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If Only Julia Had Introduced A Carbon “Price Signal”, It Would Have All Been OK!

TONY ABBOTT: “This is an important reform. It is important to have some modest price signals in the system.”


PETER DUTTON: “…we will make Medicare sustainable, we will get money into the Medical Research Future Fund and we will make sure that we have this sustainability which will include a price signal.”


Now I could probably find another dozen quotes about the current government’s determination for a price signal, but you get the general idea from those above.

Price Signal. That’s the funny thing about words, while “West-Side Story” let me know that when you said Maria loudly there was music playing, but when you said it soft(ly), it was almost like praying, I suddenly realised earlier today, that I didn’t really know what a price signal was. Yes, I know what a price is, and I know what a signal is, but what does it mean when you put them together? When they say it softly there’s music playing, but it doesn’t sound like any song I know the words to. Similarly, when they say it loudly, it’s almost like braying.

So, because I’m a man who likes to research but – like Greg Hunt – doesn’t have time to read more than a few words, I looked it up on Wikipedia:

A price signal is information conveyed, to consumers and producers, via the price charged for a product or service, thus providing a signal to increase supply and/or decrease demand for the priced item.

So there you have it. The $7 co-payment – not a tax, because the Liberals don’t believe in taxation – and it’s bastard child the $5 reduction in doctor rebates is just something to provide information to increase and/or decrease demand for medical services.

Mm, I’m trying to get my head around that. So does that mean if the price signal shows more people are using the doctor then they’ll increase the supply? Or reduce the demand? Or both?

Perhaps some interviewer would like to ask our Health Minister, Mr Whatisname to explain how the price signal aspect of the non-co-payment will work in practice. I’d be interested to hear his answer.

And I can’t help but think that Julia Gillard should have called the Carbon “Tax” a Carbon Price Signal. Oh wait, I seem to remember the rest of that quote that the Liberals were so fond of.

“’There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, but let me be clear: I will be putting a price on carbon and I will move to an emissions trading scheme.’’

Yep, if only she’d said she’d be putting a “price signal” on carbon, the Liberals would’ve had no problem with it.

Wikipedia does have more information about price signals:


Main article: Free price system

For example, in a free price system, rising prices may indicate a decrease of supply or an increase in demand. Regardless of the underlying reason—and without the consumer needing to know the cause—the price increase communicates the notion that consumer demand (at this new, higher price) should recede or that supplies should increase. Consumers that do continue to purchase the product at the higher price ostensibly give the product a higher marginal utility. This results in a natural market correction, according to the Austrian theory of catallactics.

Fixed price system

Main article: Fixed price system

In a fixed price system where prices are set by government, price signals may not be as reliable as indicators of shortages, surpluses, or consumer preferences according to opponents of planned economies. These artificial prices may create shortages and surpluses that would not occur under a free price system.

So, let me get this straight. If the government is setting the price, price signals won’t be reliable as indicators of shortages or surpluses. And doesn’t the government set the prices in relation to Medicare?

Like I said before, I’d really like some interviewer to ask the next Abbott minister to use the phrase “price signal”, what the term actually means. It could be as entertaining as listening to George Brandis explain metadata. Or even why human rights are all very well, but they shouldn’t apply to a terrorist like David Hicks… or any member of a union because they’re all practically terrorists anyway…


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  1. Rossleigh

    Henceforth, the Liberals shall be called, “The Sleeping Dogs Party” because they believe we should just let them lie!

  2. Gerry

    We really should be encouraging people to see their GP’s more often rather than less. Medical problems, as with all problems in life, are far cheaper and simpler to fix when detected earlier as opposed to later. That assumes of course that your intention is to make health care cheaper for patients and tax payers.

  3. stephentardrew


    Help I think I am having another brain fart.

  4. corvus boreus

    She should have either called it an “Emission Efficiency Dividend Contribution” or a “Temporary Carbon Disaster Levy”.

  5. marwill10

    It’s not only the $5.00 Doctors will lose, or pass on to their patients, the visit times have been changed as well. For an A Class visit by a patient, (up to 5 minutes) the Dr received a rebate of $16.95. This will now reduce to $11.95. As well, the time has been increased to 10 minutes or less.

    For a B Class visit (from 6-19 minutes) the rebate was $37.05. This will now be $32.05 and the time will be from 11 minutes to 20 minutes.

    Patients who receive autologous blood injection services (stem cell transplantation) will no longer have access to the Medicare benefit and will have to fund this treatment privately. Changes will be made to a combination of blood administration, ultrasound and consultation items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

    These measures will be implemented on 1 January 2015.

    The more you read and research, the worse it gets.

  6. Matters Not

    ‘Price Signals’ (and the message conveyed) are not be ignored. There’s any number of examples on which to draw.

    Polluters (of various stripes) understand that ‘price signal’ will ‘cost’ only too well. Put your ‘shit’ into waterways and the like and inspectors will come knocking on your door. The fines (price signals) can be hefty.

    A waterway polluter soon changes behaviour because of this ‘price signal’.

    The same with traffic violators. Break the law and you will have to pay.

    Tis the current ‘common sense’.

    But it’s about to change.

    Use the medical services too often, then you will (now) have to pay.

    But with any rule there are always exceptions, just to prove same.

    If you are currently a big ‘carbon polluter’, opportunity now abounds to make a significant profit.

    Promise to reduce your emissions and we will ‘reward’ you. No penalty. Only a reward.

    Extrapolate. Let’s use a reward system for ‘wife bashers’, who do not ‘bash’ for a given time. Perhaps on a sliding scale ranging from days, months to years.

    Same with convicted shop lifters. Not caught on camera. Pass go and collect (whatever).

    Perhaps we might have politicians who don’t rort ‘expenses’ be awarded a ‘bonus’.


    Just love this ‘price signal’. Particularly when it’s unexamined.

  7. CMMC

    Voting intentions for the LNP invokes a ‘Price Signal’ that now scares the Hell out of you.

  8. Möbius Ecko

    CMMC especially since it was the only thing Howard in opposition campaigned on in the 1996 election that won him government. He then went on to have record current account deficits year on year. When he came to office it was a third of GDP and when he left it was half.

  9. Möbius Ecko

    This is almost too incredulous to believe, but since it came from Abbott then it’s very believable.

    In a display of rank projection Abbott has accused fellow Liberals of sexism because of their attacks against Peta Credlin. I kid you not, Abbott accusing others of sexism.

    Even the right wing media are running with it and he’s being hammered in social media across the board on it, even from senior journos you would not credit with speaking out against Abbott.

  10. corvus boreus

    I think it is a touching sign of personal growth in Abbotts’ character that the Minister of Women is defending his Chief of Staff by implying sexism(or prejudice based upon the spelling of first-names) as the basis for criticisms of Ms Credlins’ conduct.
    It shows he has moved on from less enlightened times when he publicly ridiculed Ms Gillard for suggesting that there was any element of gender bias in the basis of attacks upon herself.

  11. Möbius Ecko

    And corvus boreus you have hit on the point being made against Abbott across social media over this. On the one hand it’s yet another Abbott projection but as is being pointed out it displays gross hypocrisy by him. I hope he’s relentlessly hammered over this.

  12. Möbius Ecko

    You have to love this from Junkee:

    Abbott’s chief of staff is a woman named Peta Credlin, who honestly has about as pleasant a job as trying to walk an excited Great Dane through a minefield.

  13. corvus boreus

    The masculine for Julia would be Julius.
    “Et tu, Bill?”

  14. John Fraser


    "The suppository of all wisdom"

    Turnbull "invented the internet".


    Do you really think Abbott would have gotten the masculine version right ?

  15. Kaye Lee

    Julia, Julius, Julian, Julio….I am having flashbacks to my Latin classes. Decline the politicians, identify conjugations and form present active imperatives remembering the irregular and indeclinable.

  16. corvus boreus

    I will not define the linguistics of my contributions purely in the terms of the Abbott.
    Typing the same phrases of simplistic shit, interspersed with long pauses and frequent “ums” would be as mentally tedious and pointless as sitting around counting rosaries.
    Or digressions upon political conjugatives of masculine corruptives in dog-latin political discourse(more fun than couting beads 😉 ).

  17. DanDark

    If only Julia’s name had been Julian, life would have been easier for her too Tony under Tones new found knowledge, But noooo he had to be such a misogynist prick but now he wants everyone to take it easy on Credlin because if her name was PETER not PETA she wouldn’t be drawing this criticism,
    He is looking a bit ragged today, Tones is having a bad hair day 🙂

    ohhhhh Karma is just a wonderful thing what you put out there, you will get back 3 times worse usually, Tones is about to learn that thing called Karma….

  18. John Fraser


    @Kaye Lee

    Thanks for the headache.

    This post should alleviate any concerns "ME" has about everyone throwing rose petals where Kaye Lee walks.

  19. Kaye Lee


    I admit to having benevolent despotic tendencies where if everyone just did as I say life would be much easier but, to date, my sphere of influence has been confined to my house and even they won’t listen to me. They are, however, very grateful that I have somewhere else to express my political views.

  20. John Fraser


    @Kaye Lee

    Should being housebound ever get to be a tribulation let me know.

    As well as the brand and colour/variety of wine you prefer.

    And allow enough time for flights and transport to your most glorious part of Australia.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Housebound would be a luxury I cannot afford. Much of the time I am tapping away here I am on a laptop elsewhere.

    But I truly appreciate the offer and would love to share a champagne with you one day 🙂

  22. John Fraser


    @Kaye Lee

    Its a rain check.

  23. corvus boreus

    The other facet of Sir Anthonys’ gender-based defense of Dame Peta is his own partys frequent proclamations upon the sanctity of the principle of freedom of speech.
    If there is no specific incitement to violence or references to criminal conduct,apparently our esteemed political representatives, the commercial media,or ourselves the populus, can fling general accusations and derogatives that are based on assumptions proved to be entirley ignorant, prejudiced and false.

    I could, for example, opine that; “Ms Peta Credlin, or as she should be more properly known, Mrs Brian Loughnane, is entirely unsuited to any such a senior position on account of her sex alone. She is, by gender, naturally handicapped in any leadership role over men, as she is physiologically and psychologically of less sturdy constitution, and suffers from her decision making processes being clouded by hormonal hysteria. She would be better off not in these hallowed halls of our fore-FATHERS, carrying on like some deliberately barren man-girl, but instead at home, making an honest woman of herself, as is proper to God. It is not a womans’ absolute right to deny her husband sex or ironing.”,

    This, although moronic and malicious, would still be a manner of speech sanctioned by Abbotts’ appointed chief legal officer, the Attorney General George Brandis, who has publicly proclaimed the right to express bigoted opinions, and echoes the sentiments expressed by some LNP cabinet members, including the PM and Minister for Women himself.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Tim Wilson must be having an identity crisis by now. How the hell is the poor man supposed to know what they want from him.

  25. diannaart


    He is looking a bit ragged today, Tones is having a bad hair day 🙂

    That’s hair? – I thought it was his lizard quills signalling through his human skin suit, to his lizard clan.

    Next someone will tell me Tony does not have to check for Peta’s pheromones by tasting the air with his lizard tongue; its just an endearing habit.

  26. corvus boreus

    The tongue of the Lizard Lord quests not for the smell of Peta, for that forever fills his nostrils.
    The licking of the air is in seeking opportunity, tasting for a waft of carrion or decay.
    Every time the Varanus tonii opens its gob to grunt and posture there is an audible ‘snap’,
    As an oral vacuum-bubble of septicemic spit is broken.

    I am at a loss as to an explanation for the plumage.

  27. 130363

    Diannart…Excessive Lip Licking …..this can be seen as a sign of deceit. Lying puts a lot of stress on the body, and a major symptom of high stress is a dry mouth. Hence why liars will lick their lips more than usual.

    “That’s hair” LOL tooo funny
    Noooooo that’s what you call a hair transplant done by Ashley and Martin the experts on male hair loss
    Pity they didn’t do a brain transplant while they had him in the chair 🙂

  28. corvus boreus

    There is also a notable necrosis of function in the expressive musculature around the dinished cranial frontal lobes, possibly indicating an outbreak of Botulinum Toxins(botox) or some type of Spongiform encephalopathy.

  29. DanDark

    “I am at a loss as to an explanation for the plumage.” Corvus said

    Corvus I am at a loss why this lying balding peacock out of its use by date is still running the country
    Lordy jeeezuz christttttttt, how much longer can the knuckle head last on his journey to total self destruction.
    All I want for Xmas is my peaceful life back, pre Tones and Co,,,,,

  30. DanDark

    Lol Botox makes u look boootiful and younger Corvus
    Get on the page Corvus, it’s normal for humans to pump them selves full of toxic Bots now, it’s big business
    Stupid yes, but people do it like Tones and are prepared to pay to be poisoned in the name of vanity
    Yes as a society we have it all together pfffft,

  31. LOVO

    All I want for Xmas is Tones head on a plate ….. (figuratively speaking) 😉

  32. corvus boreus

    It is also a very attractive and sensible thing to have surgery to put bladders of liquefied metallic sand under your skin. Clever humans.
    And all I want for Yuletide is a rising chorus of public demand for honest and accountable conduct that makes Tones and croneys, and Zinger Bill etc, for that matter, hear the howl of winds of change and tremble in their Guccis.

  33. Judith W

    It seems from your interpretation of the definition of “price signal” that the government may be deliberately pricing medical services beyond the capacity of some, in order to decrease demand… They wouldn’t knowingly do this would they?

  34. Roswell

    LOVO, nice to see you, my old friend.

  35. LOVO

    Dan, the likeness is incredible….. I think it must be the ears 😆
    G’day Roswell *waves* 🙂

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