Economics is the study of scarcity… Or something like that. I remember this from some textbooks I was forced to read as part of my first experience of the subject…
Anyway, a few months later, I topped the class at an elite private school in Year 11… By the next year, I was so confused by the whole thing that I almost failed my end of year exam.
This, as I have pointed out on numerous occasions, is because I actually understood how little sense it made. Since then, cleverer people than me have managed to do two things.
- Explain things so that I understand what was wrong with the orthodoxy at the time
- Confuse the rest of you so that you have no fucking idea how silly it all is once you fail to understand the first sentence that I wrote, which I may refresh your memory by repeating: “Economics is the study of scarcity…”
I’d like to emphasise the word “study” here because sometimes a word or two can get lost in the brouhaha of politics. Rather than “study” things, economists now often do something more akin to examine the entrails of a chicken and then making predictions…
I’m sure there are several economists out there who’d dispute that view of them and I guess that’s why they get invitations to be on committees to justify what the government is doing and I only get invitations to have coffee and discuss the football.
But back to Josh’s Budget…
I find it interesting that he was making a big thing about the fact that the predictions of just a few months ago were too pessimistic and that the economy is in much better shape than we thought and thanks to that we can all have something. You know, if you’re a welfare recipient, you can have $250 but if you are a low income earner with a job you can have $450 and if you earn lots of money, you can have the government, why you had them at hello…
Yeah, I find it interesting because the same mob who promised us pre-2019 election that they had a surplus next year are now telling us that their recent predictions were wrong but their future predictions will be accurate because well, they just will be, ok, and isn’t it great that, like the Budget surplus that never happened, wages will start to rise… but not until after the election…
Ok, I’m a wee bit cynical. But when even Pravda (aka “The Australian” because it’s owned by an American) has a front page headline saying “THE COST OF WINNING”, I suspect that anything less than cynicism is what used to be known as “gullibility” before the word was banned under cancel culture.
I just can’t quite grasp what the Coalition thinks it’s doing to win the election. Sure, the Budget is a bribe but it’s rather like offering the parking inspector your used chewing gum if he/she tears up the ticket. Yes, they’ve already reduced the excise on petrol so that they can say, “See, Labor does raise taxes!” when the sunset clause expires in September. But how does it help them when Morrison suggests that people experiencing rent stress should just buy a house? I was waiting for someone to ask him if he’s worried that the $250 he’s giving to welfare recipients won’t cause housing prices to rise when they all use it as a deposit. Or just hours after being called a bully by a member of his own side, Hanson and Lambie, the PM tells us that he understands why Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, because nothing suggests that you’re not a bully better than condoning violence because you feel someone has overstepped the mark. And apart from anything else, nobody has locked Barnaby in a cupboard till the election’s called and he can just be sent to do a tour of country pubs in some sort of climate change doubt envoy role.
Let’s be quite clear here: If Scott Morrison was a jockey, the stewards would be questioning him after the election about whether he was running dead. If he was a football coach, he’d be accused of tanking. If he was a Prime Minister, he might actual do something to help the country.
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