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Tag Archives: inequality
“Why do we experience such difficulty even imagining a different sort of society? Why is it beyond us to conceive of a different set of arrangements to our common advantage? Are we doomed indefinitely to lurch between a dysfunctional ‘free … Continue reading
The IMF should practice what it preaches when it comes to inequality.
Older Australians are enjoying a growing share of Australia’s wealth; the wealth of younger Australians has stagnated. Structural changes to the labour market threatens to leave more young people in low wage, precarious work than any generation before them, and … Continue reading
First the Poms abandoned common sense in backing Brexit and now the Yanks have voted against their own best interests (and those of the rest of the civilized world) by electing Donald J Trump. This was not a rational … Continue reading
In this article in Foreign Affairs, Francis Fukuyama says: The decayed American political system can be fixed only by a strong external shock that will knock it off its current equilibrium and make possible real policy reform. Trump’s victory … Continue reading
We’re not sure who first said “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme”, but it’s an apt reminder of the similarities between the forces that have propelled Trump into the US presidency, and the forces that brought Germany’s National … Continue reading
The Brexit vote has given the media a cornucopia of stories – dissent in the British Conservative and Labour Parties, the possible breakup of the “United” Kingdom and turmoil on financial markets. These, however, are distractions from two serious issues … Continue reading
The myth of meritocracy is today’s version of the divine right of kings, and it is playing much the same political function. Call it the divine right of King’s School alumni. Another week, another report on the growing gap between … Continue reading
Current Affairs A review of Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.* Translated by Arthur Goldhammer, Cambridge, Mass and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014. viii + 685 pp. ISBN 978-0-674-43000-6* *This is a smaller version of … Continue reading
Policy Series Australia has a reputation for egalitarianism, as a country where, in comparison with Old World countries, wages were good and, to quote Lawson, where people “call no reason to call no biped lord or sir”. Up to around … Continue reading
Current Affairs Pope Francis has repeatedly called for greater social and economic equity in the world, and reiterated the critique of neoliberal economics very strongly. Now he is about to issue an encyclical, the highest form of Church teaching, on … Continue reading
If you want to know who made up Australia’s elite in the nineteenth century, a useful place to look is the Australian Dictionary of Biography. In its many volumes, you’ll find business leaders, scientists, media barons and politicians who have … Continue reading
In this blog on 5 November I drew attention to an article by the Economics Editor of the Guardian Larry Elliott. In that article Elliott said “As the Berlin Wall fell, checks on capitalism crumbled.” The principal thesis of that … Continue reading
In his challenging series last week on ‘Is capitalism redeemable’ Ian McAuley drew attention to how growing inequality is the cause not only of serious social concerns, but it is also presenting us with some quite serious economic problems. There … Continue reading
Let’s start with what looks like a self-evident proposition. “Countries with right-wing or neoliberal governments spend less on social security than countries with more left-inclined governments.” It’s a proposition university lecturers put to students of public economics, and the smarter … Continue reading
“Australia’s program to increase world growth seems to be to cut social security benefits from the poor.” When Geraldine Doogue asked Malcolm Fraser to comment on Abbott’s G20 agenda, that was his summary of the present Government’s economic policy Unfortunately, … Continue reading
We get a laugh out of the Monty Python sketch of four Yorkshiremen competing with one another to tell stories of the hardship they endured when they were children, 30 years earlier – “you think you had it tough …”. … Continue reading
A blog in the Economist accused Pope Francis of following the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, in adopting an “ultra-radical line” on capitalism. The blog, “Francis, capitalism and war: the Pope’s divisions”, was reacting to the Pope’s interview … Continue reading