Economics has a lot of theories most of which are excellent, except in practise. As someone once observed, economists are people who are paid to explain why their forecasts were wrong. Therefore, I don’t intend to spend the next few hundred words debating whether or not we should subsidise the car industry. Or any other industry.
We need to talk about our government.
Now apparently there’s going to be some pain for long term gain according to Tony Abbott. I read that on the weekend.
And tonight I read that according to Tony Abbott:
‘While some businesses close, other businesses open, while some jobs end, other jobs start. The challenge of government at all levels is to ensure there are more jobs starting than ending.
‘Nothing we can say or do can limit the impact and devastation today that some people feel .. . [but] there will be better days in the future.’’
Nothing we can do or say can limit the impact and devastation today? Mm, now there’s an interesting of admission of impotence. Surely, some sort of announcement or promise of retraining to release them from the tyranny of the factory floor (to quote someone) may have helped “limit” the devastation…
Dr Dennis Naptime, the Victorian Premier, was a little disappointed at this “surprise decision” from Toyota. Yes, Dennis, nobody saw this coming. Some things just are unpredictable. I had no idea, for example, that Schapelle Corby would be the subject of media attention when she was released. Or that Derryn Hinch will say something about going to jail on principle. Or that Andrew Bolt will argue that Labor is responsible for the closure of Toyota by not encouraging people to work for nothing. Or that Rupert Murdoch will say that Tony Abbott is doing a good job. These are things that only a clairvoyant could predict.
Now, it doesn’t matter whether the neo-cons or the socialists are right here. I don’t much care about the economic debate. The point is quite simple: Does the Federal Government have a plan? Because, if they do, it’s clearly not the one that they’re making public.
Just two months ago, Abbott, according to the media, believed “Toyota will stay put and the Government is working with the company to secure its future”. Now, it is possible that the Government suggested that if Toyota wanted to secure its future, it should pull out of Australia, so maybe Abbott was being honest there.
According to “The Australian” – a rather ironic name for a foreign owned newspaper:
“Tony Abbott said the government was focused on ensuring a strong economy and that the number of new jobs outweighed the number of closing jobs.”
Ah, the new jobs…
So, where are these new jobs?
Well, clearly not in the public service.
They’re coming from the stronger economy. Right, that’s what all this is about, isn’t it? If we just get rid of all the inefficient industries the economy will be stronger. Who cares if other countries are keeping their industries afloat by subsidies – the joke’s on them when they have all these inefficient industries still going and people in jobs, and we only have efficient ones. Such as… Mm? Science? Renewable energy? Nah, we don’t want to sponsor that gravy train!
So where is the economy going to be stronger? Where are all these efficient industries? Tourism of the Great Barrier Reef? Picking fruit in Shepparton?
Ah, I see – from the increase in Royal Commissions. We all need to retrain as lawyers. Or at the very least legal secretaries.