The trouble with economics is that nobody really understands all of it because like the cosmos it’s too infinite, so we break it down into simpler bits and use analogies to help explain our point. You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” which to me has always beg the question, “Does that also apply to other meals or can one find a free breakfast somewhere?”
Naturally, if I were to ask the question someone would tell me that I haven’t understood the basic point that somebody always pays… It’s a fair point, but again it’s not entirely true but it would take me several dozen analogies and then we’d get bogged down into casuistry and semantics before resorting to the sort of abuse that’s normally reserved for climate scientists in an Andrew Bolt column.
Besides, I’ve just thought of a cracker of an analogy to explain the whole Liberal jobs and growth morphing into Scottie’s “We will not be panicked into doing something about sluggish economic growth.”
Yes, Morrison and his Merry Morons are trying to recast Labor’s response to GFC as an overreaction and a panic because after all, Australia didn’t go into recession, so what was all that stimulus about. This is akin to suggesting that the amputation wasn’t necessary because, after it was performed, the gangrene didn’t spread to any other part of the body, but let’s move on.
Consider the drought which, unlike climate change, is generally conceded as something that’s happening. Nobody suggests that the drought is part of a conspiracy by the Bureau of Meteorology. “Bureau” that’s a foreign word which is sus for a start.
Let’s imagine that the GFC is like an earlier drought and let’s imagine that Australia is like a country town and I don’t just mean that in the sense that they should stop listening to Macca on Sunday mornings and get out more. Let’s call this country town “Rupertville” because things should have names and who better to name it after than the local boy who made good. Or made evil, depending on your point of view.
So 2008, there’s been no rain nor any rain forecast. Other towns are resorting to drink seawater but this has sent some of citizens mad and will result in strange elections results in the coming years like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, but I may be mixing the analogy with the real world and I need to be careful…
Anyway, Mayor Rudd announces that with the likely lack of water, we need to do something to ensure more water. Mayor Rudd ignores all this and announces that the council will be purchasing lots of bottled water and distributing it for free so that, at the very least, nobody will dehydrate. As a further measure, he intends to empty the town’s swimming pool, treat the water and use that to keep some of the crops alive.
Some of his opponents say this is too early and we should wait until people are actually dying of thirst before we give them water, but Rudd and his team persist with their plan and everybody gets through unscathed. (I’m expecting an interruption here from somebody talking about pink batts and people dying but remember this is an analogy and like all Liberal analogies it breaks down pretty quickly when you apply it to the real world.)
So fast forward to the mayoral election of 2013. The local priest is elected on a platform of water for everyone but not government supplied water, water from the sky and rivers like it’s always been. (This is meant to represent jobs and growth and the idea that sooner or later the economy will improve and then the Liberals were going to claim the credit). The local priest and his supporters argue that the free water is in fact one of the things that’s wrong and that they’ll be ensuring that not only will the council stop supplying it, but things will be better if they can just stockpile as much as they can. While their argument about stockpiling water for a rainy day while they’re in the middle of a drought, doesn’t make much sense remember that these people support Friedman’s ideas and that anything remotely Keynesian is sacrilege.
After several years of this policy leading to no improvement in the situation and a couple of leadership changes, the chosen one arrives and he insists that he has the answer to the water problem. “People, the mess-I-are is here. It is I ScoMo and I have stopped the drowinings. Verily, I tell you that we need to stick to our plan of having the council take more water from you than we give back because it is only through the council having a surpus that we shall solve the water problem. We need to sacrifice water to the great gods of industry where it will trickle down from the sky in the form of rain, but this won’t happen if we go wasting it on people who have no water. We must stick to our plan and not panic like Mayor Rudd did, because sooner or later it will rain and that will be thanks to our thoughts and prayers”
And with that the great ScoMo vanished only to be seen running water to the sports team or manifesting himself in Parliament where he’d hold up a relic from his worship of the coal god or explain the wonderful miracle of Angus Taylor’s changing numbers.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!