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Peaceful quiet Easter: No politics, no economics

I haven’t done a lot of work over Easter. I played a couple of games of golf, as I have been trying to read Immanuel Kant’s, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (the excellent CUP edition with introduction by Christine Korsgaad) and have, as well, been listening to music – Beethoven and Mozart String Quartets […]

Dead ducks in Chinese river as swine flow eases

I wasn’t sure whether this suggested water quality was improving or not. I suppose 1,000 dead ducks are better than 14,000+ dead pigs.

After all (quoted from the last link):

“Authorities have assured the 23 million residents of the Shanghai urban area that the water supply, of which 20% comes from the Huangpu (the pig-cum-dead-duck […]

Tiger recovers with new woman

Tiger Woods regained his world #1 ranking (last held in 2010) after winning the Arnold Palmer International today. Is it pure coincidence that he has just established a relationship with the gorgeous Lindsey Voon? His marital problems and divorce now seem to be history. I could put it more bluntly. Is that the secret to […]

Deep ecology & environmental economics

I have been interesting myself in the “deep ecology” movement (a good introduction is the Wikipedia link here) having recently heard the Australian, John Seed, speak on the topic*.


Thanks Julia

What a disaster it would have been to have had Kevin Rudd back as PM. Fortunately enough Labor MPs saw this and Rudd did not have the numbers. His exaggerated claims about being honest reflect only the sickening shallowness of this foolish little man. We want a PM not a disorganised, hyperactive clown with an […]

Inghams & animal cruelty

Inghams Enterprises is one of the largest chicken and the largest turkey supplier in Australia. It was a private company but was recently sold to TPG for $880 million. Its former owner Bob Ingham is worth over $1b. The sale will undoubtedly make its new owner a lot of money – but unless things change […]

Byron Bay & happiness

I am attending an Economics of Happiness Conference in Byron Bay NSW. It’s the first time I’ve been here in Byron Bay in more than 30 years. It is an attractive coastal town whose white settler history began when James Cook anchored here in 1770 – he named the town after the grandfather of the […]

Rising temperatures

This study confirms the Mann “hockey-stick” story but takes the global temperature rise back 11,500 years. Temperatures during the past 100 years have increased faster than in any period since the start of the Holocene 11,500 years ago. I can’t locate a preprint of the Science article that details these claims.

Irrational America

A Gallup poll suggests that:

(i) 47% of Americans hold the creationist view that God created humans in their present form during the last 10,000 years. Nothing new about this mass delusion either -since 44% held this belief 30 years ago. America has grown only slightly more irrational.

(ii) Only 15% of americans believe in […]

Indigenous foolishness in Kakadu

The apparent refusal of aboriginal Australians to allow the removal of feral animals from Kakadu is a tragedy. Kakadu’s feral populations should be controlled by knowledgeable conservation biologists and scientists not by ill-informed group of any ethnicity. Similarly native species, such as Dugong and Green sea-turtle, should be managed on the basis of human science […]

Farce in Victorian State Politics

For once I agree with an Age editorial. Dennis Napthine the new Premier of Victoria has replaced Ted Bailleau and seems to have formed an alliance with MP Geoff Shaw who recently quit the Liberal Party enabling continued Liberal rule in Victoria. Mr. Shaw was and still is under investigation for abusing his allowances by […]

Carcinogen retailers wail

In a study funded by Phillip Morris our friendly neighbourhood carcinogen retailers are wailing that their business has been adversely affected by the plain packaging laws on cigarettes. It takes them longer to serve customers and they give customers the wrong brand more frequently. They didn’t even get a chance to lobby for subsidies to […]

Everybody is entitled to their own opinion?

Its a stupid line in a discussion of any issue since it (the ability of anyone to express a view) is almost never the issue being discussed. I discussed the fallacy of this reasoning years ago on this blog but the erroneous thinking still arises and still bugs me.

I notice the issue is discussed […]

The unemployed are unhappier than the employed even when income-compensated

A popular myth is that the unemployed are only unhappy because they lose income. They derive gains from the increased leisure they enjoy – hence the popular notion of the “dole-bludger” at Bondi Beach enjoying the surf and sunshine while the rest of us slave away supporting their dole payments with our taxed income.


Is a species extinction a bad thing?

This New Scientist article suggests not necessarily. The thinking reflects the theme of a recent exhibition in London. Some snippets (with my responses):

“Extinction, like death, is a natural part of life,” declares an epigraph at the start of this exhibition. “Extinction isn’t necessarily the end of the world, it could be just the beginning…” […]

Aussi media lynch mob

The man who shot himself in a burning house that had been attacked with tear gas rather than go back to jail was described as a “Mad Dog” by most of Australia’s press. Certainly by newspapers such as The Age. He had assaulted his girlfriend and faced the prospect of returning to jail after already […]

Incomes & the very rich

This excellent video presented by Prof. Emmanuel Saez on US and other developed country income distribution trends for top incomes post-1913 is very worthwhile. Nothing exceptionally new is provided but it is very objective and well presented.

HT Greg Mankiw

The talk runs for 40 minutes. The article from which much […]

Bleg on happiness research

The preceding post is on the economics of happiness (EOH) literature. Econometrics is not a particular strength of mine but I do have a (possibly) naive query.

EOH identifies relationships between a self-described measure of happiness for individuals (in the studies I discuss it is often a ranking on a scale from 0-10) which is […]