Monday Message Board

Another Monday Message Board. 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

26 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. “Fare evasion on Some school buses hits 99.3 per cent” – Brisbane Times

    “The shocking (sic) figure was revealed at a roundtable convened at the Queensland Parliament on Wednesday, with educators, police, bus drivers and transport groups meeting to tackle a spike in fare evasion, which costs about $25 million a year in lost revenue.”

    No student can be left behind for safety reasons. The simple solution is to make public transport free for all persons under 18 years of age. The claimed $25 million is easily replaced in the budget. What price children’s safety?

    Ultimately, students refusing to pay are well within their People’s Rights. It’s a peaceful protest against a state action (the imposition of a fee for a state service which should be free). The students and their parents (who are being ripped off by stagnant low wages) are well within their rates to form a position that such a service should be free and to politically demand it by this sort of action. It’s a valid autonomous social protest.

  2. Darn tootin, that is a no brainer. Even the US still provides free school bus transportation as far as I know. How can a government claim that it is offering mandatory, but free, public education if it makes families pay for the transportation to send their kids to school? I am quite surprised to learn this about Australia.

  3. Indian coal updates, via CoalWire (****
    The bad news: “Adani Power has partially won a long-running campaign to be granted an increased power price for almost half the capacity of its huge Mundra plant because it miscalculated the future cost of imported coal.” The decision was announced in the middle of the elections, too late to be picked up by Congress campaigners as the crony fix it probably is. The bailout will probably have to be extended to Tata, which owns a similar giant and lossmaking generating plant also at Mundra.

    The good news: “India’s coal plant growth continues to slow with 3300 MW of new plants commissioned in the year to March 2019 while 2100 MW of old plants were closed in the 11 months to the end of February.” This measly net increase of <1.2 GW of coal looks out of line with the the 36 GW still reportedly under construction as of January. Some of this will no doubt be finished, perhaps by new owners after bankruptcies, but I would suggest not all. A general bailout of the distressed coal plant owners is surely likely, but how generous will it be?

  4. Ian Macfarlane has been busy spreading his usual lies about the Adani mine. According to the mendacious Macfarlane, protesters were hypocrites for using cars in the protest which were made by “coal”. The steel in the cars was made by “coal”. Perhaps this was so but the “coal” was coking coal not thermal coal. The Carmichael coal mine is a proposed thermal coal mine in the north of the Galilee Basin. At peak capacity the mine could produce 60 million tonnes of coal a year, much of it “low quality, high ash”. There it is. Low quality, high ash thermal coal, not coking coal.

    Moreover, the implicit proposal that one should fight from within against a totalising system without using any of the systems own resources is absurd. Living within a totalising system, the only resources available to one come from the totalising system itself. Therefore the resources of the system must be turned against it to overthrow it. When the system is overthrown, resources can be put to new purposes and some anti-resources like coal, which need to stay in the ground, can be left in the ground.

  5. Do you know anyone earning $99k to $125k – getting a 3% tax increase?!

    $300m less consumption and $200m less tax. The big razor is being sharpened.

    “The budget’s dirty secret is the hikes in tax rates you’re not meant to know about

    “It’s a classic example of what economists call the equity-efficiency trade-off.”…

    …”That means around $300 million less in consumption and saving and around $200 million less in income tax revenue, all because of LMITO.”

    …”It worsens incentives for the roughly 700,000 Australians earning between $90,000 and $125,000. For every additional dollar each of them earns, the government will take away an extra 3 cents. That might not sound like much, but the evidence suggests it will have an effect.”…

    Has anyone seen graphs 3 & 4 in the Australian press or blogs/ journals please.

    Please suggest who you watch / read for similar in Australia. 

  6. Ikonoclast – In the “knowing better but doing it anyway” stakes, MacFarlane and the LNP coal and gas spruikers are hands down ‘winners’; such people, holding positions of trust and responsibility, with near 3 decades of top level expert advice on climate in front of them but still promoting and profiting from the very activities make the climate problem worse is much worse than people advocating climate actions driving ICE cars made using coal.

    As moral relativity goes not caring about emissions does free people from one specific kind of hypocrisy – the sort that most climate concerned people can be induced to feel guilty about – but I suggest there a deeper and worse kind of hypocrisy is required to sustain the fossil fuel spruiking. Even the eager willingness of the fossil fuel spruikers to employ the hypocrisy argument reveals how low they are prepared to go. There is no moral superiority in their position; I still much prefer to engage in inadequate personal efforts to reduce emissions as I argue for institutional change that will make those personal choices more effective and less guilt inducing. We act collectively through our civic institutions to make rules to induce people to act responsibly despite – because – of the human inclinations to do things despite knowing better.

    I think the Doubt, Deny, Delay crowd expect that because we are all individually minor shareholders in the climate mess we are supposed to feel morally obligated to vote to exonerate the majority institutional “shareholders” of any obligation to act. I am not buying it.

  7. “The number of NSW public school students who do not identify with a religion surged by 13 per cent in the three years to 2018, making non-believers the fastest-growing group, ahead of Islam and Hinduism.”

    This is a good thing – but not for the religious right as it seems to be that the godless left are doing better than the Muslims and Hindu’s. And thank Dog for that.

  8. I don’t know if he is or isn’t Julie and how is that relevant? He is calling at he sees it and he seems to be on the money with MDB.

  9. There doesn’t seem to be any public statement from Heffernan re climate change and it isn’t relevant because there are enough examples of his unreliability as a truth teller for me to think that there are better sources for information on the MDB issue.

    He has been complaining about this issue since 2015 but at the time he said that all sides of politics were making false promises on water and he said nothing at the time to indicate the the money part of the deal was problematic.

  10. Julie T. We call the unbelievably named “non scriptue” class the stupid class. State school.

    No learning allowed. Read or draw, use computers – sometimes! Or do work. Basically child minding at our school.

    I’ve threatened to home school before they allowed computers – sometimes!

    Complained and had group prayer by preachers out on playground banned.

    Tried to lobby for funding equivalent to number of preachers who come in to school – to no avail.

    An externality – religion outside school – as an “internality”??? What is such an injection of funds called where it seems like a reverse opportunity cost? Anyone?

    I could not even get coding support for my child even though the oc class teacher, computer teacher and I are out coded by child, so in need of support to further coding skills.

  11. No idea how the polls are going but Shorten looks dead in the water, a series of gaffes on economic and climate change has made him lose credibility at an alarming rate.

    The ALPs popularity was based primarily on LNPs lack of support but Shortens temerity and lack of depth could frighten the punters. Lurking in the background is Palmer, his main game obviously being his lease in the Carmichael Basin. We could end up with another LNP govt, this one being even more chaotic.

  12. KT2 But compared to the situation back in the olden days – the late 50’s and early 60’s – when there wasn’t even a non-scripture class option, things are getting better. My family of origin moved more than most families did and none of the Qld schools city or country I was enrolled in would allow for non-scripture indoctrination. My father argued for it each time at a new school.

    Opting out was allowed when my own children went to school in Brisbane as you say with nothing constructive replacing the religious instruction.

    I didn’t turn religious from my religious instruction in fact it was the convincing counter arguments from my father that meant I could never have been converted and I have never worried about them being converted. The talk around our kitchen table clearly showed that the God Botherers as I have continued to call them in private – politically incorrect to use the term now – were not particularly impressive and not winning many friends.

    So it was funny when at one time, one of my sons at high school owned up – with just a bit of shame 🙂 -that he had been going to religious instructions class because the instructor handed out Mars bars and other chocolates! He couldn’t remember the denomination though.

  13. Rog Maybe there are no polls because they are so bad for the government?

    Why is Dutton selling his Canberra apartment? Is he just profit taking because it’s a good time to sell Canberra apartments?

    I don’t think Shorten’s unpopularity is a problem because from what I see in my right wing labor hating neighbours up here on the Darling Downs, it is nothing like the burning hatred that consumed them when Julia Gillard was Labor leader.

    It seems that there have been unpopular leaders elected in the past.

    The LNP will be returned here in Groom no doubt but there are people who I know who have voted LNP previously even though they didn’t like Abbott, who are going to vote Labor this time. They are very much hoping that Labor will “wind things back slowly”. I’m not quite sure what that means but it’s a better vibe than last time even though the rusted on old farmers and their money grubbing wives still tell you that labor hates farmers.

    There are rumours that the next attack on Shorten by the MSN will be about the ‘dodgy’ deals that he did back in the neo-liberal Labor days. Is that going to work to turn anyone who wants a real government even if they are not perfect?

    And seriously, I read somewhere that Timmy Wilson sees himself as the natural leader of the Liberal party after they lose this election. After all he is the only one who has any claim at all to the liberal name, he thinks.

  14. rog,

    The election is not a horse race despite most people writing that way.

    Morrison is doing well, Shorten is doing badly. A three year old policy in ‘New; policy.

    Let us wait until we have some actual polling evidence. What if people have made up their minds?

    I remember people saying Howard was a great in elections so I looked at the polls and in most he lost votes.

    Remember in the last election the polls barely moved. The Campaign moved very few people.

  15. nottrampis it might not be a horse race but in the absence of polls the bookies odds are giving a lot of people hope … or not.

  16. Bookes odds, don’t get me started on that.

    We have had two developments on Palmer’s party which I wil write about at my place on Monday.
    Short versions. Seat polls are crap. Both Kevin Bonham anf the Pollbludger are in agreement.
    Swapping preferences work IF you have people handing out how to votes at postal place. If not they do not. you should alsso remember where do that parties vote come from. It is the Libs. so the lose 100 and get back maybe 80 proably less.
    Those party hacks are wwhat they used to be EVEN after the WA fiasco

  17. Very good nottrampis I didn’t want to get you started on bookies odds; I guess your brief dismissal should say it all but I still don’t know why you the issue is not to be discussed. Seems like they are a source of information that shouldn’t be dismissed without a reason.

    But for sure seat polls are crap – we don’t need one in this electorate – the odds are 99.9999% for the boring but better than the previous spiv MacFarlane who promised the Twba bypass for so many years and the numpties kept believing in him.

    Yep, the polls will start coming now that everyone is home from their holidays.

    This is good for Shorten … by Katharine Murphy.

  18. We can always discuss but they follow polling sometimes suspect polling ( seat poling ) which is why their record is not so great.

    Another bugbear are so called internal polls. I just read about in Page held by Kevin Hogan ( I actually went to his wedding).
    Unless you are blessed by a multi-millionaire no party has the money to wast on internal seat polls.
    Also remember if ‘internal polls’ are different to public polls you need to ask why.

    Most talk about internal polls in Newspapers is usual crap where the parties are trying to get into the heads of the other parties.

    It is interesting where it is pretty easy to get a random sample of Australia but not of electorates.

    Oh dear I am giving my monday rant.

  19. “Oh dear I am giving my monday rant.”

    Really is that called a rant now? Pffft. I miss the good old days. 🙂

  20. Come on Jules you know what I mean.
    I know you won’t be reading Not trampis on Monday.
    At least my other reader will!!😊

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