richard.obrien's blog

Labor and LNP GDP comparisons

Since John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996, the Liberal Party and the majority of the Australian media have perpetuated the myth that the Liberals are better economic managers than the Labor Party. This as been the bedrock of every Liberal election campaign since.

Who to trust?

Between 2007 and 2013, under the last Labor government, wages rose on average by 8.9%.

Accounting for inflation and more Australians now working in low paid jobs, since 2013, under the Coalition the average wage decreased by 0.5%.

Trusting this government on the economy has cost Australians 9.4% in wage growth. That's like having to pay the GST twice.

Australia's GDP is currently around $1.85 trillion. So 9.4% lower wage growth means nearly $174 billion less spending money. That's what it costs to trust the government on managing the economy.

The lesser of two evils

The principle of the lesser of two evils is derived from Homer’s Odyssey. In the story Odysseus must sail through the Straits of Messina to get home. On either side of the straight are two monsters, Scylla, a six headed monster who chucks rocks at boats and Charybdis, a giant whirlpool.

Odysseus decides to sail past Scylla, losing six of his crew but avoiding Charybdis, who would have sucked down the ship killing everyone. The point is that Odysseus has to sail though the straight and therefore has to decide which of the two evils will cause the least harm.

Workplace safety and union fines

In January 2014 a 30 year old man died at the Barangaroo construction site after falling from scaffolding. Despite on going union concerns about safety and supervision at the site, no legal action resulted from the man’s death.

In June 2014, 1,000 workers walked off the job for two days after a CFMMEU official was suspended following an altercation with the site manager over safety at Barangaroo.

Labor’s dividend imputation credits policy

What Labor’s dividend imputation credits policy actually is:

Dividend imputation credits were introduced in 1987 to prevent double taxation. ie when a company pays tax on their profits shareholders receive imputation credits which are used to reduce the shareholders tax liability.

If the shareholder didn’t have a tax liability, or had imputation credits exceeding their tax liability, the imputation credits were unused, just like any other tax offset.

Economic comparisons since Whitlam

Forty three years and six months after the Whitlam government was elected, both Labor and the Coalition had been in government for the same amount of time (21 years and 9 months).

In that time:

Annual employment growth was 0.216% higher under Labor. Given the size of today’s labour market that amounts to 25,710 extra jobs per year. Since 1972 565,000 addition jobs were created under Labor.

Allah Defend New Zealand

In the seven days since the Christchurch terror attack, in New Zealand:

  • All semi automatic weapons have been banned
  • Non-Muslims have begun visiting mosques
  • Non-Muslim women have worn hijabs in solidarity with Muslims
  • The call to prayer has been broadcast on national media.

In Australia:

Choose your own adventure

This week the government extended question time to protect its non-existent control over parliament, instead of voting for a Royal Commission into the very real abuse of people in disability care.

Also this week the government continued its scare campaign about the non-existent risk of retirees losing their franking credits while announcing plans to make further cuts to penalty rates, adding to the very real problem of slowing wage growth.

Five steps for coping when the boats start arriving

1. Don't panic...

No one in Australia has lost their home to boat people since colonialism ended.

2. Try not to forget...

The destruction of the Murray-Darling, "once in a lifetime" extreme weather events occuring on a regular basis, the government's love affair with coal, and all the other environmental issues this government refuses to acknowledge, pose a far greater threat to Australia's security than all the asylum seeker boats put together.

3. Spare a thought...

A Nazi Coincidence

Coincidently I'm sure, yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the German Workers Party, who one year later changed their name to the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party.

Initially a tiny organisation, they recruited disaffected, angry and often unemployed young men. They began with protests much like the one in St Kilda yesterday, often hugely outnumbered by police and counter protesters.

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