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 […]

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 […]

If you like working with data

…You’ll love Google Refine

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 […]