Posts by Matthew Poole

  • Speaker: Inequality: Too big to ignore, in reply to BenWilson,

    But what I’m getting at is that it’s never suggested that they will make a change and then rescind it if it doesn’t work.

    I think I understand how we ended up with this discussion. You're confusing political and economic ideology with actual science :P

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Inequality: Too big to ignore, in reply to BenWilson,

    Each time a government makes changes to policy that affect both inequality and economic growth an experiment is being performed.

    Is it really an experiment if no hypothesis is made beforehand, as Rob Stowell asks?

    Unless one attributes to politicians in democracies an extraordinarily-cynical level of bad faith in their dealings with their electorate, the hypothesis behind any policy change is “This will make things better for people in our electorate by delivering xyz outcome,” surely?

    Economic policies changes are, generally, about encouraging increased economic activity, tempered against the aim of not triggering excessive levels of price inflation. That’s the hypothesis, in a nutshell: we pull this economic lever and the economy will perform in a more-efficient manner thus delivering growth.

    ETA: As much as I loathe National and what they stand for, I don't think they actually, actively aim to make things worse for the population as a whole with the policies they pursue. That might be the result of their ideologically-driven policies, but it is easy to see the misguided belief in "the market will deliver better outcomes for all" in what they do.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Inequality: Too big to ignore, in reply to BenWilson,

    You can experiment on a single subject without a control.

    To something of an extent it can be observed in the US, where different states run different policy settings inside the same national-level policy framework and economy, but even then it is easier to disprove a relationship than to prove a causal one exists.

    “Proof” to the standard required by economists *cough* could be achieved with a single subject, but actual scientific analysis to the point of being able to claim causality means controlled observational experiments. Willing to be contradicted by Bart, as our resident expert on “the one true scientific method”, but as I understand it you are on really shaky ground to make a change to conditions for a single subject and then claim causation of any observed outcome.

    Also, because of the time scales involved in this stuff, you would have so many other potential variables that without a control you would really struggle to assess much of anything. A single subject under observation through the period 2007-2010, for example, would have been affected by the GFC as well as whatever policy tweaks were made, and good luck trying to accurately separate the effects of the two.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Inequality: Too big to ignore, in reply to BenWilson,

    Is that the only reason a controlled experiment can’t be done, or is it impossible, even if we could get to the point of being allowed to experiment? It seems to me that in theory, economic experimentation is possible, and if questions are unsettled that could be reasonably clearly answered, it’s very, very well justified.

    How would you set up the necessarily-controlled macroeconomic environments in which to conduct such experiments? You need a country-sized (or at least one the size of a large city) economy with which to experiment, and another one to act as the control.
    Really you need at least a couple of each, to ensure that you have a valid sample, and the experimental economies need to be sufficiently different from each other but sufficiently close to their controls that other factors can be eliminated.

    It’s effectively impossible to do proper correlation vs causation experiments with macroeconomics. One can observe outcomes of macroeconomic changes within similar economies, but to achieve full control of the entire economic environment such that there can be no other agents of change except the policy setting(s) under investigation is getting into the realms of the all-powerful, all-seeing omnipotent deity of the Judeo-Christian faiths.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some reprehensible bullshit, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    No it’s a dual function door – saving valuable floor space (and hence ratepayers dollars) by combining bookshelves with door functionality.

    In addition to hiding the mayoral sex dungeon. Is that what they refer to as "nailing it"? Or is that used to talk about something else to do with the sex dungeon?

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some reprehensible bullshit, in reply to Russell Brown,

    casual meetings

    As opposed to the "casual meatings" that el Granny would have us believe will be going on in Len's sex dungeon?

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some reprehensible bullshit, in reply to Sam Bradford,

    It’s actually hard for me to imagine how pointless or ill-informed a story would have to be before they’d apologise for running it.

    Based on the total lack of contrition for Wine-bottle-that-didn’t-exist Gate, I don’t think such a story exists. The editorial staff would probably offer trite platitudes in the face of a well-heeled litigator who was determined to extract their pound of flesh, but that’s about it.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Some reprehensible bullshit, in reply to Julie Fairey,

    ASB ... included a rather luscious executive suite on the top floor I believe

    You believe correctly. Having been there in a former employment life, I can attest to the opulent nature of its (former) fit-out. Not to mention the sweeping harbour views all the way north-to-south. Oh and the restricted-access lift that only serviced the top floor and required a key-card. It was the floor on which the Board met, and configured in keeping with appropriate uber-capitalist norms. Lots of wood panelling, thick carpet, etc.

    A very nice space, but woe betide the Council if it had been retained intact. If we think the invective about Len's sex-den en-suite is OTT, it takes little imagination to conjure up the fevered words that would have been bandied about to describe the "Mayor's luxurious penthouse suite".

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: A rather incomplete…, in reply to NSA,

    For the record: Stuff, per se, was not hacked.

    Thanks for that Stephen, though I’m unsure of your professional affiliations here, so I raise an eyebrow at the strictness of interpretation of the term ‘hacked’ that you’re employing.

    I'm not sure why Stephen's affiliations are in the least bit relevant. If the breach was of a service that supplies content that is linked to from the stuff.co.nz site, Stephen is both pedantically and actually correct in his statement. He's not picking at the word "hacked", he's picking at it being stuff.co.nz that was compromised. Hence his use of the phrase "per se".

    I've got no affiliation with (and little love for) Fairfax and the members of its media stable, but I wouldn't question anyone who said what Stephen did. Allowing inaccuracies to lie just because the details are a little bit complex does nobody any favours.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading, in reply to izogi,

    My first thought on reading that was “don’t most email conversations involve at least two participants?”

    Has someone else been deleting things besides Jason Ede?

    You think the Oily One won't have been deleting like mad?

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 393 Older→ First