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Club Troppo

Economic, legal, political and social commentary

Last Build Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:35:08 +0000


Advance Australia Fair: ignore the other national histories on offer.

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:47:15 +0000

National history is the story that binds ‘us who make up the nation’ into a single entity with a collective memory. It has a purpose and as such we can choose what historical events and realities to put into that … Continue reading

Latino Film Festival 2017

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 21:54:56 +0000

Festival Website | Films | Schedule Top Picks You’re Killing Me Susana (Opening Night) You’re Killing Me Susana tells the story of Eligio, a man who wakes up one day to find out that his wife Susana has left him … Continue reading

Why Blockchain has no economic future.

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:31:56 +0000

[expanded from the post on JohnMenadue] When Bitcoin went public in 2009 it introduced to the world of finance and economics the technology of blockchain. Even the many who thought Bitcoin would never make it as a major currency were … Continue reading

Let’s have another World War!

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 12:41:15 +0000

Sometimes, it feels like 1910 all over again. Then, a confident Germany was the up-and-coming industrial power house, fearing an even more up-and-coming Russia, with the UK and France desperately holding on to their colonial empires. Now, a confident China … Continue reading

Forget Soylent Green – let’s make money out of ‘em

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:27:49 +0000

The following is a guest post by RHONDA PRYOR, a recently retired senior manager in the Australian aged care sector. We are hoping Rhonda may become a regular contributor to Troppo. If you woke up to read the Government had … Continue reading

The #MeToo moment: another disaster for the Democrats?

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 20:50:20 +0000

The #MeToo flood of stories of women who feel abused by men – ranging from lurid stares to straightforward rape – seems like a disaster to me for the Democrats. Not because of the stories themselves, but because of how … Continue reading

Detoxing democracy – detoxing Brexit

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 04:37:16 +0000

As readers of my Twitter feed will know, I’m heading to London to give some seminars. One on the use and abuse of wellbeing to target policy at LSE, one on evidence-based policy at King’s College London Policy Institute and a public lecture titled “Detoxing … Continue reading

Iranian Film Festival

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 05:51:16 +0000

Festival Website | Films | Schedule Top Picks Subdued (Opening Night) Mina, recently divorced from her husband, struggles to maintain an independent life with no supportive family. She eventually finds a job in a restaurant. A friendship between her and … Continue reading

Public organisations and political advocacy

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 02:09:09 +0000

Various people like Margaret Court are stroppy that private companies like Qantas are supporting same sex marriage. I’m not too sure I can see a problem. This is largely self-interested behaviour from our corporates and the pursuit of that self-interest – … Continue reading

Against Lakoff’s hate speech argument

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 04:19:39 +0000

There seem to be more and more claims that “hate speech” should not be entitled to the normal privileges of free speech. To my surprise, one of them is George Lakoff – famed cognitive scientist, philosopher and metaphor expert. Here’s the admirably … Continue reading

Vale: the car industry

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 02:51:34 +0000

I wrote the following comment on Gene Tunny’s blogpost on a piece documenting the last car rolling off an Australian mass production line. (We still make specialty cars in runs of a hundred or so a month). The history of automotive industry policy … Continue reading

What have wellbeing frameworks ever done for us: Part One

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 02:22:32 +0000

Cross posted at The Mandarin. “Principles are good and worth the effort only when they develop into deeds” — Vincent Van Gogh I’ve previously critiqued the process by which a lot of organisations do strategic thinking and planning and proposed an alternative. In this series of essays … Continue reading

Things worth doing: tackling child poverty edition

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 03:07:52 +0000

I’ve previously commented that Brian Howe was the great, quiet achiever of the Hawke/Keating years, who then turned around out of office and, rather than burnish his own reputation, got right on with the business playing a major role in … Continue reading

Competitive neutrality in finance: an idea who’s time has come

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 04:18:23 +0000

I wrote this piece in the Guardian to keep stirring the pot on post-ideological reform, unaware that I would be outflanked and outgunned on my left by Peter Costello who wants to socialise compulsory super. #Srsly. Which bank could give Australians a better bang for their … Continue reading

Inspirational video du jour

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 03:50:24 +0000

Here at Troppo, we’re not that big on inspirational videos. But, to use the immortal words of Groucho Marx, in this case the entire Troppo collective (which in this case includes me) is making an exception.

Observations, lessons, and predictions for the Catalan situation

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 11:04:22 +0000

[cross-posted, slightly updated, from Pearls and Limitations] Observations: About 40% of the population of Catalonia and its capital Barcelona was not born there, but largely comes from the rest of Spain. Internal migration is high, with about 0.4% of the … Continue reading

EU plans for VAT taxation are doomed to fail. Again.

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 16:16:39 +0000

Taxation is the potential downfall of the EU as an institution. The reason is that within the EU, several member states are making money from the tax evasion in other member states, a situation akin to having a wife slowly … Continue reading

Greek Film Vestibule

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 11:48:23 +0000

Festival Website | Films | Schedule Top Picks Roza Of Smyrna (Opening Night) Preparing for an exhibition in the Turkish city of Izmir (formerly known as Smyrna), a collector of historic objects and curiosities, Dimitris, finds an untold story waiting … Continue reading

Taking competitive neutrality seriously: My challenge to the PC

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 03:39:53 +0000

Reproduced from today’s  Mandarin Around the world, finance is a major policy problem driven ultimately by the ease with which insiders can advantage themselves (sometimes illegally, but mostly legally) against outsiders — the mug punters who must pay for financial services. … Continue reading

Mike Pepperday – Time to Go: Should we begin the great task of our species – colonising space?

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 01:18:24 +0000

We are accustomed to the concept of colonising the solar system and populating the universe. We think of it as a project for the distant future but perhaps we should be getting on with it. I offer three reasons, any … Continue reading

Patricia Edgar: What are Children’s Television Programs and should we preserve them? Part 3

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 02:38:14 +0000

A new programming approach for children today (Continued from Parts One and Two.) There is no justification for the Government to fund children’s television and media, if it is not for the clear developmental benefit of children. There are ample other … Continue reading

Information and the structure of institutions: W. H. Hutt edition

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 06:42:08 +0000

Fredrick Hayek was onto something fundamental in stressing the centrality of information flow to economic functioning. But because his consuming passion was on the (undoubted) evils of Soviet-style central planning, ‘the market’ always figured as the deus ex machina, a kind of all-purpose get out of jail card for solving … Continue reading

Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:38:52 +0000

[Note to self. Geeks only] Over the fold I muse on the nature of human intelligence, social intelligence, and the options for artificial intelligence to become ‘smarter than humans’ in the areas of social power and law-making. It is taken … Continue reading

Patricia Edgar: What are Children’s Television Programs and should we preserve them? Part 2

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:23:33 +0000

The birth of a Children’s Television industry (Continued from Part One) No Children’s production industry in Australia can exist without a viable, film and television industry which must be sustained to tell Australian stories. That is a given. But what … Continue reading