Category Archives: Economy

JOHN QUIGGIN. Australia’s failed energy policy needs more than just a Band-Aid (the Guardian 13.07.18)

The ACCC report is a mishmash of cognitive dissonance and half-baked suggestions for fixing the unfixable.

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RAE WALKER. Is the Banking Royal Commission Australia’s Canary?

Falling levels of trust in Australian institutions is frequently raised in the media and other public discussions as a serious concern.  Reports from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry is providing an astonishing … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The litany of anti social and failed privatisations. ( Edited repost from 21 July 2017)

Coalition politicians, bankers, accountants and lawyers still persist with their fixation with privatisation despite the fact that it is failing in one area after another and the electorate shows very clearly that it does not want it.   

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

TERRY BARNES. Pharmacy power is a paper tiger (AFR 4/7/2018)

If something looks, walks and acts like a duck, it’s a duck. In the case of pharmacy giant Chemist Warehouse, however, it’s anything but.   

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PAUL KRUGMAN. Big business reaps Trump’s whirlwind (New York Times)

The bill for decades of cynical politics is coming due.

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ROSS GITTINS. Clever tax strategies may be legal, but they aren’t productive (SMH 9/7/2018)

The developed world’s economists have been racking their brains for explanations of the rich countries’ protracted period of weak improvement in the productivity of labour. I’ve thought of one that hasn’t had much attention.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. Cash and kind: How governments shift income from rich to poor. (SMH 7/7/2018)

Everyone knows the gap between high and low incomes has grown. But much of what we think we know about why it’s happened, and what the government has been doing about it, is probably wrong.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. The Melbourne casino, and irresponsible gambling

Allegations by whistleblowers about the way poker machines are operated at the casino in Melbourne have underlined how Victoria’s Casino Control Act allows pokies to operate in ways that encourage harmful gambling.

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JOHN MENADUE. The dumbed- down tax ‘debate’ and the Canberra Press Gallery.

In the ‘debate’ over tax and the attacks on Bill Shorten, not one member of the Canberra Press Gallery could be bothered to explain to us that with dividend imputation the difference between a 25% and a 27% tax rate … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Media, Politics | 7 Comments

LYNDON MEGARRITY. The Politics of Northern Development in Australia

Northern Australia is popularly defined as consisting of all Australian land north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The north has long struggled to secure the investment and development which the south-east of Australia has taken for granted, because it is … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Bill Shorten and Western Sydney Rail.

Mr Shorten has the right intentions about Western Sydney Rail but he needs to read Pearls and Irritations more carefully!  

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ROSS GITTINS. Memo Canberra: it’s not taxes, it’s wages, stupid. (SMH 2/7/2018)

With the season of peak political bulldust already upon us, and the media holding a microphone to all the self-serving and often stupid arguments the politicians are having with each other, here’s a tip: if you want sense about our … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

GREG HAMILTON. The Class War – Part 2: The Bludging Class.

We’re paralysed by a state of cultural anarchy that marks the decline of the Enlightenment Age and its class war that will see one percent of the world’s population owning over two thirds of all wealth by 2030.  Do we … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

GREG JERICHO. Australia’s middle class is being given a new look, and it’s not pretty.

The real low and middle-income earners are being erased from the debate in an unhealthy and one-sided class war.

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Electricity – driving towards the coal cliff

How bad, how dumb, how driven by internal political stupidities, how simply nonsensically odd are the electricity troglodytes pushing to keep the old Liddell coal-fired power station open for a few more years? Their case is destroyed by a single … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. How political opportunism and poor journalism brought us a dumbed-down tax debate.

Neither the politicians nor the media are helping the electorate to understand the issues around corporate taxation. Lowering the corporate tax rate for large companies would do hardly anything for Australian investors, but corporate executives, board members and foreign investors … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS: “Class Warfare” – Bring it On !

CEDA survey “Community Pulse 2018 – Economic Disconnect” perhaps tells us what we already know: The vast majority feel that they have got less than a fair share of our years of growth, and our working conditions have worsened, and … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE: Fragmenting Australia

CEDA (the Committee for Economic Development of Australia) has recently published a report (Community Pulse 2018: The Economic Disconnect) that shows that “there is a disconnect between Australia’s strong economic record and the community’s sense of having shared in the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

STEVE LOHR China extends its lead as the top producer of supercomputers (New York Times 26 June 2018)

U.S. has world’s fastest, but rival surges ahead as the most prolific producer

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Wealth and power inevitably having their way with the tax system

The strange thing at the core of the Turnbull personal and company tax cuts is that the most important and controversial elements are so far away. And as John Kenneth Galbraith put it so succinctly ‘The modern Conservative is engaged … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

STEVE CANNANE. Banking royal commission: ‘Big four’ accountancy firms ‘heavily conflicted, should be under inquiry spotlight’ (ABC 25/6/2018)

Australia’s “big four” accountancy firms should be put under the spotlight of the banking royal commission, according to a British investigative journalist who has written an expose on their activities overseas.  

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MICHAEL KEATING. Tax Cuts, the Economy and the Next Election

Last week the Government got its personal income tax package through the Parliament. The Government estimates that these tax cuts will cost the Budget $144 billion over the next decade. The Government has not, however, provided us with convincing evidence … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

JAMES FERNYHOUGH. This is how the biggest tax cut in history will affect you. (New Daily 21/6/2018)

Australia’s wealthiest 5 per cent of taxpayers are set to receive a $7000 tax cut, after the Turnbull government’s income tax bill passed through the Senate with the help of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

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2018 Lowy Institute Poll – Climate change, renewables and coal.

Despite the debate and political rhetoric, most Australians have not been persuaded to support coal over renewables for the nation’s energy security. Almost all Australians remain in favour of renewables, rather than coal, as an energy source. In 2018, 84% … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

ANDREW LEIGH. Rising to the challenge of inequality.

Thomas Piketty and his colleagues have used new data to track inequality and sharpen the choices we face. 

Posted in Economy, Human Rights | 2 Comments

ALISSA J. RUBIN. An era of French strikes is ending (AFR 13/6/2018)

Nowadays, we have people who are too rich,” he said. “In the United States you do not care so much about equality, but we care about it,” says Bodiou, a retired civil engineer.“It does not mean we all have to … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. RBA awakes – Australia is not getting the wage rise it needs

The laws of supply and demand for labour are broken. The Australian economy is not getting the wage rises it needs and there’s no sign of that changing.

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

HANS HENDRISCHKE and WEI LI. Chinese investment in Australia falls as political debate hits confidence

Chinese direct investment in Australia has declined, according to a new report by the University of Sydney and KPMG. In 2017, the value of investment fell by 11% in US dollar terms, from $11.5 billion in 2016 (A$15.4 billion) to … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Economy, International Affairs | 1 Comment

NICHOLAS GRUEN. All finance requires is an upgrade for the internet age

The Financial  Times has published a letter from Nicholas Gruen in response to Martin Wolf’s column about the Swiss ‘sovereign money’ referendum, previously reprinted on this blog).  Mr Gruen’s letter is as follows: Given the resounding ‘no’ from the Swiss … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Revealed: This is how much ordinary Australians really earn. (The New Daily June 8, 2018)

A casual glance at the news in recent months may have left you thinking the average Australian earns almost $85,000 a year. If that sounded insanely high to you, then your instincts were bang on. An ordinary Australian earns way, way less than … Continue reading

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