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Blog lay day

It is Friday, my blog lay day, so no real blog. I am editing my Europe book in the freezing weather down in Melbourne. The laugh of the week was the Federal governments bungled attempt to get rid of the carbon tax. It will probably go next week and then we will rely on that expert on the environment, Prime Minister Tony Abbott (see credentials overleaf) to lead the way into the future.

On January 30, 2013, our now Prime Minister Tony Abbott staked his credentials as the man to protect the natural environment. In this report from the gutter national daily The Australian – Roads good for environment, says Tony Abbott – he said:

Better roads means better communities; better roads are good for our economy; they’re good for our society … They’re good for our physical and mental health …

They’re even good for the environment because cars that are moving spew out far less pollution than cars that are standing still.

Australia is about to become the first nation in the world to repeal a carbon tax or related measure aimed at addressing climate change. We are becoming a laughing stock in the world.

Even dodgy nations like China are innovating hastily to move to renewables and away from coal.

And … just for the record, I am an economist not an expert in climate change science. But I am trained to read scientific reports and assess evidential argument. I conclude that there are an overwhelming majority of those who are ‘experts’ in climate change science who tell us there is something bad happening and we are at the centre of it.

I accept that the overwhelming majority of economists know nothing about the way the monetary system operates. So why trust the climate change majority?

Simple: there is no evidential backing for the dominant economic ideology. One cannot say that about the climate change science arguments.

Music to groove and edit by!

This is what I have been listening to today while I have been working. It features the great jazz-reggae guitarist – John Kpiaye – of his 1997 album Red, Gold and Blues, a true classic. He plays with the band that backs London poet Linton Kwesi Johnson.

My euro book manuscript will be finalised by the end of next week, thanks to xxx?

Saturday Quiz

The Saturday Quiz will be back again tomorrow. It will be of an appropriate order of difficulty (-:

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2014 Bill Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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    This Post Has 4 Comments
    1. Exactly Bill!
      Looking at the vast political machinations of all those morons running the country unfortunately i think the ‘carbon tax repeal’ will go ahead.
      Liberals only have to agree to adpot Palmers stupid ammendments which seems to be: Show ‘consumers’ that the ‘savings’ from said ‘tax’ are refunded to them.
      In the context of privitisation, rigged market capitalism and successive years of neo-liberalism. Its no wonder that the carbon tax was only a ~3% price increase for ‘consumers’ when overhauling the network was ~40% of the cost incurred on ‘consumers’, and the ~50% from the ‘retail’ side.
      Liberal party/Mad Clive logic: raise hell about the 3% and ignore the real pathology.
      Ross Gittins or ‘the Git’ as i now call him recently wrote in the smh it was ‘privitisation done badly’. Well can someone give a counter example of privitisation done well? Especially for something as fundamental as energy/infrastructure ;)

    2. Sam, I know of no example of privatization of public services done well. Every one of them has been either a financial disaster or a service disaster or both. Let me give an example from the UK’s NHS PPI initiative, Blair’s pet project when he wasn’t otherwise engaged in foreign “adventures”. According to some of the contracts, and they do differ, but with one with a hospital near me in Doncaster, to change a light bulb cost the NHS trust in question £50. They weren’t changed in a planned order according to an assessment of bulb life-span, as they might be in a normal office. They were changed when each individual bulb burned out. While I am not an electrician, I reckon that even taking into account the cost of petrol, the wear and tear on my vehicle, the insurance covering me should I fall off the ladder, and my time, &c, I could change this bulb for much less than 50 quid. And this kind of nonsense is just the tip of the iceberg.

      Other countries in Latin America and around the world are taking public services back into public ownership. But not the idiotic conservative led government in the UK. A single publicly owned train line is the only one of all the train companies that provides a service liked by its customers and makes a profit – the rest are all privately owned. Yet the government is keen on selling it off, no doubt like they did the Royal Mail where one of the private government advisers of the sale made out like a bandit from the sell-off. What a surprise. And this sell-off was in direct contradiction to all the expert advice the government received that selling the Post Office to the private sector was a very bad idea and completely unnecessary economically. Vince Cable, the LibDem minister responsible for this fiasco, keeps repeating his mantra that it was a good deal for the public, and did so once again the other day. Even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

      For the average person, this is the worst government in the UK in living memory and Osborne the worst chancellor (for the latter I defer to the Observer’s William Keegan). They are even worse than Thatcher, which is pretty good going. They are so bad, many Scots want to secede and are holding a referendum on this issue in September. Moreover, coalition Tories appear to like Tony Abbott. To them, he’s one of the good guys. But the Guardian doesn’t think so (the latest:

    3. In a gathering of fools the greater fool is king – hence the ascendancy of the Rabid Rabbott.

      Sam,I’ve long been of the opinion that the electricity supply industry in Australia is a clusterfuck from generation through distribution to retail. Many of the problems stem from privatisation.

      Privatising public utilities and/or natural monopolies will never result in a healthy state for those enterprises but it sure does result in squillions for the neo-cons and their friends. After all,what else matters? Not the nation and not the citizens,that’s for sure.

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