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Regulation Articles

Modelling, Schmodelling! How to rationalise policies that would destroy the economy

Catallaxy Files, 25 July 2018

In a reprise of the feeding of the 5000 with five loaves and two fish, the Energy Security Board has offered salvation for the Australian economy with the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

Scott, Josh and Mathias: here’s how you get us out of this mess

The Spectator, 22 April 2020

The Morrison government has flagged tax cuts and aggressive deregulation as part of a pro-business road to economic recovery. A focus on stimulating rapid growth on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic is expected to guide October’s federal budget. — AAP report, April 20. Future government action must focus strongly upon savings as a result of the 15 per cent of GDP ($340 billion) that has been spent on combating coronavirus

Regulatory attacks bringing a sad demise of the Australian economy

Catallaxy Files, 4 September 2019

The Australian economy has been flagging for many years now. Over the past year we actually saw a decline in GDP per capita and per hour worked. There are many reasons for this but all come back to government intervention – excess spending on unproductive welfare measures, over-taxation of business income and the general regulatory morass that has come to characterise economic management.

Support from vested interests a cost to the economy

Herald Sun 24 June 2016

Getting back to parochial matters, the following is my take on the Victorian Andrews Government political playbook as published in the Herald Sun this morning A benefit of election campaigns is that while they are in progress politicians don’t have access to the legislative and regulatory levers. Election campaigns and caretaker government mean politicians can only talk about “fairness” or “reconciliation” or how they are going “to create the modern dynamic 21st century economy”. Governments

Superannuation funds’ “ethical” investment behaviour

Catallaxy Files, 30 May 2018

The debate ignited by the Productivity Commission over the effectiveness of superannuation funds as pension funds contains some enigmatic facets. One is that the funds themselves, especially the trade union dominated “Industry Funds”, tend to make their investment choices overwhelmingly at arms-length on the advice of professionals. Many funds use the same advisers hence might be expected to have a similar portfolio. Moreover, in that respect, the work of the trustees is confined to selecting

Liddell is just part of a bigger battle

The Spectator, 22 May 2018

Like a border skirmish that develops into a global conflagration, John Howard’s policy to require “two per cent additional energy” be met with renewables has escalated into a measure destroying the electricity market. Back in 1998, the idea sounded good: give renewables a leg-up while they march to their inevitable destination involving cost-competitively displacing fossil fuels in electricity supply.

Wage regulations: yet another measure undermining living standards

Catallaxy Files, 23 April 2018

The unions have found a cause in Barry’s– a brother and sister run café in Melbourne’s Northcote. United Voice got a big enough crowd to fill a TV screen to protest against “wage theft”. The café was paying casual staff the (lower) permanent staff rate but giving them free coffees and meals. The ABC, which as a taxpayer financed supplier can readily afford to pay the wage rates designated by some isolated umpire, was offering great publicity to the union campaign.

Tariffs and trade: not that simple

The Spectator, 13 March 2018

The attention attracted by US import duties is important on many dimensions. ​ Alan Kohler, in the process of suggesting that Trump might be deliberately trying to start a trade war, pointed out that the policy communication came at a press conference, following talks with steel executives. Right at the end of the press conference, the President unexpectedly announced, “Twenty-five per cent for steel. It will be 10 per cent for aluminium. And it will be for a long period of time.” ​ The act

Australia’s Crony Capitalism Inc.

Quadrant Online, 25 October 2017

Many of us have a nostalgia for the days, commencing with the Hawke-Keating competition reforms, when there was a phalanx of business people calling for deregulation, privatisation and smaller government. Prior to the 1980s the manufacturing groups were calling for more support against imports, including stopping “dumping” a policy approach that Australia took to global heights. Farmers were not too bothered about import protections, which raised their costs, but certainly wanted more subsidie

Gas and electricity crises need deregulation not more interventions

Catallaxy Files, 27 September 2017

It is perhaps a little cruel to apply the epithet, “The best energy minister we have” to the likeable Josh Frydenberg, especially since he alone with Tony Abbott actually writes his own media pieces. In today’s AFR he writes about the unfolding gas crisis. While he cannot blame the Queensland government, where the ALP has followed the Coalition in permitting gas exploration, he blames the ALP under Gillard for permitting too many exports and the Andrews government for forbidding gas exploratio

Fish farming: a new project’s approval illustrates regulatory weaknesses

Catallaxy Files,12 May 2017

Yesterday the Commonwealth government gave environmental approval to Project Sea Dragon, a $2 billion scheme involving prawn farming in the North. According to reports it will increase the national prawn catch by 55 per cent and employ 1400 people in activities that deliver real worth involving willing customers. Revenues of over $1.25 billion a year are expected. This involves a welcome change from the negative value-adding that has been par for the course with subsidised wind farms, Snowy


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