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Articles from Inside Story

Good advice, and puzzling blind spots, in the IMF’s latest report on Australia

February 23, 2018 - 16:14 -- Admin

The economy is still okay. Wage rises are low, but jobs are booming. The budget is still in deficit, but at last it is shrinking. House prices in Sydney and Melbourne have soared out of the price range of many who live there, but seem to be flattening out. The global economy is going gangbusters, pushing export prices high.

Keeping the country in the Coalition

February 23, 2018 - 11:08 -- Admin

Barnaby Joyce’s travails have focused attention on the tensions inherent in the coalition between the Liberals and the National Party. Regardless of how this latest conflict plays out, it is just another chapter in a century-long relationship that has usually managed to hide its internal stresses and strains behind an outward appearance of harmony. Despite the occasional potentially damaging tiff, it’s been a remarkably durable partnership.

The conventional wisdom is wrong: building more housing does help low-income earners

February 22, 2018 - 18:26 -- Admin

The conventional wisdom among many affordable housing advocates is that boosting the supply of market-rent housing won’t help low-income earners. They argue that most new housing built in Australia is too expensive for low- and middle-income earners. They believe that building more homes won’t lower the rents paid by the poorest Australians unless they’re explicitly built to house them.

South Australia’s newest fringe festival

February 22, 2018 - 12:29 -- Admin

“Mad March” has come early. In the run-up to the annual Adelaide Festival and fringe extravaganza, the city is overflowing with all manner of performers, circus acts and comedians. And then, of course, we have the looming 17 March state election. With official campaigning under way, what was always going to be a historic election has just got a little more bizarre.

South Australia’s other fringe festival

February 22, 2018 - 12:29 -- Admin

“Mad March” has come early. In the run-up to the annual Adelaide Festival and fringe extravaganza, the city is overflowing with all manner of performers, circus acts and comedians. And then, of course, we have the looming 17 March state election. With official campaigning under way, what was always going to be a historic election has just got a little more bizarre.

The chronicler we deserve?

February 22, 2018 - 12:12 -- Admin

Johannes Gutenberg would be delighted. After a US election in which social media played a prominent and problematic role, and in the midst of a presidency marked by frequent Twitter storms, it was a fusty old media form — a book — that sparked the biggest news stories on the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s administration.

The long road to a hybrid Senate

February 20, 2018 - 10:03 -- Admin

Of all the own goals in Australian politics, the federal Labor government’s introduction of proportional representation for Senate elections must rank as one of the greatest. Introduced in 1949 largely to preserve a vulnerable Labor majority in the upper house, the system imposed a heavy penalty, and continues to do so. Labor’s majority was lost in the double dissolution election of 1951, and over the next sixty-six years Labor never held a Senate majority.

Putting the numbers back into the immigration debate

February 20, 2018 - 07:47 -- Admin

How governments manage migration is a big deal. A perception of too many arrivals drove the Brexit result in Britain, helped define the Trump presidency, and fuelled the rising populist vote in Europe. Japan’s ageing population is driving its government to increase immigration — but ever so cautiously, recognising the likely backlash from its largely homogeneous population. And the same demographic forces have driven China to try to attract back part of its huge diaspora.

The politician as hero

February 19, 2018 - 16:37 -- Admin

“Ah, the old questions, the old answers, there’s nothing like them!” As he waits in his isolation tower for mortality to do its work, Samuel Beckett’s Hamm retains an addiction to narrative. The aged always love stories of the past, and this is true of generations as well as individuals. With the baby boom moving into retirement, the market for stories of the sixties and seventies — seen through the lens of nostalgia as a time of freedom, new energies and large vision — is growing.

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