Category Archives: Economy

JIM COOMBS. Electricity and Banks.

A belief, without foundation, that “the market” is the best way to deliver any product, has our politicians gibbering, when the provision of Public Goods (see my previous article) is properly to be determined by the principle of universal access, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | Leave a comment

BOB DOUGLAS An algal industry ready to bloom

A high level Roundtable held in Canberra in November 2017 concluded that  algal technology can help to  protect the Great Barrier Reef and create new jobs and growth  for regional areas.

Posted in Economy, Environment | 1 Comment

TERENCE BEED. Turnbull’s postal “plebiscite” and the Australian Bureau of Statistics: next step in its fall from grace?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has another debacle approaching brought on by its direction to conduct the government’s proposed postal plebiscite on same sex marriage. Little more than an outmoded postal survey it will be flawed from the start, plagued … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KEATING. Tax Reform and the Need to Raise More Revenue

This article considers the future Budget outlook and argues that the key issue for tax reform is how best to raise the additional revenue that will be needed. The article builds on Ian McAuley’s recent post arguing that well-designed taxes … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Taxation | 6 Comments

JIM COOMBS. “Just good business” or gun-running.

The “Neo-liberal” language speaks of arms sales as just good business, notwithstanding the concomitant death and destruction.

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Foreign Affairs | 3 Comments

MICHAEL LIFFMAN. Is it time for National Civic Youth Service Program?

Perhaps the time has come to consider a notion, at which most progressives’ immediate reaction is to recoil, that a compulsory non-military youth civic service program be introduced in Australia?  

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

John Menadue. Rent-seekers and the hollowing out of democracy (Repost 12/2015)

‘Rent-seeking’ is a term understood by most economists. It refers to the ability of powerful groups to extract special concessions and favours at the expense of the wider community.  

Posted in Economy, Media, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

IAN VERRENDER. How the Commonwealth Bank laid the groundwork for a royal commission

Where do you start? A total clean-out of the board and management of the Commonwealth Bank, a complete rethink of the role of our financial institutions, or a subjective investigation on the impact of new technology and whether it can … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Vested Interests | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KEATING. Electricity Prices.

Electricity prices are a hot topic at present. Amidst the welter of claim and counter-claim as to what is the cause of higher electricity prices, there has been remarkably little use of the available evidence.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Pokies, sport and racing harm 41% of monthly gamblers: survey

For the first time, the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey has turned its attention to gambling, revealing that around 1.4 million Australians are directly harmed by the activity.

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

DAVID CHARLES. The Australian media’s emphasis on the downsides of technological change has implications for innovation, growth and living standards.

There is systematic tendency in Australia compared to many countries in Asia for the mainstream media to place greater emphasis on the potential downsides of technological change rather than the upsides.

Posted in Economy | 6 Comments

JIM COOMBS. What Economic Policy should be about

The idea that government economic policy should only be about making capitalist enterprise easier is just plain wrong. It should be trying to make it better for the nation.

Posted in Economy, Taxation | 5 Comments

ANDREW LEIGH. Why Scott Morrison isn’t entitled to his own facts on inequality in Australia

 “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts”, the great American professor-turned-senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to enjoy saying to opponents.

Posted in Economy | 4 Comments

IAN MCAULEY. Can Labor hold its nerve on tax reform?

Shorten has brought tax reform to the political arena. Let’s hope the Labor Party doesn’t go to water between now and the next election, because we need more public revenue and a fairer and less distortionary tax system.

Posted in Economy, Taxation | 1 Comment

JOHN QUIGGIN. People have lost faith in privatisation and it’s easy to see why. (Repost from 22 August 2016)

From the viewpoint of ordinary Australians, privatisation is a policy that has consistently failed but is remorselessly pushed by the political elite. It is little surprise that voters are turning to populism in response.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KEATING. Inequality, wages and economic growth

Changes in inequality and in the relationship between wages and productivity help explain the poor economic performance of many advanced economies in this century. Interestingly the Governor of the Reserve Bank indicated that Australia might be facing the same risks … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Malcolm Turnbull – Mr. 300%. (Repost from 18 November 2016)

Malcolm Turnbull has announced a submarine building program that has an effective rate of protection of 300%. Yes 300%. That is the additional cost we will pay compared with buying at best price in the international market.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Politics | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

JOAN STAPLES. Environmental NGOs, Public Advocacy and Government

Environmental NGOs fear the Federal Government is moving to limit their public’ advocacy by requiring them to spend 50% of their income on practical environmental tasks such as tree planting.

Posted in Environment, Taxation | 1 Comment

Big business influence wanes as public rejects ‘bizonomics’

In this article in the Fairfax media on 24 July 2017, ROSS GITTINS refers to the debate in Pearls and irritations about neoliberal economics.  John Menadue The collapse of the “neoliberal consensus” is as apparent in Oz as it is … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE: Privatisation is costing consumers and damaging economic reform. (Repost from 26 July 2016)

‘Privatisation is costing consumers and damaging economic reform’ said  Rod Sims, the Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, recently. He added ‘Poorly regulated privatisations are driving up prices and have little to do with economic reform … this … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

JIM COOMBS : Bean Counters Stand Up and Be Counted

Budget problems arise for governments who don”t control spending. Where are their financial advisers when gross overspending takes place. No business could survive the profligacy of our government’s spending.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The litany of failed privatisations. (Repost from 20 March 2017)

Ideologues ,the self interested bankers and accountants and lawyers still persist with their fixation with privatisation despite the fact that it is failing in one area after another and the electorate shows very clearly that it does not want it.  … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

GEOFF DAVIES. The chasm between the society we are offered and the fair go we want

There is widely perceived to be a gap between our stumbling political system and the wishes of the Australian people. However those who look a little deeper into our Australian hearts see not just a gap but a yawning chasm.

Posted in Current affairs, Economy | 3 Comments

John Menadue. The Coalition, rural poverty and rural health. (Repost from 16 January 2016)

It is not surprising that independents are making headway in country electorates. But what is the ALP doing?  

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Why Blame Neo-Liberal Economics: A Response

My previous article on Why Blame Neo-Liberal Economics, which argued that neo-liberal economics was not a main cause of increasing inequality, drew an unusually large and mostly critical response. While it is not feasible to respond to all the detailed … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Taxation | 19 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Australia’s economy: she’ll be right mate – or will she?

A few good economic indicators and Coalition disunity are distracting us from fundamental structural weaknesses in the Australian economy.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

CHARLES LIVINGSTON. Victorian pokies “reforms” may impose big costs on population

The Victorian Government has announced that it will extend existing poker machine licences until 2042, freezing the total number of machines available in pubs and clubs at 27,342 (there are another 2,658 at Crown Casino). The Minister made much of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health | 1 Comment

JOHN QUIGGIN. Governments are buying up where the market has failed. Is this the end of privatisation?

Australian governments are back in business. Every couple of months, it seems, we hear of a new venture into public ownership of business enterprises, or an expansion of existing enterprises. Most recently, Victoria’s Labor government has announced the purchase of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

MICHAEL WEST. Goldman Sachs & News Corp tax tricks as Canberra claims battle won

Peering at the local accounts of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Goldman Sachs … is the government’s claim to have sorted multinational tax avoidance correct? As they gaze down from their glass eyries, partners of the Big Four accounting firms … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Taxation | 1 Comment

TIM COLEBATCH. One census, three stories

In the broad picture, the 2016 census has confirmed things we already knew about ourselves. But burrow down into the detail, and you’ll find much that will surprise you.

Posted in Economy, Multi-Culturalism, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments