Monday Message Board

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Mastodon here

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.

27 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. I need JQ’s digest of Song et al’ study and Fix’s tests. And a reflection of these findings for Australia. Seems important for the new IR Laws to me.

    Although US centric, Song et al’ final phtase reads “then rising segregation may dynamically increase inequality”.

    Song”s “Firming Up Inequality” seen and tested by Blair Fix as “corporate hierarchies have become more despotic. Corporate elites have taken income that once went to the bottom of the hierarchy and redirected it to the top.”

    Please JQ and readers, I need some commentary to get my head around these findings, and consequent effects and fixes.

    And I feel the bottom to top remuneration and segmentation will be further exacerbated by AI / robots and slow to catch up of regulations.
    *

    “Firming Up Hierarchy”

    “And so as scientists, we’re left with a black-box problem. If we want to study how hierarchy affects income, we have to do it without opening the corporate box. Our only option is to ‘stand’ outside firms and watch what goes in and out. Then we see if these observations are consistent with what we think goes on inside.

    “Speaking of observations from firms, in this post, I unpack data from a landmark 2019 paper called ‘Firming up inequality’. In that article, economists Jae Song and colleagues use data from the Social Security Administration to reconstruct the income distribution within US firms from 1981 to 2013. Their results are a goldmine for studying the hierarchical pay structure within firms.

    “Using Song’s data, here’s the idea that I’m going to test. I think that the recent rise in US income inequality is being driven by a redistribution of income within firms. In short, I believe that corporate hierarchies have become more despotic. Corporate elites have taken income that once went to the bottom of the hierarchy and redirected it to the top.

    “To test this idea, “…

    https://economicsfromthetopdown.com/2022/11/19/firming-up-hierarchy/
    *

    Song et al paper;
    “Firming Up Inequality”

    Jae Song, David J Price, Fatih Guvenen, Nicholas Bloom, Till von Wachter

    The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 134, Issue 1,
    February 2019,
    Pages 1–50,
    https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjy025

    Conclusion
    ” “Finally, this increase in between-firm inequality raises a question over its impact on individual welfare. We believe increased worker sorting and worker segregation are potentially worrisome for several reasons.

    “One concern of course is that low-wage workers appear to have lost access to good jobs at high-wage firms, increasing overall aggregate inequality.

    “Another concern is that firms play an important role in providing employee health care and pensions, so rising worker segregation could very well spill into rising health care and retirement inequality. Indeed, over the past 30 years, as noted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2015), the correlation between income and life expectancy has increased greatly at the same time as a greater fraction of wealth for those at the top comes from benefits, including health insurance. Moreover, given the importance of work experience for earnings growth, if employees gain experience more rapidly by working alongside higher-ability colleagues, then rising segregation may dynamically increase inequality.”

    https://academic.oup.com/qje/article/134/1/1/5144785

  2. Australia now. First they came for them. And protected entrenched fossils fuel interests.

    2. “the raid was being discussed with government departments by Australian Federal Police media, and whole-of-government talking points were being drawn up a week before they even got the warrant.” A Principled NSW Parliamentarian

    1. “They made me sit, without a drink, or my jumper, or access to the toilet, unable to contact anyone, for hours. … I was treated like a dangerous and despicable person”, Zara said.

    Australian examples of the very worrying “‘Strike Force Guard’: suppression of climate protest threatens us all”.
    *

    “The Liberalization of Free Speech. Or how Protest in Public Space is Slienced”

    “… contemporary speech laws and policing effectively silence dissident speech in the name of it’s promotion and regulation.” Don Michell.

    From “Spaces of Contention: Spatialities and Social Movements” By Byron Miller
    Chapter 2.
    *

    1.
    ‘Strike Force Guard’: suppression of climate protest threatens us all

    ” Zara, 45, is a media and communications worker who lends her skills to the climate movement during large mobilisations and times of need. Zara was reading in bed at 9am on a Sunday morning when ten riot police in body armour smashed the door in and stormed into her house. Zara ran to the door, and was struck in the head by the battering ram. She was ordered to sit and not move for over three hours while police catalogued and removed her phones, notebook, hat, toothbrush and camping equipment. Over thirty-five police took part in this raid against a single woman in her dressing gown.

    “I could hear a helicopter overhead. The policeman’s grip on my arms was painful and left bruises. My head was aching from the battering ram. They made me sit, without a drink, or my jumper, or access to the toilet, unable to contact anyone, for hours. … I was treated like a dangerous and despicable person”, Zara said.

    For Zara, “the loss of my communications equipment was devastating. … It took three months to restore all my accounts. Strike Force Guard has still not returned my equipment. I had nightmares for months. I feel sick when I think about it. I am a peaceful person exercising a democratic right to participate in public discourse … [f]or this I was assaulted, detained and my life and work severely disrupted.”

    https://johnmenadue.com/totalising-control-police-anti-climate-protest-powers-threatens-us-all/

    2.
    Shaoquett Moselmane- A Principled Parliamentarian removed by NSW Labor

    By Shaoquett Moselmane

    Nov 21, 2022


    “Before I conclude, I cannot but make mention of the terrible Australian Federal Police ordeal that my family and I went through. On Friday 26 June 2020 the Australian Federal Police raided my home. At that time, the Australian Federal agent said to me, “As I have reiterated to you a number of times, you are not considered a suspect in relation to this investigation.” As noted by the Privileges Committee, the Australian Federal Police search warrant did not allege that I had committed any offence under Commonwealth legislation. So who decided that it was necessary to raid my home and for the media to accompany the Federal Police?

    “I am grateful to a journalist who shed some light on these questions by sharing freedom of information material with me that revealed the raid was being discussed with government departments by Australian Federal Police media, and whole-of-government talking points were being drawn up a week before they even got the warrant. Maybe it was supposed to be a top‑secret espionage raid, but the media beat the police to the scene of their own search warrant. They were waiting and filming when police arrived. I will not recount any further what happened. Suffice to say that it was traumatic and painful. It was no different to the tactics used by countries we describe as authoritarian. I am glad that I was fully cleared of any wrongdoing.
    . ..
     https://johnmenadue.com/a-principled-parliamentarian-removed/

  3. Musks takeover of Twitter has revealed his darker side, not only is he allowing perpetrators of hate speech to rejoin, he is actively siding with them.

    Russia’s war with Ukraine has no boundaries.

  4. JQ, what advice would you give these protesters? Take “Adani’s ports and logistics business, which is worth $US23 billion” to court?
    *

    “Many of the protesters were Christians led by Roman Catholic priests.

    “Police attacked the protesters, among whom were some priests, said a clerical official, Eugine H Pereira, the vicar general of the archdiocese.

    “Stones were pelted from even the station,” Mr Pereira said, calling for a judicial inquiry into the incident.

    “mostly drawn from the fishing community, blocked its entrance, blaming the development for coastal erosion and saying it is depriving them of their livelihoods.

    “The growing agitation has become a major headache for Adani’s ports and logistics business, which is worth $US23 billion.

    “Over the weekend, protesters blocked Adani’s construction vehicles from entering the port, despite a court order for work to resume, prompting the arrest of many of them.

    “Police and protesters clash in India amid anger over Adani port

    “”They came with lethal weapons [starvation & anger] and barged into the station and held the police hostage, threatening that if people in custody were not released they would set the station on fire,” the police [with guns] said in the case document on the incident.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-28/police-and-protesters-clash-in-india-anger-adani-port/101708568

  5. I’d tell’em they’re dreaming, but like the Indian government and Adani above, greed and regulatory capture are the weapons of choice. Others protest. And get arrested. Because of “a visceral (even violent) imposition on public space.”, peace and mental health.

    Imagine whining flying dogs yapping over your only safe space. Because (stoners, pissheads) addicts “demand deliveries of coffee, roast chicken, Coke and chips”.

    Drones dot gov dot au sounds like lobby tactics greenwashing coal, with commensurate thousands of jobs claims, and a better world.

    I for one will be urging suoer right regulations, and complaining loooong and hard if delivery drones appear above mine and my child’s [who has been watched, video’d and abducted ] back yard.
    *

    “The key player behind them is Wing Aviation, a subsidiary of Google’s holding company Alphabet Inc. Wing has selected Australia as its lead test-site for on-demand deliveries of coffee, roast chicken, Coke and chips. This is a public health and environmental catastrophe waiting to happen – not to mention a visceral (even violent) imposition on public space.

    “Wing had to cease operations in Bonython after extensive protest from residents. Residents in Logan have reported being unsettled by neighboursreceiving up to eight noisy deliveries per hour.”

    https://theconversation.com/when-it-comes-to-delivery-drones-the-government-is-selling-us-a-pipe-dream-experts-explain-the-real-costs-195361

  6. Harry, 
    [I’m asking you as I do not expect JQ not anyone else to answer and I do appreciate your grasp of the subject -Ernestine maybe.  Greg M. Anyone)

    Q1…what are the fundmental, not proximate, causes of “in the labour share”. (Prof’s Ezra Oberfield & Gene Grossman (2.))

    Of which”more work is needed to understand fundamental, rather than proximate, causes of the decline.” (2.)… “in the labour share”. 

    (labours-share-of-national-income-has-been-remarkably-consistent-since-the-1860s”(1) & Prof’s Ezra Oberfield & Gene Grossman (2.)) …

    … considering Australian Bureau of Statistics definition “”19.113    The labour and capital shares of income earned by unincorporated enterprises are subsumed into one national accounts aggregate: gross mixed income.” 

    Q2. how is it that above ABS definition of labour has  “unincorporated enterprises are subsumed into one national accounts aggregate: gross mixed income.”
    *

    Q3. Would someone point me to a fact check of Sally McManus’ claim please.
    1.
    “McManus has said labour’s share of income is at its lowest point since 1960 – “a shameful situation for us to be in as a country”.

    “However, when viewed against the backdrop of 160 years of growth, we see no evidence that the massive labour-saving technologies of the past had any permanent effect of labour share.”
    https://theconversation.com/labours-share-of-national-income-has-been-remarkably-consistent-since-the-1860s-195436

    2.
    “Trying to account for the decline in the labour share
    13 Jan 2022

    “After a century of stability, the labour share of national income began to decline around 2000 in the US and many other countries. This column reviews the growing literature examining the potential reasons for the decline of the labour share, which include
    (1) capital-biased technical change,
    (2) globalisation and the rise of China,
    (3) increasing industry concentration and market power,
    (4) unionisation, and
    (5) population growth.

    “The column also discusses pitfalls associated with common empirical strategies in the literature and suggests that more work is needed to understand fundamental, rather than proximate, causes of the decline.”

    – Ezra Oberfield
    Assistant Professor Princeton University
    – Gene Grossman
    Jacob Viner
    Professor of International Economics
    Princeton University
    https://cepr.org/voxeu/columns/trying-account-decline-labour-share
    *

    3.
    “Capital and labour income shares

    “Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods

    Reference period
    2020-21 

    “Capital and labour shares of gross mixed income

    “19.113    The labour and capital shares of income earned by unincorporated enterprises are subsumed into one national accounts aggregate: gross mixed income. The following procedure is used to impute labour and capital shares of this aggregate for each industry in the market sector.

    “19.114    An estimate of labour income is imputed by assuming that proprietors and unpaid helpers receive the same average compensation per hour as wage and salary earners. Similarly, an estimate of proprietors’ capital income is derived by multiplying the unincorporated productive capital stock of each asset type by the corporate rental prices. These estimates are then scaled so they sum to the observed GMI. The capital and labour shares of GMI are the corresponding scaled estimates.”

    https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/detailed-methodology-information/concepts-sources-methods/australian-system-national-accounts-concepts-sources-and-methods/2020-21/chapter-19-productivity-measures/data-sources-and-methods/capital-and-labour-income-shares

  7. New price of nuclear floated in Question Time today. (When do we cease QT?).

    Chris Bowen in reply to a Michael McCormack question, provides a new nuclear power price, relative to gdp;
    “about 70% of GDP”.

    Almost a zinger, Bowen finshes with;
    “It would be a gas bag led recovery”.
    *

    Bowen: “I give credit where it is due for those opposite have been active as well.

    “Promoting alternative views as well for the last week holding a seminar about atomic energy, about nuclear energy, that was their big idea last week.

    “Their big idea about lower power prices.

    “The CSIRO report found that nuclear, the cost of small modular reactors which those opposite are so in love with would cost $770 a kJl. They will be $5bn a reactor. $5bn a reactor. We know they would need 80 across the nation. That would amount to about 70% of GDP. That is their plan of lower energy costs. Now they say they want a conversation. It would be a gas bag led recovery.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2022/nov/29/australian-politics-live-albanese-dutton-labor-coalition-scott-morrison-climate-economy-energy-housing-weather-nsw-qld-vic?page=with:block-638587d78f0846bfec6ac284#block-638587d78f0846bfec6ac284

  8. I suspect that there must be a link between declining labour share of national income and the easing of the tax rate for high income earners. There is no disincentive to greed in Australia’s tax system. The lowering of top income tax rates has merely encouraged high income earners to go after bigger salaries. The poor wealth tax regimes in Australia offer no disincentives to greed and avarice. So any high income earner can also negatively gear properties, invest in shares with dividend imputation credits and sell their homes for massive tax free capital gains. At the other end of the income scale, lie paid workers are forced into unfair job contracts, cannot even rent a home at an affordable level and have no savings to buy paper assets. There has always been more than a suspicion that the lack of savings reduces both net worth and worker resistance to real wage cuts. Especially if there is no home security and no superannuation balance. Labour share reflects market power in income negotiations. Single low paid workers have almost zero market power. High paid workers usually have a lot of market power. The role of unions is much more complex. This is highly influenced by the IR laws and labour force regulations. This may be demonstrated after this year by the passing of the ALPs industrial legislation.
    nuatip.

  9. K2,

    Bowens answer re the cost of SMRs is pretty typical of why regular citizens increasingly treat politics as a complete joke. I am neither particularly pro nuclear or anti renewables but if his figures are correct then $5B per reactor x 80 reactors is $400B ( no calculator required ). $400B is only about 25% of GDP and would be spread over at least 20 years so more like 1.25% of GDP.

    Bowen stating that it would cost even 25% of GPD rather than 70% is pure spin to make it look completely unaffordable ( wow 70% pa for. … ever)?

    What a sad state of affairs.

  10. Joe ‘Bitcoin’ Blow, yes “What a sad state of affairs.” as someone will bludgeon Bowen with such bullcrap.

    And question time at a minimum needs reform if not removal.
    *

    Gregory J. McKenzie, a great statement “There is no disincentive to greed in Australia’s tax system.”.

    At the other other end of the income scale – those on welfare – I support a person on a Disability Pension -DSP.

    Free eye test. Needs long and short correction. Two pairs of glasses funded. IF you have LESS than $500 in a bank account. The optimistrist emphasised this amount basically saying make a withdrawl before applying.

    This person barely gets by as housing and a dependant eat most of the DSP. Lucky we have a DSP yet many are still effectively in poverty.

    Perverse incentives top to bottom.

  11. Yes please.
    “A CERN Model for Studying the Information Environment

    ALICIA WANLESS,  
    JACOB N. SHAPIRO

    “Together, researchers at CERN built cutting-edge instruments to observe dozens of subatomic particles for the first time. And along the way they invented the World Wide Web, which was originally conceived as a tool to empower CERN’s distributed teams.

    “Such large-scale collaboration is once again needed to connect scholars, policymakers, and practitioners internationally and to accelerate research, this time to unlock the mysteries of the information environment. Democracies around the world are grappling with how to safeguard democratic values against online abuse, the proliferation of illiberal and xenophobic narratives, malign interference, and a host of other challenges related to a rapidly evolving information environment. What are the conditions within the information environment that can foster democratic societies and encourage active citizen participation? Sadly, the evidence needed to guide policymaking and social action in this domain is sorely lacking.

    “Researchers, governments, and civil society must come together to help. This paper explores how CERN can serve as a model for developing the Institute for Research on the Information Environment (IRIE).3 By connecting disciplines and providing shared engineering resources and capacity-building across the world’s democracies, IRIE will scale up applied research to enable evidence-based policymaking and implementation.”

    https://carnegieendowment.org/2022/11/16/cern-model-for-studying-information-environment-pub-88408

  12. Two stories posted one after the other on ABC News/justin. Incongruous? Juxtaposition? New world? Robot jobs?

    ABC News needs a systemic news function to reveal effects of stories. Meta news.

    I wonder what the union will say when the robots contribute to labour surplus, instead of “to help horticulture industry tackle labour shortages”.

    Or am I barking at clouds?
    *

    “Meet Eve, the robot fruit picker who is here to ‘fix a big problem’

    ABC Rural By Annie Brown

    Fast-tracked by the federal government during the human farm worker shortage, Eve the fruit-picking robot prototype is expected to be ready for harvest next year.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2022-11-30/robot-fruit-picker-eve-farm-worker-shortage/101688090

    “New app to monitor fruit pickers following changes to minimum wage legislation

    By Madeleine Rojahn

    “An app developed by a berry farm in Northern Tasmania to help track productivity, maximise profitability and support worker development has been welcomed by the union.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2022-11-30/new-fruit-picking-app-tasmania-new-fair-work-legislation/101685130

  13. Via AER & Guardian.

    “Annual retail markets report 2021-22

    From the release:
    “The report shows the number of customers holding debt over $2,500 for more than two years had increased by 39% throughout the year.

    “It also showed that almost 50% of all customers in hardship programs are not meeting their ongoing energy usage costs, suggesting they are accumulating more debt while in the hardship program.

    “According to the analysis, customers on hardship programs consume up to 81% more electricity than average. As a result, customers on hardship programs in low-income households could pay between 1.2% and 3.7% more of their disposable income in electricity costs.

    “Savage:
    – The need to support customers experiencing vulnerability in the energy market, increase participation and improve affordability has never been greater.

    – Many of the debt and hardship metrics and indicators presented in our report may worsen over time because of the impact of rising wholesale gas and electricity costs in 2022.

    – Some customers have already faced double digit price rises of up to 20% for electricity and 15% for gas in this current financial year.

    https://www.aer.gov.au/retail-markets/performance-reporting/annual-retail-markets-report-2021-22

  14. Peace Climate. Bonus… “causal loops that indicate evidence based on correlations around climate mitigation and peacebuilding”
    *

    “New paper highlights the co-benefits of coordinating climate action and peacebuilding

    “The authors argued for the need for the peacebuilding and environmental sectors to collaborate based on the understanding of the relationships and overlaps between what causes violent conflict and its relationship with climate change, environmental degradation and social vulnerabilities.

    “The recommendation follows an approach that draws on systems and co-benefits theories, both of which considers the interconnected factors that lead to certain issues and thus would require solutions that lie at the nexus of these different factors.

    “Based on a systematic literature review, the author created causal loops that indicate evidence based on correlations or whether there is a delay in the cause and effect


    “Researchers created causal loops that indicate evidence based on correlations around climate mitigation and peacebuilding. Credit: Journal of Peacebuilding & Development”

    Héctor Morales-Muñoz et al, Co-Benefits Through Coordination of Climate Action and Peacebuilding: A System Dynamics Model, Journal of Peacebuilding & Development(2022). DOI: 10.1177/15423166221132149

    https://phys.org/news/2022-11-paper-highlights-co-benefits-climate-action.html

  15. Joe, indeed, the arguments that politicians make often disappoint; there was no need for Bowen to exaggerate SMR costs because SMR’s are not currently an available energy option. No-one knows how much they will cost, let alone assess costs relative to available options out to a minimum of 15 years from now and beyond when they are an option.

    Disappointing that Dutton and team are overlaying their climate science denial with renewable energy denial and – still, after decades of consistent expert advice plus experience of real examples of climate harms – failing to treat with the climate and clean energy problem constructively with actual conviction.

    I don’t believe Dutton sincerely wants to do emissions reductions at all, let alone do them better. I truly think that the insincerity of the LNP on climate and clean energy is a deliberate feature – that the voters and backers he seeks to please know it but don’t care about climate. They want fossil fuels without constraint, not nuclear.

    That level of political duplicity tops anything the ALP does… even the absolute support for Australia’s fossil fuel exports they share with the LNP, whilst claiming moral high ground for supporting renewable energy options domestically.

  16. NOA says “By 2050, “moderate” (typically damaging) flooding is expected to occur, on average, more than 10 times as often as it does today … “Major” (often destructive) flooding is expected to occur five times as often in 2050 (0.2 events/year) as it does today (0.04 events/year).”

    From;
    “2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report

    “Updated projections available through 2150 for all U.S. coastal waters.

    “The Sea Level Rise Technical Report provides the most up-to-date sea level rise projections available for all U.S. states and territories; decision-makers will look to it for information.

    “More Damaging Flooding
    “Sea level rise will create a profound shift in coastal flooding over the next 30 years by causing tide and storm surge heights to increase and reach further inland. By 2050, “moderate” (typically damaging) flooding is expected to occur, on average, more than 10 times as often as it does today, and can be intensified by local factors.

    Breaking it Down:

    “With this shift, “moderate” (typically damaging) flooding will occur more frequently in 2050 (4 events/year) than “minor” (mostly disruptive, nuisance, or high tide) flooding occurs today (3 events/year).

    ““Major” (often destructive) flooding is expected to occur five times as often in 2050 (0.2 events/year) as it does today (0.04 events/year).

    “These averages will be exceeded in some locations across the U.S. because of regional and year-to-year variability.

    “Coastal flooding can be exacerbated by many factors that are not included in these estimates, such as rainfall, river discharge, wave impacts like coastal erosion, and existing infrastructure.

    “Without additional risk reduction measures, U.S. coastal infrastructure, communities, and ecosystems will face increased impacts.

    https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/sealevelrise/sealevelrise-tech-report.html#step1

  17. Ken Fabian: – “I don’t believe Dutton sincerely wants to do emissions reductions at all, let alone do them better. I truly think that the insincerity of the LNP on climate and clean energy is a deliberate feature – that the voters and backers he seeks to please know it but don’t care about climate. They want fossil fuels without constraint, not nuclear.

    I agree.

    I think a vote for politicians and political parties encouraging and facilitating more fossil fuels is a vote for civilisation collapse.
    See my letter to SMH on 25 Apr 2022 at: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/baillieu-gives-us-faith-for-a-more-principled-future-20220424-p5afo6.html

  18. Geoff said: “I think a vote for politicians and political parties encouraging and facilitating more fossil fuels is a vote for civilisation collapse.”

    I think that voting for any politician for anything at this point is a complete waste of time. They are like dogs chasing a car – thinking they are scaring it off. In reality, economic forces mean that a revolution in energy production is inevitable. If anything, the political process is holding things up – in the US there are multi Gigawatts of renewables that are being delayed ( up to 10 years!) due to regulatory capture, political point scoring and various – politically enabled – vested interests. Why anybody has any faith at all in these clowns is beyond me.

    Fortunately, things are on the move. The ‘nation state’ and its’ associated hangers on and beauracracy is well passed its use by date and I think the next decade will see a lot of chaotic changes in almost every field as incumbents fail due to being incapable of adapting fast enough. Energy, food, education, money and perhaps even the concept of the state itself is being disrupted. Expect a bumpy ride.

  19. Eat, drink, wrap, bottle -“Ooho!: an edible and biodegradable seaweed-based membrane sphere filled with water” and it does actually “break down in home compost in 10 days”.

    And ferment it too.

    “Seaweed Plastic

    “Seaweed has been used in Asian cuisines and medicines for centuries, but has much more recently become popular as a source of biomass in the agriculture, pharmaceutical, and biofuel industries. It has also piqued the interest of packaging producers, as well as numerous artists and designers.

    “In 2010 the company Algopack was the first bioplastics company to use seaweed to make plastic food packaging. They were closely followed by a whole host of other start-ups and small companies like
    – Loliware, who made edible cups and straws;
    – Evoware, who made edible films and packaging for dried foods; and
    – Notpla, the makers of these oil-filled pipettes.

    “Notpla cut their teeth on their first product for marathon runners in 2019 with Ooho!: an edible and biodegradable seaweed-based membrane sphere filled with water. This ‘water ball’ made use of the process of spherification, a culinary technique made famous by chef Ferran Adrià of elBulli.

    “The water ball could be consumed in its entirety, or a small hole could be made to pour the water out, leaving only a biodegradable film that could break down in home compost in 10 days.

    https://www.instituteofmaking.org.uk//materials-library/material/seaweed-plastic

  20. KT2 – I was impressed by McDonough and Braungart’s “Cradle to Cradle” ideas about avoiding and dealing with waste, where “Waste Equals Food”, with waste being seen as primary raw materials. Having packaging, especially food packaging made from compostable materials means they don’t have to be separated to be recycled and the nutrients in them can be 100% re-used. Seaweed plastic sounds like it ought to qualify even if the nutrients seem more likely to end up in land agriculture; care needed adding nutrients to seaweed farms.

    They make a clear division between biological nutrients and “technical” nutrients – each becoming food for the next round of use, where the two waste streams are kept separate and the technical nutrients are selected and developed to mimic the endless re-usability of biological ones. Those materials need to be recyclable to their original quality, to avoid the downcycling that current recycling does – where it is at most a few times around, each making products of lesser quality, until it becomes intractable and unusable.

    I don’t know how we could get all the way to there but there are materials that can be like that – the print copies of “Cradle to Cradle” were done using a plastic paper that could be recycled back to original quality plastic paper – even the inks could be washed out and reconstituted. In reality the recycling systems would need to be in place for that. But at the food packaging level it does look like materials suited to biological/compostable (or other bio-decomposing) is a good way to go.

    “Cradle to Cradle” – https://mcdonough.com/cradle-to-cradle/
    “Waste Equals Food” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pwCFH1LkCw&t=569s

  21. Ken Fabian thanks for “Cradle to Cradle”. Both on the binge list.

    My tsundoku needs a tax then as if “the print copies of “Cradle to Cradle” were done using a plastic paper that could be recycled back to original quality plastic paper – even the inks could be washed out and reconstituted.”… I’d have to opt to pay for ‘sustainable over time’ print version.

    Print, like coal, will soon be redundant.

  22. Whitlam (happy 50th) and the duumvirate – diarchy – government. 

    – “Modestly, he took only 13 portfolios, while Barnard got 14”. Scomo didn’t tell though but with Whitlam “None of this, however, was secret.”

    But why is it that;
    “Like two other Labor governments – that of James Scullin in 1929 and Kevin Rudd in 2007 – Whitlam had the bad luck of taking office just before a large global economic downturn.”?

    10+ years of hip pocket voting Liberal / National precipitates;
    1) smug politicians, >r>g
    2) private interests preferenced
    3) worsening returns to labour, smaller government or restricted services
    4) feeling of staleness of long term government in polity
    5) at a time when 1 & 2 become obvious and repressive
    6) showing as worsening econimic headwinds
    7) leading to a swiing to Labor
    8) who are caught hetween reform and worsening market, fiscal and monetary policies and obvious ‘labour-ness’ reognition in polity
    9) resulting in a perception in polity of mismanagement / too much change hence
    10) voted out before reforms and conditions become perceived as favourable and voters back to hip pocket decisions of preferences. 
    11) … repeat endlessly … or break 2 party, or use sortition to change cycle. 

    Feel free ro dismiss, alter or suggest your reasons Labor gets the headwinds when voted in list.
    *

    “Half a century on, it’s time to reassess the Whitlam government’s economic legacy

    December 2, 2022
    John Hawkins, 
    University of Canberra

    “After leading the Australian Labor Party to its first federal election victory in 23 years, Gough Whitlam wasted no time.

    “The Tuesday after his election on December 2 1972, he formed an interim two-man cabinet – a duumvirate – with his deputy Lance Barnard, and set about changing the nation.

    “Modestly, he took only 13 portfolios, while Barnard got 14. The pair governed the country for two weeks until the results of the election were formally declared and a full ministry sworn in. None of this, however, was secret.

    “The Whitlam government’s enthusiasm for reform has left a lasting legacy. It introduced 
    – universal health insurance. It 
    – made tertiary education free. It 
    – lifted pensions. It 
    – abolished conscription. It 
    – established diplomatic relations with China. It 
    – began the process to recognise Indigenous land rights.

    “But it is also generally remembered for poor economic management.

    “The Whitlam government’s economic performance was certainly not perfect. But it deserves a better reputation than it has.”
    https://theconversation.com/half-a-century-on-its-time-to-reassess-the-whitlam-governments-economic-legacy-195651

    “Notes:
    “3. ^ The pun ‘tandemocracy’ particularly refers to the Putin–Medvedev diarchy, as it is a calque of Russian tandemokratiya (тандемократия)”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diarchy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calque

  23. Current best estimates of the cost of SMRs from the US NuScale project, $US130/MWh, offset by a $30/MWH subsidy. In $A, this would be $A200/MWh which is far in excess of costs for existing coal or for new solar and wind, with battery backup.

  24. Always been a bit bemused by the claims it was Whitlam government policies that made the very high interest rates experienced at the time – like US and UK and European interest rates around and above 20% had no relevance – or even the fault of Whitlam government policies
    Politicians saying misleading stuff seems par for the course, but how some of them persist is a question. Failures of mainstream media would be my guess – MSM that doesn’t even attempt balance, that acts as political influencers.

  25. John Quiggin: – “Current best estimates of the cost of SMRs from the US NuScale project, $US130/MWh, offset by a $30/MWH subsidy.

    Per IEEFA post on 17 Nov 2022 headlined Small Modular Reactor update: The fading promise of low-cost power from UAMPS’ SMR:

    * Even if the new target price is only in the range of $90 to $100 per MWh, there is no guarantee that this will be the actual price that communities will pay for the power from the CFPP. The power sales contract for the project binds communities to pay the actual costs and expenses of the project—no matter how much.

    https://ieefa.org/resources/small-modular-reactor-update-fading-promise-low-cost-power-uamps-smr

    CSIRO’s GenCost 2021-21: Final report shows in ES Figure 0-1 Calculated LCOE by technology and category for 2030:

    * SMR 2021-22 A$140-330/MWh

    IMO, the low-end of the GenCost LCOE range for SMRs is looking increasingly more like wishful thinking/fantasy.

  26. Long COVID consequences.
    Better late to submission than long on Covid. 

    “Long Covid may be ‘the next public health disaster’ — with a $3.7 trillion economic impact rivaling the Great Recession
    WED, NOV 30 202

    “All told, long Covid is a $3.7 trillion drag on the U.S. economy — about 17% of our nation’s pre-pandemic economic output, said David Cutler, an economist at Harvard University. The aggregate cost rivals that of the Great Recession, Cutler wrote in a July report.

    “Cutler revised the $3.7 trillion total upward by $1.1 trillion from an initial report in October 2020, due to the “greater prevalence of long Covid than we had guessed at the time.” 

    Click to access long_covid_update_7-22.pdf


    cnbc com/2022/11/30/why-long-covid-could-be-the-next-public-health-disaster.html
    *

    Late submissions?

    “COVID inquiry visits Liverpool Hospital
    ” The Committee intends to hold more public hearings in due course. While submissions to the inquiry closed on 18 November 2022, individuals and organisations wishing to make a late submission should contact the Secretariat by email at health.reps@aph.gov.au as soon as possible. https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/House_of_Representatives/About_the_House_News/Media_Releases/COVID_inquiry_visits_Liverpool_Hospital
    *

    “Long COVID-19 costing Australia $100m a week

    “…what Impact Economics and Policy estimates costs the national economy $100 million a week and, if current costs persist, close to $5 billion a year.”
    afr com/work-and-careers/workplace/long-covid-19-costing-australia-100m-a-week-20220909-p5bgq1
    *

    “Confronting Our Next National Health Disaster — Long-Haul Covid”
    nejm org/
    doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2109285
    *

    “HHS Releases Long COVID Report Providing Insights and Opportunities to Support Patient Community

    “Long COVID is a set of conditions. Researchers have cataloged more than 50 conditions linked to Long COVID that impact nearly every organ system. Estimates vary, but research suggests that between 5 percent and 30 percent of those who had COVID-19 may have Long COVID symptoms, and roughly one million people are out of the workforce at any given time due to Long COVID. This figure equates to approximately $50 billion annually in lost salaries.

    “The Health+ Long COVID Report builds on the President’s Memorandum on Addressing the Long-Term Effects of COVID-⁠19 and the two previously issued HHS Long COVID reports. 

    hhs gov/
    about/news/2022/11/21/hhs-releases-long-covid-report-providing-insights-and-opportunities-support.html
    *

  27. Professor Brendan Crabb AC tweeted a short thread on 1 Dec 2022 (bold text my emphasis):

    I have a golden rule, it’s never ok to have infection with a pathogen as part of a strategy to avoid infection with that very same pathogen. Never. I realise the suggestion here is that repeat infection now MIGHT mean the pandemic reduces in the future to some undefined level. 1/

    Followed by:

    That’s unpredictable & high-risk. Better to use best-evidence, non-disruptive measures to minimise transmission now, & to science like mad our way out of it. Mucosal vaccines & improved therapies will come. It’s defeatist & foolish to consider going down any other path. 2/end

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