Economics Archive

Just How Expensive is Bottled Water?

In 2014, for the cost of one bottle of Mt Franklin from Woolworths, you can refill your bottle nearly 1900 times, and hydrate yourself for 5 years 73 days.

First Steps to Better Service Delivery

There is no basis for claiming government must actually deliver services - only that it ensures they are delivered. The IPART review due in September is a great chance to address long term public sector delivery problems. If only BOF has the guts to sell and then execute the review findings.

Online Opinion – All The Wrong Innovation

My latest article at OnlineOpinion on how government and academic approaches to innovation measure the wrong things, ignore the unseen, and propose the wrong solutions.  

We All Know Gazetted School Days?

The NSW RMS has released the Top 10 Misunderstood Road Rules. At first glance, not a bad idea. Roundabouts, left turns, merging, headlight use and a few others hit the list. All quite helpful really. And then we come to school zones.

Yay for Serious Blogging

Paul Frijters identifies economic realities where the best we can do is a bad model, and how mistaking that model for reality leads us far astray.

An Enabling Macro Fallacy

The eternal short run of sugar hits, fiscal or monetary, so favoured by our policy-makers, is underpinned by a technocratic belief that we can somehow, if we're smart enough, manage our way out of consequences.

It’s Never the Leader

Maurice Newman talks sense on the coming crunch, and we know no political leader will do the same. From any party.

HECS Rort and the Middle Class

$6.2bn of the outstanding HECS debt is now deemed uncollectable. This is no surprise when middle class housewives, out of the workforce, take 3 year degrees in their fifties and then defer fee payment. Since they will never work again, that money is gone. Time to fix this regressive rort.

BandAid Bollocks

Now we have the benefit of 30 years of hindsight and can see how Mengistu's forced resettlements underpinned the Ethiopian famine, why hasn't St Bob put together an anthem like 'Don't They Know Big Government Socialism Kills People?", or "Free the World"? We all know the answer. Because he doesn't think, and he doesn't care. He only wants to seem to.

When In Doubt, Coerce

In lieu of good policy settings and great execution, this government specifically contributes to a worsening environment in industrial relations, cost, regulation and confidence, then coerces those businesses stupid enough to still be operating to subsidise union workers.

e-Conveyancing: Disrupting Lawyers

COAG reforms aren't a model of productivity and service improvement. One need only look at the boxticking festival that is the National Quality Framework that governs child care. But you can legitimately hold out hopes for a disruptive kick to legal and conveyancing productivity with the new national scheme.

Other People’s Money

We have a recurring lungful of union corruption (HSU, AWU), the disinterment of Roozendal-Macdonald-Obeid deals, Mr Tinkler’s largesse with his creditors’ cash, union misuse of superannuation control, ¬†unfunded Federal dental, NDIS, pension, and Gonski schemes, and an array of bureaucratic taxes and social policies that blithely assume away their impact on businesses and consumers (child […]

Analysis Serving Ideology

The unprincipled misuse of industrial, workplace, heritage, discrimination, FOI, international and planning laws for political purposes is common. But it's getting worse. Now we have politics-by-bureaucratic-analysis, or lack thereof.

Evidence of the New Divide

So the Queensland ALP and media go in hard on Premier Newman over token public sector cuts. Net result: zero. Two party preferred remains around 60-40. That the Qld LNP have held their vote in the face of such an attack augurs well. Token cuts they have been too. As Judith Sloan points out regarding […]

More Calls For Reform Balls

I’ve always loved Julie Novak – in the public sector reform sense of love, that is. She operates on the technical side of what is a highly political zone, but her take is the same as mine: Since public sector employment costs average about 44 per cent of general government sector operating budgets in the […]