Sunday, 31 May 2020

Why the riots occurred in the USA

As I write this just remember I did not take any psychology subjects at Uni.

To me it seems pretty obvious.
People have completely lost faith in the system. They believe the police will continue to kill unarmed blacks in the USA and nothing will happen. It is a severe indictment on the political class in the USA.

What makes the situation worse is the fact more politicians put more effort in criticisng the rioters than they ever do about the people who kill black people in the USA.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Around the Traps 29/5/20

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Retired but still genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Diann Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
vox wonk

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

The benefits of the Lockdown and a false argument

I thought I was like Nick Gruen (the nicest bloke in the blogosphere) who enjoyed the lockdown.
When I started talking about the lockdown to other people I found to my astonishment lots of people enjoyed the experience.

Why you say. Here are some of the reasons:

  • More time for sex.  Instead of the husband or wife getting to bed at midnight and simply wanting to sleep there is time to enjoy sex again!
  • Tradies loved the lack of traffic.They could leave home later and get home earlier. They could even do extra work sometimes.
  • Families could have dinner together for the first time. Both parents were at home. They saw their children in the morning for breakfast and more importantly for dinner.
  • When people walked the air seemed to be better.
  • More time. One mother had heaps more time. She didn't have to drive her children to school and back ,nor to swimming or violin training.
  • Associated with this is just how much time at work involves social interaction. working from home means that is gone. It means one can play golf, go to the supermarket (eek).
  • You costs are a lot lower, Transportation, food ,coffee etc
  • The social distance , health requirements and isolation warderd off the flu
Now to the false arguments.

There are some arguing the costs of the lockdown is greater than if there was no lockdown. this was fist promulgated by Gigi Foster on Q&A.  It is also endorsed by Paul Fitjers. Menzie Chinn has dome it for the USA It is a silly argument on both sides of the equation for Australia

Firstly the costs are vastly over-estimated. Why you say? Well primarily because of Massive government intervention. Whether it is Job Keeper, Job Seeker, mortgage relief or rental relief etc household income has held steady this time round. It did not in either the early 80s or 90s. Hence suicides for example have not increased.

Secondly the counterfactual is all over the place. Foster does have a lockdown for old people but that is all.
However this fails to take into account people were changing their behaviour well before anyone knew what a lockdown was.. They were wearing masks and buying what they thought were necessities in February. 

This means the choice was between a formal lockdown with massive increase in government payments and an informal lockdown  where it is possible the costs are greater in the informal; lockdown.
I won't even go into why Scott Morrison had to impose a formal lockdown because of politics. That is self evident

Some might say all this is a rookie mistake but I could not possibly comment.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Dominic Cummings

Not a lot I can say about the hapless Boris Johnson's Svengali except his excuses do not pass the pub test.  how can a so-called political genius be so stupid

Here is:

Monday, 25 May 2020

The Law can be an Ass

Celeste Barber did a wonderful on seeing the horrors of our bushfire season. She raised a humongous amount of money.
She said it would go to all states, the RFS, families that had lost properties, had lost people, helping out wildlfife and animals affected.
Thus the NSW Supreme court made a decsion on the funds which made no attempt to ensure the spirit of the giving was allowed.
no the law had to be upheld. Only the RFS got funds and then for specific purposes.

The law is an ASS!

Sunday, 24 May 2020

A few thoughts on Australian Politics

Job Keeper
This monumental stuff up could have a positive effect if the government thinks this through correctly.
As was stated previously a person being on job keeper is much better off than on job seeker. They have a job! As was stated before sometimes unemployed people never get another job.
Thus Job keeper should be expanded.

Australia made a terrible mistake in asking for an independent inquiry into the coranavirus. We did this BEFORE making inquiries about support from any other country. It was not hard to see China seeing this inquiry from Australia as part of some US plot. Moreover the Foreign Service of China has gone distinctly downhill in recent times possibly due to the introduction of 'wolf warrior' diplomacy. These fears would be exacerbated.
If such calls for an inquiry had been made as part of an international effort we would not have attracted the ire of China.

The murdoch press and now Peter Dutton are up in arms about Queensland keeping their barriers up against anyone from any other state. Funny I though  Why are they going on so much about Queensland and say nothing about Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the northern Territory.  Gosh silly me there is an election due there in Spring

The hapless Angus Taylor released a new paper on future energy needs. Besides getting wrong what is actually in the paper we find it heavily reliant on gas. you know gas it lead to SA having the highest wholesales prices in Australia. No mention anywhere of new coal fired power stations however.
I know the solution. Put a price on carbon and let the market do its work. hint the solution is renewables. they are much lower in cost and more reliable

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Around the Traps 22/5/20

It is time again for Around the Traps

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Retired but still genial Dave Giles ( econometrics)
  • nuttin
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Will we have a depression but not a recession

A depression is defined by most but not all as a drop in output of 10% or more. A recession is defined by some but not all ( including me) as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

It appears at this stage the march quarter may be positive, just. We cannot be too certain as yet because there is more partial data to come in.

The June quarter will be bad, Very bad. the September quarter will be affected by whether the government cuts Job Keeper and Job Seeker and by how much.

Thus it is possible Australia , like a few other countries, might be in the unique situation of being in a depression but not a recession.

how will consumers, producers etc react.

I have no idea

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

China's use of anti-dumping measures

Australia is all up in arms about the decision by China to use anti-dumping measures against some of our products.
not so fast kemosahbee
First is  Simon Lacey
Next is Stephen Kirchner.

Those in glass houses!

Monday, 18 May 2020

Large renewable farms are going to be built.

Via renew economy we find out huge-2gw-of-wind-solar-and-storage-to-deliver-green-future-for-queensland-industrial-hub.
Together with solar-wind-battery-microgrid-completed-and-powering-remote-w-a-gold-mine.
Add to this the-future-of-solar-power-from-unbelievably-cheap-to-insanely-cheap.

We see how renewables are the future of electricity.
It is about to power places previous where mining is large. We are watching energy transition before our eyes.

Why is this occurring?
firstly given the private sector now owns these assets they will naturally gravitate to assets that are reliable and cheap. We know coal fired power stations are unreliable because of their units breaking down all the time ( once every three days) they take at least 8 years to build and even then their costs are over twice that of renewables.
Moeover they are only good for base load power not dispatchable power.

It also confirms an anecdote i picked up from pre-coronavirus. Selling solar and batteries to companies for their offices, plants etc was one of the fasted sellers around.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Around the Traps 15/5/20

It is time again for Around the Traps

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Retired but still genial Dave Giles ( econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Job Keeper should be broadened and expanded

Yes I know it is expensive however the Government brought on the depression.

If the Job Keeper scheme is not broadened and expanded then more people will go on unemployment benefits.
This means it will take a long time to get unemployment down and some will never get a job again.
This does not occur to people on job keeper as they stay with their current employer.

A leader who was a christian would do such a thing!

an article on how to tweak jobkeeper is HERE

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Australia, the USA and China

A few very interesting articles from the Lowy Institute, the number one blog for foreign Affairs.

Let me make a few points.
Firstly no-one but no-one believes the coronavirus started in a  lab.
Secondly it is very easy to see this as merely Trump attempting to change the blame on this from his woeful response to China 
Thirdly Australia's request for an independent review is too easily seen as Australia being the USA's lapdog.
Fourthly it would be in the USA's interests for Australia to be the trailblazer on this as the USA no loner commands respect or authority on the world stage.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Green Steel is the future

Following Ross Garnaut and his thoughts Australia could become an energy superpower through renewables Tony Wood and his colleagues at the Grattan Institute  have written about australians-want-industry-and-theyd-like-it-green-steel-is-the-place-to-start.

This will show us whether Morrison is a leader or not.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Around the Traps 8/5/20

It is time again for Around the Traps

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

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

The Eden-Monaro by-election

As usual Kevin Bonham has given us almost we need to know about this.
As an added bonus Peter Brent , alas no longer mumble, gives us a further update on the electorate.

A few comments if I may.
The previous member was highly thought of.  Mike Kelly was both a lawyer and held a PhD. He has an admirable military  career. He followed Harry Callahan's maxim of knowing his limitations. ( He had few) He usually only talked or wrote on subjects he knew quite a lot about.

The ALP candidate is well credentialed. She is a former Bega mayor ( who gained a profile in the bushfires. and  local solicitor.

John Barilaro, the NSW deputy Premier, showed why he would have been a woeful candidate, It was all about him. He was foulmouthed to boot. He has not remembered his party lost seats, safe seats , in the last state election.
Andrew Constance showed he doesn't think about his present job of being Minister for Cost Overruns. He was right if he continued he would have been hounded about Barilo's description of him.

My guess is the by-election will be fought about how we proceed after the worst of the Coronavirus.
One of the large themes will be how to pay for the debt. Will people believe tax cuts help? I doubt it.