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The Economy Has Gone Bad But What Can A Treasurer Do? >sigh<

The headline told me that the economy hadn’t been this bad since 2000…

(It made me want to say: “Naughty economy! Stop it. Be good,” but I refrained…)

Now, some of you may remember a little thing called the Global Financial Crisis which didn’t really affect Australia because we didn’t go into recession so Labor never had to deal with it. But now, we should just be grateful that we have good economic managers like the Liberals in power…

Of course some of you will be thinking that it was the very fact that Labor was in power which enabled Australia to miss the recession that crippled the rest of the world, but you’re only thinking this because you don’t read the Murdoch papers.

Let me explain the economy for you. The economy is far too complicated for the average person to understand so we need to use analogies so that people can understand the nature of the beast.

At times the economy is just that: A Beast which needs taming. And when it’s calm and going well, it’s because the Coalition have made all the right moves and not intervened and allowed market forces to do what market forces do, which is get the Beast to respond to the invisible hand that controls it.

But, I hear some of you ask, if it’s market forces which control the Beast, how is that the Coalition claim credit for making the right moves when their argument is that the right move is doing nothing and letting the market solve all the problems?

That’s a very good question and in a spirit of non-intervention, I’m not going to answer it myself but I’m sure that market forces will eventually prevail and an answer will appear thanks to efficiency of the market.

Of course, the economy isn’t actually a beast and any attempt to portray it as such is merely an analogy and as such is limited. Consequently, if someone attempts to suggest that the economy is a wild beast that needs a strong hand to tame it, a Liberal Treasurer will immediately tell you that the economy isn’t a beast at all but rather a household budget and we need to simply get the fundamentals correct and once they’ve been adjusted then everything will return to normal and there’ll be plenty of jobs once we’ve cut several thousand public services workers and cut funding to various organisations which are just a drain on the taxpayer, like support for those suffering from domestic violence. It’s not that they don’t support support; it’s just that the support could be better targeted if they can withdraw it, have a think and then announce an increase in funding which takes the support back to halfway to where it was when they first cut it.

If someone were to point out, for example, that if we were really a household we’d surely be doing more to help the unemployed because no household would allow someone in it to be eating bread while others ate caviar. At such a point any Liberal Treasurer worth their salt would point out that the only reason their getting bread is because of our generosity and they shouldn’t expect to get bread indefinitely because they’re expected to put in and there’s plenty they could be doing around the house apart from looking enviously at the caviar. If asked exactly what specifically they should be doing, this is the time to look for another analogy regarding the economy such as comparing it to the weather.

Yes, there are storm clouds gathering for the economy. Everybody knows that we have no control over storms and the best thing to do is to take shelter and wait until it blows over. Not even emergency workers should be out in a storm and the Treasurer is certainly not an emergency worker. He too, needs to duck for cover and just point to the storm and say it’s pretty scary isn’t it? (I did think about put “He/she” but when have we ever had a female Treasurer?)

Some of you will be wondering how the various analogies reconcile to form a picture of the economy, but that’s just because the economy is so ethereal that it’s beyond our comprehension so don’t even try. Just be glad that it’s in powerful hands and remember that everything that happens under Labor is their fault unless it’s a good thing in which case it’s like a sunny day and thanks to the previous Liberal government. Similarly, a Liberal Treasurer has almost no control over things unless their good things and then it’s all down to the superior ability to control the Beast, household spending, the weather of whatever it’s being compared to in the latest attempt to make it clear that even though the debt has doubled and growth has stalled and we’re fiddling with how we judge success on the unemployment front, the Coalition Treasurer still had everything under control and the fundamentals are just fine.

What are the fundamentals?

They’re anything we can point to and say, “See that’s not so bad, is it?”

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  1. David Bruce

    After reading this I had to go back and look at the definitions for cognitive dissonance!

    Cognitive dissonance, the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in people is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: they reject, explain away, or avoid the new information; persuade themselves that no conflict really exists; reconcile the differences; or resort to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in their conceptions of the world and of themselves.

    Seems the lnp are dealing with their cognitive dissonance very well and they expect us to do the same?

  2. totaram

    David Bruce: Cognitive dissonance occurs when people believe something and the evidence contradicts their belief.
    The “lnp” don’t believe any of the bullshit they spout. They know it is all lies, but they do it to fool the “voters”, who are kept suitably dumbed down, distracted, and bamboozled. One example is all the vilification they did of the “industry super funds” because they had “union thugs on the boards” etc. Many of these politicians have invested their supers in those very same funds because they know they perform better. If you look carefully you will find many more examples of this kind of hypocrisy. The average punter does not have the time or the ability to dig and find these examples and the MSM makes sure they don’t and so we get the governments we “deserve”.

    Rossleigh digs up all these examples of outright hypocrisy and lying and it makes for amusing reading. Unfortunately the average voter never gets to even have the faintest idea that such things are happening. That is the sad part of it all. The “free press” is only as “free” as the price of a media empire. And now the entire MSM is owned by the oligarchs. I don’t see how we will ever get around that.

  3. Aortic

    Exactly Totoram, how do we get people to evaluate the rubbish spewed from the MSM and make a reasoned decision. I only view the headlines from the likes of the Australian and the headlines alone are just so incredible I am at a loss as to why anyone would buy to read far less place any credence in what is written. Ergo the present line up which laughingly but oh so sadly are supposedly in charge. We also need either Mark Dreyfus or Penny Wong leading the opposition in my humble.

  4. wam

    Belief is only real to the believer. Even if it is bullshit it is real. It is almost as rocklike as ‘faith’. Woe betide the attackers of faith???
    If you listen to a rabbottian on whitlam,or gillard, you will find such deep rooted fear their destruction of menzies’ and howard’s world.. When they had no idea of of what whitlan or gillard did.(for that matter few have any idea what menzies did?)
    The belief of those two as economic disasters is so strong as to be as permanent as faith in god.
    Albo must develop a strategy that exposes the lnp economic strategies. For me it should be through the media getting them to ask curly questions and to try to set up occasions to laugh at the inept, the errors and the waste. The trick is for labor to have a clean slate and a consistent plan with 100%agreement.. No white-anting fitzgibbons or bleating husics just solid steady attack on their economic waste.

  5. andy56

    of coarse the co-alition only have one move, let the market go. They refuse to intervene because their ideology says only the market “knows”. Now this is pure ideology because from past history, governments that get involved in their economies create strong economies. But people who have blindfaith and a disonance in thier minds will never understand or learn from past mistakes, because they are more intelligent or its different this time.

  6. Bronte ALLAN

    Great & true article Rossleigh! After reading of all the “great” things ALL the Coalition so-called “Treasurers” (sic!) have done for us & to us, boy am I so bloody happy that we have this really great liberal lot in power here now. NOT!! Lets not forget EVERYTHING that has happened to be bad in this country for at least the last 100 years, MUST be Labor’s fault–after all, that’s what the fcking liberals have been saying for at least the last 100 years or so!

  7. Henry Rodrigues

    There is a general malaise in the thought processes of the voters, where they cannot excercise even the minimum effort to sort out the lies and the truth. Part of the reason is the feeling that things cannot be all that bad since the liberals have just awarded the people the ‘gift’ of tax cuts that most have already spent at he pokies or some such useless activity. The media and rest of the the cheer squad plus the cheery morning television talking heads who propagate the same bullshit, have created a complacency that everything is well and that as long as the coalition are in charge, there is no need to worry. This idea is reiterated and reinforced on TV, radio and the every single media outlet including the publicly owned news broadcasters, that all’s well, nothing to worry about, so go back to your trivial affairs and let the the ‘better economic managers’ do all the thinking. It is sad but true, but the voters are a dumb bunch who believe that old saying of “a bird in hand…….”

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