Rob Burgess

Palmer, like Hanson, is drawing out poison

1 comment
The PUP leader's assertions about China are foolish and paranoid, but they will also flush out latent prejudices in the electorate to the benefit of our democracy.

Only one treasurer spent more than Swan

32 comments
It's all too easy to berate the former treasurer's record, but a look back over Australia's spending patterns tests the 'debt and deficit' attack.

Do some private schools harm job prospects?

25 comments
Despite Tony Abbott's Gonski commitment, the highly emotive public-private school funding debate is still going strong. And some recent studies reinforce the fact that not all private schools are equal.

'Earn or learn' while our tax dollars burn

8 comments
Canberra's approach to shepherding unemployed youth into work or study faces a challenge in ensuring government subsidies won’t be rorted.

Should Hockey's wealth be an issue?

37 comments
Bill Shorten has wasted no time in portraying Joe Hockey as a cigar-puffing member of the economic elite, but Labor's array of career politicians hardly represent the struggles of ordinary Australians.

Barnaby's boom needs Chinese wisdom

5 comments
China's middle classes will fuel the 'dining boom', but attempts to become the country's food bowl by selling cheap, average products won't get us far. Australia's strength is in niche, high-quality items, which we can export at a premium.

Abbott is right to follow Gillard's jobs plan

23 comments
In truth, Australia has both an unemployment crisis and a labour shortage at the same time. But immigration can help solve the problem.

We need more migrants in a crisis, not less

43 comments
Australia’s huge unemployment problem will only be made worse by choking off skilled migrants who are just as willing to set up house in Bendigo or Mount Gambier as Melbourne or Adelaide.

NBN lessons in Abbott's PPL heresy

16 comments
Despite the PPL scheme's critical flaws, Tony Abbott's approach on the issue has attempted a joined-up thinking that should be applauded, and remembered in NBN debates.

Only our richest are really buying more

8 comments
Strong retail figures have been hailed as a welcome rebound following recent budget-induced uncertainty, but beyond the headline numbers some startling patterns emerge.

What's Abbott's elite education worth?

20 comments
Churning out more and more university graduates who can't think for themselves will do little to improve the economy. What we need is a return to the civil and critical thinking that universities used to teach.

Twiggy gives Palmer a free kick

30 comments
Poll-driven Canberra simply doesn't have the circuit-breaking capacity of Andrew Forrest's private enterprise. But Clive Palmer will be able to take up Forrest's message of government indigenous welfare failure and run with it.

Howard shines a light on a bungled budget

17 comments
Howard and Costello were criticised when they delivered their harsh first budget, but the RBA's rate-cutting spree and the union movement's blunders helped to buoy public sentiment. Hockey and Abbott have had no such luck.

Why call our best and brightest 'unemployed'?

14 comments
Australians involved in the arts often spend periods of time in unemployment but they also make significant contributions to national culture, and they pay a good deal of tax when working.

Could a 'Clive-zilla' help sell Australia?

3 comments
Tourism figures show Australia's global ranking is falling, and billions of dollars in economic benefits are being missed, due to lack of political attention to the sector.

Lambie's gaffe was about class, not sex

45 comments
Amid a deluge of double-entendres, the Lambie controversy is really a debate about ‘what kind of person’ is fit to represent Australians in a democratic parliament.

A Napoleonic lesson in job creation

18 comments
Federal budget tightness, and the questionable economic value of some academic degrees, point to the question of whether Australia would be better off varying its approach to the role of universities.

How far must real incomes fall?

21 comments
GDP growth parted company from income growth in 1999 – and there's every sign real wages are now set for a decline. How unions behave will make a significant difference for everyone.

How Abbott's driving us back to the future

14 comments
Lack of public transport infrastructure investment and a slightly lower fuel price are keeping Australians in their cars, and hitting productivity in the process.

Will the green conservatives please stand up

41 comments
Traditional conservatism involved anxiety to protect the natural environment and preserve it for future generations. Tony Abbott's 'conservationism' may win votes, but it's quite a different ideology.

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