general government contributed 0.7 ppts. Dwelling construction added 0.4ppts. The largest detractions from growth came from falling business investment, ‑1.3ppts and inventories, ‑0.3ppts.
Weaker bulk commodity prices, for iron ore and the coals, are restraining Australia’s main national income measure, nominal GDP, lower. So the nominal economy, the one we live and pay taxes in, expanded by  only 1.8% in 2014/15, the lowest annual growth since 1961/62, even weaker than in the last recession in 1991/92.'
The nominal GDP figures were less that the Real figures because the GDP Deflator was negative in other words overall the economy experienced deflation  of 0.5% in the June Quarter and the year to June.
If not for the public sector the economy would have fallen!
Here is Greg Jericho
Gosh wouldn't it be embarrassing if you predicted stagflation!. 
Speaking of embarrassing yourself.
Here is the ABS on estimating household expenditure on tobacco.
"The ABS estimates household expenditure on tobacco on a quarterly basis. To do this, the ABS uses aggregate sales data from relevant suppliers and deflates their values using a single price index for the cigarette and tobacco expenditure category. 

The number of cigarettes per packet is not picked up in the aggregate sales data. The price index used to deflate the aggregate sales data accounts for changes in quantities, including the number of cigarettes per packet. This results in a chain volume measure where the price impacts have been removed to obtain the underlying consumption expenditure of Australian households. 

The chain volume measure (seasonally adjusted) of household consumption for cigarettes and tobacco has declined 39% from March 2001 to March 2014.

The ABS does not measure or estimate the number of cigarettes consumed."
The hapless Sinclair Davidson criticises Greg Jericho for saying the constant price estimates are measuring volume. Just a pity he doesn't read what he links!
 He mightn't understand english though as he clearly did not understand what predecessor means even with a dictionary meaning.

Good grief he can't help himself

Let us make it easy for him. Changes in quantities means volumes. They infer it by deflating the current price estimates.pants on fire!

He really should study some basic economics. They teach this in first year!