Did the Ratchet Effect Apply to Post-War Government Spending in Australia?

The ratchet theory suggests that government spending tends to ratchet up in times of crisis (wars, social upheavals, recessions) and then to remain at the new higher level. It has been put forward as an alternative to Wagner’s law (discussed in an earlier post).

In terms of the ratchet mechanism, the explanation for upward . . . → Read More: Did the Ratchet Effect Apply to Post-War Government Spending in Australia?

Can New Zealand catch up to Australia?

Is New Zealand disadvantaged by economic geography to such an extent that it cannot hope to catch up to Australia’s average income levels, even with further improvements in institutions and policies? That is probably the most important question considered in the second report of the 2025 Taskforce that was released a few days ago.

. . . → Read More: Can New Zealand catch up to Australia?

How Much Does Overwork Effect Happiness?

The results of a survey conducted recently by the Australia Institute apparently shows that half of Australians (61 per cent of those working overtime) were prevented from spending enough time with family in the preceding week as a result of over-work. According to the press release (which is the most detailed description of the . . . → Read More: How Much Does Overwork Effect Happiness?

Big Week, Big Decisions

Well, in case you had not noticed this is a rather big week in the markets so allow me to jump the bandwagon of market participants in dire need of some action after past’s weeks calm before the tempest. I will consequently be featuring Alpha.Sources’ first insta-blogging event which will take place in this . . . → Read More: Big Week, Big Decisions

Gold and the Punchbowl

I have just been listening to Ben Davies’ podcast (see also FT Alphaville here) from Hinde Capital about the funding issues of the Japanese government and the points he makes are important. I have used the metaphor of Japan as a bumblebee before and while I believe that the story on Japanese savings . . . → Read More: Gold and the Punchbowl

Will the Elderly Poor Fare Better Under Pensions Means Tests?

I ended my last post suggesting that it is absurd to provide pensions that are not subject to means tests because this involves taxing people of working age more heavily in order to add unnecessarily to the incomes of wealthy retirees. This raised the question of whether the elderly poor are likely to fare . . . → Read More: Will the Elderly Poor Fare Better Under Pensions Means Tests?

Did the Labor Party Own ‘The Light on the Hill’?

Over the last few years quite a few political commentators have been saying that no-one really knows any more what the Australian Labor Party stands for. Some of them contrast modern Labor’s apparent absence of philosophical underpinnings with ‘the light on the hill’ that former prime minister, Ben Chifley, spoke of in 1949.

I . . . → Read More: Did the Labor Party Own ‘The Light on the Hill’?

SMSF Coin Ban Update

Further to my blog on the Cooper Review into Super and the recommendations on Self Managed Super Funds, see the 4 August 2010 press release below from ANDA:

Announcement of Government guidelines for SMSF numismatic investments ‘a relief’ says ANDA

The Australasian Numismatic Dealer’s Association (ANDA) says the announcement by the Federal Government that . . . → Read More: SMSF Coin Ban Update

$4 billion of “Fear” Cash Still Out There

In late 2008 Australia nearly had a full blown bank run. The Australian newspaper’s edited extract from the book “Shitstorm” details the run and is well worth a read:

“It was a silent run, unnoticed by the media. Across the country, at least tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of depositors were withdrawing their . . . → Read More: $4 billion of “Fear” Cash Still Out There

Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

For those goldbugs of a libertrian/Austrian economics bent (most seem to be, funnily enough) this organisation is likely to be of interest. Their mission:

We aim to strengthen the free market system in Western Australia and Australia, by promoting ideals of voluntary co-operation, choice, personal rights, limited government and responsible resourcefulness of individuals.

The . . . → Read More: Mannkal Economic Education Foundation