Regulation Archive

All The Wrong Innovation

Politicians and academics love the “test tube, circuits and buildings” view of innovation. You know, innovation that involves universities, laboratories, factories and photo opportunities. But innovation is just change. It’s doing something different in such a way that it develops a new product that meets someone’s needs, or delivers an existing product using fewer resources. […]

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.

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.

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.

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 […]

Ergas’ Analysis Shows Up The Dilettantes

Henry Ergas  nails, with forensic thoroughness, the nonsense that passes for regulation review at the Federal level. In truth, it’s a nonsense at all levels of government, but the Feds are the paradigm case under the current government. The way in which he does it – seriously, looking to the long term –  calls to […]

ABC: Criticise Any Government But Ours

So the ABC is whingeing about their news site being blocked by India on the grounds it may stir up public unrest (read, ethnic violence). I await with unrealistic expectation that the ABC will defend other Australians’ rights to speak in a way that embarrasses the Australian government. And I await the equally important statement […]

Self Defeat – The Essential Finkelstein

One of the joys of watching policy development is how it completely ignores the infinite flexibility of the people it seeks to regulate. Every policy should go through a rigorous Response Scenario attack from the most creative public-private team imaginable. Just to work out what the best-and-brightest would do to subvert the policy goal. And […]

Doctors Aren’t Always Right on Healthcare

As much as I agree with medico concerns over increasing levels of administrative costs, it doesn’t follow that there needs to be less organisational management in health delivery. Scratch most hospital specialists and you find a visceral dislike of administrators – not as individuals, but as a functional class. If you’ve ever experienced some of […]

Latest Tax Talk Needs More

As an open economy our corporate tax rate has to be on a par with comparable countries. But  this latest policy suggestion from Treasurer Swan’s  business tax working group looks like a good idea that’s undercooked. The plan: drop the tax rate by 2% and fund the $3.6bn a year by reducing concessions in research, […]

Ignorance, Vested Interest and Age-Old Rhetoric

There has been a firestorm over Pres. Obama’s remarks on success and reward, which culminated in this beauty: If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. Full video here, but an extract: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher […]

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 […]

Ban-Fest 2012: 10 More Things Bloomberg Can Ban

If we’re going to ban legal activities because they may have a personal or social cost for a minority who take them to an extreme (thanks, Mayor Bloomberg), then we need to expand the list. We really shouldn’t limit our ban-fest based on discriminatory prejudices about culture or class. My contribution to a more culturally-neutral […]

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 […]