Some cool green economics images:
Image by bootload
Milton Friedman fanboys: Parental leave policy back-to-front
Wrote a quick response to an opinion piece by Jessica Brown from Centre for Independent Studies. The inclusion of the post on the ABC is a nod to being a *cough* balanced *cough* reporting organisation. The masters of the report hide behind a not so "independent think-tank".
Jessica, In your "analysis" do you take into account empirical evidence like the "Longitudinal Study of Australian Children" and how it effects the outcome of early childhood? . The science indicates that small changes in parenting at years 0-3 can have a dramatic impacts in child wellbeing. Obesity for example.
I ask myself "What is the purpose of this article?" and "Who are you trying to convince?". The Federal Government currently has a public inquiry into "Paid Maternity, Paternity and Parental Leave".  That means anyone is allowed to supply a submission. Including so called "independent" suppliers of information including, "The Center for Independent Studies"  who employs the author of this "opinion piece". 
Is the CIS as independent as they claim? Well I can’t tell where the CIS gets it’s money directly but in an investigative piece of Journalism by "The Age" Newspaper in 2005 we can get a good idea.  The budget is about AUD2M (2005) with donations from "McDonald’s Australia, Philip Morris, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Fairfax". The board of the CIS is also stacked with well know business names, "Sir Rod Eddington, Robert Champion de Crespigny, Gordon Cairns, Nicholas Moore". 
Jessica, you don’t need to write a five and a half thousand word essay on the merits of "financial freedom of choice" or how the state should let free markets solve the complex set of problems such as successfully raising the next generation of Australians. Why do you take your argument off at a complete tangent away from the intent of the public inquiry?
"The inquiry will concentrate on support for parents of newborn children up to the age of two years" 
You can read the submission made by Jessica on behalf of CIS to the government.
When are have some serious debate on the issues of how to successfully raise healthy children instead this waffle from the "Milton Friedman"  fanboy club?
 The "Growing Up in Australia" is a longitudinal study of Australian undertaken by the "Australian Institute of Family Studies". It is attempting to find out what it takes to successfully successfully raise a "healthy" child in an Australian context.
 Obesity observations taken from LSAC wave 1 and 2 studies.
 Chaired by Robert Fitzgerald it is an inquiry that "The inquiry will concentrate on support for parents of newborn children up to the age of two years."
 Centre for Independent Studies, about page.
 Jessica Brown, Policy Analyst, CIS
 "Ewin Hannan and Shaun Carney", ‘Thinkers of influence’, "The Age" Online, [Accessed Tuesday November 18, 2008]
 "Sir Rod Eddington (Non-exec director roles in JPMorgan, News Corporation, Rio Tinto, Allco Finance Group Limited, CLP), Robert Champion de Crespigny (Mineral Securities Limited), Nicholas Moore (Macquirie Capital), Gordon Cairns (Director of Westpac, Nestlé, Imperial Foods, Cadbury Schweppes)"
 Refer to point .
 "Jessica Brown", "Submission to the
Productivity Commission Inquiry into Paid Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leave, The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS)", 30 May 2008.
BNSF locomotive 6
Image by Eric E Johnson
Railyard at Demers and Washington, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 2008
If the Creative Commons license is too restrictive for your needs, just e-mail me and ask. This photo is konomarked.
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Locomotive and smiley water tower
Image by Eric E Johnson
Grand Forks, North Dakota
This photo is konomarked ("Most Rights Sharable").
If you would like to use this image without paying anything, e-mail me and ask. I’m generally willing to share.
KONOMARK – Most Rights Sharable. Just ask me.