Tuesday, 31 July 2018

What is happening with Arctic sea ice

The Arctic sea ice blog is a must read if you wish to inform yourself of what is occurring there visavis global warming.

A really interesting article and highly educational at that on this topic right now.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Should the Government give farmers drought relief?

Every time there is a drought we hear cries that government , both Federal and State, should give drought relief to ailing farmers.

Why is this so as the late Julius Sumner Miller would say. What you have never heard of him. I am getting old.

Farming is a business. Droughts unfortunately are part of what occurs when running that business.
An economic rationalist would ask why do Farmers of all businessmen get a handout from the government.

They should set aside funds in good times so to prepare for times when they are bad. If they do not have enough funds in good times to do this then they should get out of the business.

To be sure this is harder for farmers as their house is stuck right in the middle of their farm and this is unusual for most but  not all businesses.
No government should be giving out handouts which in essence is essentially about subsiding lifestyle.

I should have added the current drought is merely exacerbating the trend  of the farming community becoming very greenish in their politics. Tall them climate change is not occurring they will laugh in your face.
The politics of this is interesting as Farmers become more greeny and the coal interests are so much into climate denial. It makes for interesting watching of the National party.

I am hearing policies to help overcome drought such as droughtproofing the areas which is code for building more dams.
Firstly you cannot drought proof in Australia. history tells that clearly
Secondly building more dams simply means more water taken from rivers. This too is unsustainable as too much water now is being taken. The Murray Darling rivers anyone

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Super Saturday and politics for dummies

I am going to merge both these topics as they came together beautifully on the weekend.

  1. They were not by-elections. They were re-elections. By-elections occur because people resign from Parliament or they die. In all but one case all MPs were told they were ineligible to sit as MPs ( indirectly) because of the Court of disputed Returns absurdly literalist  interpretation of the constitution. see ME or John Quiggin.  
  2. This being the case it makes no sense at all to compare these results to 'normal' by-elections.
  3. Given the seat polling is total crap most of the commentary was as well.
  4. In all BUT one seat ( Braddon) the electors in all 'Disputed return' elections gave the Court of disputed Returns the two fingers.
This leads me on tow two distinct areas of politics rarely talked about.

Most parties talk absolute claptrap about their so-called internal polling. We have 4 public polls that regularly poll about  how the nations will vote. They are Newspoll, ReachTel, Ipsos and Essential.
Read Kevin Bonham on them and others.

A reasonable conclusion to come to is that if one organisation has a 55-45 result one way and the others are say at 52-48 the other way then the former is a rogue result. yet time after time we see journalists reporting such tripe without ever asking how many people were polled and what the margin of error was. moreover it is quite expensive to do such a poll and one would have to ask why.
( Those with good memories will remember ALP MPs rejecting Rudd because ALP internal polls were  clearly at odds with the published public polls and NO journo ever asked why this discrepancy). Why any party do it when the polls come out regularly.
 When the pollbludger told us last week of a liberal tracking pol it got to the ridiculous. A poll of 500 means a largish margin of error of 4%. Tracking pols means you are 'tracking so you are doing numerous. .You are simply wasting money. If the Journo did not know that Bowey surely did so why did he report this tripe???

I should have added we now see politicians, advisors, commentators all talking from a position of profound ignorance. an anecdote might come in handy here.
 A certain person was visiting Tim Stewart in John Howard's office when in Opposition. He asked what Howard and Barnett were doing in Howard's office. The door was open. They are going through the latest poll was the answer. But the incredulous visitor asked they know nothing about statistics and you studied quite a bit about the subject in your PhD. The answer must remain secret. 

Senior Government sources means either The Minister ( or PM  has talked to the Journo or their Chief of Staff and senior policy advisor has on their behalf. Malcolm Turnbull ( or Kevin Rudd to be bipartisan about it) has been a senior government source whereas with Abbott it was his chief of staff Credlin.
The beauty of this is the politician in question can talk off the record and never be identified by the Journo in question when they vociferously deny the allegation.  In this I am reminded of a retired female journo who was told something by Costello. When he demanded to know who was this anonymous leaker she had to remain mute. This is very bipartisan.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Around the Traps 27/3/18

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, 25 July 2018

Emma Husar and other things politics

Emma Husar

There was has been much talk about 'former rising star' Emma Husar since Alice Workman from Buzz feed dropped allegations against her.
Before starting this Very few people who come into politics like Husar has any idea of what the job entails. It is literally a 24/7 job.  The hours are hellish , more so if you are a single mum. There is no induction period what so ever. NO party knows how to help rookie mps at all.

In no particular order let me deal with some of the issues.

  • Bullying is something I do know about having experienced it and having seen senior management in workplaces use it with abandon. IMHO calling people 'c-nts' or 'f--kwits' is harassment. It certainly does not not allow for an enjoyable workplace
  • She has gone through 20 people in two years. did not anyone at the ALP think there was a problem with such a large turnover in her office??
  • Helping out in family duties is part of the job. More so if you are a single parent. workman's youthful inexperience of what occurs in an MP's office an the long hours they work is obvious. She has children to mother yet she has  politician hours, Husar is not on her pat malone in getting staff to assist her in this indeed it was on their job description
  • It is clear that some staff were put out by Husar short time in the ALP. She has been only in the ALP for a mere 4 years yet her staff had been in the party for some 20 years.
  • Why are the allegations written about now afterall they are not stop the press allegations. workman has known about this for sometime. Yet she writes now just before 'Super Saturday. It is interesting every time workman is asked about this she deflects the questions and takes umbrage at her reputation.She may have a very good reason on why she is writing now but me thinks she is being manipulated to be writing at this time. She could of course provide a time line to show there is nothing in this but either avoiding the question or deflecting together with moral outrage usually means a big problem She is a young and inexperienced journalist. Even experienced journos are used without knowing!!
Super Saturday

A few things here. I am going Andre Elderish here but why are so many journos wood-ducked by so-called internal polling which is at odds with published polling. Why are so many journos hung up about seat polling which Kevin Bonhan are we have seen has shown to be complete bunkum.

Oh and just on that I am an Antony Green man not Kevin Bonham man. They are RE-ELECTIONS not by-elections. Why because the Court of Disputed Returns has absurdly ruled that were illegally elected. They were in fact never elected.

It would be highly unusual for marginal seats to go differently to national polls however two problems here.
  1.  Even at 51:49 to the ALP the margin of error means it could equally mean the government winning the election.
  2. In the last two re-elections the electorate gave the Court of Disputed Returns the two fingers and convincingly voted for the previous incumbent despite both having fathers born in another country. the ALP candidates were relying on the Sykes V Clearly decision. They had a strong case to think they were legally elected. Yet the electorates seem not to realise this. either the ALP are very poor at making their case, The media just does not understand the differences or the electorate in general simply are biased in favour of the Libs/Nats over the ALP or indeed there is all three theories in action

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

A bit of a giggle

It is always good for someone to come up with something to lake you laugh. Even better when it is Andrew Gelman ,doyen of statistics, making a laugh of such as dry topic. comments are good as well.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Do not trust any seat polls coming into 'Super Saturday

The Ever reliable Kevin Bonham writes about why seat polling is so inaccurate.

Why do Journalists write so much rubbish about so called 'internal seat polls' which even if real are simply complete  bollocks statistically speaking??

On a related matter why do they write about internal national  polls that patently contradict public polls and never ask why. Rudd coup anyone.

Just remember the two 'marginal seats should roughly go as the national polls go. Also remember on the basis of the latest polls the Coalition could win given the margin of error.

Andrew Gelman and the 'pause'

Master Statman Andrew Gelman has examined what some people called the pause in global temperatures.

If I can paraphrase. don't count your chickens until statistically you can and you should not have making 1998 the focal point however don't take my word read the article your self.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Around the Traps 20/7/18

It is time yet again for Around the Traps.

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

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Thank you Timmy Cahill

Timmy Cahill has retired from international football. although there have ben more talented people play for Asutralia , Harry Kewell or Mark Viduja for a staqrt, that has not been a better servant to the Ssocceroos.

Here is his best ever goal and possibly the best ever seen in a world cup.  Listen to Robbie Savage!

There has been no 'Trump' effect on the US economy

A group of economists has examined whether the election of Trump has had any effect on the US economy,
The answer is a resounding no!  Who would have thunked it!

Monday, 16 July 2018

The World Cup - A reflection

In a world where it seems everyone is going mad as I showed yesterday we need a good world cup and we got one.  It is a shame it is over

France won as I though they would BUT they never got out of 2nd gear. This was a deliberate strategy by the coach. Playing joga bonito is what they should have done. They had the players and showed on rare occasions they were more than capable of  it. BUT the coach thought it involved risk.
Yes it dies but the Brazilian way is we score more goals than you. France could have easily won the cup that way and the team been compared to the greats but no. we say Pogba play in a defensive way. Of the Euro defeat was not understood well.

The final was not a good match despite the goals. The French gave away far too much possession when never under pressure. Pogba was a stand out here.
However there were good goals, poor goalkeeping ( indeed this was a world cup where world class keepers gave away soft goals) an own goal and then a VAR  penalty. Yep I thought it was a penalty and his hand was certainly 'guiding' the ball.

It also showed that third world football nations like Australia are not very far away from the first world ones.

We now must look forward to the Travesty of Qatar in November/December four years hence.

I predict well in advance it will be the worst ever.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

John Quiggin aping Sinclair Davidson

Unfortunately John Quiggin is now aping Sinclair Davidson.
In this article he accuses Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute of being a denialist.

The accusation is spurious and based on a statement from Tony Wood
All Wood is saying is please ignore the  extremists on both sides. You know the people who say stop all coal now or on the other hand say the government should only fund coal powered stations.
Apparently this is all beyond John.

Let us take this a bit further.
What does a denialist do?

  • They deny a warming world. Does Wood do this? NO!
  • They do not see any reason for a carbon tax, ETS or any other policy which involves curbing carbon emissions. Does Wood do this ? NO!
  • They offer estimates of the cost of power of new coal power stations which are absurdly low and much less than renewables. Does Wood do this? NO!
  • They will claim renewables are the main reason for the higher price of electricity these days. does wood do this? NO!
In all cases he does quite the opposite

Indeed the statement John quotes of Wood completely contradicts John's claim. If Wood was a denialist he would not have talked about a deep fear to protect the role of coal for base load power.

Renewables are now cheaper than coal for electricity generation. The reason Wood is advocating a NEG now and not say an ETS is because of the toxic political arena we have.

Whilst John wants to be clean and pure Wood wants something to be done. A NEG will mean coal declining and it can be implemented under the present government. An ETS is simply out of the question until the nest election at the earliest.

If John cannot  see that then he simply simply following a Trumpian path!

HERE is their view on the new AEMO report. It is nothing like a denialist would write.
Apologise now John and rescue your formerly good reputation

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Around the Traps 13/7/18

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, 11 July 2018

The ACCC and the electricity market

The ACCC released their report on the electricity market yesterday.

I am totally with John Quiggin on this.
It doesn't take a Rhodes scholar to understand the electricity market would not be a competitive market where consumer sovereignty reigns.

Where was the ACCC when all these worthless privatisaons were occurring?

I should have added can some-one tell the innumerates that coal fired power stations are the highest cost alternative please. See HERE

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Two TV shows that have had its day

Tonight on Channel 10 two shows will follow each other. Unfortunately They have to go/

Instinct is in its first season. The actors and actresses are fine. ( the lieutenant is an absolute babe), the characters not too bad, the scripts reasonable however when you team up a female detective who obviously needs to find another boyfriend with an expert on weird murder and who has no social skills you assume this is a romance in the making. No. He is homosexual so we are denied that romantic tension the yanks can do so well.

Thus we end up with a show that just does not gel at all.

Madam Secretary started out well. It is the poor mans West Wing however it has run off the rails.
Change of characters that do not work as well as writing that simply does not understand the subject are among the reasons for its demise.

The main actress was stunning when the show started but even she gas gone downhill for some reason.

I can live with scripts that leave a lot to the  imagination such as the Secretary's husband going from being a ace jet pilot to completing a PhD in theology. It is assumed he is catholic however the frustrating thing is we simply do not know if the household and he in particular believe in God or perhaps does so in a very liberal manner or even is an atheist.

An example shows this. Their youngest boy has a girlfriend so they think it is an appropriate time to talk about safe sex???   Wouldn't they talk about no sex until married? It is though the PhD in theology was simply thought up in a thought bubble and no consideration was given to what it exactly meant to the characters.

The other large problem which the West wing dealt with is that Elizabeth always comes through. nothing ever goes wrong.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Privatising the ABC is both stupid and lazy thinking

The idea of privatising the ABC is both extremely stupid and sloppy lazy thinking.
Here is Sinclair Davidson latest apologia for his and Chris Berg latest 'work' on the topic.

Let us get to basics. What do you privatise? Commercial activities that are NOT essential industries.
The ABC does not even get close to this. Let us be specific. as I showed HERE when examining Sydney Radio  Radio National only does programs that attracts a very selected audience.
Indeed if the ABC did any commercial work there would be a hue and cry from the commercial media because it would be eating into their profits. There has been no outcry from the commercial media not even a whimper.

So what is the point of the Davidson and Berg 'paper' then given it is both stupid and lazy.

They want to get rid of the ABC but do not want to say this. 

No ABC employee would become an 'owner' of part of the current ABC as they do not have the capital to continue funding it. Why is this? Because it doe not have commercial activities!!!

Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Fama puzzle.

THIS article is a beauty from Vox Wonk. 
Ordinarily we should expect ex-post depreciation and interest rate differentials to be positively correlated. The various authors found the opposite.

Fascinating as Mr Spock used to say

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Around the Traps 6/7/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

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

Who will win the World Cup

Now we have had the all the games of the final 16 we should make a prediction of which country will win the country.

Quite clearly no team stood up and said we can win it however you look for teams that can improve on their showings.

Only two teams cam improve. Brazil can but only a bit.
France on the other hand cam improve a lot indeed they could win the world cup in a canter if they got out of first gear. They did marginally get into 2nd gear against Argentina and looked ominous.

The major question is can they get to full gear.
They face three problems

  1. They have a hopeless coach
  2. They have yet to gel as a team
  3. Related to this is the problem stated above of getting out of 1st gear
So my prediction is France however I think their quarter final and most certainly their semi-final will be a better match than the final