Oz for Dummies: Week 42, 2021

(October 18–24) Freedom day in Victoria / After Andrews and Ardern, Palaszczuk now also following the NSW playbook / NSW (and VIC) opening to international travel / IBAC and ICAC public inquiries continue while the Obeids and Sir-Lunch-A-Lot finally face the music / Past alarmist predictions, crowd-sourced, and other attempts to revisit the pandemic past

/ Freedom day in Victoria

In the night from Thursday to Friday, after VIC reported yet another 2,000+ new cases (and before it reported yet another 2,000+ new cases), with the O-multiplier — the ratio of cases at the same stage of Delta outbreaks in VIC and NSW — robustly above 2, and there being discussions about whether the peak has been reached, the lock-down in Victoria ended and it was party-time for many. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the days ahead.

/ After Andrews and Ardern, Palaszczuk now also following the NSW playbook

After Andrews and Ardern abandonned their zero-covid strategy and adopted broadly the NSW Berejiklian — Chant playbook, Queensland’s Palaszczuk has now followed suit. Way to go though for a state which lags NSW in first (by almost 20 percentage points) and second jabs (by almost 25 percentage points), pretty much in sync with Western Australia where Marki Mark is the remaining defender of the zero-covid strategy in Australia. I fear it will cost Western Australia dearly. It already does, as Qantas’s decisions in early October illustrate.

/ NSW (and VIC) opening to international travel

When, a couple of weeks ago, talk was still about a slow opening of the borders for stranded Aussies, I predicted “In fact, the opening of borders might come as early as early November. I take bets.”

/ IBAC and ICAC public inquiries continue while the Obeids and Sir-Lunch-A-Lot finally face the music /

The public inquiries into Labor branch-stacking in Victoria and Berejiklian continue. IBAC is prying open a veritable cesspit of industrial-scale misconduct. ICAC is building a case against Berejiklian. Berejiklian is scheduled to appear next week and I have to agree from the transcripts I have read it does not look good for her. The bloke at Kangaroo Courts of Australia has asked who is paying her legal costs. Fair question that. Presumably there is some blind trust that will raise to the occasion.

/ Alarmist predictions, crowd-sourced, and other attempts to revisit the pandemic past

Early in the week, a columnist at the AFR took aim at three economists that are still defending the ill-devised JobKeeper scheme. You have indeed to be a particularly conflicted nitwit to call it “bloody beautiful” after the evidence is becoming clearer with the day that it has led to massive redistribution to the haves.

EconProf: I post occasionally on whatever tickles my fancy: Science, evidence production, the Econ tribe, Oz politics, etc. Y’all r entitled to my opinions …