‘BAD‘ INVESTMENTS REVISITED: $1 TRILLION ON DEFENCE???

Recently I wrote about ‘bad’ investments (‘Budgets, deficits and good and bad investments’). Yesterday the government announced a ‘commitment’ to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP (who said this was a good number? What is the ‘ right’ percentage for education, or health??), to build or buy 12 submarines ($150 billion!) and that defence spending would reach $1 trillion (yes that’s right) in 20 years (whenever that is).

These are classic examples of ‘ bad’ investments and also classic examples of poor information – a adding years of expenditure to get an attractive communications number that is, essentially, meaningless – do we add any other expenditure category for 20 years? And what chance is there that governments will adhere to these ‘decisions’ over the next 20 years without change? Answer:  None.Read More »

SENATE VOTING REFORM AND DEMOCRACY

Oh dear! On the one hand, I believe that, for more representative democracy, Senate voting should be reformed, so that it better represents proportionally the wishes of voters.  On the other hand, I’ve loved the free thinking, compromises and constructive solutions proposed by the wild collection of independent senators we currently have, few of whom should ever have been elected and few of whom will survive the proposed voting reform.  I like the crazy bunch of non-major party senators, even though they are unrepresentative.  They have stopped a lot of stupid government proposals (from both major parties).Read More »