Saturday Quiz – January 19, 2013

Welcome to the Billy Blog Saturday Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention over the last seven days. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

1. In general, the estimates provided by the organisations such as the OECD and IMF of the impact of the automatic stabilisers are biased upwards.

2. If there is an external deficit, efforts by the private domestic sector to increase its overall saving as a percentage of GDP, will ensure the government budget is in deficit, irrespective of what the government desires.

3. When a government runs a continuous budget deficit public spending builds up over time.

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    5 Responses to Saturday Quiz – January 19, 2013

    1. Esp Ghia says:

      Hi Bill,

      In your article: you seem to suggest that the concept of fair trade (as defined by what is acceptable behavioural standards by employers in Australia) should dictate that Australians (forcibly) slash their Chinese imports. On the other side of the equation you make no mention of whether Aussies should withhold exports (say, via a ban) to that same ‘immoral’ nation. Was this a deliberate oversight? Why is it okay to send resources to a nation that you believe treats its workers in a way that is ‘unacceptable’. It seems to me that, on the one hand, you are happy to facilitate mistreatment of Chinese workers (those involved in the processing of raw materials), while on the other hand, you are not (such as those workers in the rage trade). I think that you are inadvertently seeking the unemployment of workers in China’s export-oriented industries. How that is ‘fair’ is beyond me.

      Secondly and a related side issue, what is your view when the shoe is on the other foot? That is, should Australia also ban imports from nations with industries characterised by militant unions – organisations that use thuggery and other fear tactics to monster both its members and non-members. Consistent with this view, should foreign nations ban exports to Australia where those products would be bound for industries with a history of union violence? It seems to me, that if you want to have ‘fair’ trade you should begin by setting the right ‘moral’ standard at home before you point to our neighbours abroad.

      Finally, I’m not so sure that regionally focused industry policy is such a good thing, but I definitely agree with your last paragragh as well as you analysis of the labour market more generally, fwiw. That was a good, thought-provoking article. Well done and cheers.

    2. billie says:

      Hi Bill

      I noticed on your ABOUT page you still list your email address at

      Hope your move to Darwin is felicitious

    3. bill says:

      Dear Esp Ghia (at 2013/01/19 at 8:19)

      Fair trade means fair trade in both directions. In the article you mention my exact words (where you have taken exception) were:

      However, governments should promote ”fair” rather than ”free” trade. Nations that treat workers in ways that would be unlawful and/or morally unacceptable here should be banned. A lot of Chinese trade would fall foul of this rule and our governments have failed to draw the appropriate line.

      Note the word “trade”. I did not use the word imports. Trade is bi-directional.

      I am on the public record, for example, as advocating the closure of our export coal industry on environmental grounds.

      best wishes

    4. bill says:

      Dear billie (at 2013/01/19 at 17:01)

      I am still at Newcastle. I am working at CDU for two years on some projects – I will return to Newcastle after that. I still use my Newcastle E-mail address (and sometimes my new CDU address).

      Darwin and the surrounding regions – Arnhem land, Tiwi Islands, Timor etc – are very interesting for a researcher to spend some time getting to know.

      best wishes

    5. Esp Ghia says:

      Thanks for your reply Bill. My cognitive dissonance immediately fingered Chinese exports. In any case, I am pleased that you agree with me. Cheers.

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