80 years on, Guernica has lessons about bombing for us

by Crispin Hull on April 22, 2017

THURSDAY (26 April) will be the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War. It is perhaps timely to reflect on it, given the emphasis on bombing in the past couple of weeks: the bombing of Syria “in retaliation” for the use of chemical weapons; the Mother of All Bombs being dropped in Afghanistan; and the threats by North Korea to pre-emptively use nuclear bombs. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

GOVERNMENTS, at state and federal level, are only looking at a half the “housing affordability” crisis, if that. The missing bit is that we have to go beyond merely discouraging investors from buying more houses to taking action to encourage existing investors to sell and move their money into more productive activity. [click to continue…]


The “jobs and growth” distorted delusion

by Crispin Hull on April 7, 2017

THE Government would like us to measure its success on the “jobs and growth” illusion. It points to 103 quarters without a recession (growth). It points to increasing job vacancies and lower unemployment (jobs). And the ministers smile smugly. [click to continue…]


The GDP delusion – don’t pop the corks just yet

by Crispin Hull on April 1, 2017

Yesterday (31 March 2016), Australia equalled the Netherlands’ record of 103 consecutive quarters of economic growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product, without a recession. So why aren’t the champagne corks popping? The Netherlands’ boom came with gas in 1982 and ended with the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. [click to continue…]


Fuel and health taxes the next do-nothing inequities

by Crispin Hull on March 24, 2017

MOST economists regard hypothecation as a Bad Thing. In the financial (as distinct from the legal) world, hypothecation is where a government agrees to apply all the money raised by a particular tax to a particular area of spending. [click to continue…]


Ich bin ein Great Barrier Reefer

by Crispin Hull on March 17, 2017

The Great Barrier Reef belongs to all humanity. A Hamburg newspaper picked up last week’s column


And the prize for worst Coalition PM goes to?

by Crispin Hull on March 17, 2017

AS OUR agile, innovative, laissez-faire, small-government Prime Minister grapples with the contradictions of regulating gas exports and propping up the dying coal industry with public money, people might ponder anew the question of who has been the worse Coalition Prime Minister in recent history. Malcolm Turnbull himself? Tony Abbott? Billy McMahon? [click to continue…]


Soft and hard coral bleaching

THIS is not a crime against humanity. This is a crime by humanity. We have sentenced to death the largest living thing on the planet – the Great Barrier Reef. The sentence is being carried out slowly and painfully before our eyes. [click to continue…]


Parliament fails; think tanks go to top of class

by Crispin Hull on March 3, 2017

HARDLY a week goes by without the publication of some well-thought-out, evidence-based paper recommending solutions to some of Australia’s pressing economic and social problems – tax, education, health, defence, energy and so on. But very few of them come out of our Parliament. And if they do, they come out of parliamentary committees which are usually not evidence-based but rather dependent on submissions by usually self-serving interest groups. [click to continue…]


Isolationism the historic force in US politics

by Crispin Hull on February 24, 2017

YOU have to go back to 1829 to find the beginning of a presidential term as chaotic as the one this year. In 1829 Andrew Jackson entered the White House after a handsome electoral victory. He thereupon removed 919 government officials – about 10 per cent of the administration – so he could fulfill numerous promises made to people during the election campaign. And so began the “spoils” or patronage system in US politics which has ebbed and flowed ever since and is now flowing “bigly”. [click to continue…]