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Stealing our children’s future

Comparing government debt to putting your groceries on the credit card, which your children will have to pay for after you die, is utterly ridiculous as John Kelly has pointed out. It is also insulting, both for its duplicity and its inference that we are all ignorant fools.

It is a theme that is repeated constantly, with Hockey even summoning a tear as he refused to burden his children with our debt. Mind you he seems quite happy to burden the taxpayer with his debt but that’s a whole other issue.

Apparently, the millions that the Abbott government is paying to private firms to monitor the media and online opinions and to people like the odious Mark Textor to come up with slogans, has come up with “Intergenerational debt” as a winner. Our children and our grandchildren will be paying for our profligacy.

What a load of hogwash.

What we should be doing is investing in their future but, by his own admission, Tony Abbott isn’t looking sixteen years down the track.

The Abbott government’s deal with the Palmer United Party to freeze the minimum superannuation contribution rate at 9.5% until 2021 will not only cost retirees, it will also see future governments forced to bear the brunt of an increased reliance on the Age Pension which is likely to translate to many billions of dollars in increased pension payments over future years.

Prior to the Palmer deal, the guarantee was scheduled to increase to 10% on 1 July 2015 and reach 12% on 1 July 2019. The new policy therefore represents a six-year deferral of the increases.

The negative effects of the delay in the increase in the super guarantee rate will be magnified once the Age Pension age is raised to 70 and the pension is indexed to prices rather than wages with adverse effects largest for people currently under the age of 40.

The decision to deregulate university fees, cut the government contribution, and raise the interest rate, will also badly affect young people and particularly women.

According to research done by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling for The Conversation and based on fees charged at the University of Canberra, pay-off times and total repayments would be significantly higher for science, nursing and teaching degrees, particularly for women.

Even without deregulation, if the university simply recouped the amount lost from the government’s reduction in funding, a female science graduate would take 5.5 years longer to pay off the cost of her degree. She would be paying it off for a total 13.9 years. Her total repayments would increase by an estimated $51,500, to $95,700.

If universities increase their fees by an extra 20 per cent, the same graduate would have the debt for 16.4 years. Her repayments would nearly triple from $44,200 to $123,000. The initial debt would double from $39,700 to $79,700.

The Greens have also done modelling on the impact of the changes that shows poorer students would be hardest hit.

A graduate with a $34,000 debt and a starting salary of $75,000 would take 20 years to pay off their debt, paying $20,000 in interest.

Other modelling has revealed that women would be further impacted because they generally take a year off to have children and work part-time for at least two years after that.

And it isn’t just the universities that are under attack. The Government will cut $30 billion out of school funding over the next 10 years by increasing spending at a lower rate, abandoning the commitment to a properly funded needs-based aspirational system.

What they fail to understand is the importance of school education to individuals and to the productivity of our society. It is an investment which will bring a far greater return than taking money out of circulation so you can say “look at me, I have a surplus”.

We have slashed funding for research which means the best and brightest of our children will have to go overseas to pursue careers in science and innovation with the fruits of their labours enjoyed by those with the foresight to support their endeavours.

Our children have been told they must “earn or learn” as youth unemployment rises, courses become more expensive, trades training centres are closed down, and 457 visa workers are imported. If they find themselves unemployed they will be thrown to the wolves with no support for half of every year.

The only government strategy for dealing with youth unemployment seems to be renewed agitation for Workchoices II – strip away hard won entitlements, make them work for less, and they may find a job even if it IS “picking up garbage.”

Also under attack is the universal healthcare that we have enjoyed for over 40 years.

Not only will we have to pay more to see a doctor, increasingly, healthcare is being privatised where profit becomes the driving motive and unprofitable services become untenable. The budget cut $50 billion from proposed hospital funding over the next ten years, ripping up the signed agreement with the states, just as they did for education funding.

Government policies allowing foreign investment and tax concessions for negative gearing and capital gains coupled with very low interest rates mean our children will struggle to buy a home. Prices and rents have skyrocketed as investors buy up available properties.

But the biggest crime against our children is our inaction on climate change. Worse than that, we are hugely increasing our mining and exports of fossil fuels, a move that our children and the world at large will pay dearly for.

As a parent, I had hoped that I would pass on a world in better shape than I found it.

We aren’t mortgaging our children’s future, we are stealing it.

 

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  1. Blanik

    How did this ever happen? What did we do to deserve this fascist government? It’s totally beyond me. Why? why? why?

  2. jane

    Fortunately, I don’t think the Liars will be in power for the next 20 months, let alone 10 years. With luck they’ll be slung out earlier & Labor & Greens can get to work dismantling all their bastardry.

  3. Ricardo29

    That’s assuming you think Labor will dismantle their bastardry. I think there’s a history of governments being content to have had the shitty work done by predecessors and only being prepared to go part way to redressing the worst excesses. Pessimistic I know, but I don’t see any evidence of this Labor mob being willing to undertake the big spending that is going to be needed to restore education and health budgets, address youth (and general) unemployment, etc. they are locked into the same budget balancing bullshit as the scumbags and I’m not hearing anything that indicates they understand the need to stimulate the economy rather than match the austerity. They need a good belt around the ears from John Lord.

  4. mikestasse

    How did this ever happen Blanik? Exponential growth…….. and because of interest, debts grow exponentially faster than exponentially growing GDP. ALL debts will soon blow up in our collective faces. A deflationary spiral has almost certainly already begun, and some time in the future, debts will be worth NOTHING to those whom they are owed to. The whole Matrix is now unravelling.

    Re stealing our children’s future though, it isn’t money I worry about…….. We have stolen our children’s stable climate. We’ve squandered all the oil they could have used to set up a modern sustainable future on trivial pursuits like SUV’s, OS holidays to Bali, and McMansions and other irritating consumption….. AND we did it even though we were well warned 42 years ago this would happen.

    And to jane……. neither the Greens nor Labor have the power to dismantle anything. The Corporates run the show with their bankster mates, and they have armies on their sides…

    The best thing to do is just walk away and bring the Matrix to its knees. No protest or blood in the street needed. We have the power, we just don’t know it yet….

  5. Kaye Lee

    And if you walk away from your mortgage you will find the police on your doorstep with the foreclosure documents as has been happening to drought stricken farmers in Queensland. That is not an advisable, practical, or ethical suggestion.

  6. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee and,

    Our children have been told they must “earn or learn” as youth unemployment rises, courses become more expensive, trades training centres are closed down, and 457 visa workers are imported.

    It is the hypocrisy of this government which has the greatest stench. There is your example and dozens more where this government makes demands which conflict with it’s actions. One such is demanding that young disabled people be reassessed by a government-appointed doctor (and who knows how high the bar is going to be set regarding ‘capable of some work’), but one of this government’s first actions was to cancel the Disability Education Allowance. There ya go, ya disabled people get off your a*ses but we’re not going to give you any assistance whatsoever.

  7. Tinfoilhatter

    Gossip & Goebbels-de-gook (cooked up by LNP in league with Merde-och) gave sheeple voters a warm, fuzzy feeling when kicking out an effective minority government. We all like a whinge… hmmm. My father used to say he would give me something to whinge about… hmmm, again. If the LNP are desperate enough – keeping in mind they truly believe they are the ‘adults’, and born to rule – there will be no election in 2016. For our own good, and for the good of the nation. Hmmm.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Carol,

    I so agree. One policy works against another in so many areas.

    The Mature Age Worker Tax Offset will also be abolished, saving $750 million, although a new scheme, entitled Restart, will encourage companies to hire older workers by offering bonuses of up to $10,000 for hiring over-50s who have been on unemployment benefits or the disability support pension for more than six months.

    The Government has also abolished the Pensioner Education Supplement, for a saving of $281 million, and will not proceed with the planned pilot of Supporting Senior Australians: Housing Help For Seniors, a $173 million program that was to encourage older Australians to downsize to smaller dwellings.

    The Government will cease paying its current Aged Care Payroll Tax Supplement to aged care providers, and has foreshadowed a considerable saving from 2018 – $1.7 billion over six years – by almost halving its expenditure on the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

    It seems they do not care about what our society needs, they just want to be able to say we have a surplus. For some reason people fail to understand that this means they are withdrawing money from the services we need for the sake of an accounting term that means stuff all.

  9. stephentardrew

    Jane:

    First priority get rid of the Labor neo-cons.

    If we want a decent future we need to dismantle the old trickle down, debt fearing, economic rationalist myth.

    We cannot endure another term without systematic reframing of economics using Modern Monetary Theory.

    Remember the Labor right is our nemesis.

  10. Harquebus

    Today’s children and tomorrow’s grandchildren will be struggling just to stay alive. There is no way that governments, especially the U.S. and Japan, are going to pay off debts. The global economy will collapse. There is no avoiding it and the collapse of our civilization will follow. Peak oil mates, peak oil.
    When the credit cards stop working, everything stops.
    Any survivors will be wiped out by global warming which, is already awakening feed back mechanisms. We didn’t steal our children’s future, we killed it. That is all.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-methane-leaking-permafrost-offshore-siberia.html
    “the main narrative of every economy in every corner of the globe rests on the idea of endless, infinite growth.” Actually, it is debt fueled endless, infinite growth. Re: Credit card.
    http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/90662/keep-your-eyes-prize

  11. Peter Ball

    Liberals – gotta be proud , this mob will destroy this country and tell us its good for us , This is the Government of hatred , the sooner they are tossed out the better

  12. Kaye Lee

    To get rid of this mob we need to prepare. Thankfully they are so predictable it should be easy.

    Debt and deficit disaster.

    Our children and grandchildren will be paying off our debt.

    We will introduce a “holistic” package for families – read Tony’s paid parental leave and some yet to be disclosed childcare carrot that will be meant to make us forget that Scott Morrison is a heartless bastard.

    Look at our Free Trade Agreements – except we can’t because they are a secret which, according to MYEFO, will cost us billions.

    The boats have stopped – actually they haven’t stopped, we have just stopped rescuing them. If someone screams in the middle of the ocean does anyone hear? And what has been our positive contribution to the global refugee crisis?

    We are keeping you safe – by spending billions on wars and surveillance (mainly of journalists).

    This government are so inept, so obvious, so greedy….it should be like shooting fish in a barrel but Labor has yet to show they are up to the challenge.

    I would like to remind all politicians that you are being paid to do a job which is to run this country and invest the money entrusted to you in the best interests of our country and the world. You are not being paid to promote yourself or to play silly games with only an election result as your goal.

  13. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, apparently the ‘carrot’ will be a boost to funding, this after Abbott already rejected (June ’14) the advice of the Productivity Commission regarding his PPL. The other carrot will be to make au pairs and live in nannys tax deductable..all in the name of ‘equality’. This of course will be seen for what it is, that only Abbott’s ‘women of calibre’ really deserve anything at all..a little bit of icing on the cake of the already wealthy. And Abbott will wonder why we’re not all dancing in the streets……

  14. Blanik

    Yes Ricardo. I think that you’re correct. I can’t see any incoming Government caring, especially not the ALP.. Shorten is content to sit back and become PM just as Abbott was, and it will have to be him because what else is there?

    I am very pessimistic, I will agree, but after 7.5 decades on this planet and to see it finish like this is very depressing, and it seems that most people feel the same.

    I despair for my grand children and their children and all the other grand children on the planet. We have a Government which thinks that god is real and climate change is crap. A government which closes scientific research in the Antarctic, the very place where thousands of past years of climate change can be studied, not to mention the hundreds of other humanitarian facilities that have been closed by regulation. A government that believes that kitchen economics will save the world!

    What is wrong with these people? Why couldn’t the voters see through their lies? Where will it end???

    Why do I even care?

  15. eli nes

    oh julia julia why weren’t you julius? billy billy why aren’t you julia? Labor Labor why aren’t you labor? fukc, stench anger is rising
    gst on bread milk fruit vegs health hanging on lambe, muir, leyonhjelm, wang, lazarus, madigan.
    What sort of god supports this government and its amiable pollies on the left of the speaker???

  16. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    It seems they do not care about what our society needs, they just want to be able to say we have a surplus…

    Actually what they care about MOST of all is staying in power so they can push their agenda.

    Seems that brave Captain Speedos McMoron considers popping over to Iraq, for a chest-puffing photo op with the troops as money well spent. It’s early January, but we’re still being fed stale ham!!!

  17. Matters Not

    Ricardo29 said:

    assuming you think Labor will dismantle their bastardry. I think there’s a history of governments being content to have had the shitty work done by predecessors and only being prepared to go part way to redressing the worst excesses. Pessimistic I know

    While ‘pessimistic’, it’s also quite valid. Often it’s very, very difficult to unscramble the egg. Take the proposed changes to higher education as a good example.

    Currently, the Feds provide approximately 60% of the cost of a Degree while the student (or family) is responsible for 40%. Under Pyne’s proposals, the Fed’s contribution will drop to 50%, a cut of 16% (approximately). On the other hand, the student contribution will rise from the current 40% to the proposed 50%, a rise of 25%. And that’s before any ‘deregulation’.

    Yep, university fees will rise by a minimum of 25% as a result of ‘cuts’ to government funding. A current annual fee of (say) $8 000 must rise to $10 000 a year for exactly the same course. And that’s before deregulation.

    Pyne says the Vice Chancellors are in favour of deregulation. And they are, that’s because apart from a few notable exceptions (try the Canberra VC as an example), Vice Chancellors want deregulation, but they do not want any cuts to the government’s contribution. (I should add that the university academic staff are overwhelmingly opposed to government cuts as well as deregulation.)

    So let’s assume that Pyne gets his cuts through before the beginning of the 2015 academic year (unlikely I know, but remember that the academic year now works in Semesters). If all future students are charged an extra 25% (minimum), then how can any incoming government justify a cut of 20% for new students?

    It seems to me that once the government’s contribution is cut from 60% to 50% and deregulation is introduced, the egg is scrambled. And it’s down the US path we go where student debt is now out of control.

    Here’s an article from a well known ‘leftie’ publication.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/specialfeatures/2013/08/07/how-the-college-debt-is-crippling-students-parents-and-the-economy/

  18. Kaye Lee

    And once deregulation happens, places will go to those who can afford them, many being students from overseas as is already happening. I am glad that we can help educate the young people of the world but not at the expense of our own children. A relative who is currently studying medicine told me many of the international students do not have a sufficient grasp of English to understand what is being said in lectures and tutorials but they pass them anyway. They then have trouble finding an internship to complete their training. I don’t understand who we are helping here.

  19. Matters Not

    John Fraser from your link:

    Australian television networks were left bewildered and frustrated

    How many times do they have to be f@cked over before they wake up.

    The MSM gave him a free ride for all the years he was in Opposition and now they are reaping the seeds they sowed. Hilarious!

    While his visit to war zones in his ‘holidays’ was predictable, so will his half a dozen visits (must ensure the right camera angle and the like) to a fire zone on his return.

  20. mysay

    Don’t all the states have to agree to a rise in the GST?

  21. Matters Not

    And once deregulation happens, places will go to those who can afford them, many being students from overseas as is already happening.

    Yes. I think that enrolling overseas students can be good at a number of levels. Educating students from across the world In Australian Universities can increase the ‘knowledge base’ of such students but also be an exercise of ‘soft power’ re cultural understandings. Let’s not underestimate the importance of ‘soft power’ as opposed to ‘hard power’ which Abbott et al seem addicted to.

    What I find problematic is that we tend to retain, (for example), medical graduates here in Australia rather than returning them to where they are most needed. While my figures may be a little dated, I know that, once upon a time, of the 105 Doctors working the public sector in the Wide Bay Region, 103 came from outside Australia.

    Seems to me we are stealing the brightest and best from overseas at the expense of the locals.

    But there’s lots of issues here.

  22. Garth

    Matters Not, add bulk billing to the list as well. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. And I can’t see anyone short of a true progressive leader putting it back in place (and I don’t see any around just now). I’m not sure people realise what is going to be done to Medicare with this insidious undermining of its very core. ‘$5?? What’s $5? Doesn’t sound so bad’. Wrong!!! Apart from the fact it IS very bad for many in our society, it’s the thin edge of the wedge and we can all see where it’s going. Really?? What is the objection of these bastards to people having effective health care and living a healthy, happy life?! They really are beyond contempt. Bugger it!! My anger really is starting to get the better of me these days.

  23. mikestasse

    Our children and grandchildren will be paying off our debt.

    They will do no such thing Kaye. Economic collapse will see ZERO money to repay the debts. The debts will be written off. Harquebus is the only person other than me making sense here.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Mikestasse,

    Your last comment shows you have not even read my article and you have a hugely inflated opinion of your own version of “sense”.

  25. OzFenric

    “But the biggest crime against our children is… we are hugely increasing our mining and exports of fossil fuels”… I actually think this is a crime we ourselves will pay for. It’s not like the climate movement is a fringe any more; Australia might try to sing “Rule Brittania” really loud, but they won’t drown out the actual movements in global energy. Even without global-level carbon trading systems, the technological and economic ascendancy of solar and wind is approaching.

    A couple of commenters have mentioned “peak oil”; whether we really are, or are not, at peak oil (and I think we are, based on the economics), I suspect we are seeing the turning point of oil markets. International carbon trading can’t be wished away as easily as our own ETS. The march of renewables will continue. Some nations will continue to buy Australian coal for a while, but it’s a decreasing curve. How long until the world stops sitting on its hands and assists those nations still reliant on fossil fuels to modernise? I suspect that will happen soon after Paris 2015 – whether it be a success or failure.

    Abbott & co. will be an unpleasant memory by the time the bill comes due – an Australian economy utterly reliant on mining coal and minerals, and an international market no longer wanting to pay top dollar for them.

    As a concerned global citizen I long for the collapse of the coal industry. As an Australian, it saddens and sickens me to see consecutive governments placing more and more eggs into the coal basket. Is it wishful thinking to see a future where Australia has truly become the white trash of Asia?

  26. Matters Not

    Garth said:

    add bulk billing to the list as well. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    I suspect that bulk billing is now part of history. While Labor et al, with support of some cross benchers, could disallow the ‘regulation’, I suspect that they may ‘sit on their hands’ and of course blame the L-NP.

    But once it’s part of the ‘common sense’, there’s little or no chance of repeal. Unless of course it becomes an election issue that generates considerable heat.

    But I suspect that other ‘issues’ will take precedence.

  27. OzFenric

    That’s the thing. There will be no shortage of “issues”.

  28. Matters Not

    mikestasse said:

    only person other than me making sense here.

    Yep that ‘common sense’ concept keep raising its ‘problematic’ head.

    But here’s the catch. Common sense is neither common nor sense. There’s not a whole of sound judgment going on these days (though whether it is worse than in the past, I can’t be sure), so it’s not common. If common sense was common, then most people wouldn’t make the kinds of decisions they do every day. People wouldn’t buy stuff they can’t afford. They wouldn’t smoke cigarettes or eat junk food. They wouldn’t gamble. And if you want to get really specific and timely, politicians wouldn’t be tweeting pictures of their private parts to strangers. In other words, people wouldn’t do the multitude of things that are clearly not good for them

    And while I know that people rarely read links.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201107/common-sense-is-neither-common-nor-sense

    I should add that those who ‘know’ everything have no need to do so.

  29. mikestasse

    History is full of examples, from ancient Mesopotamia to the Soviet Union, which show that whenever societies reach unsustainable levels of resource consumption and allocation, they collapse. I’ve been writing about this for years, and the idea is now hitting mainstream.

    A recent research paper funded by NASA highlights this same premise. http://www.atmos.umd.edu/%7Eekalnay/pubs/2014-03-18-handy1-paper-draft-safa-motesharrei-rivas-kalnay.pdf

    According to the authors:

    “Collapses of even advanced civilizations have occurred many times in the past five thousand years, and they were frequently followed by centuries of population and cultural decline and economic regression.”

    The results of their experiments show that some of the very clear trends which exist today– unsustainable resource consumption, and economic stratification that favors the elite– can very easily result in collapse. In fact, they write that “collapse is very difficult to avoid and requires major policy changes.”

    This isn’t exactly good news.

    But here’s the thing– between massive debts, deficits, money printing, war, resource depletion, etc., our modern society seems riddled with these risks. And history certainly shows that dominant powers are always changing.

    Empires rise and fall. The global monetary system is always changing. The prevailing social contract is always changing.

    The world is not coming to an end. It’s going to reset. There’s a huge difference between the two.

    Think about the system that we’re living under. A tiny elite has total control of the money supply. They wield intrusive spy networks and weapons of mass destruction. The can confiscate the wealth of others in their sole discretion. They can indebt unborn generations. Curiously, these are the same people who are so incompetent they can’t put a website together. It’s not working. And just about everyone knows it. We’re taught growing up that ‘We the People’ have the power to affect radical change in the voting booth. But this is another fairy tale.

    Voting only changes the players. It doesn’t change the game.

    Technology is one major game changer. The technology exists today to completely revolutionize the way we live and govern ourselves. Today’s system is just a 19th century model applied to a 21st century society. I mean– a room full of men making decisions about how much money to print? It’s so antiquated it’s almost comical.

    But given that the majority of Western governments borrow money just to pay interest on money they’ve already borrowed, it’s obvious the current game is almost finished.

    When it ends, there will be a reset… potentially a tumultuous one. This is why you want to have a plan B, and why you don’t want to have all of your eggs in one basket. After all, why bother working so hard if everything you’ve ever achieved or provided for your children is tied up in a country with dismal fundamentals?

  30. Matters Not

    Mike, here’s a bit of therapy:

    show that whenever societies reach unsustainable levels of resource consumption and allocation, they collapse

    Mike, there’s lots of reasons why societies collapse. To suggest it’s all down to ‘resource consumption and allocation’ is just fanciful.

    You go on:

    And history certainly shows that dominant powers are always changing.

    Empires rise and fall

    Spot on! Yep ‘dominant powers’ are always changing and empires rise and fall. Anyone arguing otherwise? Perhaps you are creating a ‘straw man or two here? Any links?

    And before I just laugh openly, you assert:

    I mean– a room full of men making decisions about how much money to print?

    What all ‘men’ and no women’ ? Perhaps Christine Legarde might feel somewhat miffed? Just askin …

  31. mikestasse

    Matters Not……. what would NASA know?

  32. Matters Not

    Mike when it comes to science and the like, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, knows plenty.

    But I suspect that when you cite them in support of your ‘doomsday’ theories, you are somewhat stretching the connection.

    But that’s just my view.

  33. mikestasse

    Fine, don’t bother following links…. seems nobody on this site bother either unless it suits their opinions… and one other thing, you should read Jarred Diamond’s “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”

  34. stephentardrew

    Matters Not: I am a link reader and enjoyed the article.

    Problem is revisionary ideas are generally statistical outliers which are some one to two deviations from the mean and will only trend to wards the mean when entrenched assumptions are challenged by rational evidence. Furthermore, as Thomas Kuhn pointed out, they are incommensurable with the old and require revisionary realignment of facts and opinions. Sadly the facts change but the opinions often remain the same. We seem to lack the mechanisms to apply the new to the old in a rational and inclusive way. Just because evidence supports ones claims does not mean that those claims should not shift under the weight of time given new evidence, insights and discoveries. As I noted before many practical problems are engineering problems that require, rationality science and practical application. The effects of traditional habit and opinion drown out the voice of change based upon sensible challenges to the entrenched paradigm. Scientist are unfortunately sometimes captured more by opinion than fact because they too have political, and in some cases, religious prejudices.

    The introduction of Modern Monetary Theory is a case in point whereby the failure of economic rationalism and supply side economics is empirically demonstrable yet these hide bound fossilized fools remain entrenched in dogma that is destroying much of the environment and impoverishing the masses.

    So it is not surprising that the facts are rubbery and the proofs contestable because the starting position is already nonfunctional and maladaptive.

    Do we see the right of the Labor party embracing revisionary models to challenge orthodoxy. Not on your life they too have too much to gain from the current dysfunction of our monetary system.

    At least this site is a breath of fresh air however we are viewed as some radical leftist loons rather than concerned citizens trying to find a more equitable monetary system.

    Our problems are deep and entrenched and it is going to take some time and effort to bring about change, however, change we must.

  35. John Weber

    Many parents work hard to assure their children’s future. Many if asked would give their lives for their children and grandchildren. If a culture/society is at threat from outside forces, starvation or environmental stress, this support for the next generations falls by the wayside. However, in general, mothers, fathers and grandparents will protect the future of their offspring.

    We are surrounded by a litany of threats to the future – fracking, deep ocean drilling, tar sands; pollution from mountain top removal, destruction of natural resources, dying oceans, climate disasters of epic proportions, dangers of genetic engineering; corporate control, and population overshoot to name a few of the less subtle. Some would have more technology to combat these problems or at best forestall them.
    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
    Albert Einstein

    For citizens of developed nations, this is about lifestyle – energy and other resource consumption – will we change our lifestyle for the children and grandchildren’s future? NO.

    And now for a rousing chorus of – Yes, but . . .

    There is one legitimate “Yes, but . . .
    You can’t get there (wherever there is) from here!

  36. Anomander

    As much as I hate to admit it, this government is probably the government we needed to have, if only to teach us an invaluable lesson – to value the things we fought hard to achieve and recognise how fortunate we are.

    Because when they have finished with their pogrom of destruction, all those great achievements will be lost, and the realisation will remain as an indelible reminder to never again vote for a Liberal government.

    Unfortunately, our youth and our children will pay the long-term price of that stupid, stupid decision.

  37. Möbius Ecko

    Big business CEOs are now calling for a reform to the Senate, of course to ensure such a reform would allow them to run the government unimpeded.

    The ABC commentator stated there’s no way that can happen any time, soon but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind if Abbott does win a second term. That and the GST, which will increase sometime in the future be it by a Labor or Liberal government.

  38. Kaye Lee

    “The case for green energy has been widely undermined by misleading accounts of its cost to the consumer. David Cameron, the man who used to say vote blue, go green, now talks of cutting the green crap.”

    Meanwhile, the United Kingdom blew past previous wind power records in 2014 while Germany generated a record amount of electricity from wind in December, setting the stage for 2015 to bring more industry growth across Europe.

    Using statistics from the U.K.’s National Grid, the trade association RenewableUK found that wind generated enough electricity to power just over 25 percent of U.K. homes in 2014 — a 15 percent increase from 2013. Wind turbines provided 9.3 percent of the U.K’s total electricity supply last year, a 1.5 percent boost from 2013.

    In December, Germany generated more wind power, 8.9 terawatt-hours, than in any previous month. According to the IWR renewable energy research institute, this record will be overtaken in 2015 as more offshore wind farms come online.

    After strong wind power months in October and November, Scotland also set a monthly generation record in December. WWF Scotland stated that wind power generated enough power to supply electricity to 98 percent of Scotland’s households in 2014.

    Across Europe, 2015 will also be a big year for renewable energy policy. Late last year the bloc released plans to legally require member countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below their 1990 levels by 2030. According to a December report from the International Energy Agency, a single electricity market — or “Energy Union” — is need to reach these goals. E.U. negotiators will release plans for this transition later this year. The union is intended to increase regional energy security, reduce power demand, focus on low-carbon, renewable sources, and increase R&D and investment in the sector.

    And then there’s us who think that wind farms are ugly and hydro and solar power are undermining our economy. We are run by fools who have cost this country dearly in lost investment, industry and jobs. We will no doubt face penalties in the future from countries who are acting on climate change.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/05/3607904/wind-power-surges-in-2014/

  39. Kaye Lee

    mikestasse,

    “Without growth, it’s impossible to repay debts, and unemployment goes up, no matter who’s in power”

    I think you need to read up on MMT

  40. mikestasse

    Russell Brand for PM!!

  41. Kaye Lee

    Mike, from your link….

    “even the present well-under-one-per-cent renewables level in the UK has pushed up utility bills very considerably”

    How does that fit in with

    “Wind turbines provided 9.3 percent of the U.K’s total electricity supply last year”?

    Someone appears to be telling fibs.

    The author of that article in The Register was Lewis Page

    Based on a large number of articles published by Lewis Page in The Register, Page has promoted a range of views regarding climate change including that:
    • Global warming may actually be caused by the sun.
    • Global warming is part of a natural cycle.
    • Reducing soot is more important than curbing CO2 emissions.
    • Global warming may be beneficial.
    • Sea ice is not melting.
    • If sea ice is melting, it may absorb CO2, which would be a good thing.
    • Geo-engineering is an easier method of curbing global warming than reducing emissions.
    • We need to fight an impending ice age by releasing as much CO2 into the atmosphere as possible

    http://www.desmogblog.com/lewis-page

    He seems very anti-renewable energy but is very pro nuclear energy. I am not sure that I consider his articles a reliable source.

  42. mikestasse

    OK I wasn’t aware he wrote a whole load of crap on climate change, I just did a quick search for Google engineers saying renewables ‘won’t work’ because I know they did say it, and this Page guy is taking advantage of it to push his own barrow and so it was a poor choice… it doesn’t alter the fact that some experts agree with me that renewables won’t cut the mustard once fossil fuels disappear, or almost disappear…

    Here’s a better choice… http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/what-it-would-really-take-to-reverse-climate-change

    What you have to understand is that we are now clutching at straws….. even well known retired climate scientist and activist James Hansen is now in favour of nuclear power, not because it’ll save us from climate change, but like almost every other person on this thread, nobody wants to give up their cushy lifestyle, a lifestyle that is almost certainly depressing half the population….

  43. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, yet again I agree 100% climate change is the worst situation we can leave our children with, and a giant new coal mine in Queensland will not help that future in any way shape or form.

  44. mikestasse

    I’m not too worried about ‘the giant new coal mine’……… it will be bankrupt before it has any opportunity to do real damage.

  45. Kaye Lee

    I agree that we not only need to move to renewable energy but also need direct action (reforestation, carbon sequestration etc). What I don’t agree with is their calculations regarding comparative cost. They only look at the cost of production and ignore the economic cost of global warming.

  46. Harquebus

    @mikestasse

    I have learned in here that, most posters do not want to learn. They just want to argue their point of view. I have given up and just state my opinion and try to back it up with some facts.
    You are correct. Economic collapse is imminent. The massive debts racked up world wide can never be repaid. When the credit cards stop working, everything stops.

    Crude oil production has peaked. The world’s economy can not afford $100+/bl and the oil producers can not “increase” production without it. There goes modern civilization and if we get past that one, climate change will finish us off.

    @Kaye Lee.
    Renewable energy will not do it. Our children have no future.
    “Windmills, solar, tidal – all a ‘false hope’, say Stanford PhDs”
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/
    “15 offshore wind turbines installed on every kilometer of the UK coastline would supply just 13 percent of the country’s average daily energy use.”
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27392-abundant-clean-renewables-think-again

  47. Kaye Lee

    “I have learned in here that, most posters do not want to learn. They just want to argue their point of view.”

    I see you didn’t read my answer when mikestasse linked to that same article. It is obviously doing the rounds. (irony anyone)

  48. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus,

    The guy that wrote the article is a climate change denier. The two engineers compared the costs of energy production via fossil fuel vs renewables and concluded that fossil fuel is cheaper. Some responsible government regulation could easily fix that. And if they took into account the damage fossil fuels are causing and added the health and environmental costs then fossil fuels are WAY more expensive.

    In saying I don’t want to learn you are completely wrong. Are you prepared to learn too?

  49. Win jeavons

    No sort of Bible supports this mindset, Both the OT and the teachings of Jesus insist on care of the vulnerable, over and over . The preachers ministering to self-proclaimed Christians have a lot to answer for . Don’t know what holy(?) book they are reading. Not the one we use in our church, surely.

  50. Blanik

    Well, I have to admit that I don’t know the answers. But what I did think was that we are screwed, and now that Jesus/god has entered the discussion I know that we are really, really screwed. Enough for me. Good luck to all the grandies of the world, and as I understand it, the universe.

  51. Kaye Lee

    From your second article….

    “We certainly need to swiftly end fossil fuel burning and the destruction of ecosystems and that will require us to rely on the least harmful energy sources such as wind and solar power.”

    I understand about peak resources and the call to lead simpler lives but we must achieve what we can now. It’s urgent. When faced with such a problem you can say, no point too hard, or you can start doing what IS achievable.

  52. mikestasse

    NO Kaye…… they did not say coal was cheaper, they said solar was not despatchable. Not the same thing. besides, solar (or wind for that matter) never create enough surplus energy to ever be regenerative in their own right without aid from fossil fuels, such that when fossil fuels go away, so does all the nice green energy….

  53. mikestasse

    I understand about peak resources and the call to lead simpler lives but we must achieve what we can now.

    WHY? We already have quite enough renewables right now that we could transition to a simpler life already.

    It’s urgent.

    There’s only one thing that’s urgent, and that’s ending all emissions. Sometimes I wonder if the continual increase in CO2 emissions aren’t just due to the growing amount of renewable energy systems being built…..

  54. cuppa

    What did we do to deserve this fascist government?

    Well, in the eyes of the Liberals, we did an unforgivable thing in 2007 in throwing out the Howard rodent government.

    And if that wasn’t inexcusable enough we again refused to endorse the Liberals in 2010.

    We have been very naughty, ungrateful peasants.

    We deserve to be punished and made to suffer.

    Revenge is theirs.

  55. Matters Not

    Economic collapse is imminent. The massive debts racked up world wide can never be repaid.

    Wow! ‘Massive debts’ (world wide) that can never be repaid. Very scary! At least for you.

    A simple question. To whom are these ‘massive debts’ owed? Are those who are owed (and can’t be repaid) going to join you when you ‘jump off the intellectual cliff’? And if not, then why not?

    And if ‘repayment’ doesn’t occur, then what are the consequences?

    Talk about ‘kids at play’. LOL.

  56. mikestasse

    Matters Not, it’s only ‘not scary’ when you are ignorant of the facts……….. Seeing as the title of this article is about STEALING OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE, I would have thought this actually MATTERS A LOT…… perhaps you are not aware that we the people (at least before our Nazi government was elected) owe FIVE TIMES as much debt as the government. I am not at all concerned about our government debt, even after what our idiot ‘treasurer’ has done…. it’s the PRIVATE DEBT that matters…..

    Debt problems are endemic worldwide. We all know of the problems in the US, UK and Europe, but they extend all over the world, not least Australia. We are in a major financial crisis, which is as bad and will be as damaging as the credit crisis of three years ago. In fact we never exited that crisis. Debt is the problem and creating more debt does not solve the problem. We have written often about debt and currency problems and as yet nothing is being done to solve these problems. It is as if these powers wanted a collapse. How long can the US dollar continue to take this thrashing? Unfortunately it is not only the dollar. Over the past 1-1/2 years nine major currencies have fallen on average more than 20% vs. gold and silver.

    Thus many countries and their financial institutions are going to be in serious trouble. The dollar and the euro are both overvalued and even after a 15% devaluation the Swiss franc is undervalued. It is not only going to be currencies, but everything financial that is going to be affected. That includes bonds, stocks, savings accounts, CD’s; cash value life and annuity policies. The only things that will benefit will be gold and silver related assets. For all intents and purposes in the US, the FDIC has no funds and has to have them allocated in the form of debt by the government. More debt means more inflation and higher precious metal prices. The global financial community has to be terrified because their whole world is coming unraveled around them.

    It is quite evident that Greece can never repay its debt no matter how much bailout funds they receive and we stated as much two years ago. The other five sovereigns in trouble are almost as bad off. We do not know as yet what the magic elixir Sarkozy and Merkel are talking about, but it is evident Germany cannot engage in leveraging the 50% of funds that they are committed for the EFSF. Otherwise it would be a change in the constitution and a referendum, which doesn‘t have a ghost of a chance of passing.

    As we have said before it has come down to every man for himself. All they can do is ring fence their own countries making sure that their financial institutions survive. All of this takes money. Money that has to be created and this is inflationary. Even if our projection of $4 to $6 trillion was met massive inflation would ensue and worse yet control that would leave sovereign hands and pass to the EFSF and the ECB. Issuing EU bonds is not the answer either although we do not think they’d be approved.

    There is no question factors dictate a lower US stock market. Those are not just fundaments, but they also include the fallout from Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy the Fed movements. These three factors alone whose effectiveness are spreading worldwide could put great pressure on US and other markets. Over last weekend Rome exploded into demonstrations and violence by the public. This while in Paris the G-20’s recommending increasing the size of the EFSF. The question is where does the money come from? American money market funds and others are in the process of pulling out some $350 billion from banks and sovereign debt in Europe due to the shifting situation in Europe and the euro zone governments to keep banks in dollar cash.

    Again, that shows how connectivity has reversed itself and has become a major problem. Unless bailed out, several banks in trouble can bring down the whole system. One thing lower stock markets would do is bring a cry from the US, UK and European public for more liquidity. If not chaos could be just around the corner. The talk by central banks and governments and Wall Street and the City of London heard just a few weeks ago has turned into cries of desperation. The leverage needed in Europe can only come from the Fed and the Fed shall supply it – leaving possible cost to the American taxpayer. As long as Europe’s problems continue the dollar will receive cover and strength versus other currencies, some of which have fallen 15% over the past couple of months. All currencies will continue to fall versus gold and silver. Another factor to consider is what if real interest rates rise, what happens then? Higher debt servicing costs and lower stock markets.

    The world economy is slowing down again in spite of massive injection of money and credit. At the same time the world is drowning in debt, much of which is unpayable. Governments enmeshed in the same problem have only one recourse and that is to print more money. The changes long-term consumers do not notice is that their savings and pensions are being stolen by government to balance their losses. This ongoing process of inflation will eventually lead to hyperinflation. Just as economies and the middle class were destroyed in Weimar, Germany between 1921 and 1923 and more recently in Zimbabwe, the same will happen in the US, UK and Europe if they keep doing what they are doing.

    MORE @ http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article31094.html

  57. Kaye Lee

    Mike,

    “We do not know as yet what the magic elixir Sarkozy and Merkel are talking about”

    That article is 3 and a half years old.

  58. mikestasse

    AND let us not forget that ALL this money donated to pollitical parties is……….. CREATED AS DEBT!

  59. mikestasse

    AND Kaye….. in three and a half years, the whole debt thing is WORSE! In fact, it’s MUCH WORSE!

  60. Kaye Lee

    Not according to the experts mike. Things have improved in the last 3 years.

    “Once the poster child of economic calamity, Greece’s efforts to restructure its debt and impose economic discipline are paying off. In April of this year (2014), Greece returned to international bond markets after a four-year hiatus, raising nearly $4.2 billion in an oversubscribed issue of five-year bonds with a yield below 5%. According to Greece’s Finance Ministry, almost 90% of bonds were issued to investors outside of Greece, indicating that international investors are beginning to view Greek government bonds as a good investment.

    Jamaica re-entered the global bond market in July 2014 with a bang, raising $800 million, which was well above the $500 million expected by government officials. The expanded deal indicates that investors are excited about investment opportunities in Jamaica. The country’s improving economy may explain some investor exuberance”

    Other places like Egypt and the Ukraine have deteriorated due mainly to political unrest.

    When talking global finances, three years is a long time. Quoting an article from 2011 does not give an accurate reflection of what is happening today.

  61. mikestasse

    Well you’re wrong. Twice now I’ve posted well researched replies and they don’t come up. I’m over it.

  62. John Armour

    “Just as economies and the middle class were destroyed in Weimar, Germany between 1921 and 1923 and more recently in Zimbabwe, the same will happen in the US, UK and Europe if they keep doing what they are doing.”

    I was wondering when you’d bring up the “W” and “Z” words Mike. You didn’t disappoint.

    Never mind that Europe is staring in to the abyss of deflation.

  63. OzFenric

    MIKESTASSE says: “WHY? We already have quite enough renewables right now that we could transition to a simpler life already.”

    Might as well get the idea of transition to a simpler life out of the equation. Not going to happen. Nobody* wants to give up their mod cons. A third of the world is clinging greedily to their 2bir houses and their one-car-per-person and their 24/7 internet access from their computer and their phone and their fridge. The other two thirds of the world is desperately anxious to obtain these things. We will never see the western world willingly give up their ‘quality of life’ and as long as they live like this, it’s unfair and unreasonable to expect that the rest of the world will choose not to join us. In any case, we should not be content with the idea of human beings living a “simpler life”. We are humans; we are a thinking, building, learning species. We cannot have both simple sustainability and continued technological and social development. In fact, we can’t even retain the technological status we have so far achieved without continual expenditure of unsustainable amounts of energy.

    If the first world won’t give up their televisions, there are only two viable solutions when either the oil runs out or climate change threatens to lay waste to civilisation. Either the current systems will collapse – or we can transition to new forms of energy. Down the former path lies mass starvation, war, misery and probably the irreversible degradation of the carrying capacity of this planet. We’re happily rolling down this path right now but there’s still time to change and there are people attempting to beat a path along the second way. New forms of energy are absolutely required to replace current energy generation. If the primary objection to solar power is that it can’t be stored or ramped up when needed, this points to old models of generation and distribution. The old world will fight to retain this model as long as there is money to be made, but distributed energy generation and self-sustaining devices seem an inevitable development. High-capacity quick-charge batteries are well under development. Solutions will be found. If the main objection is economic, then changes in fuel availability, ETS and other regulation, and economies of scale can address this.

    Will we achieve the second outcome before the first comes to pass? There are encouraging signs and a lot of very motivated people. But there are businesses and lobby groups and our own government who quite like the path we’re on and are content to continue along it.

    *Should probably say “practically nobody”, but this is a good thing, as there’s not enough viable land for even a fraction of the whole population of Earth to take up the lifestyle MikeStasse advocates.

  64. John Armour

    Matters Not, it’s only ‘not scary’ when you are ignorant of the facts……….. Seeing as the title of this article is about STEALING OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE, I would have thought this actually MATTERS A LOT

    The point of Kaye Lee’s article seems to have gone over your head. What we are stealing from our kid’s future is real, not financial. “Intergenerational debt” can not be financial.

    Furthermore, it is only government “debt” (increased spending) now that can slow the process. Private debt which is largely an issue between “consenting adults” has nothing to do with it this problem.

    That hysterical rant that you copied and pasted from the internet sees debt problems where none exist. By conflating Europe with economies that operate under fiat monetary systems that publication “The International Forecaster” (irony alert) seems proud to advertise its ignorance of the most basic principles.

    The article even contradicts your own stated beliefs about Australia’s public debt.

    For some time now many commenters here have been engaging with and discussing Modern Monetary Theory which among other things explains why government debt in countries with fiat systems can never be a problem. You however quote from a source that repudiates that reality.

    Most of that discussion seems to have gone over your head too.

    What problems there are in these countries post-GFC can, ironically, be put down to those who trumpet simplistic nonsense like “Debt is the problem and creating more debt does not solve the problem”, to quote from your source. It could easily have been quoting Joe Hockey.

    It’s useful that your article is 3 years old. It was amusing to read its predictions against what has actually transpired.

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