White supremacists stole my identity to spew hatred on the Times of Israel

In the early hours of Friday 10 April, as I slept in Melbourne, American author Naomi Wolf was posting on Facebook to condemn me as “deranged”, “genocidal” and “psychotic”. Wolf and I have never met or communicated before. Regrettably, she was not alone. In the course of that night, I was on the receiving end…

If Mugabe wouldn’t do it, why are we accepting this extraordinary attack on wages?

In 2011, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe enacted an extraordinary law preventing employees in that country from seeking wage rises above 2.5 per cent per annum. That last sentence is a lie. Mugabe did no such thing. Barry O’Farrell’s government did. Three years ago, the NSW government passed such a law. As a result, NSW public…

When will workers with disabilities get wage justice?

In October 2014, David Freud, the British welfare minister, gave a speech in which he argued that some workers with intellectual disabilities should not be paid the UK minimum wage. In the furore that followed, disability groups and the Labor opposition called for Freud to be sacked. David Cameron ordered him to apologise and within…

Super reform: the ultimate test

In a crowded and competitive field, surely it is Mark Latham’s 2013 essay Not Dead Yet; Labor’s Post Left Future that triumphs as the high point of destructive nostalgia for the Hawke-Keating era. With a tendency to mythologise, cherry-pick and whitewash much of that era, Latham’s exhortation for current and aspiring ALP politicians is not…

The politics of class warfare: from Sydney to Washington, the gulf is deepening

In Australia, the economic transformation wrought by 22 consecutive years of economic growth and an unprecedented mining boom has played a crucial part in these changes, generating enormous prosperity. Entrepreneurs have increasingly tiered their business offerings to target this wealth. Australia is now one of the wealthiest countries in the world, vying with Switzerland and…

The joy of tax: why payment should be a pleasure

If economics was sexy, life would be very different. Thomas Piketty, the French professor who has recently published an acclaimed book about growing inequality, is now described as a “rock star economist”. But the truth is that the book is a boring read, and it is most unlikely that Piketty will imminently destroy a suite…

An apology from Australia to the rest of the world is now warranted

In August 2014, the Australian parliament voted to repeal a scheme that placed a price on carbon emissions. The carbon price was working as intended: reducing carbon emissions while supporting continued economic growth. Australia was once a leader in dealing with climate change; seven years after ratifying the Kyoto protocol, it is now something approaching…

Bullying Investigations: Unfair and Brutal

In possibly the most unusual case of workplace bullying I have encountered the bully kept a diary of his mistreatment of his victim. He catalogued the extensive and sometimes bizarre bullying acts on the company’s information technology system. In doing so, he was bragging to his cohort and encouraging them to join in. They obliged.…

Make no mistake: labour laws do nothing to hurt productivity

In October 2012, I gave a speech to an Australian Industry Group conference in Canberra, arguing that the public debate about industrial relations lacked any scientific or factual basis. I singled out for criticism a range of business leaders who had been arguing that labour laws were an impediment to productivity. My speech prompted the…

Government Takes Fight to Intellectually Disabled

Australia’s most vulnerable workers are being cruelly treated by the government. According to the promotional material for Australian Disability Enterprises, they are places where people with disability are given “the opportunity to have a real job, with real wages, in a real business”. Giving people with a disability the dignity that comes with work is…

Tony Abbott is right. Australia really is open for business

Australia is losing the battle against obesity. Before 1980, 10% of us ranked as obese. Now the figure is north of 25%. Each year, the junk food industry spends over half a billion dollars in advertising targeting consumers from cradle to grave. While exhorting us to consume more processed sugar, fat and salt, the junk…