Category Archives: Economy

IAN McAULEY. Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee: can it work?

The Commonwealth’s proposed National Energy Guarantee is vague and confusing, and is based on dated engineering and economic ideas. But it may allow an economically responsible government, if we elect one, to reshape it into a set of policies that … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 2 Comments

MAX HAYTON. NZ election finally produces a government.

A stunning election outcome has given New Zealand a new government with the potential to transform the country’s economy and society. Risen star and youngest ever New Zealand woman Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, aged 37, leads a coalition that ends … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL LAMBERT. The National Energy Guarantee – what do we make of it?

After a progression of schemes, such as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), The Carbon Pollution Tax (CPT), Direct Action, including the Renewable Energy Target (RET) as well as dabbling with the Emissions Intensity Scheme (EIS) and the Clean Energy Target … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Rent-seekers and corruption risks in the Australian mining industry and elsewhere.

In this blog Gigi Foster and Paul Frijters said:  ‘The vast majority of the richest Australians work in property, mining and banking/finance. … Tellingly, the highest earning workers in these industries do not invent or use advanced production or distribution … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. SJ Towards an economy that works for all.

The promise of riches from the trickle-down effect is at best patchy for many Australians, and non-existent for others. Continuing with the same economic and social policy settings will exacerbate the already growing divide between the rich and the poor … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

ALAN PEARS, ANNA SKARBEK, DYLAN MCCONNELL. Federal government unveils ‘National Energy Guarantee’ – experts react

The federal government has announced a new energy policy, after deciding against adopting the Clean Energy Target recommended by chief scientist Alan Finkel.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

NICHOLAS GRUEN. Which bank could give Australians a better bang for their buck? The Reserve Bank of Australia.

How would you like to be able to get most of your mortgage from the Reserve Bank of Australia at the cash rate of 1.5% rather than three times that after your bank has slapped on its margin for the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS. The Miners Do It Again

A two-paragraph story under the heading “Gold hike dead” on page 24 of the West Australian newspaper, Friday 13 October, ended the latest chapter in the one-sided battle between Australian governments and the mining industry.  The miners won again.

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The end of car manufacturing in Australia

 Last Friday General Motors Holden closed its last Australian manufacturing plant at Elizabeth in South Australia. In an attempt to save Christopher Pyne. Malcolm Turnbull has told us that ship and submarine building in SA will take up the slack. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

WE ARE ALSO READING AND LISTENING TO …

Pearls and Irritations provides the following links for weekend reading:

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JON STANFORD. Australia’s Future Submarine. Part 3 of 3. Responding to the criticisms

At the National Press Club in Canberra on 27 September 2017, Hugh White, Professor of Strategic Studies at the ANU, launched an independent report by Insight Economics on Australia’s future submarine (FSM). The report, Australia’s Future Submarine: Getting This Key … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Trump’s Economic Policies: Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 of this series of two articles, yesterday I examined the impact of President Trump’s economic program on the American economy. Today’s article discusses the impact of the Trump economic program on the rest of the world, and … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

PAUL FRIJTERS. EU plans for VAT taxation are doomed to fail. Again.

Taxation is the potential downfall of the EU as an institution. The reason is that within the EU, several member states are making money from the tax evasion in other member states, a situation akin to having a wife slowly … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Trump’s Economic Policies: Part 1 of 2

President Trumps economic policies have so far received much less attention than his foreign and national security policies. The examination here and in a following article concludes that the economic policies are based on fundamental contradictions and are therefore bound … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Can Parliament control Government Expenditure?-The Use of the Advance to the Minister of Finance

The High Court has upheld the Government’s decision to use the Advance to the Minister of Finance to pay for its survey of attitudes regarding same-sex marriage, and notwithstanding that funding for this survey was unlikely to gain parliamentary approval.  … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

HAL PAWSON and OLIVER FRANKEL. Mounting housing stress underscores need for expert council to guide wayward policymaking

A recent policy pledge by Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has given fresh heart to campaigners for the restoration of the former National Housing Supply Council (NHSC).

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MARK OGGE. We have enough cheap, easy-to-export gas for 100 years. There is just one problem …

Hard to believe, isn’t it? But it’s true: in the last decade, tens of thousands of square kilometers of Queensland farmland has been covered in gas fields. The export gas rush in Australia is one of the largest and fastest … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Is the Australian ‘cruise control’ in Asia going to end?

Last week, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen gave a very encouraging speech outlining ‘a new comprehensive and holistic policy approach to Asian engagement which will be called “FutureAsia”’.    After many false starts about our engagement with Asia, could this be … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

JON STANFORD. Australia’s Future Submarine – Part 1: The problems

At the National Press Club in Canberra on 27 September 2017, Hugh White, Professor of Strategic Studies at the ANU, launched an independent report by Insight Economics on Australia’s future submarine (FSM). The report, Australia’s Future Submarine: Getting This Key … Continue reading

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MICHAEL WEST. Tax base eroded by backdoor deregulation of Australia’s labour market and jump in foreign contract workers

The biggest failure of public administration since the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1900. – Australian Tax Office insider The result of having the wrong system where taxes are too high and a labour market which is over-regulated. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. The need for national water reform

According to the Productivity Commission’s draft report on National Water Reform, Australia is now viewed internationally as a world leader in water management. Nevertheless, these reforms continue to be challenged by special interests. In particular, the history of poor investment … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The submarine mess that Pearls and Irritations has high lighted for 18 months.

At the National Press Club yesterday Mike Keating and Hugh  White again drew attention to the very serious problems of our proposed submarine purchases. We will be following their addresses further. The following is a repost from December 16 last … Continue reading

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IAN DUNLOP. The Coal and CSG Delusion

Energy policy is the issue to trump them all.  We have already lost several Prime Ministers in its cause, and more will likely walk the plank before commonsense prevails.  But the last few weeks have set new standards for national … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

JIM COOMBS. The neo-liberal failure on energy

JIM COOMBS: The source of our current “economic imperatives” and crises, especially in the fields of energy, is that we can’t see beyond the “neoliberal” (does it have a meaning?) insistence that only a “market solution” answers economic problems. Surely, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 5 Comments

GREG WOOD. The China Australia FTA Meets the All Controlling State

During Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia in March, Australia and China signed a “Declaration of Intent” to accelerate a review of the provisions governing services trade and investment in the bilateral China Australia free trade agreement (Chafta).  So far … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JEAN PIERRE-LEHMANN. The Clouds of Imminent Trade War Are Looming

In the conclusion of her outstanding book on the First World War (The War That Ended Peace) historian Margaret MacMillan asks whether, as many have argued, war in 1914 was inevitable. She refutes this view; the final sentence of the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | 3 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Mates, lobbyists and rent-seekers

Two books, one recent the other written 35 years ago, explain how special interests are strangling the Australian economy.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. PM walks with energy dinosaurs

The person known as Malcolm Turnbull who took over as Prime Minister is gone. That’s the one who declared immediately after getting the job that Australians have a wonderfully exciting future provided they recognise “change is our friend, if we … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Abbott and Turnbull are the real culprits on the energy policy mess. (repost)

This is a repost of an article that was originally posted on 14 June 2017. I have reposted this in light of current controversy on  extending the life of coal fired generators. In his journal, The Constant Investor, Alan Kohler … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Turnbull’s abject capitulation to the coal lobby is now complete

The kindest thing to say about prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s absurd proposal to extend the life of the country’s oldest coal generator is that he is playing politics.

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