Oz Blog News Commentary

Articles from John Quiggin

Killing the zombies

May 10, 2017 - 20:38 -- Admin

Among the measures in last night’s budget was the decision to kill off, once and for all, more than $10 billion of “zombie measures”. These cuts proposed in Joe Hockey’s disastrous 2014 Budget, rejected by the Senate, but kept on the books as proposed savings until now.

Drones (the good kind)

May 8, 2017 - 16:19 -- Admin

It’s now pretty clear that renewables can replace fossil fuels in their main uses, electricity generation and land transport, at a very modest cost or, as appears to be the case for electricity, with a cost saving. But that still leaves room for doubt over whether the economy can be fully decarbonized in time to hold CO2 concentrations to 450 ppm or below.

Heckling a criminal offence in the US? (crosspost from Crooked Timber)

May 7, 2017 - 14:12 -- Admin

In response to discussions about freedom of speech, particularly at university campuses, I started thinking about the question of heckling a speaker, and to what extent this is, or ought to be, protected by advocates of freedom of speech. I assumed that the correct formulation (both legally in the US context and in terms of what is appropriate) is the one attributed to Nat Hentoff

Debt and taxes

May 4, 2017 - 17:28 -- Admin

To misquote Benjamin Franklin and others, the only certainties in economic life are debt and taxes. Among the themes of political struggle, fights over debt (demands from creditors to be paid in the terms they expect, and from debtors to be relieved from unfair burdens) and taxes (who should pay them and how should the resulting revenue be spent) have always been central.

My submission to the government’s Climate Change Review

May 2, 2017 - 14:12 -- Admin

Submission’s to the government’s review of climate change policy close today (there’s still time to send one to, even if it’s just “Stop Adani”). I got around to it at the last moment. It’s obvious to everyone now, including the government, that energy and climate policy are in a complete mess. So, there must be some chance of a radical change, possibly even one for the better.