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Something is missing

There’s something missing from this election campaign. It’s not missing in my mind, but it seems to be missing from 95% of the political coverage of this election.

We finally have some policy discussion, and the Liberals are being forced to provide a few details for policies they’ve been talking about for years. We even have the ABC Vote Compass, to help people decide which party they should be voting for, based on their policy interest, which is a very welcome idea.

But still, there’s something missing. Something is missing from the policy discussions; something is missing from the detailed analysis of who spoke better in the debate, who had the best three-word slogans and who read off notes. Something is missing from the articles written by journalists following the leaders around the country, reporting on every gaffe, every hair flick and every baby kissed.

That something is a gigantic elephant in the room, which it would seem that our mainstream media doesn’t know how to, or doesn’t care to even think about reporting. This elephant is the core difference between the political parties’ philosophies and the very bedrock of their plans and their vision for Australia;

Tony Abbott’s Liberals care about the rich getting richer, and the Labor Party aims to reduce the gap between rich and poor.

This stark difference is very important. You can trace almost all policies of the major parties back to these fundamental ideas. Do voters understand this? Unfortunately, I don’t see that many of them do. The politically engaged do. But the general population doesn’t. And this is very concerning.

Take, for example, the Liberal’s recent announcement that they are going to cut the company tax rate. This tax cut is blatantly designed to benefit the rich. Companies making a big enough profit for this tax cut to make any meaningful difference are owned and run by the very rich, and their shareholders.

These are the people who will be pocketing the increase in profits that come from this tax cut. These are the people who will be moving this profit to tax havens or investing it in unproductive speculation on money markets.

The Liberals like to say they are cutting the company tax to grow jobs. But this is a blatant election bribe which isn’t even true. It doesn’t take much analysis to realise there is absolutely no reason, rationally, why a company would hire more people just because they are making more profit. They might hire more people if the demand for whatever it is they sell increases, but a company tax cut doesn’t increase consumer buying power, it only increases profit for people who are already rich.

This is typical Liberal-looking-after-our-rich-mates-and-selling-it-as-good-for-the-community policy. And the ridiculous part is, anyone with any sense can see that a reduction in government revenue must always be replaced by increased government revenue from elsewhere, or cuts in spending – in the Liberals case, more than likely this will come from cutting essential government services which all Australians rely on and possibly increasing taxes on consumers – both rich and poor and everyone in between.

Unfortunately, the Liberals are very experienced at convincing the electorate that they are looking after ordinary Australians when what they are actually doing is benefiting only the very rich.

Another perfect example of this is the Liberals’ popular opposition to the mining tax. I can’t for the life of me understand why so many voters think it’s a good idea to get rid of this Labor policy. The mining tax is designed to redistribute the wealth from the sale of natural resources which belong to all Australians. It’s a tax on super profits, ‘super’ being the important word.

While there is money to be made by digging dirt out of the ground, people will dig dirt out of the ground. Mining companies can’t take this business to South Africa because the dirt is here. And these companies won’t stop running their business here because they are earning gigantic profits here. By taxing the very top bracket of miners’ earnings, the Labor government is receiving tax revenue from the very wealthiest Australians.

This revenue is directly redistributed by increasing superannuation savings for all Australians, and by tripling the minimum amount the poorest Australians can earn without being taxed. So the poor take home more money and increase their consumer buying power in the process, and Gina takes home very slightly less, which leaves her ever so slightly less ridiculously, disgustingly, greedily wealthy, a wealth she has earned by selling Australian owned natural resources.

So explain to me again why people don’t want to keep the mining tax? The Liberals want to get rid of it for the very obvious-elephant-in-the-room reason that doing so helps their rich mates, and in many cases, their generous donors. And they claim they’re looking after ordinary Australians, when really ordinary Australians will continue to work in mines while people like Gina can make any profit at all, let alone super profits. Should we mention Gina’s industrial relations policy of scrapping the minimum wage? How much does she need to donate to the Liberal party to bring about this outcome?

These are just two policy examples which show you the straight line you can draw from Abbott’s vision for Australia (the rich get richer) and Labor’s vision (to increase equity and improve social mobility for all). How about Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave scheme where the rich get paid more to have a baby than the poor do. I guess rich babies are more expensive than poor ones? No? What about the Liberal broadband policy – which will provide broadband only to businesses (rich mates) and to households who can afford a huge bill to connect it to their homes (rich homeowners). Whereas Labor’s NBN was always designed to go to all Australian homes and businesses, in metro and rural areas (in an equitable way).

I could write for days about all the ways that Liberal policies benefit the rich, reduce the power of government to intervene in greedy capitalism and generally con the electorate into thinking everyday Australians are the beneficiaries. I could also write for days about all the ways Labor policies are socially equitable and designed to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Perhaps some people don’t think there’s a problem if a society has a huge gaping gulf between rich and poor. But maybe these people should take a look at America and see if that’s what they want Australia to look like.

Then there are the voters who only care about one or two policies (you can guess which ones) and don’t want to know about the two major parties at all. They’re ‘sick of the lot of them’. I wish these people would take a longer look at the outcomes of all policies the major parties are offering, and try to understand what a future Australia might look like under a Liberal government, and under a Labor government. Is that really so much to ask? Oh, but you don’t like Kevin? Say what you like about Kevin, but if he delivers me the Australia I want, he will be Saint Kevin. Yes, I care about social equity that much.

And ideally, a journalist somewhere, some time, might be able to make a connection between a policy and the vision the policy is trying to accomplish. Or does this sound like too much hard work?

 

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58 comments

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  1. Kaye Lee

    Deciding to “delay” (read get rid of) the superannuation guarantee increase, abolishing the co-contribution for voluntary contributions made by low income earners, allowing rich people to invest/draw squillions of tax free dollars in super, abolishing the means test for the Private Health Insurance rebate, getting rid of the Schoolkids bonus.

    MSM: The rich telling the rich to tell the middle class to blame the poor.

  2. Vince

    Well said Vic

  3. Colleen Mcgregor

    Exactly…something fundamental is missing,you found it : who is going to benefit most in this election,if Abbott wins – the rich, wake up voters,don’t enhance the coffers of the very wealthy any more..for gods sake vote ALP!

  4. Kaye Lee

    Not to mention climate change. Let’s see….should the polluters pay for their emissions or should the taxpayer pay them? Should we work towards reducing the price of renewable energy or protect the fossil fuel industry?

    Gina Rinehart makes a million bucks every half hour but lets be fair, she keeps a lot of lawyers in a job.

  5. Brian Tulk (@justinkering)

    Abbott has done a good job of equating supposed economic problems with the carbon tax in people’s minds.Getting rid of it seems like the solution. Carbon Tax gone, problem solved.
    LNP details on their alternative direct action plan are weak and they are happy to keep it as low key as possible. ALP needs to go hard on this. Make voters focus on it. They need to show it will be more expensive, less effective, is poorly designed, will cost lives and be worse for the economy than the carbon tax. It is full of holes ready to be exploited.

  6. Sandra

    Victoria, once again you see the bigger picture. Well done.

    If you’re waiting for the MSM to pick up & run with the questions that should be asked we’ll all be waiting a long long time. If you look at the bus tour (LNP) today, regular people were shut out of the ‘gatherings’. So anyone who would like to voice a difference of opinion with the view or reporting are excluded.

    All we can do is to keep making sure that articles like yours Victoria (& other like minded bloggers) get posted on Twitter & Facebook.

    The younger generation are the ones that really get the picture, they also use social media all of the time. They are the ones that we need to reach – Rudd knows this. Let’s give him a hand.

  7. richard facer

    The fundamentals of all conservative policies boils down to one thing, cheap labour. They attack welfare because welfare provides a limit to what people will work for, “I’m not going to slave for 40 hours to get $400, I can get just about that from the dole” They attack public health and services so the bottom percentile is desperate and will work for anything. It never ceases to astound me that anyone in Australia would see any benefit in voting liberal, there is not a single liberal policy that has anything in it for the working class. But they continue to demonize unions and Dave Drongo Dinkum votes liberal cause he hates boat people never realising that he is voting for those that oppose his 38 hour week, his overtime, his leave loading, his right to have some form of protection for his job. You do not create jobs by giving tax breaks to companies that actually DECREASES the job market, if you want to increase jobs you increase taxes on profits so companies are forced to reinvest in workers to avoid the tax. The liberals only gain votes from fear campaigns based on lies. Australia needs to grow up as a voting nation, look beyond the popularity contests, and look hard at which party benefits them the most. If you are in the bottom 80% it is and always will be labor that looks after you the best. Anyone who know’s anything about macroeconomics and the way the worlds money market works would realise that there is NO budget crisis, their is NO debt crisis, their is NO red tape crisis, their is NO boat crisis. We could easily take in EVERY refugee indonesia has to offer, get them a job and assistance cheaper than we do trying to deny them access. Until we kick Rupert Murdoch and his one man propoganda machine out of this country like he has been in england we will never have anything like fair representation. If we had an informed public with the TRUTH, there would be NO liberal party. Bring on the media revolution brother, online independant media is our ONLY hope.

  8. doctorrob54

    More great work,thanks Victoria.Gee I love the work you as a Team do.
    I am also starting to be concerned the fact that many people out there
    don’t seem to know what is going on,and/or don’t seem to care,and if it
    is the latter,well that is a real worry.

  9. Fed up

    Keep up the good work

  10. Patrick

    It might be worthwhile to point out that Labour attempted to get a drop in company tax of 1% through during Julia Gillard’s term but it was blocked. Before he was ousted, Rudd was proposing a 2% cut – more than Abbott is currently proposing. I don’t know where Rudd currently stands on this.

    I’m not an economist so I can’t weigh in one whether dropping this tax would actually have the effect intended, but your use of it as an example of a fundamental difference between the two parties seems ill-advised given the fairly recent history of Labour’s interest in it. If anything, it seems to indicate a similarity between the parties.

    However, the Mining Tax is obviously a different story.

  11. Jenny

    thanks for another lucid hit. I`m sharing

  12. Wayne

    Funny meme of Gina, also shows the lack of knowledge by the author. Gina didn’t inherit coal, she inherited a small iron ore operation in the Pilbara called Hammersley Iron and turned it into the billions of dollars she has today, tall poppy syndrome at its worst.

  13. Wayne

    It’s also unfortunate that there are thousands if not tens of thousands whose jobs are on the line this coming election, if Labor get in its goodbye Holdens and with it dozens of other support companies that make bearings, screws and nuts and bolts, rear view mirrors etc because Dudds policies are anti-employer so the employer will just move overseas. This is a fact you turn a blind eye to, you say you want socially responsible government yet you don’t care if people lose their jobs. The problem with Labor and their Union puppet masters is they don’t realise that it’s not the 60’s any more and businesses can now just close up here and move to Asia.

  14. JoMa

    Apart from the social engineering involved, can you explain how the exorbitant new cigarette taxes help decrease the gap between the rich and poor. And please don’t just use the throw-away line that the poor can give up smoking. Or is it only the poor who conform to your ideals who matter. (And by the way, I’ve voted Labor all my life – but not any more)

  15. Bob Evans

    also shows the lack of knowledge by the author. Gina didn’t inherit coal

    Also shows how clueless you are. For starters the picture was a copy and paste from elsewhere. Secondly is was more satire than fact. Nowhere in the article did Victoria mention it. Third, it was a poke at the absurdity of Gina telling poor people to work harder and stop drinking and smoking if they want to be millionaires.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/30/business/la-fi-mo-richest-woman-20120830

    When, ironically, she did not get to where she is entirely from working hard. She STARTED with $75 M , mines and contacts in the industry from her father.

    How is a factory worker on say $35k a year EVER going to be a millionaire by simply working harder and not smoking or drinking?

    It just shows the ridiculous, silver spoon mentality of Rhinehart and the lack of understanding and empathy of other peoples lives and hardships.

    tall poppy syndrome at its worst

    Bullshit . I can only speak for myself, but I suspect others feel the same way, in that I fully respect and admire self made millionaires/billionaires OR even millionaires/billionaires who have inherited wealth, but show some sort of humility, compassion and are humble. Rhinehart has none of those qualities and tries to subvert democracy to further her own wealth.

  16. richo

    Excellent blog Victoria,

    It is so frustrating trying to get this clear elephant-in-the-room through to people. I just don’t like Kevin they say. – What and you do like Abbott. FFS

  17. Gina Winnick

    Hi Victoria,.
    Great article, thanks.to Van Badham for bringing it to my attention.

    One small thing, as you may have noticed my name is Gina and I am most upset that I have to share my lovely name with such a loathsome person as Reinhart. I notice in your article that you only refer to Mrs Reinhart by her christian name. Apart from being poor form, it affects my sanity seeing my name always in the negative.

    Thanks
    Gina

  18. Bob Evans

    if Labor get in its goodbye Holdens and with it dozens of other support companies that make bearings, screws and nuts and bolts, rear view mirrors etc

    I love it how right wingers have this cognitive dissonance, where they are all for the free market . And with the free market, comes globalisation, the ability for consumers to source the cheapest products through competition and are all for employers trying to maintain or improve profits by taking their manufacturing component offshore, or outsourcing back office administrative tasks to Asia. But then complain when we cant manufacture goods here at the same price as Asian countries who have a fraction of our labour costs.

    IMO, the ONLY way we can compete, is for us to subsidise them. Which defeats the purpose of the free market if you have to intervene. Sure, we can manufacture things, but being a services country now and not a manufacturing country, our best hope is to make quality or premium goods, similar to Germany.

    I wish it could work, but it can’t. Our cost of living is too high and therefore our wages are comparatively high. We can’t have wages the same as Asia, like what Rhinehart and others want, because no one could afford to live and crime rates would surge.

    I doubt whether you actually care about those business folding, or workers losing their jobs. It’s a point of contention and you want to milk it.

    Dudds policies are anti-employer so the employer will just move overseas.

    I’m sick of hearing that ill thought out, news ltd brainwashed rubbish. Sure, some manufacturers might move. They would regardless of who is in power. But the vast majority aren’t going anywhere. What, you’re telling me that if you go down to your local hypermarket, coles, woolies and the food court are going to move overseas? Jim’s mowing, the local hairdresser and milkbar are going to move overseas? It’s just delusional scare mongering.

    you say you want socially responsible government yet you don’t care if people lose their jobs.

    No YOU don’t care. You are just playing politics.

    The problem with Labor and their Union puppet masters is they don’t realise that it’s not the 60′s any more and businesses can now just close up here and move to Asia.

    More hysterical nonsense. If they did, other people willing to make a buck and take their place in the market, will simply fill the void, where a space has been made.

  19. Bruce the Miner

    If you want some idea how Gina Rhinehart will treat her employees just look at how she treats her own flesh and blood! Her children are taking her to court to get some control of their inheritence. Do you seriously think she will care about her employees welfare?

  20. Bob Evans

    can you explain how the exorbitant new cigarette taxes help decrease the gap between the rich and poor.

    Who said that was the function of the price increase? Please provide a source.

  21. Terry2

    Let’s not forget that Gina lives in Singapore, principally to legally minimise her Australian taxation.
    It’s interesting how we tend to view people like Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rhinehart as iconic Australians who are exemplars of what we should all strive to be. They are not: they do not live in Australia and they make very little constructive contribution to our national discourse.

  22. rossleighbrisbane

    Interesting that Wayne thinks that Holden will pack up and move elsewhere if Labor is re-elected when it’s the Coalition that have announced an end to subsidies for the car industry. Also interesting that firms moving overseas or closing under Labor is always the Government’s fault, but, for example, no blame is ever attached to the Howard Government for Qantas and Telstra moving jobs off-shore or Ansett, HIH, and One-Tel’s failures.

  23. CMMC

    Tony “Berlusconi” Abbott is deliberately “seeding” these crass sexist remarks into his campaign. Along with his “Marathon Man” stunts these memes appeal directly to the species of embittered, middle-aged, middle-management men who constitute a huge voting bloc, these days.

    He is the Napoleon for pouting, pudgy shitkickers.

  24. Des Pensable

    Really good blog. Your points are well made. Unfortunately this article will only be read by the people that are interested in and can visualise the outcomes of the political strategies of the major parties. If you accept that on a per capita basis we are the richest people on the world its easy to forget that on the same per capita basis we have the biggest carbon foot print in the world. We are major traders in fossil fuels which are the drug of industry. We are drug dealers for industry and turn a blind eye to the consequences of our action on the world.
    Noone wants to think about the major world catastrophe of global warming just around the corner because it might mean we will sell less fossil fuel and be less well off. Both major parties are careful not to rock the boat enough to upset the majority and hence steady as she goes is the motto. Even if the whole of the Arctic ice cap melts. polar bears become extinct and we have massive drought in inland Australia, the majority of the people in this country are unlikely to want to change their ways because we mainly live in cities that are both geographically and politically isolated from the reality of the outside world and the main stream media makes sure that it stays that way.

  25. Pamela Rawlings

    I have never been able to work out why ordinary every day working people vote liberal. I read one guys comment on a page that said I earn $150,000 a year and that is why I vote liberal. I had to let him know that there is no way that liberal are interested in him he is just a worker, I also told him that Liberal is only interested in Big business not even interested in small business really although they promise them everything and give them nothing. This poor guy earning $150,000 a year was under the delusion that he is rich. Did not consider himself a worker at all. I think this is the problem with people they seem to think once they are over a certain pay level they think they are up there with big rich mining company’s and other big business.

  26. Ben Routley

    Something is missing from Abbott’s head! Thats right, his brain!

  27. Bob Evans

    Noone wants to think about the major world catastrophe of global warming just around the corner because it might mean we will sell less fossil fuel and be less well off.

    Exactly. It’s number 4 on the concerns of the Australian public! No.4. Somehow the MSM have successfully duped the public into believing that asylum seekers are more important an issue ahead of their own health, education and climate change.

    Now that is successful propaganda and manipulation of the nations and public’s interests. A narrative to protect the interests of select vested interests ahead of public interests.

  28. Wendy

    The thing that is missing is an honest & ethical party with decent policies.

  29. cousincat

    Great blog, Victoria. Should be required reading, (as should many of the comments), for all voters.

  30. Totaram

    The thing that is missing is an honest & ethical party with decent policies.

    If it did exist it would be labelled “idealist”, “utopian”, ” with the fairies”, “looney left”, “watermelon”, “crypto-communist”, “eco-facist”, “economic vandals”, etc. All that it needs is some argument-by-labelling which is easily accomplished by the Murdoch-dominated media. Just read what Wayne “thinks”.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Reading Wayne’s comment about the car industry shows just how ill-informed Coalition voters are.

    The Union members voted yesterday to freeze wages for 3 years and to cut some of their entitlements in an effort to help the industry. Do you think that would have been achieved without the unions negotiating with industry?

    Also Mr Abbott has said he will cut the 500 million subsidy to the industry which is why the head of Holden, Mike Devereaux, will not make any promises about future investment until after the election – if Abbott wins the industry dies.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/poll-could-kill-car-industry-20130805-2ra91.html

  32. Keith Woolsey

    “If it did exist it would be labelled “idealist”, “utopian”, ” with the fairies”, “looney left”, “watermelon”, “crypto-communist”, “eco-facist”, “economic vandals”

    Hey Totaram, isn’t there a party already described as above by the LNP and their media mates.

    Notice the Grand ol’ Parties are doing their bit today to get rid of any “minor” parties with their preference deal. That should upset the one million plus people who vote Green. Good game! Sorry but the the Grand ol’ Parties are born to rule … didn’t you know?

  33. Bill Morris

    Great article Victoria, and not too long. Many well intentioned articles don’t get fully read and the message gets watered down or lost in the length and complexity of the argument.

  34. Ian

    We can’t win this time. Labor is all about giving people that do nothing with their lives equality with those that work for what they have, and Tony Abbot is the biggest twit to ever lead the liberals.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Do you mean those layabout disabled people Ian? Or those fathers that get retrenched in their 40’s and just sit there enjoying watching their family struggle? Or those pesky pensioners that just keep on keeping on? Or maybe those layabout teenagers with no job experience that think writing 100 applications a month equates to REAL work?

  36. Totaram

    Ian: If labor was “all about giving equality… etc”. we would all have been equal by now. Since we aren’t, it should be obvious to you that (a part of ) your comment is false. Perhaps this was some kind of sarcasm or irony? Or do you like to propagate falsehoods (when it is safe to do so).

  37. phill Parsons

    Trickle down worked so well in ending slavery, women gaining suffrage and the introduction of social welfare we should be happy to wait until the rich voluntarily share. That date would be never ever.

  38. Terry2

    Totaram if you want a stark example of the difference between Labor and the LNP, when it comes to community equity funded from the public purse, you need go no further than the paid parental leave schemes.

    The Labor scheme seeks to achieve equity within the community by giving an equivalent entitlement to all no matter their social standing within the community. The LNP seeks to maintain privilege by paying parents in accordance with their economic standing within our society. So, a professional parent earning $150,000 p.a. is paid $75,000 over six months of parental leave and a supermarket worker earning $36,000 p.a. receives $18,000 while on parental leave.

    When queried on his lack of equity with the distribution of public funds, the LNP (Joe Hockey on Tuesday) say that ‘ if it’s alright for a bloke to be paid his full wage on annual leave why shouldn’t a parent be treated the same on parental leave’; a plausible argument ? Yes until you add that the former is a workplace entitlement available to both genders and paid by the employer and the latter is publicly funded ‘welfare’.

  39. Chief Squirrel

    I agree with the philosophical differences pointed out in this article; however, neither appears (to me) to be the primary priorities for either party or their leaders.

    Both teams seem to want the power position first and foremost; and will seemingly do anything, say anything, and side with anyone who they think will increase those chances.

    Neither Abbott or Rudd appear to be announcing any policy that hasn’t first been tested against the market research figures.

    I would say that the gap between rich and poor has only a slightly better chance of being narrowed under a Labor government… as opposed to a guaranteed outcome.

  40. Pingback: Something is missing | Gail's Place

  41. cornlegend

    Victoria Rollison
    I always look forward to your articles
    great stuff always

    phill Parsons
    The “trickle down” effect, was more accurately described as “pissing on the poor ”

    A line from an old Joe Hill article

    For every dollar the parasite has and didn’t work for
    there’s a slave who worked for a dollar he didn’t get

  42. Kaye Lee

    Gina Rinehart could buy up the economies of the world’s 10 poorest nations, and still have about $22 billion left over.

    One in seven people — or 1 billion people around the world — do not have enough to eat. Rinehart could feed them all for a year.

    Last year alone, Rinehart made $1.5 billion more than was spent on the entire NSW health system ($17.3 billion). She made 18 times more than was allocated to the federal government’s climate change department. She made 70 times what the federal government will spend to improve education and training for young Aboriginal Australians.

    BRW Magazine said on May 24 that Rinehart’s rise in wealth “is unparalleled”. It said Rinehart might soon become the world’s richest person: “A $100 billion fortune is not out of the question for Rinehart if the resources boom continues unabated.”

    Despite her huge fortune, Rinehart is convinced she pays too much tax. Her tax lobby group ANDEV (Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision) campaigns to cut taxes on mining industry profits and lower payroll and income tax.

    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/51111#sthash.ccaj4iOQ.dpuf

  43. Aussie

    Quote:Tony Abbott’s Liberals care about the rich getting richer, and the Labor Party aims to reduce the gap between rich and poor.

    YOur kidding right????????????????????????I am poor and IM getting poorer, how you can write lies like that!!!!!!!!!!Since Labours been in they have taken 130 from unmarried mothers, allowed boat people to have housing while 50,000 kids are on the streets, the same Labour who Bob Hawke claimed. no Child woudl llve in Poverty in Australia by 1989..Labour is destroying everything I have held dear….

    Lies after lies after lies..Read my lips>> Julia Gilllard”No party I lead will ever bring in a carbon tax, she couldn’t get it thought quick enough then high fived the greens in one of the most disgusting displays of arrogance ever!!

    Then turned Australia into this welfare state. As for having a go at Rinehart and she could feed the world, rubbish, shes a miner not a food producer..We already feed quite adequately 60% of all the worlds food now…She also employs tens of thousands..

    Show me where it says in our Constitution it is a crime to be richer than others??
    IM sick of how Australians have turned into this whinging nation now as if someone owes them something..

    MY parents, grand parents, great grand parents back to 1790 worked bloody hard..no handouts..Now a refugee has a house, car, and welfare, no other immigrants had that..

  44. cornlegend

    Aussie
    My old man used to say to me
    “a weeny bit of information squeezed into a pea size brain, is a dangerous thing”
    never quite knew exactly what it meant.
    Read your ramblings,
    NOW I DO 😀

  45. Möbius Ecko

    My god, is that nearly a record here for getting the most facts wrong in a single post?

  46. Kaye Lee

    I really wish people found out the truth rather than sprouting what they read in the Murdoch press or hear from talk-back radio.

    Former prime minister John Howard introduced changes to the Welfare Act in 2006. New applicants for the PPS would stop receiving payment after their youngest child turned eight. Those who were already receiving the payment would continue until their youngest child turned 18. The Gillard government removed the inequity attached to different rules for people depending on when they applied.

    I don’t agree with the decision but let’s be truthful about who made it in the first place..

  47. Kaye Lee

    Refugees and other humanitarian entrants do not receive higher benefits than other social security recipients. They have the same entitlements as all other Australian permanent residents. Refugees do not have their rental bonds automatically paid for by the government, nor do they receive a lump sum payment from the government upon arrival.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Julia Gillard actually said she was determined to put a price on carbon and would take victory as a mandate to do so. The nature of the carbon pricing scheme was a requirement of the independents and greens to form government and as Tony Windsor points out, Tony Abbott was prepared to do ANYTHING including putting a price on carbon to get the job. Sadly no-one trusted him and they did not want to form government with him

  49. Möbius Ecko

    Gillard used harsher Bridging visas for the boat people who were sent to the mainland. These visas are far harsher than 457 visas used by Howard, so much so the refugees could barely survive, so they actually lived in worse conditions and restrictions and anyone else in Australian society.

    Let’s not have any facts stop a good right wing ignorant rant though.

  50. Kaye Lee

    Speaking in video posted on the Sydney Mining Club’s website to discuss the recently signed enterprise migration agreement which will allow her to import 1,700 foreign workers for her Roy Hill Iron Ore project, Mrs Rinehart says Australians should not be complacent about the investment pipeline given that African labourers will work for less than $2 a day.

    “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself – spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.”

    Mrs Rinehart also suggests the government should lower the minimum wage of $606.40 per week and cut taxes to stimulate employment.

  51. Kaye Lee

    Australia not suited to capture rising world demand

    A key point is that Australia is unlikely to make a substantial contribution to solving world hunger. We simply don’t produce that much food, and poor people cannot afford our farm products. We have plenty of food and export about half of what we produce, but that is a tiny fraction of the global food supply – of which we supply about 1%.

  52. Kaye Lee

    So as you can see Aussie, whoever is feeding you information is lying to you.

  53. Declan

    Look, I get where you’re coming from, but in my opinion you’ve gone about it the wrong way. Starting with the line, “The politically engaged do. But the general population doesn’t. And this is very concerning.”

    It, and many other things you say, come across as arrogant and patronising. To actually suggest that people who support the Liberals are therefore somehow less politically aware than you is ridiculous.

    You obviously support Labor, and that’s fine -good on you. Personally I don’t yet know which way I’ll be voting at the coming election. But I love politics, and your suggestion that I must be politically illiterate to even consider voting Liberal certainly doesn’t endear me to Labor.

    You’re allowed to have your opinions on the issues you’ve discussed. Personally I agree with you on a couple. The problem I have is that while you accuse the Liberals of helping the rich get richer, you don’t actually say why you think that is. You (briefly and subjectively) explain policies you feel are designed to do this, but you never say why the Liberals want the rich to get richer in the first place.

    It simply isn’t logical. Why would a political party, hoping to form government, effectively shut out 90% of the electorate? It just doesn’t make sense, but you never acknowledge this. You just accuse the general population of having no idea about politics. I obviously have a far more positive view of the Australian people than you.

    And finally, the thing that bugs me most – that you believe Liberal voters are politically unaware, but you think that after reading this article people should banish the Liberals and blindly vote Labor because you said so. Someone voting Labor because they read a poorly formed and obviously partisan blog post, without questioning any of its ‘wisdom’, is just as bad as them voting Liberal because they heard a slogan on the tv.

    You can’t have it both ways; you can’t criticise one group for misleading the electorate when you’re essentially doing the same.

  54. Kaye Lee

    Declan….firstly Victoria said “the general population”…NOT Liberal voters. If you are politically aware then you aren’t part of those described as general population.

    IMO the point is that many people who get their news from Rupert Murdoch and Andrew Bolt and Larry Pickering et al…don’t realise how badly off they will be under a Coalition government. Tony and Joe’s refusal to disclose their policy costings and savings measures only makes me feel it will be worse than even I expect from them.

    I do not see how Victoria has misled anyone with this post. Having looked at the policies so far there is no question as to which party leans more towards social equity and which leans towards big business and making the rich richer.

    As to why they would do that I suggest you have a look at who donates to the Liberal Party and maybe even have a look at the guest list for the IPA dinner where Gina Rinehart and Tony Abbott gave speeches lauding Rupert Murdoch. You may also want to have a look at the IPA’s 75 suggestions to reform Australia.

    Instead of criticising Victoria for expressing her opinion. refute it with facts to the contrary. I would LOVE to hear you sell how the Liberal Party helps low income earners.

  55. Kaye Lee

    A few more Liberal policies to compare.

    Getting rid of the $500 co-contribution on voluntary superannuation contributions made by low income earners,

    “Delaying” the increase to the superannuation guarantee.

    Abolishing the means test for the Private Health Insurance rebate.

    Having the taxpayer pay polluters rather than collecting tax FROM the polluters.

    Only funding education reform for 4 years when the bulk of the funds were earmarked for the last 2 years.

  56. Ben

    Why is everyone obsessed with reducing the gap between rich and poor? I’m not rich, I don’t care if others are. I am HAPPY with what I have (family, love), and don’t care if other have more money. Don’t care about billionaires, I have choice, clean water and food (grown at home, fished… you know, those things that take effort). Hmmmm… I always wonder what the obsession with inequality is? Comparing level of monetary wealth (at ANY level) to true happiness? I don’t own a home, have one TV, go camping for holidays. Equal? seems like all it is talking to is $$$ equality. Are we so shallow and jealous? Imagine, being happy with what one has, or with what one does, and not comparing $$$. While the equality argument is valid, it screams of unhappiness in important things, shallowness of character when only framed around comparing individual wealth. More time in my garden, with friends and family…. so little time to thing of other peoples wealth. Sigh. Life IS good in Australia regardless of how much some rich person (Such as GR) has….. If $$ is all that matters, you will never be equal as someone will always have more – and less – but let me guess – you aren’t going to give everything until you all have EXACTLY the same?? – then what – someone is more frugal so saves more so then jealous that they buy a better house? I cant believe I wasted precious content time writing…… Back to a good red and book.

  57. Kaye Lee

    Not at all Ben. I have happiness in my life that Gina Rinehart will never know and I suspect you do too. Money in no way equates to happiness. But to run a country you have to provide a safety net. We need to help people. To do that we need to pay taxes. I would be ecstatic if Gina just paid the taxes she is supposed to and stopped whinging about it. She made 19 billion bucks last year alone and yet she wants the mining tax gone, the carbon tax gone, special tax zones in the north, decreased company tax, decreased minimum wage, the right to bring in cheap labour from overseas, and every other concession she can lay her grubby little mits on. She has made a fortune from mining our patrimony….surley she can just pay tax like all of us do?

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