Canberra will be pointy-headed heaven this week, with Dating Agency RSVP possibly the only organisation in Australia that hasn’t released a lengthy policy submission ahead of this week’s tax and jobs summits.
Pity, as RSVP’s surveys consistently show tradesmen are top of the list of men women want to date. Tradies are hot property. Tax consultants don’t really rate.
With policy, as with dating, blue-collar jobs beat tax hands down. And it’s jobs – not tax – that offer the most promise of innovative government policy this week.
On tax, the Federal Government already has an ambitious agenda with its fraught carbon and minerals resource rent taxes hitting parliament in succession.
We may live in an interconnected world economy, but there is no reporting of how workers from China to Chile are affected by the second wave of the financial crisis or who is to blame.
This time round the wave is hitting workers with over 205 million people unemployed, and it’s not the bankers and financial institutions. It’s nurses and teachers as public sector budgets are slashed.
After 5 days in the media hub of the annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Washington DC I’ve been left wondering who rules the world and who is left to write about it. Read more »
Australia is now officially a ‘patch-work’ economy, according to anyone trying to explain away massive mining profits amidst job losses and rising living costs elsewhere.
It’s a neat term because it has a sort of unthreatening, homely feel; just a series of patches, knitted together by the golden thread of trickle-down economics.
But if you were to map out our economy into sectors and ask people to rate their value, you would see something looking more like a ragged blanket being pulled in multiple directions by different interests.
Which is exactly what we have done in this week’s Essential Report – asking people to rate industries by their importance – as well as by how we think they are travelling.
We are currently witnessing the spread of a global contagion that threatens our quality of life; from the halls of Washington DC to the streets of London an international outbreak of dumb is gathering momentum.
On one side of the Atlantic legislators take their economy to the brink in a bid to conform with Tea Party slogans; while on the other the punters express themselves by smashing windows and grabbing what they’re told they have to have. United in dumb.
And we are not immune from this dumbness epidemic in Australia, with growing evidence that people want to put a stimulus straitjacket on the Government in the increasingly likely event of a Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
This week’s Essential Report shows that as we brace for another GFC, we are not prepared to back the use of stimulus spending to keep the economy strong – even though we accept it worked last time.
While all the focus is on the first anniversary of the knifing of St Kevin, another milestone is slipping through largely unnoticed: the scrapping of his contentious plan to impose a Resource Rent Tax on the mining industry.
It almost seems like ancient history now. In the face of the mining industry’s $20 million blitz, the new Prime Minister sued for peace, settling on a far more modest package that is still working its way through the legislative process.
Twelve months on, for all the self-interested tub-thumping and slick promotional ads from the mining lobby, this week’s Essential Report suggests very few Australians see themselves deriving any personal benefit from the boom.
If the mid-term drubbings and G20 currency fisticuffs with China are not enough, Barack Obama will return home with more bad news: Australians think his nation has lost its mojo.
While Julia Gillard and entourage were all smiles at the official photo call, they politely chose not to disclose they were representing a nation that thinks the USA is in decline.
In fact, 60 per cent of all surveyed in this week’s Essential Report see the American Empire’s influence becoming weaker, with just 20 per cent believing the USA’s influence on the world is on the rise.
Subscribe to the Unspun
- 6.30 with George Negus
- Canberra Report
- EMC International
- Essential Report
- Keep our Cops
- Network Ten
- Sky News
- social media
- The Drum
- The Punch
- Web and Design