Productivity Archive

Tacocopter Takeaway Drone: Regulation Fail, Theory Fail

 Tyler Cowen, and Ryan Avent at Free Exchange write on how difficult it would be for an entrepreneur to get up the idea of a drone takeaway delivery device: the tacocopter. And it wouldn’t be the technology that would stop it, it would be the regulatory, legal, liability, insurance, brand protection and other social and […]

Bigger Impact: Public Sector Costs or Flexibility?

In the aftermath of the recall election in Wisconsin – driven by public sector unions opposing Governor Walker’s aggressive reforms – Reihan Salam discusses the lessons from that state and fellow-reforming state Indiana. The post discusses insights from Josh Barro and Stephen Smith  (on transport union rules, well worth reading), as well as Governor Daniels […]

Sunlight A Starting Point for Council And Public Sector Reform

When I asked Leichhardt Council (NSW) to respond to questions about performance and constantly received the answer “We do not collect that information”, it became obvious that the Sunlight Test applies to performance management as much as to unethical behaviour. The Sunlight Test (sometimes Sunshine Test), originally defined by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis in […]

France As Perfect Laboratory- More’s The Pity For Its People

Today I had the misfortune to read the French business daily, Les Echos. It was a stretch for my French, but oddly enough, the higher the language level, the easier it is. The misfortune was to discover, in detail, the first steps of the Hollande government. If you thought that the Rudd government’s hardening of […]

France As Perfect Laboratory – More’s The Pity For Its People

Today I had the misfortune to read the French business daily, Les Echos. It was a stretch for my French, but oddly enough, the higher the language level, the easier it is. The misfortune was to discover, in detail, the first steps of the Hollande government. If you thought that the Rudd government’s hardening of […]

More Layers Of Accountability: Less Accountability

The kneejerk bureaucratic or authoritarian response to public failure is to add layers of supervision, direct control and oversight. Catallaxy raises this question about forensic experts in the US, but it speaks to all public sector activity. Indeed, dig a little deeper in conversation about service delivery, and with a very large percentage of people […]

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. […]

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 […]