Monday Message Board (on Tuesday)

Another Monday Message Board, running a bit late. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

30 thoughts on “Monday Message Board (on Tuesday)

  1. Warren Mundine, former ALP National President, who one sought to be a Labor Party Senator, is about to be installed as the Liberal Party candidate in the marginal seat of Gilmore.

    You just have to admire the man’s flexibility in his selfless quest to serve the nation.

  2. You just have to admire the man’s flexibility in his selfless quest to serve the nation.

    I’ll have mine with chips thanks. No green salad.

  3. Morrison has upset the local Liberals by parachuting in Warren Mundine. They should lose the seat for sure now.

    As Mr. Brittas would say in his nasal way, “Exxxxxxxxxcellent!”

  4. Read recently that Richard Baldwin is about to release a book that mentions “the globotics upheaval” .
    It is another doomsday book that will reinforce the reputation of economists as the ‘doomsday predictors’. His conclusion about a coming new wave of anti-globalization sentiment seems a bit extreme. Economists must learn that like meteorologists we cannot always predict the precise outcome of the data we examine.

  5. @Paul Walter. Why did they drain the Menindee Lakes? Was it not to provide environmental water downstream and to avoid the 20% evaporation losses that otherwise occur annually from Menindee? I assume their assumption was that inflows would replenish but the drought stopped that – upstream irrigators took little over the past year and NSW irrigators almost nothing. It seems to me to be a mistake not “imbecilic to ignorant, arrogant, psychopathic or corrupt, to outright Evil”.

    But it is a question not a claim. There is so much dispute over this episode. But attributing it to “culture wars” does not seem to clarify what happened.

  6. @KT2 it was obviously referring to John’s article which writes of little else. No explanation was provided.
    @Paul Walter. Various views in this article linked to but nothing that confirms your conclusion. When they emptied Menindee it was almost full. It seems it was released for downstream environmental reasons. The water was not replenished mainly due to the drought. Hence it seems “a policy mistake” rather than an act by “arrogant, corrupt, psychopaths”. Of course the latter explanation is a better way of releasing bile and political venom.

    But if someone has a better explanation for what happened at Menindee I’ll listen. I am genuinely interested if it can be shown that it was caused by the cotton farmers.

  7. But if someone has a better explanation for what happened at Menindee I’ll listen.

    Be honest here: are you confident you could recognise a “better explanation” if it were provided to you?

  8. Of course, we don’t know how much water was actually thieved from the system by agribusiness, or tax dodged, although it must have been a bit given the level on LNP political support involved.

  9. It’s like Murder on the Orient Express. The fish were murdered by many villains: mismanagement by the MDBA, reckless indifference (at best) by Barnaby Joyce and other ministers, drought, climate change, too much water allocated upstream to cotton growers and possibly outright theft of water.

  10. @Ikonoclast

    As Mr. Brittas would say in his nasal way, “Exxxxxxxxxcellent!”

    Or as Malcolm Turnbull would say (with plum in mouth), “Good on YOUOU!”

  11. On another topic here, Gerard Henderson’s Warren Mundine.

    Puhleeese, give us a break.

  12. Advert for a blog post on Brexit as a Condorcet paradox: ********

  13. A weirdie. Who’s trying to save the corals? Japan. A commenter at LGM dug out this nugget from the NYT:
    “Two tiny uninhabited islets in the Pacific are at the forefront of Japanese
    research into the preservation and regeneration of coral reefs. 1,100 miles south of Tokyo, the Okinotori Islands poke out of a submerged coral reef measuring about seven miles around. But as Japan’s most southerly territory they bring with them a claim to a 160,000-square-mile exclusive economic zone, an area larger than the Japanese archipelago itself.”
    Any port in a storm I reckon.

  14. I’d like to see someone produce a culture wars calendar, so that we (meaning I) can be reminded about what’s coming up. Here’s some suggestions to start off.

    January – Australia Day
    April – Anzac Day
    June – Queen’s Birthday (although no one really much cares)
    November – cruelty of horse racing
    December – War on Christmas

    I’m sure there are month-specific others, but I can’t think of them. Any suggestions?

  15. @Smith9

    March – International Women’s Day; “Earth Hour”.
    April – Easter (“have we forgotten it’s meaning?”)
    June – World Environment Day

  16. April – Easter (“have we forgotten it’s meaning?”)

    On the other hand, ‘Have we forgotten the meaning of the apostrophe?’ is not month-specific: we can argue that one all year round.

  17. @J-D

    Yes, I noticed I’d used an apostrophe incorrectly shortly after I’d posed the comment, but decided against correcting it, in the interests of providing amusement for pedants. :).

  18. Easter is a good suggestion, but not for the cultural-religious reasons that motivate the War on Christmas. At Easter we have the Easter Bilby versus Easter Bunny skirmish. Interestingly, the defenders of the Easter Bunny tradition who oppose the Australian-themed Easter Bilby are the same people who are all for the Australianness (the from 1788 variety) of Australia Day.

  19. Valentine’s Day is a big culture war event in our region, and (for different reasons) in the US. Perhaps Scott Morrison could propose a law requiring that valentines should be sent from one boy to one girl.

  20. The January CW calendar until recently had the Sea Shepherd group chasing Japanese whalers in the Antarctic Sea, but that petered out. There’s a replacement though, at the Australian Open Tennis, with the bun fight over whether to de-name the Margaret Court Arena. (It’s not going to happen, but if it did happen, and was renamed the Evonne Goolagong Arena, it would start a CNW, a Culture Nuclear War.)

  21. The economic costs of the fish kills in the Darling River system must we considered when new water allocations are handed out to farms to the north of the state. This must be factored in to a reform of the Murray-Darling Basin long term strategy. John Maynard Keynes once famously said that an intelligent person must change their conclusions when presented with new facts, The key is to consider the longer term rather than just respond to current weather conditions. The possibility( almost certainty) of future drought periods must be factored in somehow, After this has been done, the social costs of loss of natural habitat to down river residents should also be considered.

  22. Today we should be able to read the findings of the SA RC into the MDB.

    Already there has been some blowback, then Minister Tony Burke was taken to task by Bret Walker SC for his tardy submission (“I am sure you appreciate that your letter dated 22 January 2019 has arrived at the royal commission far too late for me to give the matters in it substantive attention. Nor can it form part of the evidence of the commission…As you are a former federal water minister, and the relevant minister at the time of the enactment of the Basin Plan, I would have welcomed any contribution you sought to make.”) and faulty memory (“Assuming your recollection to be correct, the advice you were given is not consistent with the contemporaneous records and reports tendered at the commission hearing.”).

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