Ricky Gervais Management Tips

November 26, 2009

Here’s what else happened this week:

But it’s the leaked CLIMATEGATE emails the world is talking about.

This and this are good summaries of what it’s all about. You can even search the leaks for yourself. And yes – there’s an IPA connection! Here’s what the emails say about IPA Review contributor Professor Bob Carter and Dr Pat Michaels who spoke at the IPA in August (here’s his speech).

The IPA’s Tim Wilson was in The Age today on what just happened in Canberra. And Tim will be in Copenhagen for the IPA reporting back once the meeting starts. Here’s the (in)famous 181 page climate change treaty they’ll be fighting over.

Last Saturday the Australian Financial Review listed the most popular economics and finance blogs in the US. I’ve already told you about my favourites: Greg Mankiw and Tyler Cowen. Also on the list were: Calculated Risk, Zero Hedge, Bronte Capital, Baseline Scenario, Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, Naked Capitalism, and The Big Picture.

And if you’re a fan of The Office read The Gervais Principle – it’s long but good. There’s more here.

And from IPA people this week: Yesterday Carolyn Popp in ABC Unleashed explained how the ETS legislation is inconsistent with the rule of law, and in The Australian Alan Moran explained the real cost of the ETS. On Friday John Pesutto in The Australian examined the hypocrisy of FairWork Australia. And on Friday, Tim Wilson was on Sky News.

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BritainWatch

November 19, 2009

Yesterday Nanny State activists demanded Kevin Rudd raise the drinking age to 21. This follows similar calls in Britain.

Look at what Britain has now turned into:

And my favourite! A local council used anti-terror laws to catch someone who pruned a tree without a permit.

I don’t make this stuff up – it’s all from the last few weeks. No surprise 80% of British people think they’re now less free.

To top it all off – British taxes are going up because the country’s nearly broke. In Monday’s Daily Telegraph Boris Johnson complained that Britain is forcing its rich to leave. (You know U2 are Irish tax exiles?)

Given all of this, it’s a bit rich for the new UK High Commissioner to Canberra to preach to Australians about climate change – here’s Gerard Henderson’s perceptive article from Tuesday’s Sydney Morning Herald.

Exactly what is happening in Britain? Prospect magazine explains.

In Friday’s Australian Financial Review, I asked why Kevin Rudd can’t bring himself to reform. In The Australian Alan Moran wrote that authors should be able to get as rich as they can, and in the Australian Financial Review, he looked at the flaws in the government’s ETS. In The Sunday Age, Chris Berg asked why anybody thinks Canberra can do things better.

PS: An important new book Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis: The Relevance of Adam Smith on Morality and Free Markets by Richard Morgan will be launched on 2 December in Melbourne. Click here if you’d like to come.

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Keep the teachers – sack the students

November 12, 2009

Kevin Rudd says his emissions trading scheme won’t cost jobs. In a speech last week he claimed “Treasury modelling” proved it.

But the federal Treasury Department has calculated the cost of the scheme on the assumption that every other country also has an ETS!

Here it is, in black and white:

Page 226, Australia’s Low Pollution Future: The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation, Commonwealth of Australia, 2008

So what happens if Australia passes an ETS before the rest of the world? We don’t know. And Kevin Rudd and Treasury don’t know either.

ANU economist Alex Robson pointed this out at the IPA’s climate change conference on Tuesday. Here’s his presentation. In the Herald Sun yesterday, Terry McCrann wondered why the IPA is the only one looking at the consequences of the ETS. And if you want to know what the Wall Street Journal thinks of Al Gore read this from yesterday.

In America many state governments have run out of money. In Hawaii, they’ve had to cancel school on Fridays because they can’t pay the teachers.

And in a rare victory against the Nanny State: yesterday the High Court ruled consuming alcohol is “a matter of personal decision and individual responsibility“. (The decision is here.)

If you’re starting to consider your Christmas reading and you’re into history this is a great guide to the best books on the latest hot topic – the end of the Roman Empire. The new edition of Standpoint has this great piece on the Berlin Wall.

Talking of the Berlin Wall – here’s what started it all.

In The Wall Street Journal Asia on Monday, Sinclair Davidson explained how Australia will survive a declining American dollar. In the November Far Eastern Economic Review, Tom Switzer wrote that Kevin Rudd is undoing the Australian economic miracle. In Tuesday’s Australian, Tim Wilson wondered why we’d want the ABC to be our face to the world.

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SuperFreakonomics vs. Al Gore

November 5, 2009

In The Australian today Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner reckons ‘the modern world of micro-economic reform is all about detail.’ You can say that again. Here’s a few things the Rudd government has established in the last few months:

And last week the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission unveiled ‘Unit Man‘. He’ll tell us how to read supermarket price tags. Yep – cartoon characters are real ‘micro-economic reform’.

Ever wanted to know who to blame for university subjects like ‘The Social Construction of Difference‘ (The University of Sydney), ‘Myself and the Aliens‘ (University of Western Australia – and yes that’s its real title!), and ‘Self and Other‘ (University of Melbourne)? It’s because of the French marxist philosopher, Claude Levi-Strauss. He died last week.

Is change coming in America? Yesterday Republicans won elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey. And this amusing video off the floor of Congress explains why Obama can’t pass healthcare.

And did you hear? The Freakonomics guys have upset Al Gore with their new book!

One of the best things I’ve read on the fall of the Berlin Wall is by Timothy Garton Ash in the latest New York Review of Books. And if you want more reading on the GFC (11,000 words) this is a significant piece on Larry Summers from The New Yorker a few weeks ago.

It’s official – climate change is like religion (at least according to a British judge). Here’s the British government’s controversial new climate change TV ad. Here’s some of the reaction.

In Friday’s Australian Financial Review, I said Canberra was proof the PM should stay out of urban planning. In Tuesday’s Australian, Alan Moran explained how a carbon tax would undermine prosperity. Chris Berg in the Sunday Age defended meat and yesterday in Crikey reviewed Michael Moore’s new movie. And on the 7:30 Report last Thursday, I debated Paul Howes from the Australian Workers Union on immigration.

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