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Vol. 5 No. 1 (Autumn, 1989)
Regulation of labour markets and the operation of the welfare state in Australia interact to encourage the emergence of long-duration employment.
Official reluctance to publicise changes to monetary policy has focussed attention on the policy role of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Peter Jonson here argues that monetary policy-making would be improved by activating the Bank’s statuatory right to register disagreements with the Treasury line.
The US is a major source of new ideas on social policy. Peter Samuel provides an overview of the new welfare thinking, with special emphasis on the ‘workfare’ schemes that are being imitated by other countries.
A transcript of a talk given by Alan Dormer, member of the Laking Committee, to the New Zealand Centre for Independent Studies, on the issue of New Zealand’s liquor laws.
A summary of the continuing progress of privatisation at all levels of government in New Zealand and Australia.
Government ministers claim that public spending cannot be further reduced without harming the welfare of the Australian people. This argument is rejected in this article, which shows how governments could finance major expenditure and tax cuts by allowing the private sector to assume responsibility for many functions currently undertaken by the state.
The recent revelation of Australia Post’s plans to close many uneconomic post offices and to replace them with post agencies has brought into view the tension between Post’s twin obligations to operate profitably and to provide a community service to rural users. Robert Albon shows how this tension can be resolved.
The Affirmative Action Agency’s Annual Report for 1987-88 claims that recent affirmative action legislation has been outstandingly successful. But a careful scrutiny of the Report suggests otherwise.
Victoria’s Workcare scheme is losing around $15 million per week, yet politicians seem determined to continue imposing a government monopoly on workers’ compensation arrangements. Ian McEwin shows that most of the arguments used to justify this monopoly are baseless.
The Debt Threat by Tim Congdon (Blackwell Publications, 1989.)
The welfare state necessarily operates by way of a mass of delegated and particular legislation and so undermines the general principles that alone can be the object of popular agreement.
Reaganomics; An Insider’s Account of the Policies and the People by William A. Niskanen (Oxford University Process, 1988.)
The enforcement of party discipline has eroded the Commonwealth Parliament’s ability to exercise the checks on Executive power provided by the framers of the Australian Constitution. Harry Evans makes a case for constitutionalism and canvasses some reforms that would enable the Parliament to recover its proper powers.
Charle’s Murray’s book In Pursuit of Happiness and Good Government (Simon & Schuster, 1988), builds on the many insights into welfare policy contained in his acclaimed Losing Ground (1984.) Barry Maley provides a critical exposition of the book’s major themes.
In the October/November 1988 issue of CIS Policy Report, Ian Wills argued that environmental lobbies were often able to promote regulations that ignored the full costs of environmental protection. Rodney Hide provides details of a recent example of this and argues that strict enforcement of property rights will produce superior environmental outcomes.
L. J. M. Cooray
Since the rejection of four constitutional amendment proposals by referendum in in September 1988, attention has once again turned to the role of the High Court in effectively changed the Constitution. L. J. M. Cooray argues that the High Court has undermined the Consitution by ignoring the intentions of its drafters and by relying on erroneous economic doctrines.
Modern Political Philosophy: Theories of the Just Society by Alan Brown (Penguin Books, 1986.)
Australia Can Compete: Towards a Flexible Adaptable Society edited by Ian Marsh (Longman Cheshire, 1988).
Deregulate or Decay by John Hyde (Policy Paper No. 14, Australian Institute for Public Policy, 1988.)
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