Issue 112: 27 Oct to 2 Nov


Memo RBA board: Time to stop digging in deeper on interest rates
Ross Gittins | SMH/Age
This is an unprecedented blow to households’ income. It just about guarantees an imminent return to weak consumer spending. And it’s a much bigger blow than the big advanced economies have suffered, suggesting our central bank should be going easier on rate rises than theirs. The final factor saying the Reserve should be wary of pushing rates higher is “lags”. As top international economist Olivier Blanchard reminded us in a recent Twitter thread, monetary policy affects the inflation rate with a variable delay of maybe six to 18 months

Innocent victims of the great inflation conundrum
Michael Pascoe | The New Daily
Excuse me if I don’t shed a tear for the mining lobby wanting to rekindle the spirt of its anti-resources tax campaign. If you have a spare $20 million to pay to friendly media companies to attack the IR changes, you’re not doing too badly. Particularly when much of our inflation problem is well beyond our control and the government is pussyfooting around about exerting reasonable direct control on the prices that don’t need to be as high as they are, I fear the RBA and Treasury are being a little less than totally honest with us.

Familiar and surreptitious ways to war
Alison Broinowski | Pearls and Irritations
Many Australians are disturbed by the latest revelations about what ADF ‘interchangeability’ with the US may mean. The Defence Minister, Richard Marles, has provided no details. Of even more concern is the announcement that six American B52 nuclear-capable bombers will be stationed at Tindal Air Base in the Northern Territory. If they are ever armed, this could contravene our undertaking in the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty of 1985 not to station nuclear explosive devices in Australia.

Laying bare Australia’s biggest tax dodgers
Michael West | Michael West Media
How do they do it? Multinational coal and gas companies exploit the failed PRRT oil and gas tax by wiping out tax obligations on profits with losses on their newer exploration projects, they also “debt-load” aggressively, that is write loans from their Australian entities to their offshore companies and the interest on these loans flows offshore thereby wiping out the tax bill. Here are the main offenders for 2021…

COP27: UN says Australia lacks ambition
Pip Hinman | Green Left Weekly
Sixty-one percent support a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry. Support for this measure is broad, the report found, with majority support across age, state, gender and voting intentions. TAI’s report also found that most people believe the oil and gas industries employ 9.7% of the workforce, whereas the actual figure is 0.2%. People also believe the coal mining industry employs 10% of the country’s total workforce, whereas it makes up just 0.3%. The report found that 79% support a phase out of coal-fired power stations


How the parallel lives of two influential editors shaped Australia’s literary culture
Jeff Sparrow | The Conversation
Local communism emerged from the war considerably strengthened by the reflected glory of the Red Army. Having long since abandoned proletarian revolution, CPA politics centred on the dream of a Popular Front: a patriotic alliance between the working class and the liberal wing of the bourgeoisie. The orientation lent particular significance to its cultural endeavours. The party embraced what it called a “progressive nationalism”, describing local democratic traditions as menaced by capitalists in hock to foreign imperialists. Accordingly, the CPA ran bookshops throughout the country…

The Act of Disappearing
Amy McQuire | Meanjin
Nearly three decades ago, Professor Judy Atkinson wrote on how the deaths of Aboriginal women by violence were being determined as ‘natural causes’, prior to any investigation. There are cases of Aboriginal women whose deaths are quickly determined as ‘suicides’ and are sent to coronial courts. For example, in 2020 the NT coroner referred the case of three Aboriginal girls who had died by suicide to the DPP due to the highly suspicious nature of their deaths. In one of these cases—Keturah Mamarika, who was known as Cheralyn—counsel assisting at the inquest suggested the potential of foul play. …

Virtuous hypocrisy as Socceroos protest Qatar World Cup
Binoy Kampmark | Independent Australia
But how could disagreement with Doha’s policies possibly take place alongside continued attendance? A stretch of air-gun salutes filled with vanilla anger has been the answer, a measure of displeasure from teams who would still be participating in Qatar 2022. Yes, of course, they would go — never mind such silly notions as a boycott or any naff idea of staying at home. All those contracts; all that publicity! They would put in an appearance and keep the broadcasters happy. 

QAnon-spiced ReAwaken America rally takes Trump-crazy to new levels
Guy Rundle | Crikey
With big country hair and a feisty attitude, Tania Joy Gibson is commanding the main stage. Microphone in hand, old school, she’s polemicising, preaching, proselytising about the deep deep state to a crowd loving every minute. Cowboy hats, stars-and-stripes shirts, biker jackets and diamante TRUMP caps perched intently on hundreds of white folding chairs, they shout “Yes!”, stand, cheer and raise their right hands, Christian witness-style at just about everything. Gibson gabbles on a million miles a minute: “Yes, I’ve been in the tunnels. I was a teen Disney star like Brittany, like Christina, and I know you know it’s Disney we grew up with, right, but it’s not just the new stuff. Walt Disney was a paedophile and a subversive –”

Too Big To Tax: North West Shelf and lessons for sharing in our sovereign wealth
David Lee, Clinton Fernandes | Arena
As a result, the world’s biggest resource companies earned around $138 billion in revenue in Australia over the past seven years but paid nothing at all in corporate income tax. The big energy companies do pay royalties, and are quite vocal about this, but royalties aren’t taxes. They are an ordinary cost of doing business—the required compensation paid to the ‘Crown’ (governments) for the transfer of publicly owned natural resources to private sector interests. Australians own the resources and the energy companies buy them from the Commonwealth. Relatively low rates of taxation are a characteristic not just of Australia’s energy resources but of the whole mining sector, which is now preponderantly foreign-owned.


Over 2,000 BHP mine workers in Queensland strike over pay and job security

Newcastle rallies to stop violence against women
Green Left Weekly

First Peoples protest demands NSW let UN inspectors into prisons