Month: July 2019

British Invasions

The Decolonial Atlas

States which have not been invaded by the British States which have not been invaded by the British (white)

At some point in it’s history, Britain has invaded about 90% of the countries of the world. While most of these states were not a part of the British Empire, all the countries in red sustained some kind of British military presence or government sanctioned incursion. The list of 22 non-invaded countries, which includes São Tomé and Príncipe (though not pictured on the map), was put together by Stuart Laycock in his 2012 book, All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To.

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Milton Friedman on Crony Capitalism in the US Oil Industry

Iowa Climate Science Education

“Few U.S. industries sing the praises of free enterprise more loudly than the oil industry. Yet few industries rely so heavily on special governmental favors.” (Milton Friedman, 1967)

In honor of his 107th birthday, MasterResource reprints a 1967 essay by Milton Friedman, “Oil and the Middle East,” which nicely summarized the political power and cronyism of the domestic oil industry at the time. [1] Far from just historical, the animus created by pro-crony policies over a half century came home to roost in the 1970s when Northeast politicians and others imposed price controls and new taxes on the industry. That animus exists today under the hubris of climate policy.


From the 1920s through the early 1970s, the political power of the domestic oil industry (primarily independent oil producers versus the integrated majors) succeeded in having the major oil states (excepting California) artificially restrict (‘prorate’) production to ‘market…

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Fake Environmentalists: Love Industrial Wind Turbines – Hate Humans & Nature


The Cummings: what real environmentalists look like.

The faux environmentalist is easy to spot: he loves industrial wind power and couldn’t care less about the environmental destruction it causes. Faced with the rampant slaughter of birds and bats, he initially denies the evidence and then pushes the moral equivalence button, claiming that more birds are killed by cats, cars and skyscrapers. Ignoring the fact that cats, cars and tall buildings don’t kill apex predators like Eagles, Hawks and Kites. And also ignoring the fact that cars and skyscrapers deliver benefits in the form of transport and accommodation that make modern, civil societies possible. Whereas, heavily subsidised wind power delivers nothing but chaotically intermittent electricity and rocketing power prices, as a result.

In Tasmania its rare and endangered Wedge-Tailed Eagle is already being sliced and diced by wind turbines and, with more on the way, it faces a rapid extinction…

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Thoughtful analysis of productivity from the Opposition

croaking cassandra

The Opposition in the Australian Federal Parliament that is.

In my post yesterday, I noted  that Simon Bridges’s latest speech continued the pattern in which our Opposition pretends there is no real structural problem in the New Zealand economy: no decades of productivity underperformance, no near-complete absence of any productivity growth in the last several years (whether under National or Labour).

And so it was some mix of refreshing and depressing (would that it were so in our country) to yesterday read a new paper by the Australian Shadow Assistant Minister for Treaasury on “tackling Australia’s productivity crisis”.  No doubt it helps that the Shadow Assistant Minister was previously a professor of economics at the Australian National University (I wrote about a paper he gave in New Zealand last year here).   And perhaps the political context is different: it is now six years since the ALP was in…

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Friedman and Schwartz, Eichengreen and Temin, Hawtrey and Cassel

Uneasy Money

Barry Eichengreen and Peter Temin are two of the great economic historians of our time, writing, in the splendid tradition of Charles Kindleberger, profound and economically acute studies of the economic and financial history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most notably they have focused on periods of panic, crisis and depression, of which by far the best-known and most important episode is the Great Depression that started late in 1929, bottomed out early in 1933, but lingered on for most of the 1930s, and they are rightly acclaimed for having emphasized and highlighted the critical role of the gold standard in the Great Depression, a role largely overlooked in the early Keynesian accounts of the Great Depression. Those accounts identified a variety of specific shocks, amplified by the volatile entrepreneurial expectations and animal spirits that drive, or dampen, business investment, and further exacerbated by inherent instabilities in market…

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Amidst howls of “racism”, protesters demand an agency boss’s resignation because – begorrah – she is Irish

Point of Order

The Hands Off Our Tamariki Network has an admirable ring to its name. Here’s hoping everybody gets the message because if whanau members kept their hands off their tamaraki … well, there would be no need for a state agency to intervene and get its hands on the victims of domestic violence.

The reasons why the Oranga Tamariki agency becomes involved in caring for children has been somewhat downplayed by speakers at protest meetings who demand the state leave their mokopuna alone and insist Māori be the ones caring for their children.

Yet while they call for the state to stay away when Maori children are involved, paradoxically they want the government to do something:

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