Tuesday, 30 August 2022

I went to Tamworth

 I am a cricket umpire and the annual umpires conference was on at Tamworth so I decided to go for the first time. I had a great time.

Observations in no particular order.

  1. Trucks go a lot faster then 90k that I was driving at going there.
  2. I got there on less than half a tank of petrol.
  3. Tamworth's petrol prices are 5cents less than at West Ryde ( which are not the dearest around).
  4. I drove much faster going home and without a break. I just wanted to be home.
  5. I stopped twice going there because I didn't really care when I got there
  6. There is little traffic on the New England highway
  7. My hotel di not have the test cricket. It did have motorbike races ( very boring) and golf ( just boring).
  8. I got to sleep late on friday night as the couple in the next room was having sex and the woman much have kept everyone up by her moans!

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Around the Traps 26/8/22

 It is time again for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy

Northern America

Europe

Asia

Wonk

General

Climate

Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)

Econometrics

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Problems in statistics world

 Kaiser Fung follows up on an Andrew Gelman article on quite misleading claims in a paper.

Read both articles both  are short but to the point. Both show the true value of blogs.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Poll roundup

 Kevin Bonham gives us his first poll round-up since the election.

As always both essential and interesting reading

Monday, 22 August 2022

The Rail Union has NO case

 Here in NSW or should I say Sydanee we have been experiencing  rail strikes. the union claims it is mainly about safety. 

now when a government commissions trains one of the first things they make sure of is how safe they are. the NSW government did so in this case. All independent experts have said the inter-city trains ( trains that go form say Newcastle to Sydney) are perfectly safe. There have been NO accidents or even potential accidents overseas.

Thus we can only conclude the unions main issue is other than train safety. My guess is higher wages is the main issue but it is only a guess.

Either way public support is needed in an industrial dispute such as this and the unions are now losing this bigtime.

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Ending pork barreling

 Australia's premier think tank ,the Grattan Institute, tells us how to end pork barreling.

One interesting by-product of this is both parties do this but all the research I have read shows it is ineffective in gaining votes!

Thursday, 18 August 2022

Around the Traps 19/8/22

 It is time again for Around the Traps

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy

Northern America

Europe

Asia

Wonk

General

Climate

Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)

Econometrics

  • nuttin

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Wages Breakout part 36

 The wage price index was released yesterday. Unemployment is 3.5% which is essentially full employment so wages are rising strongly right. WRONG! Badly wrong. It was a pathetic figure given the state of the labour market. See Greg Jericho.

Why so?  We have had structural problems in the labour market since it was made much more flexible by Keating and then more -de-regulated by Gillard. It is ironic Howard actually made it more regulated in his haste to weaken labour market power.

This is the essence of the problem now which it appears Phillip Lowe simply does not understand. If you weaken the trade union movement and a lot less people are trade union members then who is going to get the wage rises people should have???

People such as Steve Kates and Judith Sloan have been warning about a wages break out since Russ won the election. when the Liberals won 6 years later Eric Abetz ( the IR minister was also warning about a wages break out.

It hasn't come and will not come. 

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Monday, 15 August 2022

The Morrison fiasco

 Which one you ask?  Being a minister as well as Prime minister so in a number of portfolios there were two ministers. Here is Michelle Grattan

No-one knew. It was not published in the government gazette. We had the absurd theoretical position that two ministers of the same portfolio could come to different policy positions. what would the public servants do.  Anne Twomey gives us some information on the law.

In the end it merely shows how chaotic the last government was, how much of a control freak Morrison was and how little power the governor general has.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Around the Traps 12/8/22

 It is time for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy

Northern America

Europe

Asia

Wonk

General

Climate

Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)

Econometrics

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Taiwan and Hong Kong

 The Chinese leadership is Trumpian in their stupidity. Noah Smith has written about this extensively but a few examples.

The 'wolf warrior' diplomacy has failed badly. morons like trump might think might is right is a successful stagy but few others do. It had led more countries to seek help from China than embracing them.  The belt and road imitative is not seen as something to boost a country's economy but as a way for the Chinese to own assets that cannot be paid for anymore.

The Chinese leadership are now threatening Taiwan. 

Firstly this would be very costly in economic terms to China. It is enmeshed in the world economy much more than Russia. Sanctions would hurt them a lot more. It has a large and growing middle class ( which is why companies have been trying to get into China.) What happens when their standard of living drastically falls?

Secondly it is very hard to invade a country and very costly in resources and people. The Taiwanese do not want to be part of China. They would fight fiercely to protect their freedom. It would be Ukraine writ large.

Thirdly when China makes noises about 'protecting' Taiwan and one country two systems people wil merely look at Hong Kong. China lied and broke their word. they then arrested and jailed people on dubious charges.

The major problem China has is they have woeful leadership and do not realise it. Personally the Chinese will have to concentrate on their economic troubles rather than anything else. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

The Trump 'raid'

 I only studied introduction to law at University so do not expect any exciting legal issues in this piece.

The FBI 'raided' Trump's house in Florida. The FBI had a search warrant. Why did they use this instead of a subpoena? I suspect because they thought Trump was lying and he had important documents he was hiding. They would have had to convince a Judge of this sso it would not be based on a gut feeling for example.

We only knew of the 'raid' when Trump told us of it. There was no leak. Trump knew before Biden. At no time has trump shown us publicly the inventory of what the FBI has taken.

This is not the first time the FBI and Justice Department has been involved in prosecuting people under this act.

One Christopher Wray prosecuted Sandy Berger, a democrat no really.

David Petraeus was also prosecuted.

What we see here is that no-one is above the law. We do know he stole very sensitive national security documents so I am betting the FBI is after them BUT we do not know.

Monday, 8 August 2022

the NSW government is a joke

 Surely we are looking at a change of government in March when we have the NSW election.

The government is fighting among themselves, a sure sign they have been in too long. The decision to have trade officers in various countries when the NSW budget needs serious repair was simply breath taking and a total waste of money.

The Premier now looks indecisive and out of his depth. you have one minister so out of touch he says he will take the treasurer's job if he becomes deputy leader. The same person who lacked the guts to contest the federal seat of Parramatta. You have another accused of leaking against the Premier. You have another forced to resign because things occurred that he said that didn't occur.

THEN you have a whole bunch of them who thought that it was okay if Barilaro got the trade role in New York. Salary of over $400k plus expense account of $100k. No-one thought of this being viewd as a job for the boys. Then we find out the person who became the Agent General in the UK wanted to double the salary as well as taking care of a number of expenses such as removals, school education etc. Then when the minister goes to London to attempt to get the F1 to Sydney he has nothing to do with him!

All this simply heightens my argument of voting against any government after two terms.

I should two things.

Barilaro has always been a poor politician. Remember his party lost two SAFE seats last election.

Politicians can make good diplomats. The trade position was not about diplomacy but about getting business for NSW. Barilaro has bugger all skills or background for the job.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Carbon tax on wheels

A great article from renew economy about changing fuel economy standards.

As Mr Spock would say very interesting

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Cold Chisel

 I was never a great fan of Cold Chisel mainly because I did not like Jimmy Barnes but they could produce some great rockers such as this one Rising Sun.  Enjoy




Thursday, 4 August 2022

Around the Traps 5/8/22

 It is time again for Around the Traps.

Aussie,Aussie,Aussie,Oy,Oy,Oy

Northern America

Europe

Asia

Wonk

General

Climate

Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)

Econometrics

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

We have plenty of gas

 There is talk of a gas shortage of gas in Australia. Not TRUE.

The goose who essentially created this mess was Marn Ferguason. The champion of the ALP  member who  never ever had to worry about a pre-selection ballot told all and sundry way back when Australia did not need a reservation policy. I wonder where he is now

Monday, 1 August 2022

I am not happy with Kia

 We bought a Kia Cerato some 7 years ago. Thus far we were happy with the car.

About a month ago we had the last 'capped price' service done. ( It turns out it isn't capped at all. you do pay more if something needs to be done like say the brakes!)

Imagine my surprise when we put the car in to the garage to find out what the noise around the engine was. metal chunks were found in the oil and i am told the car needs a new engine. 

Surely this is the problem of the car . So a decision has to be made as well as a stern letter writtern to Kia about this.

Grrrr