Subscribe to pearls and irritations (we have had some issues, now fixed, so please subscribe again)
Most viewed recently
- JOAN STAPLES: Incredulous disbelief at Gary Johns to head charities regulator. 12 December 2017
- PAUL COLLINS. The Royal Commission—a mixed blessing 12 December 2017
- MUNGO MacCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull ran dead on SSM 12 December 2017
- ANDREW FARRAN. An alternative perspective for a realistic defence policy for Australia 12 December 2017
- TREVOR COBBOLD. Gonski 2.0 is the best special deal private schools have ever had 12 December 2017
- Arts and Reviews (34)
- Defence/Security (662)
- Economy (885)
- Education (163)
- Environment and climate (232)
- Health (406)
- Housing (52)
- Human Rights (358)
- Indigenous affairs (47)
- Industrial relations (32)
- Infrastructure (109)
- International Affairs (1,135)
- Asia (34)
- Links (7)
- Media (447)
- NBN (70)
- Politics (2,099)
- Refugees, Immigration (498)
- Religion and Faith (405)
- SERIES: Freedom, opportunity and security (59)
- SERIES: Making housing affordable (15)
- Sport (43)
- Technology, start-ups and new media (1)
- Tributes (34)
- Uncategorized (75)
Category Archives: Economy
The appointment of Gary Johns last week as director of the regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), has created incredulous disbelief and concern amongst NGO leaders. For decades, Johns has been proactive in criticising the public advocacy of … Continue reading
The usual culprits are at play. Zero tax on $2.9 billion in revenue from Rupert Murdoch’s News Australia Holdings, not a zack from Wall Street’s cuff-linked freebooters Goldman Sachs for the third year on the trot, same deal for brewing … Continue reading
KATHARINE BETTS AND BOB BIRRELL. How do Australian voters’ view the level of immigration? TAPRI and Scanlon compared
There has been growing controversy about Australia’s level of overseas immigration. In the year to March 2017 Australia’s population is estimated to have grown by a massive 389,100, some 231,000, or 60 per cent of which was due to net … Continue reading
In Part 1 of this series, posted yesterday, the conclusion was that restoration of a sustained Budget surplus would require a combination of expenditure cuts and tax increases. This second Part 2 finds that the projected swing from Budget deficit … Continue reading
The royal commission into the finance sector is more about detecting “misconduct” in individual institutions than exposing the ways in which the sector has misallocated investment funding and caused other economic distortions.
The evidence suggests that Malcolm Turnbull just doesn’t have the fiscal room to responsibly offer income tax cuts, which means it was very irresponsible to raise expectations in this way. Part 1 in this series of two articles examines … Continue reading
What will it take to develop a new economy in Australia that seriously addresses the problems of human inequality and environmental degradation? What is required to place radical economic reform properly on the Australian political agenda?
Active and effective government I want to highlight two messages from the attitudes research that I referred to in Part 1. First, the health of our democracy can’t be divorced from the health of our public institutions and our public … Continue reading
The policy pendulum is swinging away from a consensus on the primacy of light touch regulation of markets, the unexamined benefits of outsourced service delivery, a general preference for smaller government, and a willing ignorance of public sector values and … Continue reading
IAN MCAULEY. The Trans-Pacific Partnership isn’t about trade liberalisation: it’s about corporate protection
It’s in Australia’s interests to remain open to the world on immigration and trade, and to cooperate on climate change and labour standards, but when “openness” comes to mean a permissive set of policies satisfying the demands of foreign investors, … Continue reading
Last Friday, the small group of Canadian ministers, travelling South-East Asia with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were in Da Nang, Vietnam, in a room away from where the leaders of 11 countries were trying to get agreement for the Trans-Pacific … Continue reading
We have become a rent-seeking society, dominated by market power of large corporations, unchecked by countervailing powers. And the power of workers has been weakened, if not eviscerated. What is required is a panoply of reforms—rewriting the rules of the … Continue reading
You may not have noticed, but the Productivity Commission’s search for “a new policy model” for reform, in reaction to the breakdown of the politicians’ “neoliberal consensus”, offers better prospects for finally getting the budget under control. That’s because, although … Continue reading
Despite his immense popularity among most Catholics and many others, not just Christians, Pope Francis is meeting increasing opposition and outspoken criticism, even from some cardinals and bishops, as well as from some prominent academics and writers.
When Bitcoin went public in 2009 it introduced to the world of finance and economics the technology of blockchain. Even the many who thought Bitcoin would never make it as a major currency were intrigued by the Blockchain technology and … Continue reading
There are ominous signs that Australia is breaking up into different social tribes. Our claimed egalitarianism and social mobility are under serious challenge. A mixed society is the best guarantee of social cohesion and social improvement. That social cohesion arising … Continue reading
JOHN MENADUE How Murdoch and Abeles twisted the arm of the Hawke Government to help Ansett Airlines at the expense of Qantas.
In a blog last Friday I recalled that Rupert Murdoch had said that he had never asked a Prime Minister for anything. That is quite brazen. From my own personal experience I know that is just not true. One early … Continue reading
There is no peak body or rent seeker in the country which conducts its business as belligerently, and its proponents would say as successfully, as the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). In 2010 it ousted a Prime Minister.
There is a not-so apocryphal story of a senior government minister explaining his regional policies to party colleagues. Somebody is said to have asked “what is your ‘Regional Assistance Strategy’?” to which he is said to have replied: “It’s a … Continue reading
Like car manufacturers who, despite decades of notice, still left many workers stranded, NAB’s more sudden announcement underlines the fact that massive redundancies are not only a feature of “old” industries.
The shape of the next Labor government is becoming clearer. This week we learnt that it will end the practice of signing Australia up to trade agreements that haven’t survived a benefit-cost analysis.
IAN VERRENDER. Productivity Commission pulls no punches on ‘appalling’ energy crisis, calls for carbon price
Basil Fawlty couldn’t have done it better. Treasurer Scott Morrison last week stood at the lectern and delivered a thundering dissertation on the urgent need for cuts to company taxes.
Last week the Commonwealth released a major report on productivity challenges facing Australia over the next five years. Although it was commissioned by Treasurer Scott Morrison, it is unlikely that the government, which shows no appetite for meaningful economic reform, … Continue reading
BRUCE MOUNTAIN. Energy prices are high because consumers are paying for useless, profit-boosting infrastructure
The preliminary report on energy prices released last week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) suggests that the consumer watchdog is concerned about almost every aspect of Australia’s electricity industry. It quotes customer groups who say electricity is … Continue reading
This is part in a series of investigations by Michael West into Australia’s most powerful business lobby groups and rent seekers. To begin, we have selected the Business Council of Australia, the most elite and influential peak body of them … Continue reading
The present ‘energy crisis’ is symptomatic of our nation’s leaders to obfuscate the truth to avoid doing what should be done.
The failure of successive WA governments to tax the resource sector effectively has meant that much of revenue generated by the most recent resource boom was appropriated by the multinational corporations that dominate the sector – more than 80 per … Continue reading
A little over a decade ago, then-West Australian premier Alan Carpenter had his back against the wall with threats from the gas and oil companies.. But he insisted on a gas reservation policy for WA. Exxon quickly came to heel.
While Rio Tinto and former chief executive Tom Albanese deny fraud charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, critics in our hemisphere are asking what is going on in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. A more important … Continue reading
Sydney readers are being subjected to an onslaught of infrastructure puff pieces featuring former Transport Minister now Premier the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP. It coincides with a desire to ‘showcase the Government’s infrastructure credentials’ and raise the Premier’s profile. It also … Continue reading