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Newstart Expenses

Stuff that cost more than the Newstart allowance:

In 2016 former prime minister John Howard claimed the equivalent of 21.5 years’ worth of Newstart allowance in expenses

Tony Abbott claimed more than 37 years’ worth

Peter Dutton claimed more than 55 years’ worth

Scott Morrison claimed more than 61 years’ worth

Malcolm Turnbull claimed more than 105 years’ worth

Julie Bishop claimed nearly 113 years’ worth

According to the Federal Budget, the cost of maintaining our 226 Federal MPs in 2015/16 was 36,120 years’ worth of Newstart allowance

Justified Resistance

Resistance is justified when Palestine is occupied.

This is the story of Ahed Tamimi, a 16 year old Palestinian girl, who kicked and punched an Israeli soldier who raided her home armed with bulletproof vests and assault rifles as tall as her.

Let me be clear for those who may misconstrue what I am saying: I do not believe in war against Israel. I believe in boycotts, divestments, and sanctions - and anything else that clogs the occupation's gears.

I believe in non-violent civil disobedience.

Outed as a puppet

Sam Dastyari has just resigned as an Aussie senator. He's been outed as a puppet for Chinese donors.

Meanwhile, Donald J. Trump's connection to Russia are being unpacked. Every day brings a worse headline.

But what about Israeli influence in our democracy?

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, victims in need of government aid had to sign a paper verifying "that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement."

Land Value Tax and Basic Income Already Exist

People often object to land value tax because they think it will increase their taxes. However, for most working class folks, your taxes would actually go down. In reality, you probably already pay land value tax. Most of us pay a land value tax to a landlord in the form of rent or to a bank in the form of mortgage payments. This "tax" in the form of rent allows landlords and capitalists (mortgage holders) to survive and thrive without having to actually work for a living like the rest of us.

Cruelty for Cruelty's Sake

This is the form parents held in detention on Nauru were required to sign if they wanted to be considered for the US swap. It effectively requires them to permanently give up their children.

This isn't protecting our borders, upholding government policy or sending a strong message. It is cruelty for cruelty's sake.

Meanwhile in Melbourne

On Friday I posted a picture of a man who appeared to have been beaten by police at a rally in Melbourne against the treatment of detainees on Manus Island.

At the time my understanding was that the man had intervened when a group of men attacked a speaker at the rally, and was subsequently beaten and arrested by police.

Actually he was beaten and arrested for trying to stop the police taking away another man who intervened when the speaker was attacked.

I didn't know that then.

Perfect Competition and Equilibrium

Pyotr Malatesta

Only under conditions of perfect competition, are prices an outcome of equilibrium between supply and demand, and therefore are a measure of efficiency, given an assumed distribution of property.

Since real markets never conform to conditions of perfect competition, there is no reason to think that economies are ever in equilibrium, nor that economies ever "tend" towards equilibrium (this "tending toward equilibrium" is a conceptual confusion, like "always tending towards pregnancy, without ever being pregnant" being the same as "never pregnant" ).

Match Report: Australia V Prime Minister’s XI

The international cricket season kicked off last Sunday with the annual charity match between the Prime Minister's XI and the Australian XI at Manuka Oval.

This year's match will be used to raise funds for Julie Bishop's application for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Bishop has already been given a seat on the council but insists it needs more cushioning.

Mathematics of Economic Calculation

Here is a mathematical paper on the calculation problem. First though a little preamble on this. Calculation applies to both centralised and decentralised economies. In a decentralised economy the calculations are performed dynamically and inherently by the actions of the consumers themselves. In a centralised economy the calculations must be performed by central planners. Mises and Hayek hypothesised that the latter is impossible. Just to clarify that point, calculation was only thought to be unsolvable for a centrally planned economy.

AnCaps Against Arsehole Behaviour

A significant problem in AnCap thinking I believe is what they believe is a strength - their deontological moral principles. It leads them to accepting positions which most normal people would consider monstrous because they don't have a grounding in reality and indeed, they explicitly reject it.

If a person had a skin bacteria that could wipe out HIV/AIDS many AnCaps would complete object to the person being "forced" to have a small scraping from their finger - despite the fact that it would save over 1.5 million people per annum.

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