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Replacing Neoliberalism: A model for the future

Neoliberalism is in its death throes around the world.

In the United States the wealth gap between the poorest and the richest is at an all time high, and in Australia – though the gap is not yet as bad – we are heading in the same direction.

Increased globalization has led to a massive offshoring of jobs. Compounding this problem is the casualization of the workforce and increasing part-time work. Full-time jobs are slowly becoming a thing of the past.

The weakening of unions has also contributed to flat-lining wage increases and poor working conditions.

As Karl Marx once posited, if the majority have limited income, then they have no money to spend in the economy. This is now starting to affect Australia, with retail figures continuing to flat-line.

Privatization has also eaten into peoples’ wealth. Utility bills continue to skyrocket, leaving little in the way of spending power on luxuries and non-essential items.

What is to be done? Is it time that Australia began a move away from the Neoliberal, capitalist model? What would this new model look like in the future? Below are some possible scenarios.

State Owned Utilities

Privatization has been a dismal failure in Australia.

It is high time that all utilities and essential services were put back into public ownership. The Commonwealth Employment Service was one such institution that was extremely effective in getting people back to work. They worked for the benefit of the people they were serving and not faceless shareholders and greedy CEOs. Real jobs were to be found, not just job agencies looking for advertising space, or to get clients on their books for jobs. (What jobs?)

Government Created Industry

With unemployment and underemployment at approximately 20%, it is clear that private enterprise has failed in creating more jobs. What is needed is a huge investment in creating employment. This has been successful in the past from post WW2 until the 1980s. By rolling out government funded initiatives, we can create jobs and help stop the poverty trap.

The elites want mass unemployment as it drives down labour prices. When people are desperate they are forced to work for very poor wages. A robust government-owned system will eliminate unemployment and provide the infrastructure for community-owned systems, such as the old Commonwealth Employment Service and the once great TAFE system. Privatization has ensured the complete decimation of services and allowed parasitic private operates to provide shoddy, almost non-existent service and make off like bandits.

Alternative Energy

Fossil fuels have been proven to be one of the major causes of man-made global warming.

Lobbyists for these companies must be exposed and removed from government influence. We as a nation need to transform ourselves into a solar/ wind power energy nation. This, combined with battery technology for every household will eventually ensure almost zero reliance on the grid. It is also much cheaper for the consumer in the long run. Compare such a system to the current energy system, which has fixed costs rising as much as 15-20% a year!

Universal Basic Income

With the increasing casualization of jobs, globalization and the erosion of jobs via technology, perhaps it is time to implement a Universal Basic Income. If governments can no longer guarantee high levels of employment, this could be the next logical step to ensure people do not fall below the poverty line. The current unemployment benefits system is estimated to be $160 below the poverty line a week!

This is just not adequate, and it either needs to be raised to a minimum of $400 a week or a UBI of an equal amount introduced. With a UBI, we could do away with the parasitic job agencies. They don’t appear to be doing their job of finding people work, so why not scrap them altogether?

Dismantling/Decreasing the Relevance of the Mainstream media.

Mainstream media is the single biggest impediment to Australia’s democracy. All our commercial media is owned by very wealthy capitalists, with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and intent on deceiving and dividing the populace over racial, religious, cultural and class lines. Increasingly the ABC is also under attack from a hard right government and all the IPA/LNP apparatchiks infesting its organization at every level.

While commercial media is increasingly being exposed for the shameful propaganda that it is, many are still under the strangle/hold of its iron grip. It seems that it is easier to hate the other, rather than question the legitimacy of the system. What is to be done?

Firstly, alternative media is beginning to encroach on the information gatekeepers. With tens of thousands of progressive pages on Facebook, hundreds of thousands on Twitter and many serious journalists now ditching the mainstream and working for excellent pages such as The AIMN, New Matilda, and Independent Australia, the word is beginning to get out. Real investigative journalism is now available cheaply and instantly. No corporate gatekeepers protecting the wealth of the establishment, but passionate citizen journalists exposing the lies of our sick corporate system.

Forming Collective Workplaces

This is not going to be easy, but it must be implemented if people are to be truly free of huge corporations. The entire structure of a company could be democratized and all who work in said company get a share in its profits. Any surplus is placed into a fund and put back into the business and the local community.

Utilize the Ancient Greek Parliamentary Practice of Direct Democracy.

The difference being that all citizens can vote and have a direct say in the running of the country. (In ancient Greece only adult men could vote) banning all those who lobby for big business for ten years.

Strengthening the Power of Unions

Ultimately our ridiculously low rates of pay and conditions is the direct result of the decreasing power of unions in Australia and around the world. Casualization and underemployment are out of control. Workers have no bargaining power anymore. The current LNP government has lead a full frontal assault on unions.

End the Property Ponzi Scheme

Shelter is a human right and should not be a commodity. End negative gearing completely and ban outright any ownership of residential and business real estate for non-citizens. Also ban any non-Australian citizen from buying up our farmland. Invest in government subsidized properties for the poor.

This is the kind of vision we must start to formulate if were are to survive as a robust, egalitarian society. Every Western society is in the grip of the deathly Neoliberal paradigm. Only the people can save us from a dystopian collapse. Turn off your television, and get active and begin to educated others on the dangers of the current trajectory of free market capitalism. The future will be created by you!

Christian Marx is a political and social activist interested in making the world a fairer place. He has a Bachelor of Social Science and has a keen interest in sociology, politics and history. He was one of the organizers of the March in March rallies in Melbourne and is the founder of the progressive news and information page, “Don`t Look At This Page”, and is also a co-founder of “The Global Revolution” website.

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131 comments

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  1. seaworkse

    We are never going to have a proper democracy while allowing bribes AKA donations to politicians and parties.

  2. darrel nay

    I found this on the bolt report and thought it was funny –

    The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and layingup supplies for the winter.

    The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

    Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.

    A social worker finds the shivering grasshopper, calls a press conference and demands to knowwhy the squirrel should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate, like thegrasshopper, are cold and starving.

    The ABC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper, with cuts to a video ofthe squirrel in his comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.

    The Australian press informs people that they should be ashamed that in a country of such wealth,this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty.

    The Greens, the Labour Party, Greenpeace, Animal Rights and The Grasshopper Housing Commission ofAustralia demonstrate in front of the squirrel’s house.

    The ABC, interrupting a cultural festival special from St Kilda with breaking news, broadcasts amulti-cultural choir singing ‘We Shall Overcome’.

    Bill Shorten rants in an interview with Laurie Oakes that the squirrel got rich off the backs ofgrasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the squirrel to make him pay his ‘fair share’and increases the charge for squirrels to enter Melbourne city centre.

    In response to pressure from the media, the Government drafts the Economic Equity andGrasshopper Anti-Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The squirrel’staxes are reassessed

    He is taken to court and fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as builders, for the work he wasdoing on his home and an additional fine for contempt when he told the court the grasshopperdid not want to work.

    The grasshopper is provided with a Housing Commission house, financial aid to furnish it and anaccount with a local taxi firm to ensure he can be socially mobile.

    The squirrel’s food is seized and re-distributed to the more needy members of society – in this case the grasshopper.

    Without enough money to buy more food, to pay the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes,the squirrel has to downsize and start building a new home.

    The local authority takes over his old home and utilises it as a temporary home for asylum seekingcats who had hijacked a plane to get to Australia as they had to share their country of origin withmice.

    On arrival they tried to blow up the airport because of Australians’ apparent love of dogs.

    The cats had been arrested for the international offence of hijacking and attempted bombing butwere immediately released because the police fed them pilchards instead of salmon whilst incustody.

    Initial moves to make them return to their own country were abandoned because it was fearedthey would face death by the mice.

    The cats devise and start a scam to obtain money from people’s credit cards.

    A 60 Minutes special shows the grasshopper finishing up the last of the squirrel’s food, thoughspring is still months away, while the Housing Commission house he is in, crumbles around himbecause he hasn’t bothered to maintain it. He is shown to be taking drugs.

    Sarah Hanson Young blames inadequate government funding for the grasshopper’s drug ‘illness’.

    The cats seek recompense in the Australian courts for their treatment since arrival in Australia.

    The grasshopper gets arrested for stabbing an old dog during a burglary to get money for his drugshabit. He is imprisoned but released immediately because he has been in custody for a few weeks.

    He is placed in the care of the probation service to monitor and supervise him.

    Within a few weeks he has killed a guinea pig in a botched robbery.

    A commission of enquiry, that will eventually cost $10 million and state the obvious, is set up.

    Additional money is put into funding a drug rehabilitation scheme for grasshoppers.

    Legal aid for lawyers representing asylum seekers is increased.

    The asylum seeking cats are praised by the government for enriching Australia’s multiculturaldiversity and dogs are criticised by the government for failing to befriend the cats.

    The grasshopper dies of a drug overdose.

    The usual sections of the press blame it on the obvious failure of government to address the rootcauses of despair arising from social inequity and his traumatic experience of prison.

    The Greens and the Labour Party call for the resignation of the Prime Minister.

    The cats are paid $1 million each because their rights were infringed when the government failedto inform them there were mice in Australia.

    The squirrel, the dogs and the victims of the hijacking, the bombing, the burglaries and robberieshave to pay an additional percentage on their credit cards to cover losses, their taxes areincreased to pay for law and order, and they are told that they will have to work beyond 65because of a shortfall in government funds.

    THE END

    This then, pretty much sums up what’s happening in Australia today.

    Lucky country?

  3. townsvilleblog

    It seems the K1W1s are a step ahead of us.

  4. darrel nay

    Your comment is awaiting moderation – really. Where’s your sense of humour at? This response addresses many of the socialist/communist talking points in the article. For example, when you recommend a universal income, it is tantamount to stealing/taxing the hard-workers to pay for many who choose not to work/contribute – this is naive utopianism. If you push universal income the successful Australians will move offshore to avoid having the rewards of THEIR labour stolen by the state. Further, you claim shelter is a right – I say that is garbage. If all you want is shelter, find a cave or live under a bridge. If you want something better for your family, then improved shelter is not a right, rather, it is the result of the hard work of many people. What is the motivation for bludgers if you give them everything by taking it from others? If you want to give others a wage or shelter, then pay for it out of your own pocket – but if you take the money from people who don’t want to contribute then you are just a thief.

    Cheers

  5. darrel nay

    free-market capitalism is free association. Australia is a heavily managed crony economy – not free-market capitalism.

  6. diannaart

    Christian, keep up the inspirational and so very rational work.

  7. darrel nay

    Comment: Thanks michael taylor,

    Hey, the daily telegraph just censors my comments every day and so I’ve contacted a senator to get to the bottom of the telegraph’s narrative. I have called newscorp on multiple occasions and they are incredibly rude – they’ve even hung-upon me on multiple occasions ( pretty funny given they tell you they are recording the phone call for ‘training purposes’). Censorship by Googlag, facebook, twitter, youtube and the other giants is really topical at the moment – even rose mc’gowans twitter account was deleted after she came out on the weinstein abuse allegations. You might have seen the stories where zuckerberg and facebook are working with the Iranian government to dob in dissidents who have subsequently received the death penalty. The daily telegraph has told me,on multiple occasions, that they would get back to me but, typically, I’m still waiting.

    Thanks again mate and I hope you’ll understand why I burred-up when I thought I was being censored.

    Cheers and Respect

  8. Oscar

    Very Funny Darrell Though anyone can slant a story to their own motivation.You forgot to mention the crooked cops and Dodgy Politicians and Corrupt Lobbyist ‘s and Big Business and regular unhanded monthly stories about Dole Bludgers on A Current Affair and what The Murdoch empire put out. Instead of going after Businesses who underpay their employees and forget to pay their super.And Laurie Oaks has retired.At least you have a sense of humor.

  9. SGB

    darrel nay

    Your ignorance is unbelievable.

    Tax payers do not pay for Federal government spending, ful stop.

  10. darrel nay

    reply for oscar and SGB:
    I didn’t write it mate, I reposted someone else’s comment, but, have no doubt that I have mentioned almost everything you talk about in other comments over the years.
    Remember guys, a sense of humour is priceless

    Cheers

  11. Miriam English

    Christian, nice overview. Let’s hope you’re right that the prevailing order is due to be overturned.

    darrel nay, ridiculous comment, as usual. The story reads like an insane caricature of extreme right-wing views. It’s no surprise you got it from the Bolt Report. I wondered for a moment why Bolt changed the original proverb from an ant and a grasshopper, to a squirrel and a grasshopper, then I realised there were probably two reasons:

    ♦ First, ants probably feel a bit too socialist for his liking and he wouldn’t want socialists to he the hero of his idiotic tale.

    ♦ Secondly, he’s obviously plagiarised it from a source in USA (we don’t have squirrels) and changed a few names to suit locals.

    Bolt would feel even less happy about using ants if he realised that they have a large portion (about a third, I think) of their population who don’t work, but are cared after to the same level as the foraging workers. It is a sensible investment for the colony. What a pity people with right-wing views are less evolved than ants.

  12. darrel nay

    reply for miriam english:
    You may think the comment is ‘ridiculous’, but, that is your opinion. Before you get carried away, if you read the actual post, you would have realised that andrew bolt didn’t post it – try to keep your sense of humour. If you want to live in an echo-chamber, why come to a public forum? As a right-winger, I appreciate your views – even when I disagree with them. Does it ever occur to you that your views might not be as ‘evolved’ as you imagine them to be? For someone who is proud not to be Religious you often come across as quite preachy.

    Cheers

  13. darrel nay

    reply for Miriam English: Martin Luther King was a right-winger – would you suggest that he was ‘less evolved than ants’? Are you bigoted against right-wingers? Listen, I respect you because it is obvious that you are passionate, thoughtful and you care about people and the human condition – I just hope that in the spirit of unity, you will see your way clear to give your political opponents a little latitude.

    Just a thought

  14. Glenn Barry

    The one thing I have discovered about Bolt, when subjected to watching at my Father’s place, is that when he is about to denigrate something, he opens with “I don’t think…”
    At that point you can cease listening because that is the only true and self aware words he can utter

  15. Jane Cally

    Darrrel nay shelter IS a right or would you prefer that the working man regress back to the stone age while the elite live it up in their mansions? How would that be just or fair?
    UBI does have a limit. Remember, when AI takes over, you too will be out of a job. Maybe then you will know what is it like to live 30% below the poverty line. Remember you said it should not be done so I guess you will not be wanting it, you can go and live in your cave!
    It is a bit hard to work at all when there are nearly 3 million people looking for work and about 180,000 advertised jobs. Also, it is a bit hard to live when wages are flat lining and work is becoming casualised. Average total hours worked per month is 87.17%. Wow, that is real employment! You suggestion of caves just may become a reality for a lot of people.
    I would suggest you wake up and see what is happening around you instead of believing all that MSM tells you. It is all so easy to see if you are willing. Now get back in the real world and stop wanting us to go back to the stone age!

  16. Michael Taylor

    I don’t consider that people who have nothing and rely on welfare are necessarily bludgers.

    And I have no problems whatsoever that some of my taxes go towards helping improve the lives of fellow Australians who are in need.

    None. What. So. Ever.

  17. Miriam English

    I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.
    — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

  18. Hosk

    The reason I don’t support a UBI is that it supposes that there is no work left to do. I see plenty of work to be done in Aged Care, Disability Care, Child Care, Health Care, and the regeneration of native environment in spots all over the country. There is tonnes of work to do.

    A Jobs Guarantee would be preferable. We could scrap the soul-destroying, self-esteem-robbing Dole. Imagine how vibrant our society would be if we gave every performance and installation artist a job as an artist. Producing art for public consumption.

  19. Miriam English

    Hosk, there is a lot to be said for a Job Guarantee, however the way it is normally suggested makes it far from a full solution, but the way you’re describing it makes it no different from a Universal Basic Income (UBI).

    The idea behind a UBI is that everybody gets a share in the wealth of the country — enough money to be able to live in a dignified fashion, and that they can choose what they want to do with their lives. The usual objection to a UBI, that it’s wasteful to pay wealthy people, can be dismissed by increasing taxes on the most wealthy to negate that. The advantage in its universality is that there is no decision involved in whether someone should benefit from the safety net. It removes all the injustices and abuse that can so easily flow from the complex system of dole, pension, sickness benefits, and so on. It also removes the barriers to improving one’s circumstances. A person on the dole who gets a crappy job that pays barely more than the dole will weigh the loss of the dole, the extra expenses of the job, the chance of losing the job in the near future, and the difficulty of getting back on the dole, and would see that the sensible choice is not to take the job. In contrast, a person continues to receive the UBI whether they get the crappy job or not, so they’re always encouraged to improve their lot.

    A Job Guarantee might start off being a great idea, but unfortunately in the hands of bureaucrats, puritans, little tyrants, and politicians it would almost certainly degenerate into something like the “work for the dole”, where people would be bullied into work they don’t want to do and are not suited to, potentially being little more than slave labor, but without even the dole to fall back on. The problem is that people wouldn’t be trusted to choose to do what they want. They would be managed by other people into always working. After all, that’s the idea behind the Job Guarantee — that we should all be doing something someone else calls work.

    The UBI trusts people to choose what’s best for them. If they decide to waste their lives in being couch potatoes then they’re free to do so, but they can also write new forms of music nobody at the time thinks is worthwhile, but which might later prove to be masterpieces. Vincent van Gogh’s art was not considered great when he was alive. It became appreciated later.

    The other problem with the Job Guarantee is that when artificial intelligence (AI) really starts to take over all the jobs it will create dislocation and resistance. One of the best things about a UBI is that it helps people adjust to, and actually welcome increased AI and automation.

  20. PK1765

    @miriam English There are very good reason’s for NOT having a UBI and why economist of repute don’t support a standalone UBI but rather a job Guarantee… one being it would be inflationary… I am going to quote Ellis Winningham here:

    “The abbreviation UBI stands for “Universal Basic Income” and it is a proposal for the US Government to guarantee everyone an income for life. Many proponents feel that this guarantee should be a living wage. Such a benefit would then allow all to pursue a life of personal fulfillment, laboring for themselves as they see fit, rather than being forced to seek employment from others to meet their needs. Automation lies at the heart of this proposal. It is claimed that with the level of automation we have reached today, technology would allow for robots to do the work. There are two distinct problems with this approach.

    The first is the automation argument itself. Yes, robots in factories can produce goods and yes, a gas station or checkout lane at Walmart can be manned by a computer. But, this is the same argument used by people since it was first discovered that machines could perform labor: “Machines are taking my job” and that argument has always failed. What is usually never considered is that there is always a need for human labor and as such, how a person labors shifts to other needs when machines make a certain type of labor obsolete. Here then, the problem is one of foresight; being unable to predict what a future economy will look like – how labor is applied and how that economy will function. Since we can imagine a future economy, but cannot know exactly, then in the here and now, we can only lay the foundations of a hoped for future economy. In other words, we must do the best with what we have now and what we have now are machines capable of doing certain types of labor. So, we allow machines to perform that work and we redirect human labor to other tasks, especially sustainable growth. One day, perhaps, if we lay the correct foundations, a future economy will exist where humans can labor for the love of something and not the need for something. Until that day, we must do the best with what we have.

    The second problem, is the potential inflationary aspect of a living wage basic income. Denial runs rampant on this issue. The truth is that a living wage basic income strategy will most likely reduce the pool of available labor. If the US Government gave every unskilled laborer enough income not to seek employment, then most won’t seek employment. It’s just that simple. And so, the pool of available labor will shrink. This presents us with a possible demand-pull inflationary episode.

    Demand-pull inflation occurs when continuous excess spending exceeds the real ability of the economy to produce goods and services. True, while the US might be capable of producing quite a lot, the fact is that labor plays a significant role in the process and if the labor supply is intentionally reduced, then the real ability of the economy to produce goods and services is also reduced.

    In such a regime, the market will have to offer wages higher than what the basic income is to entice those who wish to live a life of luxury out of retirement and into employment. Doing so can lead to a wage spike, thus in turn, causing the price level to rise and the value of the basic income to drop, which might then prompt a demand for an increase in the size of the basic income from those who choose not to work to meet the new price level. If granted, the possibility of a demand-pull inflationary episode would increase substantially unless the US Government found a way to increase available pool of labor (relaxing immigration for instance). A currency issuing government like the US Government can always find a way to destroy its own economy if it so chooses. One way to accomplish that goal is by reducing its own labor supply and so, on these grounds, I am opposed to a living wage basic income guarantee. That being said, I wish to make it clear that I am not opposed to a basic income, but only a living wage initiative. We need a positive impact on output and some type of anchor against inflation for stability and the Universal Basic Income provides neither. So then, that brings us to the federal Job Guarantee proposal.

    The Job Guarantee (JG) eliminates involuntary unemployment by creating a buffer stock of employed persons, rather than the current methodology we use, which is maintaining a buffer stock of idle workers. The JG creates a pool of workers employed in their communities to perform work that is beneficial to society (Constructing nature trails, protecting valuable habitats, road clean-up, etc.) Private sector employers may then hire from this pool at any time. Because the JG is a voluntary initiative, in good economic times, the pool of JG workers will shrink as that labor moves to higher paying private sector jobs. In a recession or downturn, the JG pool will expand as more workers who lose their private sector jobs transfer into the JG. As a result, the federal deficit will automatically expand and contract, based on the state of the economy. Therefore, the JG acts as a superior automatic stabilizer for the economy, as it has a greater positive impact on output than that which unemployment insurance and welfare payments currently provide.”

    Read more here: http://elliswinningham.net/index.php/2016/05/22/a-few-words-on-ubi-and-the-job-guarantee/

    Universal Basic Income: An Economic “Destabilizer”
    http://elliswinningham.net/index.php/2016/05/23/universal-basic-income-an-economic-destabilizer/

    On the Reason Why a Job Guarantee is Rejected in Favor of a Standalone Basic Income Guarantee
    http://elliswinningham.net/index.php/2016/12/09/reason-job-guarantee-rejected-favor-standalone-basic-income-guarantee/

  21. darrel nay

    There is a basic difference between voluntary taxation and compulsory taxation ( which is no different to theft). Personally I would be glad to pay more taxes if they were voluntary. Furthermore, I would like to see a serious effort to eliminate govt. corruption before Canberra assumes the right to take our money – just look at the 120 million dollars they want to spend on a wall around the parliament. If people are forced to pay exorbitant taxes they have their ability to give charity is reduced.

    Cheers

  22. Miriam English

    PK1765, as I said, there are some good things to be said for a Job Guarantee, but by itself it can easily become a recipe for disaster in the ways I outline.

    It’s a bit hard to take economics seriously as a profession when most of them are still tied to the neoliberal free-market rubbish. Mostly economists make guesses based on some personal selection of data. Some are sensible, some not. Unlike scientists they really have no science to back up their statements, and their vision of what few facts they have at their command all too frequently becomes clouded by their prejudices, so we have to treat what they say with great caution.

    Will the UBI have an inflationary effect?

    Inflation can be caused by there being more demand than there is capability of supplying. If people have lots of money and want to buy things that are in short supply then the price of those items generally rises in a completely free market. There are two extra things to notice though: firstly, we don’t live in a completely free market, because the government can impose price freezes and has done so before, and secondly, such scarcity tends to be temporary as extra demand, especially when accompanied by the availability of extra money to be made from it, boosts production, lowering the pressure for inflation.

    Would inflation necessarily be a bad thing?

    Australia’s economy is noticeably inflated compared to many other countries, especially third world countries. If you want to hire someone to fix your household plumbing it can cost you hundreds of dollars. In a third world country exactly the same service might cost several dollars. We benefit greatly from this when we want to buy items from less inflated countries. When I buy a tablet computer directly from China for $50 it feels like a great bargain for me.

    Now, I’m not saying that inflation is always a good thing; I’m merely saying that economists are prone to using “inflation” as a trigger-word to scare people, when it is not necessarily the monster they say it is.

    Will people drop out of work if they get a UBI?

    I actually find it difficult to believe that they would. To see why that’s so, we can pose the problem a slightly different way. If the company you’re working for says it will boost wages of everybody in its employ by an extra $300 per week, do you think you’ll be tempted to shift to a lower paid job in the company in order to maintain your existing wage, or do you think you’ll celebrate with your family that night with the good news of an increase in income?

    If someone can do odd jobs, sell stuff at a market, run deliveries, help other people with their computers AND get the UBI on top of that, do you seriously think most people will turn their nose up at the extra money? Some people will, for sure, and those would be precisely the ones we need to do that — those who would look after elderly parents, or pursuing their creativity, or researchers who are so committed to their project that lack of outside funding won’t stop them. Those are exactly the people that your idea of a Job Guarantee would be aimed at, but for the reasons I mentioned previously, I think the Job Guarantee will ultimately fail to do that.

    The Job guarantee can be used to spark big, government-led initiatives, such as creating new industries, better housing, and so on, but sadly it won’t help with the individualised solutions.

    If a Job Guarantee is brought in, we must absolutely NOT get rid of the dole, pensions, and other social security benefits and allowances. To do so would court disaster.

    One last thing. Ellis Winningham thinks the new automation is no different to previous times. This sounds a lot like horses assuring each other that the automobile will open new jobs for horses. No. The very nature of this new round of automation is qualitatively different. I’ve been following this particular topic for half a century and I assure you, we really need to get ready for this new change. If we ignore it, it will seriously mess with every level of our society.

  23. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Christian Marx. The socio-economic imperatives are everybody gets:

    a secure home (preferably their own and not rented);
    healthy food, clean water, sanitation;
    universal life-skill and mind-enhancing education;
    universal healthcare and pharmaceutical benefits;
    both a UBI and a Job Guarantee. These are not mutually exclusive;
    fully government owned infrastructure and services;
    effective access to government initiatives and funding that support their entrepreneurial endeavours that must reflect societal benefits for all

    … and the list goes on …

  24. king1394

    Darrel Nay, I quite like your thought that people who need shelter should just find a cave or a bridge. I suggest that they take over some of the luxury mansions that stand empty as holiday houses in places like Burradoo, and the fine buildings that are awaiting demolition, such as the old pub in my town which Woolworths owns and leaves empty. I can assure you also that there are many huge houses occupied by one old person. No doubt if the homeless were serious about their need for shelter, they could move in to any number of unoccupied and under-occupied houses.,

  25. Miriam English

    Jennifer, good point.

  26. Jack Straw

    I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.
    — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

    Very Apt quote Miriam

  27. helvityni

    Let’s build some affordable government housing, now. Jobs for our tradesmen, and homes for homeless. Oz is supposedly a wealthy country, share the riches…we could do it in the past, why not now.

    Most people want to work; only in Australia are jobless people called “bludgers”… Why this name-calling?

    The Rohingya refugees are people too, at least we could give them tents, some of our excess food, medicines could also be helpful…

  28. Shogan

    If there was a universal basic income there would be no more unemployed, no more people on welfare, no more pensioners, there would be workers & non workers & no more demonising people on welfare as dole bludgers, no problems about what the retirement age should be & the size of the Dept. of Human Services, or Inhuman Services as I like to call it, would be greatly reduced. if not abolished.

    All those people above the age of 50 looking for work because they can’t exist on Newstart, but can’t for the life of them gain any employment whatsoever might then decide to be a part of the grey nomad scene & set off on the great journey to explore this big beautiful country of ours & that in itself would be good for the tourism industry Australia wide as well as adding to the economies of all the places they travel through.

    While the life of a grey nomad isn’t for everyone, other people might think it’s time to start a small business of their own knowing that they have the security of the universal basic income & who knows just how inventive some people might be in creating a regular income from something that is too small for big business to get involved with.

    Volunteering in the local community or even in far off places could also see an increase in involvement of those happy to live on the universal basic income & that would be good for everyone concerned & help to create a happier society in which to live.

    Governments could still set about trying to create jobs & growth, I say trying because the current government has no idea how to do that, & those not happy existing on the universal basic income could set about gaining the expertise they need to to fill those positions.

    Businesses might then think it’s a good idea to actually take on apprentices again as an apprentice’s wage would only be a small addition to the universal basic income, think about that for a minute & see if there would still be a need to bring in so many people on 457 visas.

    Of course for this to happen businesses & high income earners would have to start paying their fair share of taxes & the tax department could actually employ more people to make sure that actually happens & wouldn’t that be a good idea.

    All food for thought.

  29. Miriam English

    Shogan, nicely said. Your last point especially is important. Any inflationary effect of a UBI can be countered, not only by legislating to limit price rises, but also by taxing the wealthy fairly.

    Inflation can also be relieved by the government opening more jobs in industries that supply the things that are scarce. The Job Guarantee would be useful for this.

  30. helvityni

    Shogan,

    ” Finland has been giving 2,000 of its citizens an unconditional income for the last five months and some are already seeing the benefits, reporting decreased stress, greater incentives to find work and more time to pursue business ideas. … Universal basic income scheme set for trials …..” ( Independent UK)

    If Finland is willing to trial it, why can’t Oz, rather than rabbiting about “dole bludgers”, try something progressive. You never know, if you never try…

  31. Jack Straw

    Shogun The Elephant in room; pardon the pun.Is the cost of having a roof over your head in this country.

  32. Miriam English

    Jack Straw, as helvityni said, the government can create more government housing. Jobs for our tradesmen, and homes for homeless.

    If those homes were a good, modern, underground design they could…
    ♦ consume much less energy,
    ♦ be more comfortable in winter and summer,
    ♦ be safe from bushfires,
    ♦ give people double use of their land,
    ♦ transform our ugly suburbia into parkland,
    ♦ make cleaning solar panels much safer. I’m dreading going up on the roof to clean the ones here. I’d much rather the roof be at ground level so tripping over results in a skinned knee rather than death.

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    ‘Give people double use of their land’ is an excellent selling point for underground housing, Miriam.

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Shogun,

    your third paragraph in particular works for me.

  35. darrel nay

    When I was a young lefty I was a dole bludger – I didn’t want to work. Obviously not everyone on welfare is a bludger, but if we want to build a stronger country we need to do something about those people who are abusing the system.

    Cheers

    p.s. I now work four jobs to try and make ends meet and many people in my position are tired of exorbitant taxes and corruption. When I buy a tin of tobacco and a tank of fuel I pay about $120 tax – give us a break.

  36. Joseph Carli

    darrel wrote..: ” p.s. I now work four jobs …” …and their christian names are…

  37. darrel nay

    reply for Joseph Carli:

    I start my day with an eight hour shift at the supermarket in the fruit and veg. department. Then I run my own lawn-mowing and gardening business. I also cut firewood and when needed I work with the local Milko delivering products to local homes and businesses. This is how a small town runs.

    Thanks for asking

    p.s. I also help some of the local farmers produce the food that guys like you need to survive.

  38. Miriam English

    darrel, for goodness’ sake. Give it a rest. It’s not all about you.

  39. Oscar

    I think it’s time you gave up ciggy’s darrel. You sound like a walking time bomb

  40. Joseph Carli

    ” I start my day with an eight hour shift at the supermarket in the fruit and veg. department.”…..:
    “Oh, hello Mrs/Mr White (it’s never Ms)..Oh yes!..Isn’t it terrible the way they let just ANYbody into the country…and all those funny beliefs and their children and they have SO MANY of them…yes..that’s so true; it won’t be long before there’s more of them than us..and what about all those homothexuals (tee-hee!)..there’s NO HOPE of kiddies there! oh my looord! (tee, hee!) …that’s why I say I work in the “Froot” dept’ (tee,hee!)”..and so on and on and on…

  41. Miriam English

    Apologies, that was intemperate of me.

  42. Joseph Carli

    …and then there’s all the “grass” jokes on the lawn-mowing round….say!..have you tried a “Dirty Dan’s Dog-wash” franchise?

  43. Shogan

    Jack Straw – “The Elephant in room; pardon the pun. Is the cost of having a roof over your head in this country.”

    Actually the cost of having a roof over your head is mainly a capitol city problem as there are many cheaper houses available out in the country away from the capitol cities.

    While there aren’t as many jobs available in the country, a universal basic income would give people the security to either start a small business or even offer to work for a current business for a wage suitable to both or do volunteer work in the local area or even become the artist or writer they always wanted to be.

    If more people moved to small country towns that would not only help the economy of those towns, it may well add school enrollments which may increase the number of teachers in those schools too which also adds to the prosperity of a town.

    An increased population would also add to the social fabric of these towns too as local sporting groups would have a better opportunity to grow & prosper & as anyone who has lived in a country town would know, these sporting clubs are the life blood of all these greater country regions.

    Living in the country is also a much better & healthier lifestyle too.

  44. Jack Straw

    That’s all very well though we need to fix the Tax structure for housing re negative gearing and full Capital Gains tax reinstatement to make it fairer.

  45. Shogan

    I definitely agree with you there Jack!!

  46. Miriam English

    It’s difficult to see how we can get politicians who receive bribes donations from very wealthy people and who themselves are very wealthy will do something about progressive taxation. We really, really need to get money out of government.

  47. Tristan Ewins

    Good stuff Christian ; some great ideas on what might be achieved in terms of a short to medium term platform. I would also suggest as a top priority a restructure of the tax system for distributive fairness, and an increase in progressive tax and related social expenditure to match the OECD average – achieved over several terms. This could fund a National Aged Care Insurance Scheme, as well as radical reform of welfare , comprehensive Medicare Dental , implementing Gonski 1.0 , revamping the NBN and keeping it public. Also re-establish a public sector bank along the lines of the old Commonwealth Bank. And establish ‘multi-stakeholder co-operatives’ ; where workers, governments and regions come together to promote economic democracy – and where government can play a crucial role in enabling the economies of scale to keep co-ops competitive. And have tax incentives to discourage the corporatisation of co-ops ; and to stop ‘demutualisation’. The ‘revolution’ to come involves a decisive shift in the balance of class and democratic forces. That could take a long time! But these are the kind of ideas we need ‘to get the ball rolling’.

  48. Tristan Ewins

    Another problem is that at this point the shift to renewable energy can impact on lower income consumers. One reason being that the economies of scale and cost structures of the ‘legacy,centralised’ industry worsen – and its people on low incomes or renting who cannot shift to micro-renewables. This doesn’t mean we stop the shift to renewables. What it does mean is that we need much stronger subsidies for people on welfare and low incomes during the transition period.

  49. Christian Marx

    Thanks for all the comments everyone. Great stuff and some real food for thought. 🙂

  50. diannaart

    @ Christian Marx

    Can only agree – especially liking the idea (Jennifer) of both UBI and JG and I suggest incentives for volunteering, such as travel costs? Always wanted an underground home – so very low in heating & cooling costs (Miriam), stayed in Coober Pedy and loved it.

    Only problem I see is the “born-to-rule” class will object to just the very thought of “less worthy people” actually living a reasonable life – the UBI would hardly be luxury. However, as Darrel Nay so ably demonstrates, right-wingers believe that everything revolves around them and everyone should behave just like them as they order them.

  51. keepingitreal

    Professor Bill Mitchell on why a UBI eill not address poverty… someone who is far more eminently qualified than Miriam English… and who has bern working on this for 20 years.

    A Basic Income Guarantee does not reduce poverty

  52. keepingitreal

    More from Professor Bill Mitchell… and anyone who is so against capitalism such as Christian Marx is should indeed be very nervous and asking this “Why are CEOs now supporting basic income guarantees?”… it should be ringing huge arlam bells… for everyone… as corporations and neoliberalist are starting to support a UBI which should be a trigger to tell you all that it will benefit them more than the working class…

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=35498

    When economist of the calibre of Professor Bill Mitchell, Professer Randall L Wray, Ellis Winngham, Assoc Professor Pavlina R. Tcherneva and Professor Stephanie Kelton (who is Bernie Sanders advisor and who has recently been to the UK to talk with Jeremy Corbyn) are against something and are recommending something else us plebs should be listening and hard!!

    16 Reasons Matt Yglesias is Wrong about the Job Guarantee vs. Basic Income

  53. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    diannaart,

    the “born-to-rule” class, which has only had its heyday in recent times in our lives, will fizzle out just quick as they sprung up.

    Aussies might be complacent, lazy and disappointing … but they can smell a rat from a mile away …

    … and when those rats defecate on their heads too …

    that’s when the rats are exterminated.

    Byebye traitor LNParasites!

    Byebye Labor wannabe replacements!

    Go The ALLiance! for good Representative, Reformist and Progressive government OF the Greens, left Labor & Progressives.

    (Naysayers, don’t bother to respond.)

  54. Miriam English

    keepingitreal, I don’t present myself as an authority. I just say things as I see them, applying my grey matter to the problem as honestly as I can.

    Bill Mitchell is undeniably a smart guy, but everybody has their blind spots (including me). His error seems to be in accepting the puritanical idea that we should all be working — that we should serve the economy rather than it serve us. This is understandable. He spends most of his time thinking about the economy.

    The trouble is that we humans are what the economy should be measured against. The idea that full employment is the best goal for humanity is a terrible mistake. For the very best of reasons, he is fixated on delivering a nightmarish future, where your worth is judged against what you can deliver to the economy.

    As I said before, the Job Guarantee has some great aspects to it, but it isn’t a complete solution because of the way it could so easily become “work for the dole” on steroids. And if the Job Guarantee is considered good enough that the dole is removed, then people will be locked into being low wage slaves for life without even the dole to fall back on.

    The Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been getting support from people across all political beliefs — left-wing, libertarian, conservative, nationalist, green… across the spectrum. That seems to me a strong vote in its favor, not a reason to reject it.

    Yes, some wealthy people support it, but some wealthy people are also supporting disease relief in the poorest parts of the world, committing hundreds of millions of dollars to disaster relief in the wake of earthquakes and hurricanes. Wealthy people are organising microloans to help the poorest women out of poverty. Wealthy people created Archive.org and the bookmobile that drives around the poorest places on Earth and prints out books for people on demand. Are those actions suspect too? Not all wealthy people are bad, just as not all poor people are good.

    Doing nothing will bring about severe social dislocation when massive automation throws a very large fraction of the population out of work. Ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away.

    The Job Guarantee will help initially a little bit by stretching out the transition period, but in the longer run it does nothing to actually solve the problem because in a time as great numbers of jobs disappear it remains focussed on answering the wrong question: How do we keep everybody employed in jobs?

    The UBI gives us the chance to solve the problem by changing the question to: How do we want to make the best use of our lives? It changes automation from a threat to a promise — the promise of a better future.

  55. Harquebus

    “What is needed is a huge investment in creating employment.”
    Wrong. This is the last thing that we should be doing if, one is truly concerned at the state of our natural environment.

    “This, combined with battery technology for every household will eventually ensure almost zero reliance on the grid. It is also much cheaper for the consumer in the long run.”
    More rubbish. Too many detrimental consequences concerning renewable energy technology are not factored. Also, it is a mistake to price energy in currencies that are intrinsically worthless. It provides a distorted picture of energy profitability.

    Universal Basic Income is just more hype and B.S. It is just another attempt by economists to continue getting something for nothing.

    This article addresses nothing that must be done in order to ensure the survival of our species which, are economic contraction to reduce consumption, job destruction and population control.

  56. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Beautifully explained Miriam English @ 21 October 2017, 10:05 pm.

  57. Kyran

    What a wonderful read. It is always invigorating to discuss what can be done, rather than what can’t be done. However, there are a few points that confuse me (due to my ignorance) that I would ask for your help on.

    With regard to the UBI, as I understand it, it is a government guaranteed minimum income. The Job Guarantee is similar in intent, but with a different criteria for eligibility. Why does the conversation suggest it must be one or the other? Can’t they both be utilized, depending on the circumstance of the individual? If the basic premise is a guaranteed minimum income, shouldn’t it be tied to the minimum award rates? Why is there no discussion of combining it with the taxation system, in particular the ‘tax free threshold’ for PAYG? This would allow for management of any potential inflationary risk. Why isn’t there concurrent discussion of capping the other end of the income scale, ie capping maximum earnings at 10 times the level of average income in that industry?

    With regard to mainstream media, I would argue that we do not need to dismantle or decrease their relevance, they are doing that themselves by their blatantly partisan participation. Why not introduce an honesty charter similar to what the Canadians have? Make them accountable for what they publish as news (as distinct from comment/opinion) and introduce a ‘three strikes’ regime for renewal or continuation of any licensing authority?

    With regard to the ‘Collective workplaces’, it could be argued that our ‘Super’ guarantee is a return to the workers for their participation in production. Why not discuss compulsory participation by the workers in the Boardrooms (whether it be a union rep or a workers rep is matter for discussion elsewhere)? This has been demonstrated in the past as having a very positive outcome in efficiency, profitability and product development. It has also allowed for a more correct use of ‘casual’ and ‘permanent’ labour and the protection of workers terms and conditions.

    After reading your article, I did some reading on ‘Direct Democracy’ and couldn’t help but note the Swiss model. Whilst their population is only about 1/3 of Australia and their land mass is significantly less, it is incredibly ‘doable’ right now. It would not require amendment of the Constitution on my reading, only a change to the AEC in terms of its definition and authority.
    As to the property Ponzi scheme, I would suggest that the dismantling of negative gearing on property over a period of time may be a better way to go, in terms of ‘softening’ the economic impact. Having said that, the negative gearing used for shares and ‘risk investment’ should be removed immediately.

    These are a few thoughts/questions born of my ignorance. Any ideas?
    Thank you Mr Marx and commenters. Take care

  58. Miriam English

    H, while I agree that making more of the same environment-trashing jobs is a bad idea, there are ways people can be employed that improve the environment:
    ✦ planting trees and native bushes
    ✦ ridding the bush of weeds (lantana, groundsel, cat’s claw, hypoestes, various waterweeds, etc)
    ✦ ridding the bush of feral cats, foxes, cane toads, and feral dogs
    ✦ increasing efficiency through techniques such as adding insulation, adding passive heating and passive cooling
    ✦ underground building
    ✦ adding renewable energy sources to homes, workplaces, and communities
    ✦ making all new homes hyper-efficient with renewables supplying the minimal energy needs
    ✦ working in the information economy, which uses information instead of physical goods as its raw materials, thus having little or no impact on the environment.

    There are more, but these are just off the top of my head.

    What detrimental effects of renewables? Or are you just seeing something that could be a solution and reflexively denying it? I know you’re going to harp on about the poisonous materials that form the dopants in conventional silicon semiconductor, but as these industries have become more efficient they waste less and less. Pollution for them is a cost — it’s something they lose. As an example of something that shows how remarkable technology can be in improving efficiency by polluting less, see this extremely short video from minutephysics:
    Solar Panels Made With a Particle Accelerator

    But you take one aspect of the photovoltaic industry and erroneously use that to dismiss all renewables.

    One of the most energy-expensive tasks in the home is to heat water. A solar water heater does this at zero cost after the initial investment.

    Windmill farms cost a fraction of the time, money, and resources of conventional centralised power stations to build, and further costs are just maintenance. And as technology improves those costs are further reduced.

    Solar-thermal power stations also cost a fraction of the time, money, and resources of a conventional power station, and also cost only in maintenance thereafter. An advantage of solar thermal is that it provides direct power 24 hours a day.

    And your assertion that floating currencies are worthless…. We all know that you think currency should be tied to so-called precious metals, but, as I’ve explained to you countless times, and you seem to have difficulty absorbing (perhaps due to a learning impediment), money is always a social construct. It gains its value from consensus. It is all just trading tokens. The big difference with precious-metal-based currency is that it is easier for a feudal state to arise because only a limited amount of money exists and it is much easier to that to be all owned by a very small number of ultra-rich. The real (and only) purpose money serves is to be a transfer of value for goods or services. Once the precious-metal-base is removed then money can better fit the actual state of things. Precious metals insanely limit things by saying that we can’t have more than this number of works of art because we only have X amount of gold.

    I’m astounded that you think that the Universal Basic income is about economists trying to get something for nothing. Tell me how that’s so. I’d be very interested in how you justify that assertion.

    The article above actually indirectly addresses a number of your concerns. Some of his suggestions would reduce consumption, some (e.g. Bill Mitchell) would say that a UBI will reduce the number of people working in jobs, and population control goes hand in hand with improving people’s level of well-being.

  59. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    We have argued this ad nauseam and we are wasting our time continuing it. There is only one way that we are going to agree and that is when, you are proved wrong by outcomes. By then of course, the renewable dream will have caused irreparable damage.
    I will just say again that, your problem is that renewable energy devices alone can not facilitate the manufacturing, construction, maintenance and decommissioning of renewable energy devices. Therefore, renewable energy is not a solution, it is a wish.

    “New scientific research is quietly rewriting the fundamentals of economics. The new economic science shows decisively that the age of endlessly growing industrial capitalism, premised on abundant fossil fuel supplies, is over.”
    “the 2008 financial crash did not represent a singular event, but rather one key event in an unfolding process.”
    “The implication is that the 21st century represents the tail-end of the era of industrial economic expansion, originally ushered in by technological innovations enabled by abundant fossil fuel energy sources.”
    “It is no coincidence, then, that debt-to-GDP ratios have continued to grow worldwide. As EROI is in decline, an unsustainable debt-bubble premised on exploitation of working and middle classes is the primary method to keep growth growing — an endeavour that at some point will inevitably come undone under its own weight.”
    “One of the most important contributions of biophysical economics is its critique that mainstream economics disregards the biophysical basis of production, and energy in particular.”
    “Yet a key problem is that mainstream economics is held back from being able to even comprehend the existence of net energy decline due to an ideological obsession with the market.”
    “The modern market paradigm is fatally self-limited by the following dynamics: “short time horizons, growth as a requisite, gratuitous waste baked-in, profits as life-blood.” This renders it “incapable of producing solutions that demand long-view investment without profits.””
    “The resulting solutions will require “long time-horizon investment: investments with no immediate payoff in terms of saleable products, no visible ROI (return on investment), no profit-making in the near-term. Such investment can be generated only in a non-market environment, in which payment is collective and financial profit is not the point.””
    “Far from representing the end of prosperity, this transition represents an opportunity to redefine prosperity beyond the idea of endlessly increasing material accumulation; and realigning society with the goal of meeting real-world human physical, psychological and spiritual needs.”
    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/the-new-economic-science-of-capitalisms-slow-burn-energy-collapse-d07344fab6be

    “Modern money, not backed by gold or other tangible assets, is particularly vulnerable to any loss of trust. The value of fiat money depends entirely on the “full faith and credit” of its sponsoring government. If that faith and creditworthiness are ever called into serious question, the ensuing panic can literally destroy the value of the currency. It’s happened very often in the past, and can certainly happen again.”
    #105: Anticipating the next crash

    “The Roman denarius was worth less than 1/2000th of its original value when it was discontinued, but all of the cool silver ones were melted down pretty early, because they were worth more than their face value, like a 1962 quarter is worth $3.36 of our current bad money, which is backed by . . . nothing, except the Army, Navy and Air Force. And the missiles.”

    Rome, Britain, and Money: Why You Can’t Find Fine China after the Apocalypse

  60. Miriam English

    Harquebus, when are you going to realise that simply quoting idiots who have blogs doesn’t amount to a sensible argument? I could quote far more sources than you that say the exact opposite. You need actual evidence. Without that you are just scaremongering.

    Let me try a slightly different tack:

    You seem to think we can only survive by regressing to an agrarian society with a tiny fraction of the population. I won’t talk about why the nightmarish scenarios that bring that about can’t legitimately be called a “solution”. Instead I’ll note some of the problems in your hoped-for scenario.

    An agrarian society has a high rate of death and disease so has an accompanying very high birthrate — around 10 children per couple is not unusual. This leads to severe overpopulation.

    Agrarian societies tend to be very damaging to the environment. They despoil the land and exterminate animals and plants at a terrible rate.

    Agrarian societies are incredibly inefficient. I don’t like cities, but if you want high efficiency then the best thing you can do is move everybody to big cities.

    Look at the worst ecological disasters and places with the worst overpopulation and human rights and intolerance and worst religions — they are all agrarian or near-agrarian societies.

    You have an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” looping inside your head and believe that this fantasy can actually be lived. You’re wrong — all the evidence around you today points to the conclusion that you’re wrong.

    You need to look at reality. Actual facts. Not paradoxical wishful thinking. (We will be saved by doom.)

    Renewable energy is already growing at a stupendous rate. On current rates of accelerating growth it will overtake fossil fuels in less than a decade. Of course we can make renewables using renewable energy — where the energy comes from doesn’t affect our ability to use it. Electricity is electricity. Heat is heat.

  61. Joseph Carli

    ” Let me try a slightly different tack:”…A 4″ nail driven at a skewer may be needed!…and THEN clinched over!

  62. Michael Taylor

    Harquebus said:

    We have argued this ad nauseam and we are wasting our time continuing it.

    Well why do you keep bringing it up?

    You expect the right to have your say – and we give you that right – but other people don’t have the right to say theirs.

    That seems a little unfair to me.

  63. Jan

    Miriam why do you continue arguing with a fool?

  64. Rossleigh

    Miriam, Harqeubus is right. He wrote: “There is only one way that we are going to agree and that is when, you are proved wrong by outcomes.” This is true because if he were proven wrong, he’d continue to argue.

    BTW – The reduction in value of the Roman coin would have had something to do with inflation, I suspect.

  65. Miriam English

    Jan, You must be as mad as him Miriam.

    😀 It feels that way sometimes. I just feel that his ridiculous doomer preaching shouldn’t be allowed to stand unopposed. I know I’ll never change Harquebus’ mind. He appears to have a learning impediment as he forgets when his arguments have been disproved, so presents them again, over, and over, and over. (I’m not intending to be insulting there. The most likely explanation for his inability to absorb data, I think, is a genuine mental problem.)

    The main reason I respond so that anybody reading H’s alarmism doesn’t get sucked in by it. I’ve met many people who’ve been persuaded by this kind of crap and have generally opted to live irresponsibly “because I might as well since we’re all screwed anyway.” I’ve spent a lot of time getting such people to realise that the doomsayers are wrong. If we are careful with how we live we can avoid doom.

  66. Miriam English

    heheheh 🙂 Well spotted, Rossleigh. I agree.

    When we have most energy being supplied by renewables and PV panels created using solely renewable energy, and solar furnaces making the metals for wind turbines, and the internet powered entirely by renewables, and hyper-efficient buildings allowing people to consume hardly any power, and vat technology eliminating enormous, ecology-destroying farms, Harquebus will simply shift the day of reckoning. He’ll do what all religious apocalyptics do.

    Did the Jehovah’s Witnesses disband when the reason for their religion — the end of the world in 1878 — failed to occur? No. Nor did subsequent prophesies that the world would end in 1881, 1914, 1918 and 1925 cause the religion to collapse. The same with all end-of-the-world cults.

    This always happens with doomers. They never lose their faith because their future is always still coming.

  67. diannaart

    … and another area where our technology and knowledge is becoming highly efficient is in nano-tech. We are making machines from atoms! Not only (as a result) are our computers getting smaller but everything else is getting smaller and, as a result, more efficient… thinking solar cells, battery storage, even manufacturing (we have 3D printers which will improve massively from nano-tech – industry in local communities… I am sure people can think of more exciting innovation.

    All this progress will be lost if the doomers get their apocalyptic wish and humans are forced back into agrarian practices.
    Of course H., et al will argue we are wasting atoms… 😛

  68. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    You are absolutely correct Miriam @ 12.21pm.

    I have a soft spot for H but I don’t want his doomsday, anti-renewable energy arguments to go unchallenged.

  69. Michael Taylor

    Rossleigh, I thought it might have had something to do with the doubloons. ?

  70. Tristan Ewins

    GMI can work ; but to work it should probably involve the following: as a ‘top up’ to those on low incomes – but not as a ‘top up’ to middle and higher income earners. (the money involved is beyond our ability to raise in the immediate term – and there are much more important priorities – eg: National Aged Care Insurance) On the other hand: if GMI replaced other welfare payments AND IMPROVED ON THEM – and was guaranteed – that would be a different story. The truth at this point is that $25,000/year GMI (fully indexed) would be pushing it ; but if we’re aiming lower it kind of misses the point. A GMI of $15,000/year for instance is probably giving the vulnerable a worse deal than they get under the current welfare system. People in difficult circumstances (ie: disability) should also be protected from poverty traps – and provided more scope to explore casual and part time work without prohibitive levels of effective taxation/winding back of benefits too.

  71. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    GMI is about double what Newstart is currently.

    Such increases are affordable now (not later) according to Modern Monetary Theory’s explanation of how macroeconomics works with a sovereign currency like Australia’s.

  72. Miriam English

    GMI???

    Gregor Mendel Institute? Graded Motor Imagery? Genomic Medicine Institute? General Motors Institute of Technology? Greenwich Maritime Institute? Georgia Military Institute? Georgia Medical Institute? German-Malaysian Institute? Grid Modernization Index? Global microbial identifier? George C. Marshall Institute? Global Militarization Index? Giant magnetoimpedance? Grace Ministries International?

    Ahhh… probably guaranteed minimum income, right?

    (This is why I try to always spell out the first occurrences of acronyms I use.)

  73. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I confess I was just repeating the acronym. Guilty as charged, m’am!

    But I was emphasising the pathetic level of Newstart and the IMMediate need for a significant INcrease, which is completely affordable once the dumbies (in positions of power) understand we have a sovereign currency and the freedom to make it happen.

  74. diannaart

    Jennifer,

    I have the sneaking suspicion there exists sufficient funds, via the existing monetary system, for fairer distribution, except a tiny minority do not want to share anything. These same self-interested people will also see MMT as a form of destabilisation and outright robbery simply because of the possibility that more people will be better off – how else can one feel superior if there are no abject inferiors around any more?

  75. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I have come to realise the wisdom of the words you have just expressed, diannaart. (Sad but true, the obscene LNP worms would rather see people die by a thousand cuts than reduce their own slovenly conduct.)

    More reason to compel Labor to be their better selves so to make it happen when they share power with the Greens and other Progressives, who see the need for institutional change.

  76. Miriam English

    diannaart and Jennifer, here are a couple of images along the lines you’re thinking:

    http://miriam-english.org/lj/Gina_Reinhart_-_Australia's_biggest_welfare_recipient.jpg

    http://miriam-english.org/lj/Gina_and_Clive_-_1percent_wealth_tax_could_raise_20_billion.jpg

    I think we could fund a Universal Basic Income (UBI), or Basic Income Guarantee (BIG), or Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI), whatever you want to call it, through sensible taxing. (And before someone who is into MMT says that tax doesn’t pay for anything — you’re right, but tax removes money from the economy allowing the government to spend more without risking inflation.)

    Incidentally, don’t get me wrong. I actually want society to have some wealthy people. For the time being, it can be useful (see, for example the great good being done by Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Brewster Kahle, and some others). I just wish wealthy people would pay appropriate tax.

    I look forward to a time in the future when money will not really be used anymore. Then it won’t matter if you have billions or zero money. Money would then be merely given as kudos, like clicking the “like” button on a video. I hope that change comes in my lifetime.

  77. win jeavons

    If we took human rights seriously, we would accept that everyone has a right to a living income, whether there is work available or not. This will mean restructuring society and re educating those who link worth to income or job description. After all we all give motherhood high theoretical value but have never paid for it as a job. Many of the best things done by individuals in our society are done for love – of children, animals, wilderness etc – not for money, which such persons spend on their goals, never expecting remuneration.

  78. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, win

  79. diannaart

    The awful truth had its dawning in my core beliefs when John Howard ignored our anti-war demos against the “Coalition of the Willing”, referring to protesters as riff-raff (or something similar).

    The final nail in the (proverbial) coffin of my PollyAnna hopes was seeing Gina Rinehart taking waddling to the streets and expecting, as only the self-entitled can do, a sympathetic response from people who could retire and live happily ever after on just 6 months of her yearly income.

    I don’t resent wealth, I just resent living a day to day existence where if something goes wrong, I could end up homeless.

    … and, yes, Win, we do not take human rights seriously, nor the rights of our environment to provide us (if maintained and protected) with all we need.

  80. Harquebus

    “We have argued this ad nauseam and we are wasting our time continuing it.”
    “Well why do you keep bringing it up?”

    “Bringing it up” is not the same as arguing about it and there are others who might just wish to question this technology which, is only delaying us from doing what is required. The longer we wait, the worse will be the outcome.
    Renewable energy advocates do not realize the damage caused by these inefficient devices.

  81. Miriam English

    Harquebus, once again you make your empty assertions that have been dismissed time and time again. Why don’t you learn from the past? You are wrong. Every time that you’ve put forward the same ancient, outdated reasons for your beliefs they have been shown to be wrong, yet you never acknowledge it and you never update your beliefs to incorporate new evidence. That’s almost a defining aspect of religious belief which, puzzlingly, you emphatically protest that you hatee.

    Will you, once and for all, accept that your belief about renewables is in error, or else provide irrefutable evidence? And I mean evidence, not slews of useless opinion from petroleum dupes.

    In the past, every time Kaye or I have shown how flawed is the usual paper you refer to, you go quiet, never admitting you’re wrong, then resurface again, some time later with exactly the same claims, spreading dangerous misinformation over and over again.

    You need to either prove your point, or accept that you’re wrong and change your tune to fit the facts. I get so sick of this Groundhog Day argument.

  82. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    “dismissed time and time again” by you. You and Kaye Lee have only shown me that you are incapable of grasping basic concepts.
    When the cost of energy goes down and when government and private debt is reduced then, you’ll have something to say about the energy returned by renewable energy devices. You have proved nothing and the evidence that you have provided is mostly just advertisement. I have laughed at the rubbish you have put up as evidence.

    As it is you that is advocating these devices, it is you that needs to provide proof of their viability and that, despite what you think, you have not done.

  83. Michael Taylor

    Let me tell you now, Harquebus. I’m seriously not in the mood for all this same crap again.

    Seriously. Not. In. The. Mood.

  84. Miriam English

    Harquebus, so you have no evidence then.
    You should stop promoting destructive bullshit until you can back it up with actual evidence.

  85. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    I have lots and will email you some. Where’s yours?

    Michael Taylor
    What are you complaining about now? No abuse, no threats, no profanity. What?
    Advocating this renewable crap is okay but, arguing against it is not? Why is that?
    Relax, I am not going to harp on about this. Learning the hard way is the only way for some.

    Avagoodwun.

  86. Miriam English

    H, only send on the condition you will accept disproof of it. If you are just going to do your usual trick of spouting off then ignoring the disproof of what you’ve said then don’t bother sending anything.

  87. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    Like I have said before, I have read everything and seen most of the videos that you have provided except, for the ebooks that you were kind enough to convert for me. They I will read over Christmas. Anything else you have, let’s see it.

  88. Joseph Carli

    Harqi’ dear child..back in 1983 / 4 I lived in Yankalilla..I built our family house just outside the town there and the electricity board wanted $14,000 to bring power with an extra pole to my house…instead, I bought two of those very early BP. solar panels, wired up two big Caterpillar batteries and pumped power back to the house through a kit-inverter 12v-DC to 240v-ac..and sure, I had my tradie 3kva generator as back-up, but in the summer I could have exported excess power as the neighbours got shitty every time (and there were many) there was a blackout..now those panels may have a construction cost associated with them, but so too have poles and wires..and labour..and you still get blackouts..so , dear child..solar does work much better for the outlay…try it, you’ll learn to love it.

  89. Harquebus

    Joseph Carli
    While you think that you have done some good, the opposite is actually the case.

    “Clean energy extracts resources from the earth. What’s clean about that? Clean energy production causes emissions of greenhouse gases, produces toxic waste, and uses up water and electricity. There’s no way you can get around burning fossil fuels and depleting the living planet while producing and transporting these “clean energy” alternatives.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/03/the-sacred-c-words/

    “in other words, if there were only ‘green’ sources of electricity, there would be no grid.”

    Absolution, Deceit and Renewables

    “Solar photovoltaic energy is not as environmentally conscious as many think it is. Besides being an intermittent source of energy and more expensive than traditional technologies, it has serious waste disposal issues that few countries are tackling. The hazardous materials used in their construction are not easy to recycle and can contaminate drinking water if solely discarded with other electronic waste.”
    http://canadafreepress.com/article/will-solar-power-be-at-fault-for-the-next-environmental-crisis

    If we reverse economic and population growth, we wouldn’t have to build anything and save ourselves a fortune and reduce environmental destruction.

    In order not to further alienate the administrator of this site, I will not be posting any more comments on this page. I’ve had my say and thank theAIMN for it.

  90. Joseph Carli

    Harq’..” If we reverse economic and population growth, we wouldn’t have to build anything and save ourselves a fortune and reduce environmental destruction.”…and if only humans stopped rooting…

    You talk rot..you’re a stroker and no mistake.

  91. Harquebus

    Calling me a “stroker” is okay but, calling Joseph Carli an ignoramus is not. If you must delete my comment then, please, also delete the one above.

    “The short-term solution to our problems is the long-term cause of our problems: economic growth
    The long-term solution to our problems is the short-term cause of our problems: reduced consumption”
    “Every country has similar economic problems and not one leader anywhere in the world connects the dots and publicly acknowledges the root cause, even after they leave office: declining energy surplus a.k.a. energy extraction cost + debt”
    The only possible permanent solution is rejected by the belief systems of 90+% of citizens: population reduction
    “The scientific theory that explains the relationship between the economy, energy, and climate is ignored by everyone that should understand it”
    “The people who deserve the most respect and admiration get the least: scientists”

    Rob Mielcarski: You know you are in trouble when…

  92. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you really never learn. You keep reposting other people’s doom blog posts and articles sponsored by the petroleum industry (e.g. the article you quoted written by the “Energy Research Institute” created by the Koch brothers to spread disinformation). No evidence, just scare campaign.

    You’re wrong. Of all the forms of renewable energy, solar photovoltaic costs the most to create, but even they deliver more energy than they require to make. There was a brief time in the early days, that some panels (some crystalline cells, only) delivered slightly less than what they paid back, but that time is long gone. With new, more efficient panels, longer lifetimes, and new, more efficient production methods they pay back much more than the energy it takes to build them.

    And then there are the other forms of renewables, wind power, solar thermal electrical generation, hydroelectric, geothermal, wave power, and rooftop solar water-heating panels. They all produce far more than the energy required to build them. Misapplying your out-of-date figures to modern solar photovoltaics is a bad enough, but broadening that conclusion to erroneously include all the other forms of renewables smacks of deliberate deception.

    Stop doing it! You are spreading lies.

  93. Joseph Carli

    Harq’…You insult us all the time..we spend an inordinate amount of time attending to your repetitive nonsense and still you insult our intelligence with your bleedin’ obvious ” just listen…listen…” nonsense..sure we would “all” be better off environmentally if the population remained static at some X factor number and technology never advanced beyond the stone age..and we keep telling and telling and telling you that it is not only NOT going to happen, but it NEVER DID happen and rather than exterminate half the population of the world, we have to adjust our capabilities… and still you keep coming back and insulting our intelligence with your ;;”But what if we DID!..don’t you understand??!..are yo all stupid or somethin’?”…
    Aww..piss off and take up a hobby…I for one am effing sick of you!

  94. darrel nay

    how is joseph carli running around like a chook with it’s head cut off whining about insults when he has no compunction about threatening to ‘stalinise’ people who disagree with him – carli seems intent on redefining hypocrisy.

  95. nurses1968

    Harquebus

    further to
    Joseph CarliOctober 25, 2017 at 11:05 am and his solarisation

    My employer has 12.5Kw solar a power wall and two wind turbines and has been free of the shackles of the electricity companies for years now
    The air com runs almost 24/7 a couple of computers are never turned of and all the usual household and office appliances feed of that source.While the initial outlay may have been a bit pricey,maintainance,other than the occasional was down of the panels in minimal, and the price of panels continue to get cheaper. There is no fear of ever increasing electricy prices and in fact they get a decent Feed In Tariff cheque quarterly.
    There are 2 dams and one is filtered and aerated through river sand,river gravel,and rushes producing really clear water by a 90 year old windmill and that dams is used for recreation by their grandkids negating the use of pumps etc on the pool at the house

    I;m not sure when electricity prices will ever ease, a worry for me but for them it is of no concern Same with blackouts
    There is a new subdivision a coiple of kms away under construction and solar panels are popping up everywhere there
    It may be a resource drain to produce panels, but once you have them all that is oretty much negated
    Maybe those scientists,inventors and visionaries you seem to blame for all that ails with be the saviours ?

    .

  96. Miriam English

    darrel nay, just to explain to your humor-impaired self, Joe’s comment about stalinising was quite obviously a joke.

  97. Joseph Carli

    ” Joe’s comment about stalinising was quite obviously a joke.”…Just give me half a chance!!…HALF A CHANCE!!

    Listen all you deniers and doomsayers..even if we remained static and unproductive..which in my opinion would be wonderful!..I’m a lazy bugger in my own way…even if we remained static, keep in mind those little micro-organisims and bacteria do not…they multiply and mutate in a closed environment where humans congregate and do sewerage and scraps of food..hence the compulsion for those early tribes to vacate an area after a certain time..OR use learned knowledge and technology to construct sewerage syatems..THE most important survival mechanism of the ancient world…

    I don’t know how many babies YOU personally ;Harq’ and darrel have pushed out, but I can assure you if you haven’t like me tried it..(but I have attended two home births of my own children)…you won’t want to!..and if there are bacteria and micro-org’s around to infect the woman after birthing etc…you too will weep for all of us!..thank humanity for developing methods of sterilising.

    So , sorry if you are offended by my name calling, but there are situations and circumstances operating in this world both beyond human controlability and your simple philosophy.

  98. Michael Taylor

    I’m growing rather tired of Darrel Nay’s ‘stalinising’ rubbish. It’s wearing very, very thin.

  99. Joseph Carli

    Y’see, darrel and Harq’…I might be flattering myself, but I like to think I contribute to this blog and the conversations thereof in some informative or humerous way..maybe I’m kidding myself on the humour , but hey!..at least I give it a go with articles and such..at least I put myself out there to be criticised..I fail to see anything from your deft fingers except the eternal whinge..I guess it’s that old adage ..: Those who can’t do , preach!

  100. nurses1968

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithOctober 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm
    Your point about Labor
    “when they share power with the Greens and other Progressives,”
    When hell freezes over.Bill will lead labor to a substantial majority and they will govern in their own right, no hangers on necessary.
    who knows if Turnbull keeps it up Labor may win both Houses 😀

  101. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    nurses1968,

    you must have missed the bit where I said no naysayers need reply!

    I know it’s tempting to skite when you see Malcolm Muck and his LNP band of frauds disintegrating – and you just can’t wait to get your twitchy little, neoliberal fingers back on the levers of power…

    …but you need to see the big picture of how current neoliberal Labor needs to get into the ‘real world’ and work out how Labor is going to stay in power!

    Those early halcyon days of power without positive working alliances built with the Greens and Progressives won’t last long otherwise!

    Sorry to burst your bubble! 😉

  102. nurses1968

    Haha

  103. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well that was a well restrained response! Take heed of the warnings. Nobody likes smartarses.

  104. nurses1968

    that was the reason for the limited response:-D reality check time JMS your Alliance remains a membership of 1
    P.M.Bill Shorten, sounds good

  105. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Such arrogance will blow up in your face.

  106. Miriam English

    nurses1968, Labor might gain the government in the next election. Certainly, I hope they get to kick out the hopelessly incompetent and corrupt LNP. But there is a good chance they will fail to do so if they ignore and fight against other progressives. Don’t forget the LNP has on their side the extremely effective brainwashing capabilities of the mainstream media (newspapers, radio, and TV) as well as many related websites. Labor needs all the help it can get. It is imperative that the LNP get thrown out before they cause much more damage to Australian society and our economy.

    Queensland Labor have greatly hurt Labor’s image. Many people are now wondering if Federal Labor will simply put a different name on the same corruption. That’s a worrying concern. Whether it is a valid fear or not is not the point. If Labor is to be assured of gaining power then they need as many progressives on their side as possible. If they oppose other progressives then that will be seen by many as validating the fear that Federal Labor will simply go down the same path as QLD Labor. Again, I’m not commenting on whether they will or not (nobody will know for sure until after they gain power), I’m simply noting the perception.

    On the other hand, if Labor embraced all the other progressives then everybody would feel a lot safer concentrating their votes on Labor and booting out the despotic LNP.

  107. Harquebus

    I know that we can argue about this all day and I ain’t gonna do it but, I have to say that one thing that I do not do, is tell lies. For me, it is the other side of the coin. Renewable energy being pure propaganda.
    Avagoodwun.

  108. jimhaz

    [Renewable energy being pure propaganda]

    Not much different to saying no dam was never worth building as the water would never replenish !

    The real problem is not the technology, it is the human desire to completely to fill any potential opportunity vacuum ie the problem with renewables is that will allow an increased population (or not lead to the world population reducing that is actually needed now).

  109. nurses1968

    Miriam English
    You are right, there is a chance Labor may not win the next election and it could well stem from the fringe Parties like PHON and the Greens who are waging a vicious anti Labor campaign
    A section of “progressives” think that all that Annastacia has to deal with is Adani. never mind the Electricity/Solar policies announced, the increased employment the State has gained under Labor etc.and the undoing of some of the Newman years mess
    Let us not forget the Adani deal was signed by Newman,against covention whilst in caretaker mode.
    The final say would be the federal Government who gave their approval in 2015 clearing all environmental concerns {as far as they were concerned anyway} and as recently as August 2015 the Federal Court rejected bids to stop Adani

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/federal-court-rejects-latest-bids-to-stop-adani-20170825-gy47iq.html

    The facts are that if the QLD Labor minority Government were to attempt to stop Adani,they would be liable for $billions in penalties.and given the ultimate approval lies with the Federal Minister for the environment {already approved}
    If Labor win it won’t be because of smaller so called progressive parties, but in spite of them and their anti Labor campaigns
    The Mount Hillalong Coal Mine Project is only awaiting Federal approval,Plans are underway to develop the Styx Coal project, about 130 km north-west of Rockhampton.
    THE next potential Galilee Basin mine, Gina Rinehart’s part-owned Kevin’s Corner coal project, jumped a major hurdle yesterday with recommendations from the Land Court to approve its mining lease and environmental authority.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/next-potential-galilee-basin-megamine-jumps-major-hurdle-after-land-court-findings/news-story/d56a7dc845513aab27cdbf91d9d7dc32

    So do people honestly think a L-NP/PHON/Katter QLD Coalition Government will stop these. or make them a priority ?

    The bottom line is, Labor needs to win both in QLD and Federally with a majority in its own right

  110. Miriam English

    nurses1968, I know you think I’m arguing against you, but I’m not. You said essentially the same things as I did, but drew the opposite conclusion.

    Yes, Labor needs to win. Yes it would be easier to win if other progressives were working with Labor. Yes, it would be good if the right-wing media talked more about the good things the QLD government is doing.

    But you can’t shrug off QLD Labor’s part in the Adani mine though. Who unnecessarily offered Adani free water? Who offered them a massive royalty holiday? They could have dragged their feet with regard to Adani, like they have with protecting the reef. It would have made much more sense. I wrote Anastacia a letter asking why she supports Adani’s mine. I was surprised that the reply was full of misleading stuff and even outright lies, for example, that the high quality coal from the mine would give clean energy for India — actually the coal in the Galilee Basin is low quality, very polluting coal.

  111. diannaart

    … and India’s long term strategy is to wean off coal completely while installing more renewable type energy collectors (India has a lot of sunshine too) It is far cheaper to set up solar panels in remote towns and villages than building a new coal power plant AND solar does not have to run ALL the time – whereas coal-plants, once up and running, cannot be switched off at the flick of a switch. The entire base-load argument is, well, based around the fact that coal plants have to be kept running all the time.

  112. nurses1968

    Miriam English
    In politics it help to know the enemy

    2 articles of interest
    “The Greens will launch a fresh assault on the Labor Party over Adani’s Carmichael coal mine on Saturday, mounting a door-knocking campaign in some of the opposition’s most marginal, inner-city seats”

    “The Reachtel poll of 4000 voters, published in the Sunday Mail, shows the Liberal National Party opposition leading the ALP 52-48 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis.”

    Source: AAP
    1 Oct – 3:46 PM

    coincidental?

    That would be music to the ears of some.
    I personally am curious how many PHON get in,maybe in Cabinet and how QLDers will deal with a Newman revisited scenario

    Still, I live in NSW

  113. Miriam English

    nurses1968, you didn’t say where you read those articles. They weren’t in Murdoch papers, by any chance. They have a lot to gain by making Labor and Greens think they are enemies.

    I read a lot of Greens mailouts (I’m on their mailing list) and I haven’t read any anti-Labor stuff. There is plenty of anti-Adani stuff, but that’s natural. (Incidentally, I’m also on Labor’s mailing list.)

    If Labor doesn’t want to be seen as enabling Adani’s mine then the answer is simple: don’t enable it. It would be easy to drag their feet and be clearly unwilling partners, forced to be involved against their will… but that’s not what they’re doing. Can you blame the Greens for standing up against Adani like Labor should be doing?

    Are you saying that the Greens speaking out against the Adani mine is an anti-Labor thing to do? If so, then you’re sending a terrible message about Labor.

  114. nurses1968

    “Are you saying that the Greens speaking out against the Adani mine is an anti-Labor thing to do?”
    No I have said quite clearly the Greens are running an extremely negative campaign against QLD Labor targeting marginal Labor seat in particular. It was part of Di Natales Noeth Coast address and is being talked up by Greens candidates on Twitter and Facebook particularly the attacks on Jackie Trad. They are doing in QLD what they did Federally in NSW where they spent one third of the total State election budget opposing Albo and $109.000 against Tanya Plibersek. More against Tanya alone than Turnbull Abbott, Morrison and .Alex Hawke combined.

  115. Miriam English

    Sorry, but if the Greens are running a campaign specifically against Labor, I haven’t seen it. Where are you getting this from? As I say, Murdoch has a lot to gain by splitting progressives apart.

  116. nurses1968

    It was Greens celebration time as they bragged they would be door knocking 1000s of homes with the message

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DLw0jYtVoAA_5tW.jpg:large

    targeting the Palaszczuk Government and Jackie Trad in particular with the message the Palaszczuk Government is corrupt

    Just try QLDGreens Facebook or Twitter page ….for a start

  117. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So instead of perpetuating the division between allies, Labor as the bigger and older party, should show they’re grown-ups and offer the ALLiance that Labor needs just as much as the Greens, who appear to be biting at their heals in places where they could hurt unless amicable relations are formed.

    Duh

    Go The ALLiance!

  118. Miriam English

    nurses1968, you don’t think the way the QLD government’s been dealing with Adani is corrupt?

  119. nurses1968

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    From what I get to read of the boss’s mail and things that come through the division in QLD is greater than it has ever been.In QLD as in Sydney and Melbourne the Greens aim appears to be as an inner city Party.
    The Greens themselves on social Media even in their wildest dreams think with everything going their way they could win 3 seats.Labor don’t think so.All 3 seats would be is irritant value unless they decide on some deal with L-NP or others {other than Labor,that is}

    Miriam English
    Now you and I may have a different interpretation of corruption but by all means,if you have evidence of corruption take it to the cops and have them charged.Prove it and I will support you 100% whether they are Labor of not
    Failure to do so with just rumour and innuendo is just pissing in the wind

    An interesting article you may wish to read is one by a current Greens member
    Michael Brull on October 18, 2017

    Green Without (Class) Envy: Richard Di Natale’s Disappointingly Neoliberal Messaging

    Green Without (Class) Envy: Richard Di Natale’s Disappointingly Neoliberal Messaging

    Disclosure: earlier this year, Michael Brull became a member of the Greens.

  120. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    nurses1968,

    I don’t support the Greens nor Labor particularly. Shock horror! But I do support the breakdown of the Lib/Lab duopoly and that puts me closer to the Greens.

    I support what’s best for the Australian People in the immediate to long term to get rid of this disease ridden LNP Government…

    … BEFORE moving onto what institutional improvements can be made to our political, bureaucratic, social and economic systems to rid us of the disease of neoliberalism and return us to democratic socialism and social democracy.

    Short term solutions for winning the election is just bullshit. Labor does not convince me it can see beyond this. You don’t either.

  121. nurses1968

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    ” Labor does not convince me it can see beyond this. You don’t either”
    I am not trying to convince you, I’m way past that and this Alliance thing has you captivated in a grouping of 1.
    {You never did get back to me on which Labor /Green/Others were willing to give up their Party endorsements and join your clan]
    I hope Labor can overcome the LNP and the minority fringe dweller Parties and then get things done .I have a feeling Shorten can get it done and once in will serve at least a couple of terms 😀

  122. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Unless you’re blind, there’s several on this site alone who show sympathies for what I am saying.

    As for Shortarse, I won’t hold my breath that much will happen for the people who are marginalised and living in poverty coz he only serves complacent, economic secure, socio-political pretenders like you.

  123. nurses1968

    thanks Jennifer 😀

  124. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Glad to oblige

  125. diannaart

    Still waiting and seeing what Shorten will do say regards Adani. Will he support the QLD premier? Or, actually show some backbone – backbones being so rare they are probably endangered.

    … and ha hah… Joyce has gone (for now) and, finally, no more excruciating idiocy from Malcolm Roberts who will be missed by no-one except a screechy Hanson. Shame about Ludlam and Waters – at least they showed the most integrity of any of the dual-cit seven; which speaks well of the Greens and Labor will be in total smug mode (which is never a good look).

    … Turnbull will be so P/O’ed he’ll make even more poor decisions?

    Everyone make damn sure they are securely strapped in, Joyce is likely to be back – Windsor will not contest at by-election, which is a shame.

  126. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good summary, diannaart

    Since Joyce was not surprised his case would lose, he should not be surprised when the Australian People send him the bill for ineligibly gained salary and perks for decades.

    Joyce will be bankrupted no doubt which will mean he will be further ineligible and that he will need to sell his investment farm which he was hoping to profit from for CSG extraction after having access to ‘insider trading’ information.

    Bananababy might come to thank his lucky stars that the High Court decision has found him ineligible coz now he might avoid committing the insider trading criminal act which would have criminal consequences.

    On the other hand, at least he’d have a roof over his head for quite a few years, even if he had to wear prison garb!

  127. Miriam English

    Bill Shorten has had plenty of time to say cautionary things about the Adani mine. I expect he’ll be just as corrupted by it as the LNP. Sadly, I don’t think we can expect any integrity there. I wish we could. It’s going to be a hard road. At least Labor will be less evil than the LNP. That’s something at least.

    I so wish we could have a truly progressive, honest government. But I guess the honeypot draws ants and there’s nothing for it but to slowly, painfully push the bastards back.

  128. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Shorten’s only words on the Adani mine have been either proactive FOR it or lukewarm fence-sitting, so he can cower to either side as the wind blows.

    This is just another example of how insipid he is as a pretend progressive, protective leader for the Australian People and Environment.

    AND this is the reason why I have been advocating for something better than Shorten and his Right Wing lapdogs in Labor for over 4 years.

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