Price signals work, but in a dumb way

by Crispin Hull on December 13, 2014

YES, price signals are a well-known economic phenomenon. You put up the price and demand falls. People are discouraged. This government has imposed, in the words of Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week, a price signal on visiting the doctor. It also wants to impose a price signal on university degrees through higher fees. [click to continue…]

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No food for thought here

by Crispin Hull on December 6, 2014

SEVERAL months ago, I watched a BBC program do a thorough expose on the diet industry.

It exposed charlatans around the world, especially the US, raking in millions by selling books, potions and foods. It also gave numerous examples of dieting failures — people who had taken off weight very quickly only to find that mung beans and grapefruit lose their charm after a while, or that after a time the longing for plate of pasta puts an end to the “no-carb” diet. [click to continue…]

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Cutting out sport is the ABC’s solution

by Crispin Hull on November 29, 2014

THE solution to the ABC’s government-imposed financial trouble should be straight-forward. It should just apply the sort of principles that the conservative side of politics in Australia has been preaching for decades. [click to continue…]

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High Court holds nose but allows vicious laws through

by Crispin Hull on November 21, 2014

IF YOU or I had been in the same place at the same time as Stefan Kuczborski we would not be facing a minimum six-month jail sentence for just being there. Unfortunately for Kuczborski, he is a member of the Hell’s Angels bikie gang. And he was in the company of two other members of the same gang in public in Queensland. And that gang is one of 26 “declared criminal organisation” by the Queensland Attorney-General under the Criminal Organisations Disruption Act. [click to continue…]

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Big Pharma keeps on ‘ever-greening’

by Crispin Hull on November 15, 2014

LAST week’s High Court decision in Alphapharm Pty Ltd v H Lundbeck A/S highlights yet again how Australia is being poorly served by patent law to the benefit of international pharmaceutical companies. [click to continue…]

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On the nature of progress and values

by Crispin Hull on November 8, 2014

THAT’S progress. I was reflecting on this phrase – often uttered sarcastically – as the Apple iPhone 5 refused to charge on the same day as Noel Pearson listed in his Whitlam memorial speech the impressive list of that government’s achievements. [click to continue…]

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Debate must be mature and included GST

by Crispin Hull on November 6, 2014

THE GST haunts Australian politicians. But they continue to talk about it. Prime Minister Tony Abbott was at it again this week seeking a “mature” debate about the federation, of which the GST must be a part. [click to continue…]

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Govt should invest more in Tax Office

by Crispin Hull on October 18, 2014

IT SHOULD not need a Senate committee investigation to expose Australia’s corporate tax avoiders. That is why you have an Australian Taxation Office. But over the past few years the ATO has come under a lot of strain with foolish staff cuts. [click to continue…]

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Make subs in Australia or forget the whole project

by Crispin Hull on October 11, 2014

THE news this week that Indonesia is to buy submarines from South Korea with a view to eventually importing enough technology to start building their own in the near future must be quite depressing for the Australian Defence Force. [click to continue…]

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Hockey caught by Honest John Howard’s law

by Crispin Hull on October 4, 2014

TREASURER Joe Hockey has been caught out – by John Howard no less. In 1998 the Howard Government passed the Charter of Budget Honesty Act. It required the Department of Finance to publish a “Final Budget Outcome” by 30 September each year. [click to continue…]

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