Stimulating stimulus

Our friend Possum over at Crikey has an excellent post on how the pre-Christmas stimulus package worked exactly as intended.

Treasury estimated when the package was released that around 30% of it would be saved, 30% would be spent in the first quarter of 2009, another 30% would be spent in the second quarter of 2009 and only 10% would be spent in the run up to Christmas. 7 to 9% plus a smidgen more for what inevitably flowed through into the informal economy (that part of the economy that can’t really be measured properly) is as close to 10% as you’ll get. Treasury was spot on.

Of course, the usual suspects in the media will ignore the facts and will continue to sprout the lines that the stimulus failed. As Possum says, will Bolt retract this statement?

That’s the theory, but here’s the reality. All the Prime Minister’s spending so far – not least last month’s $8 billion of handouts – has failed.

Because the evidence shows that it did not fail.

In the senate this evening Treasury official David Gruen said:

Australia is suffering from insufficient aggregate demand for the whole economy,

The package has been framed with the thought in the back of our mind that it is important to come up with spending plans that will deliver stimulus to the economy quickly … perhaps, let’s say, over 2009 and perhaps into 2010. 

This does not look good for the opposition as the operative word here is “quickly”. And what the opposition is doing is slowing down the application of the stimulus.

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64 Responses

  1. Are they the same prescient Treasury officials who warned us in late 2007 or early 2008 of storm clouds on the horizon?

    I’d also like both of our major parties to explain why we don’t declare a moratorium on foreign aid. If Australia has to tough it out and is forced to go cap-in-hand looking for loans why can’t mendicant nations do the same?

  2. Planning and action are subject to change as new information comes in. To do otherwise is silly

    That second paragraph is … :rolls:

  3. I am confused, again. Bolt seems to be talking about “the economy” when making his evaluation. David Gruen seems to be talking about “the whole economy” when discussing the need for urgent fiscal intervention. But Possum seems to be talking about “retail turnover”.

  4. Stephan, so your solution is to allow millions to starve so we can save a the tinniest percentage of our GDP for plasma TVs and pokie machines?

    If anything at this time of global hardship, aid to mendicant nations should be increased.

  5. Bolt’s a Goose! It should also be remembered that the pre-christmas stimulus was just a short term attempt to restore some confidence. This $42 billion package is the big one and I hope it does the job.

    Even, in the worst case scenario, it fails to produce the results everyone is hoping for, it’s much better than sitting on our hands all the while hoping we avoid a prolonged recession or depression.

    The truth is, in my opinion, this event is unprecedented and everyone’s learning as we go along. And going into deficit is the last thing we should worry about.

    Now might be a good time to consider investing in Australian Government bonds perhaps?

  6. Nag Mat I think James got that one right.

    I went through all the speeches of the time and what Rudd and Swan said along with the official policy release in the ALP website and nowhere to they say it was short term. $10.4 Billion Economic Security Strategy

    What they did say though is they would do anything to keep the economy going and would take on future challenges as they arose.

    But you are right, Bolt is a goose.

  7. That should be Nah not Nag. Damn early mornings.

  8. Hard to keep up with the pace of the positive stuff coming out about stimulus handouts.

    Nick Souleles, an economist at the Wharton School, has written two papers on the subject and found that, on average, people spent between 30-40 percent of their checks shortly after receiving them. But more remarkably, Souleles found that the stimulus had a positive effect on spending for up to 9 months after the rebates were sent out. Also striking was the variation in what different income groups did with their rebates. Those earning close to the median wage spent only about 20 percent and saved the rest while low-income taxpayers increased spending by more than the amount of the rebate.

  9. “Possum” says that an increase of around $900 million in seasonally-adjusted December retail sales figures is partial proof that the government’s $10.4 billion stimulus package worked. Remarkably, nowhere in his analysis does he factor in the effects of interest rate cuts and lower petrol prices on those figures.

    The second part of his “proof” is that “Treasury estimated when the package was released that around 30% of it would be saved, 30% would be spent in the first quarter of 2009, another 30% would be spent in the second quarter of 2009 and only 10% would be spent in the run up to Christmas.” How can anyone – let alone “our friend Possum” – be certain that those predictions will be realised?

  10. John Taylor, Professor of economics at Stanford University in California – Malcolm Turnbull’s go-to economist – and author of Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis, was interviewed on ABC radio this morning:

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2009/2483871.htm

    His essay,

  11. John Taylor’s essay, The Lack of an Empirical Rationale for a Revival of Discretionary Fiscal Policy argues that similar stimulus packages in the US – in 2001 and 2008 – didn’t work.
    http://www.stanford.edu/~johntayl/AEA_Paper_on_Fiscal_Policy_2009_JBT.pdf

  12. ToSY,

    The point is that the opposition has said loudly that the pre-christmas package did not work – whereas the figures prove otherwise – the package did work as predicted.

  13. Funny that John Taylor could not get a simple thing like the date correct on his paper. The PDF says that the paper is being presented on January 4, 2008…. but he is referring to data from Oct 2008….

    joni: Slap youself for being so petty!

  14. Ah the old blame the government.

    Rudd hoed into Taylor when Turnbull quoted him in parliament question time.

    Some economists like Taylor are now siding with those greedy robber barons who were the cause of the crisis whilst the robber barons are not in the slightest built contrite, regretful and are lining up to skim as much from the stimulus packages as they can as their greed knows no bounds.

    John Taylor on the Federal Reserve

    There is just one counter to John Taylor, which contends that Taylor overstates the role of the Fed in causing the problems whilst ignoring other factors like inadequate regulation.

    Also read the comments as some posters have picked up on Taylor’s manipulation of data.

  15. You certainly got him on a typo there, Joni. 😉

    (His homepage lists the paper as January 4, 2009.)

  16. Tosy

    How you implement tax cuts is a real problem.

    Previous tax cuts were always skewed to the rich becuase they screamed the loudest and under conservative policy we all should pay the same percentage of tax no matter how much we earn.

    In addition giving tax cuts to the top income earners costs far less than giving tax cuts to the low income earners because there are so few top income earners.

    Cutting the top tax rate from 40% to 30% may only cost 1 billion in revenue and it only benefits very few in the community.

    Cutting the bottom tax rate by 5% will probably cost 10 billion ( a hell of a lot of revenue to forego year after year) It benefits everyone.

    Problem is the wealthy got the first tax cut and also the second tax cut and saved hundreds of dollars a week.

    The poor got the second tax cut only and saved a few dollars a week.

    Giving $950 dollars to a tax payer who paid there tax ( because it will only go to those who completed a tax return in 2008) is the equivalent of an almost $19 a week net tax cut for 12 months. When did the lower income earners EVER receive a tax cut of that magnitude.

    In addition it ensures that those on high incomes do not benefit when they do not need the benefit.

    If a person on over $100,000 needs $950 then they are certainly living beyond their means and need to look at their expenses.

  17. Shane

    very good points!

  18. Adrian

    Re; ‘Short term’ $10.4 Billion Economic Security Strategy comment. The idea was to quickly inject money and incentives back into the economy which gave them time to figure out their next move.

    The key concern about the first home-buyers grant was, in my opinion, the wrong move at the time and still is simply because housing prices have been over-inflated for some time and that was a simple invite for some people to enter the market at a dangerous time. I say this simply because along with historically high growth rates in housing prices along with the threat to jobs may just backfire.

    The other aspect was the handouts and the push to spend, spend, spend. Take into account the high levels of personal debt – we’re swimming in it – people may have spent, spent, spent but the sad fact is that personal debt along with the threat of large-scale unemployment could bring the whole economy undone anyway.

    Mr Rudd obviously spent much time with others figuring out a more long term strategy when he recently had his essay published in The Monthly.

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/tm/node/1417

    “From time to time in human history there occur events of a truly seismic significance, events that mark a turning point between one epoch and the next, when one orthodoxy is overthrown and another takes its place. The significance of these events is rarely apparent as they unfold: it becomes clear only in retrospect, when observed from the commanding heights of history. By such time it is often too late to act to shape the course of such events and their effects on the day-to-day working lives of men and women and the families they support”

    I don’t think Mr Rudd would argue that his initial package was guesswork simply because I don’t think anyone on the planet has a full grasp of the dynamics of this crisis and where it may go next.

    I do, however, applaud his willingness to tackle the problems head-on and I expect mistakes will be made. On the other hand you have Turnbull the ‘free market fundamentalist’ who would no doubt encourage us to let the markets run their course.

  19. Well put, Shane.

    I’m still not convinced that handing out any money is part of the answer…and I know that it maintains some jobs in the retail sector and I know that it contributes to the multiplyer effect…

    …I just believe that generating productivity is a better…

    …how robust is an economy that “requires” people to spend to keep it going? Is that really “supply and demand”? Or just “demand”?

  20. By the way, I would thoroughly recommend people to take time out to read Mr Rudd’s essay simply because it gives me confidence that he has really taken the time to understand its causes and necessary solutions.

    In fact, it’s the best summation that I’ve read so far on this crisis and I assure you I’ve read many. But that’s just my personal opinion. I also like the fact that he describes his view as that of a ‘social democrat’, which is no doubt popular here at Blogocrats.

    The right wing lunatics will no doubt try and paint his a socialist, communist, Marxist etc. But who really gives a flying toss about those wankers anyway.

  21. “TB Queensland, on February 6th, 2009 at 9:47 am Said:

    Well put, Shane.

    I’m still not convinced that handing out any money is part of the answer…and I know that it maintains some jobs in the retail sector and I know that it contributes to the multiplyer effect…

    …I just believe that generating productivity is a better…

    …how robust is an economy that “requires” people to spend to keep it going? Is that really “supply and demand”? Or just “demand”?”

    Excellent point!

  22. Mat Forstat, on February 6th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Thanks for the link, Mat.

    The first 15000 words free!

    Buy the next 6200!

    Is Kevin Rudd a PM or a journalist!

    If the Australian Prime Minister has a theory or thoughts concerning the worlds worst financial crisis – it should be FREE for all constituents…

    This is just a perpetuation of the problem, an hypocritical application of capitalism over democracy …the PM works for all Australia NOT for a bloody Monthly Political Magazine!

    If the PM “works” for the Australian population then all his “works” are our intellectual property – not the magazines…not even Kevin Rudd’s…I for one didn’t give him permission to moonlight with such valuable information…

    …how much was he paid?

  23. By the way, if some here are going to criticise Andrew Bolt, undecided readers may wish to look at his actual arguments on the proposed stimulus package (from today’s HeraldSun column):

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_you_arent_alone_in_thinking_this_will_fail/

  24. C’mon TOSY, if dolt wants to be taken seriously, he needs to retract all the false statements he has already made, about this subject, and numerous others.

  25. TB

    I agree. I was not justifying the actual handing out of cash. Simply trying to justify why it is a better idea than Turnbulls tax cuts.

    You are correct the economy is being run on demand, demand from big busines that people borrow to purchase what they supply regardless of the need for the item.

  26. Look, like it or not, as I understand it, Turnbull is suggesting that the tax cuts, that both parties agree with, be brought forward.

    It is hardly outrageous, the ALP want to do the same thing, only later.

    Having said that, I prefer well focussed spending on infrastructure to any handout, unless it is to persioners, perhaps even self funded retirees, means tested.

    Don’t bother with people that already earn a decent income, most have had a significant benefit through lower fuel costs and interest rate reductions.

    The handouts in this package are politically motivated.

  27. Shane, I understand – thought it was a very good post…

    Just changing tack a bit…

    Our super is in cash, has been since Jan., 2008.

    We monitor both accounts – daily – have for six years…

    This morning our return was negative – quite a large drop (on a daily basis) – there have been three since last December – by comparison this is huge nearly 200% down on the first one (and they are not fees – that’s a percentage calc on returns) …

    …we didn’t get an explanation from our super fund more of an…mmmm…that’s unusual…we shall continue to monitor…- so shall we and a letter is on its way…

    I’m not very good with figures (that’s why I married The Minister) but I reckon micro events develop into macro events…I hope this aberration was just that – but it does seem a bit odd, a negative return in a cash fund…

  28. TB

    It all depends on what type of cash fund you are inapparently. I am not a financial planner as you know, however I believe that even though some are called cash funds they still have a limited amount of funds in shares and as such the dramatic drop in the value of that limited amount may have negated the cash earnings on the rest as the rates have dropped over thlast few months.

    Just a maybe TB, so I would examine exactly the component of your cash holding and read any fine print.

  29. TB

    You should find this comforting so should John Mc.

    Wanted: A new economic theory
    http://business.smh.com.au/business/wanted-a-new-economic-theory-20090206-7z7h.html?page=-1

    Economics has failed manifestly to see the global financial crisis coming. Only those once derided as doomsayers and crackpots were anywhere near the mark. An entire generation of richly-remunerated experts got it wrong, once again.

  30. Thanks, Shane, will do…

    Fixed interest is really doing well in our fund but we are a bit wary of the components (especially property management)…

    I think cash is still the “safe” bet but as I’m sure you are aware I think this is just the tip, of the tip…

    Been reading up on 1929/30 and the similarities are very disturbing – talk about history repeating itself …

  31. TB

    “Been reading up on 1929/30 and the similarities are very disturbing – talk about history repeating itself …”

    Reminds me of a previous JMc thread. You were right then and you’re right no in my opinion.

    2008: History repeats …disturbance of orderly life and convenience‏
    https://blogocrats.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/2008-history-repeats-disturbance-of-orderly-life-and-convenience%E2%80%8F/

    TB Queensland, on November 7th, 2008 at 12:27 pm Said:

    sreb, as you know some of us “doomsayers” have had a pretty tough time from other posters over the last 18 months or so – it is just that people always have trouble with the truth – even when its proved to them…

    …trust me, I used to be a training facilitator!

    One of the biggest issues facing society is that we don’t live in a society anymore – everyone is an individual…with individual rights…freedoms, privacy, bad manners, selfishness, meanness…

    …making money at any(one else’s cost) is the current mantra…until governments realise that certain things belong to “the people” and certain things belong to “free enterprise”…and confusing democracy with capitalism…the current situation will continue…ie boom and bust…

    …as a young man in the ’80’s I was told that the cycle of boom and bust was over…the RBA…would control that…mmmm

    …government needs to govern for the people not for banks and business (and their own trough)…

    …if you were a multi millionaire why would you work for a few hundred thousand and perks as a politician/minister?

    Only one answer – to make more money…

    …maybe I should re-read King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table again, or, perhaps Robin Hood…

    …nothing changes…

  32. And no, I’m not JMc – I’m much better looking – just an old friend who he’s harassed for the longest time to join Blogocrats – he kept sending me links and finally I broke. Saved me from a few very bad investment choices with his negative attitude so I figure I owe him this much.

    Great reading and informative as well.

  33. Hi Mat,

    You remind me so much of our good friend John McPhilbin. In fact, the similarities in your comments and opinions is uncanny. 😉

    Just sayin’.

  34. Oops, crossed posts. Ok, you’ve poured cold water on that notion.

  35. Interesting observation Tony, we actually write each other frequently and I’ll claim I’ve rubbed of on him rather than vice versa. John is much more polite than I.

    I’ll add though, we’ve been debating these types of issues since we worked as analysts.

    Frankly, I’ve not been one for blogging and with some spare time on my hands I decided to give it a try.

  36. Fair enough. I won’t mention it again.

  37. Tony

    By the way, he’s always talking about this site despite my protestations that he really needs to get a life. My offense to posters here, but Blogocrats keep popping up in our conversations.

  38. This is why I don’t blog “My offense to posters here”, correction No offense to posters here’

  39. I’ve noticed a few writers going soft on the Liberals of late. Some people have a short memory. Here’s a comment I wrote on Blogocracy in Nov 07:

    Bewildered of Chatswood, the Work Choices laws were not passed to provide you with wage increases, regardless of what John Howard & his propaganda Masters tell you…unless you’re the type of character to step on the back of others as you race up the competitive hill…as they often do in America.
    The Work Choices, IR reforms, are there to assist business to snip, cut & sack if the need arises, without worrying about the livelihood of Workers.
    And as America does a long bloated vulture dive into the cesspool of recession…& the Big Wigs take their profits and run for cover…& the credit dries up…& consumption dips in 2008…& retail sales go down…& export demand diminishes…the Australian businesses will eventually be forced to take the axe to their employees.

    And because John Howard and his cronies have short-changed the public on training – because he wants to use the recession to introduce hordes of 457 style work visas & bring in masses of desperate workers from the likes of China & Afghanistan (the Army is training them) to drive wages further down – he will then be given the perfect opportunity to provide more tax cuts to the Rich & Corporations…stating “they need the money to INVEST & create employment to offset the economic tsunami”.

    Considering how tough the unemployment benefit structure is now under Howard & Costello…& the holes in the safety net…plenty of people will be too afraid to look for other jobs, just in case they are perceived as disloyal, and get sacked…& then fall thru the safety net and hit poverty row.

    Workchoices will be wielded mercilessly like a WHIP to keep the Workers toiling like Serfs thru the bad times. It will ensure they are afraid to question their BOSSES motives & lack of ‘fair’ offerings.

    The Workplace will generally go from a NEGOTIATED, COMPROMISE ENVIRONMENT…to WE COMMAND YOU…OWN YOU…STAND, WORK, TAKE WHAT WE OFFER…& DELIVER!!!

    If Rudd gets in…at least Labor’s Education & Technological Revolutions will assist people to get proper training & alternative work (helpful during recessions)…& they won’t allow immoral &/or panicked employers to WHIP their employees…THREATEN…& EXPLOIT…to the degree they will under Howard/Costello.

    Let’s face it, Howard is a MEAN so & so…he won’t worry about his mates using the Work Choices whip…that’s what it’s there for. It’s not there to provide you & other Workers with gifts, holiday pay, over-time & happy days.

    WAKE UP!

    And Rudd’s plans will also include Clean Energy research, development & delivery…plenty more jobs just in case things go astray overseas & hit here.
    And Labor will generally be more supportive of the jobs of teachers, nurses, librarians, police, fire & other proud public sector workers (think of how many sacked private sector workers during a recession will rely on their public service partners & families)…

    and Labor will have the influence to be able to convince Unions not to get too greedy on the wages front if things turn sour due to an American recession. Howard’s approach (remember the docks) will only lead to mass protests (look at Sarkosy & his tactics in France right now)leading to family members of many workers being put in jail or being fined thousands of dollars. A nightmare.

    I believe Rudd will be able to talk sense to the Workers & Unions if the recession hits…& get compromises…whilst providing essential sector shifts for workers & youth via education & training & placement policies – his wife is an expert at it. Whilst creating more essential, visionary industries.
    If there is no recession…then we get more industries and training. More manufacturing.
    Sounds good to me.
    Howard out! Rudd in.
    nasking of Logan, QLD
    Tue 20 Nov 07 (12:49pm)
    ————
    N’

  40. Its not good form to stop people getting there package stimulated.

  41. aquanut, on February 6th, 2009 at 2:05 pm Said:

    Its not good form to stop people getting there package stimulated.

    Every night I tell my wife the same thing

  42. I’d like to see free school lunches as a part of the stimulus package. Instead of kids starving & being malnutritioned because of the odd negligent or cash-strapped parent & consequently not performing to their potential (think about the root causes to so called “failing schools”) we would see government & farmers working together to provide children w/ nutritious meals.

    During this economic downturn we’re going to see a real need for food assistance.

    remember this from Asia Times Online, May 20th 2008:

    India fights illiteracy with lunch
    By Raja M

    MUMBAI – As the world’s largest program of its kind, India’s government-sponsored free school lunch scheme sets out to benefit 140 million children in a million schools across India in 2008, even as it swallows a regular diet of controversies en route to strengthening child nutrition and literacy.

    Reports, both governmental and otherwise, say the noon-meal scheme has consistently increased enrollment in schools in India, a country that has 35% of the world’s illiterate population, including 137 million Indian children unable to read or write.
    ————-

    N’

  43. What’s important, as always, are the facts. The facts suggest that the pre-Christmas stimulus has had a positive effect on retail sales. The facts suggest that Treasury’s prediction on that package has so far been correct.

    I’ll trust Treasury any day over any politician or newspaper columnist.

  44. Possum???

    It’s all about retail is it?

    What about unemployment, business and consumer confidence…where are those graphs as he is into graphs!

    When he calls people that have other opinions or ideologies names he loses credibility…it would be interesting to get the abusers and the abused face to face.

    I would suspect a distinct odour in the air!

  45. Mat Forstat, on February 6th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    G’day Mat.

    Any friend of JMc’s..!

    Did I write that? 😉
    ————————————————–

    nasking, on February 6th, 2009 at 1:55 pm Said: I’ve noticed a few writers going soft on the Liberals of late.

    Only ’cause they’re so bleeding soft now, N’, talk about a bunch of easy targets on the Opposition benches – at least JWH & The Private School Bullies were a shifty lot! 😆

  46. Did I write that referring to someone actually quoting one of my posts… 😯

  47. Hi TB

    John’s sent me links time and again to have a look at and yes you did write it. No flies on your opinions that’s for sure.

    It’s honest and painfully true as far as I’m concerned.

  48. “Only ’cause they’re so bleeding soft now, N’, talk about a bunch of easy targets on the Opposition benches – at least JWH & The Private School Bullies were a shifty lot!”

    plenty of the shifty lot left TB…everyone in that cabinet who created the conditions that led to unprecedented private debt…and loopy GAMBLERS running our markets and stuffing up our Super…and private equity sucking the life out of worthwhile companies…and unregulated CEO & executive earnings…and an illegal war in Iraq…and govt revenue being redirected to the well-off by way of childcare, healthcare & education rebates at the expense of past & future children…and skyrocketing interest rates that saw HOME owners sucked dry…and foolish defence expenses…should hang their heads in shame:

    Some of those still haunting parliament house from one of the Howard cabinets:

    Treasurer
    The Hon Peter Costello

    Minister for Defence
    The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson

    Minister for Health and Ageing, Leader of the House
    The Hon Tony Abbott

    Attorney-General
    The Hon Philip Ruddock

    Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
    Senator the Hon Helen Coonan

    Minister for Finance and Administration
    Senator the Hon Nick Minchin

    Minister for Education, Science and Training
    The Hon Julie Bishop MP

    Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
    The Hon Joe Hockey

    Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
    The Hon Ian Macfarlane

    Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
    The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

    Minister for Trade
    The Hon Warren Truss
    —————
    N’

  49. Gee, we must be a weak bunch to be pressured into getting into debt by the government!

    I suppose in this age it is unfashionable to actually take responsibility for our own actions…sheesh!!!

  50. You sound pissed off, N’ – not like you at all, heheheh!

    joni, could you remove all “Hon”s from nasking’s post please, as you know its the abbreviation for “honourable’ – not one of those people can be considered to have any “honour” at all!

    Ta, Mat! Beware the trolls saying things like that… 😈

    BTW very clever surname! 😀

  51. Scaper

    Give people rope and you know what they’ll do. It’s a simple fact of life where easy money is concerned. Then again, the Howard Government sold the dream of never-ending prosperity and the banks kept the dream going.

  52. TB

    Clever surname, mum and dad thought so. Thank god, my cousins are the Forskins.

  53. Governments, their corporate & religious supporters and the mainstream media oft set the agenda, create the environment wherein GREED is referred to as PROSPERITY. Unfortunately too many individuals feed into the dominant ideological messages that entice, seduce & sometimes command them to COMPETE, CONSUME & MAX OUT CREDIT til you drop. Some people torture at Abu Graib…some buy McMansions & yachts…cause they are SOLD the idea that they are serving the interest of the NATION..and their families. And poor workers overseas.

    N’

  54. Nasking, put down the megaphone.

  55. “not one of those people can be considered to have any “honour” at all!”

    I was hoping you’d say that TB…or someone else.

    Not pissed off TB…just frustrated w/ the part of the population that have short memories and no resolve to fight for a more equitable & fairer world.

    I’m not getting a red cent out of this stimulus package, one of the low income earners who falls thru the gaps, but if it means there’s more money to assist the needy & build safer, environmentally sustainable, improved learning environments & houses for struggling families, then I’m willing to put whinging to the side.

    And hopefully oneday the bulk of this country will realise that they have neglected their schools & kids for years by allowing governments to prop up failing industries whilst their children sit in hot, stuffy classrooms & libraries that look like something out of the 50s. Gawd knows how they can think in those conditions! Let alone compete w/ the rest of the world. My public high school in Canada during the 70s would put many of the schools to shame here.

    The lack of interest that many Aussies show towards education & creating decent school environments astounds me sometimes. Sure, there are plenty who give a sh*t…but far too many only react if they see an incident or complaint about a school in the tabloid & scare-mongering media…

    That’s why I’m excited about the stimulus bill…finally a government comes along that wants to improve the learning environment…showing an interest in school infrastructure, technology & childrens outcomes that so many other nations have for yonks.

    Anna Bligh has been doing her best for years to improve the state of education in QLD & now she finally has a federal government that is willing to back her up in her endeavours.

    Here’s hoping that Aussies stop thinking/acting like SHE’LL BE RIGHT. And get their memories back of the past decade. And DO THE RIGHT THING by their kids.

    If it’s “Whitlamesque” to ensure that all children learn in decent conditions, have affordable healthcare, have plenty of opportunities to use modern technology as a learning tool, and come to appreciate the role of education, then I’m all for it.

    Turnbull looks more Scroogish & foolish by the day.

    N’

  56. Have you got a link to support your assertion that Turnbull opposes the spending on schools???

  57. Harry Clarke opines:

    […]

    Under these circumstances the case for moderation and for avoiding a strident policy defense is clear. Certainly the Turnbull proposals should be put on the table and debated intelligently. The hysterics of Kevin Rudd and his inept Treasurer Swan over the past couple of days have been a disgrace. Rudd’s earlier talk about the case for greater civility in public life is revealled to be hypocrisy given his insistence on uncritical support for this massive package and for the unreasonable dishonest abuse about ripping up school programs and denying handouts to millions with which he has effectively threatened the Coalition without meeting its points.

    http://kalimna.blogspot.com/2009/02/treasury-critique-of-turnbull.html

  58. “Have you got a link to support your assertion that Turnbull opposes the spending on schools???”

    If you’d inserted the word “public” into the question I’d have answered: “He’s a Liberal ain’t he?”…:)
    N’

  59. Nasking..For youngest high school there was a 3 day wait to access a computer. And yet, big cheers for Aussie kids, they do it better. They study in stuffy non-aircon’d classrooms, with science rooms consisting of a bunsen burner and little else and with having to share text books. Perhaps we can make things a little better.

  60. James of North Melbourne, on February 6th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    That’s not a megaphone, James…

    That’s the hammer of justice,
    The bell of freedom,
    The song about my brothers and my sisters – all over this world!

    Woo! Woo! Woo…


    ——————————————————-

    Tony of South Yarra, on February 6th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Opines – so – he has an opinion – don’t we all…?

    ‘arry Clarke – ‘e’s dead in’t ‘e?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Clarke

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

  61. “Perhaps we can make things a little better.”

    “Amen” to that Min.

    Great song TB.

    Think I’ll have myself a beer & watch ‘On the Buses’ repeats …still makes me chuckle. Been awhile since i’ve written that much…’scuse the length and number of posts, felt a wee bit passionate about a few issues this week. Time to take a break til the next top 5 list &/or topic that pricks up my ears, grabs my interest & brings on the thunder.

    Til later alligators…good blog BTW.
    N’

  62. nasking, on February 6th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    soon crocodile! WT & soda fer me – enjoy – “clink”

  63. nasking, on February 6th, 2009 at 4:12 pm Said:

    Minister for Finance and Administration
    Senator the Hon Nick Minchin

    That’s the only one of any importance and real power, but this man plays in the shadows and shuns the light.

  64. “this man plays in the shadows and shuns the light.”

    couldn’t agree more Adrian…but don’t discount the DARKNESS in Costello…he’s a real tricky dick. He’s in it for the long run…Howard trained him well…the same goes for Abbott. I reckon the so called DIFFERENCES over the years are nought but a SHAM. ‘The Howard Years’ doco but part of the CON. Follow the strings and ye shall find the PUPPET MASTERS.

    “soon crocodile! WT & soda fer me – enjoy – “clink”…”

    TB…”clink” & Prost!…

    watched ‘Ghosts of Abu Graib…surely the Yanks can send Rumsfeld, Addington, Cheney & General Miller to the War Crimes Tribunal if the Serbs can send some of their bigwigs? Setting an example and such. Surely?

    Go Rahm.

    N’

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