In the wake of the 2017 Federal Budget and with prices for Australia’s major commodity exporting slumping Gunnamatta spoke with David Llewellyn-Smith and Leith van Onselen about the Australian economy and its key drivers and outlook. In a wide ranging discussion they cover the role that immigration is currently playing in sustaining Australia’s current economic data, while making little plausible sense for a nation remaining reliant on natural resources, and how this affects Australian politics, policymaking, real estate and infrastructure.
David looks at the dynamics in the iron ore, coal and gas markets, with the implications this has for the budget, and there is a detailed look at the implications of the Adanic coal mine in Queensland and proposals to build an LNG terminal for imports. Leith explores the 2017 Budget’s reliance on wages meeting extremely optimistic forecasts, which he and David make clear are simply not going to happen, all ultimately leading to Australia expecting a sovereign downgrade, with the implications of this for the Australian economy and currency.
The discussion last approximately 75 Minutes and comes in 3 parts. Continue reading
I tend to the view that Russia represents a sort of unmentionable scar – particularly for the neoliberal consensus which is currently coughing up its grip on the developed world – and a vague sense of regret, that, but for a host of decisions which seemed plausible enough at the time, the world may have a completely different Russia to engage with currently. I would also add that if you stripped that sentiment back you would come awfully close to the possibility that the Western world (and mainly the US – UK nexus) has completely fucked its handling of Russia, and the former Soviet Union, and that the chickens of that mishandling are still coming home to roost.
On the day Mikhail Gorbachev meandered off into history to leave the stage to Boris Yeltsin, the United States and the Western world had an opportunity. They could invest in ensuring that the dismantling of the Soviet Union was orderly and delivered benefits to the people of the former Soviet Union, or they could pocket the windfall of a reduced geopolitical spending requirement, and leave the peoples of the former Soviet Union to sink or swim of their own accord as they addressed the immense challenges of the end of the centrally planned era. 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
Australia’s mainstream media specialises in precisely this type of piece which I often refer to as ‘good news pap’ and have written for a number of corporate clients in markets other than Australia. The below is an interesting piece as although there is nothing particularly controversial (or an outright lie) in it, the entire tenor of the piece is incoherently presented to the reader in such a way as to give rise to a number of essentially false assumptions. Continue reading
The Bullshit Manifesto
What is our policy for the future of Australia – it is bullshit
Australia is a land of bullshit, and better opportunities to bullshit than anywhere else in the world. In Australia people are free to bullshit, happy with their bullshit, and enjoy bullshit rewards better than most of the human race. There has never been a more exciting time to bullshit for Australians, or to bullshit Australians. The bullshit party is the only way to ensure the bullshit continues. Only Bullshit will ensure that tomorrows Australians are bullshitted more than todays. Vote bullshit.
This weekend Australians will vote on the flavour of the bullshit they will experience for the next three years, exhorted by bullshit politicians, representing parties who want to bullshit voters, backed by vested interests and corporates who want to bullshit the electorate about the bullshit they already have or are already doing, or the bullshit they want. It will be brought to the attention of Australians though a bullshit media and press, which although it cannot make a profit, is paid to ensure that the bullshit reaching you is the bullshit that someone feels will benefit their bullshit, deploying the finest bullshit commentators and reporters, and running bullshit analysis to ensure that Australians have access to every last skerrick of bullshit coming their way.
Australia’s institutional framework is a national repository of bullshit, and provides a significant bulwark against anyone seeking change to the way bullshit happens in Australia – from the bullshit of State and Federal politicians and bureaucracies, through to laws and courts which defend the right to bullshit across the breadth of Australian endeavour, with an exactitude which is nothing short of bullshit. It is vital for the bullshit of Australia, that these institutions not only continue to bullshit as they have done, but seek out and engage to further bullshit for future Australians. To lay the foundations of the bullshit of tomorrow, to forecast and shape its form, to allow Australians to choose what bullshit they want, and to bullshit them about how they can achieve that bullshit. This is the promise of bullshit – to take bullshit further, to make bullshit more central, to bring more Australians together around bullshit. Continue reading