Author Archive

Honorary Doctorates An Award Too Far

It’s time to retire the honorary doctorate. They diminish both the institution awarding them, and the person receiving them. Whether it’s John Howard or Kylie Minogue, the honorary doctorate is merely a statement that the nomination committee likes someone. And that the University is desperate for some celebrity to rub off, fall on the ground, […]

And They Wonder Why We Don’t Respect Them

Trayvon Martin’s death has been overshadowed by the media corruption surrounding its reporting. And it is corruption, especially at America’s NBC, where a 911 recording was deliberately edited to make George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin, appear racist. Just as a vindictive Left narrative wanted him to appear, pushed along by Rev Al Sharpton […]

Greens Put Personality Ahead of Good Government

Clover Moore, MP for and Mayor of Sydney, and Jamie Parker, MP for Balmain and former Mayor of Leichhardt, have, as is their wont, been playing the ‘woe-is-me’ victim card. See here, here  and    here. Faced with a reform that increases political checks-and-balances, provides better ways for voters to get help, and adds accountability […]

Inner City Housing Follies – Electorate Stacking Masquerading as Concern

Recently a Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) rejected a 112-apartment development application in the inner Sydney area of Balmain. Nothing to note there in itself, it is an entirely normal outcome.  But the response from councillors and activists reveals the core economic illiteracy, and long term social engineering at the heart of the ALP’s and […]

Economics IS Crap – Best Post I’ve Read in Ages

Knzn has posted on the truth and worth of economics in one of the best posts I’ve seen – partially because it corresponds to my views. Partially too, because of the plain speaking involved. It is well worth the read. An excerpt: Here’s my take: to begin with, economics is basically bulls**t. I mean, it’s […]

Krugman v Steve Keen

NY Times columnist Paul Krugman has just spanked UWS economist Steve Keen – though not justifiably. Seems Prof K went off half-cocked and didn’t even read the entire post from our UWS controversialist. Krugman’s post follows from this and this. It all started from Keen posting this. They’ve been having a toe-to-toe over assumptions and […]

Sea Levels Around Sydney

Bit slow off the mark here, but worth looking at this paper  in the Journal of Coastal Research on sea levels from Watson at the NSW Dept of Environment, Climate Change and Water. Based on tide gauge records. From the Abstract: The analysis reveals a consistent trend of weak deceleration at each of these gauge […]

Strange Idea of an Achievement Gap

The OECD Directorate for Education reports on educational achievement on a gender basis. Interestingly, the text  includes a strange idea of an achievement gap (my emphasis): There’s no denying it: when it comes to education and employment, women are on a roll, all over the world.  As described in the latest issue of the OECD’s […]

Failure of politics, failure of advocacy

Niki Savva in The Australian reports on a falling out between industry associations over a joint approach to the carbon tax. AIG, BCA, Minerals Council, ACCI and others couldn’t reach agreement in a telephone hookup. Someone subsequently leaked that Heather Ridout of AIG was the heart of resistance to action. Well, knock me down and […]

Government Isn’t About Protecting Competitors

Stephen King at Core Economics has a corrective for the dinner-party talk on market power and competition: Competition laws necessarily place restrictions on large firms that have market power. These restrictions are not faced by smaller, less successful businesses. But judging any abuse of market power must be handled very, very carefully. An abuse of […]

Smart Machines, Exports and Wage Rates

Tyler Cowen identifies 3 key drivers for US exports, and this counter-Luddite view of technology’s effect on wages: The more the world relies on smart machines, the more domestic wage rates become irrelevant for export prowess. That will help the wealthier countries, most of all America. This logic works on both sides. America is using […]

Defining Oneself as ‘More Informed’

After writing about the wanker-class I am reminded of a conversation I had with a middle-aged environmental activist at a fundraising function – yes, for an environmental cause. At one point, concerned about how dismissive she was about the views of ordinary people, I commented: “Your position does depend on the fact that you are […]

Qld Was An Anti-Wanker Vote

Australians have rediscovered their traditional BS detector. One thing we haven’t heard, presumably because most media commentators, political operatives and politicians fall into the category, is that the Queensland vote could be seen as the great re-assertion of the fundamental Australian value: to never take a wanker seriously. Analysis based on exit polls at the […]

From Labor Member to Liberal Candidate

Structural reform of the ALP misses the point. It's the policy, stupid.

In Praise of Ridicule

September and November of 2011 saw  the West celebrate success in preventing further terrorist attacks following 9/11. However, we have no real victory over terror. Rather, as the case of Molly Norris shows, in art, in comedy and in speech we have forfeited much. We live in a society where artists cannot speak freely for […]