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Abbott adrift

August 11th, 2010

Tony Abbott got away with his howler on the effects of carbon taxes on electricity prices. But, in a piece of poetic justice, he’s now been tripped up by his ignorance of the technical issues underlying his broadband policy, not nearly as bad a piece of intellectual laziness, in my view, but enough to cement the (correct) impression that he is not across the details of key policy issues. To be fair, he doesn’t pretend to be: he offers simplistic slogans to the voters because that’s all he is capable of understanding. In the US, such self-confessed ignorance is a pre-requisite for political success, at least on the right. It seems we are heading the same way.

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  1. Hermit
    August 11th, 2010 at 15:25 | #1

    I caught the ABC Midday Report with Tony Abbott and entourage near the Coorong (Murray mouth) in South Australia. Try and see the replay not so much for Abbott as the pained look on the face of Barnaby Joyce. Unless he was unwell it appeared he was incensed at the boss announcing yet another major water buyback. Without claiming to mind read I suspect Joyce was wondering why farmers for 99% of the length of the river upstream have to make sacrifices for last 1%. The Coalition may be more fragile than we think.

  2. August 11th, 2010 at 15:58 | #2

    Both sides of politics are offering slogans rather than discussion. Moreover both Gillard and Abbott are both better than this – when they didn’t have top jobs they both perforned better.

    The NBN does seem very expensive. About $2000/head – or $8000/$10000 per household and there is reasonable suspicion that the telcos (and their paid lackeys) are pushing the government scheme because the taxpayer will foot the bill and the risk of the NBN.

    Is our current broadband system so bad? I’ve switched largely to mobile provision via Telstra’s 3G and I really wonder about the value of the proposed massive fixed wire investment. To you really want to service 97% of Australia with such extravagance?

    Abbott is not a technical expert – nothing wrong in admitting that – but is he less wise than the Labor minister who claimed the pro-private sector moves of the Coalition would take Australia back to the “broadband dark ages”. What exaggerated rubbish.

    Labor is great at spending other people’s money and its supporters when confronted with the massively self-evident waste evade the issue of inefficiency by simply saying that the economy needed a stimulus and one form of waste avoided another. On this basis who needs budgets – just throw the money away!

  3. Jim Rose
    August 11th, 2010 at 16:13 | #3

    @hc
    Expecting political leaders to be masters of everything and latter day polyglots does not make for good public policy.

    Rudd tried to do everything by himself and it led to chaos and defeat.

    Hawke was a master of detail – this just blew the press gallery away. That did not tempt Hawke to try to run the country by himself, like Rudd did to his eventual ruin.

    Hawke focused on making his other even greater strengths productive and which were more important to being PM, which was getting his talented team to run the country in pursuit of a common social democratic vision.

  4. Fran Barlow
    August 11th, 2010 at 16:14 | #4

    @hc

    So assuming the worst case scenario costs ($43bn) and amortisation over 40 years, the real cost per head per year is about $50 per head, (not allowing for the fact that between 2018 and 2058 the population is likely to grow to more than 40 million).

    Gosh, how will we ever afford it? How will we recover $50 per person per year of value out of it?

    The other day, it was claimed that 20% of Australians have an alcohol problem. I am going to guess that costs each of them and the community more than $250 per year each. I recall a figure of $3.5 bn per year on the cost to the community of alcohol abuse. Yet somehow, we muddle through.

    This obsessive and morbid preoccupation with debt is amusing.

  5. jquiggin
    August 11th, 2010 at 16:20 | #5

    It’s certainly true that Labor is running on slogans as well. But your suggestion regarding the telcos and the NBN seems way off the mark to me. The taxpayer will run the risk, but will also receive the profits.

    I’m using Telstra 3G right now, and it is slow, but just adequate, for web browsing. On the other hand, video calls using Skype are pretty painful, and I’m sure that does not exhaust the potential demands of the next century or so. And given what I’m paying for 3G, $10 000 a household (say a capital servicing cost of $400/year real interest + $500 amortization – I think Fran is a little over-optimistic) for a service many times faster looks pretty good to me.

  6. wilful
    August 11th, 2010 at 16:33 | #6

    hc, I’m very confident that 97 percent of Australians will not consider 100mbit an ‘extravagance’ in fifteen years.

  7. Fran Barlow
    August 11th, 2010 at 16:39 | #7

    Perhaps I was optimistic, PrQ, but my point is that it is nothing like the lead in the saddlebags implied.

    Those subs Australia is buying run out at $25-40bn and they are absolutely going to be useless. There are whole squadrons of fighter aircraft that again, we simply aren’t going to use — and indeed we say we hope we will never use them. That JSF was up around $16bn IIRC — and said to be a rubbish aircraft. What are they spending right here right now supporting troops in Afghanistan? $50 per Aussie per year? Almost certainly. Those off shore proceessing centres? At least as much again. Defence and “border security” of course are sacrosanct.

    But let someone spend money on something useful and suddenly every bean counter wants to compare it with every other thing that nobody is proposing having anyway to see if dollar for dollar it stacks up, even when the assumptions are pretty dodgy.

    You could just about defend this deal simply on the grounds that Telstra was being stripped of its monopoly position.

  8. Fran Barlow
    August 11th, 2010 at 16:44 | #8

    @wilful

    or even in five years.

    The toll road thing is an obvious comparison. Before toll roads are put up, people say … “nobody will pay enough” to make them worthwhile, because it seems expensive.

    No sooner do they go up than people crowd onto them paying the fee to drive along them in their cars at 20kph from houses they built at the end of them. Build them and they will come*.

    If 100Mb is available, people will want it and find apps to make use of it. Business certainly will.

    (*This is not an argument for more toll roads, but an observation).

  9. Donald Oats
    August 11th, 2010 at 17:57 | #9

    The new electronic appliances that have appeared in the last 5 years are driving consumer demand for broadband and some consumers are quite possibly being choked by their down-link rates on current broadband offerings – not all the time but after dinner, for instance.

    There has been an absolutely massive growth in mass storage capacities – I have 1 to 2TB (Terabytes = 1000 Gigabytes = 1,000,000 Megabytes, etc) just sitting around, and I know of people with much, much more than that. On 100Mbps downlink, 10MB takes about one second, since 100Mbps = 100 Megabits/sec = 10 Megabytes/sec, roughly speaking. So a movie of 2GB takes 200 seconds, say 3 minutes, which is not too bad. A TB is around 100,000 seconds, a bit more than a day. We’re hungry for well over 100Mbps :-)

    Only Labor are offering anything remotely resembling an appreciation of the growth rates in terms of technology and the services, and of the applications made possible. Even Labor are IMO a bit optimistic concerning 100Mbps as being sufficient. The Liberal announcement – I cringe even to blandish it with that much validity – was a sorry exercise in dissembling. They must be able to offer better than that, they have people who know a thing or two on the subject, so why put up Tony Abbott or Andrew Robb to mangle it so badly?

  10. Tony G
    August 11th, 2010 at 18:01 | #10

    The $8000 per household is a complete waste of taxpayers money.

    I can get if I want at my place right now 42.88 Mbit/s on Optus’ DOCSIS 3.0-based internet service for $69 per month (high speed cable. In the near future it could be upgraded to 100+Mbit/s by tripling the channels. Just by utilising Abbotts proposed fibre optic backbone network.

    Labors broadband network will be obsolete by the time they put it in.

    http://personal.optus.com.au/web/ocaportal.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=Template_woRHS&FP=/personal/bundles/broadbandhomephonem&site=personal&SID=BBAFeat5:Must:OSC:BUN:OCA:BBHP:28072010#faq_5

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOCSIS#Features

  11. Tony G
    August 11th, 2010 at 18:05 | #11

    A lot of the computers in peoples homes today are not up to the task of handling the high speeds.

  12. SJ
    August 11th, 2010 at 18:48 | #12

    The $8000 per household is a complete waste of taxpayers money.

    I can get if I want at my place right now 42.88 Mbit/s on Optus’ DOCSIS 3.0-based internet service for $69 per month (high speed cable. In the near future it could be upgraded to 100+Mbit/s by tripling the channels. Just by utilising Abbotts proposed fibre optic backbone network.

    For that package, Optus says:

    Min total cost = $2,547.56 over 24 months[Disclaimer 12]. Standard modem (Premium Speed) included[Disclaimer 7]

    So you’d be paying almost $8000 over 6 years anyway, and not end up with the better system.

  13. jquiggin
    August 11th, 2010 at 18:54 | #13

    I don’t think there is any point in replying to Tony G on matters of arithmetic. He still hasn’t fessed up to his gullibility in accepting the “$40 carbon tax = doubling of electricity prices” line. And that’s only the latest in a string of silly talking points he’s pushed here.

  14. paul walter
    August 11th, 2010 at 19:30 | #14

    Fran:” this…obsession with debt is amusing”.
    Not after watching Insight last night. Beleive me, if the average Australianis as pitiful as some on that show, its actually saddening.

  15. Jill Rush
    August 11th, 2010 at 19:35 | #15

    There is no doubt that if we only go back ten years that the technology wasn’t even imagined that we are currently using. I remember prophets saying that minitiarisation was at its limits and yet the devices being developed are far smaller. The Liberal Coalition are luddites who fail to see investment in the network requires government intervention unless key regional areas are to be excluded. The NBN offers far more support into the future than the Liberals poor offering. It was embarrassing to watch Tony Abbott on the 7.30 report last evening as not only did he have no idea about what the NBN was about but he didn’t understand the Liberal policy either.

  16. August 11th, 2010 at 20:29 | #16

    Is the NBN going to be laid out with the same efficiency and attention to waste as the home insulation and school construction programs? Was the NBN dreamt up by a bunch of Labor ideologues who have never assessed the commercial viability of a project in their life? People who have never had a job outside of a trade union or being a political hack in the ALP.

    It is a serious question. I’d have much more confidence if this was a project delivered (at least in part) by a private operator who could not fall back on the public purse if the whole thing goes pear-shaped. By an operator who needed to be sure the thing would make money.

    I assume the confidence of Jill and Fran reflects their political biases because they have delivered no justification for this expense.

    Its a massive cost even if you do capitalise the costs. Will the Coalition policy deliver 80% of the benefits at 1/7th the cost? To deliver high speed to metropolitan regions and, as makes sense, deliver slower speeds to more remote areas where the cost of providing a service vastly outweighs benefits of doing so.

  17. August 11th, 2010 at 20:34 | #17

    Joshua Gans makes a good point.

    http://economics.com.au/?p=6052

  18. SJ
    August 11th, 2010 at 21:10 | #18

    It is a serious question. I’d have much more confidence if this was a project delivered (at least in part) by a private operator who could not fall back on the public purse if the whole thing goes pear-shaped. By an operator who needed to be sure the thing would make money.

    Someone like Goldman Sachs could do it, I’m sure, just the same way that they helped make housing affordable in the US without any wastage, and without requiring any fallback on the US public purse.

    Its a massive cost even if you do capitalise the costs.

    Well, no, it isn’t. Tony G’s favorite Optus plan costs that much over six years, and anyway both you and Tony G are assuming the worst case cost for the NBN.

    I assume the confidence of Jill and Fran reflects their political biases because they have delivered no justification for this expense.

    I can’t imagine why you would say something like this. You’re presumably in a better position than they are to put a proper argument on economic grounds, but you’ve chosen not to do so, instead relying on the dodgy BS in your first paragraph.

  19. August 11th, 2010 at 21:24 | #19

    As usual Simon you are insulting but don’t add anything. Goldman Sachs could not deliver it and 4% of GDP is a large cost when a program delivering most benefits can be provided at a fraction of the costs. The claim that we do not need a Rolls Royce service that is compulsory for all is not my claim alone. You might want to read the Gans link. Try TM or anger management.

  20. SJ
    August 11th, 2010 at 21:37 | #20

    As usual Simon you are insulting but don’t add anything… Try TM or anger management.

    Now, that’s just weird.

    Do you know what projection is ?

    Psychological projection or projection bias (including Freudian Projection) is the unconscious act of denial of a person’s own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to the weather, a tool, or to other people. Thus, it involves imagining or projecting that others have those feelings.

    Projection is considered one of the most profound and subtle of human psychological processes, and extremely difficult to work with, because by its nature it is hidden. It is the fundamental mechanism by which we keep ourselves uninformed about ourselves.

    You might want to read the Gans link.

    I did read it, in fact, even before you linked to it.

    I’ve got no idea why you think it says something supportive of your whining.

  21. Michael
    August 11th, 2010 at 21:39 | #21

    @hc
    Which government presided over the sale of the telecommunications monopoly? That incompetent move has left Australia without proper competition in the market and without a government controlled utility to provide vital infrastructure. This will do much more long term damage to Australia’s future than any of Labor’s stimulus package “waste”. If you are a Telstra broadband customer then I seriously doubt your ability to make rational decisions or even add numbers together.

  22. August 11th, 2010 at 22:04 | #22

    Pr Q said:

    he offers simplistic slogans to the voters because that’s all he is capable of understanding. In the US, such self-confessed ignorance is a pre-requisite for political success, at least on the right. It seems we are heading the same way.

    I predict Pr Q will go broke underestimating the intelligence of the AUS electorate. I am fairly confident that the ALP will win comfortably on 21 AUG 2010. Even if the majoirty don’t vote for the ALP, it won’t be because of any love for dumbed down L/NP policy. It will be because of public disapproval of the ALP’s nasty political machinations.

    Its worth noting that, in their 11 years of government, the L/NP changed the personnel in the three top jobs of PM, Treasurer and Foreign minister precisely zero times. So the ALP will have no one else but themselves to blame if they lose.

  23. August 11th, 2010 at 22:15 | #23

    Michael, I don’t suffer great pain in using Australian broadband. I use a combination of providers and find the Telstra 3G mobile broadband a bit expensive but very good. That doesn’t mean I support the great march from monopoly to duopoly or for the Telstra monopoly over the wire network.

    Isn’t the Coalition policy about providing some competition to facilitate the development of an efficient broadband network? I agree the previous privatization didn’t work out well.

    Broadband isn’t a public good – people can elect different levels of service without having a uniform standard imposed by government. And it might be that more than 3% of Australian might have to do without the highest speeds because it’s too expensive to provide people with that.

  24. Tony G
    August 12th, 2010 at 00:44 | #24

    SJ@12

    “So you’d be paying almost $8000 over 6 years anyway, and not end up with the better system.”

    The ISP is going to let you hook up for free are they? I doubt it;

    Optus is still going to charge you $7641 over 6 years. And the the government is going to borrow an additional $8000 per household to build a new network that is only going to make a marginal difference to the 42.88 Mbit/s service that is already available now to 90% of customers.

    The NBH is a $42 billion white elephant and with the rate the switching technology is improving for other technologies, the NBH will be obsolete by the time they install it.

    JQ @13

    It will double the electricity prices and it won’t stop carbon increasing in the atmosphere at the rate of 1.5ppm per year.

    Your flawed carbon price modelling includes a credit based on the rest of the world agreeing to have an ETS to offset our extra carbon costs. Until an international ETS eventuates, your modelling is crap and electricity prices will double.

  25. Chris
    August 12th, 2010 at 11:16 | #25

    In the late 1990s I was involved in a project to provide internet connectivity to NSW councils and public libraries. We were successful in getting funding from “Networking the Nation” for some of this. NTN was money from the first tranche of the Telstra sell off & it followed this patchwork, piecemeal strategy proposed by the Libs that allowed politicians to delude themselves into thinking they were creating a national network. Same old sameold

    What frustrates me on this current debater is the focus on cost. The true benefit of the NBN are that it will break Telstra’s last mile monopoly and be much more akin to large rail and road projects as opposed to giving x amount of bandwith to a particular customer.

    On the matter of plumping for one technology (fibre) & the “governement picking winners” schtick, my understanding of fibre is that the cables will stay the same & if we want to ramp up to gigabit or terrabit speeds in the future, it will be a matter of replacing switch gear & routers and such like – a little like resealing or widening portions of the Pacific Highway.

  26. The Big Fella
    August 12th, 2010 at 16:17 | #26

    Its very disappointing that the commentariate are letting Abbott get away with howler after howler notwithstanding electricity costs rising which he subtly attributed to federal labor last night – which is purely a state and regulator issue.

    But it is not our fault sayeth the media, we are providing what the people want to read or it is the politicians that provide us with distractions to report on.

  27. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 12th, 2010 at 16:50 | #27

    The Big Fella, many would agree with our host that Abbott is adrift for he continuously claims to be a prodigy of Howard but then changes his tune and falsely claims to be something he isn’t. Furthermore there is no comparison between Abbott the creationist and Turnbull the realist who is very articulate and knowledgable on matters dealing with economics, climate change, global warming, ETS, etc. In my opinion Abbott the creationist doesn’t know whether he is coming or going.

  28. Jim Rose
    August 12th, 2010 at 17:08 | #28

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Abbott’s opponents in the labour party must be pretty hopeless if they cannot dispatch someone who, as you say, “doesn’t know whether he is coming or going.”

    A lesson from sport and other areas of contest is to be gracious in defeat because every time you say that the winner has no talent, you are saying that those that came second, third and so on even have less talent than the no talent winner.

    Be gracious in victory and do not question the reliability and wisdom of the judging process and the judges because it undermines the very legitimacy of your past, present and future victories to do so.

    Progressives fail at the ballot box because snipping and campaign tactics such as listen here you dummies, why are you voting for those bigots on the other side. Insults are no what to win some to you side.

    People rightly assume that the insults and implied and actual derision show a lack of substance and a lack of any real concern and empathy for those they want to trick into voting for them.

    manners cost you nothing and get you a long way.

  29. Alice
    August 12th, 2010 at 19:08 | #29

    @Jim Rose
    You make the coment “Progressives fail at the ballot box because snipping and campaign tactics such as listen here you dummies, why are you voting for those bigots on the other side. Insults are no what to win some to you side. ”

    Pot Kettle is blacker on your side JR. Lets look at some charming (not) gracious (not) Mr Rabbits comments…

    “His characterization of supporters of an Australian Republic: “teenagers blowing raspberries at their parents.”

    On the suggestion that he should be able to turn up to a nationally televised debate on time: “bullshit.”

    On asbestos sufferer and social justice campaigner Bernie Banton: “I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn’t mean that he is necessarily pure of heart in all things.” He called Banton’s campaign a “stunt.” (In true Abbott style, he later absolved himself by apologizing for his remarks.)

    And, of course, according to Abbott, climate change is “absolute crap.” (Later rectified by admission of “a bit of hyperbole.”)

    He recently told us that homelessness was a lifestyle choice.

    “we just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice”

    and as one blogger commented “Just goes to show you how much of a FW the man actually is.”

    Start improving Tony Abbotts manners JR first. He is well known for not having any.

  30. Alice
    August 12th, 2010 at 19:11 | #30

    @Jim Rose
    Oh and Tony Abbott is a sexist misogynist
    Try this one

    “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price, and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up.” Later, he said it is “more common to see women ironing,” informing us that it’s the way it works in his house.

    Later still, he criticized his detractors as “hypersensitive” over this remark.

    This electoral contender is a absolute joke, surely?. Its either that or the voters are indeed stupid.

  31. Alice
    August 12th, 2010 at 19:27 | #31

    Anyway – I think Tony Abbott is fake. The reason he doesnt know anything about the economy is because he cant be bothered to inform himself. I went to a laughable debate (featuring TA) when Australia went to Iraq. Every other debater had prepared and had access to facts. Tony Abbott got up and gave a hellfire and brimstone talk that was so weird….so unrelated to the Australian position that the audience was really scratching their heads (his rant was truly bizarre)…until…until

    The speaker sitting right next to him informed us all he downloaded internet justifications the night before from US right wing redneck websites…she saw the http address at the bottom of his notes along with date and time of printout…

    Lazy – (except for his physical individual pursuits).

    He doesnt know about the economy and he doesnt care.

  32. rog
    August 12th, 2010 at 19:29 | #32

    It seems odd that Abbott is running with his NBN policy despite admitting that he hasnt the foggiest about such things yet he is apparently able to review the science on climate change and then form a “considered opinion”

  33. August 12th, 2010 at 19:44 | #33

    @Jim Rose

    This is not like a sporting contest where there are a set of rules. This is a contest for the support of the peanut gallery. The winner will be the one who neutralises wins over enough of the peanut gallery in enough places to finish in front.

    In doing so, the winner may well claim to be the most “talented” spinmeisters and have the best connections to the channels into the mids of the peanut gallery, but it won’t reflect at all on their worth in policy terms.

    It will say even less about the worth of the policies to the working people that ensue from this “election”, if so august a term is warranted, because the boss class will certainly be the winner, whoever finishes in front.

  34. Jim Rose
    August 12th, 2010 at 20:04 | #34

    @Fran Barlow
    Yes, your note is a good explanation of how labour parties win office. The Left tells the voters what to fear, who the blame, and how to envy and plunder.

    The parties on the right have a tougher job winning because they must explain the fatal conceit: that we cannot reshape the world in accordance with our desires. There are just somethings we cannot make better.

    The parties on the right must explain that there are unintended consequences, conflicting incentives, large gaps in knowledge, special interest pressures, and unseen and adverse effects to seemingly on the face of it appealing policies.

    Parties on the right must overcome a range of biases common among voters such as anti-market bias, make-work bias, anti-foreign bias, and pessimism bias.

  35. Donald Oats
    August 12th, 2010 at 20:35 | #35

    Well, Abbott may be adrift but Sky News is blowing a big breeze in his favour, not least through some technology malarky. It seems that the “Sky Stream” streaming video is mysteriously used whenever Sky journalists are covering a Labor announcement outside of Sydney, and it breaks up into pixelated rubbish every time!! On the other hand, Tony Abbott’s announcements outside of Sydney mysteriously get the best that technology can offer. Why the Heck are Sky News going partisan? I don’t know what else to call it, after seeing bits of the Rooty Hill debacle – again – and witnessing it cut to put Abbott in a good light, especially on the NBN and the alternative gastric-banded internet proposed by the opposition. The modern philosopher’s word for that announcement: bulls**t!

    Having only just seen the NBN 1Gbps announcement, I laugh at how Sky News used nice, crisp and normal TV picture for Abbott’s gastric-band announcement, while apparently without appreciating the irony SN used a crappy, slow, and continually dropping out streaming internet video to televise the Labor fast NBN announcement in Tasmania. A private enterprise apparently incapable, of delivering a fast NBN announcement, over the current internet! LOLROFL!

    BTW: the ABC covered the Labor fast NBN announcement with nice crisp TV. The public broadcaster could do it, so why not a private company? [Rhetorical question.]

  36. August 12th, 2010 at 20:47 | #36

    @Jim Rose

    The Left right tells the voters what to fear, who to blame, and how to envy and plunder.

    Fear/Blame: big government, big taxes, people on boats, people who are educated, Chinese, bureaucrats, Muslims, technology, scientists, socialists, atheists …

    Plunder: environment, developing world

    Envy: Rich people in general

  37. Jim Rose
    August 12th, 2010 at 21:28 | #37

    @Fran Barlow
    the trouble with socialism is it eventually runs out of other people’s money.

    the solutions of the left are some one else should pay, some one else is to blame, and just pass a law and whatever you say can be done by that law will be done.

    as for the 3rd world, the Left is of the view that they should be grateful for the crumbs from our ODA tables – wow, all of 0.7% of GDP is the ever so generous aspirational target – but never tariff-free access to our domestic markets nor the opportunity of skilled or unskilled migration.

  38. paul walter
    August 12th, 2010 at 21:47 | #38

    No Jim, it is the few appropriating the common wealth, regardless of the interests of the rest.
    What’s a system based on theft called?
    Starts with “c”.

  39. Jim Rose
    August 12th, 2010 at 22:19 | #39

    @paul walter
    “appropriating the common wealth, regardless of the interests of the rest” requires regulatory privilege. The Left never saw a regulatory barrier to entry that they did not like.

    You confuse corporate capitalism with a free market economy. As Friedman noted, “if you want to see capitalism in action, go to Hong Kong”. Regulatory privilege and rent-seeking opportunities are minimal, taxes are low, no GST and tariffs are zero.

    Regulation creates monopoly power at the expense of smaller competitors and the consumers.

    Big businesses favour tariffs and regulation because they fear competition and desire to forge a government-business coalition at the expense of many smaller competitors and many consumers. Self-styled progressive intellectuals such as you are vital propagandists in duping the public into thinking that the suppression of competition is in their interests.

    The old left, the new left and the left-over-left are like all progressives – they are junior partners in corporate capitalism, providing not always unwitting rhetorical and political cover for bail-outs and privileges for the established big businesses in return for scraps from the table, tariffs and cross-subsidies for sub-sets of consumers and workers, and jobs for themselves as cogs in the machine.

  40. Donald Oats
    August 12th, 2010 at 22:59 | #40

    Life is not all about competition to the exclusion of all else, Jim. Or, maybe your life is, I don’t know.

    Jim Rose :<A href="#comment-265548" rel=nofollow
    Regulation creates monopoly power at the expense of smaller competitors and the consumers.

    This is ridiculous Jim, as you place no bounds on regulation: no regulation at all in a free market for a particular sector, say telecomms, might allow monopoly formation and entrenchment. I think that’s the economic argument as to the natural endpoint (monopoly or oligopoly) of a free, unregulated market. If a trivial piece of regulatory practice was placed upon a sector which had been in its “natural” state, perhaps that the sector participants must register with a regulatory body or be fined $100 for example, then that is hardly going to shift a busy competitive market from many participants to an oligopoly or monopoly any faster or more certainly than the unregulated case.

    Let’s face it Jim, you are a s**t-stirrer, aren’t you? A bit like John Elliot on Q&A tonight…

  41. August 12th, 2010 at 23:02 | #41

    @Jim Rose

    the trouble with socialism is it eventually runs out of other people’s money.

    There’s no such thing as “other people’s money”. There is only everybody’s work, everybodys goods and everybody’s needs and how we resolve these matters to achieve equity.

    The focus on money is a fantasy which mistakes the instantiation of work for work itself. Work is a social act and money but a manifestation of that act.

  42. SJ
    August 12th, 2010 at 23:36 | #42

    Donald Oats Says:

    Let’s face it Jim, you are a s**t-stirrer, aren’t you? A bit like John Elliot on Q&A tonight…

    But Jim Rose Says:

    Regulation creates monopoly power at the expense of smaller competitors and the consumers.

    Big businesses favour tariffs and regulation because they fear competition and desire to forge a government-business coalition at the expense of many smaller competitors and many consumers.

    Rose is just a perfectly ordinary, run-of-the-mill glibertarian troll, the same as Terje and the rest.

  43. paul walter
    August 12th, 2010 at 23:56 | #43

    Actually he’s right.
    Regulation does create monopoly, because in
    Australia in 2010, politicians and business go hand in hand as corporatism, or “soft” fascism if it gets worse.
    Feckless creature, that Elliot, also the slithering creature representing big mining, theself made man Shepherd, full of scornful till he’d vented his spleen and the Cracker mayor of Mt.Gambier, who mde me wonder if I wasn’t living in Macon County.
    And the politicians.
    All Catholic Opus Dei types, altho Morrison might just be your proddy blowhard or even straight secular conservative.
    The magnitude of the offence I’ve taken means I can’t place Morrison below the Labor ones, arrogant in their ignorance and ignorant in their depthless arrogance.
    Bob Brown and a fine Asian woman, an academic I think they introduced as working in fields involving population, by contrast covered themselves in glory.
    Smith’s doco was perhaps necessarily, broad brush, simplistic and incomplete in some ways, perhaps he was relying on the panel to sort out the intricacies and the audience to employ likewise their mental faculties as to population and sustainablity.

  44. Jim Rose
    August 13th, 2010 at 09:16 | #44

    @Fran Barlow
    You say that “There is only everybody’s work, everybodys goods and everybody’s needs and how we resolve these matters to achieve equity.”

    You seem to be unfamiliar with the writings of John Rawls.

    Professor Quiggin righty identified Rawls as the starting point for political philosophy of progressives. Rawls was interested in the implications of different institutions of his conception of justice as fairness.

    Rawls rightly pointed out that behind the veil of ignorance, people will agree to inequality as long as it is to everyone’s advantage. One reason is people are stripped of envy when behind the veil of ignorance.

    Rawls lent qualified support to the idea of a flat-rate consumption tax (see A Theory of Justice pp. 278-79). He said “a proportional expenditure tax may be part of the best scheme” and adding that such a tax “can contain all the usual exemptions”.

    The reason why Rawls lent qualified support to the idea of a flat-rate consumption tax was these taxes what people take out of the common store of goods rather than what he or she contributes. Rawls was awake to the power of incentives, you are not.

    Rawls also supported negative income taxes and other forms of social insurance. He preferred a proportional expenditure tax over an income tax of any kind (A Theory of Justice, p. 246 – see googe books).

    Rawls was a profound thinker and open to different interpretations. It is hard to disagree with his ideas of equal liberty, equal opportunity, and such inequalities that are to everyone’s advantage.

  45. Jim Rose
    August 13th, 2010 at 09:24 | #45

    @Donald Oats
    No regulation! a strawman argument that the left specialises in because it has no answers to the real questions.

    I have previoulsy advocated the uniform regulation of all industries as as way to ensure a non-discriminatory democracy and equality under law.

  46. August 13th, 2010 at 11:23 | #46

    “What’s a system based on theft called?
    Starts with “c”.”

    Communism.

  47. August 13th, 2010 at 13:35 | #47

    @Jim Rose

    I’m perfectly familiar with Rawls. I simply don’t accept that you can adduce it against the proposition I made or have it support your rather fetishised view of money.

    Like all reactionaries, for you the exercise starts and ends with how to protect the arbitrarily privileged from the claims of everyone else.

  48. August 13th, 2010 at 13:44 | #48

    @Jarrah

    Assumes facts not in evidence. There being no communist system as an exemplar, you can scarcely make the claim. Moreover, even to refer to the collectivist autocracies of the 20th century as engaged in theft makes claims about property that are at best doubtful. While the assertion by a state of eminent domain can be seen as theft by those who reject the state those who support it will deny the legitimacy of the antecedent property claim. When Europeans invaded the Australian landmass, they asserted eminent domain and all of current property here derives from that successful assertion. Indigenes have come to assert that this was theft, so perhaps words starting with “c” to signify theft could be “colonisation” followed by “capitalism”. Can receivers of stolen goods complain about theft? Not really.

    Of course, force was decisive in affirming the assertion, which is why European occupation and subsequent capitalist development is not seen as theft.

  49. Jim Rose
    August 13th, 2010 at 13:49 | #49

    @Fran Barlow
    I am against all privilege. I am for a non-discriminatory democracy.

    What is your interpretation of rawl’s difference principle?

    Speaking of privilege, are you against tax privileges for super in Oz? Retirement savings should be taxed like any other investment income.

  50. August 13th, 2010 at 14:02 | #50

    Fran, you’re going to have to start recognising when people are being flippant :-)

    Although, now you bring it up, we don’t need a working example to examine the theoretic underpinnings of communism.

    The proletarian is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family relations; modern industry labor, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.

    All the preceding classes that got the upper hand sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property.

  51. August 13th, 2010 at 14:12 | #51

    @Jim Rose

    Don’t divert. You don’t like my claim:

    There is only everybody’s work, everybody’s goods and everybody’s needs and how we resolve these matters to achieve equity

    Address that.

  52. August 13th, 2010 at 14:20 | #52

    @Jarrah

    Yet that quote from the Manifesto says nothing about a system based on theft. It’s about the creation of a new proletarian mode of appropriation. In short, all bets are off.

    The fact that the word proletarian is used shows that Marx is not talking of communism but of proletarian class rule i.e. a period of transtition towards communism, which is

    a) classless

    and

    b) materially abundant

    meaning that private property loses all meaning. What point could there be in theft, in a society where material abundance prevailed?

  53. August 13th, 2010 at 14:28 | #53

    The question was, what system is based on theft. If proletarian revolution is the necessary precursor to communism, and their revolution involves the theft of… well, everything, then it could be said that communism is based on theft. Just as you tried to say capitalism is based on theft.

    If, however, you are actually concerned with the mechanics of an already-functioning communism or capitalism, then neither is based on theft. Because,as the Manifesto describes, each system ordains ‘property’ and ‘theft’ according to its own needs.

    And that’s not to forget that property IS theft in some conceptions ;-)

  54. Jim Rose
    August 13th, 2010 at 14:37 | #54

    Fran Barlow,

    I reject your position that each member of society has an equal claim on their society’s goods as in clear conflict with distributive justice.

    Rawls argues that inequality is acceptable if it is to the advantage of those who are worst-off.

    Risk-minimisation is a part of Rawls’ strategy in setting up the original position. All consider worst case scenarios, where on the lifting of the veil of ignorance they discover that they are at the bottom of society.

    Rawls argues that if this possibility is considered then all will be concerned with ensuring the best possible circumstances for the worst-off members of society.

    The wealth of an economy is not a fixed amount from one period to the next. More wealth can be produced and this has been the experience of industrialized countries over the last few centuries.

    The most common way of producing more wealth is to have a system where those who are more productive earn greater incomes. This inspired the difference principle. The possibility of earning greater income will bring forth greater productive effort. This will increase the total wealth of the economy and, under the Difference Principle, the wealth of the least advantaged.

    Rawls is concerned is about the absolute position of the least advantaged group rather than their relative position. If it is possible to raise the absolute position of the least advantaged further by having inequalities of income and wealth, then the Difference Principle prescribes inequality.

    Advocates of strict equality argue that inequalities permitted by the Difference Principle are unacceptable even if they do benefit the least advantaged.

    The problem for advocates, which include you, is to explain in a satisfactory way why the relative position of the least advantaged is more important than their absolute position, and hence why society should be prevented from materially benefiting the least advantaged when this is possible.

  55. August 13th, 2010 at 14:39 | #55

    @Jarrah

    If proletarian revolution is the necessary precursor to communism, and their revolution involves the theft of… well, everything, [...]

    And there’s the flaw. You call it theft and the socialists call it recovery of stolen goods.

    And that’s not to forget that property IS theft in some conceptions

    That was certainly the communitarian Proudhon’s view.

  56. August 13th, 2010 at 14:59 | #56

    Interesting. Clicked ‘Submit Comment’, and nothing appeared. Tried submitting again, and WordPress objects because it’s a duplicate comment. Tried re-submitting with minor changes, nothing appears. Yet this comment gets through.

  57. August 13th, 2010 at 15:05 | #57

    @Jim Rose

    I’m no babeuvist Jim. I accept that, unless an until material abundance is achieved, class society and social inequality therewith, will persist. Attempts at forcing equality will simply equalise misery.

    Accordingly, in so far as acceptance of inequality leads to higher labour productivity, I have no fundamental political objection to it. Yet this is not what we are discussing. We are discussing your rather curious notion that the concept “other people’s money” is meaningful and more, that some state can “run out” of it.

    Ultimately, money is in unlimited supply. What is limited is labour power. A class that misapplies/misappropriates this resource necessarily increases arbitrary inequality, imposes misery where it need not be and perhaps just as bad, both constrains the ability to produce it, deploy it and improve its quality.

    So your swing at “socialists” –a product of your own cultural angst — is utterly misdirected. Putting aside your attempt to blur the lines between boss class social democrats and socialists, at a certain point, the attempt to protect privileges associated with property and inequality more generally becomes a constraint upon development of the productive forces. Every time people get laid off, capital lies idle. That’s wasteful.

    Of coruse, the exclusion of the interests of labour from the polity underpins some odf the most inequitable patterns of deployment of labour power. Would a society that was focused on how to improve the quanitity of socially useful labour and labour productivity be deploying it to fashion the equipment needed to destroy populations and their infrastructure elsewhere. I’d say not. Would it have housing as a tradeable commodity? Almost certainly not. Would it be delpoying labour to build housing over fertile land? Again, I’d say not. Would enormous volumes of labour be used simply to coerce populations into refraining from use of mind-altering substances? Again, it is hard to see how this could happen. Would such a regime wait even a moment after discovering the prejudice industry was doing to human life chances through damage to the biosphere before retooling to mitigate it? Of course not.

    Of course, if the protection of the privileges of the propertied classes is the sine qua non of “civilised” life all the above becomes comprehensible. Protection of privilege is always the lesser evil in such societies.

  58. Chris Warren
    August 13th, 2010 at 16:43 | #58

    @Jarrah

    Property here concerns property used in production, (ie owned individualy but used in society) or obtained through profits of exploitation.

    Marx said there was no need to abolish personal private property.

    This underpinning in fact goes back to the English Diggers and Levellers, and the original theft of the previous common ownership of lands. Google: Irish plantations, English enclosures, and Highland clearances.

  59. paul walter
    August 13th, 2010 at 16:52 | #59

    Jim Rose, can’t we get past a mindset that seems so about hordeing and so little about what really matters in life; the blessings of human company, family and community?
    You come across as a bit Hobbesian defensive and Fran’s right, we could do a lot better without such a defensive mindset for our own culture; surely we have moved clear of the middle ages?
    Gee, what about the level playing- like envrionmental sustanability as to thebase, don’t we sort that out first, then do the blokey “competition” bit?
    Why are billions of people living like dogs, while we privileged are given a good run without particularly much justification?
    If we had some sort of basic standard of living that provided opportunity for all, then, theoretically, your positon could be justifiable, but at the moment, in the world of reality, that precondition has not been met.

  60. Alice
    August 13th, 2010 at 18:32 | #60

    @Fran Barlow
    Can anyone tell me why Jarrah and JR seem to be talking about communism and the threat of communists when it and they no longer exist – although some effort on co-operatives wouldnt go astray right now!

    Old ghosts – andpeople fighting old ghosts. The conservatives seem to think they can rescusitate old enemies even though they are long dead and buried.

    If they really thought about it long enough they might realise that what sends people the way of a socialist view or a democratic socialist view is the failure of the insensitve market ideologies to accommodate all strata in an group of those eligible to vote that actually vote.

    Makes sense to me. Politicians and their policies go too far one way (right or left) and the voting public will punish you.

    All is as it should be.

  61. Alice
    August 13th, 2010 at 18:35 | #61

    @Jim Rose
    But at least JR – I have no problem with Rawls. I have a large problem with the Utilitarianists.

  62. Jim Rose
    August 13th, 2010 at 19:02 | #62

    @Fran Barlow
    so you no longer hold to your prervious position that “There is only everybody’s work, everybody’s goods and everybody’s needs and how we resolve these matters to achieve equity ”

    you now say “unless an until material abundance is achieved, class society and social inequality therewith, will persist. Attempts at forcing equality will simply equalise misery.”

    is there any difference between what you say and what hayek and nozick say about forcing equality?

  63. Chris Warren
    August 14th, 2010 at 00:02 | #63

    @Alice

    It is not an old ghost that scares them – it is an old spectre that haunts them.

    As the financial contradictions mount- even over 150 years, the Marxist analysis shines through – even through the fog of Keynesianism and the noise of Samuelson etc.

  64. August 14th, 2010 at 07:17 | #64

    @Jim Rose

    There’s no inconsistency between the two claims I made Jim. I stand by both.

  65. Jim Rose
    August 14th, 2010 at 09:38 | #65

    @Chris Warren
    What is the Marxist analysis of Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac?

    Does the Marxist analysis of “To big to fail” attributed this regulatory intervention to a free market capitalism or to corporate capitalism?

    In this regard, I commend the writings of New Left historians Gabriel Kolko’s and James Weinstein’s books on the rise of political capitalism in the progressive era.

    Kolko has remarked that “The dominant fact of American political life at the beginning of this century was that big business led the struggle for the federal regulation of the economy.”

    The last thing the corporate capitalists wanted was a profit AND loss system and the threat of new entry.

    Economic regulation was intended to create monopolies and oligopolies. While sounding well-intentioned, so-called progressive government interventions exploits the consumer in favour of the politically privileged.

    Social regulation is a bargain between business and consumer pressure groups who want, among other things, to raise the production costs of small rivals, an outlet for expressive and rationally irrational voting, and jobs as cogs in the machine.

    Regulation and the welfare state are not only now backed to the hilt by Big Business, but were originated by corporate capitalist for the purpose of shifting from a free market to a cartelised economy that would benefit corporate interests and selected smaller allies including sub-groups of small business and sub-groups of consumers who provide the needed bloc of votes in return for cross-subsidies.

    Self-styled progressive intellectuals such as you are and were vital propagandists in duping the public into thinking the liberal corporatist suppression of competition was in their interests.

  66. Alice
    August 14th, 2010 at 10:10 | #66

    @Chris Warren
    Im inclined to agree with you Chris – what else explains the extraordinary power and influence over governments of the global financial and other firms? The creeping monopolisation of many industries? The rising unemployment?

    It shines through as showing that in the end capitalism cannot be kept in suspended animation in anyone’s ideal view of how it could or should work. It will destroy the worlds resources, governments and the quality of lives (for all the comforts it has delivered along the way one cant helping thinking that ultimately capitalism will take back in kind).

  67. Jim Rose
    August 14th, 2010 at 10:45 | #67

    @Alice
    Most public policies are in place because they are popular with voters for expressive reasons or because the voter is rationally irrational about what they support. It is possible for officials to deviate only moderately from voter preferences without being removed from power to pander to the special interests.

    Can Marxist analysis explain the large differences in the size of the public sector on each side of the Atlantic and respective differences in economic and social regulation? The state sector is and always been much larger in NZ than in Australia. NZ general government spending accounted for 1/2 of GDP in 1986 while accounting for 1/3rd in Oz.

    The greens and those further to the left get nowhere these days because their policies are deeply unpopular with most voters. Everything from the two-airline policy to tariffs were popular with the voters in that mast, and interests groups tool advantage of these opening, but times changed.

    Immigration is kept low not because, to use your words, because “the extraordinary power and influence over governments of the global financial and other firms”, did not extend to remembering about this opportunity to increase the size of the reserve army of the unemployed. Immigration is kept low because of the anti-foreign biases of voters that the Left stokes up whenever it suits them at other policy forums.

  68. Alice
    August 14th, 2010 at 13:03 | #68

    @Jim Rose
    For a party that as you say “gets nowwhere these days” JR – why are the greens growing? You will may try some reality about exactly who’s ideas are gaining and who’s are losing if we end up with a hung parliament.

  69. Alice
    August 14th, 2010 at 13:11 | #69

    @Jim Rose
    Oh and Tony Abbott is losing ground to common sense (not that I think Labor has much of that either). The Greens are getting my vote JR and I hope they get more votes. It would actually be nice to have people talking about some important issues instead of “great big new taxes”, various other two bit quips, “turning the boats back”, “oh woe is me debt”, “Mark Latham’s handshake” “fiscal austerity measures”, and not doing anything for young people and not giving a damn about public investment or unemployment.

    Green shoots is what we need to send a big message to both majors that they are both doing pretty much the same, treat Australians like children, dont have policies to do much at all about big issues, couldnt give a damn about public transport and are still busy sitting on their parliamentary perks hoping private sector samaritans will solve all theirs (and our) problems.

    As Singo said – they dont build the snowy mountains schemes anymore (because they outsourced all their nation building skills years ago) and as another commented

    “if we had left the harbour bridge to Tony Abbott to build – there would now be one lane with a man holding a stop and go sign at each end”.

  70. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 14th, 2010 at 15:30 | #70

    For those interested in the latest news on Abbott the creationist who does not know whether he is coming or going, the not so smart tech head has announced today the Coaltion will be cutting some $400 million of government funding from the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) program because he THINKS CCS technology doesn’t work. That is correct Abbott THINKS CCS technology doesn’t work. Well I have information for the creationist who does not believe in science, since 1996 Statoil (Norwegian State Oil Company) has been successfully sequestrating some 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually into a porous salt water aquifer. And given Abbott’s continuous false claims, I am of the opinion Gillard who believes in science is much more knowledgable on matters when dealing with the real world than Abbott the creationist who seems to have problems in understanding basic science. No wonder voters are now starting to question Abbott’s credentials and ability in understanding many issues outside his small world.

  71. August 14th, 2010 at 16:51 | #71

    @Michael of Summer Hill

    If cutting funds to CC&S were the only difference between the parties, and they both had humane policies towards refugees I would consider voting Liberal.

  72. Chris Warren
    August 14th, 2010 at 17:02 | #72

    Jim Rose :@Chris Warren What is the Marxist analysis of Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac?

    Simple.

    Capitalist enterprises MUST fail when countervailling tendencies they rely on, become exhausted.

    Does the Marxist analysis of “To big to fail” attributed this regulatory intervention to a free market capitalism or to corporate capitalism?

    Stupid question. It all capitalism, and the fact that you have so misunderstood the question then leads you into the following nonesense

    “The dominant fact of American political life at the beginning of this century was that big business led the struggle for the federal regulation of the economy.”
    The last thing the corporate capitalists wanted was a profit AND loss system and the threat of new entry.
    Economic regulation was intended to create monopolies and oligopolies. While sounding well-intentioned, so-called progressive government interventions exploits the consumer in favour of the politically privileged.
    Social regulation is a bargain between business and consumer pressure groups who want, among other things, to raise the production costs of small rivals, an outlet for expressive and rationally irrational voting, and jobs as cogs in the machine.

    And especially the following:

    Regulation and the welfare state are not only now backed to the hilt by Big Business, but were originated by corporate capitalist for the purpose of shifting from a free market to a cartelised economy that would benefit corporate interests and selected smaller allies including sub-groups of small business and sub-groups of consumers who provide the needed bloc of votes in return for cross-subsidies.

    And just to get a feel for the quality of Rose-rubbish, here is his conspiracy theory where nasty progressives “dupe” the public!

    Self-styled progressive intellectuals such as you are and were vital propagandists in duping the public into thinking the liberal corporatist suppression of competition was in their interests.

  73. Jim Rose
    August 14th, 2010 at 19:34 | #73

    @Chris Warren
    so marx predicted the rise of the mixed economy and corporate capitalism, and capitalists forming coalitions with unions and workers who wanted regulation and the welfare state.

    Popper criticizes theorists like Marx who attempt to accumulate evidence that corroborates their theories and not looking for evidence that would demonstrate that their hypothesis is false.

    regulation was not inspired by the progressive intellectuals and activist political leaders eager to put a check on the rising power of big business. It was really inspired by the drive of businessman to limit competition and bring stability into the market.

    The left makes a common assumption that regulation hurts big business. This isn’t the case. Big Business is in favor of regulation and the throttling of competition.

    The Left and progressives in general have never seen a regulation-based barrier to entry that they did not like.

    progressives and the Left have never seen a deregulation that they did not oppose. By supporting regulation-based barriers to entry, the Left plays into the hands of the corporate capitalists. If progressives had won their fights, we would still have:

    • the two airline policy
    • banks opening at 10 and closing at 3
    • no competition in telecommunications
    • no interstate power market
    • No Pay TV
    • Fewer free-to air channels?
    • No ABC 2?
    • No FM radio?
    • No colour TV?

  74. Alice
    August 14th, 2010 at 22:36 | #74

    @Jim Rose
    Jim Rose – re your comment above. Its starting to look like like a Fox repeat..Im sure I have read it before.

  75. Chris Warren
    August 15th, 2010 at 00:51 | #75

    Jim Rose :@Chris Warren so marx predicted the rise of the mixed economy and corporate capitalism, and capitalists forming coalitions with unions and workers who wanted regulation and the welfare state.

    Unbelievable! – Jim Rose got something right!?

    Marx bitterly resented this tendency particularly with his break-up with Ernest Jones. But more than this. Marx also recognised that this degeneration in workers politics could be expected in nations that (like Britain) exploited the rest of the world.

    marx did not ‘predict’ it he saw it.

    Popper criticizes theorists like Marx who attempt to accumulate evidence that corroborates their theories and not looking for evidence that would demonstrate that their hypothesis is false.

    This is an old Western canard. Popper manufactures evidence without looking at the facts that his canard as false.

    regulation was not inspired by the progressive intellectuals and activist political leaders eager to put a check on the rising power of big business. It was really inspired by the drive of businessman to limit competition and bring stability into the market.

    his is your pet theory.

    The left makes a common assumption that regulation hurts big business.

    Twaddle, nonsense, fiction, undergraduate stupidity.

    The Left and progressives in general have never seen a regulation-based barrier to entry that they did not like.

    Twaddle, nonsense, fiction, undergraduate stupidity.

    progressives and the Left have never seen a deregulation that they did not oppose.

    Twaddle, nonsense, fiction, undergraduate stupidity.

    By supporting regulation-based barriers to entry, the Left plays into the hands of the corporate capitalists. If progressives had won their fights, we would still have:
    • the two airline policy• banks opening at 10 and closing at 3• no competition in telecommunications• no interstate power market• No Pay TV• Fewer free-to air channels?• No ABC 2?• No FM radio?• No colour TV?

    These useless, rants just waste time.

  76. Jim Rose
    August 15th, 2010 at 11:33 | #76

    @Chris Warren
    Marx predicted the growing misery of working people, and this would lead them, in the end, to revolt. I would like to see how a cradle to the crave welfare state still has enough misery left in it to not put off the revolution.

    I agree with G.A. Cohen when he argues that there is no group in advanced industrial societies united by:
    1. Being the producers on which society depends;
    2. Being exploited;
    3. Being in conjunction with their families the majority of society; and
    4. Being in dire need.

    No group because of their neediness and exploitation have a compelling interest in, and because of their productiveness and majority numbers, the capacity to archive a socialist transformation. Because of the rather unforeseen withering away of the proletariat, Marxism failed to predict the natural course of the evolution of capitalism.

    As for being a moral philosophy, Marxism is equally withered at the vine because if justice is the Marxist pattern ‘from each according to ability, to each according to need,’ then workers cannot be entitled to the full value of their own labour. This adage requires the taking the product of some workers’ labour and giving it to those in need.

    If people are entitled to the full value of their own labour, they are entitled to it regardless of whether or not the distribution within a society adheres to each according to their need pattern.

    But if workers are not entitled to the full product or value of their labour, the Marxist moral concerns about capitalist exploitation loses all of their force. A serious Marxist must give up either ‘…to each according to need’ or their critique of capitalism as exploitative, because the two are mutually incompatible.

    btw, which of these deregulations do you support:
    • the two airline policy
    • banks opening before 10 and after 3
    • competition in telecommunications
    • an interstate power market
    • Pay TV
    • More free-to-air channels?
    • ABC 2?
    • FM radio?
    • Colour TV?
    You must, at least, support the repeal of the regulations outlawing colour TV?

  77. Alice
    August 15th, 2010 at 12:16 | #77

    Come on Jim Rose (above post). Knock of the repetition of posts. That is trolling.

  78. Donald Oats
    August 15th, 2010 at 13:55 | #78

    Is someone channelling Glenn Beck here?

  79. Jim Rose
    August 15th, 2010 at 14:17 | #79

    @Alice
    you can not even get the number of airlines curretly operating in oz right. you claimed that it was 2, when it is 4, and forgot about 3 others that went broke for failing to serve passangers well.

    I repeat the list because you and others do not want to admit that deregulation worked. I assume you do not have pay TV at your house because it is the spawn of deregulation.

  80. Jim Rose
    August 15th, 2010 at 14:31 | #80

    @Donald Oats
    I assume you watch Beck. I do not.

    BTW, if deregulation is bad for consumers, why are you watching pay TV? It is bad for you. you are let yourself be ripped-off! cancel your pay TV subsciption and you will be richer and more informed.

  81. Alice
    August 15th, 2010 at 14:43 | #81

    Im not watching pay TV JR. Whatever gave you that idea? Who on earth is Beck?

  82. Jim Rose
    August 15th, 2010 at 15:05 | #82

    @Alice
    I am sure you would be worse-off for watching pay TV. too much danger of running into ideas, arguments and facts that disturb your settled world view.

  83. Alice
    August 15th, 2010 at 16:56 | #83

    @Jim Rose
    Huh? Any pay TV I have watched so far dulls my brain as Murdoch designed it to do.
    I try to avoid the plethora if cop shows and repeats or mindless movies…
    Maybe you should try avoiding as well JR. There is a real life out there.

  84. Alice
    August 15th, 2010 at 16:57 | #84

    @Jim Rose
    If my settled world was dictated by pay TV JR I would be seriously worried about myself. Ever heard the word SOMA – it means sleep drugs for the masses…
    thats pay TV.

  85. Alice
    August 15th, 2010 at 16:59 | #85

    @Jim Rose
    Maybe you should try talking to your neighbours JR and turning pay TV off.

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