Author Archive

Eastern States Celebrity Death Match

If I had a dollar for every demand to abolish state governments I’ve heard, I wouldn’t need to make the big bucks blogging. It seems whenever there is a half-baked thought about government, up pops abolishing the States. Set aside the fact the Constitution is based on residual powers for the States; that the Senate […]

Honest Talk About Academic Factions

Arnold Kling, who blogs at Econlog, has a series of 3 really interesting posts on the state of macroeconomic debate. Not technical and a conversation we really need to have. Read the first, second and third posts. The posts come from a committed perspective and Kling is upfront about that. But its real value is […]

Greens MP Campaigns for Coalition

It’s not often you see Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker supporting a Coalition Premier this  unambiguously: “Barry O’Farrell can deliver for the Balmain area where Labor failed for so long, by delivering a fully functioning light rail network,” Mr Parker said. Yes, he can deliver for Balmain. Which was precisely what we said during […]

Deleveraging Continues Apace

ABS Lending Finance release today for Jan -Feb 2012 isn’t terribly encouraging. Personal finance commitments down. Owner-occupied housing finance commitments down. Commercial finance commitments down. And it’s not just due to standard post Christmas paydowns: seasonally adjusted figures down as well. Got to get those ‘animal spirits’ cooking again. The Federal Government has clearly done […]

SmartPhones: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Free Exchange mentions Matt Yglesias on the underdeveloped possibilities of smart phones. Like most major, general innovations it’ll take years for the full impact to filter through: What makes this particularly interesting is the fact that information and communication technologies (of which smartphones represent an extraordinarily elegant and powerful marriage) are a general purpose technology. […]

Green Reflections and the New Reactionaries

After all the ink, pixels and airtime spilled over the Greens this weekend, it hardly seems possible that I could add anything. But my response to commenter GangGreen started me thinking. All the talk of the function and decline of the Greens touches on the development of a troubling political movement: the New Reactionaries, the […]

Public Economics: Tool of Big Government Tools

There are a lot of people who are pissed off they no can longer claim that capitalism hurts ordinary workers.  The 19th- 20th centuries were the longest and most convincing economic-political experiment in human history. Laughed into oblivion every time they claim capitalism hasn’t improved ordinary people’s lives, they take legitimate economic insights and build […]

Public Economics: Tool of Big Government Tools

There are a lot of people who are pissed off they no can longer claim that capitalism hurts ordinary workers.  The 19th- 20th centuries were the longest and most convincing economic-political experiment in human history. Laughed into oblivion every time they claim capitalism hasn’t improved ordinary people’s lives, they take legitimate economic insights and build […]

Housing Affordability Culprit Found: No Action Taken

Excitement! Someone  has actually started making a serious argument about what is really driving housing affordability issues. Well, the Housing Industry Association has, which is a pity because they hardly present as having an impartial perspective. Report done by the Centre for International Economics. Key finding: 36-44% of final price driven by tax and government […]

The Trouble With Smart – Part 1

The way Andrew Leigh MP spanked former ALP Senator John Black for his views  on the Federal implications of the Queensland election reveals a core problem for policy and economic research. This is Leigh’s slapdown tweet (courtesy of Catallaxy): It’s important to understand that Leigh is a former ANU economist with a Harvard PhD and […]

Industry Grows a Pair

I shouldn’t find fault. The stand taken by AIG, BCA and ACCI on green tape is very welcome, particularly as it has got a positive response from the PM. But it is deeply disappointing that industry associations have waited this long, and waited until they could smell a change in community sentiment, before acting. It’s […]

Forced Redundancy Long Overdue for NSW Public Service

Thank God. The  Public Sector Employment and Management Amendment Bill, which passed last week, finally stops the nonsense of carrying unattached public servants with no work to do. And it is a nonsense that we have seen as part of our process and productivity business over the past 2 decades. The idea that someone who […]

Hume of the Week

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate, we are faced with the Obama-Romney election. Given what happened in 2008 and since, I am attracted by: Eloquence, when at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection; but addressing itself entirely to the fancy or the affections, captivates the willing hearers, and subdues […]

Hume of the Week

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate, we are faced with the Obama-Romney election. Given what happened in 2008 and since, I am attracted by: Eloquence, when at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection; but addressing itself entirely to the fancy or the affections, captivates the willing hearers, and subdues […]

Look Out! It’s Marshmallow Man!

Risk is something ordinary people are starting to talk about. Cassandra Wilkinson has done her bit, linking  softfall playgrounds (read: risk aversion) with broken adults and declining entrepreneurship. Matt Ridley has been talking sense on risk for years. Risk is something we do badly in the developed world. Particularly since post-war politicians got their hands […]