Monday, May 30, 2005

Companies these days play globally, and structure their affairs globally, putting cross-border tax specialists into an enviable position.
If tax can be sexy, international tax structuring is the glamour end of the industry. Glamour follows dollars, and the international financing deals into and out of Australia are where the dollars are: in deals and salaries. As demonstrated by payouts to top executives following Macquarie Banks record $832 million profit this week, the merchant bankers who put together tax effective financing deals can make millions: even the comparatively low-paid international tax partners in the big accounting and law firms can pull more than $500,000 per year. Nice work if you can get it, and Australians these days seem to be getting a lot. Australia has earned a reputation for innovation in cross border deals, and the reputation and the salaries can make other people suspicious: it's one reason many are convinced that cross border tax structuring equals tax avoidance.
But the tax practitioners argue that Australians are good at tax structuring because they work in a demanding environment. They reckon a tough tax system has spawned some great tax talent by Allesandra Fabro: 21/05/2005 Tough tax system spawns great talent

Artist are cockroaches, you just can't kill us."
-Chris Latham

Sydneyrella is filled with cockroaches and creative minds. The city’s light, the Sydney Morning Herald, is the savviest newspaper the world is watching closely. On 30 May 2005 the Herald launched a campaign to fix, to heal, to mend, Sydney. A campaign to fix its water, air, urban development and transport. It is time for a boldness lacking for 50 years. Robert Whitehead

Art of Living in the City of Exiles: Power to the People
Sydney is in desperate shape. There are many signs, but you only have to look at the weather to see something is badly wrong.

By any account April was an extraordinary month in our Indian summer - hotter than March for the first time since records began. It was dry, too, with only 33 millimetres of rain, a quarter the monthly average.
Rain fell on just eight days; most of it uselessly went down the drains into the sea.
Dam levels have dipped below 40 per cent capacity for the first time, and there are fears Sydney's weather patterns will have far-reaching consequences for our water, food and gardens. People cannot control the weather, but there are things that are within their control.

Crowded, polluted and a mess – the fix list for Sydney [Cheeks of the Devil, Charms of an Angel City in Crisis ; Building liveable communities is vital to retain a creative workforce Do the myths: now is time to create the knowledge city ]
• · Car use forecasts put quality up in the air ; Keep writing those books, Bob, and the trains will fix themselves : Off the rails: the suburbs where the car rules
• · · Be mad if you will, but at yourself The south-west is wheezy, while the east breathes easy ; Fifty years ago the American economist John Kenneth Galbraith observed a paradox in advanced economies - how private wealth grows alongside public squalor. Frustrated commuters might think he was writing about Sydney in 2005. Despite unprecedented private riches, much of the city's public infrastructure is deteriorating. Once debt-ridden, now run down

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hugh Martin: Jozef Imrich is a prolific researcher. This kind of blog can become a trusted source of links; effectively he's editing the web for readers interested in the media - When are bloggers journalists?

People's No. 1 question is How do I find stuff? Most advertisers who survive know that - The advertising business is undergoing an upheaval, forcing marketers to try desperately to stay ahead of technological innovations Advertisers Want Something Different

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Always on Google

Kudos to Google for succeeding to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Integrated Media Systems Center [ A new sensation is piggy-backing on the phenomenon that is the iPod: podcasting Come One, Come All: The Rise of Podcasting ; Corporate blogs have become something of a norm Another twist in blogging's fate]
• · Blogebrity: A to C list ; Ali, Rafat ; Ace ; Chris Allen
• · · Blogs Are Just the Medium, not a Profession ; What makes a blogger a blogger?
Being a blogger is a bit like being an alcoholic: if you say you are one, you are
What makes a blog a blog?
• · · · BitTorrent Creator to Launch Search Engine ; How Old Media Can Survive In a New World
• · · · · Are Bloggers Setting the Agenda? It Depends on the Scandal ; Why is it worth having a debate about whether blogging is journalism? Because, for one thing, as James Packer points out today, online companies such as Google and Yahoo! have market valuations of $US55 billion ($A72 billion) to $US60 billion while "media behemoths" such as Viacom, News Corp and Disney are capitalised at $US50 billion-$US55 billion. The dollars will follow the eyeballs
• · · · · · 'All time Greatest Aussie Bloopers'; We are at the end of the beginning in terms of the internet Online the way to go - Packer

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

As you can tell, it's the time of year for all kinds of statistical scorecards for 2005-2006. The real meaning of the forecasting season can be found in the Orwellean language: Forget land tax. The big promise in yesterday's state budget was that nobody would go more than five minutes without hearing the phrase strong and detailed plan. Since February, this has become the preferred cliche of Labour MPs Do not take our word alone: strong and detailed plan

Eye on Budget and Detailed Plan: Why I'm Still a Liberal
I am, in most things, liberal because to my mushy eyes, the American "welfare state" has been (mostly) a success. Not a big fan of government, but a believer that some things are best done together, rather than individually.

History is quite clear about what happens when the "haves" don't bother to take care of the "have nots," or even the "have somes": Rule by the rich, the few, who will, eventually, lose control, often violently. But as diehard conservatives insist we move from America's New Deal ethic into Ayn Rand Adventure Land — minimal taxes; everyone out for themselves — I can't imagine why they think our (far from perfect) system has been so awful.
After all, since Roosevelt, the United States has won the only war that really mattered, blasted into the economic stratosphere, raised standards of living, cultivated the middle class (that powerful antidote to pluto-oligarchy), become a technological Godzilla, and built the most dominant (if excessive) military in history

Margo Kingston: Lib MPs 'stand up for human dignit Rebel Liberal backbenchers Petro Georgiou and Judi Moylan today pledged to present and vote for two private members bills to overturn their government's mandatory detention regime and grant refugees on Temporary Protection Visas permanent residency.
Gee, what a trainwreck [ Once again labor leaders are debating new approaches to organizing In Need of Lifeline, Labor Must Rethink its History and Future ; Tweed Shire Council Council sacked after property corruption probe]
• · ASIO doesn’t need all the emergency powers it was given two years ago, write George Williams and Ben Saul Will the PM welcome a compromise this time around?; The rise of the Christian right might suit the moderate Liberal leader's next election campaign Brogden a chance for the top job if he can ride the factional cycle
• · · In Robert Bolt's play, A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More is confronted by Richard Rich, whose perjury will lead to More's execution. More's son-in-law, William Roper, urges More to arrest Rich. More answers that Rich has broken no law and is free to go. And go he should if he was the Devil himself until he broke the law! Saddam's Underpants are not the Issue. But the Law is ; President Bush said the other day that the world should see his administration's handling of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison as a model of transparency and accountability. He said those responsible were being systematically punished, regardless of rank. It made for a nice Oval Office photo-op on a Friday morning. Unfortunately, none of it is true Patterns of Abuse
• · · · Ross Gittins: Take the Michael Egan out of Bob Carr and you're not left with much in the way of financial discipline. They've lost the plot, along with their nerve ; The world's dumbest tax has killed the property market in NSW and driven investment to Queensland, Victoria and even Bob Carr's preferred investment location, New Zealand Brogden attacks high-tax approach
• · · · · No-one even blushed, let alone admitted that last year's land tax changes had been a political misjudgement of the first order. A spectacular backflip with not a red face to be seen ; It was hard to know who was happiest at noon yesterday - Bob Carr, celebrating his 10th anniversary as Premier; Andrew Refshauge, celebrating his first budget as Treasurer; or his predecessor Michael Egan, tucked snugly asleep in his bed somewhere in France Left, Right, the Carr battalion marches on
• · · · · · Politics is not a profession for the weak-hearted Balmain Boys Do not Commit Suicide ; Put aside the issues of increased debt for infrastructure and the 10-year pay-as-you-go policy it reverses Like Carr's record term, a budget adding up to little

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We give them money, but are they grateful?/No, they're spiteful and they're hateful No one likes us, I don't know why....

Eye on Taxing Times: Soul of the Senate
There's a new documentary on Sen. Robert Byrd's life story "of strength and fortitude" debuting this week. It's called "The Soul of the Senate" (website to be launched soon ). The Sunday Gazette-Mail reports:

Soul of the Senate highlights moments in Byrd’s life from his graduation as valedictorian from Mark Twain High School in Stotesbury in 1934, to being congratulated by President John F. Kennedy as he received his law degree at American University in 1963, to chairing major committee hearings in the U.S. Senate.

The Life and Times of Robert "Sheets" Byrd [Alex Robson demonstrates that every dollar the government raises in tax has a cost. He calculates the total deadweight loss of taxation could be as high as $61 billion per year – more than the federal government spends on health The costs of taxation ; Leigh, Andrew: Do income taxes levied at a state or regional level affect the after-tax distribution of income? DP 490 Can redistributive state taxes reduce inequality? ]
• · In a paper to be published by the University of San Francisco Law Review, Professor Mirko Bagaric and Julie Clarke of Deakin University make a case for legalising torture. Their argument fails morally and practically, write Sarah Joseph and Marius Smith Torture is inhuman, illegal and futile ; The international convention against torture needs to be strengthened, argues Ben Saul Law needs refining
• · · Scott Brenton examines data from the 2003 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes and the 2004 Australian Electoral Study, in considering whether there is declining confidence in Australia’s democratic institutions. He examines issues of democracy, government, politicians, parliaments, the legal system and public servants - Democratic Audit of Australia, Australian National University (PDF file) Public confidence in Australian democracy ; Poverty rates by electorate ; This study is examining the impact of Australia’s unique social and cultural environment on the next generation Growing up in Australia ; Was there another story behind this yarn in The Australian on Friday about electoral roll errors? What's going on with the electoral roll? ; Electoral Fraud And Multiple Voting
• · · · Does a university education make people more inclined to have an empathetic view of the world? David Burchell critically examines this view in his reappraisal of what he describes as the ‘empathy wars’ of the past decade, in which attitudes towards Indigenous people and refugees acted a marker of social divides The trouble with empathy ; In June 2004 the Liberal Party’s Bill Stefaniak introduced the Charter of Responsibilities Bill into the ACT Legislative Assembly Bills of responsibilities: is one needed to counter the ‘excesses’ of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004?
• · · · · Jo Barraket reports on a preliminary analysis of Australian third sector, or non-profit, organisations’ attempts to mobilise citizen engagement using online technologies. She reviews recent debates about the impacts of online technologies on citizen engagement in order to identify the significance of these technologies to third sector organisations. While the organisations reviewed are using online technologies to present information about their offline activities, they are less consistent in using these technologies to mobilise civic engagement in new ways Australian Centre for Emerging Technologies & Society Online opportunities for civic engagement? An examination of Australian third sector organisations on the internet ; ASIO’s questioning and detention powers
• · · · · · Do Australians surround themselves with like-minded people and what unites and divides them? Colliding worlds of people unlike us ; Does Peter Costello have something to learn from Prince Charles? Michael McGirr reports on three events and what they meant in southern NSW Last Tuesday, this Tuesday

Monday, May 23, 2005

Alex Robson demonstrates that every dollar the government raises in tax has a cost. He calculates the total deadweight loss of taxation could be as high as $61 billion per year – more than the federal government spends on health The costs of taxation

Eye on Taxing Times: V-E Day
Prague's World War II commemorations, as usual, all but left out a band of heroes who saved the city

Good progress, this year" said a colleague at Czech TV who had been monitoring the Czech press and TV coverage of the V-E Day celebrations — also 60 years after the fall of Nazi Prague — for references to the Russian Liberation Army, the ROA, aka "Vlasov's army" after its leader, the renegade former Soviet general whose troops turned on their Nazi sponsors and made possible the liberation of Prague without the massive bloodbath and destruction that would have undoubtedly happened otherwise.

Rewriting history [Political Affairs, on the “ultimate bullshit” which has deformed American politics since the beginnings of the cold war “Totalitarianism” or “Bullshit” ; Open Democracy, a look at the hidden history of the United Nations. The hidden history of the United Nations ]
• · David Starkoff’s blog The merits of torture ; Why Freedom? The Castle in real life ; Australia's elected representatives have shown just how ugly IT cost-cutting exercises can become if users are not consulted. An opt-in option has produced an uneasy truce over attempts to force-march senators onto electronic documents and away from paper Parliamentary paperless coup aborted (courtesy of Catherine the Great ;-)
• · · At least 56 police officers are facing the sack for allegedly committing crimes such as rape, making up evidence and break and enter 56 cops face sack over crimes CityRail's train breakdowns are driving commuters insane Driven insane: 1242 train breakdowns ; Tomorrow's budget is expected to include infrastructure spending that will top last year's $7.5 billion. State budget aims at voter confidence
• · · · Via Scoop: Craig R. McCoy, Jennifer Lin and Mario F. Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer detailed the relationship between state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo and the bank he heads PSB Bancorp Inc. has served one man especially well: its chairman, Sen. Fumo ; Ames Alexander of the Charlotte Observer investigated the relationship between lawyers and judges in the North Carolina’s judicial district that is most lenient on drinking and driving. Judges Under the Influence
• · · · · Mike McAndrew and Michelle Breidenbach of the Syracuse Post-Standard analyzed records from New York’s Empire State Development Corp., which offers businesses tax breaks and other incentives to create jobs State gives away millions for jobs that never come ; Andrew Conte and Mark Houser of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review created a database from paper campaign finance filings in Pittsburgh’s mayoral race, finding that “about $1 million in campaign donations has come from people who live outside the city,” more money than came from people living in Pittsburgh Campaign dollars coming from afar
• · · · · · Lise Olsen of the Houston Chronicle compiled information on deaths at oil refineries from various sources to find that “BP leads the U.S. refining industry in deaths over the last decade, with 22 fatalities since 1995 - more than a quarter of those killed in refineries nationwide.” Fifteen of those deaths occurred in a March accident at BP’s Texas City facility BP leads nation in refinery fatalities ; Karen Augé of the Denver Post used state records to show that “nearly every agency, contractor and department that touched the state’s new $200 million computer benefits system in some way contributed to its debacle Blame aplenty in benefits mess ; Anne Applebaum The Torture Myth

Sunday, May 22, 2005

As a party servant, he looked a most unlikely premier. Now Bob Carr's unbroken stretch at the top is about to hit the history books - As good luck would have it Bob Carr Holding the Fort as Marcus Aurelius

For the Left, the wrongful deportation of the mentally ill Alvarez has been an apocalyptic journey into the heart of darkness, where stone-heart racists impose cold immigration laws with all the flexibility of Hitler's SS. Harry Freedman. George Newhouse had also spoken to NSW Premier Bob Carr's chief spin doctor, Walt Secord, another mate. As an immigrant with an accent, the Canadian-born Secord was horrified at the idea he would have to carry his passport around to avoid being deported by federal agents Behind the battle to save Vivian

Eye on Taxing Times: Brogden attacks Carr's on infrastructure
The NSW government cannot be trusted to deliver on promises of increased infrastructure spending, the opposition says.

Treasurer Andrew Refshauge is expected to announce major increases to infrastructure spending in Tuesday's state budget.
More money is expected to be pumped into significant public transport projects and capital works in the areas of water, power and ports.
But opposition leader John Brogden said the Carr government had a record of making "lots of promises that are either never delivered, delivered late or over budget".
Mr Brogden released a list of 25 key infrastructure projects, including major transport works and hospital upgrades, which were promised in the 2002 NSW State Infrastructure Strategic Plan.

He said six of the projects had been abandoned, the costs for 13 had blown out and 11 had been delayed
• Many of Bob Carr's promised projects have been abandoned, buried or are simply languishing in the assessment stage [Canberra is tough and ambitious on industrial relations and infrastructure but is decidely cautious when it comes to health Howard tightens his grip and pokes Labor states in the eye ; Google: I couldn't have beaten Howard: Carr ]
• · BOB Carr yesterday performed one of his greatest political backflips, ruling out Keno in hotels within 12 hours of it being confirmed by government sources as going ahead Carr denies plan to extend Keno to hotels; Faced with surging demand for power-hungry air-conditioners, the NSW Government is preparing to approve the extension of a coal-fired electricity plant near Lithgow and has cleared the way for more coal power stations Greens condemn coal power plants
• · · Just in case … the city steps up its terrorism-proofing ; Thousands of items of fake designer sportswear, sunglasses, watches and children's toys were seized Police raid market stalls
• · · · NSW Treasurer Andrew Refshauge's first budget on Tuesday will bury the Carr Government's previous aversion to big spending on infrastructure with a program of projects covering public transport, water, power and ports Refshauge's first budget to look at the big picture; Political donations plan raises corruption fears ; Schapelle Corby Meet the Corbys: dad busted for drugs
• · · · · Inverell has galvanised behind this American Christian group's attempt to beat immigration restrictions Town unites to save its model immigrants ; Right means might for state Libs ; Performances in the teatre of the absurd Loyal hardliner takes in his new view
• · · · · · Andrew Metcalfe PM's man tipped for ASIO job ; British tabloid publishes photos of Saddam in underwear ; Alvarez on police files

Friday, May 20, 2005

Bill Ives Business Blogs: A Practical Guide is Now Available ; CEO Blogs -- Where Angels(?) Fear to Tread Where are the CEO Bloggers – USA Today

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Was Newsweek Doing "Trust Me" Journalism?
Blogger and journalism professor Jay Rosen has the ultimate analysis of the Newsweek Koran story fiasco. His conclusion: Newsweek was doing Take-Our-Word-For-It journalism.

And, increasingly, it seems like Jay Rosen is right.
Trust Me Journalism is a kind of journalism that boils down to this: trust us because we're reporters. Trust us because we work for a prominent news magazine that has given you reliable information in the past. Trust us because we had to pay incredible dues to get where we are to edit and report in these positions (unlike you guys in pajamas at your computers).

Trust me.... [ Jay Harris says at ethics forum Don't lose faith
in journalism
; In case you haven't noticed, (having suddenly awakened from, say, a persistent vegetative state) the blogosphere is officially "hot." So hot that there are now at least ten million web logs in the world -- one third written in English, but one fifth in Japanese and another fifth in Korean -- with more on the way every day Craigslist for Media? ; Journalists thrive on conflict - Conflict emphasized because it's believed to increase audience DC reporters hype political battles]
• · This Conversation Hour with co-host Andrew McIntyre Jay Rosen and Virginia Haussegger ; Will blogging make journalism better? Media Futures ; Gary Sauer-Thompson: Forum on the media
• · · Red Light, Green Light: A Plea For Balance in Media Ethics ; Journalists address media credibility
• · · · Single Document Publishing; Good intentions cannot replace good communication What Is Going On In Newsrooms?
• · · · · Hugh Martin: Media Blog ; Prediction: Mainstream press will open archives

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

John Kenneth Galbraith, a now deeply unfashionable economist, identified one of the great doctrines of our age as a belief that the rich don't work because they have too little money, while the poor don't work because they have too much. Or, as John Button once paraphrased it, the rich need more money as an incentive and the poor need less money as an incentive: While last week's budget rewarded the wealthy, the poor got more stick --- Treasurer's tax cut justification a bit rich

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: The pursuit of happiness: Torture, anyone?
An innocent life is an innocent life irrespective of race, situation, colour or time.

G'day. It's a funny old world. As we face the fact that our government and its organs cannot be trusted to respect the rights, or even the humanity, of innocent Australian citizens, the same government and its organs are calling for the downgrading of citizen's protections agains abuse of power by the State with a view, perhaps, to the legalisation of state torture.

• Has the pendulum swung? A case for torture [Capitalism has usually had a bad press. Left and right have combined to denounce mass affluence and the Church has been hostile from the beginning. Even one of the quotations printed on the back cover of Rich is Beautiful says it is “the indefensible argued with vigour” Rich is Beautiful: A Very Personal Defence of Mass Affluence ; Government that’s rational and the market that’s dumb The New York Times begins a special series on social class in the US ; Top 10 Kerrys ... The richest 200 Australians increased their wealth by $11.9 billion to a record $83.4 billion in the past year, according to BRW magazine's annual rich listBillionaire Beauty Boom ]
• · Ironically, the extent of US failure to control Iraq is masked by the fact that it is too dangerous for the foreign media to venture out of central Baghdad. Some have retreated to the supposed safety of the Green Zone. Mr Bush can claim that no news is good news, though in fact the precise opposite is true Iraq is a bloody no man's land. America has failed to win the war. But has it lost it?; Increasingly, business must weigh in on hot social issues -- and suffer interest groups' slings and arrows Culture Wars Hit Corporate America
• · · Tim Dunlop: Professor Bagaric said that one of the reasons that he and Mrs Clarke had submitted the paper to a American law journal was because they are more open to new ideas on human right Torture is Good for you: Professor Bagaric is a part-time member of the Government's Refugee Review Tribunal and Migration Review Tribunal ; How to be a Conservative Pundit in Three Easy Traits
• · · · A Quick Guide to the Second Annual Personal Democracy Forum, This Monday, May 16 Second annual Personal Democracy Forum ; The Wall around the West: Globalisation along rich-poor divides is less the swan song of state power Than its siren song
• · · · · Most disturbing sexual fantasies include sleeping with Michael Sandel Sexual Fantasies ; Torture produces misinformation rather than information, since victims of torture will confess to anything to make it stop When democracy is corrupted; Premier Bob Carr's two limousines were slapped with parking fines worth nearly $500 last year and taxpayers picked up the bill Bob's left us in a fine state; Melbourne: Weapons seized in police raids on bikie gang
• · · · · · Top spy bound for Washington: Wanted: New chief spy for Australia ; Torture advocate dismays colleagues, survivors : Moving from Voluntary Euthanasia to Non-Voluntary Euthanasia ... Right to die ; PDF version Goodbye Justice, Hello Happiness: Welcoming Positive Psychology to the Law

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The landscape of international politics in a few decades will be dominated by a company of giants: societies that will range demographically down from India and China at over a billion each, through those at four or five hundred millions, like the US and the EU, to those at the hundred million plus level Living with giants: Finding Australia’s place in a more complex world

Eye on Politics & Land Lords: Colliding worlds of people unlike us
Do Australians surround themselves with like-minded people and what unites and divides them?

This article explores the questions of real and imagined social and political divisions in its latest edition. In this introduction, Julianne Schultz explains that ‘in recent years the language of politics has focused on dividing and in this edition of the journal we investigate whether these wedges are real, the damage they cause, and what it is actually like to move out of our comfort zones

• Griffith Review (Pdf File) Dragon slayer [The Australia Institute (PDF file) Over nine million Australians travel to work each week, commuting by car, bus, train, tram, bicycle, ferry or foot. These days, more than ever before, employees are commuting for longer Off to work: commuting in Australia ; Rick Snell discusses the ACT government’s fees for Freedom of Information requests Open government: missing the target by a country mile ]
• · While opportunistic crime in Australia’s fishing industry has existed for a long time, there is increasing concern about illegal activity Crime in the Australian fishing industry: key issues ; Peter Mares reviews a new book that reveals the complex and diverse reasons why people leave their home country Stories of flight ; Vienna of Flights
• · · Should taxes be cut? ; Optimal design of earned income tax credits: evidence from a British natural experiment ; John Quiggin looks at the longer term trend in average tax rates The budget changes: who benefits?
• · · · Dr David Clune’s protege, Talina Drabsch, is not just a pretty face. Talina explores the possibilities of no fault compensation, where the entitlement to compensation is not linked to the ability to prove that a person’s injuries were due to the fault of another No fault compensation ; Australia’s year-old energy policy is already out of date, argue Allan Fels and Fred Brenchley It’s no time to be over a barrel
• · · · · Andrew Leigh explores the impact that individual, local and national factors have on voters’ decisions Economic voting and electoral behaviour: how do individual, local and national factors affect the partisan choice? ; The quest for democracy shouldn’t obscure the real lessons of Iraq Intervention and the left ; Over half a century ago Douglas Copland described Australia as a milk bar economy. How much has changed, asks Alex Millmow The Milky Bars are on him
• · · · · · Simon Evans and Carolyn Evans look at the issues facing a new committee A bill of rights for Victoria? ; David Peetz suggests the government industrial relations cure could be worse than the disease Still waiting for a plumber ; At a time when dissatisfaction with politicians is glaringly evident, the solution is not less democracy, of course; it is deeper democracy. And in deliberative experiments around the world, governments and NGOs are attempting to extend citizen participation beyond voting, lobbying, and protesting Citizens and governments: Stroppy adversaries or partners in deliberation?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Czech out this web site with the tax rates (individual income tax, corporate income tax, and value-added tax) for 55 countries around the world. Tax Rates Around the World

There’s a lot of evidence that people aren’t always rational, and suffer from a range of cognitive biases. But thanks to arbitrage, rational people stand to profit when irrational people let prices and wages stray from efficient levels. That’s what justifies the economist’s assumption of rationality—a small number of rational profit-seekers keep markets rational as a whole even when many participants aren’t. Unfortunately, tax policy has no such mechanism. Solutions To Bad Taxes - And Bad Government

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: America Needs a Better Tax System For
Debunking the Tax Basis Myth Taxes good, market bad

For millions of Americans, the annual rite of filing taxes has become a headache of burdensome record-keeping, lengthy instructions, and complicated schedules, worksheets, and forms – often requiring multiple computations that are neither logical nor intuitive.

• PDF version Sharing the burdens and benefits of the Federal tax structure [More comprehensive tax data are available on the OECD web site OECD Tax Database ; Subscribers only: Tax reform is in the political air, but not all reforms are created equal ]
• · Top Countries for Big Business Why does business seem to thrive more in some countries than in others? Best for Business ; Do taxes matter when companies decide where to locate? In theory, yes. After all taxes are just another cost of doing business, and companies streamline whenever possible Do Companies Run from Taxes?
• · · Control of large projects, such as upgrading Parramatta Road and high-rise developments near railway stations, may be removed from councils and given to the State Government as part of plans to build more than 450,000 homes in existing suburbs over the next 25 years. Councils to lose control of more sites ; Great leaders elevated by those they lead What Leadership Lessons Can We Learn From Alexander The Great?
• · · · Brogden wants 18,000 jobs axed; The sexual irony of the calendar is clever – the picture on the site is captioned “Are your butts covered? We thought ours were too!” In today’s PC world, this is definitely a shot across the bow cockpit. Stewardesses Stripped
• · · · · Not all characteristics VCs look for in an investment actually help a company succeed; some may just reveal value the company already had. In a world of ruthless efficiency weeding out evolutionary misfits, why in the world would a peacock evolve such a big, clumsy tail? Sex, of course. Why Are Startups Like Peacocks? ; As the monetary costs fall, the most important impediments to a transaction are non-monetary: search costs and psychic costs. Cold River Peppered with Matchmaker, Matchmaker: Of Searches and Psychics: The Costs of Long Tail Businesses
• · · · · · Which is bigger: Ad Dollars Spent on Outdoor Advertising or Online? ; What Keeps Us Where We Work?

Friday, May 13, 2005

For Sweden, my homeland, the United Nations is a sacred cow. But today, many Swedes, like others around the world, are having second thoughts. Three events incited these doubts: Rwanda; Kofi Annan; Commission exists to promote human rights and democratic freedoms - yet some of the worst human rights violators are Commission members Make the UN Stand for Freedom

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Building a fairer Australia
Our great country is about to enter the second decade of conservative rule.

History will mark 1996 to 2006 as the Liberal/National Government’s decade of deception. Year after year of lowering the ‘truth’ bar then deliberately crawling under it. With one common theme – the Government deceives, and Australians pay.
But Mr Speaker, this year we’ve learned why this Government has been so deceitful. We uncover their motive with each new economic indicator. With one of the highest foreign debt levels in the world. With a record current account deficit. With household debt rising and rising. And with the tragedy of a Government that turns away tens of thousands of Australians from TAFE colleges whilst the Treasurer makes a virtue in his Budget speech of importing skills from overseas to make up for the difference.

The 2005 Budget: A squandered opportunity [The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective ; Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy]
• · ISA is a leading provider of global analysis and forecasting. With an international presence and coverage which spans the entire globe, ISA has the scope to provide our clients with insights they will not find anywhere else ISA ;The former homeland terror boss implies that Ashcroft is to blame for the idiot color-coded alert system. Here's the solution: let's blame all the conservative commissars. (Thanks to Bill Sardi for the link.) Now, who was the duct-tape guy? Not Wasn’t Me: Says Ridge
• · · What the “long tail” means for the economics of e-commerce Disruptive obscure cold river technologies, learning curves, tipping points Profiting from obscurity ; "Has any country ever had a more arrogant, insolent, contemptuous leader than we have? Really, I can't think of any monarchs or popes who behave this presumptuously, but then they only think they are God's representatives on earth, not God himself. I guess we know why John Bolton is such a favorite around this White House." President
• · · · Most people know three things about Australia, and all of them are wrong. They think it is vast, remote and lucky—as in the lucky country, meaning blessed with natural resources and therefore in fact unlucky, because resources diminish the incentive to specialise in less capricious sources of wealth Beyond lucky ; This evening before you go to bed, get down on your knees and thank God that your children are safe Mayor's Advice Is Seriously Twisted
• · · · · Australia's constraints are all on the supply side The limits to growth; If you own Daimler Chrysler stock, sell it now. I’m not a stock analyst, nor do I even play one on TV, but my “sell now!” instincts were alerted by this post at the Forum by Reader Scott: Corporate Stupidity
• · · · · · "The Instapundit reacts to this Will Collier piece on the United Airlines scandal and states: Whatever you call this, it's not free enterprise.... Of course it isn't- it is a legally sanctioned attempt to pass on the financial obligations of private corporations to the public. And it is going to be successful.... They had a name for this sort of thing back in the day. I believe it was Rober Barons ; More on United Airlines

Thursday, May 12, 2005

This week's Economist magazine, in a rare cover story on Australia, warns that Australia's record run of economic growth is under threat if investment in infrastructure is not improved. Noting that Australia is now "bumping up against supply-side limits", the clear message for state governments is that investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain economic growth. It's time to rebuild a city collapsing under the weight of growth

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: 2005-06 Budget At A Glance
Fiscal Outlook
_The 2005-06 Budget provides for an underlying cash surplus of $8.9 billion. This will be the Government’s eighth surplus.
_A strong budget position is being maintained while delivering further personal income tax cuts and introducing significant reforms to the welfare system, aimed at improving workforce participation.

Economic Outlook
_ Prospects for the Australian economy remain strong.
_Economic growth is forecast to be 3 per cent in 2005-06.
_The unemployment rate is forecast to remain around its generational lows.

Tax cuts
_All taxpayers will benefit from a further $21.7 billion in tax cuts over the next four years.
_The 17 per cent tax rate will be reduced to 15 per cent from 1 July 2005.
_The tax threshold for the 42 per cent and 47 per cent rates will be raised on 1 July 2005 and again on 1 July 2006.
_This means that taxpayers will not reach the highest marginal tax rate until they earn around 3 times average weekly earnings.
_The Government will abolish the superannuation surcharge on contributions and termination payments made or received from 1 July 2005 to encourage private savings.

Welfare to work
_The Government is committed to increasing workforce participation.
_ From 1 July 2006 a wider range of income support recipients will be obliged to seek work.
_Newstart Allowance will be enhanced from 1 July 2006 to improve the rewards from part-time work.
_More than $2 billion will be invested over four years to ensure that those seeking work have the necessary support services and training.
_Incentives to find work will be strengthened by a change to the compliance framework, incorporating payment suspensions.

Reduced business taxes
_The 3 per cent tariff applying to business inputs where no substitutable goods are manufactured in Australia will be removed from Budget Night. This will cost $1.3 billion over five years.
_A broader range of expenses incurred by business will become tax deductible.

Reduced business taxes
_The 3 per cent tariff applying to business inputs where no substitutable goods are manufactured in Australia will be removed from Budget Night. This will cost $1.3 billion over five years.
_A broader range of expenses incurred by business will become tax deductible.

Ensuring a sustainable health system
_Record spending on health and aged care by the Government – $45 billion in 2005-06, up from $20 billion when the Government came to office.
_$196 million over five years for the Strengthening Cancer Care initiative, including funding for additional research, screening and prevention initiatives.
_$321 million package to make dementia a national health priority. This includes 2,000 dedicated places to provide high level care for people with dementia in their own home.
_Medicare Safety Net and the PBS made more sustainable.

More support for families and carers
_ Since the last Budget, the Government has increased the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B, costing $2 billion over five years.
_The level of income allowed before Family Tax Benefit Part A is withdrawn will be increased to $37,500 a year from 1 July 2006.
_A bonus payment for carers will be paid in June 2005. $1,000 for recipients of Carer Payment and $600 for recipients of Carer Allowance.

Providing for Australia’s security
_$239 million over four years to further enhance the investigation and language skills of intelligence agency personnel.
_$522 million over four years to improve protective security, including in missions overseas.
_$580 million for additional quarantine screening.

Enhancing our international engagement
_ $1 billion aid package to Indonesia to assist with tsunami reconstruction and development efforts.
_$841 million over four years helping the Solomon Islands restore law, order and sound public finances

• Treasury provides advice to Government ministers and other services in support of 'effective government spending and taxation arrangements' Budget 2005-2006 [Barista Budget in a Nutshell: Book of Budget ; Bloggers on Budget ]
• · Glance Back: Past Budgets ; When push comes to budget, we all did it
• · · Labor splits emerge over Budget response ; A taste of Crikey's Budget coverage
• · · · Mike Steketee: An eye on day after tomorrow; Tax cuts: the difference between eating out well and a hamburger The rich, the poor, the budget
• · · · · Daniel Gross, New York Times A Perfect Storm That Could Drown the Economy ; Politicians and their staff are chronic leakers and briefers because they know how important it is to get their message across to the public via the media Off the Couch, Deeper Into the Psyche
• · · · · · Hurley and Mara had told Hatfield RI 719 was the informer. At the meeting Hatfield asked him strip to his underwear and then go for a swim. RI 719 talked his way out of it but perhaps this was the point his handlers thought things had become too risky as police on Monday raided homes throughout Sydney Insider spills beans on coke smuggling ring ; Corby team says Keelty must go

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tax systems are like septic tanks: they need to be cleaned out every 10 years or so What Should a Reconfigured Tax System Look Like?
Peter Costello is well aware of the old wisdom and in many ways Australia is the envy of the world in terms of strategies and innitiative to keep the economy moving in the right direction. Budget is an imperfect game, but the marathonial ten is pretty impressive Budget 2005: cash war chest

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Give & You Shall Receive: Big City Bosses
Builders, planners, salesmen, trash collectors — and political heavyweights. Meet the mayors who are making a difference

Walter Veltroni really gets around. During a typical working day recently, the mayor of Rome started with a visit to a children's hospital in the morning, attended a groundbreaking ceremony at a center for the homeless in the afternoon, and then dropped in on an outpatient rehabilitation clinic on the other side of town before the day was through. The gangly, bespectacled Veltroni, 49, may look like an economics professor, but some Romans call him the Plumber because of his hands-on approach to governing the Italian capital. Like an actual plumber, though, Veltroni isn't always available when people need him, so he's set up a network of municipal employees and volunteers who make the house calls he's not able to make himself. As part of the Solidarity Pony Express, a new assistance program for senior citizens, some 500 young people hop onto their scooters every day to deliver food, medicine or company to the elderly. In another initiative, about 3,000 mostly retired people fan out across schools and parks to keep a watchful eye on children. " Forum.

We want to show that in a huge metropolis, you can also be a community," says Veltroni, sitting in his frescoed office at the Palazzo Senatorio, overlooking the ruins of the
Meet the mayors who are making a difference [If only Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, had attended the rallies in Riga or Tbilisi over the weekend to hear President Bush tell the budding democrats of Latvia and Georgia how important it is for them to protect minority rights. Perhaps Frist would have emulated former Soviet bloc countries and moved to dismantle his threatened ''nuclear option." But what's important for Eastern Europe is apparently not so important at home, where Bush and Frist are attempting to steamroll age-old minority rights in Congress in order to pepper the nation's courts with extremists A plot against the Senate ; Boiling Point on Judges: Powerful U.S. circuit courts of appeal ]
• · Has Germany sold its post-war liberties for a mess of pottage? Sixty years after the end of hostilities in Europe, Günter Grass argues, global capital has ensnared parliament, and democratic progress is in danger of becoming a commodity to be bought and sold on the markets The high price of freedom ; The country goes to the polls today after what many feel has been the most remote, unedifying election season ever. But when Simon Schama hit the campaign trail for the first time since he canvassed for Harold Wilson 40 years ago, the godless knockabout of British democracy felt like a breath of fresh air. And even Rousseau would have approved Now that's what I call democracy
• · · Too Much Logic, Too Little Evidence Defending Sweatshops; While Europeans share memories of the second world war, histories of 1914-18 are strictly divided along national lines Entrenched loyalties
• · · · The reduction in tax is welcome. The scrapping of the superannuation surcharge is also welcome, because in my situation it was nearly a $1500 levy Tax office's double dipping just not on: Ross Walker ; Qantas baggage handlers were paid $300,000 to smuggle a briefcase of cocaine through Sydney airport Baggage handlers 'paid $300,000' in drug plot
• · · · · Police investigating a cocaine smuggling operation run through Sydney Airport are hunting a man once dubbed the city's Mr Big of crime Cocaine trail points to crime head honcho ; Individual human rights need to be rethought in the age of terrorism and more consideration given to community rights, according to the head of the federal Attorney-General's Department Human rights must take a back seat in age of terrorism ; In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares The Shadows In The Cave
• · · · · · The celebrations marking the end of the "Great Patriotic War" are underway in Moscow. But behind the ceremony, Russia is marked by deep hankerings for the past. Stalin for president ; Henry Kissinger, The Australian Atomic Arm Twisting

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tax cuts of up to $4500 a year for high and middle income earners are the surprise announcement in tonight's federal budget. Helped by expected strong economic activity and continued robust budget surpluses, Treasurer Peter Costello has unveiled a raft of measures usually associated with pre-election budgets A pitch for the rich

Invisible Hands & Markets: Australian Budget 2005
Australia's government handed workers A$21.7 billion ($16.8 billion) of tax cuts to bolster an economy growing at its slowest pace since emerging from recession 14 years ago. Budget speech: The federal Budget will focus on growing the economy and getting as many people as possible back into the workforce Welfare To Work; Future Fund; Pension Funds; Interest Rates; Telstra ...

Peter Costello should take an interest in the world poker championships, because his 10th Budget shows he is a card shark in the making.
His tax cuts for all and sundry are built upon some brave hopes that, if proved wrong, could see the entire house of cards fall down. It is a Budget that delivers because it does not have to cut into spending.That is because tax revenues have been so strong for so long that Canberra is literally swimming in cash. For the first time in history, the total tax take from everyday taxpayers broke the $100-billion barrier.

• Costello hoping this Budget's his last We're thrashing the pants off the Americans [Australia Cuts Income Taxes A$21.7 Billion to Bolster Growth ; Costello shows his cards ]
• · Australia's government will create a A$140 billion ($108 billion) investment fund from budget surpluses and the sale of its stake in Telstra Corp. to cover its pension liabilities for politicians, public servants and defense workers Australia to Create A$140 Bln Investment Fund to Cover Pensions; Google on Budget 2005
• · · Costello slashes taxes, revamps welfare ; The APEC leaders summit in Sydney in 2007 will cost $216 million. Tax cuts for all in budget bonanza
• · · · Australia sees underlying cash surplus of 8.9 bln aud in 2005/2006 budget ; Budget fails Australia, Labor claims
• · · · · The Government's Budget had cast aside the environment in favour of Treasurer Peter Costello's political future Political future put first: Brown ; Telstra sale on track for 2006/07 start
• · · · · · PM is the one with the knife; Labor refuses to endorse Budget tax cuts

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Terror is global. Money is global. Media are global, especially the machines and wires. However, journalism, which is part of the texture of contemporary life, has to have the particulars of a people in it, and their present. We can see coming a producer revolution among the formerly consuming classes in media.'
-Jay Rosen

Jay is a press critic and writer who likes Media Dragon and whose primary focus is the media's role in a democracy. A member of the faculty since 1986, he is the current chair, and teaches courses in media criticism, cultural journalism, press ethics and the journalistic tradition, among other subjects. As Paul Taylor stated: Political stories don't just 'happen' the way hailstorms do. They are artifacts of a political universe that journalism itself has helped to construct Whose News? What Are Journalists For? Why Rise & Rise Many MEdia Dragons?

The Creative Nation, Blog, The Press, The Media: The Power of Many: Each Nation its Own Press
Part of what I plan to say at the Alfred Deakin Innovation Lectures in Melbourne next week. I'm on my way there today, and may report in next week. Expect guest blogger Len Witt. Big wave to Blognashville.

In a state of nature there is no such thing as a free press. It has to be created-- typically, we think, by law. Therefore we have not one press in the world, (which would be a frightening thing) but one for each nation that has launched a free press, and kept that experiment going.
Laws making it legal to publish news tend to be the laws of one country. The publics gathered for news tend to be national publics, composed of many smaller, intricate and overlapping parts. It makes sense to speak of the Australian Press because it makes sense to speak of the Australian state, nation, people, political tradition, and public. There are institutions that correspond to these abstractions, and thousands of rituals bind them all together.
It dates from only 1976, but the Australian Press Council is of course one way we know the press is organized by category of nation. So is The Australian, the newspaper, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, to name the obvious. They reflect press identity as national identity. They also create it. We have no press council in the United States, by the way. It was tried once and the New York Times, among others, killed it.

Jay Rosen has written yet another brilliant essay: Bloggers vs. journalists is over. I don't think anyone will mourn its passing. There were plenty who hated the debate in the first place, and openly ridiculed its pretentions or terms. But events are what did the thing in at the end. In the final weeks of its run, we were getting bulletins from journalists like this one from John Schwartz of the New York Times, Dec. 28: "For vivid reporting from the enormous zone of tsunami disaster, it was hard to beat the blogs."
Wait a minute, who is a journalist? [The Zeitgeist BlogHour: Romenesco: GatesKeepers Without Gate ; The Blog Transformation of Journalism ; Press As Participant ]
• · To me, phrases like the "liberal ideologues disguised as impartial journalists, who populate so many of our newsrooms" are a kind of music, sort of like chanting. We wouldn't ask about the truth content of a Sousa march, and that's how I treat statements like TA's-- the right's favorite music - Jay Rosen O'Reilly Network: A Conversation Between Dan Gillmor and Jay Rosen; PR Needs to Stand for Real Transparency
• · · Bloggers "who care about facts and ideas," and there are many of those, should be wary of the Orwellians on their own side, who are themselves engaged in propaganda-- the charge they are most likely to hurl at others. Political Jihad and the American Blog - Jay Rosen; PJNet Today: Blogging Advice from Jay Rosen: Be Complex - Be Different
• · · · Until recently, each reader who saw the holes in the occasional story he knew well was, in essence, an island; and most of those readers rested in some confidence that, even though that occasional story was problematic, the rest of the paper was, really, pretty good. Only now, the Net -- and in particular the explosion of blogs, with their outpouring of expertise in so many fields -- has connected those islands, bringing into view entire continents of inadequate, hole-ridden coverage. Reading List: Diamonds, Islands and a Meltdown ; Questions for Richard Florida: The level of immigrants speaks for itself. Sydney has become a hub of talent in the Asia Pacific (region). It has built up its universities and attracted foreign students. Sydney also scores highly on the Gay, Bohemian and Creative indexes. Lauren was born and bred in Sydney and it is amazing how the beat of the city could not be erased even though tropical Queensland was a four year break from the stress of the city. Life is an extreme of feast and famines if you have time you have no money and if you have money you have no time ;-) Why is Sydney attractive: Time-poor v, Time-rich; Opposition Leader John Brogden has criticised the State Chamber of Commerce for joining forces with the Carr Government in its brawl with the Federal Government over GST funding Brogden angry with chamber: Margy Osmond
• · · · · Some interesting changes afoot over at BlogAds with Henry Copeland announcing BlogAds 3.0, including some new functionality and a new referral process Blog Ads to become Blog-snob ; Google to launch mobile blogging service for Blogger ; If you’re in the mood for a prickly political opinion, a salty suggestion or even a benign or humorous observation, your search need not go much further than Virginia’s great and growing collection of political blogs. Political Notebook: Politics and opinion: A blog delight
• · · · · · A Blog Revolution? Get a Grip ; A Character Blog Comes A Little Closer

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Like Google Feast your eyes on the visual display of Census data at Social Explorer (US)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bloggers add spice to UK poll
Be it personal rant or party propaganda, blogging has taken its place in public debate in Britain's election campaign, forming a powerful internet forum that could help shape Thursday's polling outcome.

Some media observers have compared Britain's online debate to the mass blogging that emerged as one of the most dynamic elements in the US presidential race last November. A multitude of internet sites have also animated the political debate, and sometimes given a helpful shove to the undecided voters.

A chatty first-person "diary" of the campaign trail [They're masters of technology and innovation. They're global thinkers driven by strategic vision. They're nimbler than Martha Stewart's PR team. They're The Wired 40 The Wired 40 ; Doc Searls' closing keynote at Les Blogs, Paris, 25 April 2005 What blogs are vs. What they are not ]
• · "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one" —A. J. Liebling; Shel Israel and Robert Scoble Chapter 4—Direct Access - Huge Chapter 4 ; Access to and knowledge of the legislative process further enhances the development and respect for democracy Monitoring Congress: A Revolution in Access
• · · After years selling another baker's pastries, Wendi Chocholak thought her birthday and wedding cakes were good enough for her to start her own business and succeed. In this instant-communication world, buzz means business! And one of the greatest ways to get customers and potential customers buzzing about your business is with a Media Dragon of Google Fame How "search" is redefining the Web — and our lives ; Bill Ives: I Guess Its Still Okay to Blog
• · · · CzechInvest improves automated system for evaluating structural funds Digitally tracking eligibility ; Outside firm loses Time Warner employee data Information on 600,000 current, former Time Warner workers missing
• · · · · GOOGLE has plans that will dramatically improve the results of internet news searches, by ranking them according to quality rather than simply by their date and relevance to search terms Google searches for quality not quantity

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Corporate privacy's shadow still falls over Detention Centers. Christine Rau travelled to Baxter detention centre for the first time yesterday to join authors Tom Keneally and Rosie Scott and launch an anthology of stories from behind the gates. When we read this collection we are entering another country - a shadowy, unfamiliar country with its own laws, languages and borders Asylum seekers tell their shadowy stories

Cambodian refugee tells her amazing story of survival in her second book, Lucky Child I was spared to tell my story

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: If Asylum Seekers ruled the world...
They have cornered the market in a range of industries, achieved perfect scores in university entrance exams and reinvented Australian notions of food, art and fashion. The second generation of Vietnamese Australians has come of age, and it is only the beginning.

When Thomas and Simon Tran arrived from France on holiday in 1999 it felt like the promised land. "In France you can be French or Vietnamese, but not both. But here you can be both Australian and Vietnamese," said Thomas, co-founder of Astracom, the $30 million-a-year business they run out of a garage in Hinchinbrook. The Trans bought call time from Telstra at wholesale rates and began retailing discount phone cards. They sold 400 million minutes of airtime last year and employ 28 people.

Thirty years after the fall of Saigon, the children of Vietnam's refugees embrace Australia as their own, but a candle still burns for the country their parents fled
After 30 years, success has a Vietnamese accent [A damaging rift between the Prime Minister and Treasurer has cracked open with John Howard's "provocative" and "arrogant" declaration that he was determined to stay leader indefinitely and beat Labor at the 2007 electio Howard digs in, Costello blows up ; The international extravaganza, which Prime Minister John Howard has said outranks the 2000 Olympics in significance and prestige, will cost at least $20 million in security alone. With the relationship between the Federal Government and NSW Premier Bob Carr already poisonous over GST payments, relations are set to nosedive further if NSW carries through a threat to invoice the Federal Government for its contribution Row over $20m tab for APEC conference ]
• · While some think a conspiracy ruined the Deputy Commissioner's career, the smart officers suspect a stuff-up Good cop, bad luck cop; Until last week, I believed that our hard-pressed policemen, despite the spin and dissembling of their leaders, continued to fight thuggery with vigour. When Tony Blair last month hailed the latest meaningless British Crime Survey statistics - which claimed a drop in violent crime last year - he again parroted what has become his Government's mantra on the subject: it is not crime that we should worry about but the fear of crime. How the police tolerate thuggery; Honesty and a freshness of approach are possibly the best attributes A Melbourne pub was the setting for a party rethink Lack of policy debate is making Labor irrelevant ; The announcement of a new cabinet in Iraq is not the end of the process - it's just the very beginning Elusive democracy; The Prime Minister Blair fooled only the foolish Regime change is illegal: end of debate
• · · Why am I taking the trouble to write about this? This is the politics of our generation. The current bad guys are dragging it up again to justify contemporary viciousness. And we won't let them get away with it, because we are joined with our children in opposing the current war Pissing on its own history; via Barista ; How I was ejected from the premier’s office. Geoffrey Barker recalls a short, eventful audience with the Queensland premier Joh Remembered ; The Schapelle Corby case appears to have made magistrates out of everyone
• · · · At a time when dissatisfaction with politicians is glaringly evident, the solution is not less democracy, of course; it is deeper democracy. And in deliberative experiments around the world, governments and NGOs are attempting to extend citizen participation beyond voting, lobbying, and protesting Citizens and Governments: Stroppy Adversaries or Partners in Deliberation? ; The Federal Government has expanded its inquiry into immigration detention centres after discovering it had deported an Australian citizen four years ago and also wrongly held several other Australians in detention. Immigration admits citizen deported
• · · · · Why cutting tax rates won't work ; Low-income earners could be forgiven for thinking that superannuation is a tax perk for the rich, but thanks to the Federal Government's super co-contribution, most Australians have a financial incentive to boost their retirement savings before June 30Give and you shall receive;
So are we out of the woods? Why we mustn't rouse the dragon of inflation

• · · · · · Fact Sheet: Protecting America's Critical Infrastructure--Chemical Security ; The State Government risks losing the expert it picked to lead its urban growth strategy, all because it doesn't seem to understand the man Professor Edward Blakely - a loping, soft-speaking American with more direct links to Australia than many of his critics realise