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

23 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Indian coal update
    CoalWire reports a dramatic 90% fall in bank project lending for new coal plants between 2017 and 2018. In 2018 only five coal projects, with a combined capacity of 3800 MW, secured funding. The news does not cover the 30 GW or so of coal plants nominally under construction, a large if uncertain pipeline, but the tap for anything beyond this seems to have been turned off. Private banks are now only lending to renewables.

  2. Another day, another case of government agency behaving badly. A severely disabled woman was rated as a 5 (on the disability claim) by Centrelink and denied DSP, put onto NewStarve, and then sent to a Job Agency. Once her appeal was done, she was rated as a 45, not 5, and easily qualified for DSP. How the heck do you reconcile 5 against 45? How many deserving people get a really low rating and can’t afford to risk the cost of an appeal to the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal)? The answer is obvious, and it means that the Centrelink Agency needs serious scrutiny into how it makes its determinations, but also needs scrutiny on the question of *why* it makes such tragically sh*t determinations. It smacks of ministerial direction, formal or informal.

  3. Donald, thanks for posting “the Centrelink Agency needs serious scrutiny into how it makes its determinations, but also needs scrutiny on the question of *why* it makes such tragically sh*t determinations.”

    I know of 2 similar;
    1) emphysema – rejected and being bled by job provider. Lives 30km from a one horse town. Cant walk to the letter box now. 200m and needs to use car to get mail.
    2) ptsd after kidnap – no treatment and no let up from newstart. 6 med certs and 3 x diagnosis but still – newstart and report which continually retraumatises and soreads secondary and vicarios trauma through society.

    Any econimics papers on ” lack of treatment ptsd and secondary and vicarious trauma effects”?

  4. Whist looking for “The longest swingball marathon is 7 hr 35 min set simultaneously by William Henderson (Australia) and Alexander Hogstrom (Sweden).” Wow! My arm is aching.

    A step in the right direction. Who knew Guiness World Records etc were owned by “Jim Pattison Ltd. based in Vancouver, Canada.”?

    When will we see a website in Australia with this link;

    “This tax strategy applies from the date of publication until superseded and pertains to the following UK companies (collectively, the “Group”):

    “GWRUK Acquisition Corp Limited (the “Company”)Guinness World Records LimitedGWR Branch Operations LimitedRipley Entertainment Limited

    “The Group’s ultimate parent is Jim Pattison Ltd. based in Vancouver, Canada. The Company is the head of the UK sub-group.

    “This document is being published pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 19 of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016.

    Overall Tax Strategy…”

    Very corporatese yet… the beneficial owner in 3rd paragraph. Michael West’s costs would drop immediately.

  5. Looks like the next recession in the Western world is going to be blamed on Trump rather than on the natural exhaustion of Neo Liberal policy . He is just a symptom of that exhaustion .Then I suppose there will be another attempt to get back to business as usual .I suspect that ,a probably small ,part of the Capitalist class (Trumps backers) think its necessary to confront China now while America still has enough power. The rest dont want to because they dont think that long term, or they dont care because they reason that their family and descendants will be ok anyway by virtue of their wealth.

    Its interesting to hear treasurer Josh Frydenberg telling the corporate sector to invest in Australia rather than simply giving dividends and share buybacks .Sounds like an admission that tax cuts ,smashing unions ,and slashing regulations hasn’t worked. Growth just isnt what it used to be but the Capitalist class still wants to extract and hoard wealth at the rate they consider to be their birthright, the agile and flexible ‘gig’ economy has only helped them delay the inevitable a bit.

    Funny to hear our defence minister refer to our latest foray into the Middle East as simply ‘engaging in an international maritime security construct ‘- ha ha – move along ,nothing to see here !

  6. It is amusing, and a sign of the times, that the Liberal Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is telling companies they should re-invest their profits rather than distributing them to shareholders as dividends. If a Labor Treasurer did that, not that any would dare, they’d be whipped the length and breadth of the country by business representatives and the Liberal Party.

    Now that Frydenberg has opened the door, the logical conclusion is that the Federal Government should socialise the means of production, distribution and exchange, centrally plan all investment, set all prices – the whole box and dice of a centrally planned economy, like the Soviet Union, circa 1966.

    But the Government might want to amend the Corporations Act first, especially the part that says that Boards have a duty to act in the interests of shareholders. This includes decisions about dividend policy and re-investment.

  7. “It is amusing, and a sign of the times, that the Liberal Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is telling companies they should re-invest their profits rather than distributing them to shareholders as dividends”

    He’s correct though. Lets not let that one sail by. I’d put up the company tax to 50% but allow them to get out of most of it via accelerated depreciation of physical producer goods. That way they would have to forget about takeovers, share distribution, share buybacks, takeovers …. They’d have to forget about all that nonsense and they would be forced to retool and concentrate on operations. Then I’d be able to get another good manufacturing job.

  8. When I read these statements;

    a. “Queen Elizabeth reads the speech, written by the Government.

    b. “Mr Johnson’s decision was slammed by some as the ploy of a dictator but Brexit supporters cheered it as a decisive move

    c. “A petition opposing Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament gained more than 450,000 signatures in a matter of hours. That easily exceeds the threshold of 100,000 that triggers a largely symbolic parliamentary debate.”

    d. “It is unclear if British MPs can halt the prorogation, but they will try.

    “The BBC reports that some have asked Scotland’s top civil court to block the suspension — they began legal action last month but have now filed a motion asking for Mr Johnson’s bid to be stopped.

    “They could also call for a no-confidence vote in the Government, which if passed would normally cause it to collapse.

    “But Mr Johnson is likely to simply ignore that call,…”

    I am again made aware;

    1. the queen is just a symbol – of another time and place and needs to be the last symbol of british royalty

    2. Poroguing parliment needs to trigger a general election

    3. We cant even get a symbolic debate up via a petition. I know how it must feel to have your “statememt from the Heart” – the Uluru Statement – rejected

    4. Some mechanism, (I think it is called an election! ) for when the parliment cannot even exert its will and courts are going ro decide – too late.

    5. We need to become a republic asap

    Since day one of brexit I have been stunned at the stupidity of it all.

    And last point – how can a country let a percentage or two be an absolute “we are all happy about it” vote. Such a vote needs at least 2 rounds. A margin of at least 60%??? And a royal ( groan) commission producing a public report before the second vote.

    Does this sound like “the ploy of a dictator?

  9. The conspiracy against the British constitution by fanatical Brexiters and their totally cynical populist puppet Boris Johnson has now ensnared the Queen, by abusing an antique royal prerogative to prevent parliamentary scrutiny of the disastrous no-deal Brexit policy. It’s a side-issue from a British perspective, but will this lead to a revival of republicanism in Australia?

  10. Oh right so the Queen should be running things and referendum’s aren’t supposed to mean anything. What next? Have enough referendums until the cocktail drinkers and junketeers beat the answer they want out of the ballot box?

    The usurpation has gone on long enough. The vote outcome is known. Britain ought to have pulled out the Friday following the vote, and let the international businessmen figure out what they were doing on the following Monday. But no you want to dredge up some antique prerogatives. If you want ancient prerogatives, be serious about it and get back to Longshanks. Get back also to ancient Kingly prerogatives for defaulting on debts.

  11. 1. A badly worded advisory referendum passed by a narrow majority does not trump the Good Friday Agreement for Ireland, a clearly constitutional dicumene embedded in an international treaty of which the United States is fairy godmother.
    2. The Leave majority did not vote for No Deal, not discussed as an option. It was a mandate to negotiate an exit agreement. May and the Eu negotiated one, and it was repeatedly rejected by Parliament.
    3. Most (all?) countries with written constitutions provide for amendments only by supermajority procedures.
    4. People are going to die in a no-deal Brexit, not only in Ireland. The leaked Yellowhammer dossier was prepared by civil servants trying their best to carry out government policy and prifessionally averse to string language. IMHO it’s going to be much worse. How many trucks out if the daily 5,000 will clear Calais customs on Day 1? 1,000? The temaining 4,000 will be stuck in Kent. On Day 2 add another 4,000. Things will go bad very fast. Panic buying of perishable foods, shortages of medicines, chaotic improvised rationing, factories closing everywhere for lack of supplies, race riots targeting immigrant scapegoats.

  12. Thats all nonsense. Its just the parasitical classes not wishing to accept the verdict of the ballot. There is nothing holy, ancient, constitutional or democratic about the European Union. It represents another layer of parasitism and its actually in part a quixotic attempt to dissolve England, on all legal grounds, without firing a bullet. It was a bait and switch from the start. A sneaky thieving of British, and most particularly English, sovereignty.

  13. All of which can be explained by the fear of loss of personal identity (climate change/fossil fuels/trump/brexit – they are all intertwined);

    “We contend that climate sceptics in Sweden can be understood as being intertwined with a masculinity of industrial modernity that is on decline. These climate sceptics tried to save an industrial society of which they were a part by defending its values against ecomodern hegemony.”

  14. … Boris Johnson has now ensnared the Queen …

    The Queen is only as ensnared as she lets herself be. She could burst free if she so wanted. Of course there’d be a price to be paid if she did so. There’d be damage to the institution of the monarchy, possibly damage so severe that it couldn’t survive. I’m sure the Queen doesn’t want to go down in history as having brought the monarchy to an end, but I can’t think of any reason why I should sympathise with that motivation.

  15. The fact that the Queen wont get in the way suggests to me that the Capitalist class wants Brexit or maybe that she is just afraid of a possible reaction from the Nationalist portion of the British public if it got spurned. Perhaps both. She might be risking the breakup of the UK by letting this slip by .

    General comment – I am tired of hearing people on the Right accuse Lefties of calling common folk dumb for wanting a Brexit or a Trump. The whole debate seems lop- sided to me ,it feels like different personality types playing by different rules .

  16. Come on people. The arguments against Brexit are uniformly idiotic and coming from the parasitical classes. This is very clear. That the pullout hasn’t happened already is just bog-standard usurpation. Nothing more. One sector of the oligarchy may be in favour of Brexit by way of a City-Of-London/ Beijing partnership. Like they used to have until recently in the international drug trade. The British always went to war alongside the US, but never when the Chinese had a hand in matters. If China was involved against the US the British would always sit it out.

  17. Graeme: I’m very much afraid we are going to find out in two months which of us is right on the damage of a no-deal Brexit.

  18. I’m very much afraid we are going to find out in two months which of us is right on the damage of a no-deal Brexit.

    I hope it will do much less harm than the worst predictions–to me, there seems to be substantial margin for error in the predictions–but one way or another I think it will take a good deal longer than two months to be sure how much or how little harm has been done.

    I’m reasonably confident now, though, that there’ll be no benefit.

  19. Brexit will be short term chaos and will cost lives I suspect ,but thats not always a reason not to do something .Maybe there will be a riot or two and medicine could be a problem. Recession costs lives in the longer term too .The long term for an ‘independent’ UK is hard to guess and depends what kind of world we are heading to. Its a pity the EU didnt work out better like it could have ,a golden opportunity missed .A massive miss by the US too. The EU seems to have retained a bit more moral authority than the US has. I hope China doesnt agree to abide by the US kind of copyright and patent rules. The desire to try and force that possible agreement must be behind a decent part of the support for trade wars rather than simply wanting to preserve working class jobs at home.

  20. Brexit will be short term chaos and will cost lives I suspect ,but thats not always a reason not to do something .

    However, ‘there will be no benefit from doing it’ is a reason not to do something.

  21. In two months? 9 weeks you say? Crikey. Even our politicians will have a time horizon of 3 years or more. I think in terms of decades and centuries and you are looking at two months. Getting back your sovereignty gives you the opportunity to solve problems and do a good job for your people. But it doesn’t make these outcomes automatic, and it certainly won’t lead to great results in a matter of a few weeks.

    The information is out now, and it turns out that the European Union was a CIA creation. What these monstrous people do, the rest of us have to undo. The CIA has also been involved in lying people into war, Gladio the original and the Gladio terrorism we have going on now, the breakup of the black American family, the perversion of modern entertainment and so forth. The CIA serves evil ends no matter where they turn their dead hand.

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