Hockey – “Australians have never been better off.”

Treasurer Wayne Swan says Joe Hockey’s claim that Australians are richer now than 20 years ago shows how out of touch he is.

The opposition’s new treasury spokesman has said that despite the global economic crisis Australians are wealthier than they’ve been in years.

“The average household wealth of Australians is greater today than it was 15 to 20 years ago, and it is, there is no doubt about that,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Cairns on Wednesday.

“But how do you preserve and grow that wealth? You do that by continuing to provide incentives for people to earn money, by continuing to provide incentives for small business to employ people.”

Mr Swan said the comment spoke volumes about the new treasury spokesman.

“I find it remarkable that Mr Hockey said that Australians have never been richer,” the treasurer said.

“Mr Hockey should go and tell that to those with superannuation who have been hit by the global recession, people in the stockmarket who have seen their shares halve in value as a result of the recession.

“I think what that comment from Mr Hockey shows is how out of touch Mr Hockey and (opposition leader) Mr Turnbull are.”

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113 Responses

  1. That’s got to be the most glaring example of
    (1) The most stupid assertion by a shadow treasurer.
    (2) The least dissembling statement by the current treasurer.

    Time to start a sweep on whether Hockey will be the shortest, second-shortest or third-shortest serving shadow treasurer in Australian history: or perhaps the world!

  2. Wow! They are toast for the next 10 years if they keep this up.

    The voters didn’t buy it when Howard tried it before the last election they certainly aren’t going to buy it now.

  3. A bear with little brain, perhaps. Usually he just parrots the mantra, the 10 second grab of meaningless hyperbole. In depth analysis is an interesting challenge for him. Let’s hope Joe is up to it as the economy needs all the good ideas and the highest quality debate we can get.

  4. “The opposition’s new treasury spokesman has said that despite the global economic crisis Australians are wealthier than they’ve been in years.”

    Gawd forbid if he got in. Workchoices used like a meat hammer…and scythe. And private debt burdens growing exponentially as public services are cut…& monopolies eat small business. Prey on small shareholders.

    I reckon the Aussie Labor party has done a half-decent job at stimulating the economy & providing necessary services in emergency situations…more needs to be done as we batten down the hatches whilst attempting to keep our exports and such going…like I said yesterday regarding the Californian & Japanese situations, “here comes the flood”:

    http://www.counterpunch.com/whitney02172009.html

    (The Global Ditch
    Is Eastern Europe Primed to Explode?
    By MIKE WHITNEY)

    ALWAYS BE PREPARED…
    N’

  5. I dont think it would take much to make Wayne Swan shut up or look bad.
    But instead…..
    With all that is happening i find it hard to believe this is the best move that have.

  6. “I find it remarkable that Mr Hockey said that Australians have never been richer,” the treasurer (sic)said.

    The first of many, Hockey, gaffes I suspect – so its out of the Bishop frying pan into the Hockey fire – now I know what a guffaw sounds like – the population of Australia saying – “F**k not another one?” Ho, Ho, Ho!

    …and I was concerned that Wayns Swan had taken over as Treasurer. While he may not be the best I’ve seen, he runs rings around anyone the “economic super team”can put up…

    …alternative government my arse!

  7. Big, rambunctious Joe Hockey is married and has two children. The family lives at Hunters Hill and does quite nicely on Joe’s generous stipend; he gets paid for his role as a member of the Canberra harlequinade. It would be nice if Joe shelved his ivory-towerism and took the time to feel the economic pulse of Australians.

    If you want to see Big Joe blush just whisper HIH in his ear.

    Is there a factory in Australia that has mastered the complex operation of removing the brains from normal people and, having performed a personality bypass on them, points them in the direction of the nearest Lib-NP or ALP recruiting office?

  8. I would have thought, on statistics alone, Hockey was just stating a fact.

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=91371&rss=yes

  9. Tony:

    “Hockey was just stating a fact.”

    Depends whether he was talking about Mon Feb 25 2008 or Wednesday February 18 2009. The link seems terribly confused as it uses both dates without clarification. But this quote gives the moneu clue:

    “It shows that private sector wealth – including property, shares and other assets – stood at a record $8,829 billion at the end of September 2007, up 3.3 per cent over the quarter.”

    September 2007. Right! And for those who haven’t noticed a lot has happened in the last 12 months or so to change the ‘statistical facts’.

    I doubt that Joe’s noticed by the way. He’s like that.

  10. Hockey made a statement that cant be argued with. Dressed up to sound important.
    A. the price of gold is also up from 20 years ago
    b. there are more cars on the road.

    People what a future not babble about the past.
    we had it good under howard, ok we have been told, now whats new.

    give Rudd an opposition not a free ride.

  11. “Time to start a sweep on whether Hockey will be the shortest, second-shortest or third-shortest serving shadow treasurer in Australian history: or perhaps the world!” (Dave Bath).

    There is no doubt, Dave, he does cast a giant shadow.

  12. statistics:

    There is a general perception that statistical knowledge is all-too-frequently intentionally misused by finding ways to interpret only the data that are favorable to the presenter. A famous saying attributed to Benjamin Disraeli is, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Harvard President Lawrence Lowell wrote in 1909 that statistics, “…like veal pies, are good if you know the person that made them, and are sure of the ingredients”.
    (Wiki pedia)

  13. the bloke that knew back in 1909.

    100 years on…

    you got to laugh.

  14. Joe has made himself into this ‘Hail fellow,well met’ type, it may be well that he knows what that means.However, I think he’s a little too thick.
    And what did you do well in your tenure, Joe, “well I certainly could bluster”.

  15. “However, I think he’s a little too thick.”

    LM I just coughed up my iced coffee…:)

    N’

  16. ““There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

    Wrong! There are four kinds, but Disraeli couldn’t haven’t know about Hockey’s Press releases or statements in general.

  17. Should have read “couldn’t have known”. Aplologies.

  18. How do you define wealth?? I know that 20 years ago very few people had their own personal computer and if they had one it would have been a desktop. Now lots of people have two. A desktop and laptop.

    When i was growing up if the television set broke down you called the television repair man. Now if it breaks down people tend to throw it out and buy a new one.

    People are also living a lot longer than they used to. People use to retire at 65 and die at 68. Now they retire at 65 and live to 85.

  19. Neil of Sydney, on February 18th, 2009 at 11:37 pm Said:

    Thats called progress Neil, not wealth.

    20 years ago, they didn’t know how to make computers withot using great hunks of gold in the processors. Today, through technological development, these things have become cheaper to manufacture.

    And as for televisions, it just isn’t economically viable to fix one, it is cheaper to buy anoither one. Does this mean we are wealthier, or just that the cost of fixing a televison has risen higher than the cost of buying a new one (which are no-where near as reliable as they used to be). That is mre business model than wealth indicator.

    The thing largely overlooked when they go on about ‘disposable income’ is ‘cost of living’. Prices have risen by much more than this so called ‘disposable income’

    MPI: Cost of Living

    But at a time when Australia has supposedly become more prosperous as a nation, what this government continues to overlook is that many working families are finding themselves under growing financial pressure and are just simply managing to get by. The reason for this is simple yet entrenched: the cost of living today has far outstripped any growth in household disposable income, and the Howard government has proven itself either unable or unwilling to do anything about this. Everything today has become more expensive.

  20. And the ball starts gathering momentum.

    # “I think the issue is closed. Peter’s position is unequivocal, and he’s made it very clear he’s not interested in a frontbench or leadership role,” Mr Turnbull said.

    lol, i hope this will be remembered. (the lies are out already).

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25076280-5007133,00.html

  21. … Reminds me of the time Leftover Hockey tried to tell us those on SerfChoices “agreements” earned twice as much as those who were not.

    He wasn’t telling the truth then, and he isn’t now.

    He wasn’t believed then, and he won’t be now.

    With this second-choice bulldust artist as treasury spokesman the Liberals’ economic “credibility” is likely to plummet further.

    Which will be a very good thing, as that goes. Their economic cred is an over-hyped bag of mythical hot air for the most part.

  22. This also from that article written in Feb 2008. Just how wealthy were we back in Sep 07?
    [The figures were released as a new survey by global investment bank Citibank showed most Australian adults would fail a test on household finances and many would only last a month on their current savings if they lost their job.

    The Citi Fin-Q Survey found that only 28 per cent of people save something from each pay packet and 50 per cent save when they can, while 22 per cent rarely save anything.

    The survey of 400 Australian respondents found that 45 per cent would only last up to one month on their savings to pay their current usual expenses – mortgage, food and utility bills – if they lost their job.]

  23. Gee I didn’t think he would make a major cock up like that the first week. What a goose.

  24. Hockey is just still repeating the mantra from before the election, poor guy.

    But he is a “formidable communicator”, just a pity that the message that he is communicating is false and out of date.

  25. “The thing largely overlooked when they go on about ‘disposable income’ is ‘cost of living’. Prices have risen by much more than this so called ‘disposable income’
    Tom R, on February 19th, 2009 at 5:13 am Said:”

    O.K. but do you have any comparison figures between say the 1980’s and now. People have always struggled. I can remember the mortgage stress in the 1980’s. I can remember, i think it was in 1987, house prices in Sydney doubled in 9 months.

    In 1960’s Australia a man could provide for a wife and three kids on a single salary. They could afford a nice home, but they struggled to feed their kids and could not afford a television. But they could buy a house.

    How do you define wealth??

  26. I read (in a family first speech by bob day) that in years past incl the 60’s, the median house price was three times the median household income. eg 1960’s H/h income = $1000 House prices were $3,000
    1970’s H/h income = $10,000 & house price = $30,000
    1990’s H/h income = $40,000 House = $120,000

    Today, in Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, the median house price is more than six times the median income and in Sydney and Perth it’s more than eight times. At 6 x median h/h income the family will pay out around $300,000 more in mortgage payments.

  27. Neil of Sydney, on February 19th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Wrong agin Neil, in 1960 you had to have a 10% deposit to buy a house and could not repay any more than 25% of your gross income. One of the reasons that it too us three years to save the deposit…

    …and in the 1960’s you bought a house – no fence, no driveway, no landscaping, tiles in bathroom and kitchen and no other floor covering…just a house…basic, no frills…

    As for your earlier comment re longevity, here’s a list of people I know who didn’t make even make it to 60!

    My wife’s brother – 49 – h/attack
    My wife’s sister – 59 – cancer
    Her best friend – 58 – cancer
    My best friend – 33 – cancer
    Friend – 46 – anurism
    Neighbour’s relative – 59 – cancer (given the next six months)
    Friend – 57 – cancer, still alive, no stomach

    On the other hand my mother 86 and her sister 85 are still around…

    Often depends on perspective rather than stats (“historical” facts)

  28. Someone mentioned the other day that Avuncular is bereft of an orginial thought, and this outburst just proves that point.

    Like Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey is another Howard-lacky, caught in a time warp, living in their pre-election loss period blathering on about the same old Howard themes “Australians have never been better” “We’ll dceide who comes here..” “Interest rates will always be lower…” et cetera et cetera…

    It’s hilarious really. Poor old Talcum, what a bunch of morons he has to contend with.

  29. “Today, in Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, the median house price is more than six times the median income
    kittylitter, on February 19th, 2009 at 10:10 am Said:”

    That may be so but in 1960’s Australia only the husband worked. House prices may be now 6 times the medium income but you usually have two people working to pay back the mortgage.

    Its just supply and demand. The more money people have the higher house prices become. An unsolvable problem.

  30. Neil of Sydney:

    “That may be so but in 1960’s Australia only the husband worked. House prices may be now 6 times the medium income but you usually have two people working to pay back the mortgage.”

    Perhaps the reason that only the husband worked was because housing was more affordable….

    🙄

  31. “Wrong agin Neil,
    TB Queensland, on February 19th, 2009 at 10:18 am Said:”

    Where was i wrong?? I remember i my grandparents house when I was a kid. The were poor working class people. They lived in a Queenslander. Varendah along the front of the house and half way down the side. Three bedrooms, huge block of land. Pathway from the footpath to the front of the house. However my grandfather did struggle with food and consumables.

    “…alternative government my arse!”

    You must live in a cave TB. In case you do not know Costello handed Swan on a platter a $20B budget surplus, no govt debt and with some money in the kitty. 13 months later the surplus has gone and we are heading for a $20B deficit. I have seen figures that govt debt after having been paid off by Costello will reach $200B.

    Please tell me how we are going to pay this back?? The ALP is going to destroy our country and you do not care.

  32. TB – “in the 1960’s you bought a house – no fence, no driveway, no landscaping, tiles in bathroom and kitchen and no other floor covering…just a house…basic, no frills…”

    I agree TB – back then houses had 1 bathroom, no family/rumpus room, no “parents retreat”, 3 (not 4) bedrooms. Houses were furnished with your relatives old furniture, the fridge was a hand-me-down.

    Then houses had verandas and eves, so did not require air conditioning and heating.

    Now along with the bigger, less energy efficient houses, they have to be full of new furniture from Freedom or similar. All on credit.

    I think it is rampant consumerism.

  33. blathering on about the same old Howard themes “Australians have never been better” “We’ll dceide who comes here..” “Interest rates will always be lower…” et cetera et cetera

    Black-and-white sloganeering to draw in simple-minded, fearful, easily-manipulated conservative “voters”.

    It’s clear why Howard ran funding for tertiary education into reverse: it makes for more conservative “voters”.

  34. Tom of Melbourne and TB.

    True. It seems today that everybody has to have a double storey McMansion and two 4WD’s to keep up with the Jones’es.

    The sad reality is that all these wannabes that got geared up to the eyeballs in order to afford this pretentious lifestyle are now finding that the sky is falling in below their peroxide blond highlights.

    “rampant consumersim?” Absolutely Tom.

    But it was a game that we were all led to believe would continue forever. Particularly under the Howard government.

  35. I think it is rampant consumerism

    Me too, the free market principle, keep people buying stuff they don’t need.

    If we were happy to go to second hand shops and recycled clothes and furniture, we could move away from this rampant consumerism (although some second hand shops are a rip-off too).

  36. Caney, on February 19th, 2009 at 6:20 am Said:
    … Reminds me of the time Leftover Hockey tried to tell us those on SerfChoices “agreements” earned twice as much as those who were not.

    He wasn’t telling the truth then, and he isn’t now.

    And also about how all the workers over in WA were raking in the $s. Resident instro aka hubby said that the only ones on these agreements were ‘the vegies’ aka maintenance rather than tradies. With due apology to the vegies.

  37. But it was a game that we were all led to believe would continue forever. Particularly under the Howard government.
    reb, on February 19th, 2009 at 10:50 am Said:”

    You know Reb, you are just a blind dead ALP tribal loyalist. Your heroes are now in power almost everywhere. The Libs are only in power in WA.

    This is what i predict will happen. Things will get worse and worse under the ALP. However you people will say, yes things are bad but they were worse under Howard.

    You should read Animal Farm by George Orwell

  38. Kitty..I wish I could find that book that I have, it’s to do with planned obsolescence. However a good summary is via good old Wik at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence

  39. “if we were happy to go to second hand shops and recycled clothes and furniture, we could move away from this rampant consumerism…”

    and better for the environment too.

  40. Neil of Sydney, on February 19th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    You must be the one in the cave, Neil, might pay to remove the rock across the opening too.

    The WORLD is in an ECONOMIC CRISIS because of the policies expounded by the neoliberalism of the right…including John Howard & The Private School Bullies…and especially the fat, lazy, smirking, no balls, swing in the hammock and isn’t Treasurer easy -Tip Custard…

    …had the surplus(es) of the previous government’s reign been properly used (earned by the mining boom BTW), had the regulators done their job (eg Storm Financial’s pyramid selling involving the Commonwealth Bank), had housing – health – education – indigenous welfare – training – infrastructure (ports, roads, railways, airports, broadband etc) been tackled during the Howard terms of office we would actually be in a better position to weather the storm and NOT have to spend the surplus that the Australian taxpayers had provided…

    The ALP aren’t destroying the country – they are trying to keep it breathing after Howard and Tip Custard suffocated it…with pork fat…and lies…

  41. “You know Reb, you are just a blind dead ALP tribal loyalist.”

    Oh, what bollocks. I’ve been critical of Kevin Rudd on several occasions and lambasted Labor governments at a State level.

    The issue, Neil, is that you like to pigeonhole everyone into either being a either a Labor or Liberal supporter.

    It’s laughable to make the prediction that “things will get worse under Labor”. I guess the GFC has nothing to do with our current economic predicament in your eyes..?

    Thanks for the reading recommendation. I read Animal Farm when I was atc school. I’ve since moved on.

  42. min,

    re planned obsolescence:

    The old ‘they don’t make them like they used to’ (deliberately so), to me that is the worst aspect of letting the market decide – the market decides what’s best for the profiteers, not the consumers.

  43. TB Queensland, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Well said.

  44. Umm… did he actually say that quote or is he being wilfully misinterpreted/ misquoted? Can anyone provide a link where he said that? I don’t think much of Mr Hockey but I also don’t think much of misinformation either.

  45. “You should read Animal Farm by George Orwell”

    Really Neil, most of us would have read that when it was on the English curriculum 2 or 3 decades ago. It is hardly a critique of a contemporary ALP government, as the ALP is more like a corporation where the majority shareholders are unions.

    I always find your commentary entertaining, but please sharpen up.

  46. Things will get worse and worse under the ALP

    And you accuse others of being tribal loyalists. You’re an anti-ALP loyalist and a Coalition fanboy. That makes you a … “tribal loyalist” (and hypocrite)

    Things are getting worse in every country of the world, no matter which side of politics governs individual countries.

    And let’s not forget where all this shit began. Same place as the Great Depression began, in the USA, home of right wing free market capitalism.

    Just thank your lucky stars the Liberals are not in power in Australia during the global downturn. Their SerfChoices wage-cutting agenda would sink the domestic economy like a stone, thanks to engineered erosion of consumer demand.

  47. Has anyone been watching Lateline lately (of course you have) – have you noticed that over three nights they have had two US people (one economics prof and last night an “opinion editor – wall st journal) both espousing tax cuts as the way to go…

    …the other thing I’ve noticed is the absence of any senior ALP frontbenchers on TV discussing why they are doing what they are re economic flood control…

    …may be a mistake not to “educate” the masses if we’ve got people like Neil running around in a panic… 😉

    Just jokin’, Neil, always enjoy answering your posts when I get the urge 😉

  48. TB,

    15 months ago the economy was doing fine. Now we are sliding into a serious global downturn. Must be the ALP’s fault.

    That’s “Neil logic” for you. The logic of the Liberal crank.

  49. Caney, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:24 am

    …an electronic starter is much better…must have run out of surplus…back to basics…
    ===============================

    KL, my girls (The Minister, daughter and d/in law) all shop at St Vinnies, Salvo etc (some good buys too!)

  50. With apologies: Off topic. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25075821-12377,00.html Princess Anne to attend Victoria fires memorial in Australia.

    My question is Why? As far as I can ascertain the Princess has never been particularly interested in Australia, so why start now.

  51. “The WORLD is in an ECONOMIC CRISIS because of the policies expounded by the neoliberalism of the right…including John Howard & The Private School Bullies
    TB Queensland, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:03 am Said:”

    O.K. TB. I hope you are correct. My experience tells me that you people just make things up. Britain is also in trouble and your heroes the Labour party have been in power for a long time. Please tell me why Britain is in trouble?? Why are British Banks in trouble???

    I have seen reports that this trouble started because poor democrats supporters could not afford a home. So Democrats politicians encouraged banks to give low doc loans to poor Dimocrat voters. This was started by Jimmy cater and supported by Bill Clinton.

    Luckily we do not have these problems here because of the good govt we had by Howard/Costello

  52. KL, my girls (The Minister, daughter and d/in law) all shop at St Vinnies, Salvo etc (some good buys too!)

    I reckon they’d pick up some quality old suits too TB, better than Lowes! 🙂

  53. “That’s “Neil logic” for you. The logic of the Liberal crank.
    Caney, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:24 am Said:”

    Thank you Caney for this great Honour you have given me. I am so happy that you have bestowed upon you your opinions.

    If you had said that my opinions made sense and were good ideas i would have been very unhappy.

    PS. the ALP is about to produce $200B of govt debt. Do you have any idea how we are going to pay this back????

  54. “The average household wealth of Australians is greater today than it was 15 to 20 years ago, and it is, there is no doubt about that,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Cairns on Wednesday.

    “But how do you preserve and grow that wealth? You do that by continuing to provide incentives for people to earn money, by continuing to provide incentives for small business to employ people.”

    Ummmm. someone’s forgotting about the large amounts of private debt involved in attempting to grow wealth and how the bubble has burst and how loan defaults and asset deflations have wiped out much of the gains.

    Oh, and many of the businesses now failing are small businesses. As if that really matters because so many small business have been driven out by much larger ones.

  55. I’ve always felt the only idea Animal Farm gave credence to is the idea that revolutions (or changes in government) tend to provide significant benefits to those higher up the food chain (so to speak) such as those in charge of the revolution.

    Love the blog btw guys! I’d only recently discovered Tim’s version before he left and was so pleased to stumble on this as a replacement! I probably spend way to much of my work hours lurking in here 😀

  56. OK Neil – let start from the other side.

    How will the ALP reduce the effects of the recession (caused by the GFC) without going into deficit?

  57. “My question is Why? As far as I can ascertain the Princess has never been particularly interested in Australia, so why start now.”

    Rumour has it, she’s a lesbian. Maybe she’s really here for Mardi Gras??

  58. .” My experience tells me that you people just make things up”

    Not helping your self much there, Neil.

  59. reb,

    Maybe for the horsey connection?

  60. All of the above banter about incomes and wealth in bricks and mortar that the Banks own predominately is good fun, but the answer to this stupid statement by Hoss will come at the ballot box. Ask the average punter in the street if he is better off (not hoss or turdball or smirky), and you’ll get your answer. Hoss and his Boss Turdball had better work out that the street poll is the one that counts in a politicians life. This statement confirms two things in my mind, firstly Hoss has never had an original idea in his life, the second the Pitiful Party (Libs) are lost in the past. Someo one please tell them that there is a real world outside their million dollar condo’s.

  61. New Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey will go head to head with Treasurer Wayne Swan for the first time on ABC television tonight.

    The two will face off on ABC 1’s Q and A program

  62. Kittylitter – “Better than Lowes?”

    The clothes from op shops have too much natural fibre for TB.

  63. the ALP is about to produce $200B of govt debt. Do you have any idea how we are going to pay this back????

    Pokies?

  64. Thanks for the Heads Up KL…

    🙂

  65. Neil recited:

    the ALP is about to produce $200B of govt debt

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/leaders-see-a-rescue-package-full-of-ideology/2009/02/08/1234027847287.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

    Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 February 2009:

    Ultimately the Coalition’s strategy would accrue the same amount of debt as Labor’s. Just over a longer period.

  66. I think TB’s wardrobe is more of the “wash n wear” variety than anything that requires an iron…

  67. PS. the ALP is about to produce $200B of govt debt. Do you have any idea how we are going to pay this back???? Neil, if China goes down the tube then a piddly amount of government debt is going to be the least of our worries.

  68. “How will the ALP reduce the effects of the recession (caused by the GFC) without going into deficit?
    joni, on February 19th, 2009 at 12:05 pm Said:”

    O.K. I take your point. I do not know. But Peter Costello would know what to do. I never agreed or believed the leftoids who said that any body could pay back $96B of ALP debt. It was a great achievement.

    However the Australian voted him out, the best Treasurer we ever had and elected Daffy Duck to replace him.

    We are in deficit because the ALP is in power.

  69. Min, on February 19th, 2009 at 12:20 pm Said:

    PS. the ALP is about to produce $200B of govt debt. Do you have any idea how we are going to pay this back???? Neil, if China goes down the tube then a piddly amount of government debt is going to be the least of our worries.”

    Cracker Min!

  70. Re Hockey vs Swan. I am not certain how this is going to work. Serious Swan versus Shrek..with due apologies to Shrek..Hockey to me is Shrek but now with a vastly reduced sense of humour and next to no personality. Hockey/serious to me still doesn’t compute. He’s a man who should have realized his limitations.

  71. Min, with the greatest of respect, everyone should be quite concerned about going into debt to the tune of $200,000,000,000.

    That’s an extra $10,000 for every man, woman and child. It is no trifling sum, it ought not be dismissed to blandly.

  72. kittylitter, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:55 am
    Tom of Melbourne, on February 19th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Why do I need enemies… 😦

    …the suit jokes are wearing a bit thin (boom! boom!) 😆

    Yer rotten sods – won’t tell ya any more good stuff! 😀

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Neil of Sydney, on February 19th, 2009 at 11:53 am
    PS. the ALP is about to produce $200B of govt debt. Do you have any idea how we are going to pay this back????

    Neil, answer joni’s question and I’ll answer this…’cause its pretty easy…

    joni, on February 19th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    …how are you going with that rock, BTW?

  73. Neil of Sydney:

    “I do not know”

    That’s the most sensible thing you’ve said all day.

  74. Joni asked:

    How will the ALP reduce the effects of the recession (caused by the GFC) without going into deficit?

    Neil “responded”:

    O.K. I take your point. I do not know. But Peter Costello would know what to do.

    This highlights the intellectual and moral childishness of the Liberal crank. With religious like fervour (brainwashing) they defer to a higher authority. The messiah complex that immobilises Liberal cranks from ethical and logical flexibility.

    It’s the same simplistic reasoning that gives origin to this line:

    We are in deficit because the ALP is in power.

    That is like saying (as I said to TB above): There is a global financial crisis. Must be because we in Australia changed the government in November 2007.

    No wonder the old rodent put tertiary education funding into reverse. He didn’t want people trained in history, economics, reasoning, analysis. He wanted a nation of brainwashable easily manipulated fearful hayseeds.

  75. “He wanted a nation of brainwashable easily manipulated fearful hayseeds.”

    I guess we were too late to save Queensland.

  76. Neil. Costello may or may not have known what to do. Given the fact that Costello recommended that everyone chuck all their hard earned into super, I suspect that he would be floundering.

    From: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24428669-5013404,00.html

    ON the day Australians had $55 billion wiped from their share portfolios, former treasurer Peter Costello insisted the Howard government had never encouraged Australians to put extra money into superannuation.

    Instead, he blamed financial advisers for the plunge of $15billion into superannuation between April and June last year to take advantage of the then government’s tax concessions. ….

    He announced in May 2006 that Australians would be given tax incentives to invest up to $1million into super by July 1 last year. Mr Costello said after those incentives were announced: “The largest ever reform to superannuation has led to increased confidence in the system and increased contributions.”

  77. What must be remembered about this $200 billion of debt that Labor is purported to be racking up, is that by the Libs own admission, their debt would be $180 biilion. The only difference between the two is roughly $20 billion dollars, which the libs refuse to spend to tackle the GFC.

    They cannot labour this point to hard.

    But I bet they will.

    Also, Neil asked how we measure debt. The simle answer is, not easily 🙂

    but I di find this rather large pdf which helps explain how we do currently.

    S O M E I N T E R N A T I O N A L C O M P A R I S O N S O F P R O G R E S S

    Household saving is one of the main sources of
    funds within a country to finance investment, and
    hence, to promote long-term growth in increased
    national disposable income per capita……..

    Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand
    and Finland all experienced sharp declines in
    household saving rates. Australia’s household
    saving rate of -2.2% reflects a decline from 9.3% in
    1990. However, in understanding the fall in
    Australia’s household saving it is important to
    consider changes in the value of assets held by
    households.

    Of course, that bit about ‘consider changes in the value of assets held by households’ works two ways. So I wonder where exactly do we sit now that everyone is morgaged to the hilt and the morgages are no longer worth what they were told they were.

  78. Tom R..have written, it’s from the family email. Apology for the delay.

  79. reb, on February 19th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Mate, just come back from my “fast paced” walk around the block (retired y’know!), had a shower and put on my old cotton shirt I picked up in Egypt…temperatures 28.5 in the (old) office and humidity is – well its fking HUMID – you’d melt, Tassie Boy! (PS The Minister irons everything! and I mean everything – very dangerous with an iron – and before you start KL she mows the lawn too!

    …lucky I got my primary education in the England for the first 12 years! – as for Scottish, ejukashun – enough said…

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Nice to see everyone answering Neil’s simple question.

    If I may summarise (’cause you did answer honestly – so you’re not completely brainwashed):

    If the government sat on its hands and did nothing the government would need $155 billion to keep running – and we don’t have much income coming in ’cause the rest of the world is grinding to a halt…and our mining boom has ENDED…

    Tax cuts – as Messrs Turncoat and Co keep burbling about – would reduce Australia’s income by about $70 billion – see the difference – none!

    However all them rich folk get more with tax cuts and the poorer people not much – guess who suffers more when we have to pay The Robber Barons to continue to fleece us?

    Luckily, I own my cave and have squirelled (?) a bit away over the last 40 odd years, for this particular rainy day, ’cause I don’t trust any politician to act in my best interests…ever…but then, I’m paranoid, wear cheap suits and live at home! 😀

  80. The Australian Labor Part is only good at two things

    1. producing debt
    2. producing unemployment

    And they are hopeless at anything else

  81. TB – “my old cotton shirt I picked up in Egypt”

    This would be a shirt of standard supply, Egyptian made, issued to TB during the North African campaign against Erwin Rommel in 1941.

    I think this was before polyester was invented.

  82. Tom of Melbourne..they were made to last in those days.

  83. TB, yes as per the Minister I am also a compulsive ironer. No one leaves the building unironed!

  84. An Egyptian cotton shirt???!!!

    Was it a gift?

  85. Neil of Sydney:

    “And they are hopeless at anything else”

    Howaboout keeping interest rates low?

    Didn’t your hero the rodent promise to do that??

  86. PS The Minister irons everything! and I mean everything – very dangerous with an iron – and before you start KL she mows the lawn too!

    Very productive minister by the sounds, cooking, accounting, ironing, mowing -do you do anything there TB?! 🙂

  87. Didn’t your hero the rodent promise to do that??
    reb, on February 19th, 2009 at 1:37 pm Said:”

    You know Reb I guess that is true, but his is rediculis. The interest rates are now so low that SFR are in trouble. A lot of older people in Aus live off their interest.

  88. Neil of Sydney, on February 19th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Hang on while I turn off the Liberal Party Indoctination CD – “click”

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Tom of Melbourne, on February 19th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    LOL!

    Min, on February 19th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I reckon its a disease!

    kittylitter, on February 19th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Now I’m not giving MY secret away, KL,

    Not only productive but a lovely lady!

  89. “Not only productive but a lovely lady!”

    I have no doubt, but you make her mow the lawn??!!

    I second KL’s call for a senate enquiry, do you do anything around the household aside from blog and open the bar at 5.00pm??

  90. Wealth up 3.3% at th end of the quarter Sep 2007.

    Share market on last trading day for Sep 2007 6580
    Share market yesterday 3366

    Total loss of 48.85% in 17 months.

    Translate that in numbers and many people have lost what they have gained over the last 12 years in a little over 12 months.

    How Hockey thinks we are now richer is beyond me.

  91. How Hockey thinks we are now richer is beyond me.
    Shane, on February 19th, 2009 at 1:56 pm Said:”

    I am sure that this is true. Do you haven any figures to support your belief???

  92. I think Australians need to take their $900 and go buy a little perspective. I don’t think there is any doubt that we are wealthier, asset and income wise, than we have ever been. However I don’t think that this translates into social wealth, and as industry, and government, becomes more centralised over time, that social wealth deteriorates.

  93. Neil

    I gave you figures what more do you want.

  94. reb, on February 19th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    sreb, I don’t “make” her mow the lawn she “likes” it???

    (I do the edges and trimming, landscaping, she’s the gardener, though!). Please don’t mention the blog!

    As an example of some of my “usefulness” around here – after 23 days of tooing and froing (letters, emails and phone calls) Godfrey Hirst have just agreed to replace all our (“…ozone fading not our fault…”) four year old carpet and pay for “uplifting” with Carpet Choice…the bar may open early today…but that is MY decision… 😉

    Nice to see ya back, Shane…

    …and I saw RN on another thread, g’day RN if you see this!

    Where the bloody hell is, Adrian?

  95. TB, yes I’ve been missing Adrian too. He was an absolute rock when son was posted to The Gulf. And aye to all matelots.

    I am with The Minister, mowing lawns is good as you get to see results.

    There was an RN on Tim Dunlop’s blog also.

  96. Thanks TB good to be back for a little while anyway

    Have had a harrowing week in Coona. Two of my customers are dying from terminal cancers. A very sad visit this time.

    Once again neither of them had any insurance and both families will be left with young kids, one parent and a home loan debt. A financial nightmare for those left.

    To all my blogocrat friends please, please ensure you have insurance over life and income.

  97. Shane,

    Unfortunately I am considered un-insurable due to high-blood pressure and anxiety. The thing is, I take medications to keep these conditions under control.

    The logic of insurance companies is that while I’m on the medications – the problem exists.

    Whereas if I stop taking the medications, that means the condition doesn’t exist, therefore they can insure me.

    Incredible minds must be behind that logic.

    Anyway, I figure the insurance companies would find some weasel way out of paying up if I ever suffered from death or disability.

    “Aah, but you didn’t tell us about the mosquito bite you had back in 1982, that no doubt contributed to you getting hit by that car last week”

    Insurance companies are right up there with Real Estate Agents, Used Car Salesmen and Lawyers…

  98. Min

    Great link.

    How long will it be before Turnbull is replaced?

  99. reb, on February 19th, 2009 at 3:51 pm The thing is, I take medications to keep these conditions under control.

    Shiraz? 😉

    +++++++++++++++++++++
    Sad to hear about your clients, Shane, when I was younger I had policy that reduced (along with the premiums) as the kids got older and we earned more and the risk reduced.

    I worked as an insurance salesman for a month (National Mutual) – believed in the product but had some problems with their “numbers” …and the salesmanager “had” religion – didn’t impress me one bit…

    …that aside, I agree, insure property, life and income, particularly if you have a family…

  100. Joni..I recon about the end of this year. It isn’t going to be old Joe (severe lack of charisma, plus overweight), but maybe it will be Pyne (choke, choke). Ah dear, who to believe..Turnbull, Pyne or the other bloke who has refused to retract his statements.

  101. An insurance salesman…????

    A suit from Lowes…..???

    A pattern is beginning to emerge here TB, and it ain’t pretty…

    Yes, I’m counting down to a glass (or two) of Shiraz…

    Bloody hell…. I’m gaspin’ fir a bevvy here!!

  102. reb

    Yes unfortunately there are ways that insurers will weasel out of things at times, but things are different compared to 10 or more years ago as they now need to prove why they should not pay the money out under the insurance ombudsman rather than just some lame excuse without recourse.

    To me insurance is a necessary evil in a society that places all the risk on the individual.

    Plus if they didn’t pay me and I thought it was unfair there would be a quick trip to Todat Tonight and the ombudsman.

  103. reb, on February 19th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Git awa wee, rebbie! Ovver fir a swam an din ta pub fer a bevvie, och aye!

    Re pattern – OK, I do like the odd C&W and I sing Glenn Campbell, Neil D and John Denver songs – satisfied now! Bastard! 😦

  104. “wish I could find that book that I have, it’s to do with planned obsolescence.”

    Min., plenty of that going on I reckon.

    We scrimped, saved and paid off on layby a top Japanese stereo about 15 years ago. From a specialist sound system shop in Brissie. It’s still going strong…many of mine friends are jealous. The same goes for our fridge built by a NZ company in the early 90s. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to replace or repair computers & other electrical equipment over the past few years. I hate this disposable society.

    As for Op shops, I bought a tweed-like jacket in the UK when I was stationed nr. Gatwick in 1980 as a temp flight attendant. Used to wear it w/ polo shirts & those low cut around the neck (made in India) shirts…add old jeans & construction boots or runners. I’m not a lover of jackets, ‘specially in this climate…but it looked & felt brilliant…& only cost about 15 pounds. I hope the 2nd hand shop thing takes off again.

    Great, intense thread…& long…who needs “War & Peace”…good to blogocrats ripping along.

    BTW Neil, you sound like a one-stop shop for HATE LABOR. Plenty closing down these days I’ve heard…due to good, sound management of economy. Check out the overseas economies like America, the UK, Italy & Japan & you’ll get my drift.

    N’

  105. N’ would you believe that I still have my portable black and white tellie and the old girl is still going strong. We married in ’75 and have only recently had to replace our fridge. New fridge: 2 sets of seals in 3 years. How come the ones on the old fridge lasted 30 years?

  106. “would you believe that I still have my portable black and white tellie and the old girl is still going strong. ”

    Amazing Min….says something about the quality of products in the past…and the pride the workers & management had in their work. There’s just something so wrong w/ this profiteering at the expense of quality and environment.

    All that debt…for what? A pile of toxic, unusable goods. I take it the Neo-Libs will use them as playgrounds for the workers kids in the future.

    Cat Stevens – “Where Will The Children Play?

    N’

  107. Min
    You just reminded me, we still have an akai vhs pop top video player 1980-81 model.
    only thing that goes wrong with it is i have to replace the elastic bands which drive all the gears inside every couple of years.

    I wrote a long email to you last nigh tMin and something about a timed out and it saved the email instead of sending it. now i have to find it somewhere in my files.

  108. I don’t think Joe really gets it.

    Deliver us from the ways of greed
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,25074739-14741,00.html
    Bernard Salt

    I AM reliably informed that in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings the first step is taking ownership of the problem.

    In other words there is no chance of sobriety until there is an admission that “I am an alcoholic”.

    The Catholic Church operates on a similar principle with regard to sinners. First you must confess and then repent your sins in order to have even half a chance of salvation. And what’s more, the penance paid is directly proportional to the scale of the sin. Small sins require less penance than big sins. (I sometimes wonder whether this scale needs to be reviewed, because some small transgressions today might be deemed “worth it”.)

    I think the alcoholics and the Catholics have something to teach the Australian consumer during these trying times.

    After a decade of access to easy credit and full employment, we have come to believe that we have a god-given right to spend regardless of the cost and regardless of the debt ultimately incurred. And in a rising employment market, who cares? Next year’s income will be greater than last year’s, so we can all handle just that little bit more debt.

    But now with an economic firestorm bearing down upon us, we are suddenly in a very different mood. “Please save us from our credit card debt and lead us not into temptation but deliver us along the path of righteousness and unto eternal solvency.”

  109. Hockey does not seem to much of a “formidable communicator” just yet.

    All he does is just huff and puff!

  110. Min at 10.55am:

    Got it in one. Joe was the Libs’ Workchoices snake-oil salesman.

    Who’s gonna believe a word he says about the economy after coming-out with all that “no-one will be worse-off under Workchoices” baloney?

    And what’s he coming-out with now? A variation on John Howard’s “You lot have never had it so good” theme.

    I’ll give him this: He’s consistent.

    The problem for Ol’ Joe is that people stopped listening to anything he and the rest of Howard’s Heroes were saying a verrry looooong time ago.

    This happened well before the election and about the time Rudd took-over the ALP leadership, in fact, thus leading to Dennis Shanahan’s much-hated Neverending Labor Honeymoon. (It is over yet Dennis?)

    As long as the poor old Libs keep trotting out the same old Dinosaurs spouting the same tired old bullshit, they’re doomed.

    Dooomed , I say.

  111. G’day TB! G’day Min, I’m the same RN from Tim’s Blogocracy.

    Haven’t dropped in for a time due to being in high demand at work and home – home situation now settling down though. Just now returned from a late shift.

    Oh how the world has changed since election 07 and Blogocracy.

    Who would have thought …? John Mac is one who comes to mind.

    Where the bloody hell is Adrian? Does anyone know?

  112. welcome RN.

    I havnt seen a comment from Adrian in ages.
    I hope he is just busy.

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