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Robert Menzies may be a Liberal hero for John Howard and his successors in the current government, but his budgets fit their definition of ‘disaster’. AAP/Alan Porritt

Menzies, a failure by today’s rules, ran a budget to build the nation

Robert Menzies left Australia in far worse financial shape then he found it, at least according to current treasurer Joe Hockey’s favourite debt and deficit benchmark. Having inherited budget surpluses…

Going bananas over affordable housing

A poster in the head office of a state planning agency claims: “Highest Housing Approvals in a decade: Keeping homes more affordable”. Indeed, the latest figures show national housing approvals rose 16…

Explainer: how does our sun shine?

What makes our sun shine has been a mystery for most of human history. Given our sun is a star and stars are suns, explaining the source of the sun’s energy would help us understand why stars shine. An…

In defence of fiscally conservative treasurers

Many highly distinguished economists such as my friend Geoff Harcourt come from what is commonly known as the Post-Keynesian school. This means they believe the theory of economics and fiscal policy applied…

Noted works: The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

Clare Wright’s The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka (2013) is a career-defining work of scholarship and storytelling. The significance of her historical intervention and the power and flair of Wright’s narrative…

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Remaking Australia

It is reasonable to surmise that the number of boats attempting to reach Australia has fallen dramatically in the Abbott government’s first year. AAP/Jon Faulkner

The boats may have stopped, but at what cost to Australia?

In opposition, Tony Abbott and his alternative government set itself a three-word performance indicator for success in its refugee policy if and when it took office: stop the boats. With one recent exception…

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