Monopoly blues: why top bosses’ riches are undeserved

In the hit Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, a young window washer discovers a book that tells him the secrets to climbing the corporate ladder.
If such a book were to exist in Australia, it would be short, consisting of one sentence: “Become the CEO of a company with monopoly power.” Continue reading

Posted in Banks, Employment, Global Financial Crisis | Leave a comment

Life is short, but the Tax Act is long

He forgot to do his tax return

IT’S around this time every year I get a jolting reminder of how short life is. Yep, tax returns are due on Monday, people. Have you done yours yet? So while some of you laze about reading newspapers this weekend, think of me sitting at home sifting through receipts Continue reading

Posted in Irvine Index, Tax | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott-o-nomics, or not…

Economics textbooks are hefty objects. Many a kinked neck and curved spine have resulted from children being forced to lug such weighty tomes between school and home.
Whether many students manage to read and absorb the often turgid contents of such books remains an open question. Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Climate change, Gillard Government, Global Financial Crisis, Mining Boom, Tax | 4 Comments

The skinny on fat taxes

Tax fatty foods and people won’t get fat. Could it really be as simple as that? Of course not, but it’s a start. Two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, making us one of the fattest nations on earth. We’re not alone. Continue reading

Posted in Fitness, Health, Irvine Index, Tax | Leave a comment

Super tax concessions not so super

To all the baby boomers out there nursing wounded retirement nest eggs and having to work into your dotage, my sympathies. But spare a thought for future generations. Looks like we’ll be working even longer, not to mention paying higher taxes, to generate the government revenue needed to pay for all your hip replacements. Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Employment, Irvine Index, Tax | 3 Comments

Home sweet tax shelter: why we should tax land

Cayman Islands

Forget the Bahamas or Cayman Islands. Australians have created the best tax shelter on earth: Australian property.
Ahead of next week’s tax forum in Canberra, we can expect to hear a lot about the need to increase the goods and services tax and cut the company tax rate. But the most messed up part of our tax system is the way we tax housing. Continue reading

Posted in Housing, Tax | Leave a comment

Don’t Panic! You’re all going to panic now, aren’t you?

IS THERE any more surefire way to induce widespread panic than the phrase “don’t panic”? Well, here goes anyway: DON’T PANIC. May as well leave panicking to the fickle souls trading daily in financial markets, if only because they are so good at it. Which is not to say the world economy does not have big problems. It does. Continue reading

Posted in Employment, Global Financial Crisis, Interest Rates, Mining Boom, Reserve Bank | 1 Comment