Weekend links 23-24 February 2013

Here’s a list of things Reynard has read so far this weekend.

Global Macro/Markets:

  • Global economic recovery weakening – BBC News
  • Central banks will keep taking it easy – Reuters
  • Deficits: good marketing in a time of austerity? – FT Alphaville
  • Are rates mispriced or are investors missing something? – FT Alphaville
  • Nouriel Roubini Is Bullish…For Now: “The Mother of All Bubbles” Has Begun – Yahoo
  • More Inflation Is the Cure for the Fed’s Impotence – Bloomberg
  • Big banks are as risky as ever, economist warns – CBS News
  • Bernanke Said to Minimize Asset-Bubble Concern at Meeting – Bloomberg
  • Monetary policy: Clear as mud – The Economist

North America:

  • Fattened U.S. Bank mortgage margins seen shrinking 40% – Bloomberg
  • Why unemployment will rise in coming months, and why deficit hawks and government-haters are responsible – Robert Reich
  • What does housing starts mean for the Canadian economy? – Wall Street Journal
  • Canadian economy deteriorating – Wall Street Journal
  • How did the normally accurate Bank of Canada fail to forecast 2012 economic downturn – The Globe & Mail
  • Analysis: U.S. companies plan to spend, a boost for the economy – Reuters
  • The Case for a Higher Gasoline Tax – New York Times
  • Homeowners Still Face Foreclosure Despite Billions in Aid – New York Times


  • Italy dominates ECB government bond holdings – BBC News
  • UK banks failing small businesses – The Guardian
  • Winter forecast 2013 – The EU economy: gradually overcoming headwinds – European Union
  • Euro-Zone Economy to Shrink in 2013 – Wall Street Journal
  • ECB: Adjustment and growth in the euro area economies – ECB
  • Bank of England sets up renminbi swap line – Bank of England
  • France freezes spending to hit EU targets as slump deepens – The Telegraph


  • China Home Prices Rise in Most Cities Renewing Curb Concerns – China News Daily
  • Words of caution for China bulls – FT Alphaville
  • Analysis: Japan’s mission impossible: to spend $100 billion in 15 months – Reuters


  • Westpac’s Bill Evans on his own on rates – Property Observer
  • Whatever happened to the middle class? – The SMH
  • RBA’s reputation at stake – The AFR
  • Optimism of a recovery flows for next year – The AFR
  • Mining still a vital player – The AFR
  • Smug review of Treasury forecasts falls short – The AFR
  • Rio’s coal dream and fortune sold down a river – The AFR
  • Santos cuts gas estimate for QLD project – The AFR
  • Stevens advised Swan to keep hands out of till – The AFR
  • Home truths hit Gold Coast property – The AFR
  • Cut welfare to protect our future – The Australian
  • No need for ‘meat axe’ to trim government fat – The Australian
  • The inconvenient truth of Australia’s budget numbers – The Australian
  • Swan scooped-up RBA’s $500 million to shore-up budget – The Age
  • Treasury admits revenue forecasts out by $8 billion a year – The Age
  • Bust of the boom won’t stop sector from growing – The Age


  • The End of Growth Wouldn’t Be the End of Capitalism – The Atlantic


  1. TROUBLED developer Becton Property Group has placed its shares into a trading halt with the company struggling to meet its debt obligations to US investment bank Goldman Sachs and vulture fund Fortress Investment Group.


    I reckon there is going to be a massacre of a Melbourne focused property developer at some point soon…..

    may not be these guys, but they are pointing the way

  2. The Denialati are active on the net this week with the line:

    …(Pauchari) has acknowledged a 17-year pause in global temperature rises, confirmed recently by Britain’s Met Office”…

    Which would require the 17 year linear trend on this graph to be flat or falling.


    • That trend line doesn’t actually reflect the trend in the data. It seems arbitarily added by an alarmist. The truth is temps haven’t been rising for nearly two decades and the alarmists are growing desperate and will be marginalised over the next several years as all their theories are proved wrong.

      • “…..and will be marginalised over the next several years…..”

        Already happening….


    • This is the #1 denier lie. It’s so much of a lie that the climate will warm from the fires burning in their pants alone.

  3. Galaxy Poll: Rudd would lead Labor to victory.

    Stevens: Swan raided RBA kitty despite Stevens’ protests.

    Cut welfare: Yesterday Stevens warned that successive in Treasury and himself had advised government some programmes not sustainable medium to long term.

    • This was on the cards following the AWU love-in!

      It does surprise a little that equal concern is not expressed for those whose jobs here are given the chop in order to be performed by vastly cheaper workers in India, Malaysia etc. Generally IT and back office for major financial and telecommunications firms.

      At least the “cheap labour” here pays taxes, consumes locally etc…

      • “equal concern is not expressed for those whose jobs here are given the chop in order to be performed by vastly cheaper workers in India, Malaysia etc.”

        Maybe they have the misfortune to belong to the wrong Union? After all, you’re safe with Paul at your back;

        “INSIDE Jupiters Casino, where the days blur into long nights, Paul Howes, chief union spruiker for the Prime Minister, is sitting across the table, lavishing praise on Julia Gillard.

        “I am in awe of her,” he says. “I think she’s an amazing leader and I think no matter what happens in September, history will treat her very kindly. She will go down in history as one of the great Labor leaders.”

      • Pfhh! Some of those 457’ers might spend a few dollars locally, but a large chunk still gets sent back home to where ever they came from.

        The 457 visas were originally meant to apply to a very small subset of offshore executives as a means to entice them to Australia. However, once you create a crack it is easy to keep widening it to the flood it now is.

        Your crocodile tears and sobbing about jobs lost in IT, Finance and Telcos is little more than a red herring to draw attention away from the fact that these visas, and so called “student visas”, have done nothing but help keep down wages for ordinary Australians and ensuring massive windfall profits to your paymasters.

        If Aust companies, mining Co’s in particular, had been forced to pay Australian rates to Australian workers, then a little more of our mineral bounty would have trickled down to ordinary people, instead of pouring into the loot bags of the Forrests and Rhinehearts, or being blown on ego expanding offshore mining Co takeovers.

        • Rubbish.

          Another ill-informed comment from the disco-kid.

          457 workers have similar rights to Australian workers, protected by legislation.

          Approximately 7% of 457 visas are classified in the mining subset.

          Approximately 50% of all 457 visa holders come from UK, India and Ireland respectively.



          • dumb_non_economist


            That’s correct, similar rights, but not the same. They are not required to be paid the same site rate, just not less the the award which is usually based on a metro workshop/factory and nowhere near the site rates on the mines. So in effect it’s a lower pay scale for the 457 holders than the local employed worker next to them, and they are less able to dispute as they are beholden to their employer to stay here.

            In addition if they do not have the intention of staying past 12 mths they are not considered to be a resident for tax purposes.

          • Missleading as always 3d1k, You can split hairs all you like, but the fact remains, as DNE points out, more often than not they’ll still end up being paid less than the Australian working next to them.

            Try foating another straw man arguement next time, but the fact remains 457 visas help keep down Australian wages and fatten the bottom line of the companies that employ them.

            If they had to attract employees from the Australian labour pool, without resorting to 457 visas, Australian wages would be higher.

        • stu,

          I work with quite a few 457’s. They get Australian salaries and they certainly don’t hold back local wages in any way. I don’t know how you can form that opinion.

        • 457’s are the most abused visa in the bag. One of my early rentseeker gigs was working for a top-tier firm bullish*ting the government to dress up cheap and easily manipulated labor as ‘skilled’. I had never really done much ‘creative writing’ until i joined the firm hahaha.

          There are two key issues here:

          1. Under the table repayments are very common at the SME level (ie the skilled labor just reimburses the sponsor);
          2. At the ASX 200 level this really just covers up the yawning training gaps.

          i don’t know why we are just not honest with ourselves and admit that companies don’t train anymore and so address how we need to encourage/support this.

    • dumb_non_economist

      Because Howard did a bigger job on trade training than what Hawke & Keating did prior to losing office.

    • Wasn’t it John Howard who said “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.”

      I don’t know what the fuss is about.

    • If the guy had left the comments at an economics level he would have been pretty much ok.

      Then doing the whole ‘stupid American’ thing of implying he was somehow responsible for victory in world war II, which was over for a decade or so before he was born, wasn’t exactly an act of genius.
      Also, his claim to fame is offshoring jobs into SE Asia at rock bottom prices and killing off local jobs.

      I’d hate that guy as an employer, arrogant, obnoxious and ignorant. What fun.

    • I put a link to a Huffington Post article in yesterday’s link thread which contains a copy of the original letter.

  4. From Reynard’s link;

    “SINCE the last year of the Howard government in 2007, the consumer price index has increased by 14 per cent, Australia’s population has grown by 8 per cent, but federal government spending ballooned by 35 per cent, to $365 billion a year. And the federal parliament pumped out more than 8100 of pages of legislation a year, up from 2300 30 years ago.”


  5. That’s the problem with monetary policy. It’s a blunt instrument. Central bankers worry that high-yield corners of the credit markets have risen too far too fast, but they are happy that investors are piling into conventional equities, reducing the cost of capital for companies.

    Quote is from link:
    Central banks will keep taking it easy – Reuters:
    (8th paragraph in section headed TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING)

    How does money piling into equities reduce the capital cost for companies?
    Are companies issuing new shares?
    If not, don’t investors simply swap existing company capital (shares) between themselves (with profit or loss on those transactions going to investors)?

    As investors switch out of bonds and bank deposits into other higher-returning investments, isn’t the risk to companies that their cost of borrowing (raise new capital via issue of bonds) will increase (i.e. to attract new money company needs to pay higher interest rate on new-issue bonds)?

  6. http://explosivereports.com/2013/02/19/prominent-american-scientists-call-for-eco-dictatorship-under-un-rule/

    “In a peer-reviewed paper by the American Institute of Biological Sciences titled “Social Norms and Global Environmental Challenges” (available ahead of print), to be published in the march 2013 edition of the Institute’s yearly journal BioScience, a group of well-known scientists calls on government and scientists to start with the planned social engineering of “norms” and “values” in regards to environmental policies.

    In addition, they propose putting into effect all sorts of environmental fines and regulations in the spirit of Agenda 21 to hasten the social acceptance of increased governmental control. Also, they propose that the scientific community as a whole should align itself with government “through a concerted effort to change personal and social norms”.

    • Ah yes the global conspiracy of money grabbing climate scientists. Thank god for the ethics of oil industry to keep them honest.

        • You need to do some reading. But I suspect facts will not be enough. Try the NASA website, it has loads on this.

          We understand the science, that was first worked out about150 years ago. It’s how we know how the climate works, and why we’re not living in a wasteland. We know that it’s CO2 and other greenhouse gases that keep the planet warm.

          We know that CO2 emissions are significantly higher than they ever were. This can be tested through ice cores, among other things.

          We also know that temperatures are rising. Try looking back beyond 16 years, that’s like saying today is colder than yesterday, so temperatures must be falling. Again, the NASA website, it has all this in detail.

          Look at the scientific literature, it’s not about opinions, it’s about facts. If it hasn’t been tested by peer review, it’s probably wrong. There’s a reason there is very little disagreement in the literature. Scientists don’t disagree about what is happening or why. This is the same process that has contributed to every great scientific advancement in history. It works and without it I wouldn’t be alive and you probably wouldn’t be either.

          This isn’t some political ideological debate, despite the way News Limited portrays it. From an economics perspective, we need to accept it and move too dealing with it.

          • “This is the same process that has contributed to every great scientific advancement in history”…..didn’t all the scientists in Galileo’s day think the sun was the centre of the universe…?

          • Actually I don’t know if it was him or someone else. Point is, this actually demonstrates why the scientific process is so necessary.

          • Funnily enough DNE, Yes! Belief is not about ‘when (Galileo)’ but ‘why (the mantra)’ and as this is an economic website my point is that what “they” believe is right, today , (QE etc) will prove just as laughable in years to come. Science is an evolving process…as is economics, and life in general!

          • DT,

            I have read the literature. Peer reviewed and other. Not all by any means , there is so much.

            This I believe;

            Temps have fluctuated accross the millennia. Currently fuctuations are within historical norms.

            To the extent that CC is or not happening, there is NO CONSENSUS on the rate at which it is/not occurring.

            The best models based on the latest science are evidently flawed as they have not predicted any known outcomes.In fact they have predicted nothing.

            The peer reviewed scientific community offers substantially wide qualified opinions as to what is happening in the earth’s climate, it’s causes and what can be done about it.

            Science is discovering more new climate mechanisms and drivers every day that both support and refute the AGW theory.

            The vested interests of AGW are on both sides. My interpretation is that Govts , particularly Leftists ones, are exercising massive influence on the pro AGW argument as a means of exerting increased control over populations and budgets.

            In summary, there is INsufficient unequivical evidence that proves the AGW theory let alone provide suffiecient cause to rape taxpayers and economies with taxes and costly green energy fantasies. Is that a license to pollute our air, land and water with noxious dangerous waste and chemicals? Not at all. Everyone wants a cleaner healthier environment and I believe advances in technology and science (without subsidy!)will provide for cost effective, more environmentally acceptable energy soltions. That is the natural progression without throwing economies under a bus.

            That is the extent to which I am skeptical about the AGW movement and the alarmists within it.

          • You are denying the science here and choosing to believe what you want.

            You expressly state that you see this as being driven by leftist government, and while you continue to see it as such you will never grasp the reality. I’m happy for people to disagree over politics, but this is like fighting over Santa Claus.

            Believe what you want, just stop banging on about how you have the facts to support you. You don’t and these constant arguments here are to the detriment of what is an excellent website with otherwise mostly intelligent discussion.

          • DT,

            You are no arbiter of what is correct or not. The science you refer to is refuted consistantly. The argument against AGW is as valid as for it. The point is you have no say whatsoever in what people must believe or post.

            Your response is exactly the authoritarian dogma why AGW is to be questioned. Any form of extremism must be treated with suspician.

          • dumb_non_economist


            Sorry, but DT is correct, you ARE choosing what to believe. Again what recognised research institute provides an anti GW slant?

            It’s you who has the dogma.

          • GSM is an ideological foot soldier. He has no interest in science, only ideology. Climate change is a threat to his ideology, and that’s why he must deny the science.

            When Stern called climate change “the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen” it was a red rag to a bull for free-market fundamentalists. In their world a free market cannot fail, so it must be the science that is wrong.

            GSM and his ilk would sooner deny the laws of physics than deny the “laws” of free market economics. That’s how screwed up he is.

            Having said that, I also believe the environmental movement is not helping its cause by fear-mongering. I don’t dispute that the forecasts are indeed terrifying, I just don’t think it helps to be scaring people.

            The environmental movement needs a positive message on climate change. They need to sell people on the financial advantages of clean energy, and not punish them with taxes.

            This problem will only be resolved when clean energy is demonstrably cheaper than fossil energy. Once that happens the floodgates will open and it will be game over for fossil fuels. Lets hope that tipping point happens sooner rather than later.

          • Lorax,

            It is you who is driven by ideology. Anyone with 1 brain cell can see that from your myriad posts.I am agnostic, for now.

            I am an idealogical footsoldier? Utter rot. When I see alarmist after alarmist calling for extermination of skeptics, censoreship or argument and and quarantining of the counter evidence and argument , this enough is suffiecient to raise the utmost suspicion.

            Now, if you have anything to refute what I have positted then please do so. The constant personal attacks expose an argument bereft of content. I choose not to believe. I don’t shove that down anyone’s throat but I believe I have the right to state why I choose as I do and NOT allow the AGW argument be shoved down mine.

          • dne,

            “you ARE choosing what to believe”….. Correct, just like you and the AGW fabrications and it’s proponents.

          • I’m going to go back to ignoring this sort of bs. The lack of self awareness is breathtaking.

            With our geography and climate, Australia should be leading the world in renewable energy. Instead, we are lagging because of prominent fools who promote an anti-intellectual agenda and have turned this into a political issue. At least when Turnbull was opposition leader there was some intelligent and productive discussion.

          • dumb_non_economist


            AGAIN, as I said, I don’t deny that their are some scientists other than some of the looney tunes, who do disagree with the consensus. BUT, you still avoid/cannot name a reputable research institute/university that disputes the science. Lone wolves are all that you are able to produce.

          • dumb_non_economist

            GSM, Unlike you, I’m not choosing to believe ANYTHING. For me it’s not a matter of believing, it’s a matter of accepting the vast overall scientific view from as far as I know, every major reputable research institute/university around the world.

            You cherry pick odd bits of science put forward, that for whatever reason has been rejected by the overwhelming majority of science forums.

            Please, name a group of authority that supports your belief system, you can’t!!

            My last comment to you, is that just like me, you are not in a position to question the science from either side as you do not have the knowledge/education/study and research experience in the required areas to evaluate the material, please stop pretending you do.

        • Try some science on for size GSM – you might learn something. It sure beats pointless baiting.


          “This result was confirmed in a separate analysis compiling a list of scientists who had made public declarations on climate change, both supporting and rejecting the consensus. Among scientists who had published peer-reviewed climate papers (908 scientists in total), the same result: 97% agreement.

          While individual scientists have their personal views on climate change, they must back up their opinions with evidence-based research that withstands the scrutiny of the peer-reviewed process. An analysis of peer-reviewed climate papers published from 1993 to 2003 found that out of 928 papers, none rejected the consensus.”

          Pathways for climate change (from one of the comments at the bottom):

          Observation 1. Sun irradiates earth with short-wave energy.

          Observation 2. Earth re-radiates long-wave energy.

          Observation 3. Greenhouse gases retard transmission of long-wave energy, not short-wave energy.

          Observation 4. Satellite observations show decreasing emission to space of this long-wave energy, at EXACTLY THE SAME WAVELENGTHS as CO2 absorbs long-wave energy.

          Observation 5. Arctic sea ice is melting, so that summertime sunlight is being absorped in exposed ocean rather than reflected off ice.

          Observation 6. Greenland and Antarctic ice is melting, increasing the rate of sea level rise. The rate of ice melt is accelerating as atmospheric greenhouse gases increase.

          Observation 7. In the Arctic, tipping points have been crossed. Permafrost is thawing, releasing stored methane and carbon dioxide, and warming Siberian continental shelf is causing release of methane from submarine methane clathrates.

          Inference 1, drawn from observations 1, 2 and 3. Greenhouse gases thus regulate earth’s temperature. Altering atmospheric greenhouse gas content therefore alters earth’s temperature.

          Inference 2, (drawn from inference 1 and observations 4, 5, 6 and 7). Ocean is thermally coupled with atmosphere, and transfers a lot of heat to both Arctic and Antarctic.

          Root cause analysis 1. Historic fossil fuel use and cement production data (Oak Ridge National (US) Laboratory Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center) shows sufficient CO2 emission from 1800 to 2007 to raise atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 430 ppm. Dissolution of CO2 in oceans has limited atmospheric CO2 to about 390 ppm, and decreased ocean pH.

          So GSM – please show us where the scientists/experts are wrong. Keep on digging son…

  7. Central Bank impotence

    “The U.S. Federal Reserve has all but exhausted its most powerful weapon: the ability to lower short- term interest rates. If it wants ammo to fight the next economic slump, it will have to give up its obsession with ultralow inflation.”

    More and more articles are discussing the lack of lead in the Central Bank pencils and warming the conversation to inflation as the cure.

    The point they miss is that with the debt lever broken Central Banks can do little to generate inflation – until they join forces with the executive arm of the government and point the money presses at households. By buying new govt securities and holding on to them and letting the govt cut taxes or spray money around.

    Fiscal debts held tightly by Central Banks are not really debts at all. The are just receipts to record the operation of a printing press.

    However, it will take some for them to get there due to the combination of natural public hysteria about blatant money printing and their own CB distaste for allowing households to decide how ‘printed’ fiat currency should be spent.

    They just need to find a new friendly name for the project along the lines of QE.

    The Household Confidence Enhancement Program. ‘HCEP’

    When inflation starts to rise the Central Banks can start pulling on the interest rate lever.

    But it may take a while for inflation to respond as a lot of the HCEP money is likely to go towards paying down debt and thus do little to stimulate inflation.

    Naturally, such a brazen exercise will put downward pressure on the dollar as well.

    Sadly the opportunity to geld the banks will not be taken but that is probably a utopian bridge too far.

    As the only other alternative to a debt mountain – liquidation – appears politically unpalatable this is the one option.

    Just a matter of time.

  8. That SMH article on the middle class contains some extremely interesting findings which should be important background to many of the debates here on MB. The main finding is that nearly everybody thinks they are middle class/middle income.

    Some good reactions as well from the likes of Peter Saunders and Peter Whiteford.

    • desmodromicMEMBER


      We are unlikely to have all (or even enough) information to respond in an intelligent way while most economies pursue growth and humans appropriate of an ever greater amount of the available resources. The more we disturb our immediate environment the more relevant the effects of global processes become. The discussion on MB is often confused by arguments that use data on processes the operate over geological time scales to refute data on processes that operate on ecological time scales. For all biological systems the issue is not whether it has been, or will be, hotter or colder. It is rapid rates of change that snuffs out life. The question for us now is whether the endless pursuit of consumptive growth is making us more vulnerable? While many agree that the answer to that question is yes, there is no agreement on what we collectively should do. In the meantime we wait for our hand to be forced or the conspiracy theorists to be vindicated.

      • Agree. Overconsumption should not be confused with overpopulation and the rapid rate, hoterr or colder, would indeed ‘snuff’ us out. The home planet will survive and humans may just be a distant memory of our plants journey through time and space. It just may be that AGW may indeed be a positive if we can use it to delay the comming, and certain return to a glaciatial climate.

  9. dne,

    You asked;

    “What rebuttal have you provided of the science behind GW.”


    “The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows”


    “Global warming has STALLED since 1998: Met Office admits Earth’s temperature is rising slower than first thought

    Earlier forecasts predicted a much steeper rise in global temperatures
    But latest figures from Met Office show slower rise than previously warned

    Figures raise questions about the true danger posed by greenhouse gasses ”

    You asked;

    “what recognised research institute provides an anti GW slant?”

    This should suffice;

    “Science or Science Fiction? Professionals’ Discursive Construction of Climate Change”


    Just 36% of those studied adhered to the AGW protocol as described by Kyoto. The balance fall into the sceptical classifications as tabled here. Peer reviewed;


    and this;


    It’s not yet “settled”.

    • dumb_non_economist


      On this you’re as bad as 2d, you refuse to answer the question. You still have no rebuttal other than cherry picking data that agrees with your religious beliefs.

      Please, name for me a recognised research institute/university that provides support for your religion.

        • dumb_non_economist

          “For starters the stat you mention (36%), for gov it’s 45%, top level oil &gas just 16%. You are being selective.”

          from the second link.

      • dne,

        I don’t have a religion. It is you who have been suckered in by the hysteria , alarmism and dogma. The science is NOT PROVEN as far as I am concerned.

        When I see the absence of contra physical evidence to AGW theory, then I can begin to accept the theory. In the meantime the climate/temp models have failed to predict squat, the full dams ridicule the alarmist forecasts, the “proof” about the CO2 link does not exist, temperatures are not increasing beyond historical functuating norms and risen by hardly a measurable degree in 16 years, the ice and glacier shrinkage has not occurred, the sea levels have not risen…. I could go on. It (catastrophic AGW) isnt happening dne.

        So please , save your hysteria for when something really happens.

    • dumb_non_economist


      Talk about shoot yourself in the foot, do you read what you link???


      Skeptic Groups (2)

      The Canadian 60 Scientists & Friends of Science –

      Skeptic Individuals: 1 recognised scientist, the rest members of the Canadian group of 60.

      Shit, GSM, is this the level of your research and what you’re using to justify your position, bloody woeful to say the least.

      The above is just bullshit as support, it’s at my level, and that isn’t a compliment!!

  10. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/spending-billions-is-the-wrong-fix-for-our-failing-schools/story-fn59niix-1226583841041

    “Across the past decade, education spending has increased by nearly three times as much as Gonski is proposing, yet our school performance has stagnated or fallen. Australia is one of just four OECD countries in which 15-year-olds went backwards on international assessments between 2000 and 2009.”

    Is it the money, or how it is spent?

    • Or it is about what education actually means to the young, as they see a GFC world, based on house flipping and individual greed, a growing gap between rich and poor and a world divided by religion and politics.

      When I lectured in Education, my first lecture to first years was simple, 4 words on a board. Think, learn, create and share. That is what education should be and if we spend all our resources on the ‘learn’ only, then we will not educate our youth to survive in a changing world.

      • Nice comment. Staring entrenched rent seeking, debt serfdom and massive environmental degradation in the face – study hard and join in the game.

        Yeah – go kids learn learn learn but only do it by zero opt-out debt funding that props up the union owned education complex.

      • Your first point may apply to a smallish number of those in or contemplating uni, not younger students where the testing takes place and where standards have been declining (despite as GSM points out massive increased expenditure). The problem present prior to tertiary!

        There is something seriously wrong when students who fail to achieve necessary entrance requirements to any other course in university are lured to the education sector, poorly trained with little in-class experience, filled with inane pseudo-psychological concepts conveyed in haphazard manner and then are set loose on our children. Peter an Onselen has despaired that final year essays by teaching students fail to achieve the standard he would expect for a year 12…

        The American Interest has a couple of good articles on the future of education including one which places that future firmly in the virtual – certainly for much of secondary and tertiary – claiming that at least half of all universities in current form will disappear by 2030.

        As AJ notes our education system is captive to the unions and is surely as an embedded vested interest as any other. Treat with caution.

        • Declining teacher standards are just another symptom of _decades_ of anti-intellectual sentiment throughout the anglo world, fostered by the kind of people who go around spouting rhetoric about “the self-made man” and “those who can, do, those who can’t, teach”.

          • … those who can’t teach, teach teachers. Those who can’t teach teachers conduct education research.

            (tongue firmly in cheek)

          • From the link;

            “It is time for a new story in Australian school education. Not whether public or private is better or deserves more funds, not whether teacher and principal performance pay, school autonomy or computers will lift the quality of our schools. Not wasting money on reducing class sizes.

            None of these policies has been found to do much at all for student learning. Instead, the world’s best school systems – in Finland, Ontario, Singapore and Shanghai – focus relentlessly on how to improve what happens in the classroom.

            That means the creation of a strong culture of teacher education. It means teachers having mentors, getting proper feedback about their work, being required to do research on education in collaboration with other teachers, under an umbrella of sustained professional learning.”

            I don’t see any harm, and a lot of benefit, from learning from existing education systems that have proven results. The education debate in Australia has been hijacked yet again by the Unions. Time to simply go with what demonstrably works.

  11. GSM, let’s say for argument’s sake that ckli8nmate scientists are all wrong, and AGW is not happening.

    Tell me, what do you have against de-carbonizing our society, and moving towards renewables? Do you have shares in energy or fossil fuel companies?

    Be honest.

    Do not mention ideological issues in your answer.

    • “what do you have against de-carbonizing our society, and moving towards renewables? ”

      To justify that expense of the action you suggest, proof would have to first exist that CO2 (which is what you mean by “carbon”) and the threat to global climate are indeed the crises that the AGW movement claim it is.

      I have no predisposition against “renewables” provided they can fullfill power demand accross the load spectrum and are economically viable without subsidy.