The Philosophy of Joe Hockey

Guest post by Alan Austin.

Joe has no idea!

The ignorance and ineptitude of the man who would be Australia’s next Treasurer was on full display last Thursday. A business conference run by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia heard Joe Hockey explain the Coalition’s plans.

“I am often told by business people how tough it has become to do business in Australia.

They tell me that input costs are high, labour costs are high, regulation is high, the Australian dollar is high, international competition is fierce, and profits are low.”

Evidence offered was the cost of the carbon tax, electricity, gas and labour in Australia – compared with the United States.

Chart

So does the Shadow Treasurer want Australia to follow the US?

After successfully negotiating the global financial crisis, Australia now outperforms the US on economic growth, income per capita, employment participation, savings, foreign exchange reserves and value of the dollar against other currencies.

Australia has lower levels of unemployment, bankruptcies, deficits as a percentage of GDP and debt to GDP.

Australia has better superannuation, health care, pension levels, interest rates, home ownership, balance of trade, international credit ratings and overall quality of life.

Several of these advances on the US occurred during 2008 and 2009 as Australia, virtually alone in the world, headed off the ravages of recession with bold stimulus packages.

Hockey continues:

“I find it hard to believe that other built-in costs such as regulatory costs in the form of red tape and green tape are more onerous in the United States than in Australia.”

Hard to believe, Joe? Surely you have heard of the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC. Motto: “Conservative policy research since 1973”.

Its annual survey of economic freedom measures precisely this – how easy it is for capitalists to invest and produce without government interference.

In January, Heritage ranked Australia first in the OECD and third in the world, just behind Singapore and Hong Kong – a level never achieved when Howard and Costello were running the show. The US lags at 10th.

Heritage said this:

“Australia’s economic freedom score is 82.6, making its economy the 3rd freest in the 2013 Index . . . Australia’s strong commitment to economic freedom has resulted in a policy framework that encourages impressive economic resilience . . . Openness to global trade and investment is firmly institutionalized, and the economy has rebounded relatively quickly from the global recession.”

Their assessment of the US, in contrast:

“The United States, with an economic freedom score of 76, has lost ground again in the 2013 Index . . . More than three years after the end of recession in June 2009, the U.S. continues to suffer from policy choices that have led to the slowest recovery in 70 years. Businesses remain in a holding pattern, and unemployment is close to 8 percent. Prospects for greater fiscal freedom are uncertain . . . ”

So which government will the Coalition emulate when it next gains power?

Hockey again:

“This competitive disadvantage is compounded by a government which has declared war on the business community with new and increased taxes and capricious policy decisions.”

Just completely false. Heritage says this:

“The financial system has remained stable, and prudent regulations have allowed banks to withstand the global financial turmoil with little disruption. Public finances are soundly managed, and sovereign debt levels are under control. A transparent and stable business climate makes Australia one of the world’s most reliable and attractive environments for entrepreneurs.”

Hockey continues:

“What we do need to do is to ensure that our workers have the skills and knowledge that our industry needs. Education, training and retraining is a key step to unlock labour productivity gains.”

Correct. The Rudd/Gillard program. No?

Hockey:

“More broadly, the way to accommodate and indeed thrive with high wage costs is to focus on lifting productivity so that the per unit labour cost is competitive.”

Correct again. Wayne Swan’s program precisely. Australia’s productivity  has surged in the last six consecutive quarters to an all-time high of 164.82 points.

Hockey continues:

“Business has been damaged by the sheer capriciousness of tax policy. This government has announced 27 new or increased taxes since coming to office in November 2007.”

Maybe. But how many has it abolished and reduced? The key issues are the weight of the tax burden, equitable load-sharing and administration costs.

The evidence suggests all three have improved significantly under Australia’s current administration. According to the OECD, overall taxation has dropped significantly since 2007. For the entire Rudd/Gillard period taxes have been lower than the lowest point during the Howard years.

Again, does Australia want to go back to where it was?

The most serious problem with Hockey’s speech, however, is his obsession with energy costs and the carbon tax:

“The most direct step the Federal government can take to lower electricity and gas prices is to abolish the carbon tax.”

Yes, energy costs have risen. But why? Hockey seems completely ignorant of (a) the global consensus regarding emissions reduction, (b) the reality that emissions are now reducing in Australia and (c) emerging green energy alternatives.

None of those three concepts gets the slightest hint of a mention. Somewhat bizarre.

So the questions arising from Hockey’s presentation include:

Does the Shadow Treasurer really understand the factors that propelled Australia to the top of the world’s economies during the GFC? If not, will Australia slip back again, as happened during the last Coalition period?

Why no mention of values such as fairness, sharing the proceeds of Australia’s natural wealth, and protecting the environment?

And why so little analysis in Australia’s media of the philosophy and policies – or lack thereof – of the people who hope soon to control the levers?

Alan (pictured below) is an Australian freelance journalist currently living in Nîmes in the South of France, but who returns to Australia regularly. His interests are religious affairs, the economics of development and integrity in government and the media. He has been published in many print outlets and worked for eight years with ABC Radio and Television’s religious broadcasts unit. He has also worked as a journalist with the aid agency World Vision and the Uniting Church.

103 comments on “The Philosophy of Joe Hockey

  1. The simple fact is: the American economy suffers from gross overspending by the Government. Does that sound familiar? Imagine where we’d be if we weren’t in debt of close to AUD $200 Billion thanks to the Labor Government. Let me remind you again – when the ALP took over Government, there was AUD $20 Billion in the bank and AUD $75 Billion in the Future Fund. Congratulations you pathetic ALP supporters, look at the damage caused for what perceived gain!

  2. Oh and don’t the right wingers get all crotchety when facts and figures come out that they can’t dispute and they blow away all the shite they constantly spruik.

  3. Can you please quantify this damage you are going on about?

    Yes, abbott doesn’t earn as much as loto as he would as PM. He has a mortgage you know, and losing the last election caused massive damage to his repayments schedule

  4. Perceived gain? Such as having one of the best performing economies..but I’m sure that Abbott and Hockey will quickly fix all of that…

  5. Curry any economist will tell you we DO NOT have a debt problem. Govt debt is not bad, Governments are not companies to be run for profit. They are there to look after the people. And the Howard govt was the most profligate govt in history, they sold EVERYTHING and built nothing, just bought votes with his handout bribes every time an election rolled around. Not to mention their taxation. Try educating yourself rather than believing the BS you are constantly fed.

  6. What no comment on the nearly AUD $100 Billion they blew? Tell me what you and I received from this windfall?

  7. Yet Tom he is by far the most expensive opposition leader this country has ever known and his office costs blow the PM’s out of the water. Worse is that whilst the PM’s costs are for running the country his costs are almost exclusively tax payer funded party political electioneering, private promotion and stunts for political gain, not for running a credible opposition.

    If these are his costs in opposition then it’s hard to imagine the huge expenses he will rack up as PM, without a peep from the hypocrite right wingers of course. Again you need look no further than Newman for an example.

  8. Pingback: Philosophy of Joe Hockey | Correcting the Lies

  9. Better performing economy that Howard/Costello, who ruled during the greatest global sustained economic growth period in history, yet blew it,

  10. yes I remember Howard constantly hammering saying interest rates would NEVER be lower under a labor govt than liberal. A bit like jellyfish Joe saying only the liberals had the discipline to take the hard decisions then getting his stomach stapled because he couldn’t stop feeding his face

  11. This oposition is the meme of faux..they will say anything as they have the blessing of the king of news for eleventy pieces of silver. Surplus = 72 billion dollars in public assets gone = good

  12. Joe Hockey as wannabe Treasurer: He thinks quantitative easing is moving the top button on his trousers as his waistline grows. He is either ignorant, therefore incompetent, or speaking deliberate lies and deception, or both. His spruiking is typical of all the LNP dishonesty. I see all of what passes as LNP “policy”, in the various portfolios, as sanstone blocks in a stone arch. The “sedimentary glue” holding the sandgrains together is the constant lies and hypocracy of the LNP, while the keystone maintaining the arch is the mainstream media reporting all these lies and ignoring the tremendous shortcomings of what could be our future govt. Here’s hoping there’s enough decent people, conscientious enough to inform themselves of the facts, thereby turning the sanstone back to sand, and causing the mainstream media, the keystone to tumble to the ground with the rest of the sand, stony broke. Don’t buy their papers and don’t tune your electronic device to their lousy programming, and kill their advertising revenue.

  13. Ah & LibTard troll extraordinaire, Curry, is here yet again to spout his complete & utter bull-crap. Anyone with a brain (which rules out Curry & his fellow LibTards) could tell that the problem in the US isn’t overspending, but a lack of *revenue*-due to subsequent tax cuts for the rich & massive tax avoidance by the richest corporations & individuals in the US-things that Curry’s Republican pin-up boys/girls have no desire to clamp down on. Instead, they’d rather follow the UK path of driving the US economy into another major recession by making massive cuts in essential spending. Of course, if LibTards like Curry want to talk about “overspending”, then lets talk about the Iraq War debacle or-closer to home-lets talk about the massively inefficient Private Health Insurance rebate, Child Care Rebate & Baby Bonus-amongst just some of Howard’s more extravagant vote-buying exercises-all things which the current clowns on the Opposition Bench desperately wish to revive should they gain government!

  14. I think one might find that it is the decades of tax cuts, especially to the wealthy that has caused the USA DEBT.

  15. Abbott said yesterday, with a straight face, that productivity grew under Howard but fell under this and the previous government.

    Does one notice, that the coalition is still ranting on about the so called disasters from the Rudd government, not this one.

    Ignoring the fact, that this PM managed to put in place all Rudd; is intended policies. Is now moving forwarded with her own.

    Does one recall that Howard government caused the greatest private debt in our history.

  16. Bringing the education facilities into this century. Computerized whiteboard in every classroom for starters. Those language and science labs will not go amiss.

  17. Note. Mr. Abbott is going to give the states money with no strings attached. Gee, even Mr. Howard did not do that.

  18. Curry, you cannot keep taking money out of your budget, without running into trouble. You either have to starve yourself or borrow, The alternative is to put the money BACK.

    The truth is, that those who can afford to, are not paying their fair share of taxes.

  19. We have to keep reminding people like “Curry” that The Howard government sold assets worth 70 billion,and only left 20 billions(so if I had 70$ and only spend 20$ I could be a good treasurer?),not impressive at all.

  20. @Curry
    Yes lets imagine where we would be if the Labor government hadn’t spent that money:
    The IMF predicted an Australian GDP growth rate of -1.45% in 2009, we achieved 1.4% largely thanks to that money your talking about that labor “wasted”. That’s a difference of 2.85%. That 2.85% difference to GDP is the return on investment for that debt, without that debt ouor GDP would be 2.85% lower than it is today. Bigger economy is good by itself but it also means that government revenue is higher than it would of been otherwise (Bigger economy means more tax revenue for the government). Exactly how much you ask? Well a 2.85% difference in the GDP makes a $7.8 billion difference in government revenue for 2010, $8.34 billion in 2011 and $8.59 billion in 2012. Infact that debt that Labor “wasted” means that for 2013 the government would have recieved $33.53 billion more over the last 4 years budgets than they would have without that debt. They will have paid $20.75 billion in interest over the same period. That’s a profit of $12.78 billion… In other words, not a waste. Not only is it good for this government, it’s also good for ALL future governments because it’s the investment that just keeps giving. The economy is now 2.85% better off than it would of been at any point in the future which means every year the government has that extra 2.85% of revenue to spend that they would not have had if it weren’t for Labor’s debt. Still think it was a waste?

    Here it is in a graph that will hopefully help you understand:

    (P.S. Sorry if your not meant to post pics)

  21. @ Voyager. France is part of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (which is what Australia is operating on-albeit at a fixed price for the first 3 years). France doesn’t have a Carbon Tax-yet-but one was introduced back in 2009, only to be blocked on account of the large number of exemptions within it. It was abandoned by Sarkozy, but will apparently be picked up by the new French President.

  22. Listen you lot, I talk like an idiot so that you can understand me – it’s a struggle, but I’m obviously worth the effort. That said, why am I trying to engage in a battle of wits with unarmed ignorant people. Good riddance.

  23. @Curry,
    I’d love to see you actually engage your wits against me instead of taking the easy way out. You can start by responding to my post if you’d like.

  24. Oh, I see Curry, this is just more Right Wing projection-namely accuse others of that which you yourself are guilty (in this case, you’re guilty of being an utter imbecile who struggles to construct a coherent sentence, let along a coherent argument). I really do hope that this is the last we have to hear of your ignorant crap-don’t let the door slam you on the @$$ on your way out!

  25. @Curry
    P.S. The Future Fud currently has $94.96 Billion in it, $12.57 billion of which was started by the Rudd/Gillard Government in the form of the EIF, BAF and HHF.

  26. 😆 getting hammered again by facts Curry? Here’s another one for you. The balance of the Future Fund as at 30th June 2007 was $52,320m. As of 30th June 2012 it was $77,012m – a growth of 47.2% under Labor governments including the GFC period…

    Lieberals better money managers – as one infamous Lieberal president was wont to say. “PIG’S @#$3”

    why am I trying to engage in a battle of wits

    That’s a good question – you’re only ½ way qualified 😆

  27. Total Future Fund Balance ($A m) as of 31st December 2012?
    82,390

    Tim seems to have more current figures that this even…

    Massive fail Curry…

  28. Lets not forget that Howard left a budget in structural deficit in 2007 (namely more money going out in spending than was coming in as revenue), & that was *before* the GFC severely impacted tax receipts. So claims that Howard/Costello were “great economic managers” is just another myth created from whole cloth by the Right Wing Media.

  29. Curry is trying to curry favour with the Liberals, but isn’t he in for a rude shock. They’ll crap all over him when the time comes.

  30. I have no problem with governments selling off assets. Things change over time, and that applies also to government assets.

    What I have problem with what should happen to the money raised.

    The money should not be used to pay off recurring cost or debt.

    The money should be reinvested back into new infrastructure.

  31. Alan
    A good presentation of the facts, so do not be downhearted when idiots like “curry” not worth a capital letter reject facts as his idols have been doing it for 5years, with the help of a compliant media. The lying rodent and le smirk sold off assets to their mates at fire sale prices and should have been lock up for defrauding the commonwealth.

  32. France has a carbon tax, I do not know. I do know they believe the NBNco is the way to go, and are in the procees of rolling pout a similar model.

    Has not Turnbull shares in that body.

    I also she the contracts have been signed for the satelites for NBNco.

  33. So we have established France does not have a Carbon Tax.
    Makes it tough to sell a Holden Commadore or Ford Falcon against a Citreon.
    Simple way to export jobs and lose Aussie icons!
    One big lie – Election will be lost just on this lie.

  34. France does not have a Carbon Tax.

    Neither does Australia…

    $AUD through the roof – Makes it tough to sell a Holden Commadore (sic) or Ford Falcon against a Citreon

  35. “So we have established France does not have a Carbon Tax.”

    How do yo come to this conclusion from what I wrote. Even for you, it is a gymnastic feat to arrive at your belief.

    I said that tongue in cheek,, as I am not that interested.

    I said I do not know. If you do not know, Google. If you do know, tell us what they model. is. I am sure they are taking some action.

    Once again, you have proved nothing.

  36. Things must be bad for abbort with this Blitzkrieg of bad info rather like the battle of the bulge a last ditch effort to overwhelm the government. Hold on whisperers it is always darkest before the dawn.

  37. France seems to ne taking carbon emissioms seriously. Spending serious money>

    Substantial financial means for partner
    countries
    France’s international action on climate change now absorbs
    a substantial share of its overall official development assistance effort, in terms of volume and exchanges of knowhow.
    Its bilateral commitments have steadily increased to a total
    of 7 million Euros in financing linked to combating climate
    change over the last three years. France has also strengthened its commitments to the major multilateral financing
    agencies, in particular through the 5th replenishment, in
    2010, of the Global Environment Facility with €215 million,
    and its $500 million contribution to the Clean Technology
    Fund.
    Finally, France has undertaken to raise €1.26 billion in 2010-
    2012 (€420 million per year) for the “fast-start” financing
    mechanism agreed to in Copenhagen, in the context of the
    European Union’s commitment of €7.2 billion. France will be
    achieving that commitment as it has raised €420 million per
    year in fast-start financing for the last three years, of which
    78% is at the bilateral level. France also raised additional resources for action against deforestation, by earmarking €30
    million from its contributions to the GEF (Global Environment
    Fund) for the REDD+/sustainable forest management programme and by increasing the resources of the FGEF (French
    Global Environment Facility) with the aim of supporting an
    initial objective of targeting 20% of fast-start financing to
    forests.
    At the national level, as announced by the President of
    France at the UNGA in September 2012, France will allocate
    10% of the revenue on its financial transaction tax to financing development aid, particularly in the areas health and
    climate change.
    Adaptation to climate change
    Action by the French State in this area began with the creation, in 2001, of a national observatory on climate change
    effects, with an explicit mission on adaptation to climate
    change, followed by the adoption in 2006 of a national
    adaptation strategy. Interministerial work between 2007 and
    2009 then quantified the costs of climate change impacts
    in France. In 2010, national consultations were organised
    with a view to developing a national climate change adaptation plan, with 200 recommendations formulated. Based
    on these, the government presented the first national climate change adaptation plan in July 2011. It is made up of
    84 activities for the 2011-2015 period. They are geared in
    particular to saving and optimising water use, developing
    knowledge and strengthening monitoring systems on emerging diseases, developing appropriate planning policies and
    preventing forest fires. Finally, on the strength of its geographical diversity and its commitments, France also backs
    the implementation of adaptation measures in developing
    countries, from creating reliable meteorological and climate
    databases to carrying out concrete projects.

    http://www.franceintheus.org/IMG/pdf/12002_Doha_4p_Defi-climatique_GB-2.pdf

  38. Really VOYAGER (I note that you like to shout, with the capitals and all that) your ignorance is astounding. I suspect you’ve never ‘voyaged’ far afield. An ‘insular’ mentality.

    Try registering a Commodore or its equivalent, for example, in countries such as the UK and you’ll soon know about the price they put on carbon emissions. Certainly Citreon know all about it.

    And no I won’t do your homework for you.

  39. It appears France has no Carbon Tax (call it what you like).
    My comment stands how can a Comadore compete against a Citreon , an impost on
    jobs. Dont muddy waters with value of A$ as this is a variable.
    Carbon Tax is a tax on jobs because imports from most countries do not pay
    a Carbon Tax in their home countries.
    Now thats real fair! A real level playing field. Stop dreaming.

  40. My god, how do this right wingers get through life being so ignorant and dumb on the subjects they sprout shit on?

    Do they really get all their information from the right wing media and the gormless Abbott brigade without bothering to do an a iota of independent research before mouthing off?

    Or is it they will clutch at any straw, make any tenuous if erroneous premise in an attempt to score a point for their bereft side.

    No need to answer, their idiotic posts speak volumes for themselves.

  41. Mobius obvious a Labor thing .Dont answer questions
    Thats why Ms Dullard is grovelling in the Western Suburbs and why she is
    so far behind and why she exists on a day to day basis.
    Australias Biggest Loser.

  42. Sometimes facts help others though Mö – those who read but don’t post.

    For the IGNORAMUS – Sydney:
    http://theenergycollective.com/davidhone/88846/23-tonne-right-price-australia

    Carbon prices around the world in comparison to Australia (June 2012 prices)…
    European average 2008-2012 = $25.50 Currently very low, but on the increase.
    Alberta, Canada = $15
    British Columbia, Canada = $25, rising to $30
    UK electricity = $23.55
    Norway = $22
    Sweden = $100
    Switzerland = $37

  43. The Liars raked in $330bn from the mining boom, Curry and all they had to show for it was $20bn in the bank and $75bn in the future fund. Please explain what happened to the other $205bn.

    It certainly wasn’t invested in infrastructure unless you count a few flagpoles, or health, or transport or communications or an NDIS, or Gonski or anything useful.

    So I’d like you to enlighten us with an account of what they did with our $205bn apart from just pissing it up against a wall, which of course is precisely what they did by handing it out as welfare for people who had absolutely no need for it

    Oh yes, I was forgetting the illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. I bet that’s cost a pretty penny, most of which would have been spent so the Rodent could big note. And it looks like his spawn are just as profligate and dishonest.

    Oooh look! Curry’s running away just like his hero when the going gets tough.

    What about live exports, Voyager? Can you blame the difficulty selling our live exports on the carbon tax we don’t have, or is it due to the high dollar?

  44. Oh Voyage and Abbott isn’t grovelling. You haven’t a clue and just keep going back to the polls, and only did that when they turned away from Gillard. When Abbott was rock bottom you ignored it time and again hypocrite.

    The premise you made on the carbon price being an impost because of imports is a false one and only an ignoramus on both trade and carbon pricing would proffer it, or one who does so purely out of ideological point scoring.

    How about you prove me wrong Voyager and give us the data that directly links the carbon tax to an impost of jobs because of trade with countries that do no have a carbon tax?

    Whilst you are at how about also giving us the figures for the impost of Australian jobs for those countries that have tariffs against our products that have little or none and subsidies for theirs, then give us the comparison of that impost against your premise on the carbon price impost.

  45. One correction jane.

    The invasion of Afghanistan wasn’t illegal. Howard taking his eye off that ball to keep up Bush’s arse on the invasion of Iraq wasn’t just illegal it was a criminal neglect and the lies told to justify it were the greatest lies told.

  46. I wish when a Lib says they are feeling the effects of the carbon tax, they are not asked, is it not the high dollar they are feeling the effects of.

  47. Voyager it is apparent the French are spending a great deal of money. I assume that comes from the taxpayers.

  48. Notice how this whole comments thread has had the focus sucked away from Mr Austin’s original post to the handful of fact-free, flame-throwing diversions by Voyager & Curry? Is this what blog posting has come to – all the time spent building mountains of facts only to be met with a ‘bait & switch’ or the like?

  49. What do we do Martin? I’ve tried ignoring them, and have completely scrolled Iain Hall for a long time now. If you ignore them they only post more of their idiocy building lies and distortions on top of each other and think they have won the argument.

    At least in challenging their falsehoods and distortions it has them attempting, mostly lamely, to defend them and exposes them for the gormless ideologues they are. It takes away any credibility they think they might have.

  50. Martin and Mobius, I agree with you both. Trolls and I am speaking of those who continuously attempt to derail threads by the tactic of putting in deliberately provocative statements, as compared with right wingers with valid arguments..do have their place in that it allows factual information to be provided as a contra to their “falsehoods and distortions”. However, I am likewise in a place where it seems somewhat useless for people such as Alan to spend hours writing thoughtful topics only for that topic to be almost completely ignored due to the need to defend oneself against useless, irrelevancies..the attempts to bring all of the attention back onto themselves instead of allowing people to discuss the topic.

  51. Oh I completely agree Möbius. I wasn’t having a go at those trying to counter the bait & switch tactics & straight-out lies. I was more lamenting the general problem of posts getting derailed. I don’t have a solution! Because you are spot on that lies & distortions can’t be left unchecked. This is one of the great lessons learned by progressives in US campaigning in recent years, something the Obama team were vigilant about in both 08 and 12. You can’t let yourself get ‘Swiftboated’. So pls don’t get me wrong – keep going after stuff you think is false! Perhaps we just need to supplement it with the odd ‘Diversion alert’.

  52. ..because Rosella’s parent company went into receivership..

    The company’s failure is indicative of broader issues facing small food manufacturers, which are struggling to stay profitable in the face of straitened consumer spending habits and pressure from large retailers.

    As has been noted, Coles in particular has decided to enter into competition with their Own Brand in areas which they had previously stayed out of such as herbs and spices.

  53. Not because of the carbon price Voyager.

    Then if you are going down that route why did all those iconic Australian businesses close down under Howard Voyager, more than under this government? Bankruptcies are less now than under Howard.

    Then what about all those businesses who send jobs offshore and use 457 visas when Australians are available to do the job, you don’t seem to have a problem with them doing that?

    What about Abbott’s plans to expand those visas and help big business screw Australian jobs and Australian workers? You seem to be perfectly OK about that as well.

    So don’t come over with the faux concern about jobs and businesses, falsely blaming their demise on the carbon price purely because you think its something you can use to bash this government.

    When you start voicing equal concern about businesses going under losing jobs because of bad management, which is most of them, or them screwing workers, hiring foreign labour when Australians are available or moving holus bolus overseas along with the other practices they engage in to increase their profits and senior management pay packets at the expense of workers then you might have just a modicum of credibility.

    In the meantime you are just pissing into the wind and wondering why you are getting wet.

  54. On the subject of Joe Hockey, warning bells go out immediately when he or other Liberals speak about being “competitive in the global market”. Hockey stated that although Australia’s labour costs are high that the Libs can do something about this, nooo no way not by lowering wages (heaven forbid!) but by making the workplace more productive. Long has it been recognised that the only way to increase productivity is by engaging workers in the process, by making everyone and especially those on the shop floor consider themselves as being part of the team. Productivity to the Liberals has only ever been all stick. I fail to imagine how this effort for “increased productivity” will not mean WorkChoices, otherwise how does Joe Hockey intend to achieve this?

  55. Voyager..take-your-hands-off-it -for-a-second-and-listen…France-DOES-have-a carbon-tax/trading-scheme-w/the-european-union…..there…if you repeat that sentence rythmically, you can match it in with your stroking!

  56. Maybe Rosella shut down because no one wanted their sauces anymore. Maybe they have not kept up with the modern way of doing things. Maybe because of the higher dollar.

    Definitely not because of the so called carbon taxes.

    Companies all over the country after having been preparing for a decade or two for a cost being put on carbon emissions. Those companies are laughing all the way to the bank.

    Yesterday on ABC was an example of a big winery, that no longer pays for energy. Has gone further, change their practices, that they have cut costs all across the board.

    They have put pigs and chooks in to do away with the need for weeding and used of machinery. Yes, they use wind power to run the very big wineries.

    We have similar examples everywhere. We find meat processors that have gone down the same track.

    No, Rosella did not close down because of the so call carbon tax. They closed down because THE DID NOT HAVE THE INGAINATION AND FORESIGHT TO LOOK AHEAD.

    Yes, not all bosses have the ability to survive.

    Why do we have this woman on NPC, who appears to be representing the Republican Party in the USA. Does she represent the Tea Party. Who bough her here.

    Continually voicing the Liberal message. Saying Australia is a big taxing government, etc.

    Did the Liberals pay to bring her here.

    Mary Kissel is her name. Wall Street Journalist board member.

    Tea Party not an extremist movement. It is a desperation movement.

  57. Maybe a limit could be put on how many times some use the same argument. Maybe three strikes and you are out.

    It is the repetitive nature of the comments that cause the thread being diverted.

    Their behavior is not fair to others who make, or would make comments in good faith.

    We today have a troll on at the NPC. I have a suspicion the Australian bought her to the NPC. Loves Abbott. Hates Obama.

  58. Throughout the history of manufacturing, business have always gone to the wall where they do not keep up with their desires of the customer. Do not keep up with modern technology. Do not look after their workforce.

    I wonder if the Australian plate has moved on from where the flood their food with tomato sauce.

    One also needs to look at the strangle hold that Coles and Woolworths have on the industry. A virtual monopoly.

    When one goes into a dress shop, is it the price of the dress, or the quality and style that dictates what one buys.

    I have loss nearly half my body weight. This means for the first time in many a year I am looking forwarded to buying clothes.

    I have never seen clothes so cheap, yet I wander around day after day, not seeing one item that attracts me. Therefore I do not buy. Mainly because I know, I will not wear them. Also, I am not that hard to please. The trouble is, there is no quality there.

    I am sure that the low wage countries are able to provide quality at a little higher price. It must be our stores that do not care.

    PS. How many still buy tomato sauce as they did years ago. Why have you stopped buying Rosella?

  59. What does one think of Abbott today. Accusing the PM of demonising guest workers on 457 visas.

    Personally I have not heard anyone condemn these workers. All I have heard, is employers accused being accused of bringing these workers, without seeking workers that abound in this country.

    It is not the guest worker that is being demonised. It is the employers that used these workers that have earned that title..

  60. “France-DOES-have-a carbon-tax/trading-scheme-w/the-european-union”

    .. And take the matter seriously and spends a lot of money to combat the damage done by carbon emission. Yes, he is right no tax. Then we do not have one either.

    The advisers from Howard’s years are showing up as being very clean and upright characters. Last week we had Sinodinos, today we have the Victorian Nutt fiasco,

    “Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu is confident he has the support of the Coalition, after a morning of party room meetings in the fallout from the airing of secret police tapes.

    Liberal MPs met without their Coalition partners, a day after Mr Baillieu referred his chief of staff Tony Nutt and Victorian Liberal director Damien Mantach to the state’s new anti-corruption agency, IBAC.

    Recordings leaked to the Herald Sun newspaper reveal the Liberal Party paid disgraced former ministerial adviser Tristan Weston $22,500..”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-05/premier-under-pressure-over-secret-police-tapes/4552652

    As these men worked for Mr. Howard, he must be guilty by association.

  61. It’s just typical projection, Fed Up. Abbott, Morrison & co have been demonizing asylum seekers for *years* now, yet apparently that’s completely fine!

  62. Marcus. Ms. Bishop the younger had much trouble defending Mr,
    . Morrison last night on QandA.

    Did not hear the one questioner support the Opposition’s stance.

  63. Good, hopefully this crap is going to blow up in Abbott’s face….as he has refused to criticize Morrison for his comments.

  64. Marcus, the trouble for the Opposition, workers are well and truly aware of how many have lost jobs to these workers.

    Here on the Central Coast, many workers that have supplied Labor for shut down, see every day, their jobs being taken by Koreans. It is a has made the industry even more difficult to work in. Job security has never been it’s strong point, but in the past, one got enought work to survie.

    I believe the main cause, is that many contracts are now being let to a Korean firm that brings in their own workers.

    Yes, they can be found across the workforce, not just , mining. It is interesting seeing Abbott out fighting for them this morning. First time I have seen a any emotion from Abbott, in a long time. On this one, he is genuine.

    No thought for the workers, they are displacing.

    Maybe there are other workers out there, that can give us their experiences in being displace by these workers.

  65. Mr. Abbott is now going to demolish the so called carbon tax, keeping the compo goodies. That is indeed a wonderous magic pudding.

    Mr. Hockey says all is going to be funded by removing Labor’s waste. A worthwhile project indeed.

    Now, Mr. Hockey, is it not time for you to identify that waste, we hear so much about.

    “………..The Coalition has hit back at Labor claims that families would pay higher income tax and lose payments worth thousands of dollars a year under an Abbott government, saying the ”reality is the opposite” and that it would also fund tax cuts.
    On Monday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan revealed government analysis that suggests western Sydney families would be up to $2300 worse off a year, assuming the opposition cuts the Schoolkids Bonus, abolishes carbon tax assistance payments and lowers the tax-free threshold.
    Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey dismissed the analysis, which was based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Mr Hockey argued that families would be better off under the Coalition because it would end ”Labor’s waste” and scrap the carbon tax.
    ”The Coalition will also fund a tax cut without the carbon tax because we understand that many Australians are doing it tough,” he said.
    Advertisement
    Mr Hockey also argued that the government had ”done nothing like” triple the tax-free threshold, which Labor increased from $6000 to $18,200.
    ”The effective tax-free threshold for 2011-12 was $16,000 due to the impact of the low income tax offset [LITO],” he said.
    ”When you combine changes to the LITO with the other changes being made as part of the compensation package for the carbon tax, much of the benefit … is clawed back.”
    In an interview from Rooty Hill, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the Coalition would..”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/ending-alp-waste-will-finance-tax-cuts–hockey-20130304-2fh2e.html#ixzz2Mdte7Ssa.’

  66. Is that the same Heritage Foundation that founded and supported the Tea Party in the USA and that doesn’t believe in climate change?

    When will this one be reported in the MSM?

  67. Fed up, and the same is true for New Zealand as on many construction sites you cannot get a start unless you’re a Kiwi..same for the ABI group and highway construction.

  68. I am waiting in anticipation to discover just what this “waste” might consist of, especially given that the major cost factor in any organisation is labour..old Joe isn’t going to save much by uninstalling coffee machines and buying generic brand bikkies instead of Arnott’s.

  69. Do they really get all their information from the right wing media and the gormless Abbott brigade without bothering to do an a iota of independent research before mouthing off?

    Sadly, ME, the answer is a resounding “Yes!!!” A gormless Liars twat commenting on The Drum actually proudly admitted that she read Ltd News every day so she’d know what to think.

    …….right wingers with valid arguments……..

    Aren’t they fanciful mythical creatures, Min?

  70. …………………..ALTERNATIVE treasurer Joe Hockey has been accused of doctoring a transcript to cover up his dismissal of Labor tax cuts worth up to $600 for some workers that will be axed under an Abbott government.
    Comments in which Mr Hockey refers to the tax cuts as being worth only $3 a year do not appear in a transcript of a media conference he held in Parramatta that was issued by his office.
    Treasurer Wayne Swan claimed Mr Hockey was wrong to claim the tax cuts were worth just $3 when over 64 per cent of taxpayers are getting $300 a year or more from the tax cuts.
    The remark showed Mr Hockey “couldn’t care less” about the tax cuts going to over seven million workers, he said.
    “Joe Hockey should be ashamed of the $2300 of savage cuts that he will inflict on the average Parramatta family but the sad fact is, he isn’t,” he said.
    A mother and father earning $65,000 each would pay $600 a year more in income tax alone when the carbon compensation was axed, Mr Swan said.
    Mr Hockey’s office last night denied doctoring the transcript, even though a tape recording of the event has him referring to the tax cuts as worth $3.
    The question to Mr Hockey is inaudible.
    Earlier in the media conference held in Sydney, Liberal candidate for Parramatta and accountant Martin Zaiter said the tax cuts were worth only $3 a year to someone earning over $80,000, which is correct.
    A spokesman for Mr Hockey said the shadow treasurer was not dismissive of the tax cuts, but was making the point that without the carbon tax there would be no need for carbon tax compensation.
    The Coalition has promised it will fund its own tax cuts without a carbon tax, but says the size of these tax cuts will be released closer to the election when it knows the size of the Budget deficit…………..

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/hockey-tax-slip-left-out-of-transcript/story-fncynjr2-1226591099931#ixzz2MhNpGnPr

  71. From Alan Austin’s guest post:

    “Does the Shadow Treasurer really understand the factors that propelled Australia to the top of the world’s economies during the GFC? If not, will Australia slip back again, as happened during the last Coalition period?”

    We’re already well down that slippery path under Swan’s stewardship of the economy.

    Australia’s quarterly GDP numbers have been in steady decline for a year, with the most recent insipid results being propped up by capital spending by the public corporations at the State/Local government level.

    Bill Mitchell says we’d be in a deepening recession if it wasn’t for that Government spending: “Australian National Accounts, Oh the Irony”

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=22896#more-22896

    So all credit to the Labor leadership that got us through the GFC with minimal damage, but that work is not yet finished.

    All this has eerie reflections of the Great Depression. In 1937 FDR had the US coming out of the depression employing Keynesian stimulus policies when Treasury got into his ear and persuaded him that austerity was really what was needed.

    The US immediately fell back into severe recession and stayed that way until the outbreak of WW2.

    I’m sure Swan knows his economic history (unlike Hockey who wouldn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground…as the song goes) but Labor seems fatally glued to the same neo-liberal thinking as the conservatives (everywhere).

    I’m sure Swan’s got our Treasury bending his ear with their bullshit.

    I’m finding the whole thing morbidly fascinating, like someone watching an unfolding train wreck and wondering why nobody is changing the track signals.

  72. And another Liberal lie shot down in flames..this one being Hockey’s illusion/delusion or out and out fib that it will be the Liberals who help Australia by improving productivity.

    From Ross Gittins:

    You could call it the mystery of the disappearing productivity crisis. Last week’s national accounts for the December quarter confirmed that, if we ever really had an underlying problem with weak productivity improvement, we don’t have one now.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/productivity-rising-but-few-notice-20130310-2fu3k.html#ixzz2NBkPFIus

  73. Min,

    I don’t know if you got a chance to read that Bill Mitchell article I linked to before you posted your Ross Gittins’ quote, because Mitchell had a fair bit to say about productivity.

    If you had, you might have seen the improvement in productivity from a different angle.

    From Mitchell:

    “One of the puzzles over the last two years or so has been the sharp dislocation between what is happening in the labour market and what the National Accounts data has been telling us.

    Employment growth and hours worked has been virtually flat over the period while reaL GDP growth has been well over 2 per cent per annum. Today’s data suggests dislocation is continuing. Even though growth is slowing, it remains around the 2 per cent per annum mark (at least). But there is no employment dividend of any significant amount forthcoming.”

    Ross Gittins does at least know the definition of labour productivity, unlike Hockey or Abbott (I’ve quoted their idiotic utterances on the subject here before).

    From Gittins:

    “But the improvement we’ve seen over the past year or two isn’t hard to credit. After all, the volume of production [real GDP] grew by 3.1 per cent over the year to December, whereas total employment grew by only 1.1 per cent and average monthly hours worked grew by just 0.2 per cent.”

    This is nothing to be pleased about. The quickest and cheapest way, short term, to raise productivity is to crack the whip, put the fear of Christ into your workforce, and/or just sack people. But is it sustainable ?

    I do agree with Gittins’ observations about these industry rent-seekers not understanding economics: they should be demanding that the government increase spending and ignore the budget outcome. That would represent an “enlightened self-interest”.

  74. Whilst it may be quite diverting to focus on the deficiencies of Joe Hockey as a future Treasurer, why are we choosing to gloss over the failings of Swan. A taboo subject for a proudly left wing blog ?

    Bill Mitchell has been looking at the latest ABS employment data for Australia.

    So the reasonable conclusion is that the Australian economy is at least wasting the talents of 1.65 million workers (13.4 per cent of a broadened labour force) but somewhere between that number and 2.4 million workers (18.5 per cent) is likely to be closer to the truth. And, at least, a proportion of the disability support recipients would re-enter the labour force should a job be offered to them.

    Swan insults 1.65 million Australian workers on a daily basis by describing these sorry numbers as “close to full employment”. If I was one of these unfortunates I’d be calling “bullshit”. And even though it would be cutting my nose off to spite my face, I’d be looking forward to poking a hand-grenade into the ballot box at the next election.

    It’s getting very late in the day, but I wonder what it would do for Labor’s prospects in September if by some chance the leadership abandoned its pathetic yearning for so-called “fiscal respectability” and instead listened to some wisdom of the past:

    “Look after the unemployment and the Budget will look after itself”

    John Maynard Keynes 1933.

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