Tag Archives: microeconomics

Evidence-free policy on cars

His Telstra term has apparently left Ziggy Switkowski with a taste for Gaullist illogic. He reckons that the absence of a rationale — other than rent-seeking — is not fatal to a policy that supports a “diverse” industrial patrimoine. It is very hard to make a conventional business case for subsidisation of (or, more fashionably, […]

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 […]

Why shoot elephants?

It’s the most effective way to kill them. Any game-keeper will tell you that. Just as any economist will tell you that the most effective way to control obnoxious behaviour, like polluting the river, or just undesirable behaviour, like driving your car into the city, is to tax it. Are there alternatives to shooting? Yes, […]

Prices to grow 20 percent faster

Among the slogans that the Labor/Greens alliance will pound out over the next few weeks is that their coal tax is “low cost.” They don’t seem to understand the meaning of the CPI increase revealed by their own models. But worse, as far as I can see they don’t understand even basic household budgeting. The […]

When is “reform” not a reform?

No doubt Ms Gillard will assure us, next Sunday when she announces the coal tax she has agreed with the Greens and two “independents”, that this is a “reform” that will secure a better economic future for Australia. But a “reform” is no reform when… It is not adapted to its purpose: The Gillard-Brown coal […]

So now it’s a coal tax?

What is the point of the “emissions” tax now? By excluding petrol from their proposed tax, the Labor/Green alliance have moved the goal posts to make the tax look less like an “own-goal” to the consumer. In doing so they have made coal production and use an explicit target, although that is where our comparative […]

Learning to love the Boom

Sensation sells, of course (“Salut DSK!“). Today’s Australian carries a gloom-laden account of Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson’s address to the Melbourne Institute’s Economic and Social Outlook conference about structural challenges posed by the minerals boom. But newspapers have been slower to pick up on two other talks at the same conference that I found still […]