Government without a goal
Everything this government does is designed to achieve one of two goals: to get the budget into surplus or to get themselves re-elected.
And that is the problem. These are not goals. They may be methods to achieve a goal but they are meaningless without a specific idea of what you hope to accomplish.
They say they want to boost the economy but they fail to look at the opportunity cost of their decisions because they are made for the wrong reasons.
Politics is causing this government to flounder along down an ideological path that leads to nowhere because they have no ultimate destination in mind.
Christopher Pyne as Minister for Education has been a disaster. His current threats to further cut funding to research groups if he doesn’t get his way on the deregulation of university fees beggars belief.
Research and education should not be an either/or proposition and bullying threats should not be the means of negotiation, but that is this government’s modus operandi. Whether it be threats of what they will take away, or direct bullying as with Gillian Triggs, or the aggressive theatrics of Question Time – there is no substance behind it because they have no goal, they make their decisions for political reasons.
The government says we must have a surplus. Why? So we can reduce the debt. Why? So we don’t have to pay so much interest. Why? And that’s where their thinking ends. They seem deaf to all rational discussion about viewing that cost as an acceptable investment to allow us to achieve our goals.
In its 130 year history, BHP has never been out of debt. When their income was highest during the mining boom they significantly increased their debt to expand their business.
Considering interest rates are at record lows and that we can fix that rate for 10 years, it would be a lost opportunity to not borrow and invest in things that will not only increase productivity and prosperity in the future, but also improve our standard of living now.
Whilst the US and the UK have both significantly reduced their defence expenditure, Tony Abbott gleefully announces more and more military and security spending with a plan to increase it to $50 billion a year in the near future (and that’s not counting his war toys).
What are we giving up to buy 58 fighter jets and 12 submarines? What are we gaining?
Another supposed goal is to become a “small” government. Why? So market forces can direct the economy. Why? Once again, they fail to make their case. Governments are the only bodies strong enough to protect us against the greed of profit driven corporations through regulation. But this government boasts about deregulation. Profit is its only motivation.
They seem unable to grasp the importance of addressing things like domestic violence that destroys many more Australian lives than terrorism ever has or will.
Mental health problems cost the economy over $10 billion every year yet this government has slashed funding for health, homelessness, and crisis support groups whilst repealing the gambling reform laws and disbanding the Alcohol and Drug Advisory Agency.
If action on climate change costs anything then we won’t be part of it which is like saying I won’t have a life-saving transfusion because it’s against my religion.
Slashing foreign aid, an approach Jacquie Lambie and Clive Palmer endorse calling for even further cuts, ignores the effect that will have on increasing poverty, violence and oppression hence adding to the global refugee crisis.
When Tony Abbott sneers at the Victorian government for spending $1 billion to not build a road, a trap set by the previous Coalition government, consider how many tens of billions he is spending to not help asylum seekers and to create more refugees.
We will hear today about the burden of our aging population. This government’s solution is to cut the pension indexation rate and make us work longer.
Because they are averse to modelling, they once again have not thought through the implications.
People who are retiring now did not have the benefit of compulsory superannuation for much of their working life. This is not the case for the current workforce. Instead of continuing with the planned increases to the superannuation guarantee and topping up the most needy with the low income supplement, they wail about how much the aged pension costs whilst ignoring the fact that we will have more self-funded retirees in the future.
As has been pointed out by literally everybody, overly generous superannuation tax concessions are growing much faster than the aged pension, but this government does not make policy for economic reasons. Politics is more important than sensible fiscal management.
With youth unemployment rising to alarming levels, now is not the time to be insisting that older people stay in the workforce longer. The last time they increased the pension age it led to a big increase in people on the disability pension. There will be many people between the ages of 65 and 70 who will be unable to work and so will presumably be placed on the DSP.
The government boasts about its infrastructure budget but refuses to listen to Infrastructure Australia about priorities and cost benefit ratios. Why do we need roads? To employ people building them. But more roads means more cars and more pollution and more traffic jams and parking problems when those cars reach the city. Building the NBN has countless productivity gains and no negatives except the cost. As I have argued before, building high speed rail would give ongoing employment to thousands of people, revitalise regional areas, and take the burden off housing in the cities.
Whether it is health, education, welfare, security, the environment or infrastructure, this government has no goals. They don’t know why they are doing what they are doing other than it is “in their DNA”.
A goal without a plan is just a wish, but a plan without a goal is futile.
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The Intergenerational report, to be released today, will show us just how committed this government is when it comes to the priorities of this and future generations : climate change and the transition to renewable energy and the significant employment opportunities that will flow from these challenges.
So far what I’m hearing is that the focus is on keeping old folk in the workforce longer and hastening new mothers back to work before their babes are weaned – what about the younger generation who are currently facing historically high unemployment rates and a spiralling real estate market with their inability to get onto the first rung of home ownership despite record low interest rates.
Tony Abbott’s legacy to future generations…
Rampant global warming
Huge personal debt to gain an education
Rising youth unemployment
Erosion of workplace entitlements
No income for the unemployed for half of every year
Increased medical costs through the erosion of universal healthcare and the signing of FTAs
Loss of sovereignty to make laws to protect the environment and health
Work till they are 70
But hey….we might have a surplus in ten years
But hey….we might have a surplus in ten years.
Latest report mentioned on ABC News Breakfast this morning is that Australia cannot be out of debt until 2031, and that’s if all this government’s social destruction policies are implemented.
“What are we giving up to buy 58 fighter jets and 12 submarines? What are we gaining?” Yes, exactly. I’m beyond disgusted.
This Intergenerational Report is a pointless piece of propaganda which, as Tanya Plibersek pointed out, has finally killed off any idea of the Charter of Budget Honesty. It also includes things that have not passed the senate like higher education reforms, changes to pension indexation, as well as the GP co-payment which I thought was “dead, buried and cremated”.
Wonderful lets all lie down and enjoy our self-inflicted conservative misery while working towards more and more suffering and hardship. Thats the way to govern.
Consequential thinking can’t get in the way of the profit motive can it?
Got to get things out of perspective to be a conservative don’t we?
So now Morrison wants us to stop being critical and accept our dose of austerity poison.
New Intergenerational Report by biased conservative committee states Labor was leading us to Armageddon. Surprise surprise.
More lies and demonization since you deserve to suffer because you let Gillard beat me.
I hate you working class leaner bludger surfs.
Well that is damn obvious Dear Leader.
We will pour poison down your throats until you experience the light of darkness clawing out your eyes and then charge you to fix them.
Sounds like a worthy capitalist goal.
All up things are going to plan.
Our present PM is totally deluded. He claimed recently that the Coalition “has done the hard yards” in last year’s Budget and if only the Senate would pass it, it would benefit Oz “for a generation”. So the Great Big Debt and every other problem in Oz is so easily fixed…if only the Budget were to be passed.
Now the big project is to help solve Iraq’s sectarian problems. Never mind that these problems have existed for hundreds of years, exacerbated by Western interference in the carving up of the Middle East. Abbott sees himself, draped in Oz flags or sitting in a military aircraft, posing as the great Aussie commander come to save the world. But of course he has been asked and he must respond. The result is that Oz becomes the target of disaffected Muslims who see him as an intruder. So much for security in Oz, when it is Abbott poking at the hornets nest.
How anyone can claim that any of this is boosting his poll ratings is beyond comprehension.
Defence Minister is announcing (in front of 4 flags) that we are going to build 21 patrol boats to give away to Pacific neighbours.
Always with the boats!
A supposed devout Catholic spends up big on killing machines and gets a hard-on for war.
Says a lot about both the man and his belief.
I think that whatever “goals” this current, temporary government has are so bad for the rest of us that they can’t reveal them …. much like the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership proposals ……
A IGR that does not address man made climate change can only be seen as a farce, a con.
Who is going to care for the failing partners if all are forced to work. Most aged couple have one who is fitter than the other. There care and love keeps them out of age care facilities longer. Where will we find the volunteers and charity workers of the future. Who will back up young families when things go wrong.
The furphy is that once one is retired, one no longer contribute to productivity, economy and the community.
The truth is, most will remain at work as long as they wish. Yes, I think their is evidence that more are staying linger at work, as a personal choice. Maybe some too long.,
Yes, even grey nomads contribute to the economy. One does not stop paying taxes when one leaves the workforce.
More so, since the move over decades has been from progressive income tax to regressive indirect taxes. Yes, taxes on consumption.
No big boy, a grey army is not required.
Only four flags?
“A IGR that does not address man made climate change can only be seen as a farce, a con.”
That would not only include countless billions in mitigation, but also the decline in revenue and value of the fossil fuels industry, particularly all those stranded assets that state and federal governments are “investing” in- while incurring massive opportunity costs in the process.
Australia will end up as a pile of dust if this government continues along its ideological path.
Kaye, you have just written a wonderful blueprint for the opposition parties to wrap a policy framework and message around to deliver to the Australian public. TO CHANGE THE DIALOGUE WITH THE PUBLIC. To educate the masses and bring people back into a dialogue with government. To restore democracy back to what it is supposed to be. We have a handful of quality visionaries on the opposition benches, including the minor parties. Do they have the integrity and bravery to do so? Surely there are also some LNP backbenchers in this group. Are they brave enough to speak up?
2015 is a defining year in Australian politics. Do we stumble towards “democracy” in its perverted form in the USA, or do we turn back towards the social democratic state we realized in the 1970’s and 1980’s? I wonder…..
I do believe the Abbott government does have goals – however, they are not so stupid as to admit to any.
Imagine if Tony truthfully stated, “Yes, I am committed to fulfilling the IPA’s entire wish-list.”
There will be no-one to babysit Costello’s vision of:
“one for Mum, one for Dad and one for the country”
In terms of BHP the tax advantage of being in debt is far too great for them not to be using debt to try and monopolise – but I wonder if the tax advantage of deficit spending is equally as great via the multiplier effect on GST and income.
We need a new political party – the Social Democrats – which would attract many people who now see both the Greens and Labor as offering only part of what is needed. None of the existing parties would cater to the ideas regularly appearing in AIMN and clearly well supported.
How about it Kaye et al?
It wasn’t that long ago that we were told that older people working longer were greedy, depriving younger people of work opportunities. How quickly the narrative changes..whenever it suits the LNP.
Rosemary. please check out what the Greens have been doing and their extensive, comprehensive and fully thought through policies before lumping them in with Labor.
A good start would be to watch this video by Scott Ludlam on Labor’s intention to support the Metadata scheme.
What was once a good idea and was a useful tool has now been politicised and its credibility destroyed. Vale the Charter of Budget Honesty and goodbye to the Inter-generational report. Can this ship of fools we call a government put their cheap shots aside for one moment and actually get on with providing a progressive government for the benefit of all Australians? Sadly I doubt it!!
‘Everything this government does is designed to….’
Is to serve investment banking bubbles till they burst, especially arms and SS industry cartels.
This this underlying global bankster corruption led us to previous world wars seems to miss the gaze of commentators. That no govt is in charge of too big to jail growth industries also seems to miss the gaze of commentary industry.
Team economic eugenics australia is just a symptom. At 7 billion, we are feeling like and in many cases across our only home world behaving like caged animals is the clue to behold you think. We’ve been at this level of hysteria before but not at 7+ billion and howling into the vacuum. Accumulative toxicity isn’t just physical, it’s mental.
Of ideology/religion, worshiping profit and prophet above all else that is reality, ignores reality.
Delusional disorder – http://www.minddisorders.com/Br-Del/Delusional-disorder.html
Investing in “goods for the future” like capital goods, research and education, renewable energy and preventive medicine would lead to improved economic growth in the future. We need skills, innovation and flexibility. Ripping money out of the economy by reducing government spending and wages constrains growth. This is a government who is willing to sacrifice our future for the sake of a short term accounting term.
This party might be worth a look Rosemary: https://www.australianprogressives.org.au/
As I see it, we the people of earth are in much more trouble than just economics Kaye. Off course investing in the people trumps investing in yet more ponzi schemes known to consistently fail, lest global war is the ambition.
From the link I gave above reads,
‘Unlike most other psychotic disorders, the person with delusional disorder typically does not appear obviously odd, strange or peculiar during periods of active illness. Yet the person might make unusual choices in day-to-day life because of the delusional beliefs.’
Description fits WMD LNP policy to a tee. This govt is not mentally fit to govern so how is it we the people don’t have a backup plan?
I saw the Joel Gilbert movie about progressives recently.
I just saw the worst interview with Christopher Pyne ever. Today he has announced that the two-man new National Curriculum has been accepted by state ministers, will be completed within 5 months, ready to be implemented next year.
So he hopes to get a report in August and for educators to give it the immediate tick of approval, retrain their staff, rewrite their programs, rewrite their texts, rewrite their lessons, and be ready to kick off 5 months later, two months of which are holidays, having just gone through that process to implement (this year for many schools) the National Curriculum they agreed on .
Gee that should work well. Obviously none of these ministers have any idea the work entailed in changing courses – do none of them have experience in the education sector or advisers that are competent and game enough to point out how ridiculous this is?
I watched that interview/doorstop until Pinhead said “And the number one recommendation is is um is, except I just cant remember it right now, its slipped my mind right now, but over the course of this interview I shall remember it ”
I didn’t listen to the rest of the idiot flicked it over to the documentary on the dark ages back in the 16th century in England where they want to drag us back to on SBS, history has a way of repeating itself for some unknown reason.
Pinhead has short term memory loss, as well as all the other symptoms of someone who is out of their tree like Pinhead is..The bloke is totally bonkers and obviously didn’t memorize the crap he was about to spew forth 🙂
If it looks like a fool, if it sounds like a fool, it is a fool and Pyne is a fool on a spectacular scale..
All education problems will be solved by concentrating on phonics and truancy officers.
Decluttering the primary curriculum has merit but I wish he’d let the experts advise him on the best way to do that and no, I don’t consider Donnelly and Wiltshire experts. I have an objection to corporal punishment.
Kaye, It was what I would describe as a piss poor doorstop
He is like a steroid on steroids, he was talking to fast, here there and “phonics” 🙂
he couldn’t wait to say “see its not biased like Labor said it would be”
its like a kid with a new toy and cant wait to explain how you
insert the batteries/labor party into every toy/issue,
But they are only the opposition party and don’t make policy as such
when are the idiots going to get it through their thickheads that they are the Gov now and should have had policies to enact, not the crap they are pushing onto us and calling it “good policy”
Geeezuz, give me strength, the LIBs wouldn’t know what “good policy” on education was even if it came up and bit them on their fat lazy arses….
they cannot crew six submarines now, how will they crew twelve? if they can only crew six of the new ones we will have six sitting doing nothing. this mob of idiots never think ANYTHING through
BRAVO Kaye, it is abundantly clear the Lieberals have been hit with THE STUPID STICK!
There are plenty of people out there with goals they want to achieve. We might not agree with some of those goals. Some of the more alarming of them are in accord with Coalition goals.
Take the fossil-fuel cartel. Imperial Oil (Exxon has shares) has spent $13bn developing the Alberta tar sands, 200 square kilimetres of open cut min in Canada. Chevron is spending $54bn on developing gas on Barrow Island, a Class A Nature Reserve off the coast of WA. Shell will spend $10-12bn on a large floating off-shore facility (longer than 4 soccer fields). Just a few examples. See Naomi Klein’s latest.
The fossil-fuel cartel has on its books some 2,795 gigatons of carbon (1 gigaton = 1 bn metric tons) (Carbon Tracker Initiative, London).
The intention is that this carbon is to be burnt. Science tells us that we should keep the limit down to 565 gigatons if we are to keep warming to 2 degrees by mid-century. That is, the goal of fossil-fuel burners is 5x the scientific recommendation.
The fossil-fuel cartel is terrified of stranded assets. No wonder that they, and countries like Canada and Oz, are opposed to any constraints on the carbon industry. The Coalition here is keen to flog “King Coal” for as long as it can.
Is that the kind of goal we want or need?
The only thing that will increase productivity is an increase in cheap energy. Economic growth is only possible with surplus energy. It is the increasing cost of energy that is eroding productivity and stifling growth. Adding more debt to solve a debt problem regardless of the rate of interest is not the solution. It requires exponential growth and consumption to pay increases in debt.
A growing economy reduces the proportion of debt while a decaying economy which, is what we are going have, increases it.
The JSF is under powered, flies like a brick and is dependent on Chines made parts for which, a special permit had to be obtained. Also, these bricks can not fight independently. They require other support aircraft to operate. That is where the “Joint” in Joint Strike Fighter comes from.
We could have had triple the number of Euro-fighters already in service for the price and time it has taken us not to produce any of these duds. As for subs, we should have purchased off the shelf nuclear from the U.S. and fitted them out ourselves.
Super and savings will be destroyed when the banks are bailed in because of the massive global debt which, is impossible to pay off. We can not avoid it.
This is the what our governments, Labor and Liberal are trying to achieve:
Increase energy production, grow populations, grow the economy, build massive amounts of energy guzzling infrastructure and pay off debt all while trying to reduce greenhouse gasses and the budget deficit…. Ha!
This is why they have and will continue to fail:
It is the ideology of perpetual compound growth and the absurd pursuit of it that is the problem.
Only a massive shift in the mindset of the majority and the ruling class can save us and I don’t see that happening. Business as usual (debt fueled growth) will bankrupt economies and destroy our environment, poison our ecosystems, increase inequality and create shortages and scarcity in the process.
In summary, there are just too many of us for any growth based solution to be possible.
You produce some great articles Kaye Lee however, this is not one of them.
I too disagree with corporal punishment. Violent punishment is the resort for those without the intelligence to find civil methods. also, corporal punishment is a playground for sickos who like to power-trip by hurting children. Sadists support corporal punishment.
“Economic growth is only possible with surplus energy.”
What rubbish. You completely ignore the services sector which is perhaps our largest contributor to economic growth. IT is another area with exponential potential.
“It is the increasing cost of energy that is eroding productivity and stifling growth.”
Productivity can be affected by many things like the health, education, participation and skills of your workforce and technological advances.
“Super and savings will be destroyed when the banks are bailed in because of the massive global debt which, is impossible to pay off. ”
Even the handpicked austerity expert John Fraser had to agree that we cannot go broke. we are a sovereign currency.
You produce very repetitive single dimension comments Harquebus, that was another of them.
Jacob, this is where the Grey Army comes in ; I’m already putting my application in for retraining as a submariner : I hope they allow for nap time – I’ll be approaching eighty by the time these subs are delivered from Japan.
Kaye, you probably know more about this stuff than me but I would be interested in your views on how section 87 of the reserve bank act applies to the ‘sovereign’ currency. I am not a lawyer but section 87 seems to provide the RBA with legal immunity to, for example, erode currency sovereignty.
RESERVE BANK ACT 1959 – SECT 87
Validity of acts and transactions of Bank
The validity of an act or transaction of the Bank shall not be called in question in any legal proceedings on the ground that any provision of this Act has not been complied with.
Without surplus energy there will be no economic growth. You can argue against it all you like but, physical realities trump political and economic theory every time.
The services and IT sectors consume, they do no produce.
We are a sovereign fiat currency. “All paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value. Zero.” — Voltaire.
Throughout history, there has not been a single fiat currency that not returned to its intrinsic value and for the first time in history, all currencies are fiat.
My repetition is different from you repetition and so what. I have an opinion and am entitle to express it as you are yours and you are welcome to try and change mine as I am trying to change yours. Because we disagree on some things, that should not make us enemies.
“Ignoring facts does not make them go away.” — Fran Tarkenton
(This one is a good read.)
Harquebus, the problem is that you show no regard for the article that is written. Regardless of the topic at hand you always hijack the thread to repeat the same mantra. There are whole sites devoted to your obsession where your comments would no doubt be welcomed by the readers. Your failure to understand this really annoys me. I have invited you to submit an article to Michael to consider for publication. As far as I am aware, you chose not to. What I will NOT allow is for you to hijack every single thread here to make it about your obsession.
I am not a legal expert and cannot judge the implications of one sentence taken out of context.
The bribery case involving RBA subsidiaries would suggest they are not completely immune
Harquebus, we will soon be introducing a new feature: “Your Say”. It will be a forum where people can post comments about topics that aren’t featured in our articles. You may wish to post your repeated comments about energy surplus in that forum as a preference to derailing Kaye Lee’s articles.
Looking down the track is an important part of leadership, but using dodgy economic modelling to whip up fear will do little to help the government either plan for the future or to get the public to engage in a real conversation about where we are heading.
ABS Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/11/2014
“Based on current mortality rates, a boy born in 2011-2013 can expect to live 80.1 years, while a girl can expect to live 84.3 years”
“current life expectancy at birth is 91.5 years for men, and 93.6 years for women”
Can someone explain to me how life expectancy increased by about 10 years in the space of four months?
When talking about anything to do with Crissy Pyne, there are only 2 rules.
Rule 1. Christopher Pyne is a f*ckwit.
Rule 2. Any statement made by Christopher Pyne on any matter whatsoever must only be considered once Rule 1 has been taken into account.
@KayeLee. JoJo uses eleventymaths as a counting system.
@Terry2. That would be the Grey Navy. I’ve always wanted to drive a sub too. Mine will be faster than yours, cos I’ve got a blown big block V8 that was supposed to go in my FJ hearse, which I had to sell when I got sick. It’s big and shiny, and damn it’s quick.
All in all, I am just waiting for the whole damn rat-pack of them to come out with a new “inter-career and ageing” report that conjures up a whole bunch (polite speak for f*ckin’ shit-load) of jobs for us all to keep doing until we drop at our designated work-stations.
My 82 year old mum (it’s her birthday today btw) is going back to teaching. Her older sister is giving stenography classes at the nursing home in Portarlington, and my counselor’s retarded son is going to buy a sheep and live off the wool he sells.
See. It’s easy really. The rest of us are just being pessimistic.
BTW. I sent the LNP a price for me making their flags, and therefore saving them my newstart allowance, but I was reliably informed that all new Australian flags are being produced by China as part of the recently signed FTA, so I might as well give up now and crawl back into my box. Bummer. There goes my idea of flags to riches.
Our illustrious government of stunts and props. The IGR shows how great they are. The biggest stunt of the lot so far, Why do they need to spend ten of millions to sell it. Yes, they have achieved miracles with their handling of the budget crisis. All it took, was taking benefits from those at the bottom. The solution for the long term is to make people work until they drop. Yes, and it seems deficits are no longer achievable. swell for at least the next two terms of government. That is OK, as our Tony has said he has fixed everything. Yes, in spite of those unfair policies that the pesky Opposition and cross benches would not allow through.
Yes we can now sit back, relaxed, as our Tony has a beautiful budget coming up. No nasties needed in this one, as he is going to follow quickly with a snap election.
Yes, our Tony knows how to con us. All it takes is a good scare campaign, him telling us how good he is, spin and stunts.
Can’t sleep, and everywhere I turn on the Internet is valid discussion on the destruction of everything that we and previous generations have worked and strived for. Maybe I should be watching ABC for lobotomised delinquents instead, to calm this nervous mind.
If I was religious, which thankfully I am not, I would say that our nation and others, well heck, let us just say all the world, is now governed by the Devil (or is it just the Banksters?). Which it is, as is not the lust for wealth, the root of all that is evil? The Ancients were wise in some of the things they handed down from past disasters we have forgotten.
Just look at those that we are entranced to absorb and listen to every utterance of, where every word they utter, advise and command upon, all comes down to talking about wealth and nothing much else. Talk about a species with a myopic delusion, or is it really incredibly stupid when it comes to simple things.
Who is the fool?
Pyne is just another one.
See Abbott is facing another budget back flip. Yes, the states are not asking but demanding the cuts they have made to legal aid be returned, Brandis seems inclined to do so. Making cuts across the board, without examination as Abbott did has too many unexpected outcomes. Hurts too many people.
I say Abbott not Hockey, as evidence seems to say, Abbott is directly responsible for the unfair and unjust cuts in the last budget.