of politicians is to get and hold power. Recent events have shown they
are prepared to achieve this in ways that undermine democracy. This
tendency can only be checked by the discipline of an aware electorate.
CLINTON FERNANDES: Australia’s defence is conducted within
a broad consensus that Australia is unlikely to face continental
invasion and therefore its forces should be deployed alongside US
forces – even though these deployments are not related to specific
threats to Australia. This suggests there is room for big savings if
defence was refocused on Australia’s essential security interests.
JOHN BRADFORD: argues that government expectations that
industry will voluntarily work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to
expect industry to voluntarily increase business costs.
JOHN COULTER: explains how the market system can be used
to address the problem of climate change by establishing a cap on
greenhouse gas emissions. Permitted allocations could then be freely
traded by producers and consumers.
KEN MACNAB: describes the growth of the adversarial
society where aggressive competition and acquisition of spoils is the
most important measure of success by reference to international, legal,
economic and political institutions.
LAURENCE W. MAHER: discusses what the full implications
behind Phillip Ruddock’s lifeless prose justifying the ‘modernisation
of language’ in the law of sedition (with the full co-operation of the
Labor Opposition) and points out this law is a grotesque relic of the
Star Chamber and has no place in our polity.
JOHN M. LEGGE: refutes the neo-liberals’ claim that their
version of capitalism is more productive than the European ‘social
market’ economies. He argues a civilised labour market and social
welfare system are key factors in supporting a high quality of life for
PETER HOLDING: critically examines support for a cut in
the top marginal tax rate by prominent ALP figures and finds the
proposal lacks merit. He advocates a lift in the tax threshold to
reduce the even higher effective marginal tax rates on taxpayers
transiting from welfare to work.
MICHAEL RAPSON: describes how the Job Network was
established to serve the government’s supply side agenda of developing
a pool of compliant, cheap and needy labour rather than to facilitate
access to suitable employment for the jobless.
COLIN RICHARDSON: defends on economic efficiency grounds
the customary land tenure system operating in the South-West Pacific
against the alienated or ‘privatised’ system now being advocated by
influential right-wing think tanks such the Centre for Independent
GEOFFREY CHIA: argues we should focus on getting wisdom
rather than technological fixes in solving larger issues where multiple
factors interact in complex ways resulting in variable outcomes.
STANLEY SCHAETZEL: describes how the explosive growth in
science has created uncertainty and insecurity and at the same time
diminished the scope for religious explanations for man’s existence.
This helps explain the rise of fundamentalism for people who can’t
accept that man is simply an animal with a superior brain.
JILL GREENWELL: shows how the Howard government is
attempting to undermine the ABC’s independent voice by cutting its