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…]


Coal-ition in delusional denial on electricity

by Crispin Hull on February 17, 2017

IN THE past fortnight I have been reminded of Comical Ali, Iraq’s former information minister Mohammad Saeed al-Sahhaf , whose broadcasts and media conferences denied the presence of US troops and tanks in Baghdad even as they could be seen behind him. The delusional in denial. What reminded me of him, of course, were all the climate change deniers spouting their nonsense while high-temperature records were broken and bushfires raged across the country. [click to continue…]


Bernardi ratting shows Senate needs reform

by Crispin Hull on February 10, 2017

SENATOR Cory Bernardi’s statement that he wants to restore integrity and confidence in Australian politics as he ratted on the party under whose banner he was elected is about a credible as the assertion that Donald Trump will “never let you down” spoken by his third wife. And they are linked. [click to continue…]