Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mid-week review

An uneventful Wednesday for me - with two return trips from the suburbs to the City and teaching both early morning and late evening (the last was enjoyable). There was not a lot that particularly sparked my consciousness. I searched around the blogs for views on the Commonwealth Budget mid-morning and assume from the paucity of leftist grizzles that it has been quite well-received. My main complaint remains that it does not address what I believe to be a serious resource problems in the Australian universities - but as a participant many will assume this is self-interest talking.

I have a wise uncle who once told me that he was determined to do something really enjoyable every day of his life. Normally I seek to follow his maxim - even if it is only drinking some good wine. But finishing at 9-00 pm this evening the best I could manage was a wood-fired pizza at Woodfire in Ivanhoe (it has had good reviews see here and here). After that I have been listening to a borrowed copy of Phillip Glass' opera satyagraha which I have grown to enjoy but it is very driven and frenetic. And to be honest I am a bit out of it - this sort of music is for when you want to get your blood up!

I hope you enjoyed your day and - as usual - welcome your views, here, on your day, the world or anything else.


D.Prentice said...

Hi Harry,

There is an album by Phillip Glass called "Glassworks" which (I think) has got some more relaxing piano pieces (though still in the same sort of style)


Robert Merkel said...

No, there was plenty of leftist grizzling, much about about the underfunding of Australian universities. The lack of serious efforts to fix the high EMTRs and the childcare situation was also criticised, not to mention the view that much more spending on infrastructure might have been appropriate. In other words, however politically well-targetted the budget might have been, it wasn't particularly good policy.

The top marginal tax rate cut prompted grizzling, particularly in the context of the free kick going to the super-rich in the past 20 years or so (as identified in Andrew Leigh's research that you posted).

hc said...

I do not think criticising underfunding of the universities is a 'leftist grizzle' - I am not on the left but I oppose the lack of upgrading strongly as my post on the budget suggests.

I still think the budget was digested well generally by the left. The criticisms were muted.

I thought one of the best critiques I saw came from the right - over at Catallaxy where it was pointed out forcefully that the super reforms got it wrong. It would be better to tax super down the line and to make it tax exempt on input. I agree with this and will try to post on this.

conrad said...

I agree with you Harry on the funding of univerisities. I think the term "leftist" is just used as a smear. Neither Singapore nor Hong Kong are exactly the most left leaning governments on Earth, but neither let their universities fall apart like Australia, and most people in those countries realize the value of them, quite unlike here. I think it will be interesting to see if Singapore can really cut into the international student market in the future as planned.

Personally, after working the last few months back in Australia I'm quite surprised how inefficient all the cutbacks have made everything. It somehow amuses me that the government is paying a full professor $80 per hour (or whatever it is) to fight with a photocopying machine.

hc said...

By the way Robert I noticed the Australians's front page story after I responded to your posr.

'The size of the budget giveaways, the breadth of the tax cuts and the strength of the superannuation reform has flummoxed the ALP. Labor is Costello's bunny dazed in the budget headlights'.

I stick with my description.