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Trust the market - why regulation won't stop carbon tax gouging

Trust the market – why regulation won’t stop carbon tax gouging

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Price-gouging might occur under the carbon tax regime, but market discipline will keep it in check. Flickr/dmcneil

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has announced that the government will provide the competition watchdog with almost $13 million in extra funding to tackle carbon tax-related price-gouging.

In this context, price-gouging refers to business inflating prices beyond the cost increases reasonably attributable to the tax.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s extra funding will go toward hiring a team of 20 staff dedicated to identify and investigate price-gouging.

Tightening Control

How do we interpret the recent crackdown in China?
 
Unlike most commentators who foresee a coming dark age of Chinese authoritarianism, Edward Steinfeld argues, “It would be wrong to read the current crackdown as a sign of stasis or regression.” He offers convincing evidence such as the pluralization of actors and institutions and the coexistence of “profound change and harsh repression” in China, backed by a comparative perspective.

But while I agree with his assessment, I think that his evidence, which is primarily focused on economic and social changes, is incomplete. He doesn’t delve deeply enough into the “profound change” that has also taken place in Chinese politics.

Policies, not parties or personalities, for Aceh’s future

In a short couple of months, Aceh will again go to the polls to elect a governor and vice-governor, bupatis and local representatives. The election will mark a consolidation of the democratic process in Aceh, introduced as a result of the 2005 Helsinki peace agreement.
Even though the campaign period for the elections has not yet formally started, there is great interest in who will run, what they stand for and what their chances of success might be. It is healthy that people take an active interest in the political life of their community, as the political process determines how the people of the community are to live, within the constraints imposed by their circumstances.
That the political environment in Aceh has remained more or less peaceful since 2005 represents a victory for the idea of democratic, representative government. The electoral process itself represents a victory for accountability, which is the opposite of the imposed rule that Aceh once experienced.

Cyclists, Health, Anti Doping and Medical Monitoring A better approach?

Editorial Originally published by the The International Network of Humanistic Doping Research http://doping.au.dk/

Martin Hardie, Lecturer in Law, School of Law, Deakin University, Australia.

It is July and the Tour is upon us, and already the first week of racing, as is the norm, has been marred by a number of crashes that have seen big names withdraw from the race from one or another injury. Accidents and mass crashes have been, and always will be, a part of road cycling, and they probably are unavoidable with a large peloton of over 150 riders daily battling the elements.

SHALL WE TALK ABOUT WHALES AND WHALING? (7)

Is this just a “small” careless mistake? Or…?

On Monday, ABC News online released a report titled “Japan whaling forum warned against sympathy vote.”  
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/07/11/3266160.htm?section=world

Ah, yes.  It’s that time of the year … yet again.  The annual four day meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has started in Jersey, UK.  

The article by Sarah Clarke, an environmental reporter, expressed a concern about the outcome of this year’s meeting.  Given the situation of Japan which was hit by an unprecedented disaster earlier this year, some IWC member states may feel sympathy towards the country and may vote in Japan’s favour.  That was the concern expressed in the article.

Time for Green Marketing to rise to challenge on environment

It is surprising that the practice of marketing (and business strategy more generally) does not explicitly integrate and address the environmental problems and their impacts on mankind.

Yet by not doing so marketing practitioners are sowing the seeds of their own destruction. In the not so distant past businesses were quick to respond to less significant marketing-related problems.

For example, firms, consumers and governments spent hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars dealing with the millennium bug, or Y2K problem.  As many will remember computer programs traditionally only had two digit codes for the year and could not adapt to changes associated with moving from the twentieth century to the twenty first century which required a four digit code for the year.

Should foreign investment rules be reviewed?

Should foreign investment rules be reviewed?

Concerns have been raised over the levels of foreign investment in Australia, including in the mining sector AAP.

The purchase of 43 farms in northern NSW by a state-controlled Chinese mining company has prompted calls this week for tougher restrictions on foreign investment.

Greens leader Bob Brown, independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce have all called for a review of foreign investment rules.

Obama must assist Pakistan, not punish it

Seven weeks after the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the fallout of the American operation continues to wreak havoc in the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship.

Despite reassurances from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stating categorically after her visit to Islamabad two weeks ago that there was no evidence anyone in the Pakistan hierarchy was aware of bin Laden's presence, bilateral relations have gone from bad to worse since then.

One cannot sufficiently stress how humiliating the unilateral US operation was for the Pakistan army, the only truly national institution.

Accordingly, it has badly hurt its standing in the eyes of the Pakistani public.

As a reaction to the bin Laden operation and to reclaim the initiative in US-Pakistan relations, the Pakistani government and army have taken several steps.

Unfortunately, many of these have complicated matters.

Revolutions, Democratic Transitions and Reform Debates

Being in Tunisia post the revolution, one can not help but notice the explosion in political debates every where, the public fora held on a daily basis, the endless Q&A programs on all TV and Radio channels, the print press saturated with opinion pieces and open letters and most of all of internet-based social media following every new development and value-adding to it with its own analysis and recommendations for action.

 Truly, the scene at the social and political levels have totally transformed.

Of course, there are challenges in this first-ever Arab nation to successfully dislodge a dictator by peaceful means.

 First and foremost, has been the security challenge or how to restore a degree of confidence and trust in a police force that for the past half century was seen as the oppressive arm of the authoritarian regime of the dictatorial president.

Migration, cultural diversity and the GDP debate

While in Barcelona for a scoping conference to set up a new research institute for the UN 'Alliance of Civilisations', I was asked how it is that culture should be looked at and taken more seriously in economic debates.
 
My take on this complex question is not a simple one. In fact, we can argue easily that a lack of appreciation for cultural specificities can easily derail the best development programs even those with the best of intentions. This is a no brainer!

But we can also argue that the prevalence of 'intercultural tensions' and conflicts can damage a country's efforts to improve its lot economically. We can look at countries in Africa, the Middle East and South/West Asia to realise this.

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