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Labor policy clowning on climate change

The Coalition has been subject to repeated, venomous attacks from Labor because it refused to sign the Kyoto agreement unless developing countries also came to the party and also made commitments to cut emissions. Developing countries are not required to cut their emissions under the Kyoto agreement until after 2012.

But now Labor has […]

Flying blind with the Super Hornet

Four Corners tonight raised disturbing questions regarding Dr. Brendon Nelson’s decision to scrap the F111’s (no, the alleged ‘wing defects’ seem to be a myth) and to purchase 24 Super Hornets for $6.6 billion. The claim is that the Russian-made Sukhoi 30 fighters (bought by India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China) sell for half the price […]

Supporting working families

I am all for it! Who would not be?

Kevin Rudd will:

Get wealthy families to support the education of poor children in working families.Supply subsidised laptops to poor children in working families.Reintroduce tariffs to protect the livelihoods of working families. Save working families from capitalism and give Australian working families an industry policy.Subsidise solar […]

Market pressures that help eliminate cigarette smoking addictions

I am occupied in my work with thinking about government policies for reducing the damages of cigarette smoking. There are also market mechanisms that operate to reduce damages automatically. In most cases these can be given a boost by government policy.

On the demand side that smoking causes disease encourages smokers to pay others […]

A ramble: time, golf & death – the last taboo that you cannot postpone with optimism

Another week disappears as 2007 gets devoured – time passes quickly as we age since each year is a smaller fraction of our life so far. Yet our discount rates decline – we become less impulsive. This is the reason that the initiation of destructive drug-taking is concentrated among kiddies and the reason some of […]

Nurse dispute resolved as teacher union makes its move

I am puzzled by the resolution of the nurses wage as announced today. Health Minister Daniel Andrews said the deal for the state’s 29,000 public-sector nurses was consistent with the Government’s 3.25% a year public-sector wages policy.

This is difficult to understand since:

Pay rises range between 3.8-6% The state will fund an extra […]

Costs of the war on terror

Greg Mankiw’s blog provides estimates of the cost of military operations in Irag, Afghanistan and the war on terrorism from the Congressional Budget Office.

The estimated present value of costs from 2001-2017 is between $1.2-$1.7 trillion. This is, of course, a vast amount. But it is quite a bit smaller than the estimates of […]

Our economic future under Labor

It seems likely that Kevin Rudd will win the coming Federal election. What will happen if he does? This depends very much on what will happen to the economy over the next few years. It seems almost certain that the specific commodity boom will continue, fostered by continuing high growth in the Asian economies and […]

Less hunting => poorer conservation?

I am not a big fan of recreational animal killing (= hunting). But this story from the United States is interesting. It does offer possible policy insights for Australia.

In the US the decline in hunting and the consequent decline in hunting licence fees that fund increasingly costly conservation efforts is creating a threat for […]

Land use planning to resist ‘tree changers’?

The Age outdid itself today yesterday in ‘Tree Changers Bring Gloom with Rural Boom’. Who is the journalist ‘Clay Lucas’ who wrote this? The Age website says Clay won a United Nations ‘Media Peace Award’ in 2005 for a study of ‘multicultural Melbourne’, written with Claire Miller. Why does that sound just so, so believable […]

Australian native plants: Flannel flowers

Where I grew up in a less-than-distinguished part of Sydney’s north shore our house was built on rocky outcrops close to bushland. I remember my father being keen on retaining whatever native plants existed on what was really an otherwise desolate block – one thing he retained for years was a self-seeding clump of flannel […]

1% of Australia for sale: Australian Agricultural Co.

I have a long standing interest in the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) both as a very small investor and as someone interested in the Australian agricultural sector and its history. AACo is Australia’s second-oldest company – it was founded in 1824 – and our biggest beef producer by a ‘country kilometre’. It runs 630,000 cattle […]

RIP Mr. John Ilhan

Mr John Ilhan was brought up on (what some would describe as) the wrong side of the tracks in Broadmeadows. He was a migrant from Turkey who arrived in Australia at age 3 and was an ex student of La Trobe University. He died today from a suspected heart attack – aged only 42. He […]

A new political option – the LDP

Its great to be given additional choices with the Federal election coming up.

Stephen Lloyd points out in a Catallaxy comment stream concerned with the case for voting for the (libertarian) Liberal Democratic Party that one of the LDP’s candidates is Lisa Milat, sister-in-law of convicted multiple killer Ivan Milat.

Lisa is an active […]

Pluralist Economics Review

November 2007 issue. This is probably the most interesting collection of economics papers I have seen in years. Absolutely fantastic – the first Akerloff paper alone a classic but there are many, many gems here. You can subscribe free to this new review – go here.

Articles

The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics, George A. […]

Selling high nicotine smokes to addicts & low nicotine smokes to new smokers

The key addictive agent (perhaps not the only one) in cigarettes is nicotine. This has led to proposals to cut the nicotine content of cigarettes so that it is more difficult for new smokers to get addicted. The difficulty with this proposal – and the failure of the so-called ‘low tar derby’ that sought to […]

Problems with nurses a foretaste of the costs of Labor power

Victorian nurses and hospital managers are negotiating tonight, to try to reach an agreement over pay and conditions. The heroic nurses in their brave ‘struggle for wage justice’ have imposed work bans for the past 6 days that have closed more than 1200 hospital beds and the cancellation of 500 elective operations.

The union […]

Secret snaps from the Party Congress

Inscrutable lot.

[…]

Sunday golf lesson with Kevin Rudd

Almost no politics, no economics for most of yesterday – I’ve been practising my golf. I’ve been watching, then pausing, bits of a clip which shows you how to make the perfect golf swing. It really is pretty good and it is free.

Then my Sunday was disturbed by the big event – the […]

Coalition & Labor tax reforms

Andrew Leigh has provided us with an empirical picture of the effects of the alternative income tax reform packages by 2010/11. We can all thank Andrew for this.

As expected there is not a great deal of difference. Except at high incomes there is almost no difference in effects on income with or without the […]