The long hot summer, the calm before the storm, is finally passed; and as March 1 approaches the new world of work is looming and the extent of the attack on organised labour is becoming clear.
Interview: Court's in Session
As the silks line up to challenge WorkChoices, Jeff Shaw is fighting for his own legacy - the NSW IR system.
Industrial: Whose Choices?
The Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation has been dissected by lawyers and the commentariat; now it's the turn of political economists.
Politics: Peter's Principles
Forget John Howard. The force behind WorkChoices is Peter Costello. The Prime Minister-in-waiting has devoted a lifetime to undermining the security and living standards of Australian families, Jim Marr reports.
Environment: TINA or Greener?
What does the greenhouse effect and legislation to control workers have in common, asks Neale Towart
History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
Power. They have it, we want it. Friendly societies tried to keep it for working people, writes Neale Towart
International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
The US Government has refused to allow France's most famous farmer Jose Bove into the country to address a conference
Education: No AWA - No Job
The Howard Government has given the Australian community its first view of the future by forcing new staff at Ballarat University to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement if they want a job, writes Jenny Macklin.
Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
The writings of a Middle Eastern theologian may provide guidance to those grappling with indigenous issues, writes Graham Ring
Review: Charlie the Serf
Nathan Brown takes the sledgehammer (and sickle) to Mr Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
Capital Punishment on the Menu
Della Builds Fortress NSW
Unfair Sackings Face Challenge
Slave Contractors Sprung
Holden's Bad Deal for Adelaide
ACCI Never Sleeps
STOP PRESS: Guest Worker Plan Goes to Water
Taking a Punt on Melbourne Cup
Backlash on Job Cuts
Howard Coy on Ad Orgy
Newcastle Rails Against Contracts
Union Man Eyes Cuts
Free Enterprise Kills Hundreds
Aussie Icon Moves to China
Activist's What's On!
Hitler in Bowral
Political censorship has made its wasy to the sleepy Southern Highlands, wrties Rowan Cahill.
The Locker Room
No Laughing Matter
Phil Doyle tries to take Australian sportspeople seriously, and fails.
The Best for the Best
The Westie Wing
Ian West is mistakenly sent an advance copy of John Winston Howard’s Little Blue Book of Australian History…
Belated Merry Whatmas?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
I Think Therefore I Scam
A Taxing Answer
Leslie John Turner
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Letters to the Editor
I Think Therefore I Scam
I refer 'Retirees broken by $1bn collapse' where it has been reported today that “SIX thousand investors face losing $1 billion in the demise of property giant Westpoint, the biggest corporate failure since HIH”.
Already victims have had to sell their homes - and there have been reports of suicide and marriages splitting - as the corporate watchdog starts investigating the company."
With a fairly broad knowledge and understanding of the relationships between free markets, government regulations, business performance and conduct as well as securities investment, I've argued repeatedly against relaxing regulations that safeguard citizens (investors, consumers, and workers and their families) from the vagaries of the 'free market mentality'. Unfortunately, Westpoint is just another case in point - and more lives have been turned upside down.
Well known financier George Soros said it best:
"Capitalism is very successful in creating wealth, but we cannot rely on it to assure freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Business is motivated by profit; it is not designed to safeguard universal principles. Most business people are upright citizens; but that does not change the fact that business is conducted for private gain and not for public benefit. The primary responsibility of management is to the owners of the business, not to the nebulous entity called the public interest - although enterprises often try, or at least pretend, to be acting in a public spirited way because that is good for business. If we care about universal principles such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, we cannot leave them to the care of market forces.
"The global capitalist system has produced a very uneven playing field. The gap between rich and poor is getting wider."
In short, we should not allow business interests to dominate social and economic policy - because they can't be trusted.
John McPhilbin, NSW
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Issue 294 contents