Budget politics and a warning from Slovakia – Weekly Roundup

May 18, 2024
Reflections on the budget

An unnecessarily conservative budget from the government and a pathetic response from the opposition, how we are so generous to Western Australia, the Coalition and nukes, the disgrace of McBride’s jail sentence. Read on for the weekly roundup of links to articles, podcasts, reports and other media on current economic and political issues.

Because of commitments requiring me to travel, I am taking a three-week break from the roundups. (That should give the budget noise time to abate.) The roundups will resume on Pearls and Irritations and on my own website on Saturday June 15.

The budget

Missing – a plan to reform and raise taxes. Treasury’s cleverness in using the CPI as a measure of inflation. Slowly rising wages, a Keatingesque-scale economic transformation, and a big problem with housing. Budget politics including Dutton’s pathetic response.

Other economics

How 24 million Australians living east of Longitude 129 degrees are generously subsidizing our most prosperous state. Cooking with gas, even if we don’t want to. The shonky economics of football stadiums.


McBride’s jail sentence: can’t we maintain better standards than Russia? The Coalition’s nuclear power policy explained: it’s about the party’s internal divisions. How John Howard debased the nation’s policy debate – and it hasn’t recovered. A warning from Slovakia.

Health policy

Three ways we can make better use of the $250 million we spend on health (start by getting rid of private insurance). A positive evaluation of the budget from a health perspective. A reminder that people are still dying with or of Covid.

Public ideas

Wider systems thinking. An observer on how we have changed over 50 years. What happens when we stop breeding. We need to think more clearly about regions because we all live in one.

An Australian in Venice

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