Thursday, 29 July 2021

Around the Traps 30/7/21

 It is time for Around the Traps ( I hope).


Northern America






Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)


Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Monday, 26 July 2021

the ALP lacks both guts and self confidence

 The ALP has gotten rid of several tax policies of the last election. See HERE  and HERE for example.

They are blame for the shock defeat last election however given the massive polling failure we do not know WHY either the Libs won nor why the ALP lost.  More enhanced wisdom which is not wise.

The ALP lacks guts as these policies were good policies. Why do they lack guts. It can only be they doo not know how to prosecute such policies.

If they are incapable of doing this why would they be any good in government!

Ironies of ironies. A right wing leader took these progressive policies twice to an election. A left wing leader has walked away from them.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Brisbane gets the Olympics

 Brisbane got the 2032 Olympics. There are lots of benefits in getting the Olympics apparently.

Greg Jericho lets loose on these benefits.

This brings back memories to me. The same myths were being said about Sydney gaining the Olympics. All these benefits look different when examined with two eyes.

I remember debating Chris Caton of BT about this with my old mate Peter Martin on ABC radio. My memory fades but I think I made two key points.

1. Only Los Angeles had made money from the Olympics and that was because they already had the infrastructure in place.

2. To take the Olympic stadium as an example it would only be filled when state of Origin , the rugby League grand final was on as well as playing the Kiwis at rugby ( yes it was a long time ago and some world cup qualifiers.

Thus I can say I was proven correct. The only organization that always makes money is the IOC!!

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Around the Traps 23/7/21

 Alas and alack technological problems means no Around the Traps this week.

I do apologise.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

More exciting news on renewable power

 We have had Ross Garnaut telling us Australia can easily become a renewables super power.

Now we have OTHERS saying this as well.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

We are going to have to pay more tax

 My old mate PETER MARTIN writes about this following covid.

His article is a good read and quite logical.


Monday, 19 July 2021

when can we get back to normal?

 No-one likes lockdowns so the question is at what point will we get to when Governments say we are back to normal?

One popular notion is herd immunity. Get to 80% of the WHOLE population vaccinated and we are there.

Two problems.

This is based on a model. It might be correct but equally it might be wrong!

Even at 80% there is still 20% of the population that are not vaccinated and therefore susceptible to covid. The  major problem here is it is the States who have responsibility for hospitals. Even at 20% of the population (and remember surveys tend to say it is around 75%) the hospital system could easily be overrun and staff severely over-worked leading to poor outcomes.

Thus you cannot say you start to get to normality when all people have the choice. If too many people are not vaccinated the hospital system will be overwhelmed. an anecdote will illustrate the problem. Before covid the UK had a few thousand waiting on elective surgery. now it is  over a few 100,000.

I dread what would have occurred had covid crowded out everything else when I had my heart attack. ( My next door neighbour had a very similar mild heart attack some three weeks after me.)

Thus this decision is much more problematic than appears to be.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Gladys has lost her lustre

 Just before I start can I simply say it is an absolute pleasure to see in this pandemic NSW being led so to speak by two of the  plainest looking women one could see.

This latest breakout has shown up our two dynamos. No lessons learned from Victoria at all. Way to slow to act and when they do it is not enough. Victoria learned but not NSW!!

Now Gladys is being savaged by people who are normally megaphone supporters. 

Things turn quickly. Just look at Scotty from Marketing. hailed as a genius when covid first started. now thought to be incompetent because of vaccination and quarantine fiascos.

Why does NSW do their press conference at 11 a.m.? Victoria does theirs at 9 a.m.

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Around the Traps 16/7/21

 Its time for Around the Traps again.


Northern America






Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)


  • nuttin

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Blue Bloods

 I have talked about Blue Bloods before however since I love this series so much it deserves an article all on its own.

Before I start let me criticise channel 10. It apparently started this series in the middle of its seasons. Why would anyone do that.

Okay perhaps I have gone overboard on this series but in my experience US crime drams are ruined by too much emphasis on romance and poor character development. Do these writers never watch Hill St Blues !!

There are four main characters who are all in the Regan Family. The Family has a history of being in the NYPD. The Father who is the Police commissioner. The eldest son is a homicide detective, The daughter is relatively senior in the district attorneys office. The youngest son is currently a police sergeant.

IMHO all four characters ( and the minor characters as well) are well written showing geniene human traits. Their charter flaws are shown as well as their strengths.

The series is not perfect however. Tom Selleck who portrays the father is clearly in his 70s and should be in retirement although the series would be poorer if he was not in the role.

The youngest son has gone to and graduated from Harvard law school. Remember a law degree in the USA is a post graduate degree. The character rarely shows he has learnt anything from studying law. This is disappointing.

The daughter is beautiful, feisty and her own woman. Surprising she has no romantic  interests although she is divorced. She and her crusty old investigator are good together.

( How is it possible that all the beautiful woman in crime series never ever get sexually harassed?)

The eldest son is content being a very competent homicide detective. how good to see that.

I just love Tuesday nights to watch two episodes. touch wood I have yet to watch a poor episode.

Ah yes I  did miss one criticism of most US series. the Regans are Catholics. Being in New York this is not unusual. however in one episode both the Daughter and her daughter though it unusual to engage in casual sex. Not a problem if they are secular but a big problem if they are catholics.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

The sad decline of the 'conservative' mind

 I was reading THIS article from 538 on where most republican voters get their news from and somehow I started to ruminate of the decline of conservatism which has accelerated startlingly sine trump became President.

When I was growing up it was conservatives who were leading  intellectuals not the 'left wing'. Now it appears to be the complete opposite.

Whether it be fox news ( and bear in mind what the article says) in the USA or here alleged conservatives are quite anti-intellectual. They almost take pride in being astionstonishinly ignorant on any topic.Indeed they can be incoherent on topics. Climate change and the pandemic being obvious topics. 

In Australia it is depressing and it appears to be worse in the USA. Whether it be the Murdoch press, Sky after dark  or Catallaxy. It matters not. In the end they are cheerleaders for the Liberal National party most of the time and fiercely anti Labor. Any arguments can be easily dismissed by a simpleton like myself which says a lot.

Why is this so? Murdoch discovered that right wing uneducated rednecks will pay to hear mostly angry old men say at best highly distorted information and at worst outright lies. This was occurring before Trump however Trump exacerbated this trend. Although Trump boasted about his intelligence most punters knew he was a dill just like them. He was not one of the 'elites'. Here in lies the irony. Almost every person I hear decry the 'elites' is an elite ( usually) himself. take Alan Jones as a good example here.

We in Australia are fortunate that our 'conservative' parties have not yet become contaminated like the republicans in the USA. Two examples there for show.

 Lynn Cheney whose conservative credentials are impeccable (unlike Trump) is being hounded out of the Republican party merely because she does not believe the lies of Trump about the election and believes he should take the consequences of his action for January 6.  Those republicans who are conservatives and have an intellect are part of the Lincoln project. formed to put Trump out of office because he is no conservative for reasons I have written about many times. 

Republicans are so confident of their position they are on a wholesale restriction on voting rights!

These 'conservatives' world wide are populists with authoritarian tendencies. Administratively they are usually incompetent which is usually the case if your main aim is to reverse grievance that have little evidence to support them.

Will 'conservatives revert back to where they were previously or is this a  permanent trend. I do not know hope it is not the case. 

I should have added this is bad for both 'right wing ' and 'left wing' thought. A decline in right wing thought leads to flabby left wing thought and vica versa.

i have written about many times, 

Monday, 12 July 2021

Its coming rome

 The poor poms lost the Euro final on a penalty shoot out ( Which I loathe).

first things first. The referee had a great game IMHO. I only disagree with one decision.

Gareth Southgate the English manager has not learned a thing since England lost to Croatia in the world cup semi-final. in both games the poms scored an early goal and then attempted to defend that for the rest of the game.

In this game the English wingbacks were causing havoc to the Italians and for most of the first half they did not not how to handle Harry Kane playing deep.

however Macini naturally changed the Italian system. Southgate did nothing. Once the Italians scored you simply did not think the poms could score again.

The Italians had the two oldest centre backs in the tournament yet england who had perhaps the fasted forward rarely attempted to take them on. The English substitutions di not make sense whereas the Italian did.

Finals are rarely good watching spectacles and this followed the script

The poms have the World cup to look forward to.

One last thing. you wear a suit to the opera not to a sporting contest. If you do you are a first class prat

Sunday, 11 July 2021

why most economists continue to back lockdowns

 Okay after writing about LOCKDOWNS recently we are lucky two esteemed economists John Quiggin and Richard Holden have written on the above topic.

They add to our knowledge by concentrating on two topics that are required understanding in this area.

They are:

1) Exponential Growth.

This is important as this is why covid spreads like wildfire. The new delta variant simply makes this worse. If you simply 'let it rip' then your hospital system 'blows up and the workers in the system are severely over worked leading to errors of judgement. In other words more deaths. Anti-lockdown cultists such as Paul Fritjers suggested all that would occur is in England the hospital system would simply experience what happens in winter. This was both incorrect and clap trap. It was also a perfect example of wingnuttery.  

2) counterfactuals

Criticising a policy is next to useless if you do not offer an alternative. Most of the ideological warriors against lockdowns have not or have been so vague we do not know what they are supporting.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Around the Traps 9/7/21

 It is time again  for Around the Traps.


Northern America






Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle ( quirky +book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Boris is taking a gamble

 Boris Johnson is taking off all controls re covid on July 19. no social distancing, no masks no nothing.

This is a very big gamble. Although the death rate from the delta variant surging through the UK is 0.3$ compared to say 1% for the original covid the hospital patients is not.

Let us assume 60% of poms are fully vaccinated on that date. That means 40% are quite vulnerable to a variant that spreads like wildfire. Remember those models tell us 80% is the magic figure not 60%.The major problem could well be covid patients crowding out patients of everything else. The NHS is close to destruction and workers are over-worked which would mean deaths will rise.

At this stage there is no reason to assume long covid ( which affects between 1 in 3 to 1 in 8 of people that get covid) is lower under the delta variant nor people dying from problems exacerbated by covid ( roughly 1 in 12).

As I said Johnson is taking a gamble.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Our claytons lockdown

 Here in NSW we are in lockdown or are we.

I went to Top Ryde shops the other day. Traffic was the same. companies opened all along Victoria road. Getting to Top Ryde I found it was easier to discern which shops were closed not which were opened. alcohol. baby's clothes, electronic equipment all open.

A lockdown is aimed at getting people to avoid contact with each other and so stop spreading the virus.

This is not occurring in NSW. Thus the lockdown will have to be longer than it should.

We are having a claytons lockdown, the lockdown you have when you do not have a lockdown.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Uneasy Money What a great blog

 We learn from the great David Glasner that his blog is 10 years old.

It is a marvelous blog particularly if you are interested in the Great Depression and how the gold standard was associated with this. It is noteworthy David is one of the few to best Kruggers  and on this very topic.

If you have not read it. 

HERE is his first article.

HERE is his last article.

Thanks a lot 

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Central Bank independence and inflation

 I had been sold on the truism that central bank independence lead to the controlling of inflation.

I was WRONG. The causality is weak at best.

Interesting huh!!

Nick this aint good for your similar institution for fiscal policy

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Around the Traps 2/7/21

 It is time again for Around the Traps.


Northern America






Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk