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Targeting ZPG

Australian fertility rates of around 1.88 babies per woman are quite high by developed country standards but still well below replacement fertility which many claim is around 2.1. Thus Australia could achieve ZPG simply by controlling the migration intake. The intake would still be non-negligible because Australia exports many residents each year who seek to […]

Best friend Mac

I switched to Mac computers a few years back after ingesting some “gateway drugs” – the IPhone and the IPad started me down this terrible road. An additional factor was virus infections – I picked up a corker at University of Melbourne and another at Peking University using Windows machines. The latter could have ruined […]

Unnecessary population pressures

I am unhappy with the recent forecasts of population doubling for Australia by 2100. Not with the forecasts themselves but with the fact that the forecasters have “sniffed the wind” correctly and sense that the Australian mania for continued population expansion will keep running until, presumably, we experience the diseconomies that such growth makes inevitable. […]

Getting fit “quickly”

Or, at least, giving your body a good workout in 7 minutes. Fitness presumably means sustaining this program. I do a simple set of flexibility exercises that takes 10 minutes each day – this is much more challenging regime (if done quickly it looks hard) but I’ll give it a try. Requires no more equipment […]

Nepalese elections & aftermath

Staying in Nepal I am witnessing first-hand the consequences of a Hobbesian breakdown in a national political consensus. To quickly recall history: A bloody Maoist led insurgency ended in Nepal in 2006 and in 2008 elections were held which the insurgents participated in. The resulting government was disfunctional and was unable to put together a […]

Daft (& evil) Coalition policy 9: Abbott’s support of torture

At least our PM says he does. From Crikey.com:

“…the Prime Minister stated “my government deplores the use of torture but we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen”.

Australia does not merely “deplore” torture. We are a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, which states that no circumstances justify torture; the official […]

Nepal visit

Posting will probably be intermittent for a while as I am visiting the Asian Institute of Technology and Management in Katmandu Nepal. Its a fascinating visit that I am thoroughly enjoying.

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Kevin Rudd

Goodbye Kevin you waste of space. You are a limited human being who never had any grasp of his own personal limitations. You were a disastrous PM and spent most of the rest of your stay in politics facilitating the election of a feeble conservative Coalition government in Australia. Your existence disadvantaged Australia.

Promoting lower taxes & encouraging cigarette brand differentiation

The libertarians are citing a Daily Telegraph article that claims to show that high taxes and plain packaging are increasing tobacco consumption and the size of the illegal tobacco market. The basis of this newspaper report is, in turn, a KPMG report written for the tobacco companies. KPMG are trying to demonstrate that tobacco producers […]

COPs work on automotive assembly

I haven’t read the report in detail – it isn’t that long but I’ve been caught up in other things – but Allen Consulting (acting for the Federal Chamber of Automobile Industries, FCAI) claim that, for $500m in government assistance, the automotive assembly industry “makes” the Australian economy $21.5b “larger”. Indeed not just “larger” but […]

How much should we give as foreign aid?

(Preliminary thoughts. Comments welcome).

I don’t know the exact answer to this but who could? We should give something on the basis of deontology (Kant’s “helping a stranger” problem – the imperative is to give at least a “little” where “little” is defined as that amount that creates “low” costs to us). This sets a […]

Cost-benefit analysis of the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud

Killing the leader of the Pakistani Taliban the day before talks between the Taliban and the Government of Pakistan were due to commence might not have been a sensible move. As leader of the Taliban HM was responsible for thousands of innocent lives being lost – most of them Muslims. In that sense his death […]

DSLRs dead in 5 years?

This article raises questions related to those in a recent post of mine. Picture quality in low level DSLRs and in Smartphones. mirror-less cameras is getting so good that the demand for higher end products and quality lenses is disappearing. Users want good software not good hardware. I’ll follow this argument and come back to […]