Archive for June, 2011

Mr Keynes and the Moderns

Keynes’ General Theory is 75 years old. In this column, Paul Krugman argues that many of its insights and lessons are still relevant today, but many have been forgotten. A broad swath of macroeconomists and policymakers are applying old fallacies to today’s crisis. As the nostrums being applied by the “pain caucus” are visibly failing, Keynesian ideas may yet make a comeback.

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What I Learned As a Playboy Bunny in the ’70s

My nascent anger at the artifice I saw all around me caused me to unknowingly join in it even more than I could have seen.  By Lili Bee

At seventeen, most girls were filling out college applications. I was nervously chewing my fingernails at an audition to become a bunny at the New York Playboy Club.
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Equality for women? Don’t make me laugh

By Lin Hatfield Dodds


I have no time for those who airily claim that women have scaled the Everest of equality and triumphantly planted a flag right on the peak. Please. Don’t make me laugh. Or cry.

Over the past decade or so, we’ve heard the victory cry that feminism is over – that it’s no longer needed, that the battles have been won, that women have achieved equality.

It’s true, some giant strides have been taken. We vote, we work, we run companies, head up political parties, mount expeditions to improbable parts of the world, achieve breakthroughs in science and significantly shape the arts.

But we are still the primary carers of our children (and increasingly our parents), we are more likely to be in casual or part time than full time work, we are less educated and are still paid less than men.

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For the Gillard Government : Just Do The Right Thing








During the give-and-take panel discussion at Lowy today, Laura Tingle of The Australian Financial Review hinted at a view within the federal government that it is likely to lose the next election and might as well devote itself to good policy. This Götterdämmerung option – you can see I’ve just returned from seeing the Wagner Ring – might be the most intelligent way to rebuild support. Policy success, after all, is the way to political success.

The Government cannot back down on an emissions trading scheme. Get the thing in place and challenge the Opposition to dismantle it. Challenge them to fund their tax cuts without the billions in revenue that will flow from the ETS and the revamped mining tax. Take the advice Paul Keating once gave to me: “Stand in the middle of the expressway and dare them to run you down.”

In any case, I’m more optimistic about the prospects of a government recovery.

Thoughtlines with Bob Carr


The Party Paradox

By Rene Cuperus

There are two tales about party politics. In the first, political parties are moribund, if not on their last legs. Parties are said to have been in crisis or decline for decades and are believed to have lost virtually all their functions to the courts, the bureaucracy, the media, or powerful social organizations. Parties supposedly no longer matter in actual agenda setting and policy making. They have become marginal institutions. Following the de-ideologization and the rise of the floating voter, parties no longer stand for anything or anybody. Nor do they provide principled politicians or edifying programmes and innovative political ideas. The party is over: consider the ongoing decline in voter turnout, diminishing party loyalty, the declining membership, the loss of ideological identity, and the decreasing social concern among parties and their representatives. The social, electoral, and ideological weakening of parties suggests that the concrete pillars of democracy are crumbling. At best, parties continue to function as campaign organizations and become empty shells, driven purely by mediagenic party leaders and mediagenic ideas.

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