Small workplaces and corporate profit are driving wage stagnation

As Australia endures its seventh consecutive year of wage stagnation, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has pledged that the next election will be “a referendum about wages” and will focus attention on “who the economy should work for”. Since Reserve Bank Governor Phillip Lowe belatedly declared a “low wage crisis” in June 2017, the federal government’s…

In this age of surveillance capitalism, the law is left for dust

Can the immense power of the world’s largest oligopolies to plunder our privacy and shape our lives be reined in? In recent days, German antitrust authorities struck a modest blow in consumers’ favour. The ruling of the Federal Cartel Office will prohibit Facebook from aggregating personal information it collects from consumers with that collected by…

The Wages Crisis in Australia

I have a chapter about the changing nature of work in Australia called “Fractured Work” in the book “The Wages Crisis in Australia” published by The University of Adelaide Press. Download the Free PDF

Deep Within a Journalistic Silo

On 4 August, Sky News broadcast an interview between compere Adam Giles and former leader of the United Patriots Front, Blair Cottrell. Giles asked Cottrell whether he saw ‘a correlation between the way Australia is going and where it should go in regards to some of the arguments Donald Trump is putting out there’ about…

Is it Fair to Slur BDS Supporters as Anti-Semites?

On Sunday, 23 July 2017, Rabbi Alissa Wise travelled to Washington Dulles International Airport, where she was to board a flight to Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Rabbi Wise was travelling to Israel as part of an interfaith delegation, which planned to meet with human rights activists in Israel and Palestine. However, at the airport…

Hit Big Tech with law suits to stop online bullies

On 1 January 2018, the Network Enforcement Act came into effect in Germany. Under the laws, online platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter face fines of up to $50 million euros if they do not remove “obviously illegal” hate speech within 24 hours of notification. The laws had an immediate effect, prompting Facebook to hire…

Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘bonking ban’ is a misplaced attack on consensual sex

Malcolm Turnbull’s proposed “bonking ban”, preventing ministers from having sex with their staff, is a panicked and irresponsible reaction to the scandal that has engulfed Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. And it is part of a broader and misplaced crackdown on sex in workplaces that must be checked. The insanity of puritanical attacks on consensual…

Calls for company tax cuts are part of a fabricated productivity crisis

Big business will invoke any spurious economic rationale to prevent an overhaul of workplace laws John Kenneth Galbraith once noted that “trickle-down economics” was not a recent invention but had been tried before in the United States in the 1890s. The brilliant economist explained that it was referred to as “horse and sparrow theory” by…

The ground is shifting under BHP

In a remarkable development late last year, the world’s biggest miner made the momentous declaration that it would quit the World Coal Association, citing “material differences” on climate and energy policy. Following its months-long internal review, BHP also put the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) on notice, declaring that it would no longer tolerate the…

Regulation is back, after years of neoliberal neglect

Government intervention is back in vogue as the problems of the free market start to pile up. When Peter Costello calls for the nationalisation of superannuation, Rupert Murdoch says Google has too much market power and the Commonwealth Bank urges Canberra to intervene to stimulate wage growth, the game has changed. Government intervention is back…

Integrity – it’s all Greek to the hypocrites of the Right

The original Greek word hypokrites, literally translated, means “impersonating from underneath”. Hypokrites was a stage actor who narrated each drama by impersonating its characters underneath masks and costumes. A pretender. By the early 1700s, hypocrisy had evolved to convey what we now understand by the word: “a person who acts in contradiction to his or…