In the name of God, go!

If I could have one big present for Xmas, it would be to wake up and discover that Keneally and Bligh had both proffered their resignations, and devoted their lives to undoing some of the damage they have done to the Labor movement.

146 thoughts on “In the name of God, go!

  1. I have to agree. Keneally should just hand over to the Libs. By contrast, if Bligh and Fraser quit, and the remaining asset sales were abandoned, Queensland Labor would still have a chance, given the hopelessness of the LNP.

  2. It’s impressive how you think “the Labor Movement” is still salvageable, Prof. Q. Might be a generational thing?

    I am 45, grew up watching Neville Wran in NSW, and always thought of Labor as Centrists at best. Now we have two major rightwing parties, and a cursed pox on both their pro-business houses. Keneally and Bligh are just symptoms of a global disease.

    I see a fragmented Oz political landscape for the next decade, with Greens and other like-minded realists slowly attaining more power as facts prove their arguments. Gonna be a bumpy ride! Best wishes to all.

  3. I will be surprised if Bligh does not discover the value of family over Xmas and decide to spend more time with them

  4. I agree with Gary Lord. Whoever wins the NSW election in March, we’ll end up with a bunch of inept, corrupt right-wing scum bags in power. Both parties are dedicated to eradicating the power of “labour”, with a small “l” and a “u”.

    The only real difference betweeen the two parties is the extent of the religious craziness. And if Labor loses, which they will, they’ll probably conclude that they have to adopt religious craziness as a core value.

    Let’s face it, the Labor party in Australia is dead but not yet buried. They can’t just re-brand themselves as some kind of “iLabor 2.0”, although they will probably try.

    If the unions continue to tie themselves to the party, they’re probably finished, too. Hey, my union fees help to fund the union busting “Labor” party? Forget that.

    I switched to the greens at the last fed election, coz there’s no other non-right-wing-nutcase party available.

  5. I can’t disagree PrQ … Of course, I could never stomach labour, but like someone hanging out for her guy to see the light I hung on until I could stand it no more. These days, like SJ, I’m with the Greens too.

  6. @Rationalist
    Don’t tell me about economic terrorists, mate: I was financially burned this year by the Labor govt’s Green Loans scheme. Incompetent, uncaring, disorganised, short-sighted rabble, the lot of them. Bligh and Keneally are just public faces, heads on sticks waved above the parapets, like Bush and Obama: cheerleaders for the Big Business mafia.

    And now if you will excuse me my kids are about to wake up.

  7. Interesting that two women – Kenneally & Bligh – have been willing to go where angels fear to tread and sell out the public wholesale. Likewise Palin in the US.

    I wonder if it means anything. Certainly does not inspire hope in political quotas for the sisterhood.

    It just goes to show that what passes for liberalism in the post-modern world has now degenerated into a rotting corpse. Cut it down and fer crissake bury it.

  8. Greens aren’t realists, they are economic terrorists.

    Look what argument on the political right has been reduced to. Having partisan right wing activists in control of 70% the Australian press might give them dominance over the ill informed but their disproportionate power also seems to dull their arguments.

  9. @Gary Lord

    Gary Lord is correct. Liberal and Labor are both right wing parties now. They both support managerialist corporate capitalism. They are both beyond all redemption. Our only hope is that Greens and like minded parties gain ground as people start to see the Greens were right all along.

    1. There are limits to growth.
    2. Growth capitalism is doomed.
    3. Finite resources will run out.
    4. Renweable resources do have a maximum deliverable flow.
    5. The economy depends totally on the environment.
    6. The laws of thermodynamics are not repealable by economics.

  10. Tell me, Rationalist, do you think the economy is free standing or do you think it depends on resources from the environment? Where do we get our resources if we wreck the environment’s capacity to carry us?

  11. @Gary Lord

    I agree, Labor are economic terrorists too but the Greens would produce inefficient programs like the Green loans on a vast larger scale which would collapse in a much more damaging way. They will try to re-regulate and manage industry which would cause capital flight and economic disaster. They would bow to union demands yielding a wages breakout and another decade of high inflation as the labour market locks rigid once more. Will the last full time worker with a real well paying job in Australia please turn out the lights (real jobs, not green jobs!). Oh wait… the lights may not even be on since the Greens would shut down Hazelwood in Victoria without any possible solution for replacement except for nuclear, coal or gas.

    @jakerman

    You hear this argument a lot because it is true.

    @Ikonoclast

    It depends on coal, iron ore and gas.

  12. Thank you to Rationalist for at least making and argument this time. To make his claim, here are some of the arguments that Rationalist side steps.

    Claims of capital flight are played on by Palmer and those who have no intention of taking their capital elsewere, this is were the natural wealth is, and if they leave it, the minerals will increase in value in proportion to rising scarcity and demand.

    Norway with its 78% tax on oil is not suffering capital flight, in contrast Gunns destruction of old growth forest has seen a flight of captial.

  13. @jakerman

    I could use that number in conversation, 78%. Do you have any links so I can verify it for my information.

    Thanks.

  14. Pr Q said:

    and devoted their lives to undoing some of the damage they have done to the Labor movement

    Of course Profumo did life-long penance for a far more venal sin, sleeping with a high-flying prostitute. But Profumo was a much-decorated war hero and hailed from a more honorable age when high-status people were more inclined to service.

    Fortunately a legion of satirists have now made such characters unthinkable.

    Our leaders are not monsters, but they are so terribly uninspiring.

  15. Merry Xmas everyone…

    That was my wish…that these two KK and Bligh would just hand in their resignations and get outta town.!
    Except I want to see Roozendahl and Fraser packing their grisly bags as well…

    “One day brought the rain and the rain stayed on
    And the swamp water overflowed
    ‘skeeters and the fever grabbed the town like a fist
    Iemma and Costa were the first to go
    Some say the plague wasa brought by Obeid
    There was talk of a hang’n too
    But the talk got shackled by KKs howls and her cackles
    From the bowels of the Black bayou

    Jeepers creepers.

  16. @Rationalist
    Ratio “They (the Greens) would bow to union demands”
    I dont think you noticed that the unions are dead, divided and bled into insignificance by casualisation, and the Australian employees are the losers. As for large firms threats to leave…wont happen. Miners arent going to give up those minerals any time soon.
    As for the lights going out, thanks to KK and Roozendahl – its going happen sooner than you think.

  17. Christopher, here is a source. .

    Its made up in two parts, a) 28% the corporate tax rate, plus b) 50% additional oil and gas tax.

    Corporate income taxes are levied at a flat rate of 28% (a combination of 21.25% national tax, and 6.75% municipal tax). Also, employers contribute up to 16.7% of paid wages to the Social Security Scheme. Companies involved in oil or gas pay a special oil tax of 50% in addition to the standard 28%. All income from capital is taxable at 28%, except dividends, which are taxed at 11%.

  18. @jakerman
    Unfortunately Gary Lord and Ikono al both correct. Liberal and Labor are both right wing parties now. There isnt much sympathy for ordinary working people of the great middle, upper middle, or poor from them. They are not even working for the mass of us. They are more intent on robbing us and getting out fast with their treasures. Increasingly the people are unrepresented by governments which are doing business (badly) with the big end of a few big banks and more than a few foreign towns.

    This is the era of puppet governments and the grand slash down sales of the entire nation.

  19. You know Jackerman – these graphs are simply telling. In the mid century high taxes on the rich helped keep inequality down and now its blown out again with the top 1 percent earning extraordinary multiples (and keeping it) of the bottom income earners. The robber barons are back, bigger than ever.
    I find the top 1% extremely interesting. In Australia’s taxation statistics they are invisible. They are actually omitted from some data streams entirely because to include them “might breach privacy regulations given their low numbers, but extraordinary wealth.” Can you believe this (even though there are no names, some people might figure out by industry, who they are)”.
    Its no accident that in mid century Australia, the top decile accounted for redistribution to other deciles from the income tax system. By 1990, the top decile had managed to shift almost half of this redistribution to the second top decile and relieve themselves that way. Its also no accident that the bottom two decile shares have lost almost a third of there share since mid century.
    Yes some economists and governments signed up to the great entrepreneur worship and the majority were tricked down by lower taxes on the rich policies. The top 1% account for a lot of the mess economies now find themselves in. It is they who need to be taxed more.

    There is no wages breakout. Its a figment of the rights imagination. There has been an obscene profit break out and its far more likely to cause unemployment and deflation, than inflation.

  20. I wish I could find a single item that could rescue current Labor leaders, male and female, from the harsh judgement implicit in JQ’s thread starter.
    Even Judas had the decency to neck himself after betraying his friend for thirty pieces of siver.
    But current politicians lack the integrity even of a Judas.

  21. Robert,#5, You should ask, “what she done right”.
    Perhaps you are a young fellow. You haven’t had decades of being a labor supporter and seeing everything that labor promised it would do, or not do and could have done with little grief, that you voted for them on the basis thereof, abandoned, time after time, when it gains government somewhere.
    What we have seen over time, is the gradual abandonment of the labor base and values, in favour of new “friends”, down the big end of town.
    As per Orwell’s Animal Farm, in the end we treated to the sight of our former leaders sitting down at table with our enemies, as betrayers, dining at our expense.
    No, Robert.
    We expect no better from Tories, but we dared hope for much better than the likes of Costa, Kenneally, Richo, Bligh and so forth.

  22. The privatisation of public agencies is a lucrative source of patronage and payola for careerist politicians of both parties. Although for some reason parties of the nominal Left seem to be more susceptible to the temptation.

    Perhaps because the public will give them more leeway when acting “against ideological interest”. Or perhaps because they have fewer post-political options to make money.

    Certainly neither Askin nor Bjelke Petersen, no matter how corrupt they were in their party activities, would have dreamed of flogging off public assets for a song to the Big End of Town.

    At the risk of sounding like a record with its needle stuck you can see the same process at work with the GSE’s in the US. The bi-partisan consensus means there is never much of a public fuss kicked up about the scandal, “which is legal”, as Kinsley would say.

    I know this is the Christmas season and I should be seething with goodwill for all men. But Kenneally’s blatant rip off means I am not feeling particularly charitable at the moment. As Steve Sailer says:

    They are all whores.

  23. Jack Strocchi: I think you are not taking in what ProfQ has said, namely, that the NSW privatisation is clearly at a knockdown price. But that proves it is a smart move with the impending abolition of the privatised coal-fired power assets by the Gillard-Brown coalition via their forthcoming carbon tax.

    You need to have lumps of coal in your head if you expect to sell assets now at their 2007 price given the upcoming Gillard carbon taxes. Just to get rid beef cattle, the carbon tax proposed by Garnaut (2008, Table 7.17 p.169) has to be $40 per tonne, to eliminate its 2005 profit margin, so it has to be much more for coal power. That is because, as Garnaut showed, a tax of $40 only accounts for 5% of the value of coal mining’s value of production as of 2005 (much less now), so Brown will need to get that up to at least 30% with normal profit margins, i.e. to a tax of $240 per tonne as of 2005, but double that at present coal prices, say $480. That is what he has to do – and will come July 2011 – to drive coal mining (and power) out of business – which is the objective.

    The NSW government has been really smart, getting out of a doomed business before it is too late at whatever price it can get.

  24. There is no wages breakout. Its a figment of the rights imagination.

    Yes Alice, its striking how far removed we are from that type of crisis, and how blind the right are to the current multiple crises.

  25. @Jack Strocchi
    says “The privatisation of public agencies is a lucrative source of patronage and payola for careerist politicians of both parties”

    Of course it is Jack. Roozendahl, who worked as an able footservant of the wealthy plutocracy, having just sold electricity to them at a bargain basement price, and kept his waterfront dwelling masters happy by giving them a windfall property transfer by allowing 20 year transferable leases over their private jetties, was outta town to New York
    just after the sale of electricity…where he stopped by to pay his respect (grovelling respect) to none other than Rupert Murdoch.

    His ALP colleagues think Roozendahl was job hunting. That makes Rupert the power behind post political careers.

    Seems to me Rupert owns much more than the media.

  26. @Rationalist

    Thank you, Rationalist. You admitted that the economy depends on “coal, iron ore and gas”. I assume you were talking about the Australian economy. If talking about the world economy you would have mentioned oil as well.

    Let’s look at these;

    1. Oil (production has peaked and is now in decline, greenhouse gas contributor )
    2. Coal (major greenhouse gas contributor and also a finite resource)
    3. Gas (greenhouse gas contributor and also a finite resource)
    4. Iron ore (mineable deposits are finite) “With iron ore mine output beginning to peak globally, steel producers and iron ore miners are in a scramble to secure dwindling high grade iron ore assets” – Hindu Business line 3 hrs ago at posting.)

    Unless we stablise population, halt material growth and develop a renewables economy we are in serious trouble.

    In fact we already are. The Global Footprint Network calculates we are already in overshoot beyond the earth’s carrying capacity at our current population and living standards.

    http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/basics_introduction/

    Living at a renweable level is like living on interest from your accounts. Your capital (= the earth’s natural capital) is not eaten into. Living beyond thje earth’s carrying capacity is like spending all of your interest and part of your capital every year. We are currently using about 1.5 of earth’s total production capacity and sink capacity for wastes (as measured by hectares required to support each person sustainably. Thus we are eating up the earth’s natural capital and heading for disaster.

  27. @Charlie
    Charlie – you can understand the benefits of public education but you cannot understand the benefits of publicly provided and subsidised energy???? (expletive deleted – this is about business needs too).
    The smelly state ALP headed by KK and Roozendahl (Murdochs little pasty faced yanks in the ranks) intends to invest part of the proceeds of the knock down sale of electricity assets in a filthy COALMINE so they can access cheap coal for the generators!

    It stinks Charlie. Its not smart. Its blatant greed. Strocchi is right.

  28. “The NSW government has been really smart, getting out of a doomed business before it is too late at whatever price it can get.”

    No the Victorian government was smart to get out of a doomed business when the business men were not smart enough to realize it was smart. The NSW government is getting out when anyone with any wit can see coal fired power stations have little future.

  29. @charles
    This underhanded sneakily timed electricity sale is not about good business. Its not about good political management. You completely overlooked my point – NSW State Labor intend to expand a coal operation with money from this electricity sale yet you claim “NSW government is getting out when anyone with any sense can see coal fired power stations have little future”

    …..er ahem ??

    The view of NSW Labor (and Liberal) in this country, is and has been and likely will continue to be – “Australia has tonnes of coal left to use and sell”… and thats exactly what they will do because they have a dollar compass for a sale or a profitable (for them) exploitation, but certainly no moral compass.

    I have no idea why you think our politicians (and State ALP governments in particular) should do business with the private sector at all, when the entire process reeks of corruption and secret commuissions and kickbacks….and we hear about it time and time again..and we, the voters, clearly dont want it.

    We have said so. Over and over but it keeps happening and the political parties arent listening, well not to the voters anyway.

    Mark my words, when there is nothing public left to sell, which is where we are going, and when there are no public services left save the payment of public sector retirement pensions which will not diminish, you may finally understand why we ever constructed and designed a public sector that required a division between public and private activities in the first place.

    The interraction of public business with private business cannibalises governments and cannibalises our civil infrastructure as we see happening all around us.

    And when those scraggly remnants of our political representatives who have lived through this, seen the deals and the fortunes that can be made with the flick of a pen, lost all sense of ethics and morals, have finally bankrupted our governments……those kind of politicians may well come for your private property.

    Nothing sacred ill be left.

  30. @Alice

    Alice is correct. The nation and the bulk of the people are better off when strategic natural monopoly assets are government owned. That means;

    – Water
    – Grid Power
    – Communications infrastructure
    – Education
    – The power to issue both fiat money and debt money (taking the latter power off private banks)
    – All mineable natural resources (leased to companies with high royalties to govt.)

    People who argue against these propositions are either corporate capitalists and the rich out for self interest or people who are sadly fooled by corporate capitalist propaganda.

    It’s really that basic.

  31. And lets not forget the compensation that will be demanded by investors as a deal for a carbon price. Its tricky false accounting, a step removed from public consciousness.

  32. Alice said – “Charlie – you can understand the benefits of public education but you cannot understand the benefits of publicly provided and subsidised energy????”. Yes I can apart from subsidies (for which there is no case), but can Gillard Brown & co, determined as they are to tax the hell out of coal-fired energy, which is the cheapest available? I am surprised at you, have you not heard of the MRST aimed mostly at coal, with the carbon tax still to come? What is your prediction for real electricity prices by 2012, higher or lower than in 2007?

    We know from the NSW feed-in tariff that solar cannot cut it at less than wholesale 60c per kW hour against retail price of $0.135. How much more subsidy do you insist on? and who will pay for it? Santa Claus?

  33. Alice said it for us, Fran.
    “Live in hope,
    Die in despair”.
    Besides, when has there ever been a viable alternative?
    Many have been like me, starting voting strategically for Democrats, socialists and other Indies; eventually Greens in the Senate or State Upper houses , in the hope that we could get “new ” labor to review its infatuation with economic rationalism.
    Surely you understand Prof Quiggin’s despair?
    It’s not just the flagrancy of more recent transgressions, imposed throough globalisation, but combined with their irrationality. The poor beggar must see it all in a sharpness of relief, as a trained economist, that would have the rest of us on the brink of despairing tears.

  34. Gillard Brown & co, determined as they are to tax the hell out of coal-fired energy, which is the cheapest available?

    Its only cheap because we don’t yet price the damage coal burning causes. The carbon tax is good policy because it internalizes some of the cost of carbon to it market price. Sound user pays principle.

    Subsidising clean energy is good policy to aid the transition from inappropriately priced coal. Clean energy prices fall as the industry matures.

    Click to access Nemet_PV.pdf

  35. “We know from the NSW feed-in tariff that solar cannot cut it at less than wholesale 60c per kW hour against retail price of $0.135.”

    On the contrary, we know that at this price, the takeup was so massive that the government (with typically stupid overreaction) panicked and cut the tariff to 20c.

  36. So what is the take up now? Actually Prof Q, you are right about the NSW Labor Government, as that whole scheme was not only a massive rip-off, but a gross redistribution from the relatively poor (e.g. those in flats etc with either no roofs of their own or none big enough for the panels) to the rich in their McMansions and Federation stately homes. But that is what the carbon tax will also be, petty cash for the well off and real hardship for the rest of us, and that is what it has to be, because the poor being many consume more CO2 in total than the rich being few.

    E.g., net income taxpayers earning more than $62,500 were only 14.4% of the total in 2003-2004, but the 85.6% accounted for about double the CO2 consumption of the former. Carbon taxing the former till their pips squeek will not have much impact on national CO2 consumption, and none at all if the proceeds of the tax are transferred to those earning less than $62,500, as the Garnaut Review proposed, thereby enabling them to at least maintain and probably increase their CO2 consumption.

  37. Charlie the massive rip off is the externalized cost of carbon being passed on the the most vulnerable in the world.

    A carbon price can be as regressive or progressive as any tax/economic system. It can redistribute to the poor or the rich, the direction of that redistribution is a choice.

  38. Carbon taxing the former till their pips squeek will not have much impact on national CO2 consumption and none at all if the proceeds of the tax are transferred to those earning less than $62,500

    Charlie, which carbon tax framework are you citing?

  39. @jakerman

    It’s only cheap because we don’t yet price the damage coal burning causes. The {A }carbon tax {price} is good policy because it internalizes some of the cost of carbon to it market price. Sound user pays principle.{emended so I could agree 100%}

    This restrains a classic example of the TotC/collective action problem.

    Subsidising clean energy is good policy to aid the transition from inappropriately priced coal.

    I’m against subsidies in the classic sense, but assuming an energy proposal meets transparent technologically neutral and adequate feasibility criteria, due diligence etc, then soft loans and guarantees are apt policy.

  40. Without knowing how you define “subsidies in the classic sense” I can’t say if I agree or disagree.

  41. jakerman: formally you are right when you say “A carbon price can be as regressive or progressive as any tax/economic system. It can redistribute to the poor or the rich, the direction of that redistribution is a choice,” but in practice it is not as simple as that. It would be difficult even if not impossible to frame a progressive carbon tax at point of consumption of CO2. Most likely the Brown tax will be flat rate at point of production (for ease of collection) and therefore like GST regressive as with all flat rate taxes, simply because in this case energy accounts for a higher proportion of the consumption of the poorer than it does of the richer.

    Your previous comment “the massive rip off is the externalized cost of carbon being passed on to the the most vulnerable in the world” is mere armwaving. Where? when? are there no external benefits at all from atmospheric CO2? What did you have for your Christmas repasts, I bet the carbon content was at least 50%, the exact amount depending on your intake of certain medicinal beverages!

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