When Aussie families lived in kerosene tin huts

This week we are leaving president-elect Joe Biden to struggle with his Disunited States, to reflect on a time in Australia’s history when homeless people were forced to build kerosene tin huts. This Depression-era story may also give us pause for contemplation as the year-long corona virus pandemic sends many nations into deep recession. No-one wants to use the D-word but also no-one can predict how long countries will have to deal with Covid lock-down periods….

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Australia’s most over-analysed Budget

We’d been out to dinner on Budget night, so turning on the TV later, I caught the last comment from Lee Sales: “That completes our first hour of this special Budget coverage.” Budget analysis is a challenging topic for extended television viewing. The ABC borrowed David Speers from Insiders (wearing a blue suit and maroon socks), who took over to talk to a bank of television sets, splitting this up with breath-taking interludes (“Crossing now…

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It’s a Nation, Not Just an Economy

It’s traditional to write about economics and economists at this time of year, the end of the financial year in most jurisdictions. Publishers like to ask economists to offer their predictions for the year. The cruel editors then go back a year later and mark their score cards. Forecasts are all very well in ‘normal’ times, but few had forecast a deadly global pandemic that (so far) would infect 10.5 million people and kill 511,000….

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