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What makes us happy?

I am attending a conference on The Economics of Happiness in a couple of weeks. It will be held in Byron Bay NSW where I spent some time in my surfing youth. Given the location, I should at least emerge from the conference very happy indeed. I posted once before on this topic when I […]

Tragedy on golf course

I watched the Victorian Open golf tournament yesterday at the tough 13th Beach course near Geelong. A good day as a couple of young pros from my local club were performing. It got windy in the afternoon which blew some scores out a bit.

The sensation of the day was the performance by NZ golfer, […]

Ludwig dramatised

Sid Caesar and Nanette Fabry in an inspired dramatic rendition of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Brilliant.


Geert Wilders visit

I support the right of Geert Wilders to visit Australia. He is not a racist and is not encouraging violence. He is opposed to the ideology of Islam which he sees as totalitarian. In a democracy we are entitled to hear these views particularly because they are not without merit. If violence occurs in response […]

Mining tax & Abbott

The relative failure of the mining tax reform was certainly due in part to its poor execution and particularly the inability of the then Rudd Government to explain the motivation for a decent tax reform that shifted the incidence of taxes away from output-destroying output-based royalties towards a tax that took most only when the […]

Are the Republicans Beyond Saving?

This keenly written essay by Elizabeth Drew from the New York Review of Books is worth a read. For democracy to function well in any nation there must be at least two viable political parties who can reach compromises on certain issues and achieve effective government. The Republican Party is now marginalised and operates in […]

Gambling & drugs in sport

The revelations about the role of organised crime in gambling on sports events (and in encouraging drug-taking sportspeople to take drugs) made national headlines this week. The problems with the involvement in criminals in gambling is claimed to be that they “match fix” and therefore deny other gamblers access to a fair bet. But the […]

Adam Smith & “Virtue Ethics”

Vulgar views of Adam Smith suggest that he is an unqualified supporter of laissez faire capitalism. That isn’t true even in his Wealth of Nations where, for example, Smith provides a rationale for the existence of public goods based on the fixed costs of supplying infrastructure. More modern writers have recognised Smith’s criticisms of commercialism […]