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Spiny Norman
24-11-2007, 10:38 AM
For whoever wins the election today, I think we ought to nominate the starting points for the next term, things like:

Reserve Bank interest rate: 6.5%
Unemployment rate: 4.3%
Budget surplus/deficit (final year of previous term): ???
Inflation rate (annually adjusted, from previous quarter): ???
Trade surplus/deficit (annual figure):

and so on. If I've got any of those numbers above wrong, feel free to post corrections.

Everyone can post the measurements they think are most important. Then we can dig this thread out of mothballs from time to time, maybe once/year, definitely before the next election, to see how the winner performed.

Kevin Bonham
24-11-2007, 11:49 PM
Performance compared to that of other similar nations would be more meaningful, to strain out global factors.

My preferred metric, if there were any stats on it, would be number of times the Prime Minister falsely claims to represent the views of all Australians.

Capablanca-Fan
24-11-2007, 11:54 PM
My preferred metric, if there were any stats on it, would be number of times the Prime Minister falsely claims to represent the views of all Australians.
He's made a start in his victory speech going on about "consensus", which really means agreeing with HIM.

eclectic
24-11-2007, 11:55 PM
please ... not that m word :rolleyes:

Desmond
25-11-2007, 12:02 AM
<SNIP>metric<SNIP>I hope you put your 20c in the tin ;)

Kevin Bonham
25-11-2007, 12:04 AM
He's made a start in his victory speech going on about "consensus", which really means agreeing with HIM.

Of course. :lol: This is an ancient Labor tradition first started by Bob Hawke. I once saw consensus (as used by Hawke) defined as follows:

consensus: a system where the opinion of everybody disagreeing with the consensus-taker is ignored

snowyriverman
25-11-2007, 09:29 AM
For whoever wins the election today, I think we ought to nominate the starting points for the next term, things like:

Reserve Bank interest rate: 6.5%
Unemployment rate: 4.3%
Budget surplus/deficit (final year of previous term): ???
Inflation rate (annually adjusted, from previous quarter): ???
Trade surplus/deficit (annual figure):

and so on. If I've got any of those numbers above wrong, feel free to post corrections.

Everyone can post the measurements they think are most important. Then we can dig this thread out of mothballs from time to time, maybe once/year, definitely before the next election, to see how the winner performed.


I wonder whether you are agenda setting in regard to promises, with an eye to the next election.

Or should your post just be taken at face-value that you want to list measures of the econmy.
If in fact you did want to measure performance it should be relative to the promises in the ALP plaform. See an official ALP web-site.


From your list, only one gets a run. Offically the ALP promise 'deliver budegts surpluses equivalent to 1% of GDP'.

Denis_Jessop
25-11-2007, 03:20 PM
Of course. :lol: This is an ancient Labor tradition first started by Bob Hawke. I once saw consensus (as used by Hawke) defined as follows:

consensus: a system where the opinion of everybody disagreeing with the consensus-taker is ignored

I hope you are joking when you describe something as dating from Bob Hawke's time as an "ancient labor tradition". Many of the traditional features of the ALP had gone before he became PM and he got rid of most the rest.

You also do him a disservice in the reference to consensus. He held, lest people forget, several "summits" involving all sides of politics - so much so that he was criticised by Kathy White (West) as attempting to create a "corporate state" a la Mussolini which was an astute observation even if a lot of what she said was off target.

DJ

Capablanca-Fan
25-11-2007, 11:11 PM
What Rudd must beat (http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/what_rudd_must_beat/)

Here’s what Kevin Rudd has been left by the Howard Government:

Unemployment rate: 4.3 per cent
Interest rate: 6.75 per cent
Economic growth: 4.3 per cent
Stock market: 6650 points
Australian dollar: US90 cents
Surplus 2007 Budget: $10.6 billion
Growth in real net national disposable income per head over the past five years: 16 per cent

Aaron Guthrie
26-11-2007, 03:46 AM
Australian dollar: US90 centsIf you want to have the exchange rate be a measure of the governments performance, wouldn't it make more sense to use the trade-weighted index?

edit-Actually why would you want to use it at all? (Is that US90 cents good or bad?!)

Spiny Norman
26-11-2007, 06:35 AM
I wonder whether you are agenda setting in regard to promises, with an eye to the next election.
Or should your post just be taken at face-value that you want to list measures of the econmy.
When you get to know me a little better, you'll discover that I don't set an agenda and I can always be taken at face value.

Its very easy for people to forget the past. A little documentation goes a long way.

Southpaw Jim
26-11-2007, 07:59 AM
I wonder whether people are taking into account the appropriate economic lags? :hmm:

After all, the interest rate Rudd will inherit from Howard is not necessarily the current cash rate. Market economists are already factoring in at least one, and possibly two rate rises in the next 6-8 months.

Same sort of issues apply to most/all the other economic indicators suggested above. I'd suggest giving it 1-2 years before you set a baseline for Rudd ;)

BTW, including the exchange rate is a bit meaningless IMO. Plus, the exchange rate, interest rates, and the stock market are all things that are substantially outside of government influence and, therefore, a little unfair to judge a government on. In addition, Budget surpluses are irrelevant too - it is conventional wisdom to run surpluses in boom times, and deficits in recessions.

So what does that leave us? Unemployment and economic growth? Seems fair to me - but don't forget those lag effects.

Aaron Guthrie
26-11-2007, 08:16 AM
So what does that leave us? Unemployment and economic growth?And real wages? But if you think they have influence over unemployment and economic growth, why don't they have influence over interest rates?

Southpaw Jim
26-11-2007, 08:54 AM
And real wages? But if you think they have influence over unemployment and economic growth, why don't they have influence over interest rates?
Mmm, yes - maybe real wages. By what measure though? I feel that the ABS's Average Weekly Earnings measure is somewhat distorted by high salaries/wages earned by a minority of people, such as corporate execs and those earning a fortune in the mines. I struggle to believe that the "average wage" is $45-50k, but hey - I don't look closely at this kind of stuff.

BTW, I didn't say that government has no influence over interest rates. I said they're substantially outside government control. I feel that employment and economic growth generally are more susceptible to government policy than interest rates.

Spiny Norman
26-11-2007, 11:49 AM
Can anyone provide a link to a reasonably concise summary of Labor's policy commitments? The Herald Sun in Melbourne had one printed in the Sunday paper I think, but an online version would be helpful. I've spent the past half hour or so trawling through the Labor website (via their policy index), but its way too detailed for what I really need at the moment, as I can always look up the detail of items of interest later if I have a master list in summary form which shows the key policy commitments.

Aaron Guthrie
26-11-2007, 12:52 PM
Mmm, yes - maybe real wages. By what measure though?I have no idea, unfortunately.
BTW, I didn't say that government has no influence over interest rates. I said they're substantially outside government control. I feel that employment and economic growth generally are more susceptible to government policy than interest rates.But employment and economic growth are the major influences on the inflation rate (aren't they?), and the inflation rate is the major influence on the interest rate.

Also what with the low unemployment rate (nearing the natural rate?), reducing such but without causing inflation does seem to me to be a job of the government.

Spiny Norman
26-11-2007, 02:31 PM
A former Labor staffer tips a bucket on the broadband plans:
http://business.theage.com.au/labor-and-telstra-on-collision-course/20071121-1bze.html


It would seem the ALP failed to understand that the $4.7 billion was the incremental cost to Telstra of building fibre in rural areas based on its existing network infrastructure. It was not the stand-alone cost of the capital subsidy needed to develop a new network independently of Telstra. Without Telstra's co-operation, the stand-alone cost of a national FTTN network would head well north of $20 billion and the government subsidy would double.

Consequently the ALP's funding will only work with Telstra's agreement ...

Oops. That wasn't anywhere in the fine print of the policy announcement ... just explain to me again how Labor are going to convince Telstra that it will need to spend around $4B of its shareholder's funds to build something that the government will own ... :eek:

Igor_Goldenberg
26-11-2007, 03:00 PM
Can anyone provide a link to a reasonably concise summary of Labor's policy commitments?

It's easy. Go to liberal party website:D

snowyriverman
27-11-2007, 07:51 PM
Can anyone provide a link to a reasonably concise summary of Labor's policy commitments? The Herald Sun in Melbourne had one printed in the Sunday paper I think, but an online version would be helpful. I've spent the past half hour or so trawling through the Labor website (via their policy index), but its way too detailed for what I really need at the moment, as I can always look up the detail of items of interest later if I have a master list in summary form which shows the key policy commitments.
For ECONOMIC Management
according to the AGE.
Budget surplus > 1%GDP
Reserve bank to remain. Transparent board appointments.
$31B tax package
Tax rates down from 4 levels to 3 as an aspiration
Invest $4.7B in broadband to achieve to announced benchmarks. (No mention of ownership of broadband.)
Aim for full employment, aim to boost productivity, aim to tackle infrastructure and skills bottlenecks.

9 other AREAS (HEALTH, EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, IR, HOUSING, CHILD CARE, ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS AGED CARE). Are you wanting detail of these also?

snowyriverman
27-11-2007, 07:53 PM
For whoever wins the election today, I think we ought to nominate the starting points for the next term, things like:

Reserve Bank interest rate: 6.5%
Unemployment rate: 4.3%
Budget surplus/deficit (final year of previous term): ???
Inflation rate (annually adjusted, from previous quarter): ???
Trade surplus/deficit (annual figure):

and so on. If I've got any of those numbers above wrong, feel free to post corrections.

Everyone can post the measurements they think are most important. Then we can dig this thread out of mothballs from time to time, maybe once/year, definitely before the next election, to see how the winner performed.
Only the budget surplus is on the official platform.

Spiny Norman
28-11-2007, 05:26 AM
For ECONOMIC Management
according to the AGE.
Budget surplus > 1%GDP
Reserve bank to remain. Transparent board appointments.
$31B tax package
Tax rates down from 4 levels to 3 as an aspiration
Invest $4.7B in broadband to achieve to announced benchmarks. (No mention of ownership of broadband.)
Aim for full employment, aim to boost productivity, aim to tackle infrastructure and skills bottlenecks.

9 other AREAS (HEALTH, EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, IR, HOUSING, CHILD CARE, ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS AGED CARE). Are you wanting detail of these also?
That's okay, thanks ... I've got all of those. I'm writing an article which summarises the ALP policy platform and election commitments from a church and pastoral perspective (i.e. how it is likely to impact the church community). I spent most of yesterday trawling the ALP policy documents at their website and reading their announcements, so I think I'm on top of the info now.

snowyriverman
28-11-2007, 02:32 PM
That's okay, thanks ... I've got all of those. I'm writing an article which summarises the ALP policy platform and election commitments from a church and pastoral perspective (i.e. how it is likely to impact the church community). I spent most of yesterday trawling the ALP policy documents at their website and reading their announcements, so I think I'm on top of the info now.
Can I presume therefore, that where you originally typed
"Reserve Bank interest rate: 6.5%"
that you no longer will see that as a measure of the performance of the Labor Government. You realise it is under the control of the RESERVE bank. The Labor Govt has made no promises in this measure. If it goes up it is probably due to exogenous factors such as an oil-price-shock. And if it goes down Labor can claim no credit.

Spiny Norman
28-11-2007, 02:45 PM
Can I presume therefore, that where you originally typed
"Reserve Bank interest rate: 6.5%"
that you no longer will see that as a measure of the performance of the Labor Government. You realise it is under the control of the RESERVE bank.
I think it reflects general economic performance and is tied at least in some way to federal government policies. The Reserve Bank will increase interest rates, generally speaking, if the inflation rate gets out of control. This, in turn, is largely tied to money supply. There are a number of reasons why monetary supply is excessive:
-- at present, we are enjoying an economic boom, largely driven by resources, which makes people wealthier, thus they spend more (I don't attribute this to the government, other than that I hold them accountable for controlling tax cuts)
-- historically, another cause was excessive federal government spending (as evidenced by deficits, which is entirely a federal government issue)

In the same way, the unemployment rate reflects general economic performance and is tied to federal policies (even though most employees who end up unemployed are not sacked by the federal government but are sacked by their private sector employers).

I hold federal governments accountable for the economy, by and large. Liberal or Labor, makes no difference to me.

Igor_Goldenberg
29-11-2007, 09:21 AM
I think it reflects general economic performance and is tied at least in some way to federal government policies. The Reserve Bank will increase interest rates, generally speaking, if the inflation rate gets out of control. This, in turn, is largely tied to money supply. There are a number of reasons why monetary supply is excessive:
-- at present, we are enjoying an economic boom, largely driven by resources, which makes people wealthier, thus they spend more (I don't attribute this to the government, other than that I hold them accountable for controlling tax cuts)
-- historically, another cause was excessive federal government spending (as evidenced by deficits, which is entirely a federal government issue)

In the same way, the unemployment rate reflects general economic performance and is tied to federal policies (even though most employees who end up unemployed are not sacked by the federal government but are sacked by their private sector employers).

I hold federal governments accountable for the economy, by and large. Liberal or Labor, makes no difference to me.

Generally speaking, excessive government spending (not just federal, don't forget the states) contributes much more to inflation then increased private spending (which is due to lower taxes or booming economy, or both, as former usually leads to a latter).

Capablanca-Fan
29-11-2007, 11:53 AM
Generally speaking, excessive government spending (not just federal, don't forget the states) contributes much more to inflation then increased private spending (which is due to lower taxes or booming economy, or both, as former usually leads to a latter).
That's what Reagan pointed out in his debate with then President Carter (http://www.debates.org/pages/trans80b.html):


We don't have inflation because the people are living too well. We have inflation because the Government is living too well.

...

And the idea that my tax-cut proposal is inflationary: I would like to ask the President why is it inflationary to let the people keep more of their money and spend it the way that they like, and it isn't inflationary to let him take that money and spend it the way he wants?


In the same way, the unemployment rate reflects general economic performance and is tied to federal policies (even though most employees who end up unemployed are not sacked by the federal government but are sacked by their private sector employers).
Of course. There are many leftist government policies that discourage employment. The worst is the fine on employing someone called the payroll tax.

Another anti-employment policy is minimum wage law (http://www.myheritage.org/Issues/MythBusters/MinimumWage.asp), which might force an employer to pay a certain arbitrary amount, but can't force an employer to hire someone whose productivity is not yet worth this wage. These laws put a barrier mainly against young people, preventing them from working and gaining valuable experience such as punctuality, service, following instructions, enabling them to earn more. Few minimum wage workers support families on their own.

And the other main one is making it too hard for employers to get rid of dud employees. There are plenty of times when even a thieving employee won an unfair dismissal case. All this means is that an employer is more reluctant to hire new staff, if there is every possibility of being stuck with them. OK, thanx to Labor/Union demagogery, Howard's visionary Work Choices plan was rejected by the voters. The best thing the Libs can do now is let Labor have its way and repeal it (since they can't stop it anyway after June), and when unemployment rises significantly, say "told you so". And make sure the sound economics behind Work Choices is properly explained this time!

Aaron Guthrie
06-12-2007, 06:24 PM
Also what with the low unemployment rate (nearing the natural rate?), reducing such but without causing inflation does seem to me to be a job of the government.This is incorrect (to what I think), I prefer "if such is reduced then ensuring that such doesn't cause inflation is a job of the government".

Capablanca-Fan
08-12-2007, 02:27 PM
In the Australian, Wayne Swan, to his credit, resisted calls for increased spending on social services beyond their promises, and to keep the promised "me-too" tax cuts. And despite all the lefties here whinging that tax cuts are inflationary, Swan said that they would relieve inflationary pressure and help put more people in jobs.

Davidflude
08-12-2007, 11:06 PM
Originally Posted by Mangafranga
Also what with the low unemployment rate (nearing the natural rate?), reducing such but without causing inflation does seem to me to be a job of the government.

Australia has been using a bodgie measure of unemployment that grossly underrates the amount of unemployment. If the United nations definition were used the rate would shock people.

If Labour is on the ball they will publish both the figure using the algorithm used by the coalition and the internationally accepted measure.

Capablanca-Fan
09-12-2007, 12:15 AM
Australia has been using a bodgie measure of unemployment that grossly underrates the amount of unemployment. If the United nations definition were used the rate would shock people.
Who'd want to use any definition by that corrupt thugocracy that puts Libya and Zimbabwe on their human rights panel.

Really, many Aussies (mostly from the Left) need to get over their small island inferiority complex. Who gives a monkey's for the opinions of leaders of despotisms and moribund socialist economies.

Kevin Bonham
09-12-2007, 12:39 AM
Who'd want to use any definition by that corrupt thugocracy that puts Libya and Zimbabwe on their human rights panel.

I don't think this is a valid objection. Just because the UN makes some extremely dubious political decisions in the interest of trying to keep fluffy bunnies singing together in harmony (or whatever) does not automatically mean its definition of unemployment, let alone its criticism of Australia's definition is suspect.

I suspect Australia's definition of unemployment is actually so suspect that even the representatives of "despotisms and moribund socialist economies" could see that it is nonsense!

Hopefully Labor will start using a more realistic index, no matter where it comes from. Alternatively, it should measure both "unemployment" and serious "underemployment" and provide figures for both.

(To give an example of what is not serious "underemployment", I currently work about 80% of full time on average, and would probably work slightly more if I could get it at what I considered a sufficient rate of pay, but I have no trouble surviving on what I have. That's not the sort of thing an underemployment stat would need to include, in my view - but it would need to include a single adult whose only work was eight hours a week at $15/hr.)

Capablanca-Fan
09-12-2007, 01:37 AM
I don't think this is a valid objection. Just because the UN makes some extremely dubious political decisions in the interest of trying to keep fluffy bunnies singing together in harmony (or whatever) does not automatically mean its definition of unemployment, let alone its criticism of Australia's definition is suspect.
OK, but we should not automatically kowtow to it either.


I suspect Australia's definition of unemployment is actually so suspect that even the representatives of "despotisms and moribund socialist economies" could see that it is nonsense!
Still not proven. And as long as the definition is consistent, it may not be such a problem.


(To give an example of what is not serious "underemployment", I currently work about 80% of full time on average, and would probably work slightly more if I could get it at what I considered a sufficient rate of pay, but I have no trouble surviving on what I have. That's not the sort of thing an underemployment stat would need to include, in my view - but it would need to include a single adult whose only work was eight hours a week at $15/hr.)
That's reasonable. Maybe just give stats of those who are in 80-100%, 50-80%, 30-50%, 10-30%, <10%.

Kevin Bonham
09-12-2007, 02:09 PM
Still not proven. And as long as the definition is consistent, it may not be such a problem.

No, a consistent definition that consistently mismeasures the thing it sets out to measure is a serious problem.


That's reasonable. Maybe just give stats of those who are in 80-100%, 50-80%, 30-50%, 10-30%, <10%.

I'm not sure about that because many people who are on <100% are happy with that and would prefer that to being on 100% for a wide range of reasons. What the stats need to capture is those who are in the position of needing to obtain extra income above what work provides them.

Aaron Guthrie
09-12-2007, 04:09 PM
Australia has been using a bodgie measure of unemployment that grossly underrates the amount of unemployment. If the United nations definition were used the rate would shock people.

If Labour is on the ball they will publish both the figure using the algorithm used by the coalition and the internationally accepted measure.From memory 1 hour of paid or 15 (or something) of volunteer gets you counted as employed. Pretty bizare definition, but my point still holds about the problem of the natural rate.

Capablanca-Fan
10-12-2007, 12:21 PM
From memory 1 hour of paid or 15 (or something) of volunteer gets you counted as employed. Pretty bizare definition, but my point still holds about the problem of the natural rate.
If the Coalition were truly counting that as "employed", then I agree that its counting is misleading. So is there any documentation for what you think you remember?

Actually, from May 2005 to May 2007, over 500,000 jobs have been created, and over 400,000 of these are full-time jobs (Seasonally adjusted figures from “Labour Force Australia” Australian Bureau of Statistics 6202.0 (May 2007)).

Furthermore, in the March quarter 1996 to March quarter 2007, real wages have increased by 20.8%, whereas under the previous Labor government (March quarter 1983 to March quarter 1996) real wages actually fell by 1.8% (seasonally adjusted). Since the new industrial relations reforms were implemented, real wages have increased by 2.4% (March quarter 2006 to March quarter 2007). (Wages as measured by average non-farm compensation per employee deflated by the implicit price deflator for final consumption expenditure — households from the ABS Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product publication (Cat. No. 5206.0) — AusStats spreadsheets 2, 3 and 20. The data are seasonally adjusted.)

From Andrew Kulikovsky, A Biblical View of Economics and Industrial Relations, or Why everything the Evangelical Alliance says about economics is wrong… (http://hermeneutics.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/BiblicalEconomics.pdf)

Igor_Goldenberg
10-12-2007, 03:13 PM
When estimating unemployment, one have to remember that there are quite a few people registered as unemployed, receiving welfare and working for cash.

Aaron Guthrie
10-12-2007, 05:53 PM
If the Coalition were truly counting that as "employed", then I agree that its counting is misleading. So is there any documentation for what you think you remember?The one hour thing is in here, but I don't see the volunteer thing, so perhaps I was wrong on that count. I have no idea how long this has been the standard.
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/6202.0Glossary1Oct%202007?opendocument&tabname=Notes&prodno=6202.0&issue=Oct%202007&num=&view=
Employed

All persons aged 15 years and over who, during the reference week:

worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers); or

pax
10-12-2007, 10:49 PM
When estimating unemployment, one have to remember that there are quite a few people registered as unemployed, receiving welfare and working for cash.
How many?

Igor_Goldenberg
11-12-2007, 09:50 PM
How many?
No idea. Since all of them are officially unemployed, fewer then officially unemployed

Kevin Bonham
11-12-2007, 10:03 PM
When estimating unemployment, one have to remember that there are quite a few people registered as unemployed, receiving welfare and working for cash.

Or perhaps even playing chess for it? :lol:

I'm sure there are people doing that, but I wonder why anyone earning decent cash would still bother.