Monthly Archives: February 2011

Exempt exports from a carbon tax?

Henry Ergas answers the questions that the Gillard government has forgotten even to ask: “…in terms of Australia’s national interest, it is difficult to think of a policy more harmful than such a unilateral tax” Extract from Unilateral action creates costs without benefits, in The Australian But I think Henry might be too optimistic about […]

The illogic of blaming man

The physicist Freeman Dyson, in a slightly tetchy email exchange with the Science Editor of the Independent news paper, argues that the IPCC’s alarm about warmer temperatures is due to dogmatic overconfidence in the projections of some poor models. “My impression is that the experts are deluded because they have been studying the details of […]

US farm subsidies in no danger

Even in a year when U.S. farmers’ incomes are likely to be the second highest in 35 years, Obama’s modest budget proposals to cut US farm subsidies by about a quarter over the next decade is unlikely to win support from the Republican majority in Congress “The Obama administration’s proposed 2012 federal budget released today […]

The obsolecence of WTO

Daniel Altman exaggerates just barely when he warns of the obsolescence of WTO in a Newsweek column in honour of this week’s WTO General Council meeting. The Organization is getting nowhere with the Doha negotiations, unable to make decisions, losing relevance as trade barriers are dismantled by bilateral agreement or unilateral decision. Altman could add […]

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Demography need not make Israel’s destiny

Clyde Prestowitz, speculating on the reason young Israelis are more pessimistic than young Egyptians. ” …the average GDP per capita is indeed high in Israel, but the bulk of the GDP goes to a thin slice or the richest portion of society. The gap between rich and poor in Israel is among the world’s highest. […]

Where in the world is “Watson”?

Where else? “But let’s get down to the clue level: What’s the most common answer on Jeopardy? That would be ‘What is Australia?’ That response appears in J-Archive 208 times, out of 197,736 total answers—to clues as diverse as ‘In terms of rainfall, it’s the driest continent after Antarctica’ and ‘The overarm ‘crawl’ swimming stroke […]