Labor’s ‘human capital’ degradation

Ben Hillier I must have been one of only a handful of people to bother tuning in to the National Press Club Treasurers’ Debate at lunchtime on 27 May. After all, the federal budget and budget reply were handed down only a month ago, and the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook was released three w...CONTINUE READING

Every day is a class war for the rich

Ben Hillier The biggest whingers on the planet are rich people in Australia and their representatives. Just look at the reaction to the ALP’s proposal not to give them any more tax cuts. “Labor is setting itself up for a war on business; they are setting themselves up for some kind of class war”, Malc...CONTINUE READING

A budget of bluster in the interests of business and the rich

Ben Hillier Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s 2014 budget cast a long shadow. And the Liberals are trying to sneak out from under it. Still reflecting the hesitation born of 2014’s failures, 2016 is another retreat from the 2014 rhetoric of “ending the age of entitlement”; the message now is “jobs and grow...CONTINUE READING

Panama Papers show that capitalism is working perfectly

Ben Hillier One law firm, working for over 40 years with more than 14,000 banks, lawyers and incorporating authorities, set up more than 200,000 off-shore shell corporations to enable mass tax avoidance by rich people and large corporations around the world. Some of the details now have been widely-re...CONTINUE READING

Southern hospitality trumped by conservative reaction

Ben Hillier The rise of the bigoted reactionary populist Donald Trump has the US Republican establishment exasperated. One indication of the crisis in the party is the sight of leading conservatives spitting vitriol at their own base. Take Kevin Williamson, correspondent for the National Review , the...CONTINUE READING

Parliamentary circus is a distraction from a sick system

Ben Hillier The Lord’s Prayer is read at the beginning of each sitting of the federal parliament. It’s a prayer for sustenance, guidance, tolerance and forgiveness for those approaching moments when the honourable members will stray from their allegedly righteous path. Perusing the scriptures, there a...CONTINUE READING

Pigs at the trough of the economic crisis: an interview with Joel Geier

Ben Hillier ­ “You want to know what people are like in there? They’re pigs. No matter how much money they make, they want to steal some more. [The impulse] comes out of their class background.” Joel Geier is explaining to me the finer points of economics and the moral character of those at the centre...CONTINUE READING

The limits of Sanders’ democratic socialism

Ben Hillier Bernie Sanders’ attempt to secure the US Democratic Party’s presidential nomination has made clear, even if (when) he fails in this electoral challenge, that there is a huge constituency in the United States for wealth redistribution, universal state provision of health care, free educatio...CONTINUE READING

What Sanders shows

Ben Hillier Something is happening in the United States. The political landscape is being transformed, though just how widely, deeply or permanently is still unclear. Bernie Sanders, the reforming senator from the New England state of Vermont, has captured the imagination of millions of people through...CONTINUE READING