Search Results: David James

  • ECONOMICS

    Financial advisers can be more than bookies

    • David James
    • 26 March 2014
    6 Comments

    Removing the requirement that financial advisers act in the best interest of their clients will reveal financial advisers for what they really are: salespeople for the banks' wealth management platforms. Tony Abbott argues that the changes will remove 'red tape' and declaimed: 'We're creating the biggest bonfire of regulations in our country's history.' This is a duplicitous use of language that misunderstands how the finance sector works.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Unwinding the Coalition's economic pantomime

    • David James
    • 12 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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  • 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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  • ECONOMICS

    Supermarket self-regulation is a joke

    • David James
    • 10 December 2013
    15 Comments

    It is hard not to smile over Woolworths' and Coles' 'voluntary' adoption of a code of conduct. Now that the duopoly has decided to mend its ways, it seems it can occupy the moral high ground and preach to everyone else. The Western world has been subject to a quarter of a century of propaganda about the virtues of deregulation. A closer consideration of the supermarket giants' promise to do the right thing offers little reason for confidence.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Australia's Noah's Ark economy

    • David James
    • 05 November 2013
    2 Comments

    Australia is very much the 'Noah's Ark' economy: two of everything. Consider the spate of industry sectors in which only two companies dominate: airlines (Virgin and Qantas); paper and packaging (Visy and Amcor); print media (News Corporation and Fairfax). The Federal Government's announcement that it will be launching a 'root and branch' review of Australia's competition law will, at the very least, make for a fascinating spectacle.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's light on the hill

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 November 2013
    7 Comments

    'There have been innumerable post-mortems and words of advice as to how the party with new structures, election rules, and policies can pick itself up, dust off, and win the next election. Sadly some of those post-mortems have come with more coatings of spite and loathing. It is no part of my role in the public square as a Catholic priest to offer such advice.' Frank Brennan's address to the Bathurst Panthers Club, 2 November 2013.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Dollar bulletproofs US economy

    • David James
    • 04 October 2013
    1 Comment

    America is fond of claiming exceptionalism, which is usually little more than an indication of its attitude to moral accountability. But in one area America definitely is exceptional: the global currency markets. There is no risk of the market for American dollars drying up, which means that a default by the American government is, while significant, not especially relevant to what happens with the global trade in US dollars.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Life and death issues the election campaign missed

    • David James
    • 06 September 2013
    4 Comments

    Two of the most important issues to have been given scant attention in the election campaign are ageing and property. Even less noticed is the inter-relationship between the two. The effect of ageing on property prices will be arguably the most important financial challenge facing Australian governments over the coming decades.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The distraction of red lines in Syria

    • Evan Ellis
    • 27 August 2013
    5 Comments

    In some ways the intense focus on chemical weapons and red lines is diversionary. Enough blood has been spilt to paint a thousand red lines. 100,000+ people have been killed already. Is it somehow easier on the International Community’s conscience to think of families being ripped apart by artillery shells than dying from chemical warfare? 

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  • ECONOMICS

    Boost budget by chopping charities' tax take

    • David James
    • 27 August 2013
    3 Comments

    Australia is one of only a few countries in the world that has a franking credit system. Though it is designed to stop 'double taxation' on company tax, in many cases it ends up being a 'double reward' for entities that already have tax favoured status. Last year the Tax Commissioner generously refunded over $500 million to charities and not-for-profits on dividends because they pay no tax.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Born-to-rule Bombers glimpse unprivileged reality

    • Brian Matthews
    • 14 August 2013
    11 Comments

    When James Hird, coach of the Essendon Football Club, says his club has a 'right' to play finals despite the ongoing drug scandal, he obviously means that the players have won enough games to qualify. But when you wed his use of the word 'right' to his often proclaimed love for the club and his aspiration to put it back where it 'belonged', 'right' starts to assume the force of due privilege.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Which party really has the economic smarts?

    • David James
    • 13 August 2013
    3 Comments

    As the China boom fades Australia is experiencing a delayed version of the GFC, without the banking crisis. Until now we've been reasonably well served by both sides of politics, in terms of macro-economic strategy. Now we require a way of dealing with more mundane economic issues like productivity and efficiency. Neither side has many good ideas about how to achieve the required structural shifts.

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