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Saturday, 06 February

17:00

The Weekend Quiz – February 6-7, 2016 – answers and discussion Bill Mitchell – billy blog

Here are the answers with discussion for yesterday’s quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.

Question 1:

If a nation records an external balance (net exports equal zero) and the government runs a balanced fiscal position then we know that private domestic sector spending will be equal to its overall income and household saving will be zero.

The answer is False.

This is a question about sectoral balances.

To refresh your memory the balances are derived as follows. The basic income-expenditure model in macroeconomics can be viewed in (at least) two ways: (a) from the perspective of the sources of spending; and (b) from the perspective of the uses of the income produced. Bringing these two perspectives (of the same thing) together generates the sectoral balances.

From the sources perspective we write:

GDP = C + I + G + (X – M)

which says that total national income (GDP) is the sum of total final consumption spending (C), total private investment (I), total government spending (G) and net exports (X – M).

Expression (1) tells us that total income in the economy per period will be exactly equal to total spending from all sources of expenditure.

We also have to acknowledge that financial balances of the sectors are impacted by net government taxes (T) which includes all taxes and transfer and interest payments (the latter are not counted independently in the expenditure Expression (1)).

Further, as noted above t...

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Friday, 05 February

04:46

Protestors hit Auckland's streets as TPP is signed AFTINET

4 February 2016

As TPP trade ministers held a ceremonial signing in Auckland, thousands of protestors jammed the streets, including Maori performing the traditional Haka. Watch the video here 

02:50

Minister Robb shoots the messenger, refuses independent TPP assessment AFTINET

MEDIA RELEASE, February 4, 2016: Trade Minister Robb today rejected calls from 59 community organisations representing over two million Australians for an independent assessment by the Productivity Commission on ABC national radio this morning. He claimed  that the broad alliance of public health, church, environment, aid and development and union organisations were just ‘the usual suspects opposed to all trade agreements’. 

AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said that Mr. Robb was shooting the messenger, and failing to address genuine community concerns, also expressed by bodies like the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Productivity Commission.

“The TPP locks in stronger monopoly rights for global corporations over medicines and copyright, and gives all foreign investors special additional rights to sue governments over domestic laws. This is the opposite of free trade,” said Dr Ranald. 

 “We are not opposed to trade. We are making the point that the TPP is not mainly about trade at all. Australia already has free trade agreements with nine of the 12 TPP countries, and a World Bank study shows there will be minuscule trade gains after 15 years.”

 “Mr Robb’s claim that independent assessments are not needed because the government is tabling a National Interest Assessment in Parliament fails to mention that this document is produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which negotiated the agreement. This is not an independent assessment.”

Dr Ranald said that the TPP will be reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties over the next few months before Parliament votes on the implementing legislation. Community organisations will m...

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Thursday, 04 February

07:13

We must fight to stop “worst trade deal ever", says MSF AFTINET

4 February 2016

International medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called on  ll citizens of TPP countries to fight back against the “worst trade deal ever for access to medicines” ahead of the TPP signing to be held in New Zealand today.

MSF says that while high medicine prices will hit all countries, people in developing countries - and organisations like MSF who serve them - will be the hardest hit.

06:59

TPP Canberra forum a success AFTINET

4 February 2016

AFTINET joined the ACTU, GetUp and the Public Health Association in Canberra yesterday at a forum hosted by Labor, Greens and independent MPs.

The groups outlined different concerns but were united in calling for an independent review of the TPP before any vote on its implementing legislation.

You can view media coverage of the day here: ABC news: Concerned community groups call for independent assessment of Trans-Pacific trade deal

AFTINET presented a letter endorsed by almost 60 organisations (representing 2 million Australians) and GetUp presented a petition with more than 300,000 signatures.

Picture, left to righ...

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Wednesday, 03 February

02:39

TPP forum to be held in Canberra today amid strong community opposition AFTINET

3 February 2016
 
Fifty-nine community organisations - representing more than two million Australians - have endorsed AFTINET's letter to parliamentarians calling for an independent assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before Parliament votes on the TPP implementing legislation.
...

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Tuesday, 02 February

23:59

TPP faces a rocky road through Parliament AFTINET

3 February 2016

Originally published by Fairfax media, including The Canberra TimesSydney Morning Herald and The Age

By Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convener

 

Trans-Pacific Partnership faces a rocky road through Parliament

The signing ceremony on February 4 in Auckland for the Trans-Pacific Partnership is mainly a public relations exercise.

It masks the fact that for Australia and most TPP countries, the public debate and parliamentary process to pass implementing legislation, leading to final ratification of the deal, is just beginning, and it will be a rocky road.

After six years of secret negotiations, the 6000 page text was released on November 5, 2015, but was still subject to "legal scrubbing". The scrubbed text was only released last week, with not enough time to check it before the ceremony. We do know that US corporate interests had been furiously lobbying to get last-minute changes. No wo...

Friday, 29 January

07:58

TPP VOTE COMING SOON AFTINET

Ask your MP and Senators to VOTE NO

This year our MPs and Senators will be asked to vote on the TPP’s implementing legislation.

If they pass the TPP legislation they will be paving the way for the deal to come into force – meaning we’ll be vulnerable to lawsuits from foreign corporations and locked in to high medicine prices.

Despite all the downsides of the TPP, there has been no independent assessment done of the costs and the benefits of the deal.

Parliament should not vote on this legislation until the economic, health, environment, and labour rights impacts of the TPP have been properly examined.

In the absence of a proper, unbiased study to shine a light on this deal, we’re calling on MPs and Senators to vote no to the TPP legislation.

Will you join us?

Send a message to your MP and Senators here

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