auspol

The most spectacular own goal in history

We can’t think of a bigger own goal. The Guardian newspaper is no stranger to woke causes and pushing all the left wing social causes. Slavery is a definite no-no.

So we wonder how the BLM cheerleading rag can explain away its history. The paper’s founder, John Edward Taylor used profits from a cotton plantation that used slaves to establish the paper in 1821.

In 1844, the paper is claimed to have demanded its cotton workers be forced back into work to fund it.

As the US Civil War wager the Manchester Guardian sided with the southern Confederates against President Lincoln, the liberator of slaves.

The only noble thing to do would be to shut the newspaper down in line with the beliefs of all of its journalists. A petition is already up and running. You can sign here.

Naturally, the left will overlook this troubling history. If The Guardian wants to support BLM, tearing down statues and all the other pet causes of the left it should practice what it preaches.

Only one you can’t stop crashing at your place during COVID19 is the economy

Warning Signs Investors Ignored Before the 1929 Stock Market Crash ...

Brace yourself.

COVID19 will be defeated but the cure is turning out to be way worse than the disease.

Unfortunately, the sad reality is that at the rate governments are tightening legislation to keep us in shut down mode, we are day-by-day staring at a great depression.

While some will praise governments for throwing the kitchen sink at the economy with all manner of stimulus packages, the relief will be temporary because all of the ammunition for a sustainable recovery had been depleted years earlier. It is like supplying an alcoholic on rehab with an all-you-can-drink open bar.

Our feckless RBA has just embarked on QE, a mission that has failed every other central bank that has tried it. The velocity of money has been falling for decades. Who will be given access to borrowing at zero interest rates when the economy is in freefall? Which banks will lend against properties that will likely implode in value? 50% down? To think of all the reckless “first home buyer” schemes that loaded young people at the top of the property market. The RBA has been complicit. Not wanting to put pressure on the government to reform, it just kept cutting rates to keep housing afloat. It was totally negligent in its duty even though it will signal its role as a rescuer of last resort.

When will banks be forced to mark to book the value of mortgages on their balance sheet? Equity is thin as it is. 15-20% equity buffer to mortgages is pretty wafer-thin. They need to do this immediately so we can properly assess risk. Forget stress tests by APRA. They’re meaningless. Our housing market will collapse with higher unemployment. 50% falls from here are possible. Remember there will be hardly any buyers. Prices fell up to 90% in Japan after its property bubble popped.

Worse our regulators have been asleep at the wheel chasing financial institutions on their commitment to climate change, the absolute least relevant metric to save them from here. It shows how complacent they became.

Australia has made some interesting crisis policy choices. For instance, PM Scott Morrison is trying to pass rent moratoriums where landlords suspend payments from tenants until things return to normalcy. It is not enshrined in law yet. In principle that is a nice gesture even if the government is subsidizing the banks for forgone interest due to short term loan repayment moratoriums. Let’s assume this continues for 6 months. Apart from the astronomical size of the subsidy, who will ultimately end up sacrificing the 6 months? Landlords? It won’t be the tenants.

Shouldn’t landlords be free to choose whether they are prepared to forgo rent or not as a purely rational business proposition? Shouldn’t a landlord be free to enforce a rental agreement? Will contracts matter anymore?

At some stage, the free market must be allowed to function and the government will hit a tipping point of weighing stopping economic armageddon by allowing businesses to function and the marginal risk of infections. The people will be crying for this if shutdowns remain.

Landlords may be labelled un-Australian or worse but in 6 months time, if unemployment has surged to nose bleed levels well above the 6% we saw during GFC at what point will disposable income be able to support a daily coffee at a cafe?

A cafe might soldier on for a further 3 months on skeleton staff before realising that they can’t cover costs. A landlord would be well within reason to demand that early cancellation clauses and fees are enforced.

Then what of all the invoices to coffee suppliers, bakeries who provide muffins and croissants and utilities? Who misses out? What about the invoices of the coffee supplier? Will the bakery get called on by its flour supplier to pay upfront for future deliveries when it has no operating cash flow, instead of the long-standing 60-90 day terms? That happens overnight. It isn’t a managed outcome. Cash is king.

The question is why hasn’t the government taken advice from the banks on business lending so it can better assess the risks involved from those that deal every day with small companies?

We can’t just shut an economy down for 6 months and expect a return to normal when it is all over. Unemployment rates are likely to surge well above 10%.

As we wrote in an earlier piece, there are 13.1 million Australians employed as of February 2020. Full-time employment amounted to 8,885,600 persons and part-time employment to 4,124,500 persons. Retail trade jobs come in at a shade over 1.2 million jobs. Construction at 1.15 million. Education 1.1 million. Accommodation/restaurants /bars etc at 900,000. Manufacturing another 900,000. Noticing a trend in our employment gearing?

We can fudge the unemployment figures however we like. We can pay $1,500 a fortnight for 6,000,000 workers to pretend they still have a job. That is $18bn a month. The PM can talk about how this will help us bounce on the other side. If it continues for just over 6-months can the budgeted $130 billion will be spent. This is separate to NewStart payments too.

Yet, will people lavishly spend or pay down debt and economise as best they can? We think the latter unless moral hazard has truly sunk in.

What people need to understand is that our Treasury expects to raise $472.8 billion in taxes for FY2019-20. Throw in sales of services, interest and dividend income and that climbs to a total of $511 billion. Expenses are forecast at $503 billion. In the following three years Treasury anticipates $490.0 billion,  $514.4 billion and $528.9 billion in taxes. Expect those totals to be cut significantly.

So if ScoMo’s JobKeeper rescue package for workers goes beyond 6 months, that is equivalent to 27% of annual tax revenues. That doesn’t take into account the slug to tax collections of lower GST and vastly lower income tax for individuals and corporates. That is just at the federal level.

Note, states such as NSW have recently waived payroll taxes for small businesses in a  $2.3bn stimulus package. We shouldn’t forget that the NSW Government is the largest employer in the Southern Hemisphere at 327,000 staff.

We remind readers that according to the RBA small businesses employ 47% of the workforce. Medium enterprises employ 23%. That is 70% of the entire workforce who are most at risk from a slowdown.

In 2019-20 income tax collections will make up $220 billion. Company tax was forecast to generate $99.8 billion. GST $67.2 billion. Excise taxes (petrol, diesel, tobacco etc) $44.7 billion. This data can be found on page 21 here.

Local cafes are reporting a 60~80% fall in revenue. Pretty much all casuals have been let go. It is a bit hard to survive on coffee when a lot of stores aren’t stocking pastries for fear of spoilage.

It is not hard to assume a scenario where government income taxes fall to $160 billion (-28%) due to mass layoffs. One assumes many people will be able to get a tax rebate come June 30th. So this number may end up being conservative on an annualised basis.

Company tax could plunge to $40 billion annualised due to the drastic fall in revenues as customers change the manner of contracts and reign in their own spending. Anyone that thinks that business will resume as normal is crazy. The ripple effects will be huge.

Excise taxes may drift to $35 billion as people cut back on drink (currently $7bn in tax revenue), are limited in places to drive negating the need to fill up (currently $18bn in total tax take). The $17 billion in tobacco excise may weather the storm better than most.

GST could fall to $50 billion. People just aren’t spending much outside of food. Massive retail discounts will not make much difference. GST will be the best indicator of how much the economy has slowed. Even if we start to see a massaging of the GDP numbers, GST won’t lie. It will be the safest indicator.

If our assumed tax revenue sums to $285 billion annualised from the budgeted $472 billion that equates to a 40% haircut.

Trim the ‘other revenue’ column to $30 billion from $39 billion and we have $315bn. Will the government then chop away at the $503 billion in expenses? All of the stimuli doesn’t arrive at once but a lot of it in relatively short order. Surely a $300~400 billion deficit is a fait accompli?

We should also anticipate forward year tax revenues be cut c.30% for several years after. The question is when does the government realise that it must cut the public service and scrap wasteful projects like French submarines and other nice-to-have quangos? We won’t see a budget surplus for decades.

We must careful not to fall into the trap Japan finds itself in. It has a US$1 trillion budget funded by US$600bn in taxes and US$400bn in JGB issuance. Every. Single. Year.

Nothing short of drastic tax and structural reform will do. Instead of behaving more prudently by cutting budgets when we had the chance, instant gratification created by governments desperate to stay in power has only weakened our relative position. Since 2013, the Coalition has been responsible for 46% of the total amount of all debt issued since 1854.

States should quickly realise that the $118 billion in federal grants going forward will also be curtailed. NSW will likely fare the worst because its financial position is by far the best.

If the government had a proper plan, it would be looking to what essential industries have been given up to the likes of China that we need to onshore. Medical equipment, masks or sanitiser. For cricketer Shane Warne to be converting his Seven Zero Eight gin factory to produce hand sanitiser shows how much of a joke our local manufacturing has become.

We must never forget that a Chinese government-owned company displayed the Communist Party’s mercenary credentials by (legally) buying 3,000,000 surgical masks, 500,000 pairs of gloves and bulk supplies of sanitiser and wipes. So not only was it responsible for covering up the truth surrounding the virus in the early stages of the pandemic, we openly let it compromise our ability to combat the virus when it hit our shores.

China has shown it doesn’t give a hoot for ordinary Australians. So why should we continue to fold to its whims and cowardly surrender our industries for fear it’ll stop dealing with us? It is nonsense. We have some of the highest quality mineral resources which it depends on. We can bargain. We have chosen to appease a bully.

Our Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) needs to be far more vigilant to prevent takeovers by Chinese businesses. We should openly accept the way China conducts business practices and recognise that it is often incompatible with ours when national security is at stake. Surely this crisis has highlighted the true colours of the political system in Beijing.

That leads us to Japanese companies. Many are seriously cashed up, have a favourable exchange rate and have a long-standing history of partnering with local businesses. We should be prioritising our relationship with Japan and look to have them invest in our inevitable capital works programs – specifically high-speed rail. It is the type of project that has meaning for the future and a long enough timeline to turn an economy around.

People need to be prepared for the reckoning. There is no point softening the blow. The brutal truth will eventually arrive and we will have only put ourselves in an even weaker position with the policy suite enacted so far. Time to be rational about risk/reward. Whether we like it or not, the minimum wage will need to be cut substantially in order to get the jobs market alive again. Don’t worry, unemployment will be so high that people will demand minimum wages are cut because it is far superior to the alternative!

(Time to ditch your industry super and start shovelling your superannuation into gold)

CSIRO cost energy transition at $1tn (oh plus $175bn to integrate renewables)

CSIRO

As our political class push for net-zero emissions by 2050, we shouldn’t be surprised that there aren’t costings. In reality, we would prefer politicians pave the roadmap to where the mystical decarbonized industries that will replace all of the jobs we will give up in mining, agriculture and transport will come from to fund it all? One way to cut our emissions is to tank the economy. Job done. After all being on the right side of history involves sacrifice. Our grandkids will thank us for it. Greta assures us.

The bigger question is why haven’t our politicians made a b-line to reference our CSIRO’s energy transition costings which exceed $1 trillion with a “T” out to 2050 (p.135)? Note this report isn’t a net-zero study – just lower emissions. So by that logic, net-zero will cost even more. 

You will feel even warm and fuzzier after reading the next sentence.

CSIRO assures us that “these costs do not include the full integration costs of renewables, but that these costs are expected to be significantly less than $175 billion.” Who cares about billions in a world of trillions? Significantly less? Can anyone name a government project that has come in on time and on budget? Submarines? NBN? The beauty of spending other people’s money.

The power generation pathways are quite interesting. In Pathways 1 & 3, solar and wind are capped at 45%. Pathway 1 relies on biomass (actually dirtier than brown coal) with Pathway 3 allowed to include HELE coal, nuclear and geothermal. In Pathway 2 renewables are uncapped with battery storage. Pathway 4 is the same as Pathway 1 but with additional electricity consumption from hydrogen electrolysis for transport.

Electricity wholesale prices are contained on p.231. Even in the best-case scenario, we should expect a 50% increase in electricity costs. In the worst-case scenario on Pathway 3, wholesale prices will surge over 4x. Politicians should proudly tout to the public that they have energy prices under control.

Retail prices remain the cheapest on a no abatement basis (p.233)…who knew? In 2016 dollars, no abatement electricity will rise 40%, Pathways 1-3 +60% and Pathway 4 +80%.

CSIRO also assumes that by 2030, 5% of rooftop solar owners elect to leave the grid increasing to 10% by 2050.

Why aren’t our politicians looking at the world’s biggest renewable crash test dummy – Germany? As we wrote, Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors is even more forthright about the failures…The shift to renewables, the federal auditors say, has cost at least 160 billion euros in the last five years. Meanwhile, the expenditures “are in extreme disproportion to the results…

Note 330,000 German households are in a state of energy poverty and have had their electricity provider cut them off. Australia is around 45,000.

We have a home-grown movement to reference commitment to climate change. 98.9% of households in the electorate of Warringah, that supposedly voted Zali Steggall OAM in on a climate change ticket, still haven’t signed up to her ‘Roadmap to Zero’ plans. Maybe they are just too busy filling their high powered V8 SUVs on Military Rd to get around to it.

If we want to stop global warming, at the very least politicians should stop creating all this hot air. This net-zero policy is an economic suicide note.

Zali better pray that politicians don’t judge her climate bill on the results of Warringah

FNF Media was curious as to how the tally for Warringah MP Zali Steggall OAM’s ‘Roadmap to Zero‘ (R2Z) worked. As is often the case with these grassroots woke causes, the structure of the claims can be misleading. Amateur data collection methodology can undermine the very cause. We reveal how easy it is.

R2Z currently claims 551 ‘households’ have signed up from the 66 when we first looked into it earlier in the week. Technically this would mean that 0.8% of households in the Warringah electorate have signed her compact, up from 0.1%.

To turn that on its head, Steggall, who ran on a campaign of climate change, can’t seem to get the other 99% of households in the electorate over the line to sign up to R2Z.

Looking deeper into the sign-up process we found it only involved one’s email, name and postcode. That’s all. So one could technically live in Newtown, input a Mosman postcode and sign up. There doesn’t seem to be a process to cross-reference the signatories to the electoral roll.

One would think if the honourable member wished to truly get an accurate map of where the more environmentally conscious residents lived, a fixed address may have been a more useful process to ensure that the inputs were a) legitimate and b) where resources might need to be focused. Easy to have people tick a “privacy” waiver if indeed they are passionate enough to save the planet.

It is a bit hard to claim ‘household’ when one’s full address can’t be logged. There is nothing stopping all members of the same household signing up of the same person using multiple emails. This just reduces the quality of the data collection from a statistical perspective.

As awful as 0.8% of households is, 0.35% of the 147,333 Warringah residents is even worse.

Beyond the fact that 99% of her own electorate seemingly doesn’t care for R2Z, The Guardian ignores that and concludes,

The woman who toppled Tony Abbott in Warringah at the last election on a platform of climate change action now has the whole parliament in her sights as she seeks bipartisan support for a climate change framework bill aimed at transitioning Australia to a decarbonised economy.”

She won on a platform to remove Tony Abbott.

Ironically The Guardian includes her R2Z link as a “conscience vote” which sort of undermines the argument,

Steggall and the crossbench have begun a conscience vote campaign online and within their communities. They hope to win over enough government MPs to see the bill, which has been modelled on existing legislation in the UK, New Zealand and Ireland, pass in Australia.

She better pray politicians don’t judge her bill on the strength of the commitment of the residents or households of Warringah.

FNF Media endorses Steggall’s view reported by The Guardian

With the government’s party room once again at war over climate policy, Steggall said it was time to let individual MPs speak for their communities rather than toe a party line.”

Warringah has spoken, even with the risk of dodgy data collection. Mickey Mouse awaits updates on how to save the planet.

NSW Rural Fire Service statistics – where your tax dollars go

NSWRFS Budget.png

The media has been quick to pick on the calls for our government to spend more on our fire services. We thought it a good idea to look at the facts gleaned from the annual reports of the NSW RFS, available here. We will go through state by state in the coming days and look at the totals to work out where our money has gone. What you are about to read may surprise you.

The first chart denotes the NSW RFS budget. The 2018-19 budget was $554mn, up from $311mn 5 years prior, or a 78% increase. One would expect that money would be spent on shiny new toys to help fight fires.

NSWRFS FT.png

As we can see, the number of fire trucks in service has trended down. From a peak of 4,385 in 2014/15 to 3,883 in 2018/19 or down 11%. There could be an argument made for replacements to more efficient equipment but in order to put out blazes, sheer numbers should help

NSWRFS WP.png

Water Pumper numbers have fallen from 71 to 63, or -11%. Water carriers have fallen from a peak of 64 to 53, or -17%.

NSWRFS WC.png

When looking at the number of grass or bushfires that were dealt with the trend looks as follows.

NSWRFS Bushfires

When assessing controlled burns, the total area in hectares by year that was conducted is as follows.

NSWRFS CB.png

However, when dividing by the number of controlled burns conducted by year, we see that the average slid from 259ha per burn to 74ha. This is not proof of efficacy.

NSWRFS CB PC.png

How has the trend of the brave and selfless volunteers at the NSW RFS progressed?

RFS Voluntee.png

Employed staff at the NSW RFS has increased from 846 in 2012/13 to 936 in 2018/19.

NSW RFS FT Emp.png

With that, average salaries have crept up from $114,285 in 2012/13 to $131,908 in the latest filing. In no way is FNF Media casting aspersions on the value of those full-time employees.

NSWRFS FTE Salary Avg.png

Although the growth in the Chief Commissioner’s total remuneration has grown from $292,450 in 2012/13 to $439,015 in 2018/19 or a 50% increase over that period.

NSW RFS CC Salary.png

Running the RFS is no simple task. Hiring good people to run the operation shouldn’t be done on the cheap.

The reason FNF Media has suggested that the fire services need a thorough audit is to work out whether tax dollars are being spent wisely. Since 2012/13, $2.75bn has been spent on the NSW RFS. Are we right to question why a rising budget has led to a drift in equipment and a fall-off in volunteers? Can we link the reduced average burns in some way to the very high level of fuel loads that many volunteers have pointed to within all of the current political grandstanding of chucking more money at the problem instead of evaluating the efficacy of that spend?

Because to look at the data on a stand-alone basis, it would seem that the ball has been dropped somewhere. It doesn’t seem plausible that firefighters can be short of vital equipment when there was a $140mn extra spent last year. Only $15m went on extra salaries. Stands to reason that there might be a problem within the decision making processes in the senior management echelons of the fire service that warrants closer inspection.

That is a job for you Gladys Berejklian

ACF hires alarmist MCCCRH to sledge Cricket Australia for inaction on climate change

A Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH) study commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), urged Cricket Australia (CA) to use its popularity to push for greater climate action and do more to look after player and spectator welfare. Hardly an impartial voice to undertake a study when MCCCRH states that it “conducts social research and leads impact focused projects to build media and policy infrastructure that adequately addresses climate change in Australia.”

The ACF campaign director, Paul Sinclair, said, “Cricket Australia should stop being silent and being a spectator on climate change. It should get in the game and be a climate champion for action to cut pollution from coal and to get onto clean energy.

Can the ACF tell FNF Media how many fans think about climate change as they head out to watch a game? It would seem by the sheer length of the beer snakes produced in Bay 13 at ‘The G’ that fans know how to keep well hydrated during play.

Perhaps the ACF should encourage CA to admonish the likes of Steve Smith who carries 10 cricket bats in his kit. Surely allowing New Balance to fell so many willow trees to enable Smith to indulge such a privilege is in direct violation of the UN Sports and Climate Action Initiative (UNSCAI) to reduce the carbon footprint in sports. Note CA has not signed up to this UN compact.

Perhaps ACF should request the air travel intensive Big Bash League (BBL) be banned to save the planet?

Perhaps Kookaburra needs to stop using leather in cricket balls? What do we make the stumps from? Plastic, aluminum? No good. Bamboo?

The ACF couldn’t resist a sledge at CA for having fossil fuel company, Alinta Energy, as a prime sponsor. ACF gave CA stick for having Marsh & Lloyds as commercial partners given they have plans to insure the proposed Adani coal mine. Why hasn’t the ACF slammed Rugby Australia for having Qantas and Land Rover as sponsors for the Wallabies?

In addition to its failings for not signing up to UNSCAI, CA was also criticized for declining to answer with respect to supporting Australia to be a net zero GHG polluter by 2050. It also failed to answer whether it supported turning Australia 100% renewable or whether CA had plans to transition to 100% renewable power itself. CA even copped flak for not recording the number of days abandoned due to extreme heat. Probably because the number is so minuscule, if any that no such records need keeping.

Which begs the question, if the science is so settled, why is it imperative for the ACF to shame CA for non compliance to their religion? We have already seen bodies with absolutely no climate scientific pedigree sign up and make public statements about the dangers of inaction on climate change. Based on what exactly? Is this how consensus is formed? Through group think based shaming which is disproven by the data?

The Australian Medical Association (AMA). It has little professional clue about the climate yet it pushes the narrative even though the far bigger worry should be the percentage of doctors abandoning the organization in droves because of the stance. Our Reserve Bank as well as regulators APRA and ASIC are on board pontificating about global warming, despite corporate Australia, by their own studies, showing less commitment. Such is the trend against climate alarmism by listed corporations, it seems regulators feel the need to dial up legislation to force adoption so it can get more funding to play Big Brother.

The ACF’s true colors come out in the pull quote on p. 18,

It is conceivable that directors who fail to consider the impacts of climate change risk for their business, now, could be found liable for breaching their statutory duty of due diligence going forwards.”

There you have it folks. Lobby for a change in the Australian Corporations Act. Let’s make sure that CA directors can be hauled over coals (no pun intended) for not using a carbon neutral yacht to transport players to the next Ashes series in the UK.

Don’t laugh, the International Olympic Committee and UN argue that, “Sport is not just a victim of climate change; it is also a contributor, through greenhouse gas emissions.

C’mon CA! Ban all merchandise. Tell off KFC for giving fans paper buckets to put on their heads every game. Think of all that virgin pulp that will end up in landfill. No more interstate or international games unless players can be carbon neutral. No more day/night matches unless the light towers are 100% renewable. Players can only have two bats to share between them.

In closing we should cast great doubt over Monash University’s ability to be impartial. The institution’s alarmist climate credentials are well documented.

Recall Monash University made up c.20% of the academics who signed an open letter in support of the lunatics of the Extinction Rebellion. We showed that most of those academics came from fields such as stand up comedy, poetry, arts/education, sports management, archaeology, LatAm studies, sex, health and society, social services, veterinary biology, culture, gender and racism. Few from actual climate science fields. We even proved that Matthew Flinders, who died in 1814, was a signatory to the same open letter, proving once again that alarmists are very poor at policing things that damage credibility. It is all about the number that sign, regardless of background.

Hopefully CA has a jolly good laugh and tells the ACF that it will happily comply as long as the ACF guarantees to offset any lost predicted revenues due to the ACF’s dud prophecies. Perhaps CA should simply ask the ACF why the IPCC admits within its own research (not the summaries written by politicians that hypes the panic and fear mongering) that 98% of the models it uses grossly overestimate warming.

Why the WEF’s 2020 gender gap report rankings are utterly meaningless

The most glaringly obvious anomaly in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF)’s 2020 Gender Gap report is that Syrian women are supposedly luckier to have a higher health and survival ‘gender gap’ score even though they live 15 years shorter than Aussie women. Go figure?!?

Await the media parroting headlines based on the WEF’s executive summary of the latest 371-page 2020 report on gender equality without any context. Australia slipped in the rankings, so don’t be surprised to see our media slam us without analysing the data behind the claims. Because within the data, it is marginal. Moreover, the basis of the data collection is frankly ridiculous.

We should remind ourselves that the WEF is an organisation that prides itself on rank hypocrisy. It wasn’t so long ago that 1,500 private jets landed in Davos to debate the number one concern at the WEF conference – climate change. As there is no airport at Davos, some took helicopters from Zurich Airport to the summit.

The WEF believes that the economic gender gap will take 257 years to close, up from 202 years in 2018. Technological change is driving a disproportionate effect, with women more highly represented in roles hit hardest by AI (e.g. retail). What’s more, not enough women are entering professions where wage growth is fastest. It is most likely the old white male patriarchy that forced women to go into retail rather than of their own volition.

It would be all too easy to chastise Australia for falling from 39th to 44th position, but the reality is that we improved our overall score versus 2018. Before the luvvies lavish praise on New Zealand, which climbed two places to 6th but saw its aggregate score decline, Australia is only 8.5% below NZ. So is that worth beating ourselves up for?

In the subcategory of Economic Participation and Opportunity, Australia ranks 49th vs NZ at 27th. Even though there is only a 4% difference. Liberal heads will explode to know that Trump’s America ranks above NZ.

In terms of educational attainment, Australia ranks =1st, despite the quality of our education system leaving much to be desired. Although it is a bit disingenuous as 38 countries are equal first. We just happen to benefit from alphabetical ordering.

Australia ranks 104th in health & survival but it is less than 1% difference to the 39 first placed countries (which include Angola and Syria). Although if we take Syria as a reference market, the average healthy life expectancy for women is 59.5 years vs 52.5 for men meaning that the gender gap helps score the war-torn country higher than Australia. Australia is 74.1 and 71.3 years respectively. Still,  FNF Media is sure Syrian men and women would gladly trade places with Australians even if, in this instance, the gender gap narrowed on this metric.

Note that even last placed China is less than 4% off the top spot in the health and survival gender gap subcategory. Precious little insight.

Political empowerment is where Australia gets smashed with a paltry rank of 57th. Presumably, if Australia had more female politicians then perhaps our rank would catapult. Should the voting public be admonished if Dr Keryn Phelps was beaten by Dave Sharma? Do voters select candidates on ability or genitalia?

Of interest, all one need do is a simple weighted average of the four subcategories to come up with the aggregated ranking scores provided by WEF.

If we stripped out political empowerment, Australia is within 1% of NZ and 4% of where #1 ranked Iceland is. Hardly anything to feel triggered by. Our score would be 0.898 vs the 0.731 awarded. NZ would be 90.8% vs 0.799 awarded. Iceland would be 93.5% vs 87.7%. Why haven’t the media done their homework?

In short, the supposed gap WEF thinks will take 99.5 years to close won’t be anything near that for Australia.

Which stands to reason, shouldn’t some categories be weighted higher than others in terms of closing a gender gap? Surely women in one part of the world might rank economic participation at 50% as opposed to 25%. Given health is so close across 153 countries measured, is it worth ditching that as a metric?

Between countries, maybe Zambian women place 100% emphasis in their struggle on economic wellbeing but Icelandic women 100% on political empowerment. If that was so, Zambian women would rank 0.831 vs Icelandic women at 0.701. The most value that could be added by the WEF would be to ask women in each country what was important to them. That way we wouldn’t have to standardise rules and regulations. Because this report effectively says that we should all aspire to be Iceland even if ambitious women in Botswana don’t wish to seek a career in politics.

The WEF concluded the 371-page report with,

The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of the global gender gap and of efforts and insights to close it. The index offers a benchmarking tool to track progress and to reveal best practices across countries and subjects. This year the report finds that the gender gap has closed slightly since last year, yet it will still require 99.5 years to achieve full parity at the current pace.”

Unfortunately if one flips through to the country profiles, there are so many statistical gaps in certain categories making meaningful comparisons even more meaningless than they already are.

Therein lies the fatal flaw in this doorstopper. Data can be used in ways to paint a picture. It is so easy to put Australia in a negative light but in most metrics, while our rank may have fallen our raw scores have improved. But don’t be surprised if the media just tells you how bad we are. Narratives are easy to draw from a document that proves the adage of “garbage in, garbage out!” Yet don’t be surprised to see politicians making hay over the findings, if we can even call them that!

F’king hell mate

Follow the data, people. Apologies for the amount of climate change related posts of late. It is the climate alarmist silly season. The video above shows how easy it is to manipulate mindsets. Good to see that our PM Scott Morrison was thinking about smart drive-thrus. After all, as we showed, kids love McDonald’s ahead of climate strikes so merging technologies and fast food should connect the next generation. Uber should be looking to develop their rideshare app to go via fast-food chains. ScoMo has his finger on the pulse.

Atlassian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes doesn’t agree although he did reveal what an expensive Bellevue Hill private boy school education does for teaching how to respect the highest public office in Australia. ScoMo was dead right not to attend a summit where the organizers deliberately banned those from coal-related nations from speaking whilst demanding their cash. No need to join a summit where most of the attendees are from nations with high levels of corruption and have a sole purpose to cash in on the guilt of weak-willed western nations.

Maybe MC-B should reflect on what the UN summit does to cause children to meltdown thanks to irresponsible adults feeding them with unfounded scaremongering. That is where the anger should have been placed in that room. Who needs to show up? Then again behaving like children is a bit of a theme at climate summits. Profanity too.

Being a successful software developer doesn’t always extend to being an axe in other fields. CM also made reference to why MC-B should be supporting the Minerals Council of Austalia as so much of his business actually relies on it.

Open letter to Lisa Wilkinson

Dear Lisa,

Oscar Wilde once said that, “the only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”

Your open letter to Australian PM Scott Morrison effectively pleads for him to ignore the election result and adopt the policies that cost Bill Shorten his job. Labor’s platform was repudiated by the Australian people.

What is it with the left that is so preoccupied with Jacinda Ardern? Her domestic policy track record is awful. Copying Australia’s gun ban does not absolve her of failures elsewhere. Yes, she is young and progressive but it would have been nice for her to understand the cultural significance of donning the hijab rather than thinking it’s just a garment to augment her virtue signaling. Maybe you should talk to Rita Panahi to get a proper perspective on what it means to wear one.

Do you really think the PM will call his counterpart across the ditch if he needs to reach out? Morrison would seemingly have the answers to win an election within 9 months of taking over the leadership after Turnbull had trashed the Liberal brand. That is what his new party is for. He has their loyalty.

Your request to push for stable government is not lost on Mr Morrison. CM hates to tell you that the Prime Minister almost single-handedly won against all the odds and that has absolutely cemented his leadership. Do not forget the cabal of duplicitous leftists (Turnbull, Pyne, Bishop, Banks etc) within the party are thankfully all gone. The LNP can now be healed under his leadership. Did you honestly miss the significance of his win?

It wouldn’t be a letter from a host of The Project if climate change wasn’t on the menu! CM is pretty sure you voted for Zali Steggall in Warringah. Her sole policy platform is climate change. She emphatically said it in her victory speech.

Sadly, the Australian people rejected foolhardy renewable targets that Steggall wants to pursue. The Labor Party can’t risk running a climate change agenda again. Steggall’s targets are more extreme than Labor. Aussies at the coal face know better than Mosmanites at the Avenue Road Cafe how their financial livelihoods could be irrevocably damaged by Labor/Green climate policies. It is now a dead issue.

Did you know that Australia contributes 0.0000156% of global CO2? That means even if we went 100% renewable our impact is zip. Nada. Zero. Your husband’s Tesla has already travelled 150,000km in CO2 terms before it left Elon Musk’s factory.

CM advises you to watch the Sir David Attenborough documentary, Climate Change: The Facts, and note it is almost completely devoid of hard numbers. Many heart string pulling pictures but it is best you put faith in the PM to hit emission targets without trashing our economy in the process. Mr Shorten couldn’t put a price on climate change and paid a huge penalty because of it.

Please do not be concerned with the hot temperatures. It was hotter in the 1890s and early 1900s. Our Bureau of Meteorology has already been in quite a bit of trouble for fiddling the temperature figures. Feel more sorry for iguanas in Florida that fell out of trees due to the bitter cold and snowfalls.

As far as poverty goes, Australia has some of the lowest rates among 1st world nations. Spare a thought for the 118mn Europeans that live below the poverty line, over twice the rate of Australia. 23.5% of Europeans live below the poverty line and 330,000 German households had their electricity cut off because they couldn’t afford to pay for the record high power prices thanks to renewable energy policies. By the way 42,000 Aussies suffered the same fate last year.

Please quit with the “gender pay gap” nonsense. If companies could hire women at 14.1% less than men for the same job then there would be no point hiring men. Your pay packet is superior to many of your Project co-stars so you’re hardly oppressed by the gender pay gap. Choice of industry has a greater bearing on pay than gender.

Childcare is an issue which is being addressed. Domestic violence is way too high but do not ignore the statistics which show female violence against men. It just goes unreported.

While your sentiments are no doubt well intentioned, Jacinda could learn far more from ScoMo on how to win an election given the NZ PM has never achieved it in her own right.

Yours sincerely,

M. Newman, Contrarian Marketplace

Aussies pay more tax than Japanese and Shorten wants to raise them higher!

CM is repulsed by the confetti blowing promises being made ahead of May 18. This election is about cost of living to be sure. It is not about climate change and not about resettling refugees. Yet there has to be a limit on the free give away with a growing deficit. Where is the fiscal responsibility? Do politicians run their own household budgets like this? Not in a million years.

Our federal tax receipts are A$430bn this year. Did you know Japan collects $A750bn at the national level? So Aus is 1/5th the population and raises 1/2 the coin of Japan. Having said that the Japanese government must raise A$500bn EVERY YEAR to plug the national deficit! That’s what happens with poor fiscal management. So doing the math including the debt financing, we still raise 31% the revenues than the Japanese on 20% of the population. We might argue our economy is 1/4 Japan’s but we’re following an unsustainable trajectory. It’s insane. How can we tax people more? Yet that is what Shorten will do.

We can debate til the cows come home about how GST is funneled back to the states from federal coffers but we need to wake up to our relative costs! Our budget deficit is c.$600bn yet here we see Labor throw confetti promises around everywhere. $1.18bn in new aid to foreign countries over the next 4 years. PNG spent our aid money on 40 new Maseratis. Shorten pledged $1bn to acquire land to put the VFT in place. Surely the private sector can deal with that. $2bn for a Melbourne metro. We can go on and on.

Everyone seems like a winner until everyone becomes a loser. The sad fact is that we must wake people up to reality. We need to spend smarter, not chuck more money and hope it has impact. Neither government will see a surplus. Take it to the bank. The economic growth projections aren’t there. No matter who wins this election, the global economy is slowing and either party will be handed a basket case of economy controlled by external forces which includes a slowing US and China. It won’t be pretty. The question is who can best manage that? Not Labor. Climate change will be so irrelevant in this downturn.

It gets worse. The Reserve Bank and APRA are asleep at the wheel. Instead of navigating sensible policies to thwart the largest recession we will face in almost 30 years which will decimate housing, both are discussing climate change compliance reporting by corporates. Seriously? It is so telling they are focusing on the wrong message. Have they seen that the world’s central banks have printed $140 trillion in extra debt since 2008 and got $20 trillion extra in GDP. Shockingly poor returns. $7 of debt gets us $1 of GDP.

Yet our political system has only one pair of rose tinted spectacles where the prescription is 27 years out of date. They are equally as oblivious to the oncoming onslaught where our Aussie banks face a real risk of part of whole nationalization. Their position is as bad as the Japanese ahead of the collapse of their bubble.

Do not be fooled. CM personally believes that the Coalition is not deserved of government but the alternative is even worse. The last thing we need is to rest on that old Aussie saying of “time to give the others a go!” because this is a time when we can least afford change. It will be buyer’s remorse + alpha.