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John Quiggin

John Quiggin

He is an Australian economist, a Professor and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland, and a former member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government.

Articles by John Quiggin

Now is the perfect time to increase coal royalties to fund Australia’s energy transition

4 days ago

The usual trade-off between maximising revenue while protecting industry’s long-term future no longer applies

That’s the headline and standfirst for my latest piece in The Guardian, looking at revenue options for the coming Queensland Budget. It’s over the fold

After dealing with multiple natural disasters, and facing the need for huge investment in an overloaded electricity system, it’s not surprising the Queensland government is in search of extra revenue ahead of next week’s budget. The obvious source, already flagged by the treasurer, Cameron Dick, is an increase in royalty rates for coal.

These rates, set on a sliding scale according to the price of coal, have been frozen for the last 10 years, as promised by the Newman LNP government after a small increase in 2012.

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Monday Message Board

5 days ago

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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Monday Message Board

12 days ago

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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The three party system in France and Australia (crosspost from Crooked Timber)

18 days ago

For a while now I’ve been arguing the political crises in the developed world can be understood as the breakdown of a two (dominant) party system in which power alternated between hard (Thatcher) and soft (Clinton) versions of neoliberalism (or market liberalism), with two sides drawing respectively on the votes of the racist/authoritarian right (Trumpists) and the disaffected left (environmentalists, socialists/social democrats etc) who had nowhere else to go, even if they were entirely unsympathetic to the market-liberal version of capitalism.

As the failures of neoliberalism have become more evident, there’s no longer enough support to maintain two neoliberal parties, so the natural outcome is a three-party system, with Trumpists, neoliberals and a left coalition, all of

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Sandpit

20 days ago

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.

To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such.
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Monday Message Board

20 days ago

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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Are metropolitans “real Australians”?

24 days ago

It’s become customary in Australian politics to define some subset of the population as “real Australians” whose views and concerns deserve special attention. In the wake of the election outcome, I wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek piece for Crikey, imagining how this frame might be applied to metropolitan Australians. It’s over the fold

While both major parties treated urban Australians with a degree of disdain, it was the conservatives who paid the highest price for it this time around.

John Quiggin

May 25, 2022

(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)Comparing the discussion of the 2022 election with previous post-mortems, one standard element is notable in its absence. The discussion has focused on the loss of the Liberal heartland, the concerns of women voters and

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Will a Labor majority stunt climate action? If the government wants a second term, more climate ambition is essential

24 days ago

That’s the headline for my latest piece in The Conversation. Text is over the fold.

Labor will form a majority government with a climate policy carefully calibrated to provide a clear point of distinction with the Coalition, while doing as little as possible to alienate any significant group of voters.

While Labor’s emissions reduction target is stronger than the Coalition’s, Labor refused to commit to any policies phasing out domestic use of coal, oil and gas, or any restrictions on exports.

For the record number of Australians who voted for Greens and independent candidates, the prospect of a Labor majority may be a worrying sign climate action in Australia will be stunted.

Winning majority government means Labor doesn’t have to negotiate with crossbenchers to

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Monday Message Board

26 days ago

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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I approached election night with gloom but …

May 24, 2022

As the polls closed on Saturday night, most election commentary focused on the dispiriting campaign where both major parties avoided any substantial division on policy issues and instead focused on negatively framing the opposing leader.

Even to many seasoned political minds, the most likely outcome seemed to be a reversal of the last parliament, with Labor winning enough seats to form a narrow majority, and one or two more seats falling to independents. As we all now know, the outcome was utterly different. The Liberals lost many of their crown jewels to climate challengers –  teal independents and the Greens.

This means the new Labor government now has a different challenge on climate. Rather than trying to keep check on concessions to the cross-bench, Labor must now find

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Monday Message Board

May 22, 2022

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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Russia and the end of nuclear power

May 21, 2022

Of the 50-odd nuclear plants currently under construction, around 1 in 3 are Russian VVER designs, being built by Rosatom. Sanctions on the supply of all kinds of electronics mean that few of these will be completed on time, if ever. in promoting sales, Russia has relied heavily on concessional financing through Sberbank, which is also sanctioned. That’s going to make future sales just about impossible, and create big difficulties in fulfilling existing commitments.

With the exception of the EPR money-pit, the only remaining large reactor design still in the market is China’s Hualong One. Given the experience with Russia, buyers outside China may well be cautious about this option.

So, if there is any chance for new nuclear, it rests with Small Modular Reactors, none of which

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Monday Message Board

May 15, 2022

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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The Thirty-Nine Steps

May 13, 2022

At the end of The Thirty-Nine Steps (the John Buchan novel that largely created the spy thriller genre), the hero is about to give the signal for arrest of a ring of German spies. But their pose as ordinary middle class Englishmen is so convincing that they persuade him to join them as a fourth for bridge. Fortunately, a sudden movement alerts him to their true identity and he comes to his senses, blowing his whistle to call in the waiting police.

I’m reminded of this whenever I look at the political scene in the United States. The Republicans have made it obvious that if the votes in the 2024 election go the wrong way for them, the result will be overturned and their candidate (most likely Trump) will be installed. If they win under the existing rules, they will change them to

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The case for higher wages

May 11, 2022

We are finally seeing some substantive argument about policy, with Scott Morrison supporting a cut in real wages, and Anthonly Albanese opposing it. I’ve drafted a response (over the fold)

Also here on my Blogstack

The ‘cost of living’ crisis has been central to the 2022 election campaign. The Consumer Price Index rose by 5.1 per cent over the year to March, and at an annual rate of 8.8 per cent over the last three months. Unsurprisingly, low-paid workers are seeking an increase in the minimum wage sufficient to offset this. Disappointingly, but also not surprisingly, employers and the Morrison government have opposed this claim, suggesting that this will make inflation even worse.

This response reflects the fact that talking in terms of the ‘cost of living’ is a

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Monday Message Board

May 8, 2022

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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Message Board

May 4, 2022

Running way behind, but here’s a Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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Sandpit

May 4, 2022

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.

To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such.
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The 4-day week

May 4, 2022

I just got invited to put a short entry on the 4-day week in the 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia of HRM . It’s over the fold

Four Day Week

The five-day working week and the two-day weekend, have been standard for so long, it is hard for many to imagine anything different. But, as a normal way of working, it dates back only to the middle of the 20th century. Before that, Saturday was a normal working day in Western countries and only Sunday, the Christian Sabbath, was normally taken as a day of rest.

The advent of the weekend, and the associated standard workweek of 35 to 40 hours was the culmination of a long series of reductions in working hours from the peak, of 70 hours or more reached in the early 19th century. At the time, it was expected that these reductions would

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The 6-4-2 solution

April 27, 2022

That’s the latest post from my Blogstack, responding to recent inflation figures. Text over the fold.

A 5 per cent annual rate of inflation is not, in itself, a major problem. It has become evident that very low rates of inflation can be just as damaging as high inflation, by not allowing the Reserve Bank room to cut interest rates far enough when the economy is depressed. The 2-3 per cent target adopted in the 1990s made sense as a way to break the inflationary expectations built up over previous decades, but is now clearly too low. If inflation targeting is to be retained as a policy, the target should be raised to 4 per cent.

What is really needed though is a target rate of growth for wages, which have been stagnant for years and have lagged far behind prices in the

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Another imperialist war:

April 25, 2022

From Gallipoli to Ukraine

The latest at my Blogstack, over the fold

Seemingly out of nowhere, imperialist war has returned to Europe, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is seeking to recreate the Russian empire, claiming that Ukraine is a historical fiction created by the Bolsheviks, after the 1917 Revolution. In this and many other respects, the current war is a continuation of the catastrophic Great War that began in 1914.

Anzac Day is a commemoration of the thousands of young Australians and New Zealanders who died in the course of that war, beginning with the Gallipoli campaign. We are now clearly reconciled with the Turks and mourn our dead together. But hardly anyone stops to ask why Australia and Turkey were at war in the first place.

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Monday Message Board

April 11, 2022

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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My latest piece in The Conversation

April 7, 2022

A quick response to the latest IPCC report on climate change, published as Time’s up: why Australia has to quit stalling and wean itself off fossil fuels

Because of tight deadlines, the editor added a fair bit of material to my draft. I stand by all the content, but not all the language is mine.
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Monday Message Board

April 3, 2022

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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Pathological liar vs gutless fraud

April 3, 2022

The latest from my new Blogstack

I can’t remember any previous time when I’ve been in unqualified agreement with Chris Uhlmann, but his description of the current election campaign as a policy-free contest between “a pathological liar, which is what the Labor Party seems to be calling the government, and a gutless fraud, which is what the Prime Minister essentially has dubbed you,” Of the two, I’ll give the higher preference to the gutless fraud, after ranking all acceptable candidates ahead of them, starting with the Greens.

To preserve my mental health, I’m going to refrain from any further commentary about the major parties. I may offer some comments on the Greens, the only party putting forward any serious policy proposals in this election, some of which I support and some

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Monday Message Board

March 28, 2022

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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My first Substack post

March 26, 2022

I’ve decided to migrate my regular newsletter from Mailchimp to Substack. Having done that, it seems worthwhile to try out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post here at johnquiggin.com in parallel with the Substack blog.

My first substantive post is over the fold. I’m hoping for good discussion, so it would be great if commenters here could also take part at Substack.

I’ve published a couple of articles in The Conversation this week. The first, on a topic where I’ve done quite a bit of work, is headlined The Greens’ liveable income guarantee is a serious idea the major parties won’t touch – yet

The second, a bit more tangential to my interests, but relevant to my main focus on climate change, is headlined Atomic disruption: how Russia’s war on

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Nuclear power and the Ukraine war

March 21, 2022

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has upended all kinds of certainties, created new possibilities, and closed off old ones. We can certainly see this in relation to nuclear power. Here are a few developments related to the war

Russia’s capture of the Chernobyl plant, and the associated fire, have raised new concerns about nuclear safetyBelgium has announced that its planned closure of a nuclear plant will be deferred, possibly until 2035, in order to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas. There have been hints that Germany might do something similarFinland has cancelled its proposed Fennovoima nuclear plant which was to be built using Rosatom’s VVER technology. Coincidentally, a few days ago, the Olkiluoto EPR plant was connected to the grid, twelve years late and way over budgetMy

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Monday Message Board

March 21, 2022

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.
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News from me, and about the blog

March 16, 2022

Here’s my semi-regular newsletter, and a followup with links to a couple of recent articles about climate change and the disastrous floods in eastern Australia.

I’ve been using Mailchimp to send out the newsletter, but it’s mostly oriented to marketers. So, I’ve decided to move to Substack, which quite a few commentators have already done. One option is to move the blog there. That would be a big shift for me, as I’ve had the current site for most of the nearly 20 years I’ve been blogging. The main difference for readers would be the option of getting email alerts when new posts go up. If you like or dislike the idea, say so in comments

Over the page the followup email with links:

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