Search Results: economics

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  • ECONOMICS

    Hapless Joe Hockey

    • David James
    • 09 December 2014
    12 Comments

    One of the fascinating aspects of Australia's political pantomime is the manner in which the Federal Treasurer is forced to metamorphose into a used car salesman who is spruiking the Australian economy. One reason for the relative impotence of the Treasurer is that the Federal government only has control over fiscal policy. Monetary policy, the interest rate, is set by the Reserve Bank, not the government.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's woes through Pope's human values lens

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2014
    23 Comments

    Pope Francis' recent reflections on Europe apply also to Australia. He points to the cult of economic growth that exists at the expense of human values and the relationships that shape our humanity. His critique suggests the challenge facing our Government is not to make its policies appear more palatable when they're not, but to offer policies that are in themselves enriching.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Disruption of government business as a good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 November 2014
    15 Comments

    President Obama stole the G20 show with his mesmerising Queensland University address, after having dominated APEC with Xi Jinping and their climate change agreement. Such unrelated events challenge the belief that agendas can be centrally controlled, and that good governance is constituted by discipline and sole ownership of the agenda. More recently, the Senate has managed to call the shots and give priority to human good over ideology.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Why the rich are getting richer

    • David James
    • 18 November 2014
    6 Comments

    Investing capital in the production of goods and services may create jobs, but it's not the best way to make money. It's more profitable to manipulate the financial system to create more money from money, which is why the finance sector does so well. The polarisation of wealth is less extreme in Australia, but we have our own capital-driven Ponzi scheme - the residential property market, which has become an exercise in making money out of money. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Who wants to be a capitalist?

    • Moira Rayner
    • 30 October 2014
    11 Comments

    Affordable housing ought to be a hot election issue. Sadly it’s not a government priority, with ordinary people being taught to be entitled to look to capital growth in bricks and mortar as the best path to financial security. That is producing a housing price bubble and public housing is being squeezed. As a result, an increasing number of Australians can’t afford to put a roof over their head.

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  • RELIGION

    National Curriculum a step forward

    • Chris Middleton
    • 15 October 2014
    5 Comments

    Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has supported a national curriculum, while some observers have cautioned that it is not the panacea for improving educational standards that many may hope for. The Federal Review report released in the past week addresses many of the concerns, and on the whole their recommendations seem appropriate and constructive.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thanks for nothing, Adam and Eve

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 September 2014
    13 Comments

    James Boyce claims that contemporary attitudes to politics, human origins, economics and human psychology can be understood only if we recognise the hidden presuppositions imported from the theology of original sin. Theories on human nature such as those proposed by Adam Smith, Sigmund Freud, Richard Dawkins and the US Founding Fathers, tried to emancipate people from religious ideas, but often unwittingly enshrined them.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Inequality matters

    • Harry Maher
    • 19 August 2014
    14 Comments

    Inequality is dangerous. And inequality is at a near all-time high. At its core, the Government’s recent budget not only engenders but actively exults in the creation and maintenance of inequality, a phenomenon rapidly expanding not just in Australia, but around the world.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Dubious heroes of Wikipedia

    • Philip Harvey
    • 22 July 2014
    6 Comments

    Swedish physicist Sverker Johansson has reportedly written over 2.7 million articles on Wikipedia since 2001, at an average of 10,000 articles a day. Phil Parker is purported to be the most published author in history, successfully publishing over 85,000 physical books, each of which takes less than an hour to 'write' — 'patented algorithms enable computers to do all the heavy lifting'. But the real work begins after they have finished.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Clive Palmer's world of surprises

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 July 2014
    9 Comments

    Clive Palmer is thwarting some of the inequities in the Coalition’s Budget and legislative program. He appears to stand for policy that is confused and inconsistent, and possibly self-interested. But in joining hands with Al Gore he has shown himself capable of forging alliances with business and other entrepreneurs, for the common good of humanity. Fellow mining magnate Twiggy Forrest got together with Pope Francis to promote the abolition of slavery. Perhaps the Pope is on Clive’s list.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Commbank plunder part of new world economic order

    • David James
    • 06 July 2014
    7 Comments

    As the Pope and economist Thomas Pikkety have observed in recent times, the inequity created by capitalism is a growing concern. But the problem with this argument is that 'capitalism' is too broad a term. The attack would be far better directed against the financialisation of developed economies. A new type of sovereign has emerged, and like all rulers they are cheerfully engaging in acts of plunder.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Whose liberty matters as Dickensian budget looms?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 06 May 2014
    16 Comments

    French economist Thomas Piketty argues that current conditions have set us on track for a return to 19th century-levels of inequality. The Commission of Audit proposals suggest that the auditors and the Government are keen to expedite this neo-Dickensian era. It's all done in the name of 'incentives' toward 'personal responsibility', but this cannot remain coherent in the face of those who will be hit hard by the proposed suite of cuts and co-payments.

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