Does the Budget really matter?

Forget the budget because it will never happen. Nearly all of measures won’t take effect until after the next election, and if Abbott wins the next budget will revert to Hockey’s first budget and we will be living in the Fourth Reich. If Labour wins the budget will change to suit Labour Party philosophy. The budget is a total non-event dressed up to con the electorate into believing that the Abbott government has become warm and cuddly.

No-matter what economists and pollies may say all economics is ideology driven. If Australians want a caring compassionate country that does it’s best to look after all it’s citizens then we would follow one set of economic guidelines. If the desired outcome is to screw the poor to give to Murdoch and Rinehart then Joe Hockey is your man.

The moral and humanitarian attitudes of the party in power mean more than any short-term vote getting arse saving measures like the second Hockey budget. The Abbott government is still an extreme right government with an extreme right agenda. It is a government that runs concentration camps and treats Australian citizens as beasts of burden who’s only function is to serve the rich and powerful.

Concentration camps is the only way to describe overseas prison camps where refugees are stripped of their names and are known only as numbers, kept caged in appalling conditions with no hope, and who’s only crime was to seek our help in escaping repression. The Abbott government is a government that only changed its plan to withhold unemployment payments for under thirties for six months only when the Australian public comprehensively rejected it. It is a government who wanted to cut aged pensions whilst pretending that aged pensioners would be better off. It is a government that blackmails senators in to passing odious legislation. It is a government that refuses to understand that if we do not start looking after our planet in a short while we will not have an economy. The list of the evils of the Abbott government could go on forever but back to the budget.

Gross national product is not a good measure of our countries prosperity. What matters is how the gross national product is distributed. Does it matter how wealthy Australia is if one percent own everything and the rest of us scrabble for the few morsels falling from the snorts of the few with their heads in the trough. Joe Hockey will call it ‘trickle down’ but is it more like a very slowly dripping tap.

There are no universal economic rules. Economics is about who gets what from what is available. Economics is a about distribution. How do we want our wealth distributed? Is the distribution to be for the maximum good of all Australians or is our wealth solely for the benefit of the one percent?

Instead of discussing the Hockey non-budget the discussion needs to be about what sort of country we want to live in? Do we really want to live in the Fourth Reich? For those who do not like the idea of living in the Fourth Reich Abbott and his complete extreme right front bench must be buried under the same rock as Azazel, never to be seen again until the day of judgement.

Abbott’s security laws a giant leap towards the Forth Reich.

Australia is in the same position as Germany was in the early 1930’s. We have a government creating fear and hate as an excuse for exchanging ‘Liberty” for ‘Personal Safety.’ This ignores that Liberty is the way to ensure personal safety. A free, educated compassionate society is the best way of combating radicalization.

What about the deliberate use of fear and hate by the Abbott government to radicalize the Australian people? Is one form of radicalization any less evil than another? We have an extreme right wing government using all the same tricks used by Hitler, Pinochet, Papa Doc and the other right wing dictators who high jacked democracy. We even have our own Ministry for Public Education and Propaganda run by Rupert Murdock copying the methodology and structure set up for Hitler by Joseph Goebbels.

Hitler started by blaming the socialists for everything and grabbed power by having the socialists banned from the German parliament. Abbot of course had Julia Gillard as the source of all that is evil and set out to destroy the Labour government. When blaming the socialist was no longer enough Hitler moved on to engendering hared and fear of the Jews to justify his strangulation of German democracy. Abbott has moved on to hatred and fear of Islam, which is no more justified than the hatred of Jews by Hitler. The rise of Hitler was considerably more dramatic than the antics of Abbott but the pattern is the same: a build up of hatred and fear to justify taking democracy away from the people.

The old story of learning from history or repeat it is terrifyingly true in Australia today. There are so many examples of how right wing politics highjack democracy that follow exactly the same pattern that is repeating itself in Australia, but still we go blindly down the path into the Fourth Reich. Do we learn nothing?

A Dangerous time for Labour

Bill Shorten has had a dream run. He and Labour have done an excellent job at doing nothing and letting Abbott self-destruct. In this role Shorten has proved himself to be an expert, but whether this is by design to take maximum advantage of Abbott’s death wish or natural talent coming to the fore is, at this stage, unknown.

After Tuesday, no matter what the outcome of the LNP (maybe) leadership spill Bill Shorten and the Labour party will have to start doing things. Things like developing policies that work and the people of Australia want. After a year and a bit of semi-silence from Labour the Australian people will want to know what the alternative to extreme right politics is.

Abbott needs to be Labour’s example of what not to do. I hope and expect that the Australian people have gone past voting for the junkyard dog because of it’s ability to destroy a government. Abbott may have shown that he can smash and destroy, and gain power through lies and half-truths but the junkyard dog was never going to convert to a warm fuzzy family friendly pet.

Labour needs to learn the lesson from this and understand that there is politics, and there is good government, but the two do not mix. Rudd and Abbott were both politically vicious and ruthless but never had what it took to govern for the people. The time is here for Labour to stop the politics and construct future policies for this country in unison with the people and for the people.

Good governance is not coming up with smart ideas and telling the people that is what must be done. Good governance is about listening to the people who elected them, (and those that didn’t), and finding the path that leads to fulfilling the peoples wants and needs in a sustainable manner. These wants and needs are not confined to self interest and personal gain but also who we want to be as a nation. Gross National Product is a very poor indicator of the health of a nation.

There are many people in Australia who deplore the Australian concentration camps at Manus Island and other places. No healthy country incarcerates a minority people without any charges being laid and leave them with no legal or human rights, or any hope of freedom. Presenting the slow murder of the soul as being the only alternative to dying at sea is a political expediency of the most vicious and cynical kind. There may be those who object to the term Concentration Camp but that is what Manus Island and the other ‘Offshore Processing Facilities’ are. Bill Shorten, please have the backbone to say out loud that Rudd led Labour along a path to hell when he reintroduced Howard’s inhumane policies. Bill Shorten, Rudd made a mistake and you need to fix it.

Rudd also totally messed up over climate change. Abbott’s ‘colourless odourless gas’ is destroying our habitat. One lesson that the human race is that when a species habitat is destroyed the species dies. We have caused the extinction of many species by destroying their habitat and the least we should have learned is that not combating global warming could have dire consequences for our future existence. There are those that seem to think that the human race, and Australians in particular have a divine presence that is not subject to nature, but they are mistaken. Australia as a land mass that is extremely vulnerable to climate change and we as a people may have to make radical changes to our life style and expectation for our future if we do not start making massive changes now to our attitude about climate change. It is probably too late to avoid the results of climate change but whether this means a bit of fender bending or being dead on arrival depends entirely on our nation being willing and able to act now to avoid the worst of outcomes.

If Labour does not address the real issues of past decisions and change the direction of many of its past policies someone like Malcolm Turnball or Julie Bishop will tear them apart at the next election. They might get lucky and have Scott Morrison continue the downward spiral of the far right into oblivion started but Abbott but it would be a mistake to rely on dumb luck to get Labour through the next eighteen months.

It is time for Labour to stop playing politics, admit past errors and develop clear and inclusive policies for the future well being of both the individual and the country. The big question is ‘are Bill Shorten and the Labour Party up to it?’

My new responsive website is now active

After several redesigns my new eBook website, http://www.yosefalbric.com is now active. The website will now display properly on tablets and smart phones as well as desktop computers. If anyone finds any bugs in my new site please use the contact form at the bottom of the page and let me know what happens to cause the problem.

Thank you

Soulless Economics 101

Van Dormael (1978: 32) quotes the British Economist John Maynard Keynes in 1941 as saying

‘the secular international problem‘ of maintaining equilibrium in the balance of payments – a problem that ‘had that had never been solved since methods of barter had given way gave way to money and bills of exchange.’

(and)

‘To suppose that there is some smoothly functioning automatic mechanism of adjustment which preserves equilibrium if only we trust to methods of Laissez-faire is a doctrinaire delusion which disregards the lessons of historical experience without the support of sound theory.’

Basically the problem with economics is that there is no way of establishing a rate of exchange. What is fair and what is unjust? Who knows? The only alternative seems to be no rules and that as been a disaster. This leaves a situation where human attributes (or lack of them) determine economic policies and outcomes. If the object is create a society that has a soul and acts humanly towards all its peoples then human qualities such as empathy and compassion have to be the guiding principle of economic decision making. If screwing the poor to give to Rupert Murdoch is the aim then Joe Hockey is the man for the job, but don’t suggest for one moment that there is any empathy, compassion or soul involved in Hockey’s policies.

Presenting spending years of mental and physical suffering in a squalid concentration camp with no charges laid and no prospect of release as being the only alternative of crossing the seas in a leaky boat is the act of a totally soulless country. How can a country that rushes to war in a foreign country at the slightest excuse, and without being asked but refuses to give significant aid to help stop Ebola until being forced to by universal condemnation from the rest off the world say it has a soul.

I used to like Australia when it had a soul, the days before Abbott became leader of what used to be the Liberal Party. The days before Kevin Rudd sent refugees of to concentration camps. But those days are gone. Can those days be revived?

The simple answer would be to bury Abbott and his whole front bench down the same hole as Azazel never to be seen again until judgement day, but that would be too simplistic. The problem is that if a despot is deposed what happens then? Is there any alternative? Sadly in Australia at this time I don’t see any viable alternative. Bill shorten seems a reasonable sort of fellow but he is no match for Abbott and he leads a party that has lost it’s soul. A beginning for labour would be to accept that Rudd’s refugee policy was a political move that failed and that it was also inhuman. If Labour reversed its refugee stance and supported speedy onshore process and humane treatment of all peoples it would be a beginning. A little bit of soul is better than no soul. Bill Shorten moving aside for Tanya Plibersek would be a major step forward. Tanya is a lady who seems to have empathy and compassion as well as the ability to stand up to Abbott.

With only about eighteen months to the next election we need to begin rebuilding Australia’s soul now because if the extreme right of the Murdoch/Abbott government becomes entrenched Australia’s soul could pass beyond revival.

Reference

Van Dormael, Armand. 1978. Bretton Woods: Birth of a Monetary System. United Kingdom: Holmes &; Meier Publishers.

The Great Big F35 Con

The F35 is the last fighter any sane PM would buy. Reports indicate that it flies like a pregnant duck and computer simulations show it is completely outclassed by the Russian Sukhoi fighter, and it’s Chinese copy that are already in service. Even the US Air force don’t want it.

But worse that it is a complete con by the Americans. The F35 comes in three versions. The A, B and C. The A version is the pregnant duck version. The B is a short take-off and landing version for the US Army, and the C version is a vertical take-off and landing version for the US Navy. The con is that Australia and other nations are sharing the development costs of all versions but only getting the pregnant duck at $m90.00 each. The only entities who need Australia to have the F35 are any potential enemies.

We are paying for the development of aircraft for the US Army and Navy and getting nothing, absolutely nothing in return. Without the B and C versions the F35 would have been in service many years ago. It is under-powered slop bucket, completely out-dated that will never do the job we are buying it for. Abbott is robbing money needed make Australia a compassionate country so he can buy a few new, and totally useless toys for the air force. If ever there any decision that emphasis just stuffed Abbott’s decision-making faculties are this is it. We are robbing pensions, the unemployed and many other disadvantaged groups to subsidised the US Army and Navy.

Do we really want to screw the disadvantaged even more that the Abbott government has already to pay for a few useless aircraft?

Clive Palmer the Key to Australia’s future

It is a strange that the maintenance of democracy in Australia should come down to the vote of the Palmer United party.

I would like to see the end of the Abbott experiment but failing that there are two issues I am passionate about, Global Warming and the Australia’s cruelty to refugees. On both these issues Clive Palmer is in a unique position to force changes in the Abbott position. Human induced global warming is no longer a scientific debate. It is a fact and it has arrived. The scientific debate is now what can we do to minimise the effects.

If Palmer is going to stand for his election promise of ‘more love and integrity’ promised repeated continuously in the WA senate election re-run he has to take a long look at his attitude to refugees. This is an issue where humanity must prevail.

I will be lobbying Palmer to take a long look at the issues of global warming and refugees and I ask anyone, from any political persuasion, who has concerns about global warming and the treatment of refugees to do the same. It might just be enough to change the future of Australia.

The Vatican embraces Reganomics.

The Catholic Church’s answer to Tony Abbott, George Pell, is to head the Vatican finance Ministry in Vatican City. Both Abbott and Pell were both disciples of B A Santamaria and Santamaria’s radical fundamentalist Catholicism and way-out economic policies make Attila the Hun look like a green senator. It seems we can expect the Vatican to explain that it has to screw poor so that it can balance its books. But then again mainstream Christianity of all persuasions has been doing that for centuries.

The other thing that we can expect is for Abbott to be summoned to Rome to receive a Catholic Knighthood. Murdoch has already received his for building a church, so with Pell in his new position how can Abbott fail? There is nothing like an old pals network to get where you want to go. Santamaria, Abbott, Pell, Murdoch and the Catholic Church is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Raganomics is the art of making the rich richer in the vain hope that the rich will spend some money that will filter down to the poor at the bottom of the heap. Mainstream churches have practiced this for centuries without it being formalized with a name, but precious little filters down to the poor. Nor will it ever. There could not be a starker example of the failure of Raganomics than the Catholic Church. It has accumulated vast wealth without doing any perceivable good works to alleviate poverty and suffering in this world. Pell has gone where he needs to be and I am certain that there will be a regular comparing of notes with Abbott and Murdoch and regular channelling of B A Santamaria.