Monday, September 26, 2011

News Items and comments

Labor and friends long for 1984

Piers Akerman – Saturday, September 24, 11 (10:19 pm)

JULIA Gillard wants to blame Tony Abbott for her minority government’s dysfunctionality but that is a huge stretch.

I would think a white feather for disapproval would be an appropriate gift for for Juliars birthday.

IQ (Reply)
Sat 24 Sep 11 (10:38pm)
DD Ball replied to IQ
Sun 25 Sep 11 (06:54am)

I don’t get the white feather reference, unless it is the cowardice thing. But I think it right.

Laura replied to IQ
Sun 25 Sep 11 (08:01am)

I love this game that Cav has started.

IQ,for Miss Gillard’s birthday, I would arrange a birthday lunch for her with Sophie Mirabella and the editor of The Age. I would love to hear the real feisty one (Sophie Mirabella) give it to the real pathetic one (Julia Gillard). I would like to hear the editor of ‘The Age’ defend the decision by Fairfax to run it’s story on Mrs Mirabella and a past lover, and explain why Fairfax is running a protective covering over the story on Miss Gillard and her past lover.

The story about Mrs Mirabella is a personal one that has nothing to do with the public but the story about Miss Gillard and her lover has everything to do with her judgement then and now. It looks like Fairfax and Miss Gillard have a lot in common. They both stink. Mrs Mirabella might have to leave the lunch early or at least be prepared to sit through it with a peg on her nose.

Cavaletta replied to IQ
Sun 25 Sep 11 (10:00am)

Yes thanks for the suggestion I will add a white feather to the compass. Ms Gillard does not have the courage to go to the people with her Carbon Dioxide, economy-wrecking tax.

Insidious & Green replied to IQ
Sun 25 Sep 11 (11:02am)

Possibly an Ostrich feather would be a more fitting gesture.

tombrown replied to IQ
Sun 25 Sep 11 (08:17pm)

What about some hormone replacement therapy?She is the right age,and judging her behavior much needed.

PositivePaul replied to IQ
Mon 26 Sep 11 (07:22am)

Sophie for PM !!! If only our 1st female PM had been someone courageous and honourable !

tombrown replied to IQ
Mon 26 Sep 11 (11:29am)

Positive paul;We still havent had an ELECTED female PM,elected in her own right with a mandate to govern that is,What we have now are a bunch of losers who teamed up on the Libs and then selected the red peril.

arn’t we lucky we dont have cruddies broadband and his secret control.
How else would we be able to learn the truth.

Stick it to them Piers, by the way, I’m sure you put in the part of the boat people just to annoy me.
Oh come on Piers, life’s too serious to be serious. Have a laugh, its the weekend.

grumpy of casino (Reply)
Sat 24 Sep 11 (10:40pm)
DD Ball replied to grumpy
Sun 25 Sep 11 (06:55am)

It isn’t luck. It will happen if the government continues.

scotty replied to grumpy
Sun 25 Sep 11 (08:53pm)

grumpy, as you will see, I have posted some comments on page 4.

Life was never meant to be easy but we can still look on the brighter side of life.

God bless you every day - grumpy - my friend.

P.S. I would love to meet you, Piers and many friends here on Piers’ blog.

Reply: Do you want to organize a picnic day?

Caz replied to grumpy
Mon 26 Sep 11 (04:26pm)

Be careful, scotty! It could be a trap! If they trick us into gathering in one place they could round us all up!

Piers. if that is you, you must answer a question to prove your identity.

On a recent trans pacific voyage, only one sailor scored a boobie. Who was it and what was his weapon of choice?
Reply: Captain Robbie and his slingshot ... He is about to become the grandfather of twins. Very clever fellow, his daughter looks wonderful.

I hate the left of politics with a passion because they exploite workers.
The right of politics look after workers cradle to grave.

IQ (Reply)
Sat 24 Sep 11 (10:47pm)
DD Ball replied to IQ
Sun 25 Sep 11 (06:58am)

The right don’t take care of anybody. They might allow prosperity. I prefer conservatives. Conservatives promote prosperity which is the only cure for poverty.

tombrown replied to IQ
Sun 25 Sep 11 (09:43am)

workers and the naive.

dd replied to IQ
Sun 25 Sep 11 (01:23pm)

The Right makes money, the Left wastes it. The history of Australian politics.

It is good that you are able to write columns such as this Piers, before they are banned and commentators such as yourself are prevented from writing in the future, if this media enquiry?just happens to find that people like yourself and indeed may of your bloggers are acting contrary to what the lefties consider the national interest, just look at the gutlessness of 2UE, Michael Smith it seems may very well be sacked for daring to go digging into the past of the Black Widow of Canberra.

The Owl of NSW (Reply)
Sat 24 Sep 11 (10:47pm)
DD Ball replied to The Owl
Sun 25 Sep 11 (07:01am)

2UE has form, Smith accepted the ALP line in the past. You can’t pick and choose freedoms, or you lose them.

Pericles replied to The Owl
Sun 25 Sep 11 (10:00pm)

We await the inevitable scythe of poltiical correctness to
cut us down.
Was always going to happen once the federal government
fell to the PC socialists.
One of the dangers of opting to ride with Labor Greens
horsemen of the apocalypse as we spent years pointing out
on this and other conservative blogs. The only place we,
the politically incorrect, have a voice thanks to News Limited.

GB replied to The Owl
Mon 26 Sep 11 (10:10am)

Yes, and now we find Labor has imported Tony Blairs
spinmeister to finish us off just Blair, New Labour and
their Marxist and Sinn Fein accomplices within Blairs
government have finished off for good the once Great
Britain using varous methods including a stealthy
change of the demographics by importing millions

It does not matter, more deeply, if Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon was a member of a communist outfit or not ...

Is her heart and mind essentially communist?

Decidedly yes.

Neville Chamberlain, pre-Churchill, was not a member of the Left but he was heart and mind.

More recently Malcolm Turnbull is not a member of the Left but to some extent he is.

The heart and mind - where do they reside ...

The inner person - what are their true colours ...

This is the hub from which attitude flows ...


John Jay (Reply)
Sat 24 Sep 11 (10:47pm)
DD Ball replied to John Jay
Sun 25 Sep 11 (07:05am)

Being a communist is discrediting. It shows the judgement is awry. It shows lack of compassion.

Turnbull supports a tax. He has a banker’s view, not a communist view. But it is wrongheaded.

proud aussie replied to John Jay
Sun 25 Sep 11 (08:09am)

John Jay, Kevin Rudd, once again, shows his true colours, whilst granstanding in the U.S.

It is reported that Kevin Rudd, with cameras in tow, ( of course ), chased down Hillary Clinton to force her into honouring a statement she made to Hamish & Andy whilst last in Australia that she would get together with them for a Barbeque when they were next in the U.S.
Kevin Rudd is allegedly in the U.S. for high profile talks, yet he takes time out to force an opportunity to get himself on the Hamish & Andy television show. Telling Hillary Clinton she has two choices, either put on a barbeque or go on the Show.

What an utter embarrassment Kevin 07 is to this Nation. The fm of the Gillard/Rudd Govt manipulating publicity, once again.

No link to this report, however, one would probably be able to watch it on the latest Hamish & Andy Show from the U.S. broadcast here via Channel 9.

One could be forgiven for being disgusted with the fact that the fm of this Nation takes his job so lightly, whlst living it up at the Australian Taxpayers’ expense. What a joke this man really is! mad

i think and i vote replied to John Jay
Sun 25 Sep 11 (09:30am)

Anyone that supported the eastern block repression of human beings is beyond redemption. Anyone who has had knowledge of what they did to anyone who dissented, went to church, wanted to do something other than what the state sanctioned was brutally repressed. Shame Greens Shame for allowing such a viper to enter your nest. Should have stuck to the environment.

proud aussie replied to John Jay
Sun 25 Sep 11 (12:25pm)

Hamish & Andy thank Kevin Rudd for keeping Hillary Clinton to her word. Proof, Kevin 07 will do anything just to keep his face on the screen. Up to his old ‘ look at me, look at me “ tactics.
Not Kim Beazley, but Kevin Rudd gets the glory. HAH! What a joke!
No wonder his Poll rating dive bombed after only 12 months as pretend pm and they will again.

Lets get some ‘grown up’ and responsible people into Govt, so this Nation can once again hold her head up high.

tombrown replied to John Jay
Sun 25 Sep 11 (07:59pm)

There are a lot of Lee rhiannon types out in the world,they push shopping trollies endlessly down wind swept streets, feed feral cats and shake their fists at passing traffic.

John Jay replied to John Jay
Sun 25 Sep 11 (11:39pm)

To Proud Aussie -

Kevin Rudd loves to work the kids (Hamish and Andy’s audience) .. he loved being “cool” on Rove.

Rudd is an odious, narcissistic, indulgent self-promoter of the worst kind.

Rudd cares about Rudd, not Australia.

Rudd promotes Rudd, not Australia.

The most disturbing thing of all is the reaction of our media - they just lap it up.

They wouldn’t know a fraud if they tripped over one.

One thing Proud Aussie - please be careful re astrologers. The one you recently mentioned has said George Bush is a very evil human being. This is not true.

Astrology is an art, not a science, and only in the most capable and gifted hands is of real worth. This universe has a vast and awesome energy dimension that is beyond the reach of science - there is definitely an imprint on the life of a soul at the moment they incarnate (dependent on energy patterns) that will have a bearing on their life, but this has to be studied by the right person.

They person you mentioned is not what they think they are.

John Jay.

Ken Dunlop replied to John Jay
Mon 26 Sep 11 (08:44am)

What the bloody hell are you waffling on about john Jay? Anything we know about the universe has been given to us and continues to be given to us by science. Peddle your bunkum elsewhere. You are diluting the focus of debate on this blog with your endless unprovable and self indulgent mumbo jumbo.

John Jay replied to John Jay
Mon 26 Sep 11 (11:43am)

To Ken Dunlop -

Why did Christ pray to God if all there is is logic? Science is a system of logic.

Was He the ignorant one or are you?

Where does beauty fit into your narrow world?






And more besides ...

Science understands not one of these things Ken Dunlop - they are all real, are they not?

Science has a place but reality goes way, way further.

Many scientists know this.

John Jay.


Drug-drivers on the road to perdition

Miranda Devine – Saturday, September 24, 11 (10:21 pm)

DRUG-DRIVERS are wreaking hell on our highways so why is the law so soft?

Harm minimisation fails and Libertarians are wrong to claim a moral issue with blocking drug use. Libertarians claim that legal restriction is wrong. That it encourages use, as prohibition of alcohol did.

I am teetotal by choice. It is related to my discovery that small amounts of alcohol gives me gout. Many people I know aren’t teetotal. Not all of them are drunks. But some are. Likewise some people I know use drugs. It ruins them mentally. It also leaves an awful smell in the toilet.

Is there a worse tragedy than the senseless loss of a loved one? Maybe a government sanctioned killing of a loved one. That is the moral issue.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sun 25 Sep 11 (06:43am)
Head Turner replied to DD Ball
Mon 26 Sep 11 (09:58am)

Actually DD,

The Police Command and Health experts don’t agree with you....

As they know that all the efforts in riding drug use in society is akin to counting how many grains of sand there are on a beach… impossible.

As such, the WAR on drugs was a good conservative slogan for the bogans.

Actually, they didn't -ed

A Quick Question



Here’s a quick question for anyone who takes seriously politicians’ pronouncements about what particular industries are “vital” or are “of the future” or are “crucial to meeting consumers’ needs”: Why do virtually none of these politicians, when they leave office, found their own non-political firms? Why do virtually none of these politicians, when they leave office, found their own non-political firms – firms that specialize neither in granting clients access to incumbent politicians nor in projects that depend upon getting subsidies or other favors from those same politicians?

This question occurred to me a few days ago upon hearing that former president Bill Clinton was off somewhere talking about something to some group concerned about some issue. His career now is to make lots of money as a sort of high-brow social healer – to emit platitudes, attend state funerals, and (pardon my switch of imagery) be a show-pony for politically correct causes. The post-Oval Office careers of every other recent president – to the extent that they haven’t simply retired to the golf course or the study – have been largely the same, with the groups and causes served by their attentions differing only as one former president’s political affiliations differ from those of another former president.

But surely if, say, President Jimmy Carter was as smart and as full of correct foresight as he would have had to be in order for sensible people to take seriously his late-1970s pronouncements on the future of America’s energy economy, he could have made a personal fortune, starting at 12:01pm on 20 January 1981, launching and running an energy company (or, more precisely, a synthetic-energy company). Yet he didn’t even try. He selfishly denied to Americans – indeed, to the world – the blessings of synfuels.

Sure, he did other things. Built houses for poor people. Visited foreign leaders. But does the value that Mr. Carter supplied to the world through these deeds come close to the value that Mr. Carter would have supplied had he actually founded and successfully run a company producing ‘alternative’ energy? Doubtful.

And what of Pres. Obama? Even if he wins a second term in the White House, he’ll be only 55 years old when he leaves office. Will he found and run a health-insurance company? How about a ‘green’ energy firm? Or will he, perhaps, found and run a firm specializing in offering middle- and low-income Americans better and more fully disclosed access to consumer credit? Will he create a successful automobile firm?

I’ll bet (seriously) a good deal of money that he’ll do none of these things. He’ll not even try. And for good reason: not only does he know nothing about these matters, he knows nothing about finding investors willing to stake their own funds, or about finding skilled workers and managers willing to cooperate together in such upstart enterprises, so that such enterprises become realities with real prospects for success.

He knows no more about the economic matters upon which he pronounces than does a soap-opera actor portraying a physician know about cardiology or obstetrics.

His comparative advantage is as a talking show-pony, to trot out onto the public stage to mouth platitudes, to declaim the splendid ideas of his party, to decry the squalid ideas of the opposing party, and, after he is relieved of the burdens of office, to make millions so that people destitute of critical faculties can get cheap thrills – for which they’ll pay big bucks – by sitting for a few minutes in the same room as a former president of the executive branch of the United States government.

And it will never dawn on any of these people who Oooo! and Ahhh! in the presence of a former president that if that mortal, who once sat at the big desk in the Oval Office, were really as magnificent and wonderful and smart and wise and productively creative as he and his handlers and party apologists made him out to be while he was in office, he is now nothing but a bum wasting his remarkable talents that could be used to found and operate a private firm (or multiple firms!) that actually puts to a genuine market test the ‘big’ ideas in which he expressed such assurance while spending other people’s money.


My GMU Econ colleague – and EJW‘s – Dan Klein sent me by e-mail his thoughts on the movie Moneyball. I share Dan’s thoughts with you here:

I [Dan Klein] confess that I’m a sucker for Brad Pitt (esp. Troy and Legends of the Fall). I enjoyed Moneyball.

It’s got a remarkable amount of econ/pro-commerce stuff in it, as well as Smithian themes about moral sentiments in commercial society.

They throw in a lot, and it often felt clumsy. Sometimes the dialogue even speechifies. But many of the topics touched are topics usually far beyond the reach of a movie, so it strikes as very original. The whole is remarkably bold.

There is no love interest, which was good.

Here’s a quick list of some of the topics it touches (and always in a good, if clumsy, way):

• Radical innovation, especially as born of extreme adversity (see Reuven Brenner).
• The hostility to radical innovation, especially at a deep level of selfhood and of the cultural ecology (Schumpeter 1911/1934).
• Some speechifying by the Red Sox owner about how the resistance problem also applies to government.
• Honest profit (which is in part based on prices) as a validation of personal worth.
• But also honest profit as less than paramount. In the end Brad Pitt got the validation but declined the offer.
• The destructive element in creation, but moreover the destructive impulse, as he was, as it were, getting back at baseball (Schumpeter again).
• Thus, also, success in rivalrous competition as one avenue to personal redemption.
• A general sense that the system is ineluctably vast and anonymous, that each person is situated within a vast and mysterious set of forces. That people don’t really know what will happen, or why, and must stoically accept constraints.
• Technology and nerd smarts; “skill-biased technology” issues.
• How better methods discover value and help those otherwise less valued.
• Family as naturally cardinal and often challenged by the forces of modern/commercial society.

Now I really want to see this movie!


As anyone familiar with supermarket items can tell you – and now Mark Bittman of the New York Times does so – meals from fast-food restaurants are not cheaper than many healthier options available to nearly every American. (HT Peter Minowitz)

George Will exposes the fishy-ness of government’s alleged efforts to regulate in the public interest.

Economist David Rose makes a solid case against the extension of unemployment benefits paid by government.

Steve Landsburg ponders Keynesianism.

Arnold on Russ on Tyler.

And Arnold on the follies of those who apologize for monopoly government K-12 “education.”

Over at Division of Labour, Brad Smith reports yet more evidence that Pres. Obama’s understanding of even basic economics is, I put it this way, limited.

My great colleague Walter Williams finds the similarities between Social Security and private Ponzi schemes too obvious to ignore.


… is from a January 1846 (O blessed year!) speech by the great champion of free trade Richard Cobden of the Anti-Corn Law League (HT David Hart):

But I have been accused of looking too much to material interests. Nevertheless I can say that I have taken as large and great a view of the effects of this mighty principle as ever did any man who dreamt over it in his own study. I believe that the physical gain will be the smallest gain to humanity from the success of this principle. I look farther; I see in the Free-trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe,—drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace. I have looked even farther. I have speculated, and probably dreamt, in the dim future—ay, a thousand years hence—I have speculated on what the effect of the triumph of this principle may be. I believe that the effect will be to change the face of the world, so as to introduce a system of government entirely distinct from that which now prevails. I believe that the desire and the motive for large and mighty empires; for gigantic armies and great navies—for those materials which are used for the destruction of life and the desolation of the rewards of labour—will die away; I believe that such things will cease to be necessary, or to be used, when man becomes one family, and freely exchanges the fruits of his labour with his brother man. I believe that, if we could be allowed to reappear on this sublunary scene, we should see, at a far distant period, the governing system of this world revert to something like the municipal system; and I believe that the speculative philosopher of a thousand years hence will date the greatest revolution that ever happened in the world’s history from the triumph of the principle which we have met here to advocate. I believe these things: but, whatever may have been my dreams and speculations, I have never obtruded them upon others. I have never acted upon personal or interested motives in this question; I seek no alliance with parties or favour from parties, and I will take none—but, having the feeling I have of the sacredness of the principle, I say that I can never agree to tamper with it. I, at least, will never be suspected of doing otherwise than pursuing it disinterestedly, honestly, and resolutely.


Scarcity Isn’t Abundance



Mr./Ms. “AmericanProudly”

Dear Mr./Ms. “Proudly”:

Thanks for your e-mail response to my post explaining why Pat Buchanan is mistaken when he insists that “You cannot have a rising standard of living when your highest-paid production jobs are being exported overseas.”

You write that, unlike me, “Pat lives in the real world.” You imply that economics is sophistry used to conceal truths that to persons such as Mr. Buchanan and yourself are plain enough in the absence of any serious pondering.

So let me make my point from a direction opposite the one I took in my post. That point, you’ll recall, is that scarcity isn’t wealth, and (hence) government efforts to prevent goods and services from becoming less scarce retard, rather than promote, economic growth.

Suppose Dr. Evil Genius engineers, and unleashes on America, swarms of insects that extract oxygen from the air. These insects attack randomly, killing a hundred or so Americans every hour.

The horror of these suffocations prompts American scientists and entrepreneurs to develop a device that, worn around the neck, protects each of its wearers from the insects. This device, alas, is costly. Yet to avoid suffocation Americans willingly buy these pricey devices. And many Americans find high-wage jobs in factories producing these devices.

Evil Dr. Genius made breathable air scarce. Producers responded to this situation by making it less scarce. And they’re paid handsomely for their successful efforts.

Should we therefore conclude that Dr. Evil Genius has bestowed on Americans a benefit? After all, he caused the creation of plenty of high-paid production jobs. And should we lament it if foreigners eventually find ways to produce and sell this life-saving device to Americans at a fraction of the cost at which this device can be produced in the U.S.?

If you agree with Pat Buchanan, you must also agree that Dr. Evil Genius would be a genuine boon to America’s economy – and that anyone who devises a low-cost means of eradicating once and for all Dr. Genius’s swarming insects would be an economic curse that Congress should well and truly tax into inactivity before he or she succeeds in killing off the suffocating, but economically blessed, bugs.

Donald J. Boudreaux


… is from page 253 of Sir Henry Sumner Maine’s brilliant 1861 book Ancient Law:

It is certain that the science of Political Economy, the only department of moral inquiry which has made any considerable progress in our day, would fail to correspond with the facts of life if it were not true that Imperative Law had abandoned the largest part of the field which it once occupied, and had left men to settle rules of conduct for themselves with a liberty never allowed to them til recently. The bias indeed of most persons trained in political economy is to consider the general truth on which their science reposes as entitled to become universal, and, when they apply it as an art, their efforts are ordinarily directed to enlarging the province of Contract and to curtailing that of Imperative Law, except so far as law is necessary to enforce the performance of Contracts.

‎20 yo too free
A MAN was shot dead yesterday outside a Sydney house which was riddled with bullets in a drive-by shooting in June.
He looks androgynous. How did he come by his title?
A Chicago man was ordered held without bond Sunday on charges that he imprisoned and physically abused his girlfriend for 10 weeks, the Chicago Tribune reported.
It might seem to be a long time, now, but eternal torment awaits.
THE man accused of the murder of Daniel Morcombe has expressed his frustration at being brought from jail to court when his appearance was not required.
I loved the first ..
IT IS a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a bloody knife must be the killer.
I could make a better apology for half what he was paid for by that tv show he dissed
Charlie Sheen is a terrible career manager. Or so it would seem, given that this year he managed to trade one of the most lucrative jobs in television for a role in a national freak show. But earlier this week, in the space of just over 24 hours, three notable things happened that suggest that Charlie Sheen may have a plan.
I will stand for her.
Police found a woman's decapitated body in a Mexican border city on Saturday, alongside a handwritten sign saying she was killed in retaliation for her postings on a social networking site.
How would you know if someone you voted for was elected?
Saudi King Abdullah has given the kingdom's women the right to vote for first time in nationwide local elections, due in 2015.
Obama begs to spend a $billion a day
President Barack Obama took his newly combative message to the liberal West Coast on Sunday, aiming to re-energize faithful Democratic voters who have grown increasingly disenchanted with him.
‎@13rice13 You have registered your criticism, But you haven't said what it is. That seems misleading.
Family heritage and early life Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born in Rosario, Argentina, the eldest of five children in a family of Spanish and Irish descent; both his father and mother were of Basque ancestry. All of which paints Guevara a..
ALP are bad managers
WORKERS at the Wonthaggi desalination plant admit to slowing their work rate to cash in on lucrative work conditions that entitle them to paid "sober-up" breaks.
We need new government
It is spin when crims talk of family.
A MAN was shot dead yesterday outside a Sydney house which was riddled with bullets in a drive-by shooting in June.
They have spent their surplus and amassed substantial debt, 20% GDP. So now they wish to use lower interest rates to stimulate the economy. That will raise inflation.
A TOP economist and the Federal Opposition have urged the Reserve Bank to cut the cash interest rate by at least 0.25 percentage points to avoid recession.

Post a Comment