How the tax system can narrow (or widen) the gender gap

How the tax system can narrow (or widen) the gender gap Andrew Leigh . Yes, Virginia, there is a Gender Gap There are massive gender differences in Australia today. Women comprise just 26 per cent of ASX200 board directors and 7 per cent of ASX200 CEOs. There are more large companies run by men named John than by women. Women make up just 28 per cent of the judiciary. In federal parliament, women comprise only 32.4 per cent of federal...

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The Banks: Public Power for Private Pillage

The Banks: Public Power for Private Pillage Evan Jones Key institutions have lost their legitimacy in the last several decades. Including the political class, the banking sector is at or near the top of the list. Most people would have some grievances with their bank provider, from the minor to the devastating. High interest rates on credit card debt is an ongoing irritation. The closure of many bank branches and retrenchment of staff during the...

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Tax and inequality

Tax and inequality Terri Butler & Andrew Giles* A good society – a more prosperous and more equal one – rests, among other things, upon tax settings that are genuinely progressive, and felt to be both fair and efficient. Taxes are more than simply the price of civilisation: they profoundly shape economy and society. Tax policies are matters of political choice. Past experience shows how tax choices have exacerbated inequality. It also...

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Rules of the Game

Rules of the Game Howard Guille   In 2018, Australian industrial institutions are in serious disarray. Employers now have more power to get what they want (much of which involves stopping workers getting much at all) and are using that power. The ACTU demands in “Change the Rules” are comprehensive. This is needed since the critical matters are equality and solidarity which involve matters well beyond enterprise bargaining. Sally...

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The make-believe land of Turnbull, Morrison and co

The make-believe land of Turnbull, Morrison and co. Frank Stilwell The Federal Budget is supposed to be about responsibly managing the nation’s affairs based on the best available economic information and fiscal forecasts. If so, the legitimacy of this year’s budget is in question. The budget received a mixed reception. Various articles and letters in the press after the budget expressed some sharp critique and a lot of economic wisdom. With...

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A Class of Their Own: Exploitation, Exclusion and Working Students

A Class of Their Own: Exploitation, Exclusion and Working Students Arthur Rorris  Overview The Fairfax Media expose, The Great Student Swindle by Anna Patty in December 2016 exposed gross exploitation. It was a wake up call to our movement and communities about the treatment of the young workers and children who work part time through their school years and later through University and TAFE. The systematic wage theft that was documented and has...

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The Uluru Statement and enshrining a voice for Indigenous Peoples By Thomas Mayor

The Torment of our Powerlessness The Uluru Statement and enshrining a voice for Indigenous Peoples By Thomas Mayor Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s dismissal of the key Uluru Statement From the Heart claim for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to parliament should not deter us from that aspiration. His ignorance should invigorate us because the dismissal demonstrates the importance of the claim. The eminent 19th century African American...

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Beatrix Campbell Reflections on the Revolution and today’s Social Democracy

Beatrix Campbell Reflections on the Revolution and today’s Social Democracy   The SEARCH Foundation arranged a two-week speaking tour by British socialist feminist activist Bea Campbell to mark the Centenary of the Russian Revolution and its meaning and lessons for today. Bea spoke on current issues of inequality, neoliberalism, the renewed interest in radical reforms and socialism, and what lessons the left might draw from the Russian...

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Marcus Woolombi Waters on the Crisis of White Identity…

A Crisis of White Identity... By  Marcus Woolombi Waters With the US election now decided and Donald Trump as President Elect it’s interesting watching the shock and amazement that this could have ever happened. I read an article recently that provided some insight. 'Behind 2016’s Turmoil, a Crisis of White Identity' was written by Amanda Taub and published in the New York Times. It highlighted the rise of White supremacists across the...

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A Question of Political Will

A Question of Political Will Jenny McAllister In 2006, Sheri Berman put the case that “the ideology that triumphed in the twentieth century was not liberalism… it was social democracy.” As the Abbott Government commences a full scale assault on the social democratic institutions which have defined Australian national life, Berman’s bullish assessment provokes the obvious counterpoint – Ah yes, but what of the 21st century? For the...

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A new model for fairness in employment

A new model for fairness in employment    John Buchanan  The reality of work in contemporary Australia is hugely different from the conventional narrative that everyone who wants a good job can get one. Instead, limited private sector job growth and deteriorating job security are making employment economically and socially unsustainable. Employment is now the bearer of inequality and unfairness. Output per worker has nearly doubled over the...

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Equality and sustainability: Fundamental to the Australian way of life

Equality and sustainability: Fundamental to the Australian way of life Adam Bandt In this country, we value our work-life balance. In the beautiful land of the ‘fair go’, we traditionally value our time outside work and look after each other. Our country is defined by the beauty of our surroundings, land, sea and air. When we’ve finished work, we go out and enjoy the country. And we have put in place structures and systems, like...

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Debts and Deficits: A Primer

Debts and Deficits: A Primer by Jim Stanford   Introduction: Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste  By any yardstick – international, historical, financial – Australia’s public finances are strong and stable.  There is no question about government’s ability to pay its bills.  Indeed, government could certainly mobilize additional resources to finance expanded public sector activity, if Australians decided that was appropriate.   But...

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There is still distinct disadvantage in Australia

There is still distinct disadvantage in Australia Dr Valerie Cooms* In the 1960s and 1970s, while Aboriginal people in Queensland were suffering from disease and malnutrition, having their under-award wages confiscated, or being jailed for being lazy, idle, careless or leaving gates open, their bins unwashed or committing adultery, newly decolonised Asian, African, and Pacific nations were watching. For a settler colony like Australia to be...

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Trans-Pacific Trade Deal

Divisions over US agenda and social movement opposition may frustrate end game Patricia Ranald* Ministers of the 12 governments involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) negotiations met on December 7-10 in Singapore, with the aim of finalising the agreement by the end of the year. The good news is that they did not succeed in this goal. The bad news is that the Australian government appears to be giving in to some key US demands which...

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Locked Murdoch’s Political Homecoming Salvatore Babones*

If the Coalition victory in September's federal elections showed one thing, it's that it's not your father's Liberal Party anymore. As the party of business and the prosperous middle class, Australia's Liberal Party was founded on values and beliefs that were similar to those of the early US Republican Party. Both parties have always been anti-labor and anti-immigrant, but they are also both heirs to strong traditions of moral decency and...

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Locked The populist PUP purloins poll protest in Queensland by Paul Norton *

The saying “Oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them” has perhaps never been truer than in relation to the 2013 Australian Federal election. While the Labor primary vote fell by 4.6 per cent, and the Greens by 3 per cent, the Coalition only gained a small swing of  2 per cent. The major primary vote gain was recorded by the right-populist Palmer United Party (PUP) with a spread of micro-parties also increasing their vote...

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Locked What An Abbott Government Means For The Environment Cam Walker*

Anyone who watched the policy debate during the election will know that the campaign was very light when it came to discussion about climate change and environmental issues. The key issue that did surface was, of course, the price on carbon, which Tony Abbott said he would remove as a matter of priority.   This lack of debate would have suited the Coalition, as it came up badly against other major parties in the many policy assessments done...

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From little margins, big margins grow Cambell Klose and Nick Haines * from Cathy McGowan’s campaign

IF YOU head north out of Melbourne and drive for about forty minutes you’ll cross the Great Dividing Range and pass into Indi. This sprawling electorate covers some 28,000 square kilometres – roughly the same area as the US state of Massachusetts. It is a primarily rural region of mountains, rivers, valleys and plains. Within its borders are the Mitta Mitta River, the King River and the Kiewa River – the major catchments of the Murray...

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Locked What are our Political Economic Prospects? Economic Austerity or a Fair and Sustainable Future… Frank Stilwell*

Political pundits frequently pronounce that ‘we stand at a crossroads’. The phrase has become a cliché. In the current Australian conditions, however, it has real resonance. The contest between the major parties at the recent Federal Election included rival policy programs that were different in some, but not all, respects. The outcome of that election makes it imperative to develop a more thoroughly coherent alternative and to begin the...

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New Paths for Labor

New Paths for Labor   Harold Levien*   Fundamental problems exist in our society because of the dominance of the untamed profit motive and the lack of political economic understanding in the electorate. These problems need to be addressed in pursuit of progressive economic reforms. Superannuation policy is one area where reform is needed, linking superannuation funds to national investment priorities. Re-regulation of banks, drawing on...

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The case for raising more tax

The case for raising more tax RICHARD DENNISS   Until progressive organisations and political parties make the collection of more tax revenue central to their organisational and political strategies they will continue to fail in their ambitions to make Australia a fairer and more sustainable country.  While conservatives are united and successful in their decades’ long campaign to reduce the amount of tax collected, progressives are...

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The Neo-Liberal race to the bottom – Tax competition

The Neo-Liberal Race to the Bottom – Tax Competition   Mark Zirnsak and Cath James*   Australia collects too little tax to achieve a just and caring society. It collects too little by comparison with other OECD countries. It also collects too little to provide the services the Australian community should be able to expect for our national wealth and to effectively regulate the corporate sector.   Tax, if used properly, can...

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Locked Focus: Cooperatives and green industrial development

“..... Are there ownership and capital structures that would work better than listed stock exchange markets? Whilst there are clearly some upsides to listed public companies, there are many other models and approaches, some of which are well established and mainstream but lack public attention or market credibility.......The realization that growth has truly ended will steadily discredit many existing businesses and old models. That’s why I...

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Locked Focus: Manufacturing hopes rest on union-supported co-operative ventures

Australian unions have endorsed the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) support for co- operative operations, recognising the critical role they play in advancing the organisation’s Global Employment Agenda and promoting decent work. ACTU President Ged Kearney said the 2012 ACTU Congress had endorsed the position in support of co-operatives as they had a proven record of creating and sustaining employment, now providing more than 100...

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Locked Focus: More on co-operatives

*** On cooperatives and the new mutualism see Race Matthews a cooperative economist Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Monash University: race@netspace.net.au http://www.australia.coop/race_mathews.htm At the Search Conference in Sydney, Race Mathews discussed the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation, or MCC. This is considered the most successful example of worker-owned enterprise in the world in the Basque...

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Focus: Heartbreak in Wisconsin

What Happened in Wisconsin, and Why? by David Nack* Why did Scott Walker comfortably defeat the recall by better than 53 to 46 percent? With so much energy and effort by thousands of workers, activists, students, and young people going into the Wisconsin Uprising, why did this movement fail to achieve its prime immediate political goal? How did Walker persuade 38 percent of members of union households to vote for him? Walker’s huge sums of...

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