Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


NATION: Scott Morrison’s War on the Poor …

*Pic: Scott Morrison from the Liberal Party website …

Where does he get them from? Funny money man, Scott (Black Hole) Morrison, hilariously miscast as Federal Treasurer, is up to his tricks again this week in Sydney talking up recession, Budget Repair and telling Australians half of us are worthless parasites. It’s back to the future as ScoMo reprises Joe Hockey’s lifters and leaners. It worked so well for Joe.

Morrison’s data is old news, too. In 2014, The National Centre for Economic and Social Modelling (NATSEM) found that half of Australians pay no income tax. Scott Morrison’s had time to digest the trend but he’s feigning shock-horror as he belly-aches about a crisis.

His audience gasps when he pulls a trillion-dollar black hole out of his back pocket. He waves it around, like a matador’s cape lest anyone get the idea he’s not serious. We are headed for recession. Gone also are our cute Triple A ratings if we don’t knuckle down to Budget Repair.

Are we up for Budget Repair? One easy $6.5 billion down payment, he tells the crowd. One size fits all. ScoMo’s got legislation on standby, or in the pipeline or somewhere. All Omnibus Bill Shorten has to do is close his eyes, sign his credibility away and we’ll all be saved.

The crowd goes wild. With a few silly charts and digs at Labor’s class war on the rich and privileged, he could be back on the hustings; or replaying his government’s first display of budgetary incompetence. Say what you like about his ham acting, the man’s a natural crowd-pleaser and so versatile moving from utter buffoon to an effortless Pantalone.

A declining income tax take is one of the logical consequences of an ageing society. Morrison refuses to accept that. He’s equally clueless about how government can invest in key infrastructure to stimulate useful economic activity and build foundations for more. Austerity budgeting hastens recession. But there is an upside. He will sacrifice the bludgers to save the rest of the nation. What could possibly go wrong? Everybody loves blood sports.

‘We have to work together to find better and more innovative ways of delivering our services, particularly in areas such as health, welfare and education and human services that delivers for citizens and is affordable and sustainable.’

…all enjoy a good war on the poor…

Note the deft use of innovative and the weasel words service-delivery. No one boos. At an invitation only Bloomberg “summit” Thursday, he’s the darling of a fawning flock of fellow fiscal illiterates, bankers, miners and professional rent-seekers. Bloomberg’s infested with HR Nicholls’ fans. Everybody wants less tax and lower wages. They all enjoy a good war on the poor, too.

Jargon aside, the wild and wacky Treasurer wants to cut government spending on pensions, schools and hospitals. He’s blind to any alternative. Nor can he see the economic folly of further cutting poor people’s spending power. You can’t have a pantomime without a villain.

He’s got some other funny throwaway lines too. A free trade deal with China is vital to our growth; he tells business types who will make millions just out of funding the shipping insurance. Bilateral trade agreements have never benefited Australian industry. Or workers.

It’s not all bad, though. Some ChAFTA elements may favour Australian winegrowers selling to China, for example. Yet other provisions permit Chinese entrepreneurs with as little as 15% investment in projects over $150 million to bring a totally Chinese workforce to Australia. How will this boost the job prospects, wages or conditions of Australian workers?

Morrison knows how to pick his mark. He’s got no beef with big businesses, a third of whom paid no tax in 2014. His government’s fetish for military expenditure, including $50 billion, at this stage on submarines or $24 billion on Tony Abbott’s joint strike fighters is not at issue.

Equally, the Coalition’s pledge to spend of 2% of GDP or a trillion dollars on defence over the next 20 years at the expense of foreign aid is a wise investment. Government must also subsidise private health insurance by $11 billion per year to give consumers choice.

So, too, $5 billion a year in subsidies must go to mining corporations to create wealth for everyone and not just boost Liberal Party funding. We must continue to spend billions of dollars on ports and railway lines. New mines “need to be competitive”.

…made no sense to Joe Hockey…

Yet no-one could say the Coalition is profligate with its business handouts. The half billion needed to keep a car manufacturing alive and 200,000 Australians in work made no sense to Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott. Besides, car workers can retrain as venture capitalists and prosper in the new knowledge start-up industries sure to sweep Elizabeth and Geelong. Boutique home-office spaces will replace GMH plant at Melbourne’s Fisherman’s Bend.

Killing the car industry will not cause any family to seek welfare payments. Not one of the 200,000 unemployed car workers will be forced to sign on to Newstart. Unlike needy mining corporations, workers receive $38 per day, a pittance which has remained unchanged for 20 years, despite calls by groups such as ACOSS and even KPMG in April this year for an increase because it is not enough to keep a budgie alive.

Blowing a billion a year on offshore detention is OK? Morrison’s $55 million Cambodian Solution resettled four refugees, but has now dwindled to one. Not a word about any of this.

It’s not our banks or mining corporations. Nor is it the mega-rich whom we subsidise with tax cuts or those billionaire bludgers who pay no tax at all. And it’s certainly not the $14 billion per year of unfunded company tax cuts his government is determined to put through. It’s the bludgers on welfare who are the problem.

Welfare recipients, nearly half of whom are aged pensioners, are second class citizens and if not he’ll do his best to make it so. A “great divide”, he adds helpfully, comes between us. Overlooking the GST paid by all of us and ignoring government data reflecting a long-term trend away from welfare support, Morrison breaks the nation into two: the taxed and the taxed-not. If you’re not paying income tax you’re a worthless, shameful failure.

ScoMo knows all about failure. As Tourism Australia head, his 2006 “Where the bloody hell are you?” sledge campaign cost $180 million and got a lot of laughs but it failed to bring any more tourists to visit us. Morrison fell out with Tourism Minister Fran Bailey and was sacked. Naturally, this meant being paid out of his contract.

Today, many stellar underperformances later, the Treasurer is even further out of his depth as Federal Bean-Counter than he was waging war on the poor as Social Services Minister. Only the target hasn’t changed. Or the gallows humour.

his …“taxed and taxed nots” routine.

ScoMo’s a crack-up with his solid-gold “taxed and taxed nots” routine. It’s a fair segue from his Hockey’s toxic lifters and leaners. But there are further shocks in store. The other enemy is populism – it leads to evil protectionism and must be shunned unless it involves doubling the cost of submarines by preferring a local build to save Liberal seats in South Australia.

The crowd hisses and boos. Populism also leads to demands for Royal Commissions into banking. Everyone knows that ASIC is doing a fabulous job now despite being cut $120 million in 2016 and having half of this put back to take some of the sting out of Labor’s case.

True, Alan Fels has said it’s too cautious-but what would he know? Granted, Jeff Morris who blew the whistle on the banks’ dodgy financial advice says it’s “ludicrous” to claim ASIC is akin to an RC. So what if in May, Karen Chester, Deputy Chair of the Productivity Commission found ASIC was “defensive, inward looking and risk averse” in her review of the Keystone Cop on the beat’s capability.

The Budget Repair routine is done so well that it now orthodox to suppose that the key to prosperity is to cut government spending and that if Labor was halfway serious it would as seek the “sensible middle ground” and capitulate to the government’s demands in a radical round of austerity budgeting and other zombie measures including cuts to business tax.

The Budget Repair bandwagon is built of neoliberal ideological myths and has at its core the populist misconception that a government’s budget is the same as a family budget. Unlike a family, however, it can never run out of money. It issues currency and it is in charge of the Reserve Bank and its accounting arrangements with it and not vice versa as economists such as Richard Denniss or Bill Mitchell, patiently explain.

If anything, public spending ‘crowds in’ private investment because the private sector leverages off public infrastructure – transport systems, better health and education etc. We should borrow while rates are cheap to invest in infrastructure to promote growth.

…government’s dodgy Direct Action…

Morrison tries to rationalise Budget cuts by an emotive appeal to provide for his children. Seriously. What he needs to do is to explain how lowering standards of public services and boosting unemployment is good for anyone. He should also explain how his government’s dodgy Direct Action on climate change or its war on renewable energy industries which crippled 85% of investment and burnt our solar industry has helped create a safer or more sustainable future. Thousands of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of businesses have closed.

The Budget Repair Scare is a spectacular show however and its comeback tour is already playing to packed houses across the nation. Evil Bill Shorten will be a villain, it is certain, but for the real culprit of the trillion dollar black hole expect more demonising of the poor.

Threatening to steal some of the limelight and also back by popular demand, the NBN show is touring Canberra in a performance which entails Federal Police raids on documents and facilities normally protected by parliamentary privilege.

Whilst Labor’s Shadow Communications Minister Senator Conroy maintains that such raids strike at the heart of our democracy both in endangering the right of parliament to deal freely with information in the national interest, Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus expects all senators to uphold claims of parliamentary privilege over the documents which have been forwarded by NBN workers frustrated by cost blowouts and delays.

When asked on Sunday’s ABC Insiders why, if everything was going so well, should it matter if the leaked documents came to light, an open-necked Prime Minister who may have thrown away his tie in quest of some casual spontaneity to boost his weakening public standing in opinion polls was tongue-tied.

In the end, his claim that the raid has no political links, if it can be taken at face, merely points up NBN’s desire to take revenge on its whistle-blowers. His claim, however, fails to explain how the AFP was given admission to Parliament without the consent of the Presiding Officers. Nor does it explain why the AFP claimed national security was at issue.

…prevent journalists from seeing…

The Prime Minister was not asked why Parliament House staff, led by the Serjeant-At-Arms, tried to prevent journalists from seeing and filming the activities of the AFP officers in the basement area of Parliament House as reported by Bernard Keane and Josh Taylor in Crikey.

Labor claims the raids are illegal because the NBN is neither a public authority nor part of the Commonwealth and thus not bound by Public Service confidentiality protocols.

Regrettably before the 45th Parliament has even resumed, a shadow is cast upon our elected representatives’ capacity to go about their work without fear or favour, while for a second time, following an AFP raid on the homes of Labor staffers in May, a police raid has followed public criticism of the NBN, a project formerly the responsibility of the Prime Minister.

Ultimately the raids must be placed in the context of a government increasingly keen to pursue whistle-blowers over asylum-seeker conditions and treatment such as the leaked reports on the operations of the detention centre on Nauru.

Such leaks reveal abuses of human rights and other miscarriages of justice including the suppression of information which it can be argued is truly in the national and public interest to be made known.

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: As a former Australian Government official child abuser and human-rights violator, Scott Morrison, like his immigration minister successor Peter Dutton, is an experienced exploiter of other people’s misery. I pity the poor, the meek, the vulnerable, the disinherited, the sick . . . should they ever, mistakenly, knock on the Treasurer’s door and ask for help of any kind. Morrison, Dutton, Turnbull, and immigration ministers and PMs before them back to the middle-1990s — all perpetrators of policies that bring great shame on a nation that actually was beginning to look quite morally respectable. Well, it did appear that way until apartheid crashed in South Africa. Then we were exposed for what we are: a nation that, by the evidence of polls, doesn’t, in the majority, give a damn for anyone who is out of sight and out of mind.



  1. phill Parsons

    August 28, 2016 at 11:53 am

    The Omnibus Bill is simply a wedge tactic.

    You can expect wedge politics up to the next election. The government will play it under the sensible centre.

    Ask yourself what is in this centre.

    Is spending $160 to $500 million to ask in a plebiscite what we know the sensible centre already wants.

    Even on reducing welfare businesses in the sensible centre expects that payments should not be so low so as to create poverty and lead to crime.

    The sensible centre want to see the tax burden spread fairly but to put it on the poor whilst the already rich flaunt their tax dodging is rubbing the nose of the sensible centre in it.

    Turnbull is a snowball on his way to the heat of an election. It may be years away but come it will and by that time all he will have is a broken record.

    e will remember him though because he will get a publically funded office and car upon retirement from Parliament sometime before 2021.

  2. Kim Peart

    August 28, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    The description of a “war on the poor” is dead accurate.

    With politicians needing around 5% unemployment (official) to keep the wheels of growth turning, so those with wealth can get more of it, while those manipulated into poverty to help drive up growth, are controlled, disciplined, punished and humiliated.

    With politicians actively driving up under-employment, unemployment, poverty and homelessness through the need to maintain growth, have they become mafia bosses managing a national crime racket?

    The scam training colleges, paid by the government, look like they are part of some kind of mafia.

    Wesley Widmaier has an article in the conversation today ~
    ‘It’s not just the economy, stupid; it’s whether the economy is fair’

    I have written to Wesley exploring the matter in depth and my letter can be seen here ~

    While politicians are running a mafia that syphons wealth from the poor to the rich, there is a war on the poor going on and for anyone ending up homeless on the street as a consequence, it gets pretty vicious.

    While the society remains focused on the problem, the problem continues to grow.

    It is a much tougher call to focus on a working solution to the problem.

    Until we find the courage to work for a solution and deliver working solutions, our political mafia will continue.

    Is it time to clean up our act yet?

    Kim Peart

  3. davies

    August 28, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    According to the ATO the top 1% of earners pay 17% of the total income tax.

    So are you saying that is not enough? Should they pay more? If so, how much more?

    A freer society (e.g less Government intervention) leads to greater prosperity. It means people in the lower income brackets have the best opportunity to improve their lot in life.

    Every time you approve of a bigger Government you reduce the chances of the lower income earners to get ahead.

    I don’t see many freedom lovers on this forum.

  4. Leonard Colquhoun

    August 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    “War on the Poor” – you beaut mantra (even with the extra word).

    The rhyming helps, of course.

    For more, visit – http://brainz.org/100-best-3-word-phrases/. (Many more sites by googling /Three word slogans/.

    Three powerful 20th century examples: “Peace! Land! Bread!” / “Kinder! Kirche! Kuchen!” / / “Serve the People” (wèi rénmín fúwù!)” (Note: none came with ‘benefits’.)

  5. Bob Hawkins

    August 28, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    As a former Australian Government official child abuser and human-rights violator, Scott Morrison, like his immigration minister successor Peter Dutton, is an experienced exploiter of other people’s misery. I pity the poor, the meek, the vulnerable, the disinherited, the sick . . . should they ever, mistakenly, knock on the Treasurer’s door and ask for help of any kind. Morrison, Dutton, Turnbull, and immigration ministers and PMs before them back to the middle-1990s — all perpetrators of policies that bring great shame on a nation that actually was beginning to look quite morally respectable. Well, it did appear that way until apartheid crashed in South Africa. Then we were exposed for what we are: a nation that, by the evidence of polls, doesn’t, in the majority, give a damn for anyone who is out of sight and out of mind.

  6. phill Parsons

    August 29, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Do the 1% care if some of their mates contribute nil to solving the so called moral crises of our time through revenue to reduce the debt and deficit budget emergency.

    The propaganda from the other side about 1 trillion debt looming before us forgot to account for any ability to repay it. This is why borrowing to invest in increasing that capacity is sensible.

    For #2 the figures are clear in the stagnation of wages. It’s what you get when you have fear of unemployment as represented in the nature of the economy with its underemployment and destruction of security through the end of full time work.

    Is the ABC News correct in reporting that the omnibus bill suggest the end of being innocent until proven guilty by stopping benefits for the accused. Will this only apply to the unemployed?. Will it apply to misdemeanours or will it only be for crimes with a sentence of more than 1 year?.

    If the ABC report is correct it proves there is a War on the Poor. Regardless of the number of words it is describing reality.

  7. Kim Peart

    August 29, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Re: 6 ~ OK, there’s a war, but, what’s the plan for a working solution to the problem?

  8. abs

    August 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    davies – “According to the ATO the top 1% of earners pay 17% of the total income tax” .

    meaning they have more wealth than they should???
    capitalism, the means by which the haves screw the have nots

  9. SImon Warriner

    August 29, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Davies, re #3. What percentage of the total income pie do the top 1% of income earners get to take home? Without that vital statistic to put your claimed tax take into its proper context your comment has little value.

    And just for the record, I am all for less government. What we have is largely self serving and where it is not, it is so ineffecient and ineffective as to be embarrassing.

  10. Jack J

    August 30, 2016 at 12:41 am

    #3 I don’t understand your argument.

    It’s commonly cited that the top 1% own 45% of the assets and wealth (in the USA it is sometimes said to be 80-90%). Other figures say that the 1% own as much as the bottom 60% in Australia.

    The Australian quality of life depends upon investment in health, infrastructure, schooling, police, defence etc. These investments directly affect the value of the assets and true wealth in Australia that the 1% have accumulated. i.e. if Australia became unsafe and socially unstable, had a poorly educated population, bad infrastructure and a low quality health system the true global value of these assets would fall like a stone.

    Those who complain that 17% is too much are effectively saying that other people should pay more to protect the wealth that the 1% have already accumulated. In other words, the majority of the people in Australia should subsidise the capacity of very wealthy people to become very wealthy in the first place by using the publicly funded instruments and infrastructure that they have paid the LEAST for.

    And how does one usually become very wealthy without inventing anything or adding true productive value? In most cases it is by avoiding tax, transferring costs to the public, outsourcing labour to developing countries, slashing wages and taxes in the name of competition, digging up publicly owned assets and selling them overseas and not supporting the local economy. In general it is by rent seeking and destroying the taxation base by diverting the wealth to their own pockets.

    The most amazing thing is that the 1% are killing the golden goose, but are too stupid to see it.

    They ask Q “why should we pay for 17% of the goose’s food when we are only 1%? It’s unfair!”

    A. Because you get to keep all the frigging golden eggs …

  11. phill Parsons

    August 30, 2016 at 11:31 am

    If 1% own 45% but are only paying 17% of the tax revenue then either their assets are under-preforming or the tax act is ineffective.

  12. davies

    August 30, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Abs comments ‘they have more wealth than they should’ and capitalism, the means by which the haves screw the have nots’.

    So do we put a limit on wealth? Do we tell bill gates, sorry you have reached your limit so stop selling Microsoft products, buffett stop investing in companies, Zuckerberg stop taking new customers…OR we could tax them at 100%. A big bummer on the old incentive though. OR we could make them give their money away to charity. But most of those classified as billionaires already are philanthropic by choice. How do they react if we make them do it?

    As for capitalism, you are free to provide examples of any other system that has allowed the vast majority of people the opportunity to advance themselves and their families. There are a number of socialists on here but even they would agree the history of socialism has sucked for the majority of people on this planet. Just look at Venezuela. A country highlighted as a shining example of how well socialism works only a couple of years ago. Labor and Green pollies here wanted to bring Chavez over to explain how he did such a miraculous job…now they are forced to go work on farms and are not allowed to queue for bread.

    Capitalism provides the best opportunity for people to improve their life. But what we see today in many western countries is not Capitalism. The system has been corrupted and twisted by political hacks and their cronies from both the left and right of politics. Governments grow ever larger and the number of people totally dependent on government largesse increases at a sickening pace.

    But heh lets blame the greedy non-tax paying top 1% of earners. In Australia that kicks in around $280k pa. That doesn’t sound like mega rich to me. The top 10% of earners kicks in at $107k and the top 20% of earners is from around the $88k mark. In Australia you get taxed at 32c in the dollar from $37k, 37% from $80k and 45% from $180k. Once you add the levies Australia apparently has one of the highest top marginal tax rates in the world.

    So remembering the top 1% already pay 17% of all income tax are you on here suggesting that is not enough? And if you are, what should they be paying? It’s 240,000 people in Australia. How many will leave and take their business overseas if you squeeze them even harder? A good example was Picketty’s 75% top tax rate in France that was supposed to go for 3 years. The top earners fled the country. The result, lot less tax collected and the tax annulled in the 2nd year.

    The other thing to remember is the top 1% of earners does not remain the same every year. In fact, US stats show the majority of top earners change every year. It is very rare to remain a top earner for five straight years. US stats also show that the lowest earners also change. Over a decade of the total 20% lowest earners less than 20% still remained in the bottom 20%. The rest had moved up. Apparently 19% had moved to the top 20% of earners by the end of 10 years.

    So who is greedy and how much more do we want them to pay?

    Jack J – I see your rhetoric every day. You need to provide examples. Pick out who you think are the biggest rent seekers in Australia. And let’s have a look at them. What taxes do they pay? How many people do they employ? How philanthropic are they? Did they get special deals from Government? Remembering special deals from government is cronyism not capitalism.

    If over 50% of Australians receive more welfare than they ‘pay’ into the system, then surely the way forward is to work out the best ways for these people (numbering between 13-14 million) to earn more and be less reliant on government self-esteem lowering largesse.

    For starters, those on welfare wanting to work should NOT be taxed at an equivalent rate of 66% for every dollar extra they earn!

    Cut the red tape for those wanting to start a new business. For example, to be a hairdresser in Australia means over 800 hours of courses and $10,000 minimum in costs.

    Stop adding costs to small businesses that larger crony companies both propose and can afford. We need competition in the market place.

    And for Tasmania, do everything we can to get Gillard’s bribe to the unions annulled. I am talking about the coastal shipping act which in one piece of legislation added 50-75% to freight costs over the Bass Strait.

  13. Leonard Colquhoun

    August 30, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Good to read Comment 12’s clearly expressed and forceful defence of capitalism (more on that word below). Even better that Tasmanian Times is (at last, some might reckon) presenting a far wider diversity of opinion for readers to ponder, including the abiding challenge of “you are free to provide examples of any other [socio-economic] system”.

    Two of the giants of global communism provide contrasting end-runs in the last 100 years, one from that seven decade socio-economic mass experiment in doctrinal communism known to history as the Soviet Union, and the other from ongoing and evolving developments in the Peoples Republic of China.

    The USSR collapsed in on itself – to use a much favoured Marxist expression – from its own internal contradictions, essentially because it was a socio-economic system (and that word is very significant) 99% run top-down by Party politicians and bureaucrats aka the nomenklatura and the apparatchiki (google them). Total fubar, ’nuff said.

    PR China began as a Soviet clone and stayed so for three decades. However, by the end of the 1970s top Party officials had many a Damascene moment along the lines of WTF are we doing here? How come 35,000,000 to 65,000,000 of our people are dead so young? How come 800,000,000 of our people are so 他妈的 (tā mā de) poor? So they did the sensible thing and arsed the Soviet model, and adopted the capitalist model of socio-economic arrangements (and that word ‘arrangements’ is crucial). And the rest is history, writ in Big Character logograms.

    PS1: about ‘capitalism’, the word: as an abstract noun, it is in a quite different realm to ‘socialism’, and even more so to ‘communism’.

    PS2: in 1977, I went on one of those Tours for the Gullible to China, and one member of the group opined on every staged-managed visit that this was the way of the future (an academic, naturally); but, sub-surface, Deng’s counter-revolution was already under way. Were I to do a return trip, the stunning contrast which we had noted between the PRC and HK would be gone (except, respectively, for the continuation of authoritarian Party rule and the survival of the British legacy of the Rule of Law and of democracy).

    Here is the essence of capitalism: every day / week / month 1,000,000 / 10,000,000 / 100,000,000 / 1,000,000,000 people making their own decisions about what they will sell and buy and swap and trade. No bunch of ideological morons at Party HQ can beat that.

  14. Jack J

    August 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm


    “Jack J – I see your rhetoric every day.”

    Rhetoric is “the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the exploitation of figures of speech”

    What I offered was an argument that can be tested and has been countless times. The statistics have been in our faces for some time now.

    Firstly, the time wasting and vast empire of fees, taxes, paperwork and threats that government uses to extract money from small business is disgusting. But what’s that got to do about equity and the role of neoliberalism, that you keep conflating with capitalism.

    Historically, capitalists invested in productive assets and produced technologies. Today the neoliberal wolves ride the deregulated gravy train of the banking and finance industry that creates wealth from sentiment, marketing, asset bubbles and financial instruments and invest profits back into more of the same. Please don’t confuse those who funded the industrial revolution, shipping, railways, electricity etc and made profit through invention and risk taking with the current neoliberal parasites. You ride the shirt tails of true capitalists and assume that the conditions and motivations are the same today. They are not.

    The biggest trick is socialising risk and privatising profit.

    One good example is the high tech industry that is often held up as a shining example of modern capitalism. However the vast majority of the risk and cost in invention and technology was directly funded by public money (i.e. tax dollars). In effect, the R&D that lead to semiconductors and the computer industry was funded by public money. Almost all the key inventions came from public institutions (mostly universities). The same was the case with most enabling inventions for medicine (e.g. antibiotics).

    So our present day high tech capitalists (and neoliberals) picked up publicly funded innovations for no cost or return and turned them into private industry profit (they socialised risk and privatised profit). Then they have no interest in returning profits to the public, who funded the basis of their industry.

    What’s missing is the return on investment to the taxpayer. This comes in the form of tax that neoliberals endlessly bitch about. If sufficient public money can be invested in the next real innovations the new industries will be born of public funding and risk taking as before. However, neoliberals would like you to believe that they ‘invent’ all manner of products through private investment that is independent of tax dollars. Bullshit. They usually exploit someone else’s inventions for profit that the public has paid for by tax.

    So do you really want to argue that the 1% generate wealth independent of the public funding of assets, infrastructure, education health, civic institutions etc that our taxes pay for? Do they have no duty to produce a return (tax) on the very inventions they use that were funded by the taxpayer (i.e. “society”)?

    Are you also going to suggest that the 1% provide employment as a magnanimous gesture to society?

    It’s beyond obvious that when automation and robotics are a cheaper option for generating profit, human employees will be sacked en mass. This is clear even from the outsourcing of jobs to low paid workforces in developing countries. What is there to argue about? Employment is only considered when it generates profit. Capitalism is about profit, not people. But capitalism can work for peoples ONLY when it produces new technology that create industries by exploiting new innovations. That requires a return to the public coffers.

    So who should fund these new innovations created from public money? Not neoliberals apparently, for they have a one way valve when it comes to profits.

    If this cycle of investing in risky R&D by public funds is broken, we end up with ex merchant banker PMs crying out for ‘innovation’ to drop from the sky. It is pathetic. The people who broke the system would like someone else to fix it for them. They are too ignorant of how science and technology works to see that they have destroyed the capacity for a society to innovate by failing to invest in the society that fosters the ideas they need.

    Neoliberalism is mostly about making money without investing in innovation but through financial speculation. Neoliberals would like to re-write the history books. The fact that they mostly take the fruits of publicly funded innovation and turn it into private profit is not something that sits well with their rhetoric and ideology. They like to whine endlessly about the unfair tax they are made to pay, convinced that they are brilliant and masters of the world. Someone else should invest in the future.

    Something trickles down from the 1%, but it is not money.

  15. Simon Warriner

    August 30, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    So many words, so much argument, and yet I still do not know what percentage of the total wage cake the 1% are paying their 17% of the total tax take on.

    That aside, one observation I think is important is that automation and offshoring might be seen as capital seeking efficiency, but as the number of wage earners in any economy shrinks, so does the velocity of money in that economy, and with that slowdown comes recession and all the joy it brings.

    It is a heretical idea in this age, but perhaps progress is the enemy of prosperity, in some cases at least.

  16. abs

    August 30, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    do i have the answer, No! does that invalidate observations of inequality? no!

    the issue, for me, is not about the amount of tax the wealthy pay but that this capatalistic symtem currently in place is facilitating an ever growing gap between the ultra wealthy minority and the growing set of struggling lower middle and lower class.

    why is it fair that one person slaves away for $35k per year and another clocks in income in the multi-millions?? i guess it has a lot to do with the latter person skill at being born into an affleunt environment 😉

    i am really not informed enough about this topic to debate in-depth about socialism and capatisism. however i stand by my tongue in cheek remark about the haves screwing the have-nots, courtesy of capatalism.

  17. Claire Gilmour

    August 30, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    $35K??? woohoo, wouldn’t that be great! lets talk realism of about -$20k a year or so. What food can you buy on that especially when you have a home loan? Fair dinkum if only there were enough giant fresh water crayfish in the creek so I could eat!!!!

  18. abs

    August 31, 2016 at 1:26 am

    too right Claire, to be clear i was imagining a family (say… 5 hungry mouths to feed) on a single income of $35k when i posted that comment

  19. Lynne Newington

    August 31, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I can’t help but reflect looking at his image, if it was a collar he was wearing not a tie, if the camera doesn’t lie then it’s enough….

  20. Leonard Colquhoun

    August 31, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Re Comment 18’s “family (say… 5 hungry mouths to feed) on a single income of $35k” – wouldn’t whatever readers are supposed to infer depend on factors such as these:

    ~ the family owning their own home;

    ~ how that “single income of $35k” was spent on a scale ranging from responsible to reckless, including

    ~ tightly responsible credit card use;

    ~ how much non-salary income, in cash or kind, the family had, such as growing its own fruit and vegetables, or earning income in the (informal) cash economy; and

    ~ how self-disciplined the family was in, say, avoiding (apart from ‘treats’) take-away and pre-prepared food; plus

    ~ how little was (mis)spent on alcohol and tobacco;

    ~ whether effective use was made of, say, the many recycled good clothing outlets now available.

    Us surviving frugalistas think of, and remember, such matters. But we don’t conspicuously loud-hailer or e-boast of them.

  21. Leonard Colquhoun

    August 31, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    About this Comment 14 claim: “In effect, the R&D that lead to semiconductors and the computer industry was funded by public money. Almost all the key inventions came from public institutions (mostly universities). The same was the case with most enabling inventions for medicine (e.g. antibiotics)” – it mentions initial “public” funding, it mentions “enabling inventions”, but not the consequent costs of development, manufacture, storage and distribution.

    Anyway, on 14’s claim, shouldn’t the USSR have been the world’s most innovative economy, and its people the world’s most well off? (Think of those vast resources in its one-sixth of the world’s land mass.) Instead, it could not manage a relatively simple task of a 1:1 ratio of plugs to hand-basins, nor fill the shelves of Moscow’s GUM with even mediocre Soviet stuff – we have shopping queues for post-season surpluses of goods, Soviet shoppers queued on a rumour from some babushka’s sister’s grand-niece’s neighbour’s babushka that, say, a few cartons of women’s size 8 brown left foot only shoes might be coming to People’s Glorious Socialist Footwear Magazin No 13. Again, the contrast with the West, and with PR China, is overwhelming.

  22. davies

    August 31, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Yes Jack some rhetoric can be soaring and uplifting. For example, Martin Luther King’s ‘I had a dream’. Mind you in this sick and twisted leftie dystopia we currently live in apparently quoting some of his speech ‘to be judged by the quality of the person rather than the colour of their skin’ is a micro aggression in a number of universities…

    But rhetoric can also be banal and empty.

    The premise here for many is the rich are greedy and ungrateful. They live off the sweat of the proles and they pay bugger all tax. So we get on here ‘capitalism, the means by which the haves screw the have nots’; and capitalists (well neoliberal ones) nick all the good ideas from public institutions, make a motza and then return absolutely nothing back to society. A bit of the old channelling of the fake-Indian Elizabeth Warren ‘you didn’t build that!’!

    So I ask the same questions again:

    If the rich are not paying enough tax. How much more should they pay? Is it just the top 1% of earners, which is only 240,000 people, or do we think the top 10% should pay more? And if it is just the top 1% then what 1%? The people in that group have around a 50% turnover each year.

    Someone asked how much the top 1% earn in total. I don’t think the ATO provided that figure. But this is the sort of income tax amounts the following pay: $280k pa pays about $80k; $500k pays $190k and $1M pays $400k or so. Personally, that seems to be a more than reasonable amount to pay in income tax for the higher earners. But if you think they should pay even more then come up with your figures.

    I asked who are the rent seekers? The answer is apparently everyone in business…Again give specific examples. Who developed it, why did they develop it, who took up the technology, what did they pay for it? If it was freely given to them then why? Was it cronyism in action? Was it because the public institution did not have the skills to produce anything commercial? Did they even realise it had a commercial value? Was it not patented? Etc. Etc. As an aside hasn’t Elon Musk recently given away ideas/technologies for free? Was that a bad thing?

    As for neoliberalism…I never mentioned it. I don’t rate it and I don’t particularly like it. Certainly not the modern version.

    On inequality, personally I think it is a furphy. It is a non-issue. I do not see how it changes anything if the top 1% of earners kicked in at $280k, $500k or even several million. What is important is that any member of our society has a chance to make it into the top 1%. That they are not blocked by government interference, government regulations, unfair competitive advantages (more often than not enshrined by government), and the lack of opportunity.

    I am all for equal opportunity but I will not stand for anything that smacks of equal outcome. As EVERY single example throughout history shows, commandeering the means of production in order to reach mandated outcomes, leads to absolute disaster.

    And again I ask…what system apart from capitalism has improved peoples’ lives?

    Just noticed the $20k example. Not very realistic asthe minimum wage is $675pw. On $20k your income tax burden is about $500 and you qualify for all sorts of welfare top ups, particularly if you have kids.

  23. Leonard Colquhoun

    August 31, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Besides, who and what are Comment 14’s ‘neoliberals’ and ‘neoliberalism’?

    ~ ‘liberals’ and ‘liberalism’ [tick] – including the differing uses on either side of the Pacific and of the Atlantic;

    ~ ‘Liberals’ and ‘Liberalism’ [tick]; and

    ~ ‘libertarians’ and ‘libertarianism’ [tick], but ‘neoliberals’ and ‘neoliberalism’?

    BTW, seems to me that the traditional Left > > > Right spectrum is no longer useful, partly for having no place for radicalism, which can be radically Right (e.g., the Nazis) and radically Left (e.g., the Khmer Rouge). And where would Islamism be placed, as (murderously and barbarically) ‘radical’ as anything since Pol Pot’s Year Zero?

    Would Libertarianism > > > Authoritarianism be more useful? Or Anarchism > > > > > Totalitarianism, which would include the previous one?

  24. Simon Warriner

    August 31, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    davies, if you stretch your mind back a bit you might recall a monumental cluster fuck called “Managed Investment Schemes”, designed to allow high income earners to invest in plantation scams and minimise their taxable earnings at the same time. I will be brave and make an assumption that you are also aware of negative gearing and its use in property investment. There are numerous other escape routes built into the tax system to advantage higher income earners that are there for the taking. That is why tax reform will never start at the eminently sensible point of a page limit. It is also why lawyers and accountants squeal like stuck pigs whenever a clean-up of the rorts is mentioned.

    I submit that anyone earning over $150k pa that is paying the ATO’s headline rate of tax is in need of a new accountant.

    Hence my question, which while unanswered renders your claimed adequacy of the top 1%’s contribution to the total tax take just a tad ambitious. Without knowing how much actual tax they pay on what actual reported income any discussion of the matter is completely pointless.

  25. abs

    September 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    “What is important is that any member of our society has a chance to make it into the top 1%”.

    that is the an absurdity. there is decades of research demonstrating that parental socio-economic standing is a major predictor of career success and thus wealth opportunity.

    some kid born on the northern side of the flannel curtain aint have a hope in hell of reaching that 1%, where as gina rinehart was born into a situation where she has accumulated a wealth in the tes of billions of dollars, and has the ear of the PM and government at her beckoned call.

  26. davies

    September 1, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    “What is important is that any member of our society has a chance to make it into the top 1%”.”

    that is the an absurdity. there is decades of research demonstrating that parental socio-economic standing is a major predictor of career success and thus wealth opportunity.

    so says abs

    This research capability really isn’t your thing is it abs.

    Of the top 100 richest people on the planet 27 were heirs and 73 are self-made. Of that 73, 18 had no college degree and 36 were children of poor parents.

    So 27 from 100 were heirs and 36 were self-made and from poor parents.

    So you have a better chance of making it into the top 100 richest people if you come from poor parents than if you were lucky enough to inherit a fortune…

    Of most interest, there are 8 who had no degree and came from poor parents:

    Larry Ellison – orphan

    Li Ka-Shing – orphan

    Leonardo delVecchio – orphan

    Amancio Ortega – railroad worker

    John Fredrikson – welder

    Sheldon Adelson – cab driver

    Ingvar Kamprad – farmer

    Francois Pinault – lumber miller

  27. Jack J

    September 1, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    #22 Davies

    I’ve focused upon the how and why the use of public money funds innovation, invention and technologies. I’ve also argued that this requires a range of social institutions and infrastructure being in place that are dependent on public money. I point out that capitalism can work for society only if there is a return on the public investment (by tax) that the exploitation of innovation is dependent upon.

    I don’t suggest that giving away the fruits of public investment in education and innovation is bad in itself. It only becomes toxic when those who benefit from its use fail to return adequate “royalty” as tax to permit the system to run.

    Neoliberal ideology rejects the obligation for business to provide a return on investment to society. In the extreme case, neoliberals use the barking mad rationale and egoism of ‘Ayn Randian’ ideals for justification and don’t believe that society provides the basis for individual success. This is insanity. For how well is industry going to do in Australia without a publically funded and tertiary trained workforce?

    You wish for specific examples, of which there are plenty, yet the issue has much less to do with the conduct of individual companies and far more to do with general changes due to globalization and neoliberal policy that affects both sides of the political spectrum. Hence, carping on about the business practices of Microsoft, Apple, AWB and NewsCorp is only a symptom of a far bigger issue. Equally, complaining that Qantas services its fleet offshore and that call centres in the Philippines take local jobs is all old news. That our PM has legally avoided Australian tax using an off shore tax haven is similarly a sideline and just a drop in the bucket.

    So you ask:

    “If the rich are not paying enough tax. How much more should they pay?”

    This is a good example of why such seemingly simple questions (and answers) lead to irrational deductions and are distractions.

    Firstly, you miss the key preconditions. If the wealthy are sending their loot offshore to minimise their Australian tax or employing accountancy tricks to minimise it generally (tricks that are not available to ordinary people) then their share MUST increase to compensate because they are in effect contributing less to the tax base. Also, if they are also outsourcing labour in overseas markets and making profit back in Australia by selling products that have destroyed jobs domestically, their share MUST increase. This is not punitive, but just recognizes that their profit has been enhanced at the expense of the country in which they earn that profit. Because by these actions the wealthy are forcing ordinary citizens in practice to pay a FAR GREATER share of tax and reduction in the benefits it buys.

    This is, yet again, all relative and not an absolute or arbitrary figure.

    So my immediate response to this question is that the wealthy must increase their contribution relative to the actual profit they make by such tax minimisation strategies. This might happen by expanding the definition of domestic income and taxing those who use labour in offshore structures to destroy domestic jobs.

    And, just for the record, I don’t oppose mobile capital per se, so long as the tax system compensates and is prepared to pick up on the social cost of unemployment and reduced tax base.

    Overall, it is not a simple % issue is it?

    You then ask:

    “I asked who are the rent seekers? The answer is apparently everyone in business”

    Of course not. Who has suggested this? Not me.

    Broadly speaking, rent seekers want to run a business, profit and live in a society with a high development index without producing anything of true value. They seek profit from charging rent, tax, fees etc to generate money. They differ from capitalists of old (as I pointed out previously) who did invest in new technologies and innovation and create wealth, employment and a social return.

    Today’s rent seeking neoliberals don’t want to invest in society. They believe themselves to be islands of individualism with absolute rights to their pile of loot. They typically use e.g. the finance industry and property speculation to make profit. They are not interested in arguments that question their ethics or merit. They are deeply ideological.

  28. Jack J

    September 1, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    #22 cont (neoliberalism)

    The reason why this can be seen to be a political issue is that neoliberal politicians have changed the tax system to benefit speculation and the finance industry at the cost to manufacturing, science, innovation and industry in general. In Australia the tax system now benefits those who flip houses and use negative gearing speculate on financial instruments far more than others who seek to invent or invest in innovation.

    The problem is that this money flows to more speculation. It is not being used productively. It does not ‘trickle down’.

    An Australian Bank will loan an almost infinite amount of money for real estate investment. However, try and get them to invest in ideas and science. It’s far too risky for them and the reason is that the government has created a policy environment where financial speculation is far more attractive than innovation. Given that industry is addicted to public investment in education and ideas, they don’t want to take on the risk either. As for high worth individuals, “What have the Romans ever done for us”.

    Ironically the “age of entitlement” rhetoric required the standard barer to turn the mirror around, rather than hold it out to those who have not benefited from globalization (e.g. those on welfare, pensioners etc). For the very people who are bringing the system unstuck seek scapegoats. They are apparently unwilling to examine the debt they owe to maintain the society that permitted their wealth to be generated in the first place. They are comfortable with their own rhetoric. After all, if you are wealthy, you must deserve your wealth – right?

  29. abs

    September 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    davies, having a phd makes research, literally, my thing.

    demonatrating that some people from low socio-economic background have made it into the top 1% does not equate to evidence that all have equal opportunity to do so.

    you have made an illogical jump.

    you state – “So you have a better chance of making it into the top 100 richest people if you come from poor parents than if you were lucky enough to inherit a fortune…”

    this is demonstratable wrong.!

    to calculate probility of an ‘heir’ vs a ‘poor’ child getting to the 1%, you need more data than what you have used.

    you need the number of specific outcomes (low socio-economic people who made the top 1%) AND the total number outcomes (total number of low socio-economic people).


    you need the number of specific outcomes (‘heirs’ who made the top 1%) AND the total number outcomes (total number of ‘heirs’).

    then you calculate or compare the two. This is NOT what you’ve done, davies. google “odds ratio’ and or “relative risk’ if you want to educate your self 😉

  30. William Boeder

    September 1, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I find the comments of Jack J and Simon Warriner difficult to ignore, then that other comments have their relativity in this article matter.
    Meanwhile we wait for Turnbull and cronies to tackle their corporate masters over their exported earnings thus they are able to avoid paying their due taxes.
    One must also be mindful of the $50 Billion over ten years of reduced big business financial obligation that had been announced shortly after Malcolm (in the middle of the extreme right and the extreme left) Turnbull had become the Prime Minister (through the default of his predecessor doubling down on most of his promises.)

    The following makes for interesting reading, the author remains anonymous.

    As a self funded retiree, I’m frustrated with Canberra’s continuous
    fiddle with Superannuation contributions and rule changes.
    Plus the measure to Re-balance the Pension Assets Test to be
    implemented on 1 January 2017.

    So here’s fair warning to all politicians of any persuasion, this
    group of aged voters may be about to make the greatest impact on any Federal
    election in history, ignoring them may be the start of a changed political
    environment in this country.
    Change the Entitlements

    I absolutely agree, if a pension isn’t an entitlement, neither is theirs. They keep telling us that paying us an aged pension isn’t sustainable.
    Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable!
    The politicians themselves, in Canberra, brought it up, that the Age of Entitlements is over:
    The author is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
    In three days, most people in Australia will have this message.
    This is one idea that really should be passed around because the rot has to stop somewhere.

    Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:

    1. Scrap political pensions.
    Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.

    2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink.

    A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they’re out of office.
    Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.

    Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like
    the rest of the Australian people.

    3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians’ retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.
    This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.

    4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
    Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.

    5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.
    i.e. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds
    or accept ordinary Medicare.

    6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/16.
    The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them.
    Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.
    Serving in Parliament is an honor not a career.
    The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three or so days for most Australians to receive the message.
    Don’t you think it’s time? Please do this if you can. Australia needs our help.
    THIS IS HOW YOU FIX Parliament and help bring fairness back into this country!

    If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.

  31. Jon Sumby

    September 4, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    According to a Parliamentary Library research paper from last year, here are some fun facts and figures:

    People on $180,000+ income had an average of 60% of their income earned as a wage or salary.
    People on $1 million+ had a wage or salary component of 18% of their income; for these people, 30% of income was earned from capital gains.

    In comparison, people in the $45,001 – $100,000 income brackets had 85% of their taxable income as wages or salary.

    People on $1 million+ claimed an average of $11,000 as a tax deduction for the cost of managing their tax affairs, while 25% of their tax deductions was for rent deductions.

    The largest tax offset for all tax payers who earned more than $180,000 per year was termination payments, at around 75% of all tax offsets (tax rebates) claimed, a value of $1.1 billion.

    The paper concluded:
    Overall, these deductions and offsets reduce the proportion of gross income paid in tax by those on high incomes more than by those on low incomes. This is not sufficient to significantly distort the progressive nature of Australia’s individual tax system, but does have considerable revenue implications.
    In other words, rich people reduce their taxable income by a larger amount than people on a lower income do.

    As well, according to the ATO, while the official company tax rate is 30% the average actual tax rate companies pay is more like 10%.

    George Soros (current net worth US$25 billion), once remarked in an interview that he’d discovered that his office receptionist paid more tax than he did. That’s how it works.

    The ATO classifies people with a net worth of over $5 million as HWI (high wealth individuals), there was an interesting story on the ABC last year reporting that 115 high wealth individuals paid $5 (not a typo!) or less in tax in 2015, yet they had collectively spent over $1.5 billion on managing their tax affairs (which is a tax deduction). There was speculation that the ATO may investigate but I didn’t hear anything more, or I missed it.

    A couple of years ago I saw a paper that had a graph that related actual tax paid to income level. In essence it was a bell curve with a left (positive) skew. What it showed was that the two sectors of society that pay the least tax are the poor and the wealthy.

    The poor because they don’t earn enough to pay tax, and the wealthy because they have access to a suite of strategies to minimize their tax; such as offshore holdings, multiple business entities transferring money between them, trust funds, etc., and the money to pay a qualified CPA to do it all for them.

    Nevertheless, this article from Business Insider Australia gives you some hints about how to minimize your tax like a rich person:

  32. Verdun Mokbel

    September 7, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Waaa! Poor me on $20,000 a year with five kids. Sheer luxury! I grew up in box by side of road! Seriously people. Why are some people so offended by Scott Morrison and Davies on here stating actual facts. They are facts free of ideology about tax. High earners pay more tax because they earn more and of course they take home more too. If they didn’t get to keep just enough to incentivise them to work, then they wouldn’t work so hard. Then there would be less tax to support those who can’t or won’t work. This is capitalism. You clearly prefer it to the alternative models such as that practised in Cuba and Kazakstan. You are still here. Or let’s see, Venezuela! Did you see the one million rich capitalists on the street this week protesting about the benevolent socialist government. They don’t know how good they’ve got it. Hugo Chavez really gifted that country a great legacy with his “soak the rich” tax policy. Very popular with the masses. Problem is now there are no rich to pay tax and feed the poor. How you like dem apples!

  33. abs

    September 7, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    #32 ,so your take on this is, accept capitalism as it is or leave??

    i guess you are happy that a pollie gets more money for an overnight stay at a residence owned by their partner (as an away from home allowance) than a pensioner gets in a week. that’s capitalism as we love it, folks!!

  34. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Good question to ponder, this in Comment 32: “Seriously people. Why are some people so offended by Scott Morrison and Davies on here stating actual facts?”

    Part of the answer seems to be that a four-letter word starting with ‘s’ gets too little use, although it is used suitably in 32’s quotation –

    – ‘some’.

    Example from today’s Guardian: “[NZ PM]John Key says immigrant workers [were] needed because . . unemployed lack a strong work ethic while others ‘won’t pass a drug test’.” Link – [blacklist item found].^

    Cue outrage from the thoughtless, the shallow, and the ideologically twisted.

    The story ended with this stirring rhetoric from NZ Labour Leader Andrew Little: “I don’t buy the argument that there are young people who can’t work because they are drugged and lazy.”

    But – and you’ve been set up here – PM Key actually said “because some unemployed lack a strong work ethic while others ‘won’t pass a drug test’.” Which would be right, of course.

    Too many Big Statements use ‘people’ when they actually mean, or meant to say, ‘some people’.

    Big difference. And some TT posts can’t tell the difference. Some of the time.

    ^ The Guardian blacklisted!!!! Bloody Murdoch!!!!!!!

  35. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 7, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    About “Link – [blacklist item found]” in my 34 – why would a Guardian story be on a TT ‘blacklist’?

    Is Murdoch the Monstrous its secret owner?

  36. Jon Sumby

    September 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    #33, abs, and who can forget Tony Abbott racking up several hundred dollars of expenses claimed from taxpayers money for attending a private Liberal function in Melbourne:

    ‘Prime Minister Tony Abbott told government MPs he had to schedule an early morning visit to a cancer research centre in Melbourne on Tuesday so that he could justify billing taxpayers to be in the city for a “private function” the night before.’

    Or, more recently:

    ‘Two WA-based Federal Liberal MPs used $6000 of taxpayers’ money to fly to Melbourne for the AFL Grand Final last year.

    Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann – both passionate West Coast Eagles supporters – lapped up the corporate hospitality at the MCG, but let taxpayers pay for their travel and accommodation, according to the Herald Sun.’


    All ‘within entitlements’ but as Hockey once announced amid plans to cut welfare – ‘The Age of Entitlement is over’. I guess the Liberals haven’t heard that particular Hockey announcement yet!

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