Archives for posts with tag: inequality

The latest HILDA report is out! The HILDA survey is an extremely valuable resource – it asks a large sample of people a whole bunch of questions about income, family life, and other things, and tracks respondents over time. We learn things from HILDA that we can’t learn from any other Australian data source.

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Joe Hockey takes on his imagined opponents:

The truth is governments have never been able to achieve equality of outcomes. Some governments try but they always fail. Only in a closed economy, based on old style socialism, can a government hope to deliver uniform equality of outcomes.

We have moved on.

As a result, Government can only hope to provide equality of opportunity. 

Does he really think his political opponents aspire to complete “equality of outcomes”? Or does he just think that his audience will buy this false dichotomy? Is he correct, do people on the centre-right really think those on the centre-left want complete equality of outcomes?

The government announced in its recent budget that pensions (including the Disability Support Pension and Age Pension) will no longer be pegged to wages. Instead, they’ll only rise in line with the CPI.

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The American middle class is no longer the world’s richest, according to a feature at the new NYT wonk blog, The Upshot. The feature compares American incomes to those of other advanced economies, and shows that people in the bottom half of the income distribution have fared better in Canada and the Netherlands than in the US over the past few decades. It’s a really interesting feature, but the first question that came to my mind was: what about Australia?

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I have a new comment piece in Guardian Australia. I argue that the large personal income tax cuts of the mid-2000s were a big factor in creating the structural deficit, and that any attempt to wind back this deficit should start with those tax cuts. At the very least, bracket creep should be allowed to do its thing. Please read it!

I appeared on a panel about a month ago at the Progressive Australia conference in Sydney, organised by the Chifley Research Centre. Although this wasn’t a stand-alone presentation (I was speaking in response to a keynote speech by Patrick Diamond), I thought my slides might be of interest.

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My previous post summarised the findings of a recent paper published in Agenda about the extent to which the Australian welfare state is biased towards older households. Peter Whiteford from ANU left an important comment:

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Over the past thirty or so years, the Australian welfare state has become tilted much more heavily in favour of the elderly, away from people of working age. That’s the finding of a paper in the latest edition of Agendaan ANU public policy journal.

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