NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is the Chamber of Commerce for real?

A year ago this week I attended a bizarre press conference at the Senate entrance in which the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry unveiled its submission to the Henry Tax Review.

Bizarre, because it did not propose a cut in the company tax rate (something for which there is good evidence and something that would help its members) and did propose a further cut in the tax rate applying to the tiny per cent of Australians who earn more than $180,000 (something for which there is not good evidence and something that would not have helped its members).

I wondered whether someone had captured the real Chamber of Commerce and sent in impersonators to make some sort of point.

Which brings us to this week.

The US Chamber of Commerce is lobbying against climate change legislation, to the consternation of many of its members who have left. (Our Chamber of Commerce isn't too keen on it either.)

But this week it looked as if the US Chamber had changed course.

Here's why: (It's worth watching the whole thing.)