Spirit of Ajax won’t help Liberals

Today in The Australian

Watching Malcolm Turnbull’s recent conduct, it was hard not to think of Enoch Powell’s famous conclusion to his biography of ­Joseph Chamberlain. “All political lives,” Powell wrote, “unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and human affairs.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments

More economic incompetence coming our way

Modern economics is so incompetent to deal with the problems of our economy that it is simply breathtaking. This is the headline at The Oz: “Reserve Bank paves way for further cuts in official interest rates”.

His comments come against a backdrop of deteriorating economic data: house prices and building approvals are falling, while the national economic growth rate dropped from 3.4 per cent to 2.8 per cent, it emerged this week, surprising economists.

Speaking at the Australian Business Economists annual dinner, Dr Debelle said the federal government had room borrow and spend to stimulate the economy, if needed.

These people do not, of course, have any idea why the economy is floundering. They have kept rates low since the GFC and public spending has never been higher. Of course, a major part of the problem is that rates have been too low and public spending has been too high, but they would be the last people to know. Look at what he even said:

“Fiscal space is really important; we still have that in Australia,” he said, backing former Treasurer Wayne Swan’s controversial $52bn fiscal stimulus of late 2008 and early 2009, which saw $900 payments to households, help for first home buyers, discount roof insulation and a school hall building boom.

“Fiscal stimulus in Australia in my view was absolutely necessary and was a critical factor behind Australia’s good economic outcomes,” he said.

Unbelievable. No idea how an economy works but they will bludgeon it again until it finally responds to treatment. And there is not much doubt we are heading into an economic sinkhole that Treasury and the RBA have between them created.

The GFC is now a decade past and we, along with pretty much everyone else, have never had even an inkling of a robust recovery. Amazing.

Posted in Economics and economy | 37 Comments

ANZACs versus climate change

H/t CL on the open thread. Too good to hide! I could imagine NZ taking on climate chance but I am disappointed that our defence forces are in it too!

Facing a potential future of mass climate migration, water and food shortages and violent conflict across the Pacific, New Zealand’s armed forces have declared climate change “one of the most significant security threats of our time”.

As humanitarian call-outs for New Zealand’s Defence Force skyrocket, Defence Minister Ron Mark has this year increasingly tied environmental concerns to security in what he calls a “war on climate change”.

A new report released on Thursday outlines the way in which the country’s military resources will be increasingly stretched by deteriorating conditions and pointed to a bleak series of potential threats.

They include the potential for increased violence from mismanaged climate migration, competition for resources, land disputes, food and water shortages, health crises and vulnerable populations losing their livelihoods.

“If we are to be an effective defence force … as these climate change effects start hitting us with increased intensity, increased frequency and shorted and briefer pauses, we need to be prepared,” Mark said.

Pacific leaders New Zealand and Australia earlier this year signed a security agreement that called climate change the “single greatest threat” to the region.

I suppose that was Julie Bishop. Everything is explained.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 28 Comments

Christmas books

Books for Christmas. Light and not so light reading for young and old. My Amazon books and Others.

On the Amazon shelves we have guides to assorted books by Karl Popper, essays on Hayek and a collection of Australiana with sport, politics and science. Among the others, a historical biography of the great boxer Les Darcy (and an on-line account of his major fights) and the users guide to the strata titles legislation of Australasia circa 1982 (a collectors item).

Think what joy a well chosen book could bring to a loved one or even to yourself!

Posted in Gratuitous Advertising, Rafe | 1 Comment

Some people even now would have preferred Hillary!

It is one of the odder parts of my life running into people who make it a point to tell me how much they don’t like Trump. I seldom even mention the name, and even among people I would expect to think of him in a positive way, not so much. An outright idiocy to me.

My post the other day on “We Want Trump” might have been in England rather than France, but the point I was making, that Trump has become a metaphor representing a last ditch effort to save ourselves from a French-Swedish-German future, should have been obvious. We have a culture and civilisation that has worked remarkably well and brought benefits not just to ourselves but to the entire planet. You might not think all that highly of electricity or the germ theory of disease, but they originated among ourselves and spread across the globe, and everyone would be a lot worse off without them.

Looking at the two previous Democrat presidents and the one almost-president in the company of the current President of the United States ought to make everyone grateful for this reprieve, but for some reason it doesn’t. We shall see, but in the meantime, for people such as myself, I can see that things might still go well.

My airplane book on the way up to Sydney where I am now located was a book I cannot recommend too highly. It is by Giles Auty, published by Connor Court and titled,Postmodernist Australia. As once said by another Canadian, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”, but folks it’s going.

Posted in American politics, Philosophy | 25 Comments

Some things about migrants

that you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

From the Centre for Independent Studies. Read all about it.

Some of the key findings are:

A majority (54.85%) of migrants live in postcodes with a median Household Income (HIND) bracket above the Australian median.
Newer wave migrants are significantly more likely to be skilled and to live in wealthy areas.
53% of English as a second language (ESL) migrants in above median HIND areas speak English very well. 44% of ESL migrants in below HIND areas speak English very well.
45% of working age migrants in suburbs below the median HIND are not in the work force. 34% of those living in areas above the median are not seeking work.
24% of migrants living in postcodes below the median HIND have a Bachelor’s degree or a higher qualification. 38.72% of those above the median have this level of qualification.

Posted in Australian Story, Rafe | 20 Comments

A hint of trouble in the Green paradise

Jo Nova has flagged the possible that some people in the Green power industry are not brain dead and they have started to realise that it is not going to work. That is not something they can afford to say out loud in terms that the punters can understand or everyone in the industry including themselves will find that people are pointing at them and laughing, or alternatively not laughing if they are struggling to pay for electricity.

She writes: Now pair up these two statements. One estimates in the next 22 years Australia will spend $79b on infrastructure that doesn’t work much, and just $2b on old coal plants that do:

It is estimated about 90 per cent of the $88 billion forecast to be spent adding power capacity in Australia until 2040 will be outlaid on clean energy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Just 2 per cent will be spent on coal, with that ­investment more likely to keep existing, ageing plants running rather than bringing in new coal-fired power stations.

She goes on. The next paragraph tells us that those cheap old coal plants make 75% of our electricity:

That influx of cheap but intermittent supplies of wind and solar threatens to undermine ageing baseload coal generators in the national electricity market, which currently produce about 75 per cent of generation on the nation’s east coast. – Perry Williams, The Australian

Conclusion. The $79-billion-dollars-of-part-time-generators will be driving the cheap reliable part out of business.


Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 16 Comments

Ontario rightly rejects carbon tax but wrongly seeks to buy emission reductions

I have a piece in the Canadian Financial Post commenting on the Ontario Ford Government’s rejection of a carbon tax but introduction of a carbon auctioning system along the lines of the failed Australian Direct Action scheme introduced by the Abbott Government.  This buys up emissions from those who will reduce them most cheaply.  But it involves considerable bureaucracy and many of the “saved” emissions will be phantom ones, which would have been reduced anyway .

The piece outlines the deficiencies of this alternative to a carbon tax and concludes:

Doug Ford’s smarter alternative would be to just bite the bullet and abandon the pretense of abiding by the flawed Paris climate agreement and its “carbon dioxide is pollution” narrative, especially since Canada’s biggest competitor, the one to the south, is aggressively moving forward with, and benefiting from its program of energy abundance and dominance. All Paris-obedient nations — and provinces — will see a massive loss of competitiveness as Trump’s energy policies prevail.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

With the Menzies crowd and Brendan O’Neill in the Bordello Room, Kings X Hotel

A stirring address this evening by the editor of Spiked and a leader in the push-back against political correctness in all forms. The most unlikely venue you could imagine but full marks to the Menzies Research Centre for doing something different. Check them out!

Hardly anyone knew about Catallaxy, where is our goddam PR and Marketing Division?

Brendan O’Neill is strong on all the right (correct) things and that is the main thing. I think he could be more generous about Trump; he is a lot more than just “better than the alternative”. We all know there is a Good Trump and a Bad Trump and the Good Trump has exceeded expectations.

Brendan’s Marxism has apparently stuck to him in the form of a sentimental attachment to the revolutionary forces of 1848 and even the French Revolution. People of good will can disagree about these things but that better not get in the way of the things we need to do in partnership.

We have to get to people in all demographics and all walks of life, so we need a lot of messages on the same themes crafted for different audiences. Time spent trading insults does nothing and time spent in furious agreement likewise unless it is directed to doing new things or junking things that are not working.

Posted in Rafe, Take Nanny down | 10 Comments

French protesters 1 Macron 0

Read all about it.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 18 Comments