Demons, Demagogues and Evil - The Possession of…

By Steve Davies  “The time is well overdue for serious parliamentary and public…

The Recession Is Over So Let's Thank Josh…

Ok, the recession isn't really over yet. I'm just getting in early…

Of Eugenicists, Oligarchs and Psychopaths (part 6)

Continued from: Of Eugenicists, Oligarchs and Psychopaths (part 5)By Outsider David Rockefeller, Sr.,…

ROC keeps bleeding money at taxpayers’ expense –…

More than a year after being rebuffed in the Federal Court, then…

Comparisons aren't always valid

By 2353NM  In September 2018, soon after the overthrow of Malcolm Turnbull, Scott…

Cultivated Lunacy, Nuclear Deterrence and Banning the Nuke

Is international relations a field for cautious minds, marked by permanent setbacks,…

On Empathy, Sympathy and our Pets

In these days of the news of so much brutality in many…

Truth can be a potent weapon when used…

Let me explain my headline. The words in quotations - unless stipulated…

«
»
Facebook

We need truth and facts – not lies and spin

It seems that people have lost sight of the purpose of electing a government.

I say this because it appears that too many are voting for a party representative because they have always voted for that party.

But they do not first stand back and look, in a dispassionate way, at the party’s policies and record, and they are too ready to accept derogatory statements by their ‘own’ party about the ‘other’ parties, without bothering to seek an independent fact check.

While most, if not all other, developed countries praised the ALP’s handling of the GFC crisis, with its instant provision of funds to everyone to ensure the economy slowed down as little as possible, and with its funding of community projects to keep business functioning, the Coalition kept up, and maintained, long past its use-by date, a barrage of criticism over mounting debt.

The Coalition then came back into government, promising we would soon be in surplus – as if that was actually an important if not vital goal. At least one Coalition Treasurer (who should not have been in that job if he believed what he was saying) likened budgetting for the nation with a household budget process.

There are serious consequences for households which run up debts, whereas a country, particularly with a high level of employment, need not incur any serious consequences.

Hockey’s grasp of economics would appear to be nonexistent, (you absolutely must read this brilliant article!) but, instead of being demoted, he was shuffled off to a cosy sinecure as Ambassador to the USA!

Would you not appreciate such a reaction to being sacked as incompetent?

Only governments can afford to show that level of stupidity!

I wonder how many of those ardent supporters of the Coalition have registered the massive increase in our deficit created PRIOR to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course the government was about to confirm a budget out of the red, until the pandemic hit, but do people really understand what that means?

Big fanfare – BACK IN BLACK – somewhat prematurely as it turned out!

The normal annual budget, estimates how much the government plans to spend (expenditure), on projects and services, and to receive (income), through taxes and other sources, in the coming financial year. They do make some allowance for unexpected contingencies and they try to reach a balance between income and expenditure.

So – a balanced budget applies to the year in question, and means the government spends all it receives in that year.

If receipts exceed expenditure, we generate a surplus – which can be used to pay off existing debt.

If the reverse is true, then we increase the deficit, which, in turn, increases our interest payments.

One of their annual outgoings, therefore, is interest on the loans which are responsible for our deficit, and, since interest rates are at an all-time low, increasing debt is not as much of a concern as the Coalition makes out.

Despite the slagging off at Labor by the Coalition, simply because of debts accrued to maintain the economy through an unexpected crisis – namely the GFC – the Coalition now finds itself in the same situation through COVID-19, and has to go down a similar path.

Have they done as well as Labor did?

NO!

Why not?

They were not so quick off the mark, they created policy on the run, giving to some to an unreasonable extent, while failing to support others. And, with no clear path to recovery, they ignored the need to go in fast and go in strong.

They were probably urged to follow Labor’s example by the National Cabinet, and it must have been a bitter pill to swallow, given their extended criticism and the fact that it was quite contrary to their fundamental ideology.

They have left a massive number of people – those on certain types of visas, refugees in the community, the majority of people, whether performers or support staff, in the arts community – without much, or, in many cases, any support, and they have raised levels of anxiety unnecessarily.

Because they have such a rigid mind set – debt bad, economy master, people servants – they do not know how to adapt to a long and painful recovery period.

From the beginning, Morrison’s snap-back attitude has refused to accept that the world has changed, permanently, as a result of COVID-19 AND – and it is a VERY BIG AND – they are doing their damnedest to ignore GLOBAL WARMING.

I will not buy in here on the major change that has resulted from China’s ambitions for world dominance and its effect on Australia’s economy.

By surrounding himself with advisers, predominantly from the Fossil Fuel Supporters league, (an entirely appropriate use of FFS!) Morrison has now committed himself to the wrong energy policy, despite having ignored the fact that business leaders have been pleading for so long for one which takes climate change into account.

Whatever else happens, the grid must be reviewed.

Ideas about carbon capture and storage have been proved to be misguided.

The relationship between greenhouse gases and global warming is now accepted by an increasing number of our population, and one of the most harmful of these gases – methane – is linked to fracking.

Yet the top of the Coalition government’s current policy is fracking in the Beetaloo Basin in the NT, and elsewhere, as well as developing a gas pipeline across Australia.

Ar the same time, one of the co-founders of Atlassian is planning to back a project leading to exporting solar energy to Singapore, generated from the NT.

While export dollars are important, why not use Australia’s share of solar energy, plus the associated battery storage, rather than a fossil fuel gas pipeline, to lower our power prices – and significantly reduce our emissions?

People like Trump – who continues to beaver away and undo every positive contribution to the people of the USA made by Obama – and Morrison – who, inexplicably, can use science against COVID-19 but is not even prepared to discuss action on global warming with any conviction, and puts out highly inaccurate summaries of our non-progress to meeting out Paris target – are prepared to use fake news accusations and spin to convince people that positive future-looking policies are misplaced.

IF we do meet the target, it will not be a result of government planning, but a consequence of public action in installing rooftop solar, which could create problems unless the grid is properly upgraded and battery use expanded.

While at the start of 2020 the expectation was not good, the pandemic led to a reduction in a variety of emission types, duly changing predictions. But that trend has now reversed.

We cannot afford, for the sake of those who come after us, to let the ideologues’ blindness and prejudice destroy the world.

Recourse to the legal system to reduce access to fossil fuels is beginning to show signs of success in several states, and one of the most recent cases against Adani, initiated by a group of teenagers, backed by the Environmental Defenders Office, based on human rights is currently before the courts.

We should not have to fight so hard to preserve the world in a viable condition, but greed and selfishness are mighty barriers to achieving fairness in life.

Antarctic glaciers are being undercut by warmer water.

Polar ice is retreating and Polar bears are struggling to survive.

Siberian tundra is defrosting and releasing methane.

Australian bush fires have reduced some species to the verge of extinction.

The West coast of the USA is ravaged by wildfires while the East coast is being damaged by storms.

This is just a sample of the global warming related events which are occurring in greater numbers and with greater severity.

And you can fact check all of these claims!

But numbers matter! And we need to think what action we can take to force governments to act in OUR best interests – WE being the majority who are doing it tough!

People power does not only apply at the polls, and those who accept that government policies need reversing have got to help in the work of challenging the lies and spin!

Your voice matters if you want Earth to have a future!

Mars is not a real option, just a pipe dream for a few.

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button


16 comments

Login here Register here
  1. RosemaryJ36

    I have tried to simplify some of the economics and I appreciate any corrections which might be appropriate.
    If you agree with the gist of my argument, please share this article by email, snail mail or social media because the matter is really urgent.

  2. corvusboreus

    I live in a solid Nationals electorate (state and federal).
    My state member is one of the ringleaders working to destabilise the NSW coalition government in protest over planning regulations designed to delay the imminent extinction of the koala.
    Another real local concern is the rapid expansion of chemical-heavy, water-greedy plastic-netted blueberry agribusiness in the hills overlooking local towns and waterways.
    We have had escalating incidents of fish kills in creeks, increases in associated health complaints and general grumblings about loss of visual amenity.
    In one classic case an old country school started registering alarming levels of agricultural chemicals in the playgrounds, on the roofs and in the water tank(fungicides, insecticides and such) when a farm next door switched to blueberry production. The response was local council planted a few trees (‘bush tucker’ types, no less) as a buffer to soak up the poisonous drift.
    Despite these concerns, and despite the fact that our state member was the former chairman of a large blueberry consortium and a vocal lobbyist for this industry, brand National remains the firm local favourite.

    I wish people would ignore the brand packaging and inspect the contents every now and then.

  3. leefe

    Too many people treat politics and voting as a team sport, and will stick with their chosen team regardless of actual policy, process or result. They are the epitome of confirmation bias wrapped up in cognitive dissonance.

  4. Jack Cade

    Today’s news that someone sent an envelope filled with ‘ricin’ to President Fart is the most ludicrous fake news imaginable.
    Who would swallow it? The story of the ricin?
    Trump, perhaps, and his Fartists, if they thought it was better than bleach.

  5. Kerri

    Notice when Morrison and His cohort talk about energy they don’t ever talk about South Australia? Or Steven Marshall the Liberal premier?

  6. David Higham

    William Nordhaus has a Nobel prize in economics. His understanding of climate disruption and its economic impacts is analysed here by Steve Keen. Another excellent excoration of Nordhaus and his climate craziness is in chapter two of ‘Requiem for a Species’ by Clive Hamilton.
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.2020.1807856

  7. Carina McNaughton

    Thanks Rosemary. Of clowns and treasurers was a brilliant article. Wouldn’t it be great if instead of the nightly share market report we had a climate report. But i am dreaming, MSM would never do such a thing.

  8. John Boyd

    All good stuff Rosemary. I totally agree with your views of the ATM government. I worry that it is going to be too hard for a Labor government to make adequate headway on repairing the damage before the inevitable barrage of propaganda from the LNP supported by the MSM press.

    One comment is that you seem to be assuming that a balanced budget is the norm, and a surplus is required to pay off debt. Debt is not the only way that government funds it’s activities. In effect, the government creates money either by simply funding projects by issuing credit on the RBA, or by retiring debt basically by crediting bond holders.

    A good explanation of how it works can be found at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/06/listen-up-scott-morrison-its-time-to-bust-the-myth-of-the-budget-surplus . And he manages to do it without mentioning modern monetary theory!

    You will note from the graphic in that article that budget surpluses are rare, and not associated with economic growth.

    In fact the opposite seems to be the case. The reality is that the Australian budget has only shown a surplus, and very small ones at that, five times since federation. The first was straight after federation, when we did not have our own currency. The second was the austerity policies of the Lyons Menzies government during the great depression which for ten years maintained unemployment to over 10% right up to the beginning of WW2. Who can forget Menzies famous words: ‘Rather than that Australia should fail to pay her honest debts to her bondholders, I would prefer to see every man, woman and child in Australia die of starvation in the next six months’ (May 3, 1931).

    Whitlam achieved small surpluses in 1973/74 and then there was Keating’s attempt to keep inflation down by reducing demand and investment, which worked quite well in leaving the economy unprepared for the tech stock driven crash in 1990. Howard’s surpluses around 2000 were enabled by a minerals boom and asset sales, with very regressive tax and middle-class welfare largesse, and a dramatic rise in private debt; a time bomb about to go off. So one can ask: ‘ What is the point of achieving a surplus?’.

    Meanwhile, the most spectacular period of deficit spending was the post war recovery, driven by the Curtin government’s policy of full employment, which saw GDP rise and the debt level fall to irrelevance. Similarly, debt incurred by the Rudd government’s intervention in the GFC effectively disappeared relative to GDP as the economy recovered; ranked Number 1 in the OECD.

    BTW Shadow Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers has flagged some of his thinking along these lines at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/01/its-not-too-early-to-start-thinking-about-australia-after-the-crisis .

  9. RosemaryJ36

    Thanks John Boyd. I was trying to distinguish between the annual balance – which the Coalition seems to concentrate on – and the continuing government debt – which they only ever worry about when Labor is in power.

  10. corvusboreus

    On MSM.
    Is the Guardian part of the MSM, or is it a diversionary rivulet publication?
    Where the separate catchments of Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald (or Herald Sun and Age in wetback lingo) merge into mainstream flow, could scientific instruments detect any difference in levels of pollution between the two?
    The MSM ABC may have a charter enforcing impartiality, but is it a hotbed of loonie lefties or a nest of neo-con vipers?
    Reckon I’ll stick to FB & YT to keep myself informed. .

  11. Jack Cade

    Kerri

    The Coalition don’t (doesn’t?)!talk about SA because the ghost of Jay Weatherill haunts the ‘treasurer’. Frydenberg shares with Hocking the feature that, if you sent then to the shop for a pie, you’d be sure to give them the correct money.

  12. David Stakes

    Seems your share buttons are missing in action.

  13. John Boyd

    Corvus…re MSM: Yes, I was a bit sloppy. I really mean Murdoch and his ilk. In my mind there is a spectrum. GA is about the best, and both my links are, of course, independent of GA. Many apparently well meaning critics of the ATM government still fall into the trap of making a virtue of achieving a budget surplus as an end in itself.

  14. corvusboreus

    John,
    Fair enough and cheers for clarifying.
    I de-ruffle.
    Undifferentiated references to MSM are up there on my list of pet peeves (an admittedly lengthy compilation) alongside false equivalency regarding the two primary political parties (the old ‘bad as each other’ chestnut).

    Murdoch’s muckrakers distinguish themselves above any other agency with their conspicuous commitment to dishonesty by best available measures, such as records of ACMA decisions and court verdicts, both volume of complaint and ratio of negative findings, with the extra element that their overseas operations have been proven to pervert and corrupt both judiciary and politics.
    Against that, the strayan guardian aint so bad.

    Similarly, the best brains and ideas within the ALP conglomerate shine brighter and clearer than any Libcorp frontrunners, and the worst farts from Labor’s rump seem sweet compared to the toxic benthos that the Nats pour onto the floor.
    Same as the crumbliest mouldiest hash-bicky that the Greens have to offer is tasty compared to the bilious regurgitations of deep-fried flake-extender slopped out by One Nation.

  15. Michael Taylor

    David, all fixed. I don’t know what went wrong there.

  16. corvusboreus

    Pollyanna news weekly round up.

    Greenland broke off a generous 110km sq chunk of the Spalti glacier and charitably gifted it to the planet’s oceans.
    Takk!

    The 2IC of NSW, whose achievements include heritage protection listing for feral horses roaming in critically endangered ecosystems containing critically endangered flora and fauna, took leave for reasons of mental unhealth, after aparticularly exhausting week of destabilising his own government as part of a pogrom against koalas.
    Onya barra, no need to hurry back!

    Um, oh yeah, horto labcoats in WA are working on generically mitigating against fungal footrot in Anigozanthus.
    Yay!

    Apart from that it’s pretty much all gloomy portents of boiling seas and looming surging waves, with hints of billowing clouds of ash and dust, but chin up folks, a new week begins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: