July 2012

What we don’t know can hinder us

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

The federal government spent $374 billion last year providing services to its citizens, but it’s amazing what the government doesn’t know about those citizens. It is only every five years that we accurately measure the population through the census, and it’s only every six years that we get an accurate indication of what households spend

June 2012

May 2012

End of the price gouging

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

The standard excuse for why Australians pay far higher prices than Americans for clothes, consumer goods and cars is to highlight the high transport costs associated with the tyranny of distance. So what is their excuse for more expensive music and software downloads? Dearer data costs due to longer cables? You might assume that because

August 2011

Abbott reads from Mao’s little green book of nonsense

by Richard Denniss in The Punch

Australian politicians have spent more than 20 years thinking up reasons not to tackle climate change, but the latest from Tony Abbott really must take the cake. According to the Opposition Leader, it now seems that until Communist China introduces a market-based mechanism to reduce their emissions, Australia shouldn’t either. That should buy us some

April 2011

March 2011

Let the shopping spree begin

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s decision to give U.S. President Barack Obama an iPod of Australian music speaks volumes about the ongoing evolution of the strong relationship between Australia and the United States. While successive leaders have demonstrated their warm commitment to the international relationship, it is hard to imagine John Howard, or even Kevin Rudd,

October 2009

November 2007

August 2006

A trump card in the nuclear power play

Green consumerism such as that advocated by Tim Flannery privatises responsibility for environmental decline, shifting blame from elected governments and industry onto the shoulders of individual citizens. The cause of climate change becomes the responsibility of “all of us”, which, in effect, means nobody. It is obvious why a government that wants to do nothing

June 2006

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