Editors' Picks - 15 June 2014

Editors' Picks - 15 June 2014

This week, we present a few parallels between America and Australia, how futebol stimulates fans and the economy and a controversial stab at Arts degrees.

7 Reasons America will fail on climate change – Ezra Klein

Climate Change is real. Perhaps, the effort to save the only world we have is futile because we are too late? The “ugliest trade off” between economic growth and the environmental imperative is a fundamental barrier. America (and the world!) believes that better lives are more carbon-intensive lives and the fact is, we are not willing to dramatically downsize our lives to live in the sustainable way. In an easily digestible manner, Klein explores the science, behaviour and politics that are at odds with climate change.

Tony Abbott backs US-style corporate schools for Australia – Phillip Coorey

“Americanised education” – connotations of Mean Girls-esque cliques and cheerleaders spring to mind. However, this article focuses on corporate schools – “schools that run in partnership with big companies and children are educated to work specifically for those companies in that field.” Fiery debate will soon ensue – is applied education the way forward for a competitive labour force? Should the government abandon the public education sector and allow private sectors to write the curriculum?

Don’t believe the naysayers, Brazil is still strong and the World Cup is a force for good – Anthony Pereira

As World Cup fever hits hard, we take a look into the Brazilian economy and discover why some Brazilians are unhappy, and others ambivalent, about hosting the FIFA event. However, Pereira suggests that attacks on Brazil’s economic state are exaggerated.

Why Australia is the third most expensive place to buy a house – Greg Jericho

Data from IMF’s Global Housing Watch compares housing prices across nations and reveals that Australia‘s housing affordability is well above historical average. The “paradox” exists where rising housing prices remains an ongoing issue, yet the more serious problem of likely recession awaits when the prices fall.

Taxpayers shouldn’t fund arts degrees – John Roskam

Roskam presents a frank critique on the efficiency of using taxpayer money to fund French Literature studies, Carribean Creole poetry and the like. He brings up the controversial point: “It’s not obvious why Australia needs more arts graduates anyway.” Shade aside, the economic argument about whether arts degrees constitutes as a public good and the outcomes of the market deciding the fate of higher education is interesting.