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The Politics Of Envy And Other Useful Phrases…

Aspiration! That’s a good thing, right? But envy, that’s a bad thing. Of course one could become confused because how does one aspire unless one sees something worth aspiring to.

Now I do realise that there’s a big difference. In the case of envy you may merely want to bring the other person down, while aspirational people work hard and always brush their teeth. Aspirational people don’t get upset because some successful people pay little or no income tax. Aspirational people want to become so rich that they can have little or no taxable income.

And it’s thanks to people like that, Australia has the economy it has today. Lots and lots of successful people who managed to own several properties and businesses while earning almost nothing. Or at least, nothing that needs to go to the wasteful government…

Yes, I do find it strange when politicians talk about how taxation is a burden and just a waste of people’s money. It’s always been my ambition to ask one of those politicians who champions privatisation, “So you’re telling me that someone in private industry would be able to manage this much more efficiently than you can! If you’re so incompetent, why do people keep voting for you?”

Now that Labor has lost the election and is being blamed for just about every policy of the current government whether they support it or not, we’re being treated to the idea that it was lost because of Bill Shorten’s class warfare and how it was a rejection of the politics of envy.

In spite of the success of a more Keynesian approach from the Rudd government during the GFC, the Liberals seem to be operating as though Milton Friedman’s trickle down economics hadn’t been tried for the past forty years.

“Trickle down” is an interesting phrase, isn’t it? I mean, generally speaking, if anything trickles down onto you, the normal thing is to find shelter or put up an umbrella… Maybe it’s an appropriate phrase after all.

It’s the entrepreneurs that create the jobs, we’re told. While that’s true up to a point, they all rely on the hoi polloi to actually buy their goods and services or they end up like many businesses: broke and not able to pay their debts!

Thankfully we have a government that’s going to look after people on very high incomes. They’ve locked in tax cuts all the way to 2024. Now, one would have thought that it would be prudent to wait and see how the Budget actually looks in a couple of years time before making decisions for a future government, but no. Josh and Scottie have the power of prophecy and are giving tax cuts because the government will be well in surplus by then and the economy can handle the tax cuts. It’s not like they’ll add to inflation… Which is surprising because I would have thought with their superior economic management we’d have an economy that was in serious danger of overheating and we may need an even bigger surplus.

The economy isn’t a zero sum game, but Economics 101 tells us that people have unlimited wants and there are limited resources, so it’s all about how we managed scarcity. Like aspiration and envy. it seems we can concentrate on whichever part we want to justify our actions. Giving tax cuts to the wealthiest taxpayers will encourage investment and there’ll be a bigger pie for us all to share, but even targeted government spending, for some reason, doesn’t lead to greater jobs and wealth because… Well, just because, ok.

Yep, it’s going to be a long three years. Unless the Senate is painful and Scottie decides that, with God being on his side and all, he can call a double dissolution and push through some of his more contentious legislation. Unlikely, I know, but when Kevin Rudd and Obama were national leaders, who would have predicted much of the past ten years? Abbott as PM? Brexit? Trump? Barnaby Joyce as Deputy PM? Barnaby Joyce finding a second woman prepared to perpetuate his genes?

No, everything is just too far-fetched. That’s the difference between fiction and real life: Fiction has to be believable!

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  1. Keitha Granville

    I’m so depressed at the moment Rossleigh I struggled to find a giggle in your words this morning. Maybe this isn’t actually a funny one ?

  2. whatever

    The LNP are spending huge amounts on middle-class welfare, billions given to private schools and sports fields, just to give their ‘aspirational’ support-base freebies that they think they deserve.
    Everyone not on the list for these handouts is ‘undeserving’ of such largesse, hence they are ‘envious’.

  3. DebJ

    Someone recently on AIM described ‘aspiration’ as the acceptable face of greed. A good description.

  4. Dr Tristan Ewins

    Depressing ; yes I guess ; but I smiled a bit reading this as well ; Though yes – things really are this bad.

  5. Wayne Turner

    Welfare for the well off that don’t need it,but have a selfish and greedy entitlement to it.Hypocrites too,because they want to deny it and/or make the less well do alot more to even get it = The Coalition way.

    What a F’ed place we have been for along time,and continue to be.

  6. Rossleigh

    George Bernard Shaw said that if you tell the truth, make sure they laugh, otherwise, they’ll kill you. Should I worry, Keitha?

  7. HumeAndTwain

    whatever: Exactly, unfortunately extremely “exactly” …

  8. HumeAndTwain

    Also, Wayne Turner, unfortunately very true …

  9. totaram

    Terence: the comments BTL on that article tell the whole story. No sympathy there at all for the poor pensioners. Just a few pensioners protesting they didn’t vote for the coalition. However, the point is that their “association” didn’t raise the deeming issue at all, and presumably only talked about the “retiree tax” which affected only 10% of their members. Suck it up is what they are being told.

  10. helvityni

    ” Aspirational people want to become so rich that they can have little or no taxable income”.

    Simply wonderful !

  11. Wobbley

    I’ve been diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer and the prognosis was six months from last July. I now have a huge incentive to live for the next 3 years at least to see this fascist corrupt “government” placed where the pigs belong. Thank you Snott Horriscum, you’ve certainly given me the inspiration to live at least until your in political purgatory.

  12. Zathras

    Funny how it’s “Class Warfare” whenever somebody dares threaten the wealthy but not when the rich are screwing over the poor.

    The well-paid PAYE taxpayer is not at “the top end of Town”. Some well-paid people have access to various minimisation schemes, trusts and endless contractual arrangements to ensure they shift the burden of taxation onto others but squeal the loudest about unfair “Class” issues when their own lurks seemed threatened.

  13. Terence

    Totaram – agreed although the media yet again has let the voters down by not having the balls to go looking under a few rocks before the election. It’s not like this is a new issue. But I suspect that the horses have bolted and the media are merely polishing the turd trying to make up for their total incompetence before the election by making out that they are doing hard hitting news.

    I read some of the comments too. Funny how no one seems to admit that they voted for the LNP now except for the usual posters (staffers).

  14. totaram

    Terence: Let’s be clear. The journalists are not incompetent or stupid. They are paid to do what they do, even if some of them feel a bit uncomfortable doing it. They have to make a living.

    I suspect even Andrew Bolt doesn’t believe half the rubbish he spouts. It’s good pickings.

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