Section: Economics

  • ECONOMICS

    Why corporatism, not capitalism, is the root of social harm

    • David James
    • 06 July 2021
    14 Comments

    There really is no such thing as ‘capitalism’ — or rather there are so many capitalisms that the word is altogether too imprecise to be useful. A much better term to identify the problems, even evils, of modern developed economies is ‘corporatism’. This can be precisely identified and its transgressions and general harm are getting worse.

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  • ECONOMICS

    We need to rebuild our social foundations

    • John Falzon
    • 15 June 2021
    4 Comments

    Our economy is 1.1 per cent larger than a year ago. Yet, as the situation in Victoria reminded us, none of us are safe unless all of us are safe. And we cannot be safe while work remains increasingly insecure, while social security payments are inadequate and while our public infrastructure is found wanting.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Teetering on the financial brink

    • David James
    • 08 June 2021
    4 Comments

    An often overlooked fact about the financial system is that it entirely depends on trust. When trust starts to evaporate, especially between the big players such as banks and insurance companies, the whole artifice is put into peril. Trust in the system is now at an extreme low and that points to extreme danger.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Our economy needs democratic oversight, not the unleashing of animal spirits

    • John Falzon
    • 06 May 2021
    23 Comments

    In a recent speech to business leaders, Prime Minister Morrison made the remarkable claim that ‘we are going to meet our [climate change] ambitions with the smartest minds, the best technology and the animal spirits of capitalism.’ This is straight from the neoliberal playbook, the doxa that the role of government is to get out of the way to make room for those animal spirits so as to pander to the fantasies of the wealthy few.

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  • ECONOMICS

    The economy is never as good as it looks and never as bad as it seems

    • David James
    • 04 May 2021
    2 Comments

    But although the Coalition will never admit it, it looks suspiciously like there has been some bipartisan institutional learning about how to manage financial crises. If you want to stimulate an economy in times of crisis put the money directly into the economy, either into people’s pockets or to businesses who then pass it on to workers.

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  • ECONOMICS

    When economic policy transcends political division

    • David James
    • 08 April 2021
    5 Comments

    It is one of the ironies of Australian political history that a policy that has profoundly benefited this country’s version of capitalism came, not from the right, but from the Labor party and unions. The mandating of superannuation payments in 1992 under the Keating government has profoundly changed Australia’s financial system.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Finding a new business model for big tech monopolies

    • David James
    • 09 March 2021
    5 Comments

    Social media companies are adopting a strategy that may go down in history as among the worst corporate mistakes ever. Google and Facebook are now monopolies and, like all monopolies, they no longer see their main interest as serving customers but rather to capture governments in order to protect their market dominance.

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  • ECONOMICS

    GameStopping the system

    • David James
    • 09 February 2021
    5 Comments

    The controversy over the shares of US video game company GameStop has again exposed what has long been obvious: there is something seriously rotten in the state of the world’s financial markets. It was a battle between a hedge fund, Melvin Capital, which manages $US13 billion, and a small group of ‘amateur’ investors who communicated with each other on a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Finance needs common sense, not cleverness

    • David James
    • 10 December 2020
    1 Comment

    The world’s financial markets are afflicted by a deep irrationality that imperils their very existence. On the surface, finance looks logical enough with its numbers, charts, mathematics, forecasts, ‘modelling’ and so on. But this only masks the fact that the system itself has been working on underlying assumptions that are either contradictory — such as that you can ‘deregulate’ finance when finance consists of rules — narrow minded or absurd.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Overhauling economics to combat climate crisis

    • David James
    • 17 November 2020
    5 Comments

    There is a common error about economics that, if not corrected, has far reaching consequences. It is the widely held belief that economic growth and consumption are the same. They are not.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Until debt do us part

    • David James
    • 20 October 2020
    3 Comments

    The global economy was already teetering on the edge of such a debt crisis before the coronavirus hit. The economic shutdowns have accelerated the damage.

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  • ECONOMICS

    October Budget rides on collective confidence

    • Joe Zabar
    • 24 September 2020
    3 Comments

    The havoc COVID-19 has wreaked on our economy has been less damaging than for some other countries. While international comparisons may help us feel better about our circumstances, the reality is that Australia’s economy is in trouble and will need more than economic first aid through measures like JobKeeper to get us back on track to recovery.

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