Thursday, April 13, 2006

Is there really an alternative to price gouging?

The howls from people complaining about higher petrol prices around easter are getting very annoying. If there is an increased demand prices will go up. The alternatives may always involve either queues, rationing, or high and/or highly unpredictable public finance cost. The only exception is when there is supply side collusion where there are no obvious other supply/demand constraints. Why is there not an outcry with highly fluctuating fruit/vege prices? Is anyone complaining about the extremely high profits being made by some lucky banana farmers in Mareeba?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Live by the sword - go ahead

The US seems to have countered Iran's policy of "We're not building any nuclear bombs" with "Oh, we're not going to attack with nuclear bunker-buster bombs". Will the bad cop get results where the good cop of Europe etc. didn't? It is nice to have both cops fully operational for once. This is a real upping of the ante one way or another.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Invisible argument

So, the new IR laws went active over the last few weeks, to the howls of employee advocacy groups everywhere. Lo and behold, unemployment rates hit *30 YEAR LOWS*. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!! I cannot believe the pace at which competing businesses to mine switched from a policy of "import where possible" to "employ where possible", citing reduced fears of employing people. What is more important? Individual instances of employee disgruntlement (be it the number of them), or the number of people having jobs that want jobs. Nobody is counting the former, just blaming them on the laws, and the latter is finding new highs. Unemployment rate of 5% was laughed at just a few years ago. Latest statistics should be mindblowing if anybody was actually looking at them rather than saying - Statistics always lie - or something like that.