Last Year’s Model
Economists keep telling us things have never been better, all the economic indicators say so. Which sparks the obvious question: why are so many of us feeling so low?
Interview: The New Democrat
Canadian activist Judy Rebick explains how she's using lessons from Brazil to rebuild the labour movement.
Bad Boss: The Ugly Australian
Prime Minister John Howard is in California spruiking the "merits" of this month’s Bad Boss nomination …
Unions: Free Spirits and Slaves
International capital demands guest labour – legal or illegal – as a way of beating down wages and conditions and, as Jim Marr discovers, the Australian Government seems happy to oblige.
Industrial: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on another workplace death (we-will-not-RIP NOHSC), heartburn for the Canberra consensus and all the action from around the states in our national wrap.
History: A Class Act
The problem of forgetting the primacy of class in favour of other ideas of community is highlighted in a new book, writes Neale Towart
International: Across the Ditch
NZ Nurses Union leader, Laila Harré, is in Sydney this week, comparing notes with the Australian Nurses Federation and seeking transTasman support for New Zealand’s highest profile industrial campaign.
Economics: Home Truths
Sydney University's Frank Stilwell argues that tax policy is driving the housing boom.
Review: No Time Like Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is one part Grim Reaper of the environmental movement and two parts fictitious fable dramatically window dressed with extreme special effects, writes Tara de Boehmler.
Poetry: Silent Note
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers the current public service motto – "Don't tell the Minister!".
Trade Deal a $47 Billion Dud
Ground Staff Spread Fashion Wings
Ghan Raises Trans-Continental Stink
Union Busters Bank on Labor
Witnesses Face Casual Duress
Rail Workers Cop ‘Beer Nannies’
Sun Shines on Green Bans
Big Business Plan to Cripple Compo
Money Can’t Buy Me Love
Federal Election in Doubt
Safety Defects Plague Adelaide
Police Investigate Assault Claim
Activists What’s On!
The Pursuit of Happiness Part I
The Australia Institute's Clive Hamilton questions the assumptions underlying a society that defines happiness in dollar terms.
The Pursuit of Happiness Part II
Clive Hamilton concludes his analysis, looking at how more and more Australians are pulling back from a marketplace that is no longer providing the goods.
The Locker Room
Sack ‘Em All!
Phil Doyle puts his job on the line, but doesn’t everyone these days?
The Westie Wing
The NSW Government has an agenda on the table but the test is finding innovative ways to finance it, writes Ian West
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Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Trade Deal a $47 Billion Dud
Australia will lose $47 billion and up to 200,000 jobs if governments sign the proposed free trade agreement with the United States, independent research reveals.
Modelling carried out by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) to be presented to a Senate Inquiry this week, says the deal would give away political sovereignty and kill off any hopes of Australia becoming a Knowledge Economy – at huge long-term costs.
The research, commissioned by the AMWU, disputes the Howard Government's argument that the deal will deliver a $52.5 billion windfall over 20 years.
The stark differences in projections are based on National Economics' analysis that the loss in sovereignty implicit in the trade deal will have long-term economic consequences.
"The United States is a first class knowledge-based economy. Australia is not," the report finds.
"The loss of sovereignty provisions in the AUSFTA will probably ensure that Australian will never become a knowledge-intensive economy."
The economists argue that if governments, state and federal, sign up to the FTA, Australia would "return to its pastoral origins; a return to an economy almost totally reliant on its national resource base".
And they warn that while Australia's overall rate of growth may still be satisfactory, the country will become "more ungovernable as time goes by".
The NEIER report attempts to quantify this loss of sovereignty, projecting a 25 percent chance the economic loss would exceed $52,4 billion and a 75 per cent chance it would be more than $42 billion.
Key drivers in thyis loss would include opening up Australian Government procurement markets, lifting restrictions on foreign capital inflow, ending pharmaceutical benefits and 'knowledge spill-overs '.
It rejects the Howard Government's economic advice from the Centre of International Economics, on the basis that they attribute zero cost to the loss of national economic sovereignty.
AMWU national secretary Doug Cameron will present the research to the Senate Inquiry, backing the union's $100,000 national billboard campaign imploring the PM not to sell off Australian jobs.
The union will erect billboards in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, drawing attention to massive job losses forecast in the modelling.
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