Thursday, September 03, 2020

The Perils of Privatisation and Private Greed: When Success Has Many Parents

A fireball-like meteor was last night seen in the skies above our Howell House, before coming to ground possibly near the border with Victoria.



They met on a dating site for divorced singles.  His profile was unexciting, which was exactly why she wrote to him.  Forty-two years old, divorced once, lives in a Tel Aviv suburb.  Not ‘excited to swallow life whole’ or ‘on a self-discovery journey I’d like you to join me on….’  Three pictures…all of which showed something reassuring about his face, nothing too special.”

David A. Weisbach (Chicago), The Trade-Off Between Tax Administration and Tax Compliance:

This paper revisits optimal tax enforcement policy, focusing on two elements of that policy: (1) the optimal mix of government-level tax administration and individual-level tax compliance; and (2) the optimal mix of this combination (together, tax enforcement) and tax rates. The standard view is that we should weight tax administration but not tax compliance by the government’s cost of funds because we must pay for tax administration, but not compliance, through distorting taxes. As a result, we might want to rely on tax compliance measures even when using tax administration would otherwise be less expensive. Using a flexible model that allows the costs of tax ad-ministration and compliance to be imposed in arbitrary ways, I find instead that we should choose between administration and compliance costs purely on effectiveness grounds, without weighting.

Jared Kushner made a deal with Russia for ventilators, but every machine was faulty, report says Business Insider

Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' – report

I didn't get rich by signing Czechs or checks or cheques


Tony Abbott’s grand tour of Britain continues. There has been a dinner with our high commissioner to the UK, George Brandis, his old attorney-general. And on Tuesday the former prime minister (and former federal health minister) ripped Daniel Andrews a new one at the Policy Exchange think tank, accusing the Victorian Premier of conducting a "health dictatorship" by putting 5 million Melburnians under "house arrest".

These remarks later saw him receive a grilling at the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee


Tony Abbott the tequila toast of London town 

It was a mistake to privatise aged care

We are trying to care for our elderly on the cheap. What an indictment that we seem willing to spend more on defence than we do on the elderly. Continue reading 

 Clearview AI CEO Says ‘Over 2,400 Police Agencies’ Are Using Its Facial Recognition SoftwareThe Verge

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The perils of privatisation and private greed

The pandemic has starkly shown us the importance of good government, good public policies and good public institutions. It has also shown us the failure of private institutions, private markets and outsourcing to private providers. If the wholesale arm of Telstra had been kept in public hands we would have had a modern NBN long ago. The behaviour of the privatised Commonwealth Bank has bought shame to us all. Continue reading 

Tip-offs from the community do pay off
Assistant Commissioner Aislinn Walwyn celebrates our work with partner agencies to deter, detect and deal with tax crime


THE UNRELENTING MR. JOHNSON: Boris Johnson hires Brexit-backing former Australian PM as UK’s new trade envoy.

 Modern spy satellites in an age of space wars.


Deadly force behind the wheel WaPo


Low blow: Sydney’s new ferries won’t fit under bridges while passengers on top deck Oops! Reminds me of the tunnel – or it may have been an overpass – with low-clearance in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Every year, the occasional driver lost the top of her/truck truck the s/he failed to fit into the top of the tunnel – and IIRC the errant drivers were often out-of-towners ferrying junior to university. I wonder whether this is still the case, or have the enlarged the tunnel.


Gandhi’s glasses left in letterbox sell for £260k BBC