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A universal basic income would be good for everybody

By Neil Hogan

If there was a universal basic income there would be no more unemployed, no more people on welfare, no more pensioners. There would be workers and non-workers, and no more demonising people on welfare as dole bludgers, no problems about what the retirement age should be, and the size of the Dept. of Human Services (or “Inhuman Services” as I like to call it) would be greatly reduced, if not abolished.

All those people above the age of 50 looking for work because they can’t exist on Newstart, but can’t for the life of them gain any employment whatsoever might then decide to be a part of the grey nomad scene and set off on the great journey to explore this big beautiful country of ours and that in itself would be good for the tourism industry Australia wide as well as adding to the economies of all the places they travel through.

While the life of a grey nomad isn’t for everyone, other people might think it’s time to start a small business of their own knowing that they have the security of the universal basic income and who knows just how inventive some people might be in creating a regular income from something that is too small for big business to get involved with.

Volunteering in the local community or even in far off places could also see an increase in involvement of those happy to live on the universal basic income and that would be good for everyone concerned and help to create a happier society in which to live.

Governments could still set about trying to create jobs and growth, I say “trying” because the current government has no idea how to do that, and those not happy existing on the universal basic income could set about gaining the expertise they need to to fill those positions.

Businesses might then think it’s a good idea to actually take on apprentices again as an apprentice’s wage would only be a small addition to the universal basic income, think about that for a minute and see if there would still be a need to bring in so many people on 457 visas.

Of course for this to happen businesses and high income earners would have to start paying their fair share of taxes and the tax department could actually employ more people to make sure that actually happens. And wouldn’t that be a good idea?


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  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Neil Hogan,

    you’re a man after my own heart!

    Inspired possibilities for when an Universal Basic Income becomes the reality … or alternatively, the opportunity of paid income through a Job Guarantee … for EVERY form of employment that exists already but does not necessarily have a monetary value.

    The enhanced social and economic advantages make the mind boggle.

  2. helvityni

    “This idea of a “universal basic income” isn’t new — having been floated by various economists and politicians across the world for decades. But as of next year, Finland are biting the bullet and will become the first country to trial such a scheme.

    A number of Finns — in the ballpark of 10,000 — will be given a set living wage of around €550 ($AU850) a month for two years, in an attempt to balance the shortcomings of the country’s current welfare system.”

    Little country, big ideas.

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Indeed yes, Helvi

  4. Helen Bates

    helvityni I wouldn’t get too excited if I lived in Finland as the average month income is around 3400 euros according to a Finnish friend of mine and they will pay less than 20% of that.
    In Australia now the average weekly wage is about $1160 a week and a single pensioner gets about $440 or more than 33%
    “This idea of a “universal basic income” isn’t new” good, as going by some on here they would never work!!
    Every one would choose to stay home and the place would be shambles

  5. Johno

    I like this idea. Could it be a win win .

  6. stephentardrew

    I think it should be considered alongside a job guarantee as outlined by Professor Bill Mitchell and many others.

  7. Miriam English

    Well said, Neil. Short and to the point.

    A Universal Basic Income would have all the benefits you mention, but in addition it is the only way I can see to deal with the coming automation revolution that Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings. Social Security would be completely overwhelmed, and a Job Guarantee would only soften the impact. The new automation is expected to obsolete between a quarter to a half of all jobs. Without the Universal Basic Income that could be seen as a catastrophe; with the Universal Basic Income it ushers in what could be almost a utopia — safe, self-driving cars, far more reliable medicine, cheaper and more efficient technology, intelligent assistance on anything anytime, and a life of leisure if you want it.

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    People want to work. People want their labour and ingenuity remunerated at appropriate, dignified and livable levels.

    Shhhh! Don’t tell Helen Bates though, coz s/he thinks it’s acceptable to jam people into below satisfactory employment conditions, as long as her/his own pecuniary interests are satisfied.

  9. stephengb2014

    No sorry but no I don’t think this is a good idea, a UBI would of course be lovely intill the new level of prices and incomes ratio is reached, when prices take up the extra money in circulation All that will happen is a short period of inflation then we would be back to square one.

    No the answere is privatisation of utilities essential and monopoly industries, coupled to a government Job garrentee scheme as indicated by the proponants of the Modern Money Theory.
    Look up

    What is a Job Guarantee?

    A minimum pension does however have to be at a level to prevent aged and medical pensioners in poverty

  10. Miriam English

    Helen Bates, it always amazes me that so many people immediately imagine that everybody would cease to do anything if they had the Universal Basic Income. Yet when you ask those people who have these misgivings what they would do if they had an extra few hundred dollars a week they have no difficulty thinking of all the things they would do with it — start up their own business, or even a second business, fix up the car, renovate the house, write that book they never had time to create, spend more time with the kids or parents, go travelling…

    It strikes me as odd that humans so often think so lowly of others, especially people who are less financially well-off. I currently live on social security and earn no money, but am always flat out working on web pages for people, fixing up computers for others, writing my books and short stories, writing programs, and much, much more. I’m far more busy than I was when I worked for an income, and I generate far more benefit for the community. A friend put it really well some time ago when they told me, “I never really knew what ‘busy’ meant until I retired.”

    Most people can’t stand to do nothing. They would find something worthwhile to do with their lives. And think of how many lives are swallowed up in mindless, pointless, soul-destroying work simply because they need income to survive — those people would finally be freed to really do something with their lives.

  11. John Kelly

    A universal basic income is not a good idea. While it sounds good there are good reasons why it would be harmful to our economy. Firstly, it will not cure unemployment, rather it will encourage people not to work. Secondly, It will place pressure on demand thus forcing prices up. Thirdly, it will not mean the end of welfare benefits because the income level set, while above the poverty line, would be used by governments to absolve them of the responsibility to provide work or provide universal health services. It would, more than likely, create a two tiered education system. Government would downgrade its serves to public education. Only those who could afford private education would have access to state of the art facilities. Don’t be fooled. This is another neat neo-liberal plan to further depress the living standards of ordinary families. The only true means of lifting living standards is full employment, or a job guarantee system.

  12. Freethinker

    stephengb2014 regarding privatisation I do not agree with you, on the contrary I would nationalise all the essential utilities and services.
    I would never put water and energy in the hands of the greedy.

  13. Miriam English

    stephengb2014, I’ve encountered this comment a lot, but people rarely ever explain why. I’ve heard some say that adding money to society without an accompanying increase in productivity would raise inflation, and while I think there is something to that, I don’t see why they assume that productivity would not continue to rise.

    In USA (and probably similar here too) the number of work hours has remained essentially static at 194 billion hours for the period 1993 to 2013 and wages have stagnated, yet productivity has increased dramatically. And now we have begun a new period of automation where productivity will make even greater leaps.

    One of the biggest problems in today’s market is lack of paying customers. If money was added to the population so that people could actually buy what companies produce then they could afford to produce more, so productivity would go up even further. So long as productivity keeps pace with the amount of money in the system then inflation is kept under control.

  14. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    John Kelly,

    why can’t there be a Job Guarantee with an Universal Basic Income?

    The reality is that people need to know that their efforts in a guaranteed job with guaranteed income can be basically remunerated with the potential to earn more depending upon the complexity of the job undertaken, the skills and qualifications involved.

    It goes without saying that the work involved would be VERY considerably more remunerated than what the Newstart pittance is at this time.

  15. Miriam English

    Freethinker, exactly right. Essential services should be nationalised and taken out of greedy hands.

  16. Keitha Granville

    All of the above – totally agree
    People at the bottom of the pile often want to do something, anything.
    Often those who prefer to do nothing at all are on the wealthy end.
    Both generalisations, but mostly true.

    Making sure that EVERYONE pays the tax they owe is crucial to this – without it, there is no chance.

  17. Red Leaf

    If a universal basic income was created by taxing people on high incomes that would be a negative for the economy. Why work at a job that gives you a high income if you are going to be taxed to pay people so that they can afford to do nothing. While the idea would be a good one for some, for others it wouldn’t. A UBI might be an incentive to some people but the resultant tax bills would be a major disincentive to the peope who would be funding it.

  18. Miriam English

    John Kelly, the idea that a Universal Basic Income will encourage people not to work is a very dismal and puritanical view of humanity. I work much harder now than I ever did in a paying job. Many jobs are depressingly unproductive and waste people’s lives in futility, and if those jobs produce stuff it often amounts to garbage quickly destined for landfill.

    Increased demand is only half of the picture because demand has to be met by increased production, bringing prices back down again.

    You say the Universal Basic Income would let governments absolve themselves of responsibility to provide work and health care.. and the difference between that and normal government operation is…? Many governments shirk those responsibilities but don’t have Universal Basic Income. Finland has a very responsible government and is flirting with Universal Basic Income and I would be extremely surprised if it used that as an excuse to dropkick people. As far as I can see, there is absolutely no relationship between a Universal Basic Income and responsible government (other than one of the most responsible governments in the world is trying out Universal Basic Income). The whole “Eeeek! Universal Basic Income is a Right-Wing plot!” statement seems like silly fear-mongering. I don’t know where it comes from, but I’ve heard a few people voice it, and always without any real reason behind it.

    Many economists, MMT economists included, seem to see the economy as a kind of scary god that we have to serve, and sacrifice people to, so that it doesn’t destroy us all. This is a deeply troubling view. I see the economy as a tool that should instead serve people. Yes, it would be good to have full employment, but people shouldn’t be forced to work, especially in drudgery. In any case this is all becoming moot. The revolution in automation with AI that has begun will make full employment impossible, even with a Job Guarantee. In that case our only hope of a sane society is a Universal Basic Income.

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    it will be interesting to see if John Kelly deigns to respond to your considered response.

  20. Miriam English

    Red Leaf, some countries have very heavy taxes on wealthy people. We never see those wealthy people saying, “Screw it! I couldn’t be bothered being wealthy if they’re just going to tax it.” They are still very wealthy, just not as obscenely wealthy as rich people in countries with lower taxes. So, why don’t they move to countries with lower taxes? Because the ones with higher taxes are more peaceful and have better educated, more healthy populations… because of the higher taxes.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr famously said, “I like to pay my taxes. With them I buy civilisation.”

    (Please engage brain before opening mouth.)

  21. Miriam English

    Jennifer, you make an important point above that we should have both a Job Guarantee and Universal Basic Income. I agree.

    I see a sane and stable society as requiring 4 legs: the market, a Job Guarantee, a Universal Basic Income, and a minimal Social Security to pick up those who still fall through the cracks.

  22. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks for the response. I like it but think it could start with UBI coz JG always should exist, with the market modified by Social Security imperatives.

  23. Kyran

    The odd thing about UBI seems to be the outrage about guaranteeing a minimum income, without ever factoring in how much we do for nothing already, or how much that is worth to the Australian economy.
    We volunteer all the time, whether it be the school, the sports club, the op shop, various charities, etc.
    What is that worth?
    “Dr Lisel O’Dwyer (University of Adelaide) estimated the dollar value of the contributions made by Australian volunteers in 2006 and 2010, based on the average annual number of hours worked multiplied by the average wage rate. She estimated that:
    in 2006, formal volunteering (excluding travel) was worth $19.4 billion to the Australian economy.
    in 2010, formal volunteering (excluding travel) was worth $25.4 billion to the Australian economy.”
    The article is worth a read.

    No, we are not related. From my reading, it does not factor in the benefit to the Australian economy from such things as ‘stay at home parents’, childminding by grandparents, etc.
    Even when we are employed, we do lots of things for our employers for free. I still cannot fathom how you can operate a business and be reliant on your workers sense of charity to support your business. I’ve operated my own businesses with employees. The notion simply beggars belief. If you can’t pay your employee’s their due entitlement, you do not deserve to be in business.
    But that is what we do.

    “ “Across the economy, we found about $116 billion worth of labour time each year is uncompensated,” Dr Stanford said.

    The 2016 survey found that full-time workers were on average performing more than five hours a week in unpaid overtime, including staying back late, working through breaks, taking work home and answering email out of hours.
    The financial consequences of this are significant. Dr Stanford said the average full-time worker loses $10,000 a year in lost income, while the average part-time worker loses $7,500.”
    The article is worth a read.

    So, we have a free market economy, based on $140bill subsidy, just in terms of unpaid labour. That’s before we start on how we subsidise businesses, with all manner of grants, tax concessions, rebates, etc.
    Subsidising labour, whether it be through a UBI, raising the minimum tax threshold to, say, $50k, whatever. This is simply outrageous, in the current discourse.
    If you have a look at the other end of the scale, you can see the problem. There was a broadcast from the BBC on the weekend (I haven’t found the link yet) pertaining to a likely conflict in the Brexit negotiations. The EU have had a proposal on the cards for a while, to which the British financial sector are in serious disagreement.

    “And a survey of British companies last year found that the total pay awarded to an executive of a FTSE 100 company was 133 times that of their average employee, up from 107 times in 2002.”

    “But another initiative to cap senior executive pay at 12 times that of the lowest paid worker was defeated in November after the government and business leaders warned it could force some firms abroad and others to shed jobs.”

    A UBI is totally affordable if we stop looking at the bottom end of the scale and start looking at the top end of the scale. Can you imagine the CEO having to abide the same standards as his lowest employee? My bad. It’s a free market economy.
    Thank you Mr Hogan and commenters. Take care

  24. John Kelly

    Miriam, a UBI would attract an increasing number of unemployed (currently dropping in and out of participation), who don’t want to, and would never work. I’m sure you personally do work hard, but you are not representative of everyone. Yes, increased demand would eventually be met with increased production but by that stage prices would be higher than they were, thus eroding the value of the UBI. The government would then be forced to increase the UBI thus starting another round of price hikes.
    A job guarantee only rewards those who want to work. Those who don’t, cannot claim benefits.
    There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that government would use a UBI to reduce its contribution to essential services and more likely try to privatise them.
    Far from MMT adherents seeing the economy as something we must serve, we see it as something that should serve us! Our entire message is to use a fiat economy as it should be used, not have currency issuing government ignore its power to reduce inequality.
    To say that people should not be forced to work is troubling. We are a community where each should contribute according to their abilities. People should be expected to work and contribute to the common good.
    We have had many technological revolutions over the past 200 years and for every job that has become redundant, new jobs have been created to replace them. AI is not a valid argument.
    The Finland experiment is only just beginning and limited to specific areas. It is far too soon to be claiming it as a success.
    Finally, a job guarantee DOES mean FULL employment.

  25. John Kelly

    Jennifer, if we had a UBI existing alongside a job guarantee, we would be effectively giving people a choice between working and not working. This is not conducive to full utilisation of our available resources. I suspect a part of the workforce would become itinerant drifting in and out of work as it suits them. And do those in normal employment still receive the UBI? I hope not.

  26. Roswell

    It will be interesting to see if John Kelly deigns to respond …

    Was that snarkiness necessary?

  27. Miriam English

    Kyran, wonderful information! An amazing perspective very worth following up.

  28. Helen Bates

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith=Pinocchio Jennifer where do you get off just inventing things and verballing people. Show me where I said anything like the comment you made and matter of fact all employees we have get above award wages and an example would be our Nanny who gets about 3 times that which that Greens bloke paid his Nanny

    “Shhhh! Don’t tell Helen Bates though, coz s/he thinks it’s acceptable to jam people into below satisfactory employment conditions, as long as her/his own pecuniary interests are satisfied.”

    Where did I say this? Jennifer does this all the time and He/She isn’t pulled up over it

    Miriam English

    “And think of how many lives are swallowed up in mindless, pointless, soul-destroying work simply because they need income to survive — those people would finally be freed to really do something with their lives.”
    just what jobs are below you? Some jobs may be as described but they are necessary or they wouldn’t be jobs
    “but am always flat out working on web pages for people, fixing up computers for others, writing my books and short stories, writing programs, and much, much more”
    Then why don’t you start a little business and make an income and stop expecting ordinary people to fund your lifestyle choices then you wouldn’t have to “currently live on social security”
    Social security is to help people out in time of need not fund lifestyle choices of stay at home web designers or professional blog commenters

  29. Miriam English

    John Kelly, you probably don’t realise how insulting to those who don’t have a “normal” job your viewpoint is. Sadly, it is held by many people, especially those in power. It’s why the current government can get away with the fraudulent “RoboDebt” attack on the most vulnerable in society and is behind the constant belittling of, and attacks on, the poor in Australia, USA and UK. Puritanical thinking permeates our society. The belief that worth is granted only through work, that suffering is deserved (especially by the poor) was very useful to keep people working when bosses were not allowed to use whips, but it is a repellent view of humanity that’s drawn from a lie: that people must be forced to take part in society. But in actual fact we are inescapably social creatures and much of our greatest pleasure is gained by helping those around us.

    I know a lot of people who are on welfare payments and I am actually fairly representative. People really do like to have purpose and do good things. I know it’s difficult for people who have money and prestige to believe it, but it’s true. I can only think of a couple of people who do very little — one has a mental problem and another is physically limited. All the others I know are constantly doing things that benefit society. Compare that with some of the businesses around us which employ people in soul-destroying jobs producing often wasteful or anti-social garbage. They generally get a pass from those who think everybody should work in a paying job.

    It’s not that difficult to prevent price hikes. In the past government has concentrated on stopping wages growing, to great effect. How about the government that brings in a Universal Basic Income putting a temporary price limit on goods and services until production caught up with demand? That would prevent the Universal Basic Income having to be pointlessly further increased.

    Using only a Job Guarantee would be a much greater temptation to government to mess with the most vulnerable. Armed with views similar to what you’ve expressed, that people who don’t work are worthless, they could utterly gut social security. The dole has traditionally been the lifeline that our musicians, artists, writers, programmers, and other creators rely upon to survive and create our culture. With the Job Guarantee and no Universal Basic Income they’d be forced to spend their time digging ditches, pouring concrete, working office jobs, and so on. People with disabilities would likely get short shrift too.

    John, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) adherents are a diverse lot. Some, like me (I agree with MMT) feel the economy should serve society. Some are elitist and feel that those who don’t have a standard job don’t deserve to be part of society. Some feel we should serve the economy. This is just the same as people who don’t agree with MMT.

    It sounds great to say that a Job Guarantee can solve unemployment by creating jobs for everyone. And maybe it can, but the problems come in its implementation. By itself the Job Guarantee could become a source of awful oppression. People can be forced to do things they are not suited to and hate doing, uprooted and compelled to move to where the government-created jobs are, obliged to waste their lives in made-up do-nothing jobs, and making their lives a complete misery.

    But perhaps it won’t be like that. Perhaps people will be paid to write their book, create their music, look after their elderly neighbors, grow an amazing garden. Perhaps they’ll be given choices and allowed some self-determination. That would be great, but you can see the problem, can’t you? Given how the Work For The Dole has produced often meaningless work, and what can amount to slave labor, sometimes administered by cruel people who enjoy crushing others underfoot, I think the chances of the Job Guarantee going wildly wrong is pretty great. The Universal Basic Income would be a great safety guard precisely because it gives people choice. If the Job Guarantee works then of course they’d want get involved (who doesn’t like more money doing something they enjoy?), but if it didn’t they would have a fall-back position. It would help to keep the Job Guarantee honest.

    Yes, over much of the past technology has replaced jobs, while opening new ones. But that’s no longer happening. Already! And the new automation has barely begun. Just one single application of AI — driverless vehicles — will eliminate around a quarter of jobs. Tell me again how AI doesn’t change anything. And there are many other, and increasing numbers, of AI applications. Already AIs are better at many complex jobs than people are. When an employer has the choice of having an AI do the job for minimal cost, working all day and all night, never getting sick or taking holidays, versus choosing to employ a costly human, which do you think they’ll employ?

    The market will eventually employ mostly machines because they will be cheaper and generally better than humans. How meaningful will Job Guarantee work be if it’s mostly made up and administered by bureaucrats and the guilty open-secret is that machines would be more productive? This could so easily become a nightmare scenario.

    Why not give people the choice to do what they want to do via the Universal Basic Income? Ninety percent of the time they will not disappoint and will create new businesses, help others, grow gardens of fresh food for the local community, organise dances and knitathons, invent new devices, produce beautiful music and paintings, look after the disabled, help teach children, and so on.

    We have the choice to make the next few decades a terrible ordeal or something approaching the kind of utopia people have dreamed of since the dawn of civilisation. We need to choose wisely, not simply reinforce old prejudices.

  30. Miriam English

    Helen Bates, I understand you’re angry and feel justified in attacking me. Please read my reply again. I didn’t attack you. I answered reasonably and tried to make good sense.

    You pointedly ask me what jobs are below me. Well, I’ve worked a lot of jobs. I’ve been lead programmer in an IT company that built virtual worlds on the internet. I’ve worked as a cleaner, sweeping and mopping floors and cleaning toilets. I’ve taught video. I’ve been a delivery driver. I’ve operated broadcast equipment at a TV station. I’ve worked on the counter at shops (who hasn’t?). I’ve worked as a photographer. I’ve worked as a research assistant at a scientific laboratory writing analytical programs for a scientist. I’ve written articles for magazines. I worked for years drawing cartoons for television. I’ve built and managed an online social virtual world for the government. And I’ve had many other jobs. Some, like when I worked as a projectionist, or when I worked on the production line at a bakery, were boring and soul-destroying.

    Why do you feel the need to insultingly tell me to start up my own business or get a job? Do you really think I would be doing all the things I currently do with only welfare to support me if I could be earning good money? I could certainly use the funds. Why do you assume that I’m not in need? And I know I sometimes spend more time here than I should, but why the “professional blog commenter” slur?

  31. Johno

    Hear hear.. well said

  32. Helen Bates

    Miriam English
    “Perhaps people will be paid to write their book, create their music, look after their elderly neighbors, grow an amazing garden.”
    My husband likes motocross and I enjoy kayaking so could you sign us up to be paid for that
    Never mind that those doing ” mindless, pointless, soul-destroying work” in critical and necessary areas like food production and the like will just have to pay a lot more taxes to fund your selfish entitled choices .
    Doesn’t that seem wrong to you?

  33. Joseph Carli

    Helen Bates..One can read from your mostly flippant and uninformed commentary on ANY serious topic on these pages that you expect and are tolerated with a “free-ride” both intellectually and on the community…Your oft repeated hackneyed chants against what you perceive as “leftie elites” become tiresome after the tenth whinge..Perhaps you’d be better going back to writing reviews on your (I’d expect) estimable collection of “Dick and Dora” adventure books for the “Possoms Pages” of your local rag?

  34. Miriam English

    Helen Bates, way to go, quoting me entirely out of context. [sigh]

  35. Johno

    I was unemployed off and on for 15 years, shock horror I enjoyed it. FINALLY, figuring on a career, I did the newstart program and started up a revegetation business which is now in its 23 year. We have grown and planted millions of trees, shrubs etc. I get pissed off when people start banging on about the bludging and leaning unemployed, while defence spends absolute shitloads on war toys, or the rich don’t pay there tax etc etc

  36. michael lacey

    To understand this you have to at Neoliberal ideology and macroeconomic policy. The essential thing underlying this, is to try to reduce the power of government and social forces that might exercise some power within the political economy—workers and others—and put the power primarily in the hands of those dominating in the markets. That’s often the financial system, the banks, but also other elites. The idea of neoliberal economists and policymakers being that you don’t want the government getting too involved in macroeconomic policy. You don’t want them promoting too much employment because that might lead to a raise in wages and, in turn, to a reduction in the profit share of the national income.

    The only true means of lifting living standards is full employment, or a job guarantee system.
    Neoliberals do not want that!

    They want to Keep wages low, or debt pressure high, which means workers will be less likely to complain or make demands. As workers struggle to provide their families with all the temptations that a capitalist society offers, they become far less likely to risk their employment, and less able to improve their situation. At bottom, neoliberals believe in a social hierarchy of “haves” and “have nots”. They have taken this corrosive social vision and dressed it up with a “respectable” sounding ideology which all boils down to the cheap labour they depend on to make their fortunes. The larger the labour supply, the cheaper it is. The more desperately you need a job, the cheaper you’ll work, and the more power those “corporate lords” have over you.

  37. havanaliedown

    Helen, get with the program: Leftist Entitlebabies DEMAND that others pay for their hobbies, interests, and pursuits trivial. It matters not that the humblest factory toiler need pay ever more in personal income tax for this altruistic purpose!

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” Thus spake King of the Bludgers, Karl Marx. Or perhaps Marx didn’t consider “need” turning out to be first-world hobbies and interests a hundred years later.

  38. townsvilleblog

    Sadly, while very desirable, this ultra conservative LNP government would have kittens before agreeing to the concept.

  39. Helen Bates

    “I get pissed off when people start banging on about the bludging and leaning unemployed,”

    “I was unemployed off and on for 15 years, shock horror I enjoyed it. FINALLY, figuring on a career,”

    Don’t you feel like a user bludging on the hard working taxpayer while you took 15- FIFTEEN years to consider a career?
    Obviously Newstart pays enough then if you ” enjoyed it”
    Rather than weakening Newstart requirements on your evidence it needs to be radically tightened up
    No doubt about it you’d fit the category of ” bludging and leaning unemployed,”

    Joseph Carli
    I said you waffled on made no sense and talked crap and here you just confirm my views
    No wonder you Greens can’t ever get much traction with the ordinary hard workers out there and the Queensland State election will just add confirmation to that.
    I see in Newspoll today that One Nation has overtaken the Greens in National polls and we know they are miles ahead of the Greens in QLD

  40. Joseph Carli

    Helen Bates…Now WHY did I get an intuition that, like the fly-strike blowie, you’d be back for more?

    Bear with me, Helen, an’ I’ll give you a little tip, ’cause I think I know your problem..

    You see, myself, like many of those older tradies who used to work for the BIG-BUILDING co.s back in the sixties and seventies, before they closed their factory shops and went into “Project Managing”, we went from employees to subbies almost over night and many got caught in a financial trap of materials supply and labour costs when the “Big-noting” speculator they were contracting for went broke, leaving the tradie with an overdraft and wages he couldn’t pay and many lost their homes and went bankrupt (and worse!) because of not knowing how to “read” the financial position of those speculators before the shit hit the fan…

    Because, Helen, I think this is your problem, isn’t it?..the finances are down, not a promising season ahead and the frustration is beginning to show and so there is only the one safe bet for a “feel-good” solution”..the same as any right-wingers pick on a more vulnerable demographic and can them to buggery!.esp’ those indigenous people..ingrates!..feels good, doesn’t it?..someone else getting the shit for a change?..Yesss..I can see; “things are crook in Tullarook”.

    Of course, those produce cheques are late coming in, esp’ the govvey ones!..and what can you do about those bastards you trusted and haven’t yet paid?..You have to learn to “read” the situation, Helen..You listen to their idle chatter and when you start to hear complaints..those little niggling at the edge complaints about this or that person, this or that demographic group who are “ripping off the hard working farmers and businessmen AND..AND..women of this great, great country..this Loyal Queenslander “…etc.then you can know that person is going down in the financial stakes, because there is no more happy person on the face of THIS : God’s great Earth, than the boss who’s just made a “killing” on some deal or other…The bonhomie, the “I’ll buy this round” bloke..the gambler who got all his money back AND MORE on the last race..OH! it feels goooooood!

    So there you go, Helen..and perhaps YOU TOO havana’..(and then you could upgrade from that on-site van you live in to more salubrious quarters…like the garden shed at Sophie Mirrabie’s place?)..just listen to the tone of voice of those speccies who big-note themselves and you’ll be on the right track!…no , no..put your wallet’s free advice..heh heh..who do you think I am ; The Dalgety’s man?

    Have a nice day.

  41. Roswell

    Leftist Entitlebabies DEMAND that others pay for their hobbies, interests, and pursuits trivial.

    That would be your interpretation only. An opinion not supported with evidence.

    I expect people to put in an effort. If they are unemployed I’d expect them to look for a job (if they are able). But because there are 17 unemployed people for every available job, it means that 16 of them will remain on the dole.

    People on the dole can barely afford life’s necessities let alone hobbies that impose a financial burden.

    Your comment – while not specifically saying so – suggests that you don’t care about their fate.

  42. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hallelujah! Miriam English @7.20am today has brilliantly explained why we need BOTH the Universal Basic Income AND the Job Guarantee.

    I implore Miriam and Michael Taylor to agree to form this into a separate article so everybody may see it and respond.

  43. Roswell

    Jennifer, I’m one of the admins here so I could handle that. Consider it a given, as long as Miriam is OK with it.

    Miriam, over to you.

    I would suggest, however, that reference to John Kelly be removed, meaning the opening sentences would need to be reworded. I’m not happy about an article being published that names and is critical of an author or commenter here.

  44. Helen Bates

    Joseph Carli
    I said “I said you waffled on made no sense and talked crap and here you just confirm my views” and your last diatribe confirmed that
    Lets consider
    “Because, Helen, I think this is your problem, isn’t it?..the finances are down, not a promising season ahead and the frustration is beginning to show”

    The past two seasons have been extremely productive and some of the most profitable in years because we DIVERSIFIED and for decades never had all our eggs in one basket
    Right at this minute we have about 50 employed in harvesting and when I deliver their lunches I will take a few of the previous comments to amuse them with
    “Of course, those produce cheques are late coming in, esp’ the govvey ones!..and what can you do about those bastards you trusted and haven’t yet paid?.”
    According to our Accountant all accounts have been paid on time and cash flow is at its highest in years

    “”(and then you could upgrade from that on-site van you live in to more salubrious quarters”

    We did away with onsite vans for workers some 10 years ago and they now live in newly constructed {over the past 10 years} air conditioned solar powered cabins
    If you are talking of my personal residences we have quite substantial dwelling on each of the 4 properties and a couple in town.

    Our on site van isn’t and happens to be a six berth Hino Liesse Motorhome – for my husband and I to go motocrossing and kayaking so I don’t think we need ” more salubrious quarters”

    But hey don’t let that stop you from continuing with your waffle bullshit made up stories and crap
    Have a nice day

  45. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Roswell. Your suggested alterations are of course important.

  46. Freethinker

    Thank you Miriam English and Johno for your contribution to society.
    People like you are what make this society better.
    Ignore people like Helen Bates that are prepared to pass judgment on others even without knowing the facts.
    I can put Helen in the same group of Pauline and her herd.

  47. Roswell

    My pleasure, Jennifer. I’ll wait until I hear from Miriam.

    To add a bit of balance it’d be good if someone could come up with an article as to why a universal basic income is a bad idea.

    (Count me out though. As it is I’m struggling on something I want to write about on national security).

  48. Roswell

    Ignore Helen Bates! Oh what a splendid suggestion.

  49. Helen Bates

    Thats right people rally behind Roswell gather the collective and dig in. Damn- Miriam might come up with a scheme for you to be paid for it
    I guess if nothing else if the collective concentrate on me and havanaliedown it may divert them away from their journalist Trish Curry and give her a break from the gang.
    Roswell while you have them corralled could you give them a lesson on writing fact instead of all the made up nonsense a few seem to favor

  50. Joseph Carli

    Jeesus,’re easier to “milk” (for information) that a ten year old Frisian cow….Now..let’s find out about your social life..I mean..those small country communities..they run on rumour, envy and schadenfreude..perhaps you can tell us a bit of goss about that “blonde” (you’ll notice the inverted commas!..nudge, nudge…) who does the postal run to…..but ah..don’t worry about’re already getting boring…I know your “social life” just told us all about it…I wonder what you do on a Sunday….?

    Say!..You know what..I bet you’re from Leeton, near the Murrumbidgee.

  51. Roswell

    Helen, you don’t like facts. You’ve had a lot of them thrown at you about Pauline Hanson but the only response we got from you was a dummy spit.


  52. Kaye Lee


    How much do you pay for your diesel fuel? Are any of your many many properties negatively geared? Have you taken advantage of instant asset write-offs for your equipment? Are the workers doing your harvesting backpackers? Are you getting feed in tariffs for your solar? Would you be eligible for drought assistance should you have a bad season? Is your business set up as a company so your tax rate is less than that of someone earning $40,000? Do you have family trusts set up? How big a deduction are you claiming for your financial advice?

  53. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee..You won’t get information out of people like Helen with direct have to appeal to their vicious side…Tip: you leave an opportunity for them to “come at you” like an attack dog..and in doing so they reveal so much more about both their life-situation and their personality…I hope you realise I have ‘cruelled’ my chances with Helen by giving you this advice, it is going to take several duplicitous posts addressed to her to redeem the “trust” she had in me…havanaliedown no longer “trusts” me since I revealed HIS living arrangements to the public…but hang on..there’s still the reality that Helen hardly reads anything she’s not central to anyway…of course!

  54. Kaye Lee

    I am not expecting a real response Joseph – just pointing out how expensive it is to subsidise the wealthy.

  55. Joseph Carli

    Ah, yes..”kayaking on “Th’ ‘Bidgee”…in all it’s over-allocated to so many irrigators glory .

  56. Joseph Carli me ; “Joe”….yes, yes..well..those wealthy..y’know..they need all the help they can get..the boat in the marina…the “shack” in the Caymans..costing all the time…sigh!

  57. havanaliedown

    You have a fevered imagination, Joseph. You do amuse me… please stop it as I have work to do!

  58. Joseph Carli

    ” According to our Accountant…”…….F#CK SAKE, Helen get in the old “Rodeo” and belt into town fast as that jalopy can take you and you close those bank accounts before “our accountant” does any more “reassuring” to you..for THAT is one of the primary signs you are getting “done over”….”My accountant reassures me…” is the road to ruin and perdition…why…you might as well trust that lawyer who told your grandfather that “Blackbirding” is no longer legal in 1975..

  59. Joseph Carli

    ” please stop it as I have work to do!”….well, havana’ we ALL know you rarely have your mind on anything else!..I just hope for your sake the authorities (AND the parish priest) don’t find out about it.

  60. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    At least he has an imagination, havanaliedown. What happened to yours?

  61. Kaye Lee

    havana, did you watch Four Corners last night? Apparently it is illegal to co-opt someone’s pic and use a similar name. It’s called trolling.

  62. havanaliedown

    I don’t think Tony will be too upset with me. Is it illegal to copy a hairstyle?

  63. Helen Bates

    Kaye Lee
    How much do you pay for your diesel fuel?
    last time I looked it was a 38 cents discount
    Are any of your many many properties negatively geared?
    No we have been on the land for 5 generations and all properties are owned without mortgage including town homes so no need to negatively gear although we have considered it for the future
    Have you taken advantage of instant asset write-offs for your equipment?

    Are the workers doing your harvesting backpackers?

    Of the current lot about 8 are as the surf was pretty good and locals headed there however 30+ are locals, some for the last 10 or so seasons
    The other 3 properties are mainly permanent full time workers with occasional casual employees

    Are you getting feed in tariffs for your solar?

    No because we have several wind turbines and because they are interconnected we don’t qualify

    Would you be eligible for drought assistance should you have a bad season?

    Probably but my family have always been prepared for the occasional rainy day so to speak and believe we have contingency plans

    Is your business set up as a company so your tax rate is less than that of someone earning $40,000?

    not sure but last years tax bill was $640,000

    Do you have family trusts set up?


    How big a deduction are you claiming for your financial advice?

    I’ll have to get back to you on that as I don’t take too much interest in the financials other than spend it and I’m sure our advisors have it all in hand

  64. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Recipients of inter-generational wealth very often show complete ignorance when it comes to the survival needs of the less fortunate.

  65. Roswell

    In havana’s case, Kaye, I’d suggest it’s more than trolling. It’s stalking. That he displays a disdain of helvityni and goes to the effort of photoshopping her hairstyle onto his gravatar is, in a word, sick.

    I’m pleased to hear it’s illegal.

  66. Roswell

    A lawyer friend just advised me that “if someone uses someone else’s exact hairstyle which may have the consequence of bringing ridicule on that person then there is the potential for that person to take out defamation. This applies mostly to private persons and not public persons.”

  67. Kaye Lee

    I appreciate your honesty Helen but do you get my point that the wealthy have ways to minimise their contribution which are not available to workers?

    Why should a young apprentice have to pay a 60c excise on the diesel for his work vehicle while farmers pay 32c? I have heard the argument that you don’t use the roads. How do you distribute your produce? How do you get supplies?

    As a company, you pay, at most, 30c in the dollar after you have taken off all your deductions. The tax rate for someone earning over $37,000 is 32.5c in the dollar.

    My father, who fought in WWII and taught for 40 years without ever having a sick day, always said he aspired to having a tax problem. Those who pay a lot of tax have made a shit load more themselves. As JMS points out, it is so much easier when you inherit everything you need isn’t it. Tad harder when you start out with huge debt just from getting an education, don’t have a job handed to you, and have to pay exorbitant rents if you want to live anywhere near employment.

    But shit those kids on the dole are living it up catching some waves – lazy bastards. Just think, they could be being served lunch by you (no doubt prepared by the house staff who I am sure you treat with great noblesse oblige.)

  68. havanaliedown

    Roswell, ask your lawyer friend about repeated online gender bullying as that will be the basis of my counter-suit.

    I too have a lawyer-friend. Our learned friends could “do battle” for all our amusement.

  69. Helen Bates

    Kaye Lee do you or your family own a business?
    Do you mind if I draw up a series of questions in relation to your businesses, personal wealth, investments tax arrangements, energy costs, governments subsidies employees casual or full time etc

  70. Joseph Carli

    Jennifer M-S..In my research, shit-loads of “inherited land” always comes not only with a “blind-side” to others struggles, but also with a few shameful “skeletons in the closet”…and in regional Australia, that could be a lot of things…if you get my drift.

  71. Joseph Carli

    “… the basis of my counter-suit.”…the only “suit” you’d own is a “zoot-suit” !

  72. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Helen Bates,

    many of us would love the opportunity of running our own businesses on our own properties with the necessary capital to get them started and sustainable.

    You have no right to sit in judgement on people in less lucrative circumstances than yourself – not to mention all the other lucrative LNP-gifted tax concessions and subsidies you receive too.

  73. Kaye Lee

    As I pointed out before you responded Helen, I did not expect personal answers. As I have pointed out since, my aim was to show how the wealthy have benefits that are not available to the worker. You seem very keen to divulge personal information – no-one is dragging it out of you.

  74. Joseph Carli

    Helen’s got jack-shit…any cockey you’d meet is very shtoom on what they have or do not have..their greatest enemy is the tax office and the next is any perceived “freeloader” who could ask them for a favour. “She’s” just a small-time irrigator battling those cheap imports and the big two superstores (Coles and Woolies) who set and manipulate wholesale pricing along with the mega hedge-fund agri-corp producers who have bought up all available water licences and bulked up irrigation costs…that’s why she gets her rocks off on sites like these whinging about “those bludgers getting something for nothing”..exactly like marginal farmers around here and everywhere else.

  75. Joseph Carli

    This was a small section of a discussion paper I wrote up for a community I volunteered with several years ago.

    ” Community Centralised Markets.

    Discussion Paper on Solutions for Sustainability of a Community.

    Listing the realities of farming in the Mid-Murray Council area..:

    a) That it is primarily an agricultural constituent…

    b) That the agriculture producers are mostly of generational owned small holdings..

    c) The imposts of market requirements, restrictions and pricing are more favoured to large holdings, large corporate agri-business and Managed Investment Scheme producers……

    The result being the development of a “perfect storm” of squeezed “family farms”, concentration of production to “outside interests” that export their produce, dumped excess commodities resulting in rock-bottom prices for produce and concentration of water allocation licences with corporate agri-business. The result could be a complete loss to the local community of independence in growth and supply of produce from family farming enterprises.

    Many might say..: “So what!..let the market decide.”…But it isn’t “the market” deciding…it’s “Fund – Managed” speculators with super capital, super credit and cross-border / cross-seasonal guarantees of profit margins protected against crop-failure by multi-location producers that, being so large and having the capacity to produce so much, they can control the wholesale price of produce by dumping or withdrawing commodities from a market that will eventually be reliant on their capacity….The smaller producer having neither the capacity, flexibility, nor the credit to “ride-out” long-term problems…add to the mix an uncertain climate, and we have that perfect storm mentioned above. “

  76. Miriam English

    Michael, Roswell, and Jennifer, thank you, but I can do one better than that. I wrote an article on the Universal Basic Income and the Job Guarantee a couple of days ago (I could hardly believe my eyes when Neil’s article appeared here). My article covers pretty-much what I wrote above. I’ll send that in a day or so.

    Right now I need to get back to updating the Sunshine Coast Community Halls festival website. Cheers. 🙂

  77. king1394

    Helen Bates: you have generously doubled the social security rate for most people. If you are on Newstart (as you can be as a highly qualified but apparently unemployable older person) you will get much less than $440 per week. You have chosen the highest rate for single aged pensions and extrapolated from that.

  78. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good one, Miriam

  79. Helen Bates

    Kaye Lee.
    Joe the fairy tale teller or bullshit artist wrote
    “Joseph CarliJune 20, 2017 at 11:00 am
    Kaye Lee..You won’t get information out of people like Helen with direct questions.”

    And as I had nothing to hide I answered but alas poor old Joe couldn’t help himself with some more fantasies
    “She’s” just a small-time irrigator battling those cheap imports and the big two superstores ”
    nothing could be further from the facts but don’t let fact get in the way of Joes bulls**t imaginative mind
    Joe you are so full of it you have no idea

  80. Joseph Carli

    ” Joe you are so full of it you have no idea”..First, you are not a “friend”, so please address me by my correct moniker….on your knees!..Second…if I AM so “full of it”, and I take the implied “it” is “S-H-I-T”..then one must ask ; Why then do you keep coming back for another smell?..Can’t get enough of it, eh?…wouldn’t you be better off water-ski-ing on “Th’ Bidgee” while you have time?

    Ps. A “fact” is a small creature that crawls around the bottom of the sea-bed collecting fish-farts for use as the bubbles in a spirit-level….now THAT is a fact!

  81. Kaye Lee

    That’s ok Helen. I just don’t want you to feel I was pressuring you to release personal information. I believe people here are kosher but it pays to be wary.

  82. Helen Bates

    Fairytale Joe, you keep writing total garbage and misconceptions and I’ll call you for it.You have absolutely no idea and you just keep on making up rubbish and please don’t take the fact that I called you Joe as some indication of friendship that would be the last thing on my mind> Do you mind if I rename you” fact” as you seem to surface and burp out what you collected on the sea bed

  83. Helen Bates

    I printed the Single Age Pension as published on a government website
    Newstart is supposed to be short term help not a career choice as some seem to have opted for
    The figure was used in comparison to the Finnish longer term trial “A number of Finns — in the ballpark of 10,000 — will be given a set living wage of around €550 ($AU850) a month for two years,”
    Two years was mentioned and surely Newstart shouldnt continue for 2 years !The current rate mustn’t be too bad as one said ““I was unemployed off and on for 15 years, shock horror I enjoyed it.”

  84. Roswell

    Havana, fight your own bloody battles. You asked here if it was illegal, and I provided you the courtesy of an answer. That’s where my involvement stops.

    Ask your own damn lawyer from now on.

  85. havanaliedown

    Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Roswell. I was just having a lend of you, based on your ludicrous leap to the law.

  86. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Helen Bates,

    Newstart is supposed to be social security for the period of time that the recipient needs it. Considering we have a regressive government that wouldn’t know how to create diverse employment opportunities for every category of person requiring employment, that period of need can become extensive.

    But then you wouldn’t know about such things since you allege you were born into a lucrative family-run property and business.

  87. Roswell

    Listen, smartarse, you asked a question. It was an interesting question so I sought the answer. And as for my “ludicrous leap to the law” – I just happened to be sitting next to a lawyer. It took me five seconds.

  88. havanaliedown

    Did you beat the charges, Roswell?

  89. Michael Taylor

    Hi Miriam. A day or so will be more than fine. Another post on the universal basic income came in a couple of hours after Neil’s, so we thought we’d hold that one for a day. Still looking forward to yours though. If it’s anything like the last post you submitted then I’m sure this one will be a ripper too.

    There, I’ve put the pressure on you now. Everybody reading this will expect you to deliver. ?

  90. Joseph Carli

    ” you keep writing total garbage and misconceptions and I’ll call you for it…”…and yet so many here have had to correct your “facts and figures” that you have put tell me, what “garbage and misconceptions” have I put up?..perhaps that one about you water ski-ing on “Th’ Bidgee’ “?..a tease, surely..or the one about you being a small-time irrigator?…well a few thousand acres given to this or that production is not huge in the measure of own cousin near here is a small-time dirt farmer who has around 12.000, acres over several properties with a house (in various stages of repair) on each one..and he hires workers..but he is still very small beer..what you describe is still small-farming on many scales in Aust’..big got land..when really one can only throw a shadow on the little bit where they stand…in the end you “own” none of it…

    Nah!..Helen..I’ve known dozens and dozens of “you” over the years..small business / farming / etc who think they are the fulcrum that supports the whole wide world…and the rest are but “meal” beneath their are only worth a tease..nothing more..your spite and viciousness tell me all I need to know about your pathetic’d do better to join havana’ in his on-site’d make a happy couple.

    But here..I always like to leave those in need of companionship a little something to cheer them up..these could be people you’d could even be one of them! ..:

  91. Roswell

    Havana, I’ll pay that one. It was actually funny.

    I’ll have to disappoint you though as she was a colleague. In my former occupation I dealt with dozens of lawyers. Not as clients though, but as ‘partners’.

  92. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What was Miriam’s other article? I missed it.

  93. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


  94. havanaliedown

    That’s very gracious of you, Roswell. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  95. jimhaz

    Lets be realistic – there is zero chance of either a Universal Basic Income or a Jobs Guarantee or MMT for that matter for the next 20 years.

    In the current and foreseeable times, the left need to stop publicising these types of progressive ideas and concentrate on maintaining what has already been achieved or has since been damaged under the LNP.

    I do not support any of the ideas in any case – too many downsides. I’d rather we applied whatever pressure we can to reduce housing costs MASSIVELY to improve affordability for low incomers and to increase income that can be used for non-housing investment, lift Newstart to a reasonable level re-establish less expensive education, halt services privatisation, uses selective tariffs to maintain up to 15% manufacturing so that the range of jobs for males is adequate, fix the taxation system that benefits rents seekers so much more in so very many ways and lastly to restrict immigration, consumption growth and the scam of foreign investment as much as we can without harming the REAL standard of living.

  96. havanaliedown

    Nice story, Joseph. A-am I… the Obelisk?

  97. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I agree with your last paragraph 100% except I’m not pleased you have not included the need for the range of jobs for females to be also adequate. They are all essential for the here and now.

    However, there is nothing wrong with planning for institutional change and that’s why the discussion on the UBI, JG and MMT are vitally important.

    MMT exists already and does not need to wait 5 minutes whereas the UBI and JG need to be planned, so that when they work in conjunction with each other, they provide the best protections to each other’s potential downsides while providing wide scope for the Australian People to derive maximum access to dignified, meaningful employment that is in Australia’s best interests.

  98. Joseph Carli

    havana’…you’re a tragic on the wrong side of politics on the wrong side of history…just like many of those folk..

  99. havanaliedown

    Yeah, maybe… how’s that Russian Revolution working out ?

  100. Joseph Carli

    ” how’s that Russian Revolution working out ?”… a tad better than the American one at the moment I’d say…But hey..this seems to be a “set-piece” response of yours to any half decent proposition put up on this site..So you tell me..: Of the three major “super powers” (China, Russia, America) how would you rate their chances in a confrontation (which seems to be building in Syria at least)?..I would not like to have much money riding on the USA..the biggest risk of them all..and how solid a government do you see of the three? …It would have to be China first, then a toss-up between the other two, but I’d suspect the dice would fall in Russia’s favour by just a digit or two, And which of the three do you think is the most economically stable?..Again it would have to be “communist” China, with Russia second and once again the USofA bringing up the rear..
    You gotta admit, “haich”, what with the Chinese influence in Africa and the pacific growing and America’s influence on the wane..and Russia’s stalking of eastern Europe with the Brexit thingo leaving the European Union moving closer to the Bear for warmth…

  101. havanaliedown

    Are many people trying to “escape” INTO those great nations? And Cuba? How about North Korea?

  102. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    why do you bother speaking here? Do you think you add anything constructive?

  103. Joseph Carli

    Well, you know how it is, havana’..the “west” is one big degenerate party….”sex, drugs, rock and roll..”..I don’t know how wild they live it up in Nth. Korea, but I doubt it beats even your “Beau Vista caravan park” carols by candlelight spectacular….and you know how it is ; every body loves a party and the more disgusting the boozing and toking the more turn up!…mind you, I can vouch for the memory from my youth that you don’t feel too good in the morning…..But hey!..can’t wait till the next!

    But then sooner or later, you gotta go home to see the folks and get some of that good, old-fashioned home-cooked food..So , once the partying is over, you got the new suit and a couple of shekles in the pocket, it’s back to the old address to show the folks and the old chums how well you have done in the “new town”…but it’s gonna be teary, you just know it.

    The Shame Of Going Back – by Henry Lawson

    WHEN you’ve come to make your fortune, and you haven’t made your
    And the reason of your failure isn’t anybody’s fault–
    When you haven’t got a billet, and the times are very slack,
    There is nothing that can spur you like the shame of going back;
    Crawling home with empty pockets,
    Going back hard-up;
    Oh! it’s then you learn the meaning of “humiliation’s cup”.

    When the place and you are strangers and you struggle all alone,
    And you have a mighty longing for the town where you are known;
    When your clothes are very shabby, and the future’s very black,
    There is nothing that can hurt you like the shame of going back.

    When we’ve fought the battle bravely and are beaten to the wall,
    ‘Tis the sneer of man, not conscience, that makes cowards of us all;
    And while you are returning, oh! your brain is on the rack,
    And your heart is in the shadow of the shame of going back.

    When a beaten man’s discovered with a bullet in his brain,
    They post-mortem him, and try him, and they say he was insane;
    But it very often happens that he’d lately got the sack,
    And his onward move was owing to the shame of going back.

    Ah! my friend, you call it nonsense, and your upper lip is curled–
    You have had no real trouble in your passage through the world;
    But when fortune rounds upon you and the rain is on the track,
    You will learn the bitter meaning of the shame of going back;
    Going home with empty pockets,
    Going home hard-up;
    Oh! it’s then you’ll taste the poison in humiliation’s cup.

  104. Rossleigh

    Look, I know that some of you may not agree, but I love having people like “bexandagoodlieisneverwasted”…
    Oh, sorry, havana was better before Castro…
    Aw, goddamit, I have trouble with these ozzie things…


    They make me wonder, why people respond to such trivia…

    But, of course, it’s good that people have to respond to intelligent arguments and rethink their position!

    Yep, I wonder why anyone would respond to someone like havanagoodcugancigarlikejokehockeydidafterhe’dscrewedthepoor2014Budget, because I like intelligent arguments.

  105. Roswell


    why do you bother speaking here? Do you think you add anything constructive?

    Of course he thinks he does, Jennifer.

    (The rest of us have our doubts though).

  106. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Joseph Carli @7.25pm,

    thanks for sharing Henry Lawson’s poem coz it is just as relevant today as it was when he penned it.

  107. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Who am I to say otherwise than that of havana’s right to free speech?

    Afterall, I am a mere modern day Greens voter who divorced herself from the Labor Party coz they no longer represented me and my circumstances as a loud and proud UNemployed 60 year old woman with high qualifications but a barrel of barricades to my rightful employment opportunities.

    Instead of saying what we don’t have, we should be saying what we do have or we aim to have with progressive policy platforms formed out of The ALLiance of the Greens and Labor who share common values but have some different interpretations that can WORK together.

  108. Joseph Carli

    Jennifer M-S… is a beauty, isn’t it…Love his writing..and I have to say, and I’m sure even havana’ would agree, the poetry of those great Aust’ writers the likes of Lawson et al reflect with their sensitivities to the battlers and strugglers of a younger Australia, and in that mood, a “common-ground” , united in comeraderie…and I therefore have to ask the likes of havanaliedown and Helen Bates and others of their “sympathies” if what I said is so, do they not feel “out of step” with the accepted cultural mood of Australia?..and if they cannot “connect” with this evolved cultural sensitivity to the core of Australian empathy, perhaps they could remove themselves from the greater majority of the population and make their way to ..oh, say ..; Nth Korea?

  109. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    they would only go to North Korea if they were part of the privileged class. Otherwise, they’re just wimps.

  110. Helen Bates

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I think I asked you this before but like always you never give a sane answer but if you ” who divorced herself from the Labor Party ” but want “The ALLiance of the Greens and Labor ” can I ask why or is it you acknowledge the Greens are hopeless and need Labor to give them some forlorn hope in elections. At least I know One Nation will give you Greens an arsewhooping in the Queensland election but realise they can’t win alone.That still doesn’t make me want them to join up with another Party. Anyhow if they joined your ALLiance Party wouldn’t they get expelled from their current Party.I see why on social media they call the Greens opportunists and I think your position explains why. Do this ALLiance crowd have a website?

  111. Freethinker

    Helen Bates “……One Nation will give you Greens an arsewhooping in the Queensland ”
    Will not surprise me that Helen, I lived in regional Qld 6 years ago and people there believe that Joh Bjelke-Petersen was the best in the state political history.
    I guess that the same people now are the ones that vote for One Nation.
    When people are not well informed or educated anything can happens.
    That people never going to vote for the Greens, they will never believe in science because it is craps, they will keep vandalising the land by removing plants because they know better.

    Oh! why I bother……….

  112. Joseph Carli

    ” One Nation will give you Greens an arsewhooping in the Queensland…” like they did in WA.?, like they did in the last election..Sen Roberts in with 70 votes! Bwahahahahaha!..When the LNP is finished with Hanson, she’ll be back asking if you want chicken salt on those fries…London to a brick, they’ll hit on Ashby and HE will slip them Hanson in a plea-bargain..just what they wanted in the first place..because THAT is her fate..she’s too politically naive to ever get past gov’ first base…You can’t seriously believe if a wanker like Campbell Newman couldn’t keep that LNP bag of cats in order with the biggest majority since the Chappell bros gave the poms a drubbing, then how the two-fingered hell do you think the chaos of One Nation will have a chance?….Get a grip, Helen, get a grip!..I wouldn’t trust her in charge of a “lollipop stick” at a kiddies school crossing on a Sunday!

  113. Mick Byron

    Joseph Carli
    To downplay the silent support out there for PHON could be to do so at our peril and we need to find out just why such a large proportion on the voting public feel the need to do so.To brand them as uninformed or unintelligent seems to just strengthen their resolve. You mention W.A. and I did read a comment on Independent Australia “One Nation got 4.9% but this figure alone is deceptive as it did not stand candidates in all lower house seats.
    In the three Legislative Council (upper house) regions covering greater Perth, the party polled between 6.4% and 7.87%. In the three rural regions its vote was between 10.5% and 13.5%,” and that was after some catastrophic PHON decisions and some bad press
    With them still having significant support in QLD and it seems countrywide,as the last survey I saw has them as the third significant Party overtaking the Greens they could be the game changers in future State and Federal elections,
    Unless they implode they could be just the ticket for Turnbull to get another term and a couple of State Governments to return to Liberal/National Parties control
    We may laugh at their antics but what was the old saying- He who laughs last laughs loudest
    I really think the threat of PHON needs to be taken seriously rather than treated as a joke

  114. Joseph Carli

    Mick, ol’ son…You certainly seem to have explored the numbers there quite thoroughly..AND even the ins and outs of why and where..don’t know if I could be so interested, but there you each etc…But one is inclined to ask: Just HOW does one take a joke (even a very bad joke) seriously?
    Does one “debate” with a PHON candidate or supporter?..You’ve seen and heard even their “great white hope” leader..she talks shit, she’s lazy and uninformed…her Sen. Roberts..: ?..there are no words..perhaps letters ; “FFS!”..No..while Pauline may continually refer to “the pub test”, as an Australian raised in that particular unholy vernacular of slang and irony, I have to put the PHON , NOT to “the pub test” but to the more telling “dog test” “If it can’t be eaten, or it can’t be rooted, you might as well piss on it!”

  115. Mick Byron

    Joseph Carli
    I always have had a pretty keen interest in polling as on the whole it is pretty damned accurate here in Australia as studies have shown.I guess that interest is my cross to bear 😀
    As to having a decent opposition to PHON I don’t have the answers, that was part of my ill composed comment I guess .
    I read somewhere “any publicity is good publicity” and “progressive sites seem to give PHON an abundance of exposure-why it does bothers me
    You may not be interested in stats but the Newspoll on monday had Labor ahead but
    “Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has also gained ground, with an increase in its primary vote from 9 to 11 per cent, its highest support in recent Newspolls and more than eight times its result in the federal election last July.
    Support for the Greens fell in line with the rise in the Labor primary vote.
    Greens polling 9%”
    Now Labors lead in small and as they say, “a day is a long time in politics” I still have a feeling in my water that the LNP with all their Media support can pull off another win next election and PHON could be there ticket back to Canberra .
    I guess I’m frustrated as I know we have to do something to counter Phon but it is the “what” that stuffs me.
    must go -work calls

  116. Joseph Carli

    I sympathise with the cross you bear, Mick…But to give such a collection of criothans as PHON legitimacy by taking them seriously is to open your house to the most dirty, gross bogans and wankers AND to offer them tea!…Nah..the rabid dog needs to be kept outside so you can deal with it without getting bit!..

    I can see that those fools may vote for ON in droves, but hey ,if not her then it would in all likelihood be the drovers dog.

    Pauline survives NOT on what she has actually delivered to the Aust’ people. but on the wishful thinking of what she perhaps, maybe, if only, and given a chance…could deliver (if everything went well on a good day and with fuel in the tank etc, etc).

  117. Joseph Carli

    I would NEVER give the slightest credence to such infestation as PHON..I hope the LNP cut them to they will as soon as the party stops being useful…The LNP doesn’t like dummy parties cutting into their territory…they can handle the two party system and a choice selection of cross-benchers with the help of the compliant media, but a renegade bunch of unpredictable ratbags like PUP. or now PHON just muddy the waters..oh no..she’ll be “dealt with” as time gets closer to the election…The Qld. Nats will be fuming if they don’t!
    But I would rather see the PHON Phools come out of the woodwork so you can “tag” them and send them away to a re-education camp somewhere in the deep, dark, depths of a “Leeton brat-camp”..and I’d put Helen Bates in charge! (say wasn’t that crazy in Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho” named Bates?).

  118. helvityni

    Nomen est omen; what then about ‘Joseph’ ?

  119. Joseph Carli

    helvityni…I am the wearer of the “coat of many colours” or in the more modern parlance: “The Techniclolour Dreamcoat!”

  120. stephengb2014

    You said
    stephengb2014 regarding privatisation I do not agree with you, on the contrary I would nationalise all the essential utilities and services.
    I would never put water and energy in the hands of the greedy.

    YES ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, I meant nationalise not privatise

  121. Miriam English

    Joseph Carli, sadly it is a mistake to dismiss Pauline Hanson, regardless of how uninformed she is, or how divisive her rhetoric, or how disorganised her thoughts. I can prove it with one word: Trump.

  122. Joseph Carli

    Miriam..well might we say and regret the likes of Trump..but by Christ..would ANY of the Left want to deal with such trash?…and it seems if the rubbish part of the electorate want to vote themselves into oblivion with PHON, then there’s no stopping them…but NEVER would I be counted amongst those who either negotiate or condone such trash…screw the PHON to hell!

    And I say it is not a “mistake” to dismiss Pauline Hanson, it is every Australian’s civic duty!

  123. jimhaz

    @ Jennifer,

    I agree with your last paragraph 100% except I’m not pleased you have not included the need for the range of jobs for females to be also adequate. They are all essential for the here and now.

    Well I did hesitate on that. I just think it more important for males for society to have more manufacturing jobs as they tend to have lesser communication skills than females. I’m worried about the angry male syndrome in the US that got Trump elected.

    [However, there is nothing wrong with planning for institutional change and that’s why the discussion on the UBI, JG and MMT are vitally important]

    Sure, but it adds to existing levels of polarisation and this polarisation under busieness rampers like the Turnbull, May and Trump parties may lead to the left being crushed by the mob.

    [MMT exists already and does not need to wait 5 minutes whereas the UBI and JG need to be planned, so that when they work in conjunction with each other, they provide the best protections to each other’s potential downsides while providing wide scope for the Australian People to derive maximum access to dignified, meaningful employment that is in Australia’s best interests]

    Well I do agree they will be needed at some point should we not destroy the world through reckless growth. We just do not seem to be anywhere near close enough. Too many people in the countries we are most connected to are voting conservative and I think we need to get to a point where a moderate gov has been in stable power for a couple of terms before such massive structural changes can be considered. We need middle class value systems to arise in China and India so that the negatives of globalisation settle right down – our businesses will not allow us to be too uncompetitive as would occur with the progressive ideas you have stated. I mean if we are so hopelessly divided or crushed now as to not seek wage rises, how the hell are we going to get progression.

  124. Andreas Bimba

    Jimhaz I agree that the loss of manufacturing and all those blue collar jobs disproportionately affected men and that generally speaking those men aren’t well suited to customer interface service type jobs like retailing or health and aged care for example that generally better suit women.

    I know this is a bit off topic but as a former production engineer for Toyota I think the loss of most of our manufacturing industry is unnecessary and extremely foolish especially the highly automated or capital intensive heavy industry portion.

    What is vitally important is the industrial policy environment that is set by the federal government. For example during the Keating government 20 years ago when Toyota decided to invest $1 billion to replace the old Port Melbourne plant with the Altona plant, the import tariff for new cars was 15%, there was a luxury car tax, governments provided grants for new investment and there were tax concessions for equipment. Toyota manufactured over 100,000 cars per year much of which were exported and Holden made a similar number and Mitsubishi and Ford were also profitable with the total manufactured in Australia being about 400,000 cars per year throughout the mid 2000’s and most of the Australian public appeared content with this arrangement. Then little Johnny came into power and signed the Thailand Australia FTA and cut the tariff for other countries to 10%. Subsequent governments signed more FTA’S and the tariff was cut to a meaningless 5% for non FTA countries. Finally Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott decided to reject Holden’s request for a grant to upgrade its plants and replace the Commodore and Cruze and so the whole industry then decided it was more profitable to import.

    The Toyota Altona plant has been upgraded over the last 20 years with for example a new engine plant built just a few years ago. The plant is as modern as the Toyota Thailand plant and like Holden was about to get a substantial upgrade just before the Abbott government ensured profitability was inadequate.

    Japan and Germany have higher labour costs than Australia yet they are major manufacturing exporters and the answer is not to lower our labour costs which reduces demand for goods and services but to maintain moderate trade protection or offer moderate subsidies that are not an excessive burden to the government or consumers, both of which have apparently become political poison to most of the electorate which has been indoctrinated by our neo-liberal duopoly, bureaucracy and mass media.

    How many non Japanese cars do you see in Japan or non European manufactured cars in Europe or non Korean cars in Korea or non Thailand manufactured cars in Thailand or non China manufactured cars in China?

    Paul Keating’s government had the industrial policy environment about right while ALL subsequent governments have been reckless and incompetent. We have lost far more than we have gained over the last 20 years. Were we not able to sell our minerals and bulk agricultural products to the world 20 years ago profitably without all the FTA’s that shrank manufacturing from 20% to 10% of the Australian economy? This will decline to 5% under current settings.

  125. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    the car industry is gone for the moment but it WILL come back with a revitalised manufacturing industry inspired by renewable energy.

    It is expected to incorporate a spectrum of employment opportunities for diverse demographics of women and men who have the technical, design, sustainable industry & communication skills that require those varied groups of highly employable people.

  126. Andreas Bimba

    I hope so Jennifer. It will however be much more expensive to rebuild manufacturing from nothing rather than to transition existing industries which makes the economic justification for investment even less likely. Also as time passes countries like China, India, Japan, Korea, Germany and even the U.S. will increase their technological lead over Australia. I think Lee Quan Yu’s comment in 1980 about Australia becoming the poor white trash of Asia is becoming true under the Conservatives for 95% of us.

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