Discover more from John Quiggin's Substack Newsletter
A good news day!
And what I've been doing and saying lately
I started this report in a gloomy mood, very disenchanted with Australian politics, and expecting the imminent end of American democracy. Australian politics hasn’t really changed, but in the time it took me to finish the report, the world has changed for the better. In particular, the outcome of the US midterm elections was better than seemed possible. As I write this, I have just learned that the Democrats have won control of the US Senate, and still have a chance to retain control of the House of Representatives. Even if they don’t, the narrowness of the result and the defeat of election deniers in swing states will make it very difficult to overturn a Democrat victory in 2024. On top of that, the liberation of Kherson raises my hopes that all the cities and towns occupied by Russia since February will soon be free, and that we will ultimately see Ukraine completely free of Russian occupation.
At a more minor level, the backlash against Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter seems to be part of a trend away from the advertising-driven platforms that have dominated social media since the decline of blogging a decade or so ago. I’ve now moved my primary focus to Mastodon, which powers a loose federation of online communities similar to, but different from, Twitter (try it and you’ll see what I mean). You can find me at https://mstdn.social/@johnquiggin
The newsletter you are reading now is also part of this movement. Although Substack encourages subscription models, it doesn’t require them and it seems to be almost entirely free of advertising, which is the true source of corruption in social media.
It almost seemed that the Albanese government was going to bite the bullet and scale back the Stage 3 tax cuts, but it wasn’t to be. As a result, the leadup to the Budget has seen some minimal announcements, rather than the usual leaks of major action. There will be some reallocation of the pork-barrel grants programs from the previous government. Apart from that, and a modest extension of parental leave, which won’t even start until 2024, we can’t expect much.
And whether hopeful or not, I’ve kept on pushing on policy issues. In October I completed submissions for the White Paper on Employment (which may yet be on Full Employment, as originally promised), and the inquiry into the Reserve Bank of Australia
Stage 3 tax cuts: The fight is on. Independent Australia 7 October,
Labor’s love lost: the tide is turning on private ownership of electricity grids. The Conversation 4 October
Go with the grain: Governments haven’t caught up with the fact that the economy has changed forever Inside Story, 13 October
In sticking with tax cuts divorced from reality, Labor is left with a hard choice The Conversation 17 October
A 'no first use' U.S. nuclear policy could save the world Independent Australia, 20 October
This is the metric used by UQ to evaluate its promotional efforts, based on the idea that a media story is like an advertisement of similar size/duration. Should be taken with a pinch of salt, like all claims about advertising