keywords: James Hird

  • ENVIRONMENT

    The 'kettle logic' of climate denial cultists

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 19 September 2019
    11 Comments

    Like the flying saucer people documented in When Prophecy Fails, they don't change their minds based on new material. Rather, the discomfort fresh edvidence causes them results in a renewed proclamation of their denialism, as they double down on that identity. The rhetoric might change but the structure remains the same.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    'Climate emergency' endangers democracy

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 21 June 2019
    7 Comments

    Historically, a declaration of emergency, whether in response to war, civil unrest or natural disaster, allows the state to suppress debate to enable a militarised response to an urgent problem. You can see why that might appeal as a solution to the environmental crisis. But addressing climate change requires more democracy, not less.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Australia's deadly game of mates

    • David James
    • 14 August 2018
    6 Comments

    Murray and Frijters detail what they call Australia's 'grey corruption': the grubby nexus between 'James' (corrupt business people) and governments or regulators. The Jameses thrive at the expense of the 'Bruces': ordinary working people. The games of the corrupt elite now cost the 'Bruces' about half their wages.

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  • ECONOMICS

    The big, bad business of America's war industry

    • David James
    • 20 April 2018
    6 Comments

    As the West flirts with starting World War III in Syria, it is worth examining some of the financial and business dynamics behind the US 'military industrial complex'. War may not be good business, but it is big business. And in contrast to Russia and China, the industry in the US is heavily privatised, including the use of mercenaries.

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  • ECONOMICS

    In the end, debts cannot be paid

    • David James
    • 08 November 2017
    3 Comments

    Once upon a time, usury was considered a sin and lending was subject to strict controls. Now, the world is in the grip of usury. It cannot continue. At some point it will have to be retired, or swapped to equity. A good place to start is third world debt, which is the most immoral variant.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A few crumbs from a table of plenty

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 09 October 2017
    2 Comments

    He's not difficult to find. Black men stand out in rich barrios. He'll be standing outside the supermarket, smiling, a self-appointed doorman selling a magazine nobody buys. His name is Samuel. He's from Ghana. His father is dead. He sends what money he can to his mother. He has no papers and no work because he has no papers. Madrilenos offer small change after shopping.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The lessons learned from charitable work

    • Mariana James-Techera
    • 19 August 2017
    4 Comments

    We students go to school to learn. But one of the best learning experiences for me has happened outside school: helping the less fortunate by serving them food at the Sacred Heart Mission and collecting food necessities for the charity.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Budget's bank slug flouts the property precipice

    • David James
    • 10 May 2017
    3 Comments

    The $6.2 billion the government will raise through a levy on bank liabilities not only shows how out of favour banks have become, it is also, in effect, a de facto tax on property lending - a counterbalance to negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks. It is a tax on property lending because nearly all the banks' loans are mortgages for housing, or business loans secured with property. Of course the banks will pass the extra cost on to their customers, so it becomes a tax on borrowers.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Beyond fake news lies the fog of fake figures

    • David James
    • 02 May 2017
    6 Comments

    Fake news aside, increasingly, we live in a world of fake figures. There is a cliche in management that 'what gets measured gets done'. In public discourse that might be translated to 'what gets measured is considered real'. One obvious fake figure is GDP, which is taken as a measure of national wellbeing. In fact, it is just a measure of transactions. If money changes hands because something disastrous happens then GDP will rise. That is hardly an indicator of national wellbeing.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Penalty rate cuts are the result of thinking small

    • David James
    • 07 March 2017
    17 Comments

    Witnessing the debate over Sunday penalty rates, an intriguing pattern of thinking emerged. It can be characterised as a microcosm/macrocosm duality. Those arguing for lower Sunday wage rates demonstrate their case by talking about individual businesses, the micro approach: 'Many businesses would love to open on a Sunday and if wage rates were lower, they would. Unleash those businesses and greater employment will follow.' Superficially impressive, this does not survive much scrutiny.

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  • RELIGION

    Ensuring justice for all after the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 February 2017
    3 Comments

    The commission's forensic scrutiny of past actions of church officials in no way constitutes an interference with the freedom of religion. Its spotlight is to be welcomed, provided only that it is shone on a truly representative sample of all institutions which have been found wanting and provided the same light filter is applied to all institutions. I do however have a problem with the commission making findings on issues like the want of compassion when those findings are made only against a Church.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Trump's pro-globalisation critics miss the key questions

    • David James
    • 07 February 2017
    10 Comments

    Many defenders of globalisation express frustration at the rise of Trump and what they see as an ignorant and self-defeating backlash against its virtues. But they have no answer to the most pressing question: Is the global system there to serve people, or are people there to serve the global system? They also never address a central contradiction of globalisation: that capital is free to move, but for the most part people are not, unless they belong to the elite ranks.

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