Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
This week’s quote of the week picks up a recent blog post by James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute
Quote of the week, Taxpayers' Union
Princeton University economist and new Nobel laureate Angus Deaton says the political left and right are missing different bits of the inequality story.
Via the WSJ:
Inequality is partly a marker of success. If someone thinks of something, some new innovation that benefits us all, and the market works properly, they get richly rewarded for that and that’s just terrific and that creates inequality. So some of the greatest inequalities in the world have come from the greatest successes—from the industrial revolution 250 years ago to innovation and new inventions and new things today. …
[But what] I worry about is that some of the enormous riches we’re seeing in the United States today are coming from activities that are in social doubt. So some of the activities that are going on in Wall Street that are occupying some of our smartest young minds—it’s not clear society wants them to be doing that as opposed to be innovating in the private sector or curing cancer or doing all the various things smart people could do.
I would put it slightly differently: Great wealth coming from the production of consumer-relevant value is one thing, great wealth from the manipulation of government another. Competitive capitalism vs. crony capitalism is another way to frame it.
Oh, and while we are on the subject on inequality, let me re-up this Economist piece pointing out the under-appreciated role of housing in driving wealth inequality and offering this advice to policymakers: “… deal with the planning regulations and NIMBYism that inhibit housebuilding and which allow homeowners to capture super-normal returns on their investments.”
Charlie Sheen has revealed he is HIV positive – and he’s paid millions of dollars to people who “extorted” money to keep his diagnosis a secret.
In a candid interview with NBC’s Today show, Sheen said he was diagnosed with HIV “roughly four years ago”.
This is perhaps the least surprising story of the decade, considering Sheen is reputed to have had over 5,000 sexual partners.
Asked if he had infected any of his sexual partners, the Hollywood actor said it was “impossible, impossible”, and that he had “always led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition”.
Not impossible, and his partners say he is lying.
Last week, Britain’s The Sun reported that an A-lister, described as “a womaniser”, had known of his HIV-positive status for years.
While the newspaper didn’t name the actor, it reported he had previously dated movie and television stars, a glamour model and Hollywood personalities.
“The reality is that if he’s knowingly put women at risk then that’s disgusting and it’s only a matter of time before that becomes public,” a source told The Sun.
Another source said friends had encouraged the man to go public before he was named by media, but he was worried about the impact on his career.
The newspaper was slammed over its reporting, with British HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust saying it was “utterly wrong” to disclose an individual’s HIV status without their permission.
I’m not quite so sure.
Yes as a general rule. But should there be exceptions? If someone is refusing to tell partners and is having unprotected sex, then should it be revealed? I guess the alternative to revealing, is prosecution – and Sheen may end up facing charges.
While AIDS (if HIV develops into it) is no longer a death sentence, it is still wrong on every level to not tell anyone you sleep with if you are HIV+ – they deserve to make an informed decision.Tags: Charlie Sheen, HIV
The four bills selected for first reading are:
This Bill amends the Commerce Act 1986 to require that a supermarket adjudicator is established, to resolve disputes between supermarkets and suppliers. The adjudicator will be funded by a levy of supermarkets and suppliers and will have power to involve the Commerce Commission when required.
You don’t need a government appointed regulator to solve commercial disputes between supermarkets and suppliers, let alone one funded by a compulsory levy on them. We already have the Commerce Act.
Yes Countdown was a bit of a bully with some of its suppliers, and they suffered a media backlash and have lost market share as a result, and also quite a few suppliers. I would vote against.
Under the provisions of this Bill, non-residents will be granted permission to purchase a residential property only if they intend to live here permanently or their purchase adds to our existing housing stock.
Would also vote against this bill. The impact on house prices of foreign buyers is relatively minor compared to land supply issues. And it may also breach CER with Australia.
The purpose of this bill is to ensure that a person taking any oath set out in statute may, in addition to the words of the oath, elect to state that they will perform their duties in accordance with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. This recognises that the Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document and the Government is committed to fulfilling its obligations as a Treaty partner.
I’m against as the principles of the Treaty are not well defined, and people may them use such an oath to justify breaking the law by saying they are required to by their oath. Also it is not for people to act in accordance with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi – but for the Government as a whole.
This bill would give the Department of Corrections the power to issue warnings to persons who have not complied with community-based sentences, with the consequence of withholding benefit payments.
Sounds reasonable. There may be some fish-hooks in it, but worth considering at select committee.Tags: members' bills, Parliament, private members bills
A WOMAN drank herself to death by downing up to eight litres a day of Pepsi Max mixed with prescription drugs, an inquest has been told.
British woman Victoria Lane, 39, drank up to four two-litre bottles of the soft drink to help with the side effects of medication that made her mouth dry, The Mirror reports.
Obviously we need to tax or ban Pepsi Max.
“When Mum was drinking heavily, she could get through a one-litre bottle of vodka a day and four two-litre bottles of Pepsi Max.”
The headline didn’t mention the vodka!No tag for this post.