Australian politics, society & culture


Richard Denniss

Richard Denniss is the chief economist at the Australia Institute.

Articles by this author

The energy crisis is all about politics rather than supply
Base power
Australia relies more heavily on coal for its electricity than almost any other country in the world, yet we have some of the most expensive electricity in the world. Tony Abbott...
Why is the South Australian government so enthused about a nuclear waste dump?
A big dump
“It took 12 months, but the state finally has a vision which will genuinely have people gasping.” So stated Adelaide’s Advertiser in February last year. The newspaper was...
Image of the Condamine River on fire
Billion-dollar burnouts keep emissions rising
Feeding  the  beast
Between 2009 and 2015, the Adelaide-based oil and gas company Santos and its international partners spent $10,000 per minute on a $25 billion mistake. They had hoped that an...
Brexit, Trump and the federal election show how the old categories of left and right are crumbling
The message was clear
Pauline Hanson is back in parliament, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, Donald Trump wants to build a wall along the United States’ border with Mexico, and...
Australia’s car industry has met policy failure head-on
Crunch time
In 2000, as the Olympic torch wound its way around Australia en route to Sydney, the car leading the relay was an Australian-made, electric–petrol hybrid, the ECOmmodore. But...
Malcolm Turnbull’s greatest obstacle to tax reform is close to home
The revolting backbench
A look of frustration has replaced the Cheshire grin on Malcolm Turnbull’s face. As his priorities and principles are gradually squeezed out of him, the once decisive prime...
How politicians use econobabble to cloud public debate
The language of deception
Before taking on the role of “managing the Australian economy”, Malcolm Turnbull was a lawyer. Tony Abbott dabbled in journalism and the priesthood, Ben Chifley was an engine...
Kevin Rudd gave the ALP its best chance for stable leadership
Labor’s new game
Self-interest can have surprising consequences. Just as capitalism is premised on the idea that the enrichment of the few will solve the poverty of the masses, Kevin Rudd’s...
Joe Hockey and the myth of Coalition economic management
Of clowns and treasurers
I remember my first lesson in economics like it was yesterday. I’d never heard a bigger bunch of crap in my life. It made no sense. The assumptions were flawed. The examples were...
Joe Hockey, Mathias Cormann and Kelly O'Dwyer gather around the Intergenerational Report in March. © Mick Tsikas / AAP
How economic modelling is used to circumvent democracy and shut down debate
Spreadsheets of power
Most people think it is hard to put a dollar value on a human life, but they’re wrong. It’s easy. Economists do it all the time. Most people think that all human lives are...