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Envy vs Equity

4 May 2016 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  As we draw nearer the election, the findings of a recent ANU opinion poll ought to resonate with the politicians, as ANU vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt observes – particularly those given to characterising the “politics of equity” as the “politics of envy” (that being our observation, not Schmidt’s). It is unlikey to though: with the political class, only two polls count – Newspoll and the actual poll on 2 July. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……  The ANU School of Politics & International Relations regularly conducts national telephone opinion polls on issues of political and social significance. The latest, the 21st in the … [Read more...]

Pub signs

2576 2 February 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… After the excesses of the somnolent summer, many people go on FebFast, a month without alcohol - and, it being a leap year, one day extra in 2016.  The writers of these signs would be aghast. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   … [Read more...]

The Scan’s year

Summer edition 2016 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Scan in 2015 This year’s top ten reads were heavily skewed towards the “VET crisis” and attempts by authorities (rather belatedly in our view) to stamp out the obvious rorting, particularly in VET FEE-HELP funding, which has been truly scandalous. In fact, the number one post this year on The Scan is also the number one post of all time and by quite a bit. If you enter “rorting” in the … [Read more...]

The Scan #175 11 December 2015

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ News __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ VET FEE-HELP skewering system   11 December 2015      |       Explosive growth in the VET FEE-HELP scheme has masked massive direct public disinvestment in vocational education and training. While a report by NCVER shows a notional growth of 1.7% in 2014 over 2013 (plus $141.0 million, from $8512.4 million to $8653.4 million), it’s all in VET-FEE Help payments: actual direct expenditure by governments, … [Read more...]

In defence of good research wherever it is found

21 July 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In response to commentary deprecating The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey: Selected Findings from Waves 1 to 12 by Roger Wilkins of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at The University of Melbourne, Conor King, the Executive Director of the Innovative Research Universities Group, provides his perspective on the valuable insight which the Survey presents.  …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The commentary on The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey: Selected Findings from Waves 1 to 12 by Roger Wilkins of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and … [Read more...]

HILDA on education attainment and the graduate premium

16 July 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey is an Australian household-based panel study which began in 2001.  HILDA data, when weighted, describe the Australian population (excluding those not living in households).  The latest HILDA Report provides fascinating insights into Australian society and life.  To be really happy in Australia, it seems the best chance is to  be an unpartnered woman with kids.  You will need to live in a smallish town in Queensland and get to know the neighbours.  But, please, don’t smoke  and don't drink any more than 42 glasses of wine a week.  With respect to education, the … [Read more...]

About HILDA

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey is an Australian household-based panel study which began in 2001. It has been used for examining issues such as the incidence of persistent poverty; assets and income in the transition to retirement; the correlates and impact of changes in physical and mental health; and an international comparison of wealth and happiness. The survey is widely used by Australian and international researchers in the fields of economics, social science and social policy and by the Australian Government. The HILDA survey is managed by a small team from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of … [Read more...]

NAIDOC Week 2015

 7 July 2015 We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.  NAIDOC Week is held in the first full week of July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our … [Read more...]

Nature is speaking

2 July 2015 Nature doesn't need people - people need nature ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The The Abbott government bangs on a bit about "intergenerational theft" - the "public debt legacy" current generations are leaving to to their children and grandchildren to sort.   As one business writer has observed: That’s a bit rich coming from a government that has axed the carbon tax, tried to increase university fees and hopes to cut youth welfare. It’s a bit rich coming from a government that doesn’t have a thing to say about Australian housing policy or the superannuation concessions that largely benefit older and richer Australians. It's also a government that is … [Read more...]

We ignore  Magna Carta at our peril

Fairfax Media   |     12 June 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………   As members and senators gather in the Parliament today, they should all make their way to the public gallery where an issue of Magna Carta dating from 1297 is on display and ponder its significance as the foundation document of our form of democracy.  They might reflect,  as Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs observed, that the great principle of Magna Carta  "supremacy of the law over the sovereign – or in today’s parlance, executive – government is under threat in our democracy."   But the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta sounds a warning: Parliament cannot ride rough-shod over the basic rights of … [Read more...]