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How can we take them seriously?

The inter-generational report released yesterday is no more than a crafted opportunity for those on the conservative side of politics to scaremonger and justify their evil intent. They have tailored a document to suit their own agenda. Just who do these pompous pretenders think they are?

The report itself tells us nothing we didn’t already know, or could not have suspected. It paints a picture very similar to 2010 when I recall the media went into hyper drive over the prospect of a BIG Australia. The fact is a larger world population is inevitable which means our future will be no different from those experienced in most OECD countries.

Each nation faces increased health costs and aged care planning. Everything will increase proportionately including revenues from greater work participation, all of which will be serviced through innovation, creativity, new technologies and so on. So what is all the fuss about?

To suggest that those living in 2055 will somehow have a poorer standard of living than we do today because we didn’t plan properly, is silly. Each generation throughout history has enjoyed a better lifestyle than the one before. Why would the next three generations be any different? Each generation assumes responsibility for its own destiny and acts accordingly.

One of the more interesting claims is that there will be proportionately fewer numbers in the workforce, thus putting pressure on our ability to provide adequate aged care for older Australians. That trend has been occurring for decades and is the product of families having fewer children.

immigration To compensate for that, it would seem logical to increase the immigration intake with the emphasis on young families, effectively slowing down the ratio of those employed to the ageing rate…oops, hang on, that’s what successive governments have been doing, until now. But not this government.

It chooses to continue increasing the numbers of 457 visas for overseas workers, suppressing employment opportunities for those out of work today and literally contradicting itself and acting counter productively to its own findings.

It makes it very hard to take anything they say seriously.

While we clearly need responsible planning to meet the challenges that occur with what are quite natural demographic shifts, i.e. an ageing population, that doesn’t mean we must run budget surpluses to achieve it.

Budget surpluses merely alter the sectoral balances; in this case, money withdrawn by government results in a savings reduction and/or increased debt borne by the private domestic sector.

If governments continue to try to run budget surpluses to keep public debt low, that strategy will ensure further deterioration in household savings until such time as aggregate demand decreases to the point where economic activity slows down, unemployment increases, revenues fall and real living standards decline.

pros If this inter generational report highlights anything it is that this government has no idea how to address it. Everything the report tells us contradicts what the government is doing. In effect, we are undermining our future prosperity and missing a wonderful opportunity to expand our economy exponentially.

And still, not a word about the impact of climate change. What an incompetent bunch of boofheads.

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21 comments

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  1. miriamenglish

    “To suggest that those living in 2055 will somehow have a poorer standard of living than we do today because we didn’t plan properly, is silly. Each generation throughout history has enjoyed a better lifestyle than the one before. Why would the next three generations be any different?”

    Unfortunately there is a very real risk of future generations having a poorer standard of living than we today do. By destroying scientific research and the chances of innovation that spring from it, and destroying more appropriate energy technologies and the gains that could be made from them, and by letting the giant corporations dictate our environmental and employment regulations we pretty-much guarantee future generations will suffer. Our idiotic government is not governing; they are wrecking our society.

  2. flohri1754

    @miriaenglish ….. most certainly right you are there …..

  3. crypt0

    It has all been said … over and over again, to the point where there is virtually nothing left to say.
    Just bring on the election .
    Our fate is in the hands of the Australian electorate.
    May God help us all.

  4. DanDark

    Ross Gittins says “The message he wants us to take away is that it’s all Labor fault, but the government has worked hard to greatly reduce the problem. And were not for those crazies in the Senate – who seem to think our spending cuts were unfair – last year’s budget would have set us up for budget surpluses right through to 2055”

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/joe-hockey-turns-intergenerational-report-into-a-propaganda-weapon-20150305-13wce9.html

  5. John Fraser

    <

    Is there anyone out there who longs for the good old days of the Liberal Party.

    Instead of the Abbott Party.

    When …. at the very least there was a modicom of truth.

    A … however tenuous …. belief in science.

    Ahhh ! yes the good old days.

  6. Pingback: How can we take them seriously? March 6, 2015 Written by: John Kelly | winstonclose

  7. CMMC

    They didn’t take the ‘Midsomer Murders’ factor into account.

    It is well known that old-age pensioners murder each other in fiendish, melodramatic ways.

  8. silkworm

    The wave of privatizations of public utilities, carried out mostly by Liberal governments, both Federal and state, are a form of intergenerational theft that has been left unexamined.

  9. John Fraser

    <

    CMMC

    I thought that only happened in small English towns.

  10. xiaoecho

    Only children are frightened by clowns. Hockey will always wear a pink tutu and carry a wand in Aussies minds no matter what boogie man he is trying to sic onto Australians. He lost his (and the entire Liberal party’s) credibility when he brought down his first budget.

  11. Phi

    Thanks John. Yours is the most concise and accurate summation of this stupid report, produced by a stupid government, yet still taken seriously by almost every media outlet except AIMN

  12. Loz

    Agree with the above very good summation John.

  13. Harquebus

    “a wonderful opportunity to expand our economy exponentially.” – Growth ain’t gonna happen mate. We have exceeded the capacity for growth and instead of living off natures interest, we are now destroying its principal.

    The IGR assumes constant growth. At what cost will come this growth? The environment, standards of living, equality and liberty etc. This assumption is based on a flawed ideology and that ideology is infinite exponential growth.
    If we were to stabilize our population, we could save ourselves a fortune by not having to build massive amounts of energy guzzling infrastructure.

    In the face of resource depletion and scarcity, ecosystem collapse and environmental decay, can we seriously expect growth and consumption to continue increasing indefinitely? Logic says no but, since when has logic played any part in politics.
    Should we take seriously those that espouse more growth as the solution to our problems? Most definitely yes. They are the most dangerous.

    “The bad news is once it gets to this extreme point, it’s over, the tipping point has been reached and the human race is about to be blindsided by one of the most scariest physical phenomenon’s simply and perfectly described by a little equation called exponential growth.”
    http://wildbayarea.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/a-simple-mathematical-phenomenon-is.html

    The IGR is rubbish.

  14. eli nes

    it will take enormous luck to deny a second term to abbutt.
    So far the luck falls into his lap.
    Beginning with the incomprehensible fact that Australians could neither see through his inane slogans nor recognise his character faults and vindictive nature, before voting.
    Even left unchallenged by gillard and the lemon, the slogans were obvious lies, as hockey’s sweaty top lip and abbutt’s avoidance tactics showed but without prompts the labor supporters struggled to answer the rednecks so powerfully armed with slogans.
    Has anything changed? Are billy and tanya challengers???
    Will anything change?

  15. Harquebus

    @eli nes
    Bill and Tanya will not get voted in. Tony Abbott and Co. will get voted out just like Rudd and Co. was voted out. I can see one term governments from here on until one finally has the courage to change ideology and start preserving our one and only planet Earth for future generations instead of sacrificing it for the sake of corporate greed and consumerism.
    Governments that pursue growth will fail just as corporate serving governments everywhere are failing.

  16. miriamenglish

    We can achieve perpetual growth — just not using physical resources. Human ingenuity seems to be fundamentally unlimited and there doesn’t appear to be any limit to knowledge. We can have infinite growth in these two areas. Unfortunately those depend upon 3 things:
    • science (for the gaining of knowledge),
    • the arts (the source of much of human ingenuity),
    • social justice (frees up all that untapped human potential, our greatest wealth being all those human minds),
    and the prehistoric Abbott government seems fundamentally opposed to all three.

    Seems the idiots in power think money is the greatest thing in the world, and that the world would be much, much better without all these blasted voters in it, or at least if they (the peasants) knew their place.

    [sigh] What a bunch of unsophisticated morons those in both big parties seem to be.

  17. stephentardrew

    John:

    As usual short sharp and to the point.

    Miriamenglish:

    Totally agree.

    One thing that is missing from the debate by both parties is an understanding of exponential growth in technology and the impact of general artificial intelligence which will eventually bring down costs in many fields. Rational solutions are already available however many primitive reactive fear burdened minds lack imagination and innovation. The drivers of stagnation in any species is habituation and that is exactly what we have with conservative politics. Self-programming and replicating machines are already on the march so the future is going to be entirely different to the past.

    This compulsive wish for more of the same driven by fear of the future and an incapacity for critical and lateral thinking are propelling societies towards dystopian greed and inequality whereas the dynamic growth in science and the arts is leading us into new territories of creativity in which working hours will be reduced dramatically and technology will compensate for the loss. A simple thing like reducing planned obsolescence will dramatically change consumption and reduce waste dramatically. Many innovative solutions that conservatives will just not contemplate because they can only live in fear of the future and a hoped for Arcadian past in which they, and they alone, are the winners.

  18. Harquebus

    @miriamenglish
    That is maturing. Growth as it is espoused by our inglorious leaders is GDP. That requires surplus energy or more debt as it is done today.
    @stephentardrew
    Manufacturing technology requires a lot of energy and one broken link in the vast supply chain and thing won’t work. Also, we have been lucky. One direct hit from a solar storm will burn out every chip on the planet.

    “While you didn’t see it, feel it, or even read about it in the newspapers, Earth was almost knocked back to the Stone Age on July 23, 2012.”

    The solar storm of 2012 that almost sent us back to a post-apocalyptic Stone Age

    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/why-are-computers-not-getting-faster.180022/

    There is a way but, because of the risk of getting banned from this forum again, I dare not tell you.

  19. miriamenglish

    The risk from solar storms is mostly to grid-connected devices. Many of the new breed of super low power devices I think are quite safe because they tend to spend much of their time powered by batteries. I use a smartphone as a handheld computer (I don’t use it as a phone), I have a cheap tablet computer that I use mostly as an ebook reader, though also as a portable computer, and I have other computers that don’t connect to the grid except to recharge, and I’m hoping to eventually do that from solar panels. The house I live in has solar panels that are grid-connected, so they are at risk, although they are behind a pretty strong isolation system. I also have a solar powered well pump that I put together with my sister. That would be safe from a solar storm because it has no connection with any long wires that would act as an antenna for a solar storm. Likewise, any solar panels that are not tied to the grid might be safe too, depending on the length of the wires used.

    So all the mp3 players, wristwatches, most of the mobile phones, and tablet computers would probably be fine. Also many of the computers switched off at the wall would probably survive. (Modern computers don’t actually switch off when you shut them down, so are still vulnerable — they have to be unplugged or switched off at the wall.) Any computers sitting in metal shipping containers would be safe because the shipping container would block the waves from the solar storm. Any equipment deep underground or underwater would likely be shielded by that ground or water too.

    There is some pressure overseas to make manufacturing more efficient and less energy intensive, and it is starting to have an effect there, but almost none here. We can expect to fall further and further behind in this respect. Both major parties seem focused on appeasing the corporations in their desire for short term profits, with little view to the long term future.

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