Posts in Finance and economics
Vital signs. Our compulsory super system is broken. We ought to axe it, or completely reform it

The newly announced inquiry into Australia’s retirement income system comes 25 years after the introduction of compulsory superannuation. In today’s blog post Richard Holden, Professor of Economics at UNSW, discusses fundamental problems with the current system, and that what is needed in Australia is a retirement income revolution.

This post originally appeared in The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

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Modern Monetary Theory and the job guarantee: A new way of thinking for the social sector

As part of her popular Green New Deal platform, the US member of Congress Alexandria Orcasio-Cortez has been utilising Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to explain how governments can fund environmental policy reforms. But could MMT also be used by the social sector as a message frame to promote social policy reform? In today’s blog post Dr Andrew Joyce from the Centre for Social Impact and Celia Green from UNSW discuss the how the social sector could leverage insights from MMT to promote paradigm shifting social policy reforms.

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Three charts on: why congestion charging is fairer than you might think

Congestion charging is a feature in many cities around the world, but Australia has been reluctant to introduce such a policy, instead focusing on developing infrastructure. However new analysis from the Grattan Institute suggests that a congestion charge would be a better and fairer way of tackling congestion than spending more on infrastructure. Marion Terril and James Ha from the Grattan Institute discuss the implications below.

This article originally appeared in The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article

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Lesson for Australia. Make it hard for people to get benefits, and they’ll stop, but they mightn’t get jobs

Australia’s system of social welfare is based on mutual obligation. But what happens when those obligations become so onerous that people simply stop seeking to claim government benefits? Professor David C. Ribar from The University of Melbourne dicusses this issue for those on Newsart.

This post originally appeared in The Conversation

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How a free tax clinic is rescuing the overwhelmed

In this BusinessThink re-post, Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar from the University of New South Wales Business School introduces us to the Nationwide Tax Clinic Program. These federally funded clinics are designed to meet the needs of Australia’s vulnerable taxpayers. Dr Kayis-Kumar explains why and how these clinics came about and concludes with the overarching purpose of the Tax Clinic program, to foster a more socially just tax system.

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Eligible for what? ParentsNext exemptions and the troubling tale of outsourced social security decision-making

Continuing her series of original posts on Australia's employment services system, Dr Simone Casey (@SimoneCasey) explores the implications of outsourced decision-making in social security through the lens of the ParentsNext program. Dr Casey is an affiliate of the RMIT Future Social Services Institute (@FutureSocialAU).

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Reducing financial risks by looking at financial capabilities as a structural issue

Problems with making financial decisions are often presented as individual issues, but Dr Jeremiah Brown (@JeremiahTBrown) of the Brotherhood of St Laurence argues they are often better understood as instance of structural failure. He illustrates with an example of an aged pensioner trying to change energy providers.

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Shrinking middle class threatening social stability, warns OECD

The concept of the ‘middle class squeeze’ has been around for more than a decade, with the term dating back to November 2006, when US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi used it to provide context to the domestic agenda of the U.S. Democratic Party. This issue has yet to subside, with a recent report from the OECD noting that middle incomes have grown less than the average in many OECD countries, and in some they have not grown at all. The Mandarin’s David Donaldson explains how this trend affects Australia’s middle class, and outlines OECD’s recommendations for how governments can act to support this shrinking group.

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Financing climate action in the Pacific: Why we need to move past solutions based exclusively on views from the top

Effective climate change action needs a lot of money. However, in the Pacific it is not just about delivering dollars. Kirsty Anantharajah gives us three key problems with global climate financing approaches, and offers three possible pathways out.

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Banking Royal Commission and the silencing of Indigenous Australian voices

The release of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry earlier this month has not had the intended effect of allaying mistrust in the financial services sector in Australia. Despite the enormity of the report, nearly 1,000 pages with 24 entities and companies referred to civil and criminal proceedings, there is a consensus that the major financial corporations involved in the misconduct remain unscathed. In today’s post, Dr. Jonathon Louth examines the silences in this report, especially as it impacts the lives of Indigenous peoples living in rural and remote Australia. Based on his recent research with Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, he recommends expanding community and cultural literacies in the financial sector as one of the counter measures to tackle systematic dispossession and marginalisation of  vulnerable populations. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 6 February 2019

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The Renter's Journey: a new report from the Consumer Policy Research Centre

A new research report from the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) - The Renter's Journey - follows the common and differing rental experiences of the rental market of four key segments (young singles, women over 55, low income families, and migrant families) and makes recommendations to policymakers for change. The report will be launched in Melbourne on 25 February 2019.

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Don’t believe what they say about inequality. Some of us are worse off

Professor Peter Whiteford examines the Productivity Commission research paper Rising inequality? A stocktake of the evidence released last week and cautions us not to believe the media spin that all Australians are better off. To tackle inequality, he argues, we need both policies that generate economic growth and policies that ensure it’s well spread. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 31 August 2018.

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The Cashless Debit Card: Flawed Beyond Technological Redemption

In this article, Dr. Shelley Bielefeld, Professor Eva Cox, and the Accountable Income Management Network Secretariat critique the Mindaroo Foundation’s report on the Cashless Debit Card (CDC). They cite the ‘cherry picking’ of results to support claims of success, a lack of attention to human rights, and security issues, among other points. Ultimately, they argue that the benefits of the CDC for communities are “negligible to negative” and that the proposed expansion of the trial would further marginalise those purported to benefit from the CDC.

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ASIC’s MoneySmart is encouraging women to have regular money conversations

Women face specific challenges when it comes to managing money. They tend to spend more time out of the paid workforce to care for others and this impacts on their ability to generate wealth. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is aiming to address this issue by normalising conversations about money. Check out these interviews where ASIC’s Laura Higgins chats with five influential and inspirational Australian women about their experiences with money.

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Modern Slavery Bill a step in the right direction – now businesses must comply

This week has seen a significant milestone in the fight against modern slavery as the Modern Slavery Bill was introduced into the Australian parliament. When passed, the law will require companies with an annual turnover of more than $100 million to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and on the actions to address these. Fiona McGaughey (University of Western Australia) and Justine Nolan (UNSW) explain more.

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