Doctor and activist


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Tag: Politics

Housing Stimulus: More Middle Class Welfare 5/6/20

Successive governments have used the building industry to pump up the economy on credit.  How so?  For decades the tax deduction on negatively geared real estate has made housing a favoured investment. It has been the no-brainer way to make money. You borrow to own a property, and as long as it is your, all the capital gain is yours.  So the lesser fraction that you own, the greater the percentage rise in your total assets.  And since you save on tax and gain rent, it is far better than shares or other assets. If you ask to borrow 90% to buy shares, no bank would lend you 90%. They would fall about laughing, and you would be taking a big risk.  If you wanted to borrow 90% of real estate, no problem- all perceived as low risk.  How come?  Because Australia’s private debt is rising and is now the highest in the world.  This little Ponzi scheme has a cost. We have the best houses, which are the most expensive relative to our incomes, and we have a huge national private debt, which means that we pay interest to foreign banks and have no money to develop and own our own country.  Like all Ponzi schemes, it is OK as long as you sell out before the bubble pops.  The older generation are doing this, cashing out as the younger generation takes up the huge loans that are now necessary.

The tax department got less money to create this mess, so public housing was not built, and there is a huge shortage of public housing.  Because prices are so high there is also a problem in affordable housing as wages in the real world have stagnated as globalisation allows jobs to go offshore to be done more cheaply by third world people.  The negative gearing thing amounts to middle class welfare, where those who had one house were able to buy more, and those that did not merely saw rents and prices rise.  Labor tried to address this and lost the election.

Now we have a recession, worsened by the COVID-19 crisis and the taxpayer has to step in, making more debt for the future.  So what projects to spend the money on?  More middle class welfare! Those who already have $150,000 to improve their house get another $25,000 from the future taxpayer, the young people of today.

It is merely another example of the Morrison government’s lack of commitment to a fair go for all. This could be a huge opportunity to build social housing to help those who have been left behind.  Is the excuse that the projects are not ‘shovel-ready’?  The government could pay for the huge outstanding renovations and repair bill on the public housing, which has been neglected for 30 years.  Surely these repair lists on yellowed paper could be found and actioned.

Morrison governs for his voters, not for the country as a whole. His policies increase inequality, which stores discord for the future.  This last effort will further the Matthew Effect, named after the biblical quote, ‘For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away’.

— Matthew 25:29, RSV.

www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jun/03/morrison-government-to-offer-25000-grants-to-help-build-and-renovate-homes

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Truth in the COVID-19 Era: Australia

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is perceived to have done well in managing the COVID-19 crisis as, smarting from his bushfire debacle, he took expert advice.  He has used the crisis to shut down Parliament and with his use of State Premiers as a sort of wartime Cabinet he has bypassed the Labor opposition.  Now he […]

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The China Trade Reality

China is a rising power with 1.3 Billion people. Its government is totalitarian, and focussed on improving its place in the world. From a Chinese point of view the West exploited it when it could, and it is now taking its rightful place as the Middle Kingdom, in the centre with others coming to it. […]

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Truth in the COVID-19 Era: The USA

Some of us watch the COVID-19 statistics with fascination try to work out which policies will stop the march of the virus.  This has become all the more urgent as countries try to break the lockdown to restart their economies. The US has overtaken Western Europe (29 countries) in the number of cases by about […]

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COVID-19 Non-Treatment, American Style Points to the Need to Fix Medicare

10 May 2020 As Australian political parties slowly and steadily dismantle Medicare to move us towards a privatised system American-style, it is worth noting the major feature of the American system. Everyone says it is a hopeless system. It depends what you want it to do. It is the world’s best system at turning sickness […]

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The Murdoch Party

1 May 2020 Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd do not agree on much, but both Malcolm and Kevin agree that Rupert Murdoch is effectively a political party in Australia and by controlling information gets whatever government and policies that he wants.Kevin Rudd may have been a religious, egotistical, micro-managing nerd, but probably what brought him […]

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Workers Compensation- WIRO the Watchdog is beheaded 11/12/19.

In the sad saga of treating NSW Workers Comp patients it is hard to know where a bad deal becomes a rip off becomes a scam becomes systemic fraud, but the NSW insurance scheme is a long way down the track.  Much worse than the Banks. The Hayne Royal Commission did not get to the […]

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Limits to the Market and a Solution for Australia? 15/5/17

Since the last two world wars were over markets, it was assumed at the conference at Bretton Woods that if there were free markets everywhere there would be no wars and countries who did well would prosper. It worked.  Germany and Japan traded in markets that had been denied to them pre-war and ‘won the […]

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How the US does Spying

29 March 2020

Some years ago, I had lunch with an acquaintance of mine who was a reasonably successful manager, with a slightly less successful relationship history with men.  She was keen that I meet her latest beau, so we had a small group lunch.

The man in question was a fit-looking American in his early 50s who was keen to talk about himself, so we let him.  He was an ex-US Navy Seal. He would not quite admit that he was down on his luck, but he had a lot of training that the US needed to use, but they would not hire him in the Navy, though he could get ‘contract work’.  He would not be quite specific about this, and he assured us that if the missions went well, no one noticed anything.  That was the ideal outcome.  His life was at risk and he was well paid for each mission, but there was no ongoing commitment or pension if he was injured or had other misadventure.   As the dinner went on he said that he had recently been on a mission in Asia where he had done something and been caught at it.  He was chased by an angry mob up to the first storey of a building.  He was trapped and jumped out a window onto the canvas roof of a fruit truck. He had gone straight through the roof of the truck and landed amongst the fruit, spraining his ankle, but nothing further.  He was very lucky because just as he landed the truck drove away from the angry crowd while he lay low in the fruit.  When he got to the destination not far away, a number of people lined up and formed a human chain to unload the truck and he, being disguised and made up joined the line passing the fruit boxes and got a few coins for his efforts when the unloading finished, before slipping away into the crowd.  All very James Bond stuff.

Asked how he knew who the goodies and baddies were in all this and he said that this was defined in his brief.  In short, he was an agent acting for the US government but they were in a position to disown him if he got into trouble.  He was a pleasant enough fellow, and more interesting than many dinner companions, but I have not seen him again.

So I was interested to read the article below about how ‘an ex-FBI agent had died in Iranian custody’, having ‘disappeared in murky circumstances in March 2007’, ‘during an unauthorised trip for the CIA to gather intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program’.  Iran had ‘kidnapped a foreign citizen and denied him any basic human rights’.   He was ‘a gentleman’ and ‘outstanding’ said President Trump.  Perhaps.  And I like to think of myself as a champion of human rights.  But people do not go on spying missions for personal curiosity and this is a deadly game, ruthlessly played.  The story in the SMH is sourced from Reuters and the Washington Post but does not quite make this clear.

www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/former-fbi-agent-s-family-believes-he-died-in-iran-custody-20200326-p54e4o.html

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A Coup in Bolivia- How it was Reported in Oz

21 November 2019

There was a coup in Bolivia which has had minimal coverage in Oz, but I have 3 worries:

  1. Australian media coverage is very distorted in the interests of US foreign policy
  2. Facebook bans sites that do not suit US interests and
  3. The pattern of the US waging economic war on South American countries that do not allow their multinationals to plunder the resources, and arranging coups seems almost standard.

The SMH coverage was from Bloomberg and seemed unable to figure out why there were two governments in Bolivia:

For all reasonable observers Morals won the election with 47% of the vote and with more than 10% lead over his nearest rival, should not have needed a run-off election.  Irregularities were alleged, (but then again they always are when foreign interests are threatened).  Morales offered a re-run, but was not allowed to stand by the guy who came second and the Army!!  So Morales fled, which is very odd thing for a President to do if it were not a coup.

But the SMH article is written as if the Bolivian coup is very hard to understand.

www.smh.com.au/world/south-america/bolivian-crisis-there-are-two-groups-of-people-claiming-to-be-the-government-20191115-p53b01.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_feed

Consider the following:
The article has two journalists, Matthew Bristow and John Quigley but is attributed to Bloomberg, a US media company. Bloomberg  owned by Michael Bloomberg, who is publicly contemplating standing as a Democrat presidential candidate, but is considered too right wing.
It talks about the ‘interim ‘President’ Jeanine Anez, who was an ‘Opposition Senator’. How did she get to be ‘interim President’ when the government has a majority in both houses? How is she ‘appointing her Cabinet’- with what legitimacy?
Why is the information sourced from the ‘Andean Information Network’, a ‘Think tank’? Who pays for ‘think tanks’? Are there no journalists in Bolivia?
Why were their riots just after the election, when the economy was doing quite well?
Why are the leaders of the government in power all resigning?
Why is Morales not allowed to stand for the run-off election?
Why is the army not supporting the existing elected government? Who trained them?
Why did the President Evo Morales, who just won the presidential election by more than 10% ahead of his nearest rival flee to Mexico? For no reason? He was standing for a 4th term. which had been challenged in the High Court but he had won there. Presumably the Army was against him and in favour of the opposition.

President Evo Morales had nationalised a big oil company, and wanted his people to get a larger share of the country’s big lithium deposits. He claimed that this was why he was deposed.

https://external.fsyd3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=AQDRtvCEvRlzzso7&w=540&h=282&url=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FxMXmkbTRNw4%2Fhqdefault.jpg&cfs=1&upscale=1&fallback=news_d_placeholder_publisher&_nc_hash=AQDaylo2tk_5eS_X

A Venezualan perspective is given at

https://orinocotribune.com/the-coup-in-bolivia-five-lessons

I tried to post this on my Facebook page and it was denied as offending ‘Community Standards’!  I just put the name of the paper, Orinoco Tribune, not the url and it was still denied with the same- ‘Community Standards’.

So what with the major media giving very one-sided coverage and Facebook censoring material, presumably for being anti-US, how do the Australian public ever get to know what is going on. 

I will attach what I attempted to post separately..

I did manage to post some material critical of the SMH article and the RT article and they have remained there.

(A more radical view is at:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52534.htm)

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