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The Forum > Article Comments > From California to Canberra: the real class war > Comments

From California to Canberra: the real class war : Comments

By John Muscat, published 11/6/2012

Why are Australians so low when their economy is so high?

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What cruelled the Californian economy? The green agenda of its very conservative governor, or incredibly unwise investments in worthless derivatives?
Why are Australians so unhappy?
Well arguably, because they are endlessly told by Authors like this one they have reasons to be very unhappy?
Many have gotten used to the middle class welfare, that The Howard led coalition handed out in a bid to retain power? And are unhappy with the very real prospect this will have to be rolled back, if only to ensure a balanced budget going forward and confidence building surpluses.
If we were half smart we would stop listening to the conservative, talk the economy down message; and instead, compare ourselves with Europe and the ongoing economic damage being done by the Conservative fix!
The only way to keep our economy growing and or alive and well, is to improve both discretionary spending and savings! We seem to be doing just that under the stewardship of the Gillard govt, paying down household debt, while still encouraging enough discretionary spending to keep the economy turning over.
Yes, the carbon tax as applied will simply churn money, and could have been better done as a part of long overdue genuine tax reform and simplification.
And that would have likely stimulated onshore high tech manufacture, production and exports?
For mine, I see absolutely no message coming from the conservative element that they have any appetite for long overdue real reform?
One should conclude with, be very careful what you wish for, least we through our simple minded acceptance of the conservative sales blurp, put them at the helm and follow the conservative imposed economy shrinking austerity now killing Europe's economic prospects/salvation?
The question we really need to ask, is history repeating itself, with a still manageable recession being converted into yet another Great Depression, with entirely counter productive conservative management paradigms. i.e, socialise the dept and privatise the profits, and squeeze the general populace to replace the wealth lost by the wealthy, when in fact, they ought to be the only one taking a financial haircut!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Monday, 11 June 2012 10:56:53 AM
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John, how can you describe the extraordinary success of Australia's Government in recent years and express puzzlement at the electorate's failure to acknowledge this - without mentioning the Murdoch and Fairfax media?
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12286
Fail, John. Bad fail.
Posted by Alan Austin, Monday, 11 June 2012 11:22:10 AM
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"Topping the list is Gillardís absurd $23 a tonne carbon tax, effective from 1 July this year. Most pundits are loath to concede that, in international terms, the measure is quite radical and Gillard only embraced it to appease the Greens. From the comfort of their armchairs, they dismiss fears about the tax as irrational. After all, Treasury modeling indicates that the effect on growth will be minuscule and, under the governmentís package, households will be over-compensated for cost of living increases. If only the Opposition would drop its inflammatory attacks, they maintain, the pessimism would disappear."

"Across a range of traditional industries, workers grasp that the economy is shifting in directions that could erode the foundations of their mobility and independence. Understanding more than they are given credit for, they fear that the current Labor Government, beholden to Greens and academic elites, and hiding behind stodgy rhetoric, is driving or exploiting those shifts. The most visible manifestations of this are the carbon tax and other green agendas."

Very well grasped by the author.

Sadly, the vast majority of Labor MPs -- including former PM Keating, once a lucid thinker -- have lost touch with reality, by placing their trust in the great green hope of structural change: the green industries. Is it too much to hope that these MPs' misplaced optimism will give way to the realisation that the green industries have done very little, except jack up energy prices, for the economies that have promoted them?
Posted by Raycom, Monday, 11 June 2012 11:51:54 AM
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John Muscat you blame the Greens, carbon price and investment in clean energy for all of Australia's (and California's) ills.

That is nonsense. The C price will have about 1/3 of the impacts of the GST, which was the one thing that (in hindsight) I would say Howard's Govt did right. Why? Because it forced the rich to at least start paying a fair tax on their excess consumption.

The spotlight should really be shone on the deregulation and lack of oversight of the banks which has led to them being overloaded with property mortgages. This debt is increasingly going bad just as property prices are beginning to deflate to closer their real value. That and the excessive middle class welfare, both were given by Howard, Abbott and his neo-liberal cronies.

Yes I agree - manufacturing needs help and so does tourism. Best way to do it?- Mining tax (version 1, the substantial one) and carbon price on all mining and resources industries - it will dampen (but by no means extinguish) the huge pipeline of investment in that industry which has drained manufacturing and tourism by keeping the dollar high and skills scarce.

That solution, which is bleeding obvious to the big portion of thinking Australians, is the opposite of what you advocate John.

When (not if) the crunch does come to Australia with the deflation of the China bubble, followed by our housing bubble then maybe the banks will be in trouble. Then we'll pray for a Government that will not (as Rhosty says) "socialise the dept and privatise the profits, and squeeze the general populace to replace the wealth lost by the wealthy" as the European and US governments are doing.

PS Who knows, something good may come of this, like an end to 'growth'.
Posted by Roses1, Monday, 11 June 2012 1:31:29 PM
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Just how long can we keep taking in each other's washing, before we all run out of money. Someone has to actually make something for wealth to be created. Fortunately for us at present, it was done for us when our continent was created, but we are depending far too much on this good luck.

It is no accident that the only really successful EU country is Germany. For those who don't know, they are the one who build all those cars, & trains & STUFF.

Just like primary school teachers, our public service, higher education, & the bulk of our health care workforce, [all public servants really], are over educated, over paid, & under worked. Poor human relation management appear to think you need a BA to push a bit of paper from one box to another.

W have graduates flipping burgers due to the promotion of a general liberal, education, useful for nothing but paper pushing in the bureaucracy. Meanwhile Perth, the home of highly paid mining professional, is developing a pommy accent, due to the number of technical graduates UK universities produce, with no real industry to absorb them. They are the beneficiaries of our mining boom, & are filling the best most highly paid positions, our people should be educated to take. Bit of a problem I suppose, with little other than humanities people on staff.

So watch out folks. Make as much hay as you can. If China stop making electricity, & steel with our raw materials, or the carbon tax sends the miners elsewhere, it's the poor house for us.

With this fixation on arts & humanities in our higher education system, we should have the best spoken unemployment ques in the world.
Posted by Hasbeen, Monday, 11 June 2012 1:33:48 PM
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To the contrary Roses1, when the crunch does come we will wish we had been smart enough not to elect a government that had not thrown away a carefully built up surplus, but sunk us deep into debt as well.

We will also wish we still used coal to generate the cheapest power in the world, rather than this stupid boutique wind & solar stuff.

I wonder how how many will freeze to death, because of this arrogant stupidity.
Posted by Hasbeen, Monday, 11 June 2012 1:42:59 PM
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