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Before I start talking about the incredible turn-around in what the mainstream media want from Google, I’d just like to point out the current government’s latest trick to move your money into their own pockets.

You probably heard about their trick with superannuation access where, if you accessed $10,000 from your account, you had to spend that before you became eligible for JobSeeker. Anyway, there’s a new proposal on the table where – instead of rises to your super – you can take the money as a wage increase. This is, according to Tim “Trust Me” Wilson, a way of helping you to afford a house so you won’t be homeless in your old age. For the sake of argument let’s presume that you’re on $100,000 and you forgo the 0.5% super rise. Now, if you’re thinking the this will give you an extra $500 per annum and should greatly increase your chances of owning your own home, I have some bad news for you: You’ll need to pay tax on the money which will mean that instead of the fifteen percent you’d pay if it went into your super, it’ll be thirty percent plus the Medicare Levy. Yep, that’s right. If the government can talk you into taking your super increase as a wage rise, then you’ll be paying twice as much tax, but you probably won’t even notice because who looks at their super and hey, there’s more money in my pay cheque… at least enough for an extra coffee a week.

Brilliant way of paying off their enormous debt, eh?

Anyway, before I begin to ask just what the government thinks it’s doing with the proposal to make Google and others pay for content, I’d like to put on record that I think that there is a case to be made that some of the big technology companies are getting a little too big for anybody’s comfort and we need to have a good hard look at them and how we can regulate to ensure that they don’t abuse their power.

HOWEVER when it comes to the recent events, I’d like to explain it in terms of a little analogy.

Imagine I see a YouTube clip that someone has posted online. (Actually in this case, it’s me but that’s not the point. You’ll need to pretend that I’m two different people for a mom.) I decide to share it with this link. Clip from YouTube Rossleigh.

Now, suddenly an extra five or five thousand go to that clip and YouTube Rossleigh is really annoyed because he’s not making any money from the clip so he wants me to pay him for writing about it and sending people to the site. I don’t want to pay him because I’m a greedy capitalist who wants to keep all my money and I tell him that it’s his business model that needs fixing and if he can’t make money from the way he’s set up his YouTube channel then that’s not my problem. He gets his local member, Josh Frydenberg to change legislation to make me pay him for directing traffic to his site. At this point, I remove the link and this outrages Joshie and YouTube Rossleigh who both think that I should be compelled to mention provide links because, well, how will he get traffic to his site otherwise?

This loosely is how the Google/Australian media controversy has gone. If I use Google to look up Scott Morrison to see whether he’s announced that he’s taking another break and I’m directed to an article by newspaper that doesn’t have a paywall, then they’ll be relying on advertising from the traffic that goes to their site in order to make money. Why they’d argue that Google should be forced to pay, I can’t work out. It would be different if Google was plagiarising the articles or breaching their copyright, but if the media companies aren’t happy with this arrangement, then they can put all their articles behind a paywall.

But it does seem odd to me, that Josh Frydenberg and the media companies are now crying foul because it seems that Google is experimenting with ways of excluding them from searches.

You can’t have it both ways, even if you’re a friend of the current government. Although I guess they’ve grown used to the idea that you can support the free market because it’s supposedly the most efficient thing that there is, while demanding government intervention and subsidies every time the market doesn’t do what you’d like.

After call, government MPs have no problem calling for a boycott of the ANZ because they don’t want to risk money lending to coal companies, then becoming outraged about “cancel culture” when someone calls for a boycott of one of their owners… Whoops, that was meant to be “donors” but perhaps autocorrect knows best!

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  1. Kerri

    Another long-term plan of the right is to have people so poor they will retire as pensioners. At the moment that may seem ok because with so many baby boomers the elderly have a bit of sway at election time. Note how the LNP government, Tim Wilson included, take care of wealthy retirees. Then look at how the federal government treats the elderly in their care? With fewer pensioners in the future and wealthy retirees being right wing voters if you do not fit in the right category your retirement will be very sad indeed. They really do support a caste system. If you are born poor? Stay that way and die in some circumstance that remains unfunded. I haven’t explained that very clearly as you do Rossleigh, but I believe that is their long game. Divide and keep the poor hungry, homeless and scared. Or whatever that quote incorrectly credited to Hermann Goebbels was.

  2. Michael McMahon

    Wilson is a soul-less show pony who primps and prances in parliament.
    Swore his allegiance to parliament on Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom.
    That about sums up this oxygen thief.

  3. wam

    A great read, rossleigh, but how do you make money out of ads??
    the dutch government has resigned over their robodebt debacle???

  4. ajogrady


    The Dutch government showed how a principled and honest government works. A LNP government would be the proverbial Unicorn for that to happen in Australia. Principled and honest is not in the LNP dictionary.

  5. Matters Not

    Lots of talk and urgings (here and elsewhere) that people should vote in their own interests. But who should determine what is in one’s own interests? The individual or the other (broadly defined to include the State)?

    That so many withdrew maximum allowable amounts from super (twice) and then spent it on the immediate (broadly defined and measured) should perhaps be ringing some alarm bells. Perhaps the average punter isn’t as wise and forward thinking as we may believe?

    Perhaps the Cashless Welfare Card with its imposed limited expenditure categories might have more merit than generally believed? At least, lots of disadvantaged kids think so.

  6. DrakeN

    Matters Not,
    Do you have references for the thoughts of all of the disadvantaged kids?
    For example; those of invalided sole parents; those of parents who are both working multiple jobs to keep them housed, fed and clothed; those who are institutionalised in sub-standard “care” homes, etcetera.
    The CWC is simply another tool in the box which the prevailing government, commercial interests and religions use to diminish the already very limited autonomy of those who find their options unfairly constrained by the prevailing ‘norms’ of our society.
    We live in an essentially corrupted world as exemplified by the “haves” increasing their wealth while the “have-nots” suffer deprivation and privation as a consequence of a badly managed pandemic; one which they could have had considerable input into ameliorising instead of profiteering as they have.

  7. Matters Not

    DrakeN – thanks for your question but before attempting any response(s) can I ask where are you coming from given some implied assumptions in your statement:

    CWC is simply another tool in the box which the prevailing government, commercial interests and religions use to diminish …

    Care to elaborate – because there’s been so much nonsense written, one doesn’t know where to start any discussion.

    For my part, and as an opener, I see value in a CWC but only if it’s specifically targeted. Further, I don’t care if any person pisses the whole lot against a wall, or gambles it carelessly, pays prostitutes or donates it to the LNP. If it’s their entitlement then they can do what they want. It’s none of my business. But (and it’s a big But), if they are responsible for children then the whole situation changes because I’ve seen far too many neglected children and the consequences of that neglect.

    So, why most want to talk about adult’s rights (which is fair enough) I want to look at the issue from a child’s perspective as well. Indeed I want to give priority to children’s rights.

  8. wam

    Matters Not,
    the cashless card is a gift to twiggy et al and a blight on all Aborigines who can manage money.
    Sadly by the time the 2025 election arrives indue will be raking in billions.
    What a &##$&#ing waste, when centrelink could be employing thousands of monitoring aides on site at a much lower cost.

  9. DrakeN

    Matters Not, apart from my view that the CWC is not aimed at benefitting disadvantaged children but at pandering to the far-right claim that welfare money is being wasted. – Dog whistling by any other name still stinks.
    That being so, the amount of money involved would be better utilised on better services being provided to ameliorate the underlying causes of child poverty and disadvantage.
    These matters are not being adequately addressed.
    Why? Because the root of the problem is founded in the “free market” philosophies which current rule our society.
    There is no profit in providing proper services unless heavily subsidised by governments who, if the mood took them, could provide the necessary functions without the need for a ‘margin’ of gain to the provider.
    It is a blunt instrument with which to further pummel the already deprived without consideration of the individual needs and capabilities of those subjected to the spending restraints.

  10. wam

    Spot on, draken, if only I could write and think, so clearly.

  11. Matters Not

    wam re:

    the cashless card is a gift to twiggy et al … by the time the 2025 election arrives indue will be raking in billions.

    Pray tell – how is money (supposedly) being gifted to Twiggy? Any links that caught your eye? Or aren’t you in the business of providing evidence? To the best of my knowledge via published material Twiggy has absolutely no connection to Indue and never did. Note:


    For more than 50 years, Indue has helped Australian businesses, not-for-profits, governments and startups give their customers new ways to pay. As a market leader in payments, we can help you push the boundaries of what’s possible, to deliver on your business goals.

    Indue is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and is wholly owned by financial institutions, all of which have their heritage in the mutual and credit union sector.

    Unlike wild accusations made by Michael Griffin that Indue was a front organisation for the National Party which benefitted greatly via donations etc, the facts just aren’t there. (a Griffin article now no longer available for good legal reasons because it made many false claims – to put it mildly). Indue has never had private shareholders and from my reading of their Annual Reports plus a study of the AEC donators list (givers and receivers) has never made political donations that must be recorded/

    When the LNP decided to proceed down the CDC route, Indue was not their first choice by any means. Rather, the LNP wanted one (or even all) of the 4 Big Banks to get involved but they declined because the operation was deemed to be too small. too insignificant and involved too much fiddling to get involved. That’s when the government turned to Indue in desperation. Yes it was a limited tender – because there just aren’t many companies in Australia that could possibly provide the technological expertise required.

    One could go on but I’ve found over time that people believe what they want to believe and no amount of evidence will change that.

    From my research, I could make a more compelling case for ALP corruption here than the LNP. But that would fall on deaf ears as well’. Nevertheless, one might wonder why the ALP didn’t pursue Indue when it first came to light. (Perhaps because there’s nothing there re political scandal?) Should stress, can’t find anything illegal and to date – neither has anyone else. But if you something then speak up. And become a political hero. If not then …

  12. leefe

    Matters Not:

    ” … I see value in a CWC but only if it’s specifically targeted.”

    I see value in it where it is specifically requested by the potential user and where the system administering it is not a private for-profit group.
    Otherwise, eff off. Poor people are more likely to be extremely good at budgeting and controlling their expenditure because they have to be. You can’t be careless when you only have a little. A system that prohibits many cost-saving measures is NOT to the benefit of its users.
    Go and control how wealthier people spend their unearned franking credits before you add extra penalties to those who are already struggling.

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