Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mole News

From the NZCPR archives By David Round
A Slippery Slope to Ruin
For some years I taught constitutional law at the University of Canterbury. I was also a debater, in those days when debating was a more popular activity than it is now ~ and it would happen, from time to time, when I appeared to speak in a debate, that the chairman, in introducing me, would tell the audience that I was a remarkable man, because (among other things) I lectured in constitutional law, and this in a country that did not possess a constitution! I would smile politely at this merry jest and pass on to the subject of my discourse.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: New Shale Wars: OPEC vs US Frackers

Can the U.S. Become an Energy Superpower in 2017?

In this newsletter:

1) OPEC Cuts Output, US Shale Industry Rejoices
The American Interest, 30 November 2016

2) Shale Wars: Where Are Oil Prices Headed As Saudi Arabia Lets The Big Bet Play Out?
Forbes, 30 November 2016

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: How long until someone does something about North Korea?

As the year draws to a close, I can’t but wonder how many more years will pass before we see the demise of the last bastion of Stalinism – the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea a.k.a. North Korea. I suspect it won’t be all that many, for things are coming to a head.

Korea was referred to as the ‘Hermit Kingdom’ by 19th-century Western adventurers owing to its seclusion.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Frank Newman: The interest rate worm has turned

The interest rate worm has turned, according to the latest ANZ Bank Property Focus Report. Their commentary signals a significant shift in the way the Bank sees things heading.
With respect to mortgage strategy they say, "Although the OCR has been cut by 25bps, this merely offset a rise in funding costs, and as a result, no banks have cut their floating mortgage rates. Rises seen for some longer-term fixed rates reflect both higher funding costs and the sharp rise in wholesale interest rates that has occurred since August. We believe mortgage rates have seen their lows, and although there is real pressure for them to rise further, we caution that rises are likely to be gradual. Nonetheless, given how flat the mortgage curve is, for the first time in a long time we believe it is worthwhile considering fixing some portion of your mortgage for longer than 1-2 years."

GWPF Newsletter: Record Drop In Global Temperatures As El Nino Warming Ends

How Far Will Global Temperatures Drop?

In this newsletter:

1) Record Drop In Global Temperatures As El Nino Warming Ends
Mail on Sunday, 27 November 2016

2) How Far Will Global Temperature Drop After El Nino?
GWPF Observatory, 3 November 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

Matt Ridley: Artificial Intelligence is not going to cause mass unemployment

The tech industry, headquartered in Silicon Valley, is populated largely by enthusiastic optimists, who want to change the world and think they can. But there is one strand of pessimism that you hear a lot there: that the robots are going to take all our jobs. With artificial intelligence looming, human beings are facing redundancy and obsolescence. I think this neo-Luddite worry is as wrong now as in Ned Ludd’s day.

“Any job that is on some level routine is likely to be automated and if we are to see a future of prosperity rather than catastrophe we must act now,” warns Martin Ford, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, in his book The Rise of the Robots. “With the technology advances that are presently on the horizon, not only low-skilled jobs are at risk; so are the jobs of knowledge workers. Too much is happening too fast,” says another Silicon Valley guru, Vivek Wadhwa.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Karl du Fresne: Trumpophobes in the media need to get over it

It’s now more than two weeks since Donald Trump became US President-elect, and I’m wondering when the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth (to use a biblical metaphor) is going to stop.

Many commentators in the media, both here and in the US, just don’t seem to get it.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Calestous Juma from Harvard University: Why Perceived Inequality Leads People to Resist Innovation

Americans are often portrayed as technological enthusiasts with unbounded eagerness to adopt new technologies. According to a recent Pew Research survey, nearly 28 percent of Americans view themselves as early adopters of new technologies. This is much higher than estimates in other cultures. 

But when it comes to biomedical technologies that enhance human abilities, they are more cautious. Many of the 4,000 survey respondents and focus group participants in another Pew study "felt that while no effort should be spared to help the sick, society should proceed with caution before allowing biomedical advancements to boost the capacities of healthy people."

GWPF Newsletter: Antarctic Sea Ice Has Not Shrunk In 100 Years

Trump To Scrap NASA Climate Research In Crackdown On ‘Politicized Science’

In this newsletter:

1) Antarctic Sea Ice Has Not Shrunk In 100 Years, Scott And Shackleton Logbooks Prove 
The Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2016
2) Trump To Scrap NASA Climate Research In Crackdown On ‘Politicized Science’
The Guardian, 23 November 2016

NZCPR: Tinkering Wth the RMA

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look at the Government’s Resource Management Act reforms and the disastrous new concessions Nick Smith has made to the Maori Party that could result in iwi control of the resource consenting process, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Sir Bob Jones describes the fiasco of having to consult multiple iwi over a resource consent and calls it a ‘racket’, and our poll asks whether it’s time for Nick Smith to be removed as Minister in charge of RMA reforms. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Richard Epstein: California’s Needless Housing Crisis

Everyone agrees the most attractive areas in California suffer from a housing crisis that calls for drastic action. The difficult question is deciding what should be done. Many of the challenges are embodied in the small California town of Mountain View, population 80,000, which should be basking in sunshine as the home of Google. But instead the town is mired in discord and controversy over a set of well-entrenched anti-growth policies concerning housing. 

The tight supply of housing has raised the price of the median home to about $1.4 million. Rents, too, have skyrocketed, resulting in the displacement of many long-term tenants—teachers, nurses, and tech employees—who have to endure long daily commutes to work or find jobs elsewhere. Mountain View is now the proud home to numerous mobile home parks, occupied by individuals who crave access to the city—and who reportedly drive Teslas and Mercedeses, no less—but who lack the means to purchase or rent ordinary housing.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Matt Ridley from the UK: People took Trump seriously, but not literally

Years of compensating for the media’s tendency to look on the dark side of everything has taught me that it generally pays to seek silver linings. It’s possible of course that Donald Trump will start a culture war, a trade war and a nuclear war, but it’s also just possible that, while behaving like an oaf, he will preside over a competent administration. 

So here, after a few days of talking to people in America’s two biggest economies, California and Texas, are ten reasons why I think a Trump presidency may not be as awful as many think, even if, like me, you heard the news of his victory with a sinking feeling.

Karl du Fresne: New Zealand - a bolthole for disillusioned liberals?

I see Richard Dawkins, celebrated scientist, atheist and author of The God Delusion, is talking up New Zealand as a possible bolthole for disillusioned liberal refugees from the northern hemisphere.

Dawkins thinks our little country suddenly looks very attractive following Britain’s exit from the European Union and Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. He suggests New Zealand should seize the opportunity to lure great scientific and artistic minds from America and Britain – “talented, creative people desperate to escape the redneck bigotry of their home countries”.

GWPF Newsletter: Satellite Data Reinstates Global Temperature Pause

Three (Perfectly Democratic) Reasons Donald Trump Will Smother The Paris Climate Deal

In this newsletter:

1) David Whitehouse: Satellite Data Reinstates Global Temperature Pause
GWPF Observatory, 21 November 2016
2) Donald Trump Expected To Slash NASA’s Climate Change Budget In Favour Of Space Exploration
The Sunday Telegraph, 20 November 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Charles Finney: Give Trump a break on trade policy – it may be better than you think

Since the outcome of the US presidential election became clear, there have been many people commenting on the implications of the result for trade policy. The views expressed are largely gloomy. 

Some go so far as to suggest that globalisation is at an end and that the era of trade liberalisation died with it. Others suggest the US has created a leadership vacuum that China will fill. Yet more are suggesting a different approach to the way New Zealand negotiates free-trade agreements.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Daniel Mitchell: The “Progressive” Threat to Baltic Exceptionalism

I’m a big fan of the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
These three countries emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Empire and they have taken advantage of their independence to become successful market-driven economies.
One key to their relative success is tax policy. All three nations have flat taxes. Estonia’s system is so good (particularly its approach to business taxation) that the Tax Foundation ranks it as the best in the OECD.

Brian Gaynor: US protest vote has echoes elsewhere

Donald Trump’s election, and the recent UK Brexit vote, demonstrates that there is considerable dissatisfaction with the political and business establishments in a number of countries.

A large percentage of the US and UK middle class, particularly white males outside the major cities, believe the system is rigged and they don’t have a voice.

New Zealand is fortunate because our MMP electoral system gives minorities a voice. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: U.S. Geological Survey Discovers "Largest Oil & Gas Deposit Ever Discovered In America"

The Never-Ending Shale Revolution That Keep On Giving

In this newsletter:

1) U.S. Geological Survey Discovers "Largest Oil & Gas Deposit Ever Discovered In America"
NPR, 16 November 2016

2) The Never-Ending Shale Revolution That Keeps On Giving
Forbes, 15 November 2016

Frank Newman: RMA rackets and the mood for change

Two years ago I quoted from a story appearing in the NZ Herald, written by Bob Jones. The story involved one of his buildings, a 17 story office tower in downtown Auckland. A tenant had blocked out some of the windows so when they vacated Jones wanted to restore the window panes.

Jones says, "..we were then informed by a planner my Auckland office uses for council dealings (which can be laborious) that under the new council rules, changes to a building's appearance require resource consent and we would be subject to penalty if we simply put back the window...we were then told that under the new Draft Unitary Plan, not yet enacted, our building being within 50 metres of a designated Maori heritage site, we needed RMA approval (for a new shop window, for God's sake), this instantly forthcoming at a cost of $4500 plus the approval of 13 iwi."

Food Regulations Under Review

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we look into whether the Government’s new food bill is stifling innovation and crippling small business – and we advise concerned readers that a formal review of the new law is currently underway with the deadline for submissions 5pm on December 5th, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Anna Tait-Jamieson shares her insight into the dangers of heavy-handed regulation in the food sector, and our poll asks whether you think the new food laws are too bureaucratic.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.