Joshua Gans guest blogs for Troppo

joshua-gans_preview.jpgOn behalf of all Troppodillians I had lunch with Joshua Gans today.

Actually it wasn’t on behalf of anyone. I just felt like writing something pompous.

Anyway, we spoke about many things including writing columns. Joshua writes all or many of his blog posts in the morning while his kids have breakfast and run around getting ready for whatever it is they get ready for. Then the worthy posts are turned to columns and Bob’s you’re uncle.

We were talking about writing columns and Joshua told me that he once wrote columns for the ‘tender’ section of the Age. I could see how, with his interests in business innovation, auctions and various other things he’d last longer than me doing that, but still, a weekly column on somehing remotely relating to tendering didn’t sound like a long term gig to me.

Sure enough Joshua lasted about three months before letting his Age know that he was no longer available.

He even wrote a great spoof column as the 2004 election approached inviting the political parties to tender for his vote. Such a good idea I asked if Troppodillians might be permitted to see it. (I guess I asked on behalf of all Troppodillians.)

Joshua agreed and it appears below the fold. After the piece was submitted the Age indicated that Joshua wasn’t required to provide political analysis, that they had people like Michelle Grattan to do that, and pulled the column from that week’s publication.

Anyway, it’s over the fold. I also said to Joshua that if he wanted to address Troppo’s audience rather than the more purely economics focused stuff he writes for his other two blogs, he should post here.   So maybe he will.


Joshua Gans is a member of the Gans Family Household, economist, Professor of Management and small business operator. His activities include teaching postgraduate students, conducting research, musing on tenders, economic consulting and most importantly, burping, changing nappies, getting up in the middle of the night, school deliveries, managing the parent-teacher relationship and spending the weekend driving to parties and swimming lessons.

Joshua Gans is seeking to procure national public services for the period 9th October, 2004 to 9th October, 2007. A three year contract will be offered covering all of Australia. The successful contractor will be expected to provide health services, higher education services, public transport infrastructure, protect the environment, defend the realm, fund basic research, regulate evil monopolists, provide entertainment content ( e.g., scandals, gaffs, international incidents) for the nightly news, develop an easy to use taxation system but otherwise keep at a distance from his activities. They will also be expected to get rid of the more silly policies such as the first home owners’ grant scheme and undesirable insurance requirements in public outsourcing contracts.

Please note that all tenders are required to lodge their documents with the National Television Networks, Local Radio Stations and The Age newspaper by 5pm on 8th October, 2004. In so doing, a complete statement of credentials, past history in government, criminal records and also a detailed insurance plan should the leadership team of the tender retire, resign or otherwise fail to complete the three year term. Please no piffy pamplets in mailboxes or loud ads in prime time. Alarmist but amusing full page advertisements in newspapers are OK. Also, economic policies should be documented but let’s face it, it is hard to take any numbers seriously given changing macroeconomic conditions, so don’t even bother. We will work out if the policies are credible or not.

Any provider who has further questions about this request and the details required can contact Joshua Gans at any time. A series of opinions will be proffered but really if you want to know what he wants you can read his new book with Stephen King called Finishing the Job: Real World Policy Solutions in Housing, Health, Education and Transport published this month by Melbourne University Publishing. (And no, he is not THAT Stephen King).

The successful supplier will receive 1 vote from Joshua Gans to be delivered in person on the 9th October, 2004. If put in a position to do so, the successful supplier will be required to undertake stated commitments. That supplier will be the preferred supplier for services from 2007-2010. Failure to do deliver on these terms will result in the loss of preferred supplier status with a new tender issued.

Please note that pre-payments of a $3,000 baby bonus will not be a factor in the contract award decision. Thank you but I have enough of these now.

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[…] of you who read Club Troppo might have noticed the announcement that from time to time I may guest blog over there. I hope to do so but mostly for posts that are a […]

Joshua Gans
16 years ago


Nice of you to publish a photo of how I looked back when I wrote that. Boy, three years have aged me.


16 years ago

I’m glad you put some deliverables on that, Joshua….

Judith M. Melville
16 years ago

Enjoyed the tender document.
Ah, if only the pollies really had to put in a genuine application for the job.
The garbage they persistently spout makes a mockery of my franchise.