Monday Message Board

Back again with 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


http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

27 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Long live the time zone difference that allows me most unfairly to go first!

    It’s not original but it is worthwhile to mark the EU Commission’s 17 September. upgrade of the EU 2030 emissions reduction target from the current 40% cut (baseline 1990) to 55%. This is now, they claim, in line with Paris commitments, en route to net zero by 2050. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1599

    This is a detailed proposal not legislation, yet. But Frau von der Leyen’s unassuming Apfelstrudel mom image hides a good political brain. It’s unlikely she would have shifted the goalposts so far without a green light from Berlin and Paris, and significant support from other member states. The European Parliament was already on board. The recalcitrant Poles will be told to stuff it. Australia will merely face carbon border taxes on all its exports to the EU.

    My live-in girlfriend Ms Rosy Scenario points me to positive feedbacks tending to speed up the transition. The EU was already on track to meet its earlier 40% target. To score greenie points with voters, its leaders needed to offer more. It wasn’t to pacify Greta, but ordinary citizens becoming more sympathetic to her case for rapid change, plus the accidental opportunity offered by Keynesian Covid recovery, and a steady shift in business sentiment.

    Even the slower target implied a coal phaseout, especially in Germany. Once this is embedded in policy, compensation funds and all, there is no real reason not to speed up the whole thing. It’s not as if miners really like their jobs. The same mechanisms have led Greece to speed up its lignite phaseout: https://energytransition.org/2020/09/coal-on-its-way-out-how-the-greek-plans-to-phase-out-lignite-are-boosted-by-the-pandemic/

  2. James, thanks for the EU’s CO2 reduction target update. The EU Commissioner has a lot more financial power due to the Euro 750billion covid virus recovery fund. Euro 390billion of this funds consists of grants and, a far as I understand, there are environmental objectives attached to these grants.

    Apfelstrudel mom image? As for “mom”, there is a factual basis. Ursula von der Leyen’s (“Uschi”) has seven children. Her professional background is a medical doctor. Weakness: Likes to hire very expensive consultants.

  3. These may be of interest re The Consequences…

    “Spanish Flu & The 1918 Election”.

    “Judging the 1918 Election”

    “Local Governance and Pandemics: Lessons from the 1918 Flu”

    “”Going to extremes: Politics after financial crises, 1870–2014”

    ****
    Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy
    Vol. 9, No. 2

    Judging the 1918 Election
    By Jason Marisam

    Published:14 May 2010
    https://doi.org/10.1089/elj.2009.0052
    https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/elj.2009.0052

    Jason Marisam’s research while affiliated with Hamline University and other places

    “Local Governance and Pandemics: Lessons from the 1918 Flu”
    https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/2028512805-Jason-Marisam
    ****

    “Going to extremes: Politics after financial crises, 1870–2014

    Manuel Funke, Moritz Schularick and Christoph Trebesch

    European Economic Review, 2016, vol. 88, issue C, 227-260

    “Abstract: Partisan conflict and policy uncertainty are frequently invoked as factors contributing to slow post-crisis recoveries. Recent events in Europe provide ample evidence that the political aftershocks of financial crises can be severe. In this paper we study the political fall-out from systemic financial crises over the past 140years. We construct a new long-run dataset covering 20 advanced economies and more than 800 general elections. Our key finding is that policy uncertainty rises strongly after financial crises as government majorities shrink and polarization rises. After a crisis, voters seem to be particularly attracted to the political rhetoric of the extreme right, which often attributes blame to minorities or foreigners. On average, far-right parties increase their vote share by 30% after a financial crisis. Importantly, we do not observe similar political dynamics in normal recessions or after severe macroeconomic shocks that are not financial in nature.”
    https://econpapers.repec.org/article/eeeeecrev/v_3a88_3ay_3a2016_3ai_3ac_3ap_3a227-260.htm

    ****

    Above quoted here…
    “Sunday Reads…
    “Spanish Flu & The 1918 Election

    “From the masked voting requirements to the impact on campaign trails, the 1918 mid-term elections during Spanish Influenza are eerily similar to the conversations surrounding our upcoming election in 2020.”…
    https://investoramnesia.com/2020/09/19/the-road-ahead/

  4. )( Ursula von der Leyen’s weakness list is a bit longer than that, albeit it sure is one aspect that should never be forgotten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKryNLviGXk
    Her rise to power says a lot about how power shifts more and more towards the inherited 1%, or 0,01% in her case. It’s a blessing at least Gutenberg fell over his Ph.D. stunt. Von der Leyens list of weaknesses also includes cheating on her Ph.D. by the way. She just got lucky and was allowed to keep it anyway.

    I don’t think it requires a great record of academic achievement to be a good politician. Ursula von der Leyen in particular has 7 good excuses for a sub par academic record. Albeit considering her 0,001% er social background, there is a very real possibility she was not particular involved in her children’s upbringing as well. The problem is that they both tried so hard to pretend otherwise, using their parents social and economic capital shameless to influence outcomes. Gutenberg had a 4.0 in his first state examination and never even did his second. There is no way normal people get Ph.D. admission like that.

  5. Oh, now I got carried away with Gutenberg. So what about von der Leyen’s academic record. Fair is fair, she did graduate in medicine. No small achievement. She also failed to graduate in economics despite trying for years.* Now if you read her self presentation, you’d think she graduated both and had a research career in medicine all while raising 7 children.

    *That is of course nothing anybody should be blamed for, since I did exactly the same :-).

  6. What is this situation where people are making solar panels out of quartz rather than sand? Is that necessary? We don’t want to use up all that quartz if we are putting solar on every roof and vaulting solar across the narrow country roads right? And what rare earth elements are used in solar panels? Are they actually necessary as well?

    I was following a proposed battery leasing scheme that Tesla is proposing that is very inspiring. Right now its storage solutions that I find exciting. Storage solutions are more proposed than actual at the moment. Once we get surplus storage everywhere thats when we get real.

  7. Munich now exceeds 50 COVID-19 cases a week per 100k inhabitants. It used to be the concept that any region above that number was supposed to impose regional lockdown measures. Now as those numbers are exceeded on a more regular basis, that is suddenly not a consideration anymore. Even a mask mandate limited to crowded public spaces is only under consideration in case the numbers remain above 50 for 7 days in a row.

  8. At Pearls and Irritations

    Neoclassical economics I: farcical global warming analyses

    By Geoff Davies | On 21 September 2020
    https://johnmenadue.com/geoff-davies-neoclassical-economics-i-farcical-global-warming-analyses/

    “…One economics respondent suggested the reason economists’ and scientists’ estimates of climate effects were so different is because ‘… economists know little about the intricate web of natural ecosystems, whereas natural scientists know equally little about the incredible adaptability of human societies …’.

    This is a telling comment, as it relates to the profound misdirection of the field of neoclassical economics, the form that currently dominates world policy. The accurate statement would be that natural scientists know little about the incredible adaptability of the models of human societies used by neoclassical economists. Historians and archaeologists might have a different view of the adaptability of human societies.

    Neoclassical economists actually know as little about real human societies as they do about real ecosystems. They hold to an abstract vision of an economy (and society) that self-corrects and returns to a near-equilibrium state after any external shock. It is easy to show that real economies are in fact always far from equilibrium, as are ecosystems, and their behaviours are therefore radically different from the neoclassical vision. This is the topic of Part II.”

    On publication day + 20 > Altmetric has tracked 15,889,502 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it’s in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.

  9. It is capital T – Trillions day.

    As JQ said ‘A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money (creation)” … “the income of the top 1 per cent is around 20 per cent of total income. If that was cut in half, there would be little or no reduction in the productive services supplied by this group. If you want big change, that’s where you need to look”(^5.).

    $47 trillion foregone from bottom 90% to top. And $2Tn laundered clean. We are all culpable and witness ala boiling frogs to this… FlimFlam-demic? FinCEN-demic? UnTaxedemic? 

    PrivelegedWhiteMensRightsdemic – “by far the single largest driver of rising inequality these past forty years has been the dramatic rise in inequality between white men.” (^2.)

    (^1.) “that aggregate income for the population below the 90th percentile over this time period would have been $2.5 trillion (67 percent) higher in 2018 had income growth since 1975 remained as equitable as it was in the first two post-War decades.” … ” This new metric can be applied over long stretches of time, applied to subgroups of interest, and easily calculated. “(^1.)

    ^2. “… enough to pay every single working American in the bottom nine deciles an additional $1,144 a month. Every month. Every single year.”

    ^3. …”And the US [+ Australian & other] government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it. … The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN,  …  even compiles a report called “Kleptocracy Weekly” that summarizes the dealings of foreign leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin. … What it does not do is force the banks to shut the money laundering down.”

    ^6. “Compared to the size of the economy in 2100 ($217 trillion)”

    KT2 – Just sayin’: $50,000,000,000,000 buys 1,111,111,111 qalys @ $45,000 – oops – US$ vs A$qaly. So more than 1.2bn qalys in A $. 

    Who is bothering with qaly’s and not ‘quantum of inequality’? Watch for Scomo, Josh & gang to assist in producing our own trillions day on October 2. (^4.)
    *****

    ^1. 
    “Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018
    by Carter C. Price, Kathryn A. Edwards

    “This work seeks to quantify the scale of income gap created by rising inequality compared to a counterfactual in which growth was shared more broadly. We introduce a time-period agnostic and income-level agnostic measure of inequality that relates income growth to economic growth. This new metric can be applied over long stretches of time, applied to subgroups of interest, and easily calculated. We document the cumulative effect of four decades of income growth below the growth of per capita gross national income and estimate that aggregate income for the population below the 90th percentile over this time period would have been $2.5 trillion (67 percent) higher in 2018 had income growth since 1975 remained as equitable as it was in the first two post-War decades. From 1975 to 2018, the difference between the aggregate taxable income for those below the 90th percentile and the equitable growth counterfactual totals $47 trillion. We further explore trends in inequality by applying this metric within and across business cycles from 1975 to 2018 and also by demographic group.”
    https://www.rand.org/pubs/working_papers/WRA516-1.html
    ****

    ^2. 
    “The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90%—And That’s Made the U.S. Less Secure

    “But in addressing the causes and consequences of this pandemic—and its cruelly uneven impact—the elephant in the room is extreme income inequality.

    “How big is this elephant? A staggering$50 trillion. That is how much the upward redistribution of income has cost American workers over the past several decades.

    “… According to a groundbreaking new working paper by Carter C. Price and Kathryn Edwards of the RAND Corporation, had the more equitable income distributions of the three decades following World War II (1945 through 1974) merely held steady, the aggregate annual income of Americans earning below the 90th percentile would have been $2.5 trillion higher in the year 2018 alone. That is an amount equal to nearly 12 percent of GDP—enough to more than double median income—enough to pay every single working American in the bottom nine deciles an additional $1,144 a month. Every month. Every single year.

    “That’s $50 trillion that would have gone into the paychecks of working Americans had inequality held constant—$50 trillion that would have built a far larger and more prosperous economy—$50 trillion that would have enabled the vast majority of Americans to enter this pandemic far more healthy, resilient, and financially secure.

    “As the RAND report [whose research was funded by the Fair Work Center which co-author David Rolf is a board member of] demonstrates, a rising tide most definitely did not lift all boats. It didn’t even lift most of them, as nearly all of the benefits of growth these past 45 years were captured by those at the very top. And as the American economy grows radically unequal it is holding back economic growth itself.

    “This dramatic redistribution of income from the majority of workers to those at the very top is so complete that even at the 95th percentile, most workers are still earning less than they would have had inequality held constant. It is only at the 99th percentile that we see incomes growing faster than economic growth: at 171 percent of the rate of per capita GDP. But even this understates the disparity. “The average income growth for the top one percent was substantially higher,” write Price and Edwards, “at more than 300 percent of the real per capita GDP rate.” The higher your income, the larger your percentage gains. As a result, the top 1 percent’s share of total taxable income has more than doubled, from 9 percent in 1975, to 22 percent in 2018, while the bottom 90 percent have seen their income share fall, from 67 percent to 50 percent. This represents a direct transfer of income—and over time, wealth—from the vast majority of working Americans to a handful at the very top.

    “Thus, by far the single largest driver of rising inequality these past forty years has been the dramatic rise in inequality between white men.

    …”our response to the pandemic would still have been mired in the footprint of extreme inequality: a $50 trillion upward redistribution of wealth and income—$297,000 per household—that has left our families, our economy, and our democracy far less capable of fighting this virus than in other advanced nations. This is the America that stumbled into the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic catastrophe it unleashed: An America with an economy $2 trillion smaller and a workforce $2.5 trillion a year poorer than they otherwise would be had inequality held constant since 1975. This is an America in which 47 percent of renters are cost burdened, in which 40 percent of households can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, in which half of Americans over age 55 have no retirement savings at all. This is an America in which 28 million have no health insurance, and in which 44 million underinsured Americans can’t afford the deductibles or copays to use the insurance they have. This is an America that recklessly rushed to reopen its economy in the midst of a deadly pandemic because businesses were too fragile to survive an extended closure and workers too powerless and impoverished to defy the call back to work.

    “But in fact, the $50 trillion transfer of wealth the RAND report documents has occurred entirelywithin the American economy, not between it and its trading partners. No, this upward redistribution of income, wealth, and power wasn’t inevitable; it was a choice—a direct result of the trickle-down policies we chose to implement since 1975.

    “But make no mistake that both our political and economic systems will collapse absent solutions that scale to the enormous size of the problem. The central goal of our nation’s economic policy must be nothing less than the doubling of median income. We must dramatically narrow inequality between distributions while eliminating racial and gender inequalities within them. This is the standard to which we should hold leaders from both parties. To advocate for anything less would be cowardly or dishonest or both.”
    https://time.com/5888024/50-trillion-income-inequality-america/
    ****

    ^3.
    The FinCEN Files:
    “DIRTY MONEY POURS INTO THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL BANKS.

    MONEY FROM DRUG CARTELS,
    ORGANIZED CRIME RINGS,
    CORRUPT LEADERS.

    MONEY THAT FUNDS TERROR NETWORKS,
    BLOODY WARS,
    AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

    THE BANKS DON’T STOP THE MONEY.
    AND THE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T STOP THE BANKS
    ALL LAUNDERED CLEAN.

    “A huge trove of secret government documents reveals for the first time how the giants of Western banking move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins.

    “And the US government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it.

    “Today, the FinCEN Files — thousands of “suspicious activity reports” and other US government documents — offer an unprecedented view of global financial corruption, the banks enabling it, and the government agencies that watch as it flourishes.” 

    “… suspicious activity reports in the FinCEN Files flagged more than $2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017. “…
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jasonleopold/fincen-files-financial-scandal-criminal-networks
    ****

    ^4.
    “Coalition tax cuts blasted by former Reserve Bank boss in new ad campaign

    “Critics of Morrison’s tax cuts, including a Nobel laureate, have come out swinging 

    “Hewson said the government “naively” hoped that tax cuts are good politics, “but they won’t be as they increase inequality and fail to ensure job security and increasing wages with our economy still struggling to exit recession”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/21/coalition-tax-cuts-blasted-by-former-reserve-bank-boss-in-new-ad-campaign
    ****

    ^5.
    “A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money (creation)
    by JOHN QUIGGIN

    …” But looking at the scale of the response that’s going to be needed for a meaningful Green New Deal (I’d estimate at least 5 per cent of GDP every year for the next decade at least), the amount that can be financed through money creation will be nowhere near enough. Substantial reductions in private consumption and investment will be needed to make room for the required public expenditure, and that can only be achieved through a combination of taxation and debt.”
    https://crookedtimber.org/2020/07/18/a-trillion-here-a-trillion-there-pretty-soon-youre-talking-real-money-creation/

    JQ same thread said “the income of the top 1 per cent is around 20 per cent of total income. If that was cut in half, there would be little or no reduction in the productive services supplied by this group. If you want big change, that’s where you need to look.”
    https://crookedtimber.org/2020/07/18/a-trillion-here-a-trillion-there-pretty-soon-youre-talking-real-money-creation/#comment-802742
    ****

    ^6. 
    “The appallingly bad neoclassical economics of climate change
    Steve Keen 

    “… This resulted in more than one study which concluded that increasing global temperatures via global warming would bebeneficial to the economy. Here, for example, is Mendelsohn, Schlesinger, et al. (2000) on the impact of a 2.5°C increase in global temperatures:

        “”Compared to the size of the economy in 2100 ($217 trillion), the market effects are small … The Cross-sectional climate-response functions imply a narrower range of impacts across GCMs: from $97 to $185 billion of benefits with an average of $145 billion of benefits a year. (Mendelsohn, Schlesinger, et al., 2000, p. 41; emphasis added)”” [and GCM is statednas “could”!]

    “The, once more, explicit assumption these economists are making is that it doesn’t matter how you alter temperature. Whether this is hypothetically done by altering a region’s location on the planet – which is impossible – or by altering the temperature of the entire planet – which is what Climate Change is doing – they assumed that the impact on GDP would be the same.”…
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.2020.1807856
    ! Svante now 4.999? “it’s in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
    ***
    A trillion thanks shared equally.

  10. Australia dinosaur zombies trying it on… “EPBC Act, clearing the way for the transfer of development approval powers to state and territory governments”
    … vs RBG…
    “The court was confirming that dealing with emissions is a job for the federal government and not an issue where states could pick or choose whether they defended the health of their constituents”

    “RBG’s death leaves a climate-shaped hole in the Supreme Court
    …” In 2011, she authored the majority ruling that re-confirmed the EPA’s jurisdiction over greenhouse gas emissions. In American Electric Power Co. Inc, v. Connecticut, eight states alleged that four utility companies were a public nuisance because their CO2 emissions contributed to climate change. The companies argued that the EPA should be in charge of setting emissions standards, not states. The court unanimously agreed that regulations on carbon emissions should be determined by the EPA by way of the Clean Air Act.

    “The ruling was a disappointment to the eight states that hoped to rein in power companies’ emissions, but environmentalists cheered the bigger picture: The court was confirming that dealing with emissions is a job for the federal government and not an issue where states could pick or choose whether they defended the health of their constituents. “The Supreme Court strongly underscored EPA’s responsibility under the law to address climate pollution that threatens the health and well-being of our nation,” Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said at the time.”…
    https://grist.org/politics/rbgs-death-leaves-a-climate-shaped-hole-in-the-supreme-court/

    Sound familiar? Do we need RBG here? “The government’s bill would amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, clearing the way for the transfer of development approval powers to state and territory governments.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/03/australian-government-gags-debate-to-ram-environmental-law-changes-through-lower-house

  11. How rigid is the middle class in the US, really?

    “If you were to ask random Americans what income class they fall into, there’s a good chance they’ll say “middle class”, regardless of how much money they make. It stands to reason, then, that a change in their family’s situation, like a lost job or a new higher-paying one, is unlikely to change their perceptions on their social class. This is particularly true because,for many people, the “middle class” is just as much about your education, job, resources, and aspirations as it is about your paycheck.

    “Let’s follow 11,172 families that spent at least one year in the middle class between 1968 and 2018 to see if they actually remain in the middle over that 50 year period.

    “As the chart above shows, middle income families are actually quite mobile. Nearly all families move at least one quintile during their lifetimes, with nearly half moving two quintiles. Interestingly, more middle income families moved four quintiles – meaning they experienced both the top and bottom quintiles at least once – while fewer families shifted up or down only one quintile from the middle.

    “When it comes to economic racial inequalities in this country, though, income is just part of the story. It captures the amount of money a family has actively coming in at any point in time. What is being left out of that conversation is the wealth of each family. That is, their net worthwhen their savings, properties, businesses, or any other assets are taken into account and their debt is discounted. Wealth helps families continue paying their bills and providing for themselves when emergencies like a lost job, medical bills . … or, say, a global pandemic come along. According to The Urban Institute, “white family wealth was seven times greater than [B]lack family wealth and five times greater than Hispanic family wealth in 2016.” So, as we discuss the mobility in and out of the middle quintile, keep in mind that movement varies widely for different families, and that income mobility may have very large or very small impacts on a family’s financial well-being depending on their accumulated wealth.”
    https://pudding.cool/2020/08/income/

    Method: “The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is the longest running longitudinal household survey in the world”
    https://psidonline.isr.umich.edu/

  12. KT2 – “^3. …”And the US [+ Australian & other] government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it. …”

    Yeah.

    Reported yesterday was that AUSTRAC were removing/trashing share broker reporting requirements.

    Reported yesterday was that the brokers hadn’t asked for it, and didn’t want it. They saw problems ahead. (No probs of course for real estate brokers and lawyers who remain exempt and like that a lot.)

    Reported yesterday was that Australia was expanding intakes in the various special classes (>$200k to >2M) of investor and wealth visas. Most comparable countries (US, UK, NZ…) have removed such similar visa classes due to, criminals, money laundering, faked wealth… organised crime etc. But not Australia/Abasketcase.

    Even in the best of SIV cases little new business investment ever occurred here yet. Banks and their brokers sign these folks up overseas. All they have to do is as simple as buy a share portfolio arranged by the brokers with a certain qualifying amount that they may get their hands on for a certain qualifying time – and, presto, that’s starting a brand new innovative business in Australia that generates jobs and national wealth. An extra citizenship helps mightily with money launderings, tax evasions, and bolt holes as needed with no need even to reside here until such time.

  13. KT2 – “^6. “The appallingly bad neoclassical economics of climate change Steve Keen””

    Dog protect us! Economists, huh? There’s more appallingly bad below by a few more economist duds to add to a mighty long list:

    Yesterday…

    Medical industry outraged over ‘truly terrible’ tobacco use study
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2020/09/22/smoking-quit-plain-packaging/

    That story sourced from Scimex below, a service for journalists – an initiative of the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) and the Science Media Centre of New Zealand (SMCNZ):

    EXPERT REACTION: Australia’s plain tobacco packaging didn’t reduce number of smokers, and led them to smoke more
    https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/australias-plain-tobacco-packaging-didnt-reduce-number-of-smokers,-and-led-them-to-smoke-more

    Those Scimex reported reactions to the following paper for which the lead author was awarded an Economics Bachelor’s Degree with 1st Class Honours!

    The other two authors are the lead author’s supervising economics professors at JCU. They awarded the lead author those 1st Class Honours for this paper!

    The effectiveness of plain packaging in discouraging tobacco consumption in Australia
    David Underwood, Sizhong Sun & Riccardo A. M. H. M. Welters
    Nature Human Behaviour (2020)
    Published: 21 September 2020
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-020-00940-6

    David Underwood (now an Equity Specialist at Bloomberg)
    https://au.linkedin.com/in/david-underwood-05b41115a

    A/Prof Sizhong Sun ~ Associate Dean, Research Education
    College of Business, Law & Governance Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA) , Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research
    https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/sizhong.sun/
    https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=D3f0jxIAAAAJ&hl=en
    https://biography.omicsonline.org/australia/james-cook-university/sizhong-sun-1849024
    https://jamescook.academia.edu/SizhongSun

    A/Prof Riccardo Welters ~ Head, Economics and Marketing
    College of Business, Law & Governance Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA)
    https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/riccardo.welters
    https://au.linkedin.com/in/riccardowelters
    https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=rIHZQVIAAAAJ&hl=en
    https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/the-head-of-the-james-cook-university-economics-discipline-dr-riccardo-welters-has-revealed-australian-bureau-of-statistics-abs-figures-are-slightly-off-the-mark-when-it-comes-to-our-jobless-rate/news-story/d5f10997fcbda6f0f7d989ac471d8199
    https://au.linkedin.com/school/james-cook-university/?trk=public_profile_school_result-card_full-click
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cook_University

    Minds boggled. And someone oughta ask about this paper, plain cigarette packaging, huge CCP and PLA tobacco revenues, and the huge burden of related disease in China. Australian unis, you know…

  14. Another detailed, interactive ‘explorable explaintion’ SEIRs with model built in to interface. Enjoy being an armchair epidemiologist & policy prognosticator – “Sandbox Mode, with everything available. (scroll to see all controls) Simulate & play around to your heart’s content:”
    By Nicky Case. 

    “Return of the exponential decay!
    This is the SEIRS Model. The final “S” stands for  Susceptible, again.

    “But here’s the scarier question:
    What if there’s no vaccine for years? Or ever?

    “To be clear: this is unlikely. Most epidemiologists expect a vaccine in 1 to 2 years. Sure, there’s never been a vaccine for any of the other coronaviruses before, but that’s because SARS was eradicated quickly, and “the” common cold wasn’t worth the investment.

    “Still, infectious disease researchers have expressed worries: What if we can’t make enough?43 What if we rush it, and it’s not safe?44

    “Even in the nightmare “no-vaccine” scenario, we still have 3 ways out. From most to least terrible:

    1) Do intermittent or loose R < 1 interventions, to reach "natural herd immunity". (Warning: this will result in many deaths & damaged lungs. And won't work if immunity doesn't last.)

    2) Do the R < 1 interventions forever. Contact tracing & wearing masks just becomes a new norm in the post-COVID-19 world, like how STI tests & wearing condoms became a new norm in the post-HIV world.

    3) Do the R < 1 interventions until we develop treatments that make COVID-19 way, way less likely to need critical care. (Which we should be doing anyway!) Reducing ICU use by 10x is the same as increasing our ICU capacity by 10x:

    "Here's a simulation of no lasting immunity, no vaccine, and not even any interventions – just slowly increasing capacity to survive the long-term spikes:

    "Even under the worst worst-case scenario… life perseveres.
    . . .
    "Maybe you'd like to challenge our assumptions, and try different R0's or numbers. Or try simulating your own combination of intervention plans!"
    https://ncase.me/covid-19/

    And always nice to read this at end of Nicky's 'explorable explanations':- "This guide is 0
     PUBLIC DOMAIN
    "That means you already have permission to re-use & remix any of the art/code/words on this page – on blogs, news sites, classrooms, anywhere! (Swipe our code on Github) 
    Just remember to credit Marcel Salathé & Nicky Case(May 2020) 

    "This free, open-source guide was made possible thanks to Nicky's supporters on Patreon. If (seriously, ONLY IF) you have some disposible income in these hard times, you canthrow coins at Nicky! If not, you can share this guide orsee their other educational art/interactives. (excellent for homeschooling if, say, schools are currently closed due to a pandemic) "

  15. KT2 – “^6. “The appallingly bad neoclassical economics of climate change Steve Keen””

    Dog protect us! Economists, huh? There’s more appallingly bad below by a few more economist duds to add to a mighty long list.

    Yesterday…

    Medical industry outraged over ‘truly terrible’ tobacco use study
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2020/09/22/smoking-quit-plain-packaging/

    That story sourced from Scimex below, a service for journalists – an initiative of the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) and the Science Media Centre of New Zealand (SMCNZ):

    EXPERT REACTION: Australia’s plain tobacco packaging didn’t reduce number of smokers, and led them to smoke more
    scimex.org/newsfeed/australias-plain-tobacco-packaging-didnt-reduce-number-of-smokers,-and-led-them-to-smoke-more

    Simon Chapman AO is an Emeritus Professor at the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney

    “This paper compares changes between Australia and New Zealand in smoking prevalence, smoking frequency and expenditure on smoking between 2002 and 2017. Its main focus considers whether the introduction of Australia’s plain packaging law at the end of 2012 had greater impact in Australia compare to the similar raft of tobacco control policies operating in both nations, and concludes it did not.

    Unfortunately, the study contains a major flaw. The authors write ‘the price of tobacco (or tax) and education are expected to influence smoking behaviour… We do not include these control variables [in our model] owing to a high correlation with the time trend…’ This omission fatally undermines the validity of this study. The authors seem unaware that New Zealand implemented a major 10% compounding tobacco tax increase in January in each of 2011-13, while Australia had no real tax increases between 29 April 2010 and 1 December 2013*…”

    Professor Sanchia Aranda is CEO of the Cancer Council Australia

    “Cancer Council has worked extensively in tobacco policy control for several decades and applauds the decision of Australian governments to introduce and defend Australian plain packaging legislation.

    Independent research for the Australian Government has shown that plain packaging has been one of the most effective measures in reducing smoking in Australia. accounting for approximately one quarter of the total decline in average smoking prevalence rates between December 2012 and October 20151.

    The study published in Nature uses some incorrect assumptions, including the assumption that the timing of the introduction of plain packaging is the sole difference in the tobacco control policy between Australia and New Zealand, when in fact, the timing of introduction of tax increases is also a key difference between the two countries…”

    Maurice Swanson OAM is Chief Executive of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health

    “This research is fundamentally flawed and incomplete because it does not take account of the fact that tobacco taxes increased significantly each year in New Zealand at the same time Australia was introducing plain packaging, and importantly three years before the start of Australia’s annual tax increases of 12.5%.

    The authors admit their modelling was not able to accommodate the effect of price increases and therefore this is excluded from their analysis, despite increasing tobacco tax being the most potent way of reducing the prevalence of smoking….”

    Professor Ron Borland is Deputy Director of the Melbourne Centre for Behaviour Change at The University of Melbourne

    “This is truly a terrible paper. It is very high on equations and technical terms, but is based on weak data and assumptions that are manifestly inappropriate. If I understand what they have done, they have used summary estimates of their outcomes from public sources, not attempted to control for error, and in some cases, created variables that I doubt are computable from the data they have and showed no significant effects of a dummy interaction term they claim to be Plain Packaging….”

    Those Scimex reported reactions to the following paper for which the lead author was awarded an Economics Bachelor’s Degree with 1st Class Honours!

    The other two authors are the lead author’s supervising economics professors at JCU. They awarded the lead author those 1st Class Honours for this paper!

    The effectiveness of plain packaging in discouraging tobacco consumption in Australia
    David Underwood, Sizhong Sun & Riccardo A. M. H. M. Welters
    Nature Human Behaviour (2020)
    Published: 21 September 2020
    nature.com/articles/s41562-020-00940-6

    David Underwood (now an Equity Specialist at Bloomberg)
    linkedin.com/in/david-underwood-05b41115a

    A/Prof Sizhong Sun ~ Associate Dean, Research Education
    College of Business, Law & Governance Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA) , Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research
    https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/sizhong.sun/
    scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=D3f0jxIAAAAJ&hl=en
    biography.omicsonline.org/australia/james-cook-university/sizhong-sun-1849024
    jamescook.academia.edu/SizhongSun

    A/Prof Riccardo Welters ~ Head, Economics and Marketing
    College of Business, Law & Governance Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA)
    research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/riccardo.welters
    linkedin.com/in/riccardowelters
    scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=rIHZQVIAAAAJ&hl=en
    townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/the-head-of-the-james-cook-university-economics-discipline-dr-riccardo-welters-has-revealed-australian-bureau-of-statistics-abs-figures-are-slightly-off-the-mark-when-it-comes-to-our-jobless-rate/news-story/d5f10997fcbda6f0f7d989ac471d8199
    linkedin.com/school/james-cook-university/?trk=public_profile_school_result-card_full-click
    wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cook_University

    Minds boggled. Someone oughta ask about this paper, plain tobacco packaging, huge CCP and PLA tobacco revenues, and the huge burden of related disease in China. Australian unis, you know… follow the money.

  16. Cars, cars, stupid cars, past present and future

    Cars don’t just cause c02 output, they also make lots of noise, emit particulate matter, cost lots of money to buy and maintain, kill or injure people on a regular basis. To make matters worse, car buyers are utterly stupid, underestimating the total ownership cost of their cars by a huge margin. There is no rational explanation beyond sticking it to one’s neighbors for the cars most people who can afford drive. Even the rich greenies who have no car proof that rule – they have to do some demonstrative self-expression stunt that also gets much easier with more money, while just driving a normal car is also unimaginable to them.

    So a co2 tax won’t do it. It only covers a minor part of the externalities involved and does not sufficiently address the irrational status game involved.

    Now to the past present future part. Electric cars and plug in hybrids are taking off at the moment. There are questions regarding people actually plunging in plug in hybrids. There are two bigger problems however (a) those hybrids and electric cars are just too big. There isn’t even one on the market for my tastes. That one would be both smaller than the largest and have a shorter range. 50 km would do. Renault or Citroën is building some small series micro car. That one is simply targeting the very bottom of the market – no air conditioning, no automatic windows etc….

    Waiting until we all buy those 500 km range self-driving electric cars fueled by a 90% green grid with batteries also produced from a green grid won’t cut it. Most cars sold now are not electric, rather they are just oversized conventional ones. They will stay with us another 20 years. The electric cars we buy right now are also oversized both regarding battery capacity and simple volume consuming lots of energy during production. They will be fueled by a rather dirty grid for at least another 10 years.
    We should not subsidize people buying electric monsters with 6000 Euro as Germany does at the moment, rather we should do a vice tax right on purchase. That one should be at least in the 6000 Euro range for the average car sold right now. The vice tax should definitely include oversized electric cars and be partially based on purchase price/partially based on fuel consumption/energy used during production. The intention would of course not be to raise 6k for every car sold, rather the intention would be to make sure those stupid monstrosities do not get sold anymore. This absolutely does include anything sold by Tesla just like everything sold by Porsche.

  17. hix,
    You state:
    “Most cars sold now are not electric, rather they are just oversized conventional ones. They will stay with us another 20 years.”

    It depends on whether there will be enough global petroleum fuel supplies available to go around to continue to run all of them for the next 20 years. The indicators I see are not looking good.

    In 2019, USA was the world’s largest oil producer (at 17.9% global share) but with a proved oil R/P of only 11.1 years, and the largest gas producer (at 23.1% global share) but with a proved gas R/P of only 14.0 years, per BPSRoWE-2020.
    See: https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/downloads.html

    There’s currently a global oil and gas supply glut with storage facilities filled to near record levels and full sea-going supertankers currently with nowhere to go, due to demand destruction with the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t expect that situation to last.

    Operating drill rigs are an early indicator of future production. The US drilling total for 2020 is the lowest in more than 80 years.
    See: https://www.worldoil.com/news/2020/9/21/us-drilling-total-for-2020-will-be-lowest-in-more-than-80-years

    US shale oil has peaked without making money. The big unknown is whether OPEC can balance future oil supply with global oil demand post-COVID-19.
    See: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/energy-and-resources/articles/covid-19-implications-for-us-shale-industry.html

    Declining US oil production next year is inevitable. US petroleum geologist Art Berman stated: “U.S. production may be 50% lower by mid-2021 than at year-end 2019. The implications for U.S. geopolitical power and balance of payments are staggering.”
    See: https://www.artberman.com/2020/09/03/stop-expecting-oil-and-the-economy-to-recover/

    Asia-Pacific region has passed peak oil production.
    See: https://crudeoilpeak.info/peak-oil-in-asia-update-june-2020-part-1

    Where will our petroleum fuel supplies come from in the next 20 years? Will it be sufficient, or will there be shortages?

    A world average decline rate with post-peak oil production could be of the order of 5 to 7% per year, where oil production could plummet to half its current volume in the next 10 to 14 years.
    See: https://www.greenpeace.org/international/story/29458/peak-oil-decline-coronavirus-economy/

    We need to leave oil before oil leaves us.

  18. The NNBNN – Now Not Being Neutured Now

    Always astounds me Turnball seems to not care his clothes are invisible as opposed to Abbott who seems to rip his off in defiance. Yet I am glad Turnball tipped the bucket on the gas boondoggle. Shardenfraude, cognotive dissonamce or just smug pragmatism? And I know someoe who moved to Coffs Harbour just for ftth. 

    “Abbott’s white elephant
    The Coalition’s attacks on the NBN were driven by Abbott — a notorious luddite — who, in 2010, ordered then-communications minister Malcolm Turnbull to “demolish” it.

    “Abbott, the two-fingered typer, couldn’t understand why Labor would spend taxpayers’ money on a “video entertainment system”. That quote comes from this 2010 press conference where he and Turnbull chuckled at the prospect of people watching things on the internet.

    “In 2012, he said the NBN was “the greatest white elephant this country has ever seen”. It was far more important, he said, to get the Pacific Highway duplicated.”…

    “After the election, Turnbull was tasked with junking fibre to the home. Before getting the results of a key review into the NBN, he proceeded with a pivot to a multiple technology mix. None of this, of course, stopped Turnbull from ensuring his Point Piper mansion had internet speeds of 100Mbps.” 
    https://www.crikey.com.au/2020/09/23/nbn-backflip-liberals/
    ****

    “WorldCom Founder Ebbers Dies; $520m OzEmail Deal Recalled

    By Computer Daily News

    Feb 2020

    “One of the most colourful, and criminal, characters of the nineties telecoms industry, Bernie Ebbers, pictured, has died, aged 78.

    “WorldCom founder Ebbers was held in awe by the US telecoms industry for having built WorldCom from almost nothing into a global powerhouse through an extremely aggressive acquisition strategy spanning two decades.

    “It all came crashing down in 2002 when he resigned in the face of an SEC inquiry into WorldCom’s accounting practices and with WorldCom teetering under $US30 billion of debt.

    “Ebbers was subsequently found guilty of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud, for falsifying WorldCom’s financial records, and was only recently released from prison on health grounds.

    “WorldCom had bought Australia’s OzEmail for an eyebrow-lifting $520 million in 1999, making instant multi-millionaires of founders Sean Howard, Trevor Kennedy and then recently-elected MP Malcolm Turnbull.

    “Ozemail had earlier become the first Australian company to list on the US Nasdaq index, at which point the trio held 54 percent of OzEmail shares. In 2005, after WorldCom collapsed, Perth ISP iiNet (now part of TPG) bought OzEmail for just $110 million.”
    https://www.channelnews.com.au/worldcom-founder-ebbers-dies-520m-ozemail-deal-recalled/
    ****

    MCI previously Worldcom…
    “The fraud was accomplished primarily in two ways:
    – Booking “line costs” (interconnection expenses with other telecommunication companies) as capital expenditures on the balance sheet instead of expenses.
    – Inflating revenues with bogus accounting entries from “corporate unallocated revenue accounts”.

    “In June 2002, a small team of internal auditors at WorldCom led by division vice president Cynthia Cooper and senior associate Eugene Morse worked together, often at night and secretly, to investigate and reveal what was ultimately discovered to be $3.8 billion worth of fraudulent entries in WorldCom’s books.”…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MCI_Inc.#Accounting_scandals

  19. Given the environmental cost of producing any kind of new car isnt it just better to keep the old cars going ? perhaps converting them to LPG ? Years ago I heard that you could run an old 1960’s v8 for a hundred years without generating as much carbon as is involved in making any modern type new car .Maybe that is an urban myth. Shifting to use of jointly owned community cars might tip that balance because then the total fleet would be so much smaller.

  20. Under typical circumstances, the 100-year-driving old timer seems rather implausible. Regarding some car that barely leaves the garage it might work out ^^. Even the huge Tesla-S with its outsized battery – and those really cost in terms of energy use during production- should come out ahead on all environmental measures compared to many conventional cars if someone drives huge annual distances in a typical electrical grid. There is little reliable data on energy use and energy sources during the production process. Sharing cars would be the gold standard in many ways. Writing as a hypothetical because the offers that do exist are A) used as an addition to owning a private car by half the users B) tend to be limited to regions and routes where they mainly crowd out public transport.

  21. It’s been suggested that in sufficient quantities EVs could act as grid storage, sufficient to resolving intermittency issues with renewables.

    Those old V8s should go the way of massive water boiling installations – the scrap heap.

  22. sunshine,
    You ask: “Given the environmental cost of producing any kind of new car isnt it just better to keep the old cars going ? perhaps converting them to LPG ?”

    Keep “the old cars going” using what fuel?
    LPG is the acronym for Liquified Petroleum Gas, which is mostly propane (C3H8), or mostly butane (C4H10), or mixes of propane and butane, that’s derived from refining petroleum (crude oil) or from petroleum or “wet” fossil gas streams separated at the wellhead.

    In March 2013, the Berlin-based Energy Watch Group published “Fossil and Nuclear Fuels – the Supply Outlook”. Figure 6 shows a graph of world oil supply from individual countries to 2012, arranged according to the year of peak production. In 2012, a few countries were at peak production, including Russia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, and some more countries were pre-peak production, including US tight oil, Canadian oil sands, Venezuelan heavy oil, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq, Brazil and China. The remaining oil producers were in decline.

    Click to access EWG-update2013_long_18_03_2013up1.pdf

    China peaked in 2015 and is now declining.
    http://crudeoilpeak.info/global-peak/china-peak

    Venezuela has been declining since 2014.
    http://crudeoilpeak.info/venezuela-peak

    US tight oil is in the process of crashing due to COVID-19 demand destruction.

    While many people are focused on COVID-19 and ensuing economic recession/depression (and perhaps US election), they are not looking at the looming, worsening energy security and climate change risks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s