keywords: To Change China

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Making a difference in the age of high-speed politics

    • Zac Alstin
    • 17 February 2015
    11 Comments

    The ancient Chinese text the Zhuangzi tells of a kingdom where the people rose up and killed their ruler three times in succession. Australia has seen two of its rulers 'killed' in succession since 2010, with a third now perilously close to extinction. Are we approaching a point where the highest expression of political wisdom would be not to run for leadership at all?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama misfires on Russian 'threat'

    • Tony Kevin
    • 28 January 2015
    15 Comments

    In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama drew rare bipartisan applause with his anti-Russian rhetoric when he said the US was ‘upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small’. The Cold War ended 25 years ago, yet the desire to weaken Russia has never gone away. This is nonsense. Russia poses no threat to the west. It is just another country trying to make its own way in an unfriendly world.  

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  • ECONOMICS

    Hapless Joe Hockey

    • David James
    • 10 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

    Disruption of government business as a good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 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
    • 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

    Don't let Vlad's side show distract from the G20's purpose

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 November 2014
    10 Comments

    The Murdoch press was reporting on Friday that Australian warships had been dispatched to 'intercept' the Russian flotilla 'steaming towards the G20 summit in Brisbane'. Serious heads needed to prevail for the G20 to maintain its relevance and Australia its credentials to host important events that do not concern sport. The Brisbane G20 had an opportunity build on the climate change action momentum established at APEC, or yield to the new climate deniers who don't accept that renewable energy is also good for economic growth.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hun Sen's Cambodia a mirage on the Mekong

    • Tony Kevin
    • 14 November 2014
    1 Comment

    Phnom Penh is a lively, bustling, often happy city of energetic and industrious people, with amazing growth statistics. In 2004 half of Cambodians lived in poverty, and by 2011 the figure had dropped to 20%. But this belies the terrible state of public health, the corruption in education, the abuse of human rights, and much more.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Weighing ANU's coal play

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 October 2014
    11 Comments

    When the ANU sold its shares in coal companies recently, it received a mixed response. Critics said investment decisions should be made solely on financial grounds. But investing is done by human beings, who should be guided by their effects of their investment on other human beings, not simply by the profit it brings them. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Scotland's brave quest for self-determination

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 16 September 2014
    31 Comments

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s remarks on the Scottish independence debate were front page news in Great Britain. If Mr Abbott had actually visited Scotland rather than follow the advice of the British PM, he would have seen that the whole debate had centred on the kind of society we wanted – one where social justice is paramount, our National Health Service is not privatised and rights are built into a written constitution.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's foreign policy flops

    • Tony Kevin
    • 12 September 2014
    11 Comments

    Since Richard Casey was External Affairs Minister in the 1950s, the three pillars of Australian foreign policy have been: a genuine reaching out to our Asian neighbours, adherence to UN-based multilateral values and institutions, and a firm but self-respecting defence partnership with the United States. All those pillars look pretty shaken now.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Turning off the lights on Australian research

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 09 September 2014
    4 Comments

    The research sector in Australia is increasingly one marked by casualisation and disappearing career paths. The depressed nature of working in this environment means that the very people who we'd want to solve our society's most crucial, pressing issues are the ones who will be looking elsewhere to establish their careers. How do we equip our community with better ways to live, work and connect without research? Where will answers to persistent problems come from?

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  • ECONOMICS

    Australia's delayed GFC

    • David James
    • 08 September 2014
    7 Comments

    What is only now starting to come into focus is the extent to which the whole economy is in hock to house prices. A sharp fall in the housing market will put intense pressure on our major lending institutions, leading to a deeply depressing effect on all parts of the economy. The regulators, as ever, are taking a hands-off approach.

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