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Who should take the blame for the current dismal outlook?

Everyone is doing it hard at present. Or so it seems. There may be exceptions, like Woolworths, which announced a 14 per cent (to $907 million) profit rise in yearly results, and the profit of Qantas reached one billion in its half-yearly results. No, l kid, you not.

The outlook for most of us, however, suggests tough times ahead. Usually, governments cop the blame when things go wrong economically. The Opposition under Dutton is doing everything possible to discredit the Albanese Government.

They will use the economic slowdown caused by rises in the cash rate, price rises, and other factors to smash the Government’s financial credentials.

It has already adopted the mantra, “why is everything dearer under Labor?”

All this is done with total indifference to the horrendous economic management they showed in almost a decade and only finished a few months ago in a disastrous election loss. Never can it ever claim again that they are the best money managers.

The election defeat was so embarrassing that it took away any notion that what they might say in the future would contain any truth at all. Or be taken seriously.

The LNP are fast becoming an Opposition in the Abbott mould, “Oppositions are meant to oppose.” However, I suggest they first say sorry or show some remorse for the wrongs they committed during their tenure instead of saying no to everything.

As for the Greens, well, they demand perfection even when it might destroy any progress at all.

Having experienced a few recessions going back as far as Menzies in 1960, I can assure the reader that economic downturns aren’t much fun, and it is mainly the not-so-well-off who cop the brunt of the grim misery they bring on.

Pensioners are struggling with their pension rises that were changed to save the Morrison Government billions. Some people need the money for rent, even if they could find an available house. Overseas students are lining up in food queues.

Gloom seems to embrace our very being. Economic fear is everywhere. With every rise, interest rates make it impossible for many to hang onto their houses. Insurance of all kinds is rising to unbelievable levels. On top of this, wages are still going backwards.

By recouping superannuation taxes from the rich, Labour is doing what Robodebt did to the poor. The difference is that one makes our society more equitable. That the wealthy and privileged in our community were, with the consent of the Morrison Government, able to place millions into super funds to attract a much lower tax rate is a scandal that needs an anti-corruption investigation.

The defeat of Scott Morrison cleared the air from the putrid smell of bullshit that our democracy inhaled for a decade. It extinguished the lying that occurred, and the electorate said, never again – will we be subjected to such unfair government. Surely the media aren’t suggesting they will reverse their vote quickly.

If they do, then they are underestimating the anger of the period.

 

 

The Labor victory of May 21, 2022 was accompanied by an expectation that Albanese might restore those elements of our democracy that the LNP had eradicated. Truth being just one.

Where I differ from the Murdoch mainstream murder is that I believe a majority of Australians want Albo and his government to succeed. Not only in getting the economics right but also in adopting new measures that will confront the challenges we face now and in the future. These challenges also include those arising from deliberate policy decisions by past governments and the chaos that resulted.

In many ways, Labor has always been the brickie of Australian politics. The ones who, brick upon brick, have built into Australian society all the necessities of a community. Only Labor has made the changes necessary to create a modern pluralistic society. The Conservatives never could and never would. Our political history confirms this. Other than the GST, can you name another?

Take a look at Gough Whitlam’s achievements (as published by Aparna Balakumar in MamaMia):

  1. Abolished the White Australia Policy and passed the Racial Discrimination Act, ushering in a new era of multiculturalism for Australia.
  2. Made the Pill affordable and accessible, by removing the tax on contraceptives.
  3. Implemented free higher education, making hundreds and thousands of Australians the first in their family able to go to university.
  4. Legislated for no-fault divorce, so women could chose to leave an unhappy marriage without being financially burdened.
  5. Helped Australia become more civilised and humanitarian in its law-making by abolishing conscription and the death penalty.
  6. Introduced Medicare to allow universal healthcare for all Australians. Without this historic reform 1 in 5 Australians would be unable to afford basic access to GPs or hospitals.
  7. Championed Aboriginal land rights, returning land to the Gurindiji people of the Northern Territory. He was also known for involving Australia’s Aboriginal people directly in policy making and establishing free Aboriginal legal services.
  8. He reopened the equal pay case, championing the rights of women to work and be fairly compensated.
  9. He was the first Western leader to visit China and make his nation’s relationship with Asia a priority. This decision and those which flowed from it have been responsible for much of Australia’s economic and trade prosperity in the years since.
  10. Whitlam established the National Gallery in Canberra, doubled funding to the arts, introduced legislation to form the SBS, and created the Australia Council for the Arts.

Hawke and Keating

Between them, they reformed and opened Australia’s economy to the world. They did it with an Accord agreement between the ALP and the union movement.

Julia Gillard

She introduced a price on carbon that Tony Abbott later destroyed. An act that could arguably be described as the worst assassination of good policy in Australia’s history.

Kevin Rudd

He introduced a disability insurance scheme (NDIS).

Anthony Albanese’s undoing of conservative corruption and destruction has only just begun. They have made a brave and competent start, but there is much more. Only Labor tackles the significant issues because it believes in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all.

That the government must alleviate social ills and protect civil liberties and individual and human rights, thus believing that:

“… the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Liberal [progressive] policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems.”

My thought for the day

We live in a failed system. Capitalism does not allow for an equitable flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level.

 

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31 comments

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  1. Kathryn

    Indeed, by comparison, it would be very interesting to list any achievement – whatsoever – accomplished by the appalling, totally corrupt and elitist Howard, Abbott and Morrison regimes! Tragically THAT side of politics fails to have achieved ONE SINGLE thing that would provide benefit to ordinary Australians unless, of course, they were entitled, smug, wealth-obsessed members of the self-serving Top 1%.

  2. Kerry

    I hope you are correct but what the Albanese Government is doing is deeply concerning. 117 new fossil fuel ventures we don’t need is not Gillard’s vision. Australians are facing increasing hardship it’s not easing, while the Government remains adamant that the stage 3 tax cuts will go ahead. And they leave it to the RBA which has one single tool to fix inflation, all the while knowing it’s hitting the wrong people. Sadly this is not a Government with vision. At least not a left wing one.

  3. Harry Lime

    So much of the shit we are currently wallowing in goes back directly to the lying rodent and his pissweak,spendthrift,and accomplice,Costellot.Aided and abetted by the Mad Monk and eleventy Joe Hokey,followed by the Liar and his criminally incompetent lackies.To correct the ghastly pile of ordure they(the government) must get a whole lot tougher and bolder,and a lot quicker,otherwise,with the usual pile on by the garbage media,it will fade into the too hard basket.The absolute hypocritical bullshit emanating from the’opposition’ needs to be mercilessly stomped on.
    Bucketmouth Taylor,’Shadow Treasurer?’…that crook doesn’t possess enough substance to throw a shadow,and wouldn’t recognise the truth if it punted him in the arse.

  4. Gangey1959

    “Never can it ever claim again that they are …………….”
    “Never” is a very strong word to use, especially in politics, and even morse so in Australia.
    The msm are already shreiking about the incompetence and promise breaking of the new Labor guvvm’nt, and a day does not go by during which Albanese and/or Chalmers’ credibility is not called into question.
    A few thoughts:
    Labor made several “promises” during the last federal campaign. One of which was to fix the climate crisis. They are breaking THAT promise in order to save a column inches af bad press at the next erection by not csrapping ALL new fossil fuel projects. The bad press will come anyway, so go for broke and do the best job possible. (Yeah. I know. Sponsor $$$s)
    Hammer the fact that the RBA interest rates STARTED under scummbucket, and Labor are just steering the boat through some really bad economis waters that the Good Ship Australia should NOT be anywhere near..
    Do what is requires on Corporate tax, Superannuation, Climate, Fossil Fuel, Housing reforms ALL AT ONCE. There are only so many newspapers, and only one headline per paper per day. Hit the opposition with everything, and let aj ond his band of morons try to pick the fight, instead of giving the opposition a blow-by-blow retaliation. Apart fromm that top 5%, Australian’s are all struggling to some extent, and we want it ALL fixed.
    Enough of this “It won’t come into effect until after the next erection” bullshit. Yesterday’s solution for tomorrow is a year too late.
    Albo is a terrible public speaker. get someone else to sell the message.

  5. GL

    When the root cause of all the current problems Labor is facing is now in the nopeposition and aided by selective amnesia and backed by the main sleaze media and cashed up by their corporate masters and maatteess. Of course they aren’t going to do anything but lie, scare and OPPOSE everything that Labor is attempting to fix what they themselves could have done since the time of caterpillar eyebrows to try help the country but didn’t because that goes against their greed driven corruption and hatred of everything not them and the 5% they suck up to.

  6. Wayne Turner

    Ultimately it is most of the public’s fault. Most people are ignorant politically,and gullible too.

    From the constant re-electing of the Howard error – The master of bringing in welfare for the well off,to distracting people with a boat over there.

    To re-electing the Libs still after the Abbott nightmare.

  7. Terence Mills

    We have a classic instance with Angus Taylor today floating a conspiracy that Labor will be coming after the family home – presumably by imposing a capital gains tax or estate duty tax – all of which is piffle. Yet Patricia Karvelas on the ABC hounded Albanese in an on air interview implying that it was a Labor policy but worse, she failed to acknowledge that this came from a coalition brain fart.

    Albanses did himself no favour when asked about the superannuation ceiling of $3million after which tax of thirty percent will apply to
    earnings : Karvelas asked would it be possible for those with over three million in superannuation to withdraw that surplus without penalty (normally they would need to show hardship to withdraw funds prior to retirement). Not an unreasonable question as those fortunate enough to have over three million in super may choose an alternative investment direction : Albanese couldn’t answer the question.

    Albo has to be better briefed !!

  8. Keitha Granville

    This government can succeed, but only if they just push through and make changes NOW. Why do they have to wait until 2025 for the super tax to be changed? Why do the wealthy get a few years advance notice to squirrel their wealth away elsewhere? Robodebt happened overnight and people were driven to poverty and suicide without a second thought.
    As long as every Australian is thinking about themselves and not others, they will respond to any political promise made that favours them.

    “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”.
    JFK hit the nail on the head all those years ago.

  9. Stephengb

    The current ALP are far to concerned with defending their lead in the polls, afraid to make a step too far.

    Meanwhile the vast majority of us see the ALP being far too timid in the pursuit of egalitarian policy.

    The truth is clear that the ALP are still using Neoliberal narrative and framing of their policy implementation.

    This will without any doubt frustrate many of us who see that the Neoliberal Agenda is a disaster for the 80%.

    I support the ALP but that does not mean I am blind, I will call them out on weakness.

  10. New England Cocky

    @ John Lord: You overlooked the Gillard Royal Commission into Abuse of Children held in Institutions that was Gillard’s last act as PM. In doing so, you unfortunately also overlooked the brave act by retired Police Inspector Peter Fox(?) of exposing the corrupt links between the paedophile priests & their mates that was brought to public attention by Gold Walkley Award Winner Joanne McCarthy and the Newcastle herald Editorial Desk.

    I agree with others above that the Albanese LABOR government is treading too gently. There is some hope in the Superannuation tax reforms announced last night (280223) removing tax benefits from super accounts over $3 Million.

    Now to deal with the other contentious egalitarian destroying government policies like grandfathering the removal of Negative Gearing (as happened with Capital Gains Tax in 1985), restricting real estate ownership to Australian natural persons or other personal entities, stopping the NSW inspired COALition government assistance to North Asian persons purchasing real property with the inducement of assistance obtaining Australian citizenship after they have resided in those premises for 30 days per year over four (4) years.

  11. Douglas Pritchard

    We have an AUKUS partner who is capable of blowing up a pipeline in Europe then saying.
    “No worries, we will supply you with energy….it may be 4 times more expensive but you have now got no options”
    Then those has beens, Morrison, and Boris J, got suckered into a fairly unique propulsion system for our subs.
    So we gifted half a billion to France for didddly squat.
    But our “parter” came good.
    “No worries, little buddy, we will supply you with subs…..it may be 4 times more expensive but you have now got no options.
    Where would we be without friends?

  12. Pete Petrass

    As we all know policies continue to impact for some time following a change of government. Hence, for example, why the war criminal looked so good for years after Keating was toppled. And the Lieberals surely got tonnes of mileage out of that.
    As is usual Labor is now stuck with cleaning up the catastrophic pile left by the Lieberals. And again, as is usual, the Lieberals will get tonnes of mileage out of making Labor look bad and responsible for their mess.
    Aside from the Lieberals and the media the biggest problem in all of this is the voters. There is so much stupid out there these days it has become increasingly difficult to actually get them to understand who is responsible for their pain and heartache. That is the real challenge.
    However, I would like to think that the rot (for Murdoch at least) has now set in what with his current troubles in the US and the saga of Chump losing the election. Hopefully this will soon be followed by a win for Crikey and maybe things will quickly progress from there.

  13. Florence Howarth

    People seem to overlook the changes made by Whitlam that led to women being able to keep their babies & children when unmarried or deserted—his introduction of single mother’s pension, no-fault divorce & removal of restrictions on women’s work. Within months, one or two years, the so-called orphanages disappear from the landscape. Very few orphans resided in these institutions. No credit or recognition is ever given to Whitlam. IMHO, one of his most outstanding achievements. We saw the words, born out of wedlock, the bastard child disappeared. Women had the choice of keeping their babies, and mothers could leave violent marriages, able to care for the children.

    I took advantage of a no-fault divorce, which made things easier. This is despite the fact I might have done better under old laws, the state of my marriage so bad. Thanks to my father, I was in a position to care for my children. In 1968 I had my first daughter while unmarried.

    As an aside, my biggest mistake was getting married because of the mistaken belief my daughter needed a father. However, despite the failed marriage, I am forever grateful for the three children born in that marriage.

    Whitlam changed the Australian culture for the better, especially women & children like no other. I wish some author or journalist would do a study on the above. Needs recognition. Maybe the motivation for the changes came from Whitlam’s wife, a social worker of some standing. I don’t know.

  14. wam

    Great that you are back, lord, Did you not remember: Rudd introduced a bill for a price on carbon but the greens joined the libs TWICE to defeat it. Gillard said there will be no carbon tax but disingenuously fell into the blackmail hole of the loonies and tried to brush off juliar with: “What my vision was was to be elected as prime minister and to introduce an emissions trading scheme, which is not a carbon tax.” Then sat back whilst the rabbott screamed ‘tax’ and ‘juliar’ This was the worst decision of gillard but a simple check will show that you could have made her the star she deserves: gillard worked with a minority in BOTH houses. Yet she has the highest record, of any PM, of bills passed. ‘Major policy initiatives of the Gillard government included, the Clean Energy Bill 2011, asylum seeker policy, Mineral Resource Rent Tax, National Broadband Network, schools funding following the Gonski Review and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.’ I am not smart enough to fully understand capitalism but, as Australia is in the top 3 capitalist countries, I think Labor has done enough for me to not agree with your thought.\
    Well said, Florence, Gough’s it’s time was so important at a myriad of levels.
    Only the most conservative still cling to ‘unwed’ mothers and, although still numerous, their influence is waning.
    The majority of us have support for women having children, without a male marriage husband

  15. Terence Mills

    With economic growth slowing in our economy and general disquiet (I avoid the word panic) about the cost of everything increasing and thus fuelling inflation even further. it would be gross ineptitude bordering on madness for the RBA to increase interest rates again at their next scheduled meeting on Tuesday 7 March.

    If this incompetent Reserve Bank insist on another rate increase on Tuesday, the government needs to come out and demand that the retail banks DO NOT pass any increase on to existing mortgage holders.

  16. Howard

    RBA, too clever by half, followed the lead of the USA and dived interest rates to near zero for a couple of years. The banks must have been delighted, the lower the rates the more they can lend. Contracts with buyers are watertight. Recent buyers who default lose it all and still have to repay the debt. The rest of the economy is collateral damage. The banks, thanks to their irresponsible lending practices have torpedoed the economy. That happened under the LNP, cheered on by the media and the self-interest of many home owners.
    The RBA is part of the problem, but only a part.

  17. Stephengb

    The RBA has only one tool that is supposed to:

    Keep the countries ‘growth rate’ as determined by the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from getting too low than the so called ‘normal’ 3% (this is actually deflation – note that GDP is measured in legal tender $A.)
    Keep inflation from getting too high, not higher than the so called ‘normal’ 3% (note how now the GDP growth rate is only described as ‘inflation’ when it exceeds the magic number).

    The RBA’s magic tool to controll both deflation and inflation is the cash rate (Central interest rate).

    The theory goes:
    1. If the GDP growth rate drops below 3% then the RBA will reduce the cash rate so that lending institutions will lower their interest rates on loans which encourage businesses and individuals to take advantage of the lower lending rates and take out loans that in effect is supposed to increase consumption (which increases GDP).

    If the GDP growth rate exceeds 3% then the RBA will increase the cash rate so that lending institutions will increase their interest rates on loans which discourages businesses and individuals to see the increase in the cost of a loan interest rate and stop taking out loans which in turn decreases consumption (which decreases inflation).

    I am sure that all of you reading this will see just how fool proof these theories work in practice, as indeed the RBA Board will see how well this is going to work because they have seen how well this has worked since 1983.

  18. Skuze Me

    Meanwhile today Sussan Ley has the temerity to say:

    “Well, people are doing it tough for the government that hasn’t got the fiscal policy settings right. And doesn’t understand how to manage money and doesn’t have spending constraints anywhere within its programs.”

    ………while the msm still allow such ridiculously absurd comments to go unquestioned.

  19. John Lord

    GL Yes, it would appear that they are all running in different directions blaming one another.

  20. Terence Mills

    GL

    They’re going to need a bigger bus !

  21. Canguro

    SMH article referring to NSW LP members is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Stateside, federally, these ‘born to rule’ types continue to raise the middle finger at conventions, rules, regulations, laws, all the while humming their versions of ‘I did it my way’, meaning, of course, whatever it takes to ingratiate themselves with moneybags, developers, white shoe brigadiers, snake oilers and carpetbaggers and anyone else who can shovel bucks into their never-satisfied avaricious maws.

    ”The failure of three Liberal Party members to face an inquiry showed “astonishing disregard” for democracy, an inquiry has found.”

    On the upside, with an election in NSW at the end of this month, this sort of publicity benefits the opposition in their efforts to turf Perrottet and his cronies into the dumpster. As does the whiff of scandal now trailing Pork Barilaro wherever he goes.

  22. andy56

    look by definition, the libs have done nothing of note or nation building since menzies time. Their whole phylosophy has been small government and user pays. It was fine for a while but over the last ten years its seen our living standards degrade. Australian People will always back things untill the water gets too hot. Its now apparent to all that unless the government does get involved, we will turn to shit as a nation.
    The best thing labor can do is just put a spot light on the lib tantrums. Not respond to every stupid pronouncement and hold their nerve. We have been down the no no no path before and i feel safe in saying australians have had a gutful of that stupid path to ruin. Ten years was more than enough to show their wares and they left a fucked landscape.

  23. Canguro

    Fascinating stuff. Liberal party members who swing their dicks until the shit hits the fan, then scuttle like rats caught in the flashlight; one off to hide in the red gum forests in southern NSW, another allegedly overseas and claiming that the punitive attention is damaging his mental health – a bit of creative excuse-making, given that by definition of being a Liberal Party member one could mount a solid argument that his mental health is already extremely compromised – a third purportedly interstate and using that as a defense against cooperating; the stench lingers around this cabal of ambitious rodents, and is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

  24. Steve Davis

    All true Canguro, yet at the upcoming NSW election they will still get 40+% of the vote.

    Too many people are mesmerized by that word “liberal.”

  25. Florence nee Fedup

    Wam, Whitlam gave women the ability to raise their kids independently, not beholden to any male. This they didn’t have. Still in my forties, entering the hospital for a breast cancer biopsy, I was told if my husband couldn’t sign, I would have to ask my father. For once, I refused. Finally, after the initial shock at my refusal, I decided my signature would do.

  26. Benjamin

    ALL OF THE LNP !!!

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