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Monday Message Board

July 13th, 2009

Its time once again for Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 13th, 2009 at 20:00 | #1

    John, it is hard to believe that anyone in NSW is taking the NSW Opposition leader seriously after Norman Thompson exposed him last year as a fraud for failing to disclose monies he received during the 2007 election campaign from Clubs NSW and reported to the EFA.

  2. philip travers
    July 13th, 2009 at 20:17 | #2

    Then again.It is very hard to take the State Government seriously by being solely dependent on Credit Ratings of American Corporations where an ongoing question mark EXISTS about them, as worthy to rate Credit, isn’t a popularity contest for many in the know in the U.S.A.

  3. Tony G
    July 13th, 2009 at 20:20 | #3

    It s hard to take anything seriously in NSW, especially considering a much bigger fraud is being perpetrated on the people of NSW; and that is the Rees Government masquerading as one.

  4. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 13th, 2009 at 20:50 | #4

    John, according to O’Farrell the appearance and reality of disunity have done great damage. For without unity, the party has Buckley’s chance of victory. Famous words from a leader whose party is in turmoil.

  5. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 13th, 2009 at 22:39 | #5

    John, given the current dissent within the NSW Liberal Party it’s hard to disagree with Tony Abbott when he said last year ‘that the NSW party has been poor at winning state elections due to indifferent leadership, uncertain policies and a stale parliamentary team’.

  6. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 14th, 2009 at 06:35 | #6

    John, I have to agree with the former NSW Coalition education spokesman Stephen O’Doherty that the NSW Libs are “throwing down some of its principles to chase the political outcome” knowing full well that some public schools are out-performing private schools. O’Farrells must resign for his grubby politics is not only damaging NSW but it is starting to be a joke.

  7. jquiggin
    July 14th, 2009 at 06:39 | #7

    Michael, I must say my view is closer to that of Rog on this one. Any party that could promote someone like Michael Costa needs a spell in Opposition to sort itself out.

  8. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 14th, 2009 at 10:03 | #8

    John, I thank you for letting me have my say on O’Farrel and his grubby politics, but someone had to say it. As for NSW Labor, I am willing to give them one more go simply because the NSW Liberals don’t have the talent.

  9. MH
    July 14th, 2009 at 14:23 | #9

    I watched with amused interest the 4-Corners Program on Bernie ‘Ponzi’ Maddoff. Loved the part where the rich victims were incredulous that Bernie would do that to them, after all he was one of them. Who did they expect he would do it to? Other people not like them, that is the rest of us? Told me more about prejudice and ignorance in the wealth poor of NY and Florida. Bernie was just a Schmuck one claimed, no my friend, you were.

  10. Steve
    July 14th, 2009 at 14:27 | #10

    Steve Fielding wants to meet with Al Gore to convince him that AGW is wrong:

  11. nanks
    July 14th, 2009 at 16:07 | #11

    Steve :
    Steve Fielding wants to meet with Al Gore to convince him that AGW is wrong:

    perhaps Al can teach Fielding how to read a graph.

  12. smiths
    July 14th, 2009 at 17:11 | #12

    “Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who is intimately involved with the planning of cap-and-trade, started up a company called Generation Investment Management with three former bigwigs from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, David Blood, Mark Ferguson and Peter Harris. Their business? Investing in carbon offsets.”

    wouldnt it be nice if Al Gore was not positioning himself to get very rich with former goldman workers through cap and trade

    the other night ‘a debate’ was held between Plimer and Gary Warden,
    Warden, trained by Al Gore, did not really take on Plimer on errors or science, but instead harangued Plimer over being responsible for disaster and future generations will not forgive him,
    exactly what training does Al Gore give, is it science or public relations and engagement with ‘the debate’,

    my point is this, Al Gore should not be seen as a beacon or guide,
    in fact, scientists would do well to avoid the Al Gore fight on climate issues

  13. smiths
    July 14th, 2009 at 17:13 | #13

    soory i forgot to mention the source of the quote,
    its Matt Taibbi’s Goldman achshatchet job,
    heres Al’s website for the aforementioned company

  14. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 14th, 2009 at 17:45 | #14

    John, since education is high on the NSW Coalition’s agenda, then maybe someone out there could please summaries their ‘central schools policy’ for bugger if I know what it is.

  15. Salient Green
    July 14th, 2009 at 18:42 | #15

    smiths #12, I sympathize with the angle of attack taken by Gary Warden. Climate change is only one reason why we need to reduce our carbon emissions, given that most of the sources of those emissions are finite, rapidly depleting and polluting in other ways. Then there is the issue of our seriously over-shot ecological footprint which will partly be addressed by a carbon constrained world.

    If those who continually try to obfuscate the AGW issue had any regard for future generations, they would get on board for those other reasons alone, with stated reservations about AGW. The fact that they don’t is proof of short-term self interest, ideological, political and financial as has been discussed here frequently.

    ‘They’ know the weak point is that the science is not 100% on AGW so they keep picking away at that. I think the only thing left is to expose them as the r-soles they are with some thinly veiled ridicule and hope they stop wasting time.

  16. smiths
    July 14th, 2009 at 19:49 | #16

    well in general i agree with you salient,
    but if it is billed as a debate against Plimer who has a book out,
    people would be better to attack his factual errors and scientific ignorance,
    there were 700 people there,
    the journo i work with went, he says he is ‘neutral’ which is generous by himself,
    he said Plimer spoke quietly and stuck to his books arguement,
    he said Warden spoke like a southern preacher and made him and a lot of the audience feel like they were being told if they were unsure of what to make of it they might as well be denialists who were responsible for the destruction of planet earth,
    this may well be true but it is not a good approach when you have an opportunity to win minds by using the thing you supposedly have in your favour which is the science,
    the mining mag i work at will now publish a piece that goes to thousands of mining related types that will further enhance Plimer in thier minds and re-confirm for them that AGW is a religion of zealots who have faith rather than science,
    it is also publishing a book review by Geoff Booth that carries the same line,
    i think its a shame

    i have given the journos and the editor tim lamberts blog pages with articles, list of errors, the monbiot piece and all of the good pieces tearing Plimer to shreds but he is seen as lone battler against a giant AGW conspiracy,
    (which is odd because if you mentioned any other conspiracy theory you would be mocked)

  17. Salient Green
    July 14th, 2009 at 22:17 | #17

    It sounds like a dogs breakfast smiths. If the debate must go on it should be between scientists in front of scientists until that certainty is achieved but Plimer? A scientist who is not behaving scientifically. And then Warden alienating the audience like that. Collateral damage. Careless.

  18. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 15th, 2009 at 07:11 | #18

    John, fingers crossed that the 37 major projects approved by the Rees government in June is the start of future things to come. Thumbs up Rees.

  19. Tony G
    July 15th, 2009 at 10:03 | #19

    “Thumbs up Rees.”

    Instead of a thumb, maybe a boot up him on the way out would be more in line with voters sentiments .

  20. Alice
    July 15th, 2009 at 10:10 | #20

    For once I actually agree with you Tony G. Not that I have much faith in the coalition either for that matter but Michael is rather fixed in his support for the NSW labor government no matter how atrociously they have been performing (and that is obvious to the voters) and Ill bet $50 now they do see a big boot in the next election.

  21. Tony G
    July 15th, 2009 at 10:23 | #21

    I hope so, but unfortunately the election is a long way off and I do not have much faith in the coalition either, as well there is a lot of funds available for the ALP’s pork barrelling between now and then. I’ll give even money on that bet at the moment. , but the way the LNP are going their odds and electoral fortunes have a high chance of blowing out.

  22. Ikonoclast
    July 15th, 2009 at 10:56 | #22

    The course of the Climate Debate illustrates the dimensions of the problems we face. Very few people are properly trained in rational intellectual disciplines so very few people will ever be convinced by rational intellectual argument concerning scientific conclusions derived from empirical observations. The conjunction of mass public ignorance with corporate duplicity and rampant conflicts of interest at all levels in politics leaves us with only one conclusion. Real change won’t be lead in a command and control fashion until the 59th minute of the 11th hour.

    Even those who are logically convinced rarely do anything to substantially ameliorate their impact on climate change. I would submit that the majority of two car families are “concerned” about climate change, that the majority of eminent climate scientists still jet to conferences all over the world and so on.

    Nothing substantive will be done about climate change until physical changes in the real world force change upon us. This is not a hopeful assessment but it is a realistic assessment.

  23. Tony G
    July 15th, 2009 at 11:14 | #23


    “mass public ignorance”

    Maybe Joe Public is smarter than you give him credit. Until there is prima facie evidence of “physical changes in the real world” there is little point acting on an illusion.

  24. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 15th, 2009 at 12:09 | #24

    John, according to Andrew Stoner “The Labor Party is tired, divided and just want to fool the public into voting for them again. The Liberal/Nationals have strong leadership, a new Shadow Cabinet and are hungry to fix the many problems Labor has caused”. Well I challenge anyone out there to find me the current Liberal/National Education policy which spells out there ‘central schools policy’ for all I hear is rhetoric but no substance. Who’s kidding who?

  25. frankis
    July 15th, 2009 at 12:14 | #25

    I wonder in how many different ways Tony G you believe the general public to be “smarter than it’s given credit”? Is the general public also a better car driver than it’s given credit? – most at least seem to think they are. Perhaps more stylishly decked out in winter fashions than we’ve hitherto thought? Yikes! Perhaps Joe Public is a better cricketer than he’s normally given credit for – are you coming in to bat for Joe on his cricketing prowess, mate?

    I reckon Tony that it’s on the stuff you don’t understand yourself that you believe Honest Joe Public does better than the experts. I doubt you’re so haplessly naive closer to home, sticking to your own knitting.

  26. philip travers
    July 15th, 2009 at 13:50 | #26

    Eh!It isn’t Monday,but, seeing I accept the Planet is getting cooler,and actually these temperature drops in the past and record temperature drops recently in various parts of the world.[Pant] It is possible to say deaths have occured from temperature drops where recorded,but,as yet, no deaths can be attributed to Global Warming,because to say there has would be a denial of where,and when and maybe a few other heuristics.All statistics like SCIENCE ITSELF,are inventories and inventions if that is accepted for its strange combination of meaning.The observation part of science can be instrumental or plainly human,but standardisation is in the common usage of what is deemed the proper measuring.When it comes to who is more qualified in a scientific sense Gore or Fielding,both in expression and habit,plus qualifications Steve Fielding.Let there be no doubt about that,because the only thing scientific about Gore is his references to his chosen scientists.Fielding, may not want to condemn any scientist because of his Christianity.Not uncommon amongst scientists on both sides,where there are sides in the Global Warming Debate.Fielding has no background in high level manouevering,with large amounts of money power prestige status and influence involved in the social and political and economic circumstances.Which means accepting briefs and then determining word usage from that!As a Cadbury executive many human matters of marketing and product distribution etc.are part of the process and human interactions as work,not briefs,but towards an outcome!?Steve knows more about marketing than Gore,but Gore knows more about multiple usage of marketing matters all at once.Snow Jobbing if you like..freezing people into a frame!As for Plimer.Plimer is a cientist,how anyone can assume he isn’t by so called errors is nonsense,or even behaving unscientifically.I dont know how many times I have read some Global Warmers going on about Carbon dioxide, when in fact how it expresses itself as gas as particles and as soot,seems to be lost,and then when you mention say dust..off farms off deserts this becomes a case of selected terror,rather than a terror that gets little science,but is still terrifying to many.The fact no-one has made a thorough connection between dust and global warming effecting the human induced carbon expressions..really shows the doubtful quality of the Global Warming reach.The dust may blow onto their bloody solar panels and make them worthless.Because dust storms,aren’t like a pillow fight.It would of only taken me two minutes,maximum to have said this.I find Gore supporters well spoken over publicised bloody idiots.

  27. Chris O’Neill
    July 15th, 2009 at 14:49 | #27

    Very few people are properly trained in rational intellectual disciplines so very few people will ever be convinced by rational intellectual argument concerning scientific conclusions derived from empirical observations.

    And even those like Steve Fielding who supposedly are trained in a rational intellectual discipline make the same mistake so there’s not much hope for anyone else. Fielding thinks that because February 1995 was warmer than May 2009 it means that the world has been cooling for 15 years. Don’t they teach what linear regression is somewhere in an engineering course? If they did for Fielding then it went in one ear and out the other.

  28. Roo
    July 15th, 2009 at 20:57 | #28

    N.Y.Times article on wide gap between scientists and the public on climate change and evolution in the U.S.

  29. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 16th, 2009 at 07:44 | #29

    Crikey John, after reading Bernard Keane’s article on NSW political donors I’m dumbfounded to learn the Liberals will accept monies from anyone even ‘crooks’.

  30. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    July 16th, 2009 at 14:44 | #30

    Given that the NSW liberals under the leadership of O’Farrell have voted against privatisation in electricity and against publication of government held data on school performance I am struggling to see the point in voting against Rees. Perhaps it is better the socialist you know than the socialist you don’t. The NSW Liberals suck. They ought to change their name to the Conservative Socialist Party. At least then they would be half way principled waste of space.

  31. Alice
    July 16th, 2009 at 19:29 | #31

    Terje – you should know – what they sell to the voter does not necessarily equal what they do when they get their hands dirty holding the reigns of power…
    O’Farrell’s opposition to privatisationequals a political stratagem to oust Iemma – he got the daily double – Iemma and Costa (actually it was a trifecta – cant remember the other bloke he ousted in one fell swoop) but once O’farrell is back in power – if he has any belief whatsoever in good public service provision Ill make a fortune on bets I have placed here and there…his party will undermine him.
    So if we are talking about changing names here perhaps we should go with – OFarrell – leader of the temporary opposition party – the socialist conservative party in opposition – the right wing lunatics when in power.

    So nothing changes and the people are keft with no decent public services.
    Bloody well vote to destabilise the lot of them at NSW level – out with all, vote green or independant, anyone except the permanently buyable, senile and disorientated Fred Nile or the stupid shooters party (unless we have a rabbit plague again). The NSW liberals dont suck in oppposition but they will suck when in power. They wont give the majority what they want either.

  32. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 16th, 2009 at 19:48 | #32

    Struth John, if the opposition don’t know the difference between a waratah and a lotus God help NSW if they ever get into office.

  33. Alice
    July 16th, 2009 at 20:29 | #33

    Michael – why are you so unquestionably pushing the NSW Labor oarty when you must know, they have pursued one of the most right wing agendas of privatisation and the sell off of govt assets and stripping of public service provisions and sackings of whole departments of public sector workers (outsourcing to shonky private sector companies who do a crap job and charge more) and they have been RELENTLESS in their pursuit of private con men.

    I just dont undersatnd your continued loyalty to NSW Labor Party. They look like right wing fanatics, they smell like right wing fanatics, they act like right wing fanatics.

    Make a choice Michael. Right wing fanatics OR right wing fanatics.

    Not what the electorate want. But I guess its enough for the ignorant who will vote one major party or the other, despite what they really want to see changed.

    Either major party simply isnt worth your vote and you only get one.

  34. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 16th, 2009 at 21:01 | #34

    John, it seems like Rees is one busy bee for not only is he being applauded for abolishing the CountryLink Pensioner Excursion Ticket but of returning to Bathurst to address citizens concerns face-to-face, and later in the evening address the concerns of other community groups at Mount Panorama. He is a fast learner.

  35. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 16th, 2009 at 21:06 | #35

    John, stuffed it up again the above should read abolishing the ‘booking fee’ for CountryLink Pensioner Excursion Ticket.

  36. Alice
    July 16th, 2009 at 21:22 | #36

    trivia from a true believer…

  37. SeanG
    July 16th, 2009 at 22:29 | #37


    How do you think that the state gov’t can afford to expand services? Where is the money coming from?

  38. July 16th, 2009 at 23:41 | #38

    O’Farrell’s opposition to privatisation equals a political stratagem to oust Iemma

    Without a doubt. However it shows him up as being more interested in power games than in policy principles. So for those of us who support privatisation what is there to separate him from the other mob? Nothing. O’Farrell appears primarily fixated on power for it’s own sake which is pretty much the problem with the current mob.

  39. Ian Gould
    July 17th, 2009 at 05:28 | #39

    The worst of the economic crisis is over. The US government stimulus worked and the government should consider a second stimulus package. Deflation is a greater concern than inflation currently.

    That’s according to Nouriel Roubini.

    “NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States may need a second fiscal stimulus worth $200-250 billion around the end of the year, but the worst of the economic and the financial crisis is already behind us, leading economist Nouriel Roubini of RGE Global Monitor said on Thursday.”


    This is, of course, terrible news for the world economy, coming as it does on other bad news such as the Baltic Dry Index rising 7% in a single day; US corporate earnings in q2 exceeding market expectations; rising stock markets aroudn the world and accelerating Chinese output.

    These are all bad news because as we all know, the world economy is doomed and can only bwe saved by adopting one of the various quack nostrums being hawked by internet punditocracy.

    I mean to say, if we don’t get the 25% unemployment and 1000%+ annual inflation predicted by some here,we’ll never realise they were right all along.

  40. jquiggin
    July 17th, 2009 at 06:24 | #40

    IG, I’m wondering who here has predicted 25 per cent unemployment, or, more broadly an outcome comparable to the Great Depression. I know it’s intended as hyperbole, but the observed outcome of double digit unemployment justifies those like Roubini who were regarded as ultra-pessimists in the leadup to the crisis. And the fact that things would have been much worse if not fiscal stimulus on a massive scale (something that was derided as a quack nostrum), not to mention a massive bailout of the banking system, seems again to support the views expressed here.

    You’ve commented on these lines quite a few times, but you’ve never pointed to an example of what you are objecting to. In particular, I’m unclear whether the term “some here” is meant to include me. If so, please point to the posts to which you refer.

  41. Alice
    July 17th, 2009 at 10:16 | #41

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    terje – you say “So for those of us who support privatisation what is there to separate him from the other mob? Nothing.”

    You should be a damn sight happier than those of us who dont support the massive scale of privatisations that has occurred since 1990. Who do we vote for? Neither of the major parties in NSW who have beeb entirely indistinguishable. You complain about Barry O’Farrell being a socialist conservative but it means nothing because he isnt in power. Its called buying votes and if the voters didnt want more socialism he wouldnt be drifting away from “core” liberal values would he?

    Time both parties took in account what voters really want (more services not more tax cuts).

  42. Alice
    July 17th, 2009 at 10:17 | #42

    Sean G – how do we afford more services?
    Quite simple. Reverse the ridiculous tax cuts given to upper income earning deciles over the past 40 years.

  43. July 17th, 2009 at 12:22 | #43

    Pr Q says July 17th, 2009 at 06:24 #40

    the observed outcome of double digit unemployment justifies those like Roubini who were regarded as ultra-pessimists in the leadup to the crisis. And the fact that things would have been much worse if not fiscal stimulus on a massive scale (something that was derided as a quack nostrum), not to mention a massive bailout of the banking system, seems again to support the views expressed here.

    Pr Q’s claims on behalf of Left-Keynsian fiscal policy are mostly true for the RoW. But they are not particularly relevant to AUS. This country never had a financial crisis (the equity sell-off after the mineral boom mainly wiped out paper gains). And Pr Q’s later predictions in this area were way too bearish.

    To the extent that AUS had economic difficulties they were caused by the rapid decline in our Terms of Trade and the negative Wealth Effect coming with reduced capital flows and values. These problems were largely sorted out independent of Rudd’s fiscal stimulus, thanks to Howard-Costello’s solid foundation of the property market and the RBA’s 4% cut in the cash interest rates, starting MAR 08.

    The interest rate cuts alone delivered more into cash-strapped mortgagees pockets than all the stimuli put together. Taking four per cent on one trillion dollars worth of outstanding variable-rate residential mortgages gives $40b pa in financial stimulus. And thats not counting commercial debt.

    Here’s where I jump in to claim bragging rights on being the first Ozblogger to correctly predict the relatively low magnitude (amplitude?) of AUS’s recession. I am not aware of what the major economic forecasting agencies were saying at that time. But virtually all econo-bloggers were in “grave and serious consequences” mode at that time. Although Ian Gould deserves credit for being an early bear-skeptic.

    I have long sympathised with Pr Q’s and Steve Keen’s critical view of debt-fueled asset-price inflation. But towards the end of 2008 I began to realise that AUS was the bullish exception that proved their bearish RoW rule.

    In the first few months of 2009 I repeatedly predicted that AUS would escape “relatively less-scathed” than other comparable countries. I predicted “unemployment will be < 10%”, although foolishly made a Steve Keen-hysteria induced forecast of metro property declines 10%-20%.

    I finally decided that Christopher Joye was a better judge of the property market than Steve Keen. On 03 MAR 09 I refined my prediction:

    – unemployment rate [rises] < 8%
    - metro property prices falls < 10% off their 2006 peak

    That does not rule out a mild recession. Something like 2001. Not nearly as bad as 1991 or 1983 though.

    I also repeatedly predicted that the concerns over the PRC’s economic prosperity and political stability, voiced here by Pr Q, were vastly over-exaggerated:

    I also predict that the PRC will engineer a relatively soft-landing for its largely-export driven economy. Unemployment in export related industries will rise but the largely state-run economy will turn to internal development, largely in the peasant hinterlands. This will have the added benefit of politically pacifying unrest in the hinterland.

    Pr Q deserves alot of credit for, over the past decade, warning of the dangers of over-leveraged, risk-addicted, govt subsidised financial gambling. But his criticism were more relevant at away grounds. On home grounds, it appears that the Howard-Costello model of property market administration, NOT the fiscal stimulus, was the key to preventing a bank collapse. The keys were:

    - higher factoral immigration (obtaining high IQ students/skilled workers renters and borrowers)
    - tighter financial regulation (constraining securitization)

    AUS (and Canada) were the odd men out in the GFC because our humunguous rates of immigration placed a floor under the property market, preventing the standard bank collapse.

    Pr Q says:

    In particular, I’m unclear whether the term “some here” is meant to include me. If so, please point to the posts to which you refer.

    Pr Q’s triumphal fiscal boosterism needs to be tempered with a bit of factoral and financial realism. This country did not have any bank bailouts or nationalisations, there was no falling into a liquidity trap and the metro property market has traded sideways not crashed.

    Pr Q was way ahead of the curve back in 2002 in predicting the financial causes, factoral consequences and fiscal cures of the GFC. It took wasnt until Oct 2005 that I started to take the derivative disease seriously. He also detected the sub-prime time bomb fairly early in the piece.

    But in 2008 he was way too bearish in his economic predictions for both AUS and the PRC. He put far too much weight on the value of his Keysnian economic prescriptions, at least as far as AUS goes. He has also failed to give proper credit to both Howard-Costello and the RBA for steering a navigable path through the GFC shoals.

  44. Chris Warren
    July 17th, 2009 at 12:48 | #44

    Ian Gould :

    I mean to say, if we don’t get the 25% unemployment and 1000%+ annual inflation predicted by some here,we’ll never realise they were right all along.

    Ian Gould

    Can you please indicate where I can find a prediction of 25% unemployment and 1000%+ inflation.

    There is a side issue. If an old rotten tree starts to fall, and you prop it up with sticks, does this prove the tree was healthy after all and will not fall further in the future?

  45. Fran Barlow
    July 17th, 2009 at 12:50 | #45

    Speaking as someone who for most of her life has been on the far left I haven’t cast a vote in any election since 1977 — and I rather regret that one now. So I’m genuinely non-partisan here.

    Putting aside all matter of political principle, I do find Rees’s approach perplexing. His one big chance to recover in 2011 (or at worst avoid utter embarrassment) was to draw a line under the Carr/Iemma/Costa years, abandoning that to the Liberals and reclaim the middle ground. Instead, foreshadowing SBY in Indonesia, he has run under a policy of “more of the same” even though that was what got them into the mess and even though there’s absolutely no possible political downside to a more explicit Labor/green agenda. He can’t lose more comprehensively than he’s about to now.


  46. ABOM
    July 17th, 2009 at 13:55 | #46

    Where are you Alice? I need your support over here:


  47. July 17th, 2009 at 14:11 | #47

    YOu are right there, ABOM. You do.

  48. ABOM
    July 17th, 2009 at 14:26 | #48

    Uh oh. The teachers are watching! Nothing to see here, Sir. No Sir, I was most definitely not reading that “crazy anarchist” Murray Rothbard… That? That Sir is a copy of the biography of the great economist JM Keynes, and the other book is a work by Paul Krugman. One is called The Mystery of Banking by JM Keynes. The other is called End The Fed by Paul Krugman. Surely you know about both these works Sir? Yes? Thank you Sir, you have a nice tie on too Sir. Thank you Sir. Have a nice day Sir.

  49. sdfc
    July 17th, 2009 at 14:34 | #49

    Assuming the current level of government stimulus (fiscal and monetary) is unsustainable over the longer term, what in your opinion will be the drivers that will put global growth on a sustainable path given the traditional primary growth driver, the US consumer, is all but exhausted.

  50. July 17th, 2009 at 14:39 | #50

    Rothbard was not an anarchist if he wanted to get rid of FRB. To ban it you would need a very strong government.

  51. ABOM
    July 17th, 2009 at 14:43 | #51

    “Given this dismal monetary and banking situation, given a 39:1 pyramiding of checkable deposits and currency on top of gold, given a Fed unchecked and out of control, given a world of fiat moneys, how can we possibly return to a sound noninflationary market money? The objectives, after the discussion in this work, should be clear: (a) to return to a gold standard, a commodity standard unhampered by government intervention; (b) to abolish the Federal Reserve System and return to a system of free and competitive banking; (c) to separate the government from money; and (d) either to enforce 100 percent reserve banking on the commercial banks, or at least to arrive at a system where any bank, at the slightest hint of nonpayment of its demand liabilities, is forced quickly into bankruptcy and liquidation. While the outlawing of fractional reserve as FRAUD would be preferable if it could be enforced, the problems of enforcement, especially where banks can continually innovate in forms of credit, make free banking an attractive alternative.”

    While the outlawing of fractional reserve as fraud would be preferable if it could be enforced, the problems of enforcement, especially where banks can continually innovate in forms of credit, make free banking an attractive alternative.

  52. July 17th, 2009 at 15:19 | #52

    Pr Q says: July 14th, 2009 at 06:39 #7

    Michael, I must say my view is closer to that of Rog on this one. Any party that could promote someone like Michael Costa needs a spell in Opposition to sort itself out.

    The problem with the NSW ALP go far deeper than the advancement of one individual, unpleasant as he was. It suffers from systemic institutional corruption. Although its perhaps unfair to expect non-Sydney residents to grasp the extent of that apparats depravity when it isnt shoved in your face on a daily basis.

    NSW is AUS’s California. Its political economy is based on high “density, debtquity and diversity” property development, glitzy media events and quasi-franchised government business enterprises. All administered by a corrupt state political machine in charge of doling out govt jobs and contracts to industrial cronies.

    The NSW ALP is an almost textbook example of what happens when an political party loses its institutional basis and ideological guidance, particularly under conditions of post-modern affluence. It rapidly degenerates into a “Who-Whom” spoils divider, existing mainly for the benefit of apparat insiders. Ken Phillips in the Australian lifts the lid on the can of worms:

    The problem is bigger than just bad individuals. It’s a problem created by the culture of the labour grouping that runs NSW.

    It has taken total control of the administration of government in NSW, such that the parliamentary ALP is a government in name only. This was demonstrated by the effective sackings of premier Morris Iemma and treasurer Michael Costa.

    More significantly, the public service is controlled through a vast number of oversight committees on which only NSW Labor machine members sit. The Labor committee and network process effectively controls the NSW government budget. Reforms to the transport, education and health systems are frozen because any reform threatens vested labour interests within the organisations.

    Basically the two biggest employers in the NSW state are public utilities and property development. The NSW ALP has positioned itself to take a major cut from both activities in return for patronising a massive network of cronies.
    Michael Duffy lays bare the inner-workings of the “Mates State”:

    For 11 years the Labor Party has run this state for the benefit of its members and their mates rather than for the public. NSW is the Mates’ State, and the public needs to be reminded of this fundamental truth more often. Until you grasp it, you can’t understand a lot of what goes on.

    Almost wherever you look here, in business or civic life or education or sport, you will find some Labor mate with his or her hand out for preferment…Most of it is quite legal, because the Government uses the law to extend ministerial influence as far as possible in every area where money or power is at stake…[As Ken Philips puts it:] “It is morally corrupt, but manages corruption by creating law that turns immorality into legality.”

    And thats just the legal dodgy dealings. Then there is the recurrent incidence of shall we say “colorful identities” associated with NSW ALP. I mean your Graham Richardsons, Tom Dominicans, Rex Jacksons, Milton Orkopoulos, Al Grassbys. We should also not pass over in silence the commemoration of AUS’s first political assassination, by a NSW ALP member, Phuong Ngo, with more than an axe to grind.

    Have I forgotten anything? Oh yes, ALP dominated local government authorities and their corrupt dealings with property developers. Its not for nothing that NSW, after long public campaign, established ICAC as a permanent watchdog on corruption. And most of this happened under the ALP’s watch.

    A little while back Pr Q made a great fuss about how corrupt or dodgy the Howard-L/NP govt became. Its certainly true that an unacceptable number of individual ministers did over-step the line. But the Howard-L/NP never encountered major public blowback on accont of this because most of its dodginess was political, not personal. And the stuff that was for personal gain was done by individual members, not institutional rackets.

    It was all pretty venal anyway, compared to the NSW ALP’s rogues gallery of child-molesters, political assassins, ethnic gangstas, branch stackers, mob stooges, union stand-over men, shake-down artists, race-hustlers, sleazy property developers, justice-perverting judges, revolving prison door ministers, crony capitalists, expense-rorters, tax-payer funded junketeers et al.

    I mean, lets have a little partisan balance here, for credibility’s sake!

  53. July 17th, 2009 at 15:58 | #53

    Correction: Sydney’s “political economy is based on high “density, debtquity and diversity” property development, glitzy media events and quasi-franchised government business enterprises”.

    But NSW’s political economy is substantially dependent on coal exports. As are to signficant extents, the regional areas of QLD and VIC. And they are all key states needed by the ALP if it is to retain its grip on power.

    This is probably the single biggest stumbling block to the Commonwealth getting an effective CPRS scheme up and running in AUS. And coal miners unions still have plenty of say in the ALP. A Frontier Economics report, shelved but leaked to the Australian, shows how politically sensitive such a scheme would be:

    REGIONAL economies could shrink by more than 20 per cent over the next 40 years under the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme, according to secret modelling commissioned by the NSW Government but never released.

    The Frontier Economics modelling mirrored the federal Treasury’s finding that the nationwide economic effect of the ETS would be modest, but found “much more severe” impacts in some states and regions where emissions-intensive industries were the backbone of the economy.

    Federal Treasury’s modelling found an ETS would mean the national economy grew about 0.1 per cent more slowly than it would without a price on carbon, meaning gross domestic product would be about 4 per cent lower in 2050 than would otherwise be expected. The Frontier modelling produced a similar result, but put the finding in a different context.

    “This loss of GDP is worth around $2 trillion in 2007 prices. This is equivalent to around two years of economic growth in the Australian economy,” the report to the NSW Government said.

    Actually its equivalent to two years of current economic output, not growth in economic output.

    So basically, the political struggle for the Green soul of the AUS economy must be conducted in the regional mineral economies of the eastern sea-board states.

  54. Alice
    July 17th, 2009 at 19:57 | #54

    @Andrew Reynolds

    No ABOM doesnt need me at all Andy. He has delivered some knowckout blows as usual. He does just fine without me but you, Andy, you need me… “Mr I look after the interests of the banks not the economy Reynolds”! If Rothbard needs a strong government to keep the banks in control, then thats what is needed.

    Banks shouldnt run the economy – they should assist the economy Andy. Biggie banks like Goldman’s are running it (into the ground) and paying the princes of misappropriated money (loot and treasure on the backs of other people’s misery) a princely wage in the process…

    Jail Andy..best place for the Goldman execs. They are a bit like Gordon Browns party. What rorting? We deserve it…we earned it …WE ARE THE ENTITLED ONES!!

  55. SeanG
    July 17th, 2009 at 23:13 | #55


    You are now confusing state finances with commonwealth finances. Further, you do not consider the negative impact on growth from higher taxes nor do you consider the potential for greater tax avoidance from that idea.

    Why do you think punishing hardworking people is fair?

  56. SeanG
    July 17th, 2009 at 23:16 | #56

    One of the most disappointing aspects of Aussie politics is that there is a lack of public service reform. This goes beyond the notion of cash spending or privatisation but how services should be run, who is responsible for setting budgets and targets and whether equity is the basis of public services of flexibility based on location.

  57. Michael of Summer hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 00:46 | #57

    John, now that I got the gremlins out of the system I would to know why is it OK for Obama, Rudd, Brown, etc to stimulate the economy and when Rees does the same is lambasted?

  58. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 05:52 | #58

    John, there are serious question marks about the capabilities of some within the NSW Coalition, in particular, Andrew Stoner. Take for example comments made by him this week as to whether the NSW logo is a waratah or a lotus flower. Rather than seek explanations from the commissioned ‘artist’ as to why such a design was created, Stoner and others love to second guess. One must now seriously question Stoner’s abilities given his past track record of being impulsive, inept, ill informed and nasty.

  59. Alice
    July 18th, 2009 at 08:12 | #59

    @Jack Strocchi
    Im not inclined to the NSW liberal opposition party but Jack Strocchi is completely right about the “mates state” under NSW labour and their. People do need to set aside their personal prefernces and get some partisan balance. In particular this comment Jack quoted sums it up well

    “the public service is controlled through a vast number of oversight committees on which only NSW Labor machine members sit. The Labor committee and network process effectively controls the NSW government budget. Reforms to the transport, education and health systems are frozen because any reform threatens vested labour interests within the organisations.”

    I agree with you Jack but it doesnt send me running to the opposition party either.

  60. Alice
    July 18th, 2009 at 08:25 | #60

    Even reforms that are needed like improving the dilapidated transport and health systems are frozen it would appear. That needs expenditure not willful and mindless cuts (usual meaning of the word reform) and thats all the “mates state” has been doing for years and years.

    Egans mindless privatisations and cuts delivered him a surplus – where is it now?. We lost all those assets for a surplus lasting a year or two. They privatised assets that were profitable and brought income to the government and now people wonder why we cant get a decent public transport system happening in an increasingly congested city (and then there is the problem of the filthy emmissions that creates). No vision. No vision. No vision. Just cheap little monorials (that are mainly empty for a tourist trip around Darling Harbour) or the duplication of another small tram to the inner west. That is no solution. Tonka toy investment.

  61. July 18th, 2009 at 11:04 | #61

    Well, it seems from reading this thread that the NSW ALP has at least one vote at the next election. So it shan’t be a complete wipeout.

    Micheal of Summer Hill, what it will take for the NSW ALP to be defeated at the next elections can be summarised in two words: Drover’s Dog.

  62. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 11:28 | #62

    John, the NSW Coalition are known to do backflips but the Torbay spat between O’Farrell and Stoner shows just how divided they are. Time will tell whether or not the cosy relationship will continue.

  63. Fran Barlow
    July 18th, 2009 at 14:06 | #63

    @Michael of Summer hill

    The main reason that we have these problems is that governance (both at state and federal level), is a caricature of democratic accountability.

    This has always been the case. Sometimes the consequences have been worse than at other times but really, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. All current
    governments in the end look after the interests of one or other fractions of the propertied elite. This side of fundamental reform it’s hard to see how any honest person could get anywhere near power over policy. It’s also hard to see the current lot on eiother side seeing reform as being in their interest. Waiting your turn to put your snout into the trough is a lot better than knowing you’ll never get a turn.

  64. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 14:39 | #64

    John, according to Peter Draper is yet to be convinced by any utterances coming from the mouth of the Leader of The Nationals for he simply cannot be believed. The man backflips and flip-flops from one extreme position to another. People are starting to ask where are the bucking policies.

  65. SeanG
    July 18th, 2009 at 20:09 | #65


    I agree with the state of public services. They are abysmal. However we need to have the funds to be able to pay for capital improvements in infrastructure which are sorely needed. At this moment we can barely afford recurring expenditure let alone capital expenditure. We have a corporatist economy with the State being monolithic and cutting expenditure does not hit genuine waste but rather services that are easy to cut.

    Privatisations are not the bete noir that you and ProfQ think it is. Does the Government implement Six Sigma? Do they have merit-based pay and remuneration packages? Do they remove the bottom 10% of managers according to their output? Without a quality-focused approach to public services that are ruthlessly implemented then privatisation is the lesser of two evils.

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