On 20 October, the ABS released its labour force survey data for September 2016. The media duly reported the drop in unemployment from an upwardly revised 5.7% for the previous month to 5.6% but most also picked up that this was largely a result of a drop in the participation rate, from 64.7% to 64.... Read More
There are two outcomes of the US presidential election that should horrify us all: Trump wins or Trump loses.
The horror of his winning leaves little to the imagination. We can see from his words and actions that on the personal front he is an ugly misogynist and a womanizer, yet is disrespectful... Read More
Banks have been in the news recently and there is a clear difference in the approaches of the government and the opposition. While some may suggest that Bill Shorten is being populist in his call for a Royal Commission into the activities of the banks, particularly the ‘big four’, it is clear that T... Read More
Let’s stand back from the daily tumult of federal politics momentarily, hard though it is to ignore, and look into the distance. What do we see? Given that politicians believe their role is to make this nation a better one for us all, where is the evidence of them planning to make it so? Where is th... Read More
Donald Trump, in his mind anyway, is the next President of the United States of America. Last week, he was in deeper hot water than usual when a tape of a conversation between Trump and a reporter from Access Hollywood regarding his sexual exploits with women, made a decade ago, was released. Trump ... Read More
It was Karl Marx who said History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. Malcolm Turnbull gives contemporary credence to these words.
Seven years ago, in August 2009, as Malcolm Turnbull’s time as Leader of the Opposition seemed close to its end, I wrote The Turnbull endgame? Fou... Read More
Assuming the Opposition agrees, there will be a plebiscite on the proposition to allow same sex marriage in Australia in February 2017. The independents in the parliament have (mostly) stated their positions on the matter and the Greens are against the plebiscite but in favour of same sex marriage.&... Read More
In my inbox each day I get an e-mail from The Washington Post called The Daily 202. This year it has been, as is to be expected, mostly about the American Presidential primaries and forthcoming election but, in reporting Bernie Sanders’ primary win in West Virginia back on 10 May, it stated the win ... Read More
I expect most of you would answer with a resounding YES. They make us sick when they lie, break promises, assail us with mendacious rhetoric, engage in adversarial behaviour, fail to recognise this nation's problems, seek to blame their opponents for any ills we have, and exhibit incompetence in doi... Read More
In 1930 John Maynard Keynes predicted widespread technological unemployment ‘due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour’.
In the decades since there has been rapidly increasing technological change but employment ha... Read More
When you reflect on the dilapidated state of federal politics; when you question how on earth we have become encumbered with so many appalling policies, do you ever ask: 'Why is it so?'
I do often. And when I do, one culprit emerges over and again. Who is it?
Who in this motley co... Read More
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a macroeconomic theory for the current age in which governments have abandoned the gold standard and also floated their currencies. It is ‘macroeconomic’ and ‘monetary’ because many of its conclusions relate to the money supply in an economy. Does it offer scope for a... Read More
At the risk of earning a Godwin Award in the first sentence, according to those who staffed his office, Hitler was a kind and paternal man. Apparently Goebbels was kind to his family as are no doubt most of the world’s leaders today.
However, the same people who make sure they are kind to ... Read More
Last week I suggested that modern economic theory has lost sight of people but the reality is now becoming that many segments of the economy require fewer people to undertake the work and that has serious implications not just for the people losing their jobs but for the broader economy.
T... Read More
Recently on this website, we discussed the nastiness of the conservatives that currently inhabit the halls of power in Canberra. Ad Astra’s article gave a number of examples that demonstrated the point and you can read the article here rather than have me go over the fertile ground yet again. ... Read More
This is the first of four articles looking at particular changes, and potential changes, in our economic environment and approach to economics generally.
For those who have followed my pieces on TPS you may recall that I am qualified as a social anthropologist. I take the anthropological v... Read More
Are you as offended, as disgusted as I am with the language used by our politicians day after day? Have you noted how mean-spirited, antagonistic and adversarial their words so often are?
They use words like poison arrows aimed at the heart of their political opponents and those in our society wh... Read More
After a year of saying that he could get the Federal Budget back into surplus, seemingly by just cutting support to the less well off in our society, Treasurer Scott Morrison finally realised something any school child who has started business studies classes would be well aware of — a balance sheet... Read More
Some believe that those who purchase Lotto entries, play pokies or Keno or participate in other forms of gambling are effectively paying an idiot tax. On a purely rational level, they may be right as there is a significant chance that the few dollars you give to the Lotto machine operator or similar... Read More
As you sit on your comfortable chair after a satisfying meal with a glass of your favourite drink in hand and view current affairs programmes on TV, do you reflect on the plethora of distressing images that assail viewers day after day? Do you ponder how you might feel if you were part of those imag... Read More