>It is complete insanity for the Coalition to be contemplating an emissions trading scheme or doing deals with Labor on what it is seeking to implement.
MALCOLM Turnbull has sought to regain the initiative in the political tussle over emissions trading, presenting the Rudd government with a “log of claims” for immediate negotiations on the controversial Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
After a week of damaging internal dissent on whether and when the Coalition would negotiate with the government over the scheme setting up a market in carbon emissions, Mr Turnbull held a telephone hook-up of his front bench yesterday and secured agreement to nine conditions.
If accepted by the government, the conditions would offer extra compensation to coalminers, electricity generators and possibly other heavy industries such as steel, aluminium and cement. And farmers would pay nothing but possibly make money from their emission reduction efforts.
But Climate Change Minister Penny Wong dismissed the Opposition Leader’s “shopping list” last night and said he should get back to her with detailed amendments that were supported by his deeply divided partyroom.
The Coalition demands include agreement that: “An Australian emissions trading scheme should offer no less protection for jobs, small business and industry than an American ETS.”
“To that end there must be an effective mechanism, such as a regular review by the Productivity Commission or a similar expert independent body, to ensure that the Australian ETS does not materially disadvantage Australian industries and workers relative to American industries and workers,” the Coalition statement says.
Mr Turnbull said he was “putting the ball back into Kevin Rudd’s court”.
“We will negotiate with him at any time, but if he presents the bill in its current form we will vote against it,” Mr Turnbull told The Weekend Australian.
“This is our log of claims, to put it in trade union language. The question now is whether Kevin Rudd wants to engage with us or whether he wants to play politics.”
Mr Turnbull — who has long sought to persuade his party that a negotiated emissions trading settlement was in its policy and political interests — said if the government accepted the “principles” he would seek, and was “confident of obtaining”, the support of his partyroom for the bill. Several of the “principles” support the stance of industries such as coal and power generation in crucial negotiations over the scheme, which remain unresolved despite the fact that it is due to be voted on in the Senate on August 13.
The Business Council of Australia welcomed the Opposition Leader’s statement as the “basis for a bipartisan approach” and the Minerals Council of Australia said it “provided a solid basis for negotiations”.
But Senator Wong said: “Mr Turnbull must now turn his shopping list into real amendments to the government’s climate change legislation — amendments that are backed by his partyroom.”
Nobody trusts a green conservative and it shows how ‘wet’ Turnbull is that he would seek to either gain political mileage or minimise damage by embracing an economy wrecking ETS.
The science is eventually going to catch up with public opinion as the claims of AGW proponents fall by the wayside and are replaced with much stronger scientific hypotheses, which will leave the Coalition on the wrong side of history along with Labor, the Greens and environmental groups. Senator Steve Fielding has worked out the correct strategy – get the government to explain why CO2 is not driving temperatures up as predicted by the 20+ climate models relied upon by the IPCC.
The Coalition cannot win this game.
The public understands that the Coalition is simply putting forward conditions that the government will never agree to in a pathetic attempt to build its green credentials.
The emissions trading scheme is anti-jobs.
It is anti-standard of living.
It is anti-science. I doubt anyone in parliament other than Dennis Jensen, who the Liberals have disracefully replaced as Member for Tangey, have even read the full IPCC Fourth Assessment Report or the Summary for Policymakers let alone have the wit to understand how far from scientific reality its predictions really are.
It is anti-reason. In the one in a billion scenario where the science turns out to be correct the policy response is still way over the top.
It is pro-big government.
It is anti-Australia.
It is antithetical to everything the Coalition purports to stand for.
And there is not one vote in it for them.
We currently have the least competent, biggest spending government since the disaster presided over by Gough Whitlam.
When the Coalition can’t even manage to be seen as a credible opposition given that fact then it really does seem to be a race to the bottom.
I will never, ever vote for the Coalition while Malcolm Turnbull, or any of his supporters, lead the party or if they continue to endorse an emissions trading scheme.
I suggest you withdraw your support for the party, as well, while they take such an unprincipled position on Australia’s future wellbeing.
>Many commentators on the state of the US economy are telling us that the recession is basically over and that while there are still a few jobs to be lost it’s all going to turn out alright shortly, the so-called green shoots are taking bloom so just wait and see.
These are the same economic commentators who didn’t see the mess coming in the first place and they’re going to be shown to be wrong again.
How does Uncle Jack know this?
Because he seems to have a better understanding of what makes up a strong economy than these supposed experts.
How does an economy grow?
People and companies make investments in new opportunities. Some of them succeed and some fail.
In order to make investments people and companies must have savings or earnings.
So how are companies’ earnings going?
From Chart of the day:
Today, several companies (i.e. Ford, eBay and AT&T) reported better than expected earnings and as a result the stock market rallied on the news. While some companies have reported better than expected earnings for Q2 2009, others have struggled. Today’s chart provides some perspective on the current earnings environment by focusing on 12-month, as reported S&P 500 earnings. Today’s chart illustrates how earnings are expected (38% of S&P 500 companies have reported for Q2 2009) to have declined over 98% since peaking in Q3 2007, making this by far the largest decline on record (the data goes back to 1936). In fact, real earnings have dropped to a record low and if current estimates hold, Q3 2009 will see the first 12-month period during which S&P 500 earnings are negative.
Can someone please explain to me how the economy is going to pick up in 2010 when earnings have plummeted to their lowest level ever?
People are pointing to the improvement in housing approvals as proof the economy has turned.
All that is happening is that the bubble is being reinflated and the next time it pops it’s going to be even worse than the first time around.
People are taking advantage of fantastically low interest rates and a heap of stimulus-injected cash washing around in the financial system.
Does anyone remember that the housing market is massively over supplied?
That’s one of the reasons things collapsed in the first place.
When commercial real estate loans reset there’s going to be another major market collapse. This is already locked in and can’t be avoided.
Far from being a recovery, 2010 will be even worse than what has gone before.
>This has to be close to my favourite news story ever.
A DRIVER has been clocked speeding at 200km/h while using his mobile phone – but that’s not all he did.
For those who still live in the 20th century 200km/h is 120mph. And what else could he have done? Mooned the speed camera? Given the cops the two finger salute? Sung Nessun Dorma off key? The possibilities are endless…
When the police caught up with the Queensland driver, they found that none of his four passengers was wearing a seat belt.
That is mind boggling. No seatbelts? If you’re going to punt down the road at high speed and you happen to have an accident then the wearing of seatbelts might be somewhat academic but if it were me then I’d be buckled up just to have a fighting chance.
So what manner of vehicle did the police pull over? There were four passengers so it was probably some kind of high powered sedan. Right?
A NSW police highway patrol first spotted the 28-year-old’s minivan swerve across the southbound carriageway of the Hume Highway, north west of Canberra.
I’m surprised they could get it up to such a speed. What sort of minivan was it?
A Kia Carnival, apparently.
Seems just the vehicle to be hooning around in. Got to be a chick magnet. Must have some redeeming feature, then, such as quality?
In the 2007 reliability report published by TÜV, 1st generation (1999-2005) of Kia Carnival placed 113th out of 113 in the 2 to 3-year-old cars category, with a defect rate of 25.1%.In the 2008 TÜV report, 1st generation (1999-2005) of Kia Carnival placed 116th out of 116 in the same category, with a defect rate of 19.70%, and also placed 111th out of 111 in the 4 to 5-year-old cars category, with a defect rate of 27.60%.
Oh. Read on.
The driver was initially clocked at 179km/h by a stationary speed gun but accelerated when the police gave chase.
What sort of person, driving a Korean POS with four passengers, accelerates when a police car chases him? That is completely lunatic. What was he thinking?
“Police immediately began to follow the car along the highway,” a police statement said.
“A further speed check showed the car reached 198km/h.
And the coup de grace…
“As they followed the car the driver swerved between lanes while talking on a mobile phone.”
Classic stuff. How many drugs had he taken?
The driver, from Urangan, in Queensland’s South Burnett region, will appear at Gundagai court on September 7 charged with speeding and other driving offences.
Gundagai is famous for its dog on the tuckerbox…
…the driver should probably visit the tourist attraction before heading to court. He might not be able to see it for quite a few months afterwards.
>Comedian George Carlin was never one to toe the politically correct line, which he demonstrates in spades in this terrific piece in which he takes aim at the type of people who take themselves oh so seriously because they drive a Prius, wash infrequently to save water and, basically, ‘care’ so much about the planet that they curl up into the foetal position and cry themselves to sleep every night because of the horror and devestation of planetary destruction.
The reality is that they simply imagine this to be the case and react to their imagination rather than dealing with the facts.
Either that or they’re with Al Gore, who is trying to convince the world to introduce emissions trading schemes so that he can increase the profits of his carbon offsets company.
Here’s Carlin. There’s some biting stuff in there.
>Not that they’d admit it but the government got a huge gift from the Fair Pay Commission with its decision to maintain the minimum wage rate at $544 per week.
The Australian Fair Pay Commission has decided not to raise the minimum wage rate above its current level of just under $544 a week, citing the need to halt further job losses.
Around 1.3 million workers are affected by the commission’s decision, which has disappointed unions who had been pushing for a $21 a week rise.
The wage freeze, which leaves the hourly rate at $14.31 has also not pleased the Federal Government.
Announcing the decision in Melbourne today, commission chair Professor Ian Harper said it was one of the most difficult the commission had to make.
But he said the move against any wage increase was taken to stem the tide of further job losses, with forecasts showing that unemployment will hit 8.5 per cent next year.
“In the current environment, the ability of employers to offer sufficient work has been curtailed and there is a heightened risk that an increase in minimum wages would further reduce employment and working hours,” he said.
“This year’s wage setting decision is primarily intended to protect jobs, and importantly, support a stronger recovery in employment as the economy picks up.”
Increasing the effective minimum wage (the real cost of hiring someone and paying the minimum rate including on costs), which the union’s $21 per week claim would have done, can have no other consequence than to reduce employment.
At a time when unemployment is increasing – the ANZ bank’s jobs index is down 50% in just 6 months – and the effects of the government’s ridiculous cash handout wear off it would be completely irresponsible to grant a minimum wage increase.
As Shawn Ritenour wrote for mises.org in 2004:
We have already seen that every effective minimum wage will lead to some amount of unemployment. It should surprise no one that helping to usher the lowest skilled workers out of a job does not make them more wealthy. The effect is just the opposite of what apologists for the minimum wage assert. People who are poor because they have few employment options are not made better off by reducing what options they have. As you remove employment possibilities for those harmed the most by raises in the minimum wage, their incomes fall, and they will tend to become more poor, not less.
The bad news does not stop here, however. Those who are either laid-off or not hired to begin with are not shunned by employers because they are chock full of employable characteristics. They are left without work, precisely because they do not have the skills that allow them to contribute more to the firm and thereby earn a higher wage.
Not only does the minimum wage harm the poorest of the working poor immediately, but it also sets them on a lower income trajectory over their lifetime. Many of the skills making them attractive to employers in the future are those disciplines learned on the job. If the minimum wage is set above the market wage, it will take the lowest skilled workers longer to find employment initially. This does not help them in the least. They are hurt by the minimum wage and that hurt takes awhile to go away. Because it takes longer for them to land their first job, they are delayed in developing the work ethic and job skills that make them more attractive to present and future employers. The poor get poorer, not because the minimum wage is too low, but because it is above their market wage.
The deputy prime minister, Julia Gillard, followed the company line:
Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard has described the decision as disappointing.
“In our submissions we asked the Australian Fair Pay Commission to award a considered pay rise to low-income Australians who rely on a federal minimum wage, we did say we didn’t want to see real wages for those low-income Australians cut,” she said.
“Obviously the Fair Pay Commission has determined a different path and we do view that as disappointing.”
The Fair Pay Commission was a part of the previous Howard government’s Work Choices program that aimed to increase flexibility and productivity in the market. In its last act before being replaced by the Labor government’s new commission it has gifted the government a lower unemployment rate in 6 months than would have otherwise been the case. Given that there’s a lot of talk about an early election it was important for the government to ensure no rise in the minimum wage rate and, consequently, unemployment.
Labor can blame the instrument of the previous government while the unions can do the same. It’s a perfect situation for them.
Naturally, there are nitwits in the media who don’t understand the real impact of minimum wages on employment, as evidenced by this heart-wrenching article by Catherine Best in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Loy Kong is a typical low-income earner.
She works full time at a Melbourne blinds factory for $14.31 an hour.
By the time she pays the mortgage, bills and costs associated with raising two teenagers there is not much left.
“Because we work hard, we should get more money, good money … because it’s getting very hard.”
Ms Kong is one of 1.3 million Australians who learned on Tuesday their pay packets will not be any thicker this year.
She will be remain on a weekly income of $543.78 until at least January, when Fair Work Australia reviews the minimum wage.
“It’s very bad news for us and our life’s going to be very hard because we have a mortgage to pay and children to send to school,” she said.
Ms Kong has worked for the factory at Bayswater, in Melbourne’s southeast, for seven years.
She has had no luck finding a higher paid job and cannot quit because the mortgage has to be paid.
Ms Kong did not have the skills over the last 7 years – despite the strongest employment market in Australia’s history – to gain a better paying job.
Is that due to 1) minimum wage rates being too high, 2) minimum wage being too low, or 3) her lack of skills that would ensure her a better job?
Does she understand that an increase in the minimum wage may actually see her out of a job because her skills can no longer be supported at that wage level?
The reality is that the vast majority of minimum wage earners are the tertiary wage earner in a household. i.e. their parents earn more than they do.
Within just one year nearly everyone who started on the minimum wage will be earning more than it.
When I was teenager and at university I worked for minimum wage. My parents both worked and I was the tertiary wage earner in the house.
Most of you people reading this were in similar situations.
How many of you still earn minimum wage?
The statist view that unions and others put forward about the effect of minimum wage on families is not borne out by reality.
It’s good rhetoric, though, and it works politically, which is why immigrant and youth unemployment is so high in all countries that have a minimum wage system.
>The amount of drivel being propagated by those opposed to freedom and democracy in the world about what has happened in Honduras should astonish me but given the Western mainstream media’s genuflecting to every anti-US, anti-freedom, tinpot dictator/autocrat it doesn’t.
- Honduras suffered under a military dictatorship for two decades before a return to democracy and, thus, their constitution has a strict one term limit for its Presidents.
- Manuel Zelaya was in the last year of his 4 year term and wanted to amend the constitution to allow him to stand again via a referendum.
- The President does not have the power under the constitution to call a referendum, only Congress can do that.
- Zelaya called a referendum, which the Honduras Supreme Court then declared illegal.
- Zelaya said he didn’t care for the Court’s opinion and told the head of the military to oversee the referendum by helping to pass out ballots and make sure people voted.
- The head of the military had advice from the Supreme Court that the referendum was illegal and therefore told Zelaya he wouldn’t help.
- Zelaya then fired the head of the military.
- The Supreme Court instructed Zelaya to reinstate the head of the military, which he refused to do.
- Zelaya proceeded with the referendum and organised for a violent mob of supporters to storm the military base where the ballots were being held. The ballots had been printed in, and shipped in from, Venezuela.
- On Thursday evening Zelaya supporters started distributing the ballots and on Sunday the referendum went ahead.
- The Supreme Court then order the military to arrest Zelaya, which they did and then put him on a plane to Costa Rica.
Manuel Zelaya is a wannabe Latin American autocrat in the style of Morales and Chavez. He was immensely unpopular in Honduras and all sides of poltics – including his own party, which was very vocal in its opposition to his plan – wanted him removed.
Even the prominent Honduran Cardinal, Oscar Andres Rodriguez, once considered a strong contender for Pope following the death of John Paul II, lined up against Zelaya and told him not to come back.
The Honduran cardinal and main leader of the Honduran Catholic church, Oscar Andres Rodriguez, Saturday urged ousted President Manuel Zelaya not to come back to Honduras. In a televised speech, Rodriguez warned that the return of Zelaya could lead to a blood bath. “I know you love and respect life, at this moment only a Honduran citizen has died, please meditate your decision, because later it could be too late,” he said. He also urged the Organization of American States (OAS) to investigate all the “illegal deeds” that happened during the rule of Zelaya.
Given that the Catholic Church in Latin America is somewhere to the left of Joe Stalin and regularly supports its undemocratic leaders it shows exactly how unpopular Zelaya had become. The OAS has just suspended Honduras and allowed Cuba to take the first steps back to readmission, which just goes to show how corrupt it is.
Zelaya was operating under the ‘Chavesmo’ model of entrenching oneself in the leadership position in Latin America, namely: stand on a populist platform in order to get elected and then use the rule of law and mob violence to intimidate your rivals, and the population, into submission. It was strongly felt by the Supreme Court and Congress that to arrest Zelaya and place him in jail would cause a great deal of violence in the streets as his supporters, backed by Hugo Chavez, would create trouble. Therefore the decision was taken to exile him.
Costa Rica accepted Zelaya and its president allowed him to be interviewed on TV so he could whine about being the democratically elected president and having been overthrown in a military coup et blah.
In terms of simply impeaching Zelaya, the constitution does not have a provision for impeachment unless the president has been found guily of committing a crime. That would require arrest, trial and punishment, which would have the same violent result mentioned previously, but for longer.
Here’s Manuel Zelaya with two of his good friends, Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez.
And here’s President Obama being extra friendly with Hugo Chavez.
Zelaya tried, dramatically, to fly back into Honduras but unfortunately for him protestors flocked the airport and the military placed vehicles on the runway to stop him from landing.
So who was on the plane with Zelaya?
Two journalists from Venezuela’s Telesur network and, get this, U.N. General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, a leftist Nicaraguan priest and former foreign minister.
If that doesn’t show how deeply involved in destabilising Honduras Hugo Chavez is and what a corrupt, feckless organisation the U.N. is then nothing will.
If you want to check out how loopy the left is these days then check out the comments on the article at HuffPo. Free Tibet. Damn Honduras.
We are all Hondurans now.
>Not content with appointing the unbelievably incompetent Hans Blix to head the IAEA and then following up with his even less competent but equally feckless successor Mohamed ElBaradei they’ve done it again and appointed Japan’s Yukiya Amano, a man whose first statement is that there’s no sign that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.
The world’s top nuclear watchdog chose Japan’s Yukiya Amano as its next head on Thursday — and he touched on the devastation U.S. atom bombs wreaked on his country in pledging to do his utmost to prevent the spread of nuclear arms.
The decision by the 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency board ended a tug of war on who should succeed Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who saw his agency vaulted into prominence during a high-profile 12-year tenure.
North Korea left the nonproliferation fold to develop a nuclear weapons program on ElBaradei’s watch and his agency later launched inconclusive probes on suspicions that those to nations were interested in developing nuclear weapons.
ElBaradei’s activist approach to his job often rankled with Washington — and it had a strong preference for Amano, seen by the U.S. as a technocrat amenable to pursuing a hard line on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
So how has that worked out for the US?
The incoming head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said on Friday he did not see any hard evidence that Iran was trying to gain the ability to develop nuclear weapons.
“I don’t see any evidence in IAEA official documents about this,” Yukiya Amano told Reuters in his first direct comment on Iran’s nuclear program since his election, when asked whether he believed Iran was seeking a nuclear weapons capability.
There really must be something in the water at the UN. How is Ahmadinejad going to uphold his promise to wipe Israel off the map without nuclear weapons?
Current IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei told the BBC last month it was his “gut feeling” that Iran was seeking the ability to produce nuclear arms, if it desired, as an “insurance policy” against perceived threats from neighboring countries or the United States.
What a piece of crap ElBaradei really is.
He knows full well that Iran’s intentions are not to provide insurance against attack but to allow it to expand its influence in the region.
We seem to be living in an age where unserious people are calling the shots.