Thursday, 27 April 2017

Around the Traps 28/4/17

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
  • nuttin as yet
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox wonk

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Yassim Abdel Magied

I do not know much about this woman apart from her totally absurd statement that Islam is the most feminist of religions. I guess that is why women are immigrating on mass to Saudia Arabia!!

On Anzac day she put out a twitter message that said lest we forget. Nauru, Mannus Syria, Palestine.

Two things occurred
The very people who want section 18c from the Human Rights legislation deleted from law started to say her utterances were a disgrace. Please note no-one I have read have said why they were a disgrace. We should note the utter hypocrisy of these people who are the usual suspects.

The other thing was these people wanted the young lady sacked from various jobs she had including one being a part-time presenter person who works occasionally on contract and on a casual basis at the ABC.  Given she was not commenting on behalf of the ABC nor did she do so when on the air the only thing that would occur if the ABC did the baying pack's wishes is to lose badly an unfair dismissal case.

Let us just go back and examine what she said. She made the comment on Twitter thus she did not elaborate on what she meant.. I do not get why Syria or Palestine is linked with Nauru or Mannus.

I have known quite a few diggers in my time , all unfortunately all dead, and they all would have been mortified if you told them they were fighting to ensure people who were fleeing persecution or even their own life were to be put in gaol in another country instead of allowing them to live peacefully here.

How ironic a silly muslim woman would seen to understand more about the anzac spirit than those who keep on saying how patriotic they are!

Can't disagree with Richard Ackland

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

How did Trump win?

Andrew Gelman had an interesting article on how Trump won the Republican nomination.

I remember telling my youngest son Trump was only winning early because of the number of candidates. Once people dropped out the more favoured candidates would pass him in support.

This did not occur for two reasons.

  1. Trump had big MO. We should never discount it
  2. The favoured candidates were not all that good whether it was Bush, Rubio or Cruz
I should add Andrew last comment.

There were three surprises regarding Trump in the election:

1. Trump was the most popular Republican candidate in the early part of the primary election campaign.
2. Republican primary voters did not coalesce around an alternative candidate.
3. Trump maintained the support of nearly all Republicans during the general election campaign.
I agree with you that Trump’s particular policy positions, and also his willingness not to disavow racists and conspiracy theorists, is an important part of the explanation to item 1.
Item 3 is not a surprise given partisan polarization and the clearly different policies and attitudes offered by Democratic and Republican candidates.
Banks’s story above addresses item 2, which is how the Republican party ended up choosing a candidate who was so unpopular.

P.S. I do not think Bush ran on the platform that he likes Mexicans more than Americans."

His win in the election can be put down to Comey's extraordinary intervention when he said the FBI was investigating more Clinton e-mails ( but failed to mention investigation of Trump team Russian ties.) both Sam Wang and Nate Silver agree on this.

Before this Clinton was comfortably ahead in the  polls. After this it was much tighter. I should add ex-ante Clinton was thought to have a huge advantage on the ground. Ex-post we found out this was not the case. The fact Clinton's advisors ignored or even treated with contempt Bill Clinton's thoughts also would have raised alarm bells. The man was not only one of the best US Presidents but was a master politician.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

France votes in the first round

We know know the two candidates for the second round of voting for the French President are Macron and Le Pen.
For the first time ever the two major parties the Socialists and the Republicans are not represented in the second round.
Macron would seem to be the favourite. all the other candidates told their followers to vote for him not Le Pen.
He also had the most sensible policy plan. He is liberal in economics which is a good thing but also in social policy. We do not know who would serve in his cabinet indeed we have no idea of how parliamentary elections will go in June. What usually occurs is that the French ensure the newly elected President has the votes in Parliament. However Macron has no political party to speak of to get this. Perhaps Obama like he hopes to get bi-partisan support for most of his measures. I do not know as I do not follow French politics that closely.  Thanks to Jim Rose here is Fruits and Votes on this very matter.

Le Pen is merely another dirigiste right wing populist. Like Trump is some always in silly policies however unlike Trump her policies do not appear to favour big business over consumers. She is bipartisan like most right wing populists, She likes to bash both. Shes does it directly on big business and indirectly on consumers.

Interesting times.

See Paul Smith's analysis, Also Nate Silver. Lets add Mabel Berezin as well

I have been chastised for not commenting on Hollande's performance. It might have been different if he actually implemented some policies he advocated during the last election.  Mind you a person who thinks says law is the answer obviously does understand the question in the first place. 'terrorist' incidents murdering people  merely exacerbated his inept performance overall.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Songs that are better in the studio than live ( and vica versa)

Hello dear lonely and only reader.

I thought I might over the next Sundays look at where songs are better in the studio than done live and vica versa.

The first example is Billy Joel's Travelling Prayer.
In the studio the combination of Joel's piano playing is wonderful and we also get violins and banjo playing. It is sublime.

I had my doubts on how good it would be live and I was proved right.
Here is the studio version
Here is a live version

Nick Gruen ( the nicest man in the Blogosphere) may disagree

I should have added too many live versions from many artists are far too quick

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Around the Traps 21/4/17

It is time again for Around the Traps

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

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Changes to 457 work visas

The Government changed the 457 work visa yesterday.
First of all a reaction from some academics HERE.

Then Henry Sherrell writes on it courtesy of the ever excellent Lowy Institute.

This change in policy is truly Trumpian. It is completely devoid of evidence. It is supported by a unity ticket of the CFMEU and One Nation for pete's sake!

Think about it. Why in the hell would an employer not seek to fill a vacancy within the city they are in rather then go through all the work of trying to get skilled personnel from overseas.


It is yet another sign the government has no idea of what to do and is attempting anything at all to get back on the 'playing field'

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

North Korea What is Happening

Before starting this I should emphasise  people on Seoul appear unperturbed about recent events.

They are used to North Korea using bellicose statements and making threats. Perhaps the USA now doing the same is simply a similar circumstance.
Just remember they are highly vulnerable to an ordinary artillery barrage or missile strike. Thousands would die!

My problem and my fear is now we have not one highly inexperienced and ignorant leader of a Country making threats. We were used to that with North Korea, We now have two of a similar ilk.

The fear emanates in two ways.
Firstly what occurs if you continually ratchet up the rhetoric. At some stage you have to match action with word.
Secondly when the air is filled with bellicose statements a mistake by an underling becomes more likely that could prove fatal.

In the past we could rest assured that even though children occupied the seats of power in North Korea at least responsible adults were in charge in the USA. Not any more.

Perhaps I should have added the one the great many faults of Trump is that he disregards policy he his disagrees with on intelligence and foreign policy issues even when there is NO evidence for it. Witness his EO on stopping refugees. moreover he doesn't learn from mistakes because he doesn't make any!
This is why this time it is different!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Do we have any idea of how to counter violent extremism? No!

Matteo Vergani at the ever excellent Lowy Institute writes a great article on alarming-truth-about-countering-violent-extremism-programs-we-dont-know-what-works.
This is a huge problem because in Australia as in many other countries like the USA the problem of terrorism is because of home grown terrorists. They do not come to the country as terrorists!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Labour market and economics

Two really interesting articles on the labour market and the theories of economics that surrounds it.

First we have Noah Opinion ( Noah Smith) on why-101-model-doesnt-work-for-labor-markets
Second we have stumbling and mumbling ( Chris Dillow) on against-marginal-product.

Both very  informative and cutting to the economic bone. Yes I am slightly changing my views on the labour market.

The Resurrection is central to Christianity

The physical resurrection of Jesus is all important to Christianity. If it did not occur then Christianity is shite.
A physical resurrection means Jesus is God and man. As Thomas the apostle said when viewing the hole in his hand. My Lord and My God.

We know Jesus rose from the dead on the third day because he was seen by a lot of witnesses. The Jewish religious leaders could not dispute this at all.

We also know because his apostles were changed men willing to die for him after this occurred. They did not hide as before and were not silent as before.
This is why Christianity spread.

On a side-issue Sinclair Davidson attempts to be too clever by half.

Sunday is the 1st day of the week not the 0th day. Saturday is the 7th day of the week not the 6th as Davidson attests!
Thursday is the 1st day of a cricket test in Australia not the 0th day. It last 5 days not 4 days!
Sometime when you try and be too clever you end up being very stupid.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Around the Traps 14/4/17 Easter Friday Edition

It is time for Around the Traps again.
It is Easter so plenty of updating over the long weekend.

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

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Austerity still sucks


More evidence that contractionary fiscal policy is contractionary. We knew this for sure  when Adam Posen showed this to be the case in Japan in the 90s and beyond.

Now we have another article confirming this from Vox wonk as I call it.

Contractionay fiscal pollicy only makes sense as Keynes said in 1936 when economic times are good. You then make room for the private sector. This is why Keynesian economics is so much more austere than classical economics in those conditions. Here in Australia we saw it first with Keating and then with Costello.

However if you introduce it in a slowdown the private sector in contracting thus so will the economy.

If only Katesy understood basic economics, Hey Katesy how many countries had a recovery using your policies?  It is those damned Keynesian statisticians again?!

As a bonus Brad De Long on Noah Smith on how Keynesian economics is hot again

Transport Infrastructure

I have always been a supporter of transport infrastructure that has been properly researched.

The latest article on this from Vox wonk shows the benefits of spending on roads is different to what you may have thought.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Around the Traps 7/4/17

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Northern America

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