The two-party democratic system is set up to allow crony capitalism to flourish and Mark McGowan and Dan Andrews are just two recent examples of where it has been pushed to its absolute limits – as Mencken might say, they truly are giving it to us good and hard!
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will be getting a new governor this month, perhaps as soon as this week. According to The Australian: “A decision is due before the end of July, with Treasury having provided the Treasurer with a short list of candidates that Dr Chalmers will take to cabinet within the next fortnight.
The NSW Liberal Party, if it wins re-election this year, will create “the most significant financial security investment in NSW history”: “Under a coalition government, every child aged 10 and under in 2023 in NSW, and every newborn thereafter, will receive a fund with a starting investment of $400.
Former chair of Australia’s Productivity Commission (1998-2013), Gary Banks, took aim at a couple of the nation’s recent “policy sore thumbs”: “We have a tax system that is more about redistribution than growth and looks set to become even more so. Much infrastructure spending seems to be about short-term politics rather than long-term economic benefit.
Anyone calling for an end to, or watering down of, central bank independence should ask - compared to what. The alternative, i.e. central banks falling further under the influence of politicians such as Stephen Jones, will almost certainly lead to even worse outcomes.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton isn’t happy about the RBA’s decision to replace the late Queen on the $5 bill with “a new design that honours the culture and history of the First Australians”: “There’s no question about this that it’s directed by the government and I think the Prime Minister should own up to it,” Mr Dutton told 2GB.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Australia’s Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, “will more purposefully direct investment flows to priority areas such as clean energy, through market design and co-investment”. Also known as industrial policy, Chalmers looks set to revive a relic of 1970s economic thinking: “We will employ this co-investment model in more areas of the economy, with programs already under way in the industry, housing and electricity sectors.
The economics of the Australian government’s energy market intervention bill were awful. Now we find out it’s going to cost an extra half a billion dollars up-front, and they willfully lied to rush it through Parliament.