12 August 2007

money changes everything

P2B = Medium. Would quite like to have a rant about a few things, but do I want to commit the time? If I could type more quickly, I'd get it done.

First, here are some
brain-teasers that I'm sure some readers will enjoy. Found via here where, if you linger, you''ll find lots of funny stuff.

The continuing tale of the water tank. I spent lots of energy yesterday trying to wrestle the old lattice into place to re-make the fence. Kind of like getting an octopus to lie straight, I imagine. Eventually gave up and went for using a stack of old fence palings. It looks a bit dodgy but with a coat of paint and the passage of time it'll be OK. No rain yet of course.

I was most taken with
this column by Canberra Times economic columnist Peter Martin. Of course I'd be taken with it, because it aligns with some of my own prejudices (I wouldn't try to characterise my prejudices as thinking). While I am forever ranting about economic rationalism and the Washington Consensus and who knows what else, it is more fundamentally the power that economics has over the rest of life that annoys me most. Not being an historian and certainly not an historian of economic thought, I imagine it's unlikely that this is a new development. Even if Bill Clinton said "it's the economy, stupid."

Treasuries of course need to safeguard public spending - we don't need to look too far afield to find examples of inappropriate spending by desperate politicians. But the whole system is distorted, the bottom line has far too much sway. So I was kind of relieved to see that Productivity Commission staff are being exposed to some ideas that might get them thinking about things in different ways. Even if, at the same time, Catallaxy reports that Tasmanian Treasury people have been bludgeoned with the 'Austrian school' that Catallaxians are always banging on about.

Note that, utterly subconsciously, I've differentiated my views about 'good' economics and economics of which I disapprove by use of language? Didn't even have to think about it. Not very helpful to mutual understanding, eh?

It wouldn't be a VVB column without a reference to our superhuman PM, would it? Somewhere today I read that Howard's introduction of the permanent campaign to Australia's body politic may be counting against him. Good. I've mentioned a couple of times that I thought purely political advertising was limited to the actual campaign period after writs have been called. Evidently not from what we've seen on the TV recently but bloody hell I wish it was. Pure political ads are lowest common denominator information - they tell you absolutely nothing but seek to get you stirred up about some potential 'enemy'.

That's a very negative thought to finish up on, so I'll just remind myself that in a couple of weeks I'll be at a party with my trusty guitar and another opportunity to make people feel good. I haven't been practising very much, certainly I haven't been keeping the older repertoire up to date but I got some very positive, unsolicited feedback during the week that my very amateurish efforts are in fact appreciated, so I'll be giving it 150%. It's a buzz, you can bet on that.

Finally, this is a semi-anonymous blog (I'm starting to think it should have been totally anonymous but will have to pay the price now for that decision). So here's a semi-anonymous photo of yer 'umble correspondent. Because it's not anonymous, I can't relate the story of dinner last night with some of our neighbours. Especially as they paid, as thanks for us looking after their place when they go away. We'd do that anyway. No, more to do with... enough. Not necessary at all.

Bonsoir, mes petits.

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