A short fiction to begin:
Fred announces he’s decided to go to Paris next Christmas. Barney is not so sure.
“Paris? How much is that going to cost you?
“I’m not sure yet. I haven’t checked out flights or accommodation but I have decided that Paris is my preferred destination for my holiday.”
“What? You’re insane. That’s no way to organise a holiday.”
“No. You just decide where you want to go and then work out the details after that. First you need a plan, and once you’ve worked out a plan, then you ask yourself will there be new technologies like instant transportation or spaceships, and when you’ve worked out your plan to the last detail, that’s when you work out where you’re going.”
“Really. I’ve always decided where I was going and then worked out the best way to get there.”
“No, that’s just irresponsible.”
“But how do I know where I’m going if I haven’t worked that out first?”
“You don’t. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan, because wherever you find yourself you can say that it’s where you planned to be.”
“What if I don’t like where I end up?” And how will I know if my plan’s successful if I don’t know where I’m going?”
“Look, you’re just being irresponsible and stupid. Paris is a long way off and you can’t just decide to go there and work out how you’re going to get there.”
“Well, what’s your plan for next Christmas then.”
“Oh, I’ve going to board an old steamship and shovel in some coal and when we run out of coal that’s where we meant to end up.”
Yeah, I think that about sums up my problem with the Labor Party being constantly asked how much net zero emissions is going to cost, when nobody ever seems to ask the Coalition for any details whenever they announce that they have a plan.
I mean, I’m sure you all remember their plan for jobs and growth. Or rather, I’m sure that you remember them telling you that they had a plan for jobs and growth. They were pretty short on the detail, and I do remember suggesting that it was like a plan for fixing a drought with rain. If you keep asserting that you have a plan, eventually it will rain and you can go: “See, I told you I had things under control!”
Unfortunately for the Liberals, the economy tanked just as they were about to fulfil their plan and the Budget was once again going to return to surplus. For some reason, I think of the apocryphal tale of the man who nearly proved that he could eventually feed his horse on nothing by cutting down a handful of feed a day, because what difference would a handful make; Just when he was about to prove his point, the horse unfortunately died.
Yes, as Scotty said in the election campaign. “We have delivered a surplus. Next year”, showing that his understanding of the past and present tense is even worse than his understanding of the difference between the truth and an outright lie.
Who could have predicted that there’d be some event that would slow down growth in the rest of the world which would, in turn, slow down Australia’s growth and put the precious surplus in jeopardy? For that matter, who could have predicted that the drought would continue? Who could have predicted that we’d have bushfires? Who could have predicted that the people who predicted droughts and bushfires would be worse in the future could possibly be right?
Anyway, it’s good to hear that the government is considering some form of a stimulus package. Nothing too extreme like the Rudd one. Before you go around saying that it worked, you have to remember that it was unnecessary because Australia didn’t go into recession so there was no need for all that stimulus. No, it wasn’t Labor following Ken Henry’s advice. Unlike the coronavirus, the GFC had no effect here. Scott and Just Joshing are looking at giving money to businesses so they can still pay people their wages. Or something like that. They haven’t worked out all the details but they certainly do have a plan even if they haven’t worked out exactly what it is. They always have a plan. And it’s always a good one even if it’s not one that can be explained in any more detail than, “We have planned for this, so don’t you worry about when and where and what we’re going to do, because we’re busy implementing our plan and I reject the premise of you suggesting that this caught us unaware.”
Yes, while it seems that the only way that the Budget surplus can be rescued seems to be shifting another few billion from the NDIS, we’ll still be hoping for trickle-down economics. The basic idea of trickle-down economics is that if you make the people who have plenty of money even richer then they’ll go out and buy a new Maserati and the car salesman will be so grateful that he’ll throw a few coins into the cup of the homeless people he passes. Or at the very least, speak to them and remind them that the best form of welfare is a job. Or if not a job, a subsidy to business so that they can avoid stealing from their employees.
Yes, as someone once said, trickle-down economics just means that those lower down are being pissed on!
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