Trump and his appointees are on a binge of deregulation that masks another kind of trickle-down economics, in which the gains go to the top and the rest of us bear the risks and losses.
They say getting rid of regulations frees up businesses to be more profitable. Maybe. But regulations also protect you and me—from being harmed, fleeced, shafted, injured or sickened by corporate products and services.
So when the Trump administration gets rid of regulations, top executives and big investors may make more money, but the rest of us bear more risks and harm.
Let’s remind ourselves of the meaning of ‘zealot’. Historically, it denoted a member of a fanatical sect in Judea during the first century AD that militantly opposed the Roman domination of Palestine. Today it describes a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of religious, political, or other ideals.
We still have zealots in our midst. This piece exemplifies two instances of zealotry: the zealots that deny the reality of anthropogenic global warming, and those that cling tenaciously to trickle down economics.
A full-blown trade war could cost the global economy $US470 billion ($590 billion), according to Bloomberg Economics.
Doing A World Of Good: Decisions by a 4 times bankrupt who has grown his inheritance by Minus $9 billion and destroyed countless numbers of others in the process.
“In the past two decades, just three people have died as victims of terrorist attacks (broadly defined) in Australia. They were the two victims of the Martin Place siege and the NSW police accountant Curtis Cheng.”
In the same time period, 60,000 people suicided, 24, 700 died in road accidents and 1600 were killed by their partner.
But by all means, let’s pretend terrorism is Australia’s Big Scary Thing.
More Australians have died at the hands of police, lawfully or unlawfully, in 10 years, than from terrorist attacks in Australia in the past 20 years.
Once largely confined to the sunny Southwest, utility-scale solar power plants are now being built everywhere from Minnesota to Alabama to Maine. Aided by plunging costs and improving technologies, these facilities are expected to provide a big boost to U.S. solar energy production.
An innovative new natural remedy released this week can lower the amount of money you carry on your body by up to 60%, studies have found.
Sold in tablet form and retailing for $59.95 a bottle, the breakthrough treatment will provide immediate relief to the wallets of desperate patients.
Sam Mathews, a scientist on the research team, said the new drug was found under strict double-blind testing to be 23 times more effective at reducing wallet size than a placebo. “We were amazed at just how efficient this new treatment is at lowering your finances. In some cases the effects were virtually immediate,” he said.
A spokesperson for the manufacturer said patients should take eleven tablets, eight times daily for best results
We always hear that renewable energy is getting cheaper, but what does that really mean?
Young people are the good news of 2016. They see the stressful realities of American life more clearly than their elders and are rallying around the straight talk of Bernie Sanders.
A massive problem created by the drug war is now being solved by legalizing weed.
Just weeks after we learned budget cuts to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will force the loss of 110 climate researchers at the agency, the Federal Government is funding a new ‘growth centre’ for the fossil fuel industry. Christopher Pyne, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, announced this week that the government willMore
Cutbacks likely after newspaper revenues fall for the fourth successive quarter
An inconvenient truth countered by a blatant liar: Hockey denies Australia is dirtiest greenhouse gas emitter in OECD
The newly awarded Nobel Prize for economics challenges Joe Hockey’s voodoo economics prescription for Australian economic growth, writes Alan Austin.
THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR ECONOMICS announced yesterday bolsters the campaign for better industry regulation in Australia.
The prestigious award – officially, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences – went to Professor Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics in France. It recognises his work on how poorly regulated corporations operate to the community’s detriment. And how the problems can be fixed.
Drawing attention to industry regulation is timely for Australia as the Abbott Government strives to wind back regulation brought in by previous administrations, but with little success.
Tirole’s analysis of corporate market power has shown how big companies damage the communities in which they operate. And also how they may be regulated to everyone’s advantage. He believes different industries require quite different regulation.
The Academy noted that Tirole’s work not only described the negative outcomes of regulation failure, but recommended specific responses:
‘The best regulation or competition policy should therefore be carefully adapted to every industry’s specific conditions. In a series of articles and books, Jean Tirole has presented a general framework for designing such policies and applied it to a number of industries, ranging from telecommunications to banking. Drawing on these new insights, governments can better encourage powerful firms to become more productive and, at the same time, prevent them from harming competitors and customers.’
The French Government, however, is delighted.
Spokesman Stéphane Le Foll said:
‘The Nobel Academy making this award is also a reflection of the absolute necessity in today’s crisis that we have regulation and mechanisms for stability. We must not just leave management of the economy to the free market.’
Will the global discussion this award is generating engage hapless Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Abbott Government?
Clearly, the mindless mantras he mouthed before the 2013 election have not materialised into benefits for Australia’s businesses or people.
Hockey promised this:
‘Reducing the burden of taxes and regulation, ensuring fair and competitive markets, and reducing the size of government will boost business investment and spending. And from investment and spending will come growth and jobs.’
The Abbott Government then undertook a highly visible exercise in deregulation with its Autumn Repeal Day last March — the first of two promised every year. The Government boasted that 10,000 regulations and acts would be removed from the statute books.
So what has been the result? How much better is the economy now performing?
It is, in fact, performing much worse. In the 13 months since Hockey became treasurer, business confidence has slumped, the value of the all ordinaries on the Australian Stock Exchange has fallen, consumer confidence has collapsed, the Aussie dollar is at the lowest level since 2010, inflation is up from 2.4% to 3.0% and rising, unemployment is at the highest level in a decade and government debt has blown out by $39 billion – up 22%.
The failure to regulate appropriately, Tirole shows, risks not just weaker company profits and a poorer community, but another financial crisis:
‘The gradual lowering of regulatory standards predated the recent crisis. To be sure, other developments such as “irrational exuberance,” loose monetary policy, and global macroeconomic imbalances also contributed to the crisis. But underregulation or ineffective regulation is rightly blamed for playing a central role in the crisis.’
Much of the world is now listening to Jean Tirole. Which is just as well.
But is Joe Hockey?