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Weekend reflections

July 18th, 2009

It’s time again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. As always, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 18:35 | #1

    John, many would argue that the NSW government did the wright thing by giving local industries preferential treatment when $4billion worth of tenders come online. Thumbs up Rees.

  2. philip travers
    July 18th, 2009 at 23:07 | #2

    How can you argue, about N.S.W.Government decisions until, not only the work proceeds,but also ends.And not because of large numbers of workers dying because of bad planning understandings,work conditions,and disposition on the the job,and,conditions and disposition off the job!? Have local industries been preferred because,hitting the locals in the pocket,is preferable than being discredited internationally!?

  3. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 19th, 2009 at 08:23 | #3

    John, if I may reply to philip travers by saying under the Local Jobs First stimulus package tenders of $4 million or above will require local industries to participate in jobs creation and training programs for apprentices. As for the rest of the mumbo jumbo I have no idea.

  4. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 19th, 2009 at 12:00 | #4

    John, schools across NSW are celebrating the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package as many projects start getting underway, creating new jobs and boosting the local economies of many country towns. Thumbs up Labor.

  5. Chris Warren
    July 19th, 2009 at 12:27 | #5

    Isn’t the free market absolutely wonderful.

    There is a economic problem in that the supply and demand for doctors appointments is not in balance (in UK).

    No problem – just increase the cost of getting to a doctor.

    Then the queues will disappear and everyone will rejoice in maximum efficiency as the free market demonstrates its magically capacity to “clear” and give society the most efficient distribution of what it wants.

    So what if poor people die prematurely because they cannot get to see a doctor.

    Free Market Doctors

    If poor people die earlier society will be saved other costs as presumably poor people have low productivity.

    So three cheers for the free market.

    What is the market price of a flying pig?

  6. Donald Oats
    July 19th, 2009 at 14:54 | #6

    Eoooo I love talk of the free market and doctors! The economics around the supply of the GP is in my opinion governed by three significant forces: the transformative nature of technology, which has led to doctors relying on more and better diagnostic aids, such as CT scans, MRI, more efficient blood testing, and so on; the strong desire to keep “market share” by the AMA, for example by insisting on the GP role as the “gate keeper” for all other services, and on their resistance against allowing any prescriptive power for nurses; and finally, the slow conversion of the GP role to a much more mechanical, but more easily billable, routine, and this is driven by the big pharma and their market battles for dominance in particular disease or symptom categories, such as ADHD and generalised anxiety and depression, etc.

    After marvelling at what would probably be the longest sentence I have ever written, may I add that the GP appointment slot is 10 minutes; if you are lucky it is 15 minutes. A 10 minute slot is often interrupted by a phone call or some other distraction. A competent GP is time-poor per patient, and so out-sourcing of some of the diagnostic process is inevitable. By sending the patient on to the ubiquitious X-ray, the GP buys some time; and as each diagnostic tool fails to shed light on the patient’s malady, they are sent on to more advanced (and expensive) diagnostic processes. The alternative route is for the GP to make a tentative diagnosis (“You have depression, take two of these and come back in four weeks.”) and to dispense a prescription for a market-dominant drug. What might have been one appointment of 30 minutes and an accurate diagnosis has in the modern arena become a sequence of fractured 10 minute consults, spread apart by either the difficulty of getting another appointment with the same GP, or the individual delays in seeing a specialist – sometimes a 6-12 month wait – and then back to the GP for another round.

    It looks like being a specialist is more exciting than being a modern GP. As a group, I’m ambivalent about the modern GP; should we be sorry for them – as human beings – trapped in the pincers of mechanisation of the diagnostic process and too little time to properly explore multiple lines of evidence concerning a patient’s illness; or should we be critical of them for long waiting times – in part due to the need to have multiple appointments with a given patient – and of no longer listening to the patient’s needs over and above the needs of big pharma (for one)?

    The complementary medicine-doctors are given a plug by (some) GPs nowadays, which is rather ironic, given the notional advances in evidence-based medicine. I can only guess as to the motives of GPs opting for this route for a patient – still, some complementary medicine is now a Medicare item, so if it is there to be dispensed…

    Anyway, I’m off to get my first MRI on Monday. It should be fascinating.

  7. philip travers
    July 19th, 2009 at 15:53 | #7

    I see,first with the Free Medicine for Swine Flue, will be the lower income people generally,and mothers of such as well.Could our beloved rich people lead the pack first please,by getting their shots in the same places at the same time!?And what is the present number of “benevolent” shots at a young age,in all the other classifications of Australia humanity at lower incomes!? So it seems Swine Flu in the Northern Territory across its thin population geographically,enters that population the same as elsewhere!? And no-one in Academia in Australia finds all these contingency programs a little bit weird,seeing the last time,in the U.S.A. there were plenty of side effects ,and this time,there will be no investigation of them whatsoever!? So because you ,or me, don’t want conspiracies,and have to find out if there are some,via say DavidIcke.com, then that in itself is believing in Conspiracy ,rather than a theory! Roche was part of a very nasty Second World War German grouping where much has been compiled about German Doctors then.And Al Gore has some shares in it.I doubt much about Tamiflu, etc., and I dont want the word Conspiracy Believer hung on me.I think it is somewhat lazy of Australian Professionals,to not look behind the scenes to see if evidence does present itself,that this approach to Swine Flu could be as disastrous,as deciding it could be a disaster itself as Swine Flu.And if it turns out to be a disaster,treating with these medicines,then,I can predict,there will more than anger amongst people across the political spectrum,incomes and jobs,government non government!

  8. July 19th, 2009 at 19:34 | #8

    The term of trade have fallen dramatically. The capacity utilisation rate is low. Employment has fallen. Yet consumer spending and business confidence have increased.

    Is this a mini-bubble waiting to be pricked as unemployment accelerates?

  9. Alice
    July 20th, 2009 at 10:04 | #9

    I was wondering whether anyone noticed that leak in the smh today whereby Roozendahls and Rees job creation schemes are more than omptimistic according to Treasury…they are downright fanciful. A few hundred actual jobs at best (the rest will be arriving…….. through the multiplier (which I note must be around 5) and no-one knows anything about last months announcement on the apprenticeships training intiative??? Or the Sydney metro…when was that announced? – it must have been the month before).

    Job creation….In Roozendahl and Rees dreams…not in the state of NSW.

  10. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 20th, 2009 at 13:02 | #10

    John, whilst the neo-conservative red necks plot to overthrow the Rees Government the Premier just keeps on producing the goods for ‘In the 12 months to March 2009, the Government has helped secure 311 business projects in regional New South Wales generating some 4,600 new jobs’. Thumbs up for Rees.

  11. ABOM
    July 20th, 2009 at 15:05 | #11

    Alice,

    I’ve beaten Andrew up even more, just to entertain you. OK, it’s sick and brutal and slightly barbaric, but (I hope) strangely flattering in a weird way.

    In my hatchet job on Andrew I’m trying to attain this level of skill described in this review of Hazlitt’s hatchet job on JMK’s General Theory:

    “Not only does he kill Keynes; he cuts the corpse up into little pieces and stamps each little piece into the earth. The performance is awe-inspiring, masterly, irrefutable — and a little grisly. At times one almost feels sorry for the victim.”

    I may not attain Hazlitt’s level of brilliance, but I’m trying for you my precious gold bug princess. I’m trying.

  12. Alice
    July 20th, 2009 at 15:21 | #12

    ABOM

    You tell Hazlitt to resucitate Keynes immediately!! How are we ever going to get the gambling Goldmen back to respectability without any bang bang Maynard’s silver hammmer…?
    I saw a man in a pin stripe suit and a bowler hat with his arm in a sling, a patch over his eye, clutching a McAllans in his good hand wearing a banking conference name tag, wobbling along the road this morning looking quite dishevelled. I think it was Andy. Did you disrupt Andy’s business breakfast meeting ABOM?

  13. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 20th, 2009 at 15:40 | #13

    John, the Rees government must be given credit where credit is due for under the NSW JumpSTART program an extra five hundred entry-level cadetships are being offered to HSC school leavers and more is to come over the next four years. Thumbs up Rees.

  14. ABOM
    July 21st, 2009 at 13:14 | #14

    Gold will clean all of this up Alice. Only with gold and silver as money can this foul stench be cleaned up. Govts will be cut down, graft will become too expensive. And banks will be wiped out, remain small – or be so cautious in their lending bubbles will not form so large as to represent a systemic risk.

    Gold is Christian money (and Buddha’s money).

    At times like these you have to go back to fundamentals.

  15. ABOM
    July 21st, 2009 at 13:52 | #15

    And that wasn’t Andy. I would never have allowed Andy to stumble away with a Macallan in his hand. He doesn’t even really like Macallan, so he clearly doesn’t deserve it, even if it did numb the pain.

  16. ABOM
    July 21st, 2009 at 21:06 | #16

    And I have this one ready to go if Andy even so much as breathes a word about GS again.

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article12157.html

    He’s gone quiet. I’m just waiting…

  17. Alice
    July 21st, 2009 at 21:35 | #17

    Oh ABOM – Ill bet Andy gone quiet.. he in hospital!

  18. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 21st, 2009 at 22:19 | #18

    Cor blimey John, even Peter Denham doesn’t have time for the schmuck within the Liberal Party arguing Liberals need to stand for more than political opportunism and stunts.

  19. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 21st, 2009 at 22:22 | #19

    Sorry John, stuffed it again meant to say Peter Debnam and not Peter Denham.

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