“Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.”
A week or so ago, people were told that they shouldn’t be too fussy with Scott Morrison echoing Tony Abbott’s remarks of a year ago. Apparently, you shouldn’t hold out for your “dream job” and you should take anything that’s available.
After all, 457 Visa Holders have no trouble getting work. That’s because they’re not fussy. They’re prepared to travel. Some of them are even prepared to work in areas unrelated to the job that they were brought to Australia to fill. They may have been brought to Australia as an engineer, but they’re more than happy to work as a cleaner.
And when our Prime Minister was asked about housing affordability and the potential housing bubble, his response was to tell us how wonderful it was that his house was rising in price.
Some people were concerned that this seemed a little uncaring for those first home buyers who were yet to break into the housing market, but they failed to see the obvious. It was left to that financial genius Joe Hockey to explain it.
Joe who – as those of you who follow politics will already know – has a way of cutting to the heart of the matter. As he said, rising petrol prices don’t worry poor people, because they don’t drive.
The problem isn’t that houses are too expensive, it’s that you don’t earn enough. To quote the master directly:
“The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money,” says Joe.
So far, so good, but then he advised something that shocked me. Apparently, then you’ve got security and you can go to the bank and borrow money, because it’s more affordable than even to borrow…
Yep, that’s what he said: “Then you can go to the bank and you can borrow money.”
SAY IT ISN’T SO, JOE!!
I’d be sentencing my grandchildren to intergenerational debt by borrowing to buy in Sydney. Have you forgotten your warnings about putting things on the credit card, Mr Hockey.
“Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want –
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don’t bother, they’re here.”
Although I suppose it is different when I borrow money to when the government borrows money. After all when the government borrows money I have to pay it back through taxes, so I’d rather we didn’t have world class health and education systems. As for an NBN which is just used to watch movies and play games…
Nah, much better when I borrow, because I don’t have to pay it back through taxes. I just have to pay it back through interest rates. Which as Joe says are terribly low.
At the moment, but isn’t there a chance they’ll rise?
Not with us in charge, assures Mr Hockey.
But still, I can’t help but think that I have better advice than Mr Hockey. If I were telling first home buyers what to do, I wouldn’t suggest to them that they get a job that pays more. I’d suggest that they borrow a large amount of money – say a billion dollars – and place it in shares that double in value over the next two weeks. Then sell them. Even after paying back the loan, and paying those nasty capital gains taxes, you’d still have nearly enough left to buy a two bedroom house in Sydney.
Because there is no bubble!
Or else, I’d suggest that they marry a rich woman, get elected to Parliament and claim a living away from home allowance while staying at the house she owns in Canberra…
Still I should be careful contradicting Joe Hockey. Apart from not being for sale (although the jury’s still out on whether he rents his brain space to an idiot a few times a months), he’s a master of careful skilled rhetoric. Why just last week, when talking about the growth in our GDP, he cut his critics down to size:
“These numbers have proven that there are some clowns out there that are talking about recession and dark clouds on the horizon. They have been proven to be looking foolish, those people, and we should be focusing on what is before us which is raw data that says the Australian economy is in the last quarter, one of the fastest growing economies in the developed world. How good is that?”
It’s hard to argue will skilled repartee like that.
“Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Well, maybe next year.”
* * *
“Tony and Joe, there’s been a request for this song and it’s dedicated to you. We sure hope you get it together. Love The Front Bench”