Subscribe to pearls and irritations
Most viewed recently
- BOB BIRRELL and BOB KINNAIRD. Migration policy; All about numbers 24 March 2017
- JAMES O’NEILL. A tale of two cities: Aleppo and Mosul. 24 March 2017
- PETER WHITEFORD. ‘Them’ and ‘us’: the enduring power of welfare myths. 24 March 2017
- RICHARD BUTLER. The many risks we run – Trump and the US. (Part 2 of 2) 24 March 2017
- LAURIE PATTON and ROBIN ECKERMANN. Time for rational, informed debate about the NBN 24 March 2017
- Current affairs (2,669)
- Arts (25)
- Reviews (16)
- Defence/Security (455)
- ANZAC (45)
- Democratic Renewal (99)
- Economy (738)
- Taxation (51)
- Education (126)
- Environment (145)
- Climate change (107)
- Foreign Affairs and Trade (834)
- Australia and Asia (282)
- Health (332)
- Human Rights (296)
- Immigration (437)
- Indigenous affairs (32)
- Industrial relations (24)
- Infrastructure (90)
- Housing (24)
- Media (367)
- NBN (53)
- Politics (1,745)
- Federal Election 2016 (106)
- Religion and Faith (333)
- Sport (38)
- Tributes (29)
- Vested Interests (139)
- Arts (25)
- FREEDOM, OPPORTUNITY & SECURITY Policy Series (57)
- Uncategorized (44)
- Current affairs (2,669)
Category Archives: Vested Interests
After Easter, we will be posting a ten-part series on making housing more affordable for all. One of the problems in housing affordability is the political muscle of some developers in gaming rezoning and reaping substantial capital gains from property. … Continue reading
WA is but the most glaring example of the way that Australia’s politics have been directly affected by the politics of the so-called ‘resource curse’, when a powerful economic sector uses its disproportionate influence to shape political outcomes.
JOHN DWYER. The parlous state of strategies to protect consumers from health care fraud. Part 2 of 3.
Credible scientific evidence of clinical effectiveness should underpin the delivery of health care. Satisfactory health outcomes and cost effectiveness require this approach. In Australia however pseudoscience flourishes as regulatory bodies fail to protect consumers from health care fraud and a … Continue reading
So much of the public attention is on care in general practice, but specialist healthcare has some very serious problems. The first is excessive remuneration of many specialists. In some cases it could only be described as greed. The second … Continue reading
CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. South Australia’s gambling tax highlights the regulatory mess of online betting.
The South Australian government will introduce from July a “point-of-consumption tax” to claw back some of the gambling tax revenue it is seeing disappear over the border. The new tax is a reasonable response to a growing problem, and probably won’t … Continue reading
It’s a lost decade we couldn’t afford on climate change and energy policy – but when the consequences are felt in years and decades to come, it’s incumbent upon us all not to forget the political opportunists and charlatans who … Continue reading
Here lies the exquisite dilemma for the Packer lobbyists: help push the Chinese side to get a better deal, perhaps an exchange program for their incarcerated staff, or strike another deal, leaving all those ill-gotten gains sloshing around Sydney and … Continue reading
The financial advice industry is on a journey towards professionalism”. While I can’t say exactly what this tired assertion means, I can say that it is invariably offered as an impatient response to pesky commentators who dare to suggest that … Continue reading
According to the World Health Organization, there are 3.3 million deaths attributable to alcohol use worldwide each year. Alcohol marketing, promotion and sponsorship are widespread in most of the world today and marketers are moving increasingly to digital and social … Continue reading
This is a repost from May 13, 2015. There are many key public issues that we must address such as climate change, growing inequality, tax avoidance, budget repair, an ageing population, lifting our productivity and our treatment of asylum seekers. … Continue reading
Without any media fanfare, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop published a statement on 9 January 2017 announcing that Australia and Timor Leste had agreed to terminate the 2006 Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS).
The new squatters on public land are being given a leg-up as they were in the 19th Century to seize and occupy public land.
CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Gambling industry finds plenty of political guns for hire to defend the status quo.
“Responsible gambling”, like “responsible drinking”, is a clever-sounding way of deflecting attention away from the product.
It would be hasty to attribute the Brexit and Trump votes to a “swing to the right”, or to an ill-informed electorate. The most compelling explanations are in terms of protest votes. People’s anger of electorates has given an opening … Continue reading
Globalization has been only one of the developments that has led to widening inequality and social exclusion. Countries that have globalized have also introduced a raft of neoliberal domestic policies, against which people are reacting.
We have lost trust in our governments and in mainstream political parties. Politicians, the media and corporate interests have been responsible for alienating governments from the people who elect them, creating fertile ground for populists.
A turning point in Australian political life was the 2013 election when Abbott set about destroying what remained of trust in government and of trust in social and political institutions, including traditions of dispassionate and objective inquiry.
We have many hard issues to confront but our present political elites are adept at avoiding them. It’s futile and dangerous to wait for a “leader” who will solve our problems. The task of leadership is one that falls on … Continue reading
In this interview, reported in The Wire on 31 January 2016, Noam Chomsky talks about the ravages of neoliberalism. this is a repost from 21 February 2016.
This is a repost from 15 November 2016. Just over two years ago I was in New York working with Larry Summers and Ed Balls to prepare a report for the Center for American Progress on inclusive prosperity. One morning … Continue reading
PETER SAINSBURY. A timely call to end massive public subsidies of the private health insurance industry
The private health insurance industry is a parasite on the health system and the public purse. The government-funded rebate on private health insurance premiums goes to the insurers, not the health care providers, and allows the government almost no control … Continue reading