Tag Archives: Economics

Happiness: the universal goal


The main goal is always to beat New Zealand, but this time they beat us, according to the World Happiness Report 2017, which tells us that increasingly, happiness is considered to be the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy. They say:

The results are yet another resounding endorsement of the ‘Nordic model’. The top four countries, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland are statistically a dead heat, while Finland is fifth, and Sweden ninth, tied with Australia to three decimal places, after The Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand. Continue reading Happiness: the universal goal

Henry: politicians fail while Australia burns

That was the title of Phillip Coorey’s article in the AFR about Ken Henry’s withering speech to the Committee of Economic Development. For those who came in late, Dr Ken Henry was secretary of treasury from 2001 to 2011, appointed originally by Peter Costello and served during the Rudd/Gillard years. He is now chairman of the NAB board.

I think it was the news story of the week. Continue reading Henry: politicians fail while Australia burns

Saturday salon 28/1

1. Migration and economic activity

The above article (thanks to John D for the link) explains why it’s almost impossible to have a recession when we have high migration. The economy keeps growing, because there are more people operating in it. Governments can boast about economic growth, and it’s good for business, but not necessarily for workers.

Here’s how real net disposable income (per capita income) has been going for the last 20 years: Continue reading Saturday salon 28/1

Saturday salon 10/12

1. 39,000 lightning strikes

We had 39,000 lightning strikes in one storm the other day. Apparently more than a million in the first six days of summer if you count cloud-to-cloud strikes.

Nothing too unusual about all that if you’ve lived in these parts for a while. Continue reading Saturday salon 10/12

Saturday salon 26/11

1. Australia trails only Switzerland in wealth table (pay-walled)

    AUSTRALIA’S lofty status as the world’s second richest nation remains intact, new figures reveal, despite household wealth stalling this year.

    In the seventh annual Global Wealth Report from Swiss bank Credit Suisse, the “lucky country” posted an average wealth of $US375,600 ($508,900) for every Australian, second only to banking hotbed Switzerland, with an average net worth of $US562,000.

Continue reading Saturday salon 26/11

Did the ALP have the best terms of trade in history and blow it?

A claim has been made that that the ALP had the best terms of trade in history and blew it. The short answer is the terms of trade were certainly good back in 2011 when Wayne Swan tried to bring the budget back into balance, perhaps the best ever, but they turned sour and blew his budget ambitions away. Continue reading Did the ALP have the best terms of trade in history and blow it?

Saturday salon 21/5

1. Protect your plastic money

If you haven’t heard about it you will. And if you think it won’t happen in Australia, you’re wrong.

Thieves can use RFID technology to empty your card. Seems they can steal your details with a cheap credit card reader, which they hold near you wallet or purse. It could be on public transport, or standing next to you in a supermarket. Continue reading Saturday salon 21/5

Banks royal commission becomes an election issue

Is Bill Shorten a populist with a thought bubble, or is Malcolm Turnbull shooting from the hip and attempting to defend the indefensible?

Last year in June Labor voted with the government to kill a Greens motion for a royal commission into misconduct in the banking and financial services industry. As Adele Ferguson said in the AFR, then came NAB, IOOF, CommInsure, allegations of bank bill swap rate rigging and a multitude of smaller scandals.

Labor announced last Friday that in government it would set up a royal commission.

The government claims a RC would damage the reputation of the banks, but Ferguson says it couldn’t get any worse. Continue reading Banks royal commission becomes an election issue

Turnbull’s tax train wreck

In what seemed like a thought bubble in a doorstop at Penrith Panthers Football Club, Turnbull announced handing back income tax powers to the states.

Julia Gillard left the Australian government with a few time bombs. The vision for schools contained in Gonski was fine and good, it just had to be paid for. So too the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the funding of decent hospitals as we age and get sicker.

It was too hard for Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott, so they snipped $80 billion over 10 years off the budget in the out-years. Turnbull agrees and wants to hand access to income tax back to the states. Continue reading Turnbull’s tax train wreck

Negative gearing

5776592-3x2-340x227_250There are a few things we need to bear in mind when discussing the effects of proposed changes to negative gearing.

According to the AFR median weekly incomes in Sydney have increased by 17 per cent in the past eight years, while house prices have nearly doubled from $546,000 to more than $1 million. In Melbourne over the past six years median incomes have increased by 10 per cent while house prices have risen by 70 per cent, from $442,000 to $749,999. Prices are high and are due for a correction. Continue reading Negative gearing