Price gouging feeds economic injustice

Economists are coming around and conceding that inflation’s primary driver has not been wage growth, while overlooking the most significant issue of our time; economic justice (Letters, June 12). If we don’t put economic justice at the centre of our considerations, we will fall into the same error Philip Lowe has; we will regard the consequences of raising interest rates, being the savaging of the livelihood of millions, as necessary collateral damage. In the US, some say the loss of two million jobs is just the price our poorest have to pay – cruel nonsense.

Absurd price-gouging by non-competitive sectors must be stopped and can only be reversed by tax policy. The growing disparity between the rich and the poor can only be reversed by fair tax policy on those who enjoy the greatest privileges in our society; those who are overdue to return that privilege. Martin Bell, Balgowlah

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

Illustration: Andrew DysonCredit: Andrew Dyson

In reading the many letters critical of Lowe’s actions, I note an absence of solutions to address the problem with which he grapples, inflation. Abandoning the mad stage three tax cuts is one that has been offered, but until we address the obscene levels of wealth disparity in this country; the result of deliberate Coalition policies – homeowners with mortgages will continue to be belted. The introduction of a wealth tax must be considered to stabilise our listing economy and revive our emaciated public services in health, education and housing. Wayne Duncombe, Lilyfield

Ashley Craig’s opinion piece (“Government should butt out on RBA decision-making”, June 12) is on the money. Anthony Albanese’s “unhelpful needling” of Lowe over the RBA’s monetary policy of raising rates to contain inflation is a political diversion. Economic management is often not in sync with the RBA objectives. It takes two to tango. Steve Ngeow, Chatswood

I wish the planning minister luck with his proposed new tax on developers (“Minister asks developers to pay up,” June 12). I can see the campaign against it now of course, as developers complain that a new tax will increase the cost of housing. No tax would compare to the super profits developers make from what amounts to land speculation and deals done by government that favour developer profit. Perhaps the worst aspect of this proposal is that it indicates the government will continue with the market-based housing policy which has so comprehensively failed the poor and the young for decades now, and is only getting worse. Colin Hesse, Marrickville

Paul Scully well knows that by reintroducing a “development contribution scheme” he is cost-shifting infrastructure cost from his government to the struggling first home buyers. These simplistic political ideas do not stand up to examination because the selling price to the first home buyer will be the sum of: cost to construct, profit, development contribution. Time for the government to step up to support first home buyers with adequate infrastructure and not higher prices. Chris Hornsby, Bayview

Horrific history holds hope if we heed its lesson

We need to learn more of the dark events of our history such as the story of the Myall Creek massacre, recreated by Peter FitzSimons (“Crimes of Myall Creek echo down heartbroken decades”, June 10). The story rightly focuses on the cruelty wrought on the Wirrayaraay people. My great-great-grandfather William Hobbs was overseer of Henry Dangar’s vast station where the massacre occurred. He lost his job for being a whistleblower, had to take Dangar to court for withholding wages, was ostracised in the community and forced to move from the area.
Pressure was brought to bear by Dangar, his employees and the squatter community to remain silent. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Peter Hobbs, Brighton (SA)

Myall Creek Massacre

Myall Creek Massacre

The massacre of First Nations peoples is what John Howard derided as the “black armband” view of history. Howard liked the sanitised view that lauded the efforts of the settlers. These massacres were crimes committed by those same settlers. If it had been Jewish people in Europe it would be called a pogrom – killing people because of their race, which had been taking place for centuries in Europe. But because these victims were black and considered primitive it doesn’t rate the outrage.

In WWII we were afraid that Japan would invade Australia. Thankfully, we were able to resist this and fought back. The First Nations peoples attempted to resist invasion and war was declared on them.

Howard tried to claim that his generation was not responsible for the massacres and therefore there was nothing to be done, ignoring the fact that we have all benefitted from the dispossession of First Nations peoples. Just as Germany has admitted its past and resists fascism now, so we need to admit ours and seek to remedy the actions of our ancestors here. David Ashton, Katoomba

Like most non-Indigenous Australians, I have benefitted richly from the benefits of colonisation. Now the European scientific-technological mindset, in harness with commerce, has been put on notice by climate change of its own making. I will therefore be voting Yes for the Voice because we have so much to learn from those whose culture is steeped in sustainability and respect for environment … Yes to the Voice is Yes to a world still worth living in, for the planet’s sake. Jim McPherson, Mount Coolum (Qld)

Want to learn about the extent of colonial massacres of Aboriginal people? A great site is
Bob Selinger, Eastwood

Who knew what and when about sexual assault allegations should not be occupying the minds of opposition MPs and should not be a matter government MPs should be wasting their time over (“Coalition to pursue Gallagher over what she knew and when”, June 12). We are in the midst of a housing crisis, an unemployment crisis, an NDIS crisis and a future revenues and taxation crisis. Yet the Opposition believes a fight over what Katy Gallagher knew about allegations of a sexual assault involving two staffers of a former Liberal minister should take precedence in the debating chamber over these pressing issues of real concern to the whole community. The time for “wedge politics” is well and truly over. We need focussed government and real solutions to our major issues now. The sexual assault allegations are in the past, no further action is contemplated, yet the Opposition wants to re-litigate this whole matter again, for no benefit to anyone. Chris Rivers, Port Macquarie

The Liberal Party not only has a “women’s” problem within the culture of the organisation, but it has a problem with the women in its ranks. That two women Liberal senators would wish to lead the attack on such a relatively unimportant matter based on leaked telephone records of dubious legality shows just how low they and the party can go. No consideration whatsoever of the impact this debacle could make on Higgins who surely has suffered enough trauma without being used as a political pawn by the tacticians within the Liberal strategists. Carolyn Pettigrew, Turramurra

Trans records

There is another major consequence contributing to the unfairness of trans women in womens’ categories (Letters, June 12): in individual events, trans women will potentially break womens’ records by large margins. So large that a woman may never be able to match or surpass it. Not only women in the event will be moved down the rankings, but women in all future competitions will be deprived of the opportunity to set and hold a record. Diana King, Balmain

In athletic sports, there is proof beyond reasonable doubt that there is an average 10-12% performance gap between elite males and females. In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. Twenty-two of these pairs, called autosomes, look the same in both males and females. The 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, differ between males and females. These two sets of sex chromosomes (the X and the Y chromosome) determine your sex as male or female when you are born. Females have 2 X chromosomes (46XX) – Males have 1 X and 1 Y chromosome (46XY). Chromosomes can only say what a person is born with, not how they see themselves.

I’m a sex therapist and very supportive of the transgender community, but from a scientific point of view a transgender person can change any part of their body but the only thing that can’t be changed is their chromosomes. A fair solution is to have a female transgender athlete undergo a simple chromosome analysis, usually done on a blood sample. If the outcome is that she has a 46XY result, she may consider – is it fair competing? Matty Silver, Surry Hills

Trump’s taunts

It’s ironic that Trump’s vilification of Hilary Clinton for using a private email server accused her of violating US law regarding the unauthorised removal and retention of classified documents or materials (“This is the final battle: Trump”, June 12). FBI and DOJ investigations found that no emails contained classified material and no charges were laid, as Clinton had not acted “with criminal intent”. Contrast that with Trump’s own vast horde of classified and top secret documents that he retained, left unsecured in his property, lied about and refused to return. I’m waiting for the chant of “lock him up” to ring out at his rallies the next time he claims that he’s the victim of a vast political witch hunt. We’ll see if no-one really is above the law. Alan Marel, North Curl Curl

Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather outside Mar-A-Lago

Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather outside Mar-A-LagoCredit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Megan Herbert’s cartoon (Letters, June 12) sums up beautifully the crazy state of politics in the US. How could a disgraced former president; indicted on 37 counts including criminal charges involving espionage, be a serious contender for a second four-year term in one of the world’s most powerful (oval) offices? Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin (ACT)

Trump’s garbled and contradictory appeal to his followers, shows that it is he and his followers who are “deranged” and not Jack Smith and America’s Justice Department. As I recall, the Republicans have always opposed communism by projecting American military power around the world. America can’t do this if Trump, as America’s next president, makes America more isolationist and protectionist. In this context, Australia should be worried about the US honouring its AUKUS commitment and delivering Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines. Geoff Black, Caves Beach

Senate overload

George Brandis has in today’s Herald raised an important issue (“Push for more MPs could backfire” June 12). When we next have a referendum, could we not save some money by also asking voters whether they would support an amendment to section 24 of the Constitution so that it would declare that each state is entitled to a fixed number of senators, in place of the present “nexus” of one senator for every two members of the House? If recent Italian experience is anything to go by, the proposal would win handsomely: Italians (overwhelmingly) reduced both their houses of parliament by one third. The US can get by with two senators per state; why do we need twelve; what do they do all day? As the quota gets lower and lower, the way opens for more and more loonies to join the club. The Constitution should be amended to state that each state is entitled to six senators; no more. John Hill, The Entrance

Private interests, public money

I suspect many of us might be more willing to reluctantly condone church schools ensnaring their principals to their rather specious religious principles (Letters, June 12) if they didn’t have their distinctly unprincipled hands out for quite so much of our secular money to pay for it all. Peter Fyfe, Enmore

If a religious school practises discrimination it should not receive public funding. Judith Campbell, Drummoyne

I’m fine with the position that religious schools can choose their staff however they wish, as long as they accept not a cent of public money. If the separation of church and state is to mean anything, it must mean no funding of religious education in any way whatsoever. Andrew Taubman, Queens Park

Ding dong gong

A “gong” to a “bell-ringer” (“King’s Birthday 2023 Honours – the full list”, June 12). How appropriate. Denis Suttling, Newport Beach

Ning Nang Nong

Talking about the users of nangs; is that where Spike Milligan’s cows “go bong … on the Ning Nang Nong”? Judy Archer, Nelson Bay

Slacking off

On the subject of the boredom factor in golf, I can’t take seriously any alleged “sport” where the combatants wear slacks. Bill Young, Killcare Heights

The digital view

Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on

Philip Lowe is cactus but truth told his fate is a sideshow

From Macs Dave: “People who blame Philip Lowe for rising interest rates and who believe things will change if he is removed don’t understand economics or the role of the RBA”.

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Justin Scaccy

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