Removing obscene profits for executives and shareholders as the driving force of corporations would be a start. A fairer division of the spoils is necessary to keep society functioning. This might need to be achieved by higher taxes on the top tier since they don’t seem to understand the crisis their never-sated greed has created.
But the biggest scam came last week when Qantas handed down its profit results and declared a $400m share buy-back. The board apparently deems it okay for Alan Joyce and co to spend the airline’s excess cash – publicly subsidised cash – not on disaffected workers, not on tax, not paying back subsidies, not on services for customers but on … drumroll, buying its own shares in order to prop up the stock price and lift executive bonuses.
Cold comfort for the swimming teacher going to jail for attempting to claim $250k of false GST refunds, the doctor sentenced to seven months jail for non-lodgements, the bank manager sentenced to three years’ jail for attempting to defraud the Commonwealth of $390,000, and the other small (or no more than medium) players.Double standards are rife. When will the executives of a big corporate such as Lendlease be prosecuted?
Forcing companies that extract gas from Australian waters to pay royalties and a tax upon their surging profits would comfortably add $60 billion to the budget bottom line in coming years, independent modelling finds.
For a conservative government obsessed with bringing its budget into line and eradicating six years of its own deficits, JobKeeper at first glance looked like a scheme lifted straight from the texts of the much-reviled John Maynard Keynes. Roundly proclaimed as a game changer when introduced, there’s no doubt the $90 billion flagship scheme was wildly successful. It kept 3.6 million Australians off the dole queue and tied to their employer. And as a secondary political benefit, that had the happy effect of obscuring the true level of unemployment, which only counted those on JobSeeker.
Companies which benefit enormously from government policy are also members of both the major political parties. A surprising data investigation by Stephanie Tran shows Woodside, Wesfarmers, PwC and ASX are Platinum members of the Liberal and Labor parties, and membership fees are identical. In the first part of our State Capture series we reveal Platinum, Gold and Silver members of both parties and what access they get.
Corporate governance experts are urging more of Australia’s big companies to repay funds received through the federal government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, warning taxpayers will bear the brunt of the $90 billion cost for decades.
Social connections drive board appointments and more than two-thirds of directors in the 200 largest public companies are on the board of multiple companies. So whoever replaces ex-AMP chairwoman Catherine Brenner will likely be drawn from a small pool of people.
This violates discriminationlegislation that states recruitment should be open and accessible, based on clear assessment of skills, training and relevant experience.
The use of closed networks in the recruitment and selection of board members also creates other problems related to “group think“. Group think creates a situation where board members are more concerned with being a liked and connected member of a particular social group.
As a result members will conform to the status quo, which guarantees them membership perks, such as highly paid directorship roles.
A direct outcome of the group think mentality are boards signing off on questionable business practices as we currently see in the banking sector. Coupled with a self-regulated system, this is a recipe for disaster.
The way CNN’s parent company views it, Fox News has adopted a role similar to the one played by Murdoch’s British tabloids when they helped advance the agendas of British leaders. As Blair learned, however, even a special relationship with the media baron can sour quickly. He and Murdoch – once so close that Blair was the godfather to Grace Murdoch – are no longer on speaking terms.
During the British government’s 2012 inquiry into the mogul’s political influence, the former prime minister described what it was like when a story subject falls out of favor with a Murdoch-controlled tabloid.
“Once they’re against you, that’s it,” Blair said. “It’s full on, full frontal, day in, day out, basically a lifetime commitment.”
It seems unnecessary even to say it, but that’s the truth of the matter. The world is changing and not in a good way. It’s the story of the frog in the saucepan. The water heats up but it’s so comfortable that the poor frog doesn’t realise, until it’s too late, that the ever increasing temperature of…
Politicians are all corrupt; those few who do initially join to “help the people” either soon get corrupted, or are mulched out of the system. None are more corrupt than those who are at the very top of American politics, the so-called “survivors.” The Intercept’s Jon Schwarz …
Would you be like to live in a police state where untrammelled greed has knowingly destroyed its environment for the benefit of the elite, asks Sydney bureau chief Ross Jones.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if I may, I would ask you one question:
Would you like to live in China, a police state whose untrammelled greed has knowingly destroyed its environment for the benefit of the elite?
The arable area of Australia is roughly the size of Vietnam. That’s if we cut down every tree. This sliver of life is all that stands between us and shitdom, a la Easter Island on ice.
But frack it, right?
Somewhere, in a boardroom far, far away, a man with receding hair and a striped shirt asks two crucial questions:
What is this Artesian Basin? And is it money?
He is obliged to maximise returns to stakeholders — known in some circles as “sausageholders”. And the sausage is pointed directly at our heads. The trickle-down effect.
Worse, he has friends. Lots of them.
Somewhere, much closer to home, in a café on Martin Place, a moron made tragic fools of the cream of Australia’s intelligence services, not to mention the bunyips of Macquarie Street.
And didn’t our prime minister do well? Certainly well enough to enthuse the crowd at the recent World Cup opener against our former Gulf War allies, Kuwait.
Make no mistake, ASIO reports to Parliament. Or, in 2015, Peta Credlin, who for the time-being is the Australian lower house.
Accordingly, the men and women ASIO find themselves beholden to a bunch of Fruit Loops with a wildly erratic security/publicity agenda. Add to their complications the silent-movie AFP and kill-happy local police and you can start to have some sympathy for them.
There is another pressure, too — money. The guys in the striped shirts. The guys who are pointing their sausages at you. ASIO has a very ordinary track-record in resisting instructions to focus on commercial targets.
So, we find ourselves at the mercy of striped-shirts and an avariciously-instructed domestic security body.
If this goes on, environmental degradation and police state will follow as night does day. You might not notice the creep for 10-15 years or so, but you will.
As they say, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.