Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Game of Mates

“This is the story of how Australia became one of the most unequal societies in the Western world while merely a generation ago it was one of the most equal. It is the story of how groups of ‘Mates’ have come to dominate our corporate and political sectors, and managed to rob us, the Australian majority, of over half our wealth.”

So begins a just released book by one of my favourite economists Cameron Murray, written with another Queenslander Paul Frijters.

The book Game of Mates: How favours bleed the nation is a must read for anyone trying to understand why a country such as ours with so going for it is currently stuck in the slow lane.

If you want to check the first two chapters A Lonesome Tale which is an introduction and The Great Property Development Game which describes the property game go to Amazon and click the ‘look inside’ link.

This book will open your eyes to how Australia really works. It’s not good news, but you need to know it. (Ross Gittins, The Sydney Morning Herald Economics Editor).

Australians pride themselves on their egalitarianism. But that’s wearing thin. Murray and Frijters are both highly trained dispassionate scholars but their conclusions will shock you. Or I hope they will. If their calculations are even half right you’ll be shocked at how far the Mates have their hand in your pocket! (Nicholas Gruen, CEO Lateral Economics).

While we are distracted by mythical battles in the Game of Thrones, we are being robbed in the real world “Game of Mates” where the well-connected clip the wages and profits of the hard working. Murray and Frijters provide an entertaining and well researched expose of how privilege and rent-seeking dominates the Australian economy, enriching the Mates in the Game while robbing the rest. And they propose how to end the Game. And they name real names too. This is an explosive and essential book for all Australians. Except the Mates. (Professor Steve Keen, Kingston University).

If you want to understand what is going in the corridors of power in Australia and how deep networks of insiders are using governments to line their pockets you need to read this book. In my own area of urban planning, the richly documented cases described in the book clearly show how potential public benefit and potential revenue is being siphoned off into arms of selected members of the development industry. Governments need to be held accountable for these processes. This book will help Australians understand what is going on – it describes how a small but powerful group of insiders have their noses in the public trough in a range of industries. (Professor Peter Phibbs, University of Sydney).

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