Wednesday 24 May 2017
I’m having one of those days where I’m going over all those things that I haven’t gotten around to reading since the budget. Catching up on things that friends have sent me. It occurs to me just how much information I take in on a daily basis. Some things hang around for a few days before giving way to whatever has hit the headlines.
And that’s how it is at the moment. The Budget has come and gone leaving a residue of problems, complications and Senate procrastination. And a hangover of sorts.
So what follows is a list of things that have caught my attention. You might like to discuss some of them.
1 Tuesdays Essential Poll shows Labor leading the Coalition 54/46 showing there has been no budget bounce. It also confirms my belief that when you are on the nose with the public its awfully difficult to move the numbers.
Turnbull says the Polls since the budget vindicate his Budget. Can someone point me to one that did?
A Budget can only really be judged when you define its purpose and that need not always be economics. This one was unashamedly political. Sean Kelly suggests that behind it were four aims 1. Too obliterate Turnbulls reputation as a do nothing politician. 2 Too establish some sort of competence. 3 Re present himself as a moderate. Kill off Labor attacks.
2 Making sense of the jobless figures. That’s if you can. In any case the way we measure them needs to be upgraded. And it puts a lie to the Governments constant attacks on those without work.
The figure of 19 applicants for every job available might be far worse than we think.
The Australian – Page 2: 22 May 2017
Original article by Adam Creighton
Roy Morgan Summary
“According to official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 per cent to 5.7 per cent in April 2017. However, analysis suggests that the real unemployment rate exceeds 20 per cent if all Australians of working age who are not currently in the labour market or are underemployed are included in the data. Roy Morgan Research executive director Gary Morgan argues that Australia’s political leaders should follow the example of US President Donald Trump in calling out “fake” unemployment figures. Morgan adds that the Reserve Bank sets interest rates too high on the basis of the “phony” jobs data.”
Be honest about unemployment – it’s above 15 per cent
The Australian – Page 12 : 22 May 2017
Original article by Adam Creighton
Roy Morgan Summary
“Official figures show that just 732,000 people in Australia are unemployed at present and the nation’s unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent. However, 6.9 million people of working age are classified as not in the labour force, and more than 20 per cent of them want a job. Likewise, the underemployment rate has risen to a record 9.2 per cent, which equates to 1.1 million people. The Australian Bureau of Statistics uses an internationally recognised definition of unemployment, but it should also publish the real unemployment rate, which would be at least 15 per cent.”
My apologies to whoever sent me the above piece. I cannot trace your name.
3 I was going to include a comment on this but Terry2 did so yesterday and I don’t think I could have said it better.
Just as an aside: I note that the Trump women didn’t wear a head covering when meeting with Saudi royalty as is conventional – something that Trump had previously criticised Michelle Obama for the same thing, he tweeted in 2015 :
”Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted. We have enuf enemies”
Then Trump wears a ‘Kippah’ [skull-cap] at the Israeli Western wall as is customary for men: no women allowed.
When Michelle Obama met the Pope she wore a black ‘mantilla’ on her head as is customary: the Trumps will meet the Pope in the next few days so it will be interesting to see what the Trump women wear: perhaps beanies all round (?)
The politics of head covering!
4 Tony Abbott continues to be a thorn in the side of the Government saying his budget of 2014 was the gilt-edged Rolls Royce one that would have solved Australia’s economic problems.
He also thinks Australia has become part of the weak government club because centre-right politicians can’t get their agenda through the Senate.
I wonder why these people ever in the quietness of their thoughts ever ask themselves the very simple question ”why?”
It still hasn’t occurred to him that it was one of the reasons he lost his job.
In his latest advice to the party he once led he said the budget, which was the best the government could do in the circumstances, underscored the urgency of Senate reform.
Didn’t he realise they had already done that?
5 The Federal Governments Black Economy Task force is due to release its findings in October. Originally they said it was worth around 25billion but now they reckon if you include money laundering, and drug trafficking it’s likely twice as much.
I used to be one of those who insisted on an invoice from a tradesman showing the GST. Then I found out how many of the rich and privileged didn’t pay tax. Then I ……..
6 Pauline Hanson seems to have really gotten caught with her pants down trying to make money from One Nations own candidates. And it’s all on tape.
The conversation went like this (as reported by the Australian Financial Review):
“There is an opportunity for us to make some money out of this, if we play it smart. Now I know they say you can’t make money out-of-state elections, but you can,” Mr Ashby is recorded as saying.
“And I’ll deny I ever said this, but, what stops us from getting a middle man, or gracing, I’m happy to grace in cash and double the price of whatever it is, and we say to the candidates, we will fund 50 per cent of this package.
“So the package might be five grand, ‘you’re gonna pay $2500’ and we’ll pay the other $2500 of the $5000. The other $2500 is profit, it’s the fat, and I wanna write it off. I don’t want the cash for it, I’ll make it a bloody tax deduction.”
At one point, he suggests “we buy the corflutes for $5, we sell it to them at $11” and claims “that’s what the Liberal Party do”.
“Because when you lodge the receipt at the full price with the Electoral Commission of Queensland you get back the full amount that’s been issued to you as an invoice.”
At one point, Senator Hanson appears open to the idea, saying: “just look at it, what is the best financial outlook for us?”
Together with the ATO revelation last week they reinforce the need for a form of federal ICAC.
Bill Shorten said:
“But clearly here, down the track there will have to be questions of competence for the government to answer. And I also think it makes Labor’s support for having a Senate committee investigating the merit of a National Integrity Commission seem quite on the money.”
7 The Washington Post is reporting that President Trump registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia. The names appeared to be of a “hotels nature.”
Trump registered the companies in August 2015, shortly after launching his presidential bid, according to The Post.
Note. It is illegal for a President to gain economically from overseas companies.
My thought for the day.
“Life is an experience of random often unidentifiable patterns and indiscriminate consequences that don’t always have order nor require explanation. The more we relate to others the more we get to know ourselves.”