Submitted by floyd on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 19:21
No-one got anything to say about the loss of the car industry under a government and high viz Tony that promised to create 1,000,000 jobs?
Slumber away ........
Abbott represents a real low point in Australian politics, history will show that, but Labor, and let's face it, Kevin Rudd, are hugely to blame.
What farking circumstances would exist to see us vote in an imbecile like Abbott, you wouldn't credit it. Stranger than fiction.
I'm happy to jump in here on the Conservative side of the debate.
- The decline of the car industry has been a long running saga, with blame shared amongst a number of parties as you mentioned Batfink. The 'people' ultimately decided this one though, they simply stopped buying Australian made cars - no good protesting after the event if we all chose to buy imported when it really counted (as clearly enough of us did).
- I'm a Liberal voter but a 'Turnbull' Liberal, centre right I suppose. Not that I'd consider Abbot to be overly right wing compared to the Tea Party, National Front in France etc. We have no equivalent national party positioned as far to the Right here in Aus in my opinion (agree with your 'nutters' comment elsewhere re: Tea Party).
- The circumstances that led to Abbot being elected were almost entirely the ALP's fault - they failed to meet basic governance standards (incidentally I think Gillard will be viewed more favourably than Rudd by a large margin in the long run) and spent two whole terms self combusting. Nobody to blame but themselves.
- Whoever is in charge of Federal politics here in the next 5-10 years (I think Abbot will serve two terms at least) are going to face a number of serious challenges, including but not limited to - rising unemployment, high manufacturing cost base, softer terms of trade as commodity supply/demand curve changes, higher interest rate environmental compared to the last 5 years, rising government (budgets) and societal (Medicare etc) overheads and productivity challenges.
- Some of these are external factors (e.g. terms of trade shift); others internal and attributable to the former Rudd/Gillard government's in my views e.g. productivity challenge; others internal with blame shared across latter Howard years and the Rudd/Gillard terms (e.g. large structural budget deficits).
- Aus has had a very, very prosperous 25 years now. Hawke/Keating were major reformers (I admire them both, even as a Liberal voter) and did a lot right (things the current ALP wouldn't have the guts to tackle, e.g. trade liberalisation), Howard came along at the right time and largely managed his inheritance well.
- But we haven't had good (ie responsible) Federal governance since maybe 2005/6, and its still way too early to make that call on the Abbot govt either way (despite Tabloid pressures otherwise) at less than 6 months in. To continue the car example, Ford, GM and Toyota would have been discussing exiting Aus for years and years now.
- Things are going to be much harder now, not impossible (we have a much deeper pool of local capital to draw upon now with the Superannuation industry - this can and will hopefully take up some of the fiscal vacuum created by a smaller government), but there are no easy decisions in running Australia anymore.
That's my two cents ... interested in your response.
Abbott/Hockey are claiming the Age of Entitlement is over and that all must now do the heavy lifting.
Based on current behaviour you can bet your bottom dollar the lions share of the burden is going to fall on the lower income workers while the upper end of town gets a free ride.
Get ready for American style income inequality. The war on workers has begun.
I thought this was a good read http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/australian-disease-enters-termin...
Exactly what do you mean by 'current behaviour'? The car industry thing in particular?
Well put, Mickj, I like the cut of your jib...
Australians have arseholed themselves out of a manufacturing industry. They turn their backs on locally produced goods, the employees demand more pay so they can keep living the high life, and the company has the perfect mix of low demand and high costs. It has been that way for years, but as indo's article shows, when the dollar turned we had our pants pulled down.
The sad truth is that to have a flourishing manufacturing industry, you have to have a productive and inexpensive labour force, a free flowing process to get products to market, and a tendancy to create products that are in demand. Our location, culture and expectations prohibit this.
I have to disagree with the points made re : the public are to blame for the loss of manufacturing. What we buy as a population is in a large part dictated to us by marketing. Business relies on tactics which are beyond the seeing eye, marketing is underpinned by economic strategy and psychology. What we buy has little to do with personal choice and more to do with what companies want to sell us (how they can make the best profits, that is fundamental). An analogy ill draw upon is the loss of the Aussie corner store, when I was growing up they were ubiquitous, every suburb had one. You could buy some essential groceries, a bag of mixed lollies, a hamburger or fish and chips etc. Over the years these stores were out competed by fast food chains, supermarkets, petrol station franchises who offer a generally inferior product at the same or not significantly higher price. Now, if you ask the general population if they would prefer a hamburger traditionally made or a big mac most would go with the traditional burger, so why have these stores disappeared and why have the franchises and big businesses taken the lions share of the market? Purely due to marketing, they have been able to marginalise smaller stores and business through a variety of strategies and huge advertising campaigns, it has nothing to do with the choices made by the public, the public have been duped.
Kaiser - productive work force for sure, inexpensive not so much, Germany has a very successful manufacturing industry. It relies, in part, on a different business model and on a much larger market. The thing is the government has been by-passed by business interests and the main players in this country are the mining companies, they are calling the shots here, it wouldnt matter who was in government things would be playing out much the same. Having said that, certain parties will align themselves more closely with particular interests and i find it sad that the LNP has little empathy for the needy in our society.
I think you're partly right only ... Australia has a pretty concentrated supermarket landscape so the big guys do have an advantage in scale certainly (lower prices etc). But I'd disagree that we've been 'duped' by marketers, that's just a massive abrogation of personal responsibility in my opinion - there are always local choices for those willing to use them.
Good point on Germany - in absolute top tier of manufacturing nations with likewise high incomes. Lots of reasons why though, some of which you've touched on - also helped in a substantial way in recent times by being part of the Eurozone. Their exports would be substantially less competitive if they were still trading on the Deutsche Mark rather than the Euro.
On your final point though, is it the mining companies you feel opposed to? Or any sort of commercial sway over government?
Yeah Gina is a great sort. We should all be happy with the influence she is having on the Abbott government.....http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tqBRrTrrg7k
My point on the mining companies is that atm they hold particular power due to the "resources boom", but as I mentioned business in general has more influence on government than it really should. While the lobby groups have the power that they currently hold it is naive to think that we are operating in form of democracy. Regardless of which political party is in place these groups will have the ability to feather their own beds at the expense of the general public. The manufacturing shutdowns would have happened under a labour government just as surely as they are happening under a liberal government, the world economy is contracting and these businesses are covering their asses, its not profitable enough to make cars here for the companies which have closed, the market is minuscule therefore the first to go, no amount of tax dollars or people buying cars can change that, if it was profitable they'd still be here.
Here is an example of it happening under a labour government. This guy waltzes into town, talking the usual rhetoric of jobs this and jobs that, throws a bit of cash at the right people and gets free reign without anyone batting an eyelid. When it all goes to shit, he's made a motza and the poor bastards working there were working WITHOUT PAY for a couple of months at least as the company strung them along, all the while trading insolvent!! And this under a labour, "look after the workers" party. http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/1850538/gongs-knight-dethroned-...
This is an all to common story, we see it happen with the financial industry, the mining industry, the manufacturing industry, the timber industry, the retail industry and it plays out the same each time yet the public seem to cop it on the chin and think that things will change when they, "vote the bastards out" but its all the same.
Mickj - there are always local choices yes but with the influence of advertising media and other economic based marketing strategies, of which you mentioned one, personal choice and personal responsibility is subverted (we are duped). Now im all for personal choice and personal responsibility but in our culture, a culture driven by consumerism which is underpinned by keynesian economics, it is not the reality unfortunately. There is the flawed assumption that everyone has equal access, that everyone has equal information.
Not sure Keynes had a whole lot to say about Consumerism personally but happy to leave that for another time.
You seem to be taking a pretty top down approach to this whereas to return to my initial point on the car industry, no amount of marketing $ and effort by GMH, Ford and Toyota could convince us or o/s markets to buy Australian made cars. Thats where the real power of consumerism resides, you want things to change then just stop buying ...
THE AGE OF ENTITLEMENT IS OVER
Unless you are a mining magnate, a media mogul, or a millionaire mum.
Gina and Rupert will be delighted with the way their puppet has performed so far .
".......Exactly what do you mean by 'current behaviour'? The car industry thing in particular?"
Growing wealth inequality in Aus, massive rises in CEO payouts and yet the problem according to Abbott and the conservatives is all the workers fault.
And so far Abbott plan to restructure the economy: just the same old slogans. Scrap the carbon tax and mining taxes.
How the fcuk is that going to redirect money into restructuring our economy? It's taking resources away from where it is needed.
We'll see how much middle class welfare and general entitlement is touched, ie parental leave for millionaires, private health rebates restored to wealthy people, tax concessions on super for the rich, negative gearing , massive subsidies for mining etc etc
My wild guess is that the age of entitlement will be over for those on the bottom rungs and other enemies of the conservatives while friends of the Liberals will enjoy massive entitlement.
Just for the record....some kind of Norwegian style sovereign wealth fund or Mining tax which can be used as a basis for re-investment into other areas of the economy and as a hedge for future instability is the only thing that makes sense imo to secure some kind of long term stability and prosperity for all Australians.
Other wise, multinational rape and pillage for a one off gain off Australia's common wealth at the expense of future generations is the most likely outcome.
Which is the fast track we are on now.
Australia is open for business.
Real meaning: get your snouts in at the trough now boys and rape and pillage. We will get out of your way.
Mickj, Keynesian economics is based on consumerism - "the view that in the short run, especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by aggregate demand (total spending in the economy)", It is what has gotten us to this point, this outcome, which is the insatiable consumerism now needed to sustain the economies. On your second point, why have Australians bought commodores and falcons for so long, they are dreadful cars and have been outshone by less expensive Japanese cars for a long time?
Freeride, the notion of a sovereign wealth fund has shown to be a successful model and something I would definitely support, why should overseas companies be able to exploit the resources of a nation (including human resources) and not have some obligation of restitution and/or reparation when they have left?
We had an opportunity with the resource rent tax in the mining sector but look how effectively that was shut down. From the comments in this post its easy to see how transparent the influence of business interests on government is.
Keynes main thrust - and real legacy theory - was indeed about aggregate demand but specifically on the issue of when governments should intervene at times of slack private sector demand. Contrasting with previous supply side theories that suggested labour prices could affect employment rates and yes, economy wide consumption.
As a macroeconomist, full employment at a country level was Keynes' goal. Individual consumption was just one part of a much larger theory.
Falcons and Commodores were the most popular cars in Australia for a long time because they resided behind pretty substantial tariff walls for a large part of their existence. AUD was floated in 1983 and has peaked in terms of AUD / USD strength post float in the last couple years - imported cars are now cheaper than they've ever been in real terms and the sales reflect that. The largest single influence on demand will always be price.
We do have a sovereign wealth fund - the Future Fund - which is the 12th largest in the world and put in place by the Howard government (http://www.swfinstitute.org/fund-rankings/).
The single largest impediment to installing something closer to the Norway model lies at the heart of the Australian Constitution, all mineral resources in Australia are owned by the States not the Federal government. This clearly eliminates any recent notion that 'Big Mining' has an agenda here since the legislation predates any of them.
No, of course Big Mining has no agenda Mickj.
None at all.
It why they screamed bloody blue murder and Gina got in the back of a ute and cried poor in the streets of Perth when the mining tax was first proposed.
You seem a reasonable bloke but saying things like that marks you out as an apologist more than an observer.
OK Mick, do you think Hockeys statement that the Age of Entitlement is Over has any real meaning given the factors I outlined before...or is just a statement of intent that the Govt is going to favour it's friends and punish it's enemies?
And it's really only Wayne Swans reforms of the Future Fund that transform it from a holding of superannuation liabilities of the Govt into a bona fide means of funding economic transformation.
Even so, it's barely functioning in that capacity and the Abott govt has no plans to expand on that function.
Not saying it doesnt have an agenda - it'll fight its corner as hard as any other profit making enterprise - but my point was the condition that precludes a true commodity based sovereign wealth fund had nothing to do with the miners. It was decided long ago, long before anyone was concerned with steel intensity per head of population anywhere, let alone in China.
I live in Perth and Gina's a divisive presence here on the ground too, she has few friends in public to be honest - even in a real mining town. I dont think there would be significant opposition to some form of 'mining tax' provided its part of wholesale tax reform at a national level, and its handled in a mature way so that investment risks can be assessed by those contributing the capital (and don't forget that is basically every single Australian worker now via the Superannuation industry, it's not just the 1% sitting on their 50 footers at Rotto I'm talking about. We're all exposed to financial markets now whether we like it or not). Neither of those conditions were satisfied first time round.
I'd agree with you that growing wealth inequality is a bad thing - hard for anyone to argue against that.
As for your other points:
- I'm personally fine with a Carbon Tax of some sort but it needs to be globally competitive, ALP misread the market there by miles
- Addressed the Norwegian model above
- Ditto for mining tax
Re: 'Friends of the Liberals', this is a common refraint but actually makes zero sense to me. A majority of Australians voted Conservative by a large margin less than 6 months ago, with full insight into its proposed platforms. We've just come out of a relatively high tax, high spend approach to government and it was rejected in the polling booth.
So how is any of what's happening now some sort of play by societal elites? As a country, this is what we chose.
"A majority of Australians voted Conservative by a large margin less than 6 months ago, with full insight into its proposed platforms...."
Did we? I'd very much argue the opposite.
Abbott ran a negative "get rid of Labour" campaign and kept his own policies very much hidden from proper scrutiny.
I really don't think people knew what the fuck they were voting in , except that it wasn't Labour.
Abott said he was going to be an Infrastructure PM....what does that even mean? That would seem to imply massive Govt investment in public infrastructure. Silence and zero scrutiny from the press on this issue. Silence from Abott in the six months since the election.
We're still being governed by moronic slogans as far as I can tell.
Abott had a majority press owner -Murdoch - on his side making sure he had basically a free mouthpiece and no criticism.
One of his first acts in Power was to invite these Murdoch press lapdogs for lunch- no doubt to thanks them for a job well done and to ensure their continuing support.
Thats one very, very clear example of being governed by special interest wealthy elites. They want wealth and power to continue to be concentrated at the top and the worker to be demonised and distracted by phoney bogeymen.
Abbot did release his policies late admittedly, but earlier than ALP did in the prior election. So not sure if you're just anti-politicians generally (a bloody easy place to arrive at haha) or anti Libs.
I'd say the same thing to you on the Murdoch point that I said to Silicun on what we buy - the onus is on individuals to be informed. If you choose to only read Murdoch press then that's going to impact your position clearly ... but there's a lot non Murdoch stuff out there and it's never been easier to access.
So if people didn't know who they were voting in then that's their fault - perhaps an argument for opt-in rather than compulsory voting.
These guys are puppets for the Elites' New World Order, more than any before them. Abbott - Rhodes Scholar, and Hoe Jockey - pattsy for Big Banking.
Spent Xmas / New Year week at a Yoga Camp at Stanwell Park, where Hoe Jockey has his, err, his "Missus'es" holiday home. Bumped into him a few times at the beach, casually quizzed him on a few things economic. He was very blank, spieled text book politico babble, and was perplexed by some of my queries.
His missus works for... drum roll... MacQuarie Bank.
Infrastructure for this mob means Privatisation, PPP, etc.
That personal choice argument breaks down very, very quickly when exposed to reality.
Murdoch press is everywhere......it's hard to avoid. People on social media tend to associate with people they like and agree with, forming silos of self reinforcing thought. Ignorance becomes entrenched and diversity of opinion and views is reduced not increased.
Also, you are mixing up the proper and thorough scrutiny of policy with the release of costings.
A classic example of Abott's policy transparency and scrutiny was the education debacle.
Abott and the Libs pledged they were on a "unity ticket with labour" on Education.
Within weeks they were backflipping on that comittment to major educational reform.
Thats a classic case of people not properly informed on the policies ...ie not having "full insight into the policies" they thought they were getting.
And the Murdoch press....completely silent on that.
MickJ, most folke don't think beyond what Herald Sun / Daily Astonisher / Kochie & Sam / The Project tell them. New Gen live and think by FB.
Brain dead & sick.
That said, KRudd was no better, and niether is Obummer the Peace Nigger.
Disagree entirely mate - Murdoch press is everywhere if you can't be bothered with the ABC, Fairfax, Guardian, Economist, BBC, Bloomberg, New Yorker, Atlantic, Spectator, Al Jazeera, Telegraph, Reuters etc etc
An abundance of news out there in reality.
Again, is it backflipping in general you're concerned about? E.g. ALP's backflip on the Carbon Tax under Gillard? Or just when the Libs do it?
Good point on the Costings, my mistake. But if you're only reading Murdoch press then I'm not surprised you saw a vacuum of commentary on Lib policies pre election ... there was plenty out there elsewhere.
but there's a lot non Murdoch stuff out there and it's never been easier to access. ""
If you've got the one major newspaper in QLD ramming how great Abbott is down your throat every day then it is propaganda at it's purest.
As soon as someone tries to present another side to the argument they get threatened with a royal commission or cuts to their funding. We have to be happy with what we are told by Abbott and we know we can trust him, he told us so.
You're missing the point because the conservative mantra of Free Choice by reasoned individuals doesn't gel with observed reality.
Normally, when that occurs, you rethink the hypothesis/theory so it accords with reality.
The average Joe watching channel Nine News, reading the Tele or Courier Mail or Aus or any other of the Murdoch press rags, listening to Jones or one of the other shock jocks, getting total confirmation of his views on Facebook etc etc isn't exposed to those other media sources.
They think the ABC is lefty conspiracy, likewise the Guardian, Al Jazeera etc etc.
They are simply not exposed to those sources, nor would they be predisposed to judge the veracity of the sources anyway because they are so "influenced" by the prevailing and dominant views of the minority ownership of the mass media.
The Point is the influencing on the political climate by this concentration of media ownership has a corrosive affect on public debate and has allowed a policy lightweight like Abott to gain power pretty much sans scrutiny via the repeating of simplistic slogans which now bear little resemblance to reality.
Mick, you seem a very informed person.
What is the Abott/Libs plan to rejuvenate/restructure the Aus economy?
I still have no idea.
abbott has broken at least 3 promises in his first 3 months.
1. He promised a ship to monitor Japanese whaling
2. He said there would be no towing back of boats to Indonesia
from a man who demanded truth and transparency from the last government he's giving us the opposite in abundance.
most people don't go elsewhere. that's my point.
FYIW, most of those other news sources are utter crap also.
Eg: what's really happening in Aust / Indo politics ? Dunno, but here's Circus Corby...
4. Debt ceiling raise 300 bil to 500 bil .
... in the click of fingers
Littlewillie - ummm, internet was full of news stuff last time I checked
Freeride - the choice is there at the swipe of a smartphone, whether people can be bothered to do so or not is the question. Media captivity was far greater in years past than it is now.
Still interested in whether or not you apply the same standards to both sides of parliament because there are some very good examples of the ALP doing exactly what you're upset about now in recent years.
I for example think Rudd was a massive policy lightweight, whereas Gillard did some heavy lifting on the NDIS .. for which, as I said above, I think she'll be viewed more favourably in years to come. But to hit only the Libs with accusations of backflips and politics via media is a way more one sided view of what's happened in Aus since mid 2000s than anything Ive put forward.
The point was the scrutiny of Abott's policies and your central premise : "A majority of Australians voted Conservative by a large margin less than 6 months ago, with full insight into its proposed platforms."
Yes, backflips occur on both sides of politics and are equally abhorrent.
It's worth mentioning on the carbon tax though that both sides of politics took a price on Carbon to the election in 2007. So there was a reasonable mandate by the majority of the Aus populace for a carbon tax/cap and trade scheme. A referendum on carbon pricing would be interesting and might explode the Abott line that he has a mandate to dismantle a price on carbon. You could expect the Murdoch press to bust a rectum in full attack dog mode if that ever happened. And with a mining billionare in charge of the senate it's doubly unlikely.
How the fuck did we ever give the balance of power to a Mining Billionare who named a part after himself? Full insight into his proposed platforms Mick?
It's a laughable assertion mate. My rellies voted for Clive.....they've got no fucking idea what the guy stands for. He just spent enough on TV advertising to buy their vote.
You could make the same argument there was a reasonable expectation by the voting population that the Libs would supply funding and honour the Gonski reforms.
Sid the Fish ... there's some decent news sources in that list as well, albeit if all media sources go for tabloid style headlines at time. Need to go long form journals if you want to go deeper ... but I maintain that if you read widely enough then you will get balance.
Freeride ... as I understand the plan is based around:
- Tackling productivity, e.g. recent changes to Australian Building Commission
- Increased use of independent contractors (yes Industrial relations reform ... here we go haha)
- Examining opening up SMSFs to Infrastructure Investments
- Eliminating structural budget deficit - very important re long term borrowing costs
They're the immediate priorities, would expect to see a ramp up in Infrastructure spending as and when budget allows (big hole to fill with decrease in capital expenditure across Resources sector Aus wide).
Joker in the pack for me is AUD, dollar t USD $0.80 will help big time over next few years (albeit making total sticker price of debt look worse in short term).
OK, thanks mate.
Apart from the last point...and there has been no plan outlined to deal with the structural deficit I hadn't heard of any of the other points in detail.
So in other words declare war on workers and make everyone contractors with no super and no job security.
Clive ran on his own party ticket mate, not once have I mentioned any support (or extent of disclosures) for the PUP in any way shape or form.
Would have to chase down polling numbers but I reckon carbon pricing is rapidly receding as an issue domestically. In fact I would expect it to have a strong inverse correlation with the unemployment rate ... rightly or wrongly (and to restate my position, I would support one where its priced appropriately) it's a vastly less significant issue than whether or not you think you're job's secure.
Also some interesting stuff out of Europe and particularly Germany on green energy, carbon pricing etc ... they've just used the most lignite coal (lowest quality, highest emissions) since 1990 because despite huge subsidies and very high end technology, renewables can't compete on price. So they're switching the coal plants back on ...
It's not Work Choices as far as I know, and I'm not sure either of us have the time to go there anyway, but more an argument with the ATO at this stage.
ATO taken a tough line recently on compliance, personal service income etc ... plus ALP generally happy with that approach because workers are easier to organise / unionise than contractors (individual agreements etc).
Right wing concept admittedly though, more flexible workforce = lower unemployment. Will it come at cost of job security ... almost certainly in some cases, although principle is don't restrain people from starting businesses if they're willing to take on the risk.
Sorry mate, I didn't mean to imply you supported Clive or the PUP.
Was just using that as an example to disagree with you assertion that people voted with full insight into a political party's platforms.
Also worth noting: most of the anti-Labour swing went to these minor parties and not to the Coalition so this statement: "A majority of Australians voted Conservative by a large margin less than 6 months ago" is not quite correct is by conservative you meant the coalition. Most of that large margin went to minor parties.
Dunno mate ... on two party preferred basis ALP took a bath ... 3.6% swing against and a million less votes.
53.5% to 46.5% is a solid margin. Swing against LNP in Kevin07 election was greater but overall result was closer in terms of votes cast and percentage splits. Everyone said that was a big victory at the time, this was every bit as great a margin.
I havent managed to keep up with this discussion today but ill try to read back through and address a few other points. Mickj you are indeed a formidable mind and have a better understanding of the current party politics than the heads at the front of the party. Ill have to continue with some of the original streams however, to wit - the individual consumer, the consumption of the population in general has become the driving force of our economies, these models are based on the keyensian theory. It hasnt always been so much the focus but it surely underpins todays economy. Particularly proceeding the market crashes since the 80's. The biggest consumer, the person who can spend the most money is at the top of the heap in todays world. There is a constant need to drive this consumption to enable the model to operate, this is achieved in a large part though marketing. Hence the constant bombarding advertising telling us what we need.
If the largest single influence on demand was price then why were corollas not outselling commodores(kingswoods) and falcons during the '70s, '80, '90s etc? Why did Australian's continue to buy and continue to produce large cars in the the face of a peak oil crisis, in the face of cheaper better cars available? Simple, this is what the companies wanted to sell and still want to sell, until the numbers are tipped to produce a better profit from manufacturing smaller cars there will be a better margin in selling larger cars (particulary in a market as small as Australia) and its achieved through marketing. I agree price is a factor but there are other influences which can be just as important when considering demand.
If the single largest influence on demand is price then you cant stand by your assertion that people have free choice, this statement implies that peoples decisions will be influenced to a large degree by price, by producing a cheaper hamburger people will be draw to that rather than a healthier option?