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Of Tax and Welfare

Last week Andrew Forrest proposed that all people receiving welfare payments, including sickness and disability support, should have their incomes managed by the government. Forrest, like the Government, argues that spending has gotten out of control. He, like the Government, has got his maths wrong.

Welfare as a percentage of government expenditure has fallen in the last decade. The number of people on welfare in Australia is the lowest it has been in 17 years. Apart for the age pension all areas of welfare dependency in Australia are decreasing. So why the emergency?

The End of the Carbon Tax

Well that's it ladies and gentlemen. The day we spent three years turning the Australian political landscape into a circus for. The day when the promise that catapulted Tony Abbott and his band of merry thugs, loons and psychopaths into government was fulfilled. The repeal of the carbon tax.

Children of the Revolution

"Generation Debt" Sunday Age (6/7) are the children of the deregulation, privatisation, corporatisation and globalisation revolution that has occurred in Australia during the last three decades. On every available statistical indicator, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer in this country.

Pluralism

The article in the Sunday Age (29/6), "Two tarnished sides of the Arab Coin" by Thomas Friedman which advocates pluralism – the devolving of power from a central authority to a network of government and non-government groups as the solution to the many problems that arise when power is centralised in a secular or theocentric state, raises serious concerns for Australia as well as the Middle East.

Reality cheque.

The proportion of people in Australia on welfare is the lowest it has been in 17 years. Out of 30 OECD countries Australia ranks 25th for spending on social security. Australia spending on disability support and pensions is well below the OECD average and total welfare spending is less than two-thirds of most European countries.

Government's response: Radical overhaul.

An Encounter with An Anti-Vaccinator and the Issue of Scientific Literacy

On Sunday June 23, 2014 Charles Lazelle posted to Facebook an article claiming that herd immunity had been disproven. Whilst Lazelle was clearly not a good advocate for the anti-vaccination cause, for a first discussion with such individuals it was interesting insofar that it revealed some of the mindset of some anti-vaccination thinkers some of which can be summarised as follows.

The Power of Recall

The Geoff Shaw parliamentary saga highlights the limitations of parliamentary democracy when the electorate does not have the power of recall in between elections. Geoff Shaw was elected as the Liberal member for Frankston at the last state election. He became an "Independent" when the Speaker, Ken Smith, referred his case to the Victoria Police. Mr. Shaw's antics in and out of state parliament have been directed to ensure he will never be accountable for his actions. His balance of power status gives him the power to dictate the government's parliamentary agenda.

Slackers and Slouch Hats

As a general rule I don't like to dignify Murdoch's brown shirts at the Daily Telegraphy by commenting on the vicious hatred that spews from the pages of this septic rag, but I take great exception at today's front page. Four generations of my family have served in the Australian military and I don't take kindly to them, or anyone else who has defended this nation, being used by gutless bigots in an attempt to disguise their cruelty as patriotism.

It's No Surprise

It's no surprise inequality, in Australia, has been rising gradually since 1982, "Inequality warning on budget", Sunday Age (11/5). The growth of the internationally recognised Gini index (an index that measures inequality) from .27 in the early years of the Hawke government to .33 today is directly linked to the deregulation, privatisation, globalisation and corporatisation revolution launched by the Hawke led Labor government in 1982 and carried forward by every Federal government during the last 32 years.

War!

The Abbott led government has declared war on every social security beneficiary, every wage earner and every small business in Australia in its 2014 budget. No budget since Federation, not even during World War One and World War Two, has been so draconian. The 2014 budget has placed the burden of a very questionable deficit on the shoulders of the individual while sparing a corporate sector that pays voluntary taxation and the country's richest people (who have the assets to legally minimise their tax liability) any significant pain.

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