Keith Rankin - Latest News [Page 1]

Visualising A Way Out Of The Pandemic

Tuesday, 21 December 2021, 4:05 pm | Keith Rankin

Public policy has a number of biases. One is that certain real or alleged emergencies require (or seem to require) an urgent policy intervention. The result is a consortium of elected politicians, bureaucrat officials, and expert technocrats get on board, ... More >>

Science, Scientists, And Scientism

Monday, 6 December 2021, 9:13 am | Keith Rankin

Science, in the not-so-recent-past, has often had a bad press. It's been personified, particularly by the political left, as Frankenstein, as agents of capitalism, classical liberalism, colonialism, sexism (yang over yin), eugenics, and god-like pretension. ... More >>

Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights

Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 12:37 pm | Keith Rankin

"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers , 'Context ... More >>

Bulgaria, The Balkans, And Distrust

Thursday, 25 November 2021, 12:17 pm | Keith Rankin

Yesterday morning I awoke to this story about a bus crash in Bulgaria: Dozens killed in Bulgaria bus fire, including children . I thought immediately about how unusual it is in New Zealand to hear a story about Bulgaria. In the context that Bulgaria ... More >>

Who's The Thief?

Tuesday, 23 November 2021, 2:31 pm | Keith Rankin

Cartoon Strip 1 Imagine a two-panel cartoon strip. Each panel has an apple tree and two people. In the first panel, the tree has eight apples, all low-hanging. In the second panel, the apples have all been picked. One person (A) has one apple in ... More >>

'Influenza' Pandemics In New Zealand's Past

Thursday, 18 November 2021, 2:24 pm | Keith Rankin

On Tuesday (16 Nov) I was concerned to hear this story on RNZ's Checkpoint ( National distances itself from ex-MP after video with discredited academic ). My concern here is not particularly with the "discredited academic", although no academic ... More >>

Covid19: Vaccine Hesitancy And Distrust, By Governments

Friday, 12 November 2021, 12:12 pm | Keith Rankin

While governments are now mandating many people to take Covid19 vaccines, government hesitancy towards vaccines and vaccination – much of it seemingly due to overprioritisation of perceived 'cost' issues – remains a problem of significant consequence. The ... More >>

Covid19 Death Semantics

Tuesday, 9 November 2021, 12:33 pm | Keith Rankin

Last year the Government was careful to count anybody who died with a Covid19-positive status as a Covid19 death. Now we keep hearing about such deaths which the government is saying will need to be referred to the coroner before we can establish what they ... More >>

Influenza: Global Epidemic 2017 Versus The Flu Season Of 2019/20

Thursday, 4 November 2021, 9:30 am | Keith Rankin

The global influenza epidemic of late 2016 to early 2018 was a pandemic in all but name. For the United States, see The Perfect Storm Behind This Year's Nasty Flu Season , The Atlantic 14 Jan 2018; and Last year's flu broke records for deaths and illnesses ... More >>

Covid19: Revaccinate Now, And Address Influenza Too

Thursday, 28 October 2021, 11:34 am | Keith Rankin

In its pandemic response, the New Zealand government has consistently been tardy, and then found itself playing catch-up, having to 'go hard' (indeed a 'world-leading' hardest) on account of its lack of preparedness. Further, having gone hard, there ... More >>

Covid19 Premier League: Spectrum Of Public Health Choices

Thursday, 14 October 2021, 11:30 am | Keith Rankin

Now is as good a time as any to evaluate and reflect on the public health policy choices made in the period from February to April 2020, re the Covid19 pandemic. Here I have postulated a 'league' of 12 economically advanced countries which have ... More >>

Global Housing Crisis, Human Rights, And Entitlement Finance

Thursday, 7 October 2021, 4:27 pm | Keith Rankin

This last week I watched Push: The Global Housing Crisis on Al Jazeera , featuring Leilani Farha, Canadian lawyer and former United Nations special rapporteur on adequate housing. She is now leader of The Shift (the global movement to secure the human ... More >>

Covid Immunity Calculus

Thursday, 30 September 2021, 4:36 pm | Keith Rankin

Quiz Questions: Which foreign country or territory is closest to New Zealand by jetplane? Which foreign country or territory had the world's highest per capita incidence of Covid19 last week? Before giving the answers, I would note that the worst-affected ... More >>

Vaccination Rates And The Population Denominator

Monday, 27 September 2021, 2:57 pm | Keith Rankin

We are learning that, in the absence of high levels of natural immunity to Covid19, New Zealand will need extremely high vaccination rates before it can repudiate its growing 'hermit kingdom' status. (It is important to note that the expression 'hermit ... More >>

Table Of Excess Deaths From Covid19

Friday, 24 September 2021, 8:57 am | Keith Rankin

The table below uses raw-death data published downloaded from to predict what death numbers would have occurred in 2020 and 2021 had there been no Covid19 pandemic. The actual death numbers are compared with the predicted (counterfactual) ... More >>

New Zealand Superannuation: The Rules Versus Common Sense

Tuesday, 21 September 2021, 12:25 pm | Keith Rankin

Radio New Zealand ( Checkpoint ) ran stories last week about New Zealanders aged over 65 stranded in Australia who are at risk of having their pensions ('New Zealand Superannuation') stopped, and then having to repay the funds they received while ... More >>

Indo-Pacific: The World's New Geopolitical Buzzword

Friday, 17 September 2021, 12:05 pm | Keith Rankin

I have been watching the sudden rise to prominence of the word 'Indo-Pacific' these last couple of months. These last couple of days it may have been the most repeated word on Radio New Zealand. According to Wikipedia today, Indo-Pacific is "biogeographic ... More >>

Breaking NZ’s Covid Siege: What Needs to be Done, and When

Monday, 13 September 2021, 9:25 am | Keith Rankin

New Zealand is under siege from Covid19. We can learn some things from medieval city sieges. A traditional siege takes place in a fortress, and the besieging agent waits outside the wall or the moat. The defenders also waited, in a battle of attrition; ... More >>

Quarantine, an effective temporary Public Health measure

Wednesday, 8 September 2021, 2:04 pm | Keith Rankin

Public Health measures are restrictive 'health' imposts by an authority over some or all of the people subject to that authority. In most cases they are both 'merit goods' (having benefits which people ought to be willing to pay for), and 'public ... More >>

Pandemic Feedback

Friday, 3 September 2021, 2:35 pm | Keith Rankin

Dynamic living processes get into feedback loops. The most common is a negative feedback loop, whereby processes self-regulate; when something happens then something else happens, in response, to offset the initial event. If it gets cold, we put on ... More >>