Friday 23 November 2012

What If?

Christchurch-based Offsetting readers are warmly invited to attend next week's University of Canterbury "What If?" lecture. I'll there be talking about alcohol. I've copied below from the University's promo page:

In his review of New Zealand's alcohol legislation, Law Commissioner Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Palmer pointed to the large gap between alcohol's social costs, estimated at $5.3 billion, and the excise tax take of $795 million as justifying much tighter controls. But what if the cost figure were wildly wrong? Should we really consider, for example, $700 million of drinkers' own expenditures on alcohol as a social cost? Dr. Crampton will discuss his work comparing social costs, as measured in the public health literature, with more standard economic notions of cost. For economic numbers to meaningfully inform policy, they must be produced using standard economic methods that allow comparison of costs across different policy areas. Dr. Crampton will then discuss the influence of bad statistics around alcohol on the Law Commission's review and on legislation before noting some of the other, less publicized, findings around alcohol and moderate drinking. While the harms from hazardous drinking are very real, exaggerating alcohol's harmful effects while ignoring moderate drinkers' enjoyment makes for poor policy.
Date:            Wednesday 28 NovemberEnrol
Time:            7.30 – 9.00pm

Unfortunately, the University's RSVP system for the talks routes through the University's course enrolment system, which makes it really easy for current students but rather a hassle for anyone else. Offsetting readers should feel free to just show up. Loyal readers planning on being in attendance should drop me a note that we might grab a drink afterwards.


  1. We have been trying to evict old yellow tooth Geoffrey Palmer out of New Zealand for years, due to his damaging Resource Management Bill / Act. That single Act did so much damage to New Zealand, but somehow we just can be rid of this man. He is pontificating nonsense and he always has been. He was Prime Minister once for a week till people realized how bad he was . I want him to go to Greenland and make a some new overlording social Act up in more than ten thousand pages, present to NZ Govt for a big laugh.

  2. Will this be streaming live or recorded and uploaded at a later date?
    I live to far away.

  3. I think the University records them.