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On my local golf course a year or so ago I noticed a three metre high tree with bright yellow flowers that, after some weeks, were followed by attractively marked fruit. I broke a small piece off and asked a few knowledgeable locals what it was but no one knew. Finally I took the piece […]

Short-term parking subject to a congestion levy, good

The tax on long-term parking spots in Melbourne is to be substantially increased but, more importantly, the levy is to be extended to short-term parking. Since the levy is intended to be an anti-congestion device it was really more important to tackle short-term parking than long-term parking since many short-term journeys to a parking spot […]


There were 50,000 people at the ANZAC Day March in Melbourne today. I checked that when I first made a post on ANZAC Day in 2006 there were 30,000 in attendance. ANZAC Day is an occasion that has proven resilient even as we move further away from the event in time. For me its a […]

Does high public debt reduce growth?

I feel dislocated from much contemporary macroeconomics because I think much of it is measurement without theory. There are not credible theoretical stories to unambiguously back up many modern macroeconomic claims. Reinhart and Rogoff two of the big name deficit-hawks in macroeconomics got a huge amount of macroeconomic data covering many countries – emerging and […]

Lessons from Boston

I agree with The Australian’s editorial (for once). We don’t want immigrants or those entering Australia via the refugee and humanitarian program to be people who despise our democracy, our legal system and our tolerant society. It is reasonable to be totally intolerant towards their intolerance. Of course we don’t want those fanatics who will […]

Terrorists targeting marathoners

The bombings set off to coincide with the end of the Boston marathon killed 3 (an 8 year old boy one of the dead) and left many with horrific injuries and trauma. I feel depressed with the world.


US Masters 2013 Aussi triumph? Yes, Aussi triumph!

I am watching the finale to the US Masters with Australia’s Adam Scott having sunk a sensational 3 metre putt on the 18th hole to go 9 under and the Argentinian Angel Cabrera matching this with a sensational approach shot to within 30 cm which he holed to also go 9 under. They have moved […]

Inept education policies

Spending more on schools is fine but achieving this by cutting university funding seems unwise. Academic activities in most universities are currently under huge budgetary pressure because of the vast investment of the universities in bureaucracy – teaching and education officers who know nothing, Deputy VCs, Deputy Deans, Assistant Deputies etc etc etc. The universities […]

High speed rail on Australia’s east coast

About half of Australia’s population live in the east coast cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne – it is well more than half if people living at points adjacent to this corridor are included. The most recent proposal for a high speed rail (HSR) link has been predictably debunked by government officials and the […]

Margaret Thatcher RIP

Mrs. Thatcher changed Britain and changed the world. She put an end to unbounded faith in ever-expanding government and to the unwarranted role of trade unionism. She had an unflinching commitment to freedom and to free markets. She was a trained chemist who accepted the need for strong environmental policies and for the need for […]

Protecting animals from torture as a form of terrorism

I was interested to read in the NYT that in a dozen US states it is now (i) Illegal for unauthorised whistle-blowers to make videos of workers harming farm animals and (ii) that any such videos must be turned into the authorities and not screened. The grounds seem to be that this form of whistle-blowing […]

Superannuation reforms

I’ve tried to be generous to the Gillard Government because of the overly critical reaction to it by the Murdoch press – by Ergas, Sloan and the hired lackeys of the IPA etc. But the way the superannuation issue has been dealt with leaves me with substantial doubts about the political nous of the Government’s […]

Phillip Morris’s wrong apology

Phillip Morris have apologised to the Czechs for presenting, as a business case in favour of smoking, that a financial benefit from smoking is that it kills people early thereby saving the state money on health care and pensions. Of course they should not have apologised for this since the claim is definitely true – […]

Vehicle-driven pollution emissions & severe health damages among children

For some reason – it may be the near universal introduction of unleaded gasoline in most countries – the role of vehicular emissions on human health has been deemphasised in many environmental economics discussion. Of course we all know about the terrible air pollution problems in the mega-cities of the developing world but these aberrant […]