LATE FINAL EXTRA. OUTRAGE IN ALASKA: CAT MAYOR ATTACKED
Ross “Roscoe” Greenwood on the Power Radio (Thursday evening) interviewed Professor Judith Sloan, introduced as one of the foremost economic thinkers in the nation, on the implications of the national debt. She took up the claim that Australia is travelling well compared with the rest of the world, pointing out that there are other countries in a similarly favourable position, and to be better placed than a lot of economic basket cases is not really a reason for celebration, especially in view of the rapid change in our circumstances during the last six years.
Ross Greenwood referred to a table on page 75 of the latest release of statistics (that was just to impress us) and he noted the movement in our net debt as % of GDP since 1970/71. In that year it was 0.9% of GDP. With some fluctuations, by 1985 it was in the order of 10% and during the hard years of the 1990s during “the recession that we had to have” under Paul Keating it reached 18%. Under the Howard and Costello administration we got into the black. Since then we have gone south, despite the mining boom and record revenues, to approach 13%.
His point is that in the 4 decades since 1971 it was only during the great recession of the ’90s that we had more debt. Judith added that the rate of increase is the real worry, plus we have no assets to sell and it is costing 12 Bil a year just to service the debt. That is a lot of hospitals and infrastructure.
Simplify the Senate vote in NSW. What about two voting papers, the tablecloth and a smaller one to vote above the line?
Culture. Defending indigenous culture from foreign influences.
Bring back the eight-ball over. The number of balls in the over in Australia
1876/77 to 1887/88: 4
1891/92 to 1920/21: 6
1928/29 to 1932/33: 6
1936/37 to 1978/79: 8
1979/80 to date: 6
Around the town: Small business; Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Quadrant on line, at the IPA, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies and the Sydney Institute. Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog.
Education. Higher education, Stephen Matchett’s Campus Morning Mail. Kevin Donnelly on education issues at large. What was the point of compulsory public education? Interesting historical information from Ed West.
The table shows that by 1851 the English and Welsh already had a higher percentage of children in primary school than the world total was over a century later. That’s an impressive accomplishment.
“What may be more remarkable to some,” West notes, “is that the British schooling was entirely voluntary and almost entirely fee-paying“. That is, the British educated their children without compulsory attendance laws and almost without taxation.
Jacques Barzun, Preface to Teacher in America (second edition, 1983).
Thirty-five years have passed, true; but the normal drift of things will not account for the great chasm. The once proud and efficient public-school system of the United States, especially its unique free high school for all—has turned into a wasteland where violence and vice share the time with ignorance and idleness, besides serving as battleground for vested interests, social, political, and economic…The old plan and purpose of teaching the young what they truly need to know survives only in the private sector, itself hard-pressed and shrinking in size.
House and garden. Looking after the little people, no, not the dwarves.
It explains how to build a chicken house, a chicken run, a dog kennel, a Bantam chicken house, a dovecote, a rabbit hutch, an aviary, a ferret house, quail housing, a duck house and a brooder box for rearing chicks.
For the windmill-lover. This historical work (first published 1910) shows you how to construct windmills, from small models to those large enough to generate electricity.
Health and beauty. Bath chairs. Named from its origin in Bath, England, and also after its similarity in appearance to an old-fashioned bathtub. If required, the chair can be mounted on four wheels and drawn by a horse, donkey or small pony.
Cultivate a glamorous swan neck.
For nerds. Tribute to Ronald Coase.