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02 October 2012 |
The demise of Gunns, Tasmania's biggest paper and pulp mill, has been greeted as a triumph of environmentalists over business. The saga encompasses much more than that. It poses some deep questions about ownership and accountability in Australia's financial system which are yet to be answered persuasively.
26 August 2012 |
Money is not like water, that 'flows' around the world, reaching 'equilibrium', or experiencing 'volatility'. It is transactions between people, based on trust. It enables the cooperation that forms the basis of social life. Human beings should be at the centre. Yet that is the opposite of what is happening.
07 November 2011 |
Whatever the merits of Occupy Wall Street, it is far too early to speak of any substantial challenge to the dominance of capitalism. Yet there is a real taste for exploring alternatives. The most influential of faith-based approaches to economic theory is that of distributism.
02 December 2010 |
A hopeful sign has been the emergence of commentators, mainly secular, advocating the transformation of the economy to a model based on values like the common good, solidarity, environmental concern, equality, active and inclusive citizenship.
26 October 2009 |
Even if we understand the intelligiblity of an automobile, we can still drive badly. With the GFC, the argument is not that better theories will ensure everyone behaves properly, but that without a proper economic theory even
people of good will cannot work to achieve the good.
20 October 2009 |
Sixty years ago, Jesuit Bernard Lonergan developed an analysis of the boom and bust cycles of economy. He often asked, 'Where were the Christian counter-parts of Karl Marx, sitting in the British Museum voraciously reading
and relentlessly studying about political economy?'
03 August 2009 |
An ethos of tough love balks at taxpayer subsidies for
anyone foolish or unlucky enough to make the wrong investment decision. In Australia we prefer to see people as victims and expect the government to clean up the mess.
29 May 2009 |
In the 16th century, following its conquest of Latin America, Spain drained the area of its gold and silver.
One might suspect that this windfall turned Spain into an economic
powerhouse. But some funny things happened when the easy money arrived.
08 April 2009 |
Australia has spent the past decade in a consumer frenzy, while social infrastructure vital to our wellbeing has been neglected. The Government's belated $40 billion National Broadband Network will have many long-term benefits.
18 February 2009 |
Some of the soup van's clients collect cans to sell to a scrap dealer. The work supplements their welfare income and provides a sense of
fulfillment. Since the global market crash business has been slow: 'China doesn't want aluminium now.'
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