29 Nov 2011

The Golden Road To Surplus

By Ben Eltham
The latest Treasury figures show why Australia's economy remains the envy of the rich world. It's another early Christmas bonus for the Gillard Government, writes Ben Eltham
Step back from all the sound and fury about budget surpluses and the European debt crisis for a moment, and have an unbiased look at the latest Treasury figures on the health of Australia's economy.

Unemployment is expected to peak at 5.5 per cent next year, and remain at the level into 2013. Inflation will be 3.25 per cent. Wages will grow at 4 per cent. Consumer spending will grow at 3 per cent, and the economy as a whole at 3.25 per cent.

These are figures that would make finance ministers in Europe weep. The Australian economy is growing. We're adding jobs and keeping unemployment low, consumers are still spending, and inflation is modest. And yes, the budget will return to surplus.

They're not quite "a beautiful set of numbers" in and of themselves — they show that Australian growth will be moderate, rather than booming — but in comparison to our northern hemisphere trading partners, they're almost utopian. Take a look, for instance, at Britain's latest economic data. British numbers tell a tale on unalloyed misery. Growth is a sickly 0.5 per cent and falling. Unemployment is at 8.3 per cent and growing. Despite this, inflation is galloping along at 5 per cent. This is stagflation of a particularly nasty variety. And Britain, like the Euro area, Japan and the US, remains awash in a sea of red ink (see below).

Government deficits and surpluses in Australia, the Euro area, Japan, the US and Britain, 2010-16. Australia will be one of the only countries in the OECD to enjoy a balanced budget in the near future. Source: Treasury.

You can argue about precisely how much credit Wayne Swan and the government are entitled to take for this world-beating performance. What you can't deny is that this is a world-beating performance. Sure, the economy is not enjoying the frothy exuberance of 2007. But it's still ticking along quite nicely; these figures suggest that this could be the best Christmas for retailers in several years.

Wayne Swan and Penny Wong have had to cut reasonably deeply to keep the budget in surplus. Nearly $7 billion in extra money has been found, through a series of measures such as cuts to the Baby Bonus, deferments of tax cuts, some tweaks to superannuation, cuts to a tax break called the living away from home allowance, and an extra 2.5 per cent "efficiency dividend" imposed across the public service.

Expect to hear more about this last item, the new efficiency dividend. The measure is a blunt instrument, to say the least, as it imposes a uniform cut on all government departments and agencies, no matter their size. Some job losses and program cuts are almost certain.

But then again, cutting government spending was always on the cards, because Treasury says slower growth has wiped something like $20 billion off expected tax revenues. Politically, Swan and Wong will be only too happy to ear a bit of pain in return for the giant black ribbon reading "Surplus!" that they can pin on the government's chest.

That's assuming we record a surplus next year, of course. Events in Europe could yet take a disastrous turn, with many commentators predicting the break-up of the Euro currency zone within weeks. Should something so truly catastrophic occur in Europe, we can expect another global credit crunch, a plunge on world markets and some serious repercussions in our own economy. All bets, in other words, will be off. Even draconian government cuts will not be enough to keep the budget in the black.

But if Europe can muddle through, as the government is so desperately hoping, then there is every likelihood that Swan will be able to announce his first surplus on budget night next year. This means almost nothing, economically. But politically, it's a very big deal indeed. With its reflexive bleating that all deficits everywhere are always bad, the Opposition has long exploited misconceptions about economics widely held in the Australian media and citizenry. Rather than try to educate voters, the Government has instead staked much of its economic credibility on returning to surplus next year. It's become something of a millstone around its neck.

On the other hand, if Swan can get over the magic plus-minus line, it will blunt one of the Opposition's best talking points, and buttress the Government's economic standing leading into the 2013 election year. In the meantime, the Reserve Bank might even lend a hand by lowering interest rates another quarter of a percent. I'd say that's exactly what Wayne Swan is writing away to Santa for.

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Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 14:32

Unfortunately it seems that at this point it wouldn't matter if Wayne Swan personally visited every Australian home, bestowed upon it a sugar bag full of cash, a fourth flat-screen TV and raised Grandma from the dead.

The conventional wisdom is now firmly entrenched in the popular imagination that this government has not managed the economy well. Facts be damned.

If Australia sat off the coast of Europe and people could see up close how folks were faring in the rest of the developed world, Swan and co. would be heroes. But here we sit in our splendid isolation, allowing Abbott and his media megaphone mates to weave a fantasy in which Australia Pty Ltd is on the verge of collapse.

So some token black ink might take some of the heat out of the opposition's flame thrower. But genuflecting to the new conventional wisdom that the federal budget bottom line IS the economy will alas further cement this ludicrous, and potentially dangerous notion.

History will view this government's economic management and reforms positively. Unfortunately long before that happens it will probably BE history.

Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 14:48

Just goes to show how much Rabbott knows with all his spoilt little brat attitude, No, No, No to eveything, negative attitude and a cry baby who can't get his own way.

Well rabbott you have again failed and you are a drain on Australian society and a complete waste of space.

Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 15:25

Decisions, decisions. Whether to put Independent/Greens first, or Labor. They've done better with these economic times than anyone could have expected, but I still like the idea of them governing in restraint with the Greens and Independents. It restrains their natural arrogance.

Abbott, you had your chance to demonstrate an alternative government, but you blew it. An unrestrained sea of negativity and promises to repeal does not cut it.

Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 15:28

And Matilda? How about putting a Google+ link in your share.

Dr Dog
Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 15:39

When will it be socially accpetable for me to start calling the Gillard/Swan government the best we have had since Hawke/Keating?

They have done very well in the face of the most aggressive opposition I have ever seen, serious financial problems and a close to hung parliament dominated by independants and Greens. The idiocy around climate change and the Aussie Tea Party type antics of a vocal and ignorant minority have been a constant diversion from policy and effectiveness.

If Labor can drive through an effective Murray Darling plan, adopt a policy that accepts gay marriage and devise an acceptable and humane onshore processing system I will be both amazed and gratified.

For all those that castigate Gillard, and I disagree often with her politics, can anyone really imagine that Abbott could have so successfully negotiated through such a difficult year?

Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 15:57

One of the reasons our economy is in good shape is that the Australian electorate has rewarded economic prudence. The 07 election was a battle of who could promise less, so why can't Swann take the high ground of explaining that now is exactly when running a deficit is needed. If the cuts to government jobs put up unemployment then Abbot won't care about losing a surplus talking point... It's time to stop understating Australian's economic literacy (and boats ... Also stop boats!!!)

Dr Anthony Noble

K Brown
Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 16:52

The Gillard Government will earn my praise when it taxes property speculators instead of allowing them to negatively gear and force up housing affordability for young families, when superannuants earning $100k+ loose their entitlement to a health care card, when high salary earners can write down their tax liability through salary sacrificing that casual/labour hire employees can't access, when dividend imputation is removed so workers' compulsory superannuation isn't invested so heavily in poorly performing equities, when negative gearing is removing from investment in selected assets and capital flows to the most productive sectors of our economy, when the extraordinary taxation benefits accorded high income superannuants are made more equitable.

Penny Wong says Labor values are being observed in bringing the budget back to surplus. Well, I dont think that keeping newstart allowance below the poverty level, or paying maternity benefits to perons on employer funded maternity leave while cutting the baby bonus to casual employee or out-of-work mums is observing Labor values. When will Labor have the guts to pare back middle and high income welfare?

Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 17:10

K Brown well said!!

I can quite easily balance my own family budget if I don't buy my kids food, can't be bothered taking them to after-school activities or don't pay my utilities bills...the question is - is a balanced budget the measure of a successful government?

Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 17:14

Re. the whole "surplus" issue:
It is such a shame that Howard and Costello managed to drum the "surplus good, deficit bad" idea into the Australian public. Really it all depends on the economic circumstances and what the debt is used for. We all know this in our own lives (which is why we borrow money to do things like buy homes and businesses). Furthermore, in our own lives we subtract the value of debts from the value of assets to figure out how we are doing financially. But we don't seem to be able to apply this very simple idea to the federal government. This limits the ability of governments to manage the economy, discourages investment is infrastructure, produces corporate welfare in the form of expensive public-private partnerships (in which private sector partners can technichallty do the borrowing), and encourages politicians to sell strategic and profitable assets. It is plain as day to everyone that Labor has no choice but to deliver a surplus or get voted out, even if circomstances next year are such that delivering a surplus would ammount to economic vandalism. And both parties seem to think that this kind of recklessness is called "economic responsibility".

Perfidious Rex
Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 22:39

The Federal Govt has proven itself completely capable of forecasting surpluses. It is only the achieving of them that has alluded them.

No doubt they will get there with a surplus in 2012/13 - even if it takes gigantic deficits in 2011/12 and 2013/14 to make it happen. Though I wouldn't want to be a teacher hanging out for the performance bonus if commodity prices take another leg down!

(And of course they wouldn't want that NBN coming back into the budget)

I would be interested to see what happened to your analysis if we were compared to the achievers rather than the "dogs" and if we focused on less manipulable figures (such as "external debt", "net international investment position"), adjusted unemployment for underemployment etc.

Not that this is all Labor's fault mind you but they are the ones in Government now and the ones that should be creating a cushion at the Govt level to allow for the fact that our economy is not exactly built on bedrock....


Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 09:18

If all we measure success on is a balanced budget...whoops PREDICTING a balanced budget...then this is still only a good sign only for our wealthiest 5% isn't it? Pick any one specific area like public health, education or the plight of people experiencing a disability and it doesn't look so good does it? I just heard some figures on quality of life for people with a disability and the picture it painted was very poor indeed...I'm sure our citizens living with a disability and only 39% employed will be over-joyed that the budget is PREDICTED to balance! Or what about youth unemployment? Or? Or? Or? How about struggling farmers??? They're wealthier if they sell their land to China/USA companies for pine plantations...I won't be voting for these folks - no way!! ANY business or family that has a balanced budget but hasn't actually met its responsibilities or function of its mission statement/objectives etc - is still a failure...

This user is a New Matilda supporter. douglas jones
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 09:29

douglas jones
I wonder whether the real question is about economic theory/regulation rather than the politically and perhaps psychologically importance of proclaiming a surplus.
Current economics at least at the practicing level acts as though market efficiency works, players are rational and government regulation is not needed with perhaps the continuing idea resources if only by substitution, are infinite, though some express doubt concerning H2O. The first three points are shown to be wrong by the dishonest deregulation and market behaviour resulting in 2007/8 and continuing.
Next in the light of global warming growth as measured by GDP adds to greenhouse gases yet growth appears the accepted way of solving the debt problem. Here I must comment that I do not understand how the creation of money having no economic substance translates into real money debt, presumably the chicanery of finance.
Resources I believe are finite in general and economic behaviour should be in accord.
Still I realise that as with global warming there is much literature proclaiming the opposite many showing a desire to avoid fact and some quite complicated driven by vested interest, e.g.oil.

Perfidious Rex
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 10:16


Whilst I agree with many of your sentiments, having our Govt in a strong fiscal position is probably more beneficial for the 95%. If you take a look at a country like Greece - it is not the wealthy people suffering and marching in the streets.

Douglas J

Unfortunately pulling back on GDP growth isn't going to get Labor re-elected and its certainly not going to get their debt repaid. From a political perspective it is far preferable to consume resources today and let future generations deal with any problems....


Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 11:21

Yes PR - we live in a short term world with little consideration to what problems future generations will have to solve!! In this case - as you siad - the 95% will benefit from strong ec position - BUT the 100% population in 50-100 years time also needs to be considered doesn't it?!! Consumption and competition are the two main culprits causing the problems - yet our economy relies on both for its success. Actually I forgot corruption too. And when the ship goes down we all know what happened to the poor and rich on the Titanic!!

Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 16:50

Well said Ben, and well done AUS.
We Aussies got it real easy. Yay!

I will make hay while the sun shines.
Will the Commonwealth drink beer while the river runs dry?
We should use our Golden Road to achieve our long term
needs (eg: ecological and infrastructure), while we still
have the power to easily solve these challenges.
Mining booms, exchange rates, and other people's GFCs
will end long before the revolution-sized challenges
of Peak Petrol and Climate Destabilization.
Present responsible legislation is refreshing!

Perfidious Rex
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 21:18


Completely agree on future populations. Unfortunately for them though - they don't vote and therefore get little consideration from our political leaders. In fact just about their favorite tactic is kicking problems down the road for future generations to solve!

Excessive consumption is certainly a major contributor to many problems but i don't think competition per se is a problem. Many problems of the world are attributed to favored buzzwords - competition, capitalism, globalization etc etc. However without further colour or explanation these are really just meaningless slogans.

I find it difficult to imagine we would all feel better off in a world of monopolies, state enterprise, preferential legislation, closed shops etc (ie the absence of competition) so I would be interested to hear what you had in mind on this front?


Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 20:36

Hi PR - you still following this strand?

Yes I agree with you. These words get thrown around without clear definition and thus become rhetoric or cliches, losing any meaningful use!!

When I think of competition - I picture the inequalities in our world where many items and activities only get recognition in terms of a monetary value and thus fought over and distributed unevenly and inhumanely, which causes wars, loss, famine, death, deterioration - competition to WIN the resources. I don't like a social Darwinistic view where the strong have power and possessions and the weak miss out because well they are weak and don't deserve it.

I can recognise what you seem to conceptualise is that without competition, commercially, we end up with monopolies (the media issues at the moment would be a classic eg of this yes?) and, if state run solely, everything would be influenced only by legislation and dominant cultural interests yes?

You have a point too and I must admitt commerce is not my speciality so I wouldn't want to punch outside my weight division!!

What I picture is economics on a smaller scale at local levels that are all linked together.
Greater emphasis on participatory government that is taught in our schools (social engineering yes i know!) and expected as a social responsibility thus would become the norm.
A cap on the wages of executives so that profits would be fed back into the community or industry development, or for programs/products that are generally not thought of as "profitable"(eg regional services, many medicins, natural therapies, social/community programs, supporting disabilities and mental illnesses, developing education)
Rather than state owned enterprises make them COMMUNITY owned thus greater input by citizens, (would need ombudsmen for abuses of power though) and still private owned as well.
Avoiding bureuaracy wherever possible by creating smaller cooperatives...
But like I said, I'm no commerce expert but am doing a lot of reading on how to create a society which is more HUMAN oriented, respectful and supportive of diversity and nurtures ALL to have a valued role in society...competition of the sort I conceptualise and don't like...doesn't do this...it is like a bunch of rats or mice in a silo crawling all over each other to see who can be at the top where some therefore have to be on the bottom
But don't worry - I DO know this is quite unrealistic and idealistic of me!! BUT it won't stop me trying to live it in my own life and trying to create change in my own community to move in this direction...
Did you know that today I tried to buy frozen mixed vegetables and some brands were from China and the UK...we won't mention New Zealand!! The packaging didn't even outline where the vegetables were grown and I wanted Australain grown to support farmers...so I won't be buying frozen veg, I'll pick my own from my veggie garden and buy fresh first from farmers market and second from Aus farmers...competition is only good so far, eventually people we care about, a neighbouring farmer and his family, a local factory and its employees who inhabit the local town and whose children fill a local school...will be all copeted OUt and onto unemployment lines...we respect "free" market principles and they have to adapt to the labour market, move to a mine in isolated QLD community and drive a truck...so much more freedom, diversity and right to self-determination....
Any way I'm just crapping on now!! (something i NEVER do hehehe!!!)

Perfidious Rex
Posted Friday, December 2, 2011 - 00:35

Hi Fightmumma

Back finally. Wow - that's a lot of material in one post!

Firstly. I think you have distinguish between competition and the impact of globalization. Competition is what allows you to choose to buy fresh food from a farmers market at a price which keeps you both happy. An absence of competition would have you lining up for everything at Woolies (who would now be charging monopolistic prices for crap).

Globalization on the other hand has certainly contributed to the demise of many Australian products/businesses simply because they are not competing on a level playing field. Once the competitive benefits of cheaper labour, less regulation etc outweigh the negatives like transportation costs then overseas producers will have an edge on price (which, lets face it, most consumers focus on far too much). As a result the Australian businesses/products disappear.

Now whether this is a bad/unfair/wrong result I would say somewhat depends on your philosophical point of view (and how nationalistic you are). Whilst clearly a bad outcome for the Australian businesses/workers it also creates businesses/jobs offshore - often in places where people have a much lower standard of living than in Australia.

On to your other points - whilst I can't see either the fairness or commonsense in a 100% tax on the "excess wages" of Marius Kloppers and co, I certainly agree that more responsibility needs to be pushed to local communities. Centralized Government - whilst arguably "efficient" - just doesn't work from so many perspectives. Whilst we've got politicians in Canberra or our state capitals trying to manage indigenous issues in the outback, marine parks, uranium exporting etc and even education, disability support and health then the "solutions" will always be poor ones.

And besides - politicians in Canberra just have so many big issues to deal with - eg budget manipulation, what to tax next?, next speaker of the house?, do I knife Julia or not? - they can't possibly have the time for all these "little issues"!

Anyway, I too am starting to crap on....


Posted Friday, December 2, 2011 - 07:42

Yes I see your points PR!! I think it gets down to power interests in the end.

Posted Friday, December 2, 2011 - 10:33

PR - also successes depend on profits. But our society has a habit of treating society like one big fat accountancy balance sheet WITHOUT a column including social, emotional, environmental LOSSES. If this was included AND costs for covering FIXING these negative effects were factored in - wouldn't we end up with a very different story as to companies' industries'and governments' successes?

Perfidious Rex
Posted Saturday, December 3, 2011 - 23:07


To some extent I think you are right. However again I think this point is somewhat overdone.

Society actually has a pretty decent track record of "demanding" (through their choices) that companies become more accountable for the products they produce.

Compare for instance the McDonalds menu of today vs twenty years ago. Low fat options/wraps/salads etc vs nothing but high fat burgers and chips. Or the Toyota Prius - a response to the demand for a greener, cleaner vehicle.

The problem of course is that companies don't just toe the line demanded by certain vested interests - so that they are said to be out of step with "society" whereas in reality they are just out of step with that vested interest. Climate change is a great example of this.

Corporate values really just reflect the values of society (which is not surprising given they are run by and owned by members of society). There will always be the odd outrageous case. However there are outrageous cases amongst individuals also.


Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 09:12

Hi again PR
Yes it seems maybe once one takes a stance with an interest area, this perspective will then influence what one can, will and wants to notice or perceive as important. I had an interesting discussion on the people smugglers article with someone and we were talking about the various angles one can approach a social topic from...I have the habit of taking the humanistic, emotional side of things...but it is interesting that any one stance (even if I might feel more secure and "right" thinking I have the moral highground!!!) will exclude other possibilities...and probably with many of these issues we need people in the positions for making decisions that have strong ethical considerations that ALSO feel passionately about their interest areas BUT that can listen with their eyes wide open to the validity of ALL other views. Thus everyone would move to the middle somewhat and all areas would receive SOME of what they believe/value into the decision making processes...

I will disagree with you on your statement about the leaders of corporations being members of our society however. Firstly may "leaders" of companies don't live in the communities/regions where their businesses/industries are operating - eg coal mines, paper mills, pine plantations in Gippsland/Latrobe valley (thus locals get no support for fixing/improving local roads that logging companies use for transport of timber) or those articles about nuclear waste dumping recntly in NM, Or QANTAS's Joyce is not really a memeber of his community is he?

Secondly, I see these very wealthy people as a ruling class who DO set themselves apart from normal society, they are the ones who get to make decisions that affect everyone else, there is a lot of corruption that benefits these people and has negative impacts on ordinary citizens (how many bankrupt millionaires do we hear about, especially in USA who still get to celebrate thanksgiving in their mansions on taxpayer-funded "get-out-of-jail-free" schemes?)

I also thought that many consumer groups have great battles trying to get better transparency from businesses from listing food ingredients, to listing origins of food, to human rights abuses in overseas factories, to getting deserved compensation for products that are dangerous eg asbestos, thalydimide, industrial pollutants...so perhaps it is just a very slow process for companies to adapt to demands of society? But when consumer groups have to go to court or politicians for new legislation this demonstrates somewhat a neglect on the part of companies for answering to and meeting their responsibilities to society and specific ommunities...

If governing was on a more community level, the ordinary person would be listened to and their needs acted on more effectively. There is a great problem also, with subgroups within special interest group hijacking agendas for other hidden agnedas - the feminist movement might be a good eg as is disability support services...the ordinary person misses out once more vocal powerful groups take over and this is unfortunate - one group cannot effectively represent many people...once again a more participatory style of governing would adjust this.

Anyway - my opinion means very little in this society so it feels sort of silly my harping on about it! I'd put a punt on PR that you are involved in business somewhat and do have influence, so your positions would have more effect?

Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 15:41

People I hate to do this but.
Students guide to World History 1789-1979 tells us that we have been down this road. Competition does not value add, Government Tax breaks and Industry protection adds value. If Competition was good u wouldn't have Multi Nationals swollowing up everything in their path and their isn't much point of having 6 Hamburger shops on one street corner.
There is competition and then there is competition.
The question is competition from whom and for what.

So read what it said, in you guessed it:
It might shed some light.

Within Europe, unevenness of development can be further observed by means of two interesting comparisons. Thus, the relatively 'old' industrial country, France, whose industrial 'take-off' began in the 1830's, was being overhauled by Russia, whose 'take-off' did not begin until the 1880's: in the period 1870~1914, France's coal production grew from 13 to 40 million tons, but Russia's from less than one million to 36 million; France's pig-iron production grew from 1.2 to 4.6 million tons, but Russia's from .5 to 3.6 million. Even more significant was the success of Germany in overhauling the pioneer of the Industrial Revolution, Britain. While Britain's coal producction grew from 112 to 292 million tons between 1870 and 1914, Germany's grew from 34 to 277 million tons. The corresponding figures for pig-iron were: Britain's from 6 to 11 million tons; Germany's from 1.3 to 14.7 million tons. Moreover, by 1914 Germany was producing 14 million tons of steel compared to Britain's 6.5 million tons. Germany was making much more effective use than Britain of the new industries of the 'Second Industrial Revolution', especially steel, chemicals and electricity.

From the 1870's the industrial countries were troubled by acute competiition - competition between one another and competition within each national economy. Their rapid industrial and agricultural growth produced serious economic strains. Indeed, the period 1873-1896 is sometimes called the 'Great Depression'. The term is unfortunately over-general, for it seems to contradict the fact of a huge overall growth of production and consumption which took place in the period. However, the use of the term can be justified because within each country individual firms felt the impact of competition more keenly than ever before; they had to struggle, often bitterly hard, to maintain prices, profits and rates of interest, and a large number of them failed to survive. Within the general period of this depression firms felt the 'squeeze' most when sharp 'cyclical slumps' occurred, as they did in 1873, 1882, 1893. Slumps were not new; they had been a feature of the European economy since 1825. But now they seemed to recur with added severity. The causes of the general and the cyclical crises need not occupy us here,7

7 See a discussion of the causes of cyclical crises in the chapter on the World Depression, 1929-33, p. 329. For the period 1873-96, see New Cambridge Modern History, Vol. XII, pp. 10-11, 70, 71. Cf. Anthony Wood, Europe 1815-1945, pp. 251-252.

The fact is that Competition led to war, the point was?

Aust. lost its Gene pool, went broke. England lost the Empire status and went broke. Germany was crushed and lost 22 million people. Aust only had about 5 million people tops. Japan got Atomicly Sodomised. America gave us the depression and became the New Empire. France is still stuck with its head up its arse and all this because of Competition for the Consumers spending and or borrowed money. So Competition, what Competition, where is this thing any good other then on the footy field.

Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 15:58

Your opinion means a lot.

For a starters Christianity grew from a whisper, until their combined want became a threat to the accepted norm, so they were persecuted, but eventualy Christianity florished and became the norm only to be now, finaly challenged. Why?, because it, like every other process known to man kind became corrupted by the powerful few at the expense of the many.

If you whisper into a bucket its a voice lost, the feminist movement learned how to use the Media to eradicate Child Slave Labour. It wasn't what they did, but what they said and to whom, that made the difference after 50 odd years of being spat on and getting nowhere.

See if you can figure out what they did, to fight powerful man.

Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 16:15

Perfidious Rex

Your comment:
Corporate values really just reflect the values of society (which is not surprising given they are run by and owned by members of society). There will always be the odd outrageous case. However there are outrageous cases amongst individuals also.

My comment:
Me thinks your talents are wasted on this planet, you should go back to where you came from, where ever that is.

Our species has eyes and ears, you obviously don't, or don't use them, maybe your payed not to use them.

You do make some valid points in the interest of appeasement and fightmumma makes the point.

"I’d put a punt on PR that you are involved in business somewhat and do have influence, so your positions would have more effect?"

But having learned the ABC of conflict management does not inteligence or business man make, your positions would have more effect on a toilet bowl.

I keep telling you people if your from that side of the fence, YOU created every GFC and Depression known to man kind, not the labour movement and high wages and or Governments with too many rules. YOU.

The Business community, the economists and investers.

Open your eyes and ears.

Stop talking in riddles, playing the ABC game of conflict management.

Your trying to tell us that it was the Icebergs fault that the Titanic sank.

Perfidious Rex
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 20:45


My talents may well be wasted in this discussion. 3 marathon postings and I still struggled to find one coherent point or string of logic.

You certainly managed the standard insults and grandiose conclusions that are a trademark of someone without a point to make, but to be honest I got completely lost on the history lesson.

As best I can make it out your point is - Govt tax breaks and protection add value (and competition is bad) because during the 1800s different nations had periods of competitive advantage, there was a depression, and subsequently a war? Sorry my friend, with that level of persuasive powers even a Greens senator would eat you for breakfast.

On the topic of GFCs et al - you may well have been continually telling people that "you" (exactly who?) caused all of them. However I would suggest that Jackal1's personal viewpoint is generally not regarded as compelling independent evidence of a causal link.

Happy to consider further if you want to provide some argument.


BTW - The Titanic sank because it travelled outside its safety zone and encountered a situation it was not equipped to deal with. (I suspect a number of European Govts are just about to suffer the same fate for the same reasons).

Perfidious Rex
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 20:49

I do agree with your comments re opinions though. Particularly when they come from someone trying to analyze the issues rather than just rehashing tired emotional spiels...

Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 18:09

Perfidious Rex, there again you show your ignorance which is based on popular media opinion rather then facts.

You said.
"BTW - The Titanic sank because it traveled outside its safety zone and encountered a situation it was not equipped to deal with. (I suspect a number of European Govts are just about to suffer the same fate for the same reasons)."

I say:
The unsinkable Titanic did not in fact sink because of the gash it received from the Iceberg, this alone, the Titanic could have indeed survived. What it didn't survive was the cheap rivets the English used because of supply and cost problems. It was the rivets that failed and the plates opened up along the seams allowing massive amounts of water to enter.

This is where that silly word of yours, "Competition", comes in.
The English loosing the Economic struggle against Germany needed something to put itself back on the map.
Winning the Competition in crossing the Ocean from England to the U.S was believed to help in that regard. Unfortunately English inefficiencies caused corners to be cut, yet they still believed her to be unsinkable and so they took risks, the rest is history.
England always was a failure, they had some brilliant ideas and were very good at fighting spear throwers, but other then that they always needed their English Cousins from abroad to rescue them, eventualy the island proved too small and the War Lords moved out, to, you guessed it.