Monthly Archives: August 2011

Manufacturing dissent

United States man­u­fac­tur­ers, like their Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts, are indulging some hyper­bolic alarm about their future, but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. U.S. eco­nomic growth seems too anaemic to sup­port demand in the sec­tor; Australia’s eco­nomic growth seem to be bypass­ing it. Still, this self-interested plea in the NYT from a direc­tor of GE for pub­lic sub­si­dies (“innovation […]

The canker in quarantine policies

No, it’s not the bit­ter reac­tion from the apple and pear lobby to the end of our century-long ban on apple imports from NZ. What else could we expect: thanks to the price (and qual­ity) pro­tec­tion afford by the ban, uncom­pet­i­tive pro­duc­ers in those indus­tries have been ripping-off the con­sumer so long we could hardly […]

Economic benefits of longevity

The Wall St Jour­nal car­ries an arti­cle by Sonia Arri­son on the poten­tial for, and ben­e­fits of, greater longevity. Her con­clu­sions are sim­i­lar to those I pro­posed in a recent arti­cle in Pol­icy on The New Future of Old Age: The world’s advanced soci­eties are finally in a posi­tion to launch a true offen­sive against […]

Abbott’s foreign investment policy

This is the sen­tence that makes me feel most uncom­fort­able: Vot­ers are likely to be less hos­tile to for­eign invest­ment if they think that the gov­ern­ment is pre­serv­ing a well-balanced economy.Extract from We are pledged to real reform | The Aus­tralian Most of the Abbott state­ments about man­u­fac­tur­ing assis­tance, trans­ac­tion costs and “eco­nomic diver­sity” that […]

Eminent call-girls

Aaargh! Yet another knee-jerk call in the Finan­cial Times for “wise” men (and women) to guide WTO out of it’s slough. Third, in lieu of the WTO min­is­te­r­ial, a group of emi­nent peo­ple should be appointed with the task find­ing a way out of the cur­rent dol­drums and out­lin­ing future courses of action. The head […]

The foreign buck stops here

Why does the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment cre­ate invest­ment hur­dles at the “bor­der” for for­eign­ers who want to put their money into the growth of our econ­omy? It’s mad­ness, when you look at where the money goes: The work we have done inter­nally says that, over the past decade, for every dol­lar of extra rev­enue we have got […]

Strategic stupidity in Afghanistan

I ask myself, what the real motive of our mil­i­tary adven­ture in Afghanistan could be, because noth­ing in the wretched his­tory of U.S. (“West­ern”) mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion, nor cen­turies of Afghan his­tory, nor obser­va­tion, much less com­mon sense gives any sup­port to these claims of impend­ing “vic­tory”: Aus­tralian Defence Force Joint Oper­a­tions Com­mand head Lieu­tenant General […]