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Cheer up, Joe: why the economy is doing better than Hockey says

The recent series of economic data illustrate the flaws in the government’s economic narrative, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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Mortgages dragging Australian economy into a productivity bog

Ross Gittins has stood atop his Fairfax soapbox to decry the “nation of rent-seekers”. But Gittins might be the biggest rent-seeker of all. His model is responsible for killing productivity.

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Not transitioning, drowning

Crikey readers talk wages growth, Fairfax deadlines and the coal companies getting government money.

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That’s not deregulation … now THIS is deregulation

If the government is serious about deregulation — which it isn’t — it would pursue these totemic reforms. Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer run through the options.

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Flat growth continues as productivity increases

Today’s national accounts data show an economy in low gear, but with growing productivity and broader-based sources of growth than we’re used to, say Crikey writers Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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The Business Council’s giant passive-aggressive fridge note

The Business Council’s call for economic reform betrays a business mindset that it should be the passive recipient of government help. Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer interpret the document.

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Rudd’s day of national reconciliation masks a real productivity challenge

While Kevin Rudd strives for a Hawke-like political effect with a call for consensus, the productivity challenge he identified is real.

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‘Minerals Week’ in a realm of industry rentseeking

The rentseekers and whingers of the mining industry gather in Canberra this week. But you can be sure that there are a few topics that won’t be mentioned, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane.

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When ‘social cost’ gets slippery: how lobby groups spin their case

Good causes have a tougher time convincing policymakers of the merits of addressing social issues. So they rely on “social cost” to get into the policy space.

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Productivity Commission releases its annual report card

The Productivity Commission last week issued the first of what will be an annual examination of our productivity performance, and despite scattered reports about how it has worsened and likely to continue to worsen, the real story from the Commission’s report is that we don’t yet have the real story on this issue.

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Decades behind? Mining chief might be right on productivity

Is the Australian mining sector really decades behind on productivity improvement? There’s something to incoming Anglo American chief Mark Cutifani’s alarming comments.

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Quiggin: OECD right on education to productivity

The OECD wants Australia to improve productivity — but sees the solution as education, not a return to WorkChoices. Economist John Quiggan on the regulation, tax and industrial relations hints.

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Here’s one we prepared earlier: Labor goes back to Asia

Labor’s new Asian vision is a lot like its Keating-era big picture, only with more spin. Labor looks like the party with some vision of where it wants to go, even if that vision is mainly rear-vision.

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This week’s phoney reasons to attack Labor’s economic management

Desperate to find problems with Labor’s economic management, the government’s critics find themselves in some strange places.

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The weird, weird world of the Economist Intelligence Unit

A new report is touted as showing Australia lagging on productivity. But it’s unclear what this weird collection of data shows.

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Non-debate over productivity turns to attacking Treasury

The “productivity debate” in Australia is nothing but the same tired cant from business figures and the media — even when the facts change on them. Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane report.

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Whatever happened to the productivity crisis?

Yesterday’s national accounts significantly change our perspective on the “productivity crisis”.

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Shared understanding is what’s missing in productivity debate

Productivity” is starting to sound a little “gourmet” — a word that means very different things to different people, writes Jo-anne Schofield, executive director of policy network Catalyst Australia.

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What would a real economic reform budget look like?

What would a hardcore economic reform budget look like, stripped of political self-interest? It depends on what your economic priorities are.

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Transfield’s bottom line fails to weather the storm

It will be the second year in a row that Transfield has disappointed in the profit stakes.

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Productivity is complicated — except when it comes to competition

The biggest single brake on Australian productivity is the mining industry, where productivity has declined by more than a quarter in the past two years, an analysis of ABS data reveals.

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Confusion on the jobs front — not on productivity

Unemployment edged up in February but so did hours worked, and strikes fell and productivity rose in the December quarter. What’s going on, ask Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane?

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Kohler: debt’s pall over the Lucky Country

Can there ever have been a country in such good shape as ours that’s as miserable as Australia is?

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Gottliebsen: productivity problems? Call IT

Australian businesses and US businesses are adopting totally different strategies for the year ahead. Our chief executives are going down a dangerous path, says Robert Gottliebsen of Business Spectator.

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Essential: still bad for Labor; ADF most trusted institution

Labor’s vote shows no signs of any recovery, today’s Essential Report finds.

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