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The world is changing…and not in a good way

It seems unnecessary even to say it, but that’s the truth of the matter. The world is changing and not in a good way. It’s the story of the frog in the saucepan.

The water heats up but it’s so comfortable that the poor frog doesn’t realise, until it’s too late, that the ever increasing temperature of the water is slowly boiling him alive.

We are like the poor frogs and the changes in our lives have been, and are, so subtle we don’t catch on until it’s too late. What we have failed to notice is that our so-called democracy has been ripped out from underneath us and replaced with an obscene form of plutocracy.

The truth is, democracy in Australia began to die some thirty years ago. We didn’t cause it. That honour goes to the United States. Richard Nixon set the virus loose when he took America off the gold standard in 1971.

It was Ronald Reagan who lay the groundwork for the virus to spread and spread it did. Western economies followed suit adopting fiat currencies and suddenly the greedy race to the bottom was on.

Fiat currencies are not evil in themselves. They can and should be employed for great good. They can provide full employment, raise living standards; they can eliminate hunger and poverty.

But in Ronald Reagan’s world there was a different agenda. The result is that we now live in a world dominated and controlled by corporate greed.

We don’t know if Nixon or Reagan intended the virus to spread across the globe the way it has, but neither introduced any regulatory barriers to stop what actually happened.

So, those two presidents were at best incredibly naïve or at worst, criminal.

The introduction of fiat currencies opened the way for a paradigm change in the distribution of wealth and power. Then, when Bill Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act he made it so much easier for the crooks to flourish. It has resulted in a measure of inequality not previously experienced by any former civilisation.

Today, democratically elected governments are no more than agents, one might even call them servants, of the super-rich. They do the bidding of those that pay them to keep the masses in check.

In Australia, we only need to look at the list of political donors from the 2013 election to see where the big money came from and where the control lies. And this is only what was declared. How much more and from whom, that went undeclared, we may never know.

And why do they donate? Just take a look at the economic policies of the two major parties, both of whom skew their preferences toward their funding base.

There was a time when economic policies were built within a framework that put people first, that cared for the social consequences. Not anymore. Today, it’s all about serving the interests of the financiers and industrialists to the detriment of communities, of social cohesion.

Today, more than ever, factories are shutting down, car manufacturing plants are closing, engineering plants, that once employed successive generations of the same family are sitting idle, while governments across the country call for even more labour reform.

There are devastating signs all around us of Ronald Reagan’s neo-liberal train wreck and yet, while we feel the water in the saucepan getting a little warmer, the comfort levels are still reading ‘cosy’, blinding us to what is coming.

Three major events this year, Brexit, Trump and Renzi’s failed referendum would have us believe the people are finally saying they have had enough. We might even include Hansonism in that revolt but that would be foolish.

That right-wing conservative shift is little more than a bump in the road. Conservative rebels will soon see how wrong they were, how their protest voice will in fact empower the forces of neo-liberalism even further.

Have we learned anything from the GFC? Watch and listen to these pathetic, opportunistic, mongrel, neo-liberal apologists as they scramble their way out of the ditch they have built.

In the long term, nothing will change except the rhetoric and everything will go back to the way it was beforehand.

The world has changed and not for the better. The inequality gap grows wider and wider. Control of our future is contracting to fewer and fewer.

While we listen to politicians telling us about the debt burden we will hoist upon our grandchildren, little do we realise that the super-rich are already planning our grandchildrens’ future.

The trend is toward longer working hours and lower wages.

The sweat-shops of Asia, the child labour in India and the meagre trickle-down offerings western society has been blinded by today, will pale in comparison to a late 21st century world of total subservience.

Unless those duped by neo-liberalism’s trickle-down fraud, can rise from their present artificially constructed comfort zone and claim their rights beyond a simple Brexit or Trump, western living standards, for other than the super-rich, will continue to decline. The frogs will have left it too late to escape.

47 comments

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  1. Davidbruce

    Excellent article John, you have the gift of story telling. When I looked at the recent elections in USA, I realized no matter who won, the US was screwed. A choice between national socialism, or bolshevik communism. The only factor you didn’t mention in the article was the population growth issue. The mainstream propaganda now have articles about projected population growth and steps to control it. If I recall correctly, we expect 9 billion people on the planet by 2050? But the globalists have a plan to reduce the energy per person per square kilometer through global climate change initiatives such as UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Add that to the Georgia Guidestone’s prophecy of our planet sustaining only 500 million residents, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place (pun intended). Scientists (such as Stephen Hawking and others) are now predicting we will be extinct in the 1,000 years, unless we find another place to live. Maybe the God wants us to be millionaires so we can join the 500 million elite survivors?

  2. zoltan balint

    Yes the USA and the rest of the world is screwed the only question is how do you want it. Through ideology or inaction.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Some good ideas from Crispin Hull…..makes a lot of sense

    Paying $15,000 to every person between 18 and 65 would cost about $200 billion.

    Our total federal welfare bill is about $140 billion. From that, all the unemployment benefits, family benefits and welfare services would be scrapped. Only the $40 billion in aged pensions and about $10 billion in disability allowances above $15,000 a year per person would remain.

    That would provide almost half of the $200 billion needed.

    The rest would be made up by rejigging the income-tax scales, with people on higher incomes paying more. In effect, after a certain level – say, $150,000 – people would be paying back their $15,000.

    The $18,000 tax-free threshold would be scrapped. People would pay tax on the first dollar they earned. After all, they are coming off a starting position of $15,000 paid by the government.

    The tax scales would be revamped to end the big bracket steps. Rather, the tax rates would increase gradually, going up half a cent in the dollar every $1000 until it topped at 50¢ in the dollar at $100,000.

    The $15,000 would be indexed to national income, so people would get a sense of sharing the increases in national wealth, rather than a sense that it all goes to the big end of town. The income at which the top rate applied would also move this way.

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/scrap-welfare-and-pay-everyone-even-the-jobless-a-living-wage-20161208-gt6ob8.html

  4. Klaus

    Hi John, Over the past year, I seem to detect your growing anger towards the neo-cons and the right wing. Very rightly so. I am stunned as to how much wrecking the LNP is allowed to do and still be re-elected and if only by 1 seat.

    The whole system is f@%ked. There is no real representation of peoples votes, hence no more democracy.

    We need nothing short of a revolution. The people need to stand up and we need some kind of charismatic leader who is more than mere charisma. Perhaps somebody like Trudeau in Canada.

    I am not sure Labor has the political will to fight the good fight. Perhaps if they could get themselves in a coalition with the Greens. But the distance between them seems to far.

  5. keerti

    whilst both la-bore and lie-beral continue to govern by the demands of the swinging voter we will have nothing but mediocre governments.Parties are striving for their own self agrandisement rather than to serve the entire population. Real leadership is required, but instead we have Mr Bland Shorten and Mr No-balls Turnpuke. It is likely that the majority of the population will have boiled in the neo-con soup before it even begins to wake up to the fact that it is being cooked.
    The next election is likely to see a joint ticket of national/one nation/the abutt party elected with barnaby joyce and pauline pantsdown as prime minstrel and deputy. Most people won’t notice.

  6. Andreas Bimba

    The contest between capital and labour and between the hypothetical ideal of a ‘free market’ and state interventionism or socialism has been going on for a long time but two significant turning points in favour of the free marketeers were the birth of the Mont Pèlerin Society that officially took place in 1947 and the circulation of the Powell Memorandum in 1971.

    At present a form of the ‘free market’ neoliberal philosophy that exploits the legislative authority of government is overwhelmingly in the ascendant and the wealthiest few percent have increased their proportion of total economic wealth to well beyond that which existed in the 1920’s and is now at Nineteenth Century levels and growing faster than ever.

    The simple act of pursuing the special interests of the capital controlling elite by whatever means available such as lobbying, the use of think tanks, providing electoral funding to politicians and political parties, setting up a revolving door for key jobs between business, politics and government and the use of the mass media as an instrument of propaganda, has been so successful over the last 30 years that the democratic processes and institutions in most of the major developed countries have effectively been so undermined in most key policy areas that most of the affected nations have become more plutocratic than democratic.

    Some relevant links:

    The Mont Pèlerin Society:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/aug/28/comment.businesscomment

    The Mont Pèlerin Society: The ultimate neoliberal Trojan horse

    The Powell Memorandum:

    The Powell Memo: A Call-to-Arms for Corporations

    http://dy00k1db5oznd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Lewis-Powell-Memo.pdf

  7. Deidre

    The LNP keeps using the idea of a Labor/ Greens coalition to scare voters into believing such a govt would be a disaster.
    Liberals could not be and never have been in govt with out the Nats.
    What could be a bigger disaster than the current LNP govt.
    Without Murdoch support the LNP would have fallen apart.
    I believe corporate greed will make the human race extinct much sooner than Hawking’s 1000 year prediction.
    Deliberate inaction on climate change will destroy the planet faster than the mega rich can develop their off world haven.
    Oil wars will be replaced by wars over increasingly short supplies of water and food.
    What will destroy our civilisation, corporate greed or rapid climate change?

  8. zoltan balint

    While it feels good to call people names it does not engage them.

  9. zoltan balint

    I think it was during the 70’s or 80’s the moose population in Canada got so big that most starved to death. But the strong and young survived.

  10. Me

    Thank you John Kelly, we need more people like you.
    Like water dripping on stone ,it will wear thru.

  11. Freethinker

    We cannot wait or hope that the ones at the top are going to reverse this trend.
    The “Virus” that John mention can be killed by the people if they stop the habit of consumerism. People power is the only way it can happens in two ways, voluntarily, to stop the greed for material things or poverty, which in turn stops the consuming and brings civilian unrest.
    IMO the second way will be the one that will reverse the present trend.
    So far here, we have it too good. People (the majority), do not yet know what poverty is.

  12. babyjewels10

    50% of us catch on that the water is going to boil us to death. What I don’t understand is why the other 50% DON’T catch on. Don’t they feel the heat?

  13. Stephen Griffin

    I read the Crispin Hull article: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/scrap-welfare-and-pay-everyone-even-the-jobless-a-living-wage-20161208-gt6ob8.html

    It’s a great idea and he didn’t even mention the savings from the costs of running Centrelink and Job Network Provider areas. But there’s no way the COALition would initiate this scheme, they love to torment the unemployed, to build compliance into the workforce, and divide us by turning taxpayers against them.

    I hope we hear more of this idea.

  14. Kyran

    Just on that “sweat-shops of Asia” thing. Bangladesh is a curiosity, isn’t it? 158 mil people, in a land mass that would fit into Tasmania, a few times over. It currently produces most of the ‘off the shelf’ items sold at boutique stores.
    Factories collapse, workers get killed. Oopsy. There was a report on RN, yesterday, describing how nothing has changed, after more than a year of righteous indignation. The ‘oopsy’ was my flippant, insensitive, bad. Workers died. Mostly female. Sisters, mothers, daughters, carers. Granted, their wages have gone up, fractionally. Their conditions have not.
    “There was a time when economic policies were built within a framework that put people first.”
    Apparently, you got that wrong, Mr Kelly. The economic framework is reliant on the economy being first, the people being merely casualties, along the way.
    As Klaus noted @ 3.41,
    “Over the past year, I seem to detect your growing anger towards the neo-cons and the right wing.”
    The world is changing, and not in a good way.
    For goodness sake, Ms Lee has been given to profanity.
    The epitaph for this post was going to be ‘Everything’s Alright’, from JCS. Or ‘Many Rivers to Cross, from Mr Cocker.
    “We didn’t start the fire
    It was always burning since the world’s been turning
    We didn’t start the fire
    No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it”.
    Thank you Mr Kelly, for the reminder. Economic aspirations are a bit like political aspirations. In the current climate, expedient.
    Take care

  15. Kaye Lee

    Meanwhile, the ATO website crashed this morning at 9:30 and is STILL out.

    A statement on Twitter said: “Services will remain offline while staff work through the night on a fix. We’ll update you again in the morning. Thanks for your patience.”

  16. Freethinker

    Do not tell me that the site was hacked again!

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The working poor arguably have revolted against the status quo. They mistakenly think (if they’re conservative) that they still have some autonomy by being employed but they don’t, if the results of their aggression and opposition stay in neoliberalist hands.

    When that sinks in – despite the Nigel Farage and Trump false form of reform for the sake of working people’s rights – they will be further energised to take those false soothsayers to task.

    Australia is yet to flex its muscles, but we are waiting for our chance to show the neoliberalist Lib/Lab duopoly that tit for tat politics stinks and is no longer tolerated.

    First, the LNP Degenerates will fall coz they are too invested in demeaning and undermining ordinary people’s lives and they won’t take it any longer

    Next will fall the Labor Pretenders who seek the support of disenfranchised grassroots people without knowing or caring for their particular concerns, or even trying to know them.

    The only remedy is for sensible people in the Greens, Labor and progressive micro parties with vision and passion, as well as a few sensible Independents like Wilkie, to form The ALLiance to get the show on the road that will provide a viable and true winnable Government at the next Federal Election, that will bring good, inclusive, compassionate, innovative and respectful government back to Australia.

    (Hope that the bloody-minded foolishness against The ALLiance does not prevail again like for the July 2016 Federal Election.)

  18. Kaye Lee

    Freethinker,

    They were hit by a “hardwire issue”. I wonder if they have tried turning it off and on again. Rolls eyes.

  19. stephentardrew

    A deeply honest, cuttingly clear and factual summary of our current circumstances. Following on from this I think my fellow citizens are easily fooled by greed and avarice.

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes, many of our neighbours are fooled by greed and avarice but they won’t stay fooled when the penny drops.

    That’s when they must be brought in from the cold of neoliberalism and into economic revisionism and democratic socialism.

    If we don’t live by those standards, then we may as well cry in our beers or our coffees, and let the world go by.

  21. wam

    How many of your friends and relatives are better off than other poor and believe:
    overseas aid should be redirected to give $50 single $76 couple a la jacqui
    the MAJORITY of people on the dole are bludgers a la 25000 is a big number
    Morrison’s debt is gillards and shortens fault and they wasted howard’s surplus.
    the ABC is manned by labor stooges
    trump and hanson can see the future and support the workers
    are you sick yet it is awful
    dixxxbransims are not trustworthy and labor cannot form an alliance with such men.
    Little billy has two years to attack the economy or 5 years or 8 years.

  22. John Brame

    Good article John. When you started with the frog story I assumed you were talking global warming, but I guess that is just another spinoff from this corporate greed obsession.
    I have been wondering why Denmark never gets much of a mention. Are they doing something right or am I way off the mark here.
    Denmark has once again been ranked as the happiest nation in the world, this time by UN’s World Happiness Report 2016 Update. I have read Danes have low wages, high taxes and excellent human services. Bikes are the norm and the country is going 100 percent organic. Sounds like a damn fine place to live (apart from shit weather)
    I think I prefer the happiness index over the monetary index.

  23. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    John Brame,

    I respect the Danish approach to governance.

    wam,

    I try hard to be nice to you, but you just talk bullshit.

  24. Matters Not

    Tonight on the ABC News, there was much sugar farmer celebration re a driverless tractor that can do almost an endless number of tasks – from planting to weeding and all physical tasks in between. Better still, it can also work round the clock – stopping only to refuel. A technological advance of significant moment that will allow the farmers to sleep easily in the future.

    Yet there was no mention of this technology’s ‘labour displacing’ inevitability. A driverless tractor that can work 24/7 translates to the loss of at least 3 drivers. In many ways that’s great. But not if you are a driver.

    Perhaps we should take seriously the likelihood that the future will not provide ‘jobs’ (as we currently understand the concept) for the vast bulk of the population. That probable future will have economic consequences for sure, but there will also be social and individual psychological effects and affects. Is there any political party that’s prepared to look beyond the ‘jobs and growth’ mantra (universally shared) and take seriously, policy development for the likely the future?

    Not likely. That would require ‘vision’.

  25. Keitha Granville

    so how do we mere mortals fix it ? how can we get the right people into the houses of parliament ? or do we just sit in the pot hoping the last bit before we die isn’t too painful 🙁
    would all of you good people on AIMN consider standing for election ? Please ??

  26. Matters Not

    Keitha Granville, the available evidence suggests that being ‘elected’ makes not a jot of difference. Just sayin …

    Perhaps the problem lies in the way one is elected and the promises made to the power brokers along the way?

  27. Kaye Lee

    GRRRRRRRR The tax department is STILL down 24 hours later.

    ” Update: We’ve been working hard throughout the night but systems remain offline. We’re aiming to roll out services during the day, and we’ll provide you with updates as soon as we can.”

  28. Kaye Lee

    ” the changes in our lives have been, and are, so subtle we don’t catch on until it’s too late. ”

    They Thought They Were Free
    The Germans, 1933-45
    Milton Mayer

    But Then It Was Too Late

    “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security.

    To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.”

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html

  29. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I would be interested to know if the ATO’s IT work is out-sourced.

  30. Michael Taylor

    Not that it matters. It is out of interest only.

  31. Kaye Lee

    The Australian Taxation Office has been quietly sending some of its work to the Philippines for several months as the Australian Public Service moves closer to operating in Asia on a large scale.

    The office insists the offshore “application development” by outsourcing giant Accenture is done in a secure facility and that no data on taxpayers is being sent to Manila.

    But the main public service union says the ATO is taking unacceptable risks by moving any of its work overseas.

    The news of the Philippines deal comes as the Commonwealth is openly canvassing the idea of following the lead of the NSW government and sending some of its work to India.

    Accenture first came to to ATO in 2014, asking if it could take some of its work for the giant revenue agency to one of the private players’ vast “service centres” in the Philippines.

    The spokeswoman told Fairfax that the present arrangement, where Accenture is helping to develop new IT capabilities for the office, was temporary and had been in place for several months.

    “Earlier this financial year the ATO commenced a short-term arrangement with Accenture to use their Philippines Delivery Centre to increase our IT capability in application development for new policy implementation,” she said.

    “This additional capability is being used at peak times to temporarily support the ATO’s workforce and existing onshore arrangement with Accenture.

    “The offshore development is being conducted in a secure facility that has been inspected by ATO staff and conforms to government physical and data security requirements.

    “There is no taxpayer data going offshore and only anonymised development data being is being used via secure channels.

    “The arrangement is expected to continue to December 2016.”

    Accenture and the ATO have history, with the company reaping fees of $677 million for its work on the office’s trouble-plagued “change program”, which blew out in cost from an initial “fixed price” of $230 million in 2004 to $756 million when it concluded in 2010.

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/manila-calling-public-services-philippines-frolic-revealed-20160119-gm8y3r.html

  32. Michael Taylor

    Thanks for that, Kaye. My query was only ‘out of interest’, but it turns out to be interesting indeed.

  33. Kaye Lee

    I just rang the ATO and asked if the the system outage had anything to do with offshoring to the Philippines and I was completely stonewalled. The people in the call centre have no idea who provides their IT….apparently. So I asked to be transferred to someone who does know and they said they have no idea who that would be and they can’t look up numbers anyway because the system is down.

    Very interesting.

  34. Kaye Lee

    A phone call to Scott Morrison’s office was flickpassed to the minister responsible which is apparently Kellie O’Dwyer whose office informed me it is a hardware issue not related to offshoring. I asked what sort of a hardware issue takes more than 24 hours to fix? No answer. They will probably blame it on renewable energy if track record is anything to go by.

    I also notice that Mitch Fifield is proposing putting a levy on regional NBN users – I sure hope those country people are happy they’ve got Barnaby in cabinet!

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/this-could-cripple-companies-like-us-government-announces-new-nbn-tax-on-broadband-companies-20161212-gt9hxj.html

  35. Aortic

    Great article John, spot on. I can do no better than quote Gore Vidal who wisely said, ” The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return”. What he said.

  36. Kaye Lee

    the ATO will launch a data matching blitz to find tax cheats.

    The ATO will receive details of all payments made to, and accounts held by, businesses such as Uber, GoCatch and Lyft. It will obtain records of up to 60,000 people.

    “The data we acquire will be electronically matched with certain sections of ATO data holdings to identify taxpayers,’’ the ATO revealed.

    “The purpose of this data matching program is to ensure that taxpayers are correctly meeting their taxation obligations in relation to ride-sourcing payments.

    “These obligations may include: registration, lodgement, reporting and payment responsibilities.”

    It said the data matching offensive aimed to promote voluntary compliance and increase community confidence in the integrity of the tax system.

    It would also serve to “obtain intelligence to increase our understanding of the behaviours and compliance profiles of individuals providing ride-sourcing services”.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/australian-taxation-office-announces-crackdown-on-ridesharing-services-uber-gocatch-and-lyft/news-story/8085cf89e5860fb07d0e8fb1108172db

  37. Kaye Lee

    ATO systems update

    Media statement from acting Chief Information Officer Steve Hamilton.

    13 Dec 2016, 01:11:35PM

    The ATO is working closely with our external service provider Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to resolve the issues with our online services, portals and website.

    No taxpayer information has been compromised.

    Specialist engineers have been working through the night with ATO staff to rectify the outages.

    These outages relate to a new hardware storage solution that was upgraded in November 2015. Our primary back-up systems, that should have kicked in immediately, were also affected. We understand this is the first time this problem has been encountered anywhere in the world and we are working with HPE to determine the underlying cause. While these investigations are ongoing, we have had to implement alternative recovery procedures that are taking longer to complete.

    At this stage, we are working towards critical systems such as the Tax Agent Portal and ato.gov.au(External link) being available later today.

    We apologise for any inconvenience our clients may have experienced.

    We have the right people with the right skills who are committed to restoring our services as quickly as possible.

    We will provide further updates during the day.

    ***********

    I am wondering if we pay Hewlett Packard Enterprise as Much as we paid IBM for their ‘help’ with the census.

  38. zoltan balint

    I was thinking Kaye, don’t do that often because it hurts, but can the ATO also check income of politicians (like it can the rest of us) and report to parliament interests held and investments so the polititions don’t have to waste their valuable time remembering what to declare. Must be hard for Malcolm not voting on issues with his interest, and does Labour abstain with one on their side to protect LNP majority in parliament.

  39. Kyran

    Oh goody, “the ATO will launch a data matching blitz to find tax cheats.”

    “Several big multinational technology companies paid no tax in Australia during the 2014-15 financial year, the Australian Tax Office’s annual corporate tax transparency report has revealed.
    Under legislation passed by the former Labor government to improve transparency, the ATO has published its second report, which includes tax information about public and foreign organisations with a total income of $100 million or more.”
    “Notable technology firms that had zero tax payable in Australia included Acer, ASG, Atlassian Australia, Citrix, Dicker Data, Dimension Data, HP South Pacific, IBM, Ingram Micro, NEC and Vodafone.
    One of the largest organisations with a zero tax bill was IBM, which generated $3.6 billion in local revenue with a taxable income of $49.3 million. Acer paid no tax on revenue of $268 million and Citrix paid $11 million in tax on revenue of $275 million.”

    The ‘upgrade’ of the ATO system commenced in 2004.

    “The program commenced in December 2004 at an estimated cost of $350-450 million and was set to be completed by the end of 2007. The budget, however, has blown out to double the original figure, hitting close to $750 million.
    In October last year the ATO also accepted the recommendations from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) after the latter conducted a performance audit of the Change Program.
    The Change Program problems have also led many observers to question the performance of key ATO partner, global consultancy firm Accenture.”

    Let’s face it. IT and Australia just aren’t compatible. It’s not like Australia doesn’t need something like a Fttp NBN, It’s just that we don’t want it, according to our government. It’s not like Australia doesn’t need to own the IT infrastructure on which our government relies upon. It’s just that we don’t want it, according to our government.

    “Unless those duped by neo-liberalism’s trickle-down fraud, can rise from their present artificially constructed comfort zone and claim their rights beyond a simple Brexit or Trump, western living standards, for other than the super-rich, will continue to decline. The frogs will have left it too late to escape.”

    We have an Inspector General of Taxation. Ali Noroozi. Why, just today, he suggested the ATO ‘need’s to say sorry.’
    Are you happy now, Ms Lee? The ATO will say sorry. Ok, it won’t be much good in your bank account. HP and IBM don’t have to pay tax. Haven’t checked ‘Accenture’ yet. I’m tipping that, notwithstanding making money from the government, they didn’t make enough to pay tax.
    Look on the bright side. “the ATO will launch a data matching blitz to find tax cheats.”
    Single parent’s, pensioner’s, unemployed, underemployed, carer’s, backpacker’s (or any visa worker, for that matter), student’s. Pick a category. As long as it is not corporate.
    Apologies for the rant, Mr Kelly and Ms Lee. Take care

  40. Kaye Lee

    Afternoon Update

    13 Dec 2016, 04:30:00PM

    ATO experts continue to work with our partners at HPE to secure and restore IT services.

    We will work with all clients to ensure that nobody is disadvantaged as a result of these systems issues.

    Alternative work arrangements have been made for those ATO staff impacted by the outage.

    We hope to resume key services like the Tax Agent Portal and some services on ato.gov.au later today.

    After full restoration, investigations will continue on the cause of the outage to ensure we treat the underlying issues and determine why the switch-over to back-up systems failed on this occasion.

    ^^^^^^^^^

    Working to SECURE IT services? I hope that just means make them work???? Are they SURE this offshoring is a good idea?

    Further update

    Website now online

    13 Dec 2016, 06:38:00PM AEDT

    Our website is now back online at ato.gov.au(External link) for you to access tax and super information. Thank you for your patience.

    You may find you’re unable to access certain tools, calculators and our online services while we continue working to restore all of our services.

    If you’re still seeing a website maintenance page when you visit the site, we recommend clearing your browser cookies and cache.

    ________

    Except every comment after that announcement says. nope, still not working. I cleared everything and still no go.

    Next update:

    Australian Taxation Office Hi everyone – please note our website is back up but we are still working hard to restore our online services, including the Portals. Our technicians will keep working through the night and we will provide another update in the morning.
    Like · Reply · 11 mins

  41. Kyran

    Ms Lee, the Irish treatment of corporate taxation has been a series of blunders that have done nothing other than benefit the corporate’s to the detriment of the people.
    Back in the 80’s, some genius decided that they would induce corporate’s to set up their European headquarters in Ireland by giving them a discount on their first decade tax rate. Many of these companies enjoyed the tax break for ten years then relocated when the concession expired. When the government realised this, they changed the arrangement to a flat 12.5% tax, which it has remained at for about twenty years.
    Just had a look and note that Accenture employ about 2,250 people in Ireland, having established new ‘centre’s of excellence’ for their global enterprise. Whilst information on their Irish tax affairs wasn’t as readily available, there may be a comparable example.
    Apple employs about 5,000 Irisher’s, mainly in their Cork office. The Irish government was happy with the ‘sweetheart’ deal, which eventually incurred the ire of the EU Competition Commission;

    “EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Apple’s “selective treatment” in Ireland meant it paid an effective tax rate of just 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003, which then fell to a bare 0.005 per cent by 2014.”
    “The tax treatment in Ireland enabled Apple to avoid taxation on almost all profits generated by sales of Apple products in the entire EU single market,” she said.
    Brussels launched an inquiry into Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland in 2014, one of a series of anti-trust cases targeting major US corporations that have angered Washington.”

    The EU Commission ordered Apple to pay 13 bil Euros (about $19 bil AU) to the Irish government and also ordered the Irish government to collect it. Both the Irish government and Apple are appealing the decision.
    The Irish government has been cash strapped since the GFC. It would prefer to forego the companies obligations rather than threaten a tax system that is little more than a glorified Ponzi scheme.
    Just to put that Apple tax bill in perspective, the Irish Health budget for 2016 was 13.175 bil Euros. Should the government enforce the judgement, that one taxpayer will fund a years health spending.
    It seems eerily familiar that the government will continue to trim its health budget to live within its means, rather than pursue one single tax avoider.
    Nothing to see here, move along.
    Take care

  42. Kaye Lee

    GRRRRRRRR

    14 Dec 2016, 10:04AM AEDT

    ATO experts and our partners at HPE have continued to work around the clock to bring our core systems back online.

    We are working towards bringing the Tax Agent Portal back online later today and will confirm when it is functional.

    Other services will be brought online gradually over the coming days and we will continue to keep the community informed of our progress.

    *****************

    I snuck through one BAS successfully (I think – I printed it JIC) at 10:44 am. Went to do the next one this arvo….she’s broke again!

    It’s just like the census. Every call I made in the last few days have resulted in dunno from the ATO and crap from Kellie O’Dwyer’s office. Slowly we see the responsibility being shifted to “our external partner HPE”. How about we train our own IT staff and keep it in-house? Would that be too much to ask?

  43. Christian Marx

    Terrific article. Articulates perfectly what is happening, both in Aus and in the rest of the western world.
    Unfortunately, only a full scale revolution will get rid of this cancer of Neoliberalism. All those parasites, such as Gina Rhinehart, Murdoch and Forrest et al should be charged with crimes against humanity and be jailed indefinitely. Ditto, for both sides of politics and much of the media for propagating this cancerous charade.

  44. Pingback: The world is changing…and not in a good way | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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