It is utterly appalling that the deteriorating state of the Australian economy is being swept under the carpet while Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison continually tell the country that they can be trusted to steer us through this so-called transition.
Scott Morrison is using their default language, i.e. spin, to make it sound like we are entering some kind of initiation or rite of passage. It is nothing of the sort.
The talk of transition is nothing more than a piece of double-speak dreamt up by some strategy analyst inside the Liberal party “war room”.
That same strategy analyst was probably the one who came up with the idea that Labor were declaring a war on everything. We know that because everyone on the conservative side is saying it.
We have the war on business, war on workers, the economy and on pensioners. This is the sort of rhetoric we use to get from Tony Abbott.
The government is trying to conceal the fact that the situation has deteriorated since Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey took over in 2013 when we supposedly had a budget emergency; when a compliant media sucked up every word, too lazy to be objective or make valid comparisons.
How is it that the economy is in decline now and those same people who told us it was so bad in 2013, are now compounding their dishonesty telling us a completely different story today?
Just look at the indicators, all of which came from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Workers in full time jobs fell for the third month in a row in April, fewer hours are being worked compared with 2013, the percentage of people in the workforce is lower than in 2013, gross debt has increased by $150 billion, interest rates have fallen a full 1% in a failed effort to stimulate activity, our trade deficit is now in excess of $2 trillion dollars, we are experiencing a wages recession and our GDP growth is totally reliant on our exports.
They spend more and they tax more. This is not a transition, this is a failure of policy.
The current major economic indicators are appalling, yet there is barely a whisper from the media who appear, once more, all too happy not to make waves, too lazy to question, too apathetic to bother calling them to account. Does anyone smell a conspiracy?
You can be certain the Coalition won’t quote any of the trend indicators. But they are clearly worried. Every time Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull stick their heads up they look increasingly desperate.
Morrison is speaking faster and louder. Turnbull is warning of the “chaos of a hung parliament”.
On Insiders last Sunday, Greens Leader Richard di Natale argued for the first time the absurdity of trying to budget for a surplus at some defined period in the future. There hasn’t been a time in our history when money was so cheap.
He said he had been speaking to economists around the country who had been saying this very thing. They had been saying that we suffer from an infrastructure deficit.
If we continue to wait for business to show the way, it will only get worse before it gets better all because we have a government controlled by neo-liberals who govern for the banks, industrial corporations and the stock market.
In his latest blog, Bill Mitchell, Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, lays the blame with the IMF:
“In the last month or so, we have seen the IMF publish material that is critical of what they call neo-liberalism. They now claim that the sort of policies that the IMF and the OECD have championed for several decades have damaged the well-being of people and societies. They now advocate policy positions that are diametrically opposite their past recommendations (for example, in relation to capital controls). In the most recent OECD Economic Outlook we now read that there is an “urgent need” for fiscal expansion – for large-scale expenditure on public infrastructure and education – despite this organisation advocating the opposite policies at the height of the crisis. It is too early to say whether these ‘swallows’ constitute a break-down of the neo-liberal Groupthink that has dominated these institutions over the last several decades. But for now, we should welcome the change of position, albeit from elements within these institutions. They are now advocating policies that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) proponents have consistently proposed throughout the crisis. If only! The damage caused by the interventions of the IMF and the OECD in advancing austerity would have been avoided had these new positions been taken early on in the crisis. The other question is who within these organisations is going to pay for their previous incompetence?”
That pretty much says it all.