Links 16 October 2019

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Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith is an economist and has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)

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  1. Jacinda plummets in the polls:

    Support for the center-left coalition government has dropped to its worst since 2017, while the opposition National Party has enough backing to form the next coalition government, a 1News/Colmar Brunton poll by state broadcaster 1News showed

    Another poll by Newshub-Reid Research last week also showed Ardern’s party losing support.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-newzealand-politics-ardern/poll-showing-fall-in-support-dims-election-outlook-for-new-zealands-ardern-idUSKBN1WU0H0

  2. Australians would have faster, cheaper internet had NBN not been built: Telstra chairman

    he is probably right not because private telco sector in Australia can deliver anything good but because NBN turned into a total failure delivering almost nothing at very high cost

    • This is precisely what I don’t understand about Aussies in general.
      IF someone (anyone) makes a very expensive proposal that is clearly nothing but wishful thinking WHY do the sheeple listen?
      IMHO NBN was doomed from day one.
      Organizationally everything that could be wrong with it was wrong with it
      Structurally it was always a Political play thing
      Technically it was a solution (mainly picks and shovels) looking for an application
      Their solution was never about delivering real world high speed internet and certainly not about high speed data anywhere, anytime. …Exactly that which the rest of the global Internet was trying to create our NBN was trying to stop.

      In the end the NBN became yesterday’s technical solution delivered at a cost that’ll serve only to impoverish exactly those people it was intended to help…..but as I said at the start what more can one expect when the businesses case is nothing but wishful thinking, and the primary driver is Political advantage?

      • ¨impoverish exactly those people it was intended to help¨….
        cant for the life of me see how how people were considered ….. it was a vote spinner at every stage and the people can get stuffed

      • Politicians are the very last people who should be allowed to make important desicions that effect all of us.
        They are far to conflicted.
        At best their role should be to enable specialists to consider the best way forward and legislate to that effect.

    • fair observation I guess (based on stories I’ve heard from Chinese people) but missing a context

      – development in china is extremely uneven, with some parts advancing beyond levels seen in the West while some being behind developed world – this combined with still strong Hukou system makes china different
      this is tart contrast from postwar USA – during that period rural parts of USA boomed and inequality got reduced. In this sense china is now more similar to US in late 1800s and Early 1900s when big US cities overtook Europe in quality of life
      – what makes life in china good at the moment is not so much quality of life itself but rather gradient (feeling that things are improving quickly enough). This will at some point (fairly soon because levels are already quite high in big cities) have to slowdown and stop. That’s the most critical part for any country/system to survive. West survived these periods thanks to appearance of a democratic change – where people don’t go to destroy the system but rather elect someone else into power hoping things will turn positive again.
      This lack of appearance of change comes with feeling of despair when things turn worse – that’s exactly what killed communists regimes in Eastern Europe. recessions in 80s ended postwar growth period and people felt desperate because they couldn’t hope things will change with the same people in charge. The only way for china to survive slowdown is to get appearance of a democracy. We know that is not going to happen and that’s what the West (including Trump although that’s not his idea) is hoping for. As next global recession and trade war hit quality of life in both places China will seriously destabilize trying to destroy communist regime while Americans will just wait for next elections.

  3. The ‘Glass Floor’ Is Keeping America’s Richest Idiots At The Top

    what happened to Sex and drugs and rock and roll? it used to keep rick busy until well into 30s and 40s and now a rich teen boy want’s to be like Musk or zuckemberg?

    I blame fake left media for promoting idols like Musk instead of Bieber

    • this is why having a directly elected president would be a good thing … instead of party elected PM

  4. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    They are turning America’s poor communities into internal militarized colonies where police carry out lethal campaigns of terror and use the blunt instrument of mass incarceration as a tool of social control.

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-age-of-radical-evil/

    Median IQ’s in Africa range from between 15 to 25 points below general white population groups 100. Undoubtedly some of the difference is due to environment, eg nutrition etc.

    In one of the least racist nations on earth, Scandanavia, the residual IQ gap between black and white remains around 15 points, suggesting that this residual is due to non-environmental issues i.e. genetics.

    At an individual level the most significant determinant for an individuals life outcomes is their IQ. For the benefit of road kills and ‘professors’ this statement is in relation to an entire population – naturally there will be individual outliers that are a result of environmental or social factors e.g. inherited wealth.

    These “poor communities” that the author is referring to are overwhelmingly African American communities. The reason they are policed more heavily is because they are more violent. An educated upper class African American is still more likely to commit a murder than a poor white man of lower socio-economic means. The largest killers of African Americans in America are other African Americans. African Americans are responsible for 50% of the murders in the US, despite being only 12% of the population.

    The “Mass Incarceration” the occurs in America is simply a result of i) The high rate of crime committed by African Americans and ii) the fact the US is wealthy enough to imprison them until they are no longer a threat to the community – generally mid 40s. This is far more human than the eugenics program that operated in most of Western Europe for 1000 years, where between 1 – 2% of the most violent, least social individuals were executed each year and thereby removed from the gene pool.

    The social entropy and urban decay that many of these poorer population groups reside in, simply reflects their community reverting to the natural state that it would otherwise exist in, comparable to the homelands from which those population groups originated.

    Across generations (well prior to the recent phenomenon of assortive mating) IQ generally reverts to the mean, meaning genius or dummy a white persons grandchildren are most likely to have have an IQ of 100. Similarly genius or dummy, a African American’s grandchilldren are most likely to have an IQ of 85.

    Mean reversion combined with population group IQs is the best explanation for why the grand kids of a non-home owning white person are more likely to own their own home than the grand kids of a home owning African American.

    This article ISN’T the Truth, it is a moralising sermon from an emoting theologian who refuses to acknowledge any non-environmental outcome for both the differences in life outcome between population groups, the hostility and prejudices that arise between population groups as a result of the difference in group behaviour expressed in terms of unacceptable social behaviour – crime and violence, and discrimination towards those population groups more likely to commit crime and violence.

    This article spreads hatred and blames white society and people for the evils in the world, by pretending there are no innate differences between the behaviours and capabilities of different population groups. It is racyst.

    There is no doubt that the rest of the article contains many truths, especially in regards to how large segments of the population are being used and then abandoned – but the way it frames the story is complete racyst rubbish.

    • Where did this article come from, it seems to be fully on loons, this was the opening sentence from the following article.

      “Right-wing terror is a feature of daily life in present-day America”

      O RLY???

      “They are turning America’s poor communities into internal militarized colonies where police carry out lethal campaigns of terror and use the blunt instrument of mass incarceration as a tool of social control”

      White South Africans live in conditions of greater of racially motivated terror than any African-American.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        It was the second link down in today’s daily links – basically little more than a scree against White People and their culture and absolving all other population groups of any responsibility for their own actions.

        It was written by a ‘theologian’ who divorces prejudice from the sort of anti-social behaviour that is found at high frequencies among certain population groups, and which understandably gives rise to these prejudices.

    • One variable to rule them all!! Come on be fair.

      Getting as much debt as possible as early as possible is the biggest determinate of ‘success’ in the last 40 years. Intelligence means jack, look at the amount of Mensa members on Centrelink. Its always been who you know.

      But the real question is why are they more violent and how to resolve it. Growing up in white communities with multi generational poverty I can say history plays a massive part. Unless you get the history of Africans in the US you can’t hope to understand the problem. Institutional racism doesn’t come close to describing their reality.

      If your black you live in a world with a completely different set of rules to those living in the Hamptons. Everything is different, imagine if you can everyone hating you or being scared of you. Every interaction with Authority being a negative one. Every door slammed shut, all the while watching others glide on through life on a bed of roses. Meanwhile mass media feeds the problem ensuring all the peons are far more interested in race/sexuality/sport/porn than power and wealth and their distribution.

      There is no social contract if its not extended to you. At some stage if wealth isn’t shared its stolen.

      This story isn’t about race or intelligence just prejudice and the unfortunate reality that for someone to be rich beyond imagination someone else has to go without. In America that involved isolating Blacks and demonising them. Now they have to live with the monsters they created. While that isn’t a white issue per se as the defining power has been and still is predominately white and male, you could probably go down the lwsj path I suppose not that it’ll help in understanding or solving the hatred some hold, so they can be manipulated so easily.

      The authors broadly right, Capitalism is just the worship of money and power over everything else. It has no regard for the future or the past, just the unstoppable desire to aggregate wealth and power to those that currently hold it. Maybe it touches on some home truths or internal conflicts for you as I didn’t find it racist at all

      “The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.” Crowley

      “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Asimov

      “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” King

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        3ris violent crimes are committed by African Americans at comparative levels as to where sub-Saharan Africans reside in every other nation on earth. The fact is white people effectively domesticated themselves by culling between 1 – 2% of their most violent and anti-social segment of the population each and every year for over a 1000 years – no such social engineering occurred in tribalistic Africa. Indeed in tribal, clan based societies those attributes may even be beneficial in terms of survival.

        The Koreans suffered 200 years of rape and pillaging as a colony for Japan, culminating in being completely destroyed as a nation during the Korean war – their level of hardship and deprivation over that period of time is certainly of equivalence to what many African nations experienced. Ethiopia for example was never colonised.

        Koreans endured unimaginable hardship for nearly two centuries, yet where are the mass incarcerations of Koreans in the US due to the hardship they had to endure?

        The facts that these differences in behaviour and IQ persist regardless of how equal the society they are placed in, suggests that these are due to innate biological differences. Blaming white people or racysm for their poor behaviour is both a cop out, and in itself highly racyst, as it requires you to actively dismiss well recognised biological differences and place the entire blame for the discrepancies upon another group of people. It is active prejudice.

        I suggest you read your quotes again:

        “The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.” Crowley

        For that is just as applicable in terms of willfully ignoring innate biological differences as a source of difference in life out comes between population groups.

        In terms of inherited wealth, of course that will influence the life outcome of individuals in terms of success. But what is your benchmark for a successful life?

        Being a tech guru like Bill Gates or Bezo? No, success is securing employment, security of a house to live in and the ability to comfortably raise your kids. If you demand success be measured against the tiny set of elites, who have always existed throughout history in one form or another, then you will always come up short.

        Indeed it is probably easier to break into that rarefied strata of Billionaire today than into the ranks of nobility in the past. As the likes of Gates, Jobs and Bezos has shown.

        I have no disagreement with your quotes at the end – they are all true, but they are completely irrelevant to the points I was making.

        • You’ve raised some interesting points but in my mind the abuse of Blacks in America dates back to something like 1619 it was done by the culture now still in control and is not at all comparative to the plight of Koreans or Vietnamese in the USA in the last 50 years. Its 400 years of slavery and all that entails. Its full spectrum unrelenting bigotry that I think is incredibly hard to appreciate even for people who have been or seen others being somewhat marginalised. There are cultural and genetic factors to play in this but to me the history and current sociology is more so.

          We need to understand that the media in the US started its negative narrative in the 1600’s, first starting with slave owners trying to suppress and control their stock, keep rebellions down etc. Through to plain bigotry of the 60s and beyond. If a blackman does something its worse.. Birt (1976). “Differential social perception and attribution of intergroup violence: Testing the lower limits of stereotyping of Blacks”. I’m confident you could run the same experiments today and you would see the same results.

          If you have some evidence to support their crime rates globally I’d like to read it, but I wouldn’t assume that Europeans and Asians somehow magically wiped out their violent criminals but western africa didn’t. Funnily enough Australia as a convict nation compares brilliantly to the Religious nation of the US of A. But then maybe our model was more egalitarian. The Wealth Gap seems to be an important variable in crime rates.

          Blacks in America in my lifetime have not had a fair go even when slavery was abolished the treatment was just informalised. To suggest the Mass Incarceration of Blacks is just because is ridiculous. The opposite is truer, the rate of incarceration is high because they need the prisons to make money. Louisiana State Pen, Misssipi state pen, funnily both farms with slaves, now run by the State and still with no paid labourers, but alot of blacks. The treatment in these prisons needs to be explored to again understand the real treatment of this group of people.

          Until we appreciate how society has manipulated their story to suit its narratives we’re lost in this reductionist absurdity of thinking less intelligent people and or blacks have less rights than others and they deserve what they get because they hit back and their young men are fools – Any person or group that is alienated or ostracised is eventually going to become anti-social. Ireland Vs UK; Israel vs Palestine.

          Until the social contract is extended to them we can’t demand much from them. To suggest that it has and they are just violent people is wilful ignorance of their history.

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          I will respectfully disagree with your opinion – as I’ve stated, it is my opinion that the majority of the difference in life outcomes between blacks and whites in America is now due to biological reasons, for the simple fact that similar differences are observable in all other nations that have significant populations of sub-Saharan Africans, including those with no history of slavery.

          Speaking of slavery, the Barbary slave trade resulted in more white people being sold into slavery than were ever transported to America, while the East African slave trade feeding slaves into the Islamic empire and India was responsible for 10 times the number.

          I will not deny that prejudice and discrimination remain and that this may have a none insignificant outcome on the lives of individuals within some population groups, but imho, the remaining differences at a group population level are a mainly a result of innate differences.

          This is not to say that less fortunate members of these population groups should not be accorded sympathy or respect (as is true for all individuals in our society who are subjected to hardship) or that their past suffering should not be acknowledged.

          But the continued blaming of our society for some population groups failure to thrive, is no wrong. Indeed, in my honest opinion, and in agreement with Tania, casting blame in this fashion is now a one of the primary sources of mutual division and resentment between both population groups.

          Regards

          SG

      • Yeah, maybe not.

        Many Vietnamese arrived in the US in the early to mid 70’s with poorer language skills, a lesser asset base, thought of as ‘the enemy’. Structurally and economically they were behind even African-Americans, no social skills or links, no institutes to cling to and no black privilege to excuse them at every opportunity..

        Two generations later they have climbed the proverbial ladder, from a starting position behind African Americans, so much so black privilege now targets them as part of ‘affirmative action’

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          Exactly – “racysm” today is nothing more than a cudgel to club white people and their societies, simply to see how many coins fall out of their pockets.

    • Refusing to admit that people’s culture and/or genes are an important factor in their success (at least statistically) actually promotes hatred. If these factors don’t matter, then the only explanation that, say, black Americans, can see for their less than average representation in prestigious roles (other than in sport and entertainment) is that Whitey is keeping them down.

  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07nklnm

    The missing Crypto Queen
    In 2014, a businesswoman called Dr Ruja Ignatova launched a new cryptocurrency that promised to change money forever. OneCoin, she said, was similar to Bitcoin, only bigger, better and easier to use. Within two years, over 3 million people had joined the OneCoin revolution, and Dr Ruja became rich and famous. But then she suddenly disappeared and hasn’t been seen since.