Doctor and activist


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Tag: Politics

Subsidies for Inequality

5 March 2021

As a child our family moved to Port Kembla, and we lived on Hill 60, just above the rocks where a lot of people have drowned recently.

I went to Port Kembla Infant’s School, which was overcrowded but interesting.  Half the kids there came from the migrant hostel in the old WW2 army camp where ‘displaced Persons’ (as WW2 refugee families were called) lived.  These kids arrived in kindergarten without a word of English. This was taken as normal by the teachers, who just plugged on. The kids from the hostel were called ‘Hostels’, but it was a descriptor rather than a pejorative.  By the time we got to 2nd class in our 4th year (Kindergarten, Transition, 1st Class, 2nd Class) there was no difference between Aussie borns and Hostels.  There were 46 in my 2nd class and girls filled the top 6 places.  There was minimal racism in kids leaving this school.   

There was no anti-discrimination legislation or bureaucracy in the 1950s but all the parents had jobs in the steelworks or associated industries and the Housing Commission was building suburbs full of affordable housing as fast as it could.  If you had a go, you got a go. The ABC Radio had an awkward segment before the news called ‘Learn English with us’ where some somewhat stilted practical speech exercises lasted about 2 minutes.  I used to wonder how the new migrants all tuned in for this little segment if they could not understand the rest.  But the intention was there.

In 1966 there was a movement demanding ‘State Aid for Church Schools’ on the basis that they had paid their tax, and now they had left the state system they were paying twice.  The government wanted to win the election, and this was seen as critical for the Catholic vote. The Democratic Labor Party, which had split from the ALP were the champions of this and still represented a significant threat to the ALP as they preferenced the Libs.  State Aid came in.

Some time later there was a lot of emphasis on ESL (English as a Second Language) classes at TAFE, which were held during school hours.  Their target was migrant women and their objective was to encourage English speaking to allow the women both to meet each other and to participate in society more easily.  John Howard defunded the programme; ‘user pays’ was the new paradigm.

I now live in Sydney in a relatively central affluent suburb. Each morning 8 private school buses start near my door ferrying students to 8 private schools.  No public transport needed- the school takes care of it all.  Others students in private school uniforms catch subsidised public transport to the schools of their parents’ choice.  But the cost of ‘choice’ is ‘residualisation’.  Schools where there are a lot of ethnic students suffer from ‘white flight’, and so have concentrated social disadvantage and a lack of native role models. One school I visited in Western Sydney had had a stabbing in the playground about 25 years ago.  The school photos in the foyer had no white face for the last 20 years. That was as far back as the photos went.

When we wonder if the Cabinet have any idea how the poorer folk live, my opinion is that they do not.  These social dynamics have now been going for long enough that it is possible to be old enough to be in Cabinet and have no idea how the other half live.  Some think that people without jobs have ‘wasted their opportunities’ or have alcohol or gambling problems.  Add a little self-ri ghteous religion, ‘the poor are always with us’, a touch of arrogance and a peer group that thinks the same, and you have policies that are increasingly dismantling the fair go and equity that should be at the heart of our culture.  It may be that you cannot make all people equal, but you can give all children equality of opportunity, and all adults enough to live on. We have to change direction and do just that.

Here, at the risk of being repetitive, is an article on Christian Porter.

www.themandarin.com.au/150633-christian-porter-the-unshakeable-belief-of-a-white-man-born-to-rule/?fbclid=IwAR2PbktE5jzTIgIjcL4orzdW1TO8ax03VpOBCFDTzDbRUepQnigaB1WG24Q

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Christian Porter’s Rape Explanation

3 March 2021

I just watched Attorney-General Christian Porter out himself as the Cabinet Minister accused of rape. He was live on ABC News Channel 24 at 3pm (but 8 minutes delayed, so they played the newsflash of NSW Sports Minister resigning after his property dealings were referred to ICAC).

I had deduced that Porter was the minister, as there had been a 4 Corners about him in November and his birthday made him the exact age that the alleged victim said her rapist was. We knew what he would say, as the media said that he was not going to resign, so as a debater I was as interested in his rhetoric as its contents.

He started by saying he was very sorry for the family of the alleged rape victim for their loss. He said that he had heard rumours of the allegation since November but he was unaware what was alleged. He denies the allegation completely, but was concerned about the effect on his colleagues.

He was also concerned that the journalists were trying him by media and were not following due process. He said that they had flowed due process when a previous Opposition Leader was accused of sexual harassment, clearly implying that the media were giving him a worse time. (There was no mention that one was alleged sexual harassment, the other alleged rape and suicide).

He said that he, unlike the media, was following due process.He in his professional life had been a prosecutor and had always tried to stand up for the victims and protect them.

He is now working hard but may now be removed by an accusation. If he were to resign it would mean ‘no rule of law’ and that an unsubstantiated media accusation would be enough to force Ministers to resign, so he will not stand down and set a bad precedent.

(Presumably the alternative is that no one stands down until ‘proper process’ has them convicted, which will very convenient for sports rorts and other current government activities).

He is taking a 2 week break on his doctor’s orders, and his friends are standing by him.

He expanded on the story somewhat during the questioning. There were 4 people in the debating team, 3 men and one woman. They went to her room and she showed him how to iron a shirt as none of them had ever ironed a shirt. He may have told her that ‘she would make a good wife one day’. He may have gone to dinner but he absolutely denied that he demanded oral sex or raped her. It did not happen. He pleaded with the media to ‘imagine for a second that it is not true’. Their faces were not shown on TV, but it seems from their voices that they found this hard to imagine.

He had had no contact with that person since January 1988, for 33 years, so he could not remember details, but she was a ‘bright, happy person’.

He cannot explain the story and he cannot test the evidence, so he does not favour an inquiry as he will be ‘asked to disprove something that did not happen’. Others may decide to have an inquiry. He wonders at ‘conspiracy theories everywhere’.

He spoke to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, presumably 8 days ago, not yesterday, and believes that he has the Prime Minister’s support.

My bet is that there will be a delay, then an inquiry, and then he will resign to save the government from embarrassment, but not be charged with anything. I could be wrong. Certainly the ‘Me Too’ movement has changed the paradigm in the entertainment industry and now even in Australian politics. But we are still nowhere near the old standard when Barry O’Farrell resigned as NSW Premier when he did not remember receiving a bottle of wine from a dodgy donor, or the Dutch Cabinet all resigned recently over a situation like Robodebt.

If Porter limps along, he will be lead in the Liberals’ saddlebag for a while. The election is a year away, so many will forget, but some will not, and a negative impression of the government grows stronger. These impressions eventually coalesce onto a ’gut feeling’ that the government has to go and the government becomes doomed. Usually the Canberra bubble of both politicians and their journalists are the last to realise.

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Trump Acquitted. Significance?

14 February 2021

President Trump was not impeached because it needs a two thirds majority of US Senators and the Democrats and Republicans have 50 each, with the Vice President having a casting vote.  So 13 Republicans would have had to vote for the impeachment, and only 7 did so. 57 to 43 was not two-thirds.

 Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said that Trump could not be impeached as he was no longer President, but this was because the Senate delayed the debate while he was, so it looked like a convenient cop-out.  Whether it was ‘loyalty to the Republican party’ is a moot question. In practical terms, Trump has a lot of support at the grass roots of the Republican party, and if he directs his supporters to oppose a Senator’s pre-selection next time it will be likely to cost them their seat.  So they were willing to toe the line that the election was rigged, and now vote that Trump did not incite supporters to storm the Capitol. It is remarkable that they were in the Chamber when the Capital building was stormed, and the Senators were in physical danger, but now they decline to condemn Trump.

It is worth looking at the Republicans who did have the courage to cross the floor:

Mitt Romney of Utah was an Independent until 1993, and a Mormon.  He stood as the Republican Presidential Candidate against Barack Obama in 2012, and was elected to the Senate in 2019.  He is 73 now, but has probably a very strong base.

Bill Cassidy MD, aged 64 was a Democrat who changed to the Republicans in 2001.  He was the only Republican Senator who did not challenge the result of the 2020 Presidential election and was condemned by his Louisiana Republican party for this stance, even prior to his voting for Trump’s impeachment.  He was elected in 2020, so will face the voters again in 2024.

Susan Collins of Maine aged 68 was elected in 1996, and is the longest-serving Republican woman Senator, most recently re-elected in 2020.  She declined to support the bill to repeal Obama’s ‘Affordable Care Act’ and also declined to support the nomination of conservative judge Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Lisa Murkowsi of Alaska aged 63 has been in the Senate since 1998, having followed her father into her seat but via a write-in vote, having been defeated in the pre-selection.  A survey showed her to be the second most liberal Republican Senator after Susan Collins.  She intends to run for a 4th term in 2022, but it has been tipped in Newsweek that Sarah Palin will stand against her in the next preselection.

Ben Sasse of Nebraska aged 48 has taken a strong stand against Trump and effectively bet his political career on what is currently not a popular stand in his State, though he paints himself as a strong conservative.

Richard Burr of North Carolina aged 65 surprised colleagues by voting against Trump. He was elected in 2005, but he had announced in 2016 that he would not seek a 4th term, so preselection is irrelevant for him.

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania aged 59 was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998, then the Senate in 2011 and 2016, but has said that he would not stand again.

So it looks as if there are very few Senate Republicans who will put the national interest ahead of their own pre-selections and party loyalties. 

This is why we need the power returned to the people both in the USA and here. The interests of the political parties are not the same as the interests of the people.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-donald-trump-acquitted/story?id=75853994
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Make Google Pay for Content? But who does the money go to? 29/1/21

I searched for something on google today and first up came a message from them on why they should not have to pay for content. Hey, it was like me telling a neighbour where a coffee shop was and then having to pay for having done so. Not quite!
There was no feedback to google- hey we are used to one-way communication these days. Most emails have a ‘No reply’ address and the rest of advertising has been one-way communication since BUGA UP stopped spraying on billboards in the mid-1980s.
But after the google position there was this video by Kevin Rudd, which talks about how the ACCC, which is now claiming to be doing this for media diversity, a.k.a. competition, happily approved Nine buying Fairfax and Murdoch buying almost all Australia’s rural newspapers to get an effective monopoly. They have not looked at media monopolies in Australia and do not seem to want to.
Rudd asks what has changed in media diversity and suggests that Scotty from Marketing is actually just collecting revenue to give to Murdoch. He points out that the legislation does not say where the money will go, and if it goes to existing media, principally Murdoch, it may do nothing at all for media diversity. He also points out that exempting the ABC from getting any money will mean that he can continue to defund them, while subsidising Murdoch, an American citizen who he just gave a gong to in the Australia Day honours. The message is clear from Scotty to Murdoch, ‘Those nasty Labor people want to investigate monopoly in Australian media, but we will support you and give you money- support us next election’.
Google and the multinational tech companies, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Expedia, the gambling websites and the rest that live overseas and pay no tax should be taxed on their turnover in Australia. The ABC should be better funded, and I am open to suggestions as how to support media diversity. The worry is that the extra revenue could just to used to favour sources that suit the government.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_mSnAKWHZA

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Dutch Cabinet Resigns over Welfare Debt Scandal. Australian Cabinet Does Not! 16/1/21

The entire Dutch Cabinet resigned over a scandal where welfare recipients were unjustly accused of welfare fraud.

At about the same time, the Australian Federal government had the Robodebt scandal where welfare recipients were assessed by a computer algorithm, accused of fraud and made to pay back monies that they should not have had to and could not afford. Money was deducted from their already inadequate welfare payments and quite a lot committed suicide. The Australian government ‘toughed it out’, i.e arrogantly refused to be held accountable. They settled a class action, which did not even cover what they had taken.

They have pork-barreled to win elections at both a State and Federal level, but have no intention of resigning.

The key lesson here is that there is no mechanism for dealing with the malfeasance of those in power. Trump may be impeached, but that would be an exceptional ‘one off’. In general there is no power that makes governments obey the laws the rest of us have to obey, or to follow the dictates of moral behaviour.


The only solution that I can see is to have the power returned to the people and the country run by regular referenda, once every 3 months at local, State and Federal level where anyone can put up a proposition and if it gets enough signatures it is balloted. If it wins, it becomes law. Federal government laws can be overturned and policies, such as not going into wars, are binding. This is the Swiss system, and their politician are part-time, only allowed two terms and their superannuation system is that their job has to remain open for them. This ensures that the politicians interests cannot differ from the people’s interests.

We have probably never had real power over politicians apart from the ballot box, and now they no longer resign, there is no sanction. They are not willing to take on the powerful, so we have 2 standards of justice, one for the rich and one for the poor. Things are worsening. Barry O’Farrell resigned as Premier of NSW because he forgot he had been given a bottle of wine. That simply does not happen now.

People are talking about changing the constitution for many reasons. It is 120 years old. It was not the absolute wisdom for all time; it was a minimalist document to get the 6 colonies to become States and form a nation under the Queen. We need to go boldly and get a new document. Incidentally the Swiss change their constitution also, just needing a bigger majority in the referendum.

It is about trusting the people, who in general are more principled than the politicians, and after all, have the right to decide.


www.smh.com.au/world/europe/the-buck-stops-here-dutch-pm-cabinet-resign-over-welfare-debt-scandal-20210116-p56ula.html

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The Evolution of Lying Proceeds Apace: New Daily 19/12/20.

When Trump was elected people asked me what he would be like. I said something like, ‘in any situation think what a dodgy real estate agent would do in that situation and you have my best prediction’.

Trump’s idea of truth was that it what is in your interest and what you can convince someone to believe. If you look at the real estate model of truth this is a ‘goer’. You convince someone that a property is worth a certain amount, even if its not. It the person believes you and pays the price, that becomes the value. and what you said becomes the truth.

Sadly, the paradigm does not work at all with science, and not even reliably in politics. But it takes some time for this to become evident, so the disinformation strategy still mostly works.

Morrrison invites journalists to a ‘briefing’ before he releases news. So if the coverage of the last issue was not to the government’s liking- no invitation this time. Journalists are in the unenviable position of getting a story and having to cover it s a certain way, or being scooped- the only one on the block without the story, bleating later. The technique is now called ‘media management’.

Here is Dennis Atkins with more on how it is done.

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/australian-politics/2020/12/19/scott-morrison-political-liars/

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To Make google and Facebook pay, or not to make google and Facebook pay?

6 September 2020

Presumably the whole world is watching whether the Australian government can make google and Facebook pay to carry news items.

The reason is quite clear. They gain customers for being able to point them to the news sources, and then they get the advertising revenue from people on their platforms, while the people who collected the news make no money for having done so, and then lose the advertising that used to come to them when people bought their papers or watched their TV channels.

So initially I was quite in favour of the idea. Here were big foreign companies, structured to pay no tax, grabbing all the advertising and the media was dying because of the lack of advertising revenue.  Strangely the ABC was not going to get any revenue- it was only going to the commercial media.  I wondered if this was a good thing. Would google and Facebook favour the ABC as it was free, and direct people there rather than to commercial media.  But if they did, would this produce a reaction from Murdoch, and would then the government do something more to favour Murdoch and disadvantage the ABC- hey, they are already cutting the ABC budget ?at Murdoch’s request.

But I was thinking that the rise of fake news and conspiracy theories, which threaten any rational voting or policy development is largely due to the social media behemoths.  Everyone is equal in that they can post what they like, and things that are more interesting and clickable are more equal than facts. Added to this, in order to get people to stay there and click around, they are connected up with things and people that they like and who think like them.  So we are all reinforced.  We friend the people we like, and they friend us. And we get our facts from them, and they from us.  So if we do not really chase facts in this candy store of pleasant experiences, we can soon have our own bubble, with no need for facts.  Pontius Pilate has been much quoted for asking, ‘What is truth?’  He did not want to know what the truth was, and many who quote him are of the same mind.  Exact truth may not always be clear, but you can get closer to it if you try, and hopefully that is what science and good journalism tries to achieve.

So when I saw the Australian government leading the world in trying to get revenue for the commercial media, when they had not even been able to get workable legislation to get them to pay some tax, I wondered who is driving this.  The companies that have bought our privatised toll roads have the government collect their tolls, and fine people if they do not pay.  So I wondered is this just Murdoch getting the government to collect revenue for him?  Murdoch was very much in favour of the market as he gobbled up smaller media players. The Rudd and Gillard governments were ruthlessly attacked and ultimately destroyed by Murdoch, and it was always my opinion that this was because they would not change the media ownership laws to allow Murdoch to have nearly all of it- the need for balance and diversity being totally irrelevant and profits the only objective.  As soon as Tony Abbott was Prime Minister this law was changed in Murdoch’s favour. 

Now the market has changed.  New technology has taken the money from newspapers and free to air TV, which were funded from their advertising.  The model had worked reasonably well when I was young.  The Fairfax family were rich from the advertising, and let the journalists write what they liked, or so we believed.  With Packer, it was not quite so clear. The slogan was ‘Publish and be Damned’, but while that may have been true for more salacious material or less powerful targets, there was a suggestion that some areas were off limits, like tobacco when there was a lot of cigarette ads in the paper.  Later, as Murdoch became more powerful, stories seemed to be changed a lot to suit his interest.  When Indonesia had a very authoritarian government Murdoch’s coverage of it was very benign as he sought to get a satellite TV licence.  This has advanced further so that now there is more advertorial content.  Before local papers closed, people bought a quarter page ad and got to write the article on the rest of the page.  Ideal for restaurants and clubs, but independent journalism?  I think not, but it was/is the norm. 

Once, stories were written first, then headline writers wrote the headlines for them.  Now even senior writers are being asked to write a story to fit under a pre-written, catchy headline.  Hey, we have to get a click to get the ad revenue.  Senior writers have told me that the headline may be misleading and they have to slant their stories so it is not seen as absurd.  What effect is this having?  What about people who only read the headline?  It no longer has substance- it was just put there so that they would notice it.

The ABC has been much criticised by the commercial media, and Murdoch in particular because it just gets money to provide a news and cultural service.  It has a different funding model, and if the commercial media has no money, they want the ABC to have none either.

But it is time to look at the root cause. The model of funding media and journalism by advertising revenue is broken.  It was fraying before google and Facebook etc came, and it is very broken now.  Murdoch was quite happy to let the market sort it out, when he was winning and buying up his competition.  Now he is getting the government to get him money from his technological competitors.  And the Australian government, which seems more beholden to him than any other national governments is doing his bidding.

If google and Facebook decide to offer less news and change their algorithms to favour ‘free’ news sources, is this likely to affect the content of our searches?  And will there be even more fake news and conspiracy theories than now?  Quite possibly.

I have no particular brief to act for google and Facebook, and find their ads telling me that the end of the world is nigh almost laughable.  I think that they must pay tax, and this must be based on their revenue, and not on the profits that can be so easily fiddled with foreign loans and transfer payments etc.  But it seems that there are 3 related problems:

  1. The government has a problem- how to get tax from these behemoths.
  2. The public have a problem how to get unbiased honest news and science facts. 
  3. The commercial media have a problem how to pay their journalists when the revenue has gone to social media to whom trivia and produces just as much revenue as news.  

We need to discuss this carefully, so that facts and public interest win.

www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-media-regulator/australia-to-force-google-facebook-to-pay-domestic-media-to-use-content-idUSKBN222066

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The Eden-Monaro By-Election of 4/7/20 was interesting for a number of reasons. 9/7/20

Amazingly there was a two-party-preferred swing to the Liberals of 0.37% and the margin was close, 50.48% Labor to 49.52% Liberal. Both the major party candidates were known to the electorate, Kristy McBain of Labor was a lawyer and Mayor of Bega Shire, and Dr Fiona Kotvojs, the Liberal was a science graduate and off-grid farmer who stood unsuccessfully at the 2019 Federal Election. Given that the electorate was very badly affected by the bushfires and Morrison was seemingly very callous and out of touch this is remarkable. It seems that he learned from the fact that he had ignored the fire warnings and took advice from the doctors early. This seems to have overshadowed his former errors. The overshadowing seems remarkable because some these people still do not have houses and the fire relief effort seems to have been mismanaged as well.

Labor’s primary vote was 35.9%, a fall of 3.27%. Former member, Labor’s Mike Kelly was popular and the fact that there are more parties in a by-election may have contributed to this fall, but the blandness of Labor and the lack of policies from Albanese must have contributed also.

The Liberals Primary vote was 38.35%, up 1.34%. In essence, Morrison has used the COVID19 crisis to turn Australia into a one party state. The government has formed a group with the Premiers, ostensibly to manage COVID19, but it also excludes everything else including Parliamentary scrutiny. Albo seems to recognise that criticism will not be welcomed in a time of crisis, so goes along into oblivion. This situation is working well for Morrison as, helped by the need to stimulate the economy, he gets access to the largest pork barrel in history. Given that he has proved a dab hand at pork barrelling with the Sports Rorts and Regional Development grants, this advantage is likely to give him the next election. Eden Monaro was just a bit close to and soon after the bushfires, but the fact that Eden Monaro was even considered possible to be the first government win of an opposition seat in a by-election for a century shows how the next Federal election is likely to go.

The minor party issues are also interesting. The Shooters got 5.36%. They were astute enough to change their name to Shooters Fishers and Farmers and this has paid dividends as they now have 2 lower house seats in NSW as well as one upper house one. Their 5.36% has them almost up to the Nationals at 6.4% which makes John Barilaro’s hope to win the seat looks almost silly. It must never be forgotten that the founder of the Shooters, John Tingle, took advantage of his friendship with Bob Carr, his position with sometimes balance of power in the upper house and concerns over guns to make a lasting deal that funds the gun lobby. Tingle persuaded Carr that only the Gun Clubs could keep track of individual gun owners, and made a deal that to hold a licence, gun owners had to shoot at a registered club at least once a year. The gun clubs can thus check them out, and hopefully report any crazies. In return for this the Gun Clubs get money to maintain the database of shooters. This of course can be used to organise shooters politically. Small political parties need quite a lot of money to keep track of members and keep them politically active. What an advantage the Shooters have! Now with the Fishers and Farmers in the name, the Nationals seem more of a tail on the neo-Liberal dog and a friend of miners and irrigators than workers for ordinary farmers. So the Shooter’s Fishers and Farmers are on the move. The Gun Control lobby needs to stay on its toes!

The Greens at 5.62% vote went down 3.16%, but the non-major vote tends to be divided up, so more independents and small parties in by-elections make it harder for the Greens. The Major party vote was 74.25, and the non-major vote 25.75. (My own hobby horse is that the major parties have a huge gerrymander as the preferential system means that together they get 75% of the vote, but almost all the seats).
The 3 Independents got 3.06% and the 5 tiddler parties 2.92% between them. The HEMP (Marijuana) Party 2.27%, Science 1.11% and the Lib Dems, Christians, and Australian Federation Party 0.69%, 0.65%, and 0.19%, all trying to keep their issues and upper house profiles alive. The Christians are sinking to an almost terminal level, but with the huge religious influence in the Liberal party they are hardly necessary.

So the key points were the strength of the Liberals based on COVID and their licence to pork-barrel, and the corresponding weakness of Labor- just enough to stop a challenge to Albo but with no chance at a Federal election if something does not change significantly. The weakness of the Nationals and the corresponding rise of the Shooters as the alternative is a bit of a worry, with the Greens and the others hard to assess.

https://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDivisionPage-25820-117.htm
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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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