Breaching Human Rights: Australia, Climate Change and the…

Australia has a mixed relationship with the United Nations Human Rights Committee. …

So Now It's Wrong To Be Racist, Eh?

Just a few short years ago, Attorney-General George Brandis assured us that…

“I'm Sorry, Your Majesty...”

A Tribute to our Late Queen Liz, with Post-Colonial Afterthoughts By Loz Lawrey…

More of the same

1 Here are a few jaw-droppers that are guaranteed to shock you. They…

Shoddy Consultations: Santos, Drilling and First Nations Peoples

Federal Court Justice Mordecai Bromberg has been in the environmental news again,…

Can we avoid mass extinction?

We only have one planet! And we each have only one life! The…

Whither Constitutional Change?

Within a very short space of time, we are going to be…

Offence by Another Name: Suppressing Anti-Royal Protest in…

The right to protest, fragile and meekly protected by the judiciary in…

«
»
Facebook

What is this government trying to do and why?

What is this government trying to do and why?

They want lower taxes and smaller government but why?

They want a surplus but why?

They want to boost economic growth to create more jobs and provide more revenue but how?

One reason they are finding it hard to even appear like they have a plan is because their goals are without purpose.

Perhaps one of the most important comments in the recently released Treasury modelling was that “government spending has broader objectives than lifting economic activity. For example, providing an appropriate level of public services such as healthcare has a positive effect on living standards and this is not captured in the modelling.”

As they extol the virtues of business, the government’s economic responsibility should also include protection from the negative consequences of free markets. Rather than engaging in a flurry of free trade, deregulation and removal of appeal, the government should be defending us against unscrupulous merchants and employers, and the extreme inequity and environmental damage that results from their exploitation.

Governments argue that people need to be assisted with the economic competition that now dominates the world. But the real intent of this position is to justify helping corporate interests, siding against local workers, consumers and the environment.

The government should use its organisational capacity to undertake large scale infrastructure construction. As they argue for privatisation and selling off of public assets, they ignore the value of keeping infrastructure and utilities in public hands, and solely dedicated to the common good. If such services are privatised, the owners have a selfish motivation, which could negatively affect the quality and cost of the services, and any future revenue is lost.

That such assets should have public ownership is expressed in the idea of the “commons.” They should be owned by and shared between the members of the current population, and preserved for future generations, not sold off for short term sugar hits.

The government should be the role model for, and protector of, equality and freedom and our associated human rights. They should set an ethical standard for the people to emulate.

They should be transparent instead of hiding behind phrases like “commercial in confidence” or “compliance costs” or “operational matters.” We have a right to freedom of information about what is being done on our behalf. The government must be accountable to the people. As the outcomes of fighting unjust wars and inadequately responding to critical threats such as global warming illustrate, great power implies great responsibility.

Rather than focusing on how we can cut government spending and costs for business, the government should be dedicated to providing a healthy, well-educated workforce, trained in the skills required for the future. They should concentrate on lifting people out of poverty, closing the gap on indigenous disadvantage, improving housing affordability and providing shelter for the homeless, combatting domestic violence and providing refuge for the abused, providing quality child and aged care.

The government has a social contract with the people they represent, not with the businesses that donated to their party, and it is time they were reminded of their responsibilities.

 

 130 total views,  2 views today

122 comments

Login here Register here
  1. gangey1959

    The picture of young scotty moronson says it all.
    All it needs is the written voice-over ” duuuuuh…..”

  2. Michael Taylor

    Recent Australian Treasurers have a habit at scratching their heads when looking at numbers. There’s a classic photo of Hockey looking confused and scratching his head while looking at some figures while sitting next to Abbott at a press conference.

    Or maybe it was Abbott who was confusing him.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Who could forget this one

    https://theaimn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/joe.jpg

  4. Glenn K

    Chopper Bishop explained it quite clearly when she attacked Gillian Triggs on Q&A on the ABC. She stated: “I believe in individualism” and further added this represented the position of the Liberal party.
    Kaye, everything you have written is for nought in regards to the LNP. “individualism” doesn’t actually mean anything other than not helping anyone else. Of course, in LNP speak it means knocking the pole over so the “leaners” fall over into the dirty ground.
    I hate to say this, but we need a really deep recession so the average Aussie voter experiences how this government doesn’t give shit about them if they don’t have the right investments. By then maybe it will be too late because too much of our nation’s wealth will be owned by corporate interests.
    Scotty Morrison and his “work, save, invest” explains it all. As if it was all that simple and everyone finds it that easy to end up with an investable sum at the end of every payday.

  5. Kaye Lee

    or this one

    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/a64b17695e84aa44cbc5b30be4d37b42?width=650

  6. mars08

    “What is this government trying to do and why?”

    Well, first and foremost, they are trying to retain power at the next election!!!

  7. Klaus

    I think the government has a purpose. The difficulty with that purpose is how to disguise it and make it appeal to us plebs as worthy voting for. That purpose is to promote the big end of town, sail into a ready made private position when shit hits the fan (seems Robb is doing just that) with a pension that we can only dream off. What do we pay our Prime Minister? Apparently the second highest salary of any leader in the world. Why do we do this? To attract real talent aka Turnbull, Morrison, Brandis, Hunt (Best Minister in the World), Pyne, Dutton, Bishop.

    All of these would have been sacked in the private business earning the kind of salary they do. Malcolm has committed the biggest stuff up with the NBN and not a single mainstream reporter drills him on that.

    It’s tearing me apart.

  8. keerti

    It was so tempting to write a caption for the above!
    Can I suggest the reason why this rabble doesn’t appear to have a plan is because they do have a plan… it is destruction of the welfare state, destruction of unions and worker protection, and advancement of the creation of oligachy. They are achieving this by slow destruction of all of the above while not actually saying so.Removing pension benefits and restricting medicare will have an almost uncharted affect on population of old people, ill people and aborigines. Which will all diminish. Technology is creating a world in which robots will do everything so the elites who own the means of production will need fewer lesser mortals to keep the planet going. Removal of medicare from many items will cause deaths…we’d perhaps like to think that our government doesn’t know…don’t believe it!

  9. Backyard Bob

    The Government certainly has a social contract with the people, principally those who put them there at the ballot box. Governments are supposed to govern for all the people and not just the ones that voted for them, right? In principle, yes. In practice, well, no, they simply cannot. No Australian Government can govern for all the people. It’s impossible. Every Government, be it Labor or the other mob, brings with it a socio-economic philosophy that nominally reflects the attitudes of about half the population, at any given time.

    It’s not possible for a Coalition Government to please the “Left” and its own constituency simultaneously. All the “Left” can do is hope and pray the Government doesn’t do too much damage whilst in office.

    Conservatives want “smaller” government, not for efficiency purposes but for ideological reasons. For them “smaller” doesn’t necessarily mean less people employed by it, but less influence and control by it. From memory John Howard’s “government” was one of the bulkiest we’ve ever had. The glaring problem with the conservative view is their apparent belief that the corporate or private sector is possessed of some sort of inherent moral fibre, all evidence to the contrary. It’s tantamount to a religious delusion.

    Some people say that the “left/right political dichotomy isn’t real or that it’s hopelessly simplistic. There’s a kernel of truth to that, but not enough to make me stop employing it. The ideological divide in Australia is real, however nuanced. This Government surely stands as a stark reminder that it is, indeed, real.

    All of the areas of social and economic concern mentioned in this article, are, in fact, being addressed by the Government. The problem is they’re being handled within the parameters of a typical conservative socio-economic Weltanschauung (ok, mea culpa, it’s a bit more neo than typical). I guess it could be argued that even from a conservative perspective it’s pretty freakin’ hopeless, but that’s another story …

    All any progressives or democratic socialists – or however you choose to classify yourself – can really do during the reign of a Coalition Government is sit tight, pray and work out the best possible way to be rid of them at the next election. Expecting a Coalition Government to be different is a bit like expecting a profoundly autistic child with no communication to suddenly start waxing lyrical on Spinoza’s theory of Substance.

    Btw, as an aside, unlike some I think Labor can win the election, even with Shorten, but it will require political courage in a couple of areas. As an even more aside, aside, there are flippin’ ants in my keyboard.

  10. Douglas Pye

    ” If such services are privatised, the owners have a selfish motivation, which could negatively affect the quality and cost of the services, and any future revenue is lost.”

    Spot on Kaye … the (serious) Old Bush Saying will always ring true .. ” Sell the cow and buy milk ever after ” … availability – price – quality – quantity …. governed by an outside force … out of your control ! …

    On the matter of ” Business Donations to Political Parties ” I’m currently reading that the figure for 2014 – 15 reached $ 170,000,000 in Australia! … that provides one hell-uva poultice of Advertising and Advertorial brought to bear on the constituency, especially at election time! …Add some smart psychology, urban myth and plain misleading lies (Tampa ?) into the mix and it’s Monopoly time again …. roll your dice!!

    In this, my 84th. year ( born here and raised to be of Social Democrat leanings) – the Party which pledges to eliminate the $$ Money$$ element stands a big chance of gaining my vote …. (Conservatives need not apply, based on past performance!)…:-) …

    Of course I pray Labor can see the opportunity presented (world wide) to clear the decks and cancel all old mate-ships, favours etc., to stop hedging (Bill), kick $$ Money $$ out of the process and allow our Unique Nation to have it’s due place in the New World Sun!! ….. Fair Go Australia! …

    So endeth the First (& only) Epistle …. Rant Done tho’ ever hopeful … Cheers …

  11. Wally

    Kaye Lee

    “They should concentrate on lifting people out of poverty”

    I agree but the LNP have an agenda to do the opposite and they do not have any long term vision of what the effect will be. Maybe they want Australia to be the next China or India, a manufacturing hub with abundant cheap labour but that is at odds with how they failed to retain the local car industry, the hub of our manufacturing base. Is it difficult to see that increasing incomes generates more profit, a strong economy reduces unemployment, increases taxation paid and everyone is better off?

    One of the biggest complaints from employers is the low education standards of job seekers, improving education standards is imperative to achieve full employment. We do not need to lift the standard of education across the board, the base line needs to be lifted so those who struggle leave school with reasonable reading, writing and mathematics skills. Instead of funding private schools we should be using money to provide a basic education to those who cannot learn at the same pace as other students.

    Healthcare is another area where the system is lacking, why should people with health problems be allowed to suffer while waiting for treatment? We don’t have waiting lists for animals to be treated, if treatment cannot be provided, justified or afforded the animal is put out of its misery. If the LNP cannot provide adequate public health services maybe it is time for them to justify putting people out of their misery to achieve the savings they crave. The LNP don’t seem to have any issue justifying barbaric off shore detention of asylum seekers so it should be easy for them to start culling the sick and justifying it.

  12. John Kelly

    Every government I can remember has assured us at the start of their period in office that they will govern for all the people. From that moment on, they begin the process of rewarding those whose donations helped put them there. This present government won office by default, competing with an internally dysfunctional, cannibalistic mob who, while feeding on each other, continued to govern the country very well. Today’s government are now doing the same, while demonstrating they are also hopeless at governing the country. If there is a lesson for Labor, in this comedy of errors, they need to recognise what is happening and resolve to present themselves as a cohesive unit that has learnt from their mistakes. If they can do that, then Backyard Bob is right. They can win the next election.

  13. Pat

    I have spent my whole life in the building industry and have watched the slow demise of real builders and quality tradesman as more and more business people somehow place themselves in the middle of the process of building a project and their only interest is money.A few years ago I was talking to a bloke who worked as TAFE lecturer and said they seemed to be stuffing it up and he said to me “you don’t know the half of it”.We now have private enterprise organisations running vocational training and they are scamming tax payer dollars and destroying what once was a great institution,I don’t recall any government TAFE colleges going into liquidation stranding thousands of students and costing the tax payer millions ,but maybe in those days they didn’t know what innovation and agility was about.The real concern is that under Turnball nothing has changed with policy and they have managed to destroy Gonski and talked of a GST and apparently still leading the polls .The only thing on Mals CV so far is I’am not Tony Abbott and I destroyed the NBN yet nothing changes,Why?

  14. Kaye Lee

    The talk of innovation also rings hollow as they cut jobs from the CSIRO. They only want research into potential commercial.opportunities.

  15. Glenn K

    as an aside, when I get into debates with others, I often request that he/she define “capitalism”. Simply because that is used as some Holy Grail” of good society. I hear a lot of waffling. The definition I use is…. ” the amoral pursuit of profits”, and then I drill down into it. Using “amoral” is neither good or bad, it simply recognizes that morality does not have anything to do with the basic mathematical calculation of pursuing profits. “Morality” is what governments inject into the capitalism formula. This is a core function of government with a market economy. HOW MUCH morality is injected by government is where we see political debate.
    It’s not an issue of capitalism vs socialism. It’s a debate of morality and where your’s sits. Would you rather poor people in genuine need suffer from a poverty net which is too low because you want to weed out the lazy cheats, OR will you accept a few lazy cheats to ensure those in genuine need are genuinely looked after???

    Amazing how many people when faced with that question immediately respond with how many cheats there are and how bad it is. Ignoring the point about those in genuine need who are suffering. As I said, it’s a question of morality. It’s like the question of capital punishment….are you willing to accept to execute an innocent person every now and then just to make sure ALL the guilty ones are executed?

    We can see this exact scenario being played out right now with the refugees currently in Australia and about to be sent back to Manus.

    Capitalism is without morals. It can never have morals. It is a simple financial construct. Governments exist in part to inject morality into it. This is where the LNP are so evil – they want to remove the moral element as much as possible…….

  16. Deanna Jones

    Agree, Glenn K. Such ignorance about a system that is very easy to understand. Profit just means to take more than you give. A bit at odds with the so-called aussie fair go.

  17. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott is the first government that attack the people and some small business owners when they came into power.

    Abbott never ever claimed to be governing for people.

    No his first claim was that Australia was open for business, Then moved as quickly as possible to get rid of as many regulations that control business he could.

    Claimed that welfare was bad for people. Set about dismantling it as quickly as he was able.

    He then went on world tours many times with 100’s business men in tow. Abbott acting as chief salesman, especially the fossil fuel industry,

    We are only learning now how many millions was used to prop up Abbott’s assistant to business and open door policy.

    Robb is indeed a big spender. Many trade weeks in the US, some overlapping each other, Money was used to lobby for support with those trade deals he got signed after decade work by other governments.

    Shutting down the auto industry helped get Korea across the line, Japan was promised the Submarine contracts,

    He liberated many in unionised workplaces by closing the industry down, sending them offshore,

    Found he could sack PS and outsource the work to such places as the Philippines. In other departments, don’t

    Medicare has been a little harder to dislodged but he has managed to cause it and the people who rely on it for medical care great hard. Is definitely tottering. No longer a universal healthcare for everyone. People have a shock coming, for what they will have to fork out up front from this month,

    Cut services to the unemployed, Cash last night,m working for the dole, which most now have to do is not about getting a job, That is just as well, as not many do.

    No longer childcare unless mum works or studies. The poor child, whom mother thinks is in the young child interest, no longer gets formal childcare which prepares them for school.

    Abbott, now Turnbull believe the only way business will be innovative, agile and take risks is if they nop longer have to pay taxes.

    Any infrastructure, physical and people will have to be paid for by low income earners,
    Abbott is the first government that attack the people and some business when they came into power, Abbott never ever claimed to be governing for people.

    No his first claim was that Australia was open for business, Then moved as quickly as possible to get rid of as many regulations that control business he could.

    Claimed that welfare was bad for people. Set about dismantling it as quickly as he was able.

    He then went on world tours many times with 100’s business men in tow. Abbott acting as chief salesman, especially the fossil fuel industry, The money being spent in this area and coming TV ads is endless.

    We are only learning now how many millions was used to prop up Abbott’s assistant to business and open door policy.

    Robb is indeed a big spender. Many trade weeks in the US, some overlapping each other, Money was used to lobby for support with those trade deals he got signed after decade work by other governments.

    Shutting down the auto industry helped get Korea across the line, Japan was promised the Submarine contracts,

    He liberated many in unionised workplaces by closing the industry down, sending them offshore,

    Found he could sack PS and outsource the work to such places as the Philippines. In other departments, don’t answer the phone, then blame out of date technology. Not sure what they mean, as most Medicare payments are now digital.

    One wonders why they sack the essential workers before upgrading the technology.

    Medicare has been a little harder to dislodged but he has managed to cause it and the people who rely on it for medical care great hard. Is definitely tottering. No longer a universal healthcare for everyone. People have a shock coming, for what they will have to fork out up front from this month,

    Cut services to the unemployed, Cash last night,m working for the dole, which most now have to do is not about getting a job, That is just as well, as not many do.

    No longer access to childcare unless mum works or studies. The poor child, whom mother thinks is in the young child interest, no longer gets formal childcare which prepare them for school.

    The corporate world no longer pays tax, Not even for the necessary infrastructure they need for future growth. It is up to lower income earners to to provide the money to grow a highly skilled workforce for future growth. Not responsibility of Capital.

    Cash and others have lower the value of wagers to the best form of welfare. Supplies capital with slave workers.

    There is nowhere in neoliberalism for looking after the people.

    They have built churches, that no longer preach that the poor will inherit the earth. Appears Christians have had that wrong for over 2000 years.

    There religion preaches that wealth and success is God’s reward. He blesses those who become wealthy. They are only ones worthy of respect.

    The poor are makers of their own plight. Governments must practice tough love, encourage them to stand on their own feet. Welfare leads to these people ripping off the wealthy.

    No governments are no longer serve the people. They belong to the corporate world.

    This has been going on for decades We have seen a massive gap between rich and poor.

    We have seen the law trashed. Democracy nearly bought to it’s knees.

    In the last two and half years, Abbott has managed to put in play social engineering, the likeos of we have never seen before.

    They have no interest in fixing th economy. Not their aim.

    They intend to remake the economy and society in their image.

    Sadly I wish I was exaggerating in what I have written.

  18. MalleeMan

    Glenn K, that was one of the best comments I’ve ever seen. The question now is – How do those that care spread the message?

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    “The Government certainly has a social contract with the people, ”

    This government doesn’t even pretend it does.

    Look at the smirk that is taking over the PM’s face this week, The are in love with their beliefs. Believe there are no others. Turnbull believes he’s invincible.,

    Look at his excuse today over Robert fiasco. Things a little more complicated than one first believed. Truth is, very simple, as Shorten said from day one.

  20. gee

    I found a picture when googling Individualism. can’t seem to post it.

    It makes this point of difference by illustrating a single person on one side of the image to represent individualism (right wing ideology) with a speech bubble in which is contained the word “ME”.

    Opposite to this is a group of people on the other side of the image to represent socialism (left wing ideology) with a speech bubble in which is contained the word “We”.

    Human civilisation exists because of “WE”, can’t say the same about the other.

  21. Florence nee Fedup

    gee, spot on. Somehow they have made the we sound evil.

  22. jimhaz

    [The glaring problem with the conservative view is their apparent belief that the corporate or private sector is possessed of some sort of inherent moral fibre, all evidence to the contrary. It’s tantamount to a religious delusion]

    Religion and the LNP are very closely aligned. The reason is that religion is NOTHING MORE THAN UTTER SELFISHNESS and denial.

    •Folks ALWAYS pray for something for themselves, even where they are praying for their god to help others, it cannot be other than praying for themselves as this flows from to the naturally evolved herd empathy instinct. If things go to their prayer plans this is a just release from the need to continue to feel empathy.

    •Folks believe in religion as they cannot accept the cessation of their self

    •Folks will learn to do unselfish things like helping the destitute for the promised end reward (though it needs to be noted that some religious folk can have very good hearts – “active” unselfishness via experience can become habitual).

    Religion gives clowns like so many of the Abbott and current LNP the desire to seek more power. There is no greater selfish greed than that which seeks to have power over others. Above a certain level money is simple a means to this power. Conservatism is nothing more than desire to retain power by those who already hold it, wherein only the most sycophantic or abusive of non-power holders will themselves gain power (this is how people become execs in big business).

    This selfishness is the underlying viewpoint the drives the development and implementation of every one of their policies. That is why their policies are so detrimental – they are never objective, thus never fair. To the LNPers “if this policy idea we are considering fits into my existing ideology, it is automatically objective”

    I think that perhaps more effort should be put into enforcing a true separation of power, otherwise we will end up like the US with their insane republican opportunists gaining power due to the bible belt crowd. Abbot was just a warning sign of a possible future.

  23. lawrencewinder

    From The Ugly American, Murdoch, Our Biggest Miner, Rinehart, Big Tobacco, allegedly, assorted Polish Land-mine manufacturers and others with profit as motive, fed the Coots-With-Queer-Ideas-From-a-Parallel-Universe (aka IPA) requests for “research!” From this “research” came, not policy but an agenda. Remember the Liarbril “policy?” No Cuts to …….! They are Liars. They are Frauds. They are the ruling rabble!

  24. Wally

    There is nothing wrong with capitalism or making a profit, greed is the problem and it doesn’t matter what system of government or commerce is in place greed will still exist. We need to develop a sustainable economy that has the capacity to provide for everyone but the rich and powerful are too scared that they will lose something or miss out so it is unlikely to ever eventuate.

  25. wakeupandsmellthehumans

    What is this government trying to do and why?

    This government has a born to rule mentality that shows utter contempt for any form of social contract. They have a disdain for the poor and are trying to hoodwink the middle class into become their courtesans.

  26. Deanna Jones

    Respectfully disagree, Wally. The system is fundamentally rotten. Immoral. Brutal.

  27. Russell Williamson

    The Liberals claim Peter Costello was the best Australian Treasurer ever, despite some of the most respected economists claiming he wasted the mining boom.
    He oversaw the Federal budget at a time when we could not ship coal and iron ore to the chinese fast enough, the Federal Government was receiving mining revenue faster than they knew how to spend it.
    Peter Costello’s solution was to bribe the voters by offering tax cuts as a reward for voting Liberal.
    This budget surplus could have been invested for the common good of all Australians by spending on infrastructure.
    Think about how many schools, Hospitals, port and transport facilities could have been built or upgraded using this money.
    Governments are elected to administer public (Tax) money to provide public infrastructure and public services for all Australians.
    The constant lie that the Liberals claim as fact is that Australia is a high taxing country, many countries have higher tax rates than Australia, and the people of those countries receive a high standard of public services.
    Australia is a large land mass with a small population density, as such per capita funding for public infrastructure is more expensive than countries with a higher population density. It is not economical for private enterprise to provide the infrastructure a modern population expect, we pay taxes collectively to finance public infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians.
    The current crop of Liberals want to gut our public school and health services funding and blame the State Governments for inadequate services. (80 billion dollars stripped from health and education budgets). At the same time they allow large corporations
    to avoid paying tax.
    They want a USA style deregulated university system based on user pays when many of them enjoyed free university payed for by the taxpayers.
    They want to privatise Medicare which is a tax funded universal health system providing health cover for all Australians regardless of their ability to pay, it is not free as a lot of people claim we all pay collectively through our tax system so that we receive the health care we need it when we need it. Unlike the American health system where many people go without medical treatment because they can’t afford it.
    If they think the politics of greed is so good, maybe they should imigrate to America, Australia is meant to be the country of a fair go for everyone regardless of your ability to pay.

  28. win jeavons

    I suspect there are many more corrupt employers than corrupt unionists. And no one does anything about it. On education ; ” the main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth ” (Erasmus). When ‘value free’ education became popular in the 80’s we failed to teach basic ethics to a generation and the bill has fallen due. The integrity of our nation is the price.

  29. John Lord

    Excellent writing Kaye and some very honest comments.

  30. Wally

    Deanna Jones

    I agree “The system is fundamentally rotten. Immoral. Brutal” so how do you suggest we fix it?
    What system should replace what we have?
    Are you referring to our system of government, commerce or both?

    Personally I don’t think it matters what system is in place unless you can control greedy people poor people will suffer.
    If our politicians had morals and worked for their constituents instead of the rich our world would be a much better place.

  31. Matters Not

    One of the biggest complaints from employers is the low education standards of job seekers,

    Yes that complaint is a perennial. Almost since the beginning of time, employers have complained that those who are entering the workforce are simply not up to the task and it’s the fault of the schools and their failure to teach the ‘basics’. Even in the times of The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, generation upon generation bemoaned that the ‘youth’ were poorly prepared for the challenges they faced. New-Fist, the greatest innovator of all time, became perplexed.

    Read about the educational problems of those times.

    https://cse101.cse.msu.edu/visitors/saber.php

    improving education standards is imperative to achieve full employment

    Ah, those education standards. Always a problem because they are rarely defined. And they need to be. There are ‘needs based’ standards, ‘norm referenced’ standards and ‘criterion referenced’ standards.

    ‘Needs based’ standards change over time. In the time of New-Fist, ‘fish grabbing’ and ‘clubbing little woolly horses’ were considered essential ‘learnings’. In my time. ‘copperplate’ writing was highly valued and in the later years. the use of the slide rule was also considered essential. No so today. ‘Needs based’ standards are forever changing. The explosion in the use of ‘technology’ will ensure that.

    Norm referenced standards refers to what we might call the statistical ‘average’. Students are above average or below average. Most parents like to think that their child is above average but that form of statistical measurement has its problems. Imagine Mrs Jones arriving to pick up little Johnny and to be told that Johnny was way above average in the swimming class. While most of the kids drowned half way across the pool, Johnny reached the 90% mark before his demise. The use of norm referenced standards has its limitations.

    Then there’s ‘criterion referenced’ standards. When it comes to kids and swimming pools, the standard should demand no drownings at all. (And so on.)

    As for the imperative to full employment. Don’t think so. Just ask the number of those with Doctorates and further post graduate qualifications who can’t find jobs. ‘Full employment’ in the future just isn’t going to happen, unless of course you do away with so much technology. Why even today I find that ALDI is selling 3D printers for less that $500.00. Technology displaces labour. And while that has a downside it has an upside as well.

    We need social, economic arrangements and the like that aren’t built around jobs; many of which are soul destroying or mind bending.

  32. Kaye Lee

    The world’s top climate scientists — 2800 of them from 60 countries — have written an open letter to the federal government about the cuts to CSIRO’s climate research.

    Under the heading “An open letter to the Australian Government and CSIRO”, the scientists say the announcement of cuts to the CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere research program has alarmed the global climate research community.

    They say the decision shows a lack of insight and a misunderstanding of the importance of the depth and significance of Australian contributions to global and regional climate research.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-worlds-top-scientists-beg-malcolm-turnbull-to-allow-csiro-to-continue-its-climate-research-2016-2

  33. Matters Not

    Re CSIRO and cuts to climate research, I first thought it was a ‘political’ ploy by the incoming CEO to generate a ‘back lash’ against funding cuts. But it’s becoming increasingly obvious that he was appointed to turn the CSIRO into a business. “Pure Research” which lies at the heart of ‘innovation’ will be confined to the dustbin of history.

    He must go. And as soon as possible. If you break up research teams like they have, it will take years and years to catch up.

    Same pig, but with lipstick.

  34. Neil of Sydney

    He oversaw the Federal budget at a time when we could not ship coal and iron ore to the chinese fast enough, the Federal Government was receiving mining revenue faster than they knew how to spend it.

    Wrong, the mining boom did not start until 2004. From 1996-2004 there was no boom.

    The biggest mining boom in Australian history happened under Rudd/Gillard

    http://www.rba.gov.au/chart-pack/commodity-prices.html

  35. Kaye Lee

    The new Chair of Innovation Australia Bill Ferris, and our new head of the CSIRO Larry Marshall, are both venture capitalists just like our new Prime Minister.

  36. Wally

    Matters Not

    Technology is responsible for less demand for employees, shouldn’t each of us be working less hours? This would then balance out the changes and technology would be doing as was intended, to improve lives/lifestyles.

  37. Matters Not

    shouldn’t each of us be working less hours?

    That’s one way to address the ‘problem’. But I think that the ‘problem’ of work must be fundamentally reconfigured. Most people go to work because they have to for economic reasons. By going to ‘work’ they generate an income that allows them to participate in most areas of social life, broadly defined. In that sense, ‘work’ is a ‘means’ to an ‘end’ (social participation). For most people, ‘work’ is not an end in itself. (Of course there are exceptions, but most of the exceptions refer to those in areas of ‘creativity’.)

    One of the big problems we have is that the ‘technology’ we have, while the product of a particular society, is privately owned (as opposed to being socially owned). The so called ‘innovators’ would be ‘impotent’ if they weren’t in receipt of a socially provided ‘society’, broadly defined to include schools, curriculum, laws, norms, understandings, scientific histories, and ‘common senses’ if you like.

    Does anyone seriously suggest that Bill Gates and the like would have emerged if they were born in say Sri Lanka or Nigeria? No, they benefitted from a ‘society’ with a long history.

    Somehow in some way, we as a ‘society’ need to work out ways as to how we as a society can benefit as a whole and not allow (socially generated) individuals to reap the whole benefit that rightly belongs to us.

  38. Neil of Sydney

    They want a surplus but why?

    So we do not lose our AAA credit rating which took so much effort to get back after we lost it in the late 1980’s

  39. Kaye Lee

    Luckily, as a sovereign currency, we do not have to borrow from anyone.

  40. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Kaye asks what this government is trying to do? Well, I think we all agree (except NoS) that they’re trying to destroy the toilers and those they perceive as the leaners. They are trying to destroy the leaners and the less equipped toilers by blaming us for struggling in such an inequitable economic system that threatens to break up the social contract. Equally they deprive us of the means to build up our defences, so that all of us ready, willing and able/disabled can participate in the building of better rewards for everybody.

    This is where sufficient and sustainable Micro Finance is essential to give unemployed and under-employed people with good concepts, energy, skills, experience and qualifications, so thousands of energetic unemployed people can gain the necessary funding to get their micro businesses up and running. The LNP StartUp scheme fails these thousands of people just like we knew it would. Much better, more accessible, sufficient funding in the forms of Micro Finance Grants and Micro Credit Loans to the most needs-based for micro businesses will remove thousands and thousands off the dole queues and promote homegrown industries.

    Has anybody heard the LNP refer to unemployed or under-employed people as the likely beneficiaries of their StartUp Funding?

    Nup, I didn’t think so. Their schemes are never honed towards the most need-based – just the already lucrative.

    If you want innovation and agile thinking, Mr TURMOIL, I suggest you seek out the industrious, creative, energetic people with the ideas – whatever their employment status – in the outreaches outside of the LNP comfort zones.

  41. totaram

    Neil of Sydney.:

    “So we do not lose our AAA credit rating which took so much effort to get back after we lost it in the late 1980’s”.

    1. Please tell me what is Japan’s credit rating.

    2. Please tell me what is the use of this “credit rating” for a nation that issues its own free-floating sovereign currency (like Japan or Australia)

    3. Please tell me how it will affect us (in Australia) in any way at all. (reference how it has affected Japan).

    There you go. A lot of work I know. Go for it!

  42. totaram

    Neil of Sydney: You never answered my earlier question which I repeat:

    1. Since private sector debt is around 150 % of GDP and as you can read in the daily news it is rocking the financial markets, why is it more important to address government debt which is at about 30% of GDP?

    2. Since government debt is completely denominated in AUD, are you aware that there can be no default on this debt, irrespective of what the ratings agencies tell us, because Australia is the sovereign issuer of the AUD?

    3. Are you aware that the national accounting identity tells us that the private sector debt cannot be paid down unless the government runs a deficit, because we generally have a trade deficit?

    Please respond to these specific questions. If you don’t, we know you are just a troll, or you are just clueless.

  43. Wally

    Matters Not

    Bill Gates is an interesting example, he has been credited for achieving many things that were born from the work of others.

    The “Microsoft Disk Operating System” or MS-DOS was based on Microsoft’s purchase of QDOS, the “Quick and Dirty Operating System” written by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products, for their prototype Intel 8086 based computer.

    And even QDOS was created from an earlier program so Microsoft had very little original software but Gates made the right contacts at the right time.

    Deal of the Century

    Bill Gates then talked IBM into letting Microsoft retain the rights, to market MS-DOS separate from the IBM PC project, Gates and Microsoft proceeded to make a fortune from the licensing of MS-DOS. In 1981, Tim Paterson quit Seattle Computer Products and found employment at Microsoft.

    http://inventors.about.com/od/computersoftware/a/Putting-Microsoft-On-The-Map.htm

  44. Kaye Lee

    From Backyard Bob’s link….

    “In theory, a lower credit rating should lead to borrowers demanding a higher return for the risk they’re taking. In the case of Australia however, since all its debt is denominated in Australian dollars which it is able to print, it can never technically default. This means Australia’s borrowing costs are determined by expectations of where the Reserve Bank will set the cash rate. Other governments that have lost their AAA ratings such as the US and Japan have actually seen their borrowing costs fall because investors have assumed their central banks would hold official interest rates lower.”

  45. Backyard Bob

    Demanding a person respond to questions or be labelled a troll is the epitome of trolling. I mean FFS.

  46. Michael Taylor

    Oh, here we go again. Yawn.

  47. Michael Taylor

    Totoram, please ignore that comment from Backyard Bob. Dishing out orders or smug smart arse comments seems to be a favourite pastime of his.

  48. Backyard Bob

    Dishing our orders? I’m sorry, did you not see what I responded to? I made a statement. I did not dish out an “order”, as opposed to what Totoram posted. The more you yawn, Michael, the more inclined I’ll be to call out your crap. Just sayin’…

    How about I post a bunch of questions and demand you answer them or be labelled any manner of things for not doing so? How would you feel about that? It peeves you that I’m right, doesn’t it?

  49. mysay

    What is this government up to ,other than ripping off the low and middle class ,they havent a clue,
    We are governed by a PM who doesnt have a spine,one only has to look at the past week to see what the PM is made of”,the rule for all parlamentarians “,he didn’t have the courage to sack a cabinet minister,who he knew broke all the rules,he had to resign,
    HE even passed the buck blaming Abbott,All the week this dysfunctional government couldn’t see any thing wrong with what he had done,And our preacher of a PM didn,t even have the courage to front the media
    Now if things wasnt bad enough we now have Joyce as DPM,Australia is now in the hands of the voters,this liberal government has to be defeated come election time ,The experement of playing the man instesd of policies failed miserably,lets hope that they are not conned again by lies ,and policies that were made and quickly brocken ,before the last election,
    Australia deserve better than the born to rule government that we have now,

  50. Michael Taylor

    How about I post a bunch of questions and demand you answer them or be labelled any manner of things for not doing so? How would you feel about that?

    I thought you said earlier that that was the epitome of trolling?

    Seems to fit.

  51. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Has anybody noticed the beautiful yellow, crescent moon tonight?

  52. Wally

    Backyard Bob

    It is a matter of perspective and as pointed out in comments in another article NoS hijacks the thread.

    Follow any article NoS comments on and you will find it extremely rare for him to answer a question directed to him and he always refers to events of the past without any regard to the topic being discussed. In my opinion anyone who hijacks a thread or distracts from the issue is a troll and the definition from Wiki[2] below confirms this and it is hard to know to what extent NoS relates to [3] below.

    In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion,[3] often for their own amusement
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

  53. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My impression of you ByB is that you are a gentlemanly troll who is not quite sure who you support.

    Sometimes, you appear quite kindly and reassuring to posters who are obviously Labor, Greens, or alternative supporters.

    Then, there are other times when your only mission appears to be to obfuscate the discussion by attacking the commenter and not the subject of discussion.

    Time to show your true colours.

  54. Michael Taylor

    Yes, it looks like a banana low in the sky.

  55. Terry2

    Cabinet reshuffle coming up : how about putting Abbott in charge of plebiscites – marriage equality and Aboriginal Constitutional Recognition – after all it was his idea.

  56. Backyard Bob

    Jennifer,

    I am a lifelong “true believer” Labor voter, who, like many other Labor voters of my generation (54, no 53, oh shit, no, 54 – sigh), am significantly concerned with the shift to the right of this country’s political spectrum, which has taken Labor along for the ride. I’m increasingly disturbed by Labor’s incremental yet discernible embrace of what I consider to be conservative attitudes. The now somewhat long-standing control of the ALP by its “right” faction horrifies me.

    But I am not primarily a political animal. I bring other sensibilities to my online activity. I am primarily a philosophical rationalist who possesses an almost irrational distaste (the irony!!) for hypocrisy and injustice. I am not a blind political partisan. When I see what I judge to be gratuitous injustice and unreason in political discourse I tend to react instinctively against it. There’s nothing personal in it; it is always about preserving principles of intellectual and moral integrity. This is, in part, why I’m happy to call bullshit on things that are happening on “my side” of politics.

    From time to time that will get up people’s noses, and I understand that, but it’s who I am and I’m not going to change any time soon.

    For me, bullshit is bullshit no matter who expresses it. Sometimes I play devil’s advocate to try and tease out the most reasonable position in a debate. Yes, that might confuse people sometimes as to my actual position, but I can live with that. I’m not especially attached to people’s labels, unless it’s a K-Mart one I’ve forgotten to take off a pair of shorts, but let’s not go there …

  57. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    ByB,

    thanks for the response. I, for one, would support your vision of what the “true believer” was and should continue to be. Unless, you haven’t already worked it out, I hate how Labor has allowed itself to be pulled to the Right by its own factionalism and its fear of being wedged by the degenerates in the LNP. I want to see the Right faction dissolved and by doing that, we have a far better chance of destroying the LNP grip on our political system that controls our socio-economic-judiciary systems.

    I agree with you for not accepting “gratuitous injustice and unreason (sic) in political discourse” because siding with any ignoramuses just to take a political advantage over an opponent, is poor judgement.

    Call out bullshit = good. Continue to call out bullshit with blame and without explanation = not good.

    My position is to stay on message and work towards defeating the LNP in six months time by being part of the formidable political front of the Alliance made up of the Greens, Labor, Progressive Parties (if any candidates) and the sane Independents, particularly Wilkie, Muir and Lazarus.

  58. cornlegend

    Jennifer ,
    I was interested in part of your response to Backyard Bob, where you said
    “I want to see the Right faction dissolved and by doing that, we have a far better chance of destroying the LNP grip on our political system that controls our socio-economic-judiciary systems.”
    Now, I know your position on “LibLab flip flops” but I don’t understand the mechanics of your argument .
    I too regret the hold the right has over sections of the ALP and I have/ will continue to fight for greater rank and file control of the party, from within.
    What practical method are you implementing to “see the Right faction dissolved” ?
    IMO, sometimes, continual criticism plays directly into the hands of the Right and in fact strengthens their base, as left leaning members back off and take a lesser role in the Party for fear of causing more political damage, particularly so close to an election
    wanting “see the Right faction dissolved” isn’t going to happen by wishful thinking , unless you know something that’s happening that I don’t .
    The only way to take control from the Right is with a strong {left} involved rank and file

  59. Florence nee Fedup

    Joyce said today we can’t keep borrowing to spend. Ab accountants brain even if university trained? #auspol

  60. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well cornlegend,

    I am speaking from my own perspective of the modus operandi on everything that demands judgement and political survival.

    You have a better idea than I do about how the Right faction of Labor manipulates the power. But I put to you that they are only human too and if they have things on the other political faction players that makes the others squirm back to obscurity, those squirmy types should not be in their positions so to allow the Right to manipulate them so much.

    Easy to say I know, but maybe the harsh reality is that to get rid of the bastard Right lot, weeding out the weak links in other factional quarters will clear the slate to have a fair chance of providing a revitalised chance of bringing back a Labor Party we can actually like. Keeping the Right faction in control is disastrous for Labor, for Aussies and for the Australian environment.

    Consequently, if you keep the LibLab flipflops as the dynamic duopoly in Australian politics for any longer, say goodbye to your grandkids’ fair futures.

    That’s where you begin to look for the wider option of forming the Alliance to provide the answers to the needs of the wide spectrum of ordinary people from many different grassroots quarters.

  61. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m off to bed now.

    If you want to ask me any more questions about how Labor needs to reform, then tell Shorten to step aside and I’ll take on Leader of the Alternative Government and start to show you how it is done (and be paid for it at the same time.)

  62. margcal

    MalleeMan February 12, 2016 at 3:54 pm
    Glenn K, that was one of the best comments I’ve ever seen. The question now is – How do those that care spread the message?

    ……………………………………..
    MM …. I copied Glenn’s whole comment to my FB page with attribution and link to this AIMN post.

    I suspect a few of my FB “friends” un-followed me a long time ago …. but I keep trying.

  63. Matters Not

    cornlegend, you need to understand how politicians operate on a day to day basis (when viewed at close range) while they are actually in power. The first instinct is ‘survival’ and that basic motivation applies to politicians at all levels. No matter whether it be Prime Ministers, Premiers, Ministers, or just local Members because (from their point of view) if you don’t ‘survive’ in both the short and medium terms (at least), then everything else is irrelevant.

    Most Members are of the view (usually unstated) that ‘Election Platforms’ are like ‘Railway Platforms’, they are there to get ‘in on’ and not to ‘remain on’. Accordingly, Ideologues soon become Pragmatists. Rationalised in terms of the long term good and so on. And those lower down the power pole know that their current position isn’t subject to the will of the electorate but the whim of the ‘one above’.

    In that environment, the concepts of ‘right’ and ‘left’ in terms of ‘factions’ lose their explanatory power.

    Just sayin ..

  64. Backyard Bob

    Cornie wrote:

    I too regret the hold the right has over sections of the ALP and I have/ will continue to fight for greater rank and file control of the party, from within.

    People should remember that the “right” faction didn’t just fall out of space in the last couple of decades. It’s been there since the Party was formed. In some ways the ALP is a microcosm of the Australian electorate and always has been, and more so than anyone else. Over time the factional arm wrestle has lent either side of the perpendicular (I may mean vertical; it’s too late to care). But, it seems to me, and I concede my perceptions could be wrong, but it seems to me that in the last 20 years of a general shift, not merely local but global, of political sentiment to the “Right”, that the factional, ideological arm wrestle in the ALP has favoured the Right.

    The Right seems to have gained weight, if not muscle and has the Left sweating like _insert proverbial element_. I’m not sure what it will take, exactly, to reverse this trend, but I hope that “it” exists.

    I’m not usually into “scare tactic” politics, but I wonder if it isn’t time that Labor doesn’t offer a media campaign of depictions of the inevitable consequences of the socio-economic path we’re currently on.

  65. Matters Not

    if it isn’t time that Labor doesn’t offer a media campaign of depictions of the inevitable consequences of the socio-economic path we’re currently on

    I don’t think that the electorate is ready for that depth of ‘thinking’ unless it can be incorporated into their current preoccupations with their focus on the ‘banal’.

    It might be a ‘philosophical’ strategy I would recommend, but certainly not a political one. At least in the current climate.

  66. Backyard Bob

    MN,

    Well, possibly. Maybe they could focus instead on how the “banal” is going to cost them a motser on the path we’re on.

    But don’t we run the risk of embedding the banality of the current climate even more deeply? I wonder.

    How bad do things have to get before we reach a cultural “It’s Time” moment? I’d prefer not to have to wait for that.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Bill Shorten has started his run for the line announcing changes to negative gearing (new premises only) and capital gains deductions (25% rather than 50%). Combine that with what can be saved by tightening up superannuation concessions and multinational tax avoidance and they are well on their way. It also puts Morrison in a bind which is what happens when you still don’t have a plan after 2.5 years in government. The GST is gone and the case for a cut in company tax rates is shaky. What is Scott to do? 🙂

  68. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Shorten’s done the right thing by getting the jump on Snotty with announcing his tax changes. Now Snotty has to try and match these voter incentives or better them, or be seen as anti-Aussies’ best interests.

    However, I don’t understand why Shorten would only apply the negative gearing changes to new premises. Why not existing premises instead?

    Negative gearing advantages landowners to buy more and more properties which encourages rental market monopolisation and can work against tenants’ best interests, whereas new premises provide greater housing opportunities for people facing homelessness and rental houses shortages while also promoting employment opportunities in the building industry.

  69. Neil of Sydney

    Luckily, as a sovereign currency, we do not have to borrow from anyone.

    But we do. I guess those bonds are sold to real people. Most of those bonds are in the hands of foreigners.

    2. Please tell me what is the use of this “credit rating” for a nation that issues its own free-floating sovereign currency (like Japan or Australia)

    So we don’t have to pay higher interest rates on the debt which is mainly in foreign hands.


    1. Since private sector debt is around 150 % of GDP and as you can read in the daily news it is rocking the financial markets, why is it more important to address government debt which is at about 30% of GDP?

    Most private sector debt is productive eg Qantas purchasing new A380’s. Most govt debt is non-productive.

    You people seem to be saying that debt does not matter. So lets do it. Lets just let the govt buy anything it likes, double the debt in record time and see what happens.

  70. effteeuu

    Imagine joining a political party where everyone is a member of (insert your own faction here ). Could you imagine the stimulating debates !!!!!!!

    “Factions” are people with differing views, and to have sensible debates, all opinions are valuable. It is when factions become organised groups within the Party, take over your right to think and then TELL you how you WILL vote, is why all Parties are no longer attracting people who are concerned for the direction their country is heading.

    Most members of political parties today IMO are sheep.

  71. Terry2

    Morrison has a real problem – of his own making – not only has he finally and reluctantly conceded that the GST increase will not provide the economic growth he has been touting he now has to undermine Labor’s progressive taxation measures or he adopts them.

    As Shorten has been pointing out, it is unusual for the opposition to be setting down the policy markers when not in election mode. But when you have a government so beholden to interest groups that they can’t look beyond the next complimentary Rolex somebody has to show the way.

    Interesting times and I fully applaud Labor for their leadership in reeling in Negative Gearing and CGT concessions.

  72. Terry2

    Jennifer

    I think that by limiting Negative Gearing concessions to new home construction only is designed to generate more new home building and discourage the speculation on existing housing stock.

    Hopefully this will open up the existing housing stock to first home buyers : tightening concessions on CGT should also take some speculative heat out of the market.

    Sounds like good social policy to me.

  73. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Terry2,

    if your interpretation of the Negative Gearing concession changes is correct, then yes it is the way to go.

    Perhaps also, Shorten could win himself more brownie points by tying the availability of Negative Gearing concessions to making more new housing available to the people, who face affordable rental housing shortages the most. This would be seen as a winning social enterprise/social justice initiative.

  74. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I read Glenn K’s comment @ 3.57 pm yesterday and agree it’s good.

    I might try the same logic with people I know who keep harping on about all the “dole bludgers” who attend Centrelink. It seriously irks me every time some self-satisfied, self-righteous idiot generalises that everybody, young and old, who are unemployed, must be lazy, welfare cheats.

    It wouldn’t occur to these idiots that most welfare recipients would jump at the opportunity of a dignified, livable working wage or salary. The reality is that such opportunities are shrinking fast or already gone thanks to 457 visas, shrinking industries, jobs going off-shore.

    That’s why I promote the essential need for accessible Micro Finance in the forms of Micro Finance Grants and Micro Credit Loans for the sakes of the unemployed or under-employed, who have good concepts, enterprise, skills, experience, qualifications and endurance to get their good concepts up and running. This is a Win-Win-Win for everyone: the person, the community, the taxpayer.

    Next time, some ignoramus speaks contempt about welfare recipients at Centrelink, I advise you to challenge them and suggest they ring their local MP and advise the MP of the need for Micro Finance Grants and Micro Credit Loans for the unemployed and under-employed that will provide them with sufficient funding over and above their essential living needs (not that scam NEIS shit)
    ……. and then …….
    …..abra-cadabra! …
    we will have miniscule dole queues, happier and healthier citizens and a more robust economy!

  75. cornlegend

    Not often MSM catches my attention but I do think this article raises some valid points
    “If you look around other liberal democracies, it might seem like the left is having a moment.

    In the United States, a self-described socialist is putting in a strong challenge for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and and mobilising a movement which aims to force the party to the left.

    In the United Kingdom, another socialist – Jeremy Corbyn – was last year elected Labour leader on the back of a surge of new party members, who rejected the legacy of Blairism.

    Neither of these men may win government, but they both have already been transformational figures within parties that had never shaken off their complacent, third-way neoliberalism.
    The Labor party has no Sanders or Corbyn on the horizon. It’s still stuck in the essentially reactive and defensive position it adopted when last in government. It has no transformational social or political agenda, and its current plans seem to be more tinkering around the edges of the neoliberal consensus. At best it seems to want to reinstate elements of the Gillard legacy – like a carbon trading scheme – that even Malcolm Turnbull has previously agreed with.
    The Sanders candidacy can be traced directly back to the highlighting of inequality and corporate malfeasance by Occupy Wall Street. Experienced activists who were there at the beginning are now working on a presidential campaign that might finally bring the Democratic Party to constraining corporatist excess.

    Australia was shielded from the worst of the crash by mining revenues. Inequality increased, but those who suffered most remained on the margins. That appears to be changing quickly, and it may be that this galvanises a broader movement.

    Perhaps the left’s moment in Australia has simply been postponed”

  76. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith February 12, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    “then tell Shorten to step aside and I’ll take on Leader of the Alternative Government and start to show you how it is done (and be paid for it at the same time.)”
    That wouldn’t work, you need to be a member of the ALP for starters .
    Your opportunity is not lost though as you still have time to form your own Party, get candidates, run in the next election ,gain enough seats to form Government , then you can have the role you desire “Leader of the Alternative Government”
    times running out though, I suggest you get your skates on 😀

  77. cornlegend

    They know where to start fixing things, time to start
    “Four banks, and we all know who they are – the Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac, and ANZ – three big mining companies, in Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, and Fortescue Metals, you’ve got your two big grocery chains, and you’ve got your big telco, which is Telstra…..They have “unprecedented concentration of corporate influence” in Australia……
    The entire political debate has become so dominated by the interests that they’re pushing, and the agenda that they’re pushing. And [we’ve] ended up with this complete crowding out of a proper political discourse in this country because there is one sectional interest that is so much louder than every other voice out there combined.”
    Sam Dastyari 6 February 2016]

  78. Wally

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    “According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn.”
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/#79b47d75e3c6

    Throwing money at unemployed people to start their own business is wasting resources that could be better utilised in ways that guarantee more jobs and provide benefits to our society. Improving education and healthcare examples where money can be spent and society get a 2 fold benefit from the investment. If the benefits to the people cures/educated is taken into account it is a 3 way benefit.

    It is difficult for people with professions/trades to start their own business, for people without skills that are in demand it is virtually impossible to succeed.

  79. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithFebruary 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

    “Very interesting comment, cornlegend.”

    There was more

    I did leave out part of the article as the usual argument is if I mention anything Green I’m Green bashing

    However, I have bunged it in so you could get a broader understanding of the articles concept

    “the Greens, under the emphasis provided by their new leader, seem much less like an insurgent third force connected to a vibrant social movement, and more as a group with a focus on parliamentary deal-making. And today came the news that the Greens have concluded a bargain with the government which would allow them to proceed to a double dissolution, and would likely wipe out micro parties.

    Under Di Natale – despite his claims that he wants them to be a party of government – you could be forgiven for thinking that the Greens are treading water, leveraging their current share of the vote for a place at the table in political deals. “

  80. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well I suppose for the time being (until you lot get yourselves organised according to my stipulations),
    I’ll have to settle for talking some sense into your Labor mates,
    and those within the ranks of the Greens,
    and upcoming Progressive Parties,
    and the sane Indies to get their acts together to inspire a Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn into the leadership role.

  81. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    You make me smile 😀
    I will get back to you monday as I’ve been stuck at home waiting for livestock deliveries {just arrived} and am already late for State Conference .
    I will tell anyone who will listen that you are waiting in the wings to take over 😀

  82. totaram

    “But we do. I guess those bonds are sold to real people. Most of those bonds are in the hands of foreigners.”

    We don’t have to sell bonds, as the QE operations showed. That is another fetish left over from the days of Bretton Woods.

    The fact that these bonds are “in the hands of foreigners” is irrelevant. Bonds are denominated in AUD and interest is paid in AUD. What the owner of the bond does with the money is their business. If they choose to buy some other currency on the Forex market that is fine – it is a free floating dollar. If lots of AUD get sold, the value will fall (as it has indeed done in the recent past). Financial institutions who trade in bonds also carry out currency hedging and so on.

    It is no different to the foreign holders of shares in Australian companies. Perhaps we need to put limitations on the use of foreign capital in our markets, but that is a major policy issue, having little to do with government “debt” being “in foreign hands”.

    “So we don’t have to pay higher interest rates on the debt which is mainly in foreign hands.”

    Kaye Lee has already explained (from BB’s web-site) that the “higher interest” is neo-liberal rubbish. The facts are completely different.
    Incidentally, the RBA’s monetary policy targets the interest rate and that is what determines bond yields. The “foreign hands” again is irrelevant as explained above.

    “Most private sector debt is productive eg Qantas purchasing new A380’s. Most govt debt is non-productive.”
    Oh dear! So everything government does is useless. The entire infrastructure, institutions, governance, defence, police, education, health etc.. is not “productive” – by what definition? And A380’s are automatically productive, even if they are not flying, and the loans taken by the miners are “productive” even if they are being defaulted on because the mines and other assets have become unviable? Whoa! It was defaults on private debt that caused the GFC. NOT defaults on government “debt”, which for sovereign issuers of their own currency cannot happen, unless the government incurs debt in someone else’s currency (which we don’t do but poor Greece, Spain , etc. do).

    You forgot to comment on the fact that the private sector debt cannot be paid down, unless the government runs deficits, because we usually have a trade deficit. This is simple accounting.

    “You people seem to be saying that debt does not matter.”

    It matters, but in the context of the entire economy and what government spending is doing.
    As a stand-alone measure it is meaningless.

    “So lets do it. Lets just let the govt buy anything it likes, double the debt in record time and see what happens.”

    We have already seen that in a number of instances. This govt has doubled the debt already. Instead of bond yields going sky high according to your theory, bond yields are at an all time low. Japanese government debt is around 200% of GDP, tdheir credit rating is in the “junk” category, and bond yields, if I am right, are negative at the moment.

    I’m glad you did answer those questions, and I am glad I was able to show that much of what you claim is not borne out by facts. I am sure this has been shown, if not to your satisfaction, at least to the satisfaction of other readers of this blog. Neo-liberal macro-economics of the variety peddled by the MSM and other outlets, is based on unfounded assumptions and outright falsehoods and it is time it was given the flick.

  83. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Wally,

    I don’t dispute it is tough to build businesses up from the beginning. I followed the link and of course those obstacles to success need to be considered and planned for, but that is no reason to dismiss my MFG and MCL proposals.

    Of course education is the way to plan for the future and substantial funding must be made available to upgrade education, vocational education and other community services that keep the population fit, healthy and productive. BUT I’m also talking about the here and now with thousands of people languishing in unemployment.

    Also, I suspect you have overlooked my key contention that the stereotype of the welfare recipient is not necessarily a skill-less person because many suffering the humiliation of unemployment are skilled, qualified, experienced people from many fields of endeavour, who are shut out of the jobmarket because of age, gender, regional residence, and so on.

  84. Neil of Sydney

    This govt has doubled the debt already.

    No it hasn’t. Hockeys first budget deficit was smaller then Swans last budget deficit.

    That doubling the deficit crap comes from PEFO predictions which are useless but good for propaganda purposes. You should look at 2010 PEFO predictions.

    We don’t have to sell bonds,

    But we do. According to you people we should not sell bonds to pay out debt by just printing money. I wonder what would happen if we did that?

    The fact that these bonds are “in the hands of foreigners” is irrelevant

    Ok that is your opinion but not mine.

  85. Terry2

    Neil

    Would some fact help or would they just get in the way ?

    When Labor left office, net government debt was just over $150 billion. According to a recent media release by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, net debt is now $274 billion, while MYEFO projects net debt to reach nearly $350 billion in coming years.

    You’re welcome.

  86. Wally

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    “many suffering the humiliation of unemployment are skilled, qualified, experienced people from many fields of endeavour, who are shut out of the jobmarket because of age, gender, regional residence, and so on”

    If unemployed people with skills cannot get employment due to where they live and they are not prepared to relocate (and I have been in this situation) starting their own business is unlikely to be successful from lack of demand for their skill set in that region. I have also found age a barrier to gaining employment and I believe we need to change the way we educate people to maximise the benefits to our society.

    We used to complete apprenticeships and the like to get base qualifications that were used to enter tertiary institutions and advance through to middle level engineering and professional positions. Nowadays middle level positions are filled by uni graduates with little if any experience in the field and as a result a large percentage of graduates never gain employment in the field they are educated. Drop out rates in tertiary education run at around 50%, the privilege of tertiary education should be restricted to people who have a proven aptitude in the field.

    Education standards of apprentices and interns has dropped considerably over the last 30 years because students avoid doing a trade in preference to getting a degree because the natural paths for advancement no longer exist. Look at Germany, England and Japan, they all have systems where people develop skills through the workplace combined with part time study to advance. What I suggest has been proven to work.

    If life long advancement became the normal path to progress through your career their would be high demand for older employees with the skill set an experience required. Maybe then we might get projects completed on time and within budget.

  87. cornlegend

    one more bites the dust
    Mal Brough has resigned from his ministry

  88. cornlegend

    Turnbull goes from bad to worse
    Darren Chester has been offered the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio.
    Steve Ciobo will take on the role of Trade Minister
    Stuart Robert is resigning as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
    likely to get promoted include Queensland Senator James McGrath and NSW Liberal Angus Taylor. Victorian Senator Scott Ryan is also being tipped for a role in the outer ministry

  89. Backyard Bob

    Two cabinet reshuffles in the space of a few months isn’t a particularly good look. Sure, the first one was understandable, new leader and all that, but this one smells of trouble at home. Appointing a new Ministry this close to an election is an interesting thing to do. It can take new Ministers several months to get their heads round a portfolio. Obviously this Government isn’t planning to do anything meaningful before the election. Seems to me Turnbull is doing his best to stay under that radar.

    Pity about the dingbats he’s surrounded by. But then, maybe this is about trying to cull the colony.

  90. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Wally,

    why argue with an idea that could get people working again? Why refuse well-aimed financial incentives into promoting micro-businesses?

    Your observations of what’s wrong are accurate and I don’t disagree with your remedy of gaining experience through the workplace while gaining extra knowledge from study. However, that’s fine if you’re already in such a position. What happens to those who are not? Who decides who has the aptitude for something then?

    Aptitude is one thing but what about someone’s commitment to undertaking study and to gain the expertise in their field?

    We need the funding for proactive ventures that my MFG’s and MCL’s would support. We also need the funding to return to functioning learn-on-the-job scenarios as you describe, but this must be thrown open to all different learning areas and not just the trades. One lot of funding should not discount the other.

  91. Wally

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I have no objection to getting people back working again but I don’t think the concept of loaning people money to start there own business is financially viable and a high success rate is unlikely. I see it to be a gamble and I don’t think that is appropriate with public money. Given the opportunity to create jobs using proven methods or financing new business ventures I think the former wins hands down.

    Throwing money at a problem is no guarantee it will go away, we could spend more money on health services without benefitting patients if the money is not spent wisely. Likewise increasing subsidies to private schools is not going to help improve education standards across the board so it too would be a waste of money.

    When it comes to reducing unemployment I believe improving the economy is the key, increased demand result’s in higher rates of employment, it is a no brainer solution that is known to work. When our government have got all the basics right there maybe capacity to trial other methods of boosting employment but when the economy is slow and so many other areas from health to transport to education and infrastructure require urgent attention spending money on what is unproven is an unaffordable luxury – a gamble.

  92. Trevor Vivian

    Beyond the hand wringing, beyond the opinions, beyond the propaganda, beyond the politics, beyond the facts, beyond the editorial, beyond the bylines, beyond the winners or losers, beyond the gender and other catagories, beyond known unknowns lies Community. At present Govt defines community as its party corporate financiers and the rest(us) are collateral damage statistics. Seems to me we are fast approaching a single solution of civil disobedience and people power taking back( maybe) for the first time in Ozland the Parliaments by clogging up the works. Yeh sure that means arrestable status for getting offa knees. But if you believe your credit rating stands above all other considerations then you probably won’t consider civil disobedience as relevant. Great thought and opinion provoking article Kaye Lee.

  93. Kaye Lee

    James McGrath?

    After working on the unsuccessful Liberal campaign in the 2002 South Australian state election, McGrath eventually ended up director of political strategy for Boris Johnson in his successful bid in 2008 to become mayor of London.

    Following the election on May 1, McGrath became Johnson’s chief political advisor in office, but it was less than two months before he was sacked.

    Johnson had an uneasy relationship with the city’s black community having, as a journalist, previously described black Londoners as “picanninies” and “Africans and their watermelon smiles”.

    When, in an interview, it was suggested to McGrath that some black Britons might leave the country if Mr Johnson became mayor, he responded: “Let them go if they don’t like it here.”

    In 2011 the then 38 year old campaign director was revealed as the architect behind a scheme to pay disgruntled former Labor staffer and candidate Robert Hough for dirt on government MPs.

    The LNP dirt file detailed a minister’s epilepsy and childhood adoption, claims about some politicians’ sexuality, sex lives, drinking habits and health matters, and included details of the schools of the children of government MPs.

    From his maiden speech….

    “The ‘Hundred Years War against Tyranny’ continues today on three fronts: first of all Islamist fundamentalism intent on caliphates destroying Western civilisation, especially religious freedom; secondly, democratic governments restricting freedom of speech and association, betraying hundreds of years of liberty; and, finally, leftists delegitimising all views other than their own, especially in media and education.”

    ““I want to support the ABC. I like the ABC. Yet while it continues to represent only inner-city leftist views, and funded by our taxes, it is in danger of losing its social licence to operate. I am calling for a review of the ABC’s charter. And if they fail to make inroads to restore balance, then the ABC should be sold and replaced by a regional and rural broadcasting service.”

    “Each year, I will be compiling my own red-tape report to keep my government and my party on the Hayek road—away from serfdom and towards lower regulation, lower taxes and smaller government.”

    Doug Cameron who was “gobsmacked” by Senator McGrath’s maiden speech said “These are the people that are supposed to be the high-calibre Liberals. If this is the high-calibre Liberals I’d hate to go to a Liberal party branch in Queensland and see the low-lifes in operation.”

    Great choice Malcolm

  94. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Wally,

    suffice to say I agree with your comment 50%. Again, your socio-economic observations of the problems are acceptable, your solutions relatively acceptable but exclusionary to other equally acceptable concepts.

    Your terminology of throwing money at an incentive project that has wide ranging potential benefits is disparaging and dismissive.

    I’ve made my point and attempted to address your concerns. Your negativity is why the LibLab flipflops fail the marginal people with inspired programs that include them, as opposed to excluding them. There is immediate need for proactive policies that get things moving.

    If the idiots in control see the plebs like you and me arguing, what chance of any inspired government backed grassroots funding activity that will address the problems?

    Don’t bother to attempt to convert me anymore, as you refuse to engage with sensible, alternative views.

  95. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    James McGrath sounds like another ugly little Liberal toerag.

  96. Neil of Sydney

    Would some fact help or would they just get in the way ?

    When Labor left office, net government debt was just over $150 billion. According to a recent media release by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, net debt is now $274 billion, while MYEFO projects net debt to reach nearly $350 billion in coming years.

    That doubling the deficit crap comes from difference between PEFO predictions which are given before every election and MYEFO predictions. Lefties like to say PEFO predictions are the gospel truth because they are independent of govt and therefore more reliable than MYEFO which is put out by the govt.

    But people should look at the 2010 PEFO predictions to know that PEFO forecasts are useless.

    And the deficit being talked about was the budget deficit, And Labor supporters were making this claim before Hockey even published his first budget in May 2014.

    The budget deficit has not doubled. Hockeys first budget deficit was smaller than Swans last budget deficit. This link shows where that doubling the debt crap comes from

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-06/has-the-government-doubled-the-budget-deficit/5423392

  97. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    NoS,

    if you are so convinced that Labor and any other alternative political forces are unable to deliver the right sort of policies that AUS needs, then I want to hear YOUR ideas on how Aussies can expect to be better served by good governance for ALL of us and the environment.

    I know you try hard to convince that the LNP are the only way but I want you to mentally digest what that means. What exactly needs to happen and what exactly do you expect the LNP to provide?

    If you can’t answer those requirements, then please stop trying to browbeat everybody with LNP propaganda, who reads this site.

  98. Backyard Bob

    Could just be me, but it’s really hard to read a post full of economic acronyms and not find it sort of funny. It’s like reading something written by Roald Dahl. Probably just me. Anyway, carry on …

  99. Neil of Sydney

    These figures are the actual figures of what has happenned….not future projections

    As you well know that doubling the deficit deceit comes from the difference between PEFO forecasts and MYEFO forecasts.

    PEFO said the budget deficit should be X but MYEFO said it should be 2X. So you lefties started proclaiming that Hockey doubled the budget deficit before he had presented his first budget in May 2014.

    Now you have taken a sidestep and are now talking about something different. The total govt debt. That is not what “doubling the deficit” accusation is about

    But thanks for showing we do indeed have a budget emergency

  100. Kaye Lee

    “This govt has doubled the debt already.

    No it hasn’t. Hockeys first budget deficit was smaller then Swans last budget deficit.”

    Neil, it is YOU who is swapping the subject around, not me. I am not talking about predictions. I am talking about facts provided by the government about what has happenned under a Coalition government who lied their way into office, PRETENDING there was a budget emergency and that they would fix it. If you call increasing the net debt by 70% (and counting) fixing anything well good luck to you. Keep in mind that this was during a time that they have been slashing funding to everything that would help us while spending a fortune on “national security”.

  101. Michael Taylor

    Now you have taken a sidestep and are now talking about something different.

    Oh. My. God.

    I can’t believe Neil said that.

    Now excuse me for a few minutes while I clean up the coffee I just sprayed all over the monitor and keyboard.

  102. Neil of Sydney

    Neil, it is YOU who is swapping the subject around, not me

    No. The topic was the budget deficit predictions and the difference between the predictions given before the 2013 election (PEFO) and the new predictions given by the new incoming govt in December 2013 (MYEFO)

    The new govt said the budget deficit would be double what was predicted by the Budget Office before the election and most probably a more accurate prediction. So you lefties got on your soapbox and even before Hockey presented his first budget and said Hockey doubled the budget deficit.

    Yes, you are talking about facts but the wrong facts. The topic is that according to lefties Hockey doubled the budget deficit not the total govt debt. Although that looks like what has happened but they are two different topics.

    And i have enough experience with you people to suspect you will ignore my point.

  103. Michael Taylor

    Yep.

  104. Möbius Ecko

    Neil is taking the biggest sidestep of his blogging life. For years NoS has been railing against government debt. Now it’s the Libs racking up debt he’s been completely mum on it, except if it offers an opportunity to bash Labor’s debt as a distraction from the fact his beloved Libs are terrible economic managers.

  105. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    All I can say is the following:

    keep the discussion going so that interested people such as myself might learn more and more about how MYEFO and PEFO count.

    While you debate the pros and cons, please enlighten the rest of us of how they can be interpreted for the common good.

    Thanks so much.

  106. Kaye Lee

    “The topic was the budget deficit predictions”

    BULLSHIT. You objected to the comment “This govt has doubled the debt already.”

    Then you went off on a tangent.

    ” i have enough experience with you people to suspect you will ignore my point.”

    Just like you have with the original comment. And with my attempt to get back to the original comment about DEBT. Tell me, did you expect the Coalition to increase the net debt by 70% in a bit over 2 years – does this make you think the current government is managing things well? How do you feel about the billions they are spending on foreign wars and dud planes?

  107. Kaye Lee

    JMS,

    Both the Budget and MYEFO are, to a large degree, political documents. They make unrealistic assumptions about the future, they include things that have not been passed by the Senate, they over and under estimate to suit themselves, and future predictions are largely about things they cannot control so economic numbers in 4 years time (let alone an Intergenerational report) are pretty much worthless.

    PEFO is the only document that does not have political input, coming from the secretaries of Treasury and Finance using the policies of the day but their own assessment without influence (so they say).

    PEFO is produced during the caretaker period before an election to give an (allegedly) unbiased view of the current situation.

  108. Neil of Sydney

    Tell me, did you expect the Coalition to increase the net debt by 70% in a bit over 2 years – does this make you think the current government is managing things well?

    No i didn’t but they did try but could not get their first budget through the Senate because it was too mean and nasty or something like that. It took a parliament house riot back in 1996 to get the budget back into surplus. Australians do not like surplus budgets and i think it is most probably impossible unless people get scared. People saying there was not a budget emergency do not help.

    BULLSHIT. You objected to the comment “This govt has doubled the debt already.”

    YES. Because it is wrong. It is talking about the budget deficit. That double the debt crap came from this study

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-06/has-the-government-doubled-the-budget-deficit/5423392

    It is talking about the budget deficit forecasts for the next 4 years (PEFO) and the new govts forecasts (MYEFO) were double the forecasts before the election. To try and change the topic to the total govt debt is not what the conversation is about. There is a box in the link showing the budget deficit forecasts. It is not talking about total govt debt. Even the title says ” BUDGET DEFICIT”. Not “TOTAL GOVT DEBT”. By the way i think the MYEFO forecast for total govt debt was $667B in 10 years time. But i remember you said that was wrong and a scare campaign.

    How do you feel about the billions they are spending on foreign wars and dud planes?

    The dud planes have bipartisian support. We have an airforce of 70 F/a 18’s and they were always going to be replaced by a similar number of planes we will most probably never use.

  109. Michael Taylor

    If anyone still thinks Neil is genuine then perhps you’d like to see this comment he made in 2011 on Cafe Whispers:

    If you people found out who i was I am sure someone would like to kill me

    Inequality and The Soul

    So who is he?

  110. Kaye Lee

    I am sensing delusions of grandeur. I am also done with this crap.

  111. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes NoS,

    you’ve had a fair go in anybody’s estimation.

    Now is the time to stop.

  112. Michael Taylor

    If anyone cares to follow my link they will see why some of us long-time bloggers have had enough of Neil.

  113. Florence nee Fedup

    Not only debt doubled, they have made massive cuts to services, We now pay more for less.

    Has anyone noticed, those on the right, except for Neil no longer mention debt. Mention cleaning up Labor’s mess.

    Could be because all they have managed, wherever one looks, is chaos, corruption and disaster.

  114. Neil of Sydney

    By the way it was the December 2013 MYEFO where it was forecast for total debt to reach $667B within 10 years. And it looks like that is what is going to happen because nobody wants to run a surplus budget

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2014-15/content/myefo/html/03_part_3.htm

    The 2013‑14 MYEFO showed that, without action, the budget would not return to surplus for at least a decade and debt would reach over $667 billion, even without any allowance for future tax relief from bracket creep.

    I think there is a budget emergency but it looks like the Coalition has given up and Labor supporters think debt is not a problem or do not care.

  115. cuppa

    So who is he? Kelly O’Dwyer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: