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Monopoly Measurements

In Intermediate Public Economics by Hindriks and Myles (2004) there is a comparison chart of the market concentration in US manufacturing (1987) using the 4-firm concentration ratio and the Herfindahl index (p227). I am thinking of a deviation from perfect competition that the 4-firm concentration ratio can illustration. In perfect competition, the proportion of a market that a firm would control would be equal to the 1/n, where n = the number of firms in the market. Thus in Laundry Manufacturing, there are 11 firms and the 4-firm concentration is 0.93, which looks pretty bad.

Options for Health-Care Reform

Single-Payer isn’t the only possible healthcare reform. My preferred solution would be something like this: (1) use tax incentives to encourage doctor’s offices to switch to a direct primary care model, which would greatly reduce cost [i.e.

Rawls and Hayek

I'm starting to really like John Rawls. His idea of "property-owning democracy" (republican distributism) as the only just alternative to socialism is quite interesting.

Constructive Conservatism

This is an excellent work. A series of 4 short articles written by Noel Skelton in 1923/1924.

This shows a living conservatism that evolved with the times, making improvements upon standard traditional conservatism while retaining its traditional values. First and foremost, Skelter embraced universal suffrage and democracy, making him a partisan of modern liberal democracy. Traditional conservatives did not tend to be too fond of democracy, remaining either neutral or skeptical of democracy. Skelter fully embraced republicanism as a conservative.

Economically Illiterate Social Democrats and Liberals

Today's headlines demonstrate that liberals and social democrats can also be economically illiterate idiots. Two states just passed laws to double their minimum wage. Doubling the minimum wage overnight is going to cause a shock to the system and cause tons of people to be displaced. Also, we might expect to see the absurdity of two-way migration, as jobs leave as companies move to states where they can pay lower wages and workers migrate to seek higher wages in these states (but can't find jobs after moving).

Choose your own adventure

This week the government extended question time to protect its non-existent control over parliament, instead of voting for a Royal Commission into the very real abuse of people in disability care.

Also this week the government continued its scare campaign about the non-existent risk of retirees losing their franking credits while announcing plans to make further cuts to penalty rates, adding to the very real problem of slowing wage growth.

That meme is bunk

A poster submitted the following meme with this claim:

"Every recession since the 1930's has started under a Democrat congressional majority. Democrats' tax-and-spend approach, regulating businesses to death, suing them to death, mandating them to death, fining them to death... Not rocket science."

I couldn't help but notice that the 2001 one is incorrect for starters.

The 107th Congress has a Republican controlled House and the Democrats controlled the Senate until Jan 20, 2009. After which it was Republican House and Senate control.

ISIS and the Kurd's "Go Slow"

ISIS has more or less lost its last remaining pocket of territory in Syria. There are a few patches of desert in regime-held areas where they still operate, and they maintain an extensive traditional cell-based terrorist network, but this is basically the end of them as a ruling body.

Five steps for coping when the boats start arriving

1. Don't panic...

No one in Australia has lost their home to boat people since colonialism ended.

2. Try not to forget...

The destruction of the Murray-Darling, "once in a lifetime" extreme weather events occuring on a regular basis, the government's love affair with coal, and all the other environmental issues this government refuses to acknowledge, pose a far greater threat to Australia's security than all the asylum seeker boats put together.

3. Spare a thought...

Choose Your Corruption: Banks and Rivers

There are currently two unbelievably bad matters of corruption and mismanagement facing Australia that have been subject to a Royal Commission in the past week. The first was into the banking and finance sector, and various cover-ups and predatory activities. The Federal government, on no less than twenty-three occasions, blocked motions to have an investigation. When Commissioner Hayne handed down his report, the incumbent treasurer (my local member) tried to turn it into a photo opportunity.

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