Category Archives: Economy

JIM COOMBS. Crime and Punishment: Who do we do first, the Banks (and “financial advisers”) or “dole bludgers”?

I was horrified today to hear that the coalition government this week wants to step up its pursuit of “welfare cheats”, a few millions of dollars chasing the poor, disabled and ignorant. Then Treasurer Scott Morrison is impelled to say, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Strong employment growth, until you look behind the figures.

The ABS monthly employment data released last Thursday shows that since the Coalition was elected five years ago the Australian economy has generated one million additional jobs. Does this indicate success of the Coalition’s policies?

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GARRY EVERETT. Importance of seeing the ‘big picture’.

Failing to see or accept the big picture is a condition that is currently affecting many organisations in our world, says Garry Everett, and four particular organisations stand out as having significant problems in this regard.

Posted in Economy, Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Why Australia Needs A Stronger Revenue Base

Earlier this week the Australia Institute released an open letter signed by 48 eminent Australians calling for an increase in taxation. As we might have expected, the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, without any reflection, dismissed this call for higher taxes as … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

MICHAEL LAMBERT. We know about the Grants Commission but what is this thing called HFE?

You may have noticed recent press reports of some angry Premiers or Treasurers bemoaning the loss of revenue in the triannual carve up of the GST pie among the States and Territories while the winners kept their pleasure to themselves. … Continue reading

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Cheap mortgages for everyone! Greens’ call for ‘People’s Bank’ unpicked

The Greens have unveiled a radical plan to give Australians access to much cheaper home loans than are currently on offer, in an unabashed attack on the big four banks’ stranglehold on the mortgage market.

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JOHN MENADUE. Media catch-up on Newcastle Port.

Drawing on a report from Deloitte yesterday, Matt Wade in several Fairfax newspapers breathlessly told us that restrictions on privatised ports was adding to Sydney’s gridlock.  He added that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is now investigating the secret … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

TIM SOUTPHOMMASANE. Australian business and other organisations persistently fall short on cultural diversity.

Australia is widely celebrated as a multicultural triumph, but any such success remains incomplete. There remains significant under-representation of cultural diversity in the senior leadership of Australian organisations. Our society does not yet appear to be making the most of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Education, Human Rights | 3 Comments

STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Taxing questions

The duty of any government to keep its citizens safe is apparently taken very seriously in this nation of ours. It justifies the existence of the largest department over which this government presides and gives Peter Dutton, the Minister for … Continue reading

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GIOVANNI DI LIETO. Move over Canada and EU, Australia is best placed to benefit in the US-China trade tug-of-war

Australian firms are in a sweet spot between the bickering United States and China, where they can sell more and buy more cheaply because of weaker competition in both markets. Essentially, the mutual tariffs are a double blessing for Australia.

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MIKE WALLER. The real problem with our banks- “it’s leverage, stupid”

“When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.” Warren Buffett “There is no evidence that the growth in the scale and complexity of the financial system in the rich developed world over the last twenty to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 6 Comments

JIM COOMBS: Lets have some real banking competition.

The banks still haven’t got it. They charge $6 a month for doing nothing, theft or fraud, both crimes. But government and their appointed (neoliberal economics graduates) regulators, do nothing about it. Make the Reserve Bank of Australia the Peoples … Continue reading

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IAN CHUBB. Longing For Leadership -Part 2 of 2

Australia today faces multiple challenges. They include the fact that we are unlike any other continent with species and ecosystems that are found nowhere else. If we don’t look after ourselves, who will? There is global warming and climate change, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

MAX HAYTON. Kiwibank – lessons for Australia.

It’s not unusual for big banks to be accused of greed, unfairness, poor service and corruption. The answer often proposed is to create a government owned bank. This has been suggested as a solution in Australia. New Zealand has already … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Turnbull howls at the moon

Malcolm Turnbull spent the last week of the current parliament howling at the moon – baying about just how wonderful his corporate tax cuts would be, the remorseless logic of the laws of supply and demand, the purity of Economics … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

NICHOLAS GRUEN. Some real banking competition – central banking for all.

As the great economic journalist Martin Wolf puts it, there’s a “giant hole” at the centre of modern economies. Although the money in our economy is a classic public good, like the air we breathe or the radio spectrum over … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

IAN CHUBB. Longing For Leadership Part 1 of 2

Australia today faces multiple challenges. They include the fact that we are unlike any other continent with species and ecosystems that are found nowhere else. If we don’t look after ourselves, who will? There is global warming and climate change, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

IAN BUCKLEY. Finding Solutions to Humankind’s Neoliberal/Mercantile Crises.

In resolving the crises brought on within current neoliberal economies, a widespread recognition of their historical derivation from the mercantile political economy that Adam Smith described and condemned (1776) is crucial for effective understanding of this system, its corrupt roots … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 6 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. We have a bad case of misdirected compassion

Why do so many of us – and the media, which so often merely reflect back the opinions of their audience – feel sorrier for those who profess to be poor than for those who really are?

Posted in Economy | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. The Government hands around the silver.

The Roman Catholic Church, according to Education Minister Simon Birmingham, could be bought with a few pieces of silver.What about One Nation?

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. Labor is a Specialist in Special Deals for Private Schools.

Bill Shorten has committed Labor to standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the Catholic school system. He promised it $250 million over two years and billions more over a decade. Catholic Education Victoria reciprocated by campaigning on behalf of Labor in … Continue reading

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ROB STEWART. Wage Rises in the Neoliberal New World Order- Bad policy and bad politics

Neoliberals are often wrong but never in doubt. In pursuing its corporate tax cut agenda the Government is attempting to shift the industrial relations paradigm – linking private sector wage rises to public sector funding cuts, despite the fact corporate … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS. MEMO to Kenneth Hayne: the ‘four pillars’ of the system you are reviewing are NOT set in stone. As they crumble it is worth looking at what went before.

The present four pillars of the banking system are not a necessary evil or inevitable. History tells us why.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 5 Comments

IAN DUNLOP. If Business Leaders Want To Regain Our Trust, They Must Act On Climate Risk.

Business leaders seem astonished that community trust in the activities is at an all-time low, trending towards the bottom of the barrel inhabited by politicians. To the corporate leader dedicated to the capitalist, market economy success story of the last … Continue reading

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ROSS GITTINS. Who is to blame for the housing crisis and how to fix it

There aren’t many material aspirations Australians hold dearer than owning their own home – but dear is the word. There are few greater areas of policy failure.

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

IAN McAULEY. Labor’s superannuation changes: clever cosmetics but a failure on equity, public revenue and economics.

There is something wrong when “self-funded” retirees can enjoy a six digit tax-free income, while others who earn their income through their own efforts pay normal rates of income tax. But Labor’s proposals on dividend imputation would sustain that inequity, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Cars, not immigration, are killing our cities.

This week on Four Corners many commentators blamed immigration for many of our ills. It was a diversionary tactic.  I think that immigration is Australia’s great success story. Many of the problems that immigration cause are the result of policy failure … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Housing, Infrastructure, Politics | 3 Comments

BILL ROWLINGS. TPP-11 still flawed, costly for most Australians.

The trade deal known as TPP delivers financial benefits to some 100,000 people in agricultural and farming enterprises, paid for by extra imposts on the purchases of many millions of urban Australians. In future, every time an Australian buys an … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

ROB STEWART. Mal and Scotty’s Excellent Company Tax Cut Adventure.

The Government’s full proposed company tax cuts package may eventually pass the Senate. If it does this will not be due to any “inevitability” or natural law of diminishing company tax revenue. And the tax cuts will not result in … Continue reading

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ROSS GITTINS. If governments don’t get this message they will be tossed out.

A highlight of our trip to New York after Christmas was a visit to the Tenement Museum down on the lower east side, where the movie Gangs of New York was set. It was the area where successive waves of Irish, German … Continue reading

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