Home > Boneheaded stupidity, Economics - General > Starting as I mean to go on (updated)

Starting as I mean to go on (updated)

March 13th, 2013

As I said in my last post, I’m giving as good as I get from now on, and today I seem to be getting plenty

Over at Catallaxy (Google it if you want), Sinclair Davidson is complaining about my Australian Laureate Fellowship (total budget, including lots of postdocs, PhD students etc, $2 million over 5 years) as an imposition on the taxpayer. Sinclair also receives a taxpayer funded salary of at least $150K. The standard assumption is that 30 per cent of a professorial salary is for research, the rest for teaching, administration, community service and so on. By contrast, I’m funded 100 per cent for research, my own and that of my students and collaborators. So, let’s see who is goofing off on the taxpayer dollar.

Here’s Sinclair: two journal articles\, and zero working papers in the last five years. On my arithmetic, allowing 30 per cent of salary for research, that’s a rate of over $100k per publication.
Here’s me 29 journal articles and 36 working papers in the same period. That’s about $30k per publication, without allowing for material produced by the postdocs and PhD students funded by my grant.

Those aren’t exhaustive lists of publications by any means, but I doubt that the relativities would change if we had a more complete list, including books, reports and so on. Adjusting for journal quality, as perceived by the profession, would make the difference even sharper.

Updated With their usual affinity for conspiracy theories, commenters here at and Catallaxy are suggesting that my current Fellowship is a favor from my Labor mates (readers here will be aware of my slavish devotion to our PM, which has, it seems, finally paid off). Of course, the great thing with conspiracy theories is that, the longer you look, the more conspirators you find. I’m sure the Catallaxians will be unsurprised to discover that this is, in fact, my fifth fellowship of this kind (the publication count above refers to my previous one), and that the previous four were all awarded by the Howard government.

Further update Sinclair Davidson has responded with a more complete list of his publications, including quite a few that appear neither on the IDEAS database (because it doesn’t include low-grade journals like Agenda and Policy nor on his personal webpage at RMIT. As I said above, it doesn’t change the relativities.

Yet further update Davidson has managed to convince the ever-gullible Andrew Bolt that pieces in Policy (not even ranked as a peer-reviewed journal by the ARC ranked C by the ARC), Agenda (ranked B) and a bunch of CIS/IPA publications constitute a stellar publication record. There’s nothing wrong with publishing in magazines like these (I do plenty of it), but it’s supposed to be a by-product of academic research, not a substitute for it. Bolt (innumerate, and out by two orders of magnitude on the impact of emissions policy), also repeats his claim that I’m the math-challenged one.

  1. kevin1
    March 13th, 2013 at 22:03 | #1

    I am troubled that Prof Q is under attack. The contribution to public debate and education from this blog is apparently not acknowledged, despite all the recent talk about the need for “democracy and diversity” in this country (Sen Conroy talked about it today).

    But there are measures, and I quote the grumpy observations of the WordPress man today as support: ” Over ten years and multiple blogs, you’ve built up thousands of posts, hundreds to thousands of commenters, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of comments.”

  2. Mel
    March 13th, 2013 at 22:42 | #2

    Good on you, PrQ. It sounds like Professor Davidson is getting fat on pork over at that august institution, the RMIT.

    Also note how Judith Sloan slimes on board with this comment: “Two million dollars. You have got to be joking. What does this pay for? The ARC is basically corrupt and only left wing tossers get grants.”

    As I’ve said before, the Cat has turned into poor white trash trailer park since Soon left.

  3. March 14th, 2013 at 00:12 | #3

    Hasn’t the IPA always existed with secret CIA financial, and other, support?

    Isn’t the CIA the ultimate waste of taxpayer money?

    When was the last time Murdoch actually paid net tax in Australia?

    I see Gillard has announced thousands of dollars to Murdoch’s “Idol” as some bizarro Australian cultural program. Peak Stupid seems unobtainiumable!

  4. kevin1
    March 14th, 2013 at 00:18 | #4

    @Mel
    What a mouth Judith Sloan has. She has described the Walkley Awards for journalism as a “union controlled racket”. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/assange_wins_walkley_will_the_climategate_leaker_get_one_too/

    Walkley sponsors include Aust Post, Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, JP Morgan, Foxtel, News Limited, SkyNews, CNN, BHP Billiton, Minter Ellison, Pernod Ricard Wines etc.

    How does a person who lies so blatantly get to be put in front of a university class?

  5. Gab
    March 14th, 2013 at 00:21 | #5

    Sinclair also receives a taxpayer funded salary of at least $150K.

    Actually that is untrue. His salary is paid by international students, not taxpayers. I’m surprised you don’t know that.

  6. Gab
    March 14th, 2013 at 00:35 | #6

    Or perhaps you do know…

  7. Ken Miles
    March 14th, 2013 at 00:41 | #7

    Could Catallaxy be more pathetic?

    It’s just sad to see Sinclair attacking somebody for being successful and putting forward conspiracy theories about his own lack of success.

  8. Ernestine Gross
    March 14th, 2013 at 01:09 | #8

    I looked up Sinclair’s post on Cat. The first thought which came to my mind when reading his copy of the cut and paste excerpt was: Well, if I were to believe Sinclair, I’d have to accept Dr Merkel, the EU Commission and all academic and non-academic economists in the EU and elsewhere are following a “very radical program”. Then I read the original paper by our host, from which the excerpt was cut and pasted, and found he noted his proposed policy aims to prevent future GFC are broadly consistent with the policies of the EU (by implication Dr Merkel, the Bundesbank and all the serious academic and non-academic economists in the EU and elsewhere who have studied the nature of the problem of the ‘financialised form of capitalism’.)

    I am not sure how I should phrase my conclusion about Professor Sinclair’s Cat post. The category label of this thread will do.

  9. Robert in UK
    March 14th, 2013 at 03:22 | #9

    As Krugman always says JQ, if they’re attacking you it means you’re getting through to people. Keep up the good work.

  10. March 14th, 2013 at 05:08 | #10

    seems to be a reflection on our times or maybe i’s the nature of humans

    i was at a town meeting once – or maybe it was a party – i really could not tell the difference

    first one person would stand, clear his/her throat, then launch a tirade of abuse at one of the other people – mostly these were insults about the other’s sexuality or business acumen or belittling of their achievements

    the other would sit patiently waiting until the speaker had finished and then he or she too would stand and retaliate

    most of it was in a language i was not familiar with but i did catch the sometimes frequent english phrases which were all pretty foul

    i gathered from the way the audience reacted that this was some form of entertainment – after a particularly eloquent verbal attack they would clap and cheer the speaker for his or her cleverness

    this went on for some time toing and froing from one person to the next

    i was told that sometimes it might end in quite physical confrontations though this was frowned upon

    afterwards, at the session i witnessed, they seemed to be all good friends with many people clapping others on the back and praising their skill at verbal abuse

    the two most senior people had spoken long and effusively and i understood that their station in the village was partly to do with this skill

    apparently they could write too

    and one had been to university in one of the big cities overseas

    i found them to be at the same time both quite charming and childish

    after all, we civilized people don’t indulge i such behaviour

    do we

    po

  11. Nick
    March 14th, 2013 at 06:18 | #11

    kevin1, I wasn’t trying to come across as grumpy 🙂 I was trying to be helpful. I respect what John does, and certainly the time and hard work Jacques puts in to keeping all these blogs running. I also think WordPress is just as amazing a piece of software as I did 6 or 7 years ago.

    I just figured it might be starting to run up against the wall a bit performance and reliability wise having Catallaxy, LP, Troppo, John’s own popular blog and others all running on the same server account with a version of WordPress (afaik, the free one) that wasn’t really designed for that purpose.

    And was just trying to suggest a few options to avoid the crashes bringing everything down – some too expensive of course, others less so. Something else that has changed in the last 10 years, is that hosting is much cheaper now than it ever was. There’s less need to bundle multiple sites together under one account, and the same set of server processes.

    Keep up the good work, John. And, I guess…yeah, keep up the good work Sinclair. Professional jealousy, and wishing others out of work and income because they hold political views Rupert Murdoch disagrees with – classy stuff.

  12. Nick
    March 14th, 2013 at 06:27 | #12

    Sinclair: “Judith – the ARC has funded me in the past. But not since 2007. Pure coincidence, of course. My last application went from being wait listed to being ranked in the bottom 10 per cent. Amazing how the quality of application rises with a change in government.”

    The hallmark of the libertarian – they’re always whinging about missing out on something.

    “C’mon government I hate, and make no bones about hating – where’s my money?! Give me the tax dollars!”

  13. John Quiggin
    March 14th, 2013 at 06:28 | #13

    @Gab

    Unis get their money from a number of different sources. There’s normally no explicit hypothecation of revenue like income from fees and HECS payments (if Sinclair has such an arrangement, I’m not aware of it). But it makes sense to regard that as funding the teaching part of a standard appointment, and the Commonwealth contribution (about 30 per cent of total uni income) as funding research, which is what I’ve done here.

  14. hc
    March 14th, 2013 at 07:36 | #14

    Sinclair’s fairly meagre government-funded research output is worth noting but that he is not overly committed to this work allows him to be released to do important work for the IPA. There he can criticise those whose research relies on taxpayer dollars as well as promote climate denialism, the interests of the carcinogen producers and Gina. It is important to maintain perspective. We get good value for our tax dollars indirectly.
    .
    And he operates Catallaxy to promote civilized discourse.

  15. wilful
    March 14th, 2013 at 08:25 | #15

    very droll, hc.

  16. Robbo
    March 14th, 2013 at 08:27 | #16

    JQ,

    The numbers that you mention pretty much put the picture of productivity or lack thereof in black and white.

    Sour grapes at the cat? Same as it ever was…

  17. Ikonoclast
    March 14th, 2013 at 09:37 | #17

    Irony alert on.

    Prof. John Quiggin, you forget that the government billions paid to big business and its supporters are all “well-targeted business assistance”. Money paid to assist anyone else like sinlge parents, the unemployed, university students, or even grants to left-ish university academics, is egregious waste and pork barrelling.

    The rich must be made richer and the rest (middle, lower middle and current poor) must be reduced to bare subsistence. Only then will the glorious empire of oligarchic capital reach its pre-ordained and mandated rule for eternity.

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

    Irony alert off.

  18. Chris Warren
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:10 | #18

    John Quiggin’s position (I snatched from Australia’s worst site):

    The answer, though, is not to tame financial markets through the socialization of equity, but to cut them down to size. A prerequisite for any positive program is a comprehensive attack on the power of financial markets, including the breakup of all “too big to fail” institutions, taxes on high-volume financial transactions, stringent restrictions on the creation of new financial instruments, and reductions in the share of national income going to the profits of financial enterprises. That’s a radical program, but (unlike Ackerman’s) every element of it is on the table right now, and commands support well beyond the Left.

    Sounds like National Civic Council economic policy from the 1960’s to me.

    There is nothing Left about restricting or regulating or ‘democratising’ capitalism. Sloan and Davidson et al are barking at figments of their own imaginations.

    Although I am gobsmacked by the quantity of funds given generally through ARC and similar channels given the problems of homeless and sofa-surfers in Canberra in the shadow of Parliament House.

    As I recall, Sloan was a recipient of NBEET funding the overarching structure over the ARC under previous governments.

  19. John Foster
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:11 | #19

    My good friend and collaborator, Jason Potts, has recently commenced an ARC funded Future Fellowship at RMIT. As yet, I have had no indication the Sinclair Davidson has been storming down the corridor to tell him he is wasting taxpayers money. As another commentator above has pointed out, these attacks by the likes of Davidson and Sloan are an indication that John is being perceived by them as a serious threat. But I’m not so sure that he should allow himself to be drawn into the propaganda war and allow himself to be portrayed as a ‘leftist’ instead of an independent commentator relying on evidence, not ideology.

  20. wilful
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:26 | #20

    I don’t understand academic protocols in relation to economics (I have a reasonable grasp of how it works in biological sciences), but I didn’t think an academic could survive with two articles in five years or more. Seriously, his RMIT publishing list , which I presume he curates, has nothing whatsoever on it in years, apart from some un-refereed opinion piece drivel at the Centre for “Independent” Studies. How does he manage to still draw a salary? Maybe he’s a truly excellent teacher?

  21. wilful
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:27 | #21

    Broken link above, meant to go to: http://www.rmit.edu.au/staff/sinclairdavidson

  22. Gab
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:37 | #22

    Nope, John q, what I said stands, Just because yiu don’t believe it doesn’t make you right, but snarl away – on my tax dollars.

  23. March 14th, 2013 at 10:39 | #23

    Gifts from your mates in the Labor party.

    $400,000 a year? You’re a leech. Have some self respect and get a real job.

  24. wilful
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:41 | #24

    Repec lists Pr Quiggin as 7th in Oceania for economics (could find Davidson), and UQ School of Economics at 4th (with the RSMG getting a second bite at =17th) . Embarrassingly, RMIT Uni didn’t even make it onto the institutions list.

    http://ideas.repec.org/top/top.oceania.html

  25. wilful
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:41 | #25

    Yobbo :
    Gifts from your mates in the Labor party.
    $400,000 a year? You’re a leech. Have some self respect and get a real job.

    define “real”.

  26. Peter Whiteford
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:55 | #26

    While I have no knowledge of John’s actual salary I suspect that the $400,000 includes one or two other coworkers @Yobbo

  27. Chris Warren
    March 14th, 2013 at 11:09 | #27

    @Gab

    International student fees are paid to the institution, not to lecturers.

    Your blundering is illuminating.

  28. wilful
    March 14th, 2013 at 11:18 | #28

    Pr Quiggin’s funding is far more transparent than “Pr” Sinclair’s
    http://www.arc.gov.au/ncgp/laureate/laureate_overview.htm
    http://www.uq.edu.au/current-staff/index.html?page=180670

  29. Sancho
    March 14th, 2013 at 11:35 | #29

    Hooray! It’s not a party til Yobbo arrives.

    Brace yourselves for a deluge of hard facts from old Geocities websites that scream in big orange capitals about the menace of Jews and race-mixing.

    Also note that the hard working, up-by-the-bootstraps entrepreneurs of Catallaxy have hours and hours on weekdays to hang around the internet complaining that no else does any real work.

  30. Chris Warren
    March 14th, 2013 at 11:37 | #30

    IPA – slow learners,

    Here is IPA’s Chris Berg, in 2010, finally admitting;

    It’s now clear Khrushchev placed the missiles in Cuba to deter an American invasion – that is, not in an offensive capacity.

    This was obvious in the 1960’s.

    But even now IPA cannot bring itself to mention the Bay of Pigs.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

  31. Chris Warren
    March 14th, 2013 at 11:39 | #31

    oops, IPA is even slower…..

    Berg only got to this point in 2012.

  32. Tim Macknay
    March 14th, 2013 at 11:44 | #32

    @Robert in UK

    As Krugman always says JQ, if they’re attacking you it means you’re getting through to people.

    Indeed. Following Gandhi’s dictum, if Professor Quiggin is at the “then they fight you” stage, the next one is “then you win”.

  33. Scott
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:05 | #33

    Political Hacks end up working for the IPA for advocacy. These days this seems to be promoting grand conspiracy theories, criticism of science, propaganda for children, seeking independent research to support conspiracy theories (R squared in search of a correlation). Pretty much the credibility and brains of the Tea Party. Though like another dubious website that does mean they will be quite popular here. All in all it’s petty jealousy much like the rhetoric.

  34. John Foster
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:23 | #34

    ‘Yobbo’ and ‘Gab’ are clearly right wing trolls so I doubt that there is much point debating with them. But I should point out to anyone who might be taken in by their provocative comments that the Howard Government were very happy to approve John’s previous Federation Fellowship at a similar level of funding. Why? because he is a really outstanding researcher. No need for any conspiracy theories!

  35. may
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:23 | #35

    this reminds me of when i was an idiot child (yes i know,still an idiot)

    out the back was a rather large meat ant nest.(about eight ft across)
    when we were bored we would get big (for a kid) rocks and throw them onto the nest.

    boiling out of the nest would come the enraged ants and the idea was to keep stepping back so that they couldn’t pick you up and take you home for lunch.

    good fun.
    (if anybody tries to make that into a computer game the idea is mine and i want money!)

    the interesting thing is a few days later the rocks would have disappeared,the ants had buried them.

    many moons later the ants nest is still there,development hasn’t reached that far and extinguished them.

    maybe cattle axy are just part of the landscape,antish in swarms and easily avoided.

    is there a lesson or moral in this?
    i dunno.

  36. March 14th, 2013 at 12:27 | #36

    you have to feel sympathy for sinkers.

    He cannot read national accounts nor CPI publications. He doesn’t understand budget papers.
    He has no idea of basic management accounting.
    He seems to think ratios are all influenced by the numerator. Even when faced with a dictionary meaning he still doesn’t understand the meaning of the word predecessor.

    Even when he predicts a fall in the TOT he thinks inflation will be produced.

  37. Greg
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:30 | #37

    Sinclair responds with his actual list of publications
    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2013/03/14/starting-off-badly/

    2008
    Sokulsky, D., R. Brooks and S. Davidson. “Untangling Demand Curves from Information Effects: New Evidence from Australian Index Adjustments”. Applied Financial Economics. 18(8) 605 – 616.
    Davidson, S. Fry, T. Farrell, L. and Mihajilo, S. 2008, “Contestability of Australian federal elections”, Australian Journal of Political Science, 43(3): 1036 – 1146.
    Davidson, S. “Secret Econometric Business: Watching FuelWatch and the ACCC”. Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform. 15(4) 5 – 18. (Lead article).
    2009
    Davidson, S. “A ‘no tax return’ scheme for Australia? Some inconvenient facts”. Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform. 16(4): 67 – 79.
    2010
    Davidson, S. and H. Spong. “Positive Externalities and R&D: Two Conflicting Traditions in Economic Theory”. Review of Political Economy. 22(3): 355 – 372.
    Davidson, S. “Should we worry about sovereign wealth funds?” Policy. 26(3): 37 – 41.
    Davidson, S. “Imprudent lending and the sub-prime crisis: An Austrian school perspective”. Griffith Law Review. 2010, 19(1): 98 – 108.
    Davidson, S. “Bankers and scapegoats”. International Financial Review. 11: 119 – 134.
    Davidson, S. “The fatally flawed Resource Super Profit Tax”. Tax Policy Journal. 6: 21 – 27.
    2011
    Davidson, S. “Stimulusgate”. Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform. 18(1) 5 – 11.
    2012
    Davidson, S. “The limits of property and freedom”. International Trade and Business Law Review. 15: 385 – 393.
    Davidson, S. and R. Heaney. “Effective tax rates and the Political Cost hypothesis: A re-evaluation of Australian evidence”. Australian Tax Forum. 27(1) 79 – 105.
    Davidson, S. “Treasury Forecasts of Company Tax Revenue: Back of the Envelope or Back to the Drawing Board?” Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform. 19(2): 53 – 62.

    Since 1991 I have published 66 academic papers at an average of about three per year. The last five years that is down to about 2.5 per year. What’s going on? Ah, yes. Book chapters.

    Davidson, S. 2009. “Tax and Welfare”. In, Keith Windschuttle, David Martin Jones and Ray Evans (eds). The Howard Era. Quadrant Books.
    Davidson, S. 2009. Climategate: A failure of governance. In, Alan Moran (ed.), Climate Change: The Facts. Institute of Public Affairs.
    Davidson, S. and V. Ramiah. 2010. “The information-adjusted noise model: theory and evidence from the Australian stock market. In Brian Bruce (ed.), The Handbook of Behavioral Finance. Edward Elgar.
    Davidson, S. 2011. The faulty arguments behind Australia’s corporate income tax. In, Robert Carling (ed.) Taxploitation II: Tax reform for incentive, productivity and economic growth. Sydney: CIS.
    Davidson, S. 2011. Fiscal Illusions: How big government makes tax look small. In, Robert Carling (ed.) Taxploitation II: Tax reform for incentive, productivity and economic growthI. Sydney: CIS.
    Davidson, S. 2011. Tax competition: Much to do about very little. In, Robert Carling (ed.) Taxploitation II: Tax reform for incentive, productivity and economic growth. Sydney: CIS.
    Davidson, S. 2011. Good intentions versus self interest. In Andrew McIntyre (ed.), The Greens: Policies, Reality and Consequences. Connor Court.
    Davidson, S. 2012. Tax and Transfers. In Gary Johns (ed.), Right Social Justice: better ways to help the poor. Connor Court.

  38. John Quiggin
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:47 | #38

    I’ll leave it to other academic economists on the thread to say how a publication record like that would fly in a tenure application at their institutions.

  39. Sancho
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:54 | #39

    Who needs tenure when you’ve got a river of donations from Gina Rhinehart pouring into your lobbying business?

  40. TerjeP
    March 14th, 2013 at 13:16 | #40

    Is an Australian Laureate Fellowship grant subject to income tax. Or is it tax free?

  41. March 14th, 2013 at 13:36 | #41

    Why? because he is a really outstanding researcher. No need for any conspiracy theories!

    It’s not really a conspiracy theory, is it? It’s just that $400,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to pay any academic. It’s more than the Prime Minister earns.

    I would be outraged if Sinclair was paid that much too.

    When I said “Get a real job”, I meant one that isn’t paid for by the taxpayer.

  42. Ken_L
    March 14th, 2013 at 13:36 | #42

    I was under the impression that publications should incorporate original research findings. For anyone to propose these book chapters as serious academic work which should be regarded in the same light as scholarly journal articles is ridiculous. Unless of course Davidson sincerely sees no difference in the nature of the publications, which would be more than a little troubling.

    Sadly the temptations offered by the internet and the proliferation of think tanks have seen many members of the professoriate abandon serious scholarship. Why put in the effort to do original research when you can just dash off a chapter about ‘Climategate’ or join independent scholars like Tony Abbott in writing learned essays about ‘The Howard Era’?

  43. John Quiggin
    March 14th, 2013 at 13:41 | #43

    @Ken_L

    There’s nothing wrong with publications like these, and academics should do more of them. But without original research to back them up, they are essentially just opinion pieces (cue Seinfeld quote here).

  44. Uncle Milton
    March 14th, 2013 at 13:41 | #44

    @John Quiggin

    It’s not an impressive list, but this makes your fight with him difficult to understand. Why do you bother with someone who is so far below you on the academic totem pole? (Krugman does the same thing on his blog, having brawls with economists who in his day job he wouldn’t give the time of day to.)

    If I were in your position, I’d just look down my nose at Sinclair and leave it at that, letting him know exactly where he stands, without needing to say anything. In my observation it’s a technique that can be used to devastating effect.

  45. March 14th, 2013 at 13:43 | #45

    @Yobbo

    $400,000 is less than very many senior bureaucrats earn

    pop

  46. Uncle Milton
    March 14th, 2013 at 13:47 | #46

    @Yobbo

    Yobbo, you need to pay closer attention. The $400,000 doesn’t just pay for John’s salary but people he employs, like the post docs. Universities often take a slice of these awards to pay for rent on office space, computers etc.

  47. Ken_L
    March 14th, 2013 at 13:49 | #47

    JQ explicitly states he does not personally ‘earn’ $400,000 a year from the Fellowship, or anything close to it. The terms of Federation Fellowships are available online after about 60 seconds Googling.

  48. John Foster
    March 14th, 2013 at 13:52 | #48

    @Yobbo

    Trolls always like to keep themselves safely anonymous when they are commenting on people who are honest enough to not hide their identities. I think is disgusting. But worse, they also do not take the trouble to check the facts (oops, when did propagandists ever worry about the facts?). Of course John doesn’t earn $400,000 per annum – the total sum is for his whole project, not his salary. Even a cursory check of the ARC website would have established this. But why I am responding to Yobbo at all, given my previous post? I guess the moral outrage just gets too much sometimes.

  49. March 14th, 2013 at 13:53 | #49

    Trolls always like to keep themselves safely anonymous when they are commenting on people who are honest enough to not hide their identities. I think is disgusting.

    You must be new here.

    Anyone who has been involved in Australian blogging for more than 2 years knows my real name. Try google.

  50. wilful
    March 14th, 2013 at 13:56 | #50

    Ken_L :
    JQ explicitly states he does not personally ‘earn’ $400,000 a year from the Fellowship, or anything close to it. The terms of Federation Fellowships are available online after about 60 seconds Googling.

    Or even handily provided for Yobbo’s edumacation in this thread!

    The point is, Yobbo doesn’t care to understand the finer points, he merely wants to make his point.

    FYI Yobbo the PM is paid $495 000 a year.

  51. John Foster
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:03 | #51

    @Yobbo
    What! You expect readers to track someone called ‘Yobbo’ down on the Web. Ok, if it is no secret, what is your real name and affiliation?

  52. March 14th, 2013 at 14:04 | #52

    The point is, Yobbo doesn’t care to understand the finer points, he merely wants to make his point.

    Exactly. Point stands.

  53. rog
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:07 | #53

    @Yobbo QED

  54. rog
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:10 | #54

    @wilful The PMs salary attracts considerable benefits whereas JQs package is gross and attracts costs. It’s not apples with oranges.

  55. Chris Warren
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:12 | #55

    Yobbo’s are well yobbo’s. Wilful is correct and Yobbo’s cannot even do basic research.

    Remuneration Tribunal report 2012/1 gives PM additional 160% salary on top of base parliamentary salary.

    Report 2012/2 determined base salary at $190,550.

    Yobbo’s will have great difficulty with the maths, but the rest of us can see that wilful has worked it out correctly.

    In a year, with other entitlements, the PM’s income is probably much higher.

  56. J.H.
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:21 | #56

    University training is over rated…mostly it is simpley an excuse for gate keeping society. The University elite on one side of the gate, the tax slaves on the other. Mostly they go from Uni into some sort of Bureaucracy.

    …. as for productivity from our lettered elites…. Zero…. Acually worse then zero, billions worse than zero.

    Down at the CSIRO the lettered elites are fighting over lollies and broken tooth compensation…. I kid you not.

    Could you imagine Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, etc, fighting over lollies instead of obsessing over their Geekish nascent technologies back in the seventies?….. Well if they had been, none of us would be sitting here typing and communicating like we are right now.

    Yet here are these Deep Space Communication CSIRO guys, working in a field of science that probably thousands of people would give their right arm to be involved in, being paid for by the Taxpayer… and all they can do is fight over friggin’ lollies.

    If they were truly expert and obsessed people, they would be developing an Aerospace industry. They’d have visions of putting up their own satellites, sending atmospheric probes to Venus. Designing better ion drives, rockets, scramjets, putting integrated circuitry and guidance systems in artillery shells, etc.. the Universe would be their oyster and their obsession. There’d be spin off technology into defence and allsorts.

    But not these mob. They’re too busy fighting over lollies and compensation….

  57. Uncle Milton
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:30 | #57

    @wilful

    For the PM, add the super, the free use of the Lodge and Kirribilli House with all the servants and trimmings, and the remuneration package is well over $1 million per year.

  58. Nick
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:35 | #58

    J.H., if you’re using wi-fi right now while you’re typing and communicating, thank the CSIRO:

    http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/government-it/scientists-win-a-case-of-high-wifinance-20120331-1w5dy.html

    The team who cracked the idea back in the 1990s included John O’Sullivan, Diet Ostry, Terry Percival, Graham Daniels and John Deane. All five have been honoured for their achievements, with Dr O’Sullivan winning the 2009 Prime Minister’s Award for Science.

    Their technology is now estimated to have been used in more than 3 billion electronic devices globally, including computers, printers, game consoles, TV sets and phones.

    CSIRO started legal action over its patent in 2005 and settled major cases against 14 companies in 2009, netting $205 million that year.

  59. kevin1
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:58 | #59

    @Nick
    OK, sorry for misunderstanding.

  60. Mel
    March 14th, 2013 at 14:59 | #60

    Hmmm. Davidson’s list of publications is mainly proforma opinion pieces for the CIS and IPA. I’m surprised Davidson is not embarrassed by such serious underachievement. How does he keep his job?

  61. March 14th, 2013 at 14:59 | #61

    Ok, if it is no secret, what is your real name and affiliation?

    http://ldpstirling.wordpress.com/

  62. March 14th, 2013 at 15:00 | #62

    That page is from the 2007 election btw, I am not running any more, indeed I no longer live in Australia.

  63. Nick
    March 14th, 2013 at 15:04 | #63

    No worries, kevin1. I can be a bit forward and blunt a lot of the time, which I really should do something about…when I read back, I could see where the misunderstanding came from. I’m glad you gave me a chance to clarify.

  64. John Foster
    March 14th, 2013 at 15:17 | #64

    Yobbo :
    That page is from the 2007 election btw, I am not running any more, indeed I no longer live in Australia.

    Hi Sam

    Thanks for identifying yourself. You have risen a couple of points in my estimation (but from a very low base!). Good luck pushing the libertarian cause overseas. Funnily enough, there are bits of the cause I quite like, being a Schumpeterian and an admirer of some of Hayek’s insights. But I don’t think trying to bulldoze an ideology through gets us very far in freeing up the bits of the economy that really matter. For example, discussing John’s salary is completely irrelevant and I should add that, in many contexts, he likes free markets!

  65. Scott
    March 14th, 2013 at 15:18 | #65

    It’s important to research well. For example: before Assuming that the CSIRO Deep Space Communication Guys are wasting Australian Taxpayer money it is best to see whether they are actually funded by the Australian taxpayer. So I checked the website where it says: (All operational costs are borne by NASA. The Complex’s DSN activities are coordinated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).) What should they be doing according to the query? Developing an Aerospace Industry. Hmmmm. NASA is an aerospace industry… What they are doing as presented: arguing over lollies. What they really are doing according to their website: missions including: Cassini spacecraft at Saturn, Mars missions – including the twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Messenger spacecraft travelling to Mercury, New Horizons spacecraft travelling to Pluto, Voyager 1 and 2, which have been in space for over 30 years. Of course not all of this is glamorous and involves toiling away but checking, double checking and tedious work. Probably the reason JQ was retained by J Howard. As one professor said to me that people can produce papers but quality papers require more. Imagine where we would be without the CSIRO. No wifi and many other inventions.

  66. wilful
    March 14th, 2013 at 15:25 | #66

    Scott, those are not real jobs, because they are 100% supported by taxpayers.

  67. Sancho
    March 14th, 2013 at 15:57 | #67

    http://ldpstirling.wordpress.com

    Jumpin’ Jesus.

    Not only is it not Morrissey in the avatar, but the people of Australia can now vote for someone who is concerned that “Government is comprised of politicians and public servants with no special insight or wisdom”, but also thinks wireless internet is the same as 3G and is proud of using a private “wireless” internet provider instead of connecting to that copper line rolled out by the government.

    As for “speed limits should be determined by what most motorists regard as safe, not what public servants deem to be acceptable”, sure. Why not. Let’s take road safety away from bureaucrats with their bothersome statistics and declining road tolls, and let the Dunning-Kruger effect decide instead.

  68. March 14th, 2013 at 16:04 | #68

    For example, discussing John’s salary is completely irrelevant and I should add that, in many contexts, he likes free markets!

    John has spent his entire career trying to discredit and lampoon free-market organisations in Australia.

  69. rog
    March 14th, 2013 at 16:30 | #69

    @Yobbo Lampoon is an excellent word and entirely appropriate.

  70. rog
    March 14th, 2013 at 16:32 | #70

    @wilful I can think of many other jobs 100% supported by taxpayer; education, health, military, police, law, garbage collection…I could go on..border security…and on

  71. Jordan
    March 14th, 2013 at 16:43 | #71

    @Yobbo
    JQ discredits privatization of infrastructure. Infrastructures are natural monopolies that do not have competition market associated with it.
    To add that Adam Smith described free market as free of rentiers and monopolies so that they do not perverse incentives within the market. By that JQ is a defender of a free market while you, by opposing that, want rentier market.

  72. March 14th, 2013 at 16:59 | #72

    Please, Jordan. Not 3 days ago Quiggin posted an article defending the Fabian society, and calling Australia’s most prominent free-market think-tank “wingnuts”.

    I don’t understand why you are even pursuing this line of drivel. It’s no shame to say you don’t support free markets. You would probably be in the majority in Australia.

  73. Chris Warren
    March 14th, 2013 at 17:07 | #73

    @Yobbo

    Your so-called free-market think-tank is a low-grade rightwing capitalist propaganda sect.

  74. Sancho
    March 14th, 2013 at 17:12 | #74

    Not 3 days ago Quiggin posted an article defending the Fabian society

    Actually, he pointed out that what Catallaxy thinks is the logo of the Fabian society is actually a hoax created in 1910 to – guess what – troll critics of the Fabian society.

    The fact that you guys fell for it over a century later says more about the IPA and its supporters than anything John Quiggin has ever written.

  75. rog
    March 14th, 2013 at 17:27 | #75

    Yobbo is an accurate description. He thinks that moving to Thailand is worth it because he can get an $8 brekkie. No doubt there are other pleasures that a yobbo can indulge in, on the cheap.

  76. Jim Rose
    March 14th, 2013 at 17:30 | #76

    Chris Warren :
    @Yobbo
    Your so-called free-market think-tank is a low-grade rightwing capitalist propaganda sect.

    if so, who is then the local ringmaster the the vast neoliberal conspiracy?

  77. Jordan
    March 14th, 2013 at 17:41 | #77

    Yobbo,
    First you criticized JQ for attacking “free market” organizations which actualy are pushing privatizations of natural monopolies under pretense that there is competitive market within those monopolies and those that are dening AGW. So, they are not for free market.
    I addressed that issue which you started, now you are starting another issue and repeated the previous one without addressing the counter-argument.
    So, you keep attacking JQ without proving your accusations.
    Why do you think, that such manipulative tactic will work? Does it work for you in your private life so you think it will work everywhere else?
    What are you hiding by avoiding to prove issues that you start?

  78. Tamiflu Portchmonc
    March 14th, 2013 at 17:50 | #78

    HelloJohn Queegan!
    Here’s a freeform Haiku just for you.

    Keep riding that wave
    Dont let the bubble burst
    Lest September
    Kick your ass

  79. Scott
    March 14th, 2013 at 18:11 | #79

    Defending the Fabian Society? That really does not deserve a response in a free society. McCarthyism is not dead obviously with some. Quiggin did not say that the IPA were “Wingnuts” he did say that possibly because of using the logo of the gradual turtle it has always loomed large in the demonology of the right. His point then was concerning the IPA being the leading Australian representative of such “Wingnuttery” referencing that article and it’s quite correct. It’s important to note that he’s not saying that they’re wingnuts.

  80. Trent
    March 14th, 2013 at 18:11 | #80

    The Quiggin vs Davidson game is an amusing distraction. Perhaps they should agree that Foster’s work on economic evolution is superior to both and move on?

  81. Mel
    March 14th, 2013 at 18:27 | #81

    Yobbo: “John has spent his entire career trying to discredit and lampoon free-market organisations in Australia.”

    Actually characters like Novak step on rakes nearly every time they move. How could you actually believe such an obvious hoax? How does one get to be such as idiot?

    As to Sinclair Davidson, he has repeatedly shown himself to be a less than competent economist. For example, here he is in July 2011 arguing that Australia is heading into stagflation.

    Sinclair, are you reading this? How about you explain why you got it so wrong. More importantly, how about you tell how you amended your understanding of the economy in light of your spectacular failure to read the trends.

  82. Sancho
    March 14th, 2013 at 18:37 | #82

    Scott :
    His point then was concerning the IPA being the leading Australian representative of such “Wingnuttery” referencing that article and it’s quite correct. It’s important to note that he’s not saying that they’re wingnuts.

    Fair enough. And let’s point out that, to his credit, Yobbo is the only Catallaxian who defends the theory of evolution there, because with that one exception, Catallaxy attracts an audience which believes evolution is a hoax.

    As I said, there’s not much point denigrating the IPA’s fans when they just beat you to the punch every time.

  83. Tyreisheia L’Trimm
    March 14th, 2013 at 18:59 | #83

    Better keep moochin’ and lootin’ while you can you commies.
    Come September you’re gone gone gone.

  84. Tyreisheia L’Trimm
    March 14th, 2013 at 19:03 | #84

    Hey “Sancho”
    That’d be the same evolution Darwin guy that believed Australian aboriginal blacks are inferior to whites.
    Do you want to hitch a ride on that sinking boat? Google it!
    LOL!

  85. Tim Macknay
    March 14th, 2013 at 19:14 | #85

    Are there also Flat Earthers on Catallaxy? It would stand to reason…

  86. Sancho
  87. John Goss
    March 14th, 2013 at 21:02 | #87

    You should take heart John that you are being attacked by the wingnuts, the yobbos and the Murdoch press. Its shows you are having some impact. Those who are irrelevant don’t get attacked. ‘Woe to you if all people speak well of you’. Jesus of Nazareth. (Easter is probably a good time to refer to good people being persecuted!)

  88. Mike Moore
    March 14th, 2013 at 21:06 | #88

    In tennis terms you’ve been flogged 6 love, 6 love, 6 love.

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2013/03/14/starting-off-badly/

  89. March 14th, 2013 at 21:06 | #89

    Defending the Fabian Society? That really does not deserve a response in a free society. McCarthyism is not dead obviously with some.

    Did I say it should be illegal?

    I am producing evidence to rebut the ridiculous claim that “John Quiggin likes free markets.”
    John has never seen a market that wouldn’t be better off with some regulation. When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  90. Sancho
    March 14th, 2013 at 21:42 | #90

    @Mike Moore
    I nearly choked at Sinclair’s suggestion that his remuneration comes from teaching. I’m sure that list of articles titled with variations on “Why Gina Rhinehart Should Rule Without Impediment” and “Science is Communism” wouldn’t be of any value to lobbyists.

  91. Jordan
    March 14th, 2013 at 21:51 | #91

    John has never seen a market that wouldn’t be better off with some regulation.
    Have you seen one, ever?
    Like mining market that used tokens for paying lung clogged workers which can be used only in mine owned stores,
    financial market that took the world into recession/ depression for second time in last 100 years
    medical market that sells viagra and steroids that arent that and kill people or plastic surgeons that do unsanitary operations and use bad materials….
    insurance market that does not have colateral to cover claims (AIG) or deny valid claims,
    and so on and on and on and on

    After enjoying hundred years of somewhat effective but very benefitial regulation, you just take it for granted and do not see how it benefited you personaly. Now you want to see only one side and look only at vagely bad side of regulation.
    Your ideology blindness is astounding, but at least you are honest to show your onesidedness

  92. TerjeP
    March 14th, 2013 at 22:01 | #92

    TerjeP :
    Is an Australian Laureate Fellowship grant subject to income tax. Or is it tax free?

    Okay I’ve done my own digging and as best I can tell the grant itself is given tax free. However I don’t know if this scheme delivers entirely tax free income for the end recipient or if there is some other mechanism in the mix. Given that it’s public money the process ought to be made transparent to public scrutiny. And if the end recipient is getting tax free income then they really shouldn’t be publicly campaigning for higher tax rates on the rest of us.

  93. Fran Barlow
    March 14th, 2013 at 22:15 | #93

    @Yobbo

    I am producing evidence to rebut the ridiculous claim that “John Quiggin likes free markets.”

    Perhaps you could try the more interesting related claims that

    a) the term ‘free market’ describes something specific that can exist in the contemporary world
    b) that such a thing once existed somewhere
    c) that John Quiggin’s alleged reservations about them or your apparent enthusiasm for them can respectively hinder or predispose their emergence and operation.
    d) that if such a thing existed, it would be better in practice by some measurable criteria than the most likely alternative.

  94. Robert in UK
    March 14th, 2013 at 22:44 | #94

    I love all the comments to the effect that “come September, your day of reckoning will come”, as if Abbott had the power to usher in some conservo-utopia where there was no need for universities with active research and people stopped believing in the scientific reality of climate change.

  95. March 14th, 2013 at 23:02 | #95

    Yobbo: didn’t you at one stage make your living off online poker?

    It’s a bit hypocritical to abuse the host and tell him to “get a real job”.

  96. Neil
    March 14th, 2013 at 23:07 | #96

    @TerjeP

    Unless the laureate professorship is different in this regard from other ARC fellowships – which seems unlikely – the income is taxable in the ordinary way. I hold an ARC fellowship two tiers down from JQ’s. The money is paid to my institution, who passes it on to me; the institution is my employer and nothing alters from a tax perspective.

  97. Scott
    March 14th, 2013 at 23:39 | #97

    Robert in UK. The very structure of the political system places limitations on politicians. Concerning the fear of communism however Chifley thought he could nationalise banks when it was popular to do so and found out the hard way under s92 of the consitution it was not possible (trade and commerce between states must be free). There are limitations so the reds under the bed creeping communism fear is exactly what JQ points it out to be. Delusion.

  98. NickR
    March 15th, 2013 at 08:09 | #98

    Davidson’s recent post gives the impression he is an esteemed academic economist, perhaps not too different from Quiggin. Of course the objective reality is that his publication record is very weak relative to most professors, and laughable next to JQ’s (Is Policy even peer review? I couldn’t find it in the ERA rankings).

    I think Davidson’s bluster is simply evidence of the degree to which he and his friends are willing to embrace denial. No wonder it is hard to argue climate change with them.

    My view is that Davidson owes it to his readers to inform them of the true gulf between his and JQ’s careers, and explain it without invoking a conspiracy theory.

  99. John Foster
    March 15th, 2013 at 08:38 | #99

    John has never seen a market that wouldn’t be better off with some regulation. When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Yobbo makes a false distinction. There are no well functioning markets that do not have regulations to ensure that they work efficiently and fairly. There has to be an ongoing discussion as to what the best set of regulations should be as circumstances change. The greatest threat to a market in a modern mixed economy is not government but the emergence of monopoly power or oligopolistic collusion. This gets even worse if the monopolists get control of the political party in power. This is not left wing talk – read Hayek.

  100. kevin1
    March 15th, 2013 at 09:42 | #100

    @TerjeP
    “And if the end recipient is getting tax free income then they really shouldn’t be publicly campaigning for higher tax rates on the rest of us.”

    Are you suggesting a conflict of interest here? Is it not the same when you suggest silencing a unique contributor to Australian public debate (his non-mainstream opinions being informed by high-level economic expertise) with whom you are in fundamental disagreement?

    For consistency, you would also reduce free speech for other groups entitled to tax concessions – workers receiving Remote Area Allowances, or partial FBT exemption because they work for non-profits in disability services, aged and palliative care, arts etc. There’s probably many more groups that should shut up according to you, but somehow taking JQ out of the game looks like the real objective.

    I think you are being disingenuous and this is not a libertarian value at all. The idea that his personal tax position – whatever it is – should preclude others from hearing his contribution clearly would diminish the debate, which is to our detriment. I know you lot are irredeemable cynics, but this forum is not a cult, and JQ’s credibility would be destroyed if his proposals were judged as based on personal relative advantage.

    LOL that you should speak for “the rest of us” on this blog!

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