Old Palmer Song

My favourite folksong when I first came to Oz. A great tune which ended up as the theme for the series “Rush”. It’s about mining in Queensland and searching for gold and things like that. It just sort of came to mind for no reason I can think of.

Old Palmer Song

The wind is fair and free, my boys, the wind is fair and free
The steamer’s course is north, my boys, and the Palmer we will see
The Palmer we will see, my boys, and Cooktown’s muddy shore
Where I’ve been told there’s lots of gold, so stay down south no more

So, blow ye winds, heigho
A-digging we will go
I’ll stay no more down south, my boys
So let the music play
In spite of what I’m told
I’m off in search of gold
I’ll make a push for that new rush
A thousand miles away

I also came across this looking for the above on youtube which is “The Old Maid’s Song” this time sung by someone named Clive Palmer. Have I mentioned that as part of my life on the left, I learned to play the banjo like all good children of comrades and naturally from Pete Seeger’s instructional manual. This is a great tune and well done but by today’s standards very non-PC.

UPDATE: As pointed out in the comments, the theme song from Rush was written by George Dreyfus but there ought to be no doubt that he was taking it from “The Old Palmer Song”. Lots of composers drew on folk song tradition. Here is Dreyfus’s version. And please do note the lovely sounds of the banjo.

FURTHER UPDATE: Again pointed out in the comments that the tune comes from an English sea shanty. But the “Ten Thousand Miles” of the title are about a lad who follows his true love off to Australia after she’s been shipped out as a convict. And if you go into this link on the history of the tune on disk, you can see a number of versions of the lyrics and one more video of the song being played. But if you are in England, the only place Ten Thousand Miles Away is Botany Bay so it may really be ours after all.

ABSOLUTELY FINAL UPDATE: Turns out it is neither a folk song nor a sea shanty but an music hall song from the nineteenth century which even comes with the name of the person who wrote it. I missed this on the discography I linked to before.

Written for the Music Hall by Joseph B. Geoghegan (1816-1889). He was born in Barton upon Irwell, Lancs, and probably wrote his songs while manager of the Star and Museum Music Hall in Bolton. More usually known as Ten Thousand Miles Away, it’s found—though infrequently—all over the English-speaking world, with 47 Roud entries.

Giving the game away on the left’s views on inequality

I wrote on Ha-Joon Chang yesterday about his ignorant views on Say’s Law. Now let me turn to his views on inequality which have such a bizarre quality to them that it quite takes the breath away. Chang starts with a joke although it is a joke I don’t think he quite gets.

The peasant Ivan is jealous of his rival Boris, because Boris has a goat. A fairy comes along and offers Ivan a single wish. What does he wish for? That Boris’s goat should drop dead. (p 317)

But to Chang this is only a quasi-joke. It is more a tale of reality from which we should learn. Here’s the section heading that comes immediately after the above:

Ivan is not alone – the pursuit of equality as a driver of human history

And if you think he is being ironic in thinking this is a proper illustrative example of the ethic of equity, it is not in the slightest way part of his nature. He actually thinks that wanting what others have even if they worked for it and you haven’t is reasonable. He thinks it is reasonable for someone to prefer both peasants to be in misery when only one was before. Look what he writes:

Ivan is not alone. In Korea, there is a saying that you get a bellyache when your cousin buys a plot of land. And I am sure many readers know similar jokes or proverbs about people becoming irrationally jealous with other people doing better.

The pursuit of equality is a very natural human emotion and has been a powerful driver of human history. Equality was one of the ideals of the French Revolution, one of whose most famous mottos was ‘Liberté, égalité fraternité ou la mort’ (liberty, fraternity, brotherhood or death).

Although I have seldom come across such a repulsive sentiment stated in such an open way, what is startling is that he gives the socialist game away although in such a sordid fashion that it is almost too bizarre to realise he doesn’t understand what he has said. The others will have to get to him before he reveals too much more. It will have to be explained to him that one is supposed to seek equality because of one’s love of mankind, so that others can share the wealth, not because one is worm-eaten, bitter and envious when it is discovered that someone has more than you do, if only slightly more. He has actually spoken truly, has stated the socialist creed in all its fulness, but it is nevertheless astonishing to see it stated in print by one of the left’s leading lights.

He even goes on to sneer at this famous statement from Milton Friedman which I would have thought was almost a truism:

Most economic fallacies derive from … the tendency to assume there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another. (p 319 – his ellipsis)

This is, Chang says, an example of the belief in “trickle-down” economics, that the productive getting richer by producing things others want to buy helps the poor become better off by selling them what they would otherwise never be able to have.

And this is a man whose specialty is a development economist. If he doesn’t know that the rest of us only because reasonably well off because a few people have become wealthy by inventing products and producing them at affordable prices, he will do only harm in any country he is asked to provide advice. A world authority and at Cambridge yet (but then again, so was Keynes) he seems oblivious to the source of wealth, to why we are all immeasurably richer today than a century ago. An absolute clown but a perfect representation of the belief system of the left.

The Swedish model

I don’t know what everybody is worried about. In two, three generations at most, everyone will be completely used to it. Look at how well it’s worked out for Sweden:

The Swedish police has released a map of 55 areas where they publicly admit to having surrendered control to the criminal gangs. The report describes outright attacks on police officers trying to enter the areas, which is a step up from the previous problem with attacks on mailmen, fire trucks, ambulances and similar services; it used to be that fire trucks and ambulances had to wait for police escort to enter the areas, but now the police themselves need protection.

The no-go areas heavily coincides with the map of the 186 “exclusion areas” aka. crowded, predominantly muslim immigrant ghettos, where education is low, employment is lower, and the only local business thriving is that of the drug dealing (which takes place openly and continues to do brisk business.)

As the real law backs away, organized crime emerges to take its place. The police report notes that “a wider clientel [in the areas] are increasingly turning to the criminal authorities for justice” in a Godfather-like fashion. Unofficial courts and punishments are often meted out according to the codes of the home cultures of the dominant gangs. The report also point out that there are vehicle checkpoints at the borders of some of these areas. The bad news is that it’s not the police doing them; it’s the gangs securing their home turf against law enforcement and rival crime families.

Your vote is sacred, unless you vote Republican

The video is of another instance from the story quoted here, but the story is just the same: Voting machine casts candidate’s vote for his Dem opponent.

Admitting his confidence in Cook County ballot integrity is shaken, State Representative Candidate Jim Moynihan (R-56), was shocked today when he tried to cast a vote for himself and the voting machine cast it for his opponent instead.

voteballotbox“While early voting at the Schaumburg Public Library today, I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” said Moynihan. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race. It is unknown if the machine in question (#008958) has been removed from service or is still in operation.

You will not be surprised to find that this is not a story on the front page of the New York Times. There are so many scandals within the American political system that it is impossible to keep up.

Ha-Joon Chang – please copy

Ha-Joon Chang seems to be the economist of the moment, with yet another book published by Penguin, Economics: The User’s Guide. But what is notable for me is that he has obviously, but only obviously to me, looked either at what I have written about Say’s Law or looked at someone else who has picked up on what I have written on Say’s Law. He does the usual ritual on “supply creates its own demand” but then adds:

“There can be no such thing as a recession due to a shortfall in demand.” [p 116]

You who have heard me harangue on this for many a moon may think nothing of this, but this is precisely the definition I use myself. It is apparently and pleasingly getting out and about. Because once the focus is in the right place and on the right thing, then we can have a genuine debate. Are recessions caused by a shortfall in demand? Because you would have to be demented to believe that the Global Financial Crisis was in any way caused by a fall off in demand. Same for every other recession in history up until now. But if one merely looks at the GFC, a fall in demand because of decisions to save has to be the least plausible of all possible explanations. In fact, Chang, and I think following my lead, goes on to describe the kinds of things that those classical economists used to look at for explanations, which again you would have to be demented not automatically to look at yourself. He writes:

Any recession had to be due to exogenous factors, such as a war or the failure of a major bank.

He thinks bank failures are exogenous [ie external to the operation of the economy, like being hit by a meteorite, say]! A bank failure is precisely what might be thought of as both endogenous and not in any way a Keynesian explanation, which is based around demand failure due to too much saving, not some kind of crisis on the production side. And you would like then to know what caused the bank to fail, and whether the problem was more widespread than a single bank, since during a financial crisis there is never only one bank going to the wall.

But then he goes on to add the usual Keynesian idiocies since economists just do not seem to be able to help themselves:

Since the economy was incapable of naturally generating a recession, any government attempt to counter it, say, through deliberate deficit spending, was condemned as disturbing the natural order. This meant that recessions that could have been cut short or made milder became prolonged in the days of Classical economics.

You really do have to wonder about these blockheads! We are the midst of what may already be the most prolonged of all recessions in history, and it is by no means over yet, and he complains about classical economists’ reluctance of try to fix things by public spending. Let me once more quote from my Quadrant piece from February 2009 which was titled, The Dangerous Return to Keynesian Economics:

Just as the causes of this downturn cannot be charted through a Keynesian demand-deficiency model, neither can the solution. The world’s economies are not suffering from a lack of demand, and the right policy response is not a demand stimulus. Increased public sector spending will only add to the market confusions that already exist.

What is potentially catastrophic would be to try to spend our way to recovery. The recession that will follow will be deep, prolonged and potentially take years to overcome.

That is classical economics forecasting almost six years ago the prolonged recession every economy in the world is in the midst of and cannot shake off. If you would like to understand more fully what classical economists actually believed, you cannot do better than this.

It’s not how many votes you get that counts but who gets to count the votes

Even blacks in Chicago are coming out against Obama and the Democrats. It could be a wave election, except for this:

Early voting just started last week in Maryland, but there are already accusations that some voting machines are changing Republican votes to Democrat.

There is a case to be made that Democrats – indeed any old standard issue politician of the left – are interested in not much else other than power for themselves and are not particularly fastidious about how they get it.

The Christie-Obama alliance

That under no circumstances would I ever support Chris Christie for President was resolved for me the moment he actively subverted Mitt Romney’s own presidential run in the last week of the 2012 campaign. If Romney won, Christie could not run in 2016. Therefore he did everything he could to ensure a Romney loss, with the effort made to make Obama look like a man of action in the midst of “Superstorm Sandy” the crowning moment. Were it not for the storm, Romney would have won. Were it not for Christie, Romney might still have won. But irrespective of whether or not it made a difference, that Christie did what he did has made him poison for me, aside from the fact that he is a leftist clown.

So now he is at it again, trying to knock off Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Think of this:

The RGA, chaired by Gov. Christie (R-N.J.), has been under pressure in recent days to do more to help Walker, a tea party favorite who rocketed to political stardom after he curbed bargaining rights for most public workers in his state. The Weekly Standard reported Thursday that there were brewing suspicions on the right that Christie, as RGA chairman, has been “undercutting” Walker, his potential rival for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Just showing form, merely form, expect nothing else, this is how he is. That no one ties it to Romney makes me think Christie is the one the established Republican Party wants. But here Obama seems to be on exactly the same side as they both seem to have the same agenda. OBAMA GOES TO WISCONSIN IN BID TO OUST GOV. WALKER.

President Barack Obama is making a rare appearance on the campaign trail just one week before Election Day in an effort to help a Democratic challenger oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office.

I would think that Obama is poison but he will do what he can. Also disgusting but normal politics. You would just think that just maybe the Republicans would understand that Walker is a potentially more formidable opponent than Christie given the efforts they are making to push him out. Politics in the US is just too hard for us outsiders since it is impossible to follow the money or whatever else it is that counts.

Obstruction, intimidation and harassment

You should dwell on this para from John Hinderaker at Powerline for a very long time and then read the article to truly appreciate the kind of world we are in. He puts the word “if” at the front, but if you read the article, there is no if about it. This is the sentence:

The Obama administration hacked into a reporter’s computers, used them to spy on her, and even prepared to frame her for a potential criminal prosecution by planting classified documents.

“If this were a Republican administration,” he further notes, “every reporter in Washington would be on the story, as would various law enforcement agencies.” There would literally be no end to it, a Nixon plus McCarthy moment never to be forgotten. Indeed, this is such a moment, and one that ought to be but won’t.

As for who we discussing, we are, of course, talking about Sharyl Attkisson since there is literally no other reporter from the mainstream American media to compare and about whom the American government was so enraged. But after the IRS, there is virtually nothing a Democrat President can do that will get him into serious trouble with the media, and therefore with the electorate at large. For journalists, however, things are entirely different. The risks of stepping out of line are enormous. Only someone with the highest of profiles would be even relatively immune and she got the sack, so in reality, no one is immune. There’s a lot of years of not being on CBS ahead of her, an outcome virtually no one else with the same kind of profile would be willing to endure.

I will have to read her book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington although I suspect it will do no more than confirm all of the beliefs about the American media and government I already have. But if you haven’t understood the nature of the American Republic in the second decade of the twenty-first century, this may give us a glimpse.

Government must get out of the way

Keynesian economic theory has turned out to be a device for the rich to rob the poor, for the unproductive to raid the incomes of those who work. We are supposedly all to be made better off through massive diversion of the wealth of our nations into the pockets of the crony capitalist friends of our ruling elites and union leaders who fleece their members in the name of protecting them from the employers who gave them their jobs.

Rupert Murdoch has spoken on this to the G20, the first person not from a government to be allowed to make such a presentation. Paul Kelly discusses Murdoch’s speech under the heading, Equality at risk in the West, says Rupert Murdoch. It’s a damned sight more than just equality that is at risk, but our very prosperity. We are being made poor across the broad expanse of our communities because governments are now the chief agents for dispensing purchasing power. Obama was right: you didn’t earn it. The government earned it, and you will only be allowed to keep what it decides you should keep. This is part of what Murdoch said:

“In America, the most highly paid 1 per cent now pay 46 per cent of all income tax.” . . . “In Britain, the top 1 per cent pay 28 per cent of all income tax. That is a massive shift from what our society looked like 30 years ago. We should all be concerned about this polarisation which was never the intent of policy but is certainty a consequence.

“Quantitative easing has increased the price of assets, such as stocks and real estate, and that has helped first and foremost those who already have assets. Meanwhile, the lack of any real wage increase for middle-income workers means growing societal divisions and resentment.”

Quantitative easing is a disaster but you will not find out why by reading any economics book that I know of, other than mine. The last two chapters deal with what had once been stock standard economics before the General Theory. Even Keynes dealt with the money rate of interest (the price of credit) and the natural rate of interest (the price of actual resources, such as bricks and mortar), but that was in his 1930 Treatise on Money, which he wrote before he was sidetracked by Say’s Law. We are ruining our economies in the belief that we are actually doing them good by higher levels of public spending and lower interest rates to encourage investment. But we are ruining them, which is a fact that is obvious to everyone. The only thing invisible is why. But what Murdoch proposed is absolutely right:

The significance of his nine-page speech is his argument about the limits to both monetary and fiscal policy and the imperative for a new approach based upon the need “for government to get out of the way”. Mr Murdoch called for: labour market reform; lower and more competitive corporate taxes; a crackdown on multinationals — naming Google — for not paying taxes where they make their profits; a rethink on excessive bank regulation, warning “you would have to be mad to join the board of a bank these days”; and recognition that high taxes and over-regulation were damaging economic growth and the public interest.

But if you start from Y=C+I+G you cannot make any sense of what he suggests. Read Chapters 16 and 17 of my Free Market Economics second edition if you would like to understand the classical explanation for what is happening right before your eyes and why these kinds of reforms are needed. I do find it odd that this is the only book I know of, at least one that has been written since the 1930s, that can explain what was once obvious to every economist in the world. But odd or not, that is how it seems to be.

If the government spends the money then you can’t

When the government does the spending the rest of us are pushed out of the way. Governments cannot create demand, they can only divert it into the production of their own preferences instead of ours which are sometimes, but not always, the same. The notion that their soaking up our resources somehow magically adds to the sum total available to everyone is the most monstrous of all of the monstrous untruths now found in modern economic theory. Here is an article about the United States that would have a sharp resonance across the world. 7 things the middle class can’t afford anymore is its title. I will only reproduce the first of them. You can then read the whole thing for yourself.


A vacation is an extra expense that many middle-earners cannot afford without sacrificing something else. A Statista survey found that this year 54% of people gave up purchasing big ticket items like TVs or electronics so they can go on a vacation. Others made sacrifices like reducing or eliminating their trips to the movies (47%), reducing or eliminating trips out to restaurants (43%), or avoiding purchasing small ticket items like new clothing (43%).

Keynesian theory pretends that if the government spends more of your money, you will end up better off. Are people really that stupid to believe such a thing?