tip off

Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: how does Rudd get away with it?

Whatever else you might say about Kevin Rudd, his genius for self-promotion can not be doubted. What other humble backbencher would have a national breakfast television program run a competition for his electorate T-shirt?

How old are the vice chancellors? Just a little follow-up to my note on the university super scheme. My “normally reliable source” asks me to note that the 14% employer contribution for all under the scheme equals 11.9% after 15% contributions tax. The member puts in 7% after tax. A total of 18.9% at all ages.

But up to age 40, the benefit only accrues at 18% of Final average Salary which is less than current salary. Only at age 45 is the benefit accrual rate of 19% higher than the contribution rate. In short, 20 year’s service from age 20 to 40 gives a benefit of 3.6 times final average salary. This is despite fact about 3.8 times salary has been put in over this period no return. At age 65 benefit accrues at 23% of final average salary. Twenty year’s service from 45 to 65 gives 4.6 times final average salary. How can this be considered a fair scheme.

Compare Telstra defined benefit fund. Five per cent from member gives 20% of final average salary at all ages.

PSS Commonwealth Government Scheme 5% employee gives 21% of final average salary at all ages.

UniSuper is surviving on the young being forced to be members and like a Ponzi schemes as the older members take their larger benefits and run, including via redundancies, the funding problems for the younger people get worse.

Perhaps a little unkindly my source asks me to ponder how old vice chancellors are.

Maybe not so clever. Letting charity begin at home is more likely to be a vote winner than giving aid to foreigners overseas so the criticism by the Opposition of government plans to use millions in aid money to feed and accommodate asylum seekers in Australia is something of a surprise. Surely the experts at negative politics have not discovered principles?

Still seen as an honest lot. The Australian Wheat Board’s dealings with Iraq and a problem or two with banknote printing contracts notwithstanding, the Australian public sector is still seen by the world as being an honest lot. The annual Corruption Perception Index for 2012 from Transparency International has Australia near the top of the list.

The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 - 100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean. A country’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories included in the index. This year’s index includes 176 countries and territories.

In the table above, CI refers to Confidence Interval. The confidence interval reflects some of the uncertainty associated with a country’s CPI score. It is calculated by looking at the range of scores given by all the data used to calculate that country’s score, such that a wider interval reflects a wider variation in the data for that country.

The irrepressible Kevin. Whatever else you might say about Kevin Rudd, his genius for self-promotion can not be doubted. What other humble backbencher would have a national breakfast television program run a competition for his electorate T-shirt? And who else would have the nerve to charge $30 to be a walking advertisement for the candidate?

Entering into the silly season spirit. Crikey taking a short break over the Christmas-New Year holidays deprives me of the opportunity to really get into the spirit of silly season journalism but this story presents a perfect opportunity to get in early with the help of Economist’s View

Master computer controls universe?, The Times of India: Scientists are conducting experiments to discover whether the universe exists within a Matrixstyle computer simulation created by super computers of the future.

The experiments being conducted by University of Washington could prove that we are merely pawns in some kind of larger computer game. However, it is unclear who created these super computers that may hypothetically power our existence.

Imagine the situation where we get a big enough computer to simulate our universe, and we start such a simulation on our computers,” said professor Martin Savage, a physicists working on the project. “If that simulation runs long enough, and have same laws as our universe, then something like our universe will emerge within that simulations, and the situation will repeat itself within each simulation,” he said. …

Explaining how the experiment works, physicists claim that finite computer resources mean that space time is not continuous but set on a grid with a finite volume, designed to create maximum energy subatomic particles. The direction these particles flow in will depend on how they are ordered on the grid. They will be looking at the distribution of the highest energy cosmic rays in order to detect patterns that could suggest that universe is the creation of some futuristic computer technology. And if it does turns out that we are mere players in some sort of computer program, they suggested that there may be a way to mess with the program, and play with the minds of our creators. “One could imagine trying to figure out how to manipulate the code, communicate with the code and questions that appear weird to consider today,” he said.

And another one. My thanks to Hillary Bray in her role as Special Adviser, Viral Communications, Office of the Victorian Premier for putting me on the list to receive Ted Baillieu’s Christmas message.

The population growth rises. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures this morning shows the annual population growth rate for the year ended June 30, 2012 was 1.6%. This continues an increasing rate from a low of 1.1% for the year ending March 2011. The ABS estimated the resident population at June 30, 2012 was 22,683,600 people. This reflects an increase of 359,600 people since June 30, 2011 and 87,100 people since 31 March 2012.

News and views noted along the way.

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  • 1
    Kevin Tyerman
    Posted Wednesday, 19 December 2012 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Does Hilary Bray have any connection to former Crikey correspondent Christian Kerr?

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