Big government not so smart

Over the past 15 years, Australia enjoyed the benefits of having a comparatively small government, healthy public finances, and strong economic growth. Swan’s budget signifies a departure from all of this. The Treasurer is leading us towards big government, permanent deficits, high debt, and slow growth. As it turns out, this is the very opposite of smart government. [...]

PM’s hero a neo-lib

Neo-liberalism is a far richer, more thoughtful concept than it is mostly perceived today. To those criticising neo-liberalism today, the answer may well be just that: we need more of this kind of neo-liberalism that sets a good framework for a free economy. What we would need less of is only the rhetorical abuse of neo-liberalism for political purposes. [...]

Neoliberalism: The Genesis of a Political Swearword

Neoliberalism is one of the most commonly used words in political debates. Despite this, the origins of neoliberalism are hardly known. Nor does there appear to be a generally accepted definition of the term. The original inventors of the word 'neoliberalism' had something completely different in mind. Their philosophy was a reasiong to the Great Depression of the 1930s. As such it was meant to show a 'Third way' between capitalism and socialism. Today's critics of neoliberalism have more in common with neoliberalism than they may think. [...]

Who wants to be a neoliberal?

It is quite ironic how neoliberalism re-surfaced a few decades later, albeit bearing an entirely different meaning. Where neoliberalism once was a positive, optimist philosophy it has been reduced to nothing but a political swearword. Unsurprisingly, nobody wants to be a neoliberal any more. [...]

It’s all down to the market

In an email debate, David Hetherington and Oliver Hartwich discuss the coming budget, whether the Government's stimulus package is wise and sustainable, and what Treasurer Wayne Swan should drink on budget night. [...]

Oh, joy, the rest of the year is in our pockets

Happy Tax Freedom Day! A tax is “a compulsory exaction of money by a public authority for public purposes, enforceable by law, and is not a payment for services rendered”. At least that is the way the High Court defined it way back in 1938. To put it simply: a tax is something you must pay to the government; what you get in return is another matter. [...]

Happy Tax Freedom Day!

On 23 April, celebrate your Tax Freedom Day for 2009. You will be free from the taxman for the rest of the year. But enjoy it while you can: The government is working hard to push your Tax Freedom Day well into May next year. [...]

Lost in numbers

A billion here, a billion there, and soon we’re talking about real money. But how could we make the money figures our politicians are throwing around more comprehensible? [...]

Mit Vollgas in die Krise

Europas Industriepolitiker könnten auf einer Zeitreise nach Australien besichtigen, welchen Effekt eine Dauersubventionierung der Autoindustrie auf deren Wettbewerbsfähigkeit hat. Nach Jahrzehnten, in denen sie Autos aus der automobilen Steinzeit produziert haben, gibt es wohl zumindest für GM Holden kein Zurück in die Zukunft. Nur wer sagt es dem Premierminister? [...]

Just another Muppet show

It takes a degree of chutzpah to hand over big subsidies to the car industry only to claim that this was a great environmental achievement. It’s the political equivalent of having your cake and eating it. [...]
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