140 thoughts on “Weekend reflections

  1. @Jim Rose

    Most libraries have copies of IMD’s annual “World competitiveness Yearbook” from 1993 – 2010.

    Table numbers vary unfortunately, year by year, but the data is there in US$ eg table 6.06 World Competitiveness yearbook 1996, pg 501.

    You have to do your own calculation

  2. @Jim Rose
    Jim Rose says

    “the role of the middle class is to pay taxes to fund social expenditure on the working class”.

    You have that completely wrong Jim Rose and its such a ridiculous comment Im simply blown away. Its the role of the upper class to pay taxes and fund social expenditures on the working class

    or have I missed something in neo liberal conservatism ie they want to shove the burden of redistribution off themselves and onto the middle to fund the working class??

    Have I got an A plus in right wing ideology yet?

  3. @TerjeP
    As far as calling me thick Terje – all Ive heard you mention is a taxpayer funded “social wage”. I asked you how this differs from a minimum wage. I asked you how it is funded.

    As an LDP candidate looking for votes can I see your costings and implementation plan? Otherwise its hoo ha to me. (words Terje…just words…you neglect to say who funds it except taxpayers…which taxpayers and who actually receives it. How can a person receive a negative income tax if they have no income.

    God you are thick.

  4. @Alice
    Im astonished both at JR and Terje – no wonder the libs have such bad credentials on economic policy from Tony Abbott down. They have these unique ideas that are basically wrong and have never been costed…
    How about Tony Abbotts 800 mill black hole and even Peter Costello wouldnt trust Tony on economics. I wouldnt trust the whole party. They cant, apparently, account.

  5. @Chris Warren
    you say that ‘Of course Sweden has minimum wages – they are derived from union negotiated collective agreements.”

    I am surprised that you are so willing to privatise social protection.

    Is it not for the government to decide the minimum wage and justify that law at the next election?

    leaving it to private groups trying to do their best against the overwhelming monopsony power of the bosses. not good enough. leaving it to the poor to scamble for crumbs from the union table.

    Red Tony knew the way – he introduced a minimum wage in the UK in 1999. It was a flagship policy in the 1997 british election.

    Part of the reason for UK’s Labour’s minimum wage policy was the decline of trade union membership (weakening employees’ bargaining power), as well as a recognition that the employees most vulnerable to low pay (especially in service industries) were rarely unionised in the first place.

    The privatisation of employment protection failed absolutely in sweden because one worker not protected by a minimum wage is one worker too many. no excuses. be true to your beliefs.

  6. @Alice
    you say that “Its the role of the upper class to pay taxes and fund social expenditures on the working class”

    so the middle class has no role in helping out the working class?

    The taxes on the middle class are to be churned and recycled to other perhaps better organised, more politically articulate members of the middle class?

    do you support taxes on the middle class that are a large net positive after transfers so there is more revenue to spend on the working class?

    most the the wealth in australia is held by the middle class in home ownership, their super and, in particular, their human capital, so if there is to by much left over for the poor, the middle class has to pony up.

  7. @Jim Rose
    No they dont – it should go back to being like it was in the 1950s and 1960s Jim Rose. Thats the problem we have now. The middle class has no business helping the working class. Back then it was the richest ten percent that funded the entire redistribution as they should now…..!!!! People sit around wondering why inequality has gone through the roof.
    It aint half obvious. Its because we have been feeding the rich lower tax cuts and all sorts of benefits on a false premise of “trickle down” for thirty years and its been an absolutely dismal failure.

    No the middle class have no business funding the working class.

    The burden for redstribution belongs entirely to the rich.

    That is our biggest mistake in 3 to 4 decades. We followed the Friedmanites, we followed the Chicago boys, we followed the supply siders, we bought into Mr Laffer and his laffing stock curve ideas…and all of them were hopelessly mistaken and undid a satisfactory and well functioning pre-existing system for the redistribution of income.

  8. @Jim Rose
    It also isnt the business of the rich to shove their burden for redistribution down to the middle class. The middle class and the working class arent here to relieve the rich of their responsibilities Jim Rose…some of those tax responsibilities they have clearly been evading (or shoving down on to the middle class).

    Like absent parents the rich say “well we are off to a party now – Sebastian its your responsibility to look after the younger children while we are at the party.”

    No it isnt.

  9. @Alice
    so the menzies era was the good old days for the Left, with far fewer women working, a marriage bar on employment in the public service, a minimalist social safety net, and taxes were voluntary for the rich because of loopholes everywhere.

    I agree that the whitlam adventure is the last place to look back on with fond thoughts.

    the income taxes rises on the middle class should start with taxing all super in the same way as any other investment – at your individual marginal tax rate.

  10. @Jim Rose

    That was a excentric rave that is not worth replying. However;

    I did not call for privatisation of social protection.

    If there are strong, representative, resourced unions, then the government should get out of the way.

    Tony Blair’s action was sensible and laudatory.

    When union power is inadequate – a decent labour government should step in.

    Swedish capitalism has created short-term artificial circumstances by piling up external debt to over 100% of GDP. If this continues, all hell will break loose.

  11. @Jim Rose
    JR – you conservative all heark back to Menzies…I know. Thats because he actually did a better job than any conservatives since. From his own words “there is no difference between public and private investment”. Lets go through some of Menzies accomplishments…lets not get sidetracked on women at home (that was thw era and public service attitudes reflected that…that was another fight for another day that came later).

    1. development of the snowy mountains scheme
    2. Establishment of the national library
    3. Expanded the education system and the CSIRO
    4. Introduced medical and hopsital benefits
    5. living standards rose over his period of office

    Now do you see a dedicated neoliberal here? NO (shouldnt the CSIRO and National library and hopsitals and eduaction have been privatised under Menzies?).

    The difference between Menzies and modern conservatives is that he had his eye on the ball even though it may not have been to everyone’s liking.
    Modern conservative do not have their eye on the ball. They are unbalanced and have completely lost the plot in silly ideologies.

  12. @Alice
    Would the Menzies era survive a gender analysis? No!

    Menzies maintained the three pillars of an insular Australia: protectionism, the white Australia policy and centralised industrial relations policy.

    Menzies never saw a war he didn’t want to get involved in: Korea, Malaya or Vietnam. He dodged military service in WW 1.

    Menzies undermining federalism by getting the commonwealth government involved in education, which has ballooned into billions of dollars of middle-class welfare and jurisdictional duplication.

    In Menzies’ day, only two parties opposed the White Australia policy—the Communist Party and the Democratic Labor Party. An unusual unity ticket!!!!!!!

  13. @Jim Rose
    Oh so JR – you are a conservative who doesnt like Menzies? Id rather menzies than the conservatives I see today. Though I am getting the impression Menzies wasnt the only conservative who seemed be predisposed to signing us up for war.

  14. @Alice
    Gotcha. You are an old DLP voter!
    The DLP was the first of Australia’s political parties to promote:
    • justice and equity in education funding
    • the vote for 18 year olds
    • equal pay for equal work
    • an independent pensions and needs tribunal
    • an end to the White Australia Policy
    • increased family-based immigration
    • strategic development of Australia’s inland, north and west
    • responsible environmental protection
    • support for life and traditional family values
    • capital grants for the family home and for granny flats attached to the family home
    • a homemaker allowance and income tax splitting for families
    • a universal living allowance or guaranteed minimum income based on reverse taxation
    • nationwide portability of superannuation
    • market and product diversification in trade
    • producer cooperatives and income stabilisation
    • long-term low interest loans for small business and the family farm
    • industrial democracy, worker cooperatives and enterprise profit-sharing schemes

  15. Re:The case for the greens.

    A prominent Sydney identity hit the nail on the head.

    “One wing of the Greens are like watermelons – green outside and red inside – a number were Stalinists supporting Soviet oppression,” he said.

    “We all accept the necessity of a healthy environment but Green policies are impractical and expensive which will not help the poor.

    “For those who value our present way of life, the Greens are sweet camouflaged poison.”

    We have noticed that one red under the bed has switched his allegiance.

  16. And another identity said TonyG was a licorice allsort – lots of funny colours but generally black to the core. Dribbling after capitalism, they said.

    have we noticed TonyG taking off his cloak, and admitting his guilt.

  17. @Tony G

    A prominent Sydney identity hit the nail on the head.

    The identity, a representative of the world’s best resourced and longest standing criminal organisation in the history of the world, went on to slander those who, unlike him, had humanity’s interests at heart, and weren’t involved in the systematic abuse of children, the perpetuation of sexually transmitted diseases, the defence of the destruction of the biosphere, the promotion of arrant metaphysical nonsense and misogyny in general.

  18. @Fran Barlow
    before you dance on his grave, what was the late senator stevens convicted of?.

    if he was in a plane, he was not in prision.

    was stevens on bail? are any charges pending?

    BTW, small plane accidents are common in alaska.

  19. @Chris Warren
    In the 1970s, manufacturing accounted for 40% of Hong Kong employment. It now accounts for 7%.

    how did these unskilled workers escape the bonds of their monopsonistic employers? where did they go? even lower paid jobs?

    you would do better to focus on so called poverty line statistics for HK. they are online.

  20. @Jim Rose

    Seven counts of corruption, overturned on prosecutorial misconduct grounds, but he was clearly guilty. He was on the take from Big Filth in a big way.

    Small plane accidents are indeed common in the US where the love for deregulation and self-regulation means pilots and maintenance people can be paid worse and less quaklified than bus dirvers and bus mechanics.

    So in a real sense, it’s probably not ironic that this was his second plane crash. An advocate of deregulation may well have suffered blowback. Then again, perhaps it was something more sinister.

    I recall that the ex-Nicaraguan dictator Somoza died in a shoot out with rival criminals in Miami, which in a way was better than being tried by his victims.

  21. @Jim Rose
    JR – re DLP. LOL! Nothing at all wrong with being of irish catholic descent and nothing at all at all.. wrong with their policies as far as I can see as you have listed. Now where do they live?

  22. @Fran Barlow
    I see that the presumption of innocence and a not guilty verdict are not enough to cause the witch-hunt left to pause.

    On prosecutorial misconduct, after the Judge held the prosecutors in contempt, Attoney-General Holder replaced the entire trial team, including top officials at the Justice Department’s public integrity section.

    The Stevens prosecutors not only withheld evidence, they created false testimony to give to the defence in discovery and actually presented false testimony in the courtroom. There is a criminal contempt investigation of six members of the prosecution team.

    I am sure if some scumbag armed and violent criminal home-invader who had far fewer defects in his persecution and in his evidence processing, the criminal-as-anti-hero left with demand a not guilty verdict without reservation.

  23. @Jim Rose

    Whether someone is legally guilt of wrongdoing or actually guilty of wrongdoing are two quite separate matters.

    Here, the basic facts were not in question. If relied upon, they showed Stevens was guilty. He could not be convicted because a higher public interest — the probity of the prosecutorial team, questions of discovery etc … — warranted overturning the case.

    Even a dirty dealer can get an unfair trial — and Stevens was easily that.

    I am sure if some scumbag armed and violent criminal home-invader who had far fewer defects in his persecution [ha, what a Freudian slip! FB] and in his evidence processing, the criminal-as-anti-hero left with demand a not guilty verdict without reservation.

    What you are sure of is neither here nor there, since they tend to be of your own invention. The fact of the matter here is that some corrupt proponent of the business classes ran afoul of his own deregulatory environment. One can’t say fairer than that.

  24. @Chris Warren
    what do you want to bring back?

    the two airline policy? banks opening at 10 and closing at 3? no competition in telecommunications? no interstate power market? double-digit inflation and unemployment?

  25. @Jim Rose
    I want to bring back some decent public services and some common sense about making sure the domestic economy is functioning well. Id like to see the ratty free markets privatise or perish models… done and dusted as they say.

  26. Jim Rose :@Chris Warren what do you want to bring back?
    the two airline policy? banks opening at 10 and closing at 3? no competition in telecommunications? no interstate power market? double-digit inflation and unemployment?

    Maybe a 10 airline policy

    Let each union have their own bank

    Free public telecommunications

    transparent markets

    zero inflation

    full employment.

    But you can only get these if you regulate capitalists and close-off their selfserving monopolistic practices which flourish under deregulation.

  27. @Chris Warren
    what is in place to stop regulatory capture?

    regulation is inspired by the drive of businessman to limit competition. It was not the existence of monopoly which caused the government to intervene in the economy, but the lack of it.

    large corporations reacted to the free market by turning to government to protect their inefficiency from the discipline of market conditions. regulation is designed to curb the grown in competition and to cripple smaller competitors for the benefit of larger firms

  28. Fran @ 18 said;

    “the promotion of arrant metaphysical nonsense ”

    I hope your pagan worship of the sun god is right for your sake, otherwise you run the risk of being struck by lightning, maybe be careful when you go outside in a storm and don’t stand under any trees (if you can find any left).

  29. Jim Rose :@Chris Warren what is in place to stop regulatory capture?

    You might not want to – depends on the circumstances

    SOME regulation is inspired by the drive of businessman to limit competition. It was not the existence of monopoly which caused the government to intervene in the economy, but the lack of it.

  30. @Chris Warren
    Do you want to go back to the good old days and ban Pay TV? fewer free-to air channels? No ABC 2? No FM radio? no colour TV? all were delayed for decades by regulation.

    how good were packer and co. in dictating broadcasting policy?

    “Free public telecommunications”??????? that might appeal to middle-class misers trying to get the working class to pay their internet bill, but how does that help the homeless and the poor?

    Has the predication of the immiserisation of the proletariat been discredited to the point that the battle cry is now let no child live without a free mobile phone?

  31. @Jim Rose
    When asked for specifics, many progressives shy away because they would be revealed as double-secret self-hating rogernomics gnomes.

    progressives do not want to bring back the fruits of regulation in the 1970s and, most of all, the heady days of the Menzies era, which were:
    • the two airline policy
    • banks opening at 10 and closing at 3
    • no competition in telecommunications
    • no interstate power market
    • double-digit inflation and unemployment
    • No Pay TV
    • Fewer free-to air channels?
    • No ABC 2?
    • No FM radio?
    • No colour TV?

    Progressives must rise above nit-picking and a fear of change despite not wanting to undo most of the specific changes when pressed. The above list is an example.

  32. Jim,
    Perhaps you could add in that international flights were so expensive that generally only the rich could afford them due to regulation – and many, many other things that were denied to the poor for the same reasons.
    On regulation – that is a point I have been making for a long time and Alice and friends have tried to ignore it. Regulation, by and large, ends up helping the large incumbent players and hurting the smaller, more innovative ones. You see it in our banking system, supermarkets and just about every other business you happen to look at.
    This must be hiding in plain sight, as they keep missing it.
    They seem to imagine that there is this magical set of regulations somewhere that can guarantee:
    A 10 airline policy
    Let each union have their own bank
    Free public telecommunications
    transparent markets
    zero inflation
    full employment.
    Pity that it has never happened. 🙂

  33. @Andrew Reynolds

    self-deception is important in political beliefs as in most cases, we can believe what we like at no personal cost.

    after blaming a lack of regulation for a global economic crisis, many of these same critics give the same failed agencies and same governments run by the same party that ushered in the crisis more power that could be captured and abused by well-organised groups and the expressive voter and the rationally irrational voter.

    in most cases, the crisis flowed from regulatory failures, such as too big to fail, regulatory preferment to the politically influential, and loose monetary policies across the OECD area.

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