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Why I vote Labor

I first wrote this popular post mid 2012, but with the election this year I took the liberty of updating it and reinforcing why I vote Labor.

I was too young to vote for Gough Whitlam (the first time) and until then I had no interest in politics, but it wasn’t hard to get swept up in the wave of excitement of his anticipated victory. I would have voted for him. The Vietnam War was still raging and kids my age and older were dreading their 20th birthday and the subsequent prospect of conscription. We didn’t like the idea of fighting another senseless war. I think we were the first generation to take that stand.

Although I still wasn’t interested in politics in 1975 I voted for Gough as I wasn’t happy at the way he was dismissed by John Kerr (with the help of Fraser, in my opinion).

I stayed with Labor until the early nineties. Yes, I voted for Hewson and I voted for Howard. Hewson’s loss disappointed me, probably because at the time I was not a big fan of Keating’s, while Howard’s victory brought out the champagne, as by this time I quite despised Keating (for his arrogance). In my eyes Howard couldn’t do anything wrong. He was perfect.

It wasn’t long, however, before I would mumble to myself: “Come back Paul. All is forgiven”.

With the benefit of hindsight, looking back at their prime ministerships both history and I will/have judged Keating to be the far better of the two. And by a country mile!

But I digress.

After securing work with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) it soon became obvious to me that Howard was nothing but a political opportunist. Aboriginal people became political footballs and he soon caught on that ATSIC bashing provided him with the Midas touch. Despite having at his disposal skilled policy makers and Aboriginal people with their pulse on community needs and real contemporary issues, he found it was better politics to be driven by media demands and editorials. There were more votes in helping with the bashing than formulating some real beneficial programs to help these marginalised and disadvantaged members of our society.

It was sad having to visit remote Indigenous communities and make excuses as to why they were continually being ignored by Canberra. “Oh how different it might have been under Keating” I would silently mutter.

The disappointment I detected in the Howard Government in remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia was nothing compared to the detestation of him I felt within the Public Service when moving to Canberra. Frankly, it was quite a surprise and one that found me asking questions as to why.

The answers weren’t that complex.

From working closely with him and his government, Public Servants saw first hand what a mean-spirited, conniving, lying bunch of pricks they were. It didn’t take me long to discover this either. Policies were formulated to ensure their own political survival while ignoring the needs of wider Australians. Lies were told to the media about how successful their policies were when in fact they were failing miserably. Public Servants were bullied into providing them with confidential information in order to secure a political advantage over the then Opposition. I am not at liberty to disclose what I witnessed, but let me say that in my eyes Howard was still perfect. The perfect asshole, that is.

I often wished that those people interstate who still worshiped him could come to work in the Public Service and see first-hand for themselves what a miserable turd he actually was. It’s a pity that the truth never ventured past the boundaries of Canberra.

On the Monday morning after he lost office, the sight of public servants going about their business with a spring in their steps and a smile on their faces gave Canberra a good feel about it. The bullying had stopped and the Public Service was again apolitical, which is how it should be.

But it was after they lost office that I saw how miserable and mean-spirited this Liberal Party is.

I can not give exact details, but I was involved in formulating many policies that were aimed at assisting both disadvantaged and mainstream Australians. To see something finally being done for the wider community was inspiring. Sadly, the programs went nowhere or somewhere at a snail’s pace, keeping disadvantaged Australians disadvantaged. Why? Because the Opposition made every attempt possible to ruin these programs because the delivery of them would bring credit to the Government. And naturally, the Opposition would then shout to the media that this Government was doing nothing and the wider community started to nod in agreement. If the wider community knew of the billions of dollars that were wasted because of the Opposition’s tactics they might not have nodded so obligingly.

At about this time it was very easy to become demoralised as a Public Servant; working your arse off to get this country moving then watch everything crumble because the Liberals didn’t want it to move. They exhibited no interest whatsoever for the community or its needs. Adopting Howard’s manipulative trait, they were only interested in ruining a duly elected Government and having parties in The Lodge. They haven’t changed much, have they?

I’ve seen enough of the Liberal Party in my dozen or so years as a Canberran to carry a hatred for them for many years yet. I’m definitely Labor to the core and not afraid to admit it.

I couldn’t care less about all the media speculation of ‘the faceless men’ or ‘union hacks’ of ‘leadership speculation’. I couldn’t care less when people scream that the ‘new’ Labor has drifted from its traditional base. I like the Labor of now. I ignore the rants from the rabid right that this Government is ‘toxic’ or that Julia Gillard is the worst Prime Minister ever. It’s all shit, spoken by ignorant fools.

I can also take the abuse and taunts from right-wing nut jobs over my political leaning. I don’t care if I’m the last Labor voter in the country, for I’m not changing.

This is not to say that I’m entirely happy with the current Government or Julia Gillard, but these are over issues that don’t affect me personally, such as gay marriage and the refugee impasse. I’d like to see gay marriage legalised and I’d like to see ‘boat people’ processed here in Australia. On the latter, I don’t like the way they’ve played into the Liberal’s grubby hands on the asylum seeker crisis.

I also think that since 2007 Labor have done a lousy job selling itself. Here they could take a leaf out of John Howard’s book of telling anybody with a microphone or a TV camera how good they are. Howard drummed it into us, and we heard it that many times that many actually believed it.

It’s the same manner Tony Abbott uses to shout to everybody how bad the Gillard Government is. And the friendly media are happy to keep printing his lies.

Again I’m digressing.

The point is, I will always vote for a party that puts Australians first and there is only one party that has shown me they have that commitment: the Australian Labor Party.

Can I really believe that the LNP would put ordinary Australians first? Can I really believe they’d be a better alternative for pensioners, parents or minority groups? Can I really believe they’d offer a better system for education, health or technology? No.

Can I believe that they would offer a better form of government for the upper class, the media barons or the mining giants? Yes.

I repeat: I will always vote for a party that puts Australians first and there is only one party that has shown me they have that commitment … and that’s the Australian Labor Party.

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96 comments

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  1. Dirk Rossey

    Aha… now I know who you are… and I was right…. a public servant (what an oxymoron) …

  2. mark delmege

    I always vote for the best progressive candidate and never for a conservative. By my definition that excludes all LNP and some Labor people.

  3. Fed up

    Miglo, I am in complete agreement. It also took me a long time to arrive here. The days of union power, the faceless man and the power of fractions are long gone.

    Yes, unions are Labor’s support base. The same goes for the fact that the power base of the Liberals is big business.

    What some cannot understand, that this is not the Labor Party of previous decades. One would be worried if it was. We now live in a global world, global in more ways than economics.

    This PM, maybe not the greatest, but she is identifying problems, problems that have to do with the future, not the past.

    Labor has moved on from the concept of Welfare. That can only be good. That does not mean, that governments do not have a role in enhancing the lives of the weak and vulenable. They have, but now we look at these things from the point of the nation’s productivity. One cannot afford to have people sitting on their users, collecting benefits.

    This PM recognizes that the best way to help and enable people to reach their full potential, is jobs, not just jobs, but well paying, satisfying jobs.

    The best way to obtain this is with education and training. It also needs a good IR system, that encourages bosses and workers to pull together.

    A productive economy also needs good health, housing, transport. Roads and ports,

    We need state of the art communications. That in this case is is NBNco.

    Yes, it is also about government creating the environment for industry to thrive in.

    I see none of the, coming out of the mouth of the Coalition or Abbott.

    This is a short list of what I believe government should be about. It needs a leader that can identify what is needed, and plan in the future to provide what is needed.

    At the same time. it needs a leader that can provide a stable economy, while at the same time, providing what is essentiial.

    It is not about whether we can afford something or not. It is about whether we can afford not too spend the money.

    I still have a belief in an old saying I heard as I grew up. One has to spend money to make money. Doing nothing , means one goes backwards.

    Yes, Labor is not perfect, but it is the best we have to take us into the future.

    I see Abbott as taking us backwards.

  4. Möbius Ecko

    What an idiot Dirk is. Migs quite openly stated he WAS a public servant not only in this piece but many times before and all of a sudden Dirk has the revelation in this topic some time after its finished that Migs is a public servant.

    In fact Dirk has not made one intelligent post yet and displays the usual ignorance of the blind right wing ideologues.

    By the way I was also a public servant for 21 years.

  5. Bob Lloyd

    Good on you Miglo. I agree that this government has made some stuff ups but every government does. It’s just that with a compliant media the opposition have been aided and abetted in making huge mileage out of it. I haven’t always voted Labor but I do now for a number of reasons: I basically believe that Labor has not forsaken its values and this government is delivering a raft of social reformist legislation to improve the lot of Australians; Julia Gillard is the toughest politician I can remember having continued to face down a vicious opposition leader and his minions including the MSM and at times the ABC and has negotiated a record number of pieces of legislation through the parliament in a minority government situation; our economy is a world beater when compared to other major economies around the world; more infrastructure such as roads and ports have been built or begun than in 12 years of a Howard conservative government. As a retired public school teacher/principal I applaud the government’s movement towards the implementation of the Gonski review recommendations so that at last there can be some real equity put into schools’ funding. The NDIS is long overdue and will benefit millions of Australia’s disadvantaged citizens. The NBN, for me, is a no brainer. I live in rural NSW and battle with an unreliable wireless broadband connection that drops out whenever a bird flies past the antenna and farts, (slight exaggeration there). Thanks to a pro-active local council we will be one the first rural cities to receive the NBN, which is to start being rolled out here in June of this year.
    That’s why I’ll be voting Labor.
    (My apologies for the case of verbal diarrhoea)

  6. Dirk Rossey

    Mobius …research conducted by yours truly has found that 90% of Public Servants (in Australia) aren’t worth a quarter of the salary they’re paid… so if I were you I’d be cautious calling people idiots… it might not have occurred to you and your pea-brain that people could have signed up only yesterday, so they would not know that this site is crawling with left-minded ex or present public servants (who are desperate to keep the hand that feeds them in government)

  7. Miglo

    Streets ahead of you.

  8. Dirk Rossey

    How many times has the Honorable and Lying Prime Minister of Australia been to help the ABORIGINAL communities in the North of our country… and how often has Mr Abbott been there without the camera crews to follow as he does this truly to help.

    It takes more than a tear and a sorry to solve this massive indiginous problem…

    Miglo… you’re a good kid… an ex public servant but a good kid…

    If you excuse me now for an hour or so, I have to finish my work so that I can pay taxes to pay the lot of you who are still sucking the nation dry with your bureaucratic meanderings…

  9. Möbius Ecko

    Can you link to the research please?

    And I’d be cautious about calling people pea-brained unless you are talking from the experience of your own low intelligence level.

  10. Miglo

    Dirk, perhaps you can tell us why you vote for the LNP.

  11. Dirk Rossey

    mate… from where I sit… yo’re clearly not much of a reference ,,,which is evidenced by your request to be linked to the research….

  12. Bob Lloyd

    It’s not a coincidence that when Dirk was asked for evidenced he went straight for personal abuse. It seems to be a common tactic of the right these days. If they have no facts to back up their opinions they make stuff up and resort to abusive language.

  13. Miglo

    Just as I thought. No answer.

  14. Iain Macpherson

    That’s your choice, Michael Taylor. I’ve run my life since 1983 on the basis that I should always put the Coalition last on my ballot. The only corollaries to that is to put racists, bigots, religious nutters and One Nation candidates lower.

    Labor hasn’t deserved my vote or my support for most of the last 30 years. I relented to preference local State and Federal ALP candidates second or third after other progressive or left-leaning candidates.

    The ALP has long dropped the ball on school funding, tertiary education and universal health. Not that they’re as bad as the coalition but I don’t think politics is a game of “lesser of two or more evils”.

    I am working hard as a member of my local trades hall to keep Abbott out of the Prime Ministership. I am working hard in my profession to remind my colleagues that there’s nothing but cuts ahead if we have Mr Rabbit as leader.

    It was the ALP that sold my airlines, sold my banks and reintroduced tertiary fees. Shame.

    Hope you understand.

  15. Möbius Ecko

    Well Dirk it was you who made the statement about research conducted by you and gave a percentage figure.

    If you have done the research you should be able to link to it or post it to the many free online resources available for that purpose so we can all be enlightened as to why 90% of public servants in Australia are worth a quarter of what they are paid.

    That’s the great thing about online discussions, you can present the facts that back up your contentions and debate your premise against those who oppose them.

    So you stated you have done the research so it shouldn’t be too hard to post it or the pertinent point of it.

  16. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Maybe Dirk was too proud to say Sorry? Gee he really got you there 🙄

    Interesting how one word can change the whole perspective. No sky falling in and teams of lawyers reclaiming land or gun toting thugs Africa style.

    The indigenous issue is so complex and their is no magic solution. Labor has been consistently progressive in tacking the issue.

  17. Fed up

    Gee, I was also a PS.

    Now I know we did not have such sites as this then. I do know that while at work, I would not have found time to make comments on sites such as this.

    In fact many a day, one did not find time to eat. It is a fallacy that one does not work hard in the PS.

    I also worked in private industry. I know what was the easiest.

    Stupid comments about the value of PS, just shows what small minds some have.

  18. Benjamin Jones

    Great article. I actually wrote my own piece on why I vote Labor in Online Opinion (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13459).

    Be warned, you will probably get a host of nasty comment from small minded people who resent anyone daring to believe in something. The tories of course revile Labor but there is a general apathy among the swing voters and progressive voters too. Our culture lauds anyone who attacks politicians but is quick to dismiss anyone who dares to stand up and support a party. Journalists find it very attractive these days to bemoan the current representatives and to condemn both the current Liberal and Labor Party as if they were the same and stood for the same things. It is all quite false and hypocritical.

    I applaud you for your article and for not being dragged into the culture of negativity that plagues so many of our political commentators.

    Bravo and may Labor shock all the ‘experts’ by winning this election and saving Australia from the embarrassment and inequality of Abbott’s Australia.

  19. Robert Roestenburg

    Well done Miglo! Many people do not have the opportunity to look behind the scenes and know what is actually going on. I agree. The ALP should scream from the roof tops what it has done for this country. Just ask the independents what they think of the present government and why they have grave concerns for Australia under Tony Abbott and the LNP!

  20. Fed up

    I suspect it was previous Labor PMs that have done more for Aboriginals than anyone else.

    Mr.. Howard definitely did not.

    His first action was to wind back much of what Mr. Keating achieved with their land rights leglisation.

    Remember the scare campaign, that because of Keating, the Aboriginals were going to take over our backyards.

    Yes, some need to look back at history before opening their mouth.

    Yes, I agree that Mr. Rudd, when he came to power, should have dismantled the Intervention Scheme. The one where Howard bough in the army.

    Saying that, I would be surprised if what we have today, bears little resemblance to what Howard left.

    Look carefully at what Abbott is proposing. I will say, in this case, and for the first time. Is genuine in what he is promising them.

    I also believe in this regard, Mr. Abbott is naive and has much to learn.

    We still have Howard’s attempt to pull back their land rights more. When one heard the solution to poor school attendance, nce, one needs to look at his proposals closely.

  21. Fed up

    I wonder if Dirk realizes what he is including in that 90 odd percent, are our doctors, nurses , police, Defense personnel, firemen, police, court judges and staff, teachers, train drivers and many more, that keep the country running.

    I know that many here, that say they are PS, have worked in very responsible roles.

    Dirk, what is your answer to my comment.

  22. lmrh5

    I liked what Ian MacPherson had to say and agree the alternative is horrifying. I admire PM JG and her resolve in doing her best. Have others realised no one is trained in how to be PM of Australia let alone any other country and manage collegues and the opposition and be cool calm and collected. Bravo Julie. Keep doing what you can Ian. I’m with you along with a lot of others Also Fedup I’m with you as well. Chin up. My guts say JG will win the election, and mostly my guts have not let me down too often.

  23. Miglo

    Dirk, if you were to provide me with a balanced piece on why you vote Liberal then I’d be more than happy to use it as a post.

  24. Jane Seville

    @ Benjamin Jones – couldn’t have said it better. I am a proud Labor supporter and sometimes I bemoan the fact that the left are generally too intelligent for their own good (questioning the flaws of the left and the right in equal measure), and they lack the loyalty that comes from barracking for your “favourite team”. I have no such problem (too intelligent or otherwise) – GO LABOR, RAH, RAH, RAH!

  25. Verio Browning

    I’m with you all the way on this one Miglo.

    The major reason I have voted Labor/Greens all my life is that I despise a party that loves to send ‘the lower classes’ children to other people’s wars but never has the guts or the honesty to send their own children to those self same battles. From Vietnam to Iraq and then Afghanistan it was always the monied class that wanted the war, mainly it appears because they would profit from other people’s pain. Gutless bastards!

    Add to this is the fact that Labor shows far greater egalitarianism than the LNP through a whole host of policies and doesn’t discriminate so blatantly due to the size of one’s wallet. Just for those two reasons alone I will never respect the Tories.

  26. Dirk Rossey

    I have definitely ended up in the middle of a massive labor love-fest… most ex-public servants…

    Miglo – I don’t have time to write articles.. and I don’t know yet who’ll I ‘ll vote for… seems like being Liberal because of the lies of labor… so it will be a protest vote to punish the lies and the deceit.

    Mobius… as above I cannot put all the info into ‘scientifically relevant’ papers, remember I’m the one adding value to the economy so that my taxes pay for the mostly incompetent government employees …. (I give you that many of the FRONTLINE workers are excellent… it’s just the backoffices, the management and the so-called leaders are useless and time wasting)…

    nite nite…
    Thank god you have somebody to ruffle your feather a bit or there would be nothing but mutual shoulder slapping ….

    remember that the party you guys vote for has about 30% of the voters support… I’m talking to a good few of them…

  27. NellM

    Great piece Miglo. I’m very proud to say that I voted for the Whitlam government in 1972 and it was my first election to vote in. Up till then I’d always been handing out the how to vote ALP forms alongside my nanna for years. Labor values and trade unionism has been a mainstay in my family for generations, it was evening dinner table talk and I learnt so much about equality, fairness and giving a helping hand to those less fortunate.

    This years election is equally as important an election in the history of Australia, as was 1972 and getting rid of 20 odd years of LNP stranglehold on our great nation. Tony Abbott will only bring back every archaic standard of Bob Satamaria and the DLP, should Australians be silly enough to give him the gong.

    Well done Miglo, keep it going mate, we have 6 long months tomorrow till polling day and the MSM and LNP will be working overtime to try to wear us all down and out. We have to stay strong, determined and beat these blood suckers.

  28. mrharmony60

    Can we not have the personal abuse? There are plenty of sites elsewhere for that. How bout discussing the issues? Great article Migs, wholeheartedly agree. I’ve always voted Labor, inherited it from my old man who joined UK Labour when he was a teenager. I reckon most on the left are decent people trying to do the right thing. But on the conservative side, I see nasty aggressive stuff. Like Senator Ferravanti-Wells in the Senate constantly almost losing it in her shrieking about the govt. And Abbott’s confrontational abrasive style. Mirrabella, O’Dwyer, Morrison, Brandis, Bernadi….Watch these people on Q&A, or on Fox, wherever, listen to them talking over people, aggressively prosecuting their case. Now name a progressive politician behaving in the same way. Or in the media. Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Ray Hadley, pushing their agendas of bigotry and hatred. Now name a lefty shock jock. I despair, I see Tea Party style politics here now and it’s not pretty. I live in a rock solid rusted on Liberal seat, but I’m astounded how ignorant the people are. Mostly they have no idea of the agenda/policies of the Coalition. They just vote that way coz their parents did, it’s like supporting a sporting team. A worry.

  29. Alan

    For a guy that:……. “I don’t have time to write articles.”,….. you are doing a magnificent of doing just that.
    Thanks for the giggle.

  30. Dirk Rossey

    thank you for the competency vote… as I’m conducting these conversations in my fourth language, that’s a bonus.

    As for voting patterns. I’ve said before that I voted green in my native country of Belgium (after being a socialist (i.e. labor voter for 10 years)). In Belgium we have (far too many) parties to chose from. Here there are 3, and a bunch of independents who sell their votes to the highest bidder…. sick really.

    Because of the lying and cheating and intensely corrupt nature of labor I cannot vote for them. The naivety of the greens rules them out. The only solution I see is to go with a bunch of prudent economic managers. The country needs that…

    Fair enough ?

  31. Dirk Rossey

    Alan
    there is a difference in replying and just chucking down a few thoughts, and writing a thoughtful article (remember I’ve not lived in Australia for a long time – 6 years) so I don’t have a lot of facts of the past… whitlam – and others… no idea… I vaguely remember a Hawke and remember from a distance a Keating… Howard was a class act from what I read… and Rudd a despot, followed by another control freak who adds lying to her arsenal ….

  32. Alan

    Yes, but you ARE finding the time, are you not???
    So, by definition you do have the time, because you have spent all day posting here from what I can tell.

  33. Fed up

    Dirk, with so little information at your fingertips, maybe it would be prudent to bone up a little of what is going on, and then cme back and make a comment.

    Suggestion, keep away from Liberal sites, Menzies house and MSM. Listening to those from IPA, that appear to pop up everywhere, are also dubious sites.

    I would give Bolt and many radio stations a mess, as they can also lead one astray.

    If you have been out of this country, you might not realize how nasty and misleading politics have become.

    If it is six years, that is before Howard was deposed.

    You do have much catching up to do.

    Just a thought. I am in no way telling you what to do. That is not my aim or place.

  34. Dirk Rossey

    Alan… Sure have been… and all that while working…. (for myself mind you)…. aren’t I good…I’m learning that there are some decent people that are fervent about their party (nothing wrong with that) … and that most (no… all) of them are decent and polite people. A bit edgy at times, but in general decent folk… unlike what you encounter in other blogs…

    I multi-task mate…..

  35. Fed up

    He knows nothing about our country, But he knows that Labor are a mob of liars.

  36. Lachlan

    Dirk, If only one could truly describe the LNP as a bunch of prudent economic managers, all the statistics from the Howard era and from Abbott and Hockey indicate they are very very poor at it. All the statistical evidence indicates that Labor Governments have by a long way beaten Howard with prudent economical management. Check google and it will tell you as there was an independent international study on all Australian Goverments and their spending and economical management and the Howard Government’s 2 terms were the worst in 100 years of Australian Governments (don’t just take my word for it as you might believe what Murdoch’s Press say). So I guess Dirk this means since you will be voting for the prudent economical managers you will be voting Labor?

  37. Catherine

    “The only solution I see is to go with a bunch of prudent economic managers. The country needs that…” Thank you Dirk Rossey for the biggest belly laugh of the day. Another well known quote comes to mind, “tell him he’s dreaming”. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  38. Dirk Rossey

    that’s the sad thing Fed up… I indeed know little (perhaps not ‘nothing’)…. but that little is enough to witness the lies, the backstabbing, the corruption…. Or is that not there ?
    Saying one thing and doing another… to me is a lie… stabbing a sitting prime minister in the back because the polls are sagging is cowardly, and bribing ministers to buy their votes is despicable… isn’t it ?

    Don’t you SEE that…

    And I listen sometimes to 2UE and I do read the Sydney Morning Herald a lot.

  39. Bacchus

    It seems that everything Dirk knows about Australian politics comes directly from the MSM. Notice every point he makes is a direct quote of the POV they take on issues…

    Dirk, perhaps you need to read with a little more cynicism? For example, “The only solution I see is to go with a bunch of prudent economic managers.” Have you read what people who actually know what they’re talking about say about Labor’s economic management? Do a little research while you’re “multitasking.”

    Perhaps the IMF?

    Why has Australia got a AAA rating from all three ratings agencies, but achieved that under a coalition government?

    Why did Australia get through the GFC virtually unscathed, while EVERY country that followed the path advocated by the conservatives, suffered through a severe recession (and are still there in many cases.)

    Perhaps some facts from a knowledgeable source like Stephen Koukoulas – try this piece as a starting point: http://www.marketeconomics.com.au/2346-mr-abbott-as-an-economic-forecaster

    In his Budget reply speech in May last year, Mr Abbott made the following claim:

    “Madam Deputy Speaker, from an economic perspective, the worst aspect of this year’s budget is that there is no plan for economic growth; nothing whatsoever to promote investment or employment.”

    Since that speech was delivered, this has what has happened to growth, investment and jobs:

    * The economy (real GDP) has grown by 1.9% in the three quarters to December 2012. This is an annualised increase of 2.5%.

    * Private sector business investment has risen by 2.5% in the three quarters to December 2012 to be a thumping 70.0% higher than the level of investment when the Coalition was last in office. The capital expenditure expectations data were, according to Westpac, “robust” with investment likely to rise a stunning 11% in 2013-14 to fresh record highs.

    * Since June 2012, 53,400 jobs have been created, 30,000 of these full-time positions.

    More reading for you: http://www.marketeconomics.com.au/2164-australias-best-economic-fundamentals-since-1964

    If the main stream media are less than factual about something as basic to a democracy as the economy, what else are they not telling the truth about?

  40. Fed up


    Don’t you SEE that…”

    No I do not, and I have been following politics here very closely since the days of Menzies.

    I do have a good knowledge of the political history of this country.

    Now that being the case, one would think I would be able to see what you do.

    Did you say you are unable to vote yet. Maybe that is lucky for us.

  41. Dirk Rossey

    Catherine…. don’t understand… let’s do the maths… (as I understand them)…. liberal comes into power after the Hawke – Keating era and turn a debt into a surplus…. they leave the new government with a 20 billlion AUD surplus…. and in no time it’s dwindled down, eaten up and lo-and-behold, it’s now exploded to a 200 Billion AUD plus plus debt….

    I think we’re paying 200 odd million AUD PER DAY in interest…. borrowing MORE to cover the interest repayments… this is a Greece waiting to happen (not soon… but in the long run)… And all that during a period where the rest of the world was suffering through a GFC. There was no GFC in Asia and Australia, and instead Australia’s economy kept powering ahead… because of the China suck of resources and minerals. So the excuse that we carefully managed australia through the crisis is incorrect (another lie from the labor wayne swann).

    Do you run your house hold like that ? SO why do you allow your country managers to do so ?

    I don’t understand why you find that funny…

  42. johnlord2013

    Well I’m a true blue dyed in the wool ALP supporter and I thank you for your thoughts Michael. And for having the the capacity to express them so well. I found them inspirational.I notice that those of other persuasion have not taken up your friendly offer to express their thoughts on their own allegiances. Perhaps they don’t have your emotional and intellectual capacity to do so.I should like to read them none the less.

  43. Bacchus

    I think this is the study your refer to Lachlan:

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/hey-big-spender-howard-the-king-of-the-loose-purse-strings-20130110-2cj32.html

    Australia’s most needlessly wasteful spending took place under the John Howard-led Coalition government rather than under the Whitlam, Rudd or Gillard Labor governments, an international study has found.

    The International Monetary Fund examined 200 years of government financial records across 55 leading economies.

    It identifies only two periods of Australian “fiscal profligacy” in recent years, both during John Howard’s term in office – in 2003 at the start of the mining boom and during his final years in office between 2005 and 2007.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/hey-big-spender-howard-the-king-of-the-loose-purse-strings-20130110-2cj32.html#ixzz2Nmn85eLq

  44. Dirk Rossey

    Miglo… one thing that I don’t do is lying, the bedrock of your labor politicians… so you can belief what you belief… or suspect what you suspect…

    Bacchus… (good name)… read my post above… the WESTERN world got badly hit by the GFC… most of Asia sailed through it… and last time I checked… we’re economically closer connected to Asia and especially China, than we are to Europe (especially with regards of our export income)… so we KEPT receiving massive income in a strong dollar from China….

    guys – you are boring and not very smart… and stop quoting the odd economic report… soon you’ll tell me that you think Wayne Swann deserved that title of best treasurer bestowed on him a few years ago…. now THAT was a good laugh..

  45. Fed up

    Dirk, visiting other authors on this site is not a bad way to spend some time.

  46. Fed up

    Dirk, a household budget, does not work like the national budget. They have nothing in common.

  47. Mark Hyde

    The self importance of the conservative supporter really isn’t something I come here to read you know.
    I appreciate their contribution, but it’s hardly constructive or conducive of looking at their point of view in a balanced way when it’s worded so irrelevantly insulting in tone.
    It’s this resorting to the negative and the constant vociferous and virulent abuse that has marked so called ‘debate’ and ‘discussion’.
    It has me wondering whether they are covering not having very to say of any relevance at all really.
    And that’s the essential problem I find with Abbott and the Coalition. They putting forward what they call plans but really they are statements that should just be taken on trust, because you know all thinking people really ‘hate the government’.
    Well no, that’s not true at all. I think the negativity that Abbott has particularly sown isn’t necessarily to one side of politics or another, but is one that has caught HIM in the mix as well.
    I just don’t by it or the ‘crusade’ Tony and his supporters seem to be on really.
    That’s why I’ll probably not be voting for a Coalition candidate. I’d rather keep what I know now than trade for a whole lot of ‘trust me’….

  48. Bill Morris

    Like what i am reading here. Not all mindless party allegiance and adherence to historical irrelevance but well thought through compassionate and realistic choices. I have not always been a labor supporter nor do I guarantee I always will be. As a serviceman I was indoctrinated into the elitist/liberal way of thinking (and banned by military law from participating in any political activity). Circa’70s I started to put some thought into my political choices and risked helping with the It’s Time campaign for Gough Whitlam. I have yet to see another party that tries to be there for the majority even though a good percentage of the majority fail to appreciate it.
    Labor certainly isn’t perfect and has its share of dishonest opportunists but I do think more of the dishonest, greedy and arrogant gravitate toward the coalition’s elitist delusion.

  49. Bacchus

    Correction:

    Why has Australia got a AAA rating from all three ratings agencies, but never achieved that under a coalition government?

  50. Dirk Rossey

    Bachhus… thanks for your article reference…. and let’s talk this through like economically literate adults…

    it doesn’t matter what you spend…. as long as you make your income higher than your expenditure…. got that ?

    Now look at what this incompetent government is doing…. they see their income reduce (guess what… the economic laws say that you get LESS of what you tax… because companies leave our shores in droves because of the incompetence of the government in Canberra)… so this stupidity of Wayne to blame the Income reduction for the budget not being in balance is again seeking to blame instead of taking responsibility…

  51. Miglo

    On the contrary, Dirk, we like having debate with intelligent people. So far we haven’t encountered any such souls.

    You come across as someone with a bit of competency, though your comments would suggest otherwise.

    I’d still welcome a good reason as to why you would cast your vote the way you will. You said you are still undecided, however, I’m not too sure of that.

  52. johnlord2013

    Dirk you need to do some research.

    FACT 1
    “While Tony Abbott and the Opposition would like to pretend it never happened, the global financial crisis was the most difficult global economic period since the Great Depression and its effects are still being felt.

    There continues to be uncertainty in the global economy and recently, the unusual combination of a persistently high dollar in the face of lower commodity prices has hit Australian company profits, which means the Government is receiving less in taxation revenue than expected.

    In fact, over the last five years, government revenues have been written down by $160 billion. Since 2010, revenue for 2012-13 alone has been written down by a staggering $20 billion.

    These dramatic falls in revenue put significant pressure on the federal budget.

    FACT 2.
    One of the most effective ways to assess government spending is to look at it as a proportion of GDP.

    Spending is at or below 24 per cent of GDP over the budget period which is the longest sustained period of spending at this low level in over 30 years.

    An IMF study released last week shows this Government has made responsible spending decisions, while the Howard government clearly missed opportunities to effectively use the mining boom and strong global economic conditions to invest in Australia’s future.

    Since mid-2009 this Government has offset all new spending decisions.

    Ironically, a number of these savings measures have been opposed by the same politicians who now call for more cuts.”

  53. Fed up

    Dirk, for somone that has not been here for six years, you sure have all the right wing slogans off pat.

    Dirk, I suspect you have visited this site many times. Just give me a little time, and I will work out who you really are.

    Go back and reread what you have written.

    Keep a count of how many times you have contradicted yourself. Not saying you are lying. I would never do that.

  54. Bill Morris

    Well I did like what I was reading prior to the entry of Dirk el al.

  55. Dirk Rossey

    Fed up… stop being pedantic please… the principals are the same… if you spend more than what you get you go broke…

    and Bacchus… we’re not called the lucky country for nothing… despite the incompetence of the labor government, we have been digging stuff from our soil (at a great cost to the environment dare I say, GO GREENS)…. and getting super dollars for it… so from a macro-economic point of view it looks bloody rosy… but if you look at what we call the ‘secondary’ economy… it’s a real disaster… just look at all the companies leaving our shores… and all the manufacturing companies going broke because we’re not competitive anymore (who’s going to be first to point to the labor-reflex-of-let’s-blame-the-strong-dollar) ….

  56. Fed up

    I seem to recall, Treasurer Keating having to deal with a record debt left behind by treasurer Howard. I believe it’s size still has not been matched.

  57. Dirk Rossey

    johnlard … your FACT1 has been refuted already… and your FACT 2 is wrong. I’m an ex investment banker (more research tit-bits for you Fed up)… and we do not measure governments that way… there is NEARLY ALWAYS some statistic that you can use to prove your point…

    Mine is cash in the bank….
    nite nite ….

    I don’t want anybody to start saying that I run away because you win… you don’t… you’re all very polite and I again appreciate that…

    Fed up … you can google me.. .I at least have the balls to put my REAL name on my comments… unlike most of you lot…

    Speaks again…

  58. Bill Morris

    Does it matter who Dirk really is? He is readily recognIsable as provocateur and comic relief.

  59. Bacchus

    Oh dear – your posts indicate you don’t have sufficient understanding of economics to “talk this through like economically literate adults.”

    Your confusion over the difference between basic concepts like deficits and debts indicate this very clearly. Also, your knowledge of GFC conditions is just wrong – straight out of the “Liberal party book of misleading rhetoric” 🙄 Do some more research of independent sources. Even the budget papers will tell you more than the rubbish you’re spouting here…

  60. Bill Morris

    No one is interested in your small balls Dirk nor do I want a government to tax me in order to build a bank balance. I expect my tax dollars to be put to real work.

  61. Fed up

    No, not with a national budget. One could always raise tax, to increase revenue. There is plenty of room in the economy to do that.

    The ore prices are once again on the upturn. That will lead to a smaller deficit.

    If the dollar fell, things would be easier.

    The problem is not increased spending. Spending of this government has been falling.

    There has been great fiscal consolditation.

    This government has started on removing much of the upper class welfare that Howard introduced, while at the same time, lowering the taxes of the wealthy. This has lead to a greater disparity between the incomes of those on the bottom, with those on the top.

    It was helped along by Howard cutting benefits to the poor, replacing them with user pay.

    In a personal budget, one can cut spending without affecting the economy. This is not so in a national budget, making too many cuts, can lead to the economy collapsing altogether.

    That is why before Christmas, the treasurer had to stop his attempt to bring the budget into surplus this year. Drop in ore prices, and the world economy not picking up, led to this situation. (That is one of the lies the PM is accused of)

    What is amazing, Mr. Abbott has condemned every cut the Labor government has made, at the same time, accusing them of excessive spending.

    Mr. Abbott is the only person that believes he can have it both ways.

    Under Mr. Howard there were 15 interest rate rises, in spite of many years of surpluses. Why was that so?

    Mr. Costello left behind serious structural deficits in the budget, that are still being dealt with and have problems for the future,

    You need to do more here than rave on about debt and deficits They in themselves do not carry much weight.

    The economy is much more difficult to manage that that.

    Fiscal austerity is not the answer. It is failing world wide. The UK is in it; s third recession.

    Please do not compare us to Italy and Spain, whoses economic system is much different to ours. They are we members of a common market.

  62. Fed up

    Also sold off the farm to pay off debt and lower taxes that benefit the wealthy. Money should have been reinvested in new infrastructure for the future.

  63. Lachlan John McKenzie

    Dirk, If only one could truly describe the LNP as a bunch of prudent economic managers, all the statistics from the Howard era and from Abbott and Hockey indicate they are very very poor at it. All the statistical evidence indicates that Labor Governments have by a long way beaten Howard with prudent economical management. Check google and it will tell you as there was an independent international study on all Australian Goverments and their spending and economical management and the Howard Government’s 2 terms were the worst in 100 years of Australian Governments (don’t just take my word for it as you might believe what Murdoch’s Press say). So I guess Dirk this means since you will be voting for the prudent economical managers you will be voting Labor?

  64. Miglo

    Dirk, it’s interesting that while living in the land of cornfields and cow paddocks you knew of Whitlam, Hawke and Keating.

    And what have you read recently about Howard? Obviously not the OEPC finding that he was the most wasteful of our post war PMs.

    I think you might be pulling our legs, Dirk.

  65. Fed up

    Dirk, I am not being pedantic. National budgets do not work the same as the household budget. That is a fact of life.

    Of course the Liberals and your ilk do not like this fact. The debt scare does not work, if one understands this.

  66. Lachlan John McKenzie

    Trouble is Dirk, Murdoch owns 70% of Australian media and has an agenda to unseat Labor and install Abbott. Please keep reading and watching media but make sure you get most of your content from independent media and also realise that tv presenrptations are heavily edited and are often not even shown at all. There is increasing discontent amongst main stream media reporters as they are not allowed to report a lot of stories or news and the original content they do generate is so heavily edited and change to support Murdoch’s agenda.

  67. Pingback: Federal Election 14/09/2013 - Page 15 - 4x4 Earth

  68. Miglo

    Thanks Bacchus. I meant the IMF, not the OECD. 😳

  69. Bacchus

    A corporate con man overrated trainer calling himself an “investment banker” because he once did work for an investment bank is about as ethical as a “Marketing Manager” claiming to be helping poor souls with their psychological problems because he does work promoting a network of psychologists 🙄

  70. Lachlan John McKenzie

    I think Dirk when you said $200 Billion deficit you really meant $200 Million (just a small difference really!!!) And not as big as Abbott and Hockey’s $600 Million funding black hole. Watchin a very interesting program about the big crash in the USA in the 1920’s which spread world wide (and was also widely linked to Hitler seizing power through the unrest it caused-digressing) and financial experts all agreed the best way to get through it was not by austerity which was tried at the time and made it far far worse but by stimulating the economy and by giving people jobs and confidence. Indeed it was only by President Franklin Roosevelt spending big big USA tax dollars (a move that was not popular at the time) that the USA moved out of The Great Depression and became an economic power house again. Spending money on the Australian people and infrastructure is an investment in Australia’s future. Most countries actually have a national deficit which is only considered bad when it reaches 50% of GDP. Australia’s GDP I think might be around the $30 Trillion so $200 Million is nothing (relatively). Howard put lots of money into his surplus and would only spend it on promoting his reelection and neglected heavily investing in infrastructure and the Australian people. Howard made Australia the highest taxed people in iur histoiry bar none. Labor has actually reduced taxes, the tax creepbjust for example….

  71. mrharmony60

    Dirk Rossey, please explain. why is Oz one of if not the strongest economies in the world. AAA rated. low interest rates. low unemployment. low debt as a % of GDP. Succinct answer please. No long winded waffle.

  72. mrharmony60

    Unbelievable that the Australian economy is simultaneously the strongest in the world coz of the Howard/Costello legacy or mining boom but is also on the verge of a Greek like collapse coz of Labors mismanagement. Amazing really.

  73. Lachlan John McKenzie

    Perhaps he is also one of those ones who works (is paid) for by Murdoch/LNP to influence public opinion by their posts/comments and are set up with multiple accounrs so they can appear to be many people. There have been studies done by companies who proved that this works (articles have been written in UK and USA) that such people can influence others. Would be interesting to investigate this also.

  74. Miglo

    Dirk, I’m in debt. I have a mortgage. But I wouldn’t say it’s bad debt. Now, as a financial genius I’m sure you agree with me.

  75. Ken Brown

    Great article Miglo. I found it to be very interesting and it complements my observations of the political scene over the years to some extent. I think that under Rudd and Gillard the Labor Party has done quite a decent job, although its a pity it doesn’t present the united front that Howard’s LNP was able to manage while in Government. The public perception and division has done so much harm and that appears to be a Labor tradition after the Hawke/ Keating conflict.

    If the LNP gains Government in September I think it will be a disaster for Australia, and it doesn’t matter if it is Abbott, Turnbull or any other leading them.

    My main disappointment with Labor relates to the environmental front (I’m fully aware of how much worse it will be under the LNP……putting Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott together would be a nightmare, without adding the other LNP States).

    This coming week there will debate on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Bill 2013 in the House of Reps (Senator Larissa Waters is also trying to have legislation passed in the Senate). The major problem is that the Government/ Parliament is proposing to hand their environmental controls over to the States. If this happens or the legislation is watered down and the LNP gains Government, we might as well write the environment off.

    What do we have to lose? Only the Great Barrier Reef, Great Artesian Basin, our flora and fauna, agricultural land…..it’s a long list. Even Tony Windsor’s scientific committee to monitor CSG was watered down and placed under State control. Even an iconic animal such as the Koala is under threat of extinction in NSW and Queensland.

    Unfortunately both Labor and the LNP are beholding to the mining industries, and currently it appears that the mining companies can do as they wish….just look at what they did to Kevin Rudd.

    At the next election I’ll be voting Tony Windsor in the Reps, because I have found him to be a decent bloke, but I’ll be voting Greens in the Senate.

  76. mark delmege

    Hawke and Keatings neo-liberalism wasn’t as good as you make out – if thats what you are doing Ricky.

  77. steven james

    seems to me dirk never listens to tony abbott, because every time he moves his lips a lie falls out. and whenever he is asked a question about what he will do ? he never answers the question ! he just babbles on with bullshit. dirk you read to many papers and believe to many lies. but you also fail to believe many truths !

  78. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Hey Dirk Your good at maths mate…add this up…I make it 71.8 billion, not a bad fire sale.

    http://www.finance.gov.au/property/asset-sales/past-sales.html

    This wholly grail apparently of economic credibility is “the Surplus” . The pinnacle of all things measurable in economic credibility.

    No surplus .bad…
    surplus….. mighty power.

    Yes No?

    Now if the Libs sold everything that wasn’t bolted down, what credence do you give on them doing it again without using a broomstick on the < Billionaires?

    I love the term used by the Libs (and by some Labor folk on the right for that matter)
    "Free Market Economics" Supply and demand will fix everything.
    Electricty? Nope

    Water? Nope

    Telecommunications?…Big Nooooope there

    Free market economics is a delusional laboratory term where all things are Equal. Media domination is just as bad as Woolworths owning petrol, groceries, alcohol, gaming and whatever they have taken over this week by stealth.

    Ask yourself if the Telecommunications or grocery sector are better for deregulated consumer satisfaction.

    Lets not forget the stimulus measures were opposed by an opposition that treated the GFC like it was a non event. till the final hour. Quite simply it saved our asses. Howard? well spin it anyway you want but if it was not for Keatings micro economic reforms in the banking sector, deregulation, floating the dollar and the wages accord linked to productivity, Costello (a lazy treasurer at best)

    Look I concede parliamentary economics is a half truth black art where a spreadsheet can reveal a billion or so under the couch but this lie perpetuated by the position on economic management just does not wash.

    Warning Murdoch Press quote:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/alp-best-manager-of-money-history-shows/story-fn59niix-1226056371414

  79. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Mark at the time our economy was a steam train wreck, antiquated and in dire need of reform. Keating inherited 33 bill of debt from Howard that he had to carry though a resession whilst deregulateing the banking sector, floating the dollar and achieveing the accord linked to productivity. He also forged closer economic ties with Asia. This is his legacy, significant economic reform. You can call it what you like, he was responsible for modernising our economy. Howard was an atrocious Treasurer, protectionist to free market capitalist, all over the shop. Costello was just lazy, no reforms no legacy just gloating about a bottom line after selling the farm. Keating and Hawke were reformists, they made hard decisions which were a bitter pill. Thank the stars they did because they did not have the cash Costello or Swan had.

  80. Dirk Rossey

    Morning all… .good fun reading your foaming-at-the-lips comments.

    This AUSTRALIAN INDEPENDENT MEDIA NETWORK is like most things related to labor one big spinning lie…. it’s totally not independent, and that’s fine…

    And your ‘research origins’ are laughable…. ‘Roosevelt Institutes’ – ‘citizens journalism’ are all similar labels covering left wing ignorants who tax the wealth out of an economy. Sad really, but you get what you deserve… just look at Europe and USA.

    At least I’m not putting bills into parliament to stop this spin-lie from continuing because I belief in free speech. Keep at it, without me, I’ve seen enough….

    I’ll sign off as Cassandra (go find out who she was…. and try to think through why I would do that)

  81. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    I notice Dirk that you sign on as nasty troll with insults and claims of economic credence and leave with absolutely nothing. 🙄

  82. staffordhall

    If I ever come across an LNP candidate worthy of my vote I will let you know Miglo.

  83. Alison White

    Dirk – Cassandra told the truth – you have merely given an opinion. Also – the inability to tell a lie about the truth she foresaw brought her to an untimely end – she did not gloat nor prance gleefully about taunting, it was a serious and melancholy burden a curse.

    Methinks you may be a big hairy troll – not hard to see that when you begin a comment with the absurd statement that “…research conducted by yours truly has found that 90% of Public Servants (in Australia) aren’t worth a quarter of the salary they’re paid”.

    Hey I may join in with the insults for a laugh – ‘”In my research it is proven that 90% of Belgians, having nose’s as pointy as they do and having an apparent lack of any visible chin – never have trouble getting pickles out of a jar”.

    As for the four languages – the Belgian’s having been conquered so many times needed to have an amalgam of Dutch and French as their official language, so, essentially you only had to learn English and spite – big deal. My son speaks Japanese, but I still don’t go to him for advice about political issues.

  84. Fed up

    Mark, maybe Hawke and Keating were not as good as some think.

    One thing for sure, they are a damn lot better that they have been portrayed over the years by the media and the Opposition..

    Keating did not warrant the attack the media made on him at the time.

    That is the point of mentioning his name.

    What I have been saying is, that history appears to write Labor PMs up more positively than the media of their daqy did.

    The reverses seem to occur with Coalition PMs.

  85. steven james

    free speech is good dirk, the trouble with what we read in the papers and hear from libs and nats and shock jocks, is a pack of lies. how about hearing some truths for a change ? also the conservatives dont care about helping the poor and needy ! they only govern to make the rich richer, and make the poor poorer.. its a real pity that a lot of people only believe what they read in the papers. they need to see through the lies !!!!!!

  86. Col

    Anyone care to take this test?

    1. How many of these 15 countries have triple A credit ratings and stable outlook with all four major credit agencies — Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, Moody’s and Dagong?

    The USA, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Luxembourg.

    (a) all 15
    (b) 10
    (c) five
    (d) one

    2. The Washington-based free-enterprise organisation Heritage Foundation publishes an annual index of economic freedom. This measures capitalism’s ability to “work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, unconstrained by the state.”

    Since Australia changed from the right-wing Howard government to the left-wing Rudd/Gillard regime, Australia’s ranking on the freedom index among the 34 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations has:

    (a) dropped to the bottom of the table
    (b) dropped marginally but still somewhere in the middle
    (c) stayed the same, somewhere in the middle
    (d) risen to the top

    3. By 2007, Australia’s level of high technology exports had fallen to US$3.26 billion, the lowest level in three years.

    Over the next three years, under Labor, during the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, high tech exports:

    (a) dropped 4 per cent to $3.13 billion
    (b) stayed at the same level
    (c) increased 4 per cent to $3.39 billion
    (d) increased 17.4 per cent to $3.83 billion

    4. Tony Abbott told the national press in January, “As long as a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme damages our economy without reducing emissions … it would be crazy to go down that path.”

    In the first six months of Australia’s carbon pricing scheme, carbon dioxide emissions:

    (a) rose marginally by 1.2 per cent
    (b) stayed the same
    (c) fell marginally by 1.2 per cent
    (d) fell significantly by 8.6 per cent

    5. Only two of the 34 OECD countries survived the global financial crisis with just one quarter of negative GDP growth, avoiding a technical recession.

    Curiously, those two are now the only nations with interest rates — hence cost of borrowing and return on savings — in the optimum range between 2.8 per cent and 4.4 per cent.

    Australia is one. The other is:

    (a) Poland
    (b) Switzerland
    (c) Germany
    (d) Canada

    6. Exports of goods and services is a key indicator of an economy’s health. Of these 12 powerhouse economies, how many sold more goods and services in 2012’s fourth quarter than in the third?

    Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the USA.

    (a) all 12
    (b) only six
    (c) two
    (d) one

    7. This follows question 6 about exports of goods and services — an indicator of a sound economy.

    The fouth quarter of 2012 was a toughie. Only seven of the 34 OECD countries managed to sell more in 2012’s fourth quarter than in the third. Only three managed a 1 per cent gain or better.

    Those three were:

    (a) Australia, Canada and the Netherlands
    (b) Australia, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland
    (c) Australia, Poland and Chile
    (d) Australia, Singapore and China

    Bonus point: One of those nations increased its sales by an impressive 3.3 per cent, more than double the next best result (1.6 per cent). Which one?

    8. There have been two extraordinarily costly blunders by treasurers in Australia’s history. Both well kept secrets.

    One was $4.5 billion in Australia’s reserves lost gambling on the foreign exchange markets.

    The second was the sale of most of Australia’s gold reserves at near rock bottom prices just before the price rose spectacularly — giving more billions to speculators overseas.

    Coincidentally (or maybe not) they happened under the same treasurer.

    He was:

    (a) John Howard
    (b) Paul Keating
    (c) Peter Costello
    (d) Wayne Swan

    9. Which prestigious international news journal in February lauded the latest data on Australia’s economy?

    The article highlighted GDP growth, the lift in exports, record income per person and the stock market surge:

    (a) The Wall Street Journal
    (b) La Tribune
    (c) Der Spiegel
    (d) The Washington Post
    (e) The Huffington Post
    (f) Bloomberg.com
    (g) all of the above

    10. This follows question 9 regarding international news journals praising Australia’s economy.

    The essential story was that Australia — alone in the world — registered quarterly GDP growth above 0.5 per cent for the seventh consecutive quarter. And annual growth for 21 consecutive years.

    The latest number was 0.6 for the December 2012 quarter. Almost as good as the 0.7 for the September quarter and the same as the 0.6 for the June quarter. All exceeded predictions.

    Which of the following headlines was written by a Murdoch editor in Australia:

    (a) Australia Expands at Fastest Pace Since 2007 on Exports
    (b) Australian Quarterly G.D.P. Beats Expectations
    (c) Australia Has Now Gone 21 Years Without A Recession
    (d) Economic growth slows in December quarter
    (e) Australian Dollar up on Strength in Shares, Solid 4Q GDP

    11. Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey told a business conference in Brisbane in February that energy and labour costs are lower in the USA than in Australia, implying input costs were lower generally.

    But what about outcomes? On how many of these 25 indicators are Americans faring better than Australians?

    1. economic growth
    2. gross national income per capita
    3. income disparity
    4. employment participation
    5. unemployment rate
    6. women in the workforce
    7. superannuation
    8. health care
    9. pension levels
    10. economic freedom
    11. interest rates
    12. savings
    13. home ownership
    14. value of the local currency cf the euro
    15. value of the local currency cf the UK pound
    16. government 10 year bond rate
    17. bankruptcies
    18. deficit as a percentage of GDP
    19. current account as a percentage of GDP
    20. debt as a percentage of GDP
    21. balance of trade current
    22. balance of trade history
    23. foreign exchange reserves
    24. international credit ratings
    25. overall quality of life

    (a) Only ten of the 25
    (b) Only five
    (c) One
    (d) None

    12. According to the OECD, overall taxation in Australia increased when the Coalition took office in 1996. Taxes were then higher throughout the entire Howard/Costello period than at any time during the preceding Hawke/Keating years.

    Taxation as percentage of GDP reached an all-time high in 2004 at 30.4 per cent.

    The tax take then dropped significantly when Labor took office in 2007. For the entire Rudd/Gillard period taxes have been lower than the lowest point during the Howard years.

    Which of these untrue statements appears in Tony Abbott’s recent speeches:

    (a) At the heart of Labor’s failure is the assumption that bigger government and higher taxes are the answer to every problem.
    (b) The government has completely failed to appreciate the iron law of economics that no country has ever taxed its way to prosperity.
    (c) With a growing economy, it is possible to have lower taxes, better services and a stronger budget bottom line — as Australians discovered during the Howard era.
    (d) To every issue this government’s knee-jerk response is more tax, more regulation and more vitriol.
    (e) all of the above

  87. steven james

    good work : )

  88. Robin

    Hi Col, your effort is impressive.

    From what I have read, the answers are as follows. Please correct me where I’m wrong. Also, I hope you don’t mind but I would like to use this in other posts with attribution to you here of course.

    1. One – Australia
    2. (d) – Risen to the top
    3. (d) – increased to $3.82B
    4. (d) – fell by 8.6%
    5. (c) – Germany?
    6. Don’t know
    7. I’d guess (a), possibly (d)
    8. (a) – John Howard, Australia’s worst Treasurer and Australia’s worst Prime Minister. Even Billy McMahon made him look ordinary and I was there to witness McMahon’s idiocies in 1972 and what a sweet victory that was.
    9. Don’t know but would expect (a) if not all the others as well.
    10. (d) as it is the only negative one in the list
    11. I would expect (d) as from my observations the Land of the Free is also the Land of the Oppressed.
    12. (e). Because nothing beats a good lie and Tony is a master of the craft.

    I wonder what Dirk Rossey has to say about this? I expect the worst.

  89. Dirk Rossey

    Robin, Dirk Rossey has better things to do than to see a bunch of labor government employees masturbate in public… keep it to yourselves….

  90. Fed up

    Dirk, no one is twisting your arm to come.

    Hope you do not need a hospital or copper. Lets hope those soldiers are there to protect our nation. Even those in taxation fulfill a serious role.

  91. Robin

    Wow! Why Dirk, you sure can do the argumentum ad hominem successfully. All I was asking was how you would take this set of data as presented by Col which you didn’t address but instead called us names which would only be applicable if you were doing it in front of a mirror.

  92. steven james

    ok , now we see the real dirk ! a real nasty piece of work, i am sure you will fit in well with your fellow liberals. time for you to go now ! may karma give you everything you deserve.

  93. Min

    The difference is that there is factual information provided and it is up to those reading this to form their own conclusions. Those who bleat about this site or any other which provides factual information compares with those who deal in for the most part little of anything of any substance but rather prefer rumour, innuendo and just plain lies (and badly told ones at that).

  94. Col

    Robin, it’s not my work. It belongs to Alan Austin and published in New Matilda. I was too quick to post without providing the link. Very naughty. Here it is.

  95. Robin

    Thanks Col

  96. Col

    For some reason that link doesn’t seem to be working. Anyway, here are the answers.

    Answers:

    1: (d) one. Australia. Five countries in this exclusive club: Singapore, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia.
    2. (d) Australia ranks third in the world and top among OECD nations.
    3. (d) increased 17.4 per cent
    4. (d) fell by 8.6 per cent
    5. (a) Poland
    6. (d) one. Australia
    7. (b) Australia [3.3 per cent], the Slovak Republic [1.0 per cent] and Switzerland [1.6 per cent].
    8. (c) Peter Costello. Gambling losses here. Gold sales here.
    9. (g) all of them
    10. (d) in the Sydney Daily Telegraph. The others were: (a) Bloomberg, (b) The New York Times, (c) The Huffington Post and (e) The Wall Street Journal.
    11. (d) none. The USA is equal with Australia on two or three indicators, but better on none.
    12. (e) all of them.

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