Search Results: David James

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  • ECONOMICS

    Boost budget by chopping charities' tax take

    • David James
    • 26 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The distraction of red lines in Syria

    • Evan Ellis
    • 26 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Born-to-rule Bombers glimpse unprivileged reality

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 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
    • 12 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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  • ECONOMICS

    Aussie dollar falls to fast money folly

    • David James
    • 02 July 2013
    4 Comments

    A currency's value is supposed to represent the state of the country's underlying economy. Yet very little changed about the Australian economy during a week in which the value of the dollar was substantially altered. It is a small instance of how rapidly change occurs in currency markets, sometimes to devastating effect, and another reason why the capital markets are ruling rather than serving.

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  • ECONOMICS

    How financial devils came to rule the universe

    • David James
    • 04 June 2013
    7 Comments

    Religious authorities may not spend a lot of time pondering the nature of global financial systems, but the Pope's recent comment that 'money has to serve, not rule' suggests it can be useful when they do. Given scope to become rule makers, rather than just people who know how to exploit the rules, financiers have moved themselves to a position of mastery.

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  • RELIGION

    Clobbering religious gay prejudice

    • Michael Kirby
    • 21 May 2013
    32 Comments

    The 2011 book Five Uneasy Pieces offered an alternative reading of the so-called 'clobber passages' that are at the core of religious unease about homosexuality. A follow-up volume pushes the envelope further by examining the biblical recognition of the variety of human love beyond traditional marriage.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Banksters' deadly game of Sheldon's three-person chess

    • David James
    • 30 April 2013
    3 Comments

    In The Big Bang Theory Sheldon invents a game of chess which 'utilises a three-sided board with transitional quadrilateral-to-triangular tessellation to solve the balanced centre combat-area problem'. This gobbledegook sounds suspiciously similar to the application of mathematical models to financial securities in derivatives markets.

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  • ECONOMICS

    The truth about middle class welfare

    • David James
    • 08 April 2013
    5 Comments

    Commentary on the proposed changes to tax on super has created the impression that the truly needy will miss out on extra cash as politicians pander to middle class voters. This is almost entirely false. In terms of where tax dollars are allocated, Australia has definitely concentrated on lower class welfare.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Big business twists tax truth

    • David James
    • 26 March 2013
    2 Comments

    Australia's business lobbies are fond of complaining that company tax is too high. Lower it, they argue, and the economy would become more dynamic and everyone would benefit. The reality isn't that simple. The combination of Australia's dividend imputation system and the compulsory super scheme greatly benefit Australia's big companies.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Don't bet on the Australian dollar

    • David James
    • 07 February 2013
    4 Comments

    This week the Australian dollar reached its lowest point in three months. Tangible factors such as interest rates and trade with China influence its strength. But what really determines the direction of our currency is the whim of the currency traders. In that sense, the Aussie is is arguably the most 'unreal', or virtual currency in the world.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Election year food, sex and meaning

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 07 February 2013

    David Marr's withering piece on Tony Abbot completes the political trinity. These writers manage the impossible: they have me feeling sorry for politicians. Well, almost. I'm not sure if such magnanimity is allowed in an election year. But what a pleasure to discover those grey Canberran corridors harbouring such a chiaroscuro of emotion.

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