Monthly Archives: October 2005

Great Danes

From Geraldine Brooks’ New Yorker profile of Jørn Utzon (not online): Peter Myers said that Utzon’s perfectionism and his refusal to be rushed into anything were summed up in an anecdote – "I must have heard him tell fifteen times" … Continue reading

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Australia for the Trite Man

David Williamson scores a twofer at the Bulletin. Lead story one week. Pilloried by the Assistant Editor the next.

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A Paper Ross Gittins Should Read

Gross National Happiness as an Answer to the Easterlin Paradox?Rafael Di Tella and Robert MacCulloch The Easterlin Paradox refers to the fact that happiness data are typically stationary in spite of considerable increases in income. This amounts to a rejection … Continue reading

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Merely minutes after I read Ed Husic’s SMH oped, describing religious-based criticisms of him as "unAustralian" (twice, for good measure), an invite dropped into my inbox for an event to be held at the State Library of Victoria on 8 … Continue reading

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Dancing Bears

On ABC radio this morning (but not yet online), comes the news that the NSW parliament has announced it will now only serve NSW wines. Who said Queensland has a monopoloy over myopic parochialism? And what a great week to … Continue reading

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Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?

I’m putting out a paper on minimum wages tomorrow, but there’s no reason why Imagining Australia blog readers shouldn’t have a sneak preview. Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?Andrew LeighWhat is the impact of raising the minimum wage … Continue reading

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Shock finding: tax cuts reduce government revenue

More evidence against the proposition that Australian tax revenues might rise with a cut in top tax rates. A new paper estimates revenue-maximising top tax rates for 12 OECD countries (not including Australia), and finds that they are between 53% … Continue reading

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Another name, Fraser, another name

If your family name is Fraser, consider choosing an alternative name for your son than Andrew. Otherwise, he may grow up to be a supporter of the White Australia Policy, or a shirtfronting MP.* * That is, if names affected … Continue reading

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The Permissive Repressives

Ron Boswell, speaking to the Senate: While we in the National Party do not persecute those who freely enter into a minority lifestyle, we do not want to promote it to our children as an equally valid or acceptable way … Continue reading

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Put not your faith in kings and queens…

…three of a kind will beat them both. I’ve been chatting recently with a few folks from the Australian Republican Movement, and am interested in ideas that readers have about how the movement should position itself over the next few … Continue reading

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Where there's smoke

Another example of how Australia’s high tax rates and strict labour laws discourage good corporate citizens from investing in our country.

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Times New Roman, Usually

Three legal eagles, Sarah Strasser, Kim Weatherall and Ben Kremer have started a terrific blog, called LawFont. I went through law school with Kim and Ben, and their blog almost makes me wish I’d kept up flying. I’ll put LawFont … Continue reading

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Taxing the Mexicans

Would someone mind sending a copy of the Australian Constitution up to Queensland? It appears that someone has accidentally spilled a XXXX on section 117 of theirs, and Peter Beattie has been saying all kinds of silly things as a … Continue reading

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The hobgoblin of little minds

Apparently, Glenn Milne wants young people involved in politics. Which is a change from two months ago, when he used his column to slam a pair of young people who were getting involved in Australian politics (disclosure: Dave & Jeremy … Continue reading

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Farm Subsidies Reprised

According to Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran, a new CSIRO report suggesting that drought assistance may impede the usual processes of adjustment is stomach-turning.* He said government support alone would "never be sufficient to keep a farmer who is unviable on … Continue reading

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Family Matters

I blogged last week on three pieces of research showing that fighting couples may be better off (or at least no worse off) from getting divorced than staying together. At the time, I complained about some researchers who make a … Continue reading

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I want you to make me look like the guy in this photo

In 2002, I renewed my Canberra driving licence for another five years. At the time, I’d just had my hair dyed completely blonde. But when I’m dark-haired (most of the time), I do tend to get quizzical looks when I … Continue reading

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Things I'm reading that you may have read already

In the wake of the Latham Diaries affair, a friend who’s a political staffer recommended that one of the best ways to understand life as a federal politician is to read the debate in the House of Representatives on 19 … Continue reading

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Au Contraire

Andrew West*, a former adviser to a Labor Left federal minister, has been blogging as The Contrarian at the SMH for a couple of weeks now, with a mission to "dissect politics, lies and the abuse of power", and "shatter … Continue reading

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The Sydney Morning Guardian?

Over at Troppo Armadillo, Nicholas Gruen Ken Parish highlights an example of the SMH not recognising the line between news and opinion. The SMH had an even more egregious exercise in this vein last year, when it gave Richard Neville … Continue reading

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Behind the News

This is an interesting report, though I can’t help wondering if (as in the US) they’re not telling the whole story.

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Harper on Harvester

I’ve never met Ian Harper, the federal government’s new appointee to head the Fair Pay Commission, but I was surprised when the PM program last night resorted to discussing his religious beliefs as a way of working out how he … Continue reading

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Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You

Sloppy researchers tend to assume that divorce is bad for you. Their analysis goes as follows: outcomes for kids with divorced parents are worse than outcomes for kids with married parents. Therefore, it would have been better if the parents … Continue reading

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Don't Call Us

I just submitted an oped to the New York Times (I don’t buy lottery tickets, so this is the next best thing). I guess their auto-reply reflects the fact that they receive around 1200 submissions each week. Thank you for … Continue reading

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Bonus for the Bill Backers

Surprising views from Justice McHugh, who came out last night as a supporter of a bill of rights for Australia. I also found this section interesting: He said a former High Court colleague, Justice John Toohey, had once told him: … Continue reading

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Via The Reader, Big Things, the coffee table book that all of us meant to write, but only David Clark got around to penning. It apparently came out last year, though I haven’t yet seen it in bookstores. Might be … Continue reading

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Becker and Posner soon to become the most famous bloggers at U.Chicago

Not-so-good news for the untenured bloggers among us, with Chicago School political science blogger Daniel Drezner missing out on tenure. Then again, as an anonymous commenter on his blog argues, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised: I think *anybody* who … Continue reading

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There's a reason it's not called the kilometre high club

Econblogger Division of Labour points out that the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal’s finding that Virgin Blue had breached age discrimination laws (by asking applicants to dance and sing) effectively closes the Australian airline market to Hooters Air.

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The Politics of Optimism

I have a little piece in today’s Canberra Times, arguing for Federal Labor to devote more energy to new ideas. Full text over the fold.

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In the future, every celebrity will be a politician for 15 minutes

For anyone who’s ever rolled their eyes at the celebrity-politics link, this Jacob Weisberg piece is a must-read. If Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, Hollywood is Washington for the lazy. I think he goes too far at some points. … Continue reading

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