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What will Labor Inherit in 2016?

$1 billion dollars a week. That is what the LNP have been “borrowing” every week since they were elected in September 2013. At this rate, by September 2016 they will have “borrowed” in excess of $150 billion taking the national “debt” from $284 billion to $434 billion plus.

There’s a reason why the words, ‘borrowing’ and ‘debt’ are in inverted comas above. In reality, it isn’t debt at all and it is not borrowing and I can only guess how much Joe Hockey would like to say that publicly. In reality, it is the total amount of Commonwealth Government Securities on issue that have been purchased by various institutions and individuals, in Australian dollars, held here and around the world.

They are like shares, purchased as an investment in the future prosperity of Australia. They can be sold on the bond market if, for whatever reason, a buyer needed to redeem them. You and I can buy them whenever an issue is announced by the Australian Office of Financial Management.

Twice a year, the Commonwealth Government pays interest on these securities, just like a publicly listed corporation pays out a dividend. The interest payment is created out of thin air by the Reserve Bank of Australia, our Central Bank. They can do this because they are the only currency issuer of Australian dollars anywhere in the world and because the strength of the Australian economy is the buyers’ guarantee.

Image from abc.net.au

Image from abc.net.au

So, if you are asking yourself, or if your friends ask, what about Labor’s debt? This is how it should be explained. One thing is for certain. Joe Hockey would never be heard explaining it this way. But oh, how he would like to. How easy would it be to start calling it what it is and to stop worrying about the size of the deficit?

But he can’t. Because all his previous rhetoric about budget emergencies, of ballooning debt, of saddling our grandchildren with the cost of our excesses, of crippling the dreams and aspirations of future generations, will be seen for what it is; a lie, a deception, an untruth, told to instil fear into the hearts and minds of vulnerable people whose only understanding of economics is that of managing a business or a household budget.

Why did he do this? Why did he instil fear into our hearts and minds? Because he wanted to be Treasurer. And now he is and he is stuck with his own rhetoric. On the economics side, it doesn’t matter that Hockey has borrowed $1billion a week since September 2013. In fact, right now it is necessary because private sector investment is in decline. Spending is what currency issuing governments should do when the private sector is struggling. But that is incidental compared with the ambition of a politician.

But what of the Labor Party? Is it too much to expect them to step up to the plate and play the honesty card? To explain what the “debt” they have been condemned for, really is? The Labor Party, who have always put the people first, who have in the past, embarrassed the business community with their economic rationalism, their willingness to spend money into existence to create economic activity that gets people back to work building value adding projects; is this what they want to inherit?

Don’t expect the LNP, this present government, who pander to the will of institutions like the IPA to kick start an ailing economy. Their answer is to cut spending, to make life difficult for those who, given the opportunity, would restore a nation’s wealth. Their answer is to consolidate the existing wealth into the hands of the elite, super rich, the powerful and the influential.

forbes billionairsTheir answer is to wait, in the forlorn hope that at some time in the future, when the numbers of unemployed have reached a level so high it will encourage the upper echelons of wealth creation to act. Only then will they grab the nettle, demand a lowering of worker’s wages, a change in workers conditions that reflect John Howard’s ‘Work Choices’ and give business the green light to get things moving again. It’s called the ‘trickle-down effect’.

Is that what the Labor opposition is waiting for, too? Have they deserted their roots? Will they meekly accept the dishonesty of the ‘debt and deficit disaster’ mantra and hope that an unpopular government will be voted out, without them having to do or say anything? Do they really want to win government by default as did this government?

They should think ahead before they choose that path. Because when that happens they will inherit the same sort of economic conditions their predecessors did, except that it will be worse. Why? Because Joe Hockey will have continued “borrowing” unable to arrest the mounting “debt burden” that will be his downfall.

Hockey will soon, if not already, rightly be seen as a failure in economic management, a bed he made for himself when he coined the term “budget emergency”. Does Labor really want to inherit that? Do they want to be facing the same absurd false-debt scenario that will strangle their capacity to restore near full employment, improve our stand of living and be true to their mission to first serve the people?

shortenIf Labor doesn’t want to find itself on the same old Merry-go-Round in 2016, it would do well to come clean now, with a gentle heart to heart chat with the Australian community and tell them how a nation’s economy really works.

 

102 comments

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  1. la_lasciata

    That’s the horrible problem, John: much and all as I PASSIONATELY loathe and detest everything to do with TROWC and everything they touch with their slimy fingers, there’s currently an opposition to turn to that represents … what ?
    When the **** is Shorten going to pull his finger out and give us something to clutch at ?
    Alternatively, when the **** will the ALP get rid of him and give us Chris Bowen instead ? – HE wouldn’t be seen uttering those inane phrases that some moron dreams up for Shorten. At least, I hope he wouldn’t …
    If it’s true that the LNP is going to finally rissole Mr Rabbit and replace him with that horrible woman, that would seem to be the ideal time for the ALP to do the same in terms of Shorten.
    Will you tell them ? – or shall I ?
    [grin]

  2. Kaye Lee

    Why wouldn’t we issue bonds, the latest offering 2.75% interest, when we can invest the money for a far greater return?

    Even if we ignored productivity enhancers, infrastructure and services for the nation….

    To 31 March 2014, the Future Fund returned 11.2% per annum over five years and 9.3% per annum over three years, exceeding the baseline long-term target return of 7.1% per annum and 6.9% per annum for each period respectively.

    Since May 2006, when the Fund was established, the Future Fund has grown to $97.57 billion, having received contributions from government totalling $60.5 billion. This equates to a return of 6.8% per annum. The baseline long-term target since May 2006 is 7.2% per annum.

    The Fund’s return for the financial year to 31 March 2014 was 9.8% and the return for the quarter to 31 March 2014 was 1.1%.

    Or we can think longer term about the return on education, research, health, alleviation of poverty, renewable energy investment, fast NBN, high speed rail……

    Or we can spend all our money on fighter jets and bombs and submarines, on-water operations to catch asylum seekers to lock up in offshore gulags, and roads…lots and lots of heat islands leading to crowded cities clogged with imported cars that have nowhere to park.

  3. Jacko

    When you train a racehorse to win over two miles you dont tell the jockey to go flat out from barrier rise, you istruct him to hold his ground and save him for a finishing run.
    Shorten will save his run for the finishing post and win running away. The rest of the field (the LNP) wont be seen on the racetrack for again for a long long time.

  4. stephentardrew

    Great article John clear and precise as usual.

    All we can do is keep bashing on in the hope that the message gets through. Labor’s silence is not helping those who have moved away from the party due to the excessive influence of the neo-cons. I think we need to lobby our local members and try to educate them to another way of thinking about debt and surplus. Maybe a well thought out presentation by someone who fully understands MMT to be handed to Labor politicians and the greens. It is more a marketing problem than just a political hope that Labor members will somehow come to question the debt myth. I don’t have the skills however it would be good if AMIN could get a skilled economist to develop an introductory pamphlet that constituents could present personally to their local members and preselected candidates.

  5. Darren

    I understand people’s frustration with the ALP in general and Bill Shorten specifically, but to paraphrase @Jacko above, this is a marathon over 3 years, not a sprint.

    As for policy, I’d like to see the ALP come out with a plan for full employment. Not the neoliberal 5% unemployment kind, but the pre-neoliberal 2% unemployment and zero underemployment kind. The un and under employed are our biggest area of waste and inefficiency. Get these people contributing. The vast majority of them want to.

  6. Graham Houghton

    Excellent article, John; thank you. I think the problem is that the economy and ‘debt’ is a very effective cudgel for any opposition party to wield against an incumbent government as long as the great unwashed don’t understand the reality. That’s why neither governments, nor oppositions will ever explain it in the way that you have so clearly. As you say, Hockey could make life so much easier for himself and everybody in this country if he could just come clean. But then he’d have no one to blame for the mythical elephant in the room and therefore no excuses for belting the economic shit out of all those unable to defend themselves. His real faux pas was telling New Zealanders that we didn’t have a problem with the economy, in fact it was in great shape. In so doing he demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the way things work in the 21st century and therefore his utter unsuitability to occupy any position of responsibility except perhaps for cleaning the toilets in parliament house, under strict supervision, of course. No offence to the parliamentary housekeeping staff.

  7. mars08

    “What will Labor Inherit in 2016?”

    An Australian electorate in which, despite the actions and policies of the current gang of sleazy thugs… at least 40% of voters STILL support the Abbott regime. When it comes to “values” and attitiudes his country is in deep deep trouble…

  8. John Fraser

    <

    @Darren

    Good point with the "neoliberal 5% unemployment".

    But I must point out that Qld State Labor under Beattie also had the 5% unemployment mark (read election promise) back in about 2004 (or thereabouts).

    At the time I thought it was a good "plan" ….. but it was just another Beattie promise backed up with a smile and goofy laugh.

    My thoughts now are in line with your " I’d like to see the ALP come out with a plan for full employment. Not the neoliberal 5% unemployment kind, but the pre-neoliberal 2% unemployment and zero underemployment kind."

    But it has to be drip fed to the MSM in between attacks on health, NBN, welfare etc etc.

  9. Phi

    Nicely put – so it’s over to the ALP, a party that needs to make some big changes to attract my vote at the next election.

  10. Darren

    Yes @John Fraser, the ALP have also been on the neoliberal bandwagon since the Hawke/Keating period. It’s had it’s time. It has failed to deliver and we need a new economic paradigm. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) might fit the bill, but there are probably other theories out there too. I am not qualified to judge their merits, but then who is, as neoliberal economists scoff at alternatives despite the obvious failures of their own baby.

  11. rikda

    Jacko, I take your point, but I think the plan will be another Hayden/Hawke maneuver (Bowen or Albo)
    We saw what Murdoch is capable of doing with Skeletons in the closet, & Bill has a few.
    I can’t remember a more mono-toned dispassionate & tired Labor leader, & that’s the problem.
    If you can think of one, I’m listening.

  12. Ross

    On another site, in response to my question, “From just who does a currency issuing government “borrow” back the currency they issue?”
    Someone replied with the absolute cracker, “they borrow from the banks like everyone else”
    My question was a little sarcastic and you can only hope so was the reply, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  13. Jacko

    Rikda, I’d throw Bill Hayden in the hat, lovely bloke as he was and I’m sure there’s been others over the years but take heart, I think that most people loathe Abbot and his unfair, idealistic and confrontational manner as the polls currently show and I believe Shorten does have the ability to lift his game as election time becomes nearer.
    Meanwhile, Abbot seems as if he’ll be staying on, who else have the LNP got to turn to? If Bishop is the best they Have to offer then I don’t think the ALP have any worries.
    I think you will find that as the time draws near, all will be revealed as far as policies are concerned. Old rule of poker, don’t show your hand too soon and as we have just learned, old rule of politics, don’t make promises you have no intention of keeping.

  14. mars08

    If the ALP inherits government of Australia … they will probably do it without my vote.

  15. Kaye Lee

    They don’t have to make promises yet but they should be having the discussion. They should be making the case for what they want to achieve and be inclusive in listening to advice on how best to achieve it. Throw ideas out there, inviting comment. Leaving it to election time gives you no chance to help people understand the real case – it leaves it all to the advertising campaign of people who thought THIS was a good idea.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3HtNCv3xvM

  16. mars08

    @Kaye Lee…

    Agree 100%.

    I don’t expect the ALP to release firm policies.

    All I’d like to see is clear, unambiguous, genuine statements of their philosophy. I want to know what THEY think they stand for. And I wish I could believe them.

  17. stephentardrew

    Absolutely Kaye we need a coherent and accessible conduit into the Labor Party and it is no use vacillating about possible monetary models. We need to promote MMT, which like all theories will have its benefits and limitations, however it does provide a sound basis for stimulus, reduction in unemployment and growing the economy. Supply side economics is a complete failure so progressives need a coherent plan they can coalesce around rather than spending two years vacillating around a variety of contemporary econometric models. MMT has a large coterie of international economists who are more than qualified to formulate a coherent foundational MMT.

    A fun introduction to MMT.

    MMT Movie: Economics for Dummiez

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bXpOUYrr1c

  18. DanDark

    Phony Tony will be gone by the end of February, the Libs know they can’t win next election with the lying lizard
    Julie Bishop won’t lead a team of men, the men of the coal ition won’t allow that nonsense in the 21 st century
    What will Labor inherit, they will inherit a country on the brink of collapse, and I don’t hold much hope out for them fixing it in a hurry….um I think it’s all too late, we have passed the point if no return, R I P Australia….

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    One must move away from what appears the common perceptions that debt, deficits is always bad. From the assumption many make, that one runs the national budget, like their households budget.

    The national budget is not the same as a household budget.

    While many believe this, it will be impossible to have a national debate on what the country needs.

    The truth is, that words like debt, deficits, investment, spending and taxes mean little in themselves. Nor do they have black and white meanings.

    Each can be good or bad, in their own right. Yes, good debt. Yes, bad debt. Debt can be essential. Yes, debt can also be seen as an investment in this countries future. Spending on infrastructure, a must.

    The national budget is not the same as a household budget.

    While many believe this, it will be impossible to have a national debate on what the country needs.

    The truth is, that words like debt, deficits, investment, spending and taxes mean little in themselves. Nor do they have black and white meanings.

    Budget surplus and deficits are both good, depending on the state of the economy, Each can be good or bad, in their own right. Yes, good debt. Yes, bad debt. roving, but she was on the right track.

    One who strives for surpluses no matter the cost, will send the country’s economy into downfall.

    Most spend money to save money. This is a prudent thing to do, even if it incurs debt.

    This is the first lesson Labor has to get across. Then get on with the job of selling policies from Gillard, which were about investing in physical and human infrastructure for the future.
    One must move away from what appears the common perceptions that debt, deficits is always bad. From the assumption many make, that one runs the national budget, like their households budget.

    Yes, they might need adjustments, they might need improvements. They do not deserve to be ditched.

    Labor has the talent within it’s ranks, to develop strong economical policies for now and the future. Looking ahead , not back is the secret.

    This is not the year, to react to Abbott , but ignore him, telling us of a better way for good governance is possible. Time for the positive not negativity.

    Yes, we do need a dream, as Whitlam built and sold. We need a dream for today, not yesterday.

    Ideology can be good, but in the real world, it needs to be set aside.

    The aim should be for a civil, fair, just and productive society. Where all benefit.

  20. June M Bullivant OAM

    Thank you for explaining, we need the Labor party to step up, speak up and start listening to the community.

  21. Anon E Mouse

    Shorten has too much baggage, not enough fire in his belly, and is seen as part of the Lib-lite that currently controls the ALP.

    Labor needs a leader who can start explaining its values and plans for the future – free from the backroom politicing that saw Rudd forced into dropping the ETS (Gillard and gang – who mostly all seem to have gone home to work for their mega-wealthy benefactors). Blokes like Howse, who was sleeping with the enemy during the Qantas grounding saga, have got to have their role and function in the ALP challenged.

    Rudd was detested because he did not belong to any faction, but history will show he was more principled than portrayed in the msm.

    This leads us to Shorten as leader. Shorten who was telling the Yanks about the planned ousting of Rudd 6 months or so before it happened, according to a wikileak, makes his allegience to his party and Australia worrisome in my mind.

    Shorten has had mud slung, and I am sure the alleged rape story will not suddenly go away – it will be used and embellished much like the Gillard union fund story. Shorten has too much baggage.

    Hanky-panky amongst players is not generally reported on, as we know from the past. However when it suited people the Kernot story got a pasting. Oddly that was one gripe, apparently, the msm had against Rudd – he was a goody-two-shoes (how terrible is that). Oh he was also criticised about working too hard – since when did anyone get in trouble for working hard for the wage they recieve?

    It is worth noting that we haven’t had too much in the media about Abbott’s wandering hands (a few meme’s have surfaced with his hands in innapropriate places on the likes of royal Kate) his hard core boozing, and only whispers on alternate media about his philandering. Nor have we seen any hoo-haa about the relationship/s of unmarried childless Ju-lie Bishop.

    Rest assured that the LNP, or their affiliates, will have a whole lot of dirt to dump on Shorten, and it won’t be pretty. But it will make him much less electable.

    Labor will only inherit when it has a leader who takes the time to explain, who connects with people, and who has a clean slate in their personal and private lives. Because rest assured the LNP will be playing very dirty.

    PS. Perhaps opponents of the LNP need to be retaining any info on dirt on them, because we are in a new age, as the success of the AIMN shows, and they would find it hard to deal with social media from individuals. The LNP love corpocracy and don’ t understand the crowd movements of individuals.

  22. Julie mcintyre

    Of course the reason shorten is easy on abbott …they are good friends.

  23. Jacko

    Anon, Everyone has baggage. I’ve got baggage, you’ve got baggage. The point being that it doesn’t matter who the individual is in politics they are like everyone else, they have baggage.
    I agree that whoever is a leader their past will be scrutinised with a fine tooth comb. So be it.
    The problem is a lot of which they will be accused of though will be bullshit and a gullible public will lap it up when people like Murdoch get hold of it and play it to the limit.
    No, what we need is a LEADER who has the greater interests of the nation at heart and this will never be found under a liberal government. A leader who can admit to their mistakes and get on with the job is what we need and I’ve seen enough of Bill Shorten to decide that he is a good man and will make a fine PM.
    As for the rape crap dug up by abbot and his filth file team, this has been thoroughly investigated by the police who came the conclusion that there is nothing in it. Of course it will be dug up again but fairminded people will see it for what it is – Rubbish! Exactly like the Gillard witch hunt.
    Roll on 2016 so we can get started with a decent government to achieve what this great country is capable of and which we are ALL ENTITLED TO.

  24. flohri1754

    Ah, seeing this article and all the comments which follow it recalls exactly to my mind a lot of similar discussions back and forth between King O’Malley and Dr. Lesley C. Jauncey, the author of AUSTRALIA’S GOVERNMENT BANK (1934) … which was the history of the first 20 years of the CBA (1912 to 1934) when there was still hope that it would have been allowed to evolve into a true National and “People’s Bank”. This is, of course, before it was slowly strangled over the following forty years and finally killed completely by the Hawke/Keating government. A utter shame that a Labor Government privatized O’Malley’s Bank like that.

    Perhaps this is a concept that can be revisited IF the current neo-Liberal hold over economic thinking can be broken with the next election.

  25. Anon E Mouse

    Jacko, I agree we need a decent government, we are entitled to a decent govt. However, I fear that Shorten will be like Hewson and lose an unloseable election. I recall the expose by Hewson’s ex wife that really turned the table on Hewson and if I recall we never really got his side of the story. Mud slinging and sticking etc.

    Shorten does not inspire me, and I so want to be inspired by the ALP – sure I can fake it, but will it be enough to get Shorten as leader over the line?

    Shorten is too Beazleyish, with his me-too-isms, and cosy yaps with Abbott. I, and I think many of us, want a person who will take the fight up to them.

    The rape crap, as you put it, may well be seen as rubbish by many – but will it be enough who think it is crap, or will there be enough who are not so sure?

    Either way, Shorten and Labor have to make up their minds and play the game as they see fit. Me, I will do as I see fit and I may well not vote ALP for the 2nd time in my life. I refused to vote Labor with Gillard as leader.

  26. Jacko

    Anon, couldn’t agree more, we must all do what we see fit. Unfortunately your last paragraph and comment about Gillard says it all.

  27. Anon E Mouse

    Yeah, I figured my dislike of Gillard would not win you over Jacko. The thing is that I met her years ago, in small meeting with 2 other people, when she was in the shadow ministery under Beazley.

    Gillard got cranky when I asked her about ALP policy because it looked so much like the Libs. In her temper she said more than she meant to perhaps, but she made it clear to me that she was of the right – saying how she agreed with Howard’s refugee stance, and that the polls were all that mattered. Because the polls favoured Howard, she was a fan of his policies – she agreed with the me-too-ism of Labor at the time. She also laid her views down on a few issues where I could not agree with her.

    Gillard also objected to the increase in single pensions, was against Rudd’s Apology to Indigenous Australians (as were many in the ALP), ETS etc.
    Sadly, I actually believed Gillard when she said she had more chance of being full back for the Bulldogs, just hours before the ousting of Rudd. I was beginning to hope I was wrong about her as she was impressive in public in her role as deputy PM.

    I was disapointed that Australia’s first female PM got in like she did.
    Gillard was totally unscrupulous.

    This has just made my political judgement more critical, and I simply believe that Shorten will always put Shorten first and the wellbeing of Australia and Australians is down on his list of priorities.

    I would however be delighted to be proven wrong.

  28. Ricardo29

    I really enjoyed MMT for Dummiez and think it makes the point that John lord has been writing about. Even though it’s Amero-centric almost every aspect applies to Australia. If you can get past the annoying robotic voice the content, to me at least, is significant. Best not let Joe see it though, he might act on the messages it contains.

    On other things I agree that it was craven of Labor to sell off the Commonwealth Bank, introduce fees for uni education, flog off the first part of QANTAS and all the other right wing neocon things. Unfortunately it doesn’t give the current ALP a strong position for arguing against privatisation of Medibank etc.

    I agree that Julia Gillard had her flaws but had it not been for Rudd’s narcissism which helped prevent her being elected in her own right I think she would have gone on to be a great PM. Those right wing ideas she supposedly espoused would have been tempered by the left in the party ( and the greens) and her ability to negotiate with the independents, to retain government, showed a high level of maturity and ability to compromise. That she managed to govern for three years, and achieve the legislative program she did, must surely give the lie to the “headless chooks” calumny.

  29. Harquebus

    “Spending is what currency issuing governments should do when the private sector is struggling.”
    This only works for limited time. It has been six years since the GFC started and still, we have government debt increasing, ZIRP and NIRP. Keynesians are going to very soon have egg on their faces. Throughout history, all fiat currencies have fallen to zero. Every one, without exception and for the first time in history, all currencies are fiat. Now that we have plastic currency, we can’t even burn it or wipe our bums with it.

    There is no trickle down effect. Wealth trickles up. The trickle down is actually the wealthy pissing on our backs and telling us that it is raining.
    It is diminishing energy returns that is decreasing productivity and stifling growth.

    No government that is betting on growth to solve their problems is going to balance their books. It is going to take a paradigm shift in the thinking of our inglorious leaders before any improvement is possible. The physical realities of our finite planet is trumping political and economic ideology.

  30. Jacko

    Anon, I apologise unconditionaly and I can only take your word for your comments re Gillard. A side that I did not know existed and had I known she was so much in bed with Howard I would not have voted for her either.
    Politics is a cynical business.

  31. Anon E Mouse

    Jacko, no apology needed. I must admit there were times I had thought I could have been mistaken, but sadly not.
    She did achieve some positives, but it was more than one person’s achievements, as was Rudd’s supposed chaos.

    All we can do is set the bar high and seek opportunities to get an acurate picture if possible.

    Had we had this kind of forum back when I met Gillard, I would have shared our conversation more widely – even putting my name to it. But such is life – the internet was as readily available.

    Now days we do have the internet though, and we can share information more readily, get feedback on our critiques, and most importantly now – we can demand better.
    We must demand better.

    2015 will be an interesting year for the blood sport of politics – with the combatants being the Libs.
    With this distraction, it is a safe time for the ALP to look closely at who is best placed to lead into the next election.

    I just pray an election is soon.

  32. eli nes

    rudd was a lemon and had to go athen, anon. Would you have had her refuse the top job???? Her record, her skill and her toughness over the next 3 years proves you wrong.
    As for hockey(ably supported by the lemon every friday on sunrise and by vanstone and richo on today) on the debt crisis ‘that wasn’t’ in 2013, ‘nearly was’ in 2014 and ‘may well be in 2015’ his statement aligning us with greece went unchallenged and is still floating. But for me, the master stroke of guaranteeing Australian deposits but not the ‘banks’ should form the basic attack on hockey and on abbutt’s debt lies. But just as I shuddered every time the lemon said ‘I agree with joe”, i wince with every photo of shorten with an inane grin standing next to his big brother. Labor’s silence on debt and women with plibersek mute in comparison to her past suggest you are unlikely to be delighted

  33. Kaye Lee

    I am sick of the Rudd Gillard discussion. I think they were both decent people with strengths and flaws. Both of them had vision for this country far beyond anything Abbott could ever care about. I think they were both basically honest people trying to achieve things within the game rules, or lack thereof, of politics.

    It’s the whole game that needs cleaning up so decent people can get on with the business of doing what is best for our country rather than letting focus groups and lobby groups dictate policy. Let’s start with electoral donations……

  34. Anon E Mouse

    eli, lets get real. Abbott was not that good as opposition leader – so why wasn’t Gillard able to dazzle us with her charm and wit?

    Gillard and Swan were so busy working on ousting Rudd that they fluffed the mining tax, mk 1, and then for mk2 they let the big miners write it. Rudd’s version would have delivered more in a fairer way.

    Rudd was white anted from within, and he was running around putting out spot fires that the likes of Garret and Arbib caused. A senior public servant told me how many in the top public service turned on Rudd because of the Apology. When we saw the venom and nastiness emerge when Rudd was forced into a leadership contest while he was foreign mininster, it is easy to see who was undermining him. (It is worth noting that Swan apparently has a reputation for throwing his phone during his tanties).

    People tend to forget that just days after Rudd was ousted, he was hospitalised for his gall. I know from experience that often times gall stones mimic heart issues, and even fool cardiologists. With the stress of leadership chatter that Gillard denied, and probably experieinceing chest pain, Rudd was easy picking for Gillard and gang.

    Having met her, I firmly believe Gillard capable of carefully crafting Rudd’s downfall for some time. Wikileaks tells us that certainly Shorten knew about it months earlier. Gillard may have succeeded in the hung parliament, but the alternative was Abbott!

    I find that people will often say more than they mean to when they are angry, or drunk, and Gillard was pretty cranky with me when I met her. I made her angry by asking her about policies and questioning her vague responses. It was her callous attitude towards Indigenous Australians that really made me recoil.

    So for all the window dressing, I am afraid that I just didn’t like or trust Gillard and it made me look closely at what was happening to Rudd.

    I, and many other Australians like/d Rudd and not Gillard. I wonder why.

  35. John Fraser

    <

    Harquebus works on the broken glass no refill theory.

  36. John Fraser

    <

    @Anon E Mouse

    "Abbott was not that good as opposition leader"

    Abbott isn't much good at anything but he followed orders to destroy to the absolute end.

  37. ' george hanson '

    @la lasciata………trowc ? please enlighten me .

  38. Zathras

    Governments “borrow” money by issuing bonds that are traded on the market to stimulate the economy and they eventually have to repay the amount borrowed plus interest.

    They do this continually.

    Many never consider that Howard – with his huge “surplus” – also continued to “borrow” money.

    The surplus mainly consisted of HECS IOUs and other expected (but not guaranteed) payments.

    There was never a big vault stuffed full of cash where Costello cavorted like Scrooge McDuck.

    The Future Fund was created to pay Commonwealth Super obligations which were deliberately left out of previous budgets to boost the bottom line.

    Like somebody who puts all their car running costs onto a credit card, you eventually have to sell the car to repay the debt.

  39. Jacko

    OK Anon, lets leave it at that. A lot of what we have discussed is water under the bridge anyway.
    The best we can hope for is that both sides get their act together in 2015, Abbot changes his vindictive ways and drops his idealistic and unfair approach and Shorten becomes more statesmanlike. (apart from his public persona I think he will deliver the goods).
    Otherwise, make it like a footy match and change sides at halftime (I mean Captains). Out of all the possibilities I have my preference but will leave it at that. Happy New Year.

  40. Anon E Mouse

    Sounds like a plan Jacko.
    I wrote the last post without realising that Kaye Lee had put her wise words up.
    Getting rid of Abbott and gang are my goal.

    Happy new year to you and yours also.

  41. stephentardrew

    Spot on as usual Kaye.

  42. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So, there’s NO debt and deficit disaster. Full stop, Hokey Pokey.

    We have the makings of a robust economy that can amply provide for all our needs. We have the foundations for robust and diversified industries and services based on the skills and ingenuity of people of all social demographics, even mature age women like me.

    Our Australian currency is sovereign and that’s GOOD. Our Commonwealth Government Securities are GOOD too. So when we pay interest on our own securities, we’re not creating debt for ourselves. In fact, our securities are our investments, which we allow to be bought.

    It’s all GOOD news.

    One major exception to this Good News story of our well-oiled, socio-economic flourishing economy is the silence of the LNP Degenerates and sleepy Labor economic-rationalist scaredy-cats for not speaking out about the GOOD news.

    Wake up Labor and expose this LNP LIE about a mythical debt and deficit disaster and tell the Good News and what you’re going to do with it, so that the good fruits of our securities investments flow into public institutions, policies, infrastructures and services that serve to benefit the 99%.

    The bottom line Labor is if Ms/Mr-Person-On-The-Street see your proactive planning for socio-economic re-investment of these fruits, you will attract sustainable and loyal support for the long term.

  43. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    @mikestasse

    External factors to Australia apply ofcourse. China’s struggle from boom to possible bust must be weathered.

    In all the flux, there will be pain but maybe opportunity too. I’m thinking of trade-offs with Robb’s unconscionable FTA exploitation of Australian industries and resources.

    Naysayers, who give up, do none of us any good.

    Thinking, planning, remembering that the grassroots people are where the answers are, if decisions are made to include their skills and ingenuities.

  44. john

    what a load of complete and utter crap. It was Labor that wracked up the huge debts that they left behind and you people are blaming the Liberals???? and there are people out there that actually believe this crap. was all the debt wracked up since sep 2013 and it shows how gullible labor voters are that they actually believe this. and what a leader the handouts to bludgers party have in Bill “WIF”, “The vree firty is leaving Penriv shortly”” LOL

  45. John Fraser

    <

    @john

    You're in a minority …. not just here but right across the board :

    "Tony Abbott will never learn. His harsh and inhumane policies on refugees, young people, the unemployed and so on have already (and deservedly) earned him acute unpopularity. Now he appoints his henchman Morrison to apply his blowtorch to all social welfare recipients.

    One thing he can be sure of – he heads a one-term government. The untrustworthy Bill Shorten, of all people, is destined to become our next prime minister by absolute default.

    Having once been NSW and federal president of the Liberal Party I have to say shame on you Abbott, Morrison and Hockey. You three may get your just desserts. But in the process you will have dumped on the entire Liberal Party community.

    John Valder Bayview"

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-letters/savings-will-be-what-matters-to-scott-morrison-20141223-12crzz.html

  46. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    @john @11.31pm

    Go to sleep, Mon. Your contribution ain’t worth contemplation.

    Tell that to your LNP Degenerate masters and mistresses too.

  47. John Fraser

    <

    What will the Liberal party inherit in 2016 ?

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/06/18/loves-letter-lost-malcolm-turnbulls-dead-cat-scrawl-unearthed/

    "Apparently (Diamond) Jim McClelland, Fiona’s step-father was disturbed by her story about the cat. He said of Turnbull:

    He’s a turd. He’s easy to loathe, he’s a sh-t, he’d devour anyone for breakfast, he’s on the make, he’s cynical, he’s offensively smug.

    What on earth would have given him that notion?"

  48. Matters Not

    mikestasse, just as a matter of interest, when was the first time you predicted the ‘sky would fall’?

    Given that you post here, there and everywhere, with the same claim please come clean.

    But yes you’re right.

    We live on a finite planet. But.

    Would you care to speculate on the limits of this ‘finiteness’? Are we 99% there? If so, then what is your evidence of same?

    If I asserted, that there’s still 99% to go, how would you disprove me? Scientifically of course.

  49. mars08

    How John Howard’s tax cuts undid his protégé Tony Abbott
    Dec 20, 2014

    …John Howard and Hockey’s predecessor, Peter Costello, ran the most profligate government in Australian history.

    Profligate is not our word. It was the word used by the International Monetary Fund in a major report it released early last year, that examined 200 years of government financial records across 55 major economies, identifying periods of government prudence and profligacy in spending.

    Overall, Australia was judged very favourably. For most of the country’s history, governments of both persuasions had been prudent economic managers. The IMF identified only four periods of profligacy. The two biggest were during the Howard–Costello years. They were in 2003 and then between 2005 and 2007, and they accompanied the mining boom.

    On its face, the IMF assessment might seem harsh. After all, before they were voted out in 2007, Howard and Costello had delivered six budget surpluses in a row.

    But they also seriously undermined the structural integrity of the budget by making big spending commitments and giving huge tax cuts, on the basis of a flood of revenue that would inevitably dry up…

    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2014/12/20/how-john-howards-tax-cuts-undid-his-protege-tony-abbott/14189940001389

  50. corvus boreus

    john(re. semi-coherent slogans and sledging posted 11;31pm, 1/1/2015),
    Simple question.
    Do you think our national debt problem has been helped by this government choosing to forsake revenue(‘axing taxes’) and increase expenses(‘direct action’ etc)?
    Seems counter-intuitive.

  51. Kaye Lee

    Why are Coalition voters so scared of debt? Have they never invested in anything? Have they never run a business or taken out a mortgage? Do they not understand that when the economy is sluggish it is the job of government to pick up the slack, inject stimulus into the mix, and keep people employed whilst investing in productivity enhancers?

    Governments, unlike individuals, never have to pay off their debt. We have NEVER had zero gross debt…NEVER! And we never will. As has been repeatedly pointed out, debt and deficit are economic tools to regulate the amount of money in circulation.

    I would like to ask john how having a budget deficit impacts adversely on him specifically. Do you feel better if we have money sitting idle (ie a surplus)? If we can issue bonds and only have to pay 2.75% interest, then invest the money in things that bring us a far greater return then would you consider that a good investment john?

  52. Kaye Lee

    In a post-budget speech on May 20 this year, Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson produced a chart showing that every budget over the 12 years from June 1998 loosened fiscal policy, that is, increased spending and decreased tax revenue.

    Of those, 10 budgets were delivered by the Coalition and included eight years of income tax cuts.

    The budget deficit for this financial year will be $40.4 billion, more than $10 billion larger than forecast in May, in a blowout that is set to continue for at least four years.

    The May budget had forecast a deficit for 2014-15 of $29.8 billion.

    Next year’s deficit will be $31.2 billion, or 1.9 per cent of GDP, up from the May forecast of $17.2 billion.

    And in 2017-18, the final year of budget forecasts, instead of a deficit of $2.8 billion, the deficit will still be $11.5 billion.

    The budget is projected to reach a slim surplus in 2019-20

  53. Kaye Lee

    If the budget means zilch how will we run the schools and hospitals?

  54. Kaye Lee

    “Four days out from Christmas, Blind Citizens Australia (BCA), Deaf Australia, Homelessness Australia and Down Syndrome Australia learned they were to be subject to federal government funding cuts.

    New Social Services Minister Scott Morrison assured concerned parties that frontline services to the disabled would not be cut, just grants to these and other organisations advocating for the homeless and the disabled.

    While one BCA – Blind Citizens Australia – did not fare so well this yuletide, another BCA – the Business Council of Australia – did quite nicely.

    Only a week earlier, the government had back-flipped on a proposed tax avoidance reform (Section 25-90) entailing some $600 million in tax deductions that multinational companies could claim on interest on their debts in offshore subsidiaries.

    As it turned out, the “stakeholders” with whom the government had “consulted” before it made its decision were the big audit firms (whose best clients are the multinationals) and assorted peak bodies such as the Minerals Council of Australia.

    Clearly the voice of assorted business lobbies is being heard more loudly and more clearly in Canberra than the likes of Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia or the National Council on Intellectual Disability and Physical Disability Australia – two more subjects of the Christmas cuts to social welfare.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/a-taxing-tale-of-two-peak-bodies-20150101-12gcty.html

  55. mikestasse

    If the budget means zilch how will we run the schools and hospitals?

    Kaye Lee……. which part of COLLAPSE don’t you understand…? WHAT schools? WHAT hospitals? HOW will you drive ambulances with no fuel? HOW will teachers get to schools with no fuel?

    Now I’m not saying this will happen this year… but it will happen. And what are we doing about it? SFA!! We have far bigger bickies to worry about, and NOBODY, absolutely nobody, even acknowledges that we are facing a civilisational crisis…..

    To Matter Not who dismisses my calls for attention to this, it reminds me of many years ago when the bridge in Hobart had a span removed by an out of control freighter. A picture showing a car stopped on the very edge of the gap with the front wheels hanging over the edge made front page in all Australian papers….. The driver later said that he had got out of the car and attempted to wave down approaching cars, which drove around him over the edge to their deaths……….

  56. Kaye Lee

    mikestasse,

    I am very aware of your death doom and destruction outlook on life. Excuse me if I choose not to spend every waking moment anticipating the demise of civilisation. One day our sun will blow up or fizzle out. That does not mean that we should ignore life today and go sit in a corner sucking our thumbs saying the end is nigh.

  57. mikestasse

    The thing is Kaye………. we are fast running out of time to do anything to STOP the ‘death doom and destruction outlook’, unlike the sun fizzling out scenario which is totally irrelevant to this discussion.

    I’m waving your car to stop. Are you gonna drive around me and drive off the edge of the bridge?

  58. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    @mikestasse

    I’m not poohpooh-ing your concerns, but if you want discussion on what we can do about it, start it up with ideas on solutions and others could add to them.

    The solutions will come from grassroots people like us with the ingenuity, skills and the willingness to make good the opportunities that arise out of the changes.

  59. Kaye Lee

    Considering the bridge is still standing I will most definitely keep on going. I have a great deal more faith in technology than you do. You dismiss all research, assuring us that you have looked into it and it won’t work. You lose all credibility with me when you do that. You cannot possibly know what alternatives our brilliant scientists may come up with in the future. In the mean time, we will carry on doing the best we can to improve the lives of people while keeping the planet alive. Yes, we will run out of finite resources at some time and yes we must plan for alternatives. I will continue to do so in hope….you may continue to live in despair.

    “The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveller than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.”

  60. John Fraser

    <

    @mikestasse

    You're waving a car to stop ….. is totally irrelevant to your own conversation.

    Stop making a fool of yourself and go out back and start building your survival shelter.

  61. John Fraser

    <

    @mikestasse

    Fantastic.

    Australia's own version of the U.S. survival nutters.

    "Ruth England is in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico vomiting up her husband's urine. She had tried to choke down a fresh cup of the stuff to stave off dehydration, as her husband, survivalist Mykel Hawke, looked on. But hours later, England succumbs to heat stroke and severe dehydration. The ordeal wasn't part of a family vacation gone horribly wrong but a scene from the reality series "Man, Woman, Wild." "It was like the worst hangover you can imagine, combined with food poisoning," she remembers."

  62. mikestasse

    John Fraser……… you are being RIDICULOUS. Those US survivalists (like most USAyans) are nutters. I’m talking about REAL WORLD issues and solutions.

  63. John Fraser

    <

    @mikestasse

    " we are fast running out of time to do anything to STOP the ‘death doom and destruction outlook’

    and

    "I already HAVE built a survival shelter…….. and selling it because I’m going to build a second one far far away from the madding crowd."

    You've already got your own " US survivalists (like most USAyans) are nutters" show.

    Its just that I can't be bothered looking at the Links you provide because I can see from your posts that you are a "nutter" …. of the first order.

    As Abbott would say :

    Stop making a fool of yourself.

    Stop making a fool of yourself.

  64. John Fraser

    <

    @Matters Not

    That should keep "mikestasse" busy until the next millenium …. or doomsday.

    Whichever comes first.

  65. John Kelly

    In the last 100 years, 82 federal budgets were deficit budgets. Of the 18 surplus budgets, 10 of those were during John Howard’s tenure during which time personal debt reached record limits. What surplus budgets do is shift debt onto the private sector creating an imbalance in equality. The rich get richer at the expense of the poor. Deficit budgets help restore that level of equality.

  66. mikestasse

    I had such a good laugh……… THIS is what proper survilaist food looks like…:
    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/spiced-duck-breast-with-orange-and-fennel-salad/
    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/coping-with-the-heat-wave/
    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/back-on-the-cheesemaking-bandwagon/
    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/the-cob-oven-saga-is-over/
    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/the-power-of-two/

  67. Kaye Lee

    Private companies can also go bankrupt. They also work for a profit motive so will cut unprofitable services. To expect the private sector to look after anyone except their shareholders is silly.

  68. Kaye Lee

    mikestasse,

    Rather than hours and hours of videos and endless links, perhaps you could just type some positive advice. For example, we should be able to come up with ways to cut waste and recycle better. How many food providers throw food out that could be used to feed our poor? How much stuff goes into landfill that could be recycled? My local council recently had a day where you could take all old electronic equipment like tvs, computers etc to the local showground for free. We took a truckload out and didn’t even have to get out of the truck. A team of guys came and unloaded it, putting it where they wanted and off we went. We need more of these sort of intiatives.

  69. stephentardrew

    Yes John debt servitude is the way of conservatism and they will use any deception available to distort facts. Corporations and the financial sector are habitual rent seekers forcing citizens into lifetime of private debt. They don’t give a damn about governance unless it fills their coffers. But citizens are fooled by double talk and misspeak to vote against their best interest through the promulgation of fear. We certainly have a fight on our hands.

  70. Kaye Lee

    Marx theorized that the capitalist system would inevitably impoverish the masses as the world’s wealth became concentrated in the hands of a greedy few, causing economic crises and heightened conflict between the rich and working classes. “Accumulation of wealth at one pole is at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole,” Marx wrote.

    A study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington noted that the median annual earnings of a full-time, male worker in the U.S. in 2011, at $48,202, were smaller than in 1973. Between 1983 and 2010, 74% of the gains in wealth in the U.S. went to the richest 5%, while the bottom 60% suffered a decline, the EPI calculated.

  71. mikestasse

    Here’s some positive advice for you Kaye:
    Get out of town
    Do a Permaculture Design Course
    Buy some chooks
    Grow some veggies
    get at least 2 x 22,500L water tanks and disconnect from the water grid
    Get a stand alone solar power system and disconnect from the grid
    Find people who understand what I’m talking about to live nearby

    Or you could just buy my award winning house where all the hard work is done….

  72. Manfred

    How about next year every state celebrate New Years Eve with Candles instead of fireworks? And the money governments would have spent,go into housing for the homeless.

  73. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Kaye Lee @10.09am,

    you’ve started the list.

    My contribution is what I’ve advocated before. If we want people working just as those people want to BE working meaningfully, then we need some hands on solutions now, not tomorrow or next year – and NOT when we have completed yet another meaningless bit of training, which is only good for filling the pockets of the mickey mouse training providers, BUT –

    REAL direct linking of real meaningful work to unemployed and under-employed people whether they be young people leaving school, graduates, mature age people discriminated against because of their ages or disabled people.

    No magic wand is necessary. Create the demand by employing the people according to their skills, experience and qualifications and they in turn, will be able to finance the ongoing enterprises with their income they have earnt.

    Not only that but they are no longer dependent on Newstart, Disability benefits and there’s a magic saving to the taxpayer.

    And if anyone wants to argue with me about creating the demand, I simply say the demand is already there. Consider the thousands and thousands of voluntary hours of work, which is undertaken by a combination of kindly retirees or desperate unemployed people trying to get the foot in the door.

    There is also the odious dimension of Centrelink and JSA’s pushing people into such scenarios as their mutual obligation requirements thus destroying the meaning of “voluntary”, as far as I’m concerned.

    Simple: make all “voluntary” work PAID work. Suddenly, there would be thousands and thousands LESS unemployed and under-employed AND more taxpayers and revenue.

    My other REALLY magic solution is that where there maybe is an interim period of more people than jobs, unemployed and under-employed people can be encouraged to embark upon their own sole practices or small businesses based on their own concepts worth developing.

    This means the Government will finance such enterprises with Micro-Finance Grants (MFG) and Micro-Credit Loans (MCL). There will be NO barriers to the diverse parties interested in accessing such funding.

    If MFG’s they would need to be at least $10,000 OVER and ABOVE any current welfare payments for a reasonable period of time and withdrawn incrementally once the enterprise is functioning and providing the person with a liveable income.

    If MCL’s, they could be $10,000-$20,000 with low interest rates to be repayable at affordable amounts over reasonable periods of time. Again, these will be OVER and ABOVE welfare safety nets for a reasonable period and withdrawn incrementally as the recipients are deriving liveable wages for themselves.

    These scenarios above are both viable and build on the HUMAN WEALTH we have in our society at all levels. It’s called ‘Growing The Pie’ and then everybody can eat it.

  74. Kaye Lee

    Excellent suggestions mikestasse and Jennifer. BTW I don’t live “in town” mike.

  75. mikestasse

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith…….. define meaningful work? Nearly ALL jobs these days are unsustainable. They all feed economic growth. They all feed more CO2 into the air. They all create waste…..

    We have to abandon the jobs jobs jobs mantra and do REALLY meaningful work, for ourselves, so we may be self sufficient, instead of working to fill the pockets of bankers and other filthy rich corporatists whose only aim in life is debt and jobs servitude.

    I haven’t had a job for 20 years….. I retired aged 42 when I suddenly realised what a mess we were all making. At the time I had a “meaningful job”, I was an award winning professional photographer……. and all I created was waste. It’s time for a real revolution, not this “let’s get rid of Abbott and put the ALP back in” bullshit.

    https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/on-the-phenomenon-of-bullshit-jobs-david-graeber/

  76. Kaye Lee

    I don’t want the teachers and nurses and doctors and firemen and paramedics and scientists to retire. I do not want a world where each person thinks only about themselves or their little commune.

  77. Kaye Lee

    Meaningful work can mean contributing to make the world a better place. It can mean the self-esteem and choice that having an income gives. It can mean being able to be part of society rather than alienated from it.

    And as to the other conversation, Karl Marx had capitalism sussed.

    Keeping wages low, or debt pressure high, means workers will be less likely to complain or make demands. As workers struggle to provide their families with all the temptations that a capitalist society offers, they become far less likely to risk their employment, and less able to improve their situation.

    His ending of the story was the rising up of the proletariat in revolution. My suggestion would be for us all to remember the reason for unions, to join them to give workers a collective voice, and to understand the power of labour. The owners of capital need to remember that they make nothing without the labour of the workforce and the spending power of the masses.

  78. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    @mikestasse

    Meaningful work is creating and producing sustainable and living essentials for ourselves and our environment (I’m including all living things in this).

    Kaye’s right about the essential services and skilled staff needed for them.

    You’re right about the alternative lifestyle which centres on renewable energies, water conservation, sustainable living.

    Meaningful work makes people feel good about themselves, if they’re valued, paid reasonably and recognised for their qualifications, knowledge, experience and skills.

  79. mikestasse

    I don’t want the teachers and nurses and doctors and firemen and paramedics and scientists to retire.

    And what percentage of the population do you think they occupy? If you’re ‘out of town’, you’re half way there. We’ve just bought a 12.5 acre apple farm in Tassie to teach sustainable living. For FREE! (the teaching, not the farm…!)

    Kaye your statement ” I do not want a world where each person thinks only about themselves or their little commune.” puzzles me…. you can’t do both. Either you’re selfish, or you’re communal….. and have you heard of Dunbar’s number?

    Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.[1][2][3][4][5][6] This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size.[7] By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can only comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships.[8] Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. It has been proposed to lie between 100 and 250, with a commonly used value of 150. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith, I like your definition. I haven’t worked for money in a very long time…… money is part of the problem as it is created out of thin air as debt. This will eventually disappear too as all debts will eventually be destroyed/cancelled in the looming deflationary spiral started by the crash in the oil/iron ore/ copper/gas prices with more to follow (especially when the real estate bubble finally bursts!)

  80. stephentardrew

    You can see why the right so vehemently attack Marx. He was a great intellectual who placed too much trust in ordinary people however his theoretical work is par excellent. Workers still don’t understand they are the means of production and wealth creators. The oligarchs have convinced ordinary people that they are the job creators and distributors of wealth while in the meantime robbing us blind through debt servitude. Thomas Picketty has certainly got it right.

    This is part of a post submitted by “GideonPolya” in Guardian World.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/01/france-thomas-piketty-legion-of-honour

    Of particular importance to Australia is Piketty’s finding that the share in total income of the top 1% in France, Germany, Sweden and Japan declined from about 20% in 1910 to about 8% in 1950 and thence remained low. In contrast, in the US, Canada, the UK, Canada and Australia a similar decline occurred from about 20% in 1910 to 6-9% in 1970 but after 1980 the One Percenter share of total income variously increased to 10-18%. A similar pattern obtains with the top 10% in these countries, a reality that Piketty describes as “the rise of the supermanager: an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon”.

    Professor Piketty argues in this important book that current wealth inequality endangers both democracy (“one dollar one vote” replacing “one person one vote” as Democracy has become Plutocracy, Murdochracy, Lobbyocracy and Corporatocracy) and economic sustainability (for which the workers must also be able to purchase the goods and services they provide). Piketty proposes a progressive annual wealth tax to address these dangers.

    Poverty kills and I have estimated that an annual global wealth tax of about 4% would yield US$16 trillion annually and enable raising all countries to annual per capita incomes equivalent to the US$6,000 per person per year of China and Cuba, countries for which annual avoidable mortality is zero (0) as compared to the horrific 0.4% pa for Indigenous Australians, similar to that in impoverished South Asia but occurring in one of the world’s richest countries with US$64,853 per person per year (Google “4 % Annual Global Wealth Tax To Stop The 17 Million Deaths Annually” and “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”)

  81. diannaart

    Well said, Kaye Lee and Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    There needs to be and is (I believe) a liveable solution without going to the extremes of Mike Stasse (Mike not everyone is capable of taking to the bush – and I am not a city dweller either).

    As for me, 2015 is one year closer to voting out this rabble of a federal government. Not much chance for progress until we do.

  82. Pingback: What will Labor Inherit in 2016? | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  83. Kaye Lee

    You no doubt have many helpful ideas mike but your fanaticism makes you very hard to listen to. If everyone retired and moved bush then you wouldn’t be talking your gloom to us on a computer. You wouldn’t have a generator or solar panels. You wouldn’t have tools. Continually chastising people for not becoming subsistence farmers and refusing to pay their debts is just hypocritical. As much as you may think you are self-sufficient ( and you are certainly a long way closer to it than most of us) you actually need some of the rest of us to keep doing our jobs. A little recognition of that would make the conversation more realistic. We all need to do what we can to reduce our footprint but abandoning society is not an option for everyone.

  84. cuppa

    Sloppy is hopeless!

  85. mikestasse

    I choose to live by choice, not by chance, to be motivated, not manipulated, to be useful, not used, to make change, not excuses, to excel, not compete, I choose my inner voice, not the random opinion of others…… and come the day ‘I can’t be talking my gloom to you on a computer nor have solar panels…..’ so be it. There are plenty of things I could be doing instead of this, and there will be even more once I’ve moved to Tassie and have almost ten times as much farm to work….

    “you actually need some of the rest of us to keep doing our jobs.” ONLY to continue living as I currently do. I fully expect to change everything again when you don’t…. It’s the lack of flexibility in your thinking I find most upsetting. You can’t even entertain the thought that maybe I may have a point, you’ve made up your mind I’m a nutter. You’ve even admitted you can’t be bothered following the links I put up, links about experts (like physicists and mathematicians) who have influenced my thinking because it makes so much sense…

    I know history will prove me right, the maths and the physics do not add up for what you believe the future holds, it’s that simple. Don’t take MY word for it….. listen to the experts.

  86. mikestasse

    For example, we should be able to come up with ways to cut waste and recycle better.

    Cut waste? How about cutting CONSUMPTION……?? ALL waste comes from consumption…. There is no such thing as waste, only resources in the wrong place. Recycling requires fossil fuels = greenhouse emissions. We cause greenhouse emissions by consuming and then recycling the consumed crap… WHY? because we have an economy. It’s the very wasteful economy you worry Labor will inherit that is at fault…..

    How many food providers throw food out that could be used to feed our poor?

    There shouldn’t be any poor. The only reason we have poor people is because Capitalism dictates it. We’ve fed young travellers on our farmlet using food we grow here in exchange for their labour. We get things done, they get fed/housed for free, they even get to learn how to be sustainable, and I know for a fact we have changed the lives and outlooks of many young people here….. and no money and no economy involved.

    How much stuff goes into landfill that could be recycled? My local council recently had a day where you could take all old electronic equipment like tvs, computers etc to the local showground for free.

    WHY are electronic things constantly upgraded? WHY do they have inbuilt obsolescence? WHY can’t we have things that work for 30 years like we used to instead of having to upgrade our mobile phones every other year…? Because the every economy everyone here worries about requires it, to stop it going bankrupt for lack of growth. We need more more more, and more more more goes to landfill….

    We took a truckload out and didn’t even have to get out of the truck. A team of guys came and unloaded it, putting it where they wanted and off we went. We need more of these sort of intiatives.

    A truck hey……… and how will all this happen when diesel disappears over the next ten years? It might take 15 years…. but it MUST happen… and what of all the emissions and pollution created by making all those electronic things? What of the slavery in Africa where all your rare materials are mined for your electronics?

    The time to think outside the square is NOW…

  87. diannaart

    MikeStasse

    There is a great deal upon which we agree – not that you would be aware of that – too busy casting aspersions about people you do not know. Therefore, I won’t be engaging with you nor reading your comments.

    My one hope for the apocalypse is that it wipes out self-righteous nutters.

  88. mikestasse

    My one hope for the apocalypse is that it wipes out self-righteous nutters.

    Me too….

  89. Darren

    @mikestasse,

    At some point you may be right, but you also seem to believe our society incapable of adaptation to changing circumstances. Oil/gas/iron ore/etc will not suddenly run out. They will diminish over time and their price rise unless or until alternatives are made available. Crashes may occur, but there is no reason they must destroy society or economies. Change is inevitable, but it need not be the change you envision. I think that is what some have been trying to say. That your (and I realise it’s not just you) vision of the future is only one of many possible futures. You may be proved right, but it is far from inevitable.

  90. Chris

    This article makes no sense. John, you seem to understand nothing about the economy. The way you are thinking about this is all wrong, and writing when you don’t get it is misleading. ‘Borrowing are shares in Australia’? No. Debt and equity are very different. Debt does not convey ownership – those who lend to us don’t own us. And shares can have no dividends if the investment they are linked to don’t pay off. But bondholders demand to be paid. Look at Greece if you think any different.

    Borrowing for the current generation certainly impacts the future generations that have to pay it back. 100%. All sides of politics accept this. It may be better to borrow now, because the money can be put in to infrastructure or human capital that gives a return higher than the interest paid. Or if those opportunities aren’t available it may be better to not borrow it at all. But in either case, the money needs to be paid back by taxpayers in the future. To say anything else is wrong.

    The Australian Office of Financial Management issues bonds. The revenue then goes to the government. Those who buy and sell the bonds are able to trade them in secondary markets. But they are, most definitely, borrowings by Australia’s government.

    get your thinking clear, and your article won’t be so poor.

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