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Gillard on climate change

I am disappointed that Julia Gillard has said that, although she seeks to take action on climate change, there is a need for a community consensus favouring this action first. The case for claiming this must be based either on the premise that (i) without community support action on climate change is impossible perhaps because […]

Post-Henry Tax Review

I’ve been in Sydney most of this week attending the Australia’s Future Tax System – A Post-Henry Tax Review. It had some excellent speakers and was for me – not a taxation specialist – very informative. I particularly liked John Freebairn’s overview and a superb paper by Ben Smith which clarified my views on the […]

Gillard replaces Rudd

As I unambigiously forecast 10 days ago Kevin Rudd is finished as PM and Julia Gillard has replaced him. It was inevitable as the near certainly of an electoral defeat Federally loomed large for Labor. The change wasn’t due to the media campaigning against Rudd and, on this occasion anyway, it wasn’t primarily a foolish […]

Things look up for Labor & Kevin Rudd

Kristina Keneally forecast a loss of 30% in Labor’s Penrith by-election – in fact on the latest figures the final loss will only be 27.5%. The avalanche of support for the Liberals is likely to be a one-off. In any event, the issues of corruption and incompetence in NSW public administration have nothing to do […]

Repost: A poor case for protecting the auto industry

I’ll repost this which I think stands as valid today as when I wrote it. Friends of mine, Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer have published an article in the Economic Record which again pushes the fallacious line that low levels of protection in the auto industry can be justified by the failure to impose optimal […]

A destination-based ETS?

According to Laura Tingle in yesterday’s AFR (15/6, subscription required) the Department of Climate Change is looking into a ‘destination’or consumption-based ETS. This is something I have advocated for many years – most recently here. It is called a destination-based tax base because it is where emissions end up being consumed – their destination. This […]

Rudd is finished & good riddance I think

The inept Kevin Rudd has no future as Prime Minister of Australia – he will be displaced and fairly soon. He is an arch hypocrite and wind-bag who has been revealled as such on countless occasions and who is now trying to demonstrate that he has backbone by backing a ludicrous tax on the resources […]

Can penny pinching Germans co-exist with free-wheeling Italians & Irish Gentlemen?

This blog prophet Edward Hugh said no – the demographics of free spending exhuberance don’t mix with those of the penny-pinching oldies and even the IMF are courting his views. His blog is here and worth a look – one of his followers is Brad de Long! Hugh is an interesting guy who is thoughtfully […]

Budget pinot noir exists

Budget pinot noir – no it doesn’t exist. I’ve always thought that’s probably true but I have drunk a couple of wines recently that come close to fitting the bill exactly.

The Trentham Estate 2009 pinot got a rave review in a recent Age Greenguide. It is justified rave. This is a big wine with […]

Soldier deaths in Afghanistan

The recent deaths of two Australian soldiers in Afghanistan is a tragedy for their families and loved ones and, most of all for the two young men who lost their lives. The irresponsible and insensitively-timed subsequent call by Bob Brown for Australian troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan is, however, an insult to the memories […]

IPad thoughts

So I did buy an IPad. Joshua Gans’ gushing enthusiasm for this device initially put me off but, yes, I did succumb. I have only had it for a few days so my views are provisional. I have used it to access email and the web and for such applications it seems like a large […]

Depraved men

Nothing arouses anger in the community more immediately than child sex abuse. As a parent – and simply as a concerned citizen – I go along with such anger. Children should never be sex objects. If people’s tastes/preferences drift in this direction they must learn to restrain them – preference alone is never a justification […]

BP share price

It is interesting to look at BP’s share price. Its above where it was last July though it has fallen markedly (by one-third) since the oil spill began in April in the Gulf of Mexico. Yesterday $11b was wiped off the value of the company as further efforts to stop the leak […]