Take the stimulus quiz

October 7, 2010

Here’s some research by the IPA’s Julie Novak we released today: Over the last few years, the cost of electricity has gone up nearly four times the rate of inflation!

Between 2005 and 2010 general consumer prices have increased 16%. But electricity prices have gone up:

(You can read our press release here.) All the data is public and you can work it out for yourself – here’s the ABS spreadsheets – Catalogue Number 6401.0 – Table 13.

When banks lift interest rates a fraction of a percent of the RBA rate, the federal Treasurer hits the media and blames them for hurting working families. But where’s the Treasurer when it’s government policy driving up electricity prices? I guess there are good price rises and bad price rises.

Here’s a must-watch video – can you pick which American stimulus programs are real or fake?  Warning – it is very funny. And people wonder why there’s a Tea Party? (Here’s a good overview of the Tea Party.)

Here’s a significant review of the new book on Mao from last month’s Spectator. It makes the point that Mao’s famine-genocide is usually ignored – even by the influential economist Amartya Sen.  (Which reminds me – guess who’s the favourite economist of Treasury secretary Ken Henry? According to Ken “Treasury’s perspective on freedom and opportunity has been heavily influenced” by Sen.)

Here’s something interesting from The Daily Beast in the US – America’s 15 most important economics/business journalists.

In The Sunday Age Chris Berg wondered if free speech was only for the rich, and in The Drum on Wednesday he lamented the expansion of presidential power. Also in Wednesday’s Drum, Julie Novak said GDP wasn’t a perfect measure of living standards. In The Australian on Monday Tim Wilson attacked green protectionism. And in The Australian Financial Review on Friday I said first mover advantage was a furphy.

And from the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program: a sneak preview of Deidre McCloskey’s new book.

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