Search Results: debt

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  • ECONOMICS

    Blessed are the moneymakers

    • David James
    • 15 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The 2014 Federal Budget has created a new hierarchy of virtue in Australian society, with well off investors deemed to be good and the disadvantaged bad. It is not so much class war as a war between capital and the rest of society. Those wielding significant capital are useful, while those who can save little, and have little to invest, are considered a burden.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Abbott and Hockey more Prince John than Robin Hood

    • David James
    • 04 May 2014
    11 Comments

    In politics, one should never opt for a balanced and thoughtful description of the truth when wild exaggerations will do. Especially when you want to take from the poor and give to, if not exactly the rich, at least the investor class. The dire pronouncements from the Abbott Government in response to the Commission of Audit's 86 recommendations reflect not only the PM's relentless negativity, but also more than a whiff of class war.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The people power of Game of Thrones pirates

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 April 2014
    3 Comments

    Last week's Game of Thrones series four premiere revealed Melbourne as the pirate capital of the world. The downloaders make a 'people power' claim to moral legitimacy because they think pay TV provider Foxtel's business model undermines the access they believe they are entitled to. Stories are not a cultural form of terra nullius, and human nature will not allow them to be wholly appropriated by business interests.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cardinal Pell at the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 March 2014
    82 Comments

    As an institution, the Catholic Church has been dragged kicking and screaming. Cardinal Pell has been put through the wringer, though admittedly nowhere near to the same extent as was John Ellis when the Church decided to unleash the legal attack dogs on him in litigation which was euphemistically described as vigorous and strenuous.

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  • MEDIA

    Turnbull's bone for the News Corp behemoth

    • Ray Cassin
    • 23 March 2014
    17 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull is unusual among Australian politicians in having a keen regard for the role of journalism in a democracy. That makes his blithe disregard of the prospect of handing Rupert Murdoch even greater influence over Australian politics all the more puzzling. It is unsurprising that some observers see the foreshadowed change to media ownership laws as a pay-off for News Corp's support of the Coalition in the 2013 election.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Unwinding the Coalition's economic pantomime

    • David James
    • 11 March 2014
    10 Comments

    Economics is full of circular arguments. The Government is on the one hand arguing — most notably with the SPC Ardmona case, the exit of the car manufacturers and Qantas — that it will not get involved in supporting Australia's industry base. But then it argues that its policies will boost Australia's industry base. Lower unemployment will inevitably follow. For the first time ever it is apparently possible to have it both ways.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ugly nationalism in support for Qantas bailout

    • Michael Mullins
    • 02 March 2014
    10 Comments

    In the face of the Federal Government's resolve to be unemotional in its attitude to financial assistance for Qantas, we have Bill Shorten warning us against 'waving goodbye to an Australian icon'. Underlying mention of Qantas as an 'Australian icon' could be the sentiment associated with the 1990s resurgence of nationalism and its racist undertones associated with Pauline Hanson.

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  • RELIGION

    Social justice with a smile

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 February 2014
    7 Comments

    Social justice has to do with what we owe to others. No one likes to think of their debts. And when the debts are universalised so that they are owed by us as members of society, we do not want to know about them. No wonder it is more effective to appeal to our individual generosity than to our shared duty, and for religious leaders to be less comfortable speaking about justice than about love.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Deciphering capitalism's corrupt metaphors

    • David James
    • 06 February 2014
    15 Comments

    'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'. This was George Orwell's parody in Animal Farm of the vicious use of language in communist states. It was one of his memorable depictions of how the absurdities of language not only reflect evil, but also predicate it. Language was a tool of oppression in communist states. In capitalism it is no less vicious.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fawlty thinking about the aftermyth of war

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 January 2014
    15 Comments

    'Don't mention the war!' admonishes John Cleese as the hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty in the classic television comedy series Fawlty Towers. With a string of war-related anniversaries to take place over the next four years, beginning this year with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we may soon find ourselves sharing Fawlty's sentiments.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Change tax tack to take power back

    • Jean-Paul Gagnon
    • 17 November 2013
    15 Comments

    What if citizens were given the chance to fill out a preference form online as part of their own personal, digital tax portal? You could choose to pick 'below the line' and individually choose what your tax money can and can't be spent on. For example you might like to spend on funding public schools, the bullet train, hospital supplies and museums, and not to spend on nuclear power plants, weapons development, or the automotive industry subsidy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for funding legal services with public money

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 November 2013
    3 Comments

    From a liberal perspective the use of public money to fund free legal services to individuals is inherently undesirable. Even if the contracts are awarded under competitive tendering, the funding of the services is a distortion in the market. Ideally they should be left to the market to provide. And by definition they are less efficient than commercial organisations disciplined by a free and competitive market.

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