April 2014

February 2014

Trade agreement could prevent the next SA government introducing laws citizens want

by Richard Denniss in The Advertiser

Would you support a trade agreement that prevented the Australian Government from requiring genetically modified foods to be clearly labelled? According to a recent survey by The Australia Institute, 73 per cent of South Australians would not. How about a trade agreement that allowed Australian television stations to show fewer Australian-made TV programs? According to

January 2014

Populism before policy

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

It’s an election year in Indonesia and, like some Australian politicians, there are Indonesian politicians who are willing to put a surge in the polls ahead of sound policy. And like some of their counterparts in Australia, there are Indonesian politicians who think the easiest way to get a surge in the polls is to

December 2013

November 2013

The foreign takeover of GrainCorp – can Joe Hockey demand conditions?

by David Richardson in On Line Opinion

At the moment the Abbott government’s position on foreign investment is being put to the test. GrainCorp is subject to a takeover bid by American company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).  This bid has received approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and we now await the decision of Treasurer, Joe Hockey.

October 2013

July 2013

The remaining agenda for free traders

by David Richardson in On Line Opinion

Australia used to have very high protection rates for its manufacturing industries. Historically tariff quotas on motor vehicles meant that Australian car prices were double the prices for equivalents overseas. Many other manufactured goods were sold at multiples of the prices in overseas markets. Australia like many other countries imposed very high tariffs on most

October 2012

When policy lacks nuance

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

The faith of Australian policymakers and business leaders in communist China to keep delivering record growth is touching. Just as they assume the sun will rise tomorrow, so too do they believe those responsible for setting China’s exchange rate, making five-year plans and running their vast state-owned enterprises will keep doing a great job. When

September 2012

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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