Tuesday, January 11, 2005

In democratic politics, sometimes opposition comes from unexpected quarters. There is a view that Australia's democracy may be diminished after July 1 when the Coalition parties achieve a majority in the Senate. This is an exaggeration in that it overlooks the extent to which federal governments (whether or not they have a Senate majority) are constrained by the states and the legal system. I think everybody is in favour of lower taxation. But you have got to pay for certain things. It's a question of striking a right balance and we always do that

Invisible Hands & Markets: He Pulls The Strings
The most significant trend is going to be a heightened emphasis on ethics and reputation risk. Ironically, the biggest risk is the insularity of directors and senior managers, who are constantly ambushed because they don't know enough about what's going in with ordinary people in the real world

Corporate ethics, increasingly rebellious consumers, an advertising boom and a possible relaxation in rules governing cross-media ownership are just some of the issues predicted to dominate marketers' attention this year.
Number one on the list, especially in light of corporate Australia's response to the Indian Ocean tsunami, is increased scrutiny of the behaviour of the business world, according to marketing experts.

Corporate citizens placed on notice [It's a pleasure, of the schadenfreude variety, to sit back and watch the credibility peel off our principal institutions with no help from their usual critics. Our corporate CEOs, for example, have gone from rocking to reeking in a mere two years. The Collapse of Credibility ]
• · Gates calls Free Culture fans commies
• · · Joseph Nye, the Harvard academic who coined the phrase "soft power" to describe indirect US influence in the world, likes to recall the dining deliberations of a family in India to explain what he means Is the World Falling Out of Love with US Brands?
• · · · Amway's income trickles Down Under as $53m bonus
• · · · · The tax break for employer-provided health insurance—worth about $140 billion per year—is larger than several welfare programs combined. But it doesn't work very well Free-Lunch Health Insurance: A simple idea for insuring some of the poor
• · · · · · France remains a highly stratified society in both the social and economic sense. The wealthiest 10% of the French income ladder are 50% richer than their Swedish counterparts and the upper quarter of the French income ladder is not brought down by the tax system the way it is in Denmark, Sweden, and Germany...today many of France's wealthy citizens occupy privileged spots at the core of the "welfare state." This is one of the key reasons they tend to support it. Is French taxation progressive?; [Tax reform an old game--and tricky ; Tax Time Again: Any Linux Solutions? ]