Category: Economics

  • Free Parking

    From [RiotACT]( I found this [web page calling for action on parking]( >The purpose of this website is to channel our frustration with the parking situation into change. Let’s stop whinging to our co-workers and tell someone who has to care – the Government. What we propose is not unreasonable, but the recommendations are designed […]

  • Investment strategy and the PSS

    As a Commonwealth Public Servant I’m lucky enough to be in the Public Service Superannuation defined benefit scheme. Back when I joined the Public Service this was a really nice scheme. You get a (generous) defined benefit linked to your final salary in the public service, and you get a big contribution from your employer. […]

  • Going green

    This website is now proudly carbon neutral. Except… I have to admit that I’ve got some real concerns about the way the current carbon offset thing is going, especially the recent trend towards carbon neutral everything. It’s starting to appear absolutely everywhere – a friend of mine recently had a carbon neutral wedding, and even […]

  • Free Trade?

    Dean Baker makes an [excellent point about a lot of rhetoric in free trade discussions]( > It is positively bizarre how discussions of trade liberalization always ignore the possibility of liberalizing trade in highly paid professional services. I agree with this strongly – but the problem in this area is so severe that even thinking […]

  • Would I have bought Enron?

    I just finished reading a couple of books on the share market, in particular about the early 2000s frauds by Worldcom and Enron: [A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market]( and [The Smartest Guys in the Room]( The question that struck me while reading the books (particularly the Enron one) was whether or not I would […]

  • Virtual Economics

    Recently saw this post on [Boing Boing]( about virtual economics. Cory Doctorow’s take on the inflation endemic to these games: > I think that this has profound implications for in-game democracy — democracy requires that you play together for a long time, in order to establish civil society. But inflation is such a fixture in […]

  • A few thoughts about 1976

    1976 isn’t just the year of my birth (epoch making an event that may be). It was also the year of a fairly interesting economic policy showdown in Australia. This has been prompted by the release of the [1976 Cabinet Papers]( “Released under the 30 year rule”) as well as some recent [commentary by John […]

  • Is Google turning evil?

    Search engine turned portal-omnivore Google has a reputation as being an ethical company. The informal corporate motto is “Don’t Be Evil”. But two stories today have made me start to wonder if maybe the ‘magic of the market’ has done its bit, and Google is starting to behave like pretty much any old monopolist. First, […]

  • Holiday Economics

    So which special occasions do we (well, the US) spend the most money on? The National Retail Federation has the breakdown (via Snopes): Christmas (‘winter holidays’): $438.6 billion. Back to school: $54.2 billion. Mother’s day: $13.8 billion. Valentine’s day: $13.7 billion. Easter: $12.6 billion. Father’s day: $9.0 billion. Super Bowl: $5.3 billion. Halloween: $5.0 billion. St […]

  • Working for the PNG government

    The PNG Department of Treasury has some positions vacant. From the list: Assistant Secretary(GEP) K31,289 plus other allowances Or about $16,000 Australian. I don’t think I’ll apply… (Of course, that’s about 18 times PNG’s GDP per capita, while I only earn a bit over two times Australian GDP per capita).