Before I start this, I’d just like to tell you how great I am. I mean, I’m really good when it comes to economics. I understand them and I know how they work and that’s because I’m an adult and I’m open for business, and if you want me to get things in order just give me a free hand and don’t ask difficult questions because that just shows that you don’t understand and that you’re just repeating what someone who doesn’t agree with me has said…
Gee, it sounds pretty strange when I say it. Why doesn’t anybody seem to notice when the Liberal Party carry on like that? Apparently Greg Hunt recently said: “In 50 and 100 years’ time, I suspect people will look back on this National Cabinet as being one of the most amazing achievements of the federation in Australia’s first 200 years.” Although I guess it is April Fools’ Day and maybe it’s just one of those jokes that some people take seriously like Clive Palmer. How on earth one could take the 2019 Clive seriously after his previous foray into politics is one of life’s mysteries…
And speaking of life’s mysteries, did you hear the one about how negative gearing was going to lead to house prices crashing and going up at the same time? Ok, ok, that was last year. This year’s mystery is how the government can spend so much money without anyone asking how they’re actually going to pay for it? I mean, if Labor suggest a policy of zero emissions by 2050, then they have to be able to detail where the money is coming from, but the Liberals have managed to find the odd $61 billion here and the odd $130 billion there without any journalist asking where the money’s coming from.
There was the suggestion that the tax cuts may have to be put on hold, but hey, weren’t they legislated? Wouldn’t that mean that Labor and the minor parties would have to agree to let them through the Senate?
Economics is a funny thing… Yeah, all right, no it’s not, it’s actually rather tedious, and subject to all sorts of theories, many of which have no basis in reality. As someone once said, “Yes, it’s all very well to say that your idea actually works, but would it work in theory?”
That’s pretty much been the Liberal rhetoric about Labor’s response to the GFC. “You went too hard, too early and there’ll be nothing left when the recession actually hits,” was the Coalition’s first attack. Later it became, “You went too hard and you didn’t need to because we didn’t actually have a recession!” For years, we’ve been told by the Liberals that Labor keep messing up the economy and the Liberals are the responsible economic managers and you can’t spend your way out of a difficult situation.
So, what’s going on with this whole stimulus package thing? You must have noticed over the years how committed the Liberals are to the whole idea of market forces. You know the way it works: leave things to the market to work out because the government shouldn’t get involved. Smaller government, that’s the answer. No subsidies for things, unless it’s something that only a leftie socialist could object to and then we should give it a bit of a helping hand to enable it to overcome all that prejudice which stems from people who want to stop corporations from making exorbitant profits by not paying tax.
We’ve always had this nice contradiction where market forces are meant to rule but not if it means that the wrong people get hurt. I mean, market forces are ok if factory workers lose their job when things shut down, but not if they means that renewables will put fossil fuels out of business. It all depends on who’s losing their job, and if it’s the PM, then all stops must be pulled out.
So, while just a few weeks ago, the rate of Newstart was just fine because it was only meant to be a temporary thing, suddenly it’s not enough because lots of people who may have been the quiet ones who voted for Scottie are likely to find themselves on it and they couldn’t possibly be expected to live on it. Even temporarily…
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating a Milton Friedman approach here. If I was, I’d be suggesting that if those who have properties negatively geared need to find the money for their mortgage and if they can’t do that because their tenants have all stopped paying rent, well that’s the way the market crashes and this will help find that sweet market equilibrium price when they put the houses on the market and the oversupply brings prices down to a level where more people can afford them. No, I wouldn’t tell you that, but that’s what your IPA Young Liberal would tell you.
At least, that’s what they would tell you if they hadn’t made such a big thing about how Labor’s negative gearing policy was going to wreck the market and drive prices down but only for investors and those who already own their own home. It – apparently – wasn’t going to help first home buyers because prices were going to stay high for buyers; they were only coming down for sellers.
Yeah, life’s mysteries.
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