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Beggars, Choosers And Tim Wilson!

Outside the supermarket last week, there was a man sitting with a sign asking for help to get accommodation for the night. His upturned hat contained some coins, so I decided to go and ask him if he could spare a few.

“What?” he said, betraying a distinct lack of manners, when everybody knows that “I beg your pardon,” is much politer.

“I have a mortgage,” I explained, “and you clearly aren’t in any debt whatsoever, so clearly your financial position is much sounder than mine. I just wondered, as you have a positive financial position, whether you’d like to help me out!”

Ok, ok, I didn’t really do that, but it did occur to me that he didn’t have a large mortgage and if I were a government and he were a taxpayer, then certain media outlets would be more concerned about my debt than his homelessness. Actually, when I think about there are dozens more stories about government debt than homelessness. Why is that?

Well, I suppose the obvious point is that government debt is everybody’s problem while homelessness is only a problem for that individual. Or that family. Or the person who owns the shop where he blocks the door by sleeping in front of it. Or the people who feel that he’s cluttering up the streets. Or the cost if he develops a problem that causes him to be hospitalised. Or…

Actually, it’s more than an individual problem when I think about it. Whatever, the main point remains: Being free of debt is not necessarily a great financial position to be in.

When the Victorian Government brought down its budget, there was a lot of talk about the “extravagant” big spend and – even though the amount being borrowed is considerably less than the Federal government – much concern about the level of debt being incurred.

Now let’s agree to look at this objectively and not through any tribal position. While too much debt is potentially bad, a lack of debt doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing well. And in the case of governments, urgency in paying back the debt may simply be a desire to look good for no worthwhile reason. To illustrate this, I’m inviting you to the country where I’m government and you’re the taxpayer.

Governor Rossleigh has taken on a debt which works out to be equivalent of $50,000 per taxpayer. I could simply service in the interest and pay it off over fifty years which would mean that it was costing each taxpayer the interest plus one thousand a year. However, I’ve decided to pay it off quickly. I cut services, putting some of you out of work. I also raise taxes placing a great burden on the remaining taxpayers but, hey, that’s not my problem and isn’t it better that your government is free of debt so your grandchildren don’t have to pay off government debt..

And, if I raise taxes enough and stifle demand and kill off certain industries, your grandchildren may not even have to pay off your personal debt because – like the man outside the supermarket – you may not have a debt at all. Ok, you don’t have a home either, but Tim Wilson has the solution to that.

Timmy has this great idea that if we stop putting money into super we’ll all be able to own a house. Actually, I don’t know if that is his real belief, because I don’t know if he’s a liar or just stupid. Not that the two things are mutually exclusive. Whatever his actual belief, it’s what he suggests will happen if we don’t increase compulsory super from 9.5% to 12%. There’s just a couple of flaws in his argument. And, by a couple, I mean enough to bullet point them.

  • There’s no certainty that if that extra money wasn’t mandated to go into superannuation it would find its way into workers’ pockets in the form of pay rises. It’s possible but just because employers can now theoretically afford it, doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily do it. After all, historically I can’t remember an occasion when an employer body argued that they’re doing so well that workers can have an increase.
  • Even if the whole amount was turned into a pay rise, then after tax, someone on $100,000 a year would only get an increase of $1750 a year. While everything helps, it’s certainly not going make the difference between buying in the outer suburbs and the North Shore.
  • Most people don’t earn $100,000 so they’re getting even less than the amount I just used in the above example.
  • Of course, once everybody has the extra money from their super, then they’ll get a bigger deposit and they’ll be able to spend more and house prices will go up meaning that in no time at all people will need an even bigger deposit.
  • And finally, not only will cutting the increase not help the homeless guy outside the supermarket, it won’t be much help to people whose income is too low to afford a house.

Yes, I’ve noticed over the years that the Liberals often have excellent solutions to problems that would be the perfect answer except for the fact that there’s no explanation about the steps to get to the actual solution. In much the same way that we were told that the answer to unemployment was to create jobs and growth, Joe Hockey told people that the way to buy a house was to get a better job, and that the best form of welfare was a job, we now have Timmy Wilson telling us that it’s better to buy a house than to increase your superannuation. Of course, how people on lower incomes manage to buy a house when they’re getting enough for an extra cup of coffee, well, that’s not really addressed.

I’ll concede that you’re almost certainly better off owning your home than renting once you hit retirement, but only if Mr Wilson will acknowledge that you’re also better off having a share portfolio, a million dollars worth of superannuation and a private jet. Answers to economic problems are always simple; the difficulty is how we actually create the circumstances where the answer is possible.

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14 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    One should actually hate and denounce the deliberate shitskulls like T Wilson, who choose to be ostentatious public idiots and morons of manipulation. A complete dud at even primitive economic rationality, T Wilson has become a professional liar for obscure causes and positions. Badly trained, as are they all, in IPA circles, Wilson will take a contrived, fantasised, fraud position as a conclusion, Agatha Christie like, will move to backtrack to a beginning, all to appear smart and mysterious. Backplotting is an attempt to cobble up a mystery, which is a Wilsonism, for why do we entertain the ridiculous idea that such a defective has an honest approach to public life. Professional liars, and this government is c. 110% so, are “trained” in lies, fantasies, superstitions, obsessions, dogmatic slogans, pushed fiction, so that conservative representation is an evil of maladministration, a set piece of fraud and filth, to suit donors, positions, plots, patrons, pilfering, conservative corporate rigging, rorting, regulating for insiders. Wilson’s wilful warbling on economics matters is below a worm’s willy in value and size; Wilson to, say, Keynes, is as a pebble to the Himalayas. Here is selfishness, laughable vanity, inflated self reflection, from a narcissistic nobody nong

  2. Henry Rodrigues

    Its not just one- neuron Hanson who the simplistic solution to every problem. Now pretty boy Tim has decided that he too can offer inane solutions to deep-set problems that many economists find hard to deliver. The IPA just bristles with these dickheads who then enter the coalition ranks as politicians. Not a bloody clue amongst the lot of them.

    Hey Tim, stick to looking good, that’s all you’re capable of.

  3. Phil Pryor

    Henry, T Wilson is Uckkingfugly, inside and outside the madeup, dry cleaned and ironed skull.

  4. New England Cocky

    A show pony, and not a very sound one at that …..

    One poster suggested that Tim Wilson (Liarbral) was the best asset of the Victorian Labor Party.

    @Phil Pryor: Geez Phil, have you lost your descriptive eloquence this morning? Not like you to miss a free shot like this one …..

  5. Henry Rodrigues

    Phil Pryor…. ‘ pretty’ in this context, means a painted whore. Even the ones who do it for a living and for whom I have no animosity, they have more gravity than this fool.

  6. Jack Cade

    Tim Wilson. Is he the shot-jawed sycophant?

    BTW – I still cannot open AIMN on my mobile, which is an iphone 6.. It is the only site I cannot access.
    Because I only use my PC perhaps once a week, I don’t get to read most articles, or respond to them.
    You may well say ‘That’s no great loss.’, I’d probably agree with you…

  7. The AIM Network

    Jack, we’ll let our web guys know again.

  8. The AIM Network

    Jack, type this exact address into your phone:

    https://theaimn.com/

    Let us know what happens.

  9. Matters Not

    Interesting point:

    Governor Rossleigh has taken on a debt which works out to be equivalent of $50,000 per taxpayer.

    So who or what are the hypothetical taxpayer under the microscope who might be responsible for this debt? And is there any example of a taxpayer ever been held responsible for government ‘debt’? Is ExxonMobil Australia Pty Ltd, for example, a taxpayer? As an aside – the company racked up $33 billion in sales over a four year period yet paid no tax. Is this one of the taxpayers (who pays no tax) the Governor has in mind? How is it that this, the biggest of the US oil majors, a corporation which has been making fabulous profits in Australia for fifty years, can pay zero income tax? And how would one bill them for … anything?

    What is the definition of the taxpayer that’s in play? When does an individual or a company become a taxpayer? Do they have to actually pay tax before they are so classified? Or is potential enough to qualify? Can the Governor please explain?

  10. Rossleigh

    Thanks, Matters Not, you raise some interesting points. Of course, the taxpayers responsible for the debt would be in this order: 1. Those who didn’t donate to my campaign 2. Those who obviously didn’t vote for me 3. Those who voted for me but are too silly to realise that it’s not those who have no money that are responsible for their enormous tax bill and that it’s actually my decision that the debt needs paying . Under no circumstances would it be any ofl my cronies who don’t pay tax and get the benefit of my largesse…
    I think that’s how it works.

  11. wam

    Dear governor,
    I have put in a complaint about tim wilson and the wilson asset management claiming wam is my property.
    Meanwhile: https://icacpls.github.io/interests/tim-wilson.html
    may explain his inability to understand those without a protective trust.

    He may work on the average wage at $1714 per weekwhich is merely an investment house away from the median at $1400 per week.
    With 50% of households less than $1400 tim has his head comfortably up his arse and his arse in the clouds.
    As you will be aware your cabinet members have no idea of compound interest or gross earnings so it would be simple for you to get a bill setting the medicare levy at 1.5% and the debt recovery at 0.5 of gross earnings through all earners.
    You can mansplain a convoluted story of a reduction of 60% to confuse porline, jacqui and rebekka and repeat the bullshit in simple language for rex to get their vote. Lefties should support but are untrustworthy with a range of forgetful speakers and policy flips.

  12. ajogrady

    Tim Wilson thinks that a inane solution to a non existant problem is good politics. What the hell do they teach them at the Institute of Public Affairs? It is definately not rational thinking.

  13. Andrew J. Smith

    Good example(s) which mainstream media/journos avoid (or don’t even bother) by regurgitating government talking points (suggesting super in general should be nobbled aka IPA libertarian ideology), maybe include an opinion from another source (sometimes even the shadow minister), but no critical analysis.

    One understands in journalism that personal opinions should be avoided, but why does it preclude presentation of (even brief) critical analysis to counter political PR?

  14. Socrates.

    Some one put it well earlier.. the underlying symbiosis of the one-neuron neurology shared by Hanson and that other odious child Wilson.

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