ABC gives selected politicians licence to spread fear – Weekly Roundup

Dec 9, 2023
What did it all cost last year?

Why the RBA Board should enjoy the break on a houseboat ride, the ABC gives selected politicians licence to spread fear, bullshit, lies and division just because they are called “the opposition”, sex and the cost of living, immigrants’ kids do better at school than Australian-born kids, cleaning up the mess of another failed privatisation. Read on for the weekly roundup of links to articles, podcasts, reports and other media on current economic and political issues.

Australia’s energy transition

Real progress towards renewable energy goals for electricity, but we’re still waiting for initiatives in transport. The opposition’s nuclear push – a stalling tactic. Hydrogen – overhyped perhaps but it can de-carbonise industrial processes.

Other economics

Why the Reserve Bank Board should take a holiday on a big houseboat. Our GDP figures show that as we’re getting past the Covid-19 disruption we’re back to our sluggish low-productivity-low-growth economy. How households experience the cost of living – it’s largely about gender. We need to re-establish the Commonwealth Employment Service to replace the mess of privatised and ineffective services, but is our politicised and weakened public service up to the task? The case for reasonably fast rail.


Our PISA results are really good, so long as you don’t compare them with Singapore’s or Korea’s. Teaching kids science with half the curriculum missing. The emerging education class division. The Productivity Commission demonstrates that it cares about children.

Health policy

How Medicare, in slipping from universalism to a residual “charity” system, lets down the least well-off. The person at your local supermarket’s checkout may be a dentist who cannot afford to have her qualifications recognised. Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, but we have let our vaccination guard down.


The High Court’s direction on immigration detainees stimulated the worst of journalism, including in the ABC, and exposed the cost of designating a political party as “the opposition”. How some young Europeans are warming to far-right populists.

Public ideas

There was a time when America provided a stronger model of social democracy than Scandinavia: what happened? More on the trial of David McBride: are our soldiers bound by something as tight as the Wehrmacht’s oath to Hitler? The joys of inflation.

The beauty of power stations

Links to sources of webinars, podcasts and readings

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