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Wealthy conservatives can’t understand people who aren’t them

It is Tuesday night and I have had a very hard day with my business which STILL, after almost two months, is having problems with Telstra and the NBN.

It’s been so stressful I have avoided looking at politics while I try to deal with it.

But today I have seen/read two things which I cannot let pass.

Jennifer Westacott, head of the Business Council of Australia, when asked about our tax treaty with the US which will see billions transferred to their budget bottom line should we cut company tax rates, said “there is a huge body of evidence that says lowering our business tax rate is good for our economy, it will increase GDP by 1 per cent – which is $16 billion in today’s terms – this will flow through to workers, this will flow through to higher paid jobs.”

She is talking about a very questionable forecast using unrealistic assumptions and unsubstantiated benefits a decade down the track which in NO way equates with the revenue we will forego in our attempt to pander even more to big business.

JENNIFER WESTACOTT: A $4 billion increase to government revenues.

STEPHEN LONG: Chris Richardson has said there will be $16 billion lost in government revenue a year, once this fully flows through. The modelling from Treasury, from Chris Murphy, from Independent Economics who advised treasury, all shows that you’ll have significant cuts to revenue and that will either have to be made up by new taxes or cutting the government spending and the modelled gains come in the very long run.

JENNIFER WESTACOTT: But what’s the alternative? That you leave the company tax rate as an incredibly uncompetitive rate, in which case you do not give businesses who employ 10 million Australians a chance to compete in a very difficult global economy.

I will tell you the alternative Jennifer. If the companies you represent actually paid the tax they were supposed to then we wouldn’t have to worry. As it is, most of them pay nowhere near 30% and lots of them pay nothing. I would also point out that the company tax rate in the US is substantially higher than ours. Excuse my lack of sympathy.

Then I watched the Drum which aired a very disturbing discussion about advice given by a Melbourne school counsellor to bullied students and their parents which asked them to consider if the bullied child actually contributed to the problem by being a “whinger” etc.

Amanda Vanstone gave her usual steamroller advice of “don’t be a victim” whilst admitting she has been bullied all her life.

Well Amanda, not everyone is as strong as you. Not everyone has the hide of a rhinoceros where bullying can be brushed off. Not everyone has a ready-made platform to air their side of an argument in a public arena.

Instead of berating people for “playing the victim”, perhaps you need to stop blaming the victim.

I am so sick of people who are so self-focused that they find it impossible to understand the consequences for people who aren’t them.


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  1. kate ahearne

    Thanks for this, Kaye. Blaming the victim is truly despicable, and as for ‘flow-through’ economics – she means ‘trickle-down’, doesn’t she? And tax cuts for companies? For goodness sake, let them PAY their bloody tax! Grr!!!

  2. Jack

    We have the Sherriff’s of Nottingham in power; where are our Robin Hoods. Vanstone is just FUC!&ED !

  3. deanyz1

    Also, thanks for bringing this into the open, Kaye. I read the article and was hoping that someone would pick up on it. It would be very useful against Turnbull if someone were to interrogate himself or (Forbid) Matthias Corman. They are wrong in the first instance with supply side economics which has been PROVEN wrong; they are again wrong to say that it would increase government revenues. I am not an economist professor, but even the average person should be able to see the complete folly of the whole thing. I might make a request for someone to do exactly that.
    For the story,

  4. Matters Not

    Vanstone was bullied as a child? Seems she sought refuge in the larder. (Just jokin.)

    Re ‘trickle down economics’, there is a good article by Ian Verrender on the Laffer Curve (and its failures).

    What’s that got to do with tax and government revenues, I hear you ask? Surely, lower interest rates will boost growth and provide more tax revenue.

    That’s the theory. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked. Since the financial crisis in 2008, central banks have flooded the global economy with cash. But investment has slowed to a trickle

    But demolishing nonsense simply doesn’t work. Listen to Turnbull re negative gearing and rental rises. Disproved years ago but with without any recognition. Conscious lies? I think so.

  5. Sandy Ellis

    What are these people like. My biggest fear is that people will follow the Murdoch press and vote them in again.

  6. Jimmy

    Watch a film called the emperors new clothes
    Russell Brandt. Excellent viewing on these neoconservative arse holes around the world.

  7. MichaelW

    aaaaarrrrgggghhhhhh. God help us. Oh, hang on I’m an atheist. And a very angry one. Not sure if I will survive the next eight
    or so weeks till the election.
    If the Abbott Hockey Turnbull Morrison government are re- elected I am seriously considering moving back to my homeland,
    haven’t lived there for forty nine years and the weathers shit, but, if the coalition win the next election it may be the better option.

    I could prattle on, in fact I will the wines starting to kick in, my mind is in a turmoil.

    Unfortunately I am a news junkie I read all the blogs including Piers Akerman and Andrew nut Bolt. The comments from the right wing
    lunatics on these blogs is unbelievable people still believe their Tones is the best thing since JC. The only good thing to come from this is they won’t vote for Turnbull. They call him a left winger? These nut jobs don’t seem to realise that he is sneaker than Abbott, the same right wing nutter with the same policies just a smoother way of delivering them.

    Need another wine to calm me down. Goodnight..

  8. MichaelW

    Kaye lee,
    Regarding your NBN, I haven’t got it yet I am still on the old system, my service provider is ozemail now known as iinet I have never had a
    problem with them in eleven years, an excellent service provider with excellent back up. (After all the man who invented the internet started them off.) No I don’t work for them.

  9. Bolly

    Long demolished her arguments- used evidence to show that they were just part of the Business Fairytale. It was forensic and there should be more of it. Unfortunately, Jennifer got an extended interview the next day with Ticky Fullerton- who proved herself a lightweight. No challenging of the outrageous claims made by Jennifer Westicott. Just let her prattle on with more Business Fairytales. The best of these was something to the effect that “Taxation is all about incentives”. Well, pardon me. I thought it was mainly about funding government. I thought it was also about progressive income distribution. But no, its just about incentives. In which case, the only sensible tax is no tax. Ticky Fullerton is a sycophant.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Julie Bishop did an interview with Harper’s Bazaar in which, after reiterating that she is NOT a feminist, she told women they should “stop whingeing and just get on with it.”

    “Please do not let it get to you and do not become a victim, because it’s only a downward spiral once you’ve cast yourself as a victim.”

    If only we could all be “living the dream” like you Julie.

    Harpy’s bizarre

  11. Florence nee Fedup

    People like Vanstone blame the victim, tell them to toughen up because they don’t want take responsibility for harm done to these people. Blaming the victim, not wanting to hear, ensures the abusive environment continues.

    Why not condemn those who abuse. Acknowledge that within families, evil can and does exist. If victims don’t speak out, it will continue. That is why many victims refuse to shut up. Keep screaming to the world what occurs. Only way to improve the situation. If that is playing the victim, so be it.

    The family should be a wonderful place for all. Yes it can be. It can also be hell on earth for many.

  12. helvityni

    Before coming to Australia, I did not know what the word ‘bullying’ meant; I learnt soon enough.

    Replying to someone politely on the ABC’s Unleashed blog, someone told me : H, you got to learn the art of sledging.

  13. gee

    Amanda Vanstone was instrumental in bastardising employment services that resulted in centrelink.

  14. Miriam English

    Under this government we are heading in the direction of USA — third-world medicine and politicians being perfectly happy to kill thousands of children:

    A bit of a paradox, isn’t it, that those conservatives, so fanatically opposed to abortion (because we should never let a woman have control over her own body), are fine with children being killed over money (because corrupt privatised health is ideologically more “pure” than publicly owned health).

  15. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Jennifer Westacot is the worst type of wealthy conservative because she came from an economic hardship background and living in public housing.

  16. jimhaz

    [The best of these was something to the effect that “Taxation is all about incentives”]

    Something I have never thought of before is whether decreasing income tax is a zero sum game in relation to incentivising. They use the argument that lower tax provides more incentive to invest in business, to work more hours etc.

    Would not higher taxation achieve the same thing? The higher the taxation the less disposable income the person has to spend. As they have less income but most probably the same materialistic desires why would higher taxation not spurn them into seeking out ways to obtain more dosh.

    What is the real difference in the ultimate effect between non-optional expenditure on rising taxes versus rising expenditure due to rising housing or business rental costs. Perhaps the reductions in taxation rates over the last 2 decades, in providing more disposable income, have simply lead to higher house pricing and higher inflation than would otherwise have occurred. Perhaps without the reductions monetary policies would not have needed to decrease interest rates to the same degree – tightening up the market to exclude potential junk loans thus further reducing housing inflation. With higher interest rates, perhaps this would have lead to more OS investment in Australia, but if not, then at least it would cut down on the current speculative property purchasing bubble (as loan repayments would be more than that available from capital gains/neg gearing).

    There is of course international competitiveness, but I’m sure I read somewhere that this has been way overstated and I believe it. The thing about business is that where ANY income can be made, then someone will attempt to make it, so if OS does not invest local companies will. Make it too attractive and you get rubbish investments – like the Adani mine (which I guess is more about India getting a starter leg into the Australian resources pie generally than any profits on this particular enterprise).

    Nor am I at all convinced that open slather investment is good for Australia. The mining boom is a classic example of over-investment – there was so much investment that resource prices dropped substantially and many investments have become duds – this creates jobs spikes and troughs. Worse than that though was what the boom did to the Australian dollar making local manufacturing so very much harder. I’d say we lost more jobs overall due to mining boom over-investment than we gained – probably double. That our unemployment rate has been fairly steady is a result of forced wage restraint – not to new OS investment, but note that the big decline in mining investment from its peak still didn’t have that much effect on job numbers.

  17. Kronomex

    To paraphrase: never let the truth get in the way of a good lie. There is no “trickle down”, it’s all vacuum up.

  18. Geoff Andrews

    Fer gods’ sake, Kaye; get yer NBN sorted out so we can git more comments from ya.
    Hint: start a petition on (or com; whatever) “Git Kaye Lee’s NBN up an’ running, ya bastards”
    My current favourite conspiracy theory is that you’ve been targeted and I reckon it’s not all that distant from yours.

  19. paul walter

    People like Westacott must be psychopaths, to lie so seamlessly.

  20. Margaret McMillan

    Funny, Geoff. Well said! I too, after a lifetime of trusting everyone, am starting to go for the conspiracy theories. I see this as a sign that my mind is sickening. Will we be able to survive these next weeks?

  21. jimhaz

    [am starting to go for the conspiracy theories]

    That part of the problem. It does not need to be conspiracy – just people taught the same memes and who mix together will end up with like attitudes, producing consistent actions what would seem to be a planned crusade. Actions include the appointment of people who think like them, which is why the Murdoch press is so very clearly totally corrupted.

    Still I do find something very strange in the way Aust supports the US – it always seems to be in the favour of the US, not to us.

  22. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Margaret McMillan, I identify with your comment.

    In a perverse way, I thank rabid Abbott for being sooo rabid because he showed me and the rest of us just how much he and his ilk in the LNP (and sadly some Labor too) don’t give a rat’s arse about any of us.

    That took me 50 years to learn coz where I come from we’re taught to care for people and to do the right thing.

    My Rebirth gives me many enlightening discoveries because now I appreciate those, who really care about us and the environment, and who are prepared to work for equitable and just outcomes for all of us.

  23. nurses1968

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    “My Rebirth gives me many enlightening discoveries because now I appreciate those, who really care about us and the environment, and who are prepared to work for equitable and just outcomes for all of us.”

    Now you have gained enlightenment could you tell us mere mortals who these saviours are?

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sad nurses1968,

    that you need to be told.

    For starters, all the wonderful Climate activists, who get out fighting for the end of fossil fuels and the promotion of clean energy and renewable industries. All asylum seeker activists who care about the people rotting in the gulags on Nauru and Manus. All the people who with short notice, call snap demonstrations to tell Dutton to keep his menacing Border Farce off the streets of Melbourne.

    Now tell us what you think.

  25. Athena

    “To paraphrase: never let the truth get in the way of a good lie. There is no “trickle down”, it’s all vacuum up.”

    It most certainly is all vacuum up!

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