Archive for the ‘poli-mics’ Category

Messing with taxes

It’s been too long since I did an economics blog post… Way back when, I wrote fairly approvingly of the recommendations to simplify the income tax system. The idea being to more or less keep charging everyone the same tax rate, but to simplify the formulae from five different tax rates, a medicare levy, and […]

NBN Business Plan

“We will be releasing a 50-page document that summarises the NBN Co business case,” Ms Gillard said. So the 50 page NBN Co business case summary came out yesterday. It runs to 36 pages, including the table of contents. According to the document, they’re going to be wholesale providers to retail ISPs/telcos, and be offering […]

Progressive taxation

I saw a couple of things over the last couple of days about progressive taxation — one was a Malcolm Gladwell video on youtube about how a top tax rate of 91% is awesome and Manhattan Democrats are way smarter than Floridian Republicans; the other an article by Greg Mankiw in the New York Times […]

Resource Rent Maths, take 2

My previous post apparently didn’t do the economics for the resource rent analysis quite right — it seems that the idea is a cleverer company would be able to use the resource rent tax to find cheaper sources of funding, which changes things… The idea then would be that you start your mining project seeking […]

Resource Taxes

So it seems that taxing oil and gas is the only significant result that’s going to come out of the Henry Review, and that probably means I should work out an actual opinion on it. As I understand it, the Resource Rent Tax as proposed by the review is meant to be a different way […]

The Gold Standard

I’ve been trying for a while now to figure out why I dislike the gold standard — that is, pegging currency against the price of gold. I think currencies are fundamentally arbitrary — they’re a convention that needs to be (roughly) agreed on, but whether that’s $1 for a ham sandwich or $1000 for a […]

Henry Tax Review, post release

And here was me thinking forming an opinion on yesterday’s tax review would be hard. Turns out, not so much: the review itself was really well done, pretty much what you’d hope for from a professional public service; the government’s response, on the other hand, was impressively gutless. The most interesting recommendation (to me) in […]

Henry Tax Review

The Henry Tax Review is supposed to be released tomorrow. Since that might warrant a blog post, and possibly even some criticism, I thought it might be interesting to note down some criteria beforehand to remove one avenue for bias. One issue for regulatory reform is whether changes make the entire system simpler or more […]

Ever tried modelling?

Subtitled: David Pennock’s Wall-Street pick up lines Dr Pennock’s latest post is about fitting stockmarket data — he comes up with a nicely matching randomly generated histogram based on a Laplace distribution over the daily log differences (that is, take the log of the ratio between daily close prices — so if you gained 20% […]

Joyce on debts

From the ABC today: Opposition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce is courting controversy again, warning that Australia is getting to the point where it will not be able to repay its overseas debt. That’s a big call, which I don’t think is actually true. But how close are we? In the news at the moment is […]

No Clean Feed?

So the government’s decided to go ahead with the “clean feed” filtering scheme. This doesn’t seem remotely surprising to me, they’d already committed to it in their election policies: That is why Labor will: Provide a mandatory ‘clean feed’ internet service for all homes, schools and public computers that are used by Australian children. Internet […]

Speedy stimulation

(Continued from yesterday, and referring to the MV=PQ equation) Presumably most people care most about increasing Q (how much useful stuff people end up producing — the more the better) and keeping P roughly constant (if prices increase a lot, you can’t buy anything unless you’ve got lots of savings; if prices decrease a lot, […]

Multiplying money

The financial crisis seems to have devolved into a debate about whether stimulus packages are a good idea or not, or possibly whether debt-financed ones are. Really, the

Funding the NBN

Simon Rumble posts some thoughts on the costings for the national broadband network. He offers some working, and requests corrections, so I thought I might redo the calculations. First, at its most basic $42B divided by 7.4M households means infrastructure costs of about $5,700 per household. That seems like a lot of cash, when (non-Telstra) […]


So I’ve pre-poll voted in preparation for my trip to Melbourne for the LA face-to-face. Not a very exciting range of candidates: Anna Bligh for Labor who’s premier; Mary Carroll for LNP who’s apparently the state secretary of the party; Gary Kane for the Greens who’s running on an anti-developers platform, with light rail to […]