Tuesday , October 27 2020
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John Quiggin

Sandpit

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on. To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such. Like this:Like Loading...

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Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page Like this:Like Loading...

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Hank Jongen, the general manager who isn’t

When a PR man presents himself as the boss of the organization he spruiks for, you are well advised to disbelieve anything he says. Hank Jongen “general manager” of Services Australia and its predecessors (such as Centrelink) has been doing this for years, most recently here . In reality, Jongen is the agency spokesperson. The trick is that “General Manager, Function X” is a title given to lots of middle-ranking public servants. By contrast, Jongen’s statements never qualify the...

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UBI: For individuals or households?

This post is about a point which has come up here and there in the discussion about Universal Basic Income, but which I’ve never worked through properly.   A preliminary observation is that it’s necessary to consider tax and welfare together as an integrated system. What matters most is the effective marginal tax rates (the sum of marginal income tax and benefit reduction rates).  Then, starting with the current Australian tax-welfare system, and considering possible paths...

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Transmission too

In my article arguing that electricity from solar PV (and wind) could soon be too cheap to meter, I didn’t mention transmission networks. That was for space reasons. The case for public investment is actually stronger for transmission than for generation. Electricity transmission lines have the same cost structure as renewables (low operational cost and long lives), if anything more so, meaning that the cost of transmission depends primarily on the need to secure a return to the...

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Too cheap to meter

That’s the headline for my latest piece in Inside Story, looking at the implications of zero interest rates for renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Key para Once a solar module has been installed, a zero rate of interest means that the electricity it generates is virtually free. Spread over the lifetime of the module, the cost is around 2c/kWh (assuming $1/watt cost, 2000 operating hours per year and a twenty-five-year lifetime). That cost would be indexed to the rate of...

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Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page Like this:Like Loading...

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The arithmetic of retirement income: the case of zero interest rates

Back in 2009, I looked at the implications of the GFC for retirement income, working on the assumption that retirees could safely aim for a 2 per cent real rate of return. The bottom line was that current workers need double contributions, to 20 per cent of income and shift the work-retirement balance, so that you work from 25 to 65 to finance an expected 20 years of retirement income. Since then, the real rate of return on safe investments like government bonds has fallen to...

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Sandpit

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on. To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such. Like this:Like Loading...

Read More »

Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page Like this:Like Loading...

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