Search Results: economists

  • AUSTRALIA

    Hope I die before I get (really) old

    • Brigitte Dwyer
    • 17 April 2015
    13 Comments

    Economists and politicians see productivity as our only hope for the future. We continually assess the productivity of people we meet, with the default question 'What do you do?' The worth of a person can be tied to their productivity, particularly that of older people. Those who advocate legal euthanasia can find it hard to accept that an unproductive life might be worth living.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Petrol price plunge won’t arrest car decline

    • Greg Foyster
    • 06 February 2015
    3 Comments

    After years of writing pain-at-the-pump puns, journalists are giddy at the prospect of prices heading south for once. The low price is a boon for motorists and regional tourism operators. But it won't change the face that we've hit 'peak car' and are driving less. Young people now prize access over ownership.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    US health care a sick joke that’s coming to Australia

    • Ellena Savage
    • 23 January 2015
    9 Comments

    America's iniquitous health care system is often portrayed with dark humour in popular culture such as the 2007 Michael Moore film Sicko. Our own Federal Government has been putting constant pressure on our system of universal health care as it pursues a course of action that presents class warfare as fiscal responsibility. It raises questions about the vested interests behind dismantling health care protections for poor people.   

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  • ECONOMICS

    Why the rich are getting richer

    • David James
    • 19 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
    • 31 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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  • ECONOMICS

    Who will feel better after Medibank privatisation?

    • David James
    • 13 October 2014
    7 Comments

    Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann announced 'the scoping study found no evidence that premiums would increase as a result of the sale' of Medibank Private. But the sale is being presented as a way to make the fund more efficient. If successful, Medibank Private will become even more dominant than it is at present and there will be pressure to raise premiums to achieve its purpose of keeping shareholders happy.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Inequality matters

    • Harry Maher
    • 20 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Clive Palmer's world of surprises

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 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

    Super's evil empire on shaky ground

    • Brian Toohey
    • 11 June 2014
    15 Comments

    The superannuation industry inhabits a cosseted world in which the money pours in thanks to a combination of government compulsion and tax concessions. The foundations of this empire are criticised for how the tax concessions create an expensive form of upper class welfare, and for the harmful effect of compulsory super's artificial expansion of the finance sector. The Abbott Government shows scant concern about either aspect.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Whose liberty matters as Dickensian budget looms?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 07 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Economists undaunted by car industry canning

    • Ray Cassin
    • 12 February 2014
    18 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull assures us that something will come along to fill the gap left by the demise in Australia of Toyota and SPC Ardmona. But new sources of employment do not magically appear because they have been foretold by economic doctrine. Only about a third of those who are about to lose their jobs in car making or food processing are likely to find new jobs on equivalent incomes. Another third will probably never work again.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Deciphering capitalism's corrupt metaphors

    • David James
    • 07 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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