COVID-19 Information

Essential Information from the Australian Government?COVID-19, Flu or Cold??Australian Health Department? Australian Data? COVID-19 Policy Watch? COVID Economics??Estimates of R0??World Health Organisation???Worldometer??Our World in Data? ?Johns Hopkins University??Federal Reserve of St. Louis? Google?COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports? The Economist Intelligence Unit? ?Living alone in lock-down???9 COVID-19 Facts You Need To Know? ?Government Response Tracker

Posted in COVID-19, Public Service Announcement |45 Comments

Light relief + buy, sell and swap

A short film clip to relieve the stress of interesting times and a busy day.

I was about to post something more serious but that just came in from Number 1 son.

The serious matter – I want to get hold of a copy of Frank Knight’s classic book Risk, Uncertainty and Profit without waiting for the university library to open or the book to come from the US. Does any Cat have a surplus copy that I can buy (for a song) or swap – I can offer Bohm-Bawerk Capital and Interest, a Critical History of Economical (sic) Theory, Carl Menger Grunds?tze der Volkswirtschaftslehre? (in English), W. H. Hutt The Theory of Idle Resources (in Huttite) and many other titles, just nominate what you would like and see if I have it.

I need the book to write an essay for a collection of essays in the Journal of Institutional Econonomics in a special issue to commemorate the 100th birthday of the book.

Real Knight Notice

The abstract that I submitted was short listed for the collection provided that the final product survives peer review. The abstract had to be less than 200 words. This is 189.

This essay aims to establish a coherent Knightian legacy in institutional studies to show how he became one of the most exciting, wide-ranging and innovative thinkers in moral philosophy (the original remit of economics) in the twentieth century. He combined rigor, depth and breadth in a unique career that left him with no following and no clearly defined legacy. His rigorous, nuanced and eclectic approach, his uncompromising polemics directed at allies and enemies alike and his willingness to pursue sociological, political and moral issues make him hard to place in the profession. He did not specialize or ?build a massive system of interlinked ideas or move with the times. Fortunately his fascination with the implications and applications of institutions in the broadest sense can be seen as a core of his concerns all the way from his first work on risk and uncertainty, through his contribution to economic theory in the limited sense, to his historical studies and his meditations on extra-economic institutions and movements. Two movements, namely scientism and socialism, he considered to be especially dangerous for the prospect of peace, freedom and prosperity in a good society.





Posted in Classical Economics, Free Enterprise, Rafe |Leave a comment

“We have no idea what we are up against”

Posted in Politics of the Left |3 Comments

Risible ‘Racism’

The FBI says no-one will be charged over the discovery of a noose in a garage used by black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, after an investigation found it was tied in a door pull-down rope and had been there since at least last October…

“The evidence was very clear that the noose that was in the garage was in there previously. The last race we had in October, that noose was present. The evidence we had, it was clear we needed to look into this,” [NASCAR president Steve Phelps] said…

The discovery of the noose stunned the stock car series…

It. Wasn’t. A. Noose. It was a pull cord. In 90 NASCAR races, Wallace has never won, never polled and finished in the top ten six times. Thanks to this fake noose story, he is now undroppable from his sponsors’ perspective. Smart. And I find it hard to believe the dozens of old-hand garage men of NASCAR weren’t on to this nonsense from the very start. In other totally fake racial ‘news’ coverage…

We are here because individuals continue to hide behind badges and trainings and policies and procedures rather than regarding the humanity of others in general and black lives specifically.”

– The “Reverend” Bernice King – daughter of civil rights leader and rape enthusiast Dr Martin Luther King Jr – speaking at the funeral of Rayshard Brooks.

No, “Reverend.” You were there because the deceased – wanted at the time of his arrest in an Atlanta fast-food car park two weeks ago for false imprisonment, battery on a family member, felonious cruelty to children, theft and receiving stolen property – was at the wheel of a vehicle while drunk before resisting arrest, assaulting two police officers, stealing a taser and shooting at one of them. He is dead because he was a dangerous idiot.

Rhyming with these American examples of phony racism, dishonest rhetoric and inciteful journalism… Yesterday the ABC reported a Townsville Aboriginal “traditional owner” warning of imminent race riots in the northern city. His remarks followed an alleged assault by a groundsman on two Aboriginal boys (aged 10) who were riding an unregistered quad bike in Jabiru Park, badly damaging the turf. The claim is that the man was armed with a bat. Police have dismissed claims of vigilantism and say the bat was not used on the boys. No charges have been laid against the boys’ parents – the only legally responsible wrongdoers in this story. As for the park, ratepayers will foot the bill for its repair.

Posted in American politics, Culture Wars, Fake News |13 Comments

Breaking News – Catallaxy Exclusive

A 95 year old man with diabetes, congenital heart issues and 1 leg has been killed crossing the road in Melbourne it has been confirmed by the Victorian Government.

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that he will be moving legislation in the Victorian Parliament to ban all motor vehicles in Victoria and to turn existing roads into parks and playgrounds based on the advice of the Victorian Chief Medical Officer.? Mr Andrews has also indicated that as part of this legislation, all Victorian citizens will be issued with speed limited (to 10km) bicycles.

Mr Andrews said that if the Victorian Government does not take immediate action then Victorian hospitals will be overwhelmed and that the traffic accident curve needed to be flattened.? Mr Andrews expressed anger at those opposed to his proposal accusing critics of wanting to kill sick and old people.

When a reporter asked Premier Andrews why did the old man cross the road, Premier Andrews replied “because Victoria did not have the necessary health containment laws in place at the time and that he will ensure that his and future governments will never again be so constrained”.

Posted in Uncategorized |14 Comments

Will ASIC and ACCC prosecute?

If TAFKAS were to tell people where to invest their money, ASIC would demand that TAFKAS have an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).? And without a licence, ASIC would aim all their guns at him.

If TAFKAS were to tell people where to invest their money based on incorrect and misleading data, ACCC would pursue TAFKAS for misleading and deceptive conduct.

Right?? Yes.

What however happens when ASIC tells people that small balance Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) are bad investments because of the high costs of administration?


Here’s a snippet:

‘SMSFs may be an attractive option for investors wanting more control over their superannuation investment strategy, but it requires real skill, care and diligence to manage your own superannuation. SMSFs are not for everyone simply because not everyone can meet the significant time, costs, risks and obligations associated with establishing and running one.’

ASIC, in making this statement, appears to be providing general financial advice.? And the provision of general financial advice requires an AFSL according to ASIC.

What about this from ASIC:

Property can be a risky investment.

Really?? Is ASIC aware of any investments that aren’t risky?

But where is your licence ASIC?? Where is your compliance team?

Ok.? How about accuracy.? According to ASIC:

The average cost of running an SMSF is $13,900 a year.

Interesting.? But the organisation who regulates SMSFs is the ATO and what does the ATO have to say?? Well:

The ATO has refined these figures, showing operating expenses are closer to $3,923 a year.

That’s about 1/4 of what ASIC says and the ATO actually has the data from SMSF account.? Odd as this might sound to ask, but who do you trust more – the ATO or ASIC?

(PS – the ATO figure is about what it costs TAFKAS to manage his SMSF).

Is this misleading and deceptive conduct?? Should the ACCC investigate ASIC?? Should ASIC prosecute ASIC for (allegedly) providing general financial advice without a licence?

Will, if proved, ASIC ban ASIC officials?? Will ASIC make ASIC make a contribution to the ASIC education fund?? Will ASIC make ASIC make a correction?

Stay tuned.? Perhaps around the time the Commonwealth budget is back into balance might ASIC and the ACCC pursue this.

Posted in Uncategorized |12 Comments

Hasten slowly with Hydrogen!

A must-read for hydrogen junkies. A position paper from the Global Warming Policy Forum.


Current enthusiasm for hydrogen is a desperate measure that will jeopardise the long-term promise of hydrogen for the sake of short-term political optics.

Because of the accelerated timetable required by arbitrary targets, it is necessary to manufacture hydrogen via two expensive and energetically inefficient commodity production processes, the electrolysis of water, and the reforming of natural gas.
Electrolysis is extremely expensive, and the reforming of methane emits carbon dioxide and so requires Carbon Capture and Sequestration, which is not only costly but unproven at the required scale. Both these commodity processes imply high levels of fresh water consumption.

The prudent approach, obvious since the 1970s and still the official long-range policy of the government of Japan, is to aim for hydrogen production by the thermal decomposition of sea water employing advanced nuclear reactors, which alone might conceivably make hydrogen cheap. This is, however, very difficult chemical and nuclear engineering, and its realisation lies well into the future.

The paper also notes that hasty introduction will not give enough time for safe societal adjustment to the inherent dangers of a fugitive and readily ignited gas that has a strong tendency to technical detonation (combustion with a supersonic combustion frontier). The learning experience could be needlessly painful and deadly.

BONUS. Fascinating items on The Browser.? Among other items Iris Murdock reviews a book on the feats of assorted swimmers. Did you know that the world high-dive record is still held by Alick Wickham, a Solomon Islander, who in 1918 dived 205 feet 9 inches from a platform on a cliff above the Yarra River? He was offered a hundred pounds for the feat, so it was a professional affair; and he was not so much bothered by the height or water depth as by the chances of hitting the opposite bank. He was successful, however, although the many bathing costumes he wore for protection were ripped off by the impact, and he lay in a coma for a week.


Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe |8 Comments

Welcome to Idiocracy

There are 6.5 million people living in Victoria.

If 10% of the population had the CV-19, that would be 650,000 people.

If 1% of the population had the CV-19, that would be 65,000 people.

If 0.1% of the population had the CV-19, that would be 6,500 people. That is one person in 1000.

If 0.01% of the population had the CV-19, that would be 650 people. That is one person in 10,000.

The actual number of people in Victoria who now have the CV-19 is now 121. That is 0.002% of the population, one person in 50,000.

The trouble is we may be living in an Idiocracy which is why Daniel Andrews is premier. What is an idiocracy?

A dystopian world where mankind has embraced anti-intellectualism, and society is devoid of traits such as intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, justice, and human rights.

And that’s apparently just how we like it. See the trailer for Idiocracy and then think about modern Seattle. Or perhaps we could just look around at our own willingness to lock ourselves up in our own self-constructed modern penal colony (if you will pardon the expression).

And it may not just be us. This is from the US: The blind continuing panic over COVID-19.

With totalitarian Democratically-controlled cities and states across the nation now imposing odious rules requiring the wearing of masks at all times, based entirely on emotion and symbolism with absolutely no reliance on the actual science that says masks?are not only useless against a virus like COVID-19, they could be?medically harmful to the user, I think it is time to do a little science journalism and illustrate again the absurdity of this situation.

First, the Wuhan flu epidemic is clearly ending, as shown by the graph above. This graph, based on numbers from?this site, shows that the disease reached its peak sometime near the start of May. Since then its threat has been declining steadily, until it reached today the lowest number of deaths since March, only 285.

Right now the chances of you catching COVID-19 and dying from it are practically nil, even if you live in densely populated states like New York, where only 14 people died yesterday from the virus.

Second,?as predicted by some scientists, the lockdowns, social distancing, and silly symbolic mask use did nothing to stretch out the epidemic or flatten the curve. These scientists, ignored by politicians and the mainstream press, had predicted it would be a seasonal flu, dying out come summer, and that it would last from six to eight weeks, as it has done in every country where it has arrived, regardless of any government action.

That is exactly what the Wuhan flu has done. After eight weeks it is now fading away, like all such seasonal diseases.

Third, the numbers on this graph are certainly inflated. The total deaths in the U.S. assigned to the Wuhan flu as of today is just over 114,000. Based on numerous reports (here,?here,?here,?here,?here,?here,?here, and?here), we can estimate that this number is inflated from 25% o 50%.

Personally, it’s nice to know that the Middle Ages have not gone away and we are only moments away from burning our first witches. Of course, we have better lighting and heating, but really, given everything you see around you, how long do you think any of that is going to last?

Posted in civil society, COVID-19 |41 Comments

Energy policy. Moving the deckchairs on the Titanic


The plan is to go for broke with more windmills and apply? massive efforts to grid management. This is apparent in the annual reports of the AEMO where you can find the most intricate examination of? things like the entrails of the interconnectors between SA and Victoria (the deckchairs) while the icebergs lying in wait escape attention.

Watts Up picked up a local reports that the NSW government has been swamped with offers to build more windmills and they will contribute improved grid infrastructure and streamlined approvals for new wind farm projects in designated renewable energy zones.

Apparently this approach is? borrowed from Texas. See how it worked out there.

As the temperatures climbed, demand from air conditioners soared and winds?slowed, the state’s grid operator found itself with a shrinking margin of reserve power. And when the amount of spare capacity dipped below a tripwire of 2,300 megawatts (less than 3% of the state’s energy needs) on Aug. 13 and again Aug. 15, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, was forced to take action.

Power plants rushed to ramp up their outputs to take advantage of?prices that briefly soared past a state mandated cap of?$9,000 per megawatt-hour?– up from about?only $19?hours earlier. The companies that own transmission and distribution systems, meanwhile,?hurried to reduce consumption by their customers, knowing that the rates the companies will pay next year are based on when demand is highest.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe |9 Comments

“It takes a great deal of strength to come forward”

Bill Shorten says Dyson Heydon should be stripped of Australian honours.

Posted in Australian Story, Hypocrisy of progressives |97 Comments

A fine or a tax

Here is a philosophical question for the Cats out there.

The NSW Government is proposing to halve the financial penalty from fines for things like:

parking fines, speeding and traffic fines and some police-issued fines for offences including drunk and disorderly conduct, offensive behaviour and stealing.

for welfare recipients and those on Job Keeper.

Putting aside the questionable logic and justice of halving fines for stealing, including the circularity of the government stealing from someone convicted of stealing, would not a “fine” linked to income really be a progressive tax?

And if penalties for illegal parking, speeding and the such are not really fines but really taxes, how does the Government square the circle that the regulation of such matters is nothing more than revenue generation?

Posted in Uncategorized |49 Comments