Archive for October 12th, 2010

Huh?


A headline:

Julia Gillard says her government won’t throw money at those who lose from economic reform

Point is: so why is major Australian economic reform even necessary? The previous government, whilst far from perfect, left us in good economic stead… and many of those great reforms stemmed from the Hawke Labor government.

So what does Gillard (Labor) even really mean by “reform”? Just what is she trying to reform us into?

Australia weathered the GFC remarkably well, despite insane spending packages (BER? NBN? stimulus?) that did/will do little except, primarily, fritter away billions for a sh!tter of a cost-benefit.

But what does her comment really mean, anyway? It’s vacuous. If I’m wrong, explain why.

Yes, apparently, the dirt poor will receive some rebates from off-the-chart energy price increases.

But why are those increases even there?

Global warming? What global warming? What climate change? Even, what global climate disruption?

The political and economic climate perhaps.

Desal plants at a mil a day with dams full?

Why?

Advocating (nay, implementing) under-developed near useless renewables whilst demonising advanced, clean, super-efficient nuclear power?

Why?

An expensive, rort-riddled education “revolution” that involves barely a textbook and not (perhaps thankfully) an ounce on teacher training?

Why?

I’ll tell you why. Julia Gillard is a Fabian (incremental) socialist. It’s no coincidence that she knows the military won’t eat her rotten egg omelet. Hence, she spends so much time at the schools, indoctrinating our kids.

The BER bomb cost a bomb: what else could?


This blog has talked about why the BER cost, was always going to cost, a lot more than the Labor government first suggested.

However, the posts here dealt mainly with the “in the trenches” details. Various reports, mainly in The Australian, essentially dealt with the aftermath.

Here, private equity investor and consultant, Andrew Buckland, looks at the “why” from a different angle, and applies it to other areas of massive government waste spending.

Julia Gillard seeking to justify spending four times competitive market costs on some school buildings raises greater issues.

Governments of all persuasions face great difficulty in trying to execute most procurement, despite their massive buying power. The prime example probably remains the Pentagon’s legendary $US436 military-use hammer from the mid-1980s, officially tagged a unidirectional impact generator, closely followed by the US Air Force’s $US748 pliers. US vice-president Al Gore created the Hammer Award, featuring a beribboned hammer in a picture frame, to highlight government wastefulness.

In Australia, the Building the Education Revolution has exhibited very well the two sides of the procurement challenge: governments paying far too much by diminishing contestability, and governments buying the wrong deliverables.

In this context we mean semi-standardised wrong-size buildings, but exhibits B and C could be Seasprite helicopters (dysfunctional, project abandoned) and the NSW government T card (ditto).

Defence procurement does appear particularly challenging: witness possible new submarine purchases at $6 billion off the shelf or $35bn home-made.

Now, one might consider the expectation that the DIY submarine could cost five or six times more than an existing model as an extreme example. But if simple things like hammers and school buildings can cost four times the competitive cost in a government-driven process, why should a complex asset like a submarine be any better?

The column, however, does essentially deal with the BER, it’s Orwellian nature, and is a good attempt by The Australian to finally get to the “why” of this matter. Better late than never. Do read it in it’s entirety.

Inside the house of a Mexican kingpin


Via Paco, although I’d still prefer an honest day’s work.

So that's what $18 mil looks like...

Light bulb ban sends jobs to China


Like enough jobs  haven’t been sent there before this mad ban on incandescent light bulbs that have been replaced by toxic, mercury-filled, inferior analogues. I suspect similar has happened in Australia.

A federal law banning ordinary incandescent light bulbs has already had a negative effect on the American economy — GE has closed its last major bulb producing factory in the United States, creating job opportunities in China.

What opportunities?

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are the least expensive alternative. But the manufacture of CFLs is “labor intensive and too expensive to be done at U.S. wage rates,” according to a report from The Heartland Institute, which estimates that domestically produced CFLs would be 50 percent more expensive than bulbs manufactured in China.

The global warming scam strikes again.

UPDATE

H/T Tim Blair

UPDATE

(hamerdinger)

I confess. I love my incandescent light bulbs. I adore dimmers. I like timers and motion detectors. I despise Big-state Nannyism that makes people think that the “gummint” has the right to tell me what is good for me and ban what they think is bad. I am a libertarian.

With this mindset I read the IBD editorial this morning on the European Light Bulb Ban.

Read on.

Dirty Democrat digging: planting Tea Party candidates


Talk about gutter politics. Talk about desperate.

A New Jersey Republican congressional candidate criticized his Democratic opponent Friday amid mounting evidence that Democratic officials planted a tea-party candidate in the race to siphon off conservative votes.

More dirt here.

Another scientist quits over global warming fraud


Professor Emeritus, Hal Lewis, of the American Physical Society has had enough of global warming fraud, too.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it.

Meanwhile, back in Australia, Andrew Bolt ponders whether enough Australians have connected their exorbitant water, gas and electricity bills of late – and they’re set to rise further – with this scam.

Carbon pollution: what a crock.
H/T RWB

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