Gina Rinehart:

Jason Tame writes: Re. “Video of the Day: Rinehart our new YouTube star” (September 5, item 8). I sat bolt upright for Gina Rinehart’s “now stay calm but I’m VERY worried” YouTube economic tutorial, even rushing for my notepad and pen while Rinehart explained the imminent economic collapse, the African world takeover, the new $2 an hour minimum wage we should embrace and the fact that we should be cancelling the Sunday barbecue and all get ourselves back down the mine shaft quick smart if we want to make anything of ourselves.

I was momentarily enthralled. Until I realised that this was a bit of a first, a bit strange even — mining magnates don’t normally provide economic advice or tutorials like this after all — and then it hit me; Rinehart was pushing her own big wheelbarrow full of iron ore.

I’m not another bloody commie Labor voter but actually a blue ribbon Liberal voter and small business owner in Perth. We’re down here in the trenches trying to make a buck in the real world while Rinehart whines about the fact she may not be able to get another billion-dollar project going because we all party too much and don’t work hard enough. Meanwhile, we have trouble keeping 20-year-olds employed because they all have friends “that earn 100k driving a truck so why can’t I” and we live in a city that subsequently has restaurant and cafe menus priced as if made just for the Rineharts of this world.

Look I’m not blaming all these things on the “boom”, I know it’s more complex than that, but I’ve got a news flash for Rinehart: the stuff will still be in the ground for us to dig up later, it ain’t got no use-by date. I don’t see any big problem leaving some in the ground for the next generation — I mean they need an economy too, right? The only resulting downside is Rinehart’s purse being a little lighter but surely she has enough to get by for now.

World Economic Forum competitiveness report:

Gavan Ord writes: Re. ‘World Economic Forum turns its forensic gaze on competition” (Friday, item 10).  A good article by Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer on the World Economic Forum competitiveness report.

Page 72 of the report will show them that there were only 68 responses to the Australian survey in 2012 (72 in 2011).  We have been told that about 70% of the WEF competitiveness ranking is based responses from this sample.

How the data is weighted is on pages 75 and 76 of the report.

Page 396 of the report (Burden of government regulation) shows that Australia’s 68 responses rank Australia 96th in terms of regulatory burden.  Accordingly, the survey shows that the regulatory burden in countries such as Mali (which is mostly controlled by rebels), Indonesia and Guatemala is better than in Australia.

Given the limitations of the methodology used to prepare the report, the competitiveness index must be taken with a grain of salt.  That is, the index should only be seen as indicative and highlight areas of possible, more detailed research work.