Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pick any number. Do these calculations. Your answer was 3, wasn't it?

step 1: get a noisy time series
the exchange rate between the US Dollar and UK Pound
step 2: filter out everything that doesn't come in 9 year cycles
UK/US exchange rate 1791-2007 less 9 yr. mov.avg
(emphasis added)

result: you got something with a 9 year cycle, didn't you?
an 8.25 year cycle
Just the same way wind instruments work. Make white noise, and pass it through a tube of a certain length, an it filters out all the frequencies that don't resonate, leaving just the frequency you want and some of its harmonics.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What people mean when they say "High effective marginal tax rates"

Christchurch woman Cassey Quy, 29, quit her job in a flood of tears after three months.

As a single parent looking after her four-year-old son Riley, she gets $357 a week on the domestic purposes benefit (DPB), with some bills being paid by Work and Income.

Struggling to make ends meet, she took a part-time job as a laboratory assistant at Canterbury University in January.

After advice from a Work and Income case worker, Quy believed she would be better off by $100 per week.

However, her part-benefit, part-wage income left her $10 a week worse off.

After the Government changes were announced yesterday, Quy said she was scared she would fall back into debt.

“It doesn’t make sense, working but not earning money,” she said.

“It’s like the Government is punishing us.

This should be very high on peoples lists of things that are wrong with the world. Her work at the university was helping other people, even though she was doing it purely for her own reasons. That way, everyone wins. However, government has gotten in the way, and her incentives have been perversed so much, that she stopped producing her labour. Because of the government, she has had to take an action that benefited herself, to the detriment of everyone else.

Such extreme cases like this one should be the first thing to be fixed.

Don't listen to anyone who tells you producers will never stop producing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Government gives Councils money, makes their balance sheet look better

The deficit this quarter is $45.4 million smaller than the September 2009 quarter deficit of $65.6 million
Oh good, Councils are being slightly less irresponsible and accumulating debt on our behalf slightly more slowly.

Local authorities recorded a seasonally adjusted operating deficit of $20.2 million in the December 2009 quarter

But there's still a little way to go.

The main contributions to the increase came from government grants and subsidies (up $26.7 million) [...]

Oh wait, that's not councils being more responsible, that's just government bailing them out so they can continue being irresponsible. Well that number is smaller, so they are still being $18.7 million more responsible, which is good.

and investment income (up $26.0 million). The rise in investment income was driven by an increase in revenue from dividends (up $27.9 million).

And the rest of their good fortune is down to things beyond their control (dividends). So the effect of their responsibility or otherwise on the operating deficit is $45.4m - $26.7m - 27.9m = -$9.2m, a further $9.2 million of debt per quarter, on top of what they were already doing. Of course this doesn't even include the increases in rates and their effect on society, which is what the problem really is.