Category Archives: Economy

BISHOP VINCENT LONG. Fashioning a more equitable and participatory society

On 16 June 2017 Bishop Vincent Long spoke at the Sydney launch of Race Mathews’ book Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891-1966. This is a transcript of his speech, in which he suggests Whitlam would have been appalled … Continue reading

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BRIAN TOOHEY. Building submarines in SA simply sinks Australian dollars

Despite claims to the contrary by the defence industry minister Christopher Pyne, this sector is not driving growth in the economy or jobs. A defence economics specialist Mark Thompson has debunked these claims in a careful analysis just released by … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Who can we trust?

In the series “Fairness, Opportunity and Security” last year I drew attention to the pervasive loss of trust in institutions . Essential Research revealed that the six least trusted institutions were: the news media, state parliaments, trade unions, business groups, … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. The Abbott and Turnbull legacy on climate change and energy policy.

This is a repost of an article that was originally posted on 15 February 2017. I have reposted this in light of current controversy on the Finkel Report. Let’s be clear, the Coalition and particularly the Liberal Party and Malcolm … Continue reading

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JOHN QUIGGIN. The OECD joins the backlash against unfettered globalisation

The OECD, in a recent report, has recognised that globalisation has many dimensions. Its enthusiasm for globalisation is undiminished, but it does acknowledge that the costs of globalisation “have been larger, more localised and more durable than previously thought, and … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Finkel Report and Malcolm Turnbull – compromising at the expense of the planet.

It has little if anything to do with the real issues around climate change: it is all about satisfying Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, George Christensen and Eric Abetz. 

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Environment, Politics | 1 Comment

GILES PARKINSON. Finkel decoded: The good, the bad, and the very disappointing

The Finkel Report on the future of the national electricity market falls short of its opportunity to redefine energy markets. It has been focused on trying to find a pathway through the toxic energy politics in Australia, and accommodating the … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Environment | 2 Comments

DUNCAN MACLAREN. May’s Folly: the Brexit election result

The people who will suffer most from economic meltdown likely to follow from the UK election will be the country’s poorest and most vulnerable as funds dry up for public services, jobs disappear as firms move to the EU and … Continue reading

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IAN MCAULEY. Australia’s finance sector: a bloated overhead?

Rather than capricious and populist measures such as the government’s levy on the big five banks, we need a thorough and far-ranging consideration of the role of the finance sector in our economy. This sector, which should have benefited from … Continue reading

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BERNARD KEANE. Low emissions target: a win for both Turnbull and climate denialists, a loss for everyone.

The beauty of a  Low Emissions Target as a climate action policy is that, as a kind of lowest common denominator, it means everyone wins — and for that matter loses.

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IAN McAULEY. Labor’s love affair with private health insurers

There was a recent flurry of media excitement about a supposed “secret hospital funding plan”, which turned out to be no more than an option under consideration by a think-tank. But the real (and overlooked) issue in health funding is … Continue reading

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IAN BERSTEN. Tax policy and reducing financial barriers for small business in Australia.

There is much discussion about the benefits of reducing tax so that Australia can be competitive with other countries in the world. This is only of consequence to multinational companies considering where to establish their headquarters. All small companies and medium-sized … Continue reading

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

PETER MARTIN. Game of Mates: How billionaires get uber-rich at our expense

“The rich are different from you and me” the saying goes. “They have more money“. But that’s not the only way they are different. In the updated Financial Review Rich List released on Friday, 45 of the richest 50 Australians are men. And they are … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. If the US can’t make coal clean, what hope is there for Australia?

The Prime Minister’s recent decision to back coal rests on the assumption that it can somehow be made “clean”, or more precisely, that carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technologies can be made to work for coal plants. The problem is … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Miners, taxation and donations. (Repost 17/10/2013)

In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned  mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. … Continue reading

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IAN DUNLOP. The Leaders We Deserve?

Rarely have politicians demonstrated their ignorance of the real risks and opportunities confronting Australia than with the recent utterances of Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan and other ministers promoting development of Adani and Galilee Basin coal generally, along with their petulant … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. How to repair neo-liberalism

The policy debate needs fresh ideas to fill the gap left by the lack of popular and political support for the neo-liberal economic agenda. Paul Keating, who championed that agenda, recently said neo-liberal economics “has run into a dead end … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. Policy mayhem is stifling efforts to have more Australian doctors “in the bush” – part two

In this two part article, I am reviewing the basis for the serious problem we have in providing adequate health care for Australians who live in rural, and particularly, remote areas. Good intentions are, as ever, intertwined with political machinations … Continue reading

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IAN MCAULEY. There’s more to Morrison’s conversion on debt than appears at first sight

There is nothing novel about Treasurer Morrison’s discovery that government debt is all OK provided it’s applied to funding useful assets. But it may be an indication that the government is disillusioned with monetary policy as a means of stabilising … Continue reading

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IAN MCAULEY. The budget – still tough on the young

The Commonwealth’s budget has a Keynesian boost for a sluggish economy, and is based on an optimistic, or even heroic, assumption that economic growth will deliver a fiscal surplus within a few years. We have heard similar claims from treasurers, … Continue reading

Posted in Housing, Infrastructure, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. The 2017 Budget – A welcome change in direction. Part 1 of 2

This Budget represents a welcome change in direction. Forget the politics, it deserves to be supported. This latest Coalition Budget finally reflects a realistic appraisal of Australia’s fiscal needs. 

Posted in Economy, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. The 2017 Budget – A welcome change in direction. Part 2 of 2

Budget repair was never going to be easy. That is one reason why it has taken so long with quite a few false starts. While some of the individual decisions in this Budget are debateable, overall the quality of the … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A rigged gas market and market failure.

Yesterday, the government announced that it would impose an Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism on gas exports from July this year.  This will give the government authority to limit companies’ gas exports if they are emptying Australian gas reserves to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. The Liberal Party’s French Connection

The political future of Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services (presently on maternity leave) is uncertain, as Liberal Party members in her electorate move to disendorse her. On one level this conflict can be seen as the shenanigans … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

TIM COLEBATCH. Yes, there is such a thing as too much immigration

Adjusting the intake in response to shifts in employment makes long-term sense.   Between 2008 and 2016, in net terms, the Australian labour market expanded by 474,000 full-time jobs. But only 74,000 of them went to people born in Australia. That’s … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Immigration | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. It’s time for Labor to think big about policy – a people’s bank!

Tony Abbott is not the only one anticipating a change of government at the next election. Voters across the board are increasingly fed up with the Coalition and there are even signs that some of its most devoted cheer leaders … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

TED TRAINER. Oil wake-up call.

Almost no one has the slightest grasp of the oil crunch that will probably hit them within a decade. When it does it will literally mean the end of the world as we know it. Here is an outline of … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. How has education come to this?

For a country that prides itself on the egalitarian ethos of a ‘fair go’ for all, the latest results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) are a distressing reminder that many are not getting a fair go … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Capital gains taxes: Keating got it right in 1985

Most commentators on the crisis in housing affordability correctly attribute the problem, in part, to the Howard Government’s decision in 1999 to “halve the taxation of capital gains”. But that was only one aspect of the 1999 change: the other … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. 457 visas and our temporary residence system.

In light of government announcement on 457 visas, I have reposted below an article originally posted on 18 November 2016.  See also at end, a link to an article by Joanna Howe in The Canberra Times yesterday.  John Menadue. Oversight … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Immigration, Industrial relations, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments