Monday, 29 February 2016

Royal Commisions

It seems to me the counsels assisting  royal commissions on at least are vastly over-rated.

They appear to have two problems.

They look at past times through the prism of the present day.

They appear to believe people have a perfect memory of meetings way back when.

I do remember what it was like back in the 1970s and 80s. most allegations of child abuse would have been laughed off as some-one's fervent imagination. You would never act on rumour. you would need evidence.

Like many people I have had my share of meetings. To expect my to know what went on simply because I have minutes in front of me is absurd.

They appear to think one should know what was said if you know what was not said. Strange thinking.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Tony Abbott. Economic Guru

When Tony Abbott came into office he was faced with a deficit of 1.9% . Payments were 25.3% and Receipts 23.6% of GDP.

The Structural budget balance was -1 to -3% of GDP.

The budget deficit is presently 2.3% of GDP. Payments are 25.9% of GDP and Receipts are 23.9% of GDP.

 The structural  budget balance is the same.
If you think Tony Abbott knows anything about budgets or had a record to be immensely proud of then you are a complete idiot and should be sent off to the Asylum. Say no more!

If Abbott tried to reduce the deficit as quick as he said would  in Opposition Australia would be in recession now as we have observed previously.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Around the Traps 26/2/16

It is time for Around the Traps

Northern Amercia
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Government in a funk

This has not been a good week for the government. Bad polls, bad interviews, bad in parliament.

Turnbull appears to be bringing out his inner Abbott!!

Performances in Parliament are important to party morale and it was very easy to see the ALP's were up and the Coalition's were down.
 It is important to note Parliament is  only important for this reason. It is made to favour Government so when the opposition come out on top it is very noticeable. It was so when Abbott was Prime Minister. There is no correlation to voting in elections!

This could well be a short term thing and my guess is that will be the case but for the first time since the Turnbull ascension the ALP not only have a sniff of victory they have also seen Turnbull ( and Morrison) perform pretty poorly when put under pressure.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Excoriating climate deniers

I was reading the Arctic sea blog when I came across THIS article.

The Watts up with that site is full of lazy and ignorant writings. Hotwhopper shows this almost every day.
Neven in a highly detailed article simply cuts to shreds what was written in Watts up with that. I can see why Poor old Rafe likes this site.. It is a site for the uneducated, ignorant and people who deny evidence!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Changes to the Senate voting system

The Government unveiled its changes to the senate voting system.
This article is a good explainer. ( Se also Michelle Grattan.) (This is good as well. The writer seems to think the proposed changes will lead to a higher informal vote in the Senate because of the complexity of the voting system. He thinks a copy of how Victorians vote in their Upper house is the way to go and I do think he has a point.

I have never voted the same when voting federally in both houses so it won't affect me that much but hopefully it will reduce the number of people standing.

On a related note I notice some Abbott fans are saying the Liberals were morals to win the next election when he was PM but the latest newspoll  has shown the next election to close to call.

EVERY poll bar none had the Liberals losing bigtime when the next election rolled around. That is why the Liberals got rid of him!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Politics gets interesting

The latest Newspoll is out and the parties are 50/50. ( Mark the Ballot here) The government would still win on these figures but lose a lot of skin as a result. Polls have been narrowing as the inimitable Kevin Bonham recently noted.

Is this the end of the Turnbull honeymoon? People were overjoyed when Abbott was toppled and it looked like an adult was pout in charge however in recent times Turnbull doesn't appear to have much of an idea of what he wants to do. Scott Morrison gives a very good impression of all hat no cattle as Derrida Derider observes over at john quiiggin's place. He certainly dumped big time on both Abbott and Hockey.

I am not going to talk about a change of Government like John has but the lustre has gone from the present mob and from Turnbull in particular.

Shorten in recent times has been impressive and you cannot say this opposition does not deliver on policy. Of course it is much easier to do this when the PBO is around to cost your policies.

Oh on Barnaby I am with Brenty

Politics has gotten much more interesting.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Around the Traps 19/2/16

It is time for Around the Traps again.

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

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

George Pell

Far be it for me to defend a Roman Catholic priest ( a contradiction in terms as they can not marry and have children and thus violate one of God's conditions for ministers) however the 'outrage against him visavis the Royal Commission is wrong and sometimes blatantly so.

He has appeared before the Commission not once but twice. He is going to appear before it again.

He has been given advice that his heart MAY not survive a flight to Australia. He therefore made the decision to make his appearance in Rome.

He ain't avoiding the Commission. It is entirely dishonest to imply this. A song  by some vile person named Tim Winton is simply dishonest vituperative spray at Pell.

Give this man a break. If he has done wrong then it will come out. It has not come out as yet.

I get the feeling even if it does not come out these people still won't say they are wrong.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Negative Gearing

Negative gearing is in the news. The ALP have a new policy on it and the government it seems is going to change their policy on it as well.

What is it?

It is the lubricious position of having to pay more out in interest than you are getting in rent, dividends etc.
So for example say you are paying $100 in interest each week and you are getting only  $80 in rent then you are negatively gearing. You are having to pay money to have the investment property.The rent is not paying back any of the loan!

This is marketed to people over the telephone by saying how you can reduce your tax! Not how you can gain extra income.

Thus people who use negative gearing are assuming a capital gain on the property in the medium term which offsets the low rents.

When the RBA gets worried about investors in the housing sector then we should also.

Is the ALP policy supportable.

To an extent it is. Limiting it to new homes would increase supply and you would expect put existing houses on the market for potential home-owners to buy.

Negative gearing could not just n\be limited to housing, it would have to be applied across the board.

One thing for sure Bill Shorten is being quite courageous!


I should have added you need to making decent making to negatively gear otherwise you would not get a loan. If you are not on a reasonable income then you have either a guarantor for your loan or you have a number of properties of which at least one you had to put up as security.

A useful article. THIS is even better,The KOUK is very helpful as well.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Stuart Robert Gawn

Stuart Robert is gone as he always was gong to to after Malcolm Turnbull asked his esteemed head of Department to examine the matter ans report back to him. He found Robert had breached the ministerial code of conduct.
If Turnbull wanted to keep Robert no report from a public servant would have been asked for a report.  Clearly it was self evident he had breached the code on Robert's own words.

This left Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce with extremely red faces. Typically lazy and ignorant people were caught out as well. ( Actually compare both linked articles.  Davidson's words are unbelievable bad.)

Turnbull has been very shrew. He has acted unlike most politicians, He asked his Departmental head for a report. Once he got a report he acted. Unlike say Keating with Kelly he did not absurdly and obstinately defend the indefensible.

Score another point to Turnbull.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Around the Traps 13/2/16

It is time for Around the Traps again.
Gravitational waves stuff in general. Fascinating as Mr Spock would have said.

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

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Warren Truss is leaving

Warren Truss the leader of the National party and quite possibly the most boring man in politics is leaving.

What I found amazing about this is how no-one ever reported how he and Bruce Scott were trying with all their energies to get anyone but Barnaby Joyce to replace him.

They have apparently been unsuccessful .given this mornings AM program it is all but a done deal given the comments by the only person who may challenge Joyce for the leadership.

I am intrigued why no-one has talked about these internal National tensions.It was an open secret. I think only Andrew Elder has written about this in the blogosphere,

I am also intrigued why Joyce is seen as a good politician. He was a joke in opposition when he was Shadow finance spokesman. his white paper on Agriculture was 'ahem ' poor. He is possibly the only person who could ensure sympathy for Johnny Dep !

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Stadiums in Sydanee

We have a number of proposals to build new stadiums or change existing ones in Sydney.
It all involves public money.

The first question is why?  If these proposals stack up why couldn't say the Thugby League and Thugby Union Associations do as joint venture themselves. They would be raking in the money.

The answer I believe lies in examining one proposal. Get rid of of the Sports Ground which seats 40,00 and build a brand new stadium for about a bil which seats 55,00.

This is ludicrous. The present stadium is rarely full. It would be worse if one built a larger stadium.It would only be filled for the Sydney Derby if both teams are playing well and a home semi-final for the Waratahs.
There is an argument which says the best match of the NRL should play there  indeed replicate what the AFL have done in Melbourne.
Sydney ain't Melbourne. Fans do not like to travel  (possibly because it is so hard). I am not convinced.

Enlarging Parramatta stadium makes sense given the crowds for the Wanderers but that is only for around  8  months and that assumes continued success for the Wanderers. Remember last season anyone!

Obviously the NSW Government has too much money at present to entertain such silly and wasteful projects.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Tax Reform again.

The PM has the wobbles on tax reform we are told.

He sees little of the benefits of increasing the GST to 15%.  Yep John Quiggin nailed it not so long ago.

now let us go back to basics. What is needed?

Go and read the Henry review. no need for any new investigation.

Firstly go and get rid of all those inefficient taxes State governments impose. If those same governments broaden their payroll taxes and had no exemption the incidence is almost the same as the GST. Do the sane to land tax.

Wella. States have more money and economic activity is enhanced.

Next investigate why revenue has not got back to anything like normal levels since the GFC. Is this a structural problem or not?

If it is new taxes will have to be introduced or old taxes increased. There is no way there cuts to health and education can be bloodless. Becoming more 'efficient' does not cut the mustard.

Top of my list is what to do with the extravagant tax concession to high income earners on Superannuation. We should just treat it as income.
We should ask why anyone has tax deductions. This merely assists high income earners as well.
quite obviously either impose a carbon tax or bring back an ETS.

Okay there is a start.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Is the God of Muslims and Christians the same ?

Late last year Professor Marycia Hawkins caused a stir at Wheaton College by wearing a hijab for Lent and claiming that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.

She quite clearly breached Wheaton's statement of faith.She was therefore justly suspended.

I will not get into an intricate theological dispute but rather outline why the above is an absurd claim.

  • The God of the quaran and the bible contradict each other. They cannot even agree on Jesus Christ. Either he is a mere prophet or is god as man. He cannot be both.
  • Thus Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. If he did not Christianity is shite. Muslims do not believe this.
  • The God of the bible does not allow sinful people into his heavenly Kingdom. They have to be justified. The god of the Quran allows anyone , if he is not having a bad hair day, whose good deeds outweigh their bad or dies in a jihad.
  •  God has done what people need to  do to enter his kingdom. They simply have to accept it. On the other hand God has nothing to do with muslims entering his Kingdom. They do it regardless of God.
  • Muslims rile about the thought God becoming a man and then dying on a cross for anyone.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Around the Traps 5/2/16

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