Does the Vanguard Social Index ever beat the market? @EricCrampton @JulieAnneGenter

The performance of social investing is so bad that anyone investing other people’s money and having fiduciary duties to the owners of that money should take legal advice. Over the 16 years charted below, socially responsible investing wiped $4,000 off the initial investment of $10,000. Over a lifetime of saving, that is a big difference to the security of your retirement.

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Source: VFTSX Vanguard FTSE Social Index Inv Fund VFTSX Quote Price News.

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Source: VFTSX Vanguard FTSE Social Index Inv Fund VFTSX Quote Price News.

50% of @PaulineHansonOz @OneNationAus votes come from @AustralianLabor voters

How can Pauline Hanson be an extreme right-winger if half of her votes come from people who 2nd preference the Australian Labour Party? This strong support for her populism has been well-known since she won the safest Labour Party seed in Queensland in the 1996 Australian Federal Election but is hardly ever mentioned by the media or her critics.

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Source: Antony Green’s Election Blog: Preference Flows at the 2016 Federal Election.

It should be therefore no surprise that a lot of her views have popular support because she has support across the political spectrum. Not knowing that will means you will be not very good at combating her views which you simply do not understand where they come from.

Few of her supporters see themselves as extremists and will be insulted when you suggest they are. Listen here dummy is no way to win back votes of people who just voted for you recently.

Hanson’s support among Labour voters is increasing. Only 42% of her voters gave their 2nd preference to Labour in previous federal elections for the House of Representatives.

.@NZGreens do not understand business: minimum wage for contractors version

The Greens are most upset that a Labour party private members bill to specify a minimum wage for contractors was voted down by one vote in parliament yesterday.

If you earn than the minimum wage as a contractor, that is a signal wrapped in an incentive. Your poor hourly earnings is a signal to you that maybe you should get out of that contracting business and go back to being an employee where you will be paid at least the minimum wage.

Many small businesses make no profits at all in the first year or so as they build the business. The founders of the business get by on savings, which they anticipated when they drew up their business plan. No one expects a business to make an immediate profit or always be profitable.

Contractors are entrepreneurs chancing their arm. They need crisp signals about whether they are succeeding, failing or could succeed if they try harder or do something different. A minimum wage for contractors masks those important market signals of success and failure.

If your dream of owning your own business is not even paying the minimum wage, maybe it is time to get out of the contracting business.

Compulsory Te Reo Māori betrays those @nzlabour represents @jacindaardern @AndrewLittleMP

This policy of Labour of making Te Reo Māori compulsory in primary school and perhaps high school is reckless and betrays those for whom Labour claims to speak.

I must first declare a bias. I struggled to pass high school English. I never scored a single mark in a phonetics test – zero every time. I was hopeless at learning Japanese. I was wise enough to resist encouragement for my dear departed mother to enrol in French classes. I had no wish to be the class dunce in French.

The only reason I went to university was Mr. Carney in the first week of grade 7 noticed that I was in the level II classes for English and social science. As all my brothers and sisters topped the school or near enough, he assumed I was hiding my light under a bushel. He promoted me to the level III classes, which put me in the stream to matriculation colleges and therefore university.

Imagine how much I would have hated study if I was required to learn a language other than English when I was struggling terribly to learn English. I am still a bad speller. I leave it to the reader to judge my grammar. Who wants to be the class dunce in both English and French?

Requiring students of modest academic ability to acquire a 2nd language when they may not be doing well in mastering the basics is playing with their lives as though they were little toys.

Learning another language is not a priority for the Pākehā children nor Māori mokupuna when you consider the poor literacy rates among Māori, Pasifika and some Pākehā

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Source: Literacy skills of young adult New Zealanders | Education Counts.

60%of Pākehā are above the minimum level of competence to meet the prose literacy requirements of a knowledge society. This contrasts with the majority of Māori and Pasifika who are below the minimum level of competence.

Requiring children who do not have an aptitude for language or school in general to learn a language will reinforce in those who are not doing well that they are not very smart. This will give them more reasons to hate school and leave as soon as possible and never go back.

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Source: Literacy skills of young adult New Zealanders | Education Counts.

Taking student learning time away from basic literacy skills will do little for a Māori economic development. This is because this taking of student learning time away from literacy and basic education will slow the closing of income gaps between Māori and others.

The key to helping children who do not have an aptitude to succeed at school is to find subjects where they do do well so they can get a good start to life. If students are not good at academic subjects, requiring them to do more academic studies such as study a language is fool-hardy.

Learning Te Reo Māori will not help children in their other subjects. The psychology of the transfer of learning was founded 100 years ago to explore the hypothesis that learning Latin gave the student muscle to learn other subjects, both other languages and generally learn faster.

Educational psychologists found that Latin does not help much in studying other languages and other subjects. No significant differences were found in deductive and inductive reasoning or text comprehension among students with 4 years of Latin, 2 years of Latin or no Latin at all.

.@GreenpeaceNZ picks & chooses its scientific consensus #GMOs #globalwarming

For a generation, a campaign by the green movement against the growing of genetically modified crops has held sway across Europe. These foodstuffs are a threat to health, the environment and the small independent farmer, NGOs have argued.

As result, virtually no GM crops have been grown on Europe’s farms for the past 25 years. Yet hard evidence to support what is, in all but name, a ban on these vilified forms of plant life is thin on the ground. In fact, most scientific reports have indicated that they are generally safe, both to humans and the environment.

This point was endorsed last week when a 20-strong committee of experts from the US National Academies of Science announced the results of its trawl of three decades of scientific studies for “persuasive evidence of adverse health effects directly attributable to consumption of foods derived from genetically engineered crops”. It found none.

Instead the group uncovered evidence that GM crops have the potential to bestow considerable health benefits. An example is provided by golden rice, a genetically modified rice that contains beta carotene, a source of vitamin A. Its use could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who suffer from vitamin A deficiency in the third world, say scientists.

Source: The Observer view on the GM crops debate | Opinion | The Guardian

Scientists and governments around the world overwhelmingly agree that climate change is real, is largely human-induced and needs urgent action to prevent.

There is, in fact, a broad and overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is caused in large part by human activities (such as burning fossil fuels), and if left un-checked will likely have disastrous consequences.

Furthermore, there is solid scientific evidence that we should act now on climate change – and this is reflected in the statements by these definitive scientific authorities.

Source: Scientific consensus | Greenpeace International.

Does abolishing bureaucracy save the #UBI? Avoid a great big new tax?

Firing the entire welfare state bureaucracy does not save the day for a universal basic income as Robert Greenstein explains

Suppose UBI provided everyone with $10,000 a year.  That would cost more than $3 trillion a year — and $30 trillion to $40 trillion over ten years.

This single-year figure equals more than three-fourths of the entire yearly federal budget — and double the entire budget outside Social Security, Medicare, defense, and interest payments.  It’s also equal to close to 100 percent of all tax revenue the federal government collects…

Where would the money to finance such a large expenditure come from?  That it would come mainly or entirely from new taxes isn’t plausible.

We’ll already need substantial new revenues in the coming decades to help keep Social Security and Medicare solvent and avoid large benefit cuts in them.  We’ll need further tax increases to help repair a crumbling infrastructure that will otherwise impede economic growth.  And if we want to create more opportunity and reduce racial and other barriers and inequities, we’ll also need to raise new revenues to invest more in areas like pre-school education, child care, college affordability, and revitalizing segregated inner-city communities.

A UBI that’s financed primarily by tax increases would require the American people to accept a level of taxation that vastly exceeds anything in U.S. history.  It’s hard to imagine that such a UBI would advance very far, especially given the tax increases we’ll already need for Social Security, Medicare, infrastructure, and other needs.

Source: Romney’s Charge That Most Federal Low-Income Spending Goes for “Overhead” and “Bureaucrats” Is False | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities