Unfunded Debt: Pensioners ripped off

Australia’s ‘age of prosperity’, as Peter Costello calls it in his memoirs, has been underwritten by the mining boom (even as manufactured exports stagnated during his tenure) and massive increases in household debt (now more than $1 trillion — about the same as the annual national output), even as the government has wound down its own debt. The national debt has in effect been privatised while, at the same time, risk has been shifted away from government and business onto the shoulders of ordinary people, in the shape of long working hours, casualisation, and the sort of uncertainty that is written in the fact that Australians take the least holidays of any western nation.

So much for the magic of markets.

Pensioners ripped off

Coming clean

”It’s time for the Governments of the world to all come clean not only on the banking sector mess but to admit their own direct hand in creating and driving this world financial crisis,” says Beavan.

”Banking deregulation and the systematic manipulation of the cost of living indices have led directly to the conditions which now see an entire generation indentured through debt.”

As to the latest fiscal stimulus package, Beavan asks “why should pensioners look to the thief who is now returning only a small portion of what has been stolen and say thank you? Rather let the thief explain just how much has been stolen and then how it has been used.”

Pensioners could hardly have known, he says, that they voted to fuel a debt-driven housing craze that ensured endless streams of cash heading overseas in the form of interest payments which had been funded through tax cuts.

”What’s worse, and a real curse, is this money is going to foreign nationals which is distorting our current account figures and has mortally stabbed in the heart a whole younger generation of Australians with a dagger of debt.”

Indeed, until now Western Governments have managed to deflect responsibility for the credit crisis onto Wall Street (which can share the blame) and the housing  boom in the US. They are apparently the white knights riding valiantly to the rescue a world financial system brought to the brink by reckless avarice. But for how much longer?

As the economic pain deepens however, and as more scrutiny is brought to bear on the root causes of this crisis of leverage, the role of government will come more sharply into focus.


14 Responses

  1. 🙂 Oh! John…what have they unleashed?

    Who has the power to bring the bastards to heel, though!

    Vive la Revalucion! Grease the tumbrills, sharpen the blades – nothing has changed – still RULED by the rich and greedy – still a bunch of peasants and serfs, controlled by Robber Barons…

    Egality BS!

    A century ago we would be talking about Sir John (Howard) and Sir Peter (Costello) Sir Malcolm and Lord Rudd. (not sure a peer could be PM though?)

    Only the bloody names change – the outcome is always the same – keep the poor, poorer and make the rich, richer for only they know the way forward la-la-la-la-la…

    I remember being told 30 years ago that the days of boom and bust were a thing of the past Keynes had the answer, then Greenspan, the “free world” would prevail, free markets and democracy over socialism and the command system and never the twain shall meet etc etc

    What nonsense these hypocrites spout…

    …protect your own families and yourself because all these buggars want is a lifetime of sweat, toil and blood and then you’re on the scrap heap…no matter what their politics it all boils down to power over others!

    …not too many rich and bloody famous in the trenches in WWI & II and certainly no little rich boys called up for VN…

    …and I have no idea how we stop them..!

  2. Good post TB…I smell shepherds pie…will be back later as this is a good thread.

  3. Good one TB. If the pent up disdain builds up enough then it’s Viva la Revolucion.

    Of course either the revolutionary leader turns out to be an autocrat or they eventually fall into be with the new rich that grow fat on the backs of the revolutionaries who got rid of the old rich.

    There is a breaking point, and heaven knows that the average person is willing to put up with an awful lot before cracking it. Mankind will even live in abject poverty whilst the fat cats gut them and bury their snouts in the money trough.

    Or we need another Jesus H Christ to throw the money lenders out of the temples. The Church is no help as they have actually turned around the scriptures and teach greed is good and sanctioned by God.

  4. Castro didn’t fall in with the new rich, Adrian , although Cuba was set up by subsequent USA governments of all persuasions to demonstrate the free market over communism as punishment for the missile crisis of the sixties – he’s probably the exception that proves the rule though…anyway…

    The Good Government Politicians List:

    1. No millionaires in politics. (Make a million – immediate bye bye election)

    2. ALL affiliations with ANY business to be disclosed. (I know ha, ha – but make the penalty fit the non disclosure)

    3. ALL affiliations with ANY unions to be disclosed. (Gotta keep it fair)

    4. ALL budding politicians must complete a competency based learning program to at least Advanced Diploma level (next is level up is Bachelor Degree) BEFORE standing for election.

    4. Prime Minister for no more than two terms (one thing I like about the Yankee system)

    5. We must become a bloody Republic – poncing about in the 19th Century (I’m better’n you) only adds to the nonsense and waste.

    6. Any affiliation with any banks – instant bye bye election or firing squad (just joking)

    There will be more (hard day at the beach agin with the grandkids – 🙂 )

  5. …and of course we all know that the upper crust have much better behaved children than the rest of us plebs…


  6. 4. ALL budding politicians must complete a competency based learning program to at least Advanced Diploma level (next is level up is Bachelor Degree) BEFORE standing for election.

    TB, back in India, I was actually part of a local drive to open an Institute for Leadershp and Public Administration. It was aimed at recruiting young minds fresh from college and coaching them in public leadership to introduce fresh blood and new ideas into the age old plitical syste that is india, and a remnant of the british raj mentality.

    In fact, we had our academics ready, land was bought, and the architects had begun designing the building when the institute did not get recognition or endorsement from any political parties or educational institutes ( again heavily influenced by oliticians).

    I was 24, and this was my first introduction to the ugly face of politics…

  7. TB

    This blows me away! When I read Michael West’s article the fraud became clearly evident. I’m still trying to grasp the magnitude of it all, believe it or not.

    The Howard huggers have all been out pushing the RUDD Government for pensioner increases yet they spent 12 years in office concealing the truth of the GREAT RIPP – OFF!

  8. 5. TB Queensland | October 20, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    OT I know, but a long time ago I once had a good debate on public/private schools over at eblah! The thing about this discussion was the amount of data that came out and links to research, much of it world wide.

    This is where I found out that globally public school students do better than private school students in tertiary eduction, mainly universities.

    But the other research data that I remember was there is a greater amount of bullying and it tends to be more vicious in private schools than in public schools.

  9. Adrian, the research goes back centuries – i have always been conscious of the “great cultural divide” having been born and brought up in the North of England and my father’s family from Eastbourne in the South where my grandmother at one time or another bought and sold two thirds of the hotels.

    My southern cousins were brought up differently to my northern cousins but the I know who’s values (apart from one) I preferred.

    When I came to Oz I thought I had achieved Nirvana (the egalitarian society) – sadly I as a manager I struck the male glass ceiling – the old school tie – I didn’t attend high school in Oz went to work at 15 as an apprentice – as I grew older I became more and more aware of that the “classless society” in Oz is a myth – nothing has changed – still Very British!

  10. Reb and Joni

    I don’t recall posting this , I know I was going to with a little commentary but I ended up scraping it and posting elsewhere. If I did then I’m losing my mind, please tell me I didn’t guys.

  11. No mate – I read it and thought it deserved to be posted… and we were a bit slow with a thread for yesterday afternoon…. hope that is OK.

  12. joni! Geese!

    Yes, JmC you are slipping away, slipping away, you are sli–pp—ing a-wa—y

  13. Thanks Joni

    I was really concerned there for a minute. Thanks for the vote of confidence TB LOL

  14. Well, i believe it has been like this for a long time. like they say, GREED has entered down under… hmm… But still there things could still be corrected. The government has the responsibility to correct this but the people should initiate.

    Everybody and nobody should be blamed

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