So which one?


Which Republican presidential nominee?

Having just spent an hour or so watching the New Hampshire GOP Republican debate, having gleaned various tidbits over the internet since a while back, I can honestly say I don’t know.

Yet.

In comments at that link, Ron Paul’s supporters come across as a tad too fervent, as does Paul himself. He just comes across as a bit whiney. Quick to complain about a problem but a bit wishy washy with any solutions.

Romney arguably won, but he comes off as Obama-lite+religion. He’s big government but I will say he’s tending to own his opponents. He does look presidential and has the establishment’s backing… not necessarily a good thing when up against Obama who REALLY has the Establishment’s backing and REALLY (at least) talks presidential (except here where he sounds about as formidable as Julia Gillard). Read the rest of this entry »

The decline and fall of the US dollar?


This little bit of economic news seems to have quietly slid out of the papers here fairly quickly.

FMG’s trade in renminbi expected to be followed

 

Fortescue minerals group is a medium sized player in the Australian iron ore market, it appears they have more confidence in the stability of the renminbi (Chinese currency) rather than the US dollars traditionally used for international commerce.

Tie that in with the US treasuries attempts to inflate away their domestic currency crisis and we may be looking at a severe downgrading of the prestige and value of the US currency as a unit of international trade.

A resources analyst says a decision by Fortescue Metals Group to trade using the renminbi signals a shift towards widespread transactions in the Chinese currency.

Yesterday, Fortescue Metal’s boss Andrew Forrest announced his group had completed its first ever deal using renminbi.

It is understood FMG is the first Australian company to trade in the currency rather than in US dollars.

The first, Mr Forrest is a pretty canny bloke, it remains to be seen if his business sense is right on this one.

The Chinese currency currently has its value pegged to the US dollar, if the dollar was to freefall it would be insane for the Chinese to allow it to take their currency down as well.

What would they then peg their currency to? The Euro?, British Pound?, The Yen? risky. Its difficult to see any other currency with the same “weight” to peg against.

He said he expects other Australian companies to follow suit.

“I don’t think it’s just Australian miners, it’s the Australian economy will definitely follow this move,” he said.

“It will start the flood because it makes it much easier now to do business with China, it’s part of China’s opening up and China becoming more efficient in global engagement.” Analyst Peter Strachan says the trade makes financial sense with China the region’s dominant economic and political force.

“They’re standing up and saying it’s our time,” he said.

Mr Strachan says many Australian companies will soon be trading with China using the renminbi.

“It’s not just going to be in iron ore, it will be in jocks and socks, through to refrigerators and whatever else comes through the door.”

The US government is printing money at a record rate, in all likelihood the US dollar is overvalued due to its reserve currency/trade currency status. If it were to lose even a large percentage of that just how much could the US dollar crash?

On the upside it would make exporting US products more competitive.

On the downside….everything else.

Now Im not a clever man, but I can see the US crippling itself in an attempt to ride out a downturn. Printing currency to inflate toxic losses is WORSE than the pricing correction trying to happen will be.

Carbon Tax Fallout: tax rates for low-income earners up, plus, “what compensation?”


Packaged along with the much-ballyhooed “save the planet” carbon tax were some increases in marginal tax rates which the press went pretty quiet on.  And although the tax-free threshold was raised, the LITO (low income tax offset) was actually reduced, which along with rises in the marginal tax rates for the lowest two tax brackets means that this is not such a good deal after all, especially for lower-income Australians.

I’m not an economist (and I don’t even play one on TV) so I’m linking you over to both Professor Sinclair Davidson’s reckonings at Catallaxy and Clinton Mead’s at the Australian Libertarian Society blog.  As a layman I found Clinton Mead’s in-depth explanation and examples pretty clear and easy to understand – I recommend wandering over and having a look at both his post and the comments there.

In short, though, both economists do a good job of showing what the effects of the new tax scales and the alleged “compensation” will work out to for those on various incomes.  And it’s not nearly as rosy a picture as the government or its cheerleaders in the lapdog media would have us believe.

In related carbon tax news, analysis of the latest opinion polls throws up a pretty surprising figure:  62 percent of 18-34 year olds are opposed to Labor’s carbon tax policy.  Wait, what?  If you only listen to the ABC and GetUp and its related pseudo-grassroots lobby groups, you get the distinct impression that it’s only the old fogeys who are opposed to this tax; that the Yoof are all hip & jiggy wit’ it.  So what’s up that? Are we being fed yet another busted meme which is all about the narrative Labor and the MSM want to push but nothing much to do with reality?

Sinc has the full polling results here and they’ll be worth referring to later.  As he points out, “Both these polls can be considered pre-policy announcement benchmarks. If Gillard is able to sell her policy to the public we’ll be able to see changes of opinion here.”  So, bookmark ’em.

And also, just a memo to myself to remember to check out the Catallaxy blog more often, especially since I’ve pretty much gone off the comments thing at Bolt’s.  Some really good voices over there, and it doesn’t seem to be over-run by astroturfers and trolls (yet!).

Remember the live cattle trade ban?


With all the hoohah over the past few days over PM Gillard’s carbon (dioxide!) tax, it’s perhaps easy to forget some of the other current stuff-ups Labor is actively involved with.

Ten weeks on and there’s still no deal with Malaysia over a refugee swap.

There’s the mining super profits tax – not just the carbon tax – that our biggest industry with have to put up with.

There’s the $36 billion NBN that still somehow has to be paid for. Meanwhile, a bloke who just bought a new house can’t get a copper phone line connected – Telstra have stopped doing that – and has to wait three-odd years for his fibre cable.

And there’s the ongoing damage from the government’s naive decision to stop the live cattle trade (since resumed but so much damage is yet to be undone).

The suspension, prompted by cruelty concerns, was lifted last week and Indonesia plans to issue fresh import permits to get things moving over the next three months.

But Gulf Savannah Development says trade is still dependent on permits flowing through quickly.

The group’s chairman, Carpentaria Shire mayor Fred Pascoe, said it could take years to recover the costs from missing an important trading period with Indonesia.

“To be honest, I think we’d rather front a category 5 cyclone than the high pressure storm created by the government,” he said.

Mr Pascoe said it could take months to re-establish supply chain protocols.

Meanwhile, the Queensland manager of Australia’s largest livestock transport company doubts business will ever be the same.

Townhall meeting coming to a venue near you


OK, so PM Gillard reckons The Debate We Never Had™ is over, but that doesn’t mean – oh no siree – that folks aren’t standing up to have their say.

A townhall meeting in Brisbane:

Mr Hockey said merchants at a Brisbane market this morning told him they would not be able to pass on the cost of an estimated 10 per cent rise in electricity without sacking staff.

“Time and time again, as we went past every store, all the workers were coming out and saying ‘you have to stop this tax’,” he said.

Read on.

Our Langolier government


Most of you probably remember the book and/or movie, The Langoliers. Those little creatures would gobble up, or destroy if you will, everything – matter, space, time – they came across.

In a sense, the Gillard (and previously, Rudd) government has many similarities. Everything her Langolier eyes set themselves upon, they destroy.

The list is unbelievable.

Read the rest of this entry

Road trip!


Let’s do it!

How about the cattle farmers stick it back to that Gillard?

Click for full size.

Yes. We’re talking loading 100-odd trucks – or more – with now unsaleable cattle and sending them down to the lawns of Parliament House. There’s lush green grass there for them to feed on and even a water fountain for them to drink from (not to mention the sprinklers could be utilised).

Bugger all else they can do with that season’s worth of cattle now, is there?

It would send a clear message.

Spot has even included a handy directions guide (where the map comes from).

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