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Compare the pair

Joe Hockey’s budget has been widely rejected by the Australian people. And he knows it. How do I know he knows it? Because why else would he ramp up his rhetoric about welfare bludgers to desperation levels in such a whiney and pathetic tone?

This week Hockey’s been promoting hatred of welfare recipients by telling Australian workers that one month of their annual salary is being sucked away by these sub-human, leech-like, lazy, good for nothing dole bludging sloths. Ok, he didn’t exactly use these words, but this is the image he’s clearly trying to conjure up.

It is moments like these that I am reminded how important it is for independent media sites like this one, and independent voices, to get an alternative message out there. Because Hockey’s hobby of blaming Newstart and Pension recipients for all the world’s problems is not only bully-boy lazy, but it also completely misrepresents the situation to make it appear that the only people in society who benefit from government spending are those receiving welfare payments. And the mainstream media, on the most part, support this lazy myth.

The inconvenient truth for Hockey is that all Australians benefit from government spending of one kind or another, because without government spending there is no civilisation. And as I wrote recently, the key fact that Hockey will do his best to supress because it doesn’t fit his ‘let’s-blame-welfare-recipients-while-we-bring-about-an-ideologically-inspired-small-government’ narrative is this: it’s the rich who benefit most of all from the very existence of government. You don’t believe me? Well how about we compare the pair? Who’s really benefiting most from Australia’s publically-funded civilisation?

Olivia’s life
Olivia is 32 years old and rents a one bedroom studio apartment in western Sydney for $140 a week. Olivia has been out of work for two years ever since the manufacturing company she worked at sent all their factory jobs to China, and since then she’s been sending out resumes via the computer at her local library but hasn’t had a single call back. She completed a qualification in production systems at TAFE while she was working five years ago, but very rarely sees a job advertised requiring this qualification. Each week she receives a Newstart allowance of $255.25. After her rent and household power and water bills are paid, she is left with $90 a week for food (three meals a day across a week equates to $4.29 per meal, so sometimes she skips meals). Some of the food she buys includes GST so a portion of her spending goes back to the tax office. Olivia can’t afford to go out and walks everywhere as she can’t afford public transport. She avoids seeing a doctor as she can’t afford to go to the chemist to fill a prescription. She hasn’t bought new clothes in the two years she has been unemployed – when her clothes wear out she goes to the local op shop. Her TV broke eighteen months ago so she doesn’t have any entertainment at home, except when her elderly neighbour invites her over for a tea and they watch the ABC news headlines together. Olivia is an only child and her parents live on the Central Coast of New South Wales and don’t own a car, so she only manages to see them every few weeks when she has enough money for a train ticket. She has friends who call her sometimes to chat, but she can’t afford to call them as her phone never has any credit. Her friends don’t ask her out anymore because she can’t afford to do anything. Her life is lonely and miserable and most of the time she is depressed.

So let’s recap the benefits Olivia receives from government spending in an average week. She completed her education at a public school and co-funded her government funded vocational training at Tafe. She sometimes sees a bulk-billing doctor and if she got seriously sick or injured, she would have access to a public hospital. She could also call the police if ever she needed to. And she has received a Newstart allowance for two years, and hopes one day to find a job. So this hypothetical Olivia doesn’t exactly sound like someone who is really enjoying their ‘welfare Queen’ status while screwing tax payers, does it? She doesn’t sound like she’s benefiting that much from the civilisation she lives in.

Now let’s compare Olivia to Mark and Jenny:

Mark and Jenny’s life
Mark and Jenny, both 32 years old, live in a three bedroom townhouse in Wollstonecraft on Sydney’s north shore that they bought for $750,000 four years ago with help from both of their parents and the first home owner’s grant. Their home has appreciated by 4% each year since they bought it. Mark works as an accountant at a large pharmaceutical company in North Sydney, which sells many of its products via the government funded Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Mark takes the publically-subsidised train to work every day. Jenny works as a physiotherapist in a public hospital and drives to work every day on publically funded roads. Together they take home a weekly household salary of $3,000 after tax, and after they’ve paid their mortgage, they have around $2,000 each week to spend on life’s necessities like energy and water bills, insurance, internet, car payments, petrol, Foxtel, groceries, gym memberships, take away food, wine, beer, spirits, Friday night drinks, Saturday night dinner parties or movies, tickets to sporting events and concerts, designer clothes, books, magazines, gifts, pet toys, home wares and furniture. Each week they put money away in a savings account to pay for their yearly overseas holiday. Both Mark and Jenny needed a university degree to work as an accountant and a physiotherapist and they both contributed to the cost of their degrees through the HECS system, whilst most of the investment in their education was made by the government. Mark attended a public school and Jenny went to a private school, with the cost of her education partly funded by her parents and partly funded by the government.

Mark and Jenny have a good life and much to be grateful for. They are content in their work and have busy and enjoyable lifestyles. When you look closely at the lives of Mark and Jenny, you can see that government spending has not just influenced much of their success, but it has been at the very foundation of the civilisation where they enjoy their affluent lifestyles.

Joe Hockey (image from news.com.au)

Joe Hockey (image from news.com.au)

So back to Hockey. He is clearly trying to make the Mark and Jenny’s of the world resent Olivia. He wants Mark and Jenny to think about all the hard work they do each day (and no one is questioning that they do work hard) and to resent that some of what they earn is taken away from them and given to someone else who needs it. But what Mark and Jenny need to also understand is that they did not reach their level of happiness, comfort and first-world lifestyle on their own. The government funded civilisation that they live in enabled their lives and continues to enable their lives every day. It’s the fact that there are so many government-enabled lifestyles in Australia that makes Australia a rich country – a place where so many people make money by relying on others being able to afford whatever it is they sell. If there really is a class war going on in Australia as Hockey says there is, Mark and Jenny are winning and Olivia is clearly losing.

So rather than resent the tax that the likes of Mark and Jenny pay, and begrudging people like Olivia who benefit so little from our civilisation, how about everyone ignore Hockey and instead offer some gratitude for the opportunity they’ve been given to be part of a civilisation that gives them so much benefit? And how about some empathy for the Olivia’s of the world who exist day to day in poverty? Because the truth is, Olivia isn’t lazy. Olivia doesn’t bludge. Olivia just survives. And Olivia would love to pay as much tax as Mark and Jenny do, so as to reap the benefits of the position in their society that their highly-paid government enabled lifestyles affords them. Think about that next time you see Hockey blaming Olivia. Think about that next time someone talks about lifters and leaners.

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95 comments

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  1. June M Bullivant Oam

    Both my husband and I had our own business and worked for 40 years, 60 hours per week, when we closed in 2000 due to the business going into debt, could not sell because the equipment was unsaleable and the building owner would not grant a new lease. Since then I spent 2 years in depression and on Newstart, I then got part time work for 6years, but since the year 2000 we have been giving volunteer service of over 30 hours per week. So what would Mr Hockey think about that.

  2. Nick McCarthy

    Hockey is nothing more than a lazy fat parasite!

  3. John921Fraser

    <

    Outrageous to point out the obvious !

    "Lack of jobs".
    Before you know it Abbott will be telling the world he is a "conservationist".
    Outrageous !

  4. John921Fraser

    <

    The "Olivia's" in Queensland are really resenting "Mark & Jenny" ………. because they get State government subsidised public transport.

  5. Fifty Five

    I’m single and pay $ 250 a week rent. In a capital city. I haven’t worked for nearly 2 years due to illness.All my money is almost gone.There are no options once the money runs out.It’s not looking good.I will not share with anyone.I know where Hockey will send me to.

  6. Bob Rafto

    It would be fair to say that Hockey’s speech was a huge Dummy Spit.

    I am sure when Smokin’ Joe was preparing for the best day of his life on budget night, he had it in his mind that after delivering the speech he would be bestowed with overwhelming bouquets for a job well done.

    Alas, it was not to be. The constant missiles of bricks directed at Smokin’ Joe will serve as reminder to Joe, that the very best day of his life was his worst.

    Just goes to show how much out of touch silver-tail Hockey and Abbott are to the plight of people just trying to exist, but I’m being to kind here, the money saved goes to bolster the profits of the big miners and big business and that includes the banks.

    That’s right Robin Hockey is re-directing welfare payments to Big Business.

  7. Disabled living in poverty

    Mr Hockey is also violating the disability laws with his hate inspiring incorrect speeches. Hockey is creating a hostile environment for the disabled with help from Murdoch. The lies they are telling is destroying people’s lives & they’re people who believe this hate inspiring talk & they have no hesitation in attacking the disabled in their misguided belief that people on welfare have created the economic problem. I’m on a disabled pension, I was in an insurance provider premises & asked if there were any pensioner discounts available when the woman behind me started to tell me how much of a leech I was. She did not know me or anything about the disease destroying my body but she didn’t hesitate to abuse me. Courtesy of our government. The LNP get away with inciting hatred as they are very aware I & the rest of the welfare recipients can not afford any legal help to force the LNP to stop putting us into a hostile environment. The LNP owe a duty of care to the vulnerable & hopefully huge lawsuits will bring them to their knees.

  8. Dan Rowden

    This is an excellently conceived and presented article, Victoria. The demonisation of “welfare recipients” in this country is reaching American proportions and it’s beyond ugly. It is evil and willfully ignorant to the point of derangement.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Mark and Jenny will also no doubt be taking advantage of investing any spare money they have. They may well even borrow some more to invest because interest rates are so low and the tax concessions for superannuation and negative gearing mean that they can reduce their income to avoid paying tax as they accumulate more assets to set up their “self-funded retirement”. They of course will have benefitted by an enormous amount from government assistance by the time they choose to retire – hundreds of thousands of dollars specifically due to government policy that allows them to pay less tax than their employees.

  10. Terry Goulden

    Has nothing really changed. Twenty to thirty years ago the welfare sector had to battle against the “dole bludger” syndrome. Now we have a Treasurer who thinks nothing of reviving the old myths to make a cheap political point. The underlying problem also remains the same. We have a political class that has no idea what it means to not know where your next meal is coming from. Maybe a condition of pre-selection for a seat in Parliament should be a year spent genuinely living on the new start allowance or the aged pension. At least it would get rid of all the lawyers.

  11. Roswell

    Bob, everything Hockey says is a dummy spit.

  12. SunLight

    It’s falling apart though, cos now the rich are complaining that no one is spending money
    If we all dob in a rich person this will lighten the burden, everyone knows 1 rich bludger they are out there
    Hockey gets his gambling addiction from his mother
    Was a real good smart gambler he professed, but we all know
    Gambling is a blight on a community, and everyone pays

  13. Matters Not

    Mark and Jenny or perhaps their self-employed equivalents should set up a ‘Family Trust’ that includes their self-funded, retiree parents.

    Certain low income age pensioners and self funded retirees are entitled to a special additional tax offsets.

    The Senior Age Tax Offset is $2,230 (single) and $3,204 (couple) plus the low income rebate is $445 per person.

    This means that no tax is payable for a single person whose income is < $32,279 and a couple whose income is < $28,974 each x 2 = $57,948.

    Might have to see an accountant (tax deductable) to fiddle the figures a bit, but certainly there is ‘potential’ to ‘avoid’ more tax through Family Trusts. The greater the income, the greater the rewards.

  14. Keith

    When politicians give up their rorts they might be able to talk about “leaners”.
    It is fair to say that those politicians who were caught out rorting the system just after the election can be considered to be parasites.

  15. Stuart Dean

    Apart from Hockey’s miscalculations (I only know of some people who earn $12,000 a month, let alone pay tax of that amount) I would love to know how much of our taxes go to pay Politicians. They are a bigger burden on society than the unemployed, the sick and the infirm.

  16. John921Fraser

    <

    @Matters Not
    Even in my Howard voting days I was a trenchant critic of "Family Trusts".

  17. Fred Martin

    Excellent article and I thought the comparison was very stark but one thing that should also be considered is, that in attacking all welfare recipients the way Hockey did, that he is attacking Disability and aged pensioners as well. What he forgets is that the aged pensioners are the parents of the workers he is trying to stir up. We raised our kids and put them through school and looked after there welfare and medical needs (with a lot less government assistance than they get now-a-days). We paid our taxes, we have earned our retirement.
    To try and turn children against their parents is obscene and I know at least that my kids won’t fall for it.

  18. SunLight

    There also has been study done in melbourne
    That shows pay day lenders are slamming people to wall
    They are placed in lower sociopath economic suburbs, and close to gambling venues, but they don’t want report to come out, because, as dude said” it will scare the investors off”
    These pay day loan centres are doing there best to get report stopped from public viewing,
    Now who is scamming who here, low income workers or big banks, and pay day lending places, apparently Vic is worse than anywhere else when it comes to these wealthy leaches relying on the less fortunate

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/commonwealth-bank-compensation-bill-may-run-to-multi-millions-20140613-3a30h.html

  19. SunLight

    Oops I ment socio economic
    My spell checker stuffed up

  20. Matters Not

    John921Fraser, Costello promised to look at Family Trusts when the GST was being sold. It was the Nats who went ballistic because so much of the ‘farming’ sector is riddled with ‘family trusts’. Costello ran away. Sound familiar?

  21. Möbius Ecko

    The demonisation of “welfare recipients” in this country is reaching American proportions and it’s beyond ugly.

    Isn’t this the point of this government.

    Everything I’ve seen them do and avow to do since getting into power has been to turn Australia’s social and economic system into an American system, a demonstrably proven failure.

  22. John921Fraser

    <

    @Matters Not

    Costello was never there to be able to "run away".

    It was always evident and that's why the newman LNP saw his bunny to do his audit.

  23. Neil

    So how many months do we have to work to pay for your wages, super & cigars Joe, not to mention the other parasites that sit in cabinet with you??

  24. Möbius Ecko

    As an aside Abbott gaffed on the world stage again. On an international televised outlet FFATV, wearing a Socceroos scarf in yet another obvious media stunt he made a speech to wish the Australian football team and their captain well in the match against Chile, only he got the captain’s name wrong.

    I’ll also add though it’s off topic, that as the right wing media, including their ABC, sell Abbott’s overseas jaunt as a success by comparison to past leaders’ trips it was anything but, that’s unless you count his trip as being about nothing more than a series of stunts in Lycra and propaganda photo/video ops.

    You would be hard pressed to find anything concrete he achieved outside of the myriad of video pieces, most related to war in one way or another.

  25. Ian

    “Everything I’ve seen them do and avow to do since getting into power has been to turn Australia’s social and economic system into an American system, a demonstrably proven failure.”

    It is puzzling, ME, why they should do this. Surely they know it will fail? Or are they in it just for their own short-term gain?

  26. Keitha Granville

    The demonisation of the refugees was first, and that was hugely successful. SO now they have started on welfare recipients. If they can turn the bulk of the working population against anyone who doesn’t work, their battle is being fought for them. If they can divide us, they will succeed, if we can stay united against them, they will FAIL. We have to have to keep fighting this awful war on the vulnerable, the poor, the sick, the least able to fight for themselves. This isn’t who WE are.

  27. Ian

    Unfortunately with a compliant MSM, the message of the damage this budget is doing is unlikely to get to the most disengaged voters until it hits someone close to them.

  28. Gail

    I think that JoHo is working very hard, along with the IPA and other extremist right wing groups, to bring the deserving and undeserving poor concepts from Victorian times back into public life. That is really what they are trying to sell. Most charity back in those times was controlled by religious groups, it was a concept that led to the workhouse and poorhouse in Britain at least. It’s a moral distinction. Remember Abbott’s comment to Bernie Banton……..“just because a person is sick doesn’t mean that he is necessarily pure of heart in all things”

    This religious type zealotry is something out of 1800s, maybe even further back. The deserving and undeserving poor concept seems to be differently applied in the USA. There is an underlying view there that no one would be poor if they worked hard enough, which is really another way of applying the deserving and undeserving labels, but far harsher in its application.

    It’s almost impossible for people with no money at all to work their way out of poverty. The vicious circle of poverty will always exist. It’s not a matter of belief, just a fact of life.

    This image, picked up from Twitter, lets Salma Yaqoob say it all. It would apply almost word for word to JoHo and many others in the Coalition. Scroungers and shirkers indeed.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BqCVSSLIcAEwjXd.jpg

  29. olivia

    This divisive, provocative language of Jo Hockey is designed to create antipathy, hatred and resentment . It is appalling that a senior member of the Australian government is deliberately setting out to demonise, stigmatise and add to social instability. How shameful . But please would at one least one journalist challenge him to elaborate on who he actually means when he is using the term ” welfare recipient ” . Does he mean all people receiving sickness benefit , disability benefit , the aged pensions and payments , widows pension, repatriation and veterans pensions or benefit ,” New Start, ” ( what a false impression that title creates ), single parents benefit , carers benefits, crisis assistance benefits, drought & flood assistance, family benefits , farmers benefits, housing benefits, indigenous benefits, armed services pensions and benefits, youth and children benefits, special benefits set up for specific conditions i.e. autism, educational benefit and so on and so on ……Please someone, act like a real journalist and ask him to be specific and public his reply

  30. Möbius Ecko

    No Ian because have a look at the US system. There are plenty of sources to show the huge income disparity and stats showing how an overwhelming amount of the country’s wealth is in the hands of just a handful of it’s citizens, which includes Murdoch.

    Yet despite this, and the creation of a growing army of working poor, there are still enough at the bottom end who support US government’s on both sides who overwhelming bring in policies that allow this inequality to grow.

    There are several excellent books and papers on this, with Deer Hunting with Jesus being just one, and that author has written other books on this subject.

    In my opinion it boils down to education, or in this case the denial of good and decent education to the masses. The ignorant in the US are the ones that through a constant stream of propaganda, which panders to their fears and prejudices, who most believe in supporting governments and policies that make the rich wealthier and themselves poorer. That is policies and decisions that directly hurt them whilst giving more of public money and resources to the richest.

    There’s a limit to this though as history has proven time and again. Humans en mass will put up with going down to a very low level of poverty and despair whilst they see great inequalities of the rulers and wealthy living high off their sacrifices, misery and hard labour, but when that limit is reached…

    As an example I’m reminded of an interview I saw at the height of the George W Bush administration and during the ramp up for the invasion of Iraq. In it a manufacturing worker was questioned as he was leaving the closing down of a factory he worked in for 28 years. It was shutting down because of the Bush polices that encouraged companies to go offshore. Policies that were lobbied for by big business.

    The worker was all praise for W Bush as he was protecting him and his family from those terrorists, and no it wasn’t W Bush’s fault the factory was closing down, and no he didn’t have anything to fall back on as he had only earned a low wage for 28 years that was only just enough to live on, though he did odd things here and there to supplement that, and no those things had gone as well along with the work his wife was doing, but he was thankful to God for giving him his life and W Bush for protecting him from those terrorists, and yes he will vote for W Bush and the Democrats again.

  31. Ian

    l agree, ME, but I was specifically referring to your words ‘a demonstrably proven (sic) failure’

  32. Diannaart

    With the unprecedented success the Abbottoir and MSM had in convincing far too many voters that refugees are pariahs, now the supplicants of Mordor have turned their evil gaze towards the most vulnerable people in Australia: the young, unemployed, disabled and elderly.

    If the majority of Australians buy this one… all I can say is they got what the asked a government that is only interested in governing for the top 1%.

    Australians voters WTF are you doing?

  33. Ian

    If it gives the 1% what they want. the is it a failure?

  34. Kerri

    Joe loves to wax lyrical about how hard his father worked. How he never saw a football game because he was working so hard. Has Joe ever asked his father how much tax he paid? How much he benefitted from our tax system? How much he benefitted as a new migrant? I guess the biggest benefit for Joe’s father was that his treasured son got a free University Education and was therefore able to jump the queue and avoid the hard work Joe’s father had to commit to, to make a life that is better for him, than Joe’s father’s life.
    What a shame Joe’s father didn’t impress upon his treasured son that life is a journey, and those who have barely started may not be as wealthy and priveleged as those who had the benefits of hard working parents and a free University Education.

  35. SunLight

    Diannart
    I used to wonder how you copped with msn
    battleship and misha are unbelievable
    misha was named bigot of the year by another forum
    and it wasn’t pretty for her, she got her 15 mins of fame
    but not sure its how she would of planned it
    also bigots are big prob in our armed forces
    they and their partners comments were there for all to see
    I wouldn’t trust a soldier as far as I could throw them now
    it was enlightening to say the least 😉

  36. Möbius Ecko

    Ian at 11:34 am

    Exactly, is it a failure if they have achieved what they set out to do.

    You see this in the UK and Canada where hard right wing governments are doing similar things, some milder and some worse, and though supposedly very unpopular still garner enough public support to keep doing it. Matters not that it might be propaganda, fear campaigns and a favourable right wing media that dominates the story as that story based on lies and distortions is still convincing enough people.

    And to those pulling the government’s strings, like the IPA here, it matters not that if in the end the people turn against the government and it gets thrown out. Enough of the draconian items on their list will remain in force, though some may be watered down by a new government. Then they will launch into the next campaign to get favourable government outcomes for their own benefit, and thus will keep bit by bit adding to policies that greatly benefit themselves and their wealthy compatriots, knowing that in each turnaround of government a little more of what they got implemented will remain and some more items in the list will be added.

    In the meantime it matters not to the politicians, especially those of the right, for when they’re booted out because of their inequitable policies or leave of their own accord, they walk straight into the same organisations they favoured when in government, and whilst collecting the tax payer subsidised pensions and perks will earn considerable remuneration packages as they lobby the current government on behalf of a vested interest group to implement more items on the list.

  37. Anonymous

    Thank you for writing this article, from the bottom of my heart. Please forward it to the politicians out there who run the media hate campaigns against people who are poor, unemployed, and barely scraping by.

    I am a university student but I am also a victim of no jobs, no one giving me a chance, unemployment (no income, social life and prospects of improving my self-esteem), stigmatisation as a welfare recipient, paralyzing depression and suicidal feelings for the last four years. I have been turned into the ‘enemy’ by the politicians and media of this country. My esteem, confidance and belief in myself have been annihilated to the point of beginning to believe the poison on the news about how much of an abomination I am. Since a little girl growing up, I believed with hard work I could achieve anything I set my goals on. I no longer have any hope for my future. I live in a country that creates ‘the other’ for the benefit of the rich, and is led by hatred and cruelty, where there is no understanding and compassion left, where people are blindly led by ignorance and undisguised hatred.

  38. SunLight

    Anonymous
    Hold on it will be okay
    Where there is life there is hope
    And you are alive, and your life is as worthy as
    Joes and co, even more worthy, so do not
    Let these cruel callous men and gov get to you
    Join the fight, do not get angry get even okay
    Don’t despair, you have a purpose in life and it is way more valuable than money
    Email your pollies, protest the way you can, and can afford to
    Your voice will be heard,
    “Keep you face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows”
    Anonymous be proud of yourself always, do not let a lesser person like Hokey Joe
    determine your fate and destiny 🙂

  39. Blanik

    It may well be true that one does pay a months pay a year to support welfare. My great, great grandfather probably did the same when he came to Australia. And it’s most likely that my great grandfather did the same, and my grandfather and my father and I certainly did , because None other that Honest John told us that our PAYE taxes were unfair.

    Why is it that there is such a fuss over it now that folk my age are receiving a pension?

  40. Möbius Ecko

    If I may. To continue my little bit off topic on Abbott’s support for the Socceroos and getting their captain’s first name wrong in a FFATV televised support piece.

    The Socceroos captain has delivered a slap in the face to Abbott in giving Bill Shorten a personalised autographed poster of the team thanking Bill for his support.

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BqAAmOxCQAEv7G8.jpg

    But watch for the snow job from the media when Abbott returns from his overseas tax payer funded propaganda jaunt. They will have him returning a hero. There’s already been a sprinkling of that by some media commentators, one on the ABC, and the press.

  41. SunLight

    Mo
    they already are
    That Switzer bloke on abc
    I could easily throw him into a pit full of cow shit
    With a few trained kelpies to keep in there
    For about 30 years
    He is so up abbotts butt, you can not miss the brown nose on its face
    It’s stained….

  42. Kaye Lee

    Tony Abbott rebukes Barack Obama: don’t resent China’s rise
    The unsolicited advice, bordering on a public rebuke, came in a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce overnight
    Styling himself as the new Australian point man for America in its often-fraught China relationship, Mr Abbott acknowledged that a shifting balance of power inevitably caused concerns.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-rebukes-barack-obama-dont-resent-chinas-rise-20140612-3a0db.html#ixzz34ZzwU7Ie

  43. mars08

    Diannaart:

    With the unprecedented success the Abbottoir and MSM had in convincing far too many voters that refugees are pariahs, now the supplicants of Mordor have turned their evil gaze towards the most vulnerable people in Australia: the young, unemployed, disabled and elderly.

    I’ve been expecting EXACTLY this turn of events ever since Howard’s “Pacific Solution” was implemented without any real opposition. The name itself… “Pacific Solution” was a worry. At the time, I was amazed how few saw the ominous connotation in that name.

    The idea was that asylum seekers were an inconvenience, a hindrance… a threat to the lifestyle of proper Australian families. They were trouble… a did not deserve to be respected.

    Over they years the cruel, inhumane treatment of these people has been ramped up, and far too many Australians have turned a blind eye. Rather, in response to govt misinformation and media hysteria, most of our fellow citizens want HARSHER treatment of this small, isolated, vulnerable and powerless group.

    Once the ruling class realised how easy and effective it was to demonise one minority… is it any surprise they would use this tactic elsewhere?

    Martin Niemöller observed similar episode unfolding about 80 years ago… when too many remained silent.

  44. Shaun Newman

    I do suffer with chronic major depression and anxiety disorder aka PTSD however I’m not delusional though following this comment some may beg to differ. In my summary of the LNP budget and its cuts, it seems fairly clear to me that the LNP are trying to privatize Australia. IBM run schools in the USA and would no doubt like to cater to the rich in this country to increase their profits likewise private health in the USA. by cutting $80 billion, not million in health and education to the states, it opens the way for private enterprise to fill the gap. Also the cuts to university will cause the opening of overseas multinationals to make a profit in Australia as they will no longer have to compete with subsidized courses, it amounts to a sell off of Australia complete with a withdrawal of government responsibility for we disabled pensioners which of course will see us in similar positions to USA Citizens who sleep on park benches and beg for food and money to survive while the multibillionaires are legally allowed to economically rape the population. It’s only my view, but it seems to fit with the facts as I see them. Good ole’ boys, the LNP.

  45. Möbius Ecko

    As you said SunLight.

    There is a piece in The Australian saying that no Pliberseck’s claim that Abbott is an embarrassment on the global stage, Gillard’s union history is the embarrassment on the global stage.

    Do you believe this. The world saw Abbott on the global stage and judged him accordingly, as the many international news pieces canning him and the comedy gold TV pieces lampooning his stuff ups show.

    They haven’t a clue about Gillard’s union past, even if it were true, which it isn’t.

  46. SunLight

    Mo
    I have never been so embarrassed to be an Aussie in my whole 51 years
    I think the saddest day though was when
    I saw little orange life boats, being towed by big Aussie ship, out to sea
    On a foreign news, I did email Tones and ask what they were thinking
    Because , they had lost the plot, it had a video of the people in the boat
    I have never seen something so heinous, till Manus
    I knew they would turn on us,
    Past behaviour predicts future behaviour 😉

  47. SunLight

    Yeah I uncomfortable was Obama, he was trying, but want working
    Tone’s is such a Neanderthal, he came directly from the cave, passed
    Go and got 200 bucks, and the rest is history

  48. SunLight

    Dog I need typing lessons 🙂

  49. braybrook007@yahoo.com

    Suggest abbott and his cast of misfits get on a row boat and go and live on some atoll in the pacific. The further they are from this country so much the better. Whilst attacking the so-called dole cheat etc, why doesn’t hockey look at corporate welfare? I thought the age of entitlement was over maybe for us mere mortals but not for murdoch and his kind.

  50. SunLight

    Yep worlds apart, Obama will cringe now every time he hears Tony Abbotts name
    Julia what a personable person she is
    Tones could of learnt a few lessons from Julia 🙂
    If he had chose too, what a shame he hasn’t

  51. Anomander

    Gina’s Life
    Gina is 60 years old and lives in Singapore to avoid paying tax on her Australian assets and operations. Gina is a mining heiress, having fought through the courts for years against the dying wishes of her father to gain access to his company and his mining rights, which coincidentally, he received for almost nothing from the Western Australian government. Gina attended private schools all her life, dropping out of university to run daddy’s business and undergo surgery to remove a nagging conscience. Earning approximately $2 million per hour in addition to receiving massive public subsidies, tax-offsets, fuel rebates and accelerated depreciation, Gina makes extensive use of public rail, roads, port facilities, yet still believes she should only have pay her workers $2 per day and that the government should create a special business zone just for her, so she can pay even less tax and not be unnecessarily constrained by those pesky industrial or environmental laws. Gina is the richest woman in Australia and ranked as one of the richest women on Earth and she wants for nothing, commanding power and exerting enormous influence due to her extensive wealth, yet she likes to criticise the unemployed, the sick and anyone less wealthy than her, proclaiming them all to be drinking/smoking/dole-bludging parasites living off the back of hard working miners such as herself. Although Gina has never actually done an honest day’s work in her entire life, and wouldn’t know hard work if it slapped her across the face, her life is lonely and miserable, driven by the terrible addition to make more money. Gina is widely renowned for her part as Jabba the Hutt in The Empire Strikes back – a role in which no makeup or CGI effects were used for her character. Despite her lavish jet-setting lifestyle, she is such an evil money-grubbing bitch, she has no friends – even her children want her dead, but this void is more than addressed by numerous devoted followers, sucker-uppers and arse-lickers in the COALition, the Murdoch Media and the IPA, who encourage her appalling behaviour and support her uber-wealth addiction.

  52. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Dan, which is probably why the right are attacking Gillard and Rudd in response to the avalanche of social media posts against Abbott’s overseas performance.

    Many in #auspol are doing a splendid job of sending them and the right wing media up in speculating what the right wing hyperbole will be when Abbott returns.

    There will be no surer sign that Abbott has tanked badly than that hyperbole. Just as it’s a sure sign that Abbott and this government are failures when their supporters cannot defend them except to attack past Labor.

  53. charybds

    Enough talk .. take it to the streets and the halls of parliament.

    Throw the maggots out on their arses and replace them with humans.

  54. SunLight

    Mo I like the way you think
    Yes it’s a beat up, because they know he has hit the lowest point, and cannot salvage even the shreds that are left, PETA will be bald after this, from pulling her hair out, over his misfortunes lol
    He has left country has got worse, he made a git of himself on world stage
    He can’t speak French, he can not say Canada, he is a shit stirrer
    The budget is still a sticking carcass around its neck
    Haven’t seen many of them since tones has been gone
    ” selling the budget” their about to slide into oblivion
    And I am ready waiting to see it all unfold
    And then I will celebrate with cigar, a dance and a glass of champagne
    And I don’t drink, but I will just once to libs demise 😉

  55. Diannaart

    Thank you Dan and Möbius Ecko

    Some great images to paste on my FB page.

    Cheers

    D

  56. Dan Rowden

    In terms of Obama/Abbott body language, this one might be even more telling. Not sure if the link’s going to work: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=meares+fairfax+obama+abbott&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=ReWbU_nOGIjWkAWMqoDwBQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1600&bih=781#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=NP3iihc6abKp_M%253A%3BBidsqZTWhCl7cM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fpbs.twimg.com%252Fmedia%252FBp9IKpcCEAASXle.jpg%253Alarge%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Ftwitter.com%252Fmearesy%3B1024%3B622

  57. Dan Rowden

    Of course if I had any sense I would have put that through Tiny Url first. Doh.

  58. Florence nee Fedup

    Hockey and his wife could have just as easioly been used as an example. Same goes for Abbott’s life.

    Yes, it is taxation that oils the wheels of a civil society/..

    Those at the top, benefit most from this happening. Yes, good roads to drive their flash cars on. Safe environment in which to lo live. A police and defence forces that keep them safe.

    Good hospitals to attend, staffed by extremely high educated staff.

    Yes, they enjoy the benefit by the accountancy and legal firms, once again staffed by highly educated and trained staff.

    Yes, they also enjoy water and power coming to their homes.

    Yes, all enjoy the facilities provided by taxes, of all, including workers since Federation,

    One could also move on from the concept of these taxes been seen as debt, and onto what they are, a investment in the country, according to ones ability to pay.

    We will know we have succeeded, when charity is no longer needed, and seen as a dirty word.

  59. Dan Rowden

    This one’s also pretty classic. Using the right search strings at Google Images produces some interesting things. 😉

    http://tinyurl.com/kswm7u7

  60. SunLight

    Dan
    I cannot get that last one to work
    says this page can’t be displayed?

  61. Florence nee Fedup

    Seen Truss out today. All he is saying this wealth country cannot affords to look after those in meed. He is saying Labor was wrong to improve the carers allowance, among others. Telling these people, this land cannot care for them. saying we are living beyond out mean,. How?

    What hew is really saying, those with and those who control the wealth, are no longer willing to pay their fair share of taxes, so that Australia leads the world, producing a civil society. That these people will no longer pay.

    I wonder how far these so called human expect, the lowering of taxes and the cutting of services can go. To the point that the only thing government provides is police and the defence forces. Is this their aim?

    Do they believe the role of the PM, is to one around the world, as chief CEO, with the role of selling their business.

    Is the whole of the community, only role, to service capital;. Does all that is produced, belongs to capital alone.

    I thought we had moved on from that belief, that labour creates the profits, and are entitled to their fair share.

  62. Dan Rowden

    Sunlight, it works for me. Not sure why it wouldn’t for you, but different browsers and all that … Try just doing a Google Image search for “Meares Fairfax Obama Abbott” (or a variation thereof) and browse through the results. Lots of interesting imagery. Meares is a Fairfax photographer/journo that took most of these shots which is why I’m including him in the search string.

  63. SunLight

    thanx Dan
    I will try your tips
    I struggle with a comp sometimes

  64. Florence nee Fedup

    “It’s almost impossible for people with no money at all to work their way out of poverty. The vicious circle of poverty will always exist. It’s not a matter of belief, just a fact of life.”

    Is impossible in the political environment that exists today.. Permanent work does not exist. Most jobs are casual. Yes, and this mob believe that one has to spend any they have saved before getting assistance.

    Take lower paid worker would be stupid, if they believe they are capable of amassing savings.

    One survives from one low paid job to another.

  65. abbienoiraude

    Shock horror and despair.
    I am a carer.
    My husband on DSP.
    We don’t know where we are going now and how we will survive.
    What to do.

  66. Diannaart

    Do they believe the role of the PM, is to one around the world, as chief CEO, with the role of selling their business.

    That about covers it, yes these things think exactly that – except I see Abbott as a more ‘swan-about-the-world-type CEO’- but that’s just me…

    😉

  67. Florence nee Fedup

    abbienoiraude, cannot be helped. Truss said we cannot afford to support you. I suspect that you could give up caring, and hand the whole responsibility over to the government, Many nursing homes places available I hope.

    What Truss and this government do not see, that such things as carer payments, save the government money.

    Never a truer word said, than this mob believe they know the cost of all, but the value of nothing.

    At the end of the day, that is what being discussed is values, not our ability to pay.

    It is about choices, not living within your earnings. It is about how big that pie is and how it is to be distributed. That is the role of government.

  68. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes, he sees himself as some type of CEO. He does not understand the role of being PM., A few stunts is the beginning and ending of Abbott.

    That is all we have seen over the last fortnight..

    Still no explanation as to why this trip was arranged, hastily at the last moment, and why he did not stay here, to sell his toxic budget.

    The makers of that famous surf board was given seven days, to complete the order. It seems most of his appointments where not completed before he left the shores. The GG should have been sent to France, as many other governments did.

  69. Florence nee Fedup

    Another example of getting less for more.

    “…………………The Federal Government is likely to fail – and fail horribly – in achieving its 2020 emission reduction target according to updated analysis by carbon and energy market analysis firm Reputex.

    To meet its 5 per cent emissions reduction target as embodied in the Kyoto II international commitments, the government says it needs to acquire 421 million tonnes of CO2 abatement between now and 2020. Reputex modelling suggests the Emission Reduction Fund as outlined in the government’s White Paper and the May budget will only manage to acquire between 30 million to 120 million tonnes, leaving a shortfall of at least 300 million.

    To provide a feel for how big a shortfall they’re facing, bridging a 300 million tonnes CO2 gap is equivalent to completely stopping:

    a) car, truck, train and air travel in Australia for three years; or

    b) electricity generation in Australia for a year and a half.

    Because the government is still yet to reveal just how much of taxpayers’ money it’s willing to spend to meet the 2020 target (funding of little more than a billion dollars was only revealed to the 2017-18 financial year in the May budget), Reputex developed its assessment based on three potential abatement acquisition price caps the government might be willing to pay.

    If we were to use the funding numbers provided in the May budget as a guide then, according to Reputex, the government could only afford to pay an average of $5 per tonne of CO2. Reputex then also looked at $10 per tonne and $20 per tonne ,which would require the government to massively boost budget allocations to the ERF from what has been revealed to date. …………….”

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/6/12/policy-politics/hunting-hunts-direct-action-costings?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=790612&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=

    Please take time to look at the CEF suite of legalisation, before letting Abbott pull down another worthwhile scheme.
    We are going to pay whether DA of CEF.

    Both will come out of our taxes.

  70. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes, we will be paying much more, for no return, When did increasing the petrol levy become a climate change remedy. If it is, what can it achieve.

    “……………In facing up to his meeting with US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been keen to suggest that his own climate change policy is comparable or even similar to Obama’s Clean Power Plan unveiled last week.

    Abbott said while in ‘Canadia’, that ”I am encouraged that President Obama is taking what I would regard as direct action measure to reduce emissions, this is very similar to the action my government proposes in Australia.”

    And when pressed by journalists about how he would respond to pressure from Obama to do more to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions, Abbott responded:

    ”We are proposing to spend some $2.5 billion on direct action climate change measures. If this was to translate to the United States that would be a $40 billion – a $40 billion program – over four years. Now, I think that would be a very, very substantial program should something like that be put into place here in the United States.”

    Wow $40 billion, sounds like a big impressive number doesn’t it. But if we’re talking about context it might also help to know that replacing a standard fossil fuel power station comes at a price of around $500 million to $1 billion a pop and the US has 3444 fossil fuel power stations.

    So really what might be more useful is to assess how Australia’s electricity emissions intensity under Abbott’s Direct Action policy will compare relative to US power emissions intensity under Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

    Below is our chart of the week illustrating in the red bars the mandated emissions intensity targets (in kilograms of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity) the US EPA has set for 2030 for each state in the US. The black bars represent the emissions intensity of each Australian state’s electricity supply in 2030 under government projections with repeal of the carbon pricing scheme, but critically also assuming the Coalition Government doesn’t take an axe to the Renewable Energy Target.
    ..”

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/6/13/policy-politics/abbott-please-stop-telling-fibs-about-obamas-climate-change-plan

    By the way, I am not cut and paste from what one could consider, left wing sites.

    Where is the government’s modelling for their claims.

  71. Kaye Lee

    This article from Victoria shows what we should all be doing in so many situations.

    When Joe Hockey talks about bludgers on the dole, relate the story of a real person.

    When Scott Morrison blames innocent “detainees” for being upset that they are incarcerated, get some refugees to tell the real story of what they fled.

    When people talk about the baby business, get a young mother to talk about the struggle of rearing a family on a single parent’s pension.

    When Kevin Andrews slags off about people on the disability pension, get a few to relate the struggle that is their everyday life.

    Get a few aged pensioners talking about the contribution they have and continue to make – they are not a burden.

    When Christopher Pyne talks about “more parental involvement” in schools let him hear from a few parents of their struggle to provide food and shelter for their kids.

    When they glorify ANZAC day, let’s hear from the victims of war, including the soldiers who struggle to ever be the same and their families who try to patch them up.

    Listen to the enthusiasm of students and researchers.

    This government’s game is to demonise groups. We must fight them as Victoria has done, by humanising these PEOPLE.

  72. SunLight

    That’s what they don’t want Kaye
    They don’t want real stories,
    And they do everything in their power
    To keep these suppressed, and keep them suppressed
    That is why AIMN is so good
    Because people can come here and tell their stories
    And how it affects them and maybe feel
    There is something left, good people who care about people
    And not just money money money
    Msn is the opposite, it’s for bigots and racists
    And they bounce off each other, and it just gets worse
    “Who cares if one dies, I hope they all die”
    It’s rather distressing to even think their are fellow Aussies
    Out there with this idea, murder is something to be proud of
    For no one to protect them this has to worry and scare them
    So here is safe and we can tell our story and get some help to
    understand what’s happening to them and their country
    Thank dog for AIMN 🙂

  73. Jason

    An excellent work of fiction. It makes some salient, if not emotive, points that need to be more broadly appreciated in the general public.

    It’s also heartening to see the ALP offering a clear choice to the Neoliberal agenda. I quite liked Shorten’s recent declaration that he would nationalise the banks if he won the election in 2016. I’m sure that would bring a smile to Ben Chifley’s face, but I’m a bit unsure of what Paul Keating would make of it.

    I’m not sure if the biggest problem at the moment in Australian politics is Abbott’s ideological zealotry, or if it’s the stunning lack of an alternative.

  74. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    This government’s game is to demonise groups. We must fight them as Victoria as has done, by humanising these PEOPLE

    Unfiortunately, that’s easier said than done.

    Most right wing political rhetoric is directed at our lizard brain’s most base instincts: fear, and aggression. Any notions of compassion and empathy don’t last long…

  75. SunLight

    It’s because of their sociopathic tendencies
    As a country we have demonised empathy and sympathy
    ” bleeding heart” “lefty leaning” “socialist”
    All demonising words to demonise people with empathy
    And it marginalises them then, so then they are dumped in same demonising basket as
    ” bludgers” “learners, whinges”
    I could write their script almost
    Now that’s scary “)

  76. Dan Rowden

    ” bleeding heart” “lefty leaning” “socialist” All demonising words to demonise people with empathy

    I appreciate that people vary widely in their psychological makeup and response to things, but those terms used pejoratively simply motivates me to kick arse.

  77. SunLight

    Dan
    There ass or mine
    Please explain
    I am not sure on here anymore weather
    It’s an attack or something else 🙂

  78. corvus boreus

    My favourite pejorative is “do-gooder”.
    “Do” meaning initiate or conclude an action (rather than “whinge”etc.).
    “Good” pertaining to beneficial or positive.
    One who enacts for positive benefit; what an insult!

  79. Dan Rowden

    SunLight,

    Their arse. “Pejorative” means they use those terms in a morally negative way.

  80. Dan Rowden

    corvus boreus,

    I agree “do gooder” is one of the most bizarre derogatory labels ever, given what the words, taken at face value, mean.

  81. SunLight

    Yes they do Dan
    And on purpose, because they are a nothing
    And so they have to knock others over, down
    To boost themselves up that’s all, just weak people really
    With no moral compass
    And thanks Corvus for another “bizarre” word as Dan said

  82. Kerri

    Brilliant Anomander. Just brilliant!

  83. Disabled, but not disengenuus

    Very soon this 55 year old female with long term major depression and more university qualifications one can throw a stick at will have run out of the money received after retrenchment and it is not going to be pretty. I have lived on one 400g tin of room temp baked beans and 4 slices of toast per day with instant black coffee made with the hot water from the tap to spread the money in my late teens. I have lived on 2 baked potatoes and the same type of black coffee and a pint of milk per day as I breast fed my first child, whilst his father restricted access to money because I would not abort. I have sent all my children to good state schools, ensured their education enabled them to get good jobs and enabled them to have internet access even early in the internet era. I have sent my eldest children overseas on exchange trips to enable them to have the advantages of travel and education combines, and I have ensured that my second husband and I have paid out our mortgage. I have sometimes relied upon my parents for financial assistance and I have paid them back at the interest rate plus 5%.
    Yet now I a facing conditions I thought I had put behind me 25 years ago when I left my first husband.
    I have delivered newspapers, worked in unis, worked for the government, worked as a pieceworker, in retail stores as the checkout chick, I’ve done a variety of work over the years since I turned 14. Yet, I have no guarantee I can obtain employment in any of the fields I have experience/expertise even part time.

    Thanks Joe and Tony. There is more to my life than this short burst of anger, but neither you nor your media scanners will be reading this so what its the point?

  84. JulieT

    Kaye Lee,

    Here is my real story in a nutshell…. husband died of cancer, leaving me with big mortgage, had to sell everything.

    Chronic bad back but not enough (according to govt.) to get disability pension. Nearly 60, no work in my area, struggling on Newstart.

    Abbott and Hockey are doing my head in. They have no idea, they are so out of touch with the reality of others lives.

    I do write to them and was pleased to hear that NSW is not going to cut concessions, for now.

  85. dave the bricki

    By Hokey’s calculated 1 month to pay the welfare bill, at $226k per minute, then the mining welfare of $856k per minute means we work 3.7months to pay Gina Clive Twiggy BHP and RIO

  86. Terry2

    Just catching up on my AIMN reading on a rather dreary Sunday morning ; excellent stuff as always.

    Jason you may need to provide a link to this one :

    ‘I quite liked Shorten’s recent declaration that he would nationalise the banks if he won the election in 2016. ‘

    I must have missed this one in the MSM

  87. trevor

    Hockey aka Mr Eleventy, Fat Pig, Lying Prick, decides the only way to sell his friendless budget is to demonise the most vulnerable.

    What is it with this bunch of Right wing brownnosed lying pigs led by Abbott the quinticensial lying Politician and unreconstructed thug that the only way they can garner support is by divisive snake oil politics of the lowest order.

    Export Abbott not Refugees

  88. Graham Perham

    Awwwww. It just isn’t fair. Smokin’ Joe and his pals spent hours working out this budget to enable everyone to reap and share the rewards and still you aren’t happy.

    And Labor won’t even help out with advice. It just isn’t fair. What do you want him to do, show compassion and mateship?

  89. Graham Perham

    Besides, Shit happens. 🙂

  90. Möbius Ecko

    “Smokin’ Joe and his pals spent hours working out this budget..”

    You got that right. Something that should have taken the entire Finance department and Hockey along with his staff months to produce was thrown together by Hockey and co in hours.

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