It’s another Jess Irvine piece. You won’t get it because Jess didn’t get it. She writes with all the aplomb of someone who has read about what Paul Keating said to John Laws back in the winter of 1986, but has never thought about it all that much – she sure as hell doesn’t remember it the way many people will. You come away from this 1000 words of shinola with the idea that Jess has never known debt and its impact on the national economy going bad, and probably has never been in a situation where she (or her family) owes a lot of money and is concerned about whether they will have a job in six months. If this is what Fairfax is now stooping to serving up, then I hope she doesn’t have a large mortgage – for the end may come quick.
A trillion dollars in debt, but no ‘banana republic’
On May 14 1986, treasurer Paul Keating delivered his famous warning that Australia risked becoming a “banana republic”.
The comment was a reaction to figures showing the biggest current account deficit ever recorded, at 6 per cent of GDP.
Low commodity prices, high government debts and high interest rates were, indeed, crippling the economy.
As it makes it way gracelessly towards a post journalism future Fairfax is becoming a study in downsizing organisations, between the plethora of last comments from skilled writers who have shaped the way Australians see themselves and the world over a generation, to the desperation resonating exhortations of those still on the books as a guide to how desperate they are to remain thus.
Jess Irvine is one of the latter. She regularly tees off with incoherent economic diatribes as a sort of backfill spakfilla when Gitto or the Pascoemeter take holidays, and occasionally limbers in with some reasonably pertinent observations on social phenomena (notably housing). Sadly, todays serve is one of the former – another vacuous incoherent chunder of utter bilge revolving around the economy and labour economics, with a dash of an anti-Union slant.
I don’t have a problem with an anti-Union slant, and for a decade was an industrial relations official on the employer side for some of Australia’s larger employers – so I have seen them carry on with some weird shit. But that same experience has led me to the view that the reason for the enduring popularity of Unions in some sectors of the economy is that any given management is highly likely to be carrying on with shit which is every bit as weird, and as far as most employees of their workplaces is concerned is likely to be far more pernicious shit in terms of impacting on their conditions, incomes, and the way they do their work. In many workplaces it takes the form of a fairly vicious form of workplace politics, which can shape everything from hours worked to promotion or training opportunities, to allowances and workplace safety. Depending on the workplace it can become serious. And in many of those workplaces joining a Union makes sense as far as an address to those circumstances is concerned, and ultimately joining a Union is just another manifestation of the safety in numbers and organising in response to a threat phenomena – albeit where the threat is management.
And so we come to todays piece which ostensibly takes snippets of the Australian economy as it is, and attempts to make it stand up as an argument for more education to generate more income and then skips around aimlessly describing whatever economic thoughts have come to Jess at the time ……… Continue reading
Global capital elites slam faux population ponzi limitations as capital extraction impediments
Global oligopolists and a leading neo feudalism brand management guru have savaged the federal government’s visa changes, accusing them of being the leading edge in questioning a generations worth of Monopoly-Capitalist mantra which has paved the way to Australia’s economic malaise and suggesting that a nation with a higher foreign born population than any other in the OECD is labelling foreigners unfairly.
Coca-Cola Amatil managing director Alison Watkins, Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman and GE president Geoff Culbert described changes that will further restrict access to Australia’s visa system as hypocritical and retrograde. They also noted that all three ran businesses which focussed on minimising profits in Australia insofar as they related to taxation payments made here, were happiest when their employees in Australia were paid least, and found fresh migrants the the most committed to corporate values and behaviours while being most expendable without complaining about their minimum.
Former World Trade Organisation director Pascal Lamy lashed out at changes spurred by the global populist phenomenon.
“We have spent 35 years broadening the scope of global trade for the 1% who control more than half the world’s earnings just to extract ever more from the rest, and free trade and importing cheap labour from elsewhere has been our key leverage tool. Just because highly indebted former middle class types are upset about having their pay outcomes offshored or their services undermined by taxation avoiding multinationals, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look at the upside. Australians shouldn’t underestimate how good this is…..’ Continue reading
Australia has, to put it bluntly, a public policy BDSM obsession. We like our public policy to inflict pain on ourselves and others, and when it comes to public policy failure, contemporary Australia is the definitive experience. If our government was to propose Australian citizens drop their strides and lower their buttocks over a white hot pointed steel pole, and if the media were to follow up with a vigorous discussion on the relative merits of white, red or blue hot poles, and the degree to which they should be pointy, or of the vast array of aromas searing flesh can produce, it would be perfectly in keeping with what we have.
If there was such a thing as Olympic Gold Medals for national economic self-harm then Australia would be legend. Monty Python at their most biting were nowhere near as grotesque as a nation which has (inter alia):- Continue reading
Next populist showdown is all about immigration
• Paul Kelly, Editor-At-Large
• The Australian
• 12:00AM March 4, 2017
Although normally firmly against putting the contents of the Rupertarian anywhere near anyone’s mind, I find myself again in the position of needing to highlight one of Uncle’s pieces – for the purpose of highlight just how banal they can be. Continue reading
It’s been pretty hard for anyone in the wider public to think that parliamentary privilege abuse has been simply a matter of ‘just a few bad eggs’, but the revelations of the last couple of days have been staggering. We can now be 100% certain that what we thought was just a bad cold sore on the lip of Australia’s body politic is the tertiary stage of Australia’s parliamentary entitlement pox.
It doesn’t matter where you look, there is no avoiding the grotesque sense of entitlement our politicians have. Even Australia’s mainstream media have twigged to the possibility that while our politicians are sending out debt collectors on an algorithm generated witch hunt, a completely different set of rules applies to them. Continue reading
With the Brexit vote in June and the Donald Trump win in the U.S. Presidential election in November 2016 delivering an electoral riposte to a generation of increasing globalisation, Gunnamatta spoke with David Llewellyn- Smith and Leith Van Onselen about how the Australian economy is currently positioned, and of the implications for Australian economic policy and politics of any potential de-globalisation sentiment. Continue reading
As the credulity of the Australian population gets ever more stretched on the subject of migration the beneficiaries of Australia’s migration on steroids approach to economic policy are starting to get the idea that it is being substantively questioned.
Jess Irvine has outed herself recently as a business journalist who didn’t get GDP growth. She now returns as a business journalist who can’t see the economy past a daily hit of extra bums on seats, and who has outed herself with this piece as someone who isn’t so much a business journalist but an intellectually shy spruiker for whatever lobby requires one. And one with some major comprehension issues at that. Continue reading
Neither the current Liberal-National coalition nor the Australian Labor Party have shown any inclination to level with the Australian people about the economic predicament we find ourselves in – massive private debt, an economy which has been stripped back by government policy (both sides of politics) to doing nothing more than exporting dirt, or growing things on top of it, to earn national income.
That earning capacity is largely in the hands of international capital (of the kind marketing through Singapore or Panama to minimise taxes and maximise returns for shareholders somewhere other than Australia) when it is involved in digging things out of the ground. When it comes to growing things on the ground much of the growing is still done by local but the choke points through which it is exported or processed are largely controlled by foreign interests.
We have dealt ourselves out of the game of generating income through applying our brains – of being a price maker in any field whatsoever. We offer only overpriced services of interest only to those in Australia or those who want to be in Australia (for whatever reason) – and the world’s most expensive real estate, serviced by the world’s most indebted population, employed in the world’s most uncompetitive economy. It’s almost comic. Continue reading
Government proposals requiring real estate agents to look at the passports of buyers in order to prove their identity and basis for buying Australian real estate have been likened to requiring yellow stars on their clothing by the Property Council of Australia, who have also warned about the health impact on ‘honest Australian property speculators’
‘University tests have shown conclusively that imposing buyer identification requirements increases the risk of tinea cruris, thrush and ringworm on potential families looking to purchase their first home in Australia’ said Andrew Mihno – Executive Director International Capital Markets – of the PCA before adding ‘and it is common knowledge that requiring anyone in the real estate industry to look at who is buying houses is highly carcinogenic and related to higher incidences of testicular cancer, lung cancer, spleen tumours and polyp formations on the forehead of those required make enquiries. This proposal entails risks which would need to be factored in, and would lead to higher transaction costs for vendors.’ Continue reading