Category Archives: Economy

JOHN MENADUE. The economy is a means to an end. It is not an end in itself.

Bill Clinton said ‘it’s the economy, stupid’. He was wrong, although in later years he spoke more wisely about ‘putting people first’.  

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JOSEPH STIGLITZ. GDP is not a good measure of wellbeing – it’s too materialistic (Project Syndicate)

Just under 10 years ago, the National Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress issued its report, Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up. The title summed it up: GDP is not a good measure of … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Budget: Part 2

The Budget is the most comprehensive statement of a government’s priorities. It is the Budget that tells us specifically where the government intends to spend and how it intends to pay for that expenditure. In this article, I will seek … Continue reading

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JIM STANDFORD. Wages: Oops, They Did It Again! (The Australia Institute)

You would think that after 5 consecutive years of wage forecasts that wildly overestimated actual experience, the government might have learned from its past errors – and published a wage forecast more in line with reality. But not this government.

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ABUL RIZVI. Dodgy Population Assumptions Crucial to Budget Figuring.

Ken Henry was forever explaining economic growth, and consequently the strength of the budget, is a function of productivity, participation and population. With the weak productivity growth of recent years likely to continue, the population and labour participation assumptions become … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Budget: Part 1

  The Budget provides the opportunity for the Government and the Opposition to outline their respective economic strategies and their relative priorities. Interestingly, while there are significant differences between the two major political parties, there are also important similarities; probably … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. A budget to entrench economic vulnerability

Even from a “what’s in it for me” viewpoint, the budget is a failure, because tax cuts would soon be wiped out by higher charges for education, health care and transport. More importantly it does not address structural weaknesses in … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Frydenberg makes emergency direct deposits. (New Daily 3.4.2019)

The headlines might look pretty, but there’s little substance behind the government’s core budget spends.  

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DANIELLE WOOD. Intergenerational theft. (The Conversation).

The tens of thousands of young people who were protesting at the school climate strike two weeks ago know that they are being left a stinking great environmental mess to clean up. But I suspect that many are yet to … Continue reading

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JOHN KERIN. Wage compression and its wider implications, economic and political.

All macro-economic variables relate to one another. The economic growth  rate, monetary and fiscal policy, budgetary policy, business profitability, investment, taxation (and the avoidance and evasion of tax), the wage rate, transfers and trade balance all interact and adapt to … Continue reading

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts in other media

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MARTIN WOLF. The Brexit delusion of taking back control (Financial Times 27.3.2019)

From Beijing, where I now am, the UK looks small. It also looks as if it has fallen into the hands of lunatics engaged in an astonishing act of national self-harm. 

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 2 Comments

MICHAEL WEST, JEFFREY KNAPP. Conflicts of Interest”R”Us: KPMG pursues PwC back into insolvency (Michael West).

The Big Four, the relentless architects of global tax avoidance, have returned to the insolvency business, despite selling out of it 15 years ago because of overweening conflicts of interest. When it became known last year that the bosses of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 2 Comments

DANNY DAVIS. Super power: why the future of Australian capitalism is now in Greg Combet’s hands (The Conversation).

Right now Greg Combet is arguably the most powerful man in Australia. Earlier this month the former trade unionist and federal politician declared his intention to transform Australian business. His radical idea: to promote the concept of “long-term value”.

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 2 Comments

TERRY MORAN. The next long wave of reform — where will the ideas come from? Part 2

I want to talk about what I am going to describe as a mission – Australia’s next long wave of reform. It is the third wave of reform which must bring us to a compact on the big ideas which … Continue reading

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TERRY MORAN. The next long wave of reform — where will the ideas come from? Part 1

I want to talk about, what I’m going to describe as a mission – Australia’s next long wave of reform. It is this third wave of reform which must bring us to a compact on the big ideas which will … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 10 Comments

JOO-CHEON THAM. We’ve let wage exploitation become the default experience of migrant workers (The Conversation, 21.03.18)

Australia’s Fairwork Commission has so far this year examined more than a dozen cases of wage theft. Those cases involve hundreds of workers and millions of dollars in underpayments. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts in other media

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MICHAEL KEATING. Why is our economic growth rate less than half its potential, and what to do about it?

The poor performance of the Australian economy, as further revealed in last week’s release of the National Accounts, raises questions about the longer-term economic outlook and whether the conventional diagnosis of our major economic challenges is correct. Notwithstanding resistance from … Continue reading

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PETER RYAN. CEDA urges Morrison Government to back Labor tax changes (ABC News).

An independent economic think tank is urging the Morrison Government to do the politically unthinkable ahead of an expected May election and back Labor’s plans to end unsustainable tax breaks.

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND 

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts in other media

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Some Coalition legacies that a new government must confront

There are several major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are –the growing existential  threat of climate change, the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, Economy, Environment and climate, International Affairs, NBN, Refugees, Immigration | 7 Comments

ALAN AUSTIN. Coalition doubles all government debt since Federation in just under six years (Michael West).

The Coalition has just doubled all government debt accumulated since Federation. In under six years. Alan Austin reports.

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JOHN MENADUE. As PM, Bill Shorten could help offer cheaper cars without any cost to the budget

The Australian Motor Industry Federation and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries have successfully lobbied the Australian government to continue restrictions on the imports of second-hand vehicles. We are paying a large price for protecting an industry that no longer … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 4 Comments

MAX HAYTON. The New Zealand Government considers capital gains tax.

The New Zealand Coalition Government promised to create a fairer tax system.  With growing inequality and a tax regime that leaves critical areas untaxed, the burden could be shared more fairly.  The first step has been taken but hazards lie … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Banks and the housing bubble

Providing housing finance has always been a major part of banks’ business. But how did we allow them to make housing into speculators’ playthings?

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MICHAEL KEATING. Labor’s policy of disallowing franking credit rebates: who will be affected, and by how much?

This article examines the claims that people with relatively modest incomes will be hard hit by Labor’s proposal to stop cash rebates of dividend franking credits to people whose taxable income is insufficient to make full use of those franking … Continue reading

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JOSEPH E STIGLITZ. How Can We Tax Footloose Multinationals? (Project Syndicate)

Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax. Instead, globalization has enabled multinationals to encourage a race to the bottom, … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI The Banking Royal Commission – The work has only just begun!

Even if all the 76 recommendations of Kenneth Hayne’s Banking Royal Commission were to be implemented, not much would change. There is a reason bank stock rallied after its release, bank board members and executives have little to fear.

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ROSS GITTINS. Stagnation spanner in the works? The tradesman you need to call is Keynes. (SMH 16.2.2019)

Every so often the economies of the developed world malfunction, behaving in ways the economists’ theory says they shouldn’t. Economists fall to arguing among themselves about the causes of the breakdown and what should be done. We’re in such a … Continue reading

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