Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Good times not for all time

Ahh, Colebatch. Reason in the midst of unashamed stupidity. This is the kind of political, social and economic analysis that we need much much more of. Instead we get news about Anna Nicole Smith's son passing on (I'm sorry for her loss of course, but ... )

There are a few peeps I would like to pass this on to, but I doubt they'd read it.
Had we invested this money to expand our industries, that would make sense. Instead, we spent most of it to expand our houses and house prices. This is patently unsustainable, yet there is no sign of it ending. The Howard Government fuelled the house price boom to win votes, creating the world's most generous tax breaks for rental investors. Now its solution is to create an even bigger tax break for superannuation.

No country grew rich from dodging taxes. Our federal and state governments should have been securing us a sustainable future, above all by using our taxes to invest in schooling and skilling young Australians. They should have used our taxes to develop exports and manufactures, so Australia could pay its way in the world instead of relying on debt.

Short-term policies mean the good times won't last. One day, oppositions will have their chance.
Shame really.



At 12:26 pm, Blogger Nat said...

Yeah, OK, but it comes across as whinge-and-blame-the-government-for-everything. What is Colebatch's real point? Is he accusing the government of doing the dodgy or voters for electing it? Reminds me of Beazley's whinge about interest rate rises. He said "Australians are up to their eyeballs in debt, and these rate rises are only going to make things worse." Of course he's right. But whose fault is it for getting up to their eyeballs in debt? Howard doesn't force anyone to buy plasma TVs. You don't have to spend your lump-sum leave loading on clothes, grog or the latest toy. (You could try paying off some of your debts with it, for example.) There has to be a point at which individuals are held responsible for their lifestyle choices. Blaming governments is easy. Blaming yourself hurts a little more. So how about, instead of just whingeing, we all vote Howard or Bracks or whoever out?

At 12:28 pm, Blogger Scott said...

Yes of course, you have a point. I think that Colebatch's point thought it the government also must bear some responsibility. While they were elected to govern, they should govern responsibly, and not pander to the baser elements of out natures. Responsible government is important because at times it can mediate against the comsumerist binge that many people embrace. By investing in the future a government can demonstrate that it is interested in the future lives and prosperity of the country and its people. By taking the easy option, embracing rampant consumer culture and binging itself on the labours of hard and smart working Australians, it shows that it is more interested in playing short term politics.

You'll not that Colebatch's criticisms are not targeted solely at the Howard Government, but at the Labour State governments too. The wider point is that this kind of 'affluenza' is much more about general social and cultural values than about party politics. Howard and his ideology (which is really a form of neoliberalism) is just the latest form of diseased governmental affliction that we must all bear.


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