Archive for May 6th, 2009

Decisions decisions

It’s nearly time to catch my bus to go home, and I’ve been up since 2am so I should probably get a little bit of sleep, but the question is do I follow up my interview request for tomorrow morning’s show before I have a nap, or after? And if I decide on “after”, then the odds are pretty good that I’ll be woken by a call from the office of the person I would like to interview, or that I’ll sleep until it’s too late to contact them.

Then tonight…dinner at home, or dinner out? If I go out for dinner, will I get home in time to get any meaningful sleep before I get up to do show prep?

At least one decision is clear, I’m not walking home today. Sunday night, yes, but not today.

Samuel

May 6th, 2009 at 02:03pm

The Chinese Stimulus Package

It looks like the Chinese have come up with a novel approach to stimulating their economy:

Local government officials in China have been ordered to smoke cigarettes to boost the economy.

Officials in Hubei province have been ordered to puff their way through 230,000 packs of locally made cigarettes worth £400,000.

The edict threatens to fine officials who “fail to meet their targets” or are caught smoking rival brands manufactured in neighbouring provinces.
[..]
“The regulation will boost the local economy via the cigarette tax,” said Chen Nianzu, a member of the Gong’an cigarette market supervision team.

So, stimulate the economy, use the tax revenue on the impending smoking-induced health bill, and some population control through shorter lifespans all in the one measure!

Imagine what would happen if the Australian government tried to suggest something like this…there’d be more than a simple story in the “quirkies” section of the paper, that’s for sure.

Samuel

May 6th, 2009 at 01:46pm

Interview with Julianne Thomas about voter registration fraud

The interview from the 1WAY FM morning show with KXNT reporter Julianne Thomas regarding the voter registration fraud charges in the US is now online on the 1WAY FM podcast feed and is included below for your convenience.

Unfortunately due to an equipment failure the interview with economist Savanth Sebastian from CommSec will not be podcasted.

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Download MP3

Samuel

May 6th, 2009 at 12:33pm

ACT Budget: A few issues, but Katy got most of it right

Katy Gallagher handed down her first budget yesterday, and on the whole I have to say that I think she has got it right.

I don’t agree with everything in it, but in difficult economic times, Katy’s approach of “wait it out and see” seems to be the right one, and a much better approach than Wayne Swan’s apparent “slash and burn” approach to the federal budget.

Katy’s approach has been backed up today by the US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who says the recession in the US will end this year, as long as they don’t have any further major dramas.

The ACT budget has a forecast deficit of 247 million dollars, with deficits predicted until at least the 2015-2016 financial year. Predictions like that always amuse me slightly because elections before then could change the government, and the plans going forward.

None the less, if the economy does improve before next year’s budget, as Katy Gallagher believes it will, then it should be a fairly smooth road to recovery. However as her critics have pointed out, if things get worse, then we will be in for a huge slash and burn budget next year and the year after.

I think Katy has it right, but time will tell.

As for the contents of the budget, the emphasis on increasing rates, parking fees and bus fares instead of cutting services seems sensible, but it does raise a few questions. For one, if the government are trying to push people on to buses, which their expensive new express bus service is aiming for, and which I think will fail miserably (as I have previously mentioned), then why are they increasing bus fares instead of car registration and driver licence fees?

Admittedly government owned parking meters will cost more, but this is hardly an across the board deterrent for drivers, especially with the prevalence of free parking in the parliamentary triangle.

Apart from rising bus fares, there’s no respite for cyclists. The free rides on buses for cyclists will end.

I also have to wonder about the new mental health unit for Canberra Hospital slated to cost 9.7 million dollars. We already have a mental health service at Canberra Hospital, and various mental health services spread through Canberra, and they don’t seem to communicate properly. Surely it would make more sense to consolidate management of these services to improve service standards, rather than spending money on new services.

I also note that there are still no bus services for the beleaguered residents of Hall and Tharwa, and nothing slated for Williamsdale despite the possibility of infrastructure out there. Yet the Alexander Machonichie Centre Of Respite For The Criminally Challenged has its own bus service. Go figure!

I’m not convinced that all the spending priorities are correct, but I think the overall sentiment of the budget is correct at this time.

It’s unusual for me to praise Katy Gallagher, but on this occasion I think she has made the tough decisions, and got them right in the process.

Samuel

May 6th, 2009 at 12:13pm

On the 1WAY FM morning show…

A look at the ACT budget.
Julianne Thomas from Newsradio 840 KXNT on the US activist group ACORN being charged with voter enrolment fraud at approximately 9:30.
Savanth Sebastian, CommSec economist talking about interest rates (and hopefully a comment about budgets and the economic crisis) at approximately 10:30.
An email from Maritz who seems to be confused by television cooking shows.
Telstra decide to pass on the cost of the ACT Government’s “Network Facilities Tax”.
And lots more.

The morning show: 9am-11:30am on Canberra’s 91.9 and 94.3 1WAY FM

Samuel

1 comment May 6th, 2009 at 08:00am


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