52 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. The need for productivity improvements in both Capital and Labour imports is central to the stagnation that is gripping the Australian economy. Bringing in short term visa labour inputs does not solve the productivity dilemma if makes it worse. As for capital imports the issue here is the lack of capital deepening and capital widening. Just importing replacement investment units does not improve capital productivity. The Capital-Labour ratio will not matter if imports of these two vital inputs are not advancing overall productivity.

  2. Gregory J. McKenzie, seems like capital is very productive, if your auditors are … the big 4.

    “Black holes, high-rises and the Meatloaf Principle: Australia’s top audit fails

    “Dirty Dozen audit fails: “…

    News corp… “No matter, the loan carried a hefty interest rate of 12 per cent. So News was effectively lending money to its cashed-up pay TV business Foxtel at 12 per cent, claiming tax deductions on the loan and lending the money back to itself at an interest rate of zero.”

    Lend Lease; “But the piece de resistance is that Lendlease has been buying retirement villages, claiming a bonanza of deductions by changing the contracts from lease to loan arrangements, booking the benefit of those deductions to its bottom line, and ignoring the tax law that says you can’t double dip.

    “It surely doesn’t help that Lendlease has had the same auditor since 1957, KPMG.”

    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/black-holes-high-rises-and-the-meatloaf-principle-australias-top-audit-fails/

    Highlight Romania for unbelievable rise in productivity;
    (The ‘sticks out like dogs b*@ll$’ outlier)
    https://data.oecd.org/lprdty/gdp-per-hour-worked.htm

    Where is data on capital mobility vs productivity change please?

  3. Just went to Victorian Government workshop (they’ve held about 10 throughout Victoria) for input into their Circular Economy policy they want to launch end of year. Process triggered by waste crisis, but broader in scope now. About 120 attendees, other workshops apparently also well attended – a lot of people who’ve thought and done a lot regarding waste and circular economy – business, community groups, citizens, consultants, students, academics. One attendee asked why there were no economists at a circular economy workshop. I’m an interested citizen that visits your webpage, first time question – any thoughts on circular economy and policy development John and others?

  4. My view is that if you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to go to an adult prison if found guilty of the requisite crimes, drive a truck, fly a plane, get married, own a credit card, take out a mortgage and serve in the military- including being drafted if that happens to be lawful. As I do not think any of these things are appropriate until age 18, I’d keep the voting age as it is.

  5. My view is that if you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to go to an adult prison if found guilty of the requisite crimes, drive a truck, fly a plane, get married, own a credit card, take out a mortgage and serve in the military- including being drafted if that happens to be lawful.

    My view is that your view is a crock.

    So we’ve established that you and I disagree. Where do you suggest we go from there?

  6. My view is that your view is a crock.

    So we’ve established that you and I disagree. Where do you suggest we go from there?

    My view is that you and I will never constitute a “we” because I prefer not to associate with sad trolls.

  7. I agree with Hugo. I would also add that if you are old enough to vote, you are also old enough to be exposed to and/or be targeted by political propaganda, lies and attack dog comments. Think the RWNJs reactions to Greta Thunberg are bad? Well that will be the norm if under 18s are allowed to vote.

  8. Thanks, Tom. If I valued power more than reason and ethics I would support lowering the voting age to 16 because it would probably give left wing candidates (my side of the political spectrum) a greater chance of being elected.

    I have trouble seeing how a thoughtful and intellectually honest person could think 16 year olds are adults at the ballot box while simultaneously being juveniles in the criminal justice system.

  9. Hugo’s comment on voting age was very thought proviking. Here in Germany the juvinile justice system is valid until age 21. Also a person can not get insurance to drive a Porsche until age 25. Most people have the sense not to get married until after age 25.
    More importantly, and more to the point, although I can not find the link, a very important philosopher said that no one at any age should be allowed to join the military without the permission of their mother.
    Therefore I have to wonder if we should make it a prerequisite that someone has a letter signed by their mother, certified by a Notary within the last 30 days, allowing them to vote. (or to register to vote.)

  10. My view is that you and I will never constitute a “we” because I prefer not to associate with sad trolls.

    I’m not sad. I’m happy to see that in support of your position you can offer no arguments but only abuse.

  11. Hugo, I’m curious about your dismisal of the “no age discrimination” argument. Do you have a reason for that? I mean, it’s in your constitution and I’m pretty sure that’s important in your country.

    In Australia you can be charged as an adult from age 10 and killed by cops at any age (we don’t technically have the death penalty), we don’t have a draft, driver licensing uses a graduated system starting from 12 IIRC (for farm kids). (legal) sex starts at 16 and paid work at 13. So I’m not wure when Hugo would let Australians vote. It’s all a bit of a mess.

  12. Moz, you’ve muddled your facts. One example: You can be prosecuted for a crime, if certain conditions are met, from age 10 in most states but can’t be tried as an adult to age 18 in every state.

  13. Hugo, juvenile crimes are perpetrated mostly by 15-17 year olds, many of whom feel powerless and ignored in other areas of their life, with their family situation and at school etc.

    What if giving 15-17 year olds the vote (treating them like capable, responsible, intelligent young citizens, who deserve a say in their future) actually reduced levels of juvenile crime over time?

    Would that be a reason to consider lowering the voting age?

    Perhaps giving 15-17 year olds some responsibility and a say in their future is a good way of teaching them to be responsible and to care about their future.

  14. Nick & Hugo

    I’d like an answer to Nick’s proposition too Hugo…

    Nick said: “actually reduced levels of juvenile crime over time? Would that be a reason to consider lowering the voting age?”

    Don Dale [ useless at reducing juvenile crime ] being the best example as we are already treating kids as adult humans in need of punitive seclusion and incarceration.

    My empathy says, if I were locked uo at 14 and still at 16 and a decent adult himan educated me in regards to voting and lobbying to change, I’d feel some agency and therefore having a say in my life at 16 would be one of the most powerful actiins ever bestowed on me.

    It is not black and white. Some kids at 16 should not be given the vote. But some 16 yo probably.

    Yes. Don Dale an outlier.

  15. I just cannot agree with this “whatever Labor’s many woes, he is up against one of the sharpest parliamentary tacticians of recent times.”.

    “Gladys Liu controversy holds a potent reminder for Scott Morrison, but is he listening?

    “When the odds are stacked against you, you fight where you can. This week has shown the Prime Minister learning that whatever Labor’s many woes, he is up against one of the sharpest parliamentary tacticians of recent times.”

    https://abc.net.au/news/2019-09-14/gladys-liu-scott-morrison-hubris/11511280

    “Perception of…” don’t seem to matter anymore either.

  16. Ikon… where are you? I’m missing my weekly dose of ontology. 😊

    I hope all is well. I thought of you when I read this…

    “Exiting the Anthropocene and Entering the Symbiocene

    By: Glenn Albrecht

    …”There can be no “Good Anthropocene” given the corruption that has already taken place.

    “In order to counter all these negative trends within the Anthropocene we clearly need, within popular politics and culture, visions and memes of a different future. We also will need more novel conceptual development, since the foundation on which we are building right now is seriously flawed and conducive of nothing but great waves of ennui, grief, dread, solastalgia, mourning, and melancholia. We must rapidly exit the Anthropocene with its non-sustainability, its perverse resilience, its authoritarianism, and its corrumpalism [ 1 ]. The new foundation, built around a new meme, will need to be an act of positive creation.”

    “Entering the Symbiocene
    I argue that the next era in human history should be named the Symbiocene (from the Greeksumbiosis, or companionship).”

    https://www.humansandnature.org/exiting-the-anthropocene-and-entering-the-symbiocene

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Albrecht

    [ 1 ] “corrumpalism” (from the Latin corrumpere, “to destroy”). Corrumpalism is the ability to corrupt and destroy the integrity of a social system and its biophysical foundation by perverting all forms of development via the use of misinformation, falsehoods, money, and/or violence to achieve self-interested outcomes that are the opposite of genuine cultural and ecological interests. ”

    New neologisms? Concept words? of the day:
    corrumpalism and symbiocene
    … by an Australian eco philosopher Glenn Albrecht

    And JQ, this may be of interest as the author of above has input into…

    ABSTRACT 
    “Climate change is a phenomenon of the Earth system, which is characterized by thresholds and non‐linear change. This analysis considers the adequacy of insurance (in its broadest sense) responses to climate risk. This paper provides novel critiques of insurance system responses to climate change and of the attendant political economy perspective on the relationship between insurance and climate change. A complex adaptive systems (CAS) analysis suggests that ecologically effective (i.e. strong) mitigation is the only viable approach to manage medium‐ and long‐term climate risk – for the insurance system itself and for human societies more widely. In contrast, we find that even the most substantial insurance system responses to date are generally adaptive and weakly mitigative. This analysis extends an earlier political economy perspective that explains the limitations of insurance system responses to climate change, but provides little guidance to the ecological implications of such responses. As such, this paper raises questions about the ongoing viability of the insurance system, and hence about the many aspects of human societies globally reliant on the insurance system as their primary risk governance tool. We conclude that the CAS approach provides new insights, which could prompt insurance system evolution in support of effective climate risk governance. ”

    Environmental Policy and Governance Env. Pol. Gov. (2011) Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/eet.565

    Ecological Viability or Liability? Insurance System Responses to Climate Risk

    Liam Phelan,1* Ros Taplin,2 Ann Henderson‐Sellers3 and Glenn Albrecht4 

  17. This article suggests that renewables are causing global warming through the use of Sulphur hexafluoride. This is used for some reason to shore up an unstable grid. So it won’t be an issue if we have a second wave of renewables with storage. This may constitute another reason to fix the grid before too much more zealotry. Patience people. Patience.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49567197

  18. I think we need the concept of a company 100% owned by Australian citizens. That way we could have zero interest loans going to companies handling strategically important undertakings, without the value heading overseas.

    Now supposing for the next 100 years we have these zero interest loans for renewables and storage and for nuclear? What else would be needed to leave us in a position where we can take coal or leave it? People are trying to say we can take it or leave it right now. I’m used to thinking in terms of decades and centuries and we need warmth, CO2 and coal energy to get us through this cold era that will plague us at least until mid-century.

    Well lets say all we further to the zero interest rate loans was $20 per tonne on coal burnt in Australia and $50 per tonne on exported coal? That may not seem much, but if you are expecting results over many decades, rather than in a panic to get results right away, maybe its sufficient.

    But I would say its all about coal. Nature has taken care of oil for us. Oil pressure from older wells isn’t there the way it used to be. New wells are getting harder to find. As for methane thats the most worrying thing to be taxing. If we tax methane, the guys at the field won’t tell anyone they have excess gas. They’ll have to burn this gas off clandestinely like they are doing in all those fracking fields. Fracking shows the terrible things that happen when you try and rush things. One of those terrible things is that we find out with satellite photos that these guys are wasting heaps of gas by burning it off at night.

    Methane is CH4. Held by people who believe in this stuff to be a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. So if you go along with this the important thing about CH4 is that it probably ought to be burnt off on or near location and not allowed to escape to the atmosphere. Putting a carbon price on CH4 is likely to be counter-productive.

  19. It’s all a bit of a mess.

    There’s no good reason why the exact same age should be set as the age when a person qualifies to vote, when a person is eligible for a driver’s licence, when a person is eligible for a pilot’s licence, when a person is legally permitted to get married, and so on. There’s no good reason why there shouldn’t be different legal qualifying ages for different purposes–as in fact there are.

  20. GB says; “This article suggests that renewables are causing global warming through the use of Sulphur hexafluoride”.

    No it doesn’t.

    It says ANY switchgear does. Electical switch NOT high voltage has a solution. Now.

    Imo, a very ambiguous comment and disingenuous reading of the article gb.

  21. J-D +1
    “There’s no good reason why there shouldn’t be different legal qualifying ages for different purposes–as in fact there are.”

  22. I guess I’m saying that coal if not dug up will stay in the ground. But we cannot make the same assumption for gas. So with gas we don’t want to put an impost on the local consumption of it. One way or another it seems destined to wind up in the air.

  23. Yeah its any switch-gear I can agree with that. I won’t contradict you there. But I think its a by-product of rushing. Like this mess that the Frackers are making, and the reality that they are almost to a company financially non-viable. Thats something that happens with too much of a sprint. I think these excessive sprints are what we have to avoid. Make haste slowly said Caesar.

  24. Couldn’t we do the entire thing on soil improvement? More carbon in the soil? A civilisation is only as good as its soil. Thats a real pain-free solution right there.

  25. Crazy Christian cuts off penis with chainsaw. ***friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/09/13/man-uses-chainsaw-to-cut-phallus-off-maori-carving-in-order-to-please-god/

  26. The one true age isn’t my point, it was Hugo’s. I agree he’s wrong on the existence of it.

    Don Dale is IMO another example of different treatment based on age – we don’t mistreat adults in prison the way we do those kids. And I’m not convinced that other “juvenile detention centres” are significantly better, unless you consider “keeping what we do secret” to be a core purpose. But what we do know is that those are the worst form of state care, and any state care is almost never better than even the worst family care… but that news has not percolated into the outrage media. The reason is a very ScuMo one… people are poor because they’re bad, they are necessarily also bad parents (as well as poor parents), therefore taking their kids away is a good thing. This stuff is not easy, but it’s made much less easy by a consistent denial of facts. There’s also a lot of “something must be done, this is something”… even when we know it’s wrong, it still seems better to do anything rather than leave kids in a bad situation. (I ignore the possibility of improving the situation as that’s so rarely even suggested that it’s pointless to consider it – and our current governments are actively making poverty etc worse).

  27. Moz, I never said or inferred there is “one true age”. I have no doubt some 16 year olds are more mature and knowledgeable than some 18 year olds and that the argument for a voting age of 18 and 3 months is essentially the same as the argument for a voting age of 18. But the law is a blunt instrument and presumably some age limit must be set, unless you envisage toddlers having voting rights. Eighteen seems sensible to me and aligns with various other laws that are presumably based on assumptions about independence and maturity, including the age of legal incapacity in most states.

  28. Hugo, you said and I quote “if you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to go to an adult prison if found guilty of the requisite crimes, drive a truck, fly a plane, get married, own a credit card, take out a mortgage and serve in the military- including being drafted if that happens to be lawful. As I do not think any of these things are appropriate until age 18”

    That’s the closest anyone has come to naming one specific age. My counter was a list of the different ages that Australia allows people to do those things.

    FWIW I agree that we should at least require the ability to read and write from voters. But since we don’t do that now I’m not sure it’s an appropriate limitation to suddenly introduce, especially if it only applies to young people. My argument on this is that whatever the requirements are they should be consistent with respect to age (race, gender, religion, whatever). If my gran can vote 1 ALP for “that nice Mr Whitlam” in the late stages of dementia with the aid of a helpful person because she can’t read or write… why should her great-granddaughter be denied the vote based on her age?

  29. This is RWNJ level of rubbish.

    Cadets are a form of “personal development” supported by the military but you don’t get sent to the Middle East to fight wars.

    Firefighters do not have age restrictions but you must hold P2 drivers licence to apply, which means you are at minimum 18 years old.

  30. Tom + 1

    In Victoria you need to have held a probationary or full drivers licence for 2 years before applying to join the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) or Country Fire Authority (CFA).

    Also Moz says:

    FWIW I agree that we should at least require the ability to read and write from voters. But since we don’t do that now I’m not sure it’s an appropriate limitation to suddenly introduce, especially if it only applies to young people.

    Yeah, OK, so your reasoning involves giving some weight to the status quo. I’m likewise start from the premise that those who want to disturb the current arrangements carry the burden of making a compelling case. I haven’t seen an even remotely compelling case made yet.

    In fact, given the brain doesn’t fully mature until about age 25 and the risk taking behaviour common in young males, evidenced by their share of automobile accidents and run-ins with the law, an equally (un)compelling case could be made for increasing the male voting age to 25.

  31. Hugo: “In Victoria you need to have held a probationary or full drivers licence for 2 years before applying to join the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) or Country Fire Authority (CFA).”

    Professional firefighters require a driver’s license, volunteer firefighters don’t. At a guess 95% of CFA stations across Victoria are staffed by volunteers only.

    If you are 16 you can join the CFA as an ordinary member. If you have completed your Bush Firefighter course (2 days), you can be sent out to fight fires. From what KT2 reports, it sounds like it’s the same in NSW.

  32. Nick, the under 18s need parental consent according to the CFA FAQ

    “16 and 17-year olds can volunteer as senior CFA volunteers, with some restrictions, if they have parental consent.”

    ***www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer-careers/volunteer-faqs

  33. Apologies if I do not understand you comment Tom.

    Tom says:
    “This is RWNJ level of rubbish.”
    ??? rwnj re volunteer firefighters???

    Ton: “Cadets are a form of “personal development” supported by the military but you don’t get sent to the Middle East to fight wars.”
    How is this relevant to a a 16yo facing a wall of flames and ember attack and wind change on a steep slope. Are you confusing the army with the rfs?

    Tom: “Firefighters do not have age restrictions…”
    Don’t they?

    …”but you must hold P2 drivers licence to apply, which means you are at minimum 18 years old.”
    Never been in the passengers seat?

    My info was from local rfs chief verbally. I could not find on rfs website.

    Here is the https://yellow.place/en/maitland-vale-rural-fire-brigade-rosebrook-australia
    “Members can join from 16+ as firefighters.”…” The minimum age to join the Rural Fire Service as a volunteer is 16, if you are under the age of 16 please enquire about our Cadet programs. ”

    Where is the rwnj?

    I do know where the politics are Tom. RFS and also totally seperate Rural Fire and Rescue. They mix only in emergencies and still are harping on about comms equipment and who has priority. I am well acquainted with both managers locally and several senior firefighters. They want to be identified with politics and rwnj about as much as a 16yo.

  34. I’m likewise start from the premise that those who want to disturb the current arrangements carry the burden of making a compelling case. I haven’t seen an even remotely compelling case made yet.

    The case in favour of allowing people younger than 18 to vote in elections is exactly the same as the case in favour allowing people 18 and over to vote in elections: if people live in a country they come under its government and its laws, and if people come under the government and the laws of a country, then they should be able to vote in that country’s elections.

    I don’t know of any other good argument in favour of giving people a vote in a country’s elections, but no other is required, because that one is all that’s needed.

  35. @KT

    Indeed the CFA do have majority of the firefighters as volunteers and you can be senior volunteer from the age of 16. My response was based on NSW Fire and Rescue requirements where it is stated there is no age limit but requires P2 licence https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=924. But lets leave it here, I’m not going to get bogged down arguing about differences between states and different services.

    My comment was directed at that being a cadet (which isn’t the same as being in the army) or a firefighting volunteer does not translate to “So you may die protecting us, and NOT vote”.

    My view on voting age is it should be 18, mostly due to so that children do not actively get targeted by political propaganda, lies or attack dog comments. While reactionary comments e.g. Greta do occur, there is a big difference between active political campaigning to reactionary commentary. My second but no less important reason is that, the debate of young vs old in support of left vs right has been going on for decades, but the trend is that whether you are baby boomers, gen x or gen y, the support for rightwing politics grow as you age. Most in the Left has been arguing (for a long long time) that we are the political party of the future, where support for us in future generations will only grow. If this is truly the case then why so desperate? Are you afraid in 2 years time when 16 year olds turn 18, they won’t vote for you?

  36. Tom. Thanks.

    We are talking last each other.
    This is a firefighter, permanent station based. ..
    “My response was based on NSW Fire and Rescue requirements where it is stated there is no age limit but requires P2 licence”.
    I get that but…
    Rural volunteers in nsw allow a 16yo to fight fires unpaid yet insured.

    Both are seperate from Rural Fire & Rescue in NSW. Power politics and history imo keeps this 3 corner setup in place.

    I agree “due to so that children do not actively get targeted by political propaganda, lies or attack dog comments” is a major problem. Constitutiinal change (unlikely), legislation, regulation and education may ameliorate most of above. Maybe like bullying, tatgeting of youth will be culturally offensive. One can only hope.

    Your para “Are you afraid in 2 years time when 16 year olds turn 18, they won’t vote for you?” belies your own politics, not mine nor propagandists nor a16yo.

    At what age did you decide right vs left frames such dialogue?

    Democracy first, right vs left need not in any way frame a voting age debate.

    Quote imagine by lennon here…

  37. My view on voting age is it should be 18, mostly due to so that children do not actively get targeted by political propaganda, lies or attack dog comments.

    I don’t want people of any age, to be deceived or abused, but people of all ages do get deceived and do get abused, regardless of whether they have the vote: denying people the vote doesn’t protect them from being deceived or abused.

    On Tom’s second point, I agree with KT2. The argument in favour of giving people the vote is independent of how they use it when they get it.

  38. @KT2

    Glad we agree on active political campaigns targeting under 18s could potentially be a problem, considering our federal election ads are getting worse election after election (e.g. election signs in foreign language with AEC colouring, how to vote card first preferencing LNP with AEC colouring, non-existent taxes, phone calls etc.). Legal changes may help in ameliorate or eliminate this problem but I don’t know if this can be done, because the under 18s would then be the only age group which has political campaigning restrictions, but are allowed to vote. Critics of the legislation can easily argue that without the ability to “inform” them, how can we know they are “knowledgeable” enough to vote.

    About point 2 left vs right, you are correct it shouldn’t be fundamental reason for or against lowering voting age. Though it is expected, given statistical proof that lowering the age group will mainly benefit left political groups.

    @JD

    If you can’t distinguish between reactionary commentary to actively targeted campaigning then I won’t waste my time with you.

  39. Tom. I dont agree with ” but I don’t know if this can be done, because the under 18s would then be the only age group which has political campaigning restrictions, but are allowed to vote. “. Imagine Tom, we extended as JD says “denying people the vote doesn’t protect them from being deceived or abused.” to all electioneering information.

    I dont understand this bit Tom “If you can’t distinguish between reactionary commentary to actively targeted campaigning ”
    … but ill take your advice “then I won’t waste my time with you. “.

  40. Political advertising which is so bad that people under 18 should not be exposed to it is so bad that nobody should be exposed to it. If it’s appropriate to protect people under 18 from it, then it’s appropriate to protect all people from it. But denying people the vote doesn’t protect them from exposure to political advertising.

  41. Tom, what would be an example of a political ad campaign designed to deceive a 16 year old, but that an 18 year old can see right through? What issues and types of messaging are specific to 16 year olds compared to 18 year olds?

  42. I love a great speach.
    Is this one ancient speech appropriate for this day and age?

    At length Hydaspes said to Sisimithres, “Ο sage! what are we to do? To defraud the gods of their victims is not pious; to sacrifice those who appear to be preserved and restored by their providence is impious. It needs that some expedient be found out.”

    Sisimithres, speaking, not in the Grecian, but in the Ethiopian tongue, so as to be heard by the greatest part of the assembly, replied: “Ο king! the wisest among men, as it appears, often have the understanding clouded through excess of joy, else, before this time, you would have discovered that the gods regard not with favour the sacrifice which you have been preparing for them. First they, from the very altar, declared the all-blessed Chariclea to be your daughter; next they brought her foster-father most wonderfully from the midst of Greece to this spot; they struck panic and terror into the horses and oxen which were being prepared for sacrifice, indicating, perhaps, by that event, that those whom custom considered as the more perfect and fitting victims were to be rejected. Now, as the consummation of all good, as the perfection of the piece,[30] they show this Grecian youth to be the betrothed husband of the maiden. Let us give credence to these proofs of the divine and wonder-working will; let us be fellow workers with this will; let us have recourse to holier offerings; let us abolish, for ever, these detested human sacrifices.”

    When Sisimithres had uttered this, in a loud voice, Hydaspes, speaking also in the Ethiopian tongue, and taking Theagenes and Chariclea by the hand, thus proceeded:—

    “Ye who are this day assembled! since these things have been thus brought to pass by the will of the deities, to oppose them would be impious. Wherefore, calling to witness those who have woven these events into the web of destiny, and you whose minds appear to be in concert with them, I sanction the joining together of this pair in wedlock and procreative union. If you approve, let a sacrifice confirm this resolution, and then proceed we with the sacred rites.”

    The assembly signified their approval by a shout, and clapped their hands, in token of the nuptials being ratified. Hydaspes approached the altar, and, in act to begin the ceremony, said, “Ο lordly Sun and queenly Moon! since by your wills Theagenes and Chariclea have been declared man and wife, they may now lawfully be your ministers.” So saying, he took off his own and Persina’s mitre, the symbol of the priesthood, and placed his own upon the head of the youth, that of his consort upon the maiden’s head.

    Upon this Charicles called to mind the oracle which had been given to them in the temple before their flight from Delphi, and acknowledged its fulfilment.

    In regions torrid shall arrive at last,
    There shall the gods reward their pious vows,
    And snowy chaplets bind their dusky brows.[31]

  43. Has any other old person had to endure Newstart stand-down times? And the six month period where no-one will help you figure out how to get a job in the new century?

    For me its been a disaster. All my savings completely wiped out. For you lefties here, who might remember my polemics of the mid-2000’s it might seem like poetic justice. But my minarchist ideas were based around the assumption, that if we had a functioning stable financial system, and economy in government was a reality, our labour markets ought to be quite good and there ought to be shortages of labour supply ongoing. I always talked about raising the tax free threshold. I believe I almost always talked about being kind to the low paid worker and our old people.

    I must report to you that there is a disaster afoot here. I think there will be many suicides in the oncoming years. Not so much because of the low rate of the Newstart allowance … and it is pretty low. But more because of these outrageous stand-down times, and all the arbitrary hoops you need to jump through to get the Newstart allowance.

    This is bad for the people like me who are caught in this predicament. But its also a chilling thing for the rest of you as well. Because you can no longer afford to lose your job. In the 50’s and 60’s, if you didn’t like your boss you could shout at him, quit, and walk down the street making enquiries and pretty soon you had a new job. Often before you got to the end of the street. This was, in my view, largely due to the almost idyllic banking sector of the time. The song “Take This Job and Shove It” was written in 1977. About 8 years too late in my view. The reality of the eternally soft labour market had not hit home.

    Everything has changed now.

    Forget about these nonsensical stimulus packages where you give us unemployed people a quick jolt of money. Don’t worry about that. But lets get rid of ALL stand-down periods. Because if there is no stand-down then all you guys who are already employed can relax a little bit. You can speak a bit more freely. We will be a freer, kinder, gentler nation if we send stand-down periods to the dust-heap of history. There is no freedom without a tight labour market. THERE IS NO FREEDOM WITHOUT A TIGHT LABOUR MARKET.

    I always said we needed to reduce the number of public servants that we now have. But I will not wish upon even one public servant what has happened to me. I used to say we should close down government departments by the bakers dozen and I still think that. But before we can do that this stand-down bullshit has to be sent to the fires of history.

    And we might need to meet our MMT brothers halfway too. We might need to have a 5 days a fortnight minimum wage job scheme. So that everyone can have some sort of work with all the changes we need to make. Sure close down government departments by the bakers dozen. But if anyone loses their job for any reason they must have Newstart allowance or 5 days a fortnight work day one.

    Something very bad has happened. Its like we are not Australians any more. Not willing to look after our mates.

  44. Shardefraude ahead…

    Graeme Bird, I sympathise with your plight. I know of others in your situation. Thanks for coming out. “For me its been a disaster. All my savings completely wiped out.”

    I am involved with a disability advocacy service.

    Case 1) Abduction, violence over 5yrs, result ptsd. The person has had no treatemnt and centrelink refuses doctor certs over 3 months. Even with clin psych ptsd diagnosis. Continual retraumatisation by government. Perpetrator got pension due to mental health. Person – a single parent – with ptsd ‘stood down’ – newstart ceased. Savings gone. Appeal… rejected. First job provider ‘manager’ not in anyway qualified – ‘sports excersize certificate’… and ceased payments as person retraumatised by process.

    Job providers get avg $8,000 to deal with people, even if a single parent, crying angry broke untreated ptsd sufferer.

    Case 2) emphysema. Can’t walk 50m. >60. Lives 20-60mins drive to nearest town. The “stacked with mates” Admin appeals tribunal said “ok to work – not disabled”. (Thanks Gulia Gillard). Job provider is ‘nice’ and hasn’t cut newstart. But job provider again has an $8k income. Centrelink online would do the same for $800.

    The ONLY reason above two are not homeless is they both own house with no mortgage. Mortgage or rent in above situation is a waiting tragedy and in imo driving homelessness and suicide.

    “…there will be many suicides in the oncoming years. … the arbitrary hoops you need to jump through to get the Newstart allowance.”. Yes. A negative feedback – and more suffering. And no ability to link to systems for systemic change. Centrelink staff are now either insensitive, traumatised or black letter law judges. Job providers worse, parentsnext a real trauma generator.

    …”needed to reduce the number of public servants that we now have.”
    GB, the public servants are now just billing you private company rates and profit.

    What is the difference in employment and funding of the cuts to public servants vs rise in private sector employment and profit? JQ? Anyone?

    I have spoken with AMA. They are onside. Yet – How is it that gps get to 50% of visits mental health related, and haven’t – gone on strike – held weekend summits? Free clinics? Bread and butter. Frozen rebates. Capitalists?

    All – ALL! services, private and public, are only set as ambulances at the bottom of the cliff.

    Family court – bull!#*! . Howard cut judges. Paramatta – watch the judges kick em out saying “come back with a settlememt in an hour or I will rule”. Only last 5% get to court and 80% of these are arguing about money first. And Pauline and marrige man are in charge. Ptsd and suicide? Not on radar here.
    G r o a n.

    Last but by no means least… this person will probably end up with parentsnext – a serious step up in suicide ideation from job provider or centrelink…
    “Domestic violence victim says NSW apprehended domestic violence orders are not working and a 19.7 per cent breach rate for final orders.

    “Michelle lives near Newcastle, and the report said the breach rate for final orders for the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region was nearly 23 per cent.

    “Michelle said that was s a joke and it was no wonder women stayed with their partners, rather than leave.”
    https://abc.net.au/news/2019-09-25/nsw-apprehended-domestic-violence-orders-not-working-says-victim/11541742

    Welfare Rights Network may be of some use. But from experience if you’ve been a taxpayer, you have savings and are over 55 and a house – almost zero chance of redress ir support. As Turnball & Scomo say “best get a job”.

    Sunny side?
    Still, lucky we are in Australia – and we have food bank.

    Maybe put in a proposal to with matey scomo to be drought envoy. I hear allowances will be unchecked and NO paperwork!!!

  45. Its not good enough for Australians is it KT2? Because in the past, for genuinely disabled people, we had the sympathy, because most well abled people could get work. Even if it was rubbish work.

    My experience of looking for work in the last century was incredibly benign. So I show up on the bus and I move to a welfare place in Sydney. Then there was the CES. They had a casual labour place. So you get up really early in the morning, you have all these library books to read, because there is no internet …… So you read these books and fall asleep, wake up and read books again.

    But you could get the unemployment benefit few questions asked, and you could move to another town few questions asked. So anyway after about four days I am at the lead of the CES casual labour market and I am almost guaranteed a job. On the way there I could get some soup for the calories. And when I get the job they give me train tickets.

    A marvellous system that allowed me to be a right-winger. Because I NEVER DREAMED THEY WOULD TAKE IT FROM US.

    So then you get a few days work, you can declare it but if you move the time periods around people will look the other way and you won’t take too much of a hit to your income…….

    …. Sooner or later an old guy in one of the businesses you have worked for pulls the pipe out of his mouth and he says:

    “I dunno. He looks kind of dopey? Lets give him three days a week and see how the kid pans out”

    And thats it. You are set. But its just a total nightmare now. And its not good enough. Forget about me. But what about the rest of you that have good jobs? You think you are okay? Really you are backed up onto the edge of a cliff. And there can be no freedom of speech when everyone who even has a job has been put in this position.

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