The ideal business is one that earns very high returns on capital and that keeps on using capital at those very high returns. That becomes a compounding machine. So if you had your choice, if you could put a hundred million dollars into a business that earns twenty per cent on that capital - twenty million - ideally, it would be able to earn twenty per cent on a hundred and twenty million the following year and on a hundred and forty million the following year and so on. You could keep redeploying that capital at those same returns over time. But there are very, very few businesses like that... we can move that money around from those business to buy more businesses.

Warren Buffet

Latest Papers

The working papers collection comprises historical papers as well as current ideas and works in progress on some of the major issues and topics of our times.

The Labor Millionaires Club and What Happens Next in NSW (released 7 May 2008)
Premier Iemma and Treasurer Costa’s open defiance of the NSW Labor Conference goes far beyond the relative autonomy of the Parliamentary Caucus. The Premier and the members of the parliamentary caucus become the modern equivalents of the famous faceless men. They effectively use the support, machinery and platform of the Labor Party to become elected but then defy the democratic and organic processes of the Labor Party, Labor Conference and the aspirations of thousands of ordinary members. Because of this the NSW Labor Administrative Committee are in a strong position to take action against the Premier and the Treasurer.
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Keating's Past is Not NSW Labor's Future (released 7 May 2008)
A response to Paul Keatings's op ed in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning.
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This month in Australia - Two Up - April 2008 (released 1 May 2008)
An independent summary of Australian news and events. Featuring the music and songs of Andrew Baylor, Chad Morgan, the Pigram Brothers, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Hopevale's Corduroy Country Connection Band, the Gadflies, Tex, Don & Charlie, Percy Grainger, Jimmy Little, Seaman Dan and the Black Image Band featuring Bilgammu on pedal steel. This month's podcast includes: Part 1 - Two Up, Part 2 - Hopevale & Gurrumul, Part 3 - Divorcing Telstra, Part 4 - The Old Soft Screw, Part 5 - Bad Buggers, Part 6 - What is the Australian Voice? Part 7 - What is the Australian Voice?
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The Stuck Nation (released 21 April 2008)
A Discussion Starter for the Edmund Rice Centre’s Brooklyn Project which brought 30 Young Australians together for a discussion about Future Challenges from 2-6 April, 2008
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This month in Australia - Weather & Seasons - March 2008 (released 30 March 2008)
An alternative 'podcast' summary of events and news from Australia for the months of February and March 2008. Featuring the music and songs of Andrew Baylor, Slim Dusty, Rochelle Watson, the Pigram Brothers, Paul Kelly, Mervyn Mullardy, the Warumpi Band. This month's podcast includes: Part One - Weather and Seasons, Part Two - Howard and Rudd, Benevolent Murder, Part Three - Revenge and Football. Just double click the links!
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2020 Vision and Walking Around Blind (released 5 March 2008)
Jimmy Martin a member of the Sneedville branch of the NSW Labor Party has dedicated this little ditty to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. He is very upset about recent events. You can download the mp3 file and hear his haunting song.
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Who better than Joe Scimone to check your credentials comrade? (released 4 March 2008)
Who better than Joe Scimone to Chair the NSW ALP Credentials Committee, one of the most important "machine" committees of the NSW Labor Party. This is the Committee that determines the eligibility of members to vote in the selection of Labor parliamentary representatives.
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De-Toxing NSW Labor (released 4 March 2008)
It is time to get into the detailed task of reforming the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party. In the accompanying 55,000 word rule re-write "Australian Labor Rules Reconstructed" and Commentary the entire body of rules of the Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) have been re-written to: a) bring union membership in line with ordinary individual branch party membership; b) de-politicise the administration of the party; c) streamline and depoliticise the role of the officers of the party and d) bring more power back to rank and file members of the party. This rule re-write and commentary is part of a succession of papers which have been titled "Project for a Revolution of the Australian Labor Party". Other papers may be found here on the working papers site and on the Australian Prospect website under the title "Democratising Labor".
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The Social Billionaire (released 23 February 2008)
Andrew Mawson is a billion dollar social entrepreneur. His ventures rival those of the most successful private entrepreneurs (See the appendix to this review). World wide there are plenty of church, government and voluntary bosses who run billion dollar budgets. But there are very few who have generated those funds. Mawson’s billion is not accrued as his own personal wealth, it accrued as community wealth. He is the prototype of a new social and community activist that supports people and community development by literally manufacturing resources, environments, funds, possibilities... He represents, hopefully, a glimpse into our future. But there are plenty of rivers to cross before the Mawson approach is understood or embraced by governments or their gate-keeping minders and bureaucrats. I suspect it will be a matter of communities and tough minded people doing it for themselves, despite the rhetoric and meddling of governments. Mawson is coming to Australia later in 2008 for a limited series of talks and discussions. So his book The Social Entrepreneur - Making Communities Work, Atlantic Books, London, 2008 is a must read for anyone interested in innovative work within the community sector.
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Prime Ministerial Lessons in Hubris (released 19 February 2008)
The curse of the favourable opinion poll
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