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Economic migrants dominate illegal migrant entry

For more than a decade I have argued two key propositions in relation to attempted illegal migrant entry to Australia. Both have aroused intense criticisms:

(i) Softening the approach to so-called asylum seekers will definitely attract many more attempts at illegal entry. (ii) Almost all so-called asylum seekers are economic migrants seeking a better economic […]

Return of a hyperactive, shallow leader

I am dismayed by the return of Kevin Rudd to a leadership position within the ALP. Rudd destabilised the Gillard Government for nearly 3 years and has been rewarded for his treachery. Rudd’s campaign in 2010 against Gillard cost Labor outright government and was a major factor behind Gillard’s ensuing problems. If Labor now loses […]

Obama’s direct action plans deserve applause

Ignorant conservative political parties in the US and Australia are forcing reliance on relatively expensive direct action plans to tackle climate change. Tony Abbott is using an unprincipled attack on a “big new tax” to foist an ineffective direct action plan on Australia. President Obama wanted an effective carbon tax plan for the US but […]

Bluehost.com: An unpaid endorsement

Since March 2009 I have used the firm Bluehost.com to manage my blog. I want to publicly record that they provide an excellent, inexpensive service. During that 4 year period I have been hacked once and, yesterday, lost my access to this blog because of a problem in upgrading to Wordpress 3.5.2*. On each occasion […]

Common property issues on the Yangtze

I posted recently on the environmental problems at Yueyang and Dongting Lake. This is an excellent short article from The Economist that links the general environmental problems of the Yangtze with the priorities of the Chinese government in developing central and Western China. There are a myriad of complex issues here.

Specific taxes would outperform ad valorem taxes on cigarettes in China

I wrote a paper on cigarette smoking (with Bao Jia Tan) while at BEDA in Beijing in 2010 – here is a pre-print. While in China this time I have tried to argue the point with Chinese students that there was a strong case for increasing tobacco taxes in China and that this tax should […]

Yueyang & Dongting Lake

I traveled to Yueyang at fairly short notice so I didn’t have time to do the usual internet search I do when I visit a new location. All I knew was that it was a tourist destination that was also an industrial cerntre, that it contained one of the three major pagodas (or in this […]

Some population economics in China

I am residing in a hotel at the entrance to the Central Southern Univerity of Forestry and Technology in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. I have been holding seminars and classes at the University and, about twice a day, sampling the excellent Hunannese cuisine – spicy hot but not as hot as Sichuan. It has been […]