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Doomsaying about new technology helps make it better

The doomsayer is just as vital as the visionary.  That new technologies could actually be bad for us, by sapping our attention or ruining our memories, is an argument that goes back to Socrates. It’s tempting to summarily dismiss these concerns, but such tech-doomsaying is actually an important part of economic discovery. Our societies are organised by rules, embedded in our collective knowledge,...

Fear not, shoppers: Amazon’s Australian geoblock won’t cramp your style

Will there be fewer of these on Australian doorsteps?  Ink Drop/Shutterstock.com Online retail giant Amazon’s decision to block Australian shoppers from its US website has prompted an outpouring of anger from its customers. However, economic statistics indicate the actual value of online purchased products entering Australia from international marketplaces is relatively low. While some shoppers will be disappointed by Amazon’s decision, others...

Five ways the Treasurer could boost the budget bottom line

The government should remove age based tax breaks to boost budget revenue. GLENN HUNT/AAP Treasurer Scott Morrison faces a difficult balancing act in the federal budget. He wants to cut income taxes, deliver new infrastructure spending and still reach a surplus by at least 2019. If he’s serious about maintaining the surplus, here are five ways the Treasurer could boost revenue to...

Seven and Foxtel snag cricket rights, meaning more content but maybe not for free

A new A$1.182 billion dollar cricket broadcast rights deal will be split between Seven and Foxtel. Joel Carrett/AAP Under a new broadcast rights deal Cricket Australia will part ways with its long broadcast partner, the Nine Network, after more than 40 years. The A$1.182 billion deal lasts six years and will commence from this coming summer through to 2024. It will...

Australia is one of the world’s best places to retire, or is it?

Happiness in retirement isn’t the same for everyone. Tom Carmony/Flickr Australia is ranked in the top third of countries in almost all indices measuring the best countries to retire, according to our analysis of nine separate ageing and retirement indices. The problem is, experts contriving such indices can’t agree about which ingredients should be included and which are most important. The flaw of averages While...

Daylight saving can boost the economy but Australia needs to make it uniform

  The easiest way to resolve daylight saving issues would be to apply it uniformly across Australia. AAP When we compare daylight saving across countries, states and territories its economic impact is mostly positive. But this breaks down in the “transition” in and out of it, such as the days before and after, and when people cross borders between states that have daylight saving...

Why union members earn higher wages than their non-union colleagues

Unions negotiate for improved employment security and training opportunities. Alex Murray/AAP Over recent decades in Australia union membership has fallen from 40% of the workforce in 1990 to 15% in 2016 and so unions might seem less relevant in making a difference to what we earn. But our research finds that union members do earn higher wages per hour than non-union members. This...

Small Business Loan Basics For Australian SMEs in 2018

Hand Putting Deposit Into Piggy Bank
From keeping your cash flowing to expanding your business, there are various reasons why you might need extra finances to run your business. But you already know that getting a loan for your small business is not easy. So what do you do? The secret to making a successful small business loan application is preparation. Before you begin to fill...

Why we put money into bizarre cryptocurrencies like ponzicoin and cryptokitties

CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based game. Shutterstock Some initial coin offerings seem like scams (and some are), but behavioural research shows our emotions are part of why people buy in to cryptocurrencies for fruits and vegetables or crypto trading even if cool-headed rationality screams at us not to. An initial coin offering is just like an initial public offering. But, instead of shares, what’s being sold are cryptocurrency “coins” or...

Australians support universal health care, so why not a universal basic income?

More than 40 years ago professor Ronald Henderson floated the idea of a guaranteed minimum income. Dean Lewins/AA In Australia, the idea of a universal basic income has floated in and out of our political arena for years, but remains only that, an idea. The concept of a universal basic income has always been controversial. This notion - that the government...

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