Tag Archives: rational irrationality

The politically clueless consider themselves particularly well informed


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.


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.

NZ #UBI can be only $4,700 @JordNZ @GrantRobertson1 @GeoffSimmonz

A universal basic income in New Zealand will have to be financed by a great big new tax because the existing ones are not enough according to the Economist calculations below.


HT: Paul Kerby.

$5.2 billion in rail spending since 2003 budget @JulieAnneGenter @JordNZ

$5.2 billion in rail spending since the 2003 budget! This $5.2 billion does not include any spending on urban rail, commuter train networks or their electrification. The $5.2 billion since the 2003 budget is for the passenger and freight network, not the urban metro contracts


Source: New Zealand Budget Papers, various years.

Desperately waiting for that dividend the taxpayers lose if any of these assets are privatised. The spending listed below in the two charts includes loans, capital injections and the purchase of the track and of the train operator itself. The latter was purchased for $690 million which was soon written down to zero.


Source: New Zealand Budget Papers, various years.

There is no table because the table format breaks down when blogged.

At various times, OnTrack and KiwiRail was subsidiaries of the New Zealand Railways Corporation, which was the holding company. Now OnTrack is a division of KiwiRail.

No @sarahinthesen8 this is not acceptable. Stopping the boats saved hundreds of lives

People who enter illegally by boat do not increase the number of refugees of Australia admits in any one year. They change who was granted asylum within the same fixed quota. Increasing the quota will not change incentives for illegal entry if illegal entry allows for settlement in Australia.

Price Plays an Important Role in Smoking

Different forms of tobacco were tax differently in the USA from 2009. Tobacco taxation is the only time that the Ban-it Left left believes in supply-side economics and the economics of rational addiction.


Source: Jason Furman speaking at the World Bank via Incentives in Action – Marginal REVOLUTION.

Bryan Bruce’s boy’s own memories of pre-neoliberal #NewZealand @Child_PovertyNZ

You really are still fighting the 1990 New Zealand general election election if Max Rashbrooke makes more sense than you on the good old days before the virus of neoliberalism beset New Zealand from 1984 onwards.


Source: Mind the Gap: Why most of us are poor | Stuff.co.nz.

Bryan Bruce in the caption looks upon the New Zealand of the 1960s and 70s as “broadly egalitarian”. Even Max Rashbrooke had to admit that was not so if you were Maori or female.

Maybe 65% of the population of those good old days before the virus of neoliberalism. were missing out on that broadly egalitarian society championed by Bryan Bruce.

As is typical for the embittered left, the reactionary left, gender analysis and the sociology of race is not for their memories of their good old days. New Zealand has the smallest gender wage gap of any of the industrialised countries.

The 20 years of wage stagnation that proceeded the passage of the Employment Contracts Act and the wages boom also goes down the reactionary left memory hole.

That wage stagnation in New Zealand  in the 1970s and early 80s coincided with a decline in the incomes of the top 10%. When their income share started growing again, so did the wages of everybody after 20 years of stagnation. The top 10% in New Zealand managed to restore their income share of the early 1970s and indeed the 1960s. That it is hardly the rich getting richer.