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Help, I’m sinking

Image by abc.net.au

Image by abc.net.au

In a press conference today, Joe Hockey repeated his catchphrase yet again:

“Lift the tide and all boats will rise”

Well I’m sorry Mr Hockey but the figures don’t back you up on that theory.

In August last year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the statistics on Household Wealth and Wealth Distribution, Australia, 2011–12.

The ABS reported that:

“While the mean (average) household net worth of all households in Australia in 2011-12 was $728,000, the median (i.e. the mid-point when all households are ranked in ascending order of net worth) was substantially lower at $434,000 … This difference reflects the asymmetric distribution of wealth between households, where a relatively small number of households had high net worth and a relatively large number of households had low net worth.”

Some rather disturbing statistics:

  • Between 1980 and 2008, 22 per cent of all growth in Australia’s household income went to the richest 1 per cent.
  • The richest 10 per cent of Australians have gained almost 50 per cent of the growth in income over the past three decades.
  • The top 25 per cent had 60.8 per cent of total net worth in 2011-12.
  • The number of Australian millionaires increased by 38,000 to 1.123 million people.
  • From 2003-04 to 2011-12, the top 25% enjoyed a 28.3 per cent growth in their net worth while the bottom 25 per cent had an overall rise in net worth of 2.5 per cent
  • The net worth of the households at the top of the 80th percentile was 11.6 times higher than the net worth of the households at the top of the 20th percentile

Despite years of unprecedented growth and wealth creation, poverty in Australia remains a persistent problem with an estimated 2,265,000 people or 12.8% of all people living below the internationally accepted poverty line used to measure financial hardship in wealthy countries.

The Newstart Allowance has not been increased in real terms since 1994 so households relying on it have been falling further behind community living standards and into poverty. There are over 600,000 children living in families below the poverty line. About half of those children are in sole parent families, and one quarter of people in sole parent families are living below the poverty line.

Joe’s idea of “trickle down” economics has been tried in America, championed by Ronald Reagan. So how did that work?

In 1976, the top 1 per cent of Americans held 19.9 per cent of total wealth in the US. In 2007, they held 34.6 per cent and by 2010 they held 35.4 per cent. In other words, the top 1 per cent have increased their share of total wealth. In 1983, the bottom 80 per cent had 18.7 per cent of total net worth. By 2010, that share had fallen to 11.1 per cent.

Once again we see that while the rich get richer the poor get poorer, and every policy direction this government is taking is designed to increase that gap, despite income inequity having been identified as one of the greatest economic crises facing the world today.

This suggests that some refocusing of the debate is required away from those at the very top of the income distribution towards those at the very bottom. The Australian Social Inclusion Board estimates (using a variety of indicators) that 5 per cent (around 640,000 people) of Australians aged between 18 and 64 have multiple disadvantages. A greater focus on understanding and tackling multiple and entrenched disadvantage is critical in terms of improving overall wellbeing in Australia

It appears to me that that the rising tide of bullshit is designed to trickle down by pissing on the poor.

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96 comments

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  1. Jan Dobson

    Damn scary, isn’t it.

  2. Phillip Kaufmann

    Not to mention the “Royal Commission” into Trade Unions, Yes and there still bashing the old Commy under the bed routine, at the the expense of hard working Tax Payers.

  3. Fed up

    I got the feeling that Hockey was trying to convince himself he was doing the right thing. Wonder what his wife says to him.

    I see MYEFO and similar reports asa predictions. Yes, if all things stay the same, this is how it will be in six months. Did not mean that we has to have unemployment. Not like it is set in stone.

    Now Gillard and Swan took note of the figures early in the year, they pulled back for going after a budget surplus. One should not forget, their aim was stupid in the first place. They did not go after fiscal consolidation.

    We have this government that comes in, ignores the predictions, the warnings that the economy was fragile and further cuts would lead to unemployment. They are so wrapped in their ideology, they are ignoring reality.

    I believe they got a genuine shock, when they found out, it was not possible to sack as many PS as they planned. They are shocked, the fat is not there to cut.

    Now is not the time for massive change.

  4. Matters not.

    ‘Trickle down’ economics is better described as being ‘pissed on’ from above.

    We are racing down the US track and that’s a real problem.

    Here’s the view of someone who might know:

    we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

  5. Matters not.

    BTW, if anyone wants ‘convincing’, watch this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0ehzfQ4hAQ

    But then again, anyone interested in notions of ‘fairness’, equality and the like would have seen it already.

  6. Fed up

    Hockey is I believe having the worlds treasurers here. At least that is what I believe he said. Mumbled something about educating them. It had to be a bad dream,

    Reality seems to be disappearing.

  7. Fed up

    Good argument for death duties.

  8. Graeme Rust

    these idiots never learn, hocky hasn’t a clue, he’s no good with numbers over ten, we are stuffed unless a meteorite hits libs and takes them all out.

  9. Rod Bakes

    Hockey ,you wouldn,t know shit from clay ,Not happy with the status Quo ,You want to kick the under dog ,even further ,You are a lowlife .You & Abbott think you can teach the world about your form of economics .Abbott at Davos ,what an embarresment to our proud nation ,Just because your wife is a $$$$ ,HSBC success . Their record is a bit shonky . Pull your head in, you are a bloody fool !!

  10. Rod Bakes

    All Labor,s failing ,Budget surplus for one ,Abbott,s incessant negativity & goading ,day after day ,It would have to take it,s toll !! Whiney Pyney ,what an attack dog ,,He needs a collar & a leash ! What a deranged spoilt upstart brat he is !!

  11. john921fraser

    <

    Of course Joe "don't know" Hockey doesn't have a clue, how else do you think he got his name ?

    "This suggests that some refocusing of the debate is required away from those at the very top of the income distribution towards those at the very bottom."

    What Kaye Lee's figures show is the public cash cow is dry and its time for the profit takers to start paying their way.

    The Abbott gang want to sell public "utilities" that are profitable for the government so that they can be even more profitable for private enterprise ….. some people even call it gouging.

    But you will never see "gouging" spoken by the Abbott gang in the breath as private enterprise.

    So the only recourse Joe "don't know" Hockey has is to raise taxes from the most vulnerable and blame the ALP.

  12. revolutionarycitizen

    Our tax system in a nutshell and thanks to the ABC of all places…

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4633144.html

    And also interesting

    Top Incomes in Australia, Updated

    So, the top 1% begin at $197,000 in annual individual earnings…

    We can also predict what will happen if we increase taxes to sharply, people leave, which is what happened in France, forcing an about face on policy settings there.

    “•The top 25 per cent had 60.8 per cent of total net worth in 2011-12.” And paid well over 60% of all taxes paid, so, it isn’t like the bottom 75% aren’t getting a fair-shake here.

  13. mikestasse

    Joe’s idea of “trickle down” economics has been tried in America, championed by Ronald Reagan. So how did that work?

    It doesn’t trickle down……… it SUCKS!

  14. Kaye Lee

    rc, once again I am not sure where you get your information from but it is wrong.

    December 29. 2013

    France’s highest court has approved a 75% tax on salaries exceeding 1m euros (£830,000).

  15. revolutionarycitizen

    The ABC were quite thorough in their article Kay, the top 10% of Australian earners pay 45% of all taxes, it is in the graphs in the article, all sourced and referenced. So I fail to understand why you would say I am wrong, if I am wrong, so is the ABC, and what are the chances of that?

    And from Forbes…

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2014/01/18/hollande-converts-proposes-austerity-and-lower-taxes-to-boost-growth-in-france/

    It does appear the French have had a change of heart.

  16. Matt James

    Ah yes, hissing is at those who are actually doing something, but not earning much. Its a dead give away. Most of the leeches high up, or not so high up in the Financial Services Industry do just that, because they are doing nothing. You go to the Liberal Party Facebook Page and there are Toads on it sneering at the $50,000/year the workers are getting at the Toyota factory.

    But this says it all:

    Mr Hockey today said that Toyota Australia president Max Yasuda raised concerns with him about the generous conditions during a private conversation last year.

    “They were very concerned about the conditions that existed at Toyota in Australia,” he told Fairfax Media.

    “[Mr Yasuda] warned it was proving to be very difficult to sustain the business with those sorts of conditions and I stood in Parliament actually and said quite bluntly that if the AMWU continued down this path, it would be very difficult for Toyota to stay in Australia.”

    Then just a few hours later this media release from Toyota:

    “Toyota Australia has never blamed the union for its decision to close its manufacturing operations by the end of 2017, neither publicly or in private discussions with any stakeholders,”.

    Apparently Toyota did say the cost of production was an issue, which the Toads then turn into blame the workers for not agreeing to a generous $6/hour or something less in order to compete with $2/hour in, I don’t know… somewhere you can just chuck workers into the mini skip if and when they drop dead. Banker David Murray probably knows of just the place.

    But despite the FB Toads, Hockey turned the issue into a blame the unions which Toyota went out of their way to correct the lie right down to the word union, obviously really annoyed that the dirty NEO, living by the NEO Mantra of constant dirty lies whenever it suits them, should be so arrogant and smug as to take words out of their mouth in such an underhand way.

    What a pack of creeps. They wouldn’t work under the kind of conditions they want to impose on others, no way.

  17. john921fraser

    <

    Nice to see you back Revo.

    Forcing yourself to go to the ABc for information must hurt ?

  18. revolutionarycitizen

    John, I am still in shock! I do apologise for my absence, there were pressing matters that required my attention, namely, the inside of my eyelids 🙂

  19. Kaye Lee

    From your ABC article

    “From 2000 to 2009 the income tax cuts in Australia were across the board and certainly deeper than those which occurred in countries such as USA and Canada, but they also favoured the highest income earners more than anyone else”

  20. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    I fully understand.

    Hopefully tonight you will get to know more about yourself.
    🙂

  21. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    I must admit I am surprised you would come back with taxation as the other night you showed how little you knew about it.

    Do you have someone with you ?

  22. Matt James

    BTW I just read from Rod Bakes 20 cents worth, thank you Rod, Hockey’s wife is a HSBC Success! Really? you mean another useless do nothing but leech banker, completely over rated and supremely full of themselves?? Gee… I never would have guessed!!

  23. revolutionarycitizen

    Yes, but, but tell me, what is the top marginal income tax rate in the US of A? And what is ours? You must also consider that the US Economy suffered a recession during that period making taxation changes rather difficult.

    We also weren’t borrowing trillions of dollars to stay afloat either…

    But the fact still remains, the top 10% of Australian income earners pay 45% of the taxes, and people still think they’re not paying enough. Why can’t people just admit a great portion of the Australian tax-paying public are far more interesting in avoiding their responsibilities than making the taxation system fair and equitable?

  24. Kaye Lee

    As I have quoted before

    “Doubling the average US individual income tax rate on the top 1% income earners from the current 22.5% level to 45% would increase tax revenue by 2.7% of GDP per year…..The job of economists should be to make a top rate tax level of 80% at least “thinkable” again.”

    This comes from a very interesting article

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/24/1percent-pay-tax-rate-80percent

  25. revolutionarycitizen

    Why not get the 25% of the American workforce who don’t pay Federal Income Tax earn or at the least pay some Federal Income Tax? The problem with the US Economy isn’t taxes (As they’re only needed to pay for the crappy governmental decision that have lead to this point) but the fact that a gargantuan amount of its workforce earn next to nothing. (especially when their entire economic model is based on consumer spending, and consumers can’t spend what they’re not earning)

  26. Kaye Lee

    The top 10 per cent in Australia earn about the same amount as do the lowest 55 per cent.

  27. revolutionarycitizen

    “I must admit I am surprised you would come back with taxation as the other night you showed how little you knew about it.”

    What article was that John?

  28. revolutionarycitizen

    “The top 10 per cent in Australia earn about the same amount as do the lowest 55 per cent.”

    But the bottom 55% aren’t paying 45% of the tax take either. (And include almost all/if not all of the tax-payers who are a net loss to the system)

  29. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think you understand the concept of progressive taxation rc and I am too tired to explain it to you. Good night.

  30. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo This sounds like you pretending you know everything there is to know about taxation in Australia …. and now France & the US :

    revolutionarycitizen
    February 11, 2014 • 11:08 pm
    Who ever keeps trumpeting the idea that passing 500 new laws in 6 years needs to recite them.

    In the immortal words of Cicero “the greater the volume of laws the more corrupt the state”, he was right then, and he is right now.

    As for Donovan,

    Toyota’s decision only came after two ALP affiliated unions stopped Toyota from re-negotiating a crippling EBA in good faith. Why would a company that could manufacture its goods for less in any country in the world manufacture in Australia when it no-longer had managerial control over its own business? And I would like an answer to that Mr Donovan.

    The rot in the manufacturing industry set in under Keating, he saw the writing on the wall, and let us not forget his fights with the unions.

    As for any over-statement of SPC Ardmona’s EBA, why not link your article to the actual EBA which can be found online? The fact that SPC Ardmona is the last of its kind in Australia and going broke is a clear indication that its EBA and other like it in the industry were wholly unsustainable, literally the out-come is absolute proof.

    Again, good God in Heaven knows how many times this has to be explained to people on the political left like Mr Donovan who either deliberately not read the historical information and genesis of the Diesel Fuel Tax rebate, or are deliberately dishonest. The Diesel Fuel Excise is a Road Use Charge that was implemented in order to have the owners of diesel powered vehicles to pay for the damage they caused to the national road infrastructure. Miners (along with everyone else who can show their diesel fuel use was for non-road use) are exempted (in part or in full) because their vehicles primarily do not use public or publicly funded roads. It is not a subsidy, it is the correct application of the original tax for its original purpose. As for the rebate miners get for exploration, it is treated like every other business charge, it is no different, it has the same tax status as when a business buys a photocopier, remember, business taxes are calculated at profit, not income, so any expense to the business is removed before that calculation takes place. There is no excuse for not knowing this stuff, there really isn’t.

    Also, high end earners aren’t being given a tax-cut in their superannuation, they’re being forced to pay the exact same rate of tax as everyone else, the is not a cut, that is the most equal piece of legislation that currently exists in Australia, it literally treats everyone exactly the same. And when the ALP to which Mr Donovan belongs cut the low income co-contribution from $1,500 to $500 Mr Donovan was no-where to be found, and certainly isn’t here deriding the bling ideology following of his party that saw them then dump single mothers off their pensions, or create the biggest budget mess we’ve ever faced, and when Paul Keating says it’s a good idea to cut spending, guess who gets the benefit of the doubt?

    The very fact you’re still peddling “if we gave them more money they’d have stayed” nonsense is a clear sign that you’re not across the topic at all Mr Donovan and have really come here to rant about just how much you hate the other side. Believe me, there is plenty not to like but those arguments can be made factually, unlike yours here.

    The rationale for Ford leaving was perfectly clear and given to the previous government, GM’s rationale was clear, it was telegraphed well in advanced by its reporting to the market regarding restructuring its business (Some of it no-doubt is found in its Bankruptcy Protection Ruling if you or anyone would bother to go look). Toyota had warned previous that it needed to reduce costs, and what was the union response? Drag Toyota through the courts to have those crippling costs enforced. When Mitsubishi left, they too provided clear and concise reasoning, it is simply too expensive to manufacture here, and what did the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia (ALP) do Mr Donovan? Introduced an energy tax, an energy compliance tax, energy redistribution cost measures, introduced the most inflexible industrial relations system in the developed world, it saw minimum wages become the highest in the developed world, it introduced or changed over 90 separate taxes and charges, it increased the regulatory burden to levels that were never conceived before, all when every economic indicator was telling them not to. The end result, 3 manufacturing jobs lost an hour, every hour for 6 years.

    And then pop-up after the fact and exclaim surprise at the end result, and blame the other guy in the room.

    You know why the ALP won’t be winning the next election or the one after that Mr Donovan? Because no-one does ideological blindness quite like those on the left.

  31. revolutionarycitizen

    Kay, I fully understand the idea of progressive taxation, it doesn’t make it anymore distorted or in our instance completely unfair and inequitable, and is largely used to punish the wealthy rather than ensure government revenue streams.

  32. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    As for Cicero, well when Abbott can only find 1 piece of Legislation to keep banging on about then your argument is not a convincing one.

    And more and more Australians are starting to worry about it.

    🙂

  33. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    While you were getting that "attention behind your eyelids" I have sold another 1 of my properties.

    I keep telling you to get up early and catch breakfast.

    Should I ask your advice in relation to capital gains tax.

    I will be selling another property soon.

    Or depending what my accountant say perhaps in July.

    No hurry ….. I can sit here all night and talk to you and still make money tomorrow. 🙂

  34. revolutionarycitizen

    John, the abridged mention of the Diesel Fuel Excise is entirely accurate, so is its correlation to how other business expenditure is treated under the current business/corporate taxation regimes.

    Same as stating that the wealthy aren’t getting a tax cut under the superannuation tax regime, because they effectively lose the contribution (same as everyone else) which reduces their income, not only that, the same rule applies to everyone.

    And are you claiming you are smarter than Cicero?

  35. revolutionarycitizen

    Why are you paying an accountant? You can search the tax rules yourself, sure, it gets terribly boring but I am sure you could manage it…

  36. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    "revolutionarycitizen
    February 14, 2014 • 12:09 am
    “I must admit I am surprised you would come back with taxation as the other night you showed how little you knew about it.”

    What article was that John?"
    <
    <

    "revolutionarycitizen
    February 12, 2014 • 12:33 am
    John, I have many interests, sadly gardening isn’t one of them.

    Miriam, with all due respect, a flat tax is the reality of the literal interpretation of equal treatment, everyone under such a regime is treated as equal and without prejudice. Yes, we all pay taxes, but hands up here how many know what percentage of all taxes are paid by the top 10% of income earners? Be honest, how many here knows how much of the over-all government income tax take is from say the top 15% of income earners?

    The answer will blow your socks off, I won’t spoil it for anyone, go and find out and come back here and with a straight face tell me that it’s fairness or equality at work.

    The diesel fuel excise is a very specific tax that was introduced for a specific reason. If the government were to change that tax to something else then that would be a completely different scenario. One also has to be mindful of the other proposition, that a fuel expense to a business can still be deducted as an expense before calculating the profit based level of tax to be paid. The net out-come won’t change, unless business taxes are implemented at a flat rate based on income."

    Looks to me like Revo is talking tax.

    Or perhaps Revo is "Sinking" and needs "help".

  37. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    I pay my accountant less than I earn in 1 day.

  38. revolutionarycitizen

    John, not sure what you’re trying to say…

    A flat tax is quite literally the manifestation of fairness and equality, it may not fit your ideal of just, but it is quite literally the fairest and equal form of taxation.

    Again, as we have discussed, the top 10% of tax payers are carrying a great deal of the load, and it gets worse when you factor in the top !5% and top 25%.

    Again, what I said about the diesel fuel excise is entirely correct.

  39. revolutionarycitizen

    “I pay my accountant less than I earn in 1 day.”

    And? Is that meant to be impressive? Or a statement of your sense of self?

    Donald Trump is a billionaire, still makes him no smarter, no more valid, nor more valuable as a human being…

  40. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    Just telling you the truth.

    Hopefully it will catch on with you.

    Didn't you start of the conversation with a denial about your conversation about taxes.

    Now don't fall back on your childish ways.

    Just keep going with your explanation on Australian, French and US taxes.

  41. revolutionarycitizen

    That’s not how I started the conversation, I asked for context as I was not sure to exactly which statements you were referring to.

    You didn’t answer my earlier question, do you see yourself smarter than Cicero?

    And without seeing your tax returns you could say anything you like about what you earn, it doesn’t make it true…

  42. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    There you go again , reverting to form.

    "you could say anything you like about what you earn, it doesn’t make it true…" that's your modus operandi.

    I thought you might have grown up a little since the other night.

    Why would you ask such a stupid question in relation to Cicero ?

    Are you failing early tonight ?

    🙂

  43. DC

    The policies that create these insane levels of wealth inequality are clearly not in the interests of the majority of people living in the present. They are even worse for future generations. And while the wealthiest 1% and the corporations they own mostly all support such policies that have the direct effects of increasing their own wealth and power, reducing their tax exposure or reducing their costs of labor, such policies when taken too far will cause a global depression because the current growth dependent global economy needs the masses to keep consuming not just the wealthy minority or the whole thing collapses.

    Of course many point to the problems of a growth dependent global economy in a finite planet. The limits of the planetary capacity to host an ever growing human economy cannot be ignored, however the system we have now would last a hell of a lot longer if the economy was more equitable at least to the point of allowing the poor access to food, education and retirement security (resulting in lower birth rates and global populations stabilizing at a lower number) and if the world moved aggressively away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy and electric or hydrogen based transport as well as smarter management of global ecosystems and smarter management of farming land and more sustainable product packaging. Just to name a few things. Such a system can allow for economic growth in terms of capital, technology, innovation, etc but not in terms of overall planetary resource extraction.

  44. revolutionarycitizen

    Form? From someone who is entirely predictable…

    You stated a claim, I merely pointed out that you could claim anything you like, it just didn’t make it true (or relevant)

    As for Cicero, so you agree then that he was right? It matters to how you view the volume of laws that are passed.

  45. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    You are so unoriginal the word plagiarism would be an overstatement.

    Now stop being so childish and using Kaye Lee's oft used description of yourself.

    Just carry on enlightening everyone here with your ideas on taxation.

    🙂

  46. john921fraser

    <

    @Revo

    Looking forward to you explaining this :

    “Lift the tide and all boats will rise”

  47. revolutionarycitizen

    You are more than welcome to provide a counter view to what I stated in regards to the treatment of the diesel fuel excise?

    Are you contenting that it is not/nor was not conceived as a “road use” tax?

    Are you contending that the ATO is inaccurate in its reporting of which percentage of total taxes paid are from which percentage of income earners?

    Please, enlighten us all with your wisdom, John…

  48. Hobo Sapiens

    I find it really depressing that Hockey keeps trotting out the failed Reagan/Thatcher policies of the 1980s, quoting the senile Reagan “A rising tide lifts all boats” and the imbecilic Rush Limbaugh “No country ever taxed its way to prosperity”. What is it with the mindless slogans?
    Would it be too much to recognise that economies are complex organisms and that the golden age of post WW2 prosperity came about because economies were a mixture of private and public sector activity, rather than full-on socialism from one end of the spectrum, and Hayekian slavery to open slather market capitalism on the other?
    Is there any chance anyone of the putative leaders in this country, and I include the incumbents who masquerade as our notional leaders, might acknowledge that the common wealth is as important and gives rise to greater national happiness than playing winners and losers.

  49. revolutionarycitizen

    For the deliberately dishonest who still claim that the Diesel Fuel Rebate is a tax concession or corporate welfare…

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2013/dec/12/holdens-fate-draws-attention-to-government-assistance?CMP=twt_gu

    http://fueltaxinquiry.treasury.gov.au/content/backgnd/002.asp

    Fuel tax credits are not a tax concession

    Guest Post – Stephen Dawson: How a Tobacco Decision Turned Tax Free Petrol into Subsidised Petrol

    Most important of-course is the Treasury article, but that is again quoted by the other articles.

    That is the end of the matter.

  50. Trevor Vivian

    Lift the tide! Wtf
    Sweaty Joe was on the news in the land of wait always(WA) tonight and was reported making two statements regarding his day job.

    The first statement regarded Joes take on todays depressed economy which was according to Tone but a couple of months ago in a full blown crises, or was that a budget emergency.

    Sweaty Joes second statement caused Joe to sweat harder as he said something like he hopes “it” gets better (the budget,economy, the economic crises, budget emergency)

    Hard to tell which of the above sweaty Joe was banging on about.

    But I digress, back to sweaty Joes statement on the news tonight in the land of wait always.

    Sweaty Joe then went on to day that “it” had better get better! But it was the sweat and the fear that Joe tried hard to hide that caused me to look at sweaty Joe a little more with interest at the dilemma he was showing.

    Funny how Joe as leader of the Libs way back then could not help giving the game plan away while he was trying real hard to be the hard edged political animal that Tone is.

    Could the suppository of all wisdom with the ironic moniker of revolution fuk off somewhere where his witless suppository can be appreciated. I dunno somewhere like up his own arse for instance.

  51. Stephen Tardrew

    John I admire your and Kaye’s tenacity. Flat tax Bah! I have worked with many poor and under privileged families who have absolutely no say in their life circumstances. It just seems ridiculous to me to have absurd wealth alongside abject poverty full stop. It is a philosophical and moral issue not an issue about econometric modelling. Get your moral goals and objective right and from there start to frame the economic system to be just and equitable.

    Socialism, capitalism, silly Smithian self-regulation, economic rationalism are not scientific axioms they are human constructs infected with irrational religiosity and the whole judgement blame and retribution mythology. All complex societies rely upon a whole battery of necessary regulations yet magically the financial sector should be free and uncountable other than to maximize profits. Logic, rationality and science who needs that. Add religion in to the mix and we have social Darwinist economic rationalist religiosity infecting the right and to a degree the left. Magical mythical thinking dogmatism and misuse of scientific methodology are a recipe for disaster.

    I asked Revo for the meta-theoretical basis for how he turns scientific facts into opinion and received no reply. A challenging task yet if you are going to sprout of about economics then it is important to disclose the philosophical foundations (e.g. logical axioms) for your particular subjective assertions. If only politicians and economists were to take courses in logic much of the rubbish we have to suffer would be redundant.

    Just because you are not intellectually gifted does not mean that you do not have the right to a descent living. And when things go bottom up blaming those who are struggling through life is cruel mean and unjustifiable.

    I write out of gratitude for standing up for common sense and being willing to hold to a set of principles worth fighting for and to not let nonsense go unchallenged. I would say the same for Kaye and all those who believe in social justice and a moral ground to distributive ethics.

  52. Trevor Vivian

    Stephen Tardrew;
    Dunno who you are but I sense from your writings that I have recently read that you you are a
    quite gifted communicator in writing and a person who takes time to provide literate reasonings for those who care to view these pages as something greater than a competitive diatribe.

    Just wanted to let you know that what you write is very much appreciated in the interests of furthering my understandings.

    As there is a 3hr time difference between west and east it creates a difficulty.

  53. Stephen Tardrew

    Revo have you looked at Matters not, Kaye Lee’s and Hobo Sapiens links. I would suggest that Warren Buffet has a little bit more grunt than you do. As for that scary leftist Mat Taibi he has got to be full of anti establishment diarrhea. Just a little peek might help to move your fixated ideas.

  54. 'george hanson'

    Having just been through the ‘ conflict of interests ‘ carry-on with Sen. madame NASH , and her staff member’s marital business dealings [ ‘but we didn’t earn any money from those investments ‘] , now we are able to witness jo ‘ eleventy’ hockey , and his MERCHANT BANKER wife giving him the full story on the global economy and how to make a gazillion from it [‘ don’t buy any car makers stocks ,darling …i’ll tell you why later ‘ ]. Bet they didn’t lose a cent when the G.F.C. came a’ calling .Unlike most of us .

  55. john921fraser

    <

    Revo disappoints yet again.

    He gets people to help him and then lets go.

  56. Gitte

    So far the only promise this government has kept is that they will be no surprises. Who in their right mind would have expected a conservative government to have any concerns for the working people? With luck this government will be voted out before too many people have fallen beyond the point they can recover.

  57. Kaye Lee

    patsy,

    As we know Joe LOVES to exaggerate. This is from his MYEFO document

    “The deterioration in the budget position over the forward estimates is mirrored by a marked deterioration in the projected budget outlook over the medium‑term. Without any policy changes, the budget is projected to be in deficit in each and every year to 2023‑24 and Commonwealth Government Securities on issue would reach $667 billion (around 26 per cent of GDP) in 2023‑24.”

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2013-14/content/myefo/html/01_part_1.htm

  58. rossleighbrisbane

    When Labor left office, Federal Government debt was just under $290 billion, and while the Coalition can legitimately say that some of the debt since then is a result of Labor’s policies, to argue that they’re powerless to do anything about it doesn’t seem like the old can-do Liberals who promised the electorate that they’d fix everything, and we’d have the Budget back in surplus lickety split.
    Of course, with the economy flat-lining and unemployment hitting a ten year high, there’s a strong argument that we shouldn’t even be thinking about a Budget surplus at the moment…

  59. Kaye Lee

    I think gross debt hit $300 billion in December and net debt was about $140 billion (from memory). I will try to find the actual figures. Hockey’s statement is a projection for 10 years from now and his actions have substantially added to the debt eg the 8.8 billion gift to treasury costs us 300 million in interest every year, his PPL of 22.2 billion over forward estimates and 3 billion to polluters and foregoing 7 billion from the carbon tax, and whatever we would have raised from the mining tax as they move into production. The 667 billion figure is HIS….not what the debt was when he was elected.

  60. patsy

    would someone tell me what the real amount of debt was left by labor……each time hockey brings it up it grows……..and it is about time he and all his donkey followers stop blaming labor for all their mistakes….grow up and get real…this is now …that was then…..new government ….new policies is what they promised….STOP BLAMING LABOR FOR ALL THEY ARE CREATING>>>>>>>

  61. Kaye Lee

    From Joe’s document

    “There has been a marked deterioration in the fiscal outlook since the 2013 PEFO. (a couple of weeks before election)

    The underlying cash balance has deteriorated by $16.8 billion in the 2013‑14 year and by $68.1 billion over the forward estimates. As a result, a deficit of $47.0 billion is forecast in 2013‑14 and deficits totalling $123 billion are projected over the forward estimates.

    The deterioration in the budget position since the 2013 PEFO reflects the following key facts:

    ##Slower growth in real GDP, together with softer domestic prices and wages, have resulted in significantly lower nominal GDP, which has largely driven the reduction in tax receipts by more than $37 billion over the forward estimates.

    ##The softer economic outlook, coupled with changes in demand‑driven programmes and the revised assumption for projecting the unemployment rate, has increased total payments by $11.3 billion over the forward estimates.

    ##Actions by the Government to address the legacy issues inherited from the former Government have impacted on the budget position over the forward estimates, with the largest of these elements being the $8.8 billion grant to the Reserve Bank of Australia.

    They have also committed an extra 1.2 billion for operation sovereign borders and an extra 8.2 billion for roads..on and on it goes. Hockey tells whoppers.

  62. Fed up

    This government has swallowed hook, line and sinker, whatever they can get away with anything when first elected. That all could be placed at the feet of Labor.

    Thanks to Costello, there is a libne drawn under what Labor has done.

    They have been so busy, continuing their hatred of Labor, and putting their own ideology in place, they have lost sight of reality.

    No, what has happened since the 18/92013 will be laid at their feet. They cannot lay at the feet of the Labor, the creation of debt they have amassed in less than five months.

    The figures of 6.5 unemployment where predictions. Yes, if nothing was changed, this is what will happen.

    No, repealing the carbon tax and MRRT will not work. In fact the CEF suite of legislation, adds to lowering the budget deficit,

    No, there is no wage breakout. No solutions to be found there either.

    Most of the so called Green and every other color tape being removed will only put the rights of people and the environment at risk.

    Hockey plays games with debt, loading as must as he can on at this time, plus all the government bodies they have dismantled, has led to people losing confidence, in fear of losing their jobs.

    It is time for this government to stop talking down the economy.

    Time to admit, one has to be careful with Free Trade Agreements. They do have serious downsides, as we have found in the motor industry. Also applies to other manufacturing companies.

    Yes, time for them to deal with the reality of that MYEFO.

    Time for them to admit debt is not the problem they claim. That there is must more to managing an economy.

    Yes, Labor left debt, which this government has quickly doubled.

    I wonder what advice Hockey is receiving from Treasury.

  63. Fed up

    Truth is, it is time for another stimulus package. One that worked as well as the last. Not time for dubious reforms that will have unexpected downsides.

  64. Pat

    The money Floods upwards, the bullshit, excuses, lies and leftovers trickle downwards. Yes Mr Abbott, the peasants Are Revolting!

  65. Fed up

    One needs to remember, when looking at Nash’s worries with staff.

    All staff, we are told where vetted by Peta, it appears she nominated most. No minister had any control over who got the jobs.

    It did not matter how senior the minister was

    It was some angry ministers, that come out and told us so.

  66. Stephen Tardrew

    Kaye your “I think the debt hit $300 billion” is the type of precise compressed statement that can reach ordinary people. I hope it gets out to a broader audience. I love the clear direct statements. When you add the actual amounts this is an example of factual evidence based journalism.

  67. Geoff Of Epping

    Revolutionary Citizen…BORING.

  68. Kaye Lee

    “A flat tax is quite literally the manifestation of fairness and equality, it may not fit your ideal of just, but it is quite literally the fairest and equal form of taxation.”

    What a load of hogwash. Flat taxes are really about cutting taxes for the best off, cutting services (like health and education) massively and requiring payment for their use instead, and increasing tax, overall, for the least well off. That’s the reality. It is designed purely and simply to make the obscenely rich even richer and to eliminate government services under the guise of “small government”. That’s what you IPA stooges want us to believe would be better for all of us. Well I’m not buying it rc.

  69. Kaye Lee

    In the early 1990s, Kerry Packer appeared in front of the Australian Federal Parliament at the Print Media Inquiry. In answer to questions about how little tax he paid, he famously said:

    ” I am not evading tax in any way, shape or form. Now of course I am minimizing my tax and if anybody in this country doesn’t minimize their tax they want their heads read, because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.”

  70. Kaye Lee

    from May last year…..

    “AUSTRALIA’S richest woman Gina Rinehart and fellow billionaire Andrew Forrest shared in more than $100,000 worth of taxpayer-funded handouts in their companies under Royalties for Regions last financial year.

    While the WA Government announced last week it was increasing household fees to manage “the state’s finances in difficult times”, in 2011-12 it handed $61,829 for an “innovative drilling” program, to Mr Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group, which is worth about $10.74 billion.

    And though the Government has been demanding “efficiency” cuts from its agencies for the past four years, it gave a further $38,551 from the same program to Hancock Prospecting, whose boss, Mrs Rinehart, was last year reported as earning about $600 a second.

    Since 2009, the drilling program, which is part of the royalties’ Exploration Incentive Scheme, has paid more than $9.2 million to resource companies, some worth several hundred million dollars.”

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/royalties-for-rich-with-gina-rinehart-and-andrew-forrest-benefitting-from-taxpayer-funded-handouts/story-fnhohdoh-1226645997350

  71. Gina

    And this is exactly what I’ve said all along. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, and let’s not forget those that are suddenly faced with redundancy who may have had a reasonably good income and are now living on pittance, 66% less to be precise, and finding “that” job is not easy because competition is stronger now, with more unemployed folk seeking work.

  72. Stephen Tardrew

    Fed up I think things are a little more dire and complex than the first phase of recession. This is where I get a little lost. To work a stimulus probably requires some substantial restructuring of the financial sector. Investment in infrastructure is a great idea but with the house of cards in such a perilous state of chaos one wonders at the long term stability of any interventions that do not include substantial structural change nationally and internationally. Wealth redistribution and effective tax policy is a must. If the long term paradigm is failing, which it has been as the cycles compress and become more dire and the chance of recovery lengthens, then much of the edifice of capitalism is a failure. How the hell do we construct rational solutions while irrational dogma is so deeply imbedded in the market makers minds.

    For most this is a mind numbing problem beyond the depth of their understanding. Continual vilification of the governments role in the economy by right wing media turns the public against the only democratic institution capable of managing and restructuring the economy. Shoot the messenger, own the media (McLuhan “the medium is the message”) disparage the core architecture of democracy, which is governance, and wealthy oligarchs are on a free lunch to power and control at the expense of all.

    However the the likes of Richard Reich, Jeffrey Sachs, Jeremy Rifkin, sociologist Henry Giroux, Noam Chomsky, Australian philosopher Peter Singer to some degree Chris Hedges, and for a humorous tongue in cheek bashing of capitalism by Max Kaiser (don’t have to agree but has some quite influential people on his show with interesting ideas) and a whole host of others must unify around core principles.

    Somehow progressives must settle upon a revisionary economic paradigm which requires expertise in a broad range of disciplines. Columbia Universities Earth Institute is as good a place to start. Patchwork plumbing and simple one liners is not going to cut the mustard.

    Policy wonks on this site demonstrate just how complex and value implicit the whole dynamics of national and international economics is. However I will throw my hat in with this lot any time to find reasonable solutions.

  73. hannahquinn

    When the rich get richer, the poor always, always get poorer. Trickle down does not work, never has never will. To create any degree of success towards equity, policies must lift the poor out of destitution. That’s the only way society, as a whole, improves.

  74. Kaye Lee

    Jason,

    There is a growing voice speaking out – the Pope, the head of the IMF, Oxfam, G20, World Economic Forum – the list goes on. They can’t keep everyone ignorant forever

    “The top one percent has captured 95 percent of all growth since the putative “recovery” of 2009. We have taken away your full-time jobs and given you part-time jobs and given the difference to our shareholders.”

    As we see job losses in mining all over Australia (something they did very quickly when the GFC hit too) we continue to subsidise them in many ways, and now we are supposed to say oh never mind, don’t pay any tax for making billions from our patrimony.

    Gina made $19 billion in one year and lives in Singapore so she can minimise her taxation.

    We also see an amnesty being considered for people who have avoided paying tax by hiding their income in off-shore tax havens.

    But let’s have a review into welfare because those bludgers should go out there and get a job because there are so many jobs to be had. Let’s degrade them as much as we can, make them poorer, because that will help our markets. I’m not sure how reducing the buying cacapcity of the majority of the population does to help markets but…markets good, poor bad…guvmint told me so.

  75. jasonblog

    Excellent article Kaye Lee – the future looks grim, but certainly worth fighting for!

    Truth-out recently had an article looking at the skewering of the American economy http://truth-out.org/news/item/21785-the-one-percent-should-be-afraid-the-new-norm-in-the-workplace-is-unstable – it’s reasonable to assume Australia will mostly repeat the experience.

    American economists such as Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz & Robert Reich have also been bringing attention to the diabolical state of US inequality caused by Reagan-omics.

    Thanks to Kaye Lee’s article I’ve also gained insight into the so-called bias of the ABC. The Greg Jehricho article that one of the other commenters linked to is an op-ed that appeared on The Drum blog. It is the personal / professional opinion of Greg Jehricho and not necessarily the view of the ABC. That should go without saying. (But it does make me think that people who claim ABC bias just don’t have the ability to make distinctions, understand context, and appreciate nuance)

    It would also appear as though the commenter that linked to the Jehricho article either didn’t understand the gist of the article or is deliberately indulging in obfuscating bastardry.

    Here is another perspective on “progressive” taxation http://mckellinstitute.org.au/income_tax

    This recent article from the Business Spectator makes a case for taxation reform http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/24/economy/raise-taxes-reduce-inequality

    This article from The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/08/why-is-inequality-so-much-higher-in-the-us-than-in-france/278660/ makes the following observation

    “Tax cuts and deregulation helped the rich more than the rest, and then the rich used that money to lobby for even more tax cuts and deregulation. And on, and on it went.”

  76. jasonblog

    Bit of a coincidence but I just checked my email and have an article from Robert Reich where his closing sentence concludes

    “As the gap between America’s wealthy and the middle has widened, those at the top have felt even richer by comparison. Although a rising tide would lift all boats, many of America’s richest prefer a lower tide and bigger yachts.”

    http://www.salon.com/2014/02/12/robert_reich_americas_forgotten_its_3_biggest_economic_lessons_partner/

  77. Matters not.

    Stephen Tardrew said:

    Continual vilification of the governments role in the economy by right wing media turns the public against the only democratic institution capable of managing and restructuring the economy

    John Ralston Saul makes this point again and again in his writings and lectures. When the citizen hates government, it’s what the rich and powerful want. It’s only when we have potent, democratically elected government with an agenda for progress that we have a real democracy.

    Yet we elect people who say: ‘elect me and I won’t govern – my role is to make you free, to give you opportunity’. Forgetting of course that while both the rich and poor are ‘free’ to live under the metaphorical bridge, it’s only the rich who can make other choices.

    Without collective action in the form of government, the vast majority are powerless. Still we see people here there and everywhere prepared to cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face. They hate the concept of government.

  78. Stephen Tardrew

    Jasonblog Jason great links. Heard it all before but reminders sure do help. Good reply Kaye there is just so much to work through.

  79. Kaye Lee

    My daughter wrote an essay examining some aspects mentioned in that article flohri – how capitalists keep the workers so downtrodden that they cannot break the cycle – can’t risk making waves or you lose your job. Very relevant today!

  80. Paul Raymond Scahill

    One would suggest that Kaye Lee has got it pretty well right. If one was ever of the opinion that the Hockey stick knew what he was talking about regarding anything except BMW motor cars, or that the worlds greatest bullshit artist could ever tell the truth, then Australia is certainly in good hands, I dont think!

  81. Stephen Tardrew

    Matters not Love Saul’s work and his constant refrain that capitalism does not equal democracy.

  82. patsy

    KAY…….has anyone of your followers posted these articles to liberal as I do to labor…….or do you feel that they may see them?????? it would be good if they did as they need to see what decent people are facing with them running our country….

  83. Fed up

    Where did all the jobs go?
    Since the Abbott Government was elected in September, the following job cuts have been publicly announced:

    • Australian Public Service: 14, 000
    • Qantas: 1000
    • Holden: 3300 (by 2017)
    • Ford: 300 by June (another 1200 when Ford pulls out in 2016)
    • Rio Tinto: 1000 at Gove in the NT
    • BP: 470 (At BP and subsidiary Elite)
    • Telstra: 1100
    • Toyota: 2500 (by 2017)
    • Simplot: 110
    • Arrow Energy/Shell: 250
    • BHP Billiton: 200 (Nickel mine closure)
    • Peabody: 200 (Wilke Creek mine)
    • WesTrac: 630

    This is only including the job losses that were major enough to make the news. Some of these job losses will occur this year, other are for 2016 or 2017.

    In addition, the following jobs are at risk:

    • SPC Ardmona: 3000
    • Shell: 700
    • Alcoa: 500
    • IBM: Possible 1000 (IBM refuse to confirm or deny)

    Source: ACTU

    http://workinglife.org.au/2014/02/11/jobs-promise/#

  84. Wayne T

    I just find it insanity-inducing that ANYONE could possibly believe ‘trickle down’ economics has any validity considering the literal ocean of evidence to the contrary. I’m quite convinced that these people would be flat-earthers in another age.

    @ Stephen and Matters not. – thank you for pointing me to John Ralston Saul. I love how much I learn from this site 🙂

  85. Trevor Vivian

    Fed up ; add 1300 workers at Forge Engineering in WA yesterday.

  86. Fed up

    Trevor, I am afraid it is hard work to keep up with this mob. Every day, brings new disasters. I believe there are many more, in the same region ready to tip over.

    Will Peta take responsibility for losing that staffer today. After all, she did vet all.

  87. Fed up

    leonetwo
    February 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM
    Wayne Swan – What Hockey won’t tell you about the IMF report.

    • “The Australian economy has performed well relative to many other advanced economies since the global financial crisis.” Page 4 of Report. REJECTED BY HOCKEY.

    • “The budget deficit was reduced from 3 percent of GDP to 1½ per cent in 2012/13. The previous government’s goal of returning the budget to surplus last year was held back by slower-than-projected output growth and weaker commodity prices.” Page 5 of Report. REJECTED BY HOCKEY.

    • “Australia’s fiscal position compares well to its advanced economy peers, although debt has increased in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.’ ‘Staff supported the broad aim of improving the budget position over the medium term, which would help rebuild fiscal buffers and increase the policy scope to deal with adverse shocks, but cautioned that it should be done in a way that does not disrupt growth prospects in the near term.” Page 8 of Report. REJECTED BY HOCKEY.

    There’s more –

    In case you need it, the full report.
    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2014/cr1451.pdf
    \

    Rumblings under the surface

    I hope the PUB does not mind.

  88. revolutionarycitizen

    “And when things go bottom up blaming those who are struggling through life is cruel mean and unjustifiable.”

    Are you still made I attributed blame for the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis to those who foolishly borrowed money after lobbyists demanded that the government lend it to them because they were poor as a means of economic stimuli after the US Economy tanked in the early 2,000s? If so, tough, that’s what happened, the poor got what they wanted right up till they collapsed the system by failing to return the money they borrowed. Pointing our someone’s responsibility isn’t cruel, nor is it even malicious, it is simply stating what happened. Were greedy banks facilitating their own foreseeable demise? Sure, but they weren’t to blame for the actions taken by others.

    “Revo have you looked at Matters not, Kaye Lee’s and Hobo Sapiens links. I would suggest that Warren Buffet has a little bit more grunt than you do. As for that scary leftist Mat Taibi he has got to be full of anti establishment diarrhea. Just a little peek might help to move your fixated ideas.”

    What I claimed regarding the tax system in Australia was totally accurate, and in accordance with information provided by the Australian Tax Office and the Department of Treasury, all respect to Mr Buffet but he doesn’t know our taxation system like the ATO or Treasury. I also posted a neat graph showing that marginal taxation rates in the US of A have virtually no effect on the GDP to Tax ratio, for whatever reason that is, I couldn’t tell you, but it is what it is, marginal tax rates just aren’t that important in their system, and certainly not as important as they are in ours.

    “What a load of hogwash. Flat taxes are really about cutting taxes for the best off, cutting services (like health and education) massively and requiring payment for their use instead, and increasing tax, overall, for the least well off. That’s the reality. It is designed purely and simply to make the obscenely rich even richer and to eliminate government services under the guise of “small government”. That’s what you IPA stooges want us to believe would be better for all of us. Well I’m not buying it rc.”

    I never even mentioned possible marginal rate changes, I only pointed out that flat taxes are by definition and implementation the most equitable form of taxation (as they treat everyone as absolutely equal). I never even mentioned government in that equation so I suspect you read a whole lot of into something that wasn’t there. Do I personally advocate “small government”? No, I have stated that governments aren’t very good at managing economies, and that is true as they aren’t.

    And we do need a review into the system of welfare, the fact that direct welfare payments increased 30% in 6 years should be sounding alarms bells in all quarters, what happens if they increased at the same rate for the next 6 years and the direct payment welfare bill reaches $200,000,000,000 a year? So, we either just keep paying like the UK, where the welfare bill is now greater than the entirety of all income taxes paid or we find a real solution to the problem.

    As for capitalism failing, nonsense, it has been the continual cyclical interference in the system that has failed, all in the name of perpetual growth. Just because the over-arching ideal imposed upon something is bogus it doesn’t directly relate to the underlying ideal.

    What destroys capitalism faster than warfare is capital stagnation, the problem in America is that the minimum wage has never reflected the nation’s prosperity, it literally guaranteed a huge portion of its population never made it out of poverty. Australia’s minimum wage is much higher and is much closer to where it needs to be in order to allow people to work there way out of poverty. Australia’s problem is that the 1% begins at $197,000 where in the US of A the 1% begins at the Billionaires Club, just imagine, our politicians, judges, upper middle management in the Public Service across all three layers of government and a great deal of the professional class are in that 1%.

    This means that our 1% are much closer to the bottom 1% than the US of A, that means our wealth transfer cycle has a much better curve, where-as in the US of A the top 1% of their economy that their wealth transfer cycle curve probably resembles a figure 8 if you had to draw it. That is, the money generated by their 1% never leaves the circle at the top, leaving the middle-class the heavy lifting in trickle-down theory, and that just doesn’t work.

  89. john921fraser

    <

    Oh dear, here's Revo again peddling his mistruths.

    That is the end of the matter.

  90. Win Jeavons

    I have always said that these rising tides only lift luxury yachts, but I suspect that with climate change they will also wash away many coastal cities and ports, and of course mansions with coastal views. Greedy people cannot imagine public good anyway.

  91. Pingback: Slave trade capitalism and the new Republican Party « The Australian Independent Media Network

  92. flohri1754

    Appreciate the link, KL ….

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