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Monday Message Board

July 13th, 2009

Its time once again for Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. ABOM
    July 17th, 2009 at 14:43 | #1

    “Given this dismal monetary and banking situation, given a 39:1 pyramiding of checkable deposits and currency on top of gold, given a Fed unchecked and out of control, given a world of fiat moneys, how can we possibly return to a sound noninflationary market money? The objectives, after the discussion in this work, should be clear: (a) to return to a gold standard, a commodity standard unhampered by government intervention; (b) to abolish the Federal Reserve System and return to a system of free and competitive banking; (c) to separate the government from money; and (d) either to enforce 100 percent reserve banking on the commercial banks, or at least to arrive at a system where any bank, at the slightest hint of nonpayment of its demand liabilities, is forced quickly into bankruptcy and liquidation. While the outlawing of fractional reserve as FRAUD would be preferable if it could be enforced, the problems of enforcement, especially where banks can continually innovate in forms of credit, make free banking an attractive alternative.”

    While the outlawing of fractional reserve as fraud would be preferable if it could be enforced, the problems of enforcement, especially where banks can continually innovate in forms of credit, make free banking an attractive alternative.

  2. July 17th, 2009 at 15:19 | #2

    Pr Q says: July 14th, 2009 at 06:39 #7

    Michael, I must say my view is closer to that of Rog on this one. Any party that could promote someone like Michael Costa needs a spell in Opposition to sort itself out.

    The problem with the NSW ALP go far deeper than the advancement of one individual, unpleasant as he was. It suffers from systemic institutional corruption. Although its perhaps unfair to expect non-Sydney residents to grasp the extent of that apparats depravity when it isnt shoved in your face on a daily basis.

    NSW is AUS’s California. Its political economy is based on high “density, debtquity and diversity” property development, glitzy media events and quasi-franchised government business enterprises. All administered by a corrupt state political machine in charge of doling out govt jobs and contracts to industrial cronies.

    The NSW ALP is an almost textbook example of what happens when an political party loses its institutional basis and ideological guidance, particularly under conditions of post-modern affluence. It rapidly degenerates into a “Who-Whom” spoils divider, existing mainly for the benefit of apparat insiders. Ken Phillips in the Australian lifts the lid on the can of worms:

    The problem is bigger than just bad individuals. It’s a problem created by the culture of the labour grouping that runs NSW.

    It has taken total control of the administration of government in NSW, such that the parliamentary ALP is a government in name only. This was demonstrated by the effective sackings of premier Morris Iemma and treasurer Michael Costa.

    More significantly, the public service is controlled through a vast number of oversight committees on which only NSW Labor machine members sit. The Labor committee and network process effectively controls the NSW government budget. Reforms to the transport, education and health systems are frozen because any reform threatens vested labour interests within the organisations.

    Basically the two biggest employers in the NSW state are public utilities and property development. The NSW ALP has positioned itself to take a major cut from both activities in return for patronising a massive network of cronies.
    Michael Duffy lays bare the inner-workings of the “Mates State”:

    For 11 years the Labor Party has run this state for the benefit of its members and their mates rather than for the public. NSW is the Mates’ State, and the public needs to be reminded of this fundamental truth more often. Until you grasp it, you can’t understand a lot of what goes on.

    Almost wherever you look here, in business or civic life or education or sport, you will find some Labor mate with his or her hand out for preferment…Most of it is quite legal, because the Government uses the law to extend ministerial influence as far as possible in every area where money or power is at stake…[As Ken Philips puts it:] “It is morally corrupt, but manages corruption by creating law that turns immorality into legality.”

    And thats just the legal dodgy dealings. Then there is the recurrent incidence of shall we say “colorful identities” associated with NSW ALP. I mean your Graham Richardsons, Tom Dominicans, Rex Jacksons, Milton Orkopoulos, Al Grassbys. We should also not pass over in silence the commemoration of AUS’s first political assassination, by a NSW ALP member, Phuong Ngo, with more than an axe to grind.

    Have I forgotten anything? Oh yes, ALP dominated local government authorities and their corrupt dealings with property developers. Its not for nothing that NSW, after long public campaign, established ICAC as a permanent watchdog on corruption. And most of this happened under the ALP’s watch.

    A little while back Pr Q made a great fuss about how corrupt or dodgy the Howard-L/NP govt became. Its certainly true that an unacceptable number of individual ministers did over-step the line. But the Howard-L/NP never encountered major public blowback on accont of this because most of its dodginess was political, not personal. And the stuff that was for personal gain was done by individual members, not institutional rackets.

    It was all pretty venal anyway, compared to the NSW ALP’s rogues gallery of child-molesters, political assassins, ethnic gangstas, branch stackers, mob stooges, union stand-over men, shake-down artists, race-hustlers, sleazy property developers, justice-perverting judges, revolving prison door ministers, crony capitalists, expense-rorters, tax-payer funded junketeers et al.

    I mean, lets have a little partisan balance here, for credibility’s sake!

  3. July 17th, 2009 at 15:58 | #3

    Correction: Sydney’s “political economy is based on high “density, debtquity and diversity” property development, glitzy media events and quasi-franchised government business enterprises”.

    But NSW’s political economy is substantially dependent on coal exports. As are to signficant extents, the regional areas of QLD and VIC. And they are all key states needed by the ALP if it is to retain its grip on power.

    This is probably the single biggest stumbling block to the Commonwealth getting an effective CPRS scheme up and running in AUS. And coal miners unions still have plenty of say in the ALP. A Frontier Economics report, shelved but leaked to the Australian, shows how politically sensitive such a scheme would be:

    REGIONAL economies could shrink by more than 20 per cent over the next 40 years under the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme, according to secret modelling commissioned by the NSW Government but never released.

    The Frontier Economics modelling mirrored the federal Treasury’s finding that the nationwide economic effect of the ETS would be modest, but found “much more severe” impacts in some states and regions where emissions-intensive industries were the backbone of the economy.

    Federal Treasury’s modelling found an ETS would mean the national economy grew about 0.1 per cent more slowly than it would without a price on carbon, meaning gross domestic product would be about 4 per cent lower in 2050 than would otherwise be expected. The Frontier modelling produced a similar result, but put the finding in a different context.

    “This loss of GDP is worth around $2 trillion in 2007 prices. This is equivalent to around two years of economic growth in the Australian economy,” the report to the NSW Government said.

    Actually its equivalent to two years of current economic output, not growth in economic output.

    So basically, the political struggle for the Green soul of the AUS economy must be conducted in the regional mineral economies of the eastern sea-board states.

  4. Alice
    July 17th, 2009 at 19:57 | #4

    @Andrew Reynolds

    No ABOM doesnt need me at all Andy. He has delivered some knowckout blows as usual. He does just fine without me but you, Andy, you need me… “Mr I look after the interests of the banks not the economy Reynolds”! If Rothbard needs a strong government to keep the banks in control, then thats what is needed.

    Banks shouldnt run the economy – they should assist the economy Andy. Biggie banks like Goldman’s are running it (into the ground) and paying the princes of misappropriated money (loot and treasure on the backs of other people’s misery) a princely wage in the process…

    Jail Andy..best place for the Goldman execs. They are a bit like Gordon Browns party. What rorting? We deserve it…we earned it …WE ARE THE ENTITLED ONES!!

  5. SeanG
    July 17th, 2009 at 23:13 | #5


    You are now confusing state finances with commonwealth finances. Further, you do not consider the negative impact on growth from higher taxes nor do you consider the potential for greater tax avoidance from that idea.

    Why do you think punishing hardworking people is fair?

  6. SeanG
    July 17th, 2009 at 23:16 | #6

    One of the most disappointing aspects of Aussie politics is that there is a lack of public service reform. This goes beyond the notion of cash spending or privatisation but how services should be run, who is responsible for setting budgets and targets and whether equity is the basis of public services of flexibility based on location.

  7. Michael of Summer hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 00:46 | #7

    John, now that I got the gremlins out of the system I would to know why is it OK for Obama, Rudd, Brown, etc to stimulate the economy and when Rees does the same is lambasted?

  8. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 05:52 | #8

    John, there are serious question marks about the capabilities of some within the NSW Coalition, in particular, Andrew Stoner. Take for example comments made by him this week as to whether the NSW logo is a waratah or a lotus flower. Rather than seek explanations from the commissioned ‘artist’ as to why such a design was created, Stoner and others love to second guess. One must now seriously question Stoner’s abilities given his past track record of being impulsive, inept, ill informed and nasty.

  9. Alice
    July 18th, 2009 at 08:12 | #9

    @Jack Strocchi
    Im not inclined to the NSW liberal opposition party but Jack Strocchi is completely right about the “mates state” under NSW labour and their. People do need to set aside their personal prefernces and get some partisan balance. In particular this comment Jack quoted sums it up well

    “the public service is controlled through a vast number of oversight committees on which only NSW Labor machine members sit. The Labor committee and network process effectively controls the NSW government budget. Reforms to the transport, education and health systems are frozen because any reform threatens vested labour interests within the organisations.”

    I agree with you Jack but it doesnt send me running to the opposition party either.

  10. Alice
    July 18th, 2009 at 08:25 | #10

    Even reforms that are needed like improving the dilapidated transport and health systems are frozen it would appear. That needs expenditure not willful and mindless cuts (usual meaning of the word reform) and thats all the “mates state” has been doing for years and years.

    Egans mindless privatisations and cuts delivered him a surplus – where is it now?. We lost all those assets for a surplus lasting a year or two. They privatised assets that were profitable and brought income to the government and now people wonder why we cant get a decent public transport system happening in an increasingly congested city (and then there is the problem of the filthy emmissions that creates). No vision. No vision. No vision. Just cheap little monorials (that are mainly empty for a tourist trip around Darling Harbour) or the duplication of another small tram to the inner west. That is no solution. Tonka toy investment.

  11. July 18th, 2009 at 11:04 | #11

    Well, it seems from reading this thread that the NSW ALP has at least one vote at the next election. So it shan’t be a complete wipeout.

    Micheal of Summer Hill, what it will take for the NSW ALP to be defeated at the next elections can be summarised in two words: Drover’s Dog.

  12. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 11:28 | #12

    John, the NSW Coalition are known to do backflips but the Torbay spat between O’Farrell and Stoner shows just how divided they are. Time will tell whether or not the cosy relationship will continue.

  13. Fran Barlow
    July 18th, 2009 at 14:06 | #13

    @Michael of Summer hill

    The main reason that we have these problems is that governance (both at state and federal level), is a caricature of democratic accountability.

    This has always been the case. Sometimes the consequences have been worse than at other times but really, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. All current
    governments in the end look after the interests of one or other fractions of the propertied elite. This side of fundamental reform it’s hard to see how any honest person could get anywhere near power over policy. It’s also hard to see the current lot on eiother side seeing reform as being in their interest. Waiting your turn to put your snout into the trough is a lot better than knowing you’ll never get a turn.

  14. Michael of Summer Hill
    July 18th, 2009 at 14:39 | #14

    John, according to Peter Draper is yet to be convinced by any utterances coming from the mouth of the Leader of The Nationals for he simply cannot be believed. The man backflips and flip-flops from one extreme position to another. People are starting to ask where are the bucking policies.

  15. SeanG
    July 18th, 2009 at 20:09 | #15


    I agree with the state of public services. They are abysmal. However we need to have the funds to be able to pay for capital improvements in infrastructure which are sorely needed. At this moment we can barely afford recurring expenditure let alone capital expenditure. We have a corporatist economy with the State being monolithic and cutting expenditure does not hit genuine waste but rather services that are easy to cut.

    Privatisations are not the bete noir that you and ProfQ think it is. Does the Government implement Six Sigma? Do they have merit-based pay and remuneration packages? Do they remove the bottom 10% of managers according to their output? Without a quality-focused approach to public services that are ruthlessly implemented then privatisation is the lesser of two evils.

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