fiscal policy

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Are you entitled to a job?

Should the government simply legislate away unemployment? Proponents of Modern Monetary Theory and a “Job Guarantee” seem to think so. Nick Henderson isn’t so sure.

The US government shutdown – any end in sight?

What a joke.

Really, there isn’t anything else that can be said about the latest fiscal crisis in the United States. With the federal government shutting down most operations on the 1st of October, as the House of Representatives (controlled by the Republicans) and the Senate (controlled by the Democrats) couldn’t agree on a Continuing Resolution for the 2014 fiscal year.

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U.S. debt ceiling under scrutiny

“I have a more fundamental question. Why do we have a debt limit in the first place?”

More than two years have elapsed since former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, expressed this sentiment – and it is still a question that begs answering.

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Testing the means-testing debate

This article forms part of an ongoing series looking at economic issues as Australia heads into the Federal Election. More coverage can be found on the Election 2013 page of ESSA’s website.

One of the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century was undoubtedly the conceptualisation and implementation of what has become known as the ‘welfare state’. The term is generally not used in any exact way, rather in a vague and imprecise manner with an overarching theme of the government having a degree of responsibility for the health and social well-being of the population.

Broadly speaking, the two extremes of the potential function of the welfare state are universalism and selectivism. Universalism, as the name suggests, refers to universal access to welfare programs regardless of an individual’s wealth. Selectivism is the opposite, with welfare ‘means-tested’ and distributed based on an individual’s needs.

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