#tasmania

Free market a far better manager of coronavirus than the political class

From The Straits Times Archives: Past 'mass hysteria' cases in ...

As states across America were coming to grips with ‘flattening the curve‘ of COVID-19 through punitive mandated lockdowns, who knew that coronavirus cases would surge after protestors assembled after the murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020?

New Cases

The same goes for the state of Victoria in Australia. While Premier Dan Andrews openly punished and heavily fined those who dared to play golf, sail or walk in a park, he turned a blind eye to public protests where little social distancing could be practised. Now he is reaping what he sowed. As much as we dislike the deeply socialist policies pushed by Andrews, the reaction is none-the-less absurd.

20.5% of all Victorians have been tested. 0.44% of those tested have returned positive to COVID19! That means 99.56% of those tested are fine. How does the media rationally look at the data? The headlines read “New Record Hit.” So what? Could it be that telling the public 99.56% of those tested are returning negative results won’t drive ad revenue? Best focus on the minuscule and blow it out of proportion.

Should we cynically view editors as expediently casting aside all the lessons on journalistic ethics and integrity in order to push clickbait that fits a narrative, regardless of who is affected?

Worse, politicians – who live in fear of the 24-7 news cycle – cower behind medical experts who have given nothing but wildly inaccurate forecasts to the detriment of the economy. Now that a ‘second wave’ is imminent, lawmakers are only too eager to double down on all of the mistakes made at the beginning.

When are we going to grow a collective pair and stand up to this nonsense? It is not hard to work out that the more we test, the more we detect.

Why aren’t politicians just making it clear that the pandemic will outlast the economy if we choose to let it? Why doesn’t the government conduct daily press briefings on suicide, motor vehicle accidents or the flu? In the US, twice as many people die each year from medical errors than have died so far from COVID. Where are the daily updates? Where are the media reporting these updates?

There is absolutely no attempt to be balanced. Of the 3.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, this is still around 6% of the 60 million who contracted H1N1 swine flu under the previous administration. Orange man bad. Let’s jettison context and perspective.

19 Jul COVID deaths

In the chart above we tally a list of COVID-19 deaths in Australia and the US by state.

NY has the highest number by a factor of two. Even though NY Gov Cuomo thinks he has been the most effective at handling the crisis. Never mind the number of deaths that resulted from his direct policy to put infected patients into nursing homes.

Pop Tested Corona

Let’s look at some more data – 13% of Americans have been tested as of July 20th. Of that, only 9% have tested positive to coronavirus. New York has tested a quarter of its residents and returned 8.5%.

Infection as % test

Yet death rates are far from scary in the US. New Jersey has the worst rate of 0.17683% deaths vs the state population. New York is marginally lower at 0.16549%. That means 99.8% of those living in these states haven’t died from it. In Hawaii, 99.998% haven’t succumbed.

Come to think of it, why haven’t the Australian mainstream media bashed Tasmania for having more deaths per head of population than Victoria? Where is the narrative shaming Taswegians?

deathsbtstate

The infections data in NY are at 2%. So 98% of people aren’t knowingly infected. 99% of South Dakotans aren’t infected either.

infect

We know we are well off finding a vaccine. So the more panic porn the media indulges in, the worse it will ultimately be for them too. They will be killing the golden goose. The economy can’t survive with well over half the workforce being subsidized by the government. Prudent risk management is the order of the day.

Politicians need to step up and push back. Reintroducing lockdown laws and pulling up the draw bridge at the border are kneejerk, one-size-fits-all approaches which only expose how hopelessly equipped the political class are at handling crises.

Premier Andrews has demanded that people must wear masks. He openly encouraged people to make their own if need be. Wear a tea cosy? Essentially what he is saying is that mask efficacy is utterly irrelevant. Only the gesture is required. So what is the point?

Perhaps we just need to reflect on our own behaviours. Sure most of us squirt some sanitizer if we see it and politely keep our distance by standing on dots stuck to the floor but it is dawning on many of us that the risk/reward ratio is getting ridiculous. Anyone with half a brain could see that BLM protests would cause a spike in cases.

Remember when people became panicked about flying after 9-11? It was only when cheap airfares were offered that the free market was able to coax travellers to risk their lives for $25 return to WhoopWhoop.

Therein lies the answer. The free market will be a far better manager of coronavirus than the political class. Let stores decide on mask policies or seating arrangements. If customers don’t show up they must innovate in ways to attract them. Necessity is the mother of invention, not incompetent elected officials telling us they know better. They simply don’t.

Colonialism and Comcars

Image result for robert menzies car

Senator Mattias Cormann has admitted he was behind the decision to change the colour of our government Comcars – which ferry politicians around – from white to dark grey in order to remove any remnants of our colonial past, which in his words were “a better reflection of a modern, forward-looking Australia.” Forget the fact that most government cars were painted black, including Sir Robert Menzies’ Bentley (above). Might have been better to channel the founder of the Liberal Party as inspiration instead some woke nonsense. Or just let the drivers, who need to clean and maintain the vehicles, choose. 

Seriously though, what % of Australians have ever thought that our white Comcars harked to a colonial past? Best put it to a plebiscite and waste more time. 

Dark Grey? Isn’t that a gloomy hue? Should Aussies prepare for dark days ahead? Truth be told the colour is probably quite representative of where our economy is heading, even without coronavirus.

Interestingly, according to car insurer youi,

Our accident frequency research reveals that dark coloured cars are more likely to be in an accident than lighter coloured cars, likely because they are less visible to other drivers on the road. Grey coloured cars topped the list, followed by black and charcoal.

Who says that politicians don’t make sacrifices for us?

If we study where the proportion of cars coloured in colonial white is highest, perhaps parliament should be spending up big on a reeducation program in Tasmania for their unconscious colonialism. youi claimed,

Tasmania has the highest percentage of white cars at 33.80% versus the national average of 30.45% (silver 19.4%, blue 11.29%)

White cars seem to be connected to toxic masculinity too. Best run a campaign on unconscious sexism if youi is to be believed.

Compared to females, white is more popular for males relative to other colours (34.34% for males, 26.46% for females)

Take it a step further and question how much more Cormann could have done to reduce the racist footprints of colonialism.

Why are we buying cars from a maker that powered the Nazi Luftwaffe, SS and Wehrmacht, based in a nation that at the time was hell-bent on world domination and genocide? If we went for Lexus or Toyota we’d be buying cars built by a country that was also determined to colonize The Pacific. Jaguars or Range Rovers would be off the list, even though the Indians now own the brands. Rolls-Royce & Bentley are German-owned. Italians were colonialists. Maserati, Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo banned. The French? Colonialists. Renault and Peugeot-Citroen are out. The Spanish? Colonialists. No SEATs, although that is owned by the Germans. America? Someone is bound to raise an issue with their CIA operative endorsed post-war military hegemony. So no Caddies, Fords or GM cars, especially after the axing of the Holden brand. China? Buying Haval or Great Wall cars would at the very least cut down on the overall cost of Comcars, especially with the generous 10-yr unlimited kilometre extended warranty.  That is how we cut the budget deficit. 

Maybe we should just buy Volvos. Maybe that way we could appeal to be supporting the home team of climate activist, Greta Thunberg to shore up the youth vote while acknowledging that the Viking hordes of 1000 years ago was far back enough in history to upset anyone today. If we’re lucky, the Swedish Riksbank may consider buying our sovereign debt again

Seriously, haven’t our pollies got anything better to do than conjure up such illogical nonsense like this? Given we’re at this level of discourse, perhaps walking, cycling or public transport would be a better bet for our lawmakers. At the very least it would put them in touch with how commoners live.

$14bn shock for Shorten. Not $100m

Image result for bill shorten ev

Let’s face it, pre-election budget boasting is a beauty contest we can do without. Fanciful promises guarantee we will not end up in surplus. Shorten’s speech was loaded with mistakes. Let’s cut through some numbers.

The Coalition put forward the following on Tuesday.

What escaped many in the Frydenberg budget of Tuesday is that to fund the 16.8% jump in tax receipts on 2018/19, individual taxpayers will still see their pockets hit +18.4% in aggregate even after including the ‘generous’ rebates. Superannuation tax collections will jump 43% in 4 years time.

NDIS spending is targeted to be 92% higher by 2022/23 than last year. Medicare +24%, public hospital assistance to the states +21%, aged care services +27%. For all the celebrations of lowering pharmaceutical rebates for one wonder drug from $120,000 to $6.50, the reality is spending in this segment will fall 18.4% in total. The family tax benefit will squeak 4% higher in the next 4 years.

As written on Tuesday, the revenue projections of the government are unrealistic as we stare at a slowing world economy. German industrial production in March cratered to 44.1 and China’s auto sales continued a 7-month double-digit slump in February.

Analyzing the Labor response

Shorten claimed NDIS was cut A$1.6bn to get a surplus. Under Frydenberg’s budget, NDIS for 2019/20 will rise A$4.5bn. Out to 2022/23, it rises to over A$24bn.

The Opposition Leader also made reference to A$14bn in cuts to public schools. Note the funding to public schools on 2013/14 was A$4.8bn. In 2018/19 it was $7.7bn and projected in 2022/23 to be A$10.4bn. 

$200mn to renovate nursing campuses in Australia won’t achieve much. The John Curtin Medical Research School at the ANU cost $130mn alone.

Shorten made reference to bushfires being caused by climate change. Fire & Rescue NSW notes that 90% of fires are either deliberately or accidentally set. A Royal Commission after the horrible Black Saturday bushfires showed that policies which restricted backburning reduction targets were to blame for the larger spread of fires, not climate change. In 2013, Tasmania learned none of the lessons with similar policy restrictions preventing the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service to complete more than 4% of all the 2.6m hectares it manages. The reef is not being damaged by climate change and floods and drought are no more frequent or severe than a century ago.

While climate alarmists will relish the prospect of 50% electric vehicles (EV) and cut emissions 45% by 2030 to save the planet, a few truths need to be considered:

1) our own Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, has admitted that no matter what Australia does to mitigate global warming our impact will be zero. Naught. Nada. Putting emotion to one side, is there any point in spending $10s of billions to drive electricity prices?

2) South Australia and Victoria have already beta tested what having a higher percentage of renewable energy does or rather doesn’t do for sustainable and reliable baseload power. Both states have not only the highest energy prices in Australia but the world. These stats are backed up in Europe. The EU member states with a higher percentage of renewables have steeper electricity prices than those with less. These are facts.

3) Consumption patterns matterLast year Aussies bought only 2,200 EVs. In 2008, SUVs made up 19% of the new car sales mix. Today they make up 43%.
In 2008, c.50m total passengers were carried on Australian domestic flights to over 61m today. The IATA expects passengers flown will double over the current level by 2030. These are hardly the actions of people panicked about cataclysmic climate change. Or if they are, they expect others to economize on their behalf.

Qantas boasts having the largest carbon offset program in place yet only 2% of miles are paid for, meaning 98% aren’t. 

4) Global EV production capacity is around 2.1m units. While rising, it is still a minor blip on 79 million cars sold worldwide. Add to that, auto parts suppliers and car makers are reluctant to expand capacity too fast in a global auto market that is slowing rapidly.

Car sales in China have fallen for 7 straight months. In Feb 2019, sales fell 13.8% on the back of January’s -15% print.  Dec 2018 (-13%), Nov 2018 (-13.9%) & Oct 2018 (-11.7%) according to the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). The US and Australian car markets are under pressure too. 

5) So haphazard is the drive for EV legislation that there are over 200 cities in Europe with different regulations. In the rush for cities to outdo one another this problem will only get worse. Getting two city councils to compromise is one thing but 200 or more across country lines?

Without consistent regulations, it is hard for makers to build EVs that can accommodate all the variance in laws without sharply boosting production costs. 

6) Fuel excise tax – at the moment, 5% of our tax revenue comes from the bowser. $25bn! Will Mr. Shorten happily give this up or do we expect when we’ve been forced to buy EVs that we will be stung with an electricity tax on our cars?

7) Norway is a poor example to benchmark against. It is 5% of our land mass, 1/5th our population and new car sales around 12% of Australia. According to BITRE, Australia has 877,561km of road network which is 9x larger than Norway.

Norway has around 8,000 chargers countrywide. Installation of fast chargers runs around A$60,000 per unit on top of the $100,000 preparation of each station for the high load 480V transformer setup to cope with the increased loads.

Norway state enterprise, Enova, said it would install fast chargers every 50km of 7,500km worth of main road/highway.

Australia has 234,820km of highways/main roads. Fast chargers at every 50km like the Norwegians would require a minimum of 4,700 charging stations across Australia. Norway commits to a minimum of 2 fast chargers and 2 standard chargers per station.

The problem is our plan for 570,000 cars per annum is 10x the number of EVs sold in Norway, requiring 10x the infrastructure.

While it is safe to assume that Norway’s stock of electric cars grows, our cumulative sales on Shorten’s plan would require far greater numbers. So let’s do the maths (note this doesn’t take into account the infrastructure issues of rural areas):

14,700 stations x $100,000 per station to = $1,470,000,000

4,700 stations x 20 fast chargers @ A$60,000 = $5,640,000,000 (rural)

4,700 stations x 20 slow chargers @ A$9,000 = $846,000,000 (rural)

10,000 stations x 5 fast chargers @ A$60,000 = $3,000,000,000 (urban)

570,000 home charging stations @ $5,500 per set = $3,135,000,000 (this is just for 2030)

Grand Total: A$14,091,000,000

Note that Shorten pledged $100m to EV charging stations around Australia to meet his goals. Even if he was to skimp on 2 fast and 2 slow chargers per stand, Aussies taxpayers will need to shell out $6.5bn. At least he could technically cover that with repealing $6bn in franking credits.

Norway’s privately run charging companies bill users at NOK2.50 (A$0.42c) per minute for fast charging. Norway’s electricity prices are around NOK 0.55 (A$0.05c) per kWh to households.  In South Australia, that price is 43c/kWh. So will Shorten subsidize an EV owner charging in Adelaide at the mark up a private retailer might charge? 

What about subsidies to EV buyers? If we go off Shorten’s assumptions of $3,400 per EV at 570,000 EVs per annum, the tax payer will fork out $1.94bn a year.

Will there be a cash-for-clunkers scheme?  If the plan is to drive internal combustion powertrains off the road, existing owners may not be emboldened with the decimation in the value of their existing cars. Let’s assume buyers are irrational and accept $3,000 per car (Gillard offered $2,000 back in 2010) trade-in under the scheme. That would amount to $1.73bn.

8) Making our own batteries! While it is true Australia is home to all of the relevant resources, sadly we do not have enough cobalt to make enough of them.

Australia is home to only 4% (5,100t) of the world’s cobalt. 60% of the world’s cobalt comes from DR Congo which has less than satisfactory labour laws surrounding children. If we want cheap EVs, we have to bear that cross of sacrificing children to save the planet. It can’t be done any other way.

Li-ion batteries consume around 42% of the globe’s cobalt supplies. Cars are 40% of that. The rest being computers, mobile phones, etc.

9) Automakers have set up their own battery capacity to supply internal production. Given our terrible history in automotives, we should not expect them to line up to buy our batteries.

Nissan spent around A$770m on a battery plant in Sunderland. Panasonic plowed $2.8bn into the battery plant that supplies Tesla.

10) Australia has no real homegrown industrial scale EV battery technology. If we bought in a technical license, that will only make our production costs prohibitive on a global scale. Our high wage costs would add to the improbability of it being a sensible venture.

All in, Shorten’s EV plans could cost Australians well over $20bn with c.$4bn in subsidies ongoing.

11) Green jobs – according to the ABS, jobs in the renewable sector have fallen from the peak of 19,000 in 2011/12 to 14,920 in 2016/17. The upshot is that green jobs in the renewable sector are not sustainable.

In short, Mr. Shorten’s budget reply was extremely thin on detail. Especially with respect to climate change. The LNP has plenty of ammunition to prosecute the case on his wild costing inaccuracies (as outlined above) yet will they have the gumption to fight on those lines. Saving the planet is one thing.

Loading a stretched grid with EVs and increasing the proportion of less reliable power sources looks like a recipe for disaster. We need only look at consumption patterns to get a true sense of how ‘woke’ people when it comes to global warming. South Australians and Victorians are already living the nightmare of renewables.

This election is about one thing – individual pocketbooks. The electorate needs working solutions, not electric dreams.

Why are the 99.6% required to opt in for gender on birth certificates?

7D3A8E2F-A916-4B8E-B9EF-3CA73B95674D.jpeg

So Tasmania’s lower house has passed the motion to remove gender from birth certificates allowing people to choose what they identify with from age 16. Apart from the biological and genetic implications, one question is why must the majority opt in as opposed to the minority opting out? It can only be viewed as a form of constructed  re-education.

According to the ABS Census of 2016, only 0.4% identify as other than male or female. 10,000 out of 24 million. Therefore 99.6% are comfortable with traditional biologal gender.

What are the risks? At what point will legislation be tied to the use of puberty blockers? We can’t rule out some parents might try to encourage their young child to associate with the opposite gender?  It has already happened in the US. Parents will know that it is not hard to manipulate a 10yo. It is not to rule out completely that a child may truly identify as the opposite of biological gender but statistically it would be improbable to suggest it is a majority or all. So to dispense puberty blockers under false pretenses is a dangerous risk. Assuming a 10yo is of sound peace of mind to take such drugs, why not give them the ability to vote?! Effectively that is the decision making process being put forth. It is ludicrous.

Assume a child is coerced by guardians/parents (even if a small subset) into believing they are the opposite sex than biological gender and get government permission to take puberty blockers. We do not have enough empirical evidence to know if terminating these drugs will automatically lead to a natural resumption of puberty.

Scientific research has noted that side effects of puberty suppression hormones can lead to arrested bone growth, decreased bone accretion, can prevent full organization and maturation of the brain, cause sterility, coronary/cardiovascular disease, elevated blood pressure and lead to breast cancer. Hey, it is worth it for inclusion, right?

That’s a horrible set of risks to put on a child who might potentially grow out of gender dysphoria. That child’s life could be irrevocably ruined for the sake of ideology determined by those who shouldn’t be in a position to enforce such directives.

The Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom saw a 2,000% increase in referrals over seven years—from 94 children in 2009/2010 to 1,986 in 2016/2017. Is this a case of creating a market to allow people to file for  gender dysphoria? Note this is not to cast aspersions on those who may properly suffer from the condition.

Hruz, Mayer, and McHugh wrote in a Supreme Court brief filed in the Gavin Grimm case that most-cited studies conclude most children with gender dysphoria come to embrace their birth sex but caution hormone therapy often solidifies a child’s gender dysphoria.

800 children in the UK aged as young as 10 are taking puberty blockers. Are we buying time or merely arresting development? The risks seem more like a concerted  push for institutionalized child abuse.

Ultimately who is the arbiter to determine between whether a child might be confused or properly gender dysphoric? Get it wrong and that life might be irreparably damaged. But hey, as long as it was done for the sake of progressive goals, such sacrifices are all in the name of diversity, no?