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Monday Message Board

October 5th, 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. Rationalist
    October 5th, 2009 at 09:10 | #1

    I posted in the other thread, but may be more appropriate.

    Interesting how this pans out, I heard there is a possibility for a couple of safe seats where the MP might be tapped on the shoulder…

    As Peter Brent says, a 2010 election with Turnbull as leader will yield a 53/47 in favour of Labor and seats in the high 80s (88 he mentions). He also says, anyone but Turnbull (such as Abbott or Bishop), make it 54/46.

    I think these are sound, but certainly are not party destroying stuff.

    Mal will negotiate on the ETS, it will be passed with increased industrial protections we will go to Copenhagen and it will fail.

  2. October 6th, 2009 at 02:21 | #2

    Two observations can be made Rationalist. Abbott maybe, but definitely not Bishop. NSW will be a headache for Labor in the next Federal Election.

  3. October 6th, 2009 at 02:47 | #3

    I must qualify my closed-mind. I am sure Mrs Bishop is a far more capable person than I am, and perhaps due to lack of opportunity, I am not aware of her possessing the skills and judgment to lead the country, let alone win an election. It seems to me a reasonable proposition that people need to demonstrate their capacity before being given responsibility.

  4. Michael of Summer Hill
    October 6th, 2009 at 06:58 | #4

    Update, Update, Update, it has been reported that crazy uncle is now asking Rudd ‘not to ask Governor-General Quentin Bryce to approve an early election should the ETS legislation not make it to a Senate vote this year’. Does this mean crazy uncle is slowly coming out of his slumber and thinks Turnbull has been wright all along in trying to minimise the damage to the Coalition if an early election is called?

  5. Fran Barlow
    October 6th, 2009 at 07:05 | #5

    I disagree

    @wmmbb

    NSW will vote ALP solidly in the Federal sphere. The Federal and State regimes are seen differently.

  6. Salient Green
    October 6th, 2009 at 09:29 | #6

    I have just returned from over two weeks holiday in Tasmania. Having driven (and sailed) from SA through Vic and around all of Tassie, I can report that there is an epidemic of tailgaters. I was surprised to find out during this experience that SA was not the worst state, the greatest numbers being from Vic and northern Tas with the most moronic examples being from Victorian drivers.

    Driving into Melbourne on the Western ring route was appalling. The West Gate bridge was an oozing car park in both directions, it was dirty, untidy, factories belching, chemical smells, huge high voltage towers, rubbish floating. This was Mordor. You can’t call it civilization as some do. The less stupid say it is the price of civilization. It was ugly and sad. There is a better way to live, if only people would start telling their political and business leaders.

    Tassie, beautiful Tassie. If one has to have cities, then make them all Hobarts. And the water. Everywhere water, it filled every depression and gutter and trickled along side every road. Dams filled into the grassy paddocks and still overflowed. Walking tracks became little streams and waterfalls drenched everything 50metres ahead with the whoosh of spray.

    And green. Not a wishy washy green with bits of brown in it seen through haze as on the mainland, but deep clean green seen through crystal clear air.

    I saw a Spotted Quoll in the wild for 10 secs before it saw me and was gone in an instant. Logging of native forests still goes on but there are enormous amounts of plantations. Then there is the wilderness, preserved forever hopefully.

  7. Alice
    October 6th, 2009 at 18:39 | #7

    I rather like Tassie myself Salient – a friend has just moved there…plenty of rain and plenty of water…but plenty of days off due to the rain also (they are buiklding a house south of Hobart)…sounds just like my kind of place!!

  8. Salient Green
    October 6th, 2009 at 19:53 | #8

    I love south of Hobart, Alice. The North is too English and too developed for my liking although Golden Valley (just south of Deloraine), which my wife really likes, is not too developed yet. The plan is to retire in Tassie, if it’s not possible to move there before. The family can come to us!

    It’s easy to get fit in Tasmania. Walking up hills becomes a way of life, unless you are walking down hills which is nearly as hard.

    On ‘days off due to rain’, we travelled on the Strahan railway, the building of which required men to work and sleep in the forest in canvas tents for up to two and a half years where the rainfall in some areas is between 6 and 8 metres per annum. They punched holes in their soles so that the rain would be able to flow through from head to toe without pooling. Makes me feel like a pansy.

  9. October 8th, 2009 at 01:36 | #9

    The Hard Evidence tour featuring Richard Gage and Dr Steven Jones

    Dr Steven Jones produced the paper “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe” which conclusively shows that all three World Trade Center building ‘collapses’ were controllled demolitions.

    Recently, Richard Gage addressed a sell-out audience in the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco and was very well received.

    You can see both of them at the following venues and dates:

    Sydney

    Date: Saturday, 14 November.

    Venue: Tom Mann Theatre136 Chalmers St,
    Surry Hills, Sydney NSW(Walking distance from Central Railway station)

    Seating Capacity: 292

    Melbourne

    Date/Time: Tuesday, 17th of November, 7pm till 10pm (Please be a little early).

    Venue: Victorian Trades Hall (New Council Chamber)

    Brisbane

    Date/Time: Thursday, 19th of November, 7pm till 10pm (Please be a little early).

    Venue: Clayfield Bowling Club

    For further information, please visit thehardevidence.com.

    The organisers would particularly welcome the attendance and participation in the discussion of people who are prepared to defend the Official US Government explanation of the World Trade Center ‘collapses’.

  10. Ian Gould
    October 8th, 2009 at 23:42 | #11

    I must admit I’m somewhat (but only somewhat) surprised that the decline in Australia’s unemployment rate doesn’t warrant a mention on a blog ostensibly devoted to an Australian perspective on economics and public policy.

    “Shares and currency in Australia extended their gains for the week on Thursday after a report showed that the unemployment rate in the country eased in September, falling for the first time in five months.

    The jobless rate for September fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.7%, down from 5.8% in August, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today. The headline figure beat a consensus expectation for 5.9%.”

    http://www.indiainfoline.com/Markets/News/News.aspx?NewsId=7132

    But then, such a development is of no particular polemic value to either the extreme right or the extreme left and is therefore of no use to many of the regular posters here.

  11. Michael of Summer Hill
    October 9th, 2009 at 07:12 | #12

    Update, Update, Update, Liberal dissenters prefer Julie Bishop over Turnbull and Hockey as their leader. My guess Wilson Tuckey will be Deputy Leader and Turnbull or Hockey the tea lady. No bull.

  12. Ernestine Gross
    October 9th, 2009 at 10:03 | #13

    Apropos ‘capital market efficiency’ and ‘macro-economics’, defined as ‘the economy as a whole’:*

    The sharp increases in the major ASX share price indices during the past few days is said to be a response to the better than expected unemployment rate statistic. I wonder how long it will take the ‘investors’ to realise that, given the current definition of ‘employed’ in ‘the economy as a whole’, revenues of many businesses, listed on the ASX, are unlikely to increase a lot.

    * Single quotes on purpose everywhere.

  13. October 9th, 2009 at 10:06 | #14

    It was impressive to see the world’s share markets rally behind the news that Australia had led the G20 with a rise in the cash rate, that was given even more significance since Australia is such a large exporter of commodities, the point being that people around the world are watching what happens in our little old corner of the globe.
    So why is it that the liberals are so determined that Australia can not show leadership or at least be an inspiration that other global leaders can use to argue their respective cases to their voters about emissions reductions targets after Copenhagen?

    Australians are always standing on their soap box bragging about how strong our economy is, what great people we all are, how much this and thats we have, how educated and intelligent we all are, etc, etc and here we are only prepared to act if and only if the major economies, specifically the US who is going through the worst recession in 70 years, who is funding 2 wars and is trying to reform their entire health care system takes the lead.

    One would imagine that considering we haven’t even gone into recession (which I might add is solely due to the fact that we export vast amounts of Coal) and now that we have been identified as overtaking the US as the world’s worst polluters per capita (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/11/2683439.htm) with on average 5 times the emissions per person compared with the Chinese who incidentally just commissioned the largest solar farm ever made you would think that it is our responsibility more than anyones to be first in with the strongest targets.

    Personally it seems to me that the liberals are hoping that the US will fall short with their targets at Copenhagen simply because they have no money to do anything which will give Australia the perfect excuse it needs to continue to do nothing.

  14. frankis
    October 9th, 2009 at 10:26 | #15

    Ah, yes, Australian leadership in the world – I’m old enough to remember that feeling of pride.

  15. jquiggin
    October 9th, 2009 at 11:58 | #16

    @Ian Gould

    Ian, what is with this constant snark from you lately? I commented on the unemployment figures for PM, as you can see here. As I mentioned some time ago, I’m not blogging as much because of my book commitments.

  16. James
    October 9th, 2009 at 12:42 | #17

    Any comments on Garnaut having a go at Rudd and defending neo-liberalism? It’s a bit hard to tell if he has really said what the Australian concludes he has said.

  17. Michael of Summer Hill
    October 9th, 2009 at 18:09 | #18

    James, everyone is wise ex-post but few economists are willing to put their reputations on the line ex-ante for fear of losing credibility. Having said that the majority of economists are in agreement with Rudd’s stimulus in pump priming the economy. And even today no-one knows when the global financial crisis will come to an end.

  18. sdfc
    October 9th, 2009 at 20:54 | #19

    Good result Ian, but it’s only one month of data. The monthly labour force figures can be a bit of a lottery. I’d be waiting another couple of months before singing the team song.

  19. Fran Barlow
    October 10th, 2009 at 09:21 | #20

    @James Garnaut

    Garnaut, like the opposition, entirely misses the point. In the long run, we’re all dead, but in the short run we want to live as well as we can for as long as we can and pass this on to the next generation and the one after that.

    Living a lot better now than if there were had mass unemployment by borrowing against the future, if that is what is being chosen, makes sense because even if , all else being equal, people don’t live as well as they might have in the future had policy simply allowed the economy to go down the toilet now, the misery now has long term effects on confidence. Whole groups of people are rendered worthless.

    It’s also unclear that one can even make this inference because of course, all else is NOT equal. If we do nothing and we get, say, 20% unemployment overall and 40% unemployment amongst youth and people over 45 then this also costs money. We end up having to pay extra welfare or have an angry underclass of people. Skills that we had fostered go undeployed. Collateral against loans loses value and the effect runs through the entire economy. Ironically, if there is demand for goods externally, we can’t meet it efficiently because large parts of the economy, including finance have shut down.

    For all Garnaut’s complaints, Australia, according to the World Economic Forum, is now rated no2 in the world’s financial centers—and this reflects in substantial part the fact that Australia isn’t in recession, it’s reducing unemployment and that the banks haven’t fallen over. What this means is that a skewed proportion of the capital in the world looking to park itself will park itself here as the currency strengthens, reducing the cost of debt service.

    As things stand there are about to get substantial inflows from renewed demand for resources, and these are ample to address debt service issues. Debt service ratios are amongst the lowest in the world and likely to go lower.

    I would make one observation though—isn’t it interesting that the opponents of Garnaut’s prescription for CO2 mitigation think Rudd should be listening to him on this issue? The truth is of course that Rudd reduced Garnaut to “input” on mitigation and adopted a program that was far more modest and he will probably ignore Garnaut here too. The cheer squad for Garnaut ought to explain why his modelling of cap and trade is wrong but his analysis os stimulus is right.

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