NUMBER 40 SUMMER 2012 / 2013

                      Issue 39 - Spring 2012

Editorial: Conservative economic policies have hurled the world into economic crisis twice: the 1930s Great Depression and the 2008 Great Recession. Will US Republican intransigence tip the world into another recession in 2013?

Derek Woolner examines the rise of China and how this changes Australia’s strategic environment.

Denis Muller critically reviews newspapers’ mulish resistance to any form of external accountability.

John M. Legge argues that real economics must be based on observations of how real people behave rather than the postulates of neo-liberalism which attempt to provide economic respectability for policies replacing democracy with rule by corporate interests.

Tony Lynch describes the democratic deficit which has allowed corporatist policies to thrive and outlines the humanist values which must be defended if enlightenment objectives are to succeed by reference to two recent books by Brian Ellis and Tony Judt.

Patricia Ranald says it is difficult to see any positive benefits for any country - apart from the US - arising from the Trans Pacific partnership trade agreement. The US is resisting giving the Pacific partners (including Australia) increased market access for agriculture and manufactures.

Athol Economou describes how the chronic lack of competition in the supply chain for beef has stifled innovation, undermined productivity gains, increased costs and reduced profit margins.

Chris Bonner points out that governments are committed to free-market competition and choice between schools, despite evidence suggesting that successful schooling is substantially achieved by practices which include a focus on cooperative learning and development.

Llewellyn Johns discusses political ideologies in the context of three novels.

Clinton Fernandes states that the Pentagon has nearly 8,000 drones in its inventory. They have been used against targets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Libya and elsewhere but Congress has never debated the issue of drone strikes.

Ian McAuley argues that health policy should be brought to the centre of government policy by recognising that the present ‘illness’ model which consumes 11% of GDP should give way to a ‘wellness’ model which makes health outcomes explicit when assessing social and economic infrastructure spending.

Philip Mendes argues that The Australian newspaper is conducting a war on welfare spending based on the false premise that this encourages dependency and irresponsible behaviour.

Cam Walker reviews Climate Politics and the Climate Movement in Australia by Verity Burgmann and Hans A Baer. The book puts into context the NGOs, academics, trade unions and grass roots movements involved in sustained direct actions, especially against the coal and CSG industries.

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